Training Accumulates


My parents taught me the value of saving money.

Old-school saving – don’t spend everything you earn, set aside a little each week or each month. Over time, those small amounts accumulate and carry over. It’s a great lesson that’s served me well.

I learned, for example, to “save up” for a big expense. Work extra, put the surplus in the bank, and wait until I can pay cash. Wonderful money management lessons that don’t translate to other key aspects of life.

I wish my bike training worked like a savings account. It doesn’t.

Training accumulates, but it doesn’t carry over. I can’t save it for later.

If I did a good, solid ride every other day for an entire year I’d be in decent shape. However, if I rode every day for six months and took then six months off, not so much. Same number of rides, very different result.

Becky and I, for different reasons, are both off our bikes right now. Becky crashed during the Front Range Tour and still waits for her elbow to heal. For me it’s a combination of relatively minor health issues that’ll hopefully be resolved soon. We both trained hard in March, April, May, and June, but when we begin cranking again we won’t get to dip into a “training savings account” and withdraw some of the work we did last spring.

Same principle applies in more important areas of life. I know reading books stimulates my thinking and creativity, broadens my horizons, keeps me informed. If I read consistently the effect is cumulative. If I don’t read much over a long period of time, creativity diminishes and horizons narrow. Doesn’t matter how much I read a few years ago.

I know I do better when I spend some time with Jesus each day. Read a bit. Write a bit. Listen a bit. Pray a bit. I also know a retreat experience, or a bike tour, is a great way to immerse myself and spend a lot of time with Him. But the big hit of time doesn’t carry over, doesn’t replace that daily quiet space.

In our consumer culture, we want to believe we can apply the rules that work with money and business to other situations. We want to believe the tools that lead to financial success translate automatically to every endeavor.

We can accumulate money, carry it over, spend it later.

Training accumulates, but you can’t store it for later. You have to keep at it, consistently.

It doesn’t carry over.

What are YOU training for? What’s your consistent training plan?