Life Lessons From Cycling


Bear with me here, I do have a point! Having got in to road cycling about a year ago, my passion for the sport has had its ups and downs. At first, I just wanted to give up. It was so hard (because I was unfit and didn’t know how to cycle efficiently) and everyone was so much faster than me. I couldn’t keep up and felt like a failure.

It is incredibly hard in life, and cycling, when people whizz past you. They have all the expensive gear, charging ahead of you, and it makes you want to give up. However, as you develop the essential skills and knowledge, you get fitter, working harder and more efficiently. And over time, you can save up and buy a lighter bike and some better clothes.

Before you know it, you are now the one overtaking one or two people. You feel great, your hard work is paying off. But then, there they are again. There's always someone faster than you, getting where you want to be, but at a seemingly easier and quicker pace.

I struggled with these ups and downs for a while, comparing myself to others constantly, and getting nowhere.

However, after time, you realise the people overtaking you probably train everyday, or they might charge past you but then they burn out and you pass them a little later down the road. If you try and keep up with them, you'll only burn yourself out too.

So, what I’ve learnt from cycling, and about life, is something similar to what Baz Luhrmann said a while back, whilst singing about sunscreen:

“Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”

You have to ignore what everyone else is doing in life and go at your own pace. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. We're all going in the same direction though. So, along the way, you might as well take in the stunning views, work as hard as you can, rest now and again, keep yourself well fueled and enjoy the ride!

Alice Stapleton

About Alice

Alice coaches those who want to change career but don’t know what they want to do instead. She offers Career Coaching designed to help graduates, early to mid-level career-changers, and parents returning to work gain a clear vision of what career is right for them, and how to achieve it. She is also an accredited Coach Supervisor, and host of The Career Change Diaries podcast.