I guess I had some free time today, what is this my fourth posting of the day?
Just a quick update on the training side of things. Currently in the midst of a 25hr week, the second of my three week build (three weeks of building intensity followed by a 'recovery' week of 12-14hrs)
Feb 5Th - 11Th
Monday: (The day after our winter adventure race, which was basically an intense 4hr run) Body obviously sore, gym for an hour in the A.M and bike for 1h15m in the P.M.
Tuesday: Bike for 2hr A.M. Trail run for 1hr P.M.
Wednesday: Kayak for 1h30m in A.M.
Thursday: Gym 5:45am, mountain bike 7-9am, road bike 10-noon, kayak 1pm-3pm, run 6:30pm-7:30pm. As you may have guessed I had this day off! 8 hours of training and honestly I struggled through almost all of it.
I could not place my finger on it till late in the day. I felt tired, but knew I wasn't, felt sick, but knew that was not it either. I was edgy, frustrated and just generally hating everything. I was miserable and really struggled through the entire day while constantly questioning why I even bother with all this racing and training stuff. I came up with 101 better ways to spend my money and free time in five minutes flat...but I kept on going, cause I knew I had to get it all in.
By the time I hit the kayak I had realized that I needed to do something a bit different. I drove into town, instead of walking to the river from my house, to change my launching point, and headed into Howe Sound, rather than going up and down the Squamish River.
It took ten minutes in the boat before I started to come around. I perked up a little and felt my energy coming back. I started to feel like myself again.
During the 2 hr paddle I had lots of time to think about things and what I realized was this:
-Training and racing ain't easy...but I love it more than most anything else in my entire life. I honestly believe that without the adventures I experience through running, biking and kayaking I would never achieve happiness in our modern society...bare with me here...I travelled continuously for a few years and was fully addicted to this lifestyle. The more I travelled, the more I wanted to travel, the more I experienced the more I desired to experience, the more countries I visited the more passport stamps I needed to get. With all the answers I discovered in each day of travel there were a hundred more that evolved along with it, and it did not take long before I started to question the principles we are 'taught' in today's developed world.
Work hard, acquire stuff, get bills, build your credit rating, grow your equity, acquire more stuff, have a family, diversify your portfolio, work harder, acquire more expensive stuff, save for retirement.
While travelling you exist on a minimalist budget, own only what you need, meet new and interesting people on a daily basis, are free to leave a place that you are not happy with and stay in a place that brings you joy. You do whatever makes most sense to you on that particular day and acquire life experiences instead of debt and essentially useless stuff.
You live in the moment, every moment, which few people ever truly experience.
I think there is a lot to be learned in this simplistic existence, and one thing that stands out from my travels was how people in poor countries, who were born with nothing, will die with nothing and have absolutely zero opportunity to change this, as a whole seemed happier and more content in their lives than almost every single person I knew, including myself. Why? How could that be?
Have you ever heard the saying "The people who have the least, give the most?" Well it's true, 100% true in every aspect. These people who have so little have a greater appreciation for what they have been given...life, family, friends, health...does anything else REALLY matter?
Unfortunately for most of us it takes a near tragedy to come to terms with this. You have absolutely no idea when your time will expire. If you are lucky you get to live until you are old and gray, but if you are smart you will accept that this is not a given and that you'd better make the most of it while you are here, because
"Tomorrow is promised to no one"
Walter Payton(one of the greatest Football running backs of all time)
My training day wasn't going so well, I needed a change of scenery more than anything, but I WAS doing exactly what I loved most. I was and am pursuing the goal of being a fully sponsored, internationally competitive athlete. Whether this ever comes to fruition remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, I will be able to look back in a few more years and know that I gave it my all, that I fully pursued my passion, made plenty of sacrifices and that in the end no matter what the outcome, I will unequivocally have no regrets.
So that was Thursday!
Friday: Day off (somewhat ironic)
Saturday: Host my Club Fat Ass Snowshoe Race, The Squamish Scrambler. Intense snowshoe run for 2.5 hrs.
Saturday night was the party of the year in Squamish. It was a SORCA bike club sponsored Casino Night / 'James Bondage' party.
There was everything from a lingerie fashion show to pole dancers and drag queen singers. People were dressed up, or down, in as little as body paint and a vine wrapped around the essentials.
The MOMAR sponsored one of the gambling tables and the athletics/running shop I manage in Squamish, North Shore Athletics donated some prizing.
I recently confirmed my allergy testing results and as it turns out I am allergic to Gluten, Wheat, Rye (Some friends from Banff will get a big chuckle out of this one. Never could put my finger on why I blacked out every time I drank a few bottles of the stuff) and Almonds...but NOT Barley...what does this mean?
I CAN drink a wheat free beer...which only leaves me with Budweiser or Coors Lite for the most part(made with rice), but since I had gone over two months without consuming a single beer, and I thought I would never get to taste a 'decent' beer again, those Bud's were damn near the best beers I have had in my entire life...all 14 of them!
Sunday: I was supposed to kayak for an hour...but for the previously mentioned reasons this did not happen.
I was very happy with this week, I worked 40hrs, put in 17 1/2 hours of training, had some good times with some good friends and worked through some mental struggles. I've since changed up all of my training routes as they were becoming monotonous. It's just so easy to schedule in a 3hr bike ride and go "oh yeah, this was a good three hour loop, I'll head there again". After you do this with every discipline the training can start to resemble work more than play time and exploring.
Things are good. Donna and I are trying to figure out our options with the house (I am trying to buy out her 1/2) and once we finalize everything it will eliminate a big financial stress for both of us.
My team just booked their flights to San Diego for our expedition race in Baja at the end of March...in less than six weeks we'll be smack dab in the middle of a 400km adventure race, and at THAT moment in time, all of these little life struggles will have finally made sense and will certainly have paid off.