Why is this a negative, right? In sales, it sometimes leads to win loss situations where the deal is no longer proftiable. In real estate, you end up paying too much for a property. Like today, Jenna and I were shopping for another investment property in SF. I was pretty luke warm on a property that my wife really likes. Then when I went back to see the property the 2nd time around, I saw all the potential that Jenna saw in the property. When this happened, a trip wire went off in my head, and I made up my mind that I wanted to Win this house. In SF, buying a house is cut throat competition and you have to overbid significantly to win a deal. When I overheard one other couple saying that they really like the house, I got all fired up. It just added fuel to my desire to win the house. I thought of telling them, "Sorry, you're going to lose, and I'm winning this house, whatever the price." Obviously, it's not advisable to invest this way. You need to find your walk away position. Otherwise, you'll lose your shirt.
In cycling this Winning attitude can easily become a negative for a number of reasons. First of, it's impossible to win all the races. In fact winning is a very difficult thing in cycling and wins are usually distributed to a select few. Moreover, I think there are times to burn the matches and when not to. I only have a limited number of bullets and when I use one up for a training race, then that's a wasted bullet. I did this before the LA world cup and dug a little too much at an early bird crit, where I tried to close a 30 sec. gap to a strong break of 8. I almost caught the break, but I dug myself a hole and was flat in LA. Finally, winning as an absolute thing like who crossed the line first, is the wrong way to look at bike racing. I've learned that it will leave you feeling empty and demoralized since as discussed above, the winning moments are few and far between. Better than absolute is to define your win. I was talking to Roman about this. As a pro for Healthnet, he defines his win in terms of how well he is progressing towards being a great team domestique and personally, if he's continuing to improve as viewed objectively by his coach and training data. How you define your wins can help you enjoy racing better.
This reframing and redefinition of what it means to win is a lesson I have to continually remind myself when I get on a bike. Believe me, everytime I get on a track bike I want to kick everyone's butt - right Warren? My chilled out demeanor belies an internal rage. I hate losing even if it's a training race and I'm grossly out of shape. I don't care about the excuses. So it's especially hard for me. But then, I'm reminded of my friend, Craig's story. Craig finished the Wildflower triathalon long course close to the bottom of his age group. On paper, he was 2+ hours down on the guy who crossed the line first. But to his friends and family, who knew that 5 months before Wildflower, he had undergone chemotherapy and radiation to batttle an aggresive lymphoma cancer, Craig was the Winner. But, if you only measure winning in absolute terms, then the guy who crossed the line first, won. However, if you defined winning as living and courage against the face of death, then my buddy Craig is a Winner.
In terms of the Headwind Award, look for each riders' silent evidence - the non obvious, the next time you want to observe a winner. Everyone has a story and I encourage you find it and share it to the track community.
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