A Marathon Chronicles-Related Note from Fatty: Thanks, everyone, for your feedback yesterday regarding whether we ought to go to Death Valley and run the alternate course, or go to St. George and pre-run the Ironman course, or make something up. We’re going to go to Death Valley as originally planned. The points about an event being different than a solo run, the scenery being worth seeing, and a road trip being worth taking put us over the edge. Plus, there were a few hard cases who asserted that the bet stipulated the Death Valley marathon, and I don’t want to lose a bet by default.
You should be able to read the race writeup on Monday. Provided, of course, that I write it by then.
Like most everyone else in the world, I have heard of The Secret, the book that promises untold wealth, health, and perfectly-styled hair on a daily basis…as long as you buy the book. Like most everyone else, I was curious what secret The Secret contains.
And like most everyone else, I looked on Wikipedia to find out, where I learned that the secret of The Secret is that if you think about something in the right way — whether it be an event or an object or the removal of the letters “C” from the English language — the universe attaches other similar thoughts and forces to your thought, your thought gathers force like a giant thought-snowball, and then the thing you thought about will happen.
Which is really awesome. Because I hate redundant letters.
However, since — to my dismay — I did not master the secrets of The Secret by reading the Wikipedia article, I went ahead and downloaded the Kindle version of the book to my phone, and read it as quickly as possible, provided “as possible” means “whenever I was in line at the grocery store, or whenever I needed to use the bathroom for an extended period of time.”
And you know what? You can probably do just fine with reading the Wikipedia article.
Which is not to say, however, that The Secret does not work. It does! For example, I am going to, right now, think about eating the Twix Bar I have here.
And now I am eating it.
Freaky, isn’t it?
But The Secret has a dark underbelly. Yes it does. And that dark underbelly is that if you don’t formulate your thoughts correctly, you may get the opposite — or worse, a strange tangent — of what you were hoping for!
I call this “The Universe as a Trickster Genie” theory.
Specifically, The Secret tells us that the universe is a little bit stupid, in that it doesn’t get negatives. And I don’t mean that it doesn’t get double-negatives, which would be understandable, because who doesn’t have trouble with those from time to time?
I mean that it actually doesn’t hear negatives at all.
So, for example, if I were to think to myself, “I am not going to eat another Twix bar,” the universe just picks up on the “eat” and “Twix bar” part. And — get this — right now I am eating another Twix bar.
Oh, it is so delicious.
Thanks, universe, for making me eat another Twix bar even when I thought I shouldn’t.
And also, now I guess I understand why I’m seeing more of the letter “C” than I used to.
The Secret and Cycling
Now that you are — as I am — convinced of the power of The Secret, you are almost certainly asking yourself, “How can I use The Secret to become an extremely awesome cyclist? And how can I be certain to formulate my thoughts correctly, so the universe doesn’t go pulling some wacky prank on me?”
It’s a natural question, and I will now teach you the things you must think — along with the things you must not — in order to leverage The Secret in your riding.
To Win a Race:
- Do: Imagine yourself going very fast, crossing a finish line. And be sure to also imagine nobody else in front of you, and lots of people behind you. And be sure to imagine yourself crossing the correct finish line, or you might wind up winning a completely different race. And you might also want to imagine a calendar nearby with the current date on it, or you might win the race, but as the sole participant in the Octogenerian category, 55 years from now.
- Do NOT: Imagine the problems you might have that might obstruct your win. For example, do not imagine yourself with a mechanical. Do not imagine yourself with a showtune running endlessly through your head. Do not imagine yourself being passed by me. Except now I have already made you imagine all of those things, and I am going to totally beat you when we race.
To Avoid a Crash
- Do: Think of yourself riding upright, in every possible terrain. Think of the road being empty. But do not think in terms of “devoid of crazy drivers,” because then you’re still thinking about — and therefore attracting — crazy drivers. Just think of a nice empty road. And go ahead and imagine ice chests on the side of that empty road, spaced every 100 feet or so and filled with the beverage of your choice. Oh, and imagine ice, too, because the universe needs you to be specific.
- Do NOT: Think of the word “crash.” Ever. It doesn’t even matter if you think of the word “Don’t” before you think the word “crash.” You still thought of crashing. Also, you should probably not stop wearing a helmet. Because there may be someone out there who is thinking of you having a crash, and maybe that someone is better at The Secret than you.
To Handle a Crash in the Event That You’re Having One Even Though You Thought You Had Done a Pretty Good Job of Imagining Not Having a Crash
- Do: As you fly through the air toward the tree, boulder, road, or cinderblock wall, imagine pillows. Lots and lots and lots of fluffy pillows. And it may not be a bad idea to imagine an ambulance on its way, just in case the pillows don’t arrive on time.
- Do NOT: Imagine yourself hovering in the air, magically defying the laws of gravity. The universe is totally not cool with people spiting its laws, and will slap you down even harder. Don’t go upsetting the universe, people. Also, do not imagine yourself lying in a broken, crumpled heap, because that’s counterproductive. Besides, you’ll have time for that later.
To Get a New Bike
- Do: Imagine yourself with a new bike. Be really specific about the bike though — know the brand, the model, the year, the size. Everything. Also, imagine that you obtained it legally, because otherwise the trickster universe might just plop one in your hands, but it’s stolen, and some of your local authorities may not really understand The Secret as well as they should. Also, imagine that it’s yours, and not that you’re just washing it for a friend or something.
- Do NOT: Imagine what your significant other is going to say when s/he sees you coming home with yet another new bike. In fact, you may want to do some pre-emptive counter-imagining around that scenario.
To Lose Weight
- Do: Imagine yourself thin and ripped. Imagine yourself buying all new cycling clothes. Imagine yourself a blur of motion as you climb your favorite killer hill.
- Do NOT: Imagine yourself not eating. Because the universe will ignore the “not” part and will make you eat. But also, don’t imagine yourself eating, because — of course — that’s where the problem began in the first place, isn’t it? But remember, you should not stop eating altogether, because that brings problems of its own. Like starvation, for example. Wow, this Secret thing is turning out to be pretty darned tricky.
To Get Awesome Quads
- Do: Imagine yourself with my quads.
- Do NOT: Imagine me wearing a big floppy sombrero, because that would be a mean trick to play, especially since I’m letting you have my quads and stuff.
Really, I’m just gettng started here. I also have very useful tips I can give you on what to think (and what to not think) on how to spin circles, how to ride a clean line, how to keep your chain lubed, and how to avoid broken glass. And much, much more.
But to get that, you’re going to need to buy my upcoming book, The Secret and Cycling, which I am write now imagining getting a big fat publishing contract for.
And I’m imagining it already being written, too.
PS: Whoever it was that imagined me wearing fake elephant ears, an orange tutu, and these clown shoes, cut it out.