In sickness and in health

My wife and I have never been morning people. In the past, we’ve kind of avoided each other in the morning because neither of us is very patient, interested, or pleasant before coffee, or really before 11 am. But in the last three days I think I’ve become absolutely insufferably perky. It’s got to be the food. Three days ago I instituted a pretty major diet change and it’s given me a LOT more energy. I started working with Matt Mahowald at New Performance and after looking at my food journal from the last two months he made some specific changes for my entire day. I’ll write more on this later, but in short I cut out all dairy, starting eating a small amount of nuts and fruit as snacks, considerably more meals during the day, and not letting my body go into a starvation mode. Each day has seen a gradual increase of energy, which I’ve been able to put to better use and efficiency in the morning but lasts all day long. My poor, poor wife.

It underscores that you never train alone. My training impacts everyone in my life, and as a freelance technology consultant and writer everyone is affected by my training. For example, on my ride this morning I was hustling back home right on schedule to get home by 9am, eat breakfast, shower, and head out for a 10am appointment. Two miles from home I came up on two cyclists pulled over monkeying with a tire. I yelled out,as I always do, “you OK?” They asked if I had a bike pump, so I pulled over and discovered that they also didn’t know how to change their tube. Now, two months ago I was riding on PCH and got a flat. I was passed by at least 30 riders, not a single one offered to help or find out if I was OK. How does being an asshole encourage people to ride? The most hippie you’ll hear me get is “be the change you want in the world”. So I spent fifteen minutes showing the guys how to change a bike tube. They had tire levers, but the wrong spare tube and no bike pump. I showed them how to use the levers to spin the tire off the wheel, find the puncture, and replace the tube. Several other cyclists offered to stop and help – that was quite encouraging! I hopped back on the bike and sped home, just 15 minutes late.

Our training is a selfish indulgence. All endurance sport requires hours of solo, focused  training, scrutiny of self, body, and mind. I encourage fundraising as a way to offset this selfish pursuit, but I also think that it’s critical to balance the training with an awareness of how our actions in training affect others. I’ve seen guys covered in logos and badges act like complete assholes on the road. How would their supporters feel if they knew that was how they were being represented? A woman sent an email to the LA Tri Club that she saw a members with a Club plate holder throw a burger wrapper out their car window onto the road. We hold ourselves accountable for achieving our personal goals, we should be just as accountable for how reaching those goals affect everyone else in our lives: stranger or spouse. No one, and I mean no one, does this alone.

Workout: 1hr bike, focus on cadence over speed (maintain 90 rpm), 17 miles


One response to “In sickness and in health

  1. What is true for training is true for everything – every action we take has an effect on everyone else. It is disturbing and saddening to see how few people really understand and/or care about this simple truth. If I can impart any single lesson on my kids, that is it.

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