In between running two companies and raising a family, I make a point each day to step away from the 9-to-5 grind and focus on my health and wellness. Sometimes it’s a walk with my daughter. Other times, it’s a yoga class at Nové, a new studio I opened last year shortly after the pandemic started. And other times, it’s a ride on my bicycle.
Physical activity has been a constant in my life, a critical part of who I am and how I’m able to remain productive, focused, and driven in my career. Of all these pursuits, I’ve found that the sport of biking can provide us with lessons we all can apply to our personal and professional lives.
Lesson 1: Keep Moving Forward
Each of us has goals we want to achieve. We don’t get from point A to point B overnight. It takes time, constantly moving forward – pedaling and pushing – to get to where you want to be.
If you’re in a race, you pedal faster. If you’re out for a leisurely Sunday ride, you’ll take more time to get to the end. Whatever your goal is, you will only reach it if you keep pedaling.
From the outside, there have been several times where meeting my professional goals may have seemed impossible. As a small business owner on the Cape, I have learned to ignore the noise and focus on what I want to accomplish in the short- and long-term.
Lesson 2: Celebrate The Small Victories
Held every August, the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is considered one of the toughest hill climbs in the world. Three times, I have entered the race, finishing it twice in 2017 and 2019. In 2018, I bowed out at mile three after experiencing dizziness and fatigue.
Every day, each one of us is climbing a figurative mountain, in our personal and professional lives. What is your path to reaching the top?
Start by focusing on what is most achievable – the small hills. And when you reach that hill, take a moment to celebrate that accomplishment before heading to the next.
By focusing on the smaller goals, we make the larger ones possible. That’s something to acknowledge and a reminder that you’re one step closer to the summit.
Lesson 3: Bring Others Along For The Ride
Some of my favorite rides are the ones I have taken with friends and family.
Nothing great was ever accomplished alone so surround yourself with others who share your excitement. In many cases, those riding with you are the ones who will lift you up, inspire you to greater heights, and help you reach your goals.
Even complete strangers can be your biggest assets. We have so many incredible organizations in this region – WE CAN (Women’s Empowerment through Cape Area Networking), SCORE ́Cape Cod & the Islands, the Cape Cod Women’s Association, Cape & Plymouth Business Media, and EforAll Cape Cod, to name a few – that offer support, resources, guidance and connection to strengthen your business or career. I’ve been fortunate to experience the benefits of several of these organizations firsthand.
Don’t be afraid to lean on others for help. And if you’ve reached a level of success, make sure to offer the same for others – if anything, this past year has taught us that we’re all in this together.
Lesson 4: Enjoy the Journey
On even the toughest bicycle rides, there are incredible vistas and awe-inspiring sights that will take your breath away. Take time to enjoy these moments.
They will serve to re-energize you as you move forward on your professional journey.
Jitka Borowick is the founder and owner of the cleaning business CleanGreen, based in Barnstable, and Nové, a yoga studio in West Dennis.