Like Trevor, I am also lucky. Having a template to write out my 2017 goals might be helping out just as much as having the actual goals themselves. If you haven’t already, check out Brandon and Trevor’s 2017 goals—after reading this, of course.

The idea of having a structured workout plan is somewhat foreign to me.  I’ve always been a 'feel the workout' kind of person.  In the past, I have also been someone that has always done the minimum when it comes to cardio.  Getting buff and tough was much more of an appeal then being able to endlessly traverse through the Canadian wilderness.  Plus my cardio was never really an issue, so I never needed to work for, or on it.  Since as long as I can remember, I’ve always been able to go for days and never blow up and gas out.  Then 30ish happened, or as I like to call it, life.

While some may be counting the minutes of their day, eager to down drafts and wings somewhere loud and sticky—my days go by so fast it’s hard to even keep up.  Oh how I long for wings night...  Between waking up—getting my daughter ready for school—make breakfast and lunches—school drop off—condensed work day—pick up—after school piano/swim/gymnastics depending on the day—dinner—bath—reading all the books—lights out—sneak downstairs to work for a few more hours at my computer/watch something—the day’s gone.

The single hardest part of my day is making time for myself; I just don’t have the time.  My day is already stretched so thin, I’m not even sure how I’m going to add the hours needed to effectively complete my races this year.  When I signed up for the Ironman Mont-Tremblant 70.3 last year, I knew that my life was going to change.  I also knew that despite how hard this journey would be, whether 'successful' or not, it would be for the better. 

As I started to slow down coming into my 30’s and especially when we had our daughter, the future began looming over me like a Macho Man elbow drop.  I was at a crossroads—accept my state and continue to get soft for the rest of my life or change everything and get in the best shape of my life.  Being a guy, who’s yearly physical happens every 4-5 years at best, I figured I was healthy enough (go Dad bod).  We had bought a house, I restructured my career, we had another child, and life continued.

During this time, I, like many of you, watched Brandon, Trevor, Tammy and Alex all conquer and complete their very own Ironman races.  Now I had already signed up for my Ironman Mont-Tremblant 70.3 race prior to their finishes, and knew my 70.3 would be difficult, but doable nonetheless.  A full Ironman though, that was never even a consideration.  Then I watched the team cross the finish lines.  Sparks, fireworks, light bulbs, they all went off.  I needed to do this.  Not just because I too wanted to join the club, but because I knew doing so would push me down the path of healthy living.

With our son recently joining our family, the need to prolong my life is even more pronounced than before.  I want to experience sharing the world with my family for a very very long time, and I need to be the best me I can be while doing so.

So, goals…

GOAL #1

Wake up at 4:30am every damn day.  This to me sounds just as horrible as it most likely sounds to you, which is probably why I haven't done it yet.  I love my sleep, so much so I made sure to pass this trait onto our children—Awesome for parents during the weekend, awful for parents during the week.  Our house needs to be up and going by at least 6:30 so we can be out the door by 7:40am, that seems to be our sweet spot.  While we could probably push out the door faster, I’m a big believer of starting you’re day calm/relaxed, with some sort of hot meal.  Now while I myself rarely eat breakfast, I make sure Sofia has eaten a well-balanced meal no matter what.  She needs to be ready for her day of fun growing, learning, and racing around.  At her school, like most, the teachers can’t force the kids to eat, (nor would I want them to) so for my own sanity I make sure that Sofia is set for the day until I pick her up at 3:00p. 

With my day-to-day schedule unchanged, I need to wake up at 4:30am to hit the pool or treadmill at the Y as soon as they open at 5:00am.  This will give me time to eat something, bang out some laps/miles before the fam wakes up, eat again, maybe even have a coffee.  Ahhh, dreams.  This is going to be the hardest goal for me to find consistency with.  My hope is that once I find the pattern, I can stay in the pocket.

Oh my God 4:30am is so early… I’ve heard 1 hour in a sensory deprivation tank is the equivalent to 4 hours of sleep.  Maybe I should invest in one of those.

GOAL #2

Eat.

Sub-goal: Eat properly.  I don’t do this, never have.  Growing up with Trevor, it was all Subway and Mall chain restaurants.  Moxies was fancy (think a fancy Chili's for you non-canucks) , Earls was an extra Fancy night out.  That being said, it was mostly Subway and whatever Mr. C was making (Trevor's dad).  My first ever pork chop was with Mr. C and he accompanied it with a sensational pineapple chutney.  It was so good I can still vividly remember it today. 

Fast Forward to my post college apartment and my girlfriend (now wife) are hanging out/getting to know each other, and she asks me if I have anything to eat—“Sure,” I say “help yourself.”  My kitchen contained a pack of fish sticks, ketchup, milk and beer in the fridge, and maybe a box of cereal or two on a shelf.  My spices consisted of salt and pepper.  I must have other talents because she was not impressed.  Even more shocking to her was the absence of olive oil in this cooking kingdom.  “How do you make anything?” she asked. “Make?” I replied, “Cook” she followed. “How about we just go out to eat.”  Eating out is amazing because of the lack of dishes; only problem is that you can’t control what goes into your food.  Now these days, I’m quite the master-chopped-top chef, I'm pretty sure even Mr. C would be impressed.

This year, as I take over my body through training, my goal is to take over my body through my diet as well.

GOAL #3

Get really good at swimming.

Swimming lessons were a part of my childhood, a mild part.  The swimming badge color that stands out to me is Maroon.  Possibly because it was the last level I completed or because it was that allusive badge just out of my reach.  When I had my panic attack during my first race, something sparked in me as I lay on my back 100 meters in, gazing at the gray sky above me.  Never again.  Never again was I going to put myself in this position again.  I was completely gassed, frightened for my well-being, terrified of letting down my family and not finishing.  Never again. 

Side note—all those kayaks and floats dotting the swim course are there for you to catch your breath, knowledge that failed to reach me until after the fact.  So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation to the one I found myself in that stormy morning, take a minute or two, utilize the race support, find your bearings and continue on.

I’d love to be able to get my 100m averages under 1:30min/per mile.  This week my average has been 2:04/100m over 1600m and I think this is a totally doable goal.  I’d love to start my race days in a place of calm rather than panic.

GOAL #4

Raise $3500 for the Ironman Foundation.  Reaching this goal will do a few different things for me personal, which is the point of philanthropy right?  Selfish goals.

From a very young age I’ve always had a desire to giveback and volunteered with numerous non-profits across North America.  From the FEED THE HUNGRY PROGRAM and OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD - SAMARITAN'S PURSE in Calgary, to teaching film at CAMP AMERIKIDS to youth living with the challenges of HIV/AIDS and sickle cell disease in tri-state area.  For me, the best way to connect with the community around you to is give a part of yourself over to it.  Ever since we’ve had children, I haven’t been able to do as much as I would like.  Life pulls my time in different ways now, but my desire to help others has remained the same. 

Through partnering with the Ironman Foundation and those of you supporting me, we will be reaching a community beyond our immediate reach.  The open arms of our race destinations are welcoming us not only as we cross the finish line, but supporting us with every stroke and step along the way.  From MAKE-A-WISH ARIZONA to KIDS NEED TO READ, the LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMA SOCIETY, the LUCKY DOG RESCUE, and the other 42 organizations in the Tempe Arizona region that the Ironman Foundation has supported, every dollar raised will go to those who will be able to maximize it’s use.  I like that, that hits me with the feels.

Racing towards 104.6 with the Ironman Foundation also adds another level of accountability.  Who wants to be the dick that lets everyone down?  Not me.  So in advance, thank you for your support.  You’re awesome.  Donations are welcomed and appreciated here: https://www.crowdrise.com/2017-ironman-arizona/fundraiser/mathewprovost

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I have other goals, like to be fast, look crazy sexy good racing, drop back down to a 32 waist, all the abs, win something or place somewhere—but the real reward that I’ll be able to enjoy and take pride in this time next year, will be knowing that I’ve completed this journey and transformation, and will continue traveling along it’s path for a long long time.

Thanks for the read.

Cheers, Mathew