No Going Back

Now and Then.  The left picture was from my last 5k race and the one on the right is from my first 5k race in October.

Left picture was from a mid season 5k in 2013 and the Right picture was from my first 5k  in October of 2012

If you have not noticed I have been pretty absent lately.  Since I got back from Ragnar Trails Atlanta (details here) I just have not felt like writing.  Of course I could blame fatigue or writers block or being busy, but to be honest I have no clue why I have been so complacent on this blog and commenting on posts lately.  Maybe its tied into post Ragnar depression or linked to exhaustion resulting from the intensity of my training routine.

Victorious!

Ragnar Trails Atlanta was one of the pinnacle running experiences of my short athletic career.  I shared this adventure with seven complete stranger and I  even a few weeks later feel attached to them.

Ragnar Saturday a few weeks ago hit me with extreme fatigue.  I passed out and woke  up on Sunday feeling a little bit restored, I figured my recovery left me at least 70% and I would be good for some miles for the week.  Because I felt ok I decided to push forward with my normal training regiment, topping off the following weekend with a five mile trail run on on Friday, Ten mile long run with 900 feet of elevation gain on Saturday and topping the week off with my first bike ride of the season a 55 mile effort ( not the smartest way to get my first ride of the year in as I should have started with lower miles).

imagesBy the start of Monday of last week, the 14th  I found my body wanted to do no more.  I woke up to get my normal run in and my body fought back hard forcing me back to bed.  This same pattern followed through to Wednesday morning.   Obviously I had hit a tipping point and my body needed extra rest.  As I had a half marathon  at the end of the week I did not fight it and just worked to recover and prepare for my race.

During this time my wife fretted that something was wrong, it was so unlike me to sleep in so many days in a row.  She further worried that I was getting depressed and I was afraid of falling into old habits.  I on the other hand was not fretting as I realized my body needed a break and I knew the ship would eventually right itself with time.  The bigger realization though came from the realization that I could never return to who I was two years ago when I went from super unfit couch potato to who I am now.  I realized for me there was no going back to that person.

Over the last two years I have changed both physically and mentally, in some ways transforming major characteristics that define who I am.  The couch potato me would dream big things and keep those things as unreal ethereal dreams.  That same person found joy and relaxation in video games and thirty plus different television shows.  That me did not have a bit of hyper focus or drive to finish and achieve.  That me preferred lazy afternoons on the couch.  That me was afraid of failure and thus did not try.

In contrast my life is drastically different now.  At any given moment I have a list of long, short and intermediate goals with accompanying strategies to achieve them.  The current me often dreams big and finds ways to make those dreams a reality.  My idea of fun now is long runs or bike rides.  I no longer fear failure but accept and embrace it.  I see that failure now is a measure of how hard I have to work to make things a success.  I rarely watch television and have little involvement or desire to watch more than a fraction of what I used to partake.  I still love geekery and all manner of nerdy endeavors, but I find  more enjoyment in pushing my limits in my physical endeavors.

Love this picture... how far I have come!

Love this picture… how far I have come!  I feel that I have come even further since the August 2013 picture.

Because of this change I know and do not worry about ever going back to the slothful unfullfilling existence I had before.  I know that if my body insists I take a day or two off its because I have put the work in and its trying to convey a message.  I do not fear falling back to old habits as I am a different person now from two years ago and I know that when things are aligned again I will be back to work.  I have thought long and hard about the old person and the new person, and while they are the same in essence, they are so completely different in tone and character.  I like who I am now.  i like pushing my limits and seeing how much further or longer I can run or bike. I want to know how much more can I suffer and hurt before its too much.  I want to know what is possible with this body of mine and I want to fail and succeed.  I truly know that there is no going back. Til next time.

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18 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Fit Recovery and commented:
    I don’t know what to say, I’m almost a little misty over this post. I started following Aaron (Chatter) from the beginning. This is his “woohoo! I made it” post. Give the brother a hand.

  2. I can’t put it into words how happy I am for you my friend. Congratulations and welcome to the club.

    1. Thank you, sine realizations take a hard hit to the head. This was a big wake up call for me.

  3. kruzmeister · · Reply

    You inspire me so much Chatter. You are such a champion of character and spirit. I am so very happy for you that life is so much better. Give that body it’s deserved rest and then accomplish more of those big dreams my friend!

    1. Thank you, so glad you are doing well and back in the swing of things.

      1. kruzmeister · · Reply

        Thanks my friend.

    2. Btw, wait till I post about the half marathon from this weekend, great results.

      1. kruzmeister · · Reply

        That’s awesome cannot wait to read all about it!

  4. Way to go Chatter. Being rested is a part of being healthy.

  5. Good work Chatter. You are an inspiration to us all.

  6. Wow. Just. Wow. I cannot wait to post photos like that of me some day. But boy, what a journey you have had, and will continue to have. Thank you for taking us along for the ride!

    1. Thank you your no slacker yourself. Loved following yours as well. This is what comes out if my head when I spend time pounding pavement.

      1. It is good! You should always pound the pavement!!!

  7. Very cool, Chatter! Thanks for the great post.

  8. Those before and after are great. But I can tell they only give part of the story. The mental transformation seems to be your biggest accomplishment. Great progress, keep it up!

    1. Thank you. I think the noon physical changes are the hardest to realize when starting down the path of fitness.

  9. I love this – the mental change as much as the physical is so evident!

  10. […] week I blogged about my body forcing me to rest and the profound insight resulting from that rest (details here).  At the end of the week of forced rest, about two weeks ago, I ran my bookend running race to […]

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