The rains have showered us with their love for the past 10 days or so. I've tried to return that same love but it hasn't been easy. I made it a rest week instead! And now, with a week of rest behind me and sunny skies ahead, sunscreen and fluids will again be vital. Yay! At least for now anyway. I've been testing out The Right Stuff as an electrolyte supplement during my longer efforts and have had great "luck" with it so far (I don't believe much in luck; the stuff works).
One of the things Chuckie had me try was a carbohydrate-restricted diet for these past 3-4 days. I'm on day four and have finally tasted an apple. I love apples and three days without one had me slapping my hands together as if I had autism, anything to keep my mind off of food. According to the scale (which means little really) I lost a couple of pounds but I think that weight was just depleted brain glycogen! Yesterday afternoon at the track I was seeing stars and almost fell over my own two feet. A measly 20-minutes of harder effort had me focusing on the horizon just to stay upright. I was competing again (to stay upright)! Competition is something I haven't done in over a year… and it felt surreal! Chuckie commented, "Now you know what it's like to have to sprint at the end of an Ironman." I love suffering but only through the type of my choosing, which, as Coach says, "isn't really suffering; you can't always pick your battles." This was a whole new kind of battle for me and it sucked!
During my last few hard workouts I made sure to make myself hurt. My game still has to be upped to compete with the likes of Team TBB and I'm elevating myself toward it. It being: hurt hard and hurt often.
But now I'm dead and filling myself back up with the much-needed glycogen I deprived myself of for the last few days.
About the risk-taking…
I take a lot of risks in life (some I'm not too proud of and others that have virtually saved my life), but there is still a big part of me that holds back. Taking risks is just too well, risky! What if (fill in the blank) happens?! What if, what if, what if…
What I've realized this past year while taking part on Team TBB, and being home for a few months, and working a full-time job, and being injured is that I have to take risks (however scary or unknown the outcome may be) in order to attain my goals in the sport and in life. As Brett Sutton always said, "Go home now if you're doing this (sport) for the lifestyle or for image; do it to be your best and to WIN."
Ben Franklin wrote that some people die at 25 and aren't buried until they are 75. I'm still alive and will choose to be until the day I die (most likely by taking the risks I was told I shouldn't have!). So strong as this comes across, it means to hell with it, bust a move! Fear is to be demolished in my repertoire of emotions, along with doubt…fear and doubt are the naysayers in our lives and too many people let them control their lives. It's a battle I struggle through almost daily.
Obviously there are limits to what risks we should take. I wouldn't put myself in harm's way (at least the type of harm I wouldn't get stronger from). Nor would I put others in any harm (unless it means winning a race and their harm came from me beating them in the event!). But here's the irony: the person that doesn't take risks feels the same amount of fear as the person that regularly takes risks…maybe even more so! The non-risk taker feels the same amount of fear over more trivial matters: the weather, a big hill to climb, crosswinds, or being chicked (which, by the way, should be a big fear of yours, guys!) and other what ifs brought on by these and other things.
If I have learned anything in the past 2 years in this sport, it is this: failure is part of the process. BUT (and this is a BIG but!) we don't have to accept it and be defeated by it! Take the risk!
"Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted…One moment…Would you capture it, or just let it slip?" Eminem
To hell with it! That's my M.O.