On a recent Tim Ferriss Show, he interviewed Dr. Peter Attia and did it in the format of having Attia talk about 5 things he is excited about, 5 things he has stopped doing, and 5 things he continues to do. I thought that this would be a brilliant way to discuss the end of one year and the start of an exciting one ahead. This is part two in the series, and this week I discuss what I'm giving up in 2020.
5 Things I Have Stopped Doing
1. Strava Summit- Yep, I did it. Unlike so many of my peers, I decided that I really did not need to spend the money for Strava Premium ($5 a month/$60 annually) or Zwift ($14.95 a month). The $20 I decided to spend each month is going to TrainingPeaks Premium ($10) and XERT ($10).
The premium version of Strava, called Summit, really doesn’t do anything better than TP does, and I really enjoy the charts and graphs that TrainingPeaks generates. I also find it easy to use to plan TSS and workouts for the week. Here are the Summit features (organized by pack), and why I don't need them anymore.
Training Pack: Includes live performance data, custom goals, race analysis, training plans, filtered leader boards, segment efforts, summit support, and summit perks.
I have XERT and TrainingPeaks to track my goals and my analysis. I much prefer XERT's method of rating a performance against the MPA (Maximum Power Available) and its method of tracking breakthroughs. I don't need filtered leader boards to compare myself to people with different goals, and I enjoy prepared my own plans and using the daily workout suggestions from XERT. Most training plans are too one size fits all, and I can get these elsewhere.
Analysis Pack: Includes workout analysis, fitness and freshness, live segments, power analysis, relative effort, summit support, and summit perks.
Again, XERT and TrainingPeaks do these things very well. I am not saying that Strava's analysis isn't well done, it is just redundant.
Safety Pack: Includes Beacon, personal heatmaps, summit support, and summit perks.
Seriously, the last thing I want in the world is to be tracked. I can do this in many other ways, and I prefer my Wahoo Bolt for telling my wife where I am. Again, it's fine but redundant.
Free Strava is just fine for what it is...how fast did I ride, here are my pictures, and what did everyone else do today.
2. Zwift- Zwift is a lot of fun, but it lacks the structure and the effectiveness of an XERT (or TrainerRoad). With XERT I get what basically amounts to an AI version of a coach, and I love to just watch YouTube videos of cyclocross or road races like Strade Bianche when I am using XERT in ERG mode. It is just as engaging, and the structure and recommended workouts are so much better. Plus, XERT runs perfectly from my phone with no heavy taxing of my home WI-FI or the need for a super-fast laptop. It just works and works well.
Zwift is great if you simply want to immerse yourself in an alternate reality and ride. Races are great, and it is super fun to head up Alpe du Zwift or Box Hill to get some work in the legs. But I want structure this year, and I need to forego the random digital wanderings into Zwift's parts known and unknown. At $10, I was happy to keep it in my suite of apps that I use regularly, but for $16 after taxes, it is too much for what little extra it offers. It encourages me to be unstructured if anything, and since I hate long trainer rides, I can do without it this season.
3. Cable TV- I watch so many things for free on demand, whether from YouTube or a streaming service like Disney+ (free with my Verizon Internet plan), Netflix (we share with our daughter), Amazon Prime Video (free with my Sprint cellular plan), and Hulu (also free from Sprint).
I have a basic HD antenna for news and local sports like Bill football, and I am glad to have cut the cord. My bill was over $200 for cable, home phone, and a 300 Mbps connection. I now have a 1Gbps connection and my bill is $90. It was a no brainer.
My only concern was for watching NHL games online, and I did find a way through Reddit to get most streams. For as little as I watch hockey these days, I might justify $50 for Sling TV while the season is ongoing, so I can get NHL Network games, too.
4. Charging stuff- If I charge something in 2020, it is going to be an emergency. I have stopped buying everything that I fancy, and I have saved so much money over the last year. Bikes are not cheap, and despite the allure of a year free financing, I wasn't always good at paying things off immediately. A $3000 bike easily turns in $3750 after a year of not paying off most cards (25% rate).
Towards the end of 2019 I turned the pleasure of having the best and latest thing around, and now I enjoy paying things off. I still buy the best things that I can afford, but with the thought that they will last longer. I'm happy to say that I'm not missing anything, and I don't plan on looking back in regret.
5. Making too many commitments- I have come to learn that my time is precious, and so I am dedicating more time to the family and less time to simply please everyone else. I get lots and lots of requests for help, and I have decided that I am going to work on saying no. I have pared back many of my big commitments to focus on what matters most.
I am super excited to continue with the Campus Cycling Collective this year, but I have stepped away from some of the local baseball and school commitments that took a lot of my time. I needed to step back and say, “Someone else can do the work for now.”
I just have that personality that makes it hard to say no, and I feel like after donating thousands of hours to other peoples’ kids, they can do some of the work, too.
Yeah, I feel like a dick even writing this, but I think it will be for my own best. And I'm excited about that. Giving up doesn't sound so bad.