Jet lagged and sunburned, I’m happy to announce that Nancy and I have returned safely back to Iowa from our trip out West. Once again we traveled to Southern California to meet with the men who ride for the Pinnaclife Racing Team. This time, the team was competing in the Dana Point Grand Prix. Unlike road races, Grand Prix’s are races that take place on a mile long course that is repeated over the duration of a specified time. They are quick and the turns are sharp. Tensions are high, and the dedicated can find themselves in a breakaway that can set them up for a win, while the inexperienced can find themselves flying face first over their handlebars and into the hay bails that line the sides of the course.
The Pinnaclife Racing Team is a top three racing team in Southern California. What sets them aside from the rest is that everyone on this team is over 40. In fact, most of the team members are well into their 50’s, and athletically and competitively, I can name only a few people in the 20’s who could even hold a candle to these guys.
I’ve had the privilege of meeting the team before and watching them race, so I was no stranger to the speed and succinct timing with which they operated. Nancy on the other hand, who was new to this, drove the Jeep with a dropped jaw the entire time I was filming. So dropped, in fact, that we met lots of curbs and shoulders and received some “less than pleasant” greeting s from other travelers on the road. I definitely have to thank Nancy though. Despite her love-affair with the brake pedal and the time I spent rolling around the back of the Jeep, I’m alive and I got some great footage that will really highlight the team.
After our road adventure, we sat down with the team and had a conversation that would surely set the tone for the entire trip. As we delved into the components of team cycling, we learned about preparing for a race and training in the off-season. We discussed the proper measurements of road bikes and the key elements to consider when getting fitted for a road bike. We discussed the various types of carbon fiber frames and personal taste versus professional performance. Team President, Dave Prechtl, opened up about the founding of the team and touched on the one simple and novel and important concept that affects the success of any team: Teamwork.
Prechtl commented, “Biking is a tough sport. You’ve got a hundred guys out there and every one of them wants to win. You’re shoulder to shoulder going sixty miles per hour and there’s not much room for error. We’ve got our strengths and we know each other. We count on each other to make it through the race. Sometimes that’s climbing. Sometimes that’s sprinting to the break away. Sometimes that’s winning and sometimes that’s sacrificing yourself so your team gets in the top three. I know these guys and I trust them. We’ll use our strengths to support each other.”
Now, when talking about wellness plans and really about health in general, we all talk about the personal side of things. “What I’m going to do to get healthy.” “How far I’m going to run.” Etc.… We rarely discuss health and wellness as a team effort. So I got to thinking: What if it was a team effort? Would that help me reach my goals? Would that help me get to where I wanted to be?
Teams, I know, by watching the Pinnaclife Racing Team, work together. When one person drops the ball, everyone fails. And that happens sometimes. In Biking, Dave Prechtl told me, “It’s not if you fall, it’s when you fall.” In business, my boss, Dr. McCord said, “It’s not if you fail, it’s when you fail.” But your team, your coworkers, your buddies, your bros, your girlfriends, your pals, you sisters your core, your whatever you call them, they’re the ones who will be there to pick you up. To make you get back on the bike, to remind you what it feels like to fall so you avoid it next time. They’re the one’s whose success depends on your success, whose happiness is affected by yours, or whose, in some cases, life depends on you. They’re the ones who are going to hold you accountable for your actions.
And we all know that holding yourself accountable is hard part. It’s really easy to let yourself down and be ok with it. I’ve done it. I’ve done it at the gym. I’ve done it with my diet. I’ve done it at school and at work (sorry past employers). One time, during a cross-country race in high school, I just stopped running. I wasn’t even that tired. I told my coach I was sick and he told me that I had “Yellow Fever.” At the time I responded, “maybe.” And a teammate said, “It’s not contagious is it?” Needless to say, since then I’ve dropped the ball a few more times and just let it roll down the hill.
Self-Accountability is the difference between waking up early and going to the gym and sleeping in. It’s the difference between choosing a salad for lunch or getting deep-fried take out again. It’s the difference between pushing hard to reach your goals or sitting back and complaining when things don’t go your way. And sometime, down the road, when you’re reaching thirty or maybe forty and your waist-line is a little bigger and your arms are a little smaller and beer tastes really good and so does the occasional cigarette and exercise is really less about the gym and more about walking to the car in the morning, and your hair hasn’t looked good for years, so why bother, and your clothes don’t fit as well, and your back hurts but really when was the last time it didn’t, and you’d like to play with your grand kids but it hurts to move, then, when you’re laying in bed wondering if that shooting pain in your arm is something serious or if it’s just the usual aches and pains of your everyday life, then self-accountability is the difference between life and death.
So the question is: How do you hold yourself accountable?
And the answer: Teamwork.
When you have a partner in health you have someone whose looking out for you. You’ve got an ally in your corner who is just as concerned about your health and your success as you are, or at least, as you should be.
Teams offer support when you need it most, and because the team’s success depends on the individual’s success, most teams aren’t afraid to hold you accountable.
The Pinnaclife Racing Team has found success through the hard work of each team member and the support system that they offer each other. As elite athletes, they’ve also found success with Pinnaclife as a sponsor because we at Pinnaclife are just as concerned with their health and the success of their wellness plans as they are.
As we develop our products at Pinnaclife and our resources like the Ask the Experts page on pinnaclife.com, we’re really providing a team of experts; expert people and expert products to help individuals like you and I achieve our goals and hold ourselves accountable for our own health and wellness. Cause lets face it, self-accountability is hard. Sometimes we need a lot of support and sometimes we just need a push in the right direction. After this weekend, I’m closer to pinpointing my direction and where I am on my path to wellness, and with hope, you’ll read this and know that if you need help getting started, you’ve got a whole team of people here at Pinnaclife who are ready and excited to be on your side.