How Cycling Helps You To Achieve Goals- Coaching Secrets From The Road

How Cycling Helps You To Achieve Goals- Coaching Secrets From The Road

By Donovan Grant

One of my top personal goals for this year is to complete a 325 mile charity bike ride from Paris to Geneva. Ever since I was a kid I have loved the challenge of sports; soccer, rugby, cricket, badminton, if you could compete in it, I played it! With all the years wild activity and injuries taking their toll on my body, cycling has become a main source of keeping sharp.

As part of my training for the event, early morning rides, through the streets of London to the office have presented many unexpected experiences and I swap it for the humidity of our underground trains any day of the week!

When my wife, Jen wishes me “good luck” as I set off from Catford to Paddington on two wheels, I wonder if there is something I don’t know about. She never says that when I get the train to work, so the mind boggles. Am I missing something here? Jen’s a bit of a CSI fan and works in the medical labs at the Lewisham University Hospital, so maybe she’s seen a few cyclist specimens under her microscope before. So what she’s really saying is “be careful out there, I don’t want to see you appearing on my worksheet for today!” It’s great to be sent off with such a cheery message!

The road surfaces on our streets vary from very good to very bad. They are ok for a car; however any regular cyclist will tell you that you are not always in control on the road. Sometimes the road dictates whether you go left, right or straight ahead. It would be fair to describe cycling to the office during rush hour as unsettling and dangerous; your duty as a cyclist to keep your bum on the seat, eyes peeled and be visible at all times. Going with the flow is not permitted!

A trip on the bike can teach you lessons just like being in a session with your favourite coach. When you know that failing to keep your eyes peeled could mean that you end up running into the back of an erratic taxi driver’s car; you can almost hear coach saying “if you’re going to reach your goal, you have to get the basics right and keep moving forward”.  The alternative is that you end up going no where.

The more you cycle the more strange experiences you face on the roads. Isn’t this just the same in life? Just a few weeks back a friend was knocked off his bike by a speeding car driver. “I didn’t see you” was the cry. My friend was ok and his front wheel was buckled and that turned out to be the only casualty on this occasion. Maybe his wife said “good luck” to him before he left home that day. He picked himself up and after a five minute rest, we kept moving forward. What do you do when you get knocked down in pursuit of your goals and dreams?

The roads of London do not take any prisoners. Screaming at irresponsible drivers or pedestrians who step into the road in front of you because they didn’t see you falls on deaf ears. Just like in life, a cyclist cannot take the position of a victim. When I work with a coaching client, one of the things we get clear up front is that results are not guaranteed. We talk about the fact that it takes work for them to achieve what they want. They can have their goal all mapped out and start taking step by step actions towards it and then crash! Bang! Wallop! They start blaming their boss, the company, the government, the neighbours, the kids, you name it they’ll blame it! If you are going to shoot for your goal you cannot afford to play the victim!

With just two weeks to go to the 325 mile charity challenge I’m feeling fitter than I’ve been for a long while. The bike and I do the 12.5 mile trip to the office so often it’s like we are on auto pilot. You couldn’t imagine the surprise when last Friday I found myself being hurled head over heels off the bike and onto the tarmac. There was no car involved, no stray pedestrians and yes, I was looking where I was going. Cuts and blood on my left elbow and knee, the helmet saved my head. There was no one to blame!

Many thoughts went through my slightly dazed mind…

Get up and out of the road before you get run over

It doesn’t feel like anything is broken

Shall I turnaround and go back home?

What is the lesson in this fall?

I got up put the chain and the back wheel back on and finished the journey. Those last six miles were the toughest that I have ridden this year and there was much contemplation. The outcome was that it didn’t matter why you fell down, what mattered was whether you could get up, regroup and keep going. 

Cycling on the roads of London is not about being lucky and the same can be said about being successful in life and your goals. When the road is in control, you don’t always know what is coming next. Life offers us all – young and old – sprinklings of adversity and unexpected challenges. Some of us have an easier time adapting, but we can all build up inner resources that make us resilient.

Here’s a question for you today, what is the one empowering belief that will keep you moving towards your goal, when you come up against a roadblock?

Let’s nurture resilience in our hearts and minds today!

I believe in you and your dreams.

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Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play.


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