October 14, 2006
Ironman Hawaii in 1 week and feather weight Greg vs heavy weight Greg.
(left) 1997 - 180 pounds / (middle) 2000 - 200 pounds / (right) 2006 - 148 pounds
This is pretty funny. We found an old family video of when I was 200 pounds about 6 years ago, and I thought it would be fun to show it to you and compare how my body type has completely changed in the last 6 years. The scale read 148 pounds this morning which is lighter than I've been since high school.
Obviously, I was weight training when I was 200 pounds, but let me tell you that I was NOT healthy. I got sick all the time and every minor cold virus turned into a 5 week bronchitis ordeal. I used an asthma puffer almost every day to control my asthma which I had been suffering with since I was 5 years old. Plus, I had developed a disc bulge which caused sciatica pains in my piriformus and down my leg.
After 6 years of training for Ironman triathlons, my Asthma is completely gone. Also gone are my allergies and I get sick about once a year now and it lasts only for about a week. When I am under 160 pounds, my sciatica disappears. In my opinion based on my experience, being lean and focusing physical energy expenditure toward aerobic fitness rather than the development of copious amounts of lean body tissue is a far healthier way to live.
I know plenty of other latecomer triathletes and marathon runners who have said goodbye to life-long health issues due to a reduction in body fat and a dedication to aerobic exercise. My program is pretty simple: At least an hour of aerobic exercise per day (work your way up to 1.5 to 2 hours per day), eat as natural and healthy as you can, try to do a 3 to 5+ hour endurance activity once per week and stay away from unnecessary medical treatments and medication. It's about as close to a fountain of youth as you can get, and it's attainable by almost everyone.
The Hawaii Ironman is next Saturday - only 7 days away! We leave for Kona on Wednesday and I am really, really looking forward to it. My goal for the last 3 years has been to qualify for Ironman world championships in Kona and now that I have succeeded, I just want to enjoy my race in Hawaii. A personal best of 10.25 hours in the heat, humidity and winds of Kona is really unlikely, and a top finish in my division just isn't going to happen, so I'm not going to stress about having the perfect race.
I've developed a bit of an ankle injury which could make a long day even longer, but that's OK. My only goal next Saturday is to cross the finish line within the 16 hours they give you. And smile a lot.