So it’s taken nearly 6 months to get over myself and start writing again. I have no idea why, time just slipped away. I had ideas, thoughts, musings there was a lot going on its not like life slowed down any, yet I could not seem to put pen to paper. So now, here we are in 2018, 6 months on from Ironman. 6 months further on in my work life and 6 months further on in life. When I put it like that, it does not sound like a lot of time but in reality, it seems like a lifetime.
It was actually a little endorsement from a young lady who is currently attending the SHRM national conference in Chicago, the current Miss Cayman Islands Anika Conolly. She mentioned me in one of her blog posts and it really drove home how little we know about what impact we have on others so it spurred me getting back to grips with this writing. Be sure to check out Anikas blog also! www.authenticanika.wordpress.com
Once I landed back on terra firma in Cayman it was a strange old feeling, my alarm was no longer going off at 4:30am and I did not have a reason to ride, swim or run yet I had this craving to do so. What is weird though was that my body really wanted to do this activity that it had been conditioned to do for the prior 6 months, but my mind was done, it was closed, on vacation with a no entry sign held up. I’d watch triathlons on you tube, I’d see the weight creeping back on yet still I could do nothing. I would sit on the sofa on a Saturday afternoon in blissful content, eating and watching absolute rubbish on TV all whilst this little voice in my head was saying what are you doing you should be running or doing something.
I had this gift of time and yet I squandered it, but I know there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Looking back it’s actually quite scary, I reached some dark places as I became anxious about my weight (which isn’t helped by male friends patting you on the stomach saying “its coming on nicely mate” & “I take it you are not training anymore”!) Little did they know the mental anguish I was going through in this battle between wanting to get back out there and simply being so tried that I could not move. I actually became quite sick to the point of turning to the doctor. This visit didn’t help me any as my blood pressure was off the scale and various body markers were all out. So now it just added to the spiral of I need to exercise, I need to eat right, but I’m soo tired.
There is probably a separate blog about how guys body shame each other all the time without really reflecting on how those comments are received. I 100% believe that men are just as susceptible to the anguish that women go through, accept that it is somehow acceptable amongst guys to be utterly direct to the point of rudeness about other guys physiques. I mean you would never walk up to a female friend and say “wow that beer baby is about ready”. We all know when things are a little tight, we shame ourselves enough but somehow it’s fine for guys to do it to each other. Maybe I’m over sensitive but I also know what I go through in order to ensure I am fitter than most even though I may not have the six pack everyone else thinks they have. Trust me at 40+ it gets a lot harder!
Anyways this isn’t a blog about body shaming!
Post the doc’s visit seemed to give the kick I needed to start eating right, Since January I have been going to F45 a great cardio and resistance circuits training class 3-5 times a week. So I may have bulked up but the waistline is actually the same! As it was something new my brain said ok and the motivation to go and continue going has remained. It has also fit around my work schedule well. The mood has lifted, it has allowed me to schedule training so the voices have stopped worrying about whether I was exercising or not. I also set up a cycling group/class on a Tuesday morning that motivated me to get back out on the bike. It’s only once a week but it has been great to encourage others and still know that my legs are in good shape.
Just for fun Kym and I did a half marathon in March in Miami which I ran no problem no PB, far from it, but It just goes to show that the fitness does not disappear as quickly as you feel it does! What was lovely was there was a photo of me crossing the line with Kym cheering me through which is a rare capture and a lovely moment for me. Kym is on the left in yellow.
From a fitness point of view we are in to run the New York Marathon in November and the body and mind are now ready to tackle some training as I want to run a PB for a marathon time. I’m actually looking forward to it and know that the fitness doubts will disappear as I start to feel better about my overall health again.
The physical tolls of Ironman training are always evident but the post ironman mental fatigue is something I have not seen many people write about. I know friends that are always training and doing several ironman events or similar endurance feats and I can totally understand why. You become so conditioned to training that you always need a goal to train for and when there isn’t a goal you just don’t know what to do. I love the sport, I love all sports but I didn’t know until I looked back just how much this one took out of me. It’s not as if I have taken it easy over the last 6 months either. I do 60+ hours a week with work, I organized a 3 day HR conference, I traveled for work, did presentations we sold our house, moved house bought another house! Plus all the other things that daily life throws at you but because I wasn’t doing that additional 15-20hrs plus a week training my body thought there was something wrong!!
So – looking back it has been a crazy 6 months there are so many things to comment on and I am looking forward to doing so over the coming weeks. I hope that you, dear reader, will find it interesting. But my message from today’s blog is simple:
You don’t know where you have been until you look back. When you do, you realise you moved forward in more ways than one.
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