Thursday, February 24, 2011

Balance Life and Competitions

I have been on vacation since Thursday evening at about 5:45 pm, when I finally left my office. Life can become so complex and difficult, yet whenever I start thinking that, I realize that it is my reaction to things that is making it all difficult.

I started my diet four weeks ago in preparation of this annual vacation, I did not want to go to Mexico and not enjoy myself. I have found myself not enjoying things because I am afraid I will gain body fat and weight.

That is not healthy. Am I first a competitor or am I first a person? There are competitions all the time, like clockwork, they happen. The promoters make way too much money off people like me not to hold them.

I have been trying to keep things in a good perspective, but it all seemed to fall apart today, or maybe it didn't.

I have been coming to this same very small village, same tiny hotel, same room for 13 years, every February. I enjoyed time in the airport with other regulars, all heading back for a week of sun and relaxation just like me.

I emailed Annie ahead of time. She is a massage therapist who lives here eight months out of the year with her two daughters and husband, they run a surfing school. Then four months out of the year they live in Oregon. I told her I would like a 90 minute massage on my patio, she was there today, in the warm breeze, greeting me like an old friend.

The hotel we stay at has a small restaurant, Christian was the proprietor, but he left this past winter and now has his cafe in the village of Troncones. We have thoroughly enjoyed the new restaurant, Jean Paul is French, his wife is Mexican so the mix of foods is spectacular.

But we missed the old Christian, and his dad, Paul. 

We headed down the road today towards Troncones and saw Paul outside Cafe Sol, we stopped and hugs were abundant. We said we would come back for dinner.

I was so hungry, I made the guys leave earlier than they should have. I am not used to eating so infrequently and the fats and carbs are not doing my body good....

We ended up at Dona Nica's, it is a restaurant on the beach, she knows us from all of the years we have been coming here. It is a dirt floor, open air restaurant where food is cooked on a comal outside. She greeted us with warm smiles and laughs, I asked if she could make Chile Rellenos the next evening, and yes, we were told to come back then. They are made in the tradition of this area, stuffed with real mashed potatoes, and albondigas (meatballs) on the side.

You never know if they will be open or not!

We stayed only for a drink, I had my first pina colada, the boys had a beer. Once I was done, the fellow was right back and filled up my drink again, seems he couldn't make a small drink, and he wasn't ripping us off, we are old friends of Dona Nica.  My two pina coladas, and the two beers was 100 pesos, less than $10.00 us dollars.

Tourism is off, badly. Christian and Paul say that it has been very slow, Annie also said the same. They all say that regular guests are here (like us)  but there are no new people. they are all scared about gunmen, drugs and narkos. We are fine where we are.

We enjoyed a great dinner at Christians although it took forever because first Paul was chatting, then Christian, and we couldn't order! In the end I had a ceasar salad and then a hangar steak with onions and mushrooms. David had the same, Cooper? He has a fantastic cheeseburger, then three skirt steak tacos, and half of David's steak (I ate all mine).

I am still feeling that I may be blowing it for my next competition, but I am having a great time with my family and that means more to me.

Did I tell you about the whales we watched breaching off the beach this afternoon? Probably not.

I have been having a hard time balancing the desire to enjoy my vacation with the need to adhere to a bodybuilder's diet, not an easy task at all where I am.

The lesson all comes down to this. I am reading a book on vacation called: FLOW the psychology of optimal experience. In this book one of the components of happiness is competition, and this is what it has to say:

One simple way to find challenges is to enter a competitive situation. Hense the great appeal of all games and sports that pit a person or team against another. In many ways, competition is a quick way of developing complexity: "He who wrestles with us" wrote Edmund Burke, "strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper" The challenges of competition can be stimulating and enjoyable. But when beating the opponent takes precedence in the mind over performing as well as possible, enjoyment tends to disappear. Competition is enjoyable only when it is a means to perfect one's skills, when it becomes an end in itself, it ceases to be fun.

So I shall challenge myself upon my return. I will work to be the best I can be, that is what I strive for. It is not to beat others, but to beat my personal best. I am in competition with myself, and I am one of the most worthy and difficult opponents!