On a recent vacation, I had the pleasure of driving through an incredible Canadian Landmark in Cape Breton – The Chabot Trail. If you’ve never been, it’s an amazing drive going from 0 to 500 metres elevation with an incredible view of the ocean.
It can also be, at times, incredibly nerve-wracking and white-knuckling as you maneuver yourself up and down the tight mountain turns. As we were doing so, we were relying mostly on our brakes, speed up to get over, brake on the down. Well near the tail end of the journey our brake calipre seized and we very carefully made the rest of the journey to the campsite.
Not knowing what to do, the next morning I woke up and went to the local garage to get their help.
Me: So my brakes started smoking when I was coming down the trail yesterday.
Mechanic: You didn’t downshift did you.
Mechanic: You should have downshifted.
Mechanic: Come back tomorrow and we’ll get it on the lift.
And with that I drove back to the campsite thinking about downshifting. Some times when we are in such a hurry to get somewhere we rip/roar through whatever we are trying to accomplish – “Damn the Torpedoes”, “The end justify the means” – when what we really need to do is bring it down a notch, still pushing, to show that after we deliver, we can still support the next leg.
Think of this as your steady-state, we all have it, we all know what it is, if we could always operate at that level instead of dipping below it here and there we’d probably be better off for it. It’s good to push the proverbial engine now and again, but at a sustained rate, not downshifting to the steady state level – it might just leave you feeling kind of burnt-out… like my brakes.
And yes, this all 100% true.