Friday, November 2, 2012

Not Skinny, Small Boned

For the past few months, I've been doing a little soul-searching on why I choose to live an active lifestyle.

I know the benefits: excellent health, clothing that fits right and being able to do stuff that I enjoy doing.

Still, it never hurts to examine one's motivations.

Career requirements can put a wrinkle in training from time to time. Meetings and deadline can often spill over into lunch and late into the night. Balancing career and stuff outside (health, family,etc) is always somewhat of a dance.

Change in Season
The change in season has also contributed to my recent ruminating. Truthfully, since the road season ended in June, I haven't had the urge to race my bike. Instead, as the weather has cooled and daylight has become shorter, I've swapped spandex for hipster threads on more than one occasion.

I've also wandered onto the sidelines to watch my friends compete in cyclocross. That's a first for me. Normally, I suit up for these local races. So far, not this year. Anyway, here's an example of me on the sidelines from last month's Omaha Weekend:

The caption above says that I was giving Rafal some pre-race tips. Nuh uh. If anything, Rafal was giving me the racing advice, like "Hey Brady, can I tell you something? You should be out here racing with us instead of painting your house."

Actually, Rafal did say that diddy about painting. He noticed and commented about the white paint on my hands from painting the windows sills I had repaired earlier that day. True story.

Health Reasons
Recently, someone said to me, "you're so skinny from riding your bike, I bet you can eat whatever you want."

Truth is, I'm not skinny, I'm just small-boned. Though I've never been overweight, I have a looming potential to be so.  But I currently appear 'skinny' because being so is a side effect of doing something I enjoy.  If I didn't enjoy it, I probably wouldn't do it. And with the 4,000 calorie diet I'm on, I'd sure look different than what you see today. Therefore, perhaps I'm contingently overweight.

But what if I stopped being active?

Till now, the thought of being out of shape has been my final, fail-safe motivator.  When I've got nothing else, this is what gets me out of bed for early morning swimming practice. It's what keeps me riding over lunch or after work, whenever.

And if that goes. Oh boy.

Former swimmers are the worst (best) at letting it go. I've known a couple former All-American swimmers who totally let it go and have realized their maximum contingency.  They were once ripped and could eat whatever the wanted. But that (swimming, not eating whatever) ended when they quit swimming.

Swimming rewards a voracious appetite.  Aggressive swimmers are just plain hungry all the time. That hunger manifests itself in and outside the pool. They're hungry for yardage, for food, for accomplishment.  A 12,000 yard practice? How about a 12,000 calorie breakfast to match?  The thing is, once the swimmer hangs up their speedo, only the grueling workouts end. That hunger never ceases.

I'm sorry to say it, but I predict that within ten years Michael Phelps will bump Kirstie Alley as the Weight Watchers Spokes person.  I don't say this to be malicious. The fact is that he is a very driven athlete who has won more Olympic medals than any other before. And now he hates swimming.  But I bet he still throws down three fried egg sandwiches, choc chip pancakes and five egg omelettes and such for breakfast on a regular basis.

The hunger never ceases.

YPG. I gotta wrap this thing up. Swimming practice is at dark thirty.

1 comment:

  1. You're new found buoyancy should come in handy. Congratulations.