18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

18' 1" Olympic Trials 2008

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rest for the Wicked

           Today I am shaking off a feeling of guilt that has been following me around for 11 days. I don’t like to rest, even when it is needed. Part of that is because of my background as an athlete. In high school and college I was always surrounded by the hard working type.  I can’t speak for my coaches but it always seemed like the mentality shared by the programs, I was fortunate to be a part of, has always been something along the lines of “the kids who train till they puke, are the kids that become champions.” As far back as I can remember being involved in sports I realize now that I have always clung to the strongest in the group, competing with them in workouts as if something was at stake, in turn pushing each other to the vomit threshold and beyond. Even in my youth, I knew that this was the only way I could become the best at what I was doing. It paid off and left a hunger for training inside of me that is hard to keep full. Now as an injured old man I have to tell myself things like “less is more” and “rest is best”. Bull shit like that, I hate it. I wish my crappy body could just keep up with my ambition. But just like my mentor Dave Nielsen always says, “You play the cards your dealt.” Some of the best damn advice you can give an athlete. What a wise old man he is. I miss him, I miss my ISU family. Eleven years of my life I spent with that group, that’s a considerable chunk of time. But I’m off topic again, per usual.         
            Funny the number eleven came up again because that is the amount of time I have taken off. Granted I had like six or seven fillings done, and two wisdom teeth pulled, in one day, two states away. I mention the two states away thing because if I was an idiot and hurt my mouth or got dry sockets I would be a long way away from my dentist for repair. So I had to be sure I was healthy enough to start training again. If he lived down the street from me, the number four or five would be more prevalent in this post, describing the numbers of days I should have kept waiting before I started working out again. Thankfully this is not the case. Somehow the patience superceded my hardheadedness and desire to exceed my physical abilities leaving me rested and ready to start fresh.
            One thing that bothers me a bit is my weight. I tell you what, I know how you can make millions of dollars selling the next big time weight loss program. Here it is, convince people too pull a few teeth and they can sit back and watch the pounds fade away as they dream of the day when they could once eat solid food. I have been bouncing between 175-180lbs for months now. I weighed in once last week at 165lbs, then I stopped checking my weight. I’m sure it will come right back, but still, I worked hard for that ten pounds and I’d like it back. The muscle doesn’t stay on like it did when I was 20 years old. I hate to say it, but it sure falls off quick. You really have to be more consistent or more so, religious, with your training as an older athlete.
            The forced rest was probably just what I needed (along with fixing my grill). I’ve got so many injuries anymore I forget about some of them. They are all labeled with levels of awareness or validity. Some of them much more valid than an others, and must be addressed regularly, the others are forgotten or put out of mind. In essence, time off, never a bad thing for the body, but it is a hellacious stress on a state of mind that has been hardened by over twenty years of old school, tough guy coaches, training partners, and programs, and I absolutely love that I still haven’t lost it.   

1 comment:

  1. Paul, I have to say that I have always liked reading your blog. You know me, I have never been one to share my feelings on a deeper level or at all really but here I go.You have had some pretty amazing blogs in the past, ones that brought a tear to my eye but this one spoke to me on a deeper level. Why that is I'm not sure, I have a few guesses but will not go into it here. You are an inspiration to a great deal of people and have always been someone I have looked up to. Good luck man and know that no matter what happens I'm proud of you and I am sure there is a great number of people that feel the same.