I'm terrified to start Phase 1 again. I've been off in the Lala Land of Phase 5 which is a lot of whole food focused macro counting. This proved to be great for performance. I was in the best shape of my life at 44. I could also sneak in any cheat I wanted and it wasn't an issue. Many training sessions I was losing a few pounds of water weight and burning a couple thousand calories. Prepping for a world championship and feeling pretty phenomenal. February 22nd was Hyrox in Dallas. I beat my previous best by 15 minutes and hammered hard. After an hour and 19 minutes with a heart rate between 170 & 190+, I hugged my Dad and my Coach and hobbled back to the hotel.
April 4th was to be two things: Racing for a place on the podium AND playing loud out of control music in Berlin - two things I love doing on the same day.
Then COVID hit. You all know the story from there.
I kept training like an animal and managed to hurt myself several times, for no reason other than I had trained to an athletic peak and thought I was invincible.
I've kept quiet about it but almost every joint in my body had an issue. I kept pressuring myself to train harder. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but two weeks ago I just stopped. I gave myself permission to not train myself into the ground. This is the first time in a long time I've done this.
I've walked every day, I've played tag with my boys, I've done yardwork and swam in our small backyard pool. Of course my body is thanking me. Things are healing. My shoulders, knees and hips are starting to feel better.
There are so many lessons that only time will give. I remember my Dad telling me that the 40s are the hardest decade. That at some point, you'll start to feel the effects of age.
To paraphrase him, "You don't get to be a stud forever."
While this is certainly true, my 44th year has taught me that there is still a lot left in the tank if you do it wisely. I plan on enjoying my movement and taking it easy, working out some issues and not racing any workouts for a while.
When there's a clear path, the training will start and the working out will stop. They're similar, but not the same. Just typing this provides a great sense of relief, and allows me to start dreaming about places like Dallas and Berlin again.
But first, it's time to heal, to eat right, to follow the plan, and to be held accountable.