The Born Again Athlete Syndrome

I had stated in an earlier post that I have been compared in recent months to a “born again Christian”, or a newly non-smoker. You know these types. They have discovered something new so anything they see contrary to their new belief system becomes their nemesis and their responsibility to eradicate it.
I know this about myself. But there is something that should be known also. I don’t do it to “be a dick” or an ass. It’s like what you parents used to tell you when they spanked you (back when a parent could actually discipline a child without fear of being arrested), that it was because they cared about you and loved you. When I see people I care about going down the same path I did I want to stop them, and have been doing so vocally.
I think I just have to stop.
I recently read a saying that I have to start taking as a mantra.
You can stand in the sunshine, and be a good role model, but you cannot make a person change.
I want to share a letter that I sent earlier to Vinnie Tortorich concerning his podcast today (edited somewhat):
When you were going over the triathlon/triathlete issue I am glad to hear you state that you were not looking down those of us that are still working on our weight and running these races. You were spot on when you stated how frustrated we get with the fact that we can train our asses off six days a week and not lose a damn pound. I had thyroid cancer so it’s making this journey longer than it needs to be, but since starting the NSNG lifestyle I am starting to see weight loss again.
On the shoe issue, I am not sure if you read my blog or not but I made the mistake you were talking about. I had been using Brooks and Asics 12mm drops and got ragged on a bit by Danny Dreyer during his Chi Running clinic for wearing bricks. Going against my best knowledge I signed up to review for the Blog a lair of Saucony Zero drops, and being the highly intelligent person that I am, did it a week before a 70.3 race in Ocala that was partly on trails. Of course I strained my Achilles where it connects at the heel. I did the race anyway, my intelligence showing again, and ended up walking the entire run portion of 13.1 miles. I have since healed (pun intended) and went to a pair of Asics with a 10mm drop, so it sounds like I am doing as you recommended. Still being large, 237 pounds down from over 300, I need some cushion.
Thanks once more for the podcast. I have sent many people over to you. Some stick with it (Jennifer, Cheena/Cindy) and some don’t, but we can only stand in the sunshine and provide a good example. We can’t make people change.
I share this for a few reasons. The first being that I highly recommend this podcast. The banter between the hosts and guests are great. If you’re not averse to language, this is definitely a great place to get a good overview of eating the No Sugar No Grain lifestyle. Another podcast I would highly recommend is the Fit Fat Fast one with Jon Smith. Jon is highly educated and knowledgeable in this area, especially in metabolic syndrome issues. He is a great resource mostly because he’s been where I am, so he knows the trials and tribulations associated.
The second being that even with the best of us, although we train 6 days a week, have issues and make dumb mistakes. For all I know in 6 months we will find out that everythign I have leanred in the previous 6 is wrong and that we should all be eating tree bark and drinking urine. If that happens, then I will alter my training accordingly.
So, loyal reader, is it a bad thing to be vocal in newly found knowledge, or is it better to let people remain ignorant to the dangers associated with the things they eat? Maybe a compromise, like pointing it out, then leaving it up to them is the way to go?
Let me know!

4 thoughts on “The Born Again Athlete Syndrome

  • May 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Brad…I don;t think, as far as i recall, that he said “ditch these shows and buy zero drops”. He selected a variety of shoes from the group, mine being one of them, and pointed out that they were like running with bricks tied to your feet. His whole message, even to a teen that was there and asked about the shin issues she has running on concrete, that it is about your form, not the shoe. So while not coming out and saying it, I would say he gave the impression he felt that way. At least to a few of us. Regardless, I believe in this running method, but I am back to a 10mm drop (from a 12mm) and will work my way down the correct way. Do we need to talk about coaching?

  • May 22, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I agree. In your blogs, state what you believe and if it rings true with your readers then they will have information to take with them. If it doesn't then no big deal. Did Danny Dreyer state that you should move to a zero drop immediately? I am a running coach and I would have never, ever told you to move to a zero drop cold turkey. It encompasses completely new muscles, so it needs to be eased into. My athletes moving to a zero drop takes 8 weeks, and they do not run in the shoes for the first two weeks. If that was the case I have lost all respect for Danny.

  • May 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Your blog is the perfect way to do this. I learned the hard way. Two years ago when I went Paleo and lost that “last 20 lbs” and leaned out, had amazing energy, etc., etc. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! I had the answers! ITS FOOD PEOPLE, NOT EXERCISE! Why wasn't everyone doing this? Hence, I've been called self-righteous, militant, the food Nazi, and my husband even took me aside and said, “All you ever talk about is food and nutrition. I know you're passionate about it. Pick another topic.” It was a gentle way of telling me I was over the top.

    So, now I just lead by example. I am “that girl” at work who eats kale and drinks smoothies that look like vomit (yet taste amazing) and orders my hamburger without the bun. I am also “that crazy endurance girl.” I've dropped my need for Paleo Perfectionism, and am kinder and gentler when (and IF) people ask me about it.

    Like the women at Balanced Bites say “keep your eyes on your own plate.”

    We are quietly making change by choosing to continue to set a good example. (As frustrating as it is!)

  • May 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Good question!! I try to feel people out before I let loose. But on a blog I'd say write away!

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