How Your Life Is Like The Tour de France

The Tour de France is probably the most well known bicycle race in the world although there are many more. This is a race for only the most well conditioned riders. They have to prepare both physically and mentally for this 3 week long 2100 mile ride across France. But conditioning is only one part of the event. They have to create a vision and then a strategy to bring that vision to life. For some, the vision is just to finish the grueling race and for others it’s to win. Your life is very much like this race. Not only do you have to condition yourself and create a vision and a strategy but the race is like life. It’s long and takes stamina and courage to get through. It consists of 21 stages (days) with 2 rest days. There are easy days (the flat stages) where sprinters excel. And then there are the mountains (the Pyrenees and the Alps) where the sprinters have to work very hard to conquer but the climbers are in their prime. And then there are time trials – both team and individual time trials. Can you see how this parallels life? Let’s talk about this.

Your life is not a sprint. It’s a long race so you have to condition yourself for the long haul. Sprinters give everything they have in a short period of  time and then are spent after they finish. That may be what happens when we have a special event (a wedding, a work project, a vacation, etc), but we have to be ready to go through our entire life (the full 21 stages) and not be completely spent after a short race. The lesson here is to plan for the whole event (your life) by continuing to expand and revise your goals as you achieve each “stage” of your life. Each day, at the end of the day, is another time to review what’s happened that day (during that stage) and to plan for the next day’s ride through life.

Your life is filled with mountains but we call them challenges or obstacles. As with the Tour de France you can predict most of these and plan for them. How are you going to climb over the highest peaks in your life? Sprinters hate them, climbers love them – they go after them with enthusiasm and joy. Some of these climbs are almost completely vertical, hard to walk up to say nothing of racing a bicycle up them. You can’t just go out one day and think you’re going to make it up the highest pinnacle. You have to plan for everything that comes along. You create methods and plans for conquering the mountains that are in your life. That’s called being prepared. But it’s also about knowing what lies ahead and heading into it with strategy plus enthusiasm and excitement. You look forward to these challenges because you know that nothing can beat you.

There are time trials in your life too. The team time trials require everyone to work together in perfect harmony and synchronicity. This is how you deal with relationships in your life. This can be intimate relationships or those with friends or colleagues at work. Perhaps it’s a project you’re working on at work with a specific deadline. If everything is going well and you all get along and all your ideas are pooled together, you’ll win that time trial. Everyone complements the others. The same applies to the individual time trials. These are specific events in your life. Maybe it’s getting through a course to improve your knowledge and skill level so that your resume can be more complete. Maybe it’s writing a book. Whatever is your time trial, it has to be done by yourself (or with a team if it’s the team trial) and you’re judged by the speed with which you accomplish the task.

I’ve only touched on the various parts of the Tour but by now you can see what the parallels are. Your life is not a bike ride but you must condition yourself and plan for every obstacle that is possible. If you want to find out more about getting the most out of your life and changing your circumstances, check out The Art of Making Things Happen.

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