A Bit Of Irony…

Life can be a bit ironic and to that extent I have a bit more metal/iron (bad pun) in my hand to prove it. It’ll be four weeks ago on Monday when I will have broken (possible understatement of my year) my left thumb and hand getting a bit too aggressive on my mountain bike. It feels like an eternity and to prove it most of my lacerations have healed and since scared over.

The irony?

Today is my first direct post to the new blog in which I am supposed to be talking up being an athlete and a first responder or some combination of the two. Currently I am neither. Ha! Life is so damn cruel.

I suppose if it were fair though, I wouldn’t be sharing my thoughts on much of anything, let alone living a healthier lifestyle and working in a profession in which I served the community in which I live.

That means that in the past 4 weeks I have been on the single biggest hiatus from training in my adult life. I really never trained at all until I was an adult, never did a thing that was focused until I was 23 or so. When I did fall into sport I hit the accelerator hard and pushed it to the floor board.

The only certain take away I have is that this sucks. As someone who loves to train and genuinely and authentically get fit and do work this kills me. I have never once trained so that I could look in the mirror and like what I see, the guys who lift so that they can work their beach muscles can have it, I want to operate in any environment and crush it.

This has been a tough road and everyday that goes by it actually gets a bit tougher. I should premise this with letting you know I am not the kind of guy that cannot take rest days or lives solely for the next workout. I am a big fan of training but have found that over the years the best formula for me is one based in balance. You’ll find as your read my blog over time that I not only believe that becoming a better athlete should make you a better person but that a great athlete (excluding true compensated professionals) is one who can operate across the broadest range of activity and skill sets.

As a first responder if you don’t believe you are a tactical athlete and that you need to tend to your body as much as any piece of equipment on the rig than you are a liability.

First and foremost I am a tactical athlete, the least sexy denizen of the workout woods. We are seldom super fast or quick, have power but not so much that others sit back in awe and if we were really all that coordinated would have been able to capitalize on our incredible work ethic.

Being in “shut-down” mode kills guys like me (and probably you), not because we cannot take a break but because we cannot be active and above all else we cannot work or contribute to the mission and purpose of the team.

So the lesson in all this, no doubt it is the same as it has always been and without a doubt the same as when I was racing ironman triathlons (I did 20 of them, including Hawaii a bunch of times). Be patient and never get too caught up in any one emotion.

The good, the bad or the ugly.

Why? Because they all pass and as it relates to the tactical athlete who is broken and non-operational you could get seriously off course. You feel good and you false start and go against the better judgement of your body and you don’t just put off your recovery you jeopardize your entire future and possibly career. The bad and you get so down you don’t do the very next right thing to put yourself in a better position to be closer to resume operations soon enough.

The ugly?

This is where you need to be really careful. You loose your mind, you start popping too many of the pills, you throw a massive pity party or worse than all you loose faith in your body, brain and heart. The ugly takes you down a road that precludes you from ever coming back. Then not only do you loose your fitness and so much more, your injury wins.

I’ve been out before and I’m a bit wiser now. I’ll be back soon enough and because I know how to play this game I will come back stronger and better prepared to contribute and do work, maybe even still win a few more races. In the meantime I’ve got plenty of time to write and peck on the keyboard with my one good hand.


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