A week or so ago I was fortunate enough to have the time to get out on my bike whilst the UK was bathed in unseasonably warm sunshine (the warmest Halloween on record). I was conscious that I hadn’t posted a blog for a while and tried to direct my thoughts to create the structure of a piece. I did have a couple of great ideas – now I cannot for the life of me remember them, they were great ideas though!
I have just reviewed the ride in my training log as it was a great, flat route. The headlines as captured for posterity by Strava were 56km in 2:18, averaging 24.4kmh, total elevation gained 220m (it is pretty flat around here), on my 16 year old Scott Vail MTB. The weather was a sunny 22.2 C and I burned up around 1,900 calories.
If I had been using my heart rate monitor, cadence meter and a power meter I would have captured more data about the ride.
That evening I was finalising a presentation and I came across the old maxim:
what get’s measured get’s managed
That of course leads to various conclusions around “measures that matter”. Reflecting on the day I wondered what really mattered. The data captured was of use only from a training perspective. The bare facts don’t come close to describing the experience. If asked why I run, cycle and swim my Strava account is the wrong place to start looking.
The truly important things about the ride were the things that can’t be directly measured: my emotions and feelings. I started out in a fairly flat mood, a few opportunities I had been pursuing were looking less likely to come off and those that were promising were not the most exciting. I finished feeling energised, relaxed and renewed.
We keep a jar in the kitchen into which all of the family put small notes of gratitude on a regular basis (we’ll review them over New Year in a celebration) and I found I had a whole list of notes to write:
Thanks for the time and fitness to be able to get out;
the glorious sunshine;
the privilege to live in the Cotswolds;
the wonderful views;
the Autumn colours…
None of which can easily be measured. Maybe if what get’s measured does get managed, do we fall into the trap of simply managing what we can measure? I wonder if we should really focus on those things that defy simple measurement?