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Just finished a day and a half of new faculty orientation at Appalachian State. Many interesting topics and discussions, but what I took away is the realization I now have a full-time job and need to get it into the little chainring and grind the crank!

Heard a great quote today. B.F. Skinner, known to be the greatest psychologist since Sigmund Freud, once said, "Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.”

Since I'm all jacked up on integrative teaching and am supposed to sharpen my saw regarding crossing disciplines, I thought about applying Skinner's quote to endurance sport.

Let's call it residue.

That's the gooey, sticky leave behind we often get via an over-lubed chain; it's also the smagma that accumulates on one's shoulder from a spit and blow session during long training rides.

But residue is also that innate ability we all have inside to excel and succeed. Master competitors have polished their capabilities and created the plan that's needed on any given day, which takes us to the finish line. Many of the skill sets were built decades ago. The angle of our arms during a freestyle swim, the click of the shifter two gears down over a slight rolling climb, or the shortening of the step over rocky terrain.

Some knowledge learned may have been forgotten, or it may have become subconscious nature. But the education remains. We have been taught well and our ability to keep on keeping on has not been relinquished.

From the school of hard knocks and sufferfests comes the PhD we can call Pretty Hard Day. Welcome to the university, ladies and gentlemen.


  1. I believe I am witness to the first "smagma" reference on the master competitor blog...


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