“Things happen for a reason” and whether you believe that or not, I think we are meant to learn a lesson form everything that happens in life. The hard times often become our greatest moments of discovery and of course, mine happened on a run.
My entire world in 2012-2014 had become triathlon and it was all consuming. Mine was a life dictated by workouts, race travel and an obsession for the 'perfect' performance- train, eat, sleep, repeat as the mantra goes. I had the best coach, the best team, the best training environment and what I thought was the best attitude. The only people I saw were my training partners, the only places I went were to swim, run or ride my bike and the only time I saw any hour past 9pm was if I awoke in the middle of the night to change the sheets because I was drenched in a pool of sweat. Normal people would see this as problematic but I loved my life. I was focused, I was dedicated and I was a ticking time bomb.
I bring all this up because it’s my story and it’s a big part of why I'm finally able to follow my passion and have the courage (and time) to start a nutrition coaching business. In January of 2014 I was out on a regular 15-mile training run, feeling strong and pushing a pretty decent pace. All of a sudden going down a steep hill my ankle began to throb, then burn, then swell and eventually became so painful it almost brought me to tears. I was 7 miles from home and since it hurt to run or walk I kept running, all the while thinking 'maybe I can still salvage this run and get a good time in the books'. Mind you at that point I lived in San Francisco and could have easily hopped on a bus and rested my ankle but that thought never crossed my mind.
After a week of ignoring it I finally saw a sports medicine doctor and before we even took the x-rays he said “stress fracture.” Actually, it turned out I had multiple stress fractures and the bone density of a 60-year old woman. More scans, MRI's and blood work confirmed my cortisol was through the roof, my Vitamin D was horribly low, my hormones were way out of whack and so on. I spent the next year on crutches, in a walking boot, fracturing my ankle three more times, and watching all of my friends train and race while I sat home. Eventually, I ended up completely reevaluating my life.
Talk about a wake up call- I was a nutritionist, and a scientist and I knew better. I'd seen it in my friends and my clients but failed to take my own advice. I hadn't had a period in years but didn't really care because that way I never had to worry about it in races. My hair had gotten thin, there were night sweats and very poor sleep and my performance would have incredible highs and lows. My coach even pulled me out of the pool at one point and told me I'd gotten too thin and he was concerned. I was eating but not enough, I was sleeping but not enough and I was training but much too much. Food was a chore and despite knowing I needed more I liked being thin. The perfectionist in me had to have completely organic, non-GMO, perfectly balanced, excellently tasting meals – all or nothing. I think deep down I knew there would be consequences at some point but that 'some point' was so far down the road I could pretend it didn't exist. We all have struggles and no one gets a free pass.
With an extra 4-6 hours a day, a full nights sleep, social time with friends and family and a clear mind I saw my life in a whole new way. I took the focus off “me” and remembered why I got into the nutrition industry in the first place. I wanted to help people, I wanted to share my knowledge and I wanted to build a business. I'd had clients all along but only a few here and there as my time would allow. INPYN.com is about helping as many people as possible find their 'best self ever', and find the person and place within themselves where they are confident, joyful and healthy. This business is my voice and the best way I can share it with the world.
Whether it’s needing to lose weight, gain weight, discover the benefits of nutrient dense foods, build a race day eating strategy or learn how to properly fuel your body, I want to help. Without the right nutrition plan in place no amount of training, coaching and mental fortitude will get you to that finish line. I hope you will learn from my mistakes. Share this post with someone who needs a wake-up call and become part of a movement... #BestSelfEver !