The first rule of Fight Club isÂ...

mhowoodby mhowoodJan 25th 2011
The first rule of Fight Club is…
One of the unforeseen benefits to my new training plan is a 'zen state', or so my wife says.
I'm probably best described as high strung. I normally hate training and would much rather race every single weekend if only I could afford it financially, physically and domestically. 
Triathlon isn't about fitness for me, or camaraderie or any lofty ambitions to cure cancer or a bid to fight obesity. I do it because I love pushing myself until the pain makes me stop... then I get back up and go again.

"After a night in fight club, everything in the real world gets the volume turned down. Nothing can piss you off. Your word is law, and if other people break that law or question you, even that doesn't piss you offÂ..."

I only really understood the meaning of that quote back when I raced motorcycles for a few seasons.
When you're on track, 160 mph down the straights, knee scraping the ground at 100mph, whilst 30 maniacs are all aiming for the same 6 inches of track as you, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. You're either in the moment or you're in an ambulance. After a weekend of that the working week is nothing more than fluffy clouds!

Which brings me back to this zen state.
I spent a long ass time working on what is an absurdly simple plan. It all hinged on my ability to rise early and maintain a focus on timekeeping, and knock out short, quality sessions. So far so good.
My first alarm goes off at 6. The second at 6:15! As Earl says, "Wakey wakey Hands off snakey!"
The boys (3&5) usually wake up and come in and get a cuddle around then. Muchu important!
By 6:30am I'm caffeinated and either at the gym (cycle and swim strength specific), swimming 2km or on one of three 1 hour turbo sessions at home. 

So, what's so different about that you might add? Where's the Zen part?
The difference between myself I think, and some married men with young families, is just how far up the scale of priorities is family-time. I read a lot and hear about a lot of guys who are always complaining about how their partners nag them about training, or give them a hard time about being away from the family.
Yes, I have an Iron Distance event on the horizon but I'll never make it and never enjoy it if the fallout is tension at home.

Anyway back to the plan... 
By 7:45 I'm home and sitting down for breakfast with my boys, with time to do some chores, help get them washed and do my son's reading homework, all before leaving again at 8:30 to be in London for 9:30. Phew. Every day.
This makes the Kids happy. Wife is happy that the kids are happy. Dad's happy because he got an extra hour of Quality (the key word here) training in and that everyone else is happy.  Kids are happy that both Mummy and Daddy are happy. And round we go again...

I'm guessing the zen-part comes from finding that magical balance between home, work and triathlon.
I'm still in Base training, so exhaustion isn't an issue yet but hopefully the physical and emotional groundwork I'm doing now will ease the transition to the next phase.

Need to go now, book a babysitter and take my wife to dinner.
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