Great is the Enemy of Good

A thought provoking and inspiring contribution by Laurie Marlowe, full-time physical therapist, wife and o2fit-athlete, who has discovered that small consistent deposits add up. Here Laurie is seen, crushing it at the Alta Alpina new and improved (ie harder than heck) Death Ride.

There is a quote attributed to Voltaire which goes. "Great is the enemy of good." In my youth I didn't understand this phrase and even resented the concept. "Why not try for your absolute best, I thought"? I've come to realize however, that this is sometimes the best thing I can remember when my training week isn't working out the way I've planned or hoped it would. Work, inclement weather, injury, illness--all of these can ambush the best of intentions. When this happens it can be tempting to get engaged in negative thinking, e.g. "I just can't do this", "I'll never get my fitness back", etc.

Instead, I really try to get creative and say something like this: "Well it's much too windy to do a 60 mile road ride as planned, but I know a little place tucked away where I can get some strength training on my mountain bike, which is way better than nothing!" And I also remind myself that I'm not training for the Olympics, but just to be the best that I can be.

As with most athletes, I tend to be hard on myself but am finally realizing that compulsive perfectionism and the all-or-nothing thinking that accompanies it is generally more counter productive than productive. So get out there and have fun!