Every human being has felt the ups and downs of motivation.
In relation to my health and fitness, I experienced a lifetime high in 2016. I had great ambitions, I worked damn hard and I achieved the goals I had set for myself. Towards the end of 2016 I experienced some lows that I now feel ready to share.
Crossing the finish line of the Ironman 70.3 in Zell Am See, Austria was one of the highlights of my entire life. Coming 2nd in the Cornwall Triathlon Series was also a great and completely unexpected achievement. I was on such a high. I had experienced the most amazing summer with this incredible sense of purpose. I had a goal and I had decided to dedicate my precious 6 weeks teaching summer holiday to training – swimming, cycling and running in 4 amazing locations. Mallorca, Switzerland, Italy and Austria. It was incredible and I met some awesome people along the way. I was 100% the healthiest and fittest I had ever been.
However, when I came home to England and got stuck back in at work, I felt the formidable low that often follows a major high. My greatest joys come from being outside and I believe that I suffer from an element of SAD (I think most do!) The weather began to deteriorate and the nights drew in and suddenly I couldn’t get out on my bike, go for a coastal run or sea swim. I was stuck inside without a new goal or purpose and struggling on where to refocus my energy. I like to think that I am a really positive person. So this lack of inspiration felt a bit alien to me. I decided to take up some new sports and give triathlon a little break. I started a beginner yoga course and dabbled in some indoor and outdoor climbing. I still swam every Thursday and the bike would come out whenever sunshine or daylight hours allowed it. But yet I still felt the same.
Making a Change
I loved my job, working with special needs, but suddenly the more overwhelming elements of the job (that I used to cope with) become too overwhelming. I found myself crying on a weekly and eventually daily basis. Friends and family became concerned. I felt guilty that I felt unhappy despite having incredible family, amazing friends, a great guy and a job that I love.
I had a light bulb moment one Sunday and it might seem a little extreme to those that don’t know me. But I decided to move to Sydney. I decided that being outdoors to do the things that I love (and feeling the sun on my skin) was the only way out of a black hole. So on Monday I handed my notice in and it was like an enormous weight was lifted and I recognised myself again. It also meant that I would be able to attend a family wedding in New Zealand and experience precious family moments that I would have otherwise missed out on. It was a major decision but definitely the right one.
After a lovely time in New Zealand with the people that mean the most, I am now starting a new chapter in Sydney and I am so excited for what life might bring again. On Sunday I forced myself to step on some scales again to see the extent of the damage. I haven’t had to weigh myself in over 2 years! I had put on 10kgs since the Ironman in August. At 33 % body fat, I am technically overweight. I am pretty lucky that I am tall and so I can hide it pretty well. But I can feel it in myself and the buttons on my shorts can feel it too!
Now that I feel myself, I am completely up for the challenge of getting fit and healthy again. 100 healthy days 2017 is ON! I am 5 days in and feeling incredible already about what lies ahead. My overall health and my body is in for an overhaul and I hope to share my progress and ideas along the way.