Joe Stump on How Cycling and Travel Create Balance Outside Work

In Chapter 11 of 16 of his 2009 Capture Your Flag interview, Joe Stump sets personal challenges to continuously plan and pursue new goals. He cycles to put himself to reflect and plan on what comes next. When traveling, he tries to read books set in his travel location to embrace the moment and more fully engage the experience away from home.


Erik Michielsen:  How do you find quiet time to pause, reflect, and plan?

Joe Stump: I went through this awesome stage where I was reading novels in the places where they were set for a while. So, if I was traveling, I would pick a book…for instance, I ready Elvis Huckley’s “The Island” while I was in Thailand.  I read both Brave New World and 1984 in London.  I read Catcher in the Rye in New York.     So I’ve taken up reading. 

I also do long distance endurance sports.  I do a lot of cycling, running, swimming, and triathlons.  That kind of stuff.  I was talking to my dad about this the other day.  I feel that there is no better opponent on this planet than yourself.  When you are out playing a team sport like basketball or football or something like that, you have teammates that are goading you on. 

They are either cheering you or telling you that you need to pick up the slack and calling you out.  There is someone goading you on.  There’s coaches in other sports goading you on.  You know this, you run marathons.  When you are on mile 11 and don’t want to go to mile 12, the only person standing between mile 11 and 12 is yourself.   I really like that and a great by-product is the endorphin highs.