The Balanced Life

When I fell into my torpor a few days ago I made a deal with myself: I can take it easy this week—I should take it easy this week—but I have to balance that reviving rest with a sane diet. That is to say, I need to eat a hell of a lot less, and I need to slash the wine consumption while I'm at it. And I have done so. No snacks between breakfast and lunch, or after dinner. Zero. And the deal now is that a bottle of wine lasts four nights—and that's how it'll go until CDA. Works out to 6.3 ounces a night. But who's counting. (Yeah, I drink alone. C'mon. Niko is only 9. Even in France he wouldn't be called on to contribute. Hey, funny story, almost related, from a friend: She says to her husband that they really ought to cut back on how much wine they drink. Husband says they don't drink that much, sharing a bottle a night. Friend points out to husband that, uhm, yeah, she has one glass a night.)

So this is the right thing to do. If I kept eating at my earlier, in-training pace I'd have gained five pounds this week already. But I must confess, the motivation to eat and drink less isn't only to keep from ballooning during a soft week of training. It's become clear to me, each time I turn away from a snack or another helping, that there's a moral component as well. See, the thing is, in taking a day off on Monday and then doing only one workout a day the next three days (including an easy one-hour run today), I'm sinning. I'm being a bad triathlete, absolutely; but moreover I'm being a bad person. My penance? Less food, less drink. And not just a little bit less. I've lost five pounds.

Each moment of denial, each pang of hunger, tells me I'm OK, despite my tri slackerdom.

This is what is meant, I'm sure, when they talk about finding that healthy balance in your life: You may drive yourself to exhaustion with triathlon training and eat and drink however much you can toss down the gullet in your waking hours. Or you can do you a mere single workout a day, as long as you suffer the appropriate deprivation.

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