spent over half my life training for high-level competition in endurance sports, carefully follow- ing the extreme training regimen recommended by Conventional Wisdom. I ran and bicycled thou- sands of miles each year, lifted at the gym several days a week, stretched like crazy every day, and covered my body with expensive, super high- tech gear. I sacrificed, endured and suffered be- cause I truly believed it was necessary to achieve a healthy, lean, fit body. I fueled my constantly depleted muscles with the obligatory high-com- plex-carb diet, suffering all manner of diet-related health problems without even realizing it.
Yes, I could race a marathon or triathlon faster than almost anyone else around, but the conse- quences of earning medals and trophies on the race course were severe. In no uncertain terms, my devotion to fitness severely compromised my
health. Thousands of other extreme athletes suffer a similar fate, as do millions of less fit folks who try valiantly to follow the struggle and suffer approach of Conventional Wisdom in pursuit of even modest exercise goals.
For the duration of my career as an endurance ath- lete, I was emaciated, physically fatigued, and bat- tling one injury or illness after another. Aside from possessing superior cardiovascular endurance, I was actually a pretty useless physical specimen. I didn’t dare take up any new sports or even play any fun physical games for fear of getting hurt or straining unfamiliar muscles.