Straight from pen: Marcel

Sunday afternoon I sat with the monks. I had just finished my trail, where the counter was back at just under 90 kilometers after 2 days. The prelude to a schedule of about 150 to 175 kilometers a week, everything to prepare myself for the UTVV. For those who are just now joining; on May 15 I will be at the start of an Ultraloop of 165 kilometers in the mountains of Slovenia and you can't do that with an hour of gymnastics a week. The advantage of such a schedule is that you consume so much Kcal and that you can therefore eat everything you want. You have become a sort of digestive tract on legs, where refrigerators and pantries cannot be passed without being pulled open and looted.

So also on Sunday; in my favorite après-trail hut, the Volksabdij in Ossendrecht. I had hobbled autistic for about 4 hours in the woods, over the moors and through the mud of my favorite training area and I wanted an apple pancake (actually in 3, but I thought that was a bit exaggerated). Ordered thus, my eye fell on the beer menu while waiting for the delicacy. Nice reading material for an IkPasser, right? It really didn't bother me much, but the blond abbey beer set something in motion. I had to think of those poor monks who also fit but differently. What would they think about when brewing a 'blonde'? Or when fermenting a 'Stout', preparing a 'Tripel'? Our habitual friends don't have it easy, and then I sit here babysitting for a bit, depriving them of their only source of income. Out of solidarity I ordered a blond abbey beer……

Last week I already indicated that the challenge for me is not so much in stopping completely, but more in moderation and dosing. Nothing at all is easy, sometimes a little bit is more difficult, so this was actually a nice way to test myself. Pancake and Blondje were placed in front of me and I enjoyed both, immensely aware of every bite and sip. My plate was empty in no time, and I licked the glass to make sure I had the last drop, but where before I had gone for beer numbers 2, 3 and maybe 4, I counted now neatly finished and returned home. When I got home I unhelmed a Hertog Jannetje, and enjoyed it at least as much, but the second was no longer appealing to me. After a few sips it disappeared in the sink. Mission accomplished.

So something has actually changed in my experience; where until recently I talked about 'pink beer', 'castrates' or 'pseudopils', I drove a village further on Saturday because the local supermarket no longer had zero zeros. I survived an opening drink on Thursday evening completely alcohol-free, where I even tried a Radler (that's a lot of gross to me) and I drank tea twice. Just a little while and I'll be walking in goat wool underwear…..

This second IkPas period therefore does what it is supposed to do; it lets me make my own choices. Getting a beer is no longer a habit, but a decision, just as much as letting it go. I must honestly say that my challenge in the mountains plays a huge role in this. Never before have I walked 2 days and nights in a row, and I am very curious what this effort will do to me and my body. I've been training for it for months, but training alone won't get you there; it is time for rest, regularity, and good nutrition. And as unfortunate as I find it, alcohol simply does not fit in this list. If you like to follow my progress, you can do so on my personal blog page

Now I'm supposed to close with an inspiring cliffhanger, a wisdom that makes everyone cry their bottles of wine from the balcony. Unfortunately, this is not possible today either, but I would like to point out again that fitting is a free choice, regardless of whether you do it to get slimmer or fitter, are tired of sneaking in the dark to the glass container, or just when I'm training for a higher purpose. And if you really don't like it anymore, just think about those monks; they only know what fit is.

Until next week!




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