"Everything has its place." We heard this statement a few times at the RAAM Crew Orientation in January. Most notably, I remember Lee "Fuzzy" Mitchell say it in reference to gear, parts, accessories, etc. for the riders in RAAM. He was talking about making sure everything from sunglasses, helmets, shoes, and water bottles always return to their designated places after the cyclist dismounts his bike. It saves time and stress when everything is in its plae and nobody is panicking looking for it when it's needed!
This statement is one that has stuck with me since that orientation. I've been more conscious of its basic principle and intentionally applying it to all of life - from my gear bag to my garage, from my bedroom to my car, from home to work - everything has its place, and if we take the time and effort to exercise consistency with this principle, it makes life so much easier, manageable, and less stressful. Think about it...how many times are you hunting for your keys? Those sunglasses? Your phone? Or how often are you drowning in a stack of mail and paperwork that just needs to be organized and put away? Maybe its a messy room, with "stuff" just cluttering the edges and the corners, which undoubtedly has a negative effect on the psyche and tends to "clutter" the mental and perhaps emotional capacities of our lives. I know for me, when stuff is out of place or left unfinished, it can be overwhelming, stressful, and sometimes depressing.
I've done pretty well over the last few months to remember and exercise this principle. I do so to a fault right now, just trying to get into the habit and practice of taking the time and effort to put things in their place at the appropriate time. Unfortunately, a few days ago I went out for a ride that I knew would keep me out for several hours and I left home without one of the essential components for riding in the dark. Oh, I had my lights, both headlamp and rear, I just didn't have anyway of mounting my headlamp! Two weeks prior, my TeamFARA RAAM teammates and I participated in an organized metric century event about an hour outside of Sacramento. I removed my headlamp mount that day to utilize and test some aero bars. I was careful to place the mount in my gear bag at that time, but when it came time to ride the other night, my mount remained comfortably cozy in that side pocket as I only remembered to grab the light - and not the mount!
So...a reminder and a lesson for us all...not only do things have their place so that you can always find them and stay organized, but we have to remember to put those things to use when necessary!
If you are crewing for RAAM or another FARA/RideAtaxia event...thank you in advance for keeping this principle in the forefront of your mind, and thank you for helping us keep things in their places!