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On understanding the advantages of carrots and sticks

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 13/04/19 18:00

carrots and sticks

I cycled with Louis today, it’s the 10th April.

By this time, I’m coming out of hibernation and starting to get going, but I think each year it feels harder and gets rougher, and I feel more and more like it’s never going to happen.

This year I’ve got a good reason to blame for being fat and unfit.

This year I am building a new practice, it’s sucking every little piece of time that I’ve got, not just in the meetings, or the decisions but in the thinking about it and the emotional labour of trying to get my head straight.

Contrary to that, Louis done has been smashing the S**t out of training since the turn of the year.

For anyone un-initiated to this blog, Louis is my friend Tim’s son, you can read about Tim here. Louis started to be coached, by my triathlon and cycling coach Simon, in January this year and he is tearing up the triathlon and duathlon world for his age group at the moment.

So we cycled this morning and rode some hills, no not the Yorkshire hills Alex, but some that we could find in Nottinghamshire, and on the first decent hill Louis destroyed me and left me in his wake, only to be sat at the top enjoying the view by the time I got there a fat, huffing, middle-aged, red-faced wreck,,,

So, then the sledging begins and Louis says this to me;

“If you had your good climbing wheels on, I think you might have kept up with me there”

and I reply;

“If you hadn’t beat me up that hill, I would have stopped paying for your coaching.”

Today was the best ride I’ve had this year, reminded me again why I ride my bike, but it is a painful lesson when you can’t keep up and when you’re a long way away.

At the end of last year though, around about September time, I was in much better shape and there is a hill that we test our self on which is not so big and not so far out of Nottingham.

Alex was down for the business course and we went out for a ride in the morning.

I was just about at the peak of my powers and he led me out up the hill only for me to post the best time out of anybody I ride with, which is still standing.

Today Louis was able to hit me with a stick, several times, to show me what its like to fall behind, to not look after yourself and to forget what’s important.

At the same time, though he showed me the carrot.  My fitness should improve from here and even if it doesn’t reach the heights of last year, it will next year when things open up and this crazy project is over.

Sticks are useless blunt instruments that gain no traction and cause no behavioural change, unless they’re used to push people in the direction of a carrot.


Blog Post Number: 1975




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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
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