Challenge: 70.3

So tomorrow I officially start training for the Ironman 70.3 which is one month. Yes, one month. So I looked up everywhere on line for a one month training plan and the craziest one was 6 weeks. Yes, 6 weeks and that’s one plan that I had to dig up. I have 4 weeks left. There was nothing out there that even recommended a one most training plan. Here goes.

Can I do it? I mean, truth be told, yes! I could, but it’s not just about finishing, it’s about finishing strong and going through each discipline with confidence and grace. At last year’s Challenge ( half iron distance) I also didn’t have a training plan but I was always swimming, biking and running. I finished in 6 hours and 10 minutes. Not bad for my first ever half iron distance and no training plan.

But this year is different. I haven’t been biking at all and that scares me, Have been barely running and have been mostly swimming ( the smallest fraction of all three disciplines). So am I worried? I’m just confused, excited and a little scared. I’d like to finish in under 6 hours 30 minutes really just because I get bored out there and because I don’t want to be out there for so long. I just don’t.

So here’s what I’m going to do. Train super hard for a month, listen to my body, eat even better and hope I don’t crack. So wish me all luck and I may just keep you posted ( not that anyone should care)

swim

At last year’s challenge Bahrain

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The one word that keeps us from greatness

He was having a smoke. It was the weekend and he was out. It’s called social smoking nowadays. It helps with blending in also helps in striking a conversation with strangers, (e.g. do you have a light? oh! Zippo, nice. Where’d you get that one from? Or would you like a light? ). I was having a hamburger and it was the weekend and I was entitled to it. I deserve it, don’t I? I eat healthy all week long and I need my weekly treat. But I wake up feeling horrible the next morning. Heavy and sluggish, maybe cause I ordered the triple whopper with cheese and bacon. But it’s my treat and I only eat that once a week so I might as well go all out. That was 2012 though, I’m sure i’d feel the same now if I did so.

The B student keeps getting B’s cause he just can’t bothered to push through and study more. That isn’t his goal in life. But my goal is to be as healthy as I can . What about my treat? You know what they say : ” Everything in moderation”. That right that’s a recipe for disaster. Actually no, wait its not a disaster, its balance. It’s just a recipe for mediocrity. You wont be at your very best, but you’ll be okay. It’s fine if you don’t want to be world class but what if you want to be really good at it? And better than everyone else? Then moderation is what’s keeping you from it.

So finally the World health organization (WHO) has linked the consumption of meat with cancer and various diseases. But the media tells you, “like my grandma used to say everything in moderation”.

I eat 99% plants ( which means fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and seeds ). I have never felt better, sharper and conscious. But they tell me to have some animal products, you know moderation. Why would I want to eat something that may or may not cause cancer ? Would you tell someone smoke in moderation? Drink in moderation? Sleep in moderation? Watch tv in moderation? . Probably yes. That’s why we’re not at our best. Quit smoking. Quit animal products. Quit late nights. Quit Tv and watch as you flourish and rise above mediocrity. Every time I stay true to myself and stick to committing a 100%, I feel better a 100%, as soon as I fall back to moderation and tell myself, it’s okay, stay up and watch tv, browse longer, I end up feeling not a 100% and that’s not how I want to function in my life.

So, if you want to be average at anything then do it in moderation.

What is balance anyways? Who made the rules? What’s balance for you isn’t balance for me, it all depends on our life goals. I want 100% a 100% of the time, I just have to stick.

The characters we play

As I walk in to that door, I automatically super charge and transform into the energetic instructor I’m suppose to be. I greet everyone with a smile, say good afternoon or evening and get warmed up in the instructors room. You see,that room to me is like behind the curtains for actors that are getting ready to say their lines and play their role on stage. The only difference between me and them is my colleagues don’t know that i’m rehearsing. And that can be hard, because I may end up offending somebody or giving someone a bad impression. I don’t like that but the job must get done.

I come home, mellow down and let my guard down for a while before I go to bed. It’s relaxing. Most of the time I don’t have a show to put up after 9 pm. But as I wake up in the morning I should or else I get depressed and get nothing done.

Then, I turn into this quiet-ish little boy when I’m with my parents because I haven’t got that much to say and I also have to be extra careful about what comes out. So I refrain from being too loud or saying stuff that’ll probably make them think twice about who this person is.

Then I have 3 group of friends. The 1st group I can let my guard down completely and just be “me” and say what needs to be said. The second group is those who kind of look up to me in a way and I have to be that shining example and not let anybody down. The 3rd group is the one where I have to be nice cause they’re nice too, they’re more acquaintances than friends and so I have to be well-behaved.

Then comes the smoothie man where I’m the founder and the representative. So I have to be top-notch at customer service and make sure that I don’t end up insulting anyone due to their ignorance. Not that anyone is. Just saying. I not only have to be at my very best, I also have to convince them to buy and why this is actually good for them, and how I’m doing them a favor and no matter where they look in this island, they’ll not find great quality whole foods for this affordable price.

Here’s the issue. When you lose yourself and start playing another character in the wrong place. Here’s an example, a customer called and told me she wanted smoothies, she mentioned what fruits she wanted in her smoothies and what to exclude. She told me she doesn’t like bananas. I said “okay, how about mangoes? ” “Not a fan sorry”, she replied. “ok then, I’ll put in some avocados for you”. “sorry those too”.  I simply blurted: ” I feel sorry for you, are you serious?”  Long story short, she didn’t text/call back that following day. And at times my wife tells me ” I’m not your friends okay. I’m not Ahmed or Nasser. How can you talk to me that way”. Mmm oops? Back to character Hady, back to character.

When I play such intense characters. It’s hard. It’s hard to get out of them quick and it’s hard not to offend people. But I mean all good, I promise. I don’t wanna hurt anybody. People either love me or hate me. That grey line is quite rare. I can be a little straightforward at times. I just forget which character I’m playing. I’m exhausted already naming all them.

Challenge almost accomplished

2 days ago (25th October, 2015) was the last day for my 30 day writing challenge. I then had a 2 day mini vacation and am now writing this. I didn’t write everyday for 30 days but I managed to write 25 posts and that’s pretty damn good! If I didn’t have a challenge then I’m sure that I would have not even maybe written 15 posts.

Not that I didn’t take my challenge serious but at days I was just exhausted and I couldn’t think of anything good to write, and in other days I refrained from writing cause I feared that the topic I had in mind was not very friendly, so I slept it off and waited for the next best thing. But it didn’t happen too often, as I only missed 5 days out of 30. What have a I learnt from this experience? That a month passed by anyways.

But the difference was that I had 25 posts under my sleeve and my writing muscle was beginning to show. I felt more confident writing after day 20. I have something to look back too and say ah! Yes! I can write and I can create controversy. Did writing become a habit? No, not yet. Maybe if I wrote 30 posts then it would have. I don’t know. But for now, I feel like I can stop writing easily and I don’t like that. So since another month is gonna pass by anyway I want it to count again.

I am going to extend my writing challenge to another 30 days, as hard as this may be, I want to do it anyways. I’m just very busy doing stuff. But I still want to write and since writing has become easier than last month, I’d like to add a challenge along side that. Not sure what yet, but I will. I’ll think about something appropriate. Something that doesn’t scare me too much and something I’ll actually look forward to doing. Or else burnout is what’s going to happen. And that is not good.

How’s your month going to pass by? Any plans?

Back to the future!

I look back to the past and think man those were the days!!! NOT. I didn’t really enjoy my past and I’m having so much more fun now. And that’s the point right? To be happier and to be content with where you are now. I watched back to the future on video (VHS ) but now I can watch it on blu ray! And I can hoover board if I felt like it. Back then I used to have to do homework..well, let me rephrase that. I used to pretend to do homework. I had a gift of staring at the ceiling as told by my parents. I think back and say wow.I’d actually sit in my room for hours and do nothing and I still didn’t get any homework done.

School work was boring for me, but I sure loved school. It was the highlight of my day everyday until the weekend came, then I was probably grounded for something I did a while ago or I wasn’t allowed to go out after 9 etc .Then the week started and I’d go kukoo on my teachers and everyone else. But no homework for me please.

I have seen michael J. Fox’s transformation from a healthy good looking guy/actor to a Parkinson’s patient.The bright side is due to this he now runs the Michael J. foundation for Parkinson’s research and they have an awesome goal which is “The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson’s today“. Maybe you should donate and maybe I will too. I think I most definitely will, It’s nice to do something good for the good of humanity and its even nicer when you’re not affected by it, but out hearts still go out to those suffering. I don’t think I’d ever donated to a cause I had nothing in common with nor do I have much knowledge of and don’t personally know anyone suffering from it. I usually pay to get some sort of raffle or I’m getting something back like entry to a carnival.We all change, some for the better, some for the worse and some for the better in certain aspects of their lives and some for the worse in certain aspects. I’d like to think I changed to the better… I think. No, I’m sure, I certainly do not agree with a lot of what Hady Jr did. But would I change any of it? I don’t think I wanna answer that. What’s the point. I would have been someone else. And you wouldn’t be reading this. Then you’d all be missing out on a pattern-less post. You’d probably yell something like “BACK TO THE FUTURE HADY”

Do you have this sleeping problem as well?

I woke up at 6am and started my day. Drank water, exercised, prayed, read, and went to work. I left the house and it was absolutely hot, I hated myself. The sun was bothering me, the cars were getting too close to me and the traffic lights seemed to be making a practical joke out of me.

I slept at 12 am and woke up at 6 am. Pretty good right? Every time I get 5-6 hours of sleep, I end up making the worse decisions and get annoyed at uncontrollable things like the sun. I don’t function with coffee and/or tea, that’s not the way I roll. If I did have any then I’d be anxiously annoyed at all of the above. I also realize that I don’t handle conflicts well when I don’t get enough sleep. For instance, a student asks me a question in class and I get annoyed. Why are you going off-topic? I also become a little melodramatic, If I hear two people in the teacher’s room whisper I feel like shouting at loud “You’re talking about me aren’t you?, Just admit it. Aren’t you? Huh?”

Today I had 9 hours of sleep and I left home and stared at the sun for a couple of seconds, and smiled. The traffic jam seemed enjoyable and I used the time to calmly listen to podcasts. The traffic lights opened up its arms to me and said ” You have smiled upon us and for that, we give you the green lights”. I go to work and look at paper work and say “that’s it”.

I think most if not 99% of society is under slept due to distractions or in my case because when I come back from work at 9:15 pm I don’t feel like going right to bed. I wanna have a conversation,I wanna read and maybe also write a little. So I end up doing a little of all 3 and hate myself in the process. But last night I slept at 10 and woke and did a little of all 3 and loved myself for it and it’s just 10 am. I can even nap a little too.

I end this with a quote: ” Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you need less sleep, if they do, then walk away and never look back”

Our society and food

A customer of mine was talking to me about how her grand daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (she’s 5) and what do I recommend she feeds her. I told her to feed her whole foods, foods that aren’t processed and closest to nature.

She then told me “but the thing is, she loves potato chips, chocolate and ice cream”.

Mmm okay! She’s 5. You control what you feed her and not the other way around.
I do agree that type 1 diabetes is genetic but all of this could have been delayed to a much older age if they took care of what she eats.

Do you think if commercial chocolate was replaced with cacao avocado chia pudding, and potato chips with baked sweet potatoes, and ice cream with home-made nice cream, shawarma with good old steamed rice and veggies, candy with ripe sweet cold fruits ,burgers with home made quinoa burger with low oil and salt, that she would have caught it this young??!? IMPOSSIBLE. Not this young at least . Her childhood now is being monitored with a sugar level machine that’s tied to her arm all the time.

You’re going to have to battle society when it comes to living healthy, especially when it come to kids. Everyone thinks they know best. I’ve been battling society, family and friends and still get the occasional false lectures. Love it. That’s the only way you’ll survive.

As a father now , I know I’ll have to battle society, family and friends and I’m going full on head first. As my dad said about kids “somethings you don’t have to convince them about ” and I don’t have to convince anyone about why I choose a healthy lifestyle for my family and myself. Some people call me extreme. You know what’s extreme: A FIVE YEAR OLD DIABETIC, AN OBESE KID, HEART DISEASE. THAT’S EXTREME not a plant based lifestyle. Lol we all have it backwards. I’m just grateful that I opened my eyes before it was too late

So let the battles begin. Cause I’m fully charged.

And another thing to those who say “well, its genetic and I’m going to get sick anyways”. Are you listening to yourself? It’s like saying my iPhone will be damaged a year or two from now so I’ll use it as my squash ball. Do you see what I’m saying?!

And to all those YOLO’s out there, you’re not just affecting yourself when you eat like shit but you’re affecting the generations to come after you. How do you think diseases are genetically transferred? Someone had to start eating like YOLO and now you’re genetically gifted with 90% chance of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Break the cycle and fix your self and so you give those who come after you a better and cleaner shot at life.

What’s on my mind right now.

I didn’t feel like writing today but I feel like I’ve missed enough writing days already and everyday I write the better I get at it and the easier the flow of ideas. I must write. But I don’t have a particular topic to write about today but what I do know is this… I want to declutter! And what better way than to write what’s on my mind.

I guess I’ll start with emotional declutter. I want to make more space, I sometimes feel like we’re all just bloated emotionally and being bloated is just bad.It’s like you’re fat but you’re not. Space being taken for no good reason. Actually the reason is that we put in unwanted food into us or unnecessary food and our bodies way of acting out is by taking a stand and telling you “Hey!…stop it mister”. That’s how I feel my mind can get and that gets to you physically as well. I don’t usually post stuff like this, cause this isn’t how I think but today maybe the start of a beautiful journey. One with less stuff to carry around. Thinking about it is relaxing.

I guess this makes my post for the night. I usually write double the amount, but this is less nonsense for you to read then. Hope this helps in any way and incase the message didn’t across, what I’m trying to say is “Declutter”.

Today’s triathlon!

It started at 6:30 am. By 5:45, I was I having breakfast (dates and bananas) and sipping on a liter of water.

I told myself I have loads of time, but the water I was sipping on ( 1 liter ) really made time fly. It was 6!!!! I got my bike, packed my bag and just took off and in the car  I realised that I  forgot my swimming cap and goggles in my apartment, so I took 10 seconds to decide  whether I go back for them or not, I ended going back up since they were essentials and I’d basically be setting myself up for a disastrous swim.

I get there 6:20 and the bike racks are all taken and there’s no place for mine, so I was forced to lean it against a wall somewhere behind all the bikes. Anyways I get to the beach and 2 minutes later and its showtime! It’s 2 laps of 750m. The first lap was a technique mess where everyone is just struggling to get in a good swimming position and we’re all trying not to get sucker punched or kicked by the swimmer next to us. The second loop was very smooth for me, I had a good steady heart rate and I was using the best technique I know of and did pretty good ( 34 mins). Not bad for a 6 day swimming training plan ( which I only did 5 of ).

Then moving on the bike, I put on my shoes and ran to the start line and took off nice and easy, I haven’t been on a bike in 2-3 months and the last time I actually was on a bike I did a 20k ride which I struggled to complete. I was mentally prepared cause it was all a big nice day out where I get to ride my bike. Everyone was passing me and I enjoyed smiling at them and giving them a thumbs up. So this was also a 2 loop course (20/20) and the first loop was pretty easy but the second loop wasn’t hard but boring, all I was thinking of is how can people ride for 180km, GOD!!

I had no motivation to push whatsoever, I just wanted the ride to be over with, I wasn’t really tired, just had a sore butt due to not being on the saddle for a long time.Then comes along a friend ( bless her ) and we start and have a conversation about kids and she just gave me that push ( thanks Dana, oh and by the way she’s a mother who has a one year old, now feel bad for yourself for not working out) and I eventually left her behind but that conversation and her faster pace made a world of difference. I finally finished in 1:30 ( one hour, 30 minutes and not one minute, 30 seconds. I’m not there yet) and I was pretty pleased with myself for riding on a pretty good pace with no pain on ZERO training.  Then I handed over the chip to my fellow team member to go out and run. Boy, was I glad that it was over cause the weather was beginning to get hotter and it got brutal, so I finished in perfect timings where I enjoyed a good breeze on the bike. She arrived half dead from the 10k run, it was definitely a hot one. I got sunburnt  

 and I promised myself I’d sleep early but here I am.

ok FOOD. Most people wonder what I ate before the race and I mentioned it above but that’s the wrong question . The right question is what did you eat the day before? We run on last night’s glycogen on not on breakfast. For dinner the night before I had an amazing banana date smoothie that tasted like candy. 

  

  

 Anyways its past 12 so maybe I should name this ” The triathlon I did the day before?”