I’ll call this the ‘Racecar Rule’. In truth, I was going to call it the ‘IndyCar Rule’ since the guy that I learned it from was working on IndyCar. However, I think more people know what a ‘Racecar‘ is compared to an ‘IndyCar’. Either way, the concept for both is typically the same: lighter weight, more horsepower, more control, more speed. One of the ways to get more control at speed is to increase downforce. Most cars generate lift at speed – just like a wing on an airplane creates lift. Lift in an airplane is good because the goal is to fly, but lift in a racecar is generally bad – 99.9% of the time a driver wants a racecar on the ground. One of the ways to counter lift would be to add a big wing (turned upside down from a plane wing, obviously). The problem with that is the wing adds weight.
The point of all this is that the rule I was told on IndyCars was that if something doesn’t do three things, it doesn’t do anything. That basically meant that if you added a big wing for downforce, it also needed to fill other functions – maybe it was part of the safety equipment or roll cage, maybe it also helped with directional steering by helping to keep the car straight. (Yes, I know I’m just making some of this up – if you work on IndyCars feel free to post better examples in the comments, and I will adjust the post.).
To apply this to my life, and Upgrading my life, how can I apply this concept? Well, as we saw in the last post – I haven’t been doing the type of fun activities that I like doing. Also, and I haven’t gotten into this yet, but my overall fitness is lower than I want. So I have signed up for a Spartan Race. Yup, one of the super short ones, but a Spartan Race nonetheless. The goal here should be pretty obvious – I signed up for something that I generally enjoy, and now have a specific goal to work towards in my training.
A few years back, after my divorce, I was getting back into gear and a guy I worked with was a runner, always running 5k races and stuff. So I started running 5k races. If you’ve never run a 5k, and you are the type of person who needs a ‘reason’ to workout, run, watch what you eat, etc. then I would say give a 5k a try. (If you want to jump right in and sign up for a Tough Mudder or Spartan Race at a longer distance, by all means, do what will work for you.) For me, getting started in 5k races was enough. It gave me something to train for, and people to compete against. I also started running some obstacle course races, which are growing in popularity, mainly because they are running events with stuff to do to break up the running. So far I’ve run I think 3 of those, the longest being a Tough Mudder which was around 11 miles. To be completely honest – obstacle course racing is just like some of the fun stuff being in the military allows you to do – you run for a while, negotiate some obstacle, and then repeat that for a while. Of course, the main difference is that you’re now paying your own money to do it, and you also get to drink beer and have a party with your friends instead of shower up and go to the next training evolution.
Another area where I was able to fulfill two goals with the same activity was playing rugby. I would encourage anyone to start getting involved in sports or teams for things they like to do – you will generate many great memories, have fun while doing that, and expand your network of friends.
Another area where I look to achieve two overall goals with one activity is travel – for instance, skiing in South America. Skiing is on my list of things to do. So is traveling – specifically to the continents that I have not yet visited. South America is on the list, and there is skiing in South America. I have a friend who is going there in summer of 2018 to snowboard and has invited me to join. The main holdup on buying tickets right now is school – I have to see how my schedule for school will line up with a trip.
Conclusion – I am trying to find activities that meet one or more or my goals at the same time. As with just about everything else I write about, it wasn’t until I started writing these things out, and reviewing progress towards my goals as a project manager that I noticed this relatively straightforward fix. Mainly because it is so easy to get caught up in the day to day of work and school and other commitments. See you out there.