The best people in any field are those who devote the most hours to what the researchers call “deliberate practice.” It’s activity that’s explicitly intended to improve performance, that reaches for objectives just beyond one’s level of competence, provides feedback on results and involves high levels of repetition.
For example: Simply hitting a bucket of balls is not deliberate practice, which is why most golfers don’t get better. Hitting an eight-iron 300 times with a goal of leaving the ball within 20 feet of the pin 80 percent of the time, continually observing results and making appropriate adjustments, and doing that for hours every day - that’s deliberate practice.
Consistency is crucial. As Ericsson notes, “Elite performers in many diverse domains have been found to practice, on the average, roughly the same amount every day, including weekends.”
I am happy to confess it to you. I am happy to tell you that I am far from normal, that the normal limits of mankind don’t apply to me. That society deems me a freak.
Come here, I`ll tell it to you calmly, quietly, without prejudice. I`m happy to sit and listen to you tell me why I am mad to be trying to balance a full work day with my crazy sports obsession. I`ll sit and listen, without judgement. I realize you can’t fathom the compromise, the level of effort it takes to live the life I choose to live, every single day. I realize all you see is the training and the work and the limited time. I see that you see I am tired, that I look “ill” to you, too skinny by societies terms and conditions.
What you don’t see is the real effort. The packing of 2 bags a day, the effort it takes to shower 3 times a day depending if I am squeezing in a lunch session too. The compromise it takes when I want to go out partying with mates, because I LOVE the dancing, singing and laughing and bromance that they offer, but when I am simply too tired to be a part of whats going on there. The compromise it takes to stay true to a dream, a goal. I know you don’t see me when I`m sitting, 140km into a 180km ride, tired and weary, with 40km of hills and block headwind to get home. You cannot see the doubt in my mind right then, the fight in my head and body to keep going, despite the surrounding circumstance. All you see is “crazy boy spent the day on his bike again”.
You really can’t see that I`m training my mind as much as my body? Really? Interesting…