Once I was on a group ride and we were racing down a mountain.

Speeds hit between 60km and 70km an hour as we worked to see who was the fastest.

We had a ‘newer’ rider with us as well and as we started to get close to 70km his bike started to wobble.

Then terror gripped his face I pulled along side him as the speed wobble got worse.

I yelled above the wind noise that he needed to lean hard on his front wheel and put his knee against his bike to stop it.

Sure enough, putting more weight on his front wheel and touching his knee against the bike stopped the wobble right away.

He was a bit shaken (your first speed wobble is really scary) and slowed down a bit.

In a wave – Lean In

One of the first things you teach beginning whitewater kayakers is to lean forward into whatever is coming towards you.

That big wave that stands over your head, lean into it and hit it hard.

Leaning back means that the front of your boat is going to go up the wave and then it’s likely when the wave hits your chest you’re going to be flipped over backwards.

It’s hard to learn to lean forward. Watching people in their first few months paddling they ‘think’ they’re leaning forward but their really just sitting upright.

Then look at the paddler of years and you’ll see their paddle extended and their nose almost touching their boat as they lean in to the wave and attack it.

On the court – Lean In

In my early teens I played volleyball a lot and I really enjoyed it.

I was good enough to not get totally destroyed by the older guys I played with (who played competitively and traveled to play) but not at the same level.

The best advice I got from them when they let me play the first time was to be on my toes, not me heels.

On my toes I was ready for action, ready to dive or run or dig-in and play.

On my heels I was read for nothing. I was just taking up space on the court.

A very intimidating game with guys 3 or 4 years older and 5 or 7 years more experience playing changed to a ‘hard’ game, just by being on my toes.

Being ready to dig-in made a huge difference.

First Instincts

With a speed wobble on a bike your first and natural instinct is to pull away from the handle bars and take weight off the front tire.

This is only going to get you in a bad spot as the wobble gets worse.

When you’re kayaking your first instinct is to lean away from that scary wave as it breaks over your head.

That’s only going to get you flipped upside down where you have little control at all.

When you’re on your heels in an intimidating volleyball game, all you are is a body on the court and a target for the other team to feed balls at as fast as possible.

You’re simply not ready to handle the ball.

Hard times with clients – Lean In

I’ve talked to lots of freelancers (and been that freelancer) that is behind on a project.

They may have a great reason, but it’s hard to email that client and tell them you are behind.

Can you guess what the best thing to do is?

Lean in! Call that client and tell them what’s up. Deal with the consequences.

Most times the consequences aren’t nearly as bad as all the things you imagined. Clients don’t have teams of assassins to send to your house to get you.

There is no dragon they can send after you.

They are people to.

If you get to that hard spot with a client, lean forward and take the issue to task.

It’s the way to show that you run an awesome business.

photo credit: 38463026@N04 cc