On my second post on this blog, I wrote about why I loved discovering dailymile, the fitness social network. And I also set my motivation to complete 500 cycling miles from July to September, a three-month span.
OK, I haven’t met my goal, and I won’t. I haven’t gone on a ride for 18 days now, and I’m at 378 miles of my 500-mile goal.
So, I’m going to miss my goal by nearly 20 percent. But that doesn’t bother me at all.
My wife was off her feet recently, which is why I haven’t had time to go on a ride. My free time has been consumed with puppy and wife sitting and household management. And I’m pretty confident I would have gotten to 500 miles if that accident had not happened. But, hey, that’s life, always throwing wrenches into the best-laid plans.
In two of my last four rides, I had a combined 86 miles. And considering I could have gone on at least one ride per week, hitting 122 in four rides would have been a breeze in comparison.
Frankly, though, the reason why I’m happy in spite of my failure was put simpler by me on dailymile:
The purpose of my goal was to get me riding more anyway, not to hit an arbitrary mileage goal. And I have been riding more this year (I rode less than 100 miles each year for the past few years).
Getting back on my bike coincided with me buying a working cycling computer, and that was the motivation I leveraged in getting back onto my bike. And getting back to doing something I love is what was important in my inaugural @dailymile adventure.
A little about my bike:
I’m not sure how old it is, but I’ve had it for more than 12 years. It’s a Trek 330 touring bike. (Yes, it has clipless pedals.)
As I mentioned in my previous post, my wife had a bit of an accident recently that forced her to rest a lot. Because of that, I found that I was running the household.
Now, on the surface, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with that. It was a temporary situation and she was sympathetic to the work I needed to get done.
And what I found, especially in the first few days when I was managing the household, was that I was extremely stressed (see the last post “Just let it go” for more).
But when I stopped to think about it, I thought there was such a “good” thing about me having to take more responsibility on my shoulders. I found that I was trying to clean up small messes here and there and trying to tidy things up as much as possible. The more I did those little things, the easier it would be to get other stuff done, I thought.
Then the real epiphany hit. As the only one available to take care of tasks around the house, I had no excuses to give if chores did not get done.
I had to get it done; it forced a proclivity toward production. The real challenge, I now know, is learning to keep the same mental state even when I’m not the only one who can complete tasks around the house.
I’ve been away from the Internet for a few days now because I’ve had to take some personal time off from work and help care for my family. Because of that, I’ve been far more stressed than I normally am.
In addition to training a puppy, I’ve been tasked with helping my wife and managing the household. It’s been a difficult period, to say the least.
And in times like that, often I let the little things — small annoyances, tiny setbacks, minor headaches — get the better of me.
And that was happening this time, too. A lot.
That was when the realization happened: I had to let it go. That’s right, just let the stress melt away. Sometimes, we forget that (OK, I forget it, at least). So it’s important that I remember that even when all of the little things don’t go my way, I’m still OK. Just let it go.
It’s so easy to forget, yet just as easy to enact: Let it go. Don’t worry about it. It’s just a small thing, and it’ll be fine, as long as you don’t dwell on it.
There are some lessons that are definitely worth re-learning.
Like many things that seem to get me thinking lately, it all started with a tweet:
With that said, the larger issue for me here was a sense that a business is not entitled to continue to be in business. Yet I think a lot of businesses operate with that mentality. Heck, even Netflix has had some challenges to its continued operations, yet it has survived, at least for another day.
I’m sure not all businesses — or the executives who run them — truly believe they are entitled to continued business. But I can’t help but feel that way, especially in regard to large chain corporations. (Perhaps it’s just their actions that make it seem that way.)
What would a business look like if it didn’t operate with that mentality of being entitled to continued business?
All three have espoused a strategy of making their customers feel like they are a part of the business and the brand, and I think that helps to lay the foundation that says these businesses and their owners do not have a sense of entitlement.
(I also can’t help but feel there is a tangential point to be made about customer service, but I’ll leave that for someone else to make.)
* Streetza Pizza is the only one of the three examples I have not partaken in. But, following along on Twitter, I get the feeling it can be included in this list.
** There are certainly many more Milwaukee examples. But, being a foodie, these were the first that came to mind. If you have more local examples, feel free to leave in the comments.