I started this challenge thinking I had a lot to change, boy was I right. Though not in the obvious areas of diet and exercise, it was reframing my views of training and seeing how my choices affect others. My will is new, my home life is fresh, my outlook is more honest. I really feel transformed.
Throughout this challenge I was reading through “The purpose driven life”, a book that a few years ago made quite a debut. I never read it until now (deeming it a trendy pop culture book) and it made me see things being brought up by the challenge in a new light. Particularly that it is ok for me to pursue this CST stuff vigorously and with honest enjoyment.
Several times my wife and I needed heart to heart talks to sort out issues ranging from who should be doing what chore to my often inconsiderate demands (regarding “challenge related” activities). I feel I am a better husband, with more energy to help my wife be a better woman (while I also be a better man). My wife keeps telling me how proud of me she is, and I want to say that without her incredible support and patience I could not have had the success I have had so far.
I am still amazed at how easy it was to put out an RPE=9+ as the challenge progressed. My last high intensity day was extremely challenging with only 15 seconds between rounds while doing circuit C, but my body just did what I asked of it, and was happy to do so. I pushed myself to my limits and found that they were not really limits at all, just paradigms that needed refocusing.
I didn't have to make too many dietary changes save a redistribution of protein throughout the day. I found that I was eating too much at night and not enough at breakfast. I have not had coffee in what is it now? 8 days? No headaches ( I still drink some tea though) and no real desire for coffee. My digestion feels better, my energy is more level and persistent, I don't need snacks and I enjoy what I eat! Is that enough? I think so.
I would like to share with you a story from this weekend.
I was taking four fighters to a local judo tournament as their coach. I went with them to get weighed in the night before and they all made their goal weight without any difficulties. While I was there I stepped on the scale with my pants and shirt on “just to see”... well I was sitting happily at 80.45 kilos (the cutoff for my division is 80.9 kilos. I didn’t think much of it at the time except that historically I would have to cut a few pounds to make my division and here I was in my street clothes and making weight (thanks challenge for the weight loss)! So the next day rolls around and I walked to the corner store to get a paper for my wife and while I was walking back I remember thinking “I feel really good today, long and lean. I should compete in the tournament today. ...no you shouldnt...why not? What have I got to lose? The Challenge? Naw its only one more day...no...yes...no ...yes” well you get the picture. I ended up competing. I weighed in, fought four fights and got first place. I fought my first fight and lost. I wasn't quite in the game yet. At this point I cannot loose another fight due to the double elimination rule that we use. I fought a fighter from my club, I pinned him for 30 seconds (a win in judo). My face was schooled, I was thinking “I wonder if anyone can see how relaxed I feel right now?”. When I went to the head table to report my win the administrator said “why you're not even out of breath!” (thank you challenge for helping me exhale through effort!).
My second fight was against the first fighter again (only three in the division) I had had a chance to observe him fight more and I knew more of his game now. Maybe two minutes in I used a spinal wave ( Thanks Scott for IOUF!) to pick him bodily from the ground and slam him on his back. I won that fight.
The fourth fight I fought the same guy again (double elimination rears its ugly head). This was a strange fight. I remember literally thinking “do I really want this? It would be so much easier to just lose.” I was getting a little tired, my breathing was faster and my stomach was feeling hollow. Then I thought “this fight right here is easier than my last high intensity day (and it truly was in many ways), so shut up and end it”. I reset myself with a few deep exhales (thank you Challenge for teaching me about determination and perseverance in the face of myself) and I did about a minute later with a large osoto gari (the poor fellow boomed when he hit the mat).
With all due all respect to this fighter, he gave me the best fight he had and it was a very good one. He was very strong and very fast, a real competitor. He was actually fighting up a weight division ( so I out weighed him by about 16 lbs) and he was a blue belt (I am a brown belt). I make it a point to never underestimate someone who will step onto the mat against me. In this case had I done that it would have been fatal. He was an excellent fighter, He has my respect. I suppose that I should also mention that I have done absolutely no judo training since December 21 2006, only RMAX training and the Challenge. I have never felt more physically and mentally prepared for a fight in my life (thanks challenge for showing me that my limits are almost always self imposed)!
Winning this challenge means to me that I have made my changes obvious. It will mean that I will be able to share this experience with the public at large. Like I said in my hump-day report I want to show people that they dont have to be prisoners in their own bodies. I know on a more intimate, personal level how it feels to really challenge myself, and I can now walk through it with others and help them transform.
Finally I would like to say thanks to all of the other competitors in this Second RMAX Transformation Challenge. You have all kept me honest and accountable. I always knew that I could not slack off because you were all giving your best and to do less would be disrespectful to you and would not honor your effort. This challenge has taught me that I am capable of huge things. I hope all of you continue down this path that we have started together and that someday we will meet under some overhanging branch (or pull up bar) and do some walking commandos. It has been a blessing to me, I hope I was a blessing to you all.