Shifting Gears

by Jess Brown

I've been cycling more than usual recently. I'm not sure why really, just wanting to stay in shape and keep the weight off.

I noticed something the other day while riding. It's not the first time I've noticed it, but it doesn't happen often.

Sometimes you're pedaling along and enjoying the scenery, maybe daydreaming, and your thoughts turn to your pace. When you're riding by yourself, you know what kind of effort you want to target. You know the pressure and power you want to apply to the pedals. Most cyclists can consistently apply the same amount of power for long periods of time.

Occasionally, when you're riding along, and even though you feel you're at the limit of the effort you want, you'll shift into a harder gear. Sometimes it may be by mistake, and sometimes just to change rhythm. On rare occasion, you'll find that gear easier, or at least no harder. Surprised, you'll shift again, into an even harder gear. Sometimes, event a third or 4th time you'll shift and keeping the same cadence, you'll be going much faster with seemingly no additional effort. It's an amazing feeling because here you are riding along at what you think is your ideal pace, then you shift gears and are able to travel faster without trying much harder.

Well, as this happened to me the other day, I got to thinking about this and how it mirrors life in some degree. Don't we all get bogged down in a pace that we think is our best. Whether it's a career, relationship, skill, etc, sometimes we're just cruising along daydreaming, enjoying the scenery. I wouldn't say that is necessary always bad thing, but if you think that you're going full speed but are not, then what could happen? In your career, you may start to become invaluable or get passed by someone else or your marriage or other relationship could become stale.

I like this idea of shifting gears, changing things up. Learn something new, take a different position, go on a trip, or whatever it takes to refocus. For me, getting comfortable isn't a place I want to go yet.

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