How You Label Things In The World Will Determine The Nature Of Your World


Hi folks,

quiche, food, eggs, pork, analogy for self-labeling, safe exercise for better health, FitOldDog's advice

Deb makes great quiche.

As my triathlon race season approaches I find that an internal dialogue emerges increasingly frequently during my quiet moments of contemplation, between periods of not thinking, just sitting. Thoughts of my next upcoming race, this time the 2012 Eagleman Half Ironman. Part of my mind lives in doubt, and tells me, “You’re old, slow, not a great runner, an average cyclist, and just an OK swimmer, what chance to you stand?” As these races depend to a large extent on how well you set up the run and then execute it, this is not a great mental image with which to go into a highly competitive 70-mile race. It’s competitive because it’s a Hawaii qualifier, and there are 28 other athletes in my age group, 65-69, and they are serious about it. These thoughts can become a set up for failure. Another little voice in my head says, “You can handle this fine, having completed the Lake Placid Ironman five times already, your well coached, focused, and if you just relax you’ll do great.” Two little voices in my head, that’s all they are. THAT’S ALL? It’s the little voices in our heads that determine who we are. Think about it. One voice labels me ‘limited’ and the other says that I’m ‘skilled.’ Just say each of those descriptions to yourself about yourself and see how you feel about it. Labels are powerful, especially the labels that we make for ourselves, as they determine to a large extent who we are and how we project ourselves out into the world.

This kind of labeling pervades our thoughts, and I notice that people vary in their approach to the labeling process. Some go deep, some stay on the surface. Take the two quiche in the picture above. You can label them both as quiche. Or perhaps homemade quiche, or fresh quiche (and I am sure some of you are thinking “Real men don’t eat quiche.”). However, one is for vegetarians and the other contains some pork, so they are very different foods attached to very different cultures. Yes! They have eggs in common, but one could be made with free-range, freshly harvested eggs from your backyard chickens, and the other from ‘factory eggs.’ No two quiche are the same, so the label ‘quiche’ really contains only a smidgen of the information needed to truly determine whether you would like a slice or not. ‘Yummy pork quiche’ or ‘eggy food made from a dead pig?” The quiche label depends on you, and so does your personal label.

FitOldDog’s advice is that your find your strengths and acknowledge them, whilst seeking out any weaknesses to be fixed as best you can in the time available. But DON’T FIND THINGS THAT YOU PERCEIVE AS YOUR LIMITATIONS AND USE THEM TO BUILD OWN PERSONAL FAILURE LABEL. That’s no fun!!!

Over and out from a kick-ass, mature, experienced, humble (just joking), perceptive, fit, well-trained, proud-to-be-a 65-69 age-grouper, Ironman triathlete, whose enjoyment of his races will not be a function of the outcome of the race or standing on a podium, but instead will be derived from the wonderful experiences that he collects (earns) along the way.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Quiche – No Thanks!

    I am a flan man myself.

  2. Even your VOICES are Iron Men. [Fact.]

  3. Next year you change age groups then, so it will be easier?

    • I do, but easier no 140.6 mile race ever is. Age slows you down, training speeds you up, the intersection of the two is what you get, and you can’t control the competition, but they are fighting the ravages of time, also. I may make it to Kona one day, but I’m not too attached to it, I am more attached to keeping my stent intact.
      Must wish Janet Happy Birthday (thanks for the reminder), but I don’t have 5 hours to spare on the phone. Oh! Boy! -k

  4. Humph…
    A Flan is a Quiche!!…

  5. By easier I meant that you will be on the young end of the age group.

    • Ah! Well, that means that I have a better chance of qualifying for Hawaii, but then it still depends on the other old farts that turn up and how good they are. So, qualifying is more likely, thus easier, yes. -kevin

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.