From I was 12 years old I started playing volleyball. I quickly improved from being a novice, and it became the only thing I wanted to do with my life. Since about my 16th birthday, my life has revolved around the sport. I moved to Ålesund at the age of 16 to play, and two years later I got the chance to play on the top Norwegian level in Tromsø. It evolved to a short volley stay at the University of Manitoba in Canada, before getting a professional contract with a Danish club in Odense.
Through my years I have always had progress and gotten better, but at some point, it all stopped. My prime years were roughly split into my last years in Tromsø and my first years in Odense, it went slowly downhill from there.
There are probably many contributing factors to why this happened, strength training and motivation was one part of it. But I believe that one of the main reasons was that I didn’t take care of my body well enough, especially concerning nutrition and alcohol consumption.
In Tromsø I usually went out with the boys once every 2-3 months based on a rule that my team had in place. You should never go out if there are 7 or fewer days until your next game. This sounds like a simple rule, but it was brilliant enough that everything had to fall into place in order for us to actually be allowed a day out with friends.
In Denmark, this was not the case, and as a young guy with fewer restrictions, I took advantage of that. And when we still won most of the competitions we participated in, it was hard to argue that everything wasn’t as it should be.
A lot is written about alcohol and I can easily say that there is no harm in having a glass of wine or two with your Friday dinner, in good conscience, without limiting restitution or performance. It actually may have the benefit of enhancing your social wellbeing. Regular consumption of alcohol though is not advised as it will make you fat, reduce your will to train and will disturb your sleep schedule.
- Paraphrasing Torbjørn Sindballe, TRI, The Ultimate Training Book.
I am positive that a better nutrition plan would have made an impact late in my career and this would be true especially concerning alcohol consumption.
It seems that people think that alcohol has a monopoly on social activity. Sindballe expresses that having a glass of wine or a beer with friends is not harmful and normally regarded more social, but is it necessary to be intoxicated to have fun with friends? I don’t think so.
Too much alcohol will impact your body's ability to recover and get stronger. Imagine if you drink heavily once a week, then usually one out of seven days are not used to train but are rather spent lying on a couch watching Netflix, trying to recover from what you’ve inflicted on yourself. That is 14% of the time you have to get better, wasted on something that has nothing to do with your goal!
For regular people, this percentage doesn’t say or mean anything. But for somebody who wants to become as strong as possible, this results in extreme amounts of time lost that you never get back.
I will be pushing my body to its limits over the next months. Last week’s Maniac Monday told me that I’m not invincible and that I need to make sure my body gets nurtured and not broken down. This means, no alcohol.
What do you think? Is this a reasonable assumption? Answer down below, and remember to connect with me on all of the social media platforms!