The Power of Purpose

Matt Tanner on January 3, 2021

As I was working on forming my thoughts for this blog post about “purpose”, my phone buzzed with a Facebook notification. It was a tag from my teammate and close friend Josh Drake. 

Below is his post:

I did twice as many miles as last year! However, the miles weren’t as significant as the friendships and experiences I gained.

This year could have been detrimental to my mental health. Cycling bridged a gap of loneliness and isolation.

Cycling is a selfish sport. No doubt about it. I was disciplined to a fault at times. However, as someone who’s experienced unexplained loneliness, hopelessness, doubt, anger, suicidal thoughts, and other forms of depression, I wanted to fight it. My personal decision was to attempt this without the aid of medication and see if it was possible for me.

The people that I’ve met through cycling have helped me realize that I’m not alone in this pursuit. They’ve exposed areas where I have the immense opportunity for growth and development. They’ve encouraged and spoken to me about how blessed I am to have my family and the support of my wife.

There are some pretty amazing people that ride bikes! Thank you to my friends in IN, IL, WI, FL, TX AZ, MI, SC, KY, CO, OH, NC for encouraging and challenging me. I still haven’t found another city with the cycling community that we have here in Indianapolis. We have such an amazing place to live and ride. A big thanks to Matt Tanner and all the guys in Rollfast for their support and community this year. I rode more miles with Aeron Barhorst than anyone else this year. I’m thankful for your friendship Beast.

Also, if you want to start cycling or ride 10,000+ miles, Motion Cycling and Singleton Coaching were a huge part of my year. Thank you Chris Carr and John Singleton.

Thank you 2020!

Josh Drake, RFCC, OG

So, “purpose”… In 2021 I’m challenging our club members to find a way to ride with a purpose. To me, this sounds like a terrible soul searching exercise. One of those “challenges” I hate being presented with much like new year resolutions or self-help books. 

Part 1 – Big Picture
I’m breaking this challenge down into two different variations to complete. The first is to decide why you like riding bikes. What is the purpose of doing this sport?

For me, I ride day in and day out for physical and mental satisfaction. It’s a personal sense of accomplishment when I complete a ride. I want to grow our club and share that feeling with as many people as I can around the world.

Part 2 – Every Single Ride
The second piece of the challenge is to find a purpose for each and every ride. They can be different on each ride, or the same purpose every single ride. You may even find out that you leave the house with a purpose for your ride in mind, but it changes during the ride. Riding with intent is the key here. 

Most of my rides are designed for the purpose of a structured workout. One day I may be working on training zones. Another I may be working on standing technique or accelerations or cornering. You get the picture, each ride has a purpose.

Other rides may serve the purpose of social interaction, mental health, competitiveness, or even weight management. Some days we just need to disconnect from the world and that is a great purpose too.

Earlier in my post, I shared Josh’s story because it really hit home that I’m achieving my purpose of helping others find complete wellness through cycling. I cherish the rides I’ve shared with Josh and it encourages me to think more proactively about riding with purpose in 2021.

Will you join me in riding with purpose too? Below are some keywords or ideas for purpose to help you start the challenge.

Help make others better riders
Mental Health
Physical Health
Weight management

I would love to hear about your purpose for riding. Send me an email (I’ll keep it confidential).

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