“It matters little how much equipment we use; it matters much that we be masters of all we do use.”
I was a really good saleswoman. I probably still am. I was good, I knew I was good, and I liked it. And it was good preparation for my career in education.
“What?” you may ask, “does teaching have to do with sales?” Well I’ll tell you. If you’re a good sales person the job is really just to educate the customer on the options until they find the one that works best for them. It’s match-making, really. Plus I was energetic, smart, and educated on all of the options. But that’s another story.
My biggest failing, though, as a sales-person was this: I truly believe that performing anything well is 95% technique and only 5% equipment. That means with my 20+ years of experience playing the horn I have developed a solid enough technique that I can make the crappiest piece of crap horn sound pretty darn good. But it also meant that if I had a customer who lacked technique and was trying to make up for it by purchasing a better instrument, my sales suffered. I was usually able to hold my tongue, and not say, “Do you really think that $200 mouthpiece is going to make you sound good when you can’t even sound good on the $50 one?” Ha ha ha!
When I started mountain biking for realsies, nearly 2 years ago now, when I first moved to Grand Junction, I was happy to learn to ride the most technical trails on my “training wheels”- my 26″ Trek Alpha hardtail that Dennis had bought me for $200. I needed to develop solid technique before I could appreciate a full-suspension bike with bigger wheels.
Now I have that full-suspension 29er bike. And upgraded shifters and breaks. And an squishier fork. And a dropper seat post. And today I tried out my new wider handlebars. And I can totally justify it because my technique is still only 95% of the experience- but it’s solid enough that the 5% equipment actually makes a difference.
Today’s trail ride was experiencing the new bars. It was super fun. They are gold (aka: BLING!). When I rode up Pet-e-kes, Norm said they looked hot and they matched my eyes. How sweet, right? I’m not sure if I’ll keep them or if I’ll try something bigger- but either way I had a great time today. Even feeling like poop after exhausting myself on Charlie this week. Ugh.