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Trimarni is place where athletes and fitness enthusiasts receive motivation, inspiration, education, counseling and coaching in the areas of nutrition, fitness, health, sport nutrition, training and life.

We emphasize a real food diet and our coaching philosophy is simple: Train hard, recover harder. No junk miles but instead, respect for your amazing body. Every time you move your body you do so with a purpose. Our services are designed with your goals in mind so that you can live an active and healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Trimarni Blog

A blog dedicated to exercise, nutrition and my life

Filtering by Category: "motivation"

Hard work works

Marni Sumbal

There are those who love hard work and then those who don't. Most likely, it's obvious to the eye as to who is most determined and dedicated to reaching a goal. There isn't much moving forward for the person who feels the task at hand is too difficult to achieve. Sometimes, there is even moving backward for the person who is not willing to accept difficulty before something becomes easy. But then there are those who are passionate about learning news skills, habits and traits in order to make a change, for a change. 

Hard work works for everyone, regardless of talent. Whether you think you "got it" in you or not in order to achieve, there's nothing natural or gifting about working hard for something that you don't have now. Medical doctors who treat cancer patients are not born as natural healers. They work hard to find answers. Teachers are not naturally talented to educate but instead, passionate about helping others. You can be anything you want to be but you have to put forth an amazing amount of hard work over many many years. And for many, there's some initial trying but it doesn't last long because things get hard and uncomfortable. Hard work is demanding, time-consuming and exhausting. But the outcome is rewarding, fruitful and special. Entertain the idea that you can achieve success. 

Skills, motivation, intelligence and discipline are learned traits. If you learn how to be great, you will become great. For some, they learn quickly and adapt easily. For others, learning is slow, adaptations is a work in progress. But no matter the speed, you will keep improving until you give up. 

Anyone can work hard but not everyone wants to. It's easy to look for the easy button, to wish things were different or to hope for a different outcome. It's so simple to want things to be natural and effortless or the way they use to be but there's not such thing as a successful outcome in life without practicing, working hard and gaining experience and skills along the way. 

Whoever you choose to compare yourself to, likely did not succeed overnight. Even those who are most accomplished worked hard in some capacity before they found success. For many, setbacks are keeping you from progressing. For others, setbacks motivate you to move forward. Spend 5 years learning how to succeed and you will often gain a lot more than you had hoped for when you finally do reach your goals. 

Easy doesn't cut it and you really don't want the easy route. Easy teaches you nothing about what you are capable of achieving. Easy is boring and not what you want in your only life. You may not believe this to be true but if you are dedicated to devoting the time, money and effort to a goal, it will pay off. Job, education, family, sport....learn how to reach beyond what is comfortable.

If you are ready to put in the work, you must be consistent and patient. You can be 100% dedicated, disciplined and focused but if you rush the process, you will likely find yourself in first place at a dead end road. Slow down the process and you won't miss the right and left turns that will give you the shortest route to your final destination. 

Starting today, be willing to work hard for things to work. Keep your goal in mind with an end date but accept where you are today with a mindset that will keep you moving forward. 

For many people in this world, life will seem easy. There will be no major setbacks only stressful temporary situations. As for others, there will be life-changing events that force a person to dig really deep to the point of questioning "can I do this?" alongside arguing against "is this worth it?"

I say yes. You CAN do this and it IS worth it. 

Perhaps life is hard enough and you have no desire to push any harder. Maybe there are extra steps that you are not willing to take or you are choosing to do the bare minimum to just get by. Perhaps there is a to-do list that never gets complete and a thinking of "tomorrow I will be better" started nearly a decade ago. 

Everyone has the potential to succeed and everyone has the ability to behave in a way that brings success. Great performances do not come from those who do not work but instead, from those who are willing to go the extra mile even if there is an easier route right across the street. 

The reality is that nothing in life is easy. We get comfortable being comfortable and if it isn't quick, easy or natural, it is too hard, difficult and not worth it. 

If you find yourself behind a bump or a mountain, stop but don't turn around. What lies ahead of you is demanding, it's tiring and it won't be easy. But if you have a goal or a dream, you have to want it and know that it doesn't happen by doing nothing. 

Life gives you chances to change your attitude, your path and your direction but this doesn't mean you need to change your final destination. 

Hard work works. Develop a work ethic that makes you wake up every morning, excited to get out of bed, excited to see what you can achieve for the day. Assure yourself that nothing feels better than working hard for something that you want to happen. Learn how to be better today than you were yesterday and when you feel weak or vulnerable, remind yourself that excuses do not work....only you do. 

Waiting for your wake up call

Marni Sumbal

Athletes are all too familiar with wake-up calls. Waiting until things happen and then wishing they would have started doing things earlier. Injured? Perhaps you said I should have been better with strength training, I should not have pushed through that workout and I need to be stretching. Burnout? Perhaps you said you knew you should have rested when you kept pushing through. Not at your racing fitness? Perhaps you wish you would have made slow progress earlier in the year than trying to make everything happen in the last few weeks of training. 

As humans, I feel it is perfectly normal to use wake-up calls appropriately for we all need a little kick in the butt to remind us that life has meaning and we need to appreciate it to the fullest.  For the 20+ year smoker has been known to quickly stop smoking when he/she finds out he has cancer and the individual who thought that diet and exercise didn't matter may feel instantly motivated to change habits after learning that his/her current state of health is at a result of not focusing on lifestyle habits earlier in life. Most people find it easy to change their lifestyle when they are given a wake-up call...but why wait? 

Everyday you are forced to answer hard questions with your lifestyle choices. Perhaps everyone is doing it so you want to fit in. Maybe your standards are lowered because of lack of confidence. Or maybe you are excusing your behavior because you just don't feel you deserve any  better. Maybe you feel great and you love the way you are living life.

 Life is hard because many times we feel fine and have no reason to change, to think or to act differently. But when we ignore many things for too long, it only takes one quick wake-up call to recognize all those former positive thoughts that could have made an impact on how you are living today.

There are no guarantees in life. We often receive wake up calls because we are being given another chance. The call is not typically welcomed and many times, it keeps us from living the life we had been enjoying. But if you do a little searching, there are many times when wake-up calls are given to you as a learning experience and not as a punishment for your previous actions or thoughts.  Sadly, sometimes you aren't given a wake-up.

 Wake up calls require you to rethink your priorities and that is something that you can do now, tomorrow and everyday. Whether or not you have been given a wake-up call in the recent months, don't wait for your first one or another.

Remind yourself as to what is important to you in life. Crossing a finishing line, traveling the world, being successful at work, being a role model for your family, keeping your body in optimal health, sharing love and education with others. Many times it doesn't involve a number on a scale, a size of clothing or a 'fast' racing time or place. Eager to be perfect or to do well at everything, many choices are often extreme or goals are often pushed off due to difficulty.

Your body is there to take care of you for the rest of your life. Subtle changes have cumulative effects on your quality of life. If your body is giving you a warning signal, if you feel like you are waiting for the right moment to start or if you feel like all is wrong in your least you have days to make things happen.

Start now, don't wait and enjoy the journey of life. Don't wait for the worst to make things better now.

Endurnace sports. What's stopping you?

Marni Sumbal

Before every endurance event I do, I like to read my old race reports. I was recently reading my IMWI and IMKY race reports and I just laughed while reading them because I guess two and three years down the road, my mind still wants Ironman racing to be "easy".  I always think about a past race and somehow, my mind tells me it was "easy" back then and now I am really going to hurt. But it's funny that when I read my race reports, it was not easy and it was never easy. I guess the saying is true...

 I guess when it comes to thinking logically, the body and mind do not like to suffer. Not a good combination when it comes to endurance racing. Not sure how many times you look for that "easy" button but if you find it while training for an endurance event or while racing, I am not sure you will want to use it because if "it" was easy, everyone would be doing it.

You see, the great thing about endurance sports is that you get to become someone that you don't believe you can become. You must be patient and respectful of the distance but you must also be willing to work every day to make some kind of progress. You get to experience highs and lows and you get to learn how to work your mind and body in magical ways. You get to inspire and motivate others and you get to join a special group of individuals who seek challenges outside their comfort zone.

I love working with athletes who are new to endurance racing because the human body must be trained and fueled in a way that it resists fatigue and stays energizes and does the minimum amount of work possible to receive huge performance gains. Sharing this journey with Karel has been so much fun because I have seen his body and mind strengthen in many ways and as I share my 6th Ironman with him for his first Ironman, I can't help but think that we will both be going through similar emotions on race day....a lot of why's and hopefully a lot of why nots.

I wanted to repost a blog I did after my 4th Ironman, which meant so much to me because I really pushed hard and received the best prize ever....a rolldown slot to my 2nd Ironman World Championship. Talk about emotions....battling thoughts to get myself on the podium and then being so satisfied with my performance that I went to bed fulfilled only to find out the next day I was going to Kona in 2011.

So I wanted to share my post with everyone (again) as to why I love endurance racing and that I hope this post inspires you to do something that challenges you. Get started with something now without thinking about where you are now and where you need/want to be in the future. The part of working hard for your goals is reaching your end point and being able to look back as to where you were when you started.


This part of the report means so much to me. Not only because I finished my fourth IM since 2006 but I get to write MY report on behalf of all of the triathletes out there, who aspire to one-day sign-up and finish an Ironman. And even if you don't aspire to do a triathlon or an Ironman, or you have done an IM, this is for all of the people out there who have set a challenging, and perhaps, unthinkable, goal.

It is hard to describe the feelings that come with finishing an Ironman. For many of us, we devote a good 6-12 months of training to one event. That's right, an entire year dedicated to one event! And to make things even more nerve-racking, you pay a lump sum of money for the event.... 365 days before the race! For myself, this race was 4 years in the making and I sacrificed many other local races (and wants) to offset the expenses for this event.

For many of you, you are forced to put the hurdles and obstacles that you experience day in and day out, behind you, in an effort to train on most days of the week. On some days, your training may last most of the day. On other days, you may be up at 4:30am just to be finished before the sun comes up. But at the end of the day, you know your priorities and you quickly realize that only in your dreams would you train like a professional. That's right, no scheduled massages, no sponsorships, no free race entries, no purse prize. You have a family alongside work responsibilities and somehow, you are happy just make it all work. Why? Because you have goals. For many of you, perhaps your love for living a healthy life was taken to the next level and somehow, your goals became a lifestyle.
For myself, it was my choice to balance a dietetic internship and training. Just like you, I had ups and downs with my training and the rest of my life and just like you, I didn't always think it was possible to achieve long-term goal(s). You developed a support team and perhaps, there were some people on your team that bailed on you. However, by staying in the positive, you surrounded yourself with people who gave you energy, rather than take it away from you. Without a doubt, with IM training you are always searching for extra natural energy!!!

When I crossed the finish line, I was satisfied. I had given everything I had during the race and I couldn't have asked for anything better. For in an Ironman, every person who crosses the finish line is a winner. Everyone gets a medal, everyone gets a finisher t-shirt and every person becomes a member of a select group of people. Even for those who don't reach the finish line during an IM, they are still in a select club...for only a small part of the population even considers signing up for an IM. Reaching the starting line of an IM is one of the biggest accomplishments you can ask for. Finishing an Ironman is just the icing on the "healthy" cake.

Ironman training is tough. However, through following a periodized training plan, you should find yourself improving on a weekly basis. By allowing your body to recover through active recovery, weekly planned rest days and planned recovery weeks you should find yourself enjoying your IM training and enjoying the journey.
Ironman training is 10x harder than the Ironman event. In an effort to get to the starting line of an IM, you must train your body to complete a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. Because you have 365 days to train for a 140.6 mile event, most athletes arrive to the starting line trained and ready to go. Sadly, many people arrive to the race overtrained and/or injured, so certainly, balance and a smart mind (and coach) may be necessary when planning for your IM journey.

It's hard to describe the emotions and feelings that flood your body at the IM finish line. Perhaps you want to envision yourself crossing the IM finish line but you may be asking yourself....will my body ever let me do an Ironman??

For those who like to swim bike and runANYONE can do an Ironman.

Here's how I can describe the Ironman journey.
Remember, it's a LONG journey with a one-day finish line.

Imagine yourself driving 140.6 miles on a daily basis. For the first few weeks, it probably seems really boring and you ask yourself "can I really continue doing this every day?"
After a few weeks, the drive gets easier and you become content with the drive. Maybe you even look forward to the drive because you are alone with yourself, your thoughts and feelings. Maybe you come up with new ideas and thoughts during your drive and feel inspired to change something in your life.
Certainly, some days do feel longer than others but overall, you are happy with your decision to do the drive.
Eventually, a group of your close friends tell you that they are going to ride with you during your drive to keep you company. The drive becomes much more enjoyable because you can laugh, smile and share stories with your friends during the long ride.
Down the road, you notice that thousands of other people are doing the same drive as you. Although they are in different cars (some nicer and more expensive than others) and drive at different speeds, they are all going to the same place as you. Some how, you look forward to the drive even more and you almost don't want the drive experience to end.
One day, you notice that there are lots of people on the road wanting to help you. They want to make sure your car is fueled, it is in excellent working condition and that you have everything you need to feel happy during your drive. It's amazing how special you feel during your drive and you feel compelled to tell your friends about the drive, almost as if you are motivating others to do the drive with you.
On your last drive, you notice that your closest friends and family are on the road waving at you. You couldn't be more excited to see them and they bring tears to your eyes because they are supporting your decision to drive 140.6 miles. They think you are crazy for doing it but they love you anyways and they want to see you finish the drive.
When you get to the finish of your last drive, you notice that there are thousands of people cheering you on. You tell yourself "but it's only 140.6 miles" but you know that not many people would make the decision to do this drive. A drive that you once thought was never possible and you finally made it to the finish line. Happy that you don't have to do the drive anymore, you are kinda sad and are ready to sign up for another 140.6 mile drive.

But because there are so many other people out there with you, wanting to reach the same finish line, you feel the need to help the people behind you, reach the same finish line.

When I reached the finish line, I was ready to see all of the future "IMWI" athletes cross the finish line. A line that once seemed impossible, was in close reality.

2% of athletes qualified for Kona at IMWI. That statistic is pretty consistent at most IM events. I'm guessing that around 8% of athletes are shooting for a Kona slot.
An amazing 98% of athletes at an Ironman are there to finish. 98%!!! If you feel as if you can't do an IM, you have absolutely no idea of what you are capable of doing. The body is truly amazing. Although many components play a role in finishing an Ironman, the Ironman event is very mental. With all of the training behind you, you are simply putting your training to the test and enjoying the day with 2500-3000 of your closest friends... a day that you have dreamed about for x-year(s).
If anyone has ever told you that you were "slow" for finishing an Ironman above the average IM finishing time of 13-14 hours or questioned why it took you 14,15,16 or 16 hrs and 57 minutes (that was the last finisher at IMWI 2010) to complete an Ironman....I give you permission to stare that person in the face and tell them "I am an Ironman and no one can take that away from me!"

"I just swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles and ran 26.2 miles.....what did you do today???"

The patient athlete

Marni Sumbal

First Triathlon  2003
Ironman Wisconsin 2010

Ironman World Championship 2011

Are you a goal setter? Do you keep your eye on the prize day in and day out? My life functions the best with goals. I wake up excited to see what the day may bring and I go to bed, anxious for another opportunity tomorrow. I would assume that if you read this blog, you are motivated and passionate about health and fitness and I hope that you are spreading your wonderful energy to your friends and family in order to inspire others to live a more balanced active and healthy lifestyle.

In the case of making progress as an athlete - such as building endurance, speed, confidence, mental toughness and skills, it takes a lot of work and much like studying for an exam, you can't cram for a race in 1 week and expect great results. You may be able to fake your performance (unlikely in longer distance races) but the body is not going to retain much after the race. You have to be patient and not always do things happen when you'd like for them to happen.

There is a lot of continuous work that goes into great race day performance and the work is not always achieved in one season or in a few months. It takes a lot of effort to reach goals and many times, impatience keeps athletes from reaching what is very possible in the mind and in the heart.

We all know how to push when we are about to break and often times, we make progress this way. But then there are times when we push and make no progress and instead, move backwards. Not sure about you but I wouldn't want to be in a marathon and move  backwards when everyone is moving forward. The same thought applies to training. We each have our own ways to move forward but get caught up with rushing the process as to the "best" way or being like others and so, while others move closer to their goals by doing things their way, you may find yourself struggling to keep up. The mind may be strong but the body is tired, exhausted and burn out. Does too much too soon come to mind? Or perhaps, fear-based training?

Every athlete and fitness enthusiast will have set backs in life, set backs with fitness and set backs with goal reaching. Much like the satisfaction you get when you have a fantastic workout and physically feel yourself pushing to a higher limit, this same enjoyment should come from overcoming obstacles when you never thought that you could not succeed. By being patient, not only will you enjoy your great workouts even more but you will not feel overwhelmed when setbacks come into your path.

In training for 6 Ironmans (Placid being #6 in 6.5 weeks), I have learned that there is no "perfect" way to train for an Ironman. At the end of the day, you have to be patient with the process and most of all, you have to enjoy it. Many athletes, regardless of sport or distance of choice (racing or participating) have been limited in personal success because rather than accepting the progress that has been (and is still being) made, they search inside and out (thanks to social media/blogs/books/articles) for a faster, better or easier approach. New equipment,  a different fit on the bike, different nutrition, extreme changes in training...just a few that come to mind.

I think many active individuals (runners, triathletes) would feel comfortable using the title "type A" at times when it comes to training, racing, the diet, work and life.

" Type A personalities may have traits that lead to better performances in life and sport. Type A personalities generally have higher need for achievements and their behavior pattern is often associated with the success of an entrepreneur.

(Reference here)

Since I started competitive swimming at the age of 10 or 11, I have always lived my life as an athlete. My brain is trained to perform daily and because of that, there is not struggle to workout everyday (or move my body). I don't consider myself an athlete who stresses or over analyzes races, for my competitive spirit often desires the opportunity to be beat by those who are faster than me in order to help me push myself to be better. I try to look at the positives in every race rather than determining my success based on a finish place or time.

Because of my natural desire to be challenged in life, I have learned to enjoy the journey of reaching goals. The best journey is when you have your eyes set on a goal but you enjoy the journey more than the thought of even reaching that goal. Reaching the goal then becomes a bonus.

 If you know me well, I am an open book when it comes to goals and I am not afraid to talk about my goals and how hard I am willing to work for them. I've blogged about wanting to qualify for Kona at my Ironman's and other personal goals with my career.  I firmly believe that life has not been easy for me. Sports, school, life....I have encountered many struggles, obstacles and set-backs while trying to reach my goals.

So, therefore...patience is the most powerful weapon that I can carry with me in my journey of life.

If you are impatient and wish time to fly by, it's likely that you will struggle with reaching goals. Accumulation of hard work leads to great performances. Life, work, sports...even if you work hard but are impatient you will find yourself trying to take short-cuts or too many risks to try to progress too quickly.

You don't have to be an athlete to carry the unfortunate trait of impatience. Want to lose weight quickly? The fitness/supplement/diet industry can help you with that. Quick fixes and extreme efforts sell well. Instant gratification is what our society thrives off of as very few people desire to be the tortoise when you can be the hare. When people want results yesterday, it's no surprise that something that can be accomplished quickly is much more fulfilling than something that takes time to achieve.
Some progress is better than no progress. But if you have a goal and don't see extreme results in a week or two, how long will it take you to forget your goal and move on to another method to see if "that way" will be faster. Bouncing around from attempt after attempt is nothing more than feeling defeated by a challenge without realizing your true potential to achieve success.

There are no short cuts in life. I learned this about a year after obtaining my Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology.
Wanting to do more with nutrition for active bodies and desiring to take my passion for public speaking and writing to the next level, I was told by many that I would need to obtain a Registered Dietitian credential to be qualified and licensed to "practice" nutrition.

For three years, I was forced to be patient. You can't rush time, especially when it comes to education. Unlike sports, doing more and wanting it now was not going to happen. The saying quality of quantity could not have been more true than during my 10 month dietetic internship. I learned more than I ever imagined and my initial dreams of having my own business and taking my passion for speaking to the next level were combined with a new love of clinical nutrition.

Throughout my dietetic journey, I also realized the true value of patience. Hard work in both sport and life will pay off but you can't expect results tomorrow if you haven't put in the time to learn lessons, to overcome obstacles, to feel defeat and perhaps, become someone who you never imagined you could be.

Life is not easy. I see nothing wrong with "I can't" being part of your vocabulary because you are acknowledging that something may not be possible that you are thinking about trying. do you know it isn't possible if you don't try and get started now?

I have never allowed can't (for I have said it many times) to override "I can."

If there are any takeaways from this blog post, my hope is that you will never give up on your goals. Its much better to achieve a goal in 1,2 or 10 years than to think to yourself in 1,2 or 10 years....."what if I only tried a bit harder to be more patient with my approach and never gave up."