I believe that one day, every parent will have the ability to talk about food, exercise and mental health with their kids in an informed and intelligent way. Those conversations are going to require courage, vulnerability and a willingness to continuously learn.
Can you relate to this story?
As a husband, father and sales professional for almost 30 years, I used to be just like you, living a stress filled life no better or worse than anyone else working hard to get ahead. I focused all of my energy on my career and family leaving no time to invest in my own health. I didn't know it at the time but my recipe for success was fundamentally flawed and backwards.
Everything was going according to plan, until one day, on the way home from my son's hockey game, I had an unexpected heart scare! Fortunately, I had not suffered a heart attack but I had come very close. The ER Doctor gave me 2 choices "Go on heart and cholesterol pills for the rest of my life or lose some weight and get in shape". Where do you even begin?
In my 30's I had turned to the usual suspects, the so called experts in the diet and fitness industry but nothing seemed to stick. Because of that, I decided to stop chasing pounds and started investing in my heart every day. A little common sense went a long way. Because I changed my perspective, I was able to find a sustainable process for living heart healthy. Until finally after losing 50lbs and going from the ER to the Ironman 3 times, I realized that fitness is just a moment in time and that true health and happiness can and should last a lifetime.
I love Ironman because of the variety and systematic approach to sustained year round training. I had to learn how to swim and ride a triathlon bike in my 40's and yes, I had to learn how to love running. Running for me is like meditation now. I participate in at least one of these 3 sports every day.
My first 1/2 Ironman proved that anything was possible.
My first full Ironman taught me to believe in myself.
My second full Ironman taught me to be better prepared in sport and life.
My third full Ironman taught me how to manage my expectations, whatever life hands me.