When Canadian triathlete entrepreneur and author Brendan Brazier appeared before the U.S. Congress as a plant-based authority in 2006, he had an agenda.
Speaking on behalf of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Brendan’s goal was “to present information about nutrition and its relationship to general health.”
As he writes in the foreword to Thrive Fitness, both he and the Committee understood “… the parallel between what we as a society eat and the decline of our physical and mental health.”
But he knew Congress wouldn’t pay attention to his message unless they saw that improved public health would lead to improved economic conditions.
When he began researching statistics linking the North American lifestyle with:
a plummeting standard of life
Brendan realized the way to explain the connection between a healthy lifestyle and a healthy economy was “shocking in its simplicity.”
All three of the lifestyle-related problems, he writes, “could be eliminated by two things: regular exercise and sound nutrition.” Eliminated along with them would be “… the money spent on symptom-treating drugs and… skyrocketing medical costs.”
What I appreciate most about Brendan is that, from the age of 15, he’s been testing methods of achieving maximum athletic performance on himself. Measuring and recording the results of his intense workouts has helped him discover many basic truths about effective training.
Even in high school, he trained 10 hours a day. When his schedule wouldn’t allow more, his fitness level eventually plateaued. So he began researching ways to improve the return on his investment of time and energy.
And it worked! As Brendan describes it, “I went from training 10 hours a day to three — a 70 percent drop. Even more notably, my endurance did not level off (as I feared it might); it actually improved.”
He also shares how, after deciding to become a professional triathlete, he began swimming a few hours a day. Including eight swim sessions a week(two on Sunday!)
Frustratingly, his lap times quickly plateaued and didn’t improve. After three years he sought help from a top-ranked swimmer — and still remembers the humbling experience:
“After I’d swum only one length of the pool, he yelled ‘Stop!’ I stood up in the pool. ‘I know what your problem is,’ he said. ‘You don’t know how to swim.’”
So Brendan worked on his swimming mechanics, reprogrammed his brain and developed a quicker, more efficient stroke. The following year, he contested his first triathlon. That was in 1998.
More than two decades later, he’s still committed to improving his fitness and nutrition routines. Thrive Fitness, with its pictures of stretches and exercises he developed and sport-specific, plant-based recipes he created, is his effort to share what he’s learned with the rest of us!