It recently snowed in the Truckee and my shovel broke.

I’d heard rumors of “Sierra Cement”, but hadn’t experienced it in two years of living here. I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, a place of cold winters and snow stacked to the sky. I’ve done CrossFit’s “virtual shovel” for the past 8 years. But, I’ve never felt a shovel full of snow as heavy as the local variety.

In the process of shoveling two decks, a finite fissure turned into a crevasse-like crack and the ice I was on was growing thinner and thinner with each shovel-full. Eventually, the plastic gave way and I ended up with the above picture. I didn’t have a backup and, when I needed to clear the snow plow burm, I did what I could, with what I had, where I was.

As I would make each pass across the driveway, I would move less than half of the amount of snow that I could move with an unbroken shovel. It was an interesting experience and it led to the writing of this article.

The shoddy shovel was symbolic to the age old adage, “you can’t out train a bad diet.”

Five thoughts on training and diet:

  1. NUTRITION is the foundation of fitness.
  2. You need to run a half marathon to burn off the amount of calories in the average fast food value meal.
  3. Fat loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise.
  4. What you eat in private, you wear in public.
  5. When you lose your excuses, you’ll find your results.

I am not coming to you from a high place with this, but a low one. I am as much a fat kid as the next guy. I used to crush Hardee’s on a weekly basis and I ate a bag of Cheetohs Crunchy and a can of Mountain Dew after each hockey practice of my youth. I ordered a “Number Two Extra Pickles” several times a week in high school. It was the two cheeseburger combo meal, I’d get Hi-C Orange, and I’d drench the fries and cheeseburgers in copious amounts of ketchup. I was brought up on this stuff!

While we adapt to junk food in our early years, the feeding pattern is destructive as it sets us up for failure. Even if nutritional value weren’t an issue, as we age, time becomes the challenge. We can consume a large amount of calories in a short amount of time, but to burn those calories, it takes a disproportionate effort. Think about it, a Big Mac Extra Value Meal contains over 1300 calories. I can eat a value meal in about 5 minutes. But, to burn 1300 calories, do you know how long that takes? Do you know how much work that is?

Now, I know that you aren’t out their crushing McDonald’s. But, I regularly see people put a large effort into training and next to nothing into their nutrition. I once heard Greg Glassman say something like, “If I were charged with creating the ultimate athlete, I’d stick him on a desert island for a month and teach him how to eat.” Crazy, right? While we want to crush weights and metcons, it is done in vain without the foundation of nutrition.

With the shovel analogy, think of the snow as your fitness. With each clearing attempt, OVER HALF of the snow passes through the shovel and is left behind. Wouldn’t it make sense to get a new shovel? Instead of leaving fitness behind, leave excuses behind. Consider the new year your new shovel and make it a goal to keep ALL OF YOUR FITNESS in 2016. Through self-discipline and planning, I challenge you to eat clean and make the most of the time you invest in the gym.

Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period. – Lou Holtz

You can’t out train a broken shovel, guys. I’m not going to beat you over the head, but I hope you catch my (snow) drift.

I hope you’ll follow along this year. I have some great things planned and this site is the platform for purveying them.

And, I hope, that if you’re ever in the Tahoe area and it snows, that you’ll stop by and help me shovel…

“Keep it Paleo!”

Your Pal,

Paleo Nick

(Paleo Dawn Patrol, a great way to start your day… #earnyourturns)

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