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Follow all the Matt Hoffmann RAAM training, logistics, and general prepartion for RAAM 2015.

WEIGHT: Physical vs. Mental

Matt Hoffmann

1) The measure of the heaviness of an object
2) The ability of something to influence a decision or action

Blog #2 and the musings of a guy riding his bike preparing for Race Across America (RAAM)

As many of you know, I have made significant changes in my life over the past few years. With that process, I am forced to learn, listen, hear, and grow. This is the recipe to improve my life, make it more fulfilling and allow me to undertake challenges I previously thought too difficult or overwhelming.

As I prepare for racing my bike solo across the United States in RAAM, I find myself pedaling and thinking. The pedaling part is easy; the thinking is not always my strong suit. However, the long rides and hours alone allow my mind the freedom to explore thoughts. Some are random; some relate to recent conversations or books read. Recently the idea of weight popped into my head. “Weight” - what a small word with big and diverse meanings. For me, physical weight and mental weight are the two I battle the most.

Physically, my weight has gone up and down my entire life. As a high school wrestler, weight was on my mind every minute of every day, all season long. Don’t eat, don’t drink so I can reach a number on a scale so I can do what I want—wrestle. Physical weight sounds easy: calories in, calories out, moderation, eat clean, live mean, and DIET. These are all things I have done. I have been athletic and active my entire life, but thin or lean only in parts. The reason for this is the burden of the mental weight I carried.

Mentally, my weight was heavy for much of my life. I made many poor choices, resulting in acts and actions that have shaped my life in unhealthy ways. This is the weight that needs to be acknowledged the most. Until I took action and worked through the parts of my past that pulled me down, I could never feel light. I’m not saying to ignore the past or run away from it. I have done both; all that does is add to the weight. I hid in the good things and ran from the not so good. This kept me stuck in the mud, weighted down physically and mentally. When I was able to look at myself with truth, own the choices I made, and let go of the past, then I found self-worth and lightness and could move forward.

My life will always be a work in progress. I have the tools to continue moving forward. I will make my wrongs right where possible and do what I can to work through them. Every good or bad day has made me who I am today and for that I am grateful. I found myself and my passion. I found what we teach with San Diego VeloYouth—S.T.A.R.S (Self-respect, Teamwork, Achievement, Responsibility) to help me in my own life as much as the kids we work with, allowing me to coach from the heart.

Weight holds me down, keeps me stuck and adds to a negative self-image. Letting go of this weight allows me to soar. With all the great people in my life, I reach high. San Diego VeloYouth lifts me up and gives me the opportunity to do the same with the kids. Equal Earth gives me wings to fly with my words and bike across the country. That said I took the first steps on my own by letting go of the strong grip I had on my weight.

Let go and fly!