Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Preparation is like cooking for dinner quests. It is the act – preparation – we follow to produce an outcome. We also prepare for outcomes in cycling. We do intervals; our diets might consist of organic barley and protein shakes for weeks; one might go for days working out the little squeak in a bottom bracket and, finally, we starve ourselves of a myriad of other things called fun. Then the day comes. Our friends come over to dinner or we are faced with the starting line of a race we have PREPARED for during the past years. The race (or dinner) begins. We are nervous. We think to ourselves, will the mash potatoes be too salty? I sure hope I tackle this hill before anyone else does, so I can be first. Then the race ends. The dinner is over. Was it good enough? Did they like the mash potatoes with brown gravy from a can? The results may not have been what we expected. Maybe everything was a disaster. The EVENT is ruined.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that one loses the real goal of doing. That’s right! It is the doing that matters in life. In other words, there is not such thing as preparing. Racers should take note, because it needs to be repeated: there is no such thing as preparing. The only thing that matters is that you are doing the best that you can NOW!

Let’s look into this a bit deeper. Imagine you are on a deserted island. There is no food, water, shelter or clothing. You are without the basic elements of human survival. However, our ancestors (the ones without the massive foreheads), the ones that looked like us, had everything they needed to survive. They pressed on without the education of the television show Gilligan’s Island, or the movie Cast Away. They and you CAN survive. Did you prepare for this island entrapment? Did you study the plants of the island? NO! You are on your own. You will have two choices: survive or die. It isn’t in the preparing; it is the NOW, this instant that counts.

My point is that we are always preparing for the NEXT STEP. But, the next step is NOW, and only NOW. There may never be a next step. My other point is that thinking of the next step and always concentrating on it is a bad idea. You’ll lose the essence of the present moment.

My question to you all is do you believe in what I’m saying. Do you believe in the fundamental reality of NOW?

I leave you with this:

Don’t Train, DO!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post Walker. It feels like you are advocating a Zen like experience. I feel a strong connection to this philosophy/religion. I'll see what following the NOW can do for me in my life.