Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mixing it up...


Routine kills me. It's not part of my DNA. It's only taken me close to 49 years to get that.

I love the saying that Bill Bradley had on one of his videos - "If you want to be balanced, be average". I couldn't agree more. I'm not saying a balanced life is bad, it's not. It's just not for me.

I've often seen people look for what is wrong with someone and not look at what is good for someone. For example I've seen companies not hire people for what they are not. They look at the flaws and even thought he flaws have nothing to do with doing the job correctly they won't hire them.

To me it's about hiring people for their strengths, not not hiring them because they have weaknesses.

The same thing is in life. People say "you should do this.....".  I can't count how many people told me my problem is I need to be balanced. To not over eat, to not over drink, etc, etc, etc.

News Report - being balanced is not part of my DNA. Nor is routine. I like adventure. I like new experiences. I like challenges. I like putting myself into crazy situations and figuring a way out. It's not even conscious choice, it's sub conscious. It's part of my DNA.

Why fight it?

Like I said it's taken me near 49 years to know thy self. I can't tell you how much energy I wasted over the years trying to be balanced or something that others thought was an ideal. I equate it to someone telling a tiger they need to act more like a sheep. It's just not possible, a tiger is a tiger and a sheep is a sheep.

So what do you do?

You accept it and enjoy your life through it. For example I don't like routine. I see it in my eating habits. I'm not one of those people that can sit down and have the same breakfast day after day. I can do it for a few days, maybe even a week but that's it. Max.

This morning proved it. For the past few days prior I was having eggs on toast. This morning I woke up and you couldn't pay me enough to have eggs on toast. My DNA was revolting. So I listened to my body and had a piece of toast and peanut butter. Other mornings I would have had Quaker Oats and fruit.

I didn't know what I was going to have. It was an adventure. I knew I wasn't having eggs and toast. I was following my intuition and as I ran food choices through my mind the right one came up and the lights went off.

Same with training. Yesterday I had an hour long meeting I was listening in on and decided to ride my bike. Today I had the same circumstance and more, it was two meetings back to back I had to listen in on. So I decided to ride again.

Near the end of the ride it was tough. Riding two days in a row is a routine. That is why I like triathlons. You mix up the sessions. A run today and a bike tomorrow breaks it up. Add in some swimming and weights and change up the order and I'm cool with it.

Doing just straight cycling or straight running or swimming everyday to me is boring. It's more than boring. It takes me to a dark place and it starts to feel like work and days blend into each other. Mixing it up makes it feel fresh.

Tomorrow I have a meeting I could ride again as well. I just can't. If I did I'd start to feel like I wanted to throw up.

Tonight I was organizing my photos. I have over 10,000 photos on my computer and every once and I while I go through them and delete the ones I don't need - like food shots and selfies.

As I was looking at the photos it was interesting as my entire life I've went from thin to fat and back again too many times to count. If someone asks me and I a thin guy or a fat guy my natural state is to be fatter than thinner.

Why do I go up and down?

Again I think it's to change it up. Sometimes being to fit and working out all the time is a lifestyle. Then there is times I want to switch it up. I want to eat more, I want to party, I want to smoke cigars, I want to live on the edge. This is fun but causes weight gain.

Then when it gets to the point of not healthy and my pants don't fit I decide it's time to switch it up again and get the weight down and change the lifestyle up. I usually make this decision in the moment. It's not a drawn out process. It's immediate. Just like when I think I should do an Ironman, I don't think about it, I just sign up.

I even look at my professional career. I love start ups. Always have. There is a great level of excitement and adventure in a start up. Everything is new. You have to create everything from scratch. It's not only the product and getting it to market, it's the culture, the hiring. It's all uncertain and moving quick mistakes are made and adjustments have to be made.

I've been on both sides of the fence, start up then growing it to established business and I did it over a 20 year period with a single business. Of course there was at time crisis as markets change and getting into new product lines. But when it was running just in a routine I got bored and it became very ungradifying. The last time that happened I decided I needed excitement so that's when I took the routine at work and got into training for Ironman in the mornings and evenings.

Oh how I wish I would have known myself at 20 and it didn't take me so long to understand and accept my super powers in my late 40's. Yes, you heard it right, "my super powers". We all have them. The key is to understand them and then work with them and not try to work around them.

Even on this journey I'm on now I find there is things I love and then there is things I need to hire people that are very different than me in their super powers. It's really a great natural wonder of the world how we are all so different and rely on each other.

In my years past I'm sure I would have been good at leading a war. The crisis, the excitement, the challenges.

This past year has been the most incredible ride and adventure. Much of it I didn't like but all of it stretched me into understanding who I really am on the inside.

I'm not scientifically certain but I think most people stop growing personally and accepting insight into themselves as they get older. Chronologically or mentally. I think people get comfortable in their comfort zone and don't stretch out never putting themselves in emotional harms way.

My mission in life is to always get better. To be a better person. It's hard. It's hard as when you get older you get set in your ways and just do what you want to do as an escape to not do the hard stuff that could expose that you are no longer growing.

For me this weight loss journey is more than just about losing weight. It's about getting my identity back. When I look back at all my years. The best years were when I was thinner. That is when I made my most major accomplishments. I think it is because when you are thinner you are more confident and more disciplined and more in control.

When you start gaining weight you are riding the way and not in control.

This past year was an example. I gained near 20 lbs in one year. When you think about that, that's about .5 lbs per week and consistently. I look back and I had lots of emotional turmoil in my life and was definitely not in control. It happens when you start something like an app and the anxiety of not knowing if it will work can only be determined when it launches and then burning through personal savings doesn't help.

To me one of my motivations is get down to the weight that I was most happy in myself personally and my relationships. That was 2008 and I was about 181 - 183 lbs. I look back at pictures of me there and it is like looking at a different person. It was me at my absolute best.

There was two periods in my life that I was at my absolute best. The first was when I was around 22 years old and I got back into triathlons, moved into a house with my then girlfriend, now wife Alice and started my career at Image Color. It was a rich time.

The second richest time in my life started in 2008 - 2010. I changed my life once again. I lost 50 lbs, got back into Ironman's after a 16 year layoff. Sold a business that for years was boring and sucking the life out of me and got into the best shape of my life by far. Met a lot of new friends through triathlon and mostly through twitter. Life was just so damn rich.

After 2010 and specifically finishing Kona Ironman I started to slide. I felt it at the time, it stared just after I qualified for Kona. Now I was riding the wave. Still having fun but slowly I was loosing my discipline and riding my fitness throughout living a more unhealthy lifestyle. Then I got involved in a start up I didn't have full control over, worked my ass off and realized I once again lost my true self in the process.

I'm now back. I'm now in control of my personal career. The first time that I'm in 100% control and I'm ready to get back to that best person I can be. I know what that person looks like and I know what that person feels like. It's now time to once again start the adventure to reverse the current and take the lessons I've learned and move back to that person I really am.

Switching gears, on the eating front I tried a new recipe I found. You take a banana. You cut it in the middle. Then you put peanut butter in the middle. Put the banana back together. Wrap it in saran wrap and freeze it. Then eat it.

It's an awesome healthy snack that feels like your eating ice cream or something that can't possibly be good for you.

Bike 1:37 / 43 km

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