Almost every problem you have in life can be solved through the addition of knowledge, tactics or capacity.
On Sunday, I tested myself on a steep climb. My personal best (all-out, seeing spots, weaving front tire) was 2:01 from bottom to top. I hit that mark last August, and haven’t slept since–because who wants to go 2:01 when you can go under two minutes?
This time, I had perfect weather conditions. I had a good night’s sleep and a great breakfast.
I attacked hard, but at the top of the climb, after a year of training, I finished in 2:01.
Exactly the same time as last year.
For a few minutes, I was pretty mad. But then I got to work on solving the problem.
Did I fail to set a personal best because of knowledge, tactics, or capacity?
Knowledge – I had a good strategy, and I knew the climb well. Check.
Capacity – my physical capacity is better than last year, according to testing. My bike is the same. Check.
Tactics – there were many possibilities. What does it take to cut one second off your time?
A flick of a finger on the shifter.
A little less oil on the chain (or a little more.)
5 grams of extra carbohydrate. Or the same carbs, eaten 5 minutes earlier.
1 pound less bodyfat.
5 more pounds of pressure in my front tire.
A Metallica song instead of an Imagine Dragons song.
5 more watts on the pedals.
5 more seconds in the saddle, and 5 less seconds standing.
ANY of these would do it!
Tactical problems are pretty easy to solve. You just try again.
Knowledge problems are really easy to solve. You just google the answer, or ask your coach.
Capacity problems are simple to solve. You just work hard, and rest, and repeat until you have more capacity. Not easy, but simple.
You can solve any problem by breaking it down.
And here’s the big reveal: even if you’re lacking knowledge, tactics or capacity, you can fill the gap because you have the other two.
And in this way, you have everything you need to overcome anything.