For this I’m not going to explicitly say there is a purpose or a goal. I’m not looking to teach anyone anything. I’m looking to ask my self-questions here and am opening it up to others in the hope of…Who Knows?
Often I look out at the sky and I wonder who or what I am going to become. Immediately, a vision pops into my head of me becoming a pro triathlete. I taste the joy and the accomplishment. It’s the thing that would provide absolute nirvana. At least for a little… It’s the last thing I think about when I go to bed and the thought is right there the second I wake up. However I have to ask myself do I have what it takes? Are my dreams a delusion or can I reach out and grasp them? Even more importantly, why do I suppose lose track of the goal, why do I make mistakes?
I am driven every day to prove myself to myself and to reach the pinnacle of self-actualization. However, there are many setbacks and how do I deal with these. I wish I could be perfect but is this even a real thing?
Over the past week, a little hip injury came up and I was forced to take a week off from running. Through this pain was where I really came to learn about myself and how I relate to triathlon. I was torn from not being able to run and felt as though I was losing progress. But even more importantly I remembered why I love it, for the pure simplicity running provides. More questions bombarded me, do I have the genetics to become what I want? What are other’s doing and how can I ever become as good as them.
Additionally, I often succumb to major chow downs of food. I know that I should eat healthier but sometimes the urge to do something stupid is enough of a reason in its self. Besides after all it always gives me more of a reason to go and work hard afterward. But why? Why can’t I just always keep the goal in mind?
I don’t always feel motivated. I don’t always love the sport, hell sometimes I hate it. I still get the work done though. Today all I wanted to do was sleep and be lazy. Instead I did two runs, a swim, strength training, and core work.
At the end of the day what matters is that I always look to improve. But accomplishment at the sake of all enjoyment is not living. Sometimes we have to knock ourselves down only to have the joy of being able to stand back up again. Also, I have many doubts about my dream but that doesn’t stop me from believing. That’s why it's called believing and not knowing. Don’t let these doubts stop you. Let the dreams loose.
What is the journey to perfection? How do I get there? How do I know when I am there (if ever)?
I wanted to discuss the principles behind eating right to help fuel your training and allow you to achieve your best results. I have spent lots of time sorting though different options to eating healthy. It appears that everyone has something different to say about how you should eat. Ultimately, none of these ideas sold me as they are so complicated and require such intense effort that the potential benefits are lost. Also much of it is based on faulty science and has intentions to sell a certain product. Of course some well known facts to b taken into account as an athlete are that you need to time your meals accordingly with your workouts; fuel before before workouts, during, and post workout. I wont talk about this as everyone essentially knows this if you are a serious athlete. I am more interested in what to eat and I boiled all the "science" and ideas into one RULE.
Eat as much as you want so long as you keep it healthy.
Your probably asking, how can it be so simple? so let me explain and also let me be clear this only applies to a competitive Ironman athlete who is already in good shape. In the sport the a huge majority of the competitive athletes eat too little and lose strength because of this. Ironman is a strength based sport!
Additionally, I recommend to do this anytime it is not race season because you do not need to worry about being at your "Race Weight" all year round. In fact most pros are 7-12 percent of their race weight heavier in the off season. Being heavier allows your body to be better protected at handling the stress of training, is less prone to illness, and allows you to build strength. Race season may call in some regulation so as to get to your absolute fittest state for a brief period.
The other truth is that if you are an Ironman athlete you will be burning tremendous amounts of calories. Your body needs the nutrition. I doubt that much weight will be put on if you follow the rule correctly. Following it correctly means that you have to eat healthy. For example, eat as much of a spinach-chicken salad as you want But obviously you shouldn't eat as much ice cream as you want. This rule is effective because it allows you to have freedom and eliminates the stress behind eating. Additionally it creates a healthy lifestyle where you refine your food choices to what is naturally healthy. At first I had to always tell myself not to eat unhealthy food but know I don't crave it very often. Following this rule allows you to listen to your body and learn which foods it likes! Instead of following a pre-written plan you create your own that works in conjunction with your body this is why it is so effective.
A final caveat is that you should absolutely reward yourself if you are feeling in the mood. It has been shown that nutrition follows the Pareto principal like many things in life. This means that so long as you eat 80 percent healthy, that the other 20 percent can be less so. Thus treat your self and you can create long term positive habits. Of course, as you become more in tune with your body treating yourself may become strawberries with whipped cream or dark chocolate as opposed to Twinkies and Cheetos!
It’s become apparent to me that what we are taught all through life is how to answer questions. School appears to have the purpose of training us to answer questions. What do we do when we take a test? We answer questions and we answer more questions. However the real purpose behind learning how to answer questions is actually learning how to ask questions. Nothing comes from simply answering questions. Value in life comes from answering questions that you yourself have asked. For once, I sat down and asked myself why do I want to become a professional triathlete, why do I love swimming, biking, and running and why this?
Most questions in life are easily answered but these questions I realized had deeper answers, answers I almost couldn’t answer. Yes of course I run because it makes me feel fit/healthy, and I enjoy the ability to feel like I am good at something, and because I see my work pay off directly, and because it involves going outside, and because I love competing and testing my personal limits. But the deeper question is what about running, cycling and swimming in its self do I love. All the things I listed above could be things I would be able to get out of anything I am good at.
The answer is a little disappointing but at the same time eloquent and beautiful. My answer is that it is in my nature. It is literally who I am. My parents have told me stories of how when I was little I would have to be walked in a stroller every night before I went to bed, about how I would crawl out of my crib and wonder around just for the sake of moving. Then I remember how I could bounce on the trampoline for hours because of the movement and the ability it gave me to be in my own head. I realize that I love movement and that it is truly who I am. It allows me the ability to transcend my body and to let the imagination flow. I become one with the spirt of the world and shed what makes me human for the wondrous moments that I am allowed to move. That’s why I do what I do at the simplest level and the other factors are external societal factors. Factors that are motivators not aspects of who I am.
I believe a message to be taken from this is that there are things that are just meant to be. There are things about each of us that we cannot deny. They are our soul and need to be fed. These are the things we dream about and if food is the body’s necessity to live than dreams are the soul’s food. My other message is that while things such as being good at something motivate me and being admired is something we all enjoy. These are not real dreams, these are incentives. Ask yourself what is truly something you can’t deny yourself, what brings you surreal bliss even if you are terrible at it. This is what your nature is and this is where your dreams are born.
My blog is a collection of topics including training, nutrition, sponsorships, and becoming the best man I can be. In addition, I write about my spiritual realizations that are intrinsic to the sport of triathlon.