I remember when this sub-forum was created and thinking I was a long way away from being able to post in it. Turns out, my grandfather was right, time does fly the older you get.
This past week I celebrated my 35th birthday. It was a good day of celebrating with my wife and friends, yet there was something gnawing at me, and I knew exactly what it was. My fitness, or lack thereof.
Sure, I have been running a few days a week for the past few years, in addition to some mountain biking and body weight exercises (some kettlebells, too), so while compared to most I am what you’d call decent shape, I knew I was capable of much more.
Back in late 2007, after a year of rigorous training, and two years removed from my first panic attack, I competed in a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition. Although I didn’t win, just getting back into a competitive environment was such a great feeling. My panic attacks were non-existent and my energy was off the charts. The other day, I looked at some photos from that competition and I cut a pretty imposing figure compared to the other men I competed against. I don’t like to boast about myself like that, but it is true that at that point I was in the best shape of my life.
So, what happened?
Well, injuries sustained during training started to pile up. I broke a toe, had a bad shoulder injury (still bothers me at times) and then, the Gastrointestinal issues started to appear. To this day, I don’t know why, but perhaps a combination of stress and other factors caused me to constantly feel like my stomach was in a vice grip. I had tests done and outside of being diagnosed with ulcers and gastritis, really had no answer for why I was not feeling good.
After several years, I finally stumbled upon the answer. Gluten. My wife’s aunt had experienced similar issues to me and eventually went gluten-free and immediately noticed a change. She encouraged me to do the same, and I did. Wow! Immediately I noticed that the pain was gone and I didn’t feel the need to pop a Tums after a meal.
So, with the nutrition cleared up, that should’ve been my ticket to get my training back on track, right?