Training with Wisdom

Age brings slower times, and sorer muscles, but there can be something good attached to wrinkles, and that is wisdom. For me, wisdom brings balance to my training. At least compared to what I used to do or wanted to accomplish. I cannot do junk miles, I become too sore. My body won’t hold up to a lot of running or aggressive brick (bike to run) workouts. I allow myself more sleep; I don’t swim as much in the wee hours of the morning. Mental arguments don’t ensue such as “I really should pack and bring a bucket load of run or bike stuff to my early morning swim so I can work out more after. If I don’t, I will feel so lame… I could get in nearly 3 hours of training before work if I was more disciplined.” Now, at my ripe o’ age of one day before 60, I treasure taking it all a bit more slowly.

My feeling is, if I focus on staying balanced, I will perform better and be happier. That means with a little less IM training I can sleep enough to support my work and athletic life with eyes wide open. If I eat more nutritiously, I will recover faster and could lose a few pounds. With more stretching and strength training thru yoga and weights I can stay in the aero bars longer and run after with more flexibility. Most importantly if I don’t linger on negative stuff about what I am NOT doing, I will have more brain space to get more things DONE. So that’s one benefit of wisdom.

Wisdom also brings greater gratitude. I mention gratitude often, but really feeling it, is something only time and life experiences can fertilize. Feeling fortunate for free time, financial means and physical ability to train and have workout friends gives me the motivation and energy to DO STUFF with passion. As I biked past the local cemetery on Memorial Day, which was filled with fresh flowers and proud American flags I just thanked the spirit of life for being ‘able’.

We all are imperfect, and with wisdom one can better accept setbacks. If we try to be too perfect … we implode. Wisdom allows me to move thru my imperfections and appreciate with humor, the flawed outcome. I got a life that I want to live with a lot of energy. Having big goals, such as winning my age group in an Ironman, or specifically doing so in my 8th Ironman, I need to feel fit, healthy, flexible and happy. Plus, the flipside, it is all a fun game in life; don’t take it too seriously. We know there are always more important challenges and goals than training for these darn Ironman’s but the process of it, can be life expanding.

Wisdom allows me to be more mentally flexible when reaching for difficult goals. IM training gives me immense physical flexibility. The combination makes me stronger in many many areas, more so than in just triathlons.

- Jan Guenther

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