The granddaughter Leia was all confused. She made a comment to granddad, Red. Now mind you, the character of Red is an irascible and irritating parody of a grumpy old man.
Anyway, the granddaughter, Leia, made a comment that she thought Red was so wise. The comment that has stuck with me is one of the best pieces of advice I have heard in quite a while.
I'll paraphrase it "It's alright, we're all making it up as we go along".
I want to add a "You'll figure it out" to that but it is something nobody told me until I was well out of college and on my own.
And that is the point of it all.
If you are too rigid and dogmatic, you're not going to enjoy yourself and whatever it is, you'll grind to a stop.
If I had that magic time machine and went back to my younger self, I'd tell myself that.
It's that rigidity that got me in big trouble.
It was the early 2000s, I was in Philadelphia. Inline skating was fading to just us hard core people. Even my mentor had transitioned to cycling. I had gone at it to the point where vacation was a week off from work and skated 204 miles. Usually with headphones on and listening to audio books and DJ sets on the iPod.
Yes, 7 consecutive days, carving so many loops in Fairmount Park where the Park Maintenance crew asked me why I was doing it.
"Because it's fun".
Ok, so Ricardo Lino ends his skating videos with that line and it brings a knowing smile to my face. But there's a flip side to that.
I was quite dogmatic, which is the bad side of consistency. I would weightlift in the mornings before work then skate the night away. Eventually season ends. Had to readjust the diet for the off season since I was burning 100 calories of food per mile, and at 100 miles a week, that's a lot of carbs.
However, the secret is that inline skating builds the outsides of your upper legs, the quadriceps muscle, much more than the insides. The result is that simply standing up would dislocate your knee cap.
Now THAT is not fun.
So what I am doing now to counteract all that is cross training on the bicycle. Yep, the anti-cyclist is now on a bike. And being true to form, I'm finding out a few secrets.
But the idea of putting someone who is built like a Baseball player with a broad chest on top of a piece of sports equipment that costs as much as a used car is pointless.
That broad chest of mine forms a very effective windbreak. I'd be the anchor man in a pack.
Better that I don't compete in a team.
So it all comes full circle. I am only competing against my yesterday.
Finally and perhaps most importantly, Competing Against My Yesterday requires consistency. Find a sport, or combination of sports that works well with your strengths and "run with it".
It isn't slow and steady wins the race, but more like repetition will sharpen the blade on the whetstone.