Friday, February 23, 2018

Am I an Athlete?

Have you ever shown up to a triathlon, running race, or other endurance event and thought "what am I doing here?" Maybe you looked around and saw a bunch people with the right gear that looked like they've been training for years. This was probably a time that if someone would have asked you if you're an athlete, you would  have laughed a little, and responded with "Who, me?" That "Who, me?" reflex has become a hard habit for people in our society to break. It originates from all the way back to the paradigm that was formed during our High School years. This is a time where the "athletes" were defined as the students who participated in athletics and the rest of the students were in PE. Now as grown-ups people imagine athletes to be those who have great physical abilities. Even if you google image search the word athlete, pictures of professional athletes show up as a result. However, among those pictures, there are a few that look like this one below.
I believe that this goes to show that anyone can fill in the dark figure representing the athlete. Thus anyone should be able to consider themselves as an athlete. It's not a word reserved for those who receive a paycheck from participation in a sport. 
The word athlete is controversial and loaded with stereotypes as previously discussed. You can find the word defined in many drastically different ways. Merriam-Webster's dictionary defines an athlete as a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina. On the other extreme end of definitions, the Nike mission statement quotes the legendary University of Oregon track and field coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman stating, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.” This just goes to show that whether you're the fastest individual or the last one across the finish line you can be called an athlete. 
Instead of searching for the perfect definition to follow in order to be an athlete,  I encourage you to think about the commitments you set forth. Think about the time you've spent working toward a goal and your perspective towards being an athlete might change. From a psychological standpoint, believing that you're an athlete can have such a positive impact on your performance. As your performance improves, the way you perceive yourself improves. Believing and perceiving are two major things that lead to achieving. A sense of achievement is another telltale sign that you're an athlete.  At the core of every athlete there's a great sense of accomplishment that comes from earning a medal, or simply being able to say "yep, I did that." 
In the end, if you have the guts to show up and to complete a goal, then you're an athlete. I wouldn't let anyone tell you differently.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Intro to the Writer

Hi everyone! I'm professional triathlete and multi-sport coach Garrett Mayeaux. I’ve recently decided to revive the FlyTri Racing blog and take on the role of being the primary writer. This is my first blog post of many that I plan to write. I’ll be posting short reads every week and occasionally bi-weekly depending on my school/training schedule. I thought what better way, to start than to introduce myself. Hopefully this will serve as a platform to connect the reader to the writer & provide credibility to what you may read going forward. 

I’d like to start with a little background to my journey into endurance sports and education.  So back in 2007, my 7th-grade year, I decided to join a swim team and to start running cross-country & track. I competed at a high level in both USA Club & High School Swimming by the time I was a Junior in High School. This was when I decided to end my swimming career in order to focus on other things leading into college. During my High School running career, I qualified and competed at the State Cross Country meet all 4 years. After High School, I attended college at Texas A&M University 2013-2017. During my second semester of college, I decided to put the two sports together by jumping into the sport of triathlon. Throughout my A&M years, I competed in numerous triathlons, including multiple appearances at the Collegiate National Championship. In August of 2017, I graduated with a B.S. in Applied Exercise and Physiology. Then in September of 2017, I qualified to become a professional triathlete at a race in Des Moines, Iowa. The week after that race I started attending Parker University to become a Chiropractor.

Now I’d like to give you a peek into what it’s like to be a full-time doctoral student and professional triathlete. For Chiropractic school the coursework is broken into trimesters, so we have 3 semesters in a year with short breaks in between each. Currently, I’m in my 2nd trimester of school and I’m taking a 26.5hr course load. Instead of describing my weekly school schedule that starts at 8am every day, I figured it would be easier to just show a block schedule picture.

Disclaimer: The bedtime is a goal that is often not met

On top of the already early morning start, on the Tuesdays and Thursdays that I’m able to get at least 6 hours of sleep I go to a club that meets at 7am to practice assessing body structure motion.

Here is a weekly outline of my training schedule, which I fit in around my class schedule. I’ve also added a picture of my training peaks if you’d like a little more detail.

Monday                        Tuesday                         Wednesday                      Thursday
Rest day                    AM 1hr swim               AM 1-1.5hr swim                 AM 1hr swim
Easy 30min-1hr         PM varying              Mid-day endurance bike           PM varying
training session         bike or run                                                                 bike or run
                                                                          PM easy run

            Friday                                     Saturday                                Sunday
      AM 1hr swim                       AM long bike ride                          Long Run
                                                       2.5-4hrs long                        1hr-1.5hrs long
      PM varying                      *occasional run brick
      bike or run                       *occasional PM swim

If you’re a number cruncher, my weekly totals hover around 15k-20k yards of swimming, 100 miles of biking, and 30 miles of running. Time wise I spend around 15 hours/week training.

This is representative of my usual training week if you just switch Saturday's run with Sunday's bike ride. This was a recent week of training with a Saturday running race

This is quite the busy schedule, but I still find time to study, socialize, sleep, and to watch a little TV every now and then. So needless to say life is good and I love pushing myself to the limit.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed this intro!