Two Kinds of People

Inspiration for posts comes sometimes at the most inopportune times, those times being ones where I don’t have anything to write with or on, no computer and a brain that’s going to ‘splode if said thought isn’t expelled. Lately, these moments have come when I’m riding a bicycle.

If you’ve followed Redhead Writing for any length of time, you know there’s also the “Redhead Riding” side to the equation. I like my bicycles and spend six days a week on one somewhere or another. I have a coach – two, actually (one for the track and one for my overall road and training program). My best ideas come following intervals where I’ve set my body to spontaneously combust through some (ridiculous) painful sprinting effort. Maybe my brain is clearest when my legs are brimming with lactic acid. Whatever the reason, I’ll take it.

This year is the first year I’ve ridden a bike since I was a kid. I fell in love with track and road bikes and decided to see what I could do with it. Hence the coaches and training schedule. Hence the two new bikes (the Tiemeyer and Barbie). And crashes. And days where it would have been much easier to say damn it all straight to H and go grab myself a taco because this whole riding bikes fast thing sucks epic amounts of wooly ass.

But I didn’t. And after one of three ten-minute intervals of pain down at the Colorado Springs velodrome on Saturday, my coach looked at me and said, “You’re really improving, Red. Coming along nicely.” And then I got to sit the motor for the first time.

If you’re not a track cyclist, it’s likely you have no idea what that means. So I’ll tell ya: it means you get to ride your bike with no brakes directly behind the pacing motorbike on the track (a motorbike that has a roller behind it so your front wheel doesn’t ram into the bike and send you crashing into a pile of bike and broken bones). It means you get to use the bike’s draft to go faster and work harder than you could on your own. It’s a workout I’ve watched everyone else do all season. And finally, I got to do it.

While my first attempt was laughable, it reminded me…

There are two kinds of people in this world: ones that get things done and ones that don’t.

If I’d given up because this bike riding think sucks wooly ass, I’d never have had my landmark Saturday at the track. I’d always be scared to descend (a feat at which I’m getting better every day). I’d have hung up my bike the day I crashed this year and scored road rash so bad I couldn’t sleep.

It’s like anything in life: if you’re too afraid to fall, you’ll never even walk close to the edge. But if you begin to realize that every time you fall, you can come back better, stronger and with more resolve – the edge stops looking so scary. Me? I love the feeling that my eyes are welling-up with tears on account of a personal victory. I’ll cry for that shit all day long. It’s a helluva lot better than sitting on your sofa at 3 PM on a Saturday with the curtains drawn, wondering if the sun is going to shine and watching people do thing on TV that you could be doing yourself if you had the gumption to get off your ass.

So today – on a Monday of all days, I’m asking you: what kind of person are you? Do you screw around with excuses, blame and woe-is-me anthologies? Is your legacy one built on harvesting the tasteless low-hanging fruit? Do you kill your victories with self-deprecation instead of celebrating a life well-lived?

Or is it one where you drop a big ol’ f-bomb (or even a little internal one if blue language ain’t yer style) and walk into the world with arms wide open, asking to fail as soon as possible so you can push through towards success? Do you HUG your successes back and after a requisite period of mourning, laugh about your failures? When you jump, do people tell you you’re crazy?

It takes a little “crazy” to get out there and grab life by the man-berries, but hey – a little crazy never hurt anyone. Go find your crazy.

31 replies
  1. Fischworks
    Fischworks says:

    Crazy is vitality and without quality physical activity, like biking and BEING OUTSIDE, our vitality is limited by the poorly ventilated and flourescent lighted spaces we tend to work in. Thanks for the ass-kickin’ crazy embracing reminder on this Monday AM. HAPPY TRAILS, DF.

    Reply
  2. jim
    jim says:

    Actually, I say there are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who can't.

    I know, I know, keep my day job.

    I like to think I'm a get-things-done kind of guy, but I have stretches where I have the same productivity as a lump of week-old mashed potatoes.

    Go-getters look crazy only to the do-nothings. But go-getters fail more often because they try more often.

    Reply
  3. Megan Carpenter
    Megan Carpenter says:

    Hell ya! First off, get out of my head, it's a wee bit scary. And you come across a lot clearer than anything that comes out of my brain, so there may be a little jealousy in that. But anyway, I love this post, and over the last couple of weeks I've been pushing myself to be a person that gets things done, and it's been great. I've had a couple great opportunities come out of it, and I'm already much happier than when I was not getting things done. Thanks for making my Monday morning a little more awesome!!!

    Reply
  4. The Redhead
    The Redhead says:

    You are my favorite reader named Meg Carpenter 🙂 Seriously – my pleasure and way to get it done. I'm a “list gal.” If I can look at a list with a slew of things crossed off at the end of a day, it's a WIN! Glad I could be a part of your awesome.

    Reply
  5. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Working towards and achieving a goal, even if it's a small one, can infect every aspect of my life. When I see myself making progress, I'm motivated to work even harder….and that little voice in my head that usually screams, “Stop, turn around! You can't do this!” is quite. It's the small victories that give me the strength to push harder, when I'm afraid. This post was timely for me…but most of yours are. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Hugo Skoppek
    Hugo Skoppek says:

    A little crazy never hurts! How about a lot of it. Reading your blog I can't decide which category I belong to. I can go for the low hanging fruit quite happily and pick the top fruit by helicopter as well. I have been known to do both and be called crazy on both counts. I consider it a healthy schizophrenia and can live with both? Does that make me a Republican?

    Reply
  7. Mariano Franco
    Mariano Franco says:

    “You gotta go out and grab life by balls!!!

    You ever grab anything by it's balls before? When I was 6 I grabbed a dog's
    balls. I almost lost an eye. You grab anything by it's balls and it's beats
    the shit out of you.

    I'm not grabbing ANYTHING by it's balls!!!

    This is why I scratch life behind it's ears, give it a snack, or rub it's
    belly.”

    ~Kyle Kinane~
    Professional Comedian

    In the spirit of blessing that which you want, I'm excited that you get to experience what it's like to have yours eyes well up with tears on account of a personal breakthrough. A breakthrough that shifts your identity and reveals more of who you are. A personal breakthrough that transforms the impossible, to possible.

    Those are fucking great moments in our personal history and I wish you many more!

    Thank you for sharing your evolution here almost daily!!!

    Reply
  8. Jeff Anthony
    Jeff Anthony says:

    “And days where it would have been much easier to say damn it all straight to H and go grab myself a taco because this whole riding bikes fast thing sucks epic amounts of wooly ass.”

    I think I love you. My sentiments exactly about running. I started running, well, that horrid thing called exercise in general, this summer. I do have to say, I do feel much better and accomplished, BUT…. I still do love my tacos, and f-bombs. Glad I stumbled unto your blog through the twitterverse.

    Reply
  9. Susan Platt
    Susan Platt says:

    hell yeah, I’m definitely a getting-things-done kinda gal. And if I don’t know how something works I love figuring out how it does. Incidentally though, I can’t figure out why I can’t login via my Facebook account to post on this blog…maybe because I am located in Switzerland and DISQUS can’t handle my IP?? Is net neutrality already a thing of the past?? I keep getting this message: Error -Error while loading page from Redhead Writing (and duh, popup blockers are disabled and I allowed cookies from disqus. Anyone???

    Reply
  10. Susan Platt
    Susan Platt says:

    nope, still getting the same error message. I'll see how I can work around this, am not a tech novice and should be able to figure this out… thank you for trying though

    Reply

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