Hi there! My name is Andrejs and this is the story of how I went from being an over trained pro athlete to a blogger sharing how not to waste time and live life to the fullest.
My bigger goal, however, is to inspire you to say YES to any adventure, be it a surf trip, a trek in the Himalaya or signing up to run your first marathon. Most importantly, do it for the sheer pleasure and without wondering if you're fit for it.
Back when I was a kid nothing seemed to hold me in any sport for long. For me it was just a fun way of spending time. Kayaking was no exception - at the beginning it was just sun, water, time with friends, swimming, laughing and all.
One day, however, something clicked and I was not ok anymore with just participating. Fast forward several years here I was - multiple times national champion, top 20 places in European and World championships. I was eager to see where can I take myself and how far can I go.
At some point I've noticed that something is not going right. That spark and joy I felt from doing what I loved started to fade away and my whole passion turned into obsession and started to become something I HAVE to do, not something I CHOOSE to do.
Beaten up, but not given up
I was putting in more effort than ever, saying no to any excuses and refusing to listen to my body. Words like "bad weather", "fatigue" or "lack of time" were not in my vocabulary.
I thought I did what all top athletes do - train hard and give your best. Yet, it felt strange. I stopped progressing, got over trained frequently and started to suffer from illnesses and injuries more often.
I rarely struggle with motivation, but that really got to me. As I was using all my energy on training, I grew more frustrated by not seeing expected results.
I had every intention to push through it, like I always did, but I felt it's not that simple. I finally learned that repeating the same mistake and expecting different result is crazy. This time I had to change something to fix it.
I never allowed myself to take a long break from training. After suffering 2 illnesses in a row just before the European Championship, however, I thought the time has come.
Next thing you know - I was living in a basement of a Tunisian family just outside Paris, having difficulties in communicating and absolutely loving it. Just what I needed to break from the routine.
Traveling really started bringing me back to life. I spent the next 4 months exploring Europe with a backpack on my back and not worrying about a strict training schedule.
I went running in every new location to explore and did some swimming, but nothing purposeful. The thing that surprised me, though, was that even with such attitude I didn't really lose as much fitness as I expected.
Back in the game. Sort of ...
Upon returning home I went back to basics. I reviewed my training logs to find patterns - what has worked well and where I took it too far. I then created a training plan with only the "good stuff" in it and, starting from scratch, set my expectations low. My focus was on building a strong foundation - doing lots of easy/moderate efforts and exercises I earlier believed were intended for beginners.
Quickly it became obvious that taking a break and reviewing my whole approach was the best decision I've made. I was getting stronger and faster than ever with what seemed like less effort. I was back to my previous fitness very quickly and over the next season smashed my long-standing personal records. It seemed that I've found a way to listen to my body and enjoy my training again.
The best thing about life, however, is its unpredictability. You may think you got a "cha-ching" moment and from now on it all will work out when the rules change. As I was planning to take my approach and training to the new level, an opportunity came that I couldn't decline. So there I was once again, boarding a plane and trying to figure out what to do with my life.
Training for adventure
Southeast Asia is not the world capital of professional kayaking, to be honest. And it didn't look like I was able to have a consistent training schedule anytime soon. To be fair, it was not the winning I was after, but rather the challenge to get better.
Having found a more efficient way to train, I was eager to test if my method works elsewhere. Since I had the time, I looked to experience how athletes in other sports train and was quite surprised at how unbalanced and narrow-focused I was.
Training with and learning from instructors, athletes and coaches from other sports opened a whole new world for me which I may not have discovered had I continued doing what I did.
In particular, I never knew I had lack of joint mobility - I assumed as I was leading an active lifestyle it shouldn't be a problem. However, working on it started to reverse some discomforts and, actually, improved my strength and endurance.
Developing my training methodology
Traveling has reunited me with my passion to try something new. Training across different sports, on the other hand, helped me to spot patterns and got me interested in formalizing my own training methodology.
I went on to review my past training logs and notes I made from all the training I did across different sports. What resulted was a universal training plan that would enable athlete in any sport to achieve extraordinary results.
Now, I needed both a challenge for myself and a project to develop, test and document my approach. Marathon running and long distance triathlons have always fascinated me and were a perfect fit for the task.
I went on to learn a lot about areas I didn’t consider earlier. Daily schedule, nutrition, time management, injury prevention, mental training and much more found their way into my future training plans and made a significant difference on the result.
About The Athlete Blog
So, where it all got me?
My friends kept asking how do I manage to combine endurance training that is very time-consuming with a day job, intense travel schedule and still have energy left to try out new things. In fact, after hearing my story they were eager to know how did I learn to listen to my body and what did I change.
After explaining for a tenth time which training sessions I do, why I do those and how do I combine everything, I decided to start a blog and write a series of posts on the structure of my training plan. Over time I felt there is so much more than I could share about training process and how to get the most of it, that I just carried on.
My ongoing journey across different sports opened my eyes to what is possible and helped me develop a training methodology that not only gets people in great shape, but focuses on being healthy, happy and full of energy to take on any adventure.
For me it's not anymore getting good at exercising that matters, but what I'm training for. Having a purpose for the training is what inspires me and makes this blog alive.
Online Personal Training
Having learned a 100+ ways how not to do it, I finally found a working strategy that made me listen to my body and brought result I was looking for. I formalized it into a training methodology, suitable across different sports and levels of fitness.
If you're interested, I would be more than happy to get you into a peak form for a race or prepare physically and mentally for a challenging adventure.
Let's stay in touch
Changing perspective allowed me to see what I was doing wrong, taught me to listen to my body and, ultimately, changed my life. From that moment on I made a promise to myself to continue to travel, explore and try new things to keep my mind open.
I am always open for opportunities to do something new and/or exciting. Especially, seeking other fellow sport/fitness enthusiasts to network, learn from, train together. Or at least trying out something new and different.
If you have such a proposal, or you want to share your story or simply want to contact me, you can do so through the contact page or drop me a line here.