How do we hold our dreams?
As many of you have read in my previous blog posts, this year I have an entry for the Etape de Tour, a one day event where riders get to ride an actual stage of the Tour de France a couple of days before or after the actual race follows that exact route. The roads are closed and it’s a proper carnival atmosphere and a real challenge for the riders taking part. This year is Pau to Hautacam, over the Pyrenees and taking in the famous Col de Tourmalet.
To ride the Etape is a dream for me. Something I really want to do so I was really excited to get a place, get all booked up and start training for it. I put in many hours over the winter, either sweating it out on my indoor trainer or out on the roads in the wet and cold. During those long hours in the saddle I was focused on my goal and crossing the finish line.
Many of you will have read my previous posts about my experiences and what I was learning along the way.
Sometimes though we have to realise that now is not the time for our dream. And that is what has happened to me. The timing of doing the training for this event crucially meant that I was not able to devote the time and attention I wanted to on my family, my coaching practice and other things that were also really important to me at this time. Over a few weeks I became increasingly uneasy with the amount of training time I was devoting and needed to devote in the future to compete in this ride at the level I felt I wanted to. I had to recognise that some of my other values and personal needs were being neglected in order to achieve the sole aim of riding a good time in the Etape.
You see we are complex and whole people. By stretching and developing one area of ourselves, it will have a knock-on effect elsewhere, in mind, body and spirit. Whether you are looking to change jobs, to start a new project, invest in a new relationship, move to a new home, start a business or start a family each of these choices affects our whole and that is what is so wonderful about coaching. In coaching look at the person with a holistic perspective – what happens when one area is stretched or changed in some way with almost certainly to some degree affect the other parts of you. So I realised that by single-mindedly following a dream it was costing me too much at this time in other areas of my life.
So I had a choice to make and I decided to pull out of the Etape this year. That was a tough decision to take based on how much I had already invested in that one day. It takes courage to make a decision like this. However I truly believe I am reaping the rewards many times over now as the other areas I felt I was neglecting are now blossoming.
The Etape will be there next year and the year after and I may well go and ride it but in the meantime I am working on balance in my life and really enjoying the fulfilment that brings to me.
Long live the Tour!
Photo courtesy of Adam Llyod Monaghan