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More Lessons from the Grind

Do you believe that every event can have a little (or big) lesson in it? I do. Obviously it would be tough to pay attention to every single event in our lives, but sometimes a lesson can slap you in the face (or knee or finger).

Lesson #1: Simply do my best


My last blog posting was about coach John Wooden, whose dad taught him many lessons. One of those key lessons was not to try to be better than someone else; instead, to simply do one’s best. I should have listened. Having clocked my first Grind time at 57 minutes, I found out that a 20-something-year-old spinning instructor I know had done 46 minutes. Hmmm…I thought. I could aim for that! Not wise.

I’m not in my 20s and have only done a spinning class once. That was in my 20s. And I got off of the bike with wobbly legs and haven’t tried it again since. Also, I later found out that she had been climbing the Grind a few times a week and that was her best time.

I would have been better served to try to simply do my best.

Lesson #2: Communication

As I was aiming for a faster time, I needed to pass some people. When I got stuck behind a couple of people, I moved to the left, then to the right. I thought they would “feel” my presence behind them and allow me to move past. I could have said, “excuse me.” But I didn’t. I decided to run past them when I found a brief opening. Run, run, trip…fall! Owwwww!

That’ll teach me! My knee banged up and swollen, for several minutes I couldn’t even move my leg. Finally, being just past the halfway mark, I

realized that if I didn’t start to move soon, my knee would stiffen up further and there’d be no way for me to keep going. It was only later that I realized that I had also sprained my finger.

Had I spoken up instead of thinking that others would be able to read my mind/vibe; had I set a reasonable pace that allowed me to do my best without pushing beyond myself in order to better someone else; then I would have avoided more damage to my body.

At the top, I bought a year’s pass for the Grind and this was the first use of it: holding the ice on my knee as I drove home.

The good news is that I do learn from life lessons and won’t repeat this on the Grind, and hopefully not in life either.

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