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Last week Theexsaffa mentioned the phrase, “what you put in is what you’ll get out” in one of his comments on my posts. It immediately reminded me of when I read Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers. It’s been a few years but I remember how a section of the book talked about how innate ability is overrated. Many times the people who are the best at what they do, who are true “masters” become so after roughly 10,000 hours of working towards it. The whole “overnight sensation” / “innate genius” thing isn’t really accurate – from computing, to sports, to business to music, and he talked about many well-known examples as evidence.

Anyway, I couldn’t help but reflect on that again after that comment.

In younger days, I was always looking for shortcuts. How to get the best grade in school with the least amount of work. How to lose weight fastest. How to train for a race in the least amount of time. How to get promoted quickly. The truth is, shortcuts don’t really work. Not for the long-term anyway.

Every day, in every goal, I’m reminded that what you put in, is what you’ll get out. Sure, I have some innate skills and abilities that may put me above others in certain areas. But even some of those are actually from mastering the skill too. For a silly example, anyone who knows me IRL thinks I’m an extremely fast reader – that’s just a skill I have. But I argue, I am now. I started reading, actual children’s books, at age 4. My parents spent every single night when I was really young reading me books and trying to teach me to read alongside my older sister. I immediately took to it, loved it and for my entire childhood I read for at least an hour a night, and when caught up in a book I would secretly read hours into the night under my covers with a flashlight. Sometimes I would read my school’s summer reading books then steal my older sister’s books and read hers too. By the time I was in high school, I was reading at least a book (for fun in addition to school required books) a week. By college, especially in the summer I could finish an entire book in one beach day. So yes, I’m a fast reader but when you think about it, I’ve been working on that for years and countless hours. Even a small skill like reading fast takes hard work and dedication.

Something else that I’ve learned along the way is how good it feels to work hard. To put hard work in and to see and feel the progress. I actually love the journey, sometimes more than the end goal.

In Flywheel for weeks I’ve been progressing, but hitting around the same overall power or just above (the power score comes out of your RPM and TORQ – or your pace and resistance). I try to go weekly, on Fridays, and each time I feel myself working and pushing harder. This past Friday, I really saw how hard work pays off.

On the women’s side, I won every race, and then I won the overall TORQ board. And most importantly, I beat my own total power personal goal by a landslide.

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