How hard can you push on something. That’s all strength is. If a bricklayer spends all day laying bricks. How strong did he get? Well, it depends on how many bricks.” - Mark Rippetoe

For a while now, I’ve thought very highly of strength.

That meant mainly weightlifting and eating a bit more. It worked. I could push harder on stuff.

Of course, strength translates to other disciplines outside clanging plates on the ground. Recently for me that’s been riding bikes. But again, the same focus. Push harder.

I’ve been doing local bunch rides, where you roll around in a pack of 10-15 cyclists. Since it only takes a single cross of the wheel for disaster, communication and smooth, steady, predictable movements are really important. Gasp! Strength is not important.

I was on the front of the bunch, the person who needs to be the steadiest, best communicator and has the least margin for error, and I made a few sloppy moves.

An older cyclist pulled up to me later. He says, I’m trying to say this in the nicest possible way. You’re strong. Strong is good. But everything else… You could be so much better.”

A good, simple goal or principle can take you a really long way. It’s a big shiny hammer, you know how it works and it can bash a lot of nails in. But after a while, you’ll need more tools.

April 23, 2021