Posted On March 1, 2006 By In The Phast Lapp And 456 Views

Working Out

I can already tell. It’s 6:30 in the morning and I can already feel it. I’m more introverted and will probably be moody today. Janalou calls me “quiet” when I’m like this.

You see, the first water I hit today was in the shower, not the 25-meter pool. My first reach was for the soap instead of the suggestion of a DAM (Dallas Aquatic Masters) coach to lengthen my stroke.

I skipped my workouts this morning.

Oh, the alarm went off just fine. And so did my wife’s alarm. In fact, I was awake before it went off and placed my hand on the button so I could turn it off the moment it beeped. Yup, this was premeditated defiance.

Today my thoughts will rumble around inside my head like a pebble rolling down stream under the rushing water, knocking off the rough edges before it comes to rest. If history tells me anything, it will be a day I will re-evaluate where I am and what I am doing, mentally, physically, emotionally, professionally, recreationally, and athletically.

All of this and I have an interview at 5 o’clock. Geez! And tomorrow is Janalou’s birthday.

I should have worked out this morning, that’s all there is to it. I should have, …but I didn’t. I could have, …but I didn’t. It was a conscious, premeditated decision NOT to have endorphins coursing through my veins today, making me a dogmatic machine of just doing things; swimming, biking, running, clients, classes, phone calls, and writing without thought. Well, there is thought, of course, but no introspective thought…the “why.”

Today will probably be a good day to re-establish, re-affirm my “whys.” Once I know my whys, well, I’m much more motivated, much more focused. It is the first question I ask my clients who want to train or do a race: why? The answer is not as important to me as it is to them. I do listen when they answer, but I also watch them when they answer to see if they are sincere. I have a few clients who tire of me asking that question. I also feel everything we do should have a reason. At no time should a person be paying another to coach or guide without knowing why the coach or guide is asking for a particular workout, or exercise. I will sometimes prompt my clients. “Do you know WHY we’re doing this workout?” The older clients roll their eyes. “Why?” they’ll sigh with as much enthusiasm as a 15 year old in a lecture class on logarithms. I explain.

But they’ll be no one to explain my whys to me, today. I will be alone to my thoughts as I go about the day’s required work. I might be quiet to some, moody to others.

Let’s hope I work out tomorrow morning.

Chris Phelan has written, laid out, photographed, and published The Phast Times News since 2001. He’s crisscrossed Texas on his bike three times, swam 5 miles across Lake Ray Hubbard three times, completed three Ironman triathlons, and has represented the US in completion three times, and run with the Olympic Torch. He maintained All-American status for five years and has also biked across the country, 3600 miles in 30 days. The running/triathlon coach has PR’s of 2:27 marathon, 15:40 5K, 3:55 at the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred, and 10:00:52 Ironman. Chris is the only person to have won overall and Master’s at Dallas’ Crosson Dannis road racing series, DRC road racing series, and the USAT/SMW duathlon series. In 1988 he began Dallas’ oldest track workout, 1998 started north Texas’ first treadmill class, and 2003 he founded the world-wide Ride Of Silence. He’s been twice nominated Master’s Road Runner of the Year, highlighted in a variety of magazines and is frequently asked to speak at camps and organizations about fitness. Outside of swimming, biking, and running, Chris has summited several mountains including Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro.