Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Facing Winter - Thoughts on Travel By Gordo Byrn

Facing Winter - Thoughts on Travel
By Gordo Byrn

This week I am going to share some ideas on how my winter has been going.

Travel -- is the largest item in my business budget as well as a major expenditure in my personal budget. More than the financial cost, travel has a large hidden cost in terms of use of time and fatigue. If you choose a life where you move around a lot then it makes it much more challenging to achieve in areas that benefit from stability (relationships; athletic training... for example). In seeing the risk to relationships/training, I set my travel up in blocks and brought my girlfriend (now wife) with me as much as possible. While effective, this greatly increased the overall cost to the family.

Travel isn't all bad. A ten-day business trip removes a lot of distractions and long flights are excellent for extended periods of uninterrupted time. Both editions of Going Long had their final proofs reviewed on a long haul flight.

By the way, like you, I am waiting for the 2nd edition. My best guess is early 2009 -- I will let you know when the book is available. As an aside, if you subscribe to our new web coaching platform (details to be released in my first blog of 2009) then I'll send you a signed copy of the 2nd Edition.

Given that we had nine months notice of Lex's arrival, we made a decision not to travel this winter. At the time, we made the call on relationship grounds (big changes requiring extra stability). As events turned out, it proved to be a smart financial decision.

The consumer-driven aspect of triathlon tells us that we need to race, and travel, a lot. That is an expensive way to live and most of that travel expenditure does little to improve our fitness, or quality of life. Does anyone really enjoy shlepping a bike through several airports, cramming it into rental car and sleeping in a strange bed? Wears me out. It's amazing that the ITU crew can go so fast!

I challenge this belief system with my athletes and recommend that they mix: long endurance day trips with local racing. For their travel: we aim to split 50% to training vacations and 50% towards their families.

If you find that you need a vacation to "rest", rather than "achieve", then consider your daily schedule. While being over-scheduled, I have been productive. However, I struggle to be effective when over-scheduled. As well, I lose any ability to guide a strategic long term vision for my life. Even when I am relaxed and thinking clearly, there are a lot of biases, filters, influencers and general media noise that I need to counter to head in a meaningful direction.

The solution?

Once I pulled the plug on my seasonal migration, a lot of new options opened up for me. The options were there all along, I simply couldn't see them.

In order to create a change in our lives, the first step is to stop doing what we want to change. Fear of change can prevent us from taking the actions required to improve our lives.

In my case, my fear of winter, fear of loss of race fitness, fear of shoveling snow... whatever the cause... because I refused to experience winter, I never learned what winter might have to offer me.

If you want to rapidly improve your fitness then the double-summer athletic season is a proven tool. However, one needs to consider the costs of that choice (or any frequent choice for that matter). Maximizing fitness, doesn't necessarily maximize my life experience.

When I spent a couple of months in LA. Many locals told me that they couldn't leave SoCal because they would not be able to handle the weather anywhere else. Weather=benefit. Traffic/Air Quality/Crowds=cost. It works for them, it didn't work for me.

When I look at my triathlon history, I see that I am more of an adventurer, than a racer. The highlights of my TriJourney have been a few truly crazy trips that we dreamed up. Exploring seems to bring me a lot more satisfaction than winning. With that in mind, I have started exploring a few of the local areas.

You might need to click on the photo to blow it up -- left is June (thanks to MvA); right is last Tuesday. I even saw a mountain lion when I snowshoed another couple of miles towards the Divide. Seeing as my ski poles where my only means of self-defense, I turned around at that stage; Lex missed that trip...(seeo 2nd photo at top)

Next up is a series of recon trips probing the Divide. I want to figure out a relatively safe way to get over to Winter Park/Fraser from this side. So far, I think that staging from the Guinn Mountain Hut appears to offer the best route. I'm going to check out Guinn Mountain for my "long day" next week.