Eating Right

Eat something but not just anything. More »

Heart

You have gotta have heart- literally (physically) and metaphorically (spiritually). More »

Zero2Hero

Everyone loves an underdog. Learn to love yourself on the road to winning big time. More »

Balancing Act

It is all about balance: mind + body= a healthy and happy spirit More »

Rest

Be Kind. Give yourself a break and get some much needed and deserved REST. More »

NUTrition

NUTrition: You are what you eat or are you? More »

 

NUTrition

Crazy Like A Fox

I made a commitment to live a healthy life without complaining in college when my grandfather’s diabetes got so out of hand that his doctor said he could lose his leg. My grandfather was the only one in my family who was a true jock. He was a golden glove as a teen and loved to be physical. The thought of someone who could beat up men half his age, not even being able to walk was so horrific to me that I vowed not to complain about conditioning or to take my health for granted. And I am proud to say that I have kept that promise to myself (even though at times it was not easy).

I have had a few sports injuries and a few car accidents that have made it challenging for me to maintain my normal fitness routines; however, my commitment to myself has helped me be adaptable. In 2008, I was in a car accident and I was not able to do any high impact sports like running or volleyball for a number of months. Even though it was painful just to move, I spoke to my chiropractor about what I could do in terms of cardio exercise and we agreed upon water walking.

Soon water walking became swimming; shortly thereafter I added cycling. Then it dawned on me that I was two thirds of the way to doing a triathlon, so I sought out a tri team to train with so I could have guidance through the process.

The team did a lot of training rides together including one on a popular tourist scenic route along a street in San Francisco called Lombard.  The first time I did the Lombard ride it kicked my butt. It was my first triathlon season and I was riding a hybrid (a heavy bike compared to a road bike). Also, it may be worth mentioning that our coach was a no show and all of us were lost.

So right after swimming in the Bay, we hopped on our bikes to start a ride across San Francisco. A couple of miles into the ride, we started to climb Lombard (which became my Vietnam, no offense to those who have served). I was DYING on that long hill. I was just spinning away and making no progress. I started to see stars and knew that an asthma attack was on its way. I thought to myself- “Man, I could run faster up this hill! Kamala, you need to figure out a way to get your Black ass up this hill.”

So I put the machismo aside and walked. Although about a half dozen people passed me (and that is never easy on the psyche), I still managed to stay with the pack by tailing someone and speed walking.

By some miracle, I managed to finish before some people who rode the whole way and passed me on that hill as I was walking (and cursing a bit in my head because I didn’t have the oxygen to curse out loud). More importantly, I also managed to finish the workout without real drama (like a major asthma attack). Most importantly, I got my Black ass up that hill.

I am sharing this experience with you all not to toot my own horn, but because part of me felt demoralized about struggling and having to walk a bit. I’m sharing the story because sometimes knowing that other people are feeling challenged too can help more than hearing from someone when they’re at point when it looks easy. The experience really made me realize that at any given point, I can only give what I have at that moment AND that at any given moment, I will always have something to give.

Having a sense of humor and being willing to try a new challenge is so important to training and life in general. Eating healthy is so important to being an endurance athlete and a healthy diet is one of the cornerstones to living a healthy life.

The next group of interviews includes an endurance athlete who rode his bike across the Great Wall of China. Now he rides around educating people about the importance of good nutrition. He is not alone, as you will discover with the next set of interviews that focus on how to eat healthy without going crazy.

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