I am a very military oriented personality, just the kind of life I have lead since birth. A naval officer father, nutrition strict mother and then my own life experiences which followed very much similar routes. My clients know when I take them on there is black and white, tolerance levels are low and I demand results.
I travel quite a bit and come into contact with all types of cultures and personalities on many different levels. South Africans generally I see as quite a soft sort of courteous kind of nation, mainly rule followers and breaking them will definitely command some sort of reaction but generally in a very subtle kind of a way to start. In Israel where I currently am it’s a completely different ball game, you can be sure people will be telling you what to do on a daily basis, because they always know better, yet the rules are consistently broken by the big mouths.
It often gets my back up and I am often in a defensive mode which in military terms means strike them down before they even get close to doing or saying something, that way you won’t have to defend. It’s an aggressive approach but generally one that has won many warsJ.
So my resistant personality wherever I am is constantly ready to go to war, don’t tell me what to do or else, because I know my boundaries, I know what I am doing and if I need your advice I will ask for it. Most people tend to similar so I am not unique ;-).
Yesterday I was out on a training ride, I was around 80minutes into the ride, in the country side and just started a climb out of the valley, music in my ears and really just soaking up the view when all of a sudden a car slows down next to me the window open and I can see muttering and hands waving. The sound completely drowned out by some Armin van Burin ASOT in my ears.
My instinctive thoughts was to tell her to shut the hell up and leave me to my training session, I know the rules of the road and I am within my right to ride here. Instead I just ignored her completely she tried several times to shout at me, but Armin kept me calm. Eventually she just drove off and I carried on with my ride.
This is not an unusual situation for me, when running, swimming or cycling, I get told why you riding here, why you running without a water bottle, where is your hat. I know sometimes they mean good but geeeez most of these people have never trained in their lives and they talking to someone that lives it. The frustration of being told what to do just wants to put me into war, sometimes I long for it hoping it will result in vented anger and then some more peace of mind.
Just the other day I was doing a swim session, I did my warm ups and some drills. By the way in South Africa 2 swimmers to a lane is like max, unless you are group training, however in Israel you have to swim counterclockwise, and if you need to overtake then do it with caution because 3, 4 or 5 people can get in your lane without warning, because it’s their right and they know better. I have had many head bashings here and the fast lane means nothing. Even though it’s labelled for fast swimmers you get back floaters, because they consider themselves fast. Anyway back to my story on my swim session. So I get into nice rhythm and start with some clockwork intervals. I was focused on my set, however at around the 4th interval I noticed something strange. Each time I swam passed a woman in the other lane “slow lane” she splashed water on my face as I turned to breathe. I thought ok she is doing some sort of exercise creating splashing, giving her the benefit of the doubt. However as my session continued I realized this was intentional splashing she kept shoving water in my face every time I did a pass. I just ignored her put my head down and finished my set. While taking a breather at the end of the pool I waited for her to reach my side. When she arrived, I asked her why she was splashing me. Of course sniper rifle in my hands ready to take aim and blow her away. She said to me I was splashing her eyes when I swam????? WTF, you in a pool lady wear some goggles and learn to swim. You afraid of water I asked. She said no but my splashes were irritating her and I must get out the pool, and she threw more water at me??
I went a little mad, I unleashed my M23A4 on her, it was locked loaded and I sent a couple of waves in her direction ensuring the water bullets hit her right between the eyes. Of course she carried on throwing water at me. I took a step back and thought no ways, is this what I am resorting to a water fight between 40 and 50yr olds in a pool no ways I was like in shock, like kids having a tantrum in a pool.
I just motioned the rest of my unit “The Lifeguard” and said tell her to stop or get out I need to train. He did just that, war over. I felt an empty victory, thinking could I have handled this slightly differently, but then I thought no screw her, I was within my right.
Anyway back to my training ride. I kept wondering about the car stopping next to me screaming and shouting at me and here I had made judgment and executed her. Something just did not seem right, but I kept on going. Eventually it hit me, I reach around to my rear bottle cage and there it was, the reason for my insubordination. My 600ml water bottle had been flung out of the cage. Leaving me with only 600ml’s of water in 33degrees of heat on a long ride. I should have maybe listened to this driver, however I was stubborn, in attack mode waiting just waiting to unleash my ammunition once again. How mistaken could I have been this time as it was a call to help.
I kept riding conserving my water, and thinking over and over about what had just happened. How stubborn I was and how I had made judgment without listening and giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Eventually at the turn around point I made my way back to that climb out the valley and tried to climb it again from the halfway point and reenact what happened to see if I could track my bottle. There it was lying in the ditch just where that lady was attempting to inform me of the incident. In the end I listened to my message, however the lesson learned was I needed to listen a lot earlier.
I guess you are wondering why I am writing about this?
The truth is most of us are very much the same. Every single day, messages come our way and each and every single one has a meaning. The thing is how many of us actually listen to these messages. We don’t we ignore them because we know better.
I especially see this when it comes to health and wellness. When injured we don’t listen we always know better we focus on the race, on the end goal and absolutely nothing will stop us from getting to the start line. When sick, we brush it off as a head cold, we can’t stop training we cannot lose fitness we just push through it. The overweight will keep eating their pizzas because a large stomach or a double chin is not a strong enough message to make them change their ways.
So which messages do make us change? It’s the messages that come with severity or shock when it’s a little too late to listen and we need to face the consequences of our actions.
When an injury becomes unbearable and crippling, when an illness becomes severe and bed ridding, and when weight issues lead to organ, heart problems or blood pressure and cholesterol worries. Why is human nature generally so stubborn as to know better when it comes to interpreting messages?
A wise man once said ” The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them”, and another
“Big egos have little ears”
The basis of this blog was to instill some thoughts into your minds and get you to understand the importance of listening. Listen to your messages whether from the mouth of another or from your body signaling your brain. You cannot go wrong you can only become wiser stronger, fitter and healthier.
all the best
Thanks for sharing Mark! This was a great read and a lot to take on board as stubborn as I may be. The messages you know are the ones you should listen to are always the hardest. Thanks Wolffman
Thanks for reading 🙂 hope u have a smooth recovery
[…] The big question I get asked is how you can go and run for that long and not eat anything, and the answer is simple I had all the fuel I needed for that long run inside me BUT more importantly my body was conditioned and gut trained extensively to do that quite comfortably. That run probably didn’t touch much glycogen at all, it was primarily fuelled on fat. Also the time of running was way less than say some of the rides I do on water only which can go anywhere between 5-6 hours so it wasn’t a worry. The point is the body is trained over a long period of time with proper nutrition consumption to allow for this. The brain and body work together to understand the body’s ability and limitations and with time you will understand as your body gives you constant feedback. (Check out a previous blog “Listen to your messages”) […]
That pool story was hilarious!!!! That lady should avoid Midmar then…She will get a lot more than just water splashing 😛