Podcast: Play in new window
Despite the title, this episode is not really about cardio equipment or the many benefits of cardio training, that you already know. Instead, this is a short episode discussing a thought I had while exhausting myself on my rowing machine a couple of weeks ago. The seeming slog of cardio is a lot like the path to mastery.
This is a short one. The bottom line is that I really dislike cardio training. I find that it’s often boring and I don’t like how drenched in sweat that I get from it. It’s hard for me to stick to a routine because the results seem so far away. It’s not until after months or years of consistency that you really see any benefit to a routine. Sleeping in seems like the more comfortable option right now.
This is a great analogy for life, or really any worthwhile pursuit.
We live in a society obsessed with the quick fix. We ride a neverending series of rushes as we jump from new thing to new thing to learn. But mastery doesn’t work that way. It’s not a get rich quick scheme.
Like the cardio machine, mastery takes time. The payoff isn’t going to be immediately after a single training session. It’s not even going to be there after ten, twenty, or maybe even more than a hundred sessions.
In fact, the gains that you’ll see are so small from session to session that you’ll probably never see them unless you can take a good look backward.
This kind of commitment to riding the plateau is difficult. It’s boring, and it feels a lot more like work than any actual progress. But that’s the game of mastery.
Perhaps even worse is what happens when we “arrive.” We stand triumphant only to realize that there’s only more work in front of us. Mastery is not a destination, its only a journey.