Ride Hard / Lift Heavy is Changing

The purpose of this blog isn’t as easy to define as it once was.

It started off in August of 2015. My goal was to write about the correlation between Downhill Mountain Biking and weight training.

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. I had been writing for some time, and knew enough about the subject to qualify as an authority on it. But the underlying issue was that I needed to conquer my fear of others reading my writing.

At first, no one did. I didn’t tell anyone about the site. I wrote in a bubble, published articles that would be viewed by myself and myself alone. The point of this, though… the writing was now out there. Anyone COULD see it (even if they didn’t).

It didn’t take long for me to re-focus. Sure, if I would have gone through the proper channels, I could have had a mountain bike-centric audience. But I wouldn’t have liked the people reading my site. I had to take a look at myself and realize that being a mountain biker wasn’t my dominant defining characteristic anymore, and I no longer identified with the vast majority of the people in that community. It was still part of my lifestyle, but had taken a back seat to fitness, nutrition, mindset and entrepreneurship.

In November, I got on Twitter and actively started interacting with like-minded men. I found a world within a world of people doing precisely what I was shifting towards: writing about whatever was on their mind, offering free information to help others better themselves.

People started reading this site, and some of my articles here found a healthy audience (even when I release and promote a new post, they don’t do as well as the popular ones).

But the truth of the matter is that my focus isn’t 100% on this site. Not even close, in fact. I’m getting the ball rolling with a few small businesses, and they absolutely devour my time.

The other huge time-suck is my books. I mentioned them a while ago, and they’ve been eating up a massive chunk of my writing time. Have you ever tried to write a great blog post after spending ten hours of writing and editing material about an entirely different subject? If not, I can verify that it’s extremely challenging, and has produced 19 drafts of articles that I’m simply not happy with.

drafts

The books themselves, without going into too much detail, are going to be game-changers for a lot of people. I’ve never seen the subject matter (All three are separate yet related… I’ll get into that when they’re closer to being finished) covered as extensively, with as many practical examples.

As far as this site is concerned… it will always exist. It’s slated to become my major focal point as soon as I can devote more energy towards it. My books will fall under the umbrella of this site. Ride Hard / Lift Heavy is home base for me. There’s simply a lot I want to do on here that I just don’t have the time for right now.

There really is quite a bit in the pipeline, the books notwithstanding. I’ve recorded a few more podcasts, and am shooting a short “Day in the life” video in a few days that should give more insight as to who I am. Every single one of those draft articles will be released at some point. Although they’re not ready to fly, it’s without a doubt the best writing I’ve ever done. I cover subjects I’ve never seen addressed, and also give my two cents on some fairly popular subjects in this particular community.

I know in this corner of the internet, it’s as easy to lose an audience as it is to build one. For a site to get lost, passed over and ignored in the stack of countless blogs is fairly common, as I’ve done it myself. For those of you who do stop by from time to time, I do truly appreciate it. I hope you’re able to take something valuable from what I write.

Thanks for reading,

Brian @ RH/LH

 

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The Challenge of Freedom

It wasn’t long ago that I was working a 40-hour a week job that I truly hated.

I was not a good employee. I never have been. The days would slip away, and the only thing that grew was my resentment.

Is this good for the company

In my last job, I did have autonomy, though. As long as I was getting my work done, I was free to budget my time as I saw fit.

So I developed a system. It wasn’t uncommon for me to buckle down and hammer out a week’s worth of work in eight hours so I could spend the other 32 on writing and developing a side hustle.

In time, my priorities shifted, and I cared less and less about my actual job. I would get irritated when my private enterprises were interrupted by an e-mail or a request for a progress update. My work for the company started to get sloppy, my attitude soured, and I started to gain some unwanted attention from my supervisors.

There was no turning back. I could no longer place myself back in the mindset of a person giving 100% effort to my employer. Even giving 20% of my effort was asking too much. I saw my future with the company. More responsibility. A heavier work load. 60 hours a week. And for what? A couple hundred more dollars every two weeks?

It wasn’t worth it to me.

In November, a mutual decision was made and we parted ways for good. I was out.

But I made a mistake during this critical period. Instead of taking a full measure, I took a half measure. 


I ran into a friend just after I had gathered the last of my possessions from my old office. He owned a small cafe not far from my house, and offered me a casual part-time position. “This is just what I need” I thought to myself. “Zero responsibility or frustration. Easy idiot work. Yes, it’s a job, and I swore I’d never take one again, but having a safety net won’t hurt”.

What ended up happening?

I started giving him more and more hours. It changed from a casual gig to a fairly significant commitment. 

In short, it turned into something it was never intended to be: a major time commitment.


A month ago, I told my friend I was leaving for good when I took a week off to visit the beach.

Let me tell you, it takes a leap of faith to turn down fast money in exchange for time (playing the long game).


The week at the beach was meant to be endlessly productive. To be a catalyst in this process.

In truth, it wasn’t.

Much like Dylan over at Way of the Olympian, I lounged on the beach and slept too much. When I got back home, the pattern continued. I was laying on the couch, eating Chipotle, and straying from the path I had laid out for myself.

“Oh fuck. I’m going to have to get a job.”

This is the challenge of freedom. The voice of self-doubt that whispers “This is hard. You’re going to fail. Wouldn’t it just be so much easier to save yourself the frustration, give up now, and be a slave again?”

I’ve conditioned myself to associate these thoughts with experiences from my past. Namely the miserable jobs I have worked at, and the miserable people I have worked for.

I’ll illustrate one example:

For years, I developed and ran a business, a division of a larger company. I poured my blood, sweat and tears into the design, the builds, the marketing and the maintenance of that place. I “owned” it. But when push came to shove, I still worked FOR the parent company. I was simply an employee. When I left, it was not with my head held high, but defeated, empty-handed and broken.

Four years later, I have nothing to show for that effort. My name was immediately struck from the record, as though I never existed. The business has stagnated and failed to build upon my work, but this division of the company has nonetheless continued to turn a significant yearly profit directly due to my time spent there.

Others are reaping what I had sown.

I had built something wonderful. It was something I was proud of, something that was truly heart and soul. But I had built it for someone else. When I became a problem employee,  one who was too much of a liability to upper management, the solution was obvious to them: I was violently pushed out and erased.

This is my motivation: I will never allow this to be done to me again.

Everything I am building, I own 100% of it. There is no one else to strategically force me out. There is no one to disagree with, no one to look over my shoulder to check on my progress. There is no one to answer to but myself. 

When I succeed, I will have no one else to thank, but if I should fail (I won’t), that burden falls squarely on my shoulders.