March 6, 2023•212 words
I told her that I thought I got better at cycling over the winter, by trying to reduce moves and positions which leak energy instead of directing it to the pedals.
She told me about someone she knows - a future Channel swimmer - whose measure of "becoming a better swimmer" was being able to shave 4 strokes off each 100m.
We spoke about hemmorhaging effort. We geeked out over Katie Ledecky's freestyle kick: it looks like it isn't there. We thought about learning to do less, while learning to feel more confident about the "enoughness" and the efficiency of the system.
There isn't a universal recipe for this. At some point, each Disintegration Loop stops being music to your ears; the points will almost certainly depend on who's listening, where, and how. At some point, you overdo the cuts, stop making savings and start undercutting yourself, leaving something on the table.
And there isn't even your unique personal recipe for this, either. Today's sweet spot will feel off tomorrow. The project specs or schedules will change, or the legs will feel more tired, or you'll have to make do with only one coffee.
The point might be that the points don't matter - but learning how you aim at them does.