August 11, 2008

Investing in yourself.

I often get asked why I train so hard, so much, or specifically, for what? Its hard and alot of people dont understand the investment we are making in ourselves when we are out there pushing the limits. For some athletes, its a daily fix, but for an extended group of people like myself, we are making a long term investment into our health, so that indeed, when we are 60 years old, we dont give up and become fat lazy old people who`re uncomfortable, immobile and suffering with all sorts of ailments.

I want to be an old guy full of vitality and life, brimming with the urge to discover new things continuously, smiling with the essence of life flowing through my veins.

Make no mistake, I dont train enough to get to my physical potential. I hover in the 15-18 hours a week training arena. I work a full day and I have to deal with people as my work, which is a draining enough experience on its own. To get to full potential, I would have to go through a process something like this:

1. Sell everything I have. Car, excess clothes, homewares, etc… (all except the basics needed : less clutter)
2. Move to a hub where I could dive deep into the knowledge of triathlon. Eg: Move to Switzerland and train with Team TBB, or to Boulder and hit the pavement with Gordo and Macca.
3. Train around 25 hours a week and invest in extra sleep, downtime, and avoid personal clashes of all sorts.

Now that doesnt really appeal to me, and myself, so I am in that zone where I have an idea of what I could achieve, but I`m more focussed on long term health. Hence the constant effort to eat right, sleep right, so that when most people are waning out in life, I am still full of it!

So lets say I`m spending 15 hours a week on average on myself here, and because of that, I have to sleep an extra 8 hours a week, and I spend another 5 hours a week faffing around in gyms, packing bags, preparing food, etc.. Thats 28 hours a week I am investing in my long term health.

That means around 1500 hours a year. Lets put a value to that. The average consultancy / work fees these days is about R100 after tax per hour. If I base it on that, I am investing R150 000 a year into myself. If I invest that correctly over the next 20 years in a smart investment where I get 1% per month out and a 15% growth on top of that per year (with a 7% increase in the R150 00 per year for inflation average), I could potentially walk away with R23 000 000 rand and a personal income of R234 000 per month off that.

Now this brings up all sorts of questions about investing time in yourself and what value you assign to that value. There are investments which give you up to 30% return on investment, and if I put that in at the same rate without the 1% income plan, I would be looking at R120 000 000 at the end of 20 years.

Now, thats a big wake up call. Am I really getting that much out of my training, or do I back it off and get more out of long term life by working harder to invest the money I earn, rather than spending the time out training. I think the best is to balance out to the point where you are happy with what you are doing for your retirement in around 20 years (my timeframe yours could be more or less) as well as happy with the time you are investing into yourself and your long-term wellness.

Big steaks to chew on today I know, but this kind of crept up on me too.

Just think about it.


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