I had to search the depths of my email to find the correspondence confirming my ambassadorship for Quest Diagnostic’s Blueprint for Athletes. As an individual whose nerdiness matches her affinity for punishment, as evidenced by her professional career as Nurse Practitioner and extracurricular career as a triathlete who races for the Vixxen Racing, the collision of my professional and nonprofessional knowledge and experience fits perfectly in this program. I couldn’t wait to have my blood tested for all of the biomarkers related to training, performance and nutrition and totally geek out!

Well, strike that. Given that nearly a month had passed since I eagerly committed to the ambassadorship, as confirmed by my gmail inbox [the email saved as a reminder, now pushed out of sight to the harrows of the other “important” things I needed to attend to but have continued to neglect], perhaps I wasn’t so gung-ho to get tested after all.

Why? Well why does anyone procrastinate on anything–particularly those things outwardly considered to be “important”? FEAR! Yes, I was afraid.

But wait. Isn’t fear supposed to be an evolutionary protective mechanism to inspire action? The fear of a saber-toothed tiger running down our Cro-Magnon ancestors presumably provided them the impetus to hightail it out of the jungle and live another day to wander this earth and rub sticks together and grunt and do all of the things that prehistoric humans did. Shouldn’t fear inspire us to improve ourselves and to perform our absolute best?

Insert the prefrontal cortex and the complex cognitive capabilities of the modern human–and all of the counterintuitive, backwards, unpredictable thoughts and behaviors associated with it.

Why have I still not gotten my blood tested? Well, my “off season” this year lasted far longer than it should have, and I perhaps indulged in the excesses of the holiday season far too heavily and for far too long. By the time I started training again a couple months ago [mind you, just two weeks prior to my first 70.3 of the season–a personal worst. Yikes!]. I’ve successfully cleaned up my diet somewhat, although I still haven’t shaken my “pastry problem” and blatant sugar addiction. I’m finally starting to see fitness gains and, at last, completed a moderate workout yesterday without feeling like death. So I’m making progress.

However, discovering what is happening on the inside of my body is so incredibly powerful! What if gluten truly doesn’t agree with me despite both sarcastically and proudly boasting my allegiance to the “pro-gluten” party? I truly would have to address my unhealthy propensity for pastries! What if my agonizingly slow return to minimal levels of fitness is due to suppressed cortisol levels–an indicator of perhaps more severe problems? What if the failure to lose those last extra holiday pounds and/or the failure to immediately bounce back into the fit and fast triathlete I once was has all been in my power the entire time?!

Deep down, I clearly didn’t want the answers. Because just as powerful as knowledge may be, denial [and perhaps a fear of success] can be even more powerful! At the end of the day, health is wealth, and I need to stop potentially sabotaging my success and confront the changes that I must implement to be my best self. The first step is identifying them!

Alas, I’ve studied the menu of tests Blueprint offers and will run the gamut on the path to self-discovery in athletics and wellness and–who knows–maybe in life too.

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