Cycling Philosopher Adam Roberge on Small Steps

3 Feb

If you follow Jukebox Cycling’s Adam Roberge on Instagram, you may have noticed that lately, his feed has taken a turn for the philosophical. While we knew he loved reading about philosophy, writing about it is new for the roadie turned gravel racer. Here, he talks us through one of his most recent posts, a reminder that sometimes, we need to step back from a big goal or objective and get a little more micro in an attempt to get things done.

From Adam:

Mental training has been a passion of mine for the last seven years. Every morning, my first hour of the day is just about learning and writing. I think mental training and sports psychology, and even philosophy, is a big part of performance. At the end of the day, sport is just here to help me live a more fulfilling life. I use sports to test myself and to see if I'm living what I'm learning. And now, I'm just trying to find a way to share it.

I write these posts a little bit for myself, and this one was really applicable for me right now. There's more uncertainty  coming this year for me. There's more on the table, and I feel like you can easily be overwhelmed with that, even when it’s good things. The only way for me to still do that work and not procrastinate is to not have too much on on my table all at once. It’s able getting clear with what's the next small action I need to take, and also being clear that I'm not going to be able to do everything today and that's okay.

I try to have set rules that I because I think my productivity is not best measured in time. I think we need to measure how much energy we have. It's easy for me to just literally like work until I go to bed, but doing that doesn’t accomplish much, and I miss out on time with people I love.

I think having micro-wins keeps you on that path and makes sure you're not all over the place. Just focus on doing what's most optimal. Knowing that you're doing the right thing in every moment, or you're actually striving to do the right thing, can give you peace of mind.

Every objective needs to be broken down in a way that is manageable—you can look at a big race like Unbound and panic because it’s 200 miles, or you can look at it and think through what your training can look like today to put you on the right path to being prepared for it. And in the moment, then it’s like you have your big objective and you take a sledgehammer and you just smash it into pieces. Then, you do one piece at a time, and if you do them well, you’ll have the best performance you can.

Having a goal that’s too big that it’s not concrete can take you out of the present. I find that makes you avoid doing any work, because the resistance is too high to do anything because you’re just so unclear on what the next small step is.

I think we overestimate what we can do in a day. But we underestimate what we will do in two or three months if we just keep chipping away at a small thing every day.

Molly Hurford

Author for the Jukebox Cycling Team