It’s been a month since I started down the road to the 2015 GBO. I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. What, at first, seemed like a lot of time to prepare is becoming shorter and shorter every day. Before you know it I’ll be packing up the car and dropping the dog off at the kennel.
If you’ve been following along on Facebook, you’ve seen that it got cold and snowy here in the Chicago area. And by cold, I mean stupidly, idiotically, ridiculously cold. Double digit negative wind chill is nothing to sneeze at. It’s also not conducive to practicing outside. With that many clothes on, numb fingers and toes, and muscles tighter than a downhill skier’s body suit, there isn’t a whole lot of improvement that can happen outside.
I still try to go out and throw every day. I actually like playing in the snow, it’s the sub zero temps that are the problem. Getting out every day does have the benefit of keeping the throwing motion at least familiar. I feel like I can better stay in the groove I’m carving out for myself by throwing as much as possible.
That brings me to my big aha moment for the week. Have you ever noticed that some days you are just off? One day you are threading drives through the narrowest of gaps without a second thought and the next you couldn’t hit a line if your life counted on it. Every hole sees a shanked drive, an air balled putt, or an approach thrown so far off target that all you can do is laugh.
I’ve had a few of those days lately and it really got me to thinking about what happens if one of those days happens during the GBO? Months of preparation go down the toilet because my arm suddenly decides to stop working for a day? That just can’t happen. So I started retracing my steps. I keep a much more detailed journal of my daily training than I post here or on Facebook, so it was pretty easy to look back over the last month.
These “off” days just couldn’t be random. There had to be a cause. If I could find the cause I could prevent them from happening. Well, it didn’t take long. After looking back over the last 30 days, it was as clear as day.
Before I talk about what I found, I want to emphasize that a common cause for these types of days is poor sleep. Poor sleep is an epidemic in our society and the cause of more “off” days than most want to admit to. For me, sleep is non negotiable. I get 8 hours or more every night and I never sacrifice that. Because of that, I can rule out poor sleep as a cause of these “off” days for myself. That may not be the case for you. In addition to what follows, take a hard look at at your sleep habits. Getting quality sleep every night is one of the best things you can do for your performance in any arena including disc golf. But since it wasn’t a sleep issue for me, what was it?
Depending on what study you look at, it is said that every molecule in your body with the exception of your bones (which take longer) will be replaced by a new one every 6-12 months. That means that outside of your skeleton, you have an entirely new body every year or so. Aside from being a really cool (and kind of creepy if you think about it too much) fact, that begs the easy to answer question of what fuels that process? Food does.
You are entirely made up of what you eat. That’s right, your body regenerates those molecules every year using the fuel and raw materials you put in your mouth every day. The foods you eat are the building blocks of your body. So what are you made of? Big Macs, Whoppers, White Castle sliders, Oreo cookies, and Tombstone pizzas? Or are you made of grass fed beef, organic vegetables, fresh fruit, and water?
I ask the question that way because when I looked back at the 4 worst days of practice I’ve had over the last month, all 4 of them were preceded by the crappy meals I listed above. I normally eat very clean and very healthy. It’s something I pride myself on. But every once in a while, the drive through calls my name. Sometimes I just have to pull a Harold and Kumar and pound down 15 White Castle cheeseburgers.
I never thought that the occasional crap meal would affect me. I always thought I was putting enough good stuff in me to offset the occasional need to eat an entire bag of Oreos. Clearly I was wrong. My performance demonstrated a clear and obvious decrease after eating poorly. And once a week is still roughly 15% of the time. If my body is regenerating itself once every 6 months, do I really want 15% of me to be made up of two all beef (debatable) patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun?
So does this all mean that I’m never going to eat shitty food again? Am I swearing off 2 for $5 chicken sandwiches at Burger King? Am I done with french fries forever? HELL NO! I’m only human and that stuff is delicious! But I am done with them until after the GBO. And they will probably be a lot less frequent after that. Maybe I’ll cut back to only being made up of less than 5% Baconator.
I want every day of practice to make me better. I want every rep to count as much as possible. I want to roll into Emporia knowing that I’ve done every single thing in my power to bring the best I have to offer. If that means that the only tombstone in my life for the next four months involves a spike hyzer, then so be it. I can do that.
As always, thank you so much for following along on the road to the 2015 GBO. It’s very cool that so many of you are joining in on this journey. If you haven’t already, do what all the other cool kids are doing and subscribe to the blog. I’ll never spam or sell your email but I will send you some organic, grass fed articles each week!