Great Blog Post By Guy Petruzzelli

MAYBE IT’S ME…..BUT I DOUBT IT

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, its a good time to consider changing sides” – Mark Twain I’m writing this post, a mere 24 hours before heading out to California for what I am expecting to be a pretty amazing experience – The Endurance War Camp, hosted by Crossfit Endurance, and my friends, Brian MacKenzie, Doug Katona, and a special cameo by Kelly Starrett. Normally I would wait to post until after I had returned home from this experience, however, some interesting things have happened lately, and I don’t think this recent phenomenon is particular to just me. Recently, I’ve reconnected with some old friends from high school, who, are a little surprised to see an old classmate competing as a pro endurance athlete. I am 38 so of course the idea that I can even walk upright is shocking. (Note – lots of sarcasm here) In all the brief, and I have to stress brief, conversations, the one word that kept coming up when they would describe my lifestyle was “crazy”. Odd looks, change in tone, all sorts of machinations of disbelief and that word, constantly in conversation, had me wondering if perhaps the life of an elite endurance athlete who also utilizes crossfit, and eats Paleo was a little too out there. And then I started to notice others, like family, co-workers, the people at my local Starbucks, all having that same response when receiving my answer to the “what are you training for?” question. And for half a second, I was concerned that perhaps I had gone over the edge. Standing in my place wearing my new weighted vest, preparing to do run hill repeats, my 3rd workout of the day, the thought crept to the forefront of my thoughts. But I soon looked over at some race photos, looked at recent emails from Bmack and Jen, Dr. Leighton and others in my life who really understand and applaud this lifestyle and I smiled heading out into the night for my run with the comfort of knowing – I’m not crazy, I’m just different. Something tells me that many of you have experienced this same thing. Its one thing when someone tells friends or family that they are going to run thier first marathon, or do thier first triathlon; there is that sense of “Go Get ‘Em!” and lots of “Good for You’s” floating around. But once you make it your life, and take all facets of human performance seriously, changing nutrition, constantly pushing the envelop in your training, racing all over the world, and basically striving to become indestructible, you have somehow gone off the deep end. When asked what my goal was with my training, I simply stated, “I want to be able to run through a brick wall”. I was completely serious. That, to me, means there is no amount of pain in a race that I couldn’t handle. And in reality, what’s wrong with that? I’m not even trying to be cute here. When did we get so soft as a society? When I got back from that run, I called my coaching team, and close friends. We all couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that we were somehow seen as “freaks” while trying to define “normal”. If normal means working 50-60 hours a week behind a desk, getting minimal exercise, staring down a host of health issues due to poor diet, and feeling winded while walking a flight of steps, then you can keep it. Endurance athletes aren’t normal but we aren’t crazy either. We are different; we wake early before rush hour and run in the dark, sometimes the frigid cold, or the blazing heat. We ride with power meters to measure our power to weight ratio, swim with added weight to get stronger in the water. But that’s not a bad thing, its just different. And maybe its just having spent the last 8 months realizing how much the human body is capable of as I rapidly recovered from 2 major surgeries and returned to racing stronger than ever. Maybe my latest epiphany comes from studying the human body and what it can do, asking experts (see- doctors, nutrtional gurus, elite coaches), but at the core, it still comes down to what inside you. That’s different for everyone. But it doesn’t give someone who simply doesn’t understand the lifestyle license to somehow assume they are living better or more “normal” than those of us who selected this path. No, we don’t golf every Sunday, but you better damn well believe we are either racing our asses off or training hard. And guess what – THAT’S OK. So to my multisport/endurance/crossfit friends – don’t let anyone tell you that you are crazy or strange. You, my dear friends, absolutely ROCK. And to those of you who know one of “The Breed”, if you can’t say anything nice, please do us a huge favor and simply go quietly about your business. We have walls to run through. Stay Strong, Guy

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