By Glenda Kirkby.
Part of “Getting Some Ambassador Maintenance” series of posts.
Now that you have established a relationship with your body and your body has accepted that your mind is in charge and is making the decisions, it’s time to look at the maintenance of that body. Like any high performance things, whether it’s a car or an animal, like a horse, it needs special care.
First, there’s the fuel. As ambassadors, you’ve had the seminar on nutrition so you know what’s right and what’s not, and you might be using the thought of food to get you through a long session but you need to have strong control over what food you consume. Sure, you can measure your usage via your Polar, which will happily tell you that you’ve just used 450kcal, but that doesn’t mean you can pick up a six pack on the way home, or drop by the drive through for some greasy chicken. You wouldn’t put cheap, low octane fuel in your Ferrari so don’t put rubbish into this high performance machine that your body is becoming. Eat well and eat clean.
Your high performance body also needs some special treatment. Find a good masseur! It may take some shopping around to find the right one because some may be too hard on your muscles and a session on the table, which should be good for you, leaves you fearful of the next appointment. Some will be too soft, those ones are designed for the body you used to have, not for these incredible emerging muscles that you now possess. Hopefully you’ll find the right one and be able to book a regular session. Trust me, when you’re in full training a massage is not a luxury, it’s an essential.
You might get a regular niggling pain, or even major pain at some stage, then it’s time to get a physical therapist. They can not only show you the right exercises to do to overcome the pain, but will also give you therapeutic massage for that particular area or even dry needling and acupuncture.
My regular maintenance is provided by a chiropractor. She uses specific massage, dry needling and manipulation to straighten out the bits of my body that are complaining the most. I get a very stiff neck after long bike rides or a very long swim session (I also get that when the stress levels at work get high) and after one or two sessions with my chiropractor I feel like a new woman. (Nobody notices that I’m new so I guess it must be an internal thing.)
The final maintenance trick is to have quiet times with the people you love. They are changing too so that they can accommodate the new, focused (and muscular) person they live with. The team needs to chill sometimes, maybe with a special breakfast, or even a longeasy walk with the dog. Down time for your new body and mind is as important as training.
There you have it. Your “team” should be your nutritionist (you), your masseur, your physio or chiropractor, and your personal powerhouse, which is your family. You know the way winning athletes always thank their team, they are not just saying that, it’s real, so choose well.
Short bio of Glenda:
I was always active, but not sporty, then in my 40’s realised that I was getting a bit, well, let’s face it, fat! So, at 43 I took up jogging, which turned into the occasional fun run and eventually into a very slow half marathon. At 49 I took up swimming and managed just 25 metres on my first attempt but increased that by another 25 metres each time I went to the pool. At 55, I took up triathlon because I’d seen other people who were older, or bulkier than me, out there doing it and loving every minute. At 61 I became a Win4Youth Ambassador and nailed a personal best at Palma de Mallorca by 28 minutes! That same year I represented Australia at the World Duathlon Championships (run/bike/run) and came 7th in my age group. This year I’m back as a Win4Youth Alumni with Lanzarote ahead of me. If I can do it, anyone can.