Tuesday, February 24, 2015

You can have results or excuses, not both.

frozen waterfall
Getting it done in the Palisades

This time of year it feels like the big challenge is to keep up the training even though my big race is 5 months away and the weather is miserably cold and doesn’t seem to want to relent.

To stay motivated and be consistent in my training I am having to use things I have learned in other areas of my life.

Take it one day at a time/one week at a time/one work out at a time/one mile at a time when necessary.

When I look at what I have to do for the whole week sometimes it can be overwhelming, especially if I am tired, but if I just look at what I have to do today I can usually handle it much better.

What's exciting and terrifying about training for longer and longer races each year is looking months ahead to training weeks that just look impossible and then getting to that point months later and pulling it off without too much trouble.  But I find it best not to spend too much time looking ahead and really just taking it week by week, really what I do is look at the week day runs on Monday and then start considering the weekend maybe Thursday or Friday.

Hudson River Greenway
Rain, snow, ice, no problem

Attraction is much more effective than promotion.

I am vegan for health reason as well as ethical reasons and I see why everyone in the world should be vegan today, how they would all lose weight, have more energy, be happier and be working with me to improve the outlook for our planet, but pretty much no one wants to hear my ranting.

I was not convinced to go vegan because someone came up to me and told me why it was best for me.  I came to that realization on my own in my own time.  I stumbled onto the information while looking for inspiration with my running and maybe that is the only way it would have happened.

Plenty of people have put the information out there and it has been packaged in a way that could be appealing to lots of different types of people.  I imagine what I am doing here is just that, repackaging the information to people like myself.

running in the Palisades
Ran into teammate Dylan Armajani out in the Palisades

For some reason, a couple of weeks ago, I went through this major crisis of conscious where I thought maybe I wasn’t doing enough as an ethical vegan to live up to my principles.  I was really stuck on this idea that I should be doing more to convert the people in my life and convince them that they should all go vegan right now.

Guess what happened?  Surprise, surprise it didn’t work and all I succeeded in doing was pissing off my wife, and frustrating myself, and feeling helpless.  It was a big crash and one I would like to avoid in the future.

Luckily, I have a great friend who is vegetarian and has known me for a long time, long before I started my vegan journey.  We were able to sit down and talk through the thoughts I was having and really dig in deep on what was bothering me.  It is so helpful to have at least one person in my life who I can run my "radical" ideas by and check them with someone who feels the same way, but maybe does not feel the same kind of moral imperative to act.

Basically the point we came to was that the best form of vegan activism at this point is for me to be a power of example for the people in my life.  Whether that’s sharing my delicious vegan food with them, talking about how great I feel and what I am able to do on a vegan diet, like run 50 miles in 10 hours, and soon 100 miles in 1 day. 

I had two experiences that really convinced me that this is a very effective strategy.  The first was a moment in class the other day when I sat down to eat my lunch and my whole class was in awe of how beautiful and delicious it looked and began asking me about my eating habits, asking me if I’m vegetarian (no vegan), and then one of my students started talking about her experience going raw and what she knew about why that was a good idea.  There I was talking to my whole class about veganism, without even trying, and in a very natural, nonthreatening, nonpreachy way.

vegan salad and grapes

The other was at my friends Super Bowl party, which I mentioned in my last post.  I made a big pot of Scott Jurkek’s winter vegan chili and folks loved it and began asking me about my experience as a vegan, what I eat, how I feel, etc.

So maybe the key is to let these conversations unfold naturally, and when given the opportunity using the food itself to show people what vegans eat and how delicious and healthy it can be.

portrait in Rec Hall, PSU
Getting in some strength training in the gym this morning

No comments:

Post a Comment