“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving” ~Albert Einstein

This quote has become a large part of the bicycle culture memography and appears with frequency both on the walls of many a bike shop and bicycle loving home, but is also pervasive on the internet and social media.

As I’m less than a month into my dream job that has taken me no less than 6 years, 4 moves, 2 states, starting and ending my own coaching company, gaining experience along the way to finally obtain; that staying balanced on a bike can be just as hard as balancing the act of riding your bike with the rest of your life.
While I still continue to train hard(er) as a competitive Cat 1 bike racer, it no longer dominates my thoughts, relationships, and time like it used to. Recently, a good friend of mine and I were discussing how it’s possible for me to train like ‘this’ and hold a full time management position.
He said “Life is like bike racing. It keeps getting harder, but you keep getting better at hard.”
Has the training gotten easier? The same? No, it’s harder. Has my job gotten easier? The same? Nope, that’s harder too. Yet I am able to do both now.
How is this possible?
Keep moving forward and you get better and faster at moving forward.
Here’s a few tips that I have learned along the way:
  • Learn to say no and stop wasting energy and time on people and things that waste energy and time. Don’t feel guilty or bad, just learn to set boundaries in the best and most polite way possible but also realize, you’re not going to make everyone happy, and that’s just the way it is.
  • Learn to be present and follow your path. These two statements mean so much to me that I got them tattooed on my left forearm. They are very simply said but two of the most difficult practices I attempt every second of every day.
  • Learn to listen to your body, mind and soul and recover when you need to. At the end of the day, no one cares as much about you and your health as you do. No one. Sometimes you have to dig a little hole in your energy bank but make sure you know how deep you can dig before you have to take a break; and only you can know that and only you can stop yourself. This goes back to point #1 of setting boundaries.
  • Learn to compartmentalize and stay focused. When you’re in the moment of whatever task you’re doing, you are at your most productive. If you’ve already scheduled out a certain amount of time for a training ride, answering work e-mails, spending time with friends or even taking a nap, be 100% there so you can stay focused, productive, not worrying about the future (your never-ending-to-do-list-that-runs-through-your-brain-24/7…STOP THAT). This goes back to points #1 & 2.
  • There is nothing more important than a true friend and the most important part of anyone’s life are the relationships they have. Think about that one for awhile.
I’m no expert at life and there is no one magic formula and things aren’t black and white, but if even one sentence of this post helps you, then it was worth writing.
By Heather Nielson – Seattle, Washington – Heather is a professional cycling coach for Cycle University in Seattle Washington. In her spare time she enjoys reading, art, cooking and spending time with friends. Follow her at, @ridempowered on twitter, and facebook.