I started with the TotalCyclist coaching program in April 2017, initially 'just' to get ready for two large cycling events that summer. I was delighted that Christy Keely (Rocket) agreed to take me on - and I had no idea of the journey I was about to begin.
We sometimes say 'changed my life' flippantly - but this really did.
In April 2017,
a) I was 50 lbs heavier, (and honestly I had given up on being able to lose that weight) -
I had been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition (Lupus) that was causing horrible skin eruptions in sunlight that caused me to need to wear layers of zinc Oxide
Flare ups that would affect my tendons and sideline me from exercise
I was taking 300mg of Plaquenil every day (for the above condition), ensuring I also needed regular eye exams to defend against one side effect.
Inflammation markers that were variable - sometimes raised beyond normal levels.
My cholesterol was high,
My energy levels were variable.
Two years later
CLEAR skin throughout the year - no flare ups in the winter OR summer
Inflammation markers consistently low (normal), no active disease.
Plaquenil has been tapered to 200 mg, with a view to full taper to removal
Cholesterol within good levels
Energy levels are great
So what did we do? I signed up for the program that gave me constant access to my coach, and I realized its value in a number of ways: in cleaning up my diet, I had constant accountability and guidance as to what to eat. Constant support through the harder parts of the processes, careful review and adjustment for all my training goals with on-the-day changes if I had fatigue or flare-up issues, lifestyle support and adjustments, daily reflections, and access to a community of other athletes that became friends and friends-family providing a full community of support and encouragement. Oh. And a new appreciation of bourbon. ;-)
If I look back and try identify the most valuable parts of the process to me - I would have to pick - constant access to a very responsive coach, dietary support and guidance, on-the-day training changes and community. And bourbon. ;-)