When we refer to the n-1 rule, you might at first think of the ideal number of bikes a racer should own, where n is the number of bikes, which, if owned, would result in your spouse’s initiation of divorce proceedings. However, the n-1 rule most relevant to Diane and Judy’s life is somewhat different. It came from Judy’s friends Caitlin and Joe (ECCC REPRESENT) from Philly. They claim that road racers have room in their life for n-1 additional activities outside of racing and training, where n is the number of your racing category. For instance, if you are a cat 2, you will have room in your life for one other major commitment – for both Judy and Diane, that commitment is academia. For someone else, that might be a spouse or family. A fortunate category 3 racer has room in his or her life for both a spouse and a career. And if you’re a cat 1 – just forget it.
We’ve found this rule to be a helpful heuristic in structuring our own lives, which makes us even more impressed with the super human accomplishments of our teammates who have both jobs and families.