How do we offset this focus on our own goals, should we worry about this and where does it end?
Personally I find that the advantages of training include the obvious like being fitter, the collateral benefits such as significant reduction in alcohol intake and the organisational benefits I have touched on before. It is still though a big step to deny my family my presence, or perhaps not (;-), as I set out early on a Sunday for a long ride. Even if I am back by 11 the morning is gone and after 5 hrs riding I am not the most energetic! I would argue though that on my return I am ready to focus on my family and I feel all the better for having been out and done the work.
The question still remains though as to what value we can attribute to our obsession and whether there are ways in which we can give back on the time invested in training, beyond the personal hoped for longevity and sense of well being.
One aspect which I would like to try and focus upon is how we can use our obsession to support others. The fringe benefits of encouraging others to pursue physical fitness both within our families and our workplace are well recognised but sadly these effects are small.
Living as I do in a mixed ethnicity multicultural inner city area with the associated socioeconomically deprived I have started to wonder if there is a way of harnessing the immense energy, skills and wealth of you average ironman to help the local community. Do we have a responsibility through our advantage and ability to help those around us to achieve some of their potential too? And if so how do we do it?
Does this mean I am going to start a hackney youth tri club?? Well I do not think I am the individual to do this. But could I support an aspiring youth athlete and help them to achieve some of their goals? Probably.On a personal level I am now able to run, which is a blessed relief. I also recognise the pattern of injury that goes back to 2005 and is essentially down to tight hamstrings (I think). So I am back on a programme of post exercise stretching which I am sure will be a force for good as I head towards IM Austria.