*I will say that I share this story as my way of hopefully helping other’s appreciate that life is full of ups and downs, the severity of these times is all we can really control.
When trying to sum up how the last few months have transpired the following comes to mind, “humans are like onions, we both have layers and when you begin to peel back the layers your eyes will water”. Ok, so I have just butched that phrase from our green friend shrek but without watching the movie again it will do.
Without sharing the nitty-gritty of my life, I’ll try and share some of my experiences and the types of methods I’ve found helpful (or not) to best learn from each moment.
After separating from my partner before Xmas last year I went through with the move to Brisbane in search of new beginnings and opportunities. The reason I bring this up is because until March when I went to Ironman New Zealand, life was busy, no real time to stop and think (or so I thought ). Once at IMNZ I found myself well still, just me and my thoughts and let’s just say it was interesting and very uncomfortable!
Upon returning from New Zealand it was clear to me that something needed to change otherwise once again my health would suffer as exercise can be an addiction or escape from reality and my natural reaction to life stresses was to train more. The blessing but curse for me is that physically I’m really resilient, what this generally means though is I keep going until mentally and I guess chemically (hormonal) things break down, which is exactly what happened.
That said, after New Zealand I made some really positive lifestyle changes like starting to meditate again, walking, yoga and most importantly moving into a share house had me in a better living environment.
I parted ways with long term coach Darren Franklin from http://www.etpa.com.au, this was no reflection of his coaching from which I achieved a lot and learnt a great deal. ETPA is a great club providing support to many athletes both locally and abroad. The change was my need to regain control of my life and seek more guidance on my nutritional choice of HFLC. I had really lost my way with this. ( I now appreciate stress is a big factor in this)
Thanks to a fellow triathlete, Brett Weick I got in contact with Peter Defty from http://www.vespapower.com who is one of the leading people in High Fat Low Carb research for athletes and health in general, I had followed his work for a long time and to actually talk with him was amazing. Peter was instrumental in getting me back on track mentally and nutritionally, reminding me that simplicity is the key as I had just gotten way to analytical. Peter also reminded me the importance of both physical and mental stress management on all levels!
Unfortunately, my desire to qualify for Hawaii in Cairns and financially be in a position to accept the spot meant spending about 30 out of 65 nights at a fire station. This lead to some really poor sleep patterns and a real disconnect from what my body and mind were actually telling me, which of course was to slow down and smell the roses! Like anything just doing yoga or meditation isn’t going to do anything, you must have intention and be present an ability I seem to have lost!
I got to Cairns IM, physically in good shape but mentally ill, sleeping 10 hrs plus and still waking tired, getting training done but outside that I was a mess,” wired but tired”. All the warning signs were there but it took a stop sign at 1.9kms into the swim of IM Cairns for me to finally realise what was going on. A complete physical and mental shutdown, I literally could do nothing but walk for about a week after that moment. Even the thought of running or riding was out of the question, leaving me with plenty of time to think, reflect and regroup.
Embarrassed, disappointed and depressed I had finally woken up to the present moment!
Next up is what I’ve been up to since then…..
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying again”.