Small Wins That Can Make You Feel More Pulled Together as an Athlete

by | Nov 11, 2022 | Gear, Mindset

We often get asked what it means to be a consummate athlete, and when we first started the podcast and the business, we originally defined it as someone who could just into any and every sport and have fun doing it, because they were conditioned to be strong all-around athletes. A consummate athlete could have very specific goals in cycling, but still be able to pick up his kids with ease, join a buddy for a jog, or head out kite-surfing in the off-season. While that’s still an admirable goal, we’ve shifted our definition a bit to focus more on the feeling: Our consummate athlete ethos is to feel confident and comfortable on any adventure.

And no, there’s no one piece of gear that can instantly shift your view of yourself. But there are ways to make yourself feel a bit more pulled together, a bit more collected, a bit calmer and ready to tackle the workout, versus getting into your ride feeling disheveled and like you used up half your adrenaline just getting out the door.

Add 5 minutes to your prep + recovery time

If you know you’re supposed to meet at friend to ride at 1 and it normally takes 15 minutes to get ready, give yourself 20. If you’re planning to cram a workout in before your next meeting, give yourself an extra 5 minutes to finish up and get back into office mode. Most of our disheveled demeanor on rides/runs comes from cramming them in between things and just being that tiny bit too rushed getting out the door. This could even mean that you sacrifice a few minutes of your ride/run itself in order to feel a bit calmer, but you might be surprised at how much better your intervals feel when everything is a bit less rushed.

Create a checklist

We’ve had pro racer Alexey Vermeulen on the podcast twice now, and part of his success in cycling has come from his (slightly obsessive) organization. Dude has checklists for days, and that’s part of why he wins so many races. He has everything dialed in. You can do the same with a pre-ride or run checklist that you refer to every time you head out the door! Print it or save it on your phone so it’s easily accessible. (Need a more visual cue? Grab our tote, which has a ride and run checklist front and center!)

Always have tools you need on hand

Nothing makes you feel less organized, calm, cool and collected than getting to a group ride and having to ask five people for a specific tool to tweak something on your bike. Have a full set of tools (including multitool with all the key allen keys you need, mini-pump, CO2 and tube/plugs) mounted on each of your bikes so you’re not trying to swap them from bike to bike before each ride. This only costs an extra $100 or so to put a kit like this together, and it’s well worth the spend.

Make getting dressed easy

This starts with our favorite thing, the closet cleanout: make sure that all of your cycling gear is gear that you love to wear. That means if you close your eyes and pull out any piece, you’d happily put it on rather than exchanging it for another. This makes getting ready easier since everything in your drawer is ‘wearable.’ Try not to hoard old kit that doesn’t fit well, mismatched socks, stuff that’s falling apart, etc. You may think that means more frequent laundry, but trust me, you probably weren’t wearing that old stuff anyway: It was probably just making it harder for you to find what you need! You can also separate your gear into more containers to make it super easy to grab what you need. Another easy way to speed dressing time: Pick a color palette. Maybe yours is predetermined by some of you club’s kit, or you go with your version of my all-black-all-the-time style. But having all of your kit mix and match will save time and instantly make you feel more pulled together as you head out the door.

Wear enough layers

A bit of a random add, but being warm enough on a ride is so freaking key to feeling like you have your $hit together. We love a buff for the fact that you can easily regulate temperature with it, and we have a whole list of free and cheap hacks to make your regular kit feel warmer. Generally speaking, it’s hard to feel like you’re in control when you’re shivering out of control!

Create a charging station

Part of your post-ride or run checklist? Charging everything, including your bike (if you have electronic shifting), your computer, your headphones, whatever. Just don’t leave it until the next day when you’re trying to get out the door!


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