Thursday, August 7, 2008

In or Out

The big story in the No Fun League (NFL) has been about where Brett Fa-frah will play.  
I think a bigger story is his dedication and commitment to his sport.  Let me explain.  

The NFL is brutal.  My college roommates played for the team Brett is going to the (New York Jets) and in college my friends took a beating and issued one as well.  In the NFL (even at 6' 5" and 305 lbs - and lightning fast with the ability to jump and move like you've never seen) it was mostly taking a beating.  Five years later my friends were done.  For Brett to be around as long as he has is a testament to his athletic ability and mental toughness - NOBODY can dispute that.

What I'm talking about is the desire to play and compete at YOUR BEST.  Triathletes will tell you that if you aren't "all in" then you are "out".  Especially at the Ironman distance.  This is why it is very hard to return at your best year after year.  You can see examples of this in guys who go to Kona every year and do well.  Their times vary a bit and it is more than just weather conditions.  It is the condition of their lives that you see played out as well.

For me, I was "all in" from 1998 through 2003 and then again from 2005 (all be it a bit too late) to 2006 when injury from NOT being "all in" and racing 14 races a year caught up to me.
All in means a long swims on Saturday's starting in November and 4 hour bikes in basements or computrainer groups at the right heart rate and power numbers - every Saturday.  It means consistently doing weight workouts and skipping dessert or whatever treat someone is trying to force on you to make you appear more like them because they are mentally threatened about not being as fit as you are.  It means 2 hour runs at the crack of dawn on Sunday mornings in     -10 F where your water bottle freezes solid on the run and Gu is more like taffy than gel unless you put it somewhere "special".

In triathlon if you aren't all in you will get hurt eventually - me - and then have races like I've had in 2008.  So the rest of this season is "training to train".  Or in other words, get fit enough to train properly in order to compete in Ironman.  Honestly, I think this is gonna be a two year process because I'm not liking what I'm seeing so far from the body - but patients grasshopper.  The book on me is open and I thought it always was - but my training log begs to differ.

The book on Brett is re-opened.  As well as the book which looks into his heart - in or out?  I'm just glad the Bears don't have to see him twice a year.  Addition by subtraction for Bears fans.  It still doesn't mean the Bears have a good team or a quarterback.  Neither does Notre Dame - let's hope the freshman QB is really good as Clausen finds himself in another "pickel" over drinking...and he isn't even 21 yet.  Hey dummy...NFL teams are watching and they won't give you the big dollars if you are a booze hound. Stay away from the parties and get better.

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