Thursday, June 19, 2014

Turning back the hands of time...

I returned home from Boise 20 days ago. In those 20 days I've done 18 days and over 43 hours of training.

I think back to that first week and I cringe. I can honesty say I've never felt so unfit in as long as I can remember. To add to it I came home 15 lbs heavier and my stomach was so big that my belt buckle was imprinted on it from sitting down.

It has been my experience that an object in motion stays in motion. The key is to just get started, to just do it. Even though I know that it was still tough to get started and I was scared to do my first long ride and run. Absolutely terrified. I didn't know how bad it would be.

It took about 10 days for my body to bounce back. Which is pretty remarkable. I was impressed. It's due to muscle memory. When you train over 66,000 km over a 6 year period your body is fairly conditioned under the surface and when you get back at it responds.

Even thought it was 10 days until it felt better it felt like 3 weeks.

There is an old saying that it takes 3 weeks to create a new habit. I believe it. I'm now at the 3 week point of training and I'm back on a roll. It feels natural once again. Momentum is now carrying me. It's like breaking into a new reality. I like it. It reminds me of Ironman training days of old.

Today I had two training sessions. The first was the power phase of weight training. It's that phase of the training where you lift weight to exhaustion. I haven't done one of these sessions for at least 2 or 3 years.

I gave it so hard that I left sore and an hour after I got home I started to feel light headed.

Tonight I did some track work, it was my second in the past 20 days. I showed up and the track was all fenced in. It was empty and cars with kids were driving around the parking lot and scratching their heads. I wasn't driving 3.5 miles to a school track to turnaround. I got out of the truck and they had a bobcat tractor blocking the entrance like that was going to stop me. I squeezed my way through and I had the track all to myself. Until the parents who had the kids in their car who had a soccer practice saw how I got in and next thing you know the track and inner field was filled with kids.

During tonight's speed work session I went as hard as I could. Which is another way of saying it wasn't too fast but my high heart rate and pumped legs didn't know it.

As I was running my laps around the track I was asking myself how old the other people on the track think I am? I'd like to think they think it's some young in shape guy. The reality is they see a middle aged guy trying to be an athlete doing slow looking speed work.

However in my mind I ask myself how old I feel and I don't feel any different inside than when I was 19 years old. I think back to those days and even though I did my first Ironman at 22 years old I'm in better shape today at 48 years old and my Ironman times show it.

My first Ironman at 22 years old I did in 12 hours 13 minutes. Since my comeback starting at 41 years old I've done 8 Ironmans and all have been faster then when I was 22 years old. So not only do I feel as young as 22 years old, I am, the stats prove it.

To me the world has changed big time. I remember my dad's 40th birthday party and back then I thought he was old along with everyone else's parents. Back then no one really exercised and those that did were on the fringe. Someone who did marathons back then was a freak.

Times have changed. I think everything has moved up 20 years. 40 is the new 20 and 60 is the new 40. Actually the old 40 was more like 60. When I turned 40 and I think back to my dad being 40 I think in my minds eye he was much older than 40, closer to 50 or 60.

I can't imagine what a 20 year old kid feels like when he's doing a triathlon race and a 40 something beats him. It happens all the time. I've done it many times. It's a different time. When I was 20 there wasn't a 40 year old I couldn't beat in a foot race that was longer than from the grocery store to the car. My dad could keep it close or even win that distance, if it was 100 yards or more forget it.

What if there was no mirrors? What if people didn't know what they look like?

If that was the case the only way you could judge your age is on how you feel. Think about it. The only comparison you could make is based on feeling and fitness.

As I pushed heavy weight this morning and as I ran speed work around the track tonight I felt that I was in a time warp. I felt ageless. That I hadn't aged. That physically I was as good if not in better shape than when I was 19 years old and the only difference was I have more life experience, wisdom and confidence than my young 19 year old self.

It's actually the best of both worlds. People often say I wish I knew then what I know now. I feel I do. If I don't judge myself chronological age and do it by feeling then my dream has come true, I don't need to wish, I know then what I know now.

I often wonder what people my age who are not in shape or overweight and haven't been in shape since they were kids now feel? I wonder what it feels like to not feel like you have the same body as when you were 20 years old?

Personally I think getting back into shape turns back the hands of time both physically and mentally and it's never to late to do so. The body remarkable in that it will adapt to the conditions you put on it. If you eat healthy and train you will turn back the hands of time.

I remember the first time going into a gym 7 years ago. I had difficulty doing 20 lbs for a lying bench chest pullover. I remember my left shoulder hurting and thinking how my body used to be strong and now at 41 years old I can't even do 20 lbs without pain. Fast forward to today. After 7 years of training my shoulder pain went away about a year after I started to train and today I was doing 60 lbs of lying chest pullover. I don't think I was doing that heavy of weight in my 20's.

Again it just shows you can turn back the hands of time and it's never to late. Physical aging can be reversed and when it is you also start to feel younger mentally.

Talking about creating a habit I'm on day 6 of my 7 day challenge to eat healthy, no snacking and no beer and I'm not track. As a matter of fact my buddy Doug Martin was in town to do a keynote at a sales conference and came by for lunch. I drank diet coke. I've known Dougie since I was 19 years old and he was probably 30 years old. I love Dougie and he's a story unto himself going from financial hardship only 2 years ago to possibly having the best years of his life and he's near 60. It just shows age no longer matters, even in business. In the old days you were washed up at 60 and put out to pasture.

Dougie is showing business is timeless. He's launched the Weekly Sales Beast and it's taken off. You can learn more about it by clicking here. I'm most proud that 2 or 3 years ago I was talking to Doug when he was down and out and I told him about blogging. He knew nothing. Then immersed himself in it and today he's making a fantastic living off it and the content he creates from it.

First thing he said when he saw me after all these years, "you're fat". That's as true friend. Pull no punches.

Weights - 50 min
Running Speed Work - 1:40:49 / 12.25 km

P.S.Looking for all the support I could get as I fundraise for Doctors without Borders. Big our small donations welcome. Support a great cause.

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