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Ultra-endurance sports didn't just change me physically,
they actually gave me a brand new life.
Throughout my 30s, I was climbing the corporate ladder,
very intent on achieving
the traditional idea of the American dream.
But deep down inside, I started to question
this path that I was on.
For well over a decade,
I really hadn't been taking care of myself.
I had become a junk food addict,
I was 50 pounds overweight, kind of semi-depressed,
and shortly before I turned 40,
I was climbing up a simple flight of stairs
to go to bed one evening, and I had to pause halfway.
I was winded, I was out of breath,
I had tightness in my chest,
and it was a very specific moment in time
in which I realized that not only that
I needed to change my lifestyle habits
but that I had the willingness that I truly wanted to.
I realized that vague ideas of eating better
or working out a little bit or going to the gym
weren't really going to work for me.
I needed something specific, something definitive.
I'd played around with a bunch of different diets,
to no avail,
and I sort of attempted this
experiment in plant-based eating as kind of the last
thing that I hadn't explored.
And I didn't have a big expectation
that it would make a big difference,
but within about seven to 10 days
of eating nothing but plants,
nothing with a mother, nothing with a face,
I experienced this extraordinary thing,
like I had this resurgence in vitality,
my mental acuity improved, my sleep improved,
I had this sense of well-being and energy
that I hadn't really felt since I was a teenager.
And I didn't really know what I was doing,
but I knew in that moment that I was onto something.
And it started getting me thinking
about human potential and my own potential,
because if I could make such a simple, basic shift
and experience such a dramatic result,
where were there other untapped reservoirs
of potential that I could explore?
And that's what got me interested, ultimately,
in the world of ultra-endurance sports.
At the peak of training, I would say
I was training about 25 hours a week,
so it was really almost a second job,
and at the time, I was still a practicing attorney,
I have four kids, I'm busy doing a lot of things,
and in order to make the time that was required
to appropriately prepare for this race,
I had to make some significant cuts
and really look hard and fast
at how I was spending my time on a day-to-day basis.
I had to get rid of late-night television
and sort of business meetings that could be
pushed to a conference call or an email chain
to free up the time that was required
so I could show up at the starting line and know
in my heart of hearts that I could complete this race.
I started training, which really connected me
with myself in a very profound way,
and to the surprise of myself and many other people,
I ended up showing some prowess in this field
and ended up competing at a very high level,
specifically a race called Ultraman,
which is a double Ironman distance triathlon.
Over the course of three days,
it completely circumnavigates
the entire big island of Hawaii.
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How An Overweight 40-Year-Old Became A Top Ultra-Athlete

49 Folder Collection
Angel Hsu published on October 15, 2019
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