This month we wanted to find out how the post-Christmas slump might be affecting training and what keeps our guys going. Michael, Mercy Corps’ Senior Director for Programmes, Funding and Operations, tells us how his January went and shares some of the struggles of balancing training with a busy job.
“When I signed up for the Quad in late 2018 I always thought that January would be the time to seriously start training. Christmas would be over and all the excess food and drink would make way for a month of exercise and energy. It hasn’t quite worked that way!
My first day back at work in the New Year involved a 24-hour journey to Oregon where Mercy Corps’ global HQ is located. The long travel and 8 hour time difference made for a tiring week, already packed with meetings. I did manage three gym sessions and used a Peloton indoor cycle for the first time. I’ve never really been a gym guy - I much prefer training outdoors - but I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed the interactive session on the bike.
On returning home via another 20-hour journey during which I picked up a cold, a few days of serious jetlag ensued which didn’t give me the energy I needed to kick start the training. Towards the end of that week I received a call from the NHS letting me know that a cancellation had freed up a slot for me to have a minor, planned surgical procedure. Ten days later I still have some discomfort and have yet to do any serious exercise…
I am writing this on a flight to the Netherlands where Mercy Corps has set up a new office to strengthen our partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which funds our work in Lebanon, Jordan, DR Congo, Tunisia and Myanmar. My job is to keep our donors informed of our progress in these challenging contexts and ensure we are well-positioned to continue to receive funding for important work such as supporting farmers to increase income and productivity amidst conflict or an Ebola outbreak in DRC or access to employment for refugees in the Middle East. It is programmes like these which inspire me to fundraise and push on with getting fit enough for the Quad.
As I return to good health, I still remain positive about my training regime (or lack of!) and I am convinced that I will pick up the pace. Two books are keeping me going: Finding Ultra by Rich Roll - a great book with a focus on plant-based nutrition and Iron Fit by Don and Melanie Fink, both of which inspired me to return to the Quad this year as a stepping stone to completing a half (or full?) Iron Man in 2020.
I’m enjoying connecting with the other quadrathletes in the dedicated Facebook group too and getting tips from everyone. I’ve even found some potential training buddies! It’s great to have that space and I am hoping to be much more engaged as my training picks up (or perhaps when I need some motivation!)”
If you have already signed up please make sure to join the 2019 Quadrathletes Facebook Group where you will get extra tips, inspiration and get to know the Quad community!