I used to hate fruit. All fruit. I was a meat and potatoes guy to the core, and my cycling and running coaches, and parents were understandably unhappy with this choice of diet; it was not very healthy. I was constantly badgered about eating more fruits and vegetables. I fought and fought and fought. Ignoring, excusing, complaining, I found innumerable ways to fight. Who were they to tell me how to live my life? Why should I change, I was working just fine. I was racing faster than ever, on a new mountain bike from my cycling sponsors.
But, like the earth before the river, I was worn down by my coaches and parents. I started trying more and more, little foods here and there. I did notice myself feeling better. I wasn’t happy about it, but my performance was improving with my diet. Then, I discovered delicious dried apricots.
I took an entire bag to school, and munched them all through the day. I was pretty proud of myself, eating fruit and enjoying it. Fruit is so good for you, so I was going to kill it at the local race that night! I was feeling great that night. And then I wasn’t. My stomach suddenly got incredibly upset, and became extremely painful. I went from leading my race, to limping off course to the bathroom. I could barely make it off course; I was in so much pain. Misery attacked me in the bathroom. Afterwards, I felt so foolish. I couldn’t believe I had eaten so much fruit.
It brought me back to a lesson I have learned other times in my life. Too much of a good thing is always bad, with no exceptions. Too much dessert, too much time with friends, too much time at home, too much working out; all fine in moderation, but deadly in excess. This exemplifies a tenant of my life: balance is everything! I have to balance family, school, cycling, friends, training, sleep, homework, my girlfriend, my personal time. I am constantly trying to balance everything, and this was a story of a time I failed to do so. However balance is essential, and I feel now I have achieved it in most areas my life. Even with fruit.
Balance is hard to achieve in the holiday/finals time of year. All the family, food, and extra work makes life harder, but I hope that we can find that middle ground. Happy Holidays friends, stay safe. I’ll keep you posted.