This isn't to make you stop reading my blog.
It makes me feeling good that there are 4 people out there reading this.
But "HALT" means something different in this case.
I was scrolling through Facebook the other day, and came across a post by Dr. Allen Lim.
Dr. Lim has a phD in exercise physiology and had worked with athletes for over 25 years, including several years with professional cycling teams. He is extremely well known in the sports world (not just cycling and triathlon), and is a co-founder of Skratch Labs, a sports nutrition company, with really good drink mixes and cookbooks.
Anyway, he posted on the Skratch Labs page about the company taking a day to HALT, and that any orders would be processed the next day.
What does HALT mean?
I'm going to quote straight from Dr. Lim.
"In my experience with athletes I’ve worked with over the last 25 years when the proverbial poopoo hits the fan, it’s usually because of something much simpler than whether we got the coefficient of rolling resistance correct in our modeling of the next time trial. It’s usually because of something much more human. What I learned is that taking care of anyone - whether they are world-class athletes or a bunch of kids at the park - if and when there’s a meltdown, everyone needs to just HALT (It’s a technique I first learned from my friend Lori Ventura). And in that short moment of reprieve ask yourself and them if they’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. If hungry, eat. If angry, talk it out. If lonely, find the closest litter of puppies and spoon that cuteness hard. Or better yet, call a friend and share a meal together. If tired, rest. About 90% of the time, HALT takes care of most issues. It’s not rocket science. It didn’t require me to get a PhD. But, it is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned in professional sport and in life." --Allen Lim, Skratch Founder
Who knew that 90% of the time it came down to one of those 4 things.
And how often do we take a moment to slow down and evaluate what is going on with our life?
Professional athletes rarely have an off season. And even if they do, they typically are still training--"maintaining" their form/strength, or working on a specific area to make them better when the season ramps up.
In the past, the off season was just that, the OFF Season.
Many baseball players in the early 20th century took on part time jobs during the winter months just to make ends meet.
Others took the time to rest, spend time with their families, and in most cases, get out of shape.
That doesn't happen anymore...even at the amateur levels.
I know that in the past 10 years of my triathlon "career", my off season was basically November and December. But not always, a couple of those years, as I was looking into longer distance races, I signed up for training programs that started in November, culminating in late March or early April races.
In preparation for training for the IM, I signed up for "Swimvember" in November 2019. The goal was just to get in the water and get in some yards before the real work began.
When I started working with my coach for the BHAG, we began working together in late January. But there was an expectation that I would have some fitness to start.
We started working 9 months before the race.
There are tons of training programs out there..."12 weeks to Ironman" and the like. But again, this is assuming you have some fitness, and are not a couch potato.
I have done the Couch to 5k running program. It was an 8 week program before I ever did a triathlon. I needed to make sure I could run a 5k.
The point I am trying to make, is that we just don't slow down.
Regardless of whether you are an athlete or not, it is good to take some time to HALT. To take a moment for yourself. To relax. To have a meal. Talk to a friend. Cuddle with a puppy. Punch a punching bag.
I know when B gets upset for any reason at all, 99% of the time is because he is "Hangry". Once I get food into him, he is back to his loving self.
When I get upset, it is usually because I am tired.
We've been told many times to take a time for ourselves. To have some "self-care."
Hello...if you are an adult human being these days, and not a "Gazillionaire", you rarely have a moment to enjoy a moment.
Hell, I can't even go to the bathroom without someone bothering me for something.
So, today, I "HALTed" for a little bit.
I went and got a massage, and relaxed. My massage therapist worked on me for an hour and a half.
She told me I can't wait so long for the next one.
I think I broke her hands.
It felt painfully wonderful!
I have one more race to go in just a few weeks...then it will be the "off season". And the craziness will start all over again.
Shoot, I'm already looking at races for next year...
Regardless, I know that I am going to enjoy my off season. I'll still swim, bike and run, but it will be more for fun, not to hit a goal. I will also just enjoy my family and friends. And food. And a beer.
I hope everyone takes a moment to HALT, and really think about what is going on.
I'm guessing it may be one of the 4 things that Dr. Lim listed.
So, here is a picture of my friend's new puppy...to help you of course.