I'm At War.....

.....with my mind and my body on a daily basis and I love it. Yesterday morning I was reading a comment by Michael of Slowly Tri-ing on my post about tips for new triathletes.  She mentioned not getting enough rest and how her body is reacting to 430am workouts and then evening workouts as well.  She got injured and most likely due to not enough rest and trying to get it all in. It got me thinking about how we treat ourselves during these training sessions and even recovery.  We are not professional athletes so we don't have the opportunity to train in the morning then take a nap then train in the evening then take a nap then eat a meal and rest.  We are age groupers and we have to find time for it all.  There are obligations from family/friends, work, training, blogging, education, etc.  You try to piece it all together and some days are easier than others.  Some days are impossible and we can't figure out how to get it all in. For me it was becoming a war.  I was waging war on my body by doing these intense training workouts and trying to work.  I was going at lunch to get a ride in but never felt good about it because I was rushing and not focusing on form or I was running just to run.  It was what we would call junk miles.  You do them but what are they good for?  Your focus is not on your running or your cycling or swimming but on all the things outside.  Your pounding away at your body and beating up your mind because you have 1,000,000 things going on. This is when I decided to train smarter and not harder.  Now please don't read that wrong.  I am still doing intense workouts and pushing my lactate threshold.  I am going anaerobic and have even begun taking up running without fuel to teach my body to process protein and fat into energy (glucose.) My war with my mind and body has gone from trying to get it all in to just what it needs to be.  My war with my mind is about chanting mantras now and blocking out the pain and the suck.  It is about telling my mind that this is what is going on so you better learn to deal with it and change its pain threshold. My war with my body is now one of ignorance.  I ignore the fact that my legs may feel like they are not moving.  I ignore the fact that my shoulders are on fire from swimming two miles.  None of it matters because I am going to win this war against my mind and body. My war now starts at 3am every morning except for Friday which is a rest day.  Every day when that alarm goes off I get up and I brush my teeth and weigh myself.  I then have breakfast number one which is now a hot dog roll toasted with 1/2tbs of nut butter, a banana, 4oz coffee and 8oz of water.  This breakfast each and every morning gives me 250 calories with 48g carbs, 7g fiber, 8g protein and 6g fat.  After consuming this I go back to sleep for anywhere from 30 minute to an hour. In that time my body is back to rest while also processing these macronutrients to be ready to fire my muscles when it is time to train.  The other key part of this for me is that come race day I don't want that to be the first time I am waking up at 330-4a.  My body needs to know what it is like to be awake at that hour and how to be prepared to work in that state as well.  I am a big believer in training as if it is race day. The other part to waking up so early and getting these workouts in so early is that I then have 24 hours to recover.  My body is done exerting and is now ready to recover so that it is stronger for the next days training session.  I am also wide awake and ready to work.  My energy level is high and I am ready to tackle the world.  I don't stress over getting a workout 'in' because I don't view working out as a chore.  I don't want to fit it 'in.'  I want to enjoy it and I want to know that I pushed my envelope further down the table of life. Let us not forget that by training in the morning my metabolism is also on fire all day and is breaking down food constantly which allows me to eat and enjoy my food instead of thinking that I can't eat this because I might gain weight.  Don't get me wrong about this as I do concern myself with my weight but from the standpoint of racing and being at my goal weight and not about being fat or obese.  I don't concern myself with that because I am burning those calories throughout the day and turning my food into fuel for my next workout. I have waged a war against my mind and my body and I have won.  When that alarm goes off at 2:58 (psychological warfare right there to know that if I hit the 5 min snooze that I am still up at 3:03a) it is like the ringing of the bell for the next round.  Let's not be passive about life but attack life and know that at the end of the day when I begin to fall asleep (sometime around 9pm) I have done everything I can to live life and enjoy it.  No dread, no worry, no stress about working out, getting work done, picking up or taking my step-son to school.  It's all been done and done my way. Will the rules of this war change at some point?  Of course they will, and I will have to adapt but I now know that I can.  I now know that nothing is impossible.  I now know that I can beat my mind and my body into doing anything I want it to do. Life is fun and all of us need to enjoy it since we only get one chance at it.  I want to live for a long long time so that I can see the next generation and the next generation and the next generation and how the world evolves.  In order for me to to that I have to make sure I am healthy and I begin to get healthy at 3am.  

Do You Wage War Against Your Body And Mind?  Which Wins Most Often?

Why Do You Do The Things You Do?

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Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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