What do normal people do?

What’s your first thought on a snowy Saturday in January? (That would be last week for those of us “up north”; yesterday for those “down south” in Akron).

After “coffee”, it’s thinking about what is the training plan for the day. On a day like this you have to get into the right mental state to head to the basement and get on the trainer.

Is that what a normal person does? (no answer needed)

Most days are like this — not just snowy days. There is always that undercurrent of “where am I going to fit today’s training”, planning the next day, thinking of the next race coming up.

I’ve long felt that people who choose to race bikes have a compulsive nature. If it wasn’t bike racing it would be something else. The triathletes that I know are like this too.

I used to like brewing beer. I probably still would if I could spare the time. I couldn’t do it the easy way. I had brew all-grain, starting with the whole barley and grinding (I had a grain mill even). I made my own copper-tubed chiller to cool the wort before adding the yeast. It was an all-day affair.

A normal person just buys beer.

I used to think this was limited to bike racers and other athletes. But I know people at work like this too. The ones who are exceptionally good at what they do have a sort of compulsion about them too. They can’t do things partway. I’m pretty sure this is a characteristic of anyone who engages deeply in an activity — whether it’s bike racing, beer brewing, dog training, stock trading, writing, music …

So choose your activities carefully. The byproduct being a great brewer is that you have a lot of beer to finish. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

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1 Comment

Filed under culture, training

One response to “What do normal people do?

  1. Brian

    Dave S (via Facebook) wrote:
    “”Normal” guys spend almost as much time as we do riding watching sports, watching shows about sports, and talking about sports. To each their own, I guess.”

    I thought about that too. Maybe there is no such thing as “normal”, and everyone has their own thing that they do compulsively (and/or obsessively).

    On the other hand, I think there is a depth of engagement that is missing when you’re simply observing (watching TV, talking about sports, etc.). As a racer, musician, dog trainer (hey, you made a bunch of my examples) I’m sure you appreciate that.

    I think it is that depth of engagement that perhaps everyone is capable of, but not all choose to experience.

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