Athlete Diary: Ian Crane: Health, Well-Being and New Goals

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Athlete Diary: Ian Crane: Health, Well-Being and New Goals

2014 started off as a really good year for me. It was my first season as a professional cyclist, racing for Team Jamis, and I was having success and building my name in the sport. I won some races, regularly updated my whereabouts for the USADA program, and watched my dreams unfold. But my season ended with an accident that almost killed me – altering not only my career path, but also, more importantly, my life. I was forced out of racing my bicycle as a job/passion, and I struggled to evolve as a human who had to do more than just pedal. More than two years have passed, and thankfully, now, success in my career isn’t directly tied to weighing my food and skipping desserts. I no longer get paid to exercise, but it remains an integral part of my being. I’ve struggled to find that balance between professional athlete and … normal guy … but what I’ve learned is that although my job title no longer includes “professional cyclist,” all the core values and traits that were the base of that profession still exist. My accident changed who I am in many ways, but deep down, I still have the same drive.

I’ve gained 30 pounds.

Typically, changes of that … stature aren’t openly shared. They’re kept to themselves – often hushed behind some sort of shame or embarrassment. Not me, though! There’s a time in your life where being 150 pounds was necessary. Now there’s the 180-pound part of life: where you want to be able to be active and healthy, have a beer with your girlfriend, and (call me crazy!) lift a bag of groceries easily.

The 150-pound me was really good at one aspect of life, and I was healthy and specific towards that certain thing. I only ate boring purposeful food, and would avoid anything that I thought might add upper body mass to my lean physique. The 180-pound me is healthy and feels good as a new type of human – and now I can actually do a pull-up.

In 2014, I rode bikes for a job. In 2016, I’ve transitioned away from cycling and work at a desk, and I am finding my interests and goals shifting. I learned pretty quickly that my body and habits that were key pieces for success in my professional cycling world were actually detrimental and inconvenient for functioning in a more normal and traditional life. Years of cycling had molded my body in a way that was only helpful for pedaling, and as I did that less and less, I started to notice many imbalances that I wanted to rectify.

I introduced the gym to my daily routine. I was incredibly weak, so there was nowhere to go but up. I started eating food with the same awareness to my health as before, but with flavor and enjoyment added in instead of specific purposes. My body started to change, and I began to see muscles in places other than my legs. Sure, I’m not as lean (or as hungry!) as I was before, but I am still healthy. My body now fits the things that it’s asked to do.

Health is different for everybody. There’s so much more to being a healthy and wholesome person than can be found in a quick Google search. I’ve learned through my transitions that there is no singular definition to health, and that it’s activity dependent. What makes you healthy? How are you changing your daily actions to fall into that?

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