“Pride attaches undue importance to the superiority of one’s status in the eyes of others; And shame is fear of humiliation at one’s inferior status in the estimation of others. When one sets his heart on being highly esteemed, and achieves such rating, then he is automatically involved in fear of losing his status.”
In 2004, I decided to offer a special training program to clients who were fitter than average and consistent in their training, It was to be a 3 month program which would take their bodies to a higher level of fitness by pushing them past their perceived limits. I incorporated many old school calisthenic exercises i.e. body weight exercises with sprints and jump rope, along with martial arts drills to accomplish this, only in the third month did I add weights.
I changed the format slightly in 2005, to a heavy weight training boot camp. I decided after however, that the calisthenic training method was more intense so I abandoned the weight training and went back to basics in 2006.
In 2006, I was exposed to David Belle, one of the founders of the art of Parkour (movement) or freerunning. Parkour focuses on practicing efficient movements to develop one’s body and mind to be able to overcome obstacles in an emergency.
I then started incorporating some of the parkour training elements in my boot camp.
In 2007, The movie “300” was released and there was a huge buzz about the physical appearance of the actors who played King Leonidas’ soldiers.
Brian turned me on to an article about the training they underwent, to achieve their appearance.
Their trainer was Mark Twight who runs an exclusive gym in Utah called Gym Jones. Mark’s methodology is summed up by the maxim Power, Speed, Endurance, Suffering and Salvation. I was totally inspired by the spirit of the training. Tough, brute workouts. No lose weight bullshit, just get me stronger and faster, any which way you can…weight loss will follow as long as you eat properly.
In April of 2007, a friend of mine in New York who I used to train kickboxing with recommended I get certified as a crossfit instructor, it was the training method that he uses to train his fighters and he couldn’t recommend it enough. Crossfit’s goal is to create “the quintessential athlete”, equal parts gymnast, Olympic weightlifter and sprinter.
I started putting myself to the test, could I measure up. How fit was I really? Yeah, I could do a 6 minute mile, but couldn’t do 10 pull ups or 50 proper push ups, I couldn’t squat or bench my body weight so I know I had a lot of work to do.
In about two months with the combined philosophies of parkour, crossfit and gym jones. My body looked totally different, I was stronger, fitter, leaner, more cut, I was pleased.
Like a new christian convert, I completely changed my training philosophy at NuFaz to align with these principles. I bought medicine balls, started encouraging my clients men and women alike to train heavy olympic lifts, practice the calisthenics of gymnastics, the agility exercises of parkour, the sprints and the all or nothing attitude of Mark Twight.
As you all know I’m an all or nothing kinda guy.
About 3 weeks ago, my friend Dave Wong asked me to run for his company, Catherines Peak in the Sigma 5k corporate run. Each year, a lot of my friends, clients and associates participate in the run, but to me it always seemed like a big party. It was a 3 mile run or walk, and to me I suppose it was not a big deal by any stretch of the imagination. This year, I decided to take up his invitation. I know I can run 2 miles in 12 minutes, so maybe I’ll be able to do the run in 18 to 20 minutes with a little training. I thought.
Last year, Dave’s brother Pete approached me to train him for the run. Pete is a good runner/ sprinter and is in very good physical condition so I thought he really didn’t need any additional training to do a good time, I looked at his 5k training plan but I thought my functional fitness training was enough to do the job.
He ran last year and did an excellent time. 22 minutes I think.
I was certain I could do the run in 20 minutes…at least.
Three weeks ago I did the route I ran from Emancipation park (this adds maybe ¼ mile to the actual route) and did it in 23 minutes. I also did sprints, hill runs, and treadmill training. Last Monday, I did the route in 21 minutes. Two minutes in one week…cheeeeeese.
At the start of this week I decided to clean up my diet. I found this lady who cooks quality vegetarian meals and delivers. In advance, I planned 6 days of two meals a day (lunch and dinner)for her to prepare, this allowed me to stop eating after 7pm.
I had additional obligations, my dance troupe has important shows coming up so I have to do the choreography, I’m preparing demo tracks for Versi, a singer whose talent is unmistakable to me and I’m trying to perfect handstands, halos and babymills for breakin’.
I figured however that my training and diet would be sufficient to accomplish my goal even with the extra curricular activities.
Throughout the 3 weeks, my clients and friends had no doubt in my ability to accomplish a 6:45 min mile for the 3 miles. Paula said I wouldn’t let anyone pass me, others said I would win, I had read that one past winner did it in 17 minutes so I knew that probably wouldn’t happen so I stuck to my goal 19 – 20 minutes.
Friday and Saturday, I started having delusions of grandeur, visions of glory, and bouts of anxiety…I wondered why I always do these things to myself.
Saturday, my doubts started, sprinting requires muscle recruitment so maybe cutting back on protein in my diet was not the best thing, then there was the issue of running/sprinting in the sun which I have never done before, and my last training run to Papine (two miles) took me 15 minutes.
With all this, I was still more or less confident I could prevail.
Saturday night (before the run) was terrible. I kept waking up, all these stupid things on my mind, the anxiety, then after mixing an editing one of Versi’s songs for 3 days, I couldn’t get the song out of my head. I got up at 5:45am Sunday not the most rested person.
Walking thru new kingston at 6:30 am, crowds of participants, all I was thinking was pudgie motherfuckers get out of my way. I sized up the people who I thought would be my competition, Portmore athletic club, Gym Liguanea, the young cats who looked like they had a lot of running experience.
At this start line, I waited, and waited, and waited, again the anxiety crept in, the anxiety that you have before a big performance, mostly caused from fear of failure.
Then my enemy showed up…almost to coincide with the start of the race, the intense morning sun rose just to where it seemed to be laughing at me.
And they’re off.
In front of me hundreds of participants started jogging, my usually style is to get half way the distance in as fast a time as possible then pace myself. I had to hustle. Weaving thru the immense traffic, get the hell outta my way, like a bullet. I got to West Kings house road from Burger King (probably a mile) in exactly 5:45 minutes. I set my sights on this guy way ahead of me and set out to catch him. I tried but couldn’t. I got to Kings Plaza on constant spring road and started to get winded but doing good time, still couldn’t see the guy…damn he’s fast.
Then my legs, fuck.. my legs, they’re giving out. What the hell? Was it because I was hungry, I had my last meal at 6 the night before but I thought I could finish the race before I felt hungry. T’was not the case. Was it the sun or the lack of protein? Who knows?
It seemed like everyone started overtaking me, girls. women. the guys I sped past only moments before. Damn!. Then I did the unthinkable, I started to walk, I felt like a failure, my legs simply could not maintain a running pace, I felt like a 600lb woman in a moo moo. One Catherine’s peak guy ran past then Pete. I sucked it up and gave chase. Couldn’t catch him. Legs feeling worse this time so I changed my strategy. I would run for a minute then walk to recover, By this time I was on Ruthven road still trying to maintain my dignity. I looked on my watch it was 20 minutes…failure. Even if I regained my legs which was impossible, I could probably make 24. Ugly, atrocious.
The next thing I remember is stumbling into the nurses bay . Are u Ok? Somebody said. Seems like everyone ther was crowding around me. My legs, my legs, where are my legs? Things went blurry, people untying my shoes, do you want Gatorade? NO. I just want water, catherines peak please. I got pickney peak, the irony. I sat there with people trampling my pride on and on and on, mr big runner, mr fitness, mr 19 minute man. I looked outside as one by one participants strolled by laughing, talking, finishing the “run” . I didn’t.
They sat me down on one of the cots. Feeling shaky, out of breath, and like I had nubs where my legs once were, I try taking off my knee band but I couldn’t coordinate my movements. All I could do was write this in my head. I sat for maybe 10 minutes just holding my head down, laughing to myself, thinking what a story, thinking how I’m gonna live this down with Martin and Andy (my best friends), how am I gonna give my bootcamp lectures after this level of failure? Sitting there licking my ego, one of the caregivers comes over, she says “how are you feeling?” I’m alright I say . She says “welcome back” in my head I say “Bitch”.
I look at my watch its 8:30 am, one hour from start time, I promised myself to be home by 9, I couldn’t move. Another caregiver comes over, this time a man. “How are you feeling?” I’m Ok but still can’t feel my legs. I see this look of panic across his face like he thinks I have a spinal injury. I say relax I just need a little more rest to recuperate. I want to get up but can’t my head feels like jello and I know my legs can’t carry me, how the hell am I gonna drive? I lie down. Another few minutes pass and the same lady from before comes over “Are u ok?” YES I say in a slight condescending tone. “Well, can I get the cot then?” I laugh to myself.
Like a newborn deer I stumble to my feet, wobbling out of the nurses bay. I make my way slowly from Emancipation park to my Jeep about ¼ mile away. I sit there for maybe another 30 minutes before I muster up the courage to drive.
While sitting there, I remember that all out sprints always do this to me, always mash me up, always leaves me debilitated. Not the best thing for a race like this, I shoulda paced myself.
It is something I shouldn’t regret. I pushed myself to the limit today.
That’s my motto. That’s what I always tell people to do.
I should be proud .
I drove off then realized my Jeep is leaking brake fluid. Real life begins again.