Loving, Limerencing or Loking Your Sport, And Does Age Really Matter?

Hi folks,

Excellent discussion of love and falling in love (limerence). Based on a PhD thesis, if I remember correctly (after 20 yrs). From: http://goo.gl/O7VGP

It is critical for your happiness that you develop a healthy relationship with your exercise or training program, and especially with your race performance if you race. If you don’t know what a healthy relationship is, how are you supposed to do that? It took me many years to work it out, partly with the aid of two books (see figures). A propos this issue, I was recently reading a discussion group post on the LinkedIn Triathletes in Training Group site, when I came across this interesting question by a gentleman named Leigh: “When you train for so long for a specific race and don’t get the result you’re after, how do you get over it?” Sounded a bit like a broken love affair to me. There were a number of interesting responses, and mine went like this:

This is a good one, and it happens to all of us. You can never predict the outcome of a race because ‘things happen’ so why try? You can, however, predict that you will do your very best. If you come away doubting that you succeeded in this goal, then reassess your mind rather than your body. Don’t make excuses and don’t ever beat yourself up – learn! Then you will progress, and success will come when it is ready to do so. And whatever you do, enjoy the process because you will be a long time dead. I like to win, which happens even to ‘old farts’ from time to time, but I try not to let that be everything. Doing my damnedest to do my best whilst avoiding injury is always my one and only goal. When I race I remember what my coach, Chris Haute (AIMP) said, and try to do it: “Kevin, if during a race you are ever comfortable, you are going too slow.” And when it is over, I reward myself irrespective of my physical performance, which means that I eat!! Happy racing (against your own mind!).

If you are an older athlete you are also faced with the fact that however hard you train you will become slower, and it will become harder to place as you age through your age group. Even five years makes a big difference, and this is a major psychological hurdle for those who have to win. It doesn’t matter if you were the fastest kid in college, what counts today is what you are doing now. Chris Haute of AIMP, who coached me for two years, treated me as if I was the same age as everyone else at his camps. I was, in fact, 20 to 40 years older than the majority of his other athletes. It didn’t seem to cause any issues, except I was always near the back of the pack. Other people tell me to slow down, allow for my age. “Take it easy Kevin, or you’ll kill yourself.” Some people think that I am obsessed with training and, as we know, obsession is not a good way to go about a healthy relationship.

Best self help book I ever read. From: http://goo.gl/OLtZa

What is one to do? Should I go sit in a rocking chair on the porch or to try to ‘kick ass’ in the next race? Should I love, limerence, or loke my sport? Loke, by the way, is a term coined by Rich Hall in one of the funniest and best self-help books I ever read. The term loke combines ‘love’ with ‘like.’ You have to both love and like the person, but whether the word love refers to limerance or non-limerent love (which I find hard to define) in Rich Hall’s book is not clarified. I would like to suggest that you should try to loke your sport, as opposed to having to win. Consider letting winning be a feeling goal rather than a pace goal. Only one person can win, but everyone can enjoy the race, except for people who are there solely to win and fail to do so.

Deb's soup at our Valentine's day lunch. It feels good to see one's partner happy.


A final note on aging. I was listening to National Public Radio (NPR) this morning, to The People’s Pharmacy, and I heard a guy, Gary Taubes, talking sense. I love it when that happens. He was discussing thoughts in his latest book, ‘Chez Ollie,’ using some fascinating analogies to get his points across. Basically, he was demonstrating the importance of questioning the obvious or ‘the party line.’ Such questioning will get you into hot water, just look at what happened to Socrates, but it is the only course of action for ‘the unreasonable man.’ I sure wish this guy would tackle aging and the misperceptions involved.

So be unreasonable and if you absolutely have to win, then win damn it, and ignore this rambling old fool. I suspect that that is what Chris Haute might say!

-k Your Medical Mind



  1. To loke, pertmanteau verb somewhere between love and like?

    Not to sure about this word.
    It is a bit too close to Loki. Loki was an Aesir and the great opponent of Odhinn.
    Loki was the “power” (the Old Norse never called their great beings gods but described them as powers) and he was associated with mischief and change and he controlled fire.
    Disorder and chaos, earth quakes and conflagrations are all through the powers of Loki. (It sould be noted Thor generally took Loki with him on a dangerous mission. It is good to have the devious trickster on your side!)
    At the end of this world at Ragnorok Loki will return with giants and orcs and dead men and both he and Odhinn and most of the Aesir will perish in that final fight. After this there will be a new Midgard and new people and younger powers will hold sway.

    It seems to me to Loke sounds so like the verb to love and nothing like the verb to like.

    Love is a source of turmoil and chaos in the heart. And yet it helps us make a nice plate of soup. Love the Picture…

    Beware you are entering the sphere of poets and few if any of them are sane.

  2. correction: portmanteau verb

  3. Two words put together to make a new word. See Jabberwocky by Lewis Carrol.
    “He left it dead and with its head he went galumphing back”
    Galumphing is a made up word. Two put together as in a portmanteau. The two in this case are Galloping and Triumph
    As in Love and Like to make Loke

  4. Yep! weB LOG = blog

    Did you ever hear John Ciardi on the radio. He would follow these things back thousands of years through many countries to take a word to close to its origin. Great radio guy.



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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.