Friday, 20 January 2012

Taking stock 2 - If you make a promise to yourself...

Odd as it is, at the minute I feel tired, lethargic and run down. I am the least fit I have been in a long time because of a lack of strenuous activity, yet I feel as fatigued as though finishing a multi-month focused training program. I don't doubt two weeks of man flu have not helped in this, but it is an overiding feeling of tiredness.

I have not ridden my bike much at all recently, which is odd as in previous years, my focus, much to my own and everyone's surprise has been on winter training, braving the cold and wet to be fit for the spring, only not to benefit from all that hard work - either unable to ride through injury or just by choice for an unknown reason. Maybe my lack of riding this winter boads well for an enjoyable summer, though I feel particularly slow and unfit in my main sport.

Running, a sport that I vowed I would never subject my body to has now become a major activity for me, in recent times probably holding station as my main activity, so explaining my lack of cycling.
Starting up any new sport will bring with it enough fatigue and physical adjustment, not to allow you to overdo it, and so in getting used to running it seems I have been unable to fit riding in around it without overstepping the mark fatigue wise.

With cycling, I can push myself, because I have years of conditioning, but with running, not only am I taking it on more seriously than ever before, but I have started barefoot running technique, utilising muscles that I never have before and in the process, I have started from an even lower level.

Eitherway, trail running is something I am enjoying more than I ever thought I could. I feel it is a particularly healthy for my mental state to have an activity like running purely for enjoyment and cycling more for the competitive side. This may change, but as it is now, I am enjoying this balance. This is not to say I won't try and run fast sometimes. If it feels right and enjoyable to do so, then why not?! If it feels right and enjoyable to do so then I'll run off track or stop at a good view, whereas I might be a bit more disciplined with the cycling.

Weight - so having hit my target weight of 11 stone (even reaching 10, 13 at one point) during the summer I very quickly put it back on since then. Back up to my heaviest for a while at 11 stone 7. I am now back on the way down, being around 11,5/4. It is a good task in itself to stay disciplined enough to lose weight, but as mentioned probably harder since I've been doing less activity. The most important thing to realise is that generally we westerners over eat. Shifting your mindset to eat less and smaller portions is a challenge, but once adjusted, it is fine and in fact, for me, I feel more cormfortable.

Climbing, what a great fun sport. Hard though! The mental aspect, physical and fear factor all combine. After my 3rd session I had week long tendonitis. I think I've got over the worst of that now after another light session. Heading to Brighton to climb with my brother tomorrow. He has just started attempting 6b climbs, after one term at uni. I am having trouble on 5s and have no idea of how doing 6 grades is possible. Watching videos of people doing 8c's, I am looking on in wonder. It is very rare that I am amazed by human feats in sport after watching day after day of tour de france and more recently ultra marathons, but the extreme short term physicality of climbing, blows my mind. I am very excited to be introducing a friend to it tomorrow. I very much hope he likes it!

Climbing is also an interesting experience for me. In my life so far, I have generally got to a pretty good level in sports pretty quickly. I think I am lucky to be able to adapt fast. However, climbing is a different matter. Granted it is early days, even by my adaptation standards, but I might have found my sporting nemisis (after golf) which inspires me quite a lot. A further challenge, as if it wasn't hard enough already! The ultimate goal is to get onto the rockfaces outdoors. Outdoors, outdoors, outdoors.

There is also the change to not eating meat. Much has been written about this, so there is no point in going into it here. My diet has been going that way for a while now, so not as drastic a change as I'd first imagined. The only situations I have had to actively consider this change have been when there were meaty 'nibbles' at christmas, when we were out and free bacon sarnies were brought out and yesterday when my mum suggested sausage and mash. Now that really hurt! Otherwise, not to tough so far!

Simple enough to say that I see it as a step in the right direction. Eventually it may go further. I was gonna say "I don't know if I could do without eggs", but then I spent years as a Carnivore, saying I'd could never be a veggie and would never listen to dance music. Every time I listen to the Thirty seconds to Mars song where the geezer says, "If you make a promise to yourself, you have to keep it", I think about how his words are absolute twoddle. I would love to talk to the guy and suggest that he might consider an alternative, "If you make a promise to yourself, you should look at the circumstances in which you made that promise, work out whether you were just being a naive douchebag and decide from there whether you should keep that promise. It is important in hindsight to review that promise, considering whether change in you, has made you realise that you should very rarely make promises to yourself. Simply make the best decision in the moment with the information you have available to you." I don't know if that would have fitted well in the song. I hope that wasn't too righteous a paragraph!

That probably was enough to justify my search for a seemingly 'profound' thought I always hope to eeeeek out of these posts. So there we are, a snapshot of Gandalf as he exists in activity and condition now. Man, back ache. Time for bed me thinks!

Oh and my biodegradable plastic shoes arrived today. More on that soon!


Post a Comment