Monday, February 09, 2009

Adapting to Embrace the Suck

This post has been brewing in my mind for at least a week, and took a few days to actually write, so bear with me on the length.

I just got back from swimming in the pool tonight. For those of you in San Diego, you know what kind of winds we got today, and it definitely didn't die down by the time it was swim time at 7pm. During one of my sets where I was swimming into a head wind, I actually popped my head above water to see if someone was splashing me because of the water kick up from the wind. I swear there were actually swells in the pool! As my roomate would put it: "super gnarly braah".

For sure.

"The more you know, the more you don't"

Back in the fall, when I was asked to attend an accelerated graduate program at UCSD while assuming a new role at work, the first thought that came to mind was "Just suck it up for 11 months and deal with it."

The next thought was "Embrace the suck", which is a phrase my buddy Damian and I coined last year to help deal with adversity, and when I was really picking up the volume for IMLP last year.

But this year presented new challenges in that I knew I had RAAM training, and I knew I had a coach who would not be afraid to throw volume at me. I knew trying to make it all work was gonna suck.

My roomates asked me months ago if I was going to be able to do it all, and I told them that I was just gonna hafta "filter out all the bullshit in life". They thought I did a pretty good job at it as it was (seeing as though I am more of a tenant than a roomate!), but I knew there was room for improvement.

As much as I told myself those things, there was an element of avoiding it. It's kinda like that feeling when you know something hard is coming, and even though it is completely unavoidable, you do everything you can to minimize the damage/pain - kind of like procrastinating. Maybe even doing what you have to do to just survive. I don't know - maybe some of you know what I am talking, some don't.

"Denial just ain't a river in Egypt".
-Twain (via Chuckie)

I am past the denial phase. I am done being stressed out all the f'n time. I am done with the bullshit. It's time to take everything in and embrace it. This is life.

Physically, I am fine. But mentally, I have been trying to find that new gear. The gear that I knew existed, but I was never able to find before because I simply didn't need to. I was looking for that new gear that puts you at a higher level to perform. The gear that makes the comfort zone a thing of the past. The gear that sets the bar for how you live the rest of your life.

I think I have found it.

A few years ago, my neighbor came over and introduced himself. After a little small talk, the topic of endurnace sports came up, and I ended up learning that he won the western state 100 mile endurance run a few years ago. He also happens to be a CFO, has a wife and two kids back up in the bay area. Oh, and he is completely down to earth.

There is a really good article in competitor about him this month. The article came out at a great time for me because there is a really good paragraph that rings true:

Cooper starts from a thesis that most of us have an inefficiency in the system. The key, he says, "is to squeeze as much of the slop out of our lives as we can."

The "slop" is on its way out of my system.

It's time to embrace the suck.

Bring it.


JP Flores said...

Good post Ryan...a great reminder that it is possible to have it all. :)

And thanks for the link to the article about Graham Cooper. Very inspiring and someone to learn from.

katie b said...

go get em denner. you've had it in you all along, good to know you've found it for sure and are ready to harness the power :)

Shan said...

I know what you mean about having to embrace the suck - I'm fully in that mode right now. I almost died when I had to work until 10 last night, and then got right back up at 5:30 this morning to do hill repeats. But ya gotta get the work DONE!!

You definitely can do it all - go git it!

Jaakko Hiekkaranta said...

hey Ryan!

thanks for ya comment! thing is it would propably good to get the feeling for the distance back but then I already have 2 hard IMs in my 22y-old body so I what it is like. I'm just worried about my body handling too much of those yet at this stage because I wanna be doing these up until I die!

You seem to have quite epic goals this year! Must start to follow more closely and not just via CVs blog!

rock on dude!

ckotte said...

Nice post. You have me thinking that I also need to embrace the "suck".

Also...I am not sure of all the RAAM plans, but if you are passing through Ohio drop me a line. I would be happy to help you or your team out in anyway I can.