Good Company

This post is by Jim Peterman, Ph.D. and is the first from our partnership with Catalyst Coaching.  Hope you enjoy! 

There’s a quote that I recently saw online which says, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  Now I don’t know how they got to that exact number, but the people you surround yourself with does have a significant impact.  The people you surround yourself with can be your support group, your motivators, and can even contribute new ideas for how you can further improve yourself. 

Team camps are underway for a lot of (lucky) riders.  These team camps are the perfect example of the power of surrounding yourself with the right people.  Most folks probably think team camps are beneficial for all the training that takes place.  However, one of the most beneficial parts of team camp is actually the focused training environment.  Outside distractions are reduced and everyone is focused only on improving performance.  This allows for better fitness gains and for sky rocketing motivation for the upcoming season. When everyone around you is pushing to be their best, it’s not hard for you to do the same. 

Who you surround yourself with is also important as you begin to plan race trips.  I’m sure we’ve all been to cycling events with someone who maybe wasn’t the most enjoyable person to be around.  A certain level of distraction is great for keeping the nerves in check, but unnecessary negativity or unhealthy behaviors are something you don’t want to be around.  This can tank your performance before you even toe the line.  So, plan wisely with who you’ll drive with to an event and maybe even spring for that two-bedroom place so you have an opportunity to escape and reset. 

Surrounding yourself with the right people is about more than just finding folks who will help you add Watts to your threshold.  It’s also about building a support group who will help you improve your overall health and well-being.  It’s important to always be working on bettering yourself.  That may sound like a lot of work but it shouldn’t be.  Everyone can find a way to improve.  Just a few that I’m working on are trying to eat more leafy greens, reading more, and getting more sleep.  Many of these things will certainly help cycling performance but they will also help you live your best life.  Finding people with these goals outside of cycling can introduce you to new ideas and add a bit more motivation. 

Now of course you can’t always surround yourself with the best people.  But in those cases, you can lead by example.  Become the positive support person for the group.  Don’t let a poor race result get everyone down.  Take a bit of time to be upset but then move on.  Get everyone motivated for the next event.  You can also be healthy and take care of yourself.  And who knows, maybe the next time you’re together with this group, they may have become a positive influence. 

Self-motivation can only take you so far.  Surrounding yourself with the right people can make a big difference in achieving your cycling or overall health goals.  However, I don’t think that necessarily means you need to change who the five people are that you spend the most time with.  Just be sure you’re not completely surrounded by bad company…  Thanks for reading!