I spent a lot of time thinking about motivation last year. 

For most of the cyclists I worked with during 2020, motivation was in short supply. Perhaps that’s why this small video made such an outsized impact on me. 

Whatever you’re doing right now, stop and check it out: unless you’re driving. Why are you on your phone when you’re driving? Anyways, check it out.


Alright, you’re back. 

I’ve never seen a more effective advertisement for the power of motivation and the payoff of discipline. 

My takeaway: life is richer, fuller, and more meaningful when we strive to do difficult things. 

Teddy Roosevelt said it better.

Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.

As cyclists, we understand the calculus of discipline better than most. We welcome the temporary discomfort of training in exchange for an opportunity to experience something great on the bike in the future. 

A constant focus on the future works well to buoy our training motivation race to race, but what happens when everything gets canceled? Damn you Covid. 

I don’t have an answer for how to stay perpetually motivated (I don’t even think it’s possible), but 2020 taught me something important about my relationship to training. 

If each ride or workout is only meaningful in service of some future goal, I’m setting myself up for failure.

Life changes, health falters, events get canceled. My choice to train must be more durable than the future. 

I choose to train because I know that in pursuing something difficult, my mind and body will be made stronger today.

The future can wait.  

Training can be confusing. In our free eBook, we’ll show you four ways to use your data and insights from science to ride better than ever.

Written by Nate Dunn M.S.

Nate Dunn has spent his entire career in education and coaching. As a former teacher and now founder/head coach at Data Driven Athlete, he is most excited about helping cyclists discover their potential as they experience more great days on the bike.