Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Good Things Come From Open-ness

I've followed Alan Couzens on Twitter for a while, and finally I said to myself, "Why am I not friends with this guy yet?" I had to get a conversation going. He's an extremely intelligent exercise physiologist and coach, he seems like a cool dude, and I had a hunch we'd be good allies with lots to chat about.

I was right. Since reaching out on a DM, we've exchanged many emails--aka modern-day pen pals--and I even mentioned him on a recent blog regarding his "performance pyramid" concept. I've picked his brain on a bunch of stuff--exercise physiology, training peaks, data tracking for athletes, you name it. And I think he's also (maybe... hopefully?) learning a little bit from me. I know he listens to Endurance Planet... I'm assuming he's a lucho fan like the rest of the world ;)

There's one area that Alan and I are gravitating to in our conversations--health, and more specifically health for endurance athletes--and it seems this "movement" is gaining momentum.

Of course, I shared my story with Alan about having to step back from sport, and find my path back to health after going a wee bit overboard, which I wrote about here and here. Then Alan came back with one of the most incredible blog posts/personal accounts I've ever read on one's athletic journey.

Seriously an awesome post, and I'm not the only one who noticed. Alan said by opening up that he's received and amazing outpouring--interestingly many people saying they've had a similar journey with slightly different details. In fact another guy who I don't know personally but who I follow and respect immensely, Gordo Byrn, responded to Alan's post by writing this on his blog, and I quote from that post:

"A – I could never do that.
G – Never do what?

A – I could never share my story.
G – You might want to be careful with that.

A – Careful with what?
G – Be careful about making affirmations to conceal your truth

When you start to share your truth, you’re likely to discover that it’s really our truth.
Be brave."

...Ok, so I kinda just copy/pasted half the post, but, seriously, this is good stuff. I love where this is going! The words are simple yet so powerful.

In my last email with Alan, he added the commentary:

"In the absence of open-ness, we all wind up making the same mistakes." 

I want to continue being open. I have many more details in my story that I will share in time. In fact, I have shared it all already with my close circle--guys like Alan, Lucho, Dr. Maffetone, Dr. Minkoff, and of course my family and friends all know my details. Sometimes sharing everything seems scary....putting yourself out there, being vulnerable, accepting you did this or that by writing it for all to see. I'm sure there will always be those who criticize, judge and the haters (my friend and fellow podcaster Vinnie Tortorich always tells me that the haters just mean "you've made it," I like that, haha).

I want to be open because right now I have so much passion in me and this intense drive to foster a movement of promoting health+performance for athletes! If I can help even a dozen people stay healthy, then it's worth any hateful comments. I encourage you to do the same. Send me an email, write a comment on this post, start your own blog... we will only get smarter as athletes and coaches if we share our stories, the hard parts especially. I've read a bunch of fairytale Kona-qualifying blogs and the like. I know how that story goes; I've written similar ones myself (just not Kona as the starring race). I'm not discounting what it takes to get to that level and execute a fairytale race. But I want to hear the real shit.

Like Gordo says, "when you start to share your truth, you're likely to discover that it's really our truth."

1 comment:

  1. YES and this is where i have headed with my blog. i just need to find a way to not make it seem like my life is awful and that i am whining. sometimes you just need to know someone else has felt the same thing you have and has moved forward. so i continue to share. :) xo