1% ....the 1% rule for moving forward in life...thats all it takes.

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The 1% rule.


Yesterdays blog was delayed as I hopped on a plane at 6:10am, arrived in Sydney, hired a car, helped Norm get on the M5 then the M7 and all the while get a few other jobs done so I could chill out on writing this for you.


Nearly every day I get emails or FB inbox messages or even just “real life” encounters where people I meet let me know that this little 1% rule I shared with them via Enduro Magazine, or Facebook or my website helped them get through some issue in their life, often not bike related.


It always amazes me that we forget – me included – how simple our approach to life CAN be if we break it down into small chunks.

One Percenters.


Today is ANZAC day.
Imagine going to war and having no choice to move forward, for fear, for your country, for the fact that you MUST or die.
Giving up is & was not an option for those in combat.


So I will recap again for those who dont know.

Back in 2006 when I decided to have a serious go at becoming a good mountain biker I realised that I had a lot of work to do. Whilst it wasn't impossible to reach my goal it would take a few years to get as good as the girls that were beating me now.


So it was as simple as this:

Get out and ride my mountain bike 1 day per week...even if it was for just 1 hour.

Improve 1 thing to do with my riding on this ride. Aim for an improvement of 1% per week.

1 week at a time, 1 thing at a time, 1 month at a time...and I would HAVE to be better in 1 years time...I would just have to be if I followed this simple simple rule for myself.


And you know what? The success, the 1%'ers compounded.

I wanted to ride for 2hrs and then get out twice a week, I then gained the confidence to look at a couple of things each ride, still just looking at 1% improvements. Quality time spent improving what I truly began to love.

It wasnt all plain sailing and yes I regressed sometimes, but with each improvement I was moving forward all the time.

On the anniversary of the YEAR of 1%'ers, February 2007, I had competed in 26 races, podiumed in 13 of them, and could no longer call myself a beginner and enter in the SPORT category.


Success is scary, along with your own expectations of who you are now, everyone around you is expecting a certain level of performance too.

So instead of letting this get to me, I reminded myself that I was on a journey – a whole lifetime of 1% 'ers and that I would never be perfect, it was ok to have a bad race or not quite manage a new skill perfectly...it would come eventually and how much fun would I have learning?!

I meet people all the time who tell me their desire to be better, or fitter or faster or more skillful & NOW.
I remind them that building a foundation is the most important thing they can do for their goals in cycling.

Think of it as an apprenticeship. An apprentice learns often by watching, listening, going to school, practising, making mistakes and being show the correct way.
They are given the not so glamorous jobs, cleaning, prep work, learning from the ground up.
Without this history, they would not be the well rounded tradesperson they gradually become over the years & they probably never stop learning and taking on bigger and more challenging projects.


After years of 1%'ers and being consistent in my approach, making mistakes, learning, practising, being open to new opportunities and experiences, I finally had the chance to compete in a race I wanted to win with all my being.

This was a 24hr SOLO world championship that was going to have the best female 24hr mountain bike racers in attendance.

I analysed this logically.

We were all very good at this style of racing.

We were all fit, fast and loved racing our mountain bikes.

We could most likely go head to head for the first 6-10 hours of the race.

We all had the desire to be the next world champion in 2010.


So how could I make sure I was going to win above anyone else that had the same attributes as me?

Ahah! I knew it was my 1% rule.

There were all sorts of quotes sitting at my desk, but this was my favourite in the lead up,
“Do today what others won't, so you can do tomorrow what others can't.”

Too easy huh?

This is how it translated in my day to day life:

  • go to bed 5 mins earlier.

  • Eat all food as medicine and fuel for my body

  • do my core exercises, and do 1 more push up each time

  • do 1 more hill repeat

  • ride for 1 more minute

  • play the race out in my head from start to finish every night, just 1 min at a time

  • just make 1% more effort in every part of my plan to become a champion.

  • This is how it translated on race day:

  • believe I can ride each lap 1 second faster than 2nd place each and every lap

  • do not allow myself to go 1 easier gear when I think I want to on a climb as I fatigue

  • get out of the saddle on a spot that is getting tough and imagine that I have gained 1 meter on my opponents by doing that

  • remind myself that this is 1 day in my life, 1 day of pain to become a world champ, what will it feel like if I quit believing, what will it feel like when I do believe & back myself to the end?

  • Believe that I have done everything, know that I have, live it, be in the moment, every second of the race


    This was truly amazing, it did not all go to plan, but I stayed true to my goals that were process driven, not just about an end result, I had done the hard work and kept doing the 1%'ers right up until the very last minute.

    This is exactly how it felt...just after I saw 1km to go until the finish, 24hrs from the start of the race...I could not, did not allow myself celebrate until now.

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    How did I feel afterwards?

    Yes my body was shattered but my mind was a mess, I had not stopped “working” & “thinking” the whole time. Every moment was accounted for and I was there and present.


    Living and breathing the 1% rule whilst achieveable and pretty simple, it does require consistent application, honesty in your daily pursuits and clear concise goals.


    1% is no easy road, if you want easy, sit on the coach with a packet of chips, watching biggest loser hoping one day you will become lucky enough to get what you want, or even know what you want.


    1% consistent efforts will compound into 100%.

    Just imagine if today you start, and in 1 years time you look back at your progress?

    Just imagine if today you say, oh tomorrow I will start, and that just never seems to happen...a year will pass regardless.

    Its up to you and your efforts to make a difference, 1%...do you have it in you?


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