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with the Waratahs

Waratah Masters Cycling Club
The premier cycling club in New South Wales

Founded in 1994 on a long history of cycling, the Waratah Masters Cycling Club has grown to become one of the largest cycling clubs in New South Wales and hosts competitive road, time trial and track racing for club members and visiting clubs almost every week of the year. Find out more >

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We take racing seriously, but we also enjoy our cycling and involve our club members regardless of their level and abilities. Find out more >

Latest Race Results & Winners

Mar 15th | Lansdowne

ACraig Sinteur
A2Marc Agostino
BDarren Lee
CAndrew Jackson
DTerry Freshwater
EBrian Wood
FAlan Sumner

Next Race / Event

Racing is cancelled until further notice during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Open to riders from all clubs – women aged 19+ and men aged 30+ who hold a current race licence from Cycling Australia.

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Colnago Cup 2017

Latest News from the Waratah Masters CC

30May 20

JACK’S BLOG – Are you selfish enough?

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“People who don’t take advice cannot wait to give advice”- Jack Yuen

Trust everyone to be selfish

I know a lot about losing money.

I have lost a lot by giving loans of time and money… and watching them turn into gifts. My wife still berates me about my flawed judgement of character.

But I still trust everyone. Although, with my experiences, it is now with a filter.

I trust everyone – to behave with their own self interests in heart.

Using this filter of trust, I am never disappointed in people. And I am always proven right.

My ancestors were selfish

Darwin suggested that I am the result of survival mutations. I certainly know that of all the people who died without passing on their genes, my ancestors were not one of them.

 I am here because every single one of my ancestors chose their survival over someone else.

If one of them have given up their life for someone else – I would not be here.

The myth of giving happiness

“Make me happy”

I have given up asking people to make me happy. Even my wife says to me “Go make yourself HAPPY…”

Nowadays, I just go for a ride.

Some of the happiest times in my life have been times of deepest pain. It is not easy getting into a breakaway and staying there. I need to dish out the pain to myself and my fellow riders are surely doing the same thing to me.

I am not asking for them to make me happy. Yet, if we are successful and the ‘break’ stays away – we all become happy on the podium.

I am very selfish with my happiness. I receive lots of it – but I do not intentionally try to give anyone happiness. I have found that my success rate in making people happy SUCKS.

Somehow, if everything that someone does, makes me happy – then there seems no need to make them happy anymore.

It already makes them happy just by giving me HEAPS.

Are you independent or codependent

‘Romeo and Juliet’ lured generations of couples into the death spiral of ‘neediness’.  

“…will you die for me? – because I will surely die for you…without you I am nothing”

It is no wonder that when marriages split, there is no dying for each other. Rather, they are trying to kill each other.

This backlash of grabbing rather than sharing comes at the end of a relationship built on the shaky foundations of selflessness and codependence.

Bill and Melinda Gates were married in 1994. I don’t see them trying to kill each other anytime soon. Bill’s parents gave them a sculpture of two birds, sitting side-by-side and staring at the horizon. That seems to be the secret. Two independent creatures with their own wings – but going in the same direction.

The joys of low maintenance

Parenting can be one of the most challenging endeavours in life.

I went to engineering school. But I never went to parenting school. I just remembered what my parents did with me, and judged it good enough to pass on. I was lucky.

Control is the ‘go to’ tool for most parents. It is for the kid’s own good….Looking after them and being their personal slave and chauffeur – this is the way of what looks like selfless parents.

In reality, lots of parents are unconsciously just building a false identity of themselves by using the children. And the kids know it.

The circle of codependence begins.

Sometimes, parents get lucky and the kids chisel out their own lives as they focus on their own selfish independence. It then becomes ‘low maintenance’ all around.

If you have ever been saddled with high maintenance people, you will know the relief of someone who is ‘low maintenance’. And if your children are all ‘low maintenance’, it is a joy.

I know – because I have 3 of them.

Who does the lifesaver look after first?

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I can swim – but I am far from a knowledgeable swimmer. If I saw a bather in trouble out in the ocean, I would not jump into the surf to stage a rescue mission. I would just call a lifesaver.

The first rule for a surf lifesaver is to look after number one. That is why they train not to get too close to a struggling swimmer. And if they do get into the clutches of a panicked swimmer – how to slip away.

The safest life-saving technique is to push a flotation device towards the struggling swimmer – who can then use it to stay afloat. The lifesaver still maintains a distance and pulls the rescued swimmer to shore.

How good is selfishness?

I don’t like giving advice. I just like telling stories.

The best story is always your own life story. No one else has the stories that have made you who you are. You own those stories. But you must be truly selfish and take ownership of them to be able to share them with meaning.

Then it becomes a great story.

Otherwise it is just “I should or could have done this” and you should have done that.

Not good for anybody.

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22May 20

JACK’S BLOG – Do we live in space or in time?

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The COVIDSafe App does not collect location information – just time.

This is because once we have the time, everything in this universe can be discovered.

Captured by time

Google sends me my timeline on a regular basis – just to let me know that it has a lot of data about me. Just by nominating a time, there is enough data to be able to locate exactly where I am – including everything that is going on around me.

9am September 11th 2001.

Mention this time anywhere in the world, and it defines an event at a precise location. There is no need to use the X,Y and Z coordinates.

Here in Sydney, it was almost mid night and shortly to become September 12th. But I (and everyone else in the world – whatever their time zone) still remember it as the morning of 9/11.

The right time

Decades ago, when I used to wear a watch, people would walk up to me and ask: “What is the right time?”. I would show them my watch face and they would nod and walk away satisfied. They had the right time.

A well-functioning watch only tells chronological right time and we all believe that this is the right time.

The watch on my wrist only told ‘my time’. So, if I told you that the first plane hit the twin towers around 11pm on Tuesday night, you will tell me that I had the wrong time. It should be 9am on Tuesday morning. So, which time is right?

There is no right time.

It is just TIME.

The right place

I tell people I live in Sydney. People all over the world can picture Sydney and it will roughly be able to place me in the right location.

Alternatively, if I say that I am at 6.30am AEST, someone may be able to use this to paint a picture of me on the harbour bridge watching the sun rise.

If I gave Google a time, it would most certainly be able to tell me where I was, the weather conditions, who was close to me etc. All it needs is a time.

It has suddenly dawned on me that I do not live in the X,Y & Z dimension. I live purely in the time dimension. Everything else can be triangulated from that data point.

Give me the time… and I will be at the right place.

Time needs no space

For things to be real, we need to give it boundaries. These boundaries are the three dimensions that give us the sense of space.

Thus, everything that is real takes up space. We live in a body that takes up space.  We gather things that take up space and live in houses that have lots of space. Eventually we run out of space. So, we try to get more space

I have a ‘spacetime dilemma’.

Where do I put the fourth dimension of time?

It is a ‘zero’ dimension and needs a clock to integrate it into space and give it some sense of reality. When we need more room for physical stuff, we ask time for help.

…and time just soaks it all up.

But try packing 60 years of time in a suitcase. How big a suitcase do you need?

Why do we sleep?

We lead perception deficit lives. We sleep a third of our lives – yet know little of why we sleep.

We know that our body and minds go into hyperdrive during sleep. And we don’t have to do anything to allow this to happen.

During sleep, our bodies are locked into a fetal position and completely useless in making things and enjoying the fruits of our labour. And it is in this useless position that fresh life is breathed into us

About the only things that we remember about our sleep are the dreams. Isn’t it odd that we can create elaborate structures in our dreams – yet need no space to do it in.

We can create a dream life. And we don’t need any stuff to do it.

Give time and get space

As I reflect over my timeline which stretches almost 63 years, a lot of things have been created and I have accumulated a lot of stuff. But whilst I share the same time with everyone and everything in existence, I do not share the stuff. I have created a whole personal world. And so have everyone else.

II did not need the space to create my personal world – just the time. And with this time, I make space. Space to have things and space to do things. I make data.

With this data, Google can give me my physical space (and perhaps even what I am thinking) when I tell it a time.

But rather than a timeline, TIME seems to behave like an endless fabric – with no dimensions. Google hasn’t figured this out yet.

As I take the time to explore TIME, I have discovered more space that extends beyond physical space.

It is a space without data.

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15May 20


Is free will an illusion?

I installed the COVIDSafe app on my phone a while ago Something made me do it. I didn’t have to use my will power.

Now that it is done, the best thing I can do now is to simply forget about it.

Who is the boss?

Of all the choices available to me last Saturday night, I flicked my TV onto Netflix and watched ‘The Irishman’. I seldom get to control what I can watch on TV – I am a reluctant passive viewer.

So, why ‘The Irishman’ last Saturday?

I have a dream.… What if I could take away the will power of all drivers and have them default to zombies who only know how to drive safely? What if their vehicles had the Tesla “Full Self-Driving Capability”.  I can safely ride on any road and not worry about a driver unwillingly (or willingly) running me over. The Tesla computers have no road rage in their algorithms.

But I am awake to the fact that we all want to be the boss of our own destiny. The urge to take control to achieve an outcome has been nurtured from our infant days and linger on until we die.

I turned Netflix on last Saturday without any pre-planning. I suddenly felt like it. And as I sat engrossed into the story, the three and a half hours flew by. The last 30 minutes is the one of the best bit of film making I have ever seen… The De Niro character finally resigning himself to the fate of every human being: Living in the illusion of total control and finally waking up to powerlessness as impending death erodes the will.

When it was over, I asked myself in wonderment “who exactly turned ‘The Irishmen’ on – to allow the sublime experience to be had?”

“Who is driving the bus?”

How does a human function?

We are alive because we do not consciously take much interest in the functions of out body and mind. If we had to take control of every life sustaining bodily function, our limited brain would go into meltdown almost instantaneously.

Our bodies have an autonomic nervous system. This means that virtually everything associated with living operates automatically and we cannot ‘WILL’ it to start or stop.

One of the most enlightening periods of my life was to watch my mum and dad die. Old age had got to them and they chose to stay home for their last days.

I don’t remember them talking much about their regrets. All I remember most from them were these two statements.

Mum: “Why can’t I just die? Have I done something wrong?”

Dad: “…it is so hard to die”

Just like having no control over our birth, there is no controlling of when and how we will die.

Between birth and death is a period when we think we have control.

But I reckon that If I was to lose what free will I have, my zombie self would still fit into society quite well.

We have robots slowly taking over the jobs of humans and they do quite well without ‘will power’ in their programs.

So, can human beings get along in life with no will power?

Is free will used as a weapon against us?

Free will is like the front door into the house of control. There is the assumption that every house has a front door – and once you use it to get inside, you are home safe.

But free will is a form of entrapment. The only reason that our justice system works is because we accept that what we do is entirely our responsibility. We did it – so we will have to pay for it.

We need the illusion of free will for society to be able to pass laws to control things. And the only excuse is if we were mentally incapable (no free will) – then there is a case for no punishment.

Imagine if suddenly we are permitted to act in society with no punishment and just use the excuse “the devil made me do it…”.

There will be pandemonium.

I like breathing. I can control it. It is about the one function of the body that I can take a hold of and create some sort of pattern. Meditators use this to good effect.

But reality is that I can only control my breath so far. If I hold my breath and say: “I will stop breathing!”, my body will soon tell me different.

Knowing the difference between ownership and responsibility

The first thing my 4 year old grand daughter does when she comes to visit… is to grab my hand and say “Let’s play…”

Her game has no rules. It is about making things up as we go…

She demands my full attention and I need to be ‘in the zone’.

Then she says “Let’s play something else…”

Change suddenly happened. But I didn’t do it.

I have done many things in my life. My wife says that I should be responsible for everything that I have done (and she will not let me forget it!).

A century ago, my granddad provided the sperm and set off a stream of ‘unintended consequences’ that made it possible for me to tap a piece of glass and install something called the COVID-19 app on a device that would have been totally alien to him.

I don’t hold my granddad responsible for what I do now. But I would like him to take ownership of being the link between all my previous ancestors and the events of the last century.

My little granddaughter is of my doing – yet at this young age, she likes to show me who is the boss. When I was finally able to accept that my place in her life was to just provide her a tool for her journey of discovery, I let go of the sense of responsibility.

I own her but I don’t expect her to ask me to be responsible for her actions.

Are we totally incapable of changing our future?

Our bodies cannot ‘time travel’. But our minds can.

We constantly travel back along memory lane and fret about the future. Now is sandwiched between the future and the past… and appears so fleetingly – before it is gobbled up by the past. But ‘now’ is all we have to work with.

‘Now’ is the only place where ownership can happen. By doing something right now, the future is forever altered.

The future is not determined by a board meeting inside our heads trying to chart the best course of action and figuring out how to execute it. And re-convening to point the finger when things don’t go according to plan.

Just do something, take ownership of it, and move on. The future will change – but not the way that you have any control over.

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08May 20


What is the benefit in The Cold Shower?

“Since when did your vege become a hot chip?”

“Right now!” my little grandson replied.

“You know that if you keep eating those hot chips…it can turn real ugly?” I told him.

50 years ago, when I was around his age and an aspiring gunslinger in the tradition of Clint Eastwood, there were no hot chips. Only veges.

The good, bad and the ugly

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In this classic spaghetti western, the famous finale had the 3-man duel.

Duels are usually a 2-person affair. The good versus the bad. And whilst the 3-person duel is possible, It is very difficult for a human brain to process the extra data. But the third party can sometimes be crucial to forcing progress.

Trump has a fight with China. But he also has a battle with COVID-19. He knows that it is suicide to bring two opponents into a battle.

“China is BAD” he proclaims. “it’s a China virus.”

In the movie,  Blondie knew who the bad one was. And he put him into the grave. But this was only possible when he sided with Ugly and rendered him harmless first.

Blondie then says to Tuco: “In this world, there are two kinds of people, my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig… you dig” 

Ultimately, he would still have to deal with Ugly. But Ugly was useful and enabled Blondie to get rid of Bad…..and dig for the gold.

Trump’s problem is that he tried to gun down China first. He went for Ugly.

Now, he is left with the BAD pandemic. But to make matters worse, China is still holding a gun…. And who knows if that gun is now loaded and ready to fire…

We can only deal with two things at a time

It is easier for our minds to deal with “it is either this or that” This dualistic mode of data processing gives us:

  • Zero/one,
  • coffee/tea,
  • swipe left/right,
  • men/women
  • liberal/labour
  • me/you
  • good/bad

…but if you look beyond these screaming twosomes, you will see that ugly and all of his kind are lurking in the shadows.

I was asked once: “How many sides in a pyramid?”. I understood the question to be “How many sides do you see in a pyramid?”. My answer was TWO. Every picture I have seen of a pyramid only showed two sides.

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And if you thought the correct answer is FOUR, then you are still missing something. Most people forget the base. And if you count that, there are actually FIVE sides.

Where does the ugly fit?

We can all agree that Hitler was the bad guy. The Jews certainly has a valid case. What we don’t realise is that when Hitler was dead, there was still the ugly to deal with.

All human beings have an ugly side. Hitler managed to bring out this facet of human behaviour in quite ordinary Germans… who became the guards of the gas chambers and accomplices of genocide.

..and digging into this further, many of these remnants of the Nazi era were in demand after the war and operation ‘Paperclip” imported 1600 ‘Nazis’ into the USA to help in ‘scientific’ research.

And if you think that the horrors of war were only confined to the west, the Japanese had their ‘unit 731’.

But it is the ugliness of those times that enabled mankind to get to where we are today.

Ugliness cannot be killed. But it can be useful.

Saddled with our modern polarised view-points, we can get stuck and not make any progress – until we realise that we still need to enlist our ugliness to win our wars.

The cold shower

A few years ago, my wife told me to “…go take a cold shower”. It was a shock to the system.

I have been taking cold showers ever since. And it is ugly.

My shower sequence goes like this:

  • Make sure the shower water is nice and warm before I step under it.
  • Delight in the warmth for at least two minutes. I shampoo during this phase.
  • Turn taps off.
  • Lather and scrub body.
  • Turn on cold tap only.
  • Feel the explosion of shock and the deep gasp as the cold water hits the body.
  • Rinse off in the cold water for 40 seconds.

Any benefits of a cold shower are not immediately obvious.

But when I looked beyond the hot or cold polarities, I discovered another possibility.

A cold shower can lead to weight loss (via the growth of brown fat and high metabolism), combined with the promise of better immunity (white blood cell growth). I figured that if there was any benefit, then it was worth the 40 seconds of shock twice a day.

Ugly never dies. After I force my hand to reach for the COLD tap, I still involuntarily gasp for air when the cold water hits the skin. But what if the zone for growth is not found in the warm water between the hot and cold taps – but in the ugly shock of the sudden temperature drop?

I don’t really know if my cold shower is any help in fighting off the agents of extermination. I do know that my weight is lower than it was 40 years ago. And my Medicare card was last used 3 years ago.

Turning chips into veges

My grandson said that the hot chip came out of a potato… which he says is a vegetable. They are the same things.

And who am I to argue?

Even though both my hot and cold water comes from the same water supply too, the cold water can be just as objectionable and foreign as vegetables to his dinner.

But I know that I can turn my hot chip into a vegetable by just ‘willing’ my hand to turn on just one tap.

The COLD one.

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01May 20


Which frog do you eat in the morning?

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If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it First Thing in the Morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the BIGGEST one first.” — Mark Twain

When our ancestors chased rabbits for their meal, and in turn had to defend themselves from the tigers, there was stress.

  1. The rabbit was stressed by the threat of death
  2. The hunter was stressed trying to obtain life sustenance
  3. The tiger was most stressed because not only was there another creature trying to take away its rabbit, it had to figure out what to do with this human competitor who exhibited irrational behaviour… What was this ‘Tiger King’ going to do?

Stress is a part of life.

And the question is what kind of stress do we have to embrace?

I would like to be in the position of the hunter. Stresses that make a creature stronger means being able in to stay and play effectively in the game of life until the final whistle.

The lockdown

As people around the world started dying from COVID-19, governments had to wake up and make an ugly decision.

Some immediately swallowed the bigger frog and went into extreme lockdown.

Trump hit the snooze button and USA went back to bed. They were the biggest and the strongest and their job was to inflict pain – not receive it.

Months deep into this crisis, we are still asking:

  • What sort of stress does this virus put the world in and how early should we have eaten this frog?
  • Is total early lockdown the right choice?

Because this world is full of ‘unintended consequences’ – only time will tell.

The morning routine

I have two strategies for getting up in the morning. One of them involves hitting the snooze button. I have never found that this option makes my day any easier to get through.

The morning routine is like the opening scene in a 007 movie. It sets the tone for what is expected for the rest of the day.

I am up at 5am seven days a week.

Half a lemon squeezed onto a pinch of salt in a glass filled with water almost to the brim. This is my morning hydration.

This tiny habit brings on “the morning dump”. Like clockwork, the bowels tickle and the Sydney Water sewerage system gets to do its job.

I check the weather, briefly check my calendar for the day and start getting dressed for my morning ride. With winter approaching, it would be almost 10 degrees colder outside my front door.

My morning ride is high intensity. 40 minutes around “anaerobic threshold” at Sydney Olympic Park. I guarantee that I would be fully awake after this session. Some people do meditation to wake up. I just work my body and find that my mind is a lot quieter in a body that is awake.

The emphasis of my morning routine is not “mind over matter”.

The body comes before the mind. Whilst a body can function happily without a mind (when you are fast asleep), a mind without a body is a ghost (nothing).

Make the body strong and the fun part of the mind comes along for a ride – leaving its brooding partner scheming in the roost .

What is the frog?

They found one of my ex- roofers wandering in the streets around outside his home, naked in the middle of the night. He died in hospital the other day.

Current evidence indicate that people of sub-par health are more prone to dying from the COVID-19 virus. Whilst it is our personal responsibility to work on our health – it is the frog that no one likes to eat. It is bloody hard to keep our bodies fully functional for a full century. Yet, it is our body that supports the framework for a life.

The majority of people in the world are suffering. There are so many distractions cutting into the sleep cycle and it is so hard to get up in the morning. Hard exercise on a cold winter morning can surely be put off until it gets more pleasant. The suffering of having to buy another pair of pants with a bigger waist is only a credit card away compared to the hassle and pain of an early morning workout.

…Maybe a gym session after work will work better. Like the snooze button, this strategy rarely works.

Mark Twain had it right. If the frog is our physical health – then it is best to bite into it first thing in the morning.

What is good and bad stress?

There is ordinary steel and there is the type that my steel racing bike was made of. High tensile steel is ordinary steel that has been ‘cold worked’ – a process of pushing steel through a high pressure process.

Our bodies behave in the same way. It needs the discomfort of high pressure to become strong.

When I smacked into a crash barrier on my brand new racing bike, the Columbus SL high tensile frame buckled. The stress was too much and the frame was never the same again.

We must treat our bodies in the framework of this observation. A certain level of stress will make us stronger. Stress with no chance of recovery will make it a wobbly ride to the recycling station.

When the rabbit is forced to run for its life – that is bad stress.

When the tiger is confused as to where the food and the enemy is – that is bad stress.

When the hunter is working hard on learning how to track and hunt down his meal and execute successfully on the kill – that is good stress.

Go and play

“The only reason to play any game is to have the opportunity to be asked back to play again”

It is for this reason that we must eat the frog that makes us smarter and stronger and not eat the poisonous one that will kill us. Looks deceive.

The nicer frog usually carries the poison.

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25Apr 20


Is it better to eat before, during or after racing?

Left or Right?

Jockeys mount their horses on the left side. The Hells Angels mount their Harleys from the left side.

Australians drive on the left side and most of us bike riders clip in the left foot first to mount the bike.

But the Europeans and Americans drive on the right side of the road. I remember when we holidayed in Hawaii a couple of years ago and I was silly enough to drive. What a mind bender!

In Australia, it is law that the front brake on a bicycle should be activated by the right lever. Anywhere else in the world, it can be on the left or right. Most of the pro peloton have the front brake controlled by the left lever.

The sports nutrition world says that not only do we need to eat prior to clipping in … we also should eat during racing also.

I neither eat before or during racing.

 So who is right?

The need to eat?

I took the opportunity to empty out my race bag recently and found a gel pack with a “best before Sept 2018”.

I parted ways with gel packs 3 years ago and that discovery was a reminder of the time in my life when I lived in the fear of ‘bonking’ (hunger flat). Although I can only remember a single episode in my bike riding life when I felt ‘the bonk’ …. And had to grab some food and drink before I could get going again. That was 40 years ago.

Everyone told me that I had to fuel up before and during a ride to get enough energy to make it to the end. Everyone else was doing it (a search on Google will confirm this)– so I dutifully followed.

Two times during the week, I would wake up at 5am and do the LACC training ride at Olympic Park. It was high intensity stuff. When you are rushed in the early morning, there is no time to eat. So, I did not eat before training.

On the Saturday, It was up at 5am again for a 80 to 100km ride. Again, no time to eat. Sometimes, I would eat a little during the ride and sometimes nothing.

On the Sunday, it was race day. Even if it was a 7am start, I would get up at 5am and have a quick breakfast. All pro riders have breakfast before they race. So, I had to have breakfast too. Just to do a one hour race. And often my stomach would do funny things during the race.

A few years ago, I woke up to the fallacy.

If I could ride over 3 hours on a Saturday without food in the stomach (and not run out of energy at the end), why did I need food for a one hour race?

So, I gave up eating before Sunday racing.

The health stack

Scott Adams came up with the term “talent stack”.

I like to think of my bike racing as a layer of my ‘health stack’. I wrote about breathing previously. It is another layer. Eating is the layer that has grabbed my focus lately.

I have always been guilty of eating too much.

Cutting 5 kgs off my body was not easy. And keeping it off is harder still.

I watch kids playing games and they forget (and even refuse) to have their meals. This makes me believe that If I need to ‘nail’ something, I need to make it a game.

… And if you study the great game players, there is one thing in common. The willingness to explore.

They go deep into the complexities and come back out the rabbit hole with simple tricks that elevate their game to a totally new level. They stack simple things together and magic happens in the execution.

The only way to improve your health is to make it a game.

The two fuel tanks

One of my roofers has a land cruiser and he got cheap fuel the other day. It made the engine sick. He got to work by switching over to his second fuel tank – which still had old fuel. It is handy if you can just switch fuel tanks.

To stay alive and do work, our bodies rely on our energy stores. We have two fuel tanks. The cheap carbohydrate (E10) tank and the high octane (premium) fat tank. It takes ages for the fat tank to fill up because the body has to refine it to double the energy density of the cheap stuff – before putting it away for storage.

When we demand energy, our body switches to the cheap fuel first. It wants to hang on to the precious high octane fuel as long as possible. Work out long enough and our body is forced to switch to fat. But there is one problem.

If our bodies are not adapted to burning fat, it coughs and sputters. This is the ‘bonk’.

So, to avoid this unpleasant situation, we make sure that the cheap fuel tank gets topped up (because everyone says it is the right thing to do). The fat tank stays full. And we wonder why we stay fat after all the working out…

Flicking the switch

There is only one way to flick the switch.

Drain the cheap tank often and force the switch over to high density fat. That means no food until well after the ‘bonk’.

After a while, the body gets clever. It learns that there is lots of energy left to use. And better still, it is high density energy. Even the head gets around to the idea and it does not fabricate the ‘bonk’ any more.

It also finds that fat is the cleaner energy source. It is already there ready to be used. The carbohydrate tank is still waiting for the stomach to process the raw materials to make the glycogen available (and simultaneously using vital energy to do so).

Dual tank mode

What if our bodies can go into dual tank mode?

When the switch is worked enough, it can eventually do the magic of having both tanks working simultaneously. Cheap fuel for fast twitch muscles and high octane for the slow twitch.

Once we have both fuel systems working simultaneously, our bodies start working the way it was designed to function.

Why fast?

The fastest way to deplete the cheap energy tank is to stop eating. Angus Barbieri fasted for 392 days.

I can’t remember doing more than 20 hours.

But I regularly do 15 to 16 hour fasts. Called ‘intermittent fasting”, it has been re-discovered quite recently. Our cavemen ancestors had no option. They ate all the food the night before and when they set out to hunt in the morning, there was no way of knowing when they would score.

It may have been the afternoon before they got lucky.

Faced with the challenge of parting ways with my love of food, I had to game it.

Dinner by 7pm. That means if I don’t eat anything by 7am… I have done 12 hours. Hang on until 10am and I have a 15 hour window for my stomach to relax and clean itself out. Every hour after that is a bonus.

I remember racing the state championships in Orange a few years ago. 10 km into the race, I felt like taking a pee. Every pedal stroke, I felt the urge. Then we hit the climb.

The pee urge was replaced by the urgency of staying with the first five over the climb. The bladder still nudged me every time we slowed down during the race. But as the pace picked up, the focus changed.

My easiest fasting day is a Sunday. Race day means not getting home until after 10am. Some days it is after 11am. By the time I pack up, shower and change, I have hit 16 hours. It is easy when I make it a game to trick myself.

You can imagine how I can duplicate a similar routine on Saturday. Then a few days during the week can also be possible.

After a while (I have been on this for over 2 years), I started to notice things.

If you ever want to know how it feels to operate in ‘dual tank mode’ – then fasting is one way to make it happen.

Survive the battles and win the war

We have been told about crossing the bridge to get to the other side and flattening the curve.

This bridge happens to be worse than Gladesville Bridge. And we still don’t know what is on the other side. But we know that the more prepared we are, the easier to cross the bridge.

We are not meant to win every bike race we enter. Each race is meant to lead to the next one. Together they stack up and we get better at the game.

It is not about flattening one curve – because there will be many more curves to be flattened. It is about being ready for the challenge.

Eventually, we will all get to the other side.

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