When strict stay-at-home orders first struck Spain in spring 2020, Nathan Haas, who rides for the Cofidis WorldTour team, was at his adopted home in Girona. Colby Pearce, who has known Nathan for many years, shared a deep conversation about their longing for nature, made ever more vivid and poignant due to the Australian’s confinement in the medieval Spanish city.
Things there are getting better. Many riders, including Nathan, are now able to get out on the roads, at least to a limited degree. This episode is not just about a pandemic—it is about far more than that. Ultimately, the conversation is a useful tool to teach us something about ourselves, from two friends who love nature and who are passionate about bikes.
Welcome to the cycling and alignment podcast, an examination of cycling as a practice
about the integration of sport right relationship to your life.
Colby Pearce 00:32
Welcome, did you knots, seekers of knowledge and information those who are on a quest for understanding to the episode of cycling in alignment with our favorite guest, Nathan Haas. Nathan is a 31 year old professional cyclist he writes for the Kofi D French cycling team. Fear not if you care, little or nothing about cycling, we talked about a great many things Above and Beyond the sport. I’m sure you’ll find many wisdom nuggets on our path. Nathan is a philosopher, a defender of cats. He walks through the world with a tactile perspective. And he’s a deep thinker with many things to say on many topics. Nathan approached me with a topic for this collection of digital reflections. And hence suggested the title of this episode connection with nature. It’s more than just a title though. It’s a theme. It is a platform for discussion. We do wander a bit, we maybe find some weeds, but I think you’ll agree that our conversation is not without flow the episodes already long so I’m going to deprive us of our definition of a concept that Nathan asked me to spell out or unpack twice the concept of priming. You’ll just have to wait for a future episode, maybe a mini cast. That ladies and gentlemen is what’s known as a hook to get you to listen to another episode. Because after you hear what Nathan has to say, and maybe what I say some of in between you can’t possibly imagine a life without another episode of cycling in alignment. Without further prognostication, let us begin our cosmic voyage with Nathan,
Colby Pearce 02:50
Welcome to the cycling in alignment podcast. I’m your host Colby Pierce. And today I’ve got a special guest Nathan Haas. Nathan, how you doing, man?
Nathan Haas 03:01
I’m very good Kobe, how are you?
Colby Pearce 03:04
I am Well, thank you, which is not a trivial statement in April of 2020.
Nathan Haas 03:10
I think that’s very true way to explain where we’re at right now is nothing seems very trivial. Everything is simultaneously intense. And also very lazy. Fair.
Colby Pearce 03:23
Yes. Fair enough. Well said, you’re in Girona at the moment. But I want to prep this conversation by talking a bit about your recent experiences. But before we dive into that, I’ll just give our audience a brief intro in case they don’t know who you are. Although in the cycling world, you’re obviously well known. You’re professional cyclist. So for those of you who aren’t familiar with Nathan’s origin, he’s from Brisbane originally you say? Brisbane, not Brisbane?
Nathan Haas 03:52
Well, I was I was born in Brisbane. But it’s actually been one of these things that’s plagued my career from a factory senses I was born there, but I was very quickly taken away and moved to Canberra. I was sort of there just for a hot minute to be born and then we bailed But yeah, I think that’s probably the only time in my life I’ve actually been to Brisbane was when I was born that we don’t need to go into the kind of colonial history of Australia but just a small known fact that Canberra is actually the capital of Australia. And I’m very proud Canberra. I have yet
Colby Pearce 04:23
to visit you there, but I’ve heard the riders amazing. So someday it’s on the to do list.
Nathan Haas 04:27
I hope we can make it that together one day. Hmm.
Colby Pearce 04:32
So you started out your cycling career really racing mountain bikes and you actually attended World Championships twice for the Australian team?
Nathan Haas 04:42
Yeah, that’s correct. I am. I was actually one of those diehard downhill jump riders that you know, used to ride in wet concrete like downhill mountain bike for life with the number four, you know, still road cycling sort of this soft, very, almost feminine version of what I was doing. It was, it was something that I sort of sort of soft core, and I never really had that much respect for it. You know, with the whole like reclad thing we were wearing body armor and full face helmets risking our life every time we did things, but the sort of downhill racing for me became more successful in the courses that had more pedaling. And then one of my best friends, Oh, actually my best friend at the time, Angus, and his family was a real cross country, mountain bike family, and they said, come try a cross country race, and I did really well. And that was just basically because I had ridden myself to school after school for hours every day, to some kind of fitness that all of a sudden I realized that, hey, I’ve got these cool skills from downhill but I’m really fit. So cross country, mountain biking was my endeavor and my passion for good five years of my life. And it took me to some amazing places. I got to travel Europe, off my own back, which was another really eye opening experience. You know, traveling the world with the money saved up from Little jobs here and there to basically get your ass owned in Europe racing the World Cup Series and getting to World Championships a few times, which was a real highlight for me.
Colby Pearce 06:15
And what years are we talking about here just to give a little more context.
Nathan Haas 06:20
So I, first of all, represented Australia for the first time as a junior mountain biker in 100 19th, in 2007, in Fort William Scotland, and then I took myself for the next two years to Europe as a bit of a vagabond, with the whole kind of look like as professional like you know, you’ve got all the gear and everything but I was I was basically eating noodles and beans for two years in Europe. Racing the World Cup circuit. also getting over to North America and racing in in in Fremont and monster Nan, which were two of my favorite races of all time. Time. And then I also got to represent Australia as a spy, which is under 23 category. Mm hmm. So that was that was a pretty amazing experience. But, you know, I soon found out it’s during the, the economic crisis of 2008. There was just no money in the world and cycling was a massive victim to that. So I quickly realized that that even with a pretty high level of success I was having in mountain biking, and there were no chances to get teams that could make it a professional. Well, could you call it a professional journey? So I I had to kind of readjust and pivot and road cycling presented itself to me at the right time, and I had many people give me some fantastic opportunities. I had some fantastic mentors and a great racing scene back in Australia to prepare me for what was going to be the next phase of my life. Which was to be a professional road cyclist in Europe.
Colby Pearce 08:05
And then you eventually ended up winning quite a few races in Australia. And that garnered the attention of gv and you ended up writing for Garmin Barracuda, which then became Garmin sharp. Right. You were on that team, I believe for three years, which is where we met.
Nathan Haas 08:19
Actually, for years I was I was on garbage gone in for for three years. And then the fourth year it turned into team Cannondale. And then I moved on to a new opportunity at team Dimension Data. Three years and then I was offered a again a pretty unique experience at team Katyusha where I spent two years before the team actually came to close. And I’ve moved for my ninth season as a world tour rider to a French team team coffee this
Colby Pearce 08:53
week coffee, maybe Oh,
Colby Pearce 08:58
And fortunately, as you said to me This spring instead, how was your first camp with the team Nathan? And you said, Man, this team is really French. I’m really glad I speak French because there’s not a lot of English going around. So that was a handy life card to play.
Nathan Haas 09:12
Yeah, so just to give some background on my French speaking, I, the first seven years of my education was actually all in a French speaking school, I had French friends, and no parents that could help me with my French homework. So it was, it was quite a challenge then to be living around the world because my dad was in the military and that was why we went to a French International School, okay, so on are returned to Australia. I also went to French international school. So that was where I got to learn my French, which has a very few times in my life, been a real opportunity giver, but now more than ever, and it’s quite a blessing that I got that opportunity when I was young to learn language to the level that I have.
Colby Pearce 09:59
Languages a life skill that can pay off in unexpected ways. I think that’s
Nathan Haas 10:05
Yeah, definitely. And and it’s unpredictable times.
Colby Pearce 10:08
Yeah, Yes, for sure. Even French. Good. So now you’re living in Drona Well, at the moment you’re in Drona. Although you have some you have some domiciles in different locations. And you’re there with your life but your wife Laura and your cat, Mr. Sausage, I would love it if you would expand on Mr. sausages full name.
Nathan Haas 10:36
Okay, so sausage is a big black cat. He’s six kilos. He’s from East London. He moved here a few years ago, just like most Brits in their retirement come from warmer weather. And his name. His name in Fall is sausage and yummy face pillow pants, the third Archbishop of Corona and Associate Professor of Ornithology but he’s also known By the alias of the Dark Lord the Dark Lord yes that’s a new one but he loads he loads of the town at the moment and he’s very dark so it seems fitting
Colby Pearce 11:11
and he occupied you guys have a flat on the rumba and you’ve got a nice window and he can he can watch the people come and go and and practices ornithology and make sure that all is in order
Nathan Haas 11:24
correct he’s he’s over he’s overloading the street at the moment it’s just keeping everything safe.
Colby Pearce 11:30
Hmm Well done. Well, you know on cats I’ve just got to mention we have a particularly vocal cat rolling around our house this morning and we it’s possible we might hear him contribute to our podcast in his own unique way we recently This is really has nothing to do with our podcast conversation for the day, but I’m just going with it. We recently purchased him or actually located a harness. Our previous two cats were outdoor cats and one found her demise by fashion Moving auto vehicle and the other was consumed by some sort of Colorado Neve creature, unfortunately. So we decided this cat Milo would be an indoor kitty. And he really has a pretty free spirit. So we bought a harness and we took him out to the backyard the other day, and now he literally won’t shut up. He’s just at the back door meowing like 24 seven. So we’ve created a monster
for free to man.
Nathan Haas 12:29
That’s it, that might actually be a nice segue for us to talk about, you know, freedom, freedom and what that actually means to us.
Colby Pearce 12:38
Right, Nathan, let’s talk a bit about UAE and your experience there. If you don’t mind, I’d love to share kind of what happened, what you experienced to them. You know, the race was happening as normal and this is as the virus was sort of sweeping over the world. How did that go down and Toss a bit about your perspective on it, please.
Nathan Haas 13:06
It’s, it’s interesting to think about now
Nathan Haas 13:11
because my perspective at the time was very different to what my perspective is on it now. But to give some background to the listeners, I was in UAE, about five weeks ago now, which seems like five years. But five weeks ago, I returned from the tour of UAE, which is a cycling race in the Emirates were on the fifth stage. We were woken up. So after the fifth stage in the night, we were woken up at 3am by people in hazmat suits telling us that people had just tested positive for the Coronavirus, which was something that we knew a little bit about. We knew that it was in Wu Han we knew that China was having great difficulties, and I was making its way around the world bit by bit. But in the past, we’ve been, you know, hearing about things like SARS, which had had a similar kind of trajectory and also mirrors, which had sort of had a similar pathway where people were having these, you know, acute respiratory issues. But the pandemic never really played out to be something that just took over the whole globe. So I guess where my mind was on the Coronavirus, prior to this night was that it probably wouldn’t happen to me. And you know, and it probably wouldn’t happened on a global scale because that just hasn’t happened for so long. And we’ve had these small examples of it almost happening, but it kind of just fizzles off. So when we will all of a sudden working up by people in hazmat suits and being forced to do swab tests to see if we were positive for it. It was very confronting and quite a scary thing. experience and also having absolutely no background or understanding on what the virus actually is and how it functions it was it was a very intimidating situation. And then that that was followed by a proceeding 11 days in quarantine staying in a hotel. And a little bit of background on the hotel, it’s the W Hotel, which is actually built around the on the inside rather of the Formula One track in, in Abu Dhabi. So it’s this really kind of like crazy five stop shiny than shiny, cleaner, cleaner than clean
Nathan Haas 15:43
experience and you know, all of the restaurants are really their
Nathan Haas 15:49
classic examples in the middle east of you know, what Western class is supposed to look like, or worse than experiences are. So you’ve got these like, really fancy coffee shops. And then you’ve got the really fancy Turkish restaurant, you’ve got a really fancy, you know, cocktail bar. And it’s, it’s a very kind of on natural experience because as we know, in the Western world, things aren’t really quite like that unless you’re in Vegas. So it’s a really kind of extraterrestrial experience to be staying at this hotel in the first place. But then to find out that the whole hotel is now been quarantined, and that there’s armed security guards at the end of the road, blocking traffic in and out that we weren’t allowed to leave the hotel. We had no control over what food we were getting. We weren’t allowed to leave our rooms, we weren’t allowed to go outside. We weren’t allowed to have natural sunlight if it wasn’t from your balcony. It was a truly unexpected situation to fall into. But not only was it unexpected, but there were really a lot of unexpected outcomes and emotional outcomes to come from. It, especially in a world at that point, which didn’t have many experiences of this quarantine quite like we do now.
Colby Pearce 17:10
That sounds really intense. Um, so as far as you know, the peloton at the UAE race was being treated as the first Ingress point of this of COVID-19 into that country. It sounds like is that accurate?
Nathan Haas 17:30
Yeah, definitely. So there had been a few cases. And but in, I believe Iran, they had been Iran was sort of the first explosion of COVID-19 in the Middle East. Oman had actually closed its borders to all countries at that point to try to confine itself so we kind of knew that there was a vibe going around. But at this point, you know, the United Arab Emirates is kind of this new hugely touristic kind of bigger than band A country that you just didn’t have the impression that it was going to kick off, you know, you actually felt quite shielded, you know, ironically, because of the kind of environment that you were in. But yeah, it definitely became. And at the time, it was becoming kind of the national embarrassment off of Abu Dhabi, that all of a sudden there was this international bike race that was potentially going to infect the whole country. So it was, it was quite a surreal experience in that we weren’t sure what the media was saying about it. But we definitely knew that people knew that we were and we were kind of source, and we were actually representative of the virus in the whole country. So not only did I feel that my own life in my own health was under threat But I actually felt this really strange external pressure that I had become the virus or I had actually become this thing that nobody wanted. So there was this really strange feeling of rejection and rejection, which I was having trouble dealing with at the time.
Colby Pearce 19:17
Interesting. And also in particular, I think, because, based on what you’re telling me, it seems as though you the peloton had this status of almost extremism in the sense that when you were there, you were this celebrated international community, this sporting event, that’s a marquee event, something for reporters and media to pay attention to and the point of, you know, cycling tour like that, from a marketing perspective is to show off the country because it’s televised, you know, their photographs their reporters there and so, in telling that story of the race people around the world get to see how beautiful the country is to get to see the landscape and the hotels and the beaches and whatever else in the mountains. What Or else it’s being shown off depending on where the races and so you went from really a postcard to suddenly now the peloton was treated as this vehicle for potential ill
Nathan Haas 20:14
that Yeah, I think that’s a really good way to, to explain the situation Yeah, we go from being what is promoted yes to all of a sudden demoted. And we went from feeling like you know the champions of our sport in their country in their host race to all of a sudden, I felt like I was a parasite, so to speak. I was unwanted but I was also not allowed to come in contact with anything and nor was I allowed to leave.
Colby Pearce 20:41
And there were literally armed guards at the entrance to the elevator on your floor or at the in the lobby or how did that go down? Describe that
Nathan Haas 20:50
so that the hotel is actually almost like an island within the Formula One track. So there’s one road in one road out and at that road point that we’re on God’s, so it’s pretty simple for them to keep you guys isolated. Yeah, I mean, if you think about it from a logistics perspective, it was a perfect scenario for them to be able to at least contain it.
Colby Pearce 21:11
Yeah. And so I’m sure you were there with your teammates and your team was one of I believe three teams who were held longer than the rest of the peloton for a total of 11 days. Tell me a bit about how your teammates and your team staff handled this unexpected news. And this, this forced quarantine, this is a pretty abrupt change. I’m sure that when everyone got on the plane to travel to UAE for this race, no one, no one could have predicted this outcome.
Nathan Haas 21:43
No, I think I think predicting this kind of thing or being on any kind of energetic plane to be able to feel this coming would have been, you know, a level much higher than anyone that I’ve known but so one of the experiences Is that I found quite confronting, surprising disappointing, but at the same time having now a real understanding for it was that there was zero protocol for anything like this. There had never been an experience in that country or in this hotel that anyone could have compared to to actually take some insight from to do this the right way. So after the first test performed, what they actually wanted to do was anyone that was negative can leave. So what they did was they, they kept was they shut the whole hotel down. They had all of us eating in the same buffets. So we were eating in food halls, touching utensils with people that possibly actually had Coronavirus at the time. So there was no sort of confinement. There was no real quarantine at this point. It was basically like, Oh, you’ve all been tested, and between the time that you were tested, and when we get the results, there won’t be any chance for cross contamination. To hear more people to become infected, right? And so what they did was three days later, they were like, ah, everyone that tested negative is allowed to go home. Cool. Oh, by the way, side note except for everybody on the fourth floor, because people that tested positive, we’re on the fourth floor, so they have a high chance of being infected. So they’re going to stay for longer. And unfortunately, my team was part of the now infamous for floor. Right? So not only were we kind of frustrated that we had to stay, I was actually more frustrated as somebody that has quite a good I would say, slightly more than layman’s understanding of how infection works. And contamination as Colby can probably attest to, I clean my hands more than anyone has ever known. And not because I’m a germaphobe. But actually just because I have an understanding of how you do contract things and athletes do sit on this, you know carriers knife’s edge of health and poor health. So I, I was very confronted by the organization of the whole quarantine at this point and how I had just figured and seen how this virus was maybe going to take over the globe in that, just from our example. We had 400 people out of 500 leave that had for three days, been tested negative before those three days, but for three days been around people that actually then did test positive for Coronavirus, and that have not only taken it out of the UAE could have taken it to every country that they’re from the water recycling has almost every nation you can imagine. So we were kind of I felt like we were almost like monkey zero. There’s
Colby Pearce 24:48
no perfect vector, no more perfect vector model than that exact formula right there like,
Nathan Haas 24:54
exactly and that was the big fear of the Olympics as well. You know, not only would it be dangerous for the athletes And Tokyo, but after that you couldn’t imagine a better vector, like you said, it’s gonna spread this like wildfire. Yeah, so not only was I kind of confronted and upset that I had to stay, I was also upset on a kind of universal level that 400 people were maybe going to infect around the world. And, and without meaning to cause, you know, a huge amount of damage. And at that point, you know, around the world, things were still potentially containable to a certain extent, or at least, you know, at that time, I thought maybe they were. So I was I was upset.
Nathan Haas 25:36
You know, on a personal but also a universal level that but
Nathan Haas 25:41
we were then tested for a further three times. And each time, we were really fortunate to test negative, but more and more people on our corridor and from other teams. Were starting to test positive and then I was starting to actually feel that my health was under threat because The mechanisms for quarantine, ie the people that were bringing us food, the people that were cleaning our rooms, were doing so with everybody around. And also we were finding out that the hotel staff of the, of the hotel, were also under quarantine, we didn’t know that 250 staff were also forced to stay at the hotel. And they were also falling ill. So the very people that were taking care of us, were also spreading the virus amongst themselves. And then to us and then us to them. And it just sort of felt like this really haphazard and frustrating experience where things didn’t feel totally in control. And I was also in a country where I didn’t speak the language or understand even really the political system and how I would kind of ever get out of this situation. So for me, it was it was one where I I obviously had some care for my individual outcome. But I was also really hurting because I was starting to feel responsible for what the outcome of us being there and being sick was going out. Yes.
Colby Pearce 27:11
And so, in the end, you raised five stages of this race, the sixth stage was canceled. That’s when everything went into lockdown. You were in the hotel for five more days, just sort of dealing with everything you’ve just described. It was on about day six that you guys finally got trainers sent to you from Swift, which I believe was mostly out of your effort to organize that. Because at that point, you had no idea how long you were going to be in the hotel. They were saying another, possibly two weeks after that point, which fortunately ended up being less.
Nathan Haas 27:47
we were very lucky that it was less than the end.
Colby Pearce 27:49
Yeah. Then you were able to head back to to Spain. Correct. And, at that point, you sort of thought you were out of jail. But that’s not really how things turned out. Was it?
Nathan Haas 28:04
No, you know, I came back to to Spain I, I normally actually my, my residency here on mainland Europe is in Andorra. And my plan was actually just to spend a few days in Spain kind of defragging de blocking my system before getting back to real training up in the mountains. And it became quite evident to me that I was actually having a very big hangover from the situation. And you know, cafes were open and restaurants were open even had my birthday and we went to a dinner with friends. But there was this. There was this feeling this feeling like, you know, I thought things had returned to normal but something was wrong. something was missing something wasn’t right. And think that was coming from both inside me but also in the insurance. I was in things was starting to change. And there was a stress. And this is when I started to realize that this jail, you could speak off and had maybe shifted location. For me, I almost felt as if I was the first person to feel the first vibration before a big earthquake. And I’d had all the warning signs and I’d experienced probably to the maximum extent of how intense this situation can actually be without even being sick. So, you know, in many ways, I think your ignorance to the overall severity of it was probably quite fortunate, and you know, the everyday that you get to enjoy. Now, what I would consider to kind of be like the olden days, you know, the days prior to this, it feels like an eternity since then. And I’m very nostalgic to just being able to go get a coffee right? Yeah, or when you’re watching a TV show and there’s a plane you like, remember when we could fly?
Nathan Haas 30:06
Like, oh my god, people are in a nightclub, like, How fun was that when we
Colby Pearce 30:12
so used to go out to dinner? Yeah,
Nathan Haas 30:14
but but at the same time I know you as a very empathetic person and somebody that is very, very close to your energy and your own kind of sense of self in the world that when you feel like a vibrational change, you’re very aware of that. And I can only imagine how uncomfortable that probably was for you. Because in a same sense, I came back to Spain, thinking that I was coming back to kind of normal vibrational field as well if we’re going to use that kind of language. Yeah, but everything felt different for me and it was it the word that I kept bringing up was universal melancholy. Mm
Colby Pearce 31:01
Yep, I think that’s a good way to describe it.
And, you know, I think
Colby Pearce 31:09
I think a lot of people have different voices, right? Whether it’s a or Claire’s you could call them clairvoyance. clairaudience clairsentience. I think people are plugged into these when they’re listening. It’s just that a lot of people have numb themselves to these abilities. And that’s a pretty sweeping statement, but I’ll just go with it. And I think that ties into the theme of our podcast, which is connection to nature. And I do believe that the more one makes an effort to connect with nature in their natural environment, the more of these types of voices are Claire’s are switched on. The more in tune, the more you practice that it’s just like a muscle. It’s just like anything you train, the more you put your intent in that area of focus, the better you are at having those experiences and being tuned into them and No, I’ve had multiple experiences as a racer, where I’ve had really powerful intuitions or clear intuitions about something coming in the future. I’ve had moments racing six days where I knew I had one in particular where I knew I was going to crash. Only. It was just at the time it was a dark cloud over my head the entire day. I just had this fog, this cloud this dark energy around me. I couldn’t process it. I couldn’t figure it out. I could feel it. And I kept trying to address it in different ways. I was like, do I need to eat more mid hydrated? I need to get nap before this race. I’m too nervous. I’ve got too much energy. Do I need to warm up more? Do I need to warm up less or stretch? Should I What should I do? And I kept trying to solve the equation. And as it turned out, I was just destined to eat shit break a collarbone. There was nothing nothing else to do. Nothing I could avoid and even the way the crash unfolded was like, Oh, I made it through Nope, you’re not gonna make it Palin you are hitting the deck.
Nathan Haas 32:57
And I think actually anyone that’s a cyclist To this podcast right now know exactly what you’re talking about. I think everybody can probably have a little bit of an understanding about what you mean by avoidance in that same field is that sometimes you just have this, let’s use the word intuition that something’s gonna happen. You don’t know what it is. And in saying that anyone here sitting there with a crystal ball, you’re not sort of in this like spiritual magical field where you’re, you’re able to see the real future. Are you just feeling and I think that that’s the audience that you’re referring to, if I’m correct,
Colby Pearce 33:35
yeah, and it can go both ways. I mean, there are also days where I, I knew I was gonna win a bike race. I could just have that energy that feel and everything felt as it should be, and everything flowed. And I got there and did my thing and won the bike race, or maybe I didn’t win, but I knew I was going to have an exceptional performance. And I did. I was going to perform to the best of my ability. You know, I certainly wasn’t a writer who’s capable of winning every race I want to do, that’s for sure. But there are a few that are so yeah, I think that’s interesting. And I, I do believe there’s a connection there between how in touch you are with nature externally in your environment and also internally, listening to your body. And that I think directly connects with a theme of our podcast, which is when people lose their connection with their external environment, particularly nature. And we’ll define that and get into that in a bit we’ll unpack it for sure. I think there’s also a correspondingly a really important connection we have to listening to our own bodies and connecting to what our bodies are telling us and the more we distract, the more we engage with our official environments. The more we live in air conditioned climate control boxes and the more we We focus our mental attention on virtual environments. And we’ll talk about different manifestations of virtual environments. The less connected we become from our bodies or the more distracted We are from what our bodies are trying to tell us. And those are things I think that need to be listened to.
Nathan Haas 35:23
I can’t agree more. I think I’m only 31 No, I think when I was 18, I would have thought that 31 was quite was quite, you know, an age where you can have some forms of wisdom, and I’m not pretending to be white. I’m not pretending to know much. But the one thing that I do know is what I feel and I learned some lessons you could say or rather cemented some understandings in myself during that quarantine experience in the UAE. And that sort of grounding my relationship. And I wouldn’t even use the word non dependency on nature, to have fulfillment of self and to lose distractions and to feel connected, and to have also a connection to that sense of avoidance and intuition. And without it. Without it, I learned that I was very lost and very injured. And I think that that’s where this kind of idea about us talking today to sort of form a structure for people to know that when this quarantine is over, things don’t just go back to normal because you haven’t gone back to normal yet. So this is sort of a way that and I’ll let you actually define what the word priming means. Because you’re, you’re being somebody that’s educated me on the concept of priming. You know, you’ve been my coach now for five years, but also a very big mentor and thinking as well, but I sort of wanted to have this conversation with you not to share my knowledge or, you know, find understanding of science as being evidence based or the softer sciences on these concepts, but I sort of wanted to talk about my experiences to even get you to unpack what I’m talking about here. But what I would like is that this can kind of be like a survival code for people leaving quarantine, because I can assure you, you are not the same person. Just because the world is say opened up again. And I think we’re getting a better understanding now that things aren’t just going to open up. You know, the way you know, Donald Trump’s talk about like Alex, economy opened up you know, this do this by Easter and staying away from politics. I think the the point I’m trying to make is, not only is well going to be different, but you are going to be different from this. You will be asked affected
Nathan Haas 38:02
the time that you have spent during this period of time. And I would like to share some of my experiences and like Colby, give you maybe a deeper understanding and set of knowledge on those concepts to help you be prepared and primed to make those changes in your life to help you get back to normal as fast as possible. Hmm.
Colby Pearce 38:27
Well, as they say, you know, the only constant is change, right? So I think that’s our first perhaps way to dig into this is if I was one of my teachers, Avery Hopkins would say, you know, when we attach when we are attached to an outcome, that’s a should. And for those of you who have listened to my podcast to this point, or know me, you’ll know that two of the things I hate most in the world leaf blowers. And the word should and should is should is a word that it implies that you have a pre determined attachment to an outcome that you want things to be a certain way. And this is a pretty, I mean, we can call this a Buddhist concept. There are lots of ways to look at it. But the more attached you are to the way things should be, the more suffering and unhappiness you’re going to invoke in your life. And this, you know, as a counterpoint to that we’ve got Arnold patents universal principles, and one of which is that everything is exactly as it should be. This is the proper way to use this word. So when we have an experience like we are now as a planet, I think we can look at a lot of valuable takeaways and consider where, how they shift our perspective. If you are a person who wants Things or feels you need things to return to the way they are. I think you’ll really benefit from taking a moment to consider that things are irreparably changed. Things are always changing. And if you believe you can control how those things and buy things, I mean, everything you can think of every eventuality of our existence on the planet, if you think those things will be the way they were prior to this outbreak. You’re fooling yourself, you’re setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment or, or other negative emotions, because that’s not what’s happening. It’s not what’s going to happen. A lot of businesses are going to go out of business. A lot of businesses are going to adapt and change. social interactions will probably be changed. These are just some of the things I can think of. There are probably ways in what in the world in which the world will change that I can’t think of yet or that we can’t think of or that maybe other smart people have already thought of and projected already. predicted. So let’s talk for a minute Nathan before we dig into our how we’re gonna prepare or ground for these types of events and how we can best anchor ourselves. Let’s just unpack a little bit more if you don’t mind a bit about what your takeaways have been so far from the quarantine you in total. We added this up before we got on the call with the your quarantine time in UAE and in Drona, which, in case anyone doesn’t know the drunk quarantine is quite it’s quite strict. I mean, you’re allowed to leave but for essential services only and that means a to b from your house to the grocery store. And if I’m not mistaken, the police are pretty much patrolling the streets and the fine if you’re caught out not if you’re caught out not doing what they think you should be doing. It’s 3000 euro fine, is that correct?
Nathan Haas 42:03
Yeah, corrected the fines up to 3000 euros. So depending on, you know how far you’re pushing the limits. But, you know, when we’re required to take a note with us, which is like a self
Nathan Haas 42:18
it’s a document that we actually have to write exactly where we’re going at what time to do what? So that when the police Look at this, they can know that, you know, were you really at the supermarket, but that was, you know, you’re supposed to be there three hours ago, we’ve just been walking around town. So it’s, it’s quite tightly controlled. And I’m also really not enjoying the kind of intensity of that. But we’ll put that to the side for the moment. It’s a Yeah, it’s a very different quarantine to what everyone in the states is going through right now. Yeah, very much locked down.
Colby Pearce 42:51
Yeah. And different parts of the states have different, different feels to them. I’m in Colorado at the moment and, but sorry, I just realized that Give you a rambling question with four points, but you’ve been on lockdown now for days. You’re on day 38, I believe. Correct. So I want people to just take a moment. Yeah. Yeah, I think that’s, that’s a non trivial number, I’ll say. So, you know, what are some of the? What are some of the negatives and positives that are coming out of this 30 days of quarantine that you would like to synopsize? I mean, we’ve touched on some of these, but do you feel there are good things that are coming out of this?
Nathan Haas 43:34
Well, I’m glad you bring that up. Because
Nathan Haas 43:37
not only from my perspective, has there been a lot of positives that have come from this? But the more people I talk to, the more people start telling me how many good things have happened in their life or they start explaining different feelings that they’re having or emotions or outcomes, that I actually have to point out to them and say, Hey, you know, that’s a Really good thing. You know, let’s look at this kind of globally for a second, when was the last time you got to stop? You know, when was the last time you really got to prioritize you or your sleep or your diet, or what I actually think is one of the very core outcomes of this is, and maybe I’ve skipped a few beats here. And apologies if I have one of the things that I’m trying to say here is I’m not trying to undermine or belittle the amount of global suffering and illness and death that’s happening right now, that’s forward that I would like to have totally for both of us. You know, when we’re not trying to say this is an awesome thing here. It’s very sad, and it’s very hard and I think that’s something that everyone is dealing with in their own way. But to look at it, just from the other side for a moment, is this virus. however you define virus, you look at it scientifically or you know, whatever There are some different kinds of ideologies out there. This has got absolutely no defense from a pharmacological perspective, right now, science is not on our side, and the only thing that we have is our health. And for so long, I think people have been going so far away from their health and their concepts of health, that that has not become a priority for a lot of people for so long. And maybe for some people ever, but for the first time, people are actually sitting here going, Wow, there is nothing we can do other than what is best for our health. If people are thinking about this in the right way, or people are starting to realize that without health, what do we have? Yes. So I think that can be our kind of like focus point. Hmm.
Colby Pearce 45:50
I think that’s an excellent point, Nathan, um, you know, and again, to restate what you said. I don’t want to trivialize Anyone suffering here I realized that people are losing their jobs, people have died. People are encountering struggles that I know nothing about. What I do know is that this is happening worldwide. That said, I do think that there is medicine in this experience. And the medicine is in the form of a lesson, which is teaching us that we need to one of the lessons is that we we need to look after our health we have to look after ourselves. I think there’s
Nathan Haas 46:32
Yeah, I’m already doing it we get we don’t always get the lesson we want but it’s always the lesson we need.
Colby Pearce 46:41
Nathan Haas 46:44
to kind of create
some sense of
Nathan Haas 46:50
definition to that statement is I know it’s my time as an athlete, I’ve had illnesses and you know, some passing Some chronic disease injury, affected emotional states affected sense of self that at the time seemed like world ending. And I’m not trying to compare those experiences to what this is globally right now. But those lessons definitely, in hindsight, have taught me more about myself and about the world, then any good experience that I’d had prior to those, so, you know, all of these hardships that I’ve had as an athlete and I do believe that that when you are at an elite sports person, you kind of live life in a pressure cooker, things happen really fast at hard, fast rates faster than the normal. So I do feel like I can speak somewhat, evidently on that is to say that there was medicine in every one of the issues that I’ve had. So I really resonate with that concept that there is medicine in what’s happening right now. Yeah.
Colby Pearce 48:00
And it’s just like any, you know, life event that stops you in your tracks. I mean, you can react to it however you like you can. Or As the old saying goes, life will present the lesson to you until you learn it. When you learn the lesson, you may move on to the next one. But until you pass the lesson, it will be repeated. Right? You move
to the next level.
Colby Pearce 48:24
And that’s somewhat of a cliche, saying but as people will learn, I don’t really have a problem using cliches if it’s appropriate. So yeah, that’s those are great points. I think we can look at this in different ways. And and one of the lessons or one of the opportunities that this could give us this experiences, an opportunity for connection with our family. That’s assuming that’s for those of us who have been able to make it to our families. I know there are people who are isolated who came Do that. But even in those cases, there are connections, there are opportunities to connect with your family digitally, because we have ostensibly more time in that sense. And to break that down briefly, I don’t want to assume that everyone has more time there are people on the frontlines, so to speak, who are working, you know, relentless shifts, especially hospital workers and health care givers. And I just want to take a moment to recognize those people and applaud them for their hard work and, and give them a humble bow of respect.
Nathan Haas 49:36
And for the fact that they are also sacrificing in many ways,
Colby Pearce 49:41
sacrificing, confronting their own fear exposing their own bodies to people who are infected with this virus. So we got to take a moment to appreciate that. On the other hand, we have people who are out of work or people who are working from home and they have ostensibly more time than that. had in the past, although the reality is every human has 24 hours in one day. And if you do not take time, how do you ever have time? movie quote drop? But
Colby Pearce 50:15
so, you know, ostensibly some people are no longer commuting to work. So if you had a two hour commute, and now you’re at home, even though your workload may be the same, or possibly more, some people’s workloads have gotten dramatically higher, as their companies and their employers have scrambled to figure out how to handle all this or adapt their model to the changing conditions. I think the medicine part of the medicine in this experience is to slow down. That’s been one of my big takeaways. I feel like at least in my own little microverse, which is Boulder, Colorado, I felt a general increase in the frenetic energy of my city, my town and my state. And I think there’s I definitely think there is an increase in that frenetic energy. I also think that it’s possible for people to manifest that in conversation through tribalistic discussion, right. What do I mean by that? Well, you go to a coffee shop, you have sort of a conversation. That’s one layer above How is the weather and the conversation there, there are limited social topics that tend to come up. And one of them can be Wow, I can’t believe how much traffic there was, or Oh, can you believe how busy it was? Or I tried to go skiing last weekend and got stuck on I 70 for four hours in the mountains, and or took me 10 minutes to get a pop? Yes, yes, exactly. And so there’s this sort of so that that those conversations tend to repeat themselves, and then they get amplified now. So there’s an amplification of that perception to a degree but I think it’s based on some reality. I mean, the population boulders increasing And the Front Range in Colorado for sure. And I think a lot of areas in the world are experiencing this same sensations, especially around urban areas that are, you know, pretty hip and cool. And there are 8 billion people on this planet, that’s a lot of people. So these things are happening are like going with this random tangent in the weeds.
I think that
Nathan Haas 52:29
I was gonna say, I wish I could push you back in the right direction, but I was I was just enjoying your flow. And
Colby Pearce 52:37
that’s the danger of flow, right? If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. So now I’ve got it. The point I was getting at is that I feel as though a common complaint or observation from you know, these colloquial conversations I’ve been having is the theme is that people are so busy that we’re all so busy. We don’t have time. We don’t have time for this. We don’t have time. For that, and I think there are a lot of explanations for that. This is the medicine that we’re receiving now is slow the fuck down people. And I’m talking to myself when I say that too. I’m just as guilty of anyone of trying to pack too many things into 24 hours. Now, when you get really good at manifestation, you learn to slow down time and make it more effective. But that’s perhaps another podcast. In the meantime, we’ll just operate on the assumption that a second is a second, that the atomic clock gives us the same unit of time for everyone. And then we’ve all got 24 hours in a day. And realistically, if we try to do 26 hours worth of work in 24 hours, we’re just going to be we’re back to should. I should have gotten this done today. And I didn’t, I should have learned a new language in three months. But I didn’t it took me four years. And that brings me to life. One of the emotions that a lot of people from what i’ve the interactions have had have possibly been processing during this experience which is guilt.
Do you want to comment on that anything?
Nathan Haas 54:14
Hmm, I think you know, maybe we’re going to outline the seven deadly sins here but
Nathan Haas 54:23
you know, I think Stephen Fry’s or have you done that in a way that we should never even bother to try to to to better he’s he’s one on the seven deadly sins. But to me one of my experiences in the UAE anyway if I can come back to that. Because I, what I like about my experience in the UAE was I actually had a start and finish so I kind of got the full gamut of experiences with weather that started the intensity, the emotions in it and leaving, I mean, my second quarantine here, so I’m not undermining my experiences now, but I like I liked it that kind of hasn’t gotten close to kind of refer to when I realized that I was going to be there for a bit of time I turned on the positive lever. I was like, Nathan, you are going to get this stuff. You don’t have a bike for the first time in your life and the first time in your life, your bosses understand the situation. So there is literally no way you should feel guilty about this anymore. Like the anxiety of competitiveness, and the need to be good enough was gone. It was kind of this like beautiful. Wow, man, you have so much time to do so many things right now. And I’m upgrading. It was and it was this beautiful. It was actually this really beautiful kind of moment, I was actually in the shower, and I realized I was like Nathan, if you look at this the right way. This is like a pause button that no one ever gets. Because if you come back and you’re a little bit slow to come back, no one’s going to judge you. You only have things to gain. So I thought wow, this is pretty profound. If I look at this from a human experience in High Pressure Cooker situation of being a professional athlete. This is like a hurdle. So I thought, well, I’m gonna work on a lot of my weaknesses here, I’m gonna be going through, you know, all these planes of movement really work on, you know, the core, which is for most cyclists, the one thing that we don’t have, and you often remind me of the great analogy that you cannot fire a cannon from a canoe. Check ism. I love that one. Cannon.
Nathan Haas 56:27
I giggled the first time he said that, but I’ve thought about it a lot.
Nathan Haas 56:32
So I thought, yeah, I’m gonna be super productive. And also, I’m gonna really meditate a lot. I’m really going to try to clear my mind. And I’m also taking on a full time study load at the moment. So I’m going to get ahead of that not just catch up, but I’m going to get ahead. I’m going to do all this reading about all this time to talk to people and within 24 hours, I found myself to be in a Netflix home
Nathan Haas 56:56
And then I kind of came to that Same time that next day thinking and you’ve done nothing you’ve like, scrambled the food in when it finally comes to your door and you knew that all those chocolate biscuits and that extra bag of harbor that they put in there and this drink was bad for you, and you would never normally eat any
Colby Pearce 57:20
Nathan Haas 57:21
Right I just down at all. And I think I look back now and I realize it was sort of from this like inherent fear that man, I don’t know where my next meal is coming from. I want to put every calorie in me that I can. Yes. And so there was guilt about diet, there was a guilt about the fact that I wasn’t being productive. Every time I tried to sit down to meditate. It was like my mind was just not a cloud but a storm. And it was actually becoming kind of painful to try to go inside. And yeah, I felt truly guilty about the fact that I was being so crap. And then the people I was around was showing it more externally like that. I think I held quite good face, because I was actually trying to work on those things. And I was I was aware that I was being very unproductive and pretty crappy, but I was trying to work on it. So I think I had maybe the tilt of the scale there, but are starting to see it around everybody else around was that morale was dipping, energy was dipping, hope was dipping. And there was a lot of fear and the posture of fear, which I think we’ll get to in this conversation, the posture of fear is not only atrophying in so many ways, but it’s also contagious. So guilt for me was a huge one. And you know, since since leaving to quarantine, I I’ve had time to reflect on the situation and, and kind of break it down a little bit and say you got better because you became more self aware. And there were certain things that I started to measure. I said Nathan, you have to not watch Netflix. As much, you know, I’m going to give you a little bit of a pass here, but you just can’t do 10 hours a day, what are you doing? So I kind of limit myself and I measured things and tried to make things better. And I forced myself to study which. And you know, if we were talking about universal principles here, you shouldn’t force anything. But I felt that at a certain point I needed to it actually helped me It became cathartic, it became a distraction. And I tried to put some of the bad food aside or offer it to other people just so it wasn’t there for me. And I tried to breathe a lot of fun breath was the one thing that could actually kind of inhibit me from having those front brain reactions to everything. But, um, but when I left quarantine, I thought, right? I feel like a bag of shit about this whole kit. I think I came out of this a lot better than most people. But I’m not as strong as I thought I was. And I’m not ready to face the world as I think I am, because I need to get rid of these feelings of guilt. And it was harder to do, it’s very easy to say it’s very easy to want. But for that outcome to actually eventuate to have rid of that feeling, it’s really, really difficult. And I think still a part of me now I’m bringing it up, it’s still kind of hurts. And it might sound really stupid and like a first of all problem, but it was very relative to the situation that I was in, and it still feels very real.
Colby Pearce 1:00:29
Thank you for sharing that. I think a lot of people will find that, that journey and those thought lines pretty useful and a good way to connect with maybe their own experience. Yeah, that’s very real.
Nathan Haas 1:00:50
Um, and, you know, it’s not just guilt.
Nathan Haas 1:00:55
There’s a lot of different modes or a lot of different
Colby Pearce 1:00:57
emotions that come out. I yeah. For me, you know one of my favorite expressions about guilt is I mean guilt is an emotion it’s a real tricky one right? Because everyone’s I’m sure felt guilt at some point in their lives. But guilt is guilt is a uniquely human experience. I mean, we can we can figure out what other emotions animals feel great animals feel fear, animals feel playfulness or joy, you see an animal’s play. But as far as we know, animals don’t feel guilt. I mean, if a fox is running through a field and it gets its foot caught on a barbed wire fence, it doesn’t ruminate over how it almost died for months afterwards, right? Not as far as we know. Anyway, I think that’s pretty fair to say. But humans, we can hold on to things we can ruminate over things we can and guilt comes down to shit, right? I mean, this is you thinking I’ve got all the time in the world. Now. I’ve got no pressure to be fit. I’ve got no pressure to ride my bike because I have no bike and I’m locked in a hotel room. I could literally make the perfect dietary choice and fast for 48 hours if I want to try it for the first time I can study and read and learn and expand my French vocabulary or whatever you you imagine on your to do list. And then 10 hours later, when you were done with the first Netflix binge, you felt guilty, because you had not done any of those things, and you should have. Right. So is that fair to say?
Nathan Haas 1:02:27
I think that’s nicely put. I think that’s nicely put and,
Nathan Haas 1:02:32
you know, the kind of challenge upon leaving the situation, which is also something I think will become quite universal is that all of a sudden, I actually felt this really big burden on what real life meant to reintegrate to. In fact, I was almost intimidated by leaving. It was almost like, you know, it’s Stockholm Syndrome of sorts to say that I had become addicted to these new habits that I’ve had or addicted to the feeling of safety within something that felt dangerous, you know, my habits. And I would go as far as saying my ego was shaped around the situation that I was in. And that has also taken a fair bit of unpacking and, and taking a lot of self to actually admit, which might sound really weird, but I have a feeling that at least a small portion of people may feel the same thing or at least back out into the wild here is that you feel a little bit of sadness.
This sadness involved. Yeah.
Colby Pearce 1:03:45
Yeah, I can understand that. You know, thinking ahead to when things return to a state where we are allowed to be out and about more and interact More I think I’ve thought about that as well. And I can I can see that happening. I don’t know if I’ll experience sadness, per se. But I do. I do. I’m relishing the opportunity to dig into my own studies and my own personal time at this moment. And it’s something that I’ve felt, as you said earlier, I think he used the term pause button. And for me, I’ve I’ve kind of wanted a pause button for a long time I felt like my studies and client load and training load, coaching load has fitting load has progressed to the point where I’ve barely been able to contain it. And at the same time, I’ve wanted to put a pause on it so that I could almost like a sabbatical, right, learn more advanced my own methods, recalibrate my own coaching perspectives, and come at it with a new lens and this is my opportunity to do that and thinking ahead, I can see that once things start going again, I don’t see another reset button coming like this, maybe ever. I mean, this is clearly global history we’re having.
Nathan Haas 1:05:10
So, so the question is, what are you going to do with this? And my answer is, I think for the most part, we’re going to fuck it up.
Nathan Haas 1:05:21
But But what I learned from the first part for me was that that’s okay. That is more than okay, because, you know, something that you’ve
Nathan Haas 1:05:33
taught me, which is the the concept of yin and yang is that the perfect balance means that this person will go nowhere. And you can clean this sentence up for me if you’d like here, but we have spent so much time on one side that to return to the other is not an easy segue. It’s not an easy transition. In fact, it’s highly fatigued. To all of a sudden have this much rest. And it’s like what I experienced at the end of every offseason. It’s like, the first week, I’ve got all this energy and I’m feeling great. I’m doing all this stuff. I’m super productive. And then the second and third week, I am just like dead. Like, it’s like my, my bio rhythm and my metabolism. And you know what other systems we can describe the ones that we know and the ones that we don’t know all of a sudden just go oh my god, I can finally stop my mix sourced it. And if you are feeling like that right now, or we’re feeling like that, or or to feel like that. Thank you for yourself a pat on the back for really leaning into the fact that you are able to stop right now and enjoy it, embrace it, take it on and don’t feel or try to avoid the feeling of guilt or sadness or anger or frustration around it because this is really an experience on the lifetime Agreed.
Colby Pearce 1:06:57
Agreed. Very well said Yeah. You know, one of my favorite expressions about guilt. Guilt is like a suitcase. You just put it down and walk away I don’t know where I heard that, but I love it it stuck with me ever since I heard it.
Nathan Haas 1:07:13
I mean, I don’t even know if it makes sense but I feel like it does.
Colby Pearce 1:07:17
For me Makes sense. It may not for everyone else but it’s you just guilt is something you have to consciously let go of just decide I’m not going to feel guilty about not doing this thing or not being something I should be or thought I should be. I’m not going to hold on to that. I’m not going to ruminate on that. I’m not going to measure myself against this up to standards that I’ve created in my head whatever it is, you know, I should have accomplished this. I should have written six hours today. I should have eaten better. I should have had more vegetables or less vegetables depending on
Nathan Haas 1:07:53
I think where are you going with this is exactly where this whole conversation is kind of segwaying to is that Getting rid of guilt is the ultimate expression of being able to be in control of your ego. And to be able to have the control to say I do not die do not any longer want to be feeling this because it does not serve me means that you’re actually in control of the shadow self. And if you believe guilt belongs to the, to the family of the shadow, self emotions and spectrum of things, I can hammer on that.
Colby Pearce 1:08:32
Yes, I would refine that sentence a little bit, if I may,
Colby Pearce 1:08:38
I don’t think we can control the shadow self or the ego. I think what we do is we eliminate it, we understand it, we dig into it. Every human has blind spots, emotional blind spots, in particular, and the ego wants to act like we don’t have them as though we’ve got all our Shouldn’t gear and and we’ve shine the flashlight and all the corners and we know ourselves so well, right? This is human This is the human experience, but they’re always parts of ourselves that the ego is trying to hide or cover up or, or ignore being conscious of. And when we’re really trying to grow and do our spiritual work, when we’re really trying to become the best expression of our whole selves. We got to look under all the rocks continuously look under the desks, under the cupboards have whatever metaphor you want to use to see those shadows and understand them and have right relationship with those shadows. Yeah, controlling them is unrealistic. I would I would, I would offer that
Nathan Haas 1:09:47
think that’s thanks for thanks for cleaning that up, I think. Yeah, I definitely use the wrong word there. Well, yeah, I acknowledge I acknowledge the difference and I agree with that.
Colby Pearce 1:10:00
Let’s define our connection with nature and talk about how our ego may get us to that point. What is it about our ego prevents us from from establishing or maintaining a connection with the natural world. Um, Nathan, do you have? Do you have thoughts to get the ball rolling on that? I think my
Nathan Haas 1:10:26
point of interest with the kind of involvement of ego on our conversation that we’re having now is that you know whether we use the word, which I’m no longer using right now, which is control the ego. We might redefine that through Kobe’s definition to say, did we say ignore or cast aside? ego is that one of the problems is that your ego most of the time, from my understanding is actually part of your survival. mechanism of life? Absolutely. When somebody says something about your image, your ego is often the thing that will actually try to protect you. Or when somebody threatens your standing in life or in competition or sport. You know, it’s why sports people often seem to have these really inflated sense of ego. It’s because that’s what they lean on in those hard times. And that’s there to protect you. So, in the kind of scenario where we are right now, we are staying inside. We are trying to get through what is a global pandemic, a shared experience for everybody in the world is feeling the kind of collective fear the collective anxiety, depression, the stresses, we also know that we’re all going to share butterfly effects financially that we don’t quite know yet that will come to us as time goes on. The things that protecting us through our behaviors, I would go as far as saying these are part of the shadow self. And I’m going to give everyone a hard pass right now on whatever behaviors you’re doing to get through this, whether that’s drinking more than you have eating shit, sleeping badly, watching shows, not doing as much work as possible. Maybe not talking to family as much as you should, or talking to family too much or becoming emotional or reacting to too many things. And the list goes on. Everyone gets a hard pass right now. And I guess the point of what we’re trying to do here is not to not to kind of point the finger and say that these are bad behaviors right now because and, you know, there’s only so much ability we have to keep on top of ourselves and to keep being the best versions of ourselves during these hard times. You might disagree, but that’s that’s where I’m coming from and I think What comparison we make to ego right now is these are constructs that we’re having to support ourselves, to love ourselves to give ourselves a break, to accept the situation and to survive the situation. But when the door opens up again, it’s really important that we don’t lean into these new behaviors and let this ego actually overwhelm you. And let that ego actually become part of who you are as a sense of identity. Because the identity is not the shadow itself. The identity is bigger than that it’s far more beautiful than that. And I would argue that the true self is part of nature, in nature is the true self, not the shadow self. And, and I think that this is a really nice point for us to be able to delve into what things we can prime and I will let you define the word prime. As we go here, Colby. I think you’ll get better at it than I will. But this is the time that we get to prime ourselves for when those doors open up together. to redefine the behaviors that we have right now, which are what they are, but to be ready to change those, so that we can be the best version of ourselves after this and as soon as possible.
Colby Pearce 1:14:15
Yeah, well said I mean, you asked if I would disagree with you on your perspective about people doing, what they’re doing or their their behaviors during this event and, or this pandemic, and I don’t disagree. I would add to that concept that you presented, and simply say that we all have to have a bit of understanding about how we’re dealing with this, but and not but but and I think our push and our drive should be to focus on the self focus on health and focus On optimization, with an understanding that all we can do is put one step down on the ground one foot in front of the other day by day and do the best we can. And if you fall off the horse, or you binge watch Netflix for 10 hours, you’re not going to accomplish anything else towards that goal if you ruminate on what has been or what should have been. So there’s a balance there right? perfection is the goal but we also are realistic in looking at ourselves and understanding we are human and we will fail. We will fail in through when when we look at ourselves through that lens. And I don’t want to get too cheesy psychiatrist and say and that’s okay because we’ve all got our own path and we’ve all got our own standards we have to live with. But here’s the bottom line if you’re making yourself miserable, holding yourself to an unrealistic standard, and you’re living in a constant tortured world of should. What’s the point of living like that? I mean, like, let’s just take a moment back. That’s what this medicine is, is giving us a chance to step back and say, Do I really need to keep up with all these Joneses in James’s so desperately? Do I really need to learn everything there is to learn to own everything there is to own or whatever it is, people convince themselves they should be doing. Let’s let go of the shoulds and stop. Here’s a bit of a cheesy colloquialism that I’ll use as well. I love this expression. Quit being a human doing and start being a human being. For those of you who don’t know Nathan’s done an amazing job of chronicling this entire journey on social the social needs. And he’s done some great videos, he did a fitness Olympics or something to that degree, I don’t remember how you turned it. When you were stuck in the hotel you did some some squats and some suitcase leaps and rolls and squats with your teammate on your back and things like that. And those were great fun. Also, just the other day, you posted a wonderful video of you playing your guitar. And I know it’s something you do when you’re at home anyway. But this is a great example of just having balance and taking a moment to relax and do something you enjoy doing. And that can be time well spent. This is the medicine that the world some of the world I’ll say needs right now is the chance to slow down and just play a guitar or learn how to play a harmonica. My wife bought me a hand pan for Christmas is one of the greatest gifts she’s ever given me. And I have it in the living room now and I just hang out sometimes while she’s making coffee and just make random miscellaneous noise on it, which has started to become music.
Nathan Haas 1:18:14
And I love it. she regrets that more than anything in the world. But I’m glad that your
Colby Pearce 1:18:23
she may. If she does, she hasn’t told me Actually, my girls say they quite enjoy it. But if there was an instrument that was perhaps a bit more challenging to learn, such as the violin, I’m sure there is people eating. So let’s dig into this connection with nature. And I won’t ignore your request to define priming. But you know, I’ve got some notes here on on the basic concept of nature. I mean, what are we talking about? We’re talking about light light sources. We’re talking about water, we’re talking about the literal app Fear you breathe as in air that comes from the outdoors instead of the inner outdoors. We’re talking about exposure to natural life, seeing birds, you know, being in the presence of trees touching the earth. Nathan, you shared a story with me briefly the other day about how you’d been in the hotel. On day I’m not sure what and you suddenly you have this sensation you described to me as being very yucky. And then you saw a bird that landed on the window sill and when you share that experience
Nathan Haas 1:19:37
Yeah, so I think it was, it was on day seven, that I had been locked up. And, you know, I’m a note taker. I’ve got this little notebook with all sorts of sketches and little thoughts, and in any one of them, I could open up and either have no memory of what it was or have a detailed concept time. And it was it was a note that I was having about kind of how I was feeling where I was sitting outside on the balcony, enjoying the kind of one one and a half hours of sunlight that I got every day. And this small bird landed on this balcony. And it was like I’d never seen anything beautiful in my life. I have never had anything that made me feel so much like time has slowed down, that I felt this incredible connect to something that wasn’t me. That wasn’t construct. It was truly something beyond and bigger. And it was a really beautiful moment for me. And it was my first realization that I was so deprived of nature. That I was, I was sitting there with my eyes open to absorb whatever I could, and it made me feel really beautiful afterwards knowing that I had this moment with this bird. And this bird man he has no idea what profound situation it was giving me But for me, it was quite profound. And and I also kind of loved that aspect about it is that the kind of reality is in the eye of the beholder, the bird was maybe looking at me as a threat, and maybe trying to avoid me eating it. But I was looking at this bird and what it was was actually a representation of something far bigger than what I had.
So I think that
Colby Pearce 1:21:28
illustrates our point. connection with nature is a very human thing. And it’s part of the functionality of our biology and our psyche, to be in nature to be amongst nature. And I think one of the core concepts that you wanted to address in this podcast is that perhaps some of the medicine in this global pandemic this experience is for us to Hopefully connect with nature. And that can take different forms. You know, some people are locked, or in locked down in an apartment somewhere in the world, and they have zero access to nature, no access, no patio, maybe they’ve got no direct sunlight. There are lots of places in Old Town Gerona, for example, where you could be in an apartment and have really no direct sunlight or possibility for sunlight to touch your body. And there are people who are experiencing this right now. So their lesson from this, I think could be how much they need nature in their lives. Once it’s completely eliminated and goes to zero the next time they step out into the sun or see a bird or go touch the ocean, or walk on bare earth with bare feet. Walk on the earth with bare feet. They’re going to hopefully have this experience of how much nature has been missing in their lives. how good the sun feels on your face. You often don’t realize how good food is until you’re hungry, which is a great argument for fasting periodically, right? Exactly the absence of a thing makes you appreciate that
Nathan Haas 1:23:11
thing. And you don’t know what you appreciate until you have no access to it. Yes. And I’m a very natural. Well, I would say I have a natural inclination towards nature. I always have very tactile and I have trouble walking past plants or flowers and not touching them. And, you know, for me, it’s, it’s always going to have been one of the obvious challenges for me was not being in nature not having the ability. But I was so surprised at my deterioration without it in the speed of that deterioration. And I was actually very lucky in that one of the things actually felt that was connecting me with nature. Now, some might laugh, but for me, it became a very real affinity. I have some beautiful essential oils from a guy called Dr. Nick Berry, who’s Dr. noose. The he’s the proclaimed wizard.
Nathan Haas 1:24:11
And a few of those oils
Nathan Haas 1:24:18
some of the ones that I have are made of a lot of kind of rooty hardy plants. And where you put those is on your feet. And I was amazed at how profound The difference was in my energy and my feeling of being grounded when I was using these oils and having these plants with so much lifeforce on me and in me, and, again, what it was saying to me was, you know, this is kind of like a supplement. I’m not saying that this is nature. And, you know, you’re very healthy view on supplements is you take supplements when there’s something missing that you can’t get naturally. And these oils, for me were a beautiful substitution and substitute for nature. And it made me feel alive. It made me feel great, as did seeing this bird. But what it really made me realize was how important touching this stuff is for me. Yes. And I think there’s going to be a lot of people who, who want to learn exactly what this stuff means to them. And for another kind of funny story is I think there’s a lot of people actually doing a lot more exercise in their own homes now than they ever have, just because they don’t have the option to go do it. They probably didn’t take the option, but they had the option, but now they don’t. They’re starting to realize what that freedom means to them, and what movement actually means to them as a human.
Colby Pearce 1:25:44
Hopefully, yes, hopefully.
Nathan Haas 1:25:48
I think for a lot I think for a lot of people, I think, you know, that we’re not we’re not casting judgment on anybody here. That’s not the point of this. Everything has to kind of come from love as the most Aksum. But, but yeah, I think from us It does. I think from us it does in this situation, but I think there will be a lot of people that will start to feel their own affinity to nature through the current lack of it. Mm hmm.
Colby Pearce 1:26:15
Yeah, I think that’s a potential positive outcome for sure. And then there are other people who are experiencing the other end of the spectrum in Colorado, we are on shelter in place, but they are allowing exercise. And so the result has been there are a lot of families and people who can’t go to work or they’re working from home, but their kids are home from school now. And so there and it’s, it’s supposed to snow this weekend, but the moment is quite gorgeous. Here. It’s about 18 degrees and when lesson cloudless so it’s really nice, and that was in relevant temperature units, by the way. And so, when you go to the trailheads, there are people everywhere, running, walking, recycling. It’s actually we got a newsletter the other day from the city of Boulder saying, if you aren’t better about social distancing at trail heads and everybody isn’t wearing masks, we might have to change policy on exercise and start regulating and somehow So, you know, the positive for me is that I see family spending time together, I see families of four, you know, nuclear family boy and a girl mom and a dad walking on the trails with their two dogs. And I see this all day long. Now I see people out on bikes all day long. So this is a positive takeaway from this experience, people are taking time to exercise because now they the perception is they have time to exercise. And they’re, so that’s that’s a good thing. And I think that is going to fortify their connection with nature. So on the other side, we see people who have now hopefully are developing a relationship with nature that has been neglected or there that relationship is growing. And when the door opens, as you said, and things return to a more traditional economic and social model, hopefully that connection will endure, and people will prioritize their outdoor time. So what I’m saying is that people were locked up and don’t have access to nature will hopefully realize how much they needed in their lives. And the people who have it now and are starting to call cultivate, that practice of being in nature will fortify their practice and that for that practice will become a more integral part of their human experience. Because if you lost that connection with nature, that was, in my opinion, a suboptimal choice. It’s just fundamental. I mean, you know, I follow a lot of biohacking podcasts. I read a lot of books, you know, I’m following a lot of Tim Ferriss and Ben Greenfield and Dave Asprey. And, and you know, for as much cutting edge research as there is out there and as many dorky biohacking devices as people can invent to come up with. Man, it comes back to fundamentals in so many ways the best things in life are free, clean water, clean air, exposure to sunlight. These are the things that can pose an experience in nature and they also support human proper human bio regulation. I think this point is lost on people when they think about health. And I’m generalizing here I’m imagining what someone imagined what someone conceives of as healthy. And this is a dangerous point of view perspective, just a segue on my own line of thought for a minute because we imagine how other people perceive things. But of course, that’s just made up. That’s just fantasy land. I don’t know what other people are thinking in their heads. But to illustrate my point, I have to invent a fictitious person who believes that health care homes from a protein shake are run on a treadmill.
Colby Pearce 1:30:08
a Monster Energy Drink or a five hour energy or green tea. I don’t know what the person’s thinking because I’m making them up. And when we build track houses and paint them all based for the average person, no one really wants that house because no one’s average. My point being is this person that I just invented in my head probably doesn’t exist. However, there are people who have lost the idea. This is the point I’m getting at. There are people I’m sure who have lost the concept that connection with nature is fundamental to human health. This is crucial.
Nathan Haas 1:30:48
one of the first times I I really read anything that gave me the, I guess the reminder that this is exactly how Are was the, the story in the life of a tea still the guy who was the founder of osteopathy, and he was one of the first people who deviated from, you know, say the evidence based medicine model, which is to say, what can we put in to help the situation? And he was the first person to kind of say, Well, what can we take out ago? Yeah. And there’s there’s some beauty to that in that and the overall theme there of what he’s saying is, let’s stop trying to put things into the body to help put heal. Let’s try to give the body the ultimate environment for to heal itself because ultimately the human body is infinitely more intelligent than any of our combined intelligence could ever be. It is divine, it is so special and it knows itself better than we will as a as a state. Again, collectively know anything. So. So what I really love about what you’re saying is that you’re a lifer as a biohacker. And you have this affinity to education, which I think is a beautiful value that I think everyone should have. But that’s one of your strong suits colleagues. And you are always seeking truth and are always happy to recalibrate your point of view on something because you are not dogmatic and you do not believe that you are part of any belief system other than as a seeker. But one of the hardest things about being someone like that is that you can basically drown yourself in information. And you can drown yourself in ideas and experiments and tests. But what I keep learning and probably out of inherent laziness, I was always a guy at university who worked out basically which questions I was going to answer from essays and focusing on those exams. So you know, maybe I’m not the best example for an overall student, but I was always looking for the easiest way to have the ultimate outcome. And you could kind of use the argument of Occam’s razor here to say, what can we do from all of these lessons are what can we take from all of these lessons and combine it in a really easy to digest thing or product or series of decisions and say, what’s the most we can get out by doing the least? Now for me everything when it comes to health, everything, everything, everything. For preventative health, I should say. Optimizing health, you know, there’s obviously that kind of critical period where you do need to see a doctor. But before that point, if you want to optimize or prevent ill health, everything to me, it always comes back to the simple principle of let’s go back to nature and we can break that down into a whole list of reasons why, and maybe let’s do that. But for me, the fundamental principle of everything is breathe.
Nathan Haas 1:34:11
Exhale, and just go outside. Mm hmm.
Colby Pearce 1:34:15
That’s beautifully simple and actionable, assuming you can go outside. But we know you meant when possible,
Nathan Haas 1:34:25
when possible. You’re not going to attempt this when you’re in an aeroplane.
Colby Pearce 1:34:29
Correct. Or when they’re armed guards at the door of your hotel. So
Nathan Haas 1:34:34
actually, just just before we delve into it, I’ll say a funny little joke is on this exact vein, is I was explaining once to one of my Russian team directors, what it’s like in a sprint for me, and because he was surprised one day that I was fourth in a big bunch springs and not really a bunch. He was like, Wow, I didn’t expect you do that. I said, Well, to be honest, I was kind of in right position and I Just had the feeling that it was more dangerous to try to get out of position than it would be just to kind of roll with it. Yes. In Russia, we have a saying you cannot jump out of a submarine.
Colby Pearce 1:35:16
That’s perfect. Um, yeah. Not to pick on to Lansky, but it just brings up the 2014 tour where he crashed in that little mini bunch gallop coming to the line. And that was a great example of him not quite knowing what to do in that situation, because he’s not a sprinter. And so excuse an amazing bike rider and did a lot of really cool things. But in a group sprint, he didn’t quite know what to do and what to where to be and found himself looking sideways when he should have been looking at the line. And then he found himself as over teakettle, and that’s an illustration of exactly
how he feels feel.
Colby Pearce 1:35:56
So to rewind just briefly, I’ve got to point out that Nathan and I are not doctors, nor do we play one on the internet. And if you have an open fracture of the femur, please see your doctor immediately. fine print done. So let’s unpack this idea of priming and dig into the specifics actionable specifics on how we do connect with nature. And I’d like to draw this back to Paul checks foundational principles which very simply put are just as you might guess, from the title foundational principles, there’s six of them. These are really their fundamentals. We have eating, drinking, sleeping, thinking, movement, and breathing. The concept behind these is pretty simple. If you look after these things, and make it your life habit and pattern into mind them and have a right relationship with them. You allow the body to do its thing which as you I put earlier Nathan. As you said earlier, the body is the perfect healing machine. So we don’t necessarily need to add a bunch of stuff to our bodies, a bunch of crazy antioxidants or superfoods or neural muscular activation devices or ECM or whatever you can think of. to get it to do its thing. The body will do its thing on its own, provided you don’t want to superfood. Yeah. And we need maybe less goji berries and a little more. eating real food. So breaking these down. The first one is eating. How do we connect eating with nature? Well, it’s pretty simple. You eat foods that you can find in nature and that comes down to things that can be peeled, picked, skin or shot to be blunt. If you can’t You can’t pick or appeal a Twinkie, I mean, you can peel it out of a plastic wrapper. But you see my point, the more processed food is, the more removed it is from nature, the more we remove ourselves from our natural environment. So you may not think that eating is something that connects you with nature, but, of course it intimately does. The food we eat has a direct connection with nature in the sense that this is something Paul talks a lot about a lot about, is the idea that people are a little confused in the concept of what food is many people and again, I’m imagining what a person thinks in their head, but I think this is probably somewhat accurate. A lot of people think of food as fuel and in the endurance athletic community. We are particularly guilty of this because this is something that’s driven me nuts for years and I’m not slamming anybody here who makes their living doing this, but I’m gonna throw down a healthy disagreement. When you give me a formula for how many calories per hour I should have done. During a bike race, to me that stuff drives me nuts. Because when we become too formulaic and too metric focused, what we’re doing is we’re refusing to take responsibility for what our body is telling us, your body will tell you. When you’re in touch, when you are innately tuned to your own body signals, you’ll know when you need to eat on the bike. When you become too absorbed in metrics and numbers, formulas, or when you’re not mindfully paying attention to your effort on the bike, whether it’s in training or racing, you become too consumed with the end goal of competition without constantly recalibrating your own fundamentals, then it’s easy to lose track of your shit and forget to eat or forget to drink. So when you’re subscribed to a formula when you ask a sports scientist to do a sweat test or figure out how many grams of carbs you’re burning per hour, And give you a formula you tape it to your stem it says eat one gel every 24 minutes and drink this many liters of water every 48 minutes. When you do that, you are not taking full responsibility for the multitude of variables that can actually impact those equations. First of all, to name off, you heat your own physical condition at that moment how fit you are, how fat you’re not heat or cold, humidity, dryness, fatigue point at time in which you are in the stage. Are you at hour one, are you at our five? Like, now of course we can manipulate the formulas to account for that you can add 12% per hour or whatever, please.
Colby Pearce 1:40:48
Can we just acknowledge that that’s not the route to take. I know people won’t do that. But consider that your body will tell you everything you need and your body tells you the same thing. When you eat a whole food and natural food, when you have salad and organic, grass fed steak, your body will feel a certain way you’ll feel energized, you won’t feel bloated. You won’t be gassy. If this is the right food for you, you won’t feel lethargic, you won’t need to take a nap after lunch and then reach for that extra cup of coffee. Because you were eating in right relationship with what your body needs. And the more you fine tune that antenna to what your body needs, the better you become at refining that process and looking at a food and instead of going should I have that double fudge chocolate brownie for dessert after lunch. You you realize that that’s not going to serve your health, you make a choice naturally because you prefer to feel better. And it’s not a sacrifice, you’re not giving something up. You’re actually choosing a higher path of I’d rather feel good and be able to be productive this afternoon and go do Tai Chi and then read that book, or go to work and be engaged and receptive to what my clients are saying be engaged with my, my session with my clients, so that I can serve them better. Or go home in
Nathan Haas 1:42:20
June, I think, um, I think that’s a really beautiful way to explain that call it but I think there’s always a danger in explaining things, the way that you have is that it can often really challenge people’s beliefs, and also challenge people’s egos because this is how they’ve always done things.
Colby Pearce 1:42:42
But what I would like Nathan, I’m going to give you a little secret. One of the reasons I’m here is to challenge people’s beliefs.
Nathan Haas 1:42:50
Well, I’m glad you’re doing that. But what I would kind of like to say as a pragmatic approach to it, and also as an example because I do believe exactly what You’re saying, and in the last five years of working with you, I’ve made leaps and bounds in my health and behaviors. But it’s actually a journey. And I’m still not at perfection, nowhere near. But five years ago, my offseasons used to be as many days as I would have off the bike is how many days I would be drunk and eating chips and burgers and pizzas and waking up feeling worse and drowning myself in coffee. And then the first few weeks of the preseason was you basically trying to put me back together. And then that kind of stemmed and stopped. And then we started to recognize that there were similar behaviors in times in between races when I was recovering or times where I wasn’t performing well. And it’s very easy to stay in nature when things are going well. It’s very easy to stay focused when you’re seeing the end outcome being awesome. But what’s really hard is sometimes there’s actually a regression in performance. And headspace and yes, and that’s as a response to actually returning to nature in terms of your food. And a lot of that is breaking addiction. And we could also say here breaking the ego. So I think as an example, of somebody who is in that transition is me, and I’ve been doing this for the last five years, and I’m nowhere near perfect. You know, today, I actually had quite a lot of chocolate, because someone brought some chocolate over to the house as a gift. Do I feel guilty about it? No, because that’s not what we’re trying to do. But am I aware that that was not the best path? Yes. And can I use that knowledge to maybe shape myself to not do that in the future? Absolutely. But the point I’m trying to make here is it’s Colby is giving a very good outline of what is ideal. But it’s a journey to get there. And part of that journey is actually experiencing the times where you Live really clean and do everything beautifully by nature, amazing quality food. And then all of a sudden you go to a bike race and you can get boiled, you know, disgustingly fun chicken and pasta and you start feeling blocked and horrible. And your intuition starts to slowly die away, your sleep quality starts to go down, your mood swings higher and then you’re reaching for more coffees, because it’s all you can think about is the only thing that’s going to bring you back and then you start going, Wow, actually, I was on a path that was leading me to feeling fantastic. And I want to get back there. And then you start realizing that there’s methods to dealing with that even on the road and then you start bringing me so paste in your suitcase to bike races and things like that, which slowly start to become not the not things that you’re doing, but it actually starts become your behavior, because that’s what you do for you. It’s not for any other reason. It’s because you just want to do that. And then it becomes a habit and then if you becomes part of who you are, you’re actually starting to live your practice. And part of why I call it practice is that it takes practice.
Colby Pearce 1:46:08
I love that word practice. You nailed it on the head, Nathan. And the two things I’d like to add to that are one is that? Look, you’re right, I may have outlined some sort of optimal life choices. And everyone has entrenched behaviors, right? We’ve all got our behavior channels that go in certain grooves and it’s easy to walk to the kitchen and grab a cookie. It’s easy to go to the store and buy the same ice cream. It’s easy to walk past the coffee machine and push the coffee button. do those things serve us? How do we break out of those patterns? Well, we do as you’ve described, we we try to optimize we work when we have momentum when we have willpower and good motivation we go and maybe we have a better week or a perfect week. of eating or a perfect day of eating or a perfect meal even. And then we fall off the horse because I’m not perfect either. So I’m including me in this week’s sentence.
Nathan Haas 1:47:10
Yeah, I’ve been at your house having a few margaritas.
Colby Pearce 1:47:13
It happens it hasn’t happened in a long time where I’m more on to organic red wine now but it happens right and look, I’m not here to say there has to be no joy in life. Like if you want to fucking Margarita Margarita man. Like, you wanna smoke some weed, make it organic and smoke some weed I mean, not uni thing because you’re being tested. But But like, but like, Look, I mean, life is here to be enjoyed. And and that’s an important point. This isn’t about being in jail. This isn’t about you know, taking away all your earthly pleasures like I I have organic dark chocolate pretty much every day. I don’t have a lot of it. And I know which chocolates agree with me and which ones don’t. The point is when you fall off the horse as you will, because you’re human, you’ll screw up and have a pizza or Whatever. Or you’ll, you’ll make a choice, which at the time seemed reasonable. And then afterwards you go, ooh, that wasn’t a good choice. This is the key point. As soon as you fall off the horse, and you realize it, just get back on the horse and keep taking a step forward. And if you fall off the horse for a day, or a week, or a month, the the one of the ways in which people can get hung is they start to think, well, now I’ve fallen behind and it’s hopeless, or now I’ve screwed up all that work I did. Or now I’ve undone though Wait, I lost or the health I gained or however whatever, however you want to frame it. And the fact is, that’s not true. Because it is a practice. It’s a journey, just as you said anything. And we’re all on this journey. And it’s not about keeping score. No one’s gonna put how many days you ate organic beef versus standard beef on your gravestone, like who gives a fuck, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about optimizing your health. And if right now Your health is at 61% of what your potential is. You can bring it up to 94%, then we’re going to strive towards that 94%. That’s what you’re doing. You’re working towards the goal, you’re working towards optimization of your health.
Nathan Haas 1:49:12
That’s it. And every time you have that momentum, you start to realize where the new ceiling is. But what you’re hopefully doing, if you creating healthy habits is you’re actually not so concerned about how high the ceiling is, because that’s where it is. But what you have, in my opinion, the ability to control is how low the floor is. And you’re trying to bring that up and up and up. So like you said, if you go and have a margarita, go have some fun, right? You want to have some pizza, you know, I’ve I’ve been to parties where I’m hungry as hell and I’m like, God, I should eat well, but then there’s this bowl of chips here and there’s this awesome Margarita and I eat the whole thing. And but then the next day, it’s not about letting that flow continue to drop and drop and drop and drop. It’s actually to say, No, let’s level this bad boy out. I’m going to return to nature, I’m going to have a perfect meal. And I’m going to start with that perfect meal. It’s like waking up in the morning and starting by making your bed sets a really good habit of change and the trajectory for your day. And by returning to nature, with what you eat, that can reset your trajectory
Colby Pearce 1:50:18
and drink, which is the next foundational principles. How are we going to return to nature, we’re going to ensure that we drink enough water and that our water is very high quality. What does that mean in the vast majority of all cases, it means you want to source local spring water that is tested regularly for contaminants and you want to consume enough of that and the rough guideline. This is for non cycling time or non athletic workout time is roughly half your body weight in ounces of water per day. That’s an irrelevant two units by the way. So and these are all Jack’s recommendations and this is based on This may sound like a very simple recommendation. It’s simple for a reason. It’s based on a lot of science and research. Paul’s like a walking encyclopedia for this stuff. So we break it down, and he delivers it specifically through his practitioners in a very actionable and simple way. So find your favorite glass vessels, rotate them and wash them regularly. fill them with natural local spring water and drink it. And if you feel you need a little bit of extra support, my recommendation is a small pinch of Celtic sea salt in that water here and there. If you’re doing too much salt, you’ll feel bloated if you’re or you’ll pee it out immediately. That’s a sign that your water is not quite balanced for your biochemistry, pretty simple. Less soda, less pop, less alcohol.
Nathan Haas 1:51:52
These are the goals. I missed a point just before and saying that one of the things that I came to realize today when I was thinking on it before the show was, what do I see nature as and I kept coming to this one sentence, which is walk away from construct. Hmm, don’t look at things that have been constructed look at things that are and water is soft drink is constructed. And you know anything that’s been formulated or constructed by a man in a white jacket will probably lead you very soon to visiting a guy in a white jacket. Funny Hello. So again, you know I’m not against juices so much. I mean, I don’t advocate juice diet, but you know, I don’t necessarily see a nice freshly squeezed juice is a bad drink. But I certainly don’t think people should be living off soft drink like it just it just breaks my heart when I see when I see people doing that and athletes offer a bike race, plowing into a bottle of Fanta and I just sit there going oh my god is beautiful quality. Rice here beautiful quality eggs and amazing water that we can be drinking right now and having all of those things that you’re trying to get a hit on. Yep. But actually everything that you should be eating and drinking after a race should just be nature should be not constructed should be not well formulated to be something that we get some kind of a brain chemical reaction from that’s that’s irrelevant. Why should we want the brain chemical reaction we should want the
Colby Pearce 1:53:29
Nathan Haas 1:53:29
body chemical reaction that produces performance and recovery and happiness in the longer tense.
Colby Pearce 1:53:36
Well, you said everything we should be eating and drinking after a race got caught? I wouldn’t find that and say everything we should be eating and drinking period. I often think too much
Nathan Haas 1:53:45
as an athlete.
Colby Pearce 1:53:47
Yes. And that’s your that’s your perspective. That’s your that’s what you bring to the discussion. And I certainly can identify with that. I’ve been racing my bike for 30 years too but but I want to generalize That statement, I mean, yeah, after a race, your recovery is crucial because your body is depleted, your body’s exhausted, your body needs to repair. So the cleaner, simpler food you give it, the more, the less it can deal your body has to deal with processing the processed food. So you’re going to get better recovery from that, of course, when you’re professional, you don’t always have great control over what you’re fed. That’s true as an amateur as well. So we make the best choices we can. Which brings me to that point of falling off the horse. You know, there are times when you go to the hotel and you’ve got a buffet, or you’re on the road and, you know, they’re limited restaurant options or whatever, whatever your scenario is. And it’s always about making better choices. Now for me, in some cases, better choices means not eating. When I travel internationally, I do not eat airplane food. I just don’t do it anymore, because it’s loaded with all kinds of things. I want nothing to do with my body. So I just don’t eat I take it as an opportunity to fast That’s an option and this is about this goes back to your point earlier about how low the floor is Nathan, there are foods that I do not eat. Because I know they make me feel like absolute crap. I don’t eat cow dairy ever. It just destroys me. I don’t eat fried food. It destroys me. I don’t drink beer, generally speaking maybe one beer a year. You’re annihilates me? Why would I want to do that to my body, I don’t care how much I like it. Let go of the idea that food only has to be a pleasurable hedonistic experience. You can eat foods that tastes like shit. If they’re really healthy. That might be a choice you make. It’s a choice I make. I don’t really like fermented kimchi. Any kind of tastes like crap. But when it’s there, sometimes I’ll eat it because I know the health value is very high. For some, I think this is an alien concept. They see food as a vehicle for pleasure only an experience only it’s kind of the right texture. It has enough cheese on it. It’s gonna have enough salt on it for me to enjoy
Nathan Haas 1:56:00
I’ve never understood the concept of people being like, are you a foodie? I’m like,
Colby Pearce 1:56:06
I’m a human.
Nathan Haas 1:56:06
I eat food. I like to live but I would call myself more of a Dewar than a foodie. And to do I need food. But, um, yeah, I’m with you on that. But I think, I think for the sake of time, we should move on to the next point.
Colby Pearce 1:56:21
Nathan Haas 1:56:23
Colby Pearce 1:56:25
It’s a big one. And and, you know, for anyone who’s listened to a lot of whatever health oriented biohacker podcast, we don’t need to kick this horse anymore. I think it’s, it’s been kicked a lot, but to briefly synopsize you know, the more out of tune you are with your circadian rhythms, the harder time you will have been connected with nature in the sense that we are a biological creature, we are all inhabiting our biological spacesuits and those spacesuits are tuned into nature, specifically through the pathways of light and that has a dominant effect on our circadian rhythms. So when you stare at your computer at 10 at night and do email or watch Facebook or Netflix, or you leave your phone on and check your phone in the middle of night and it blasts you with that full spectrum, including way too much blue light into your retina, it disrupts your melatonin production disrupts your circadian rhythm and screws up sleep. And this is pretty well known and pretty well documented at this point in time. I mean, there may be new science that comes down the road to disprove this, but I think a lot of people agree on people either don’t want to look at it, or if they’re looking at it, they agree from everything I’ve seen. So look, be smart about this. Respect your sleep hygiene. I’ve got an app on my laptop. That helps me modulate the light frequencies on my screen to less forcefully assault myself. retinas it’s called Iris. There are other options. You know, Apple’s got their night shift on their stuff, which is reasonable Iris is a lot more advanced. We’ll put a link to the show notes in the show notes for this website if people want to check it out. And I highly recommend it. I think it’s something that’s quite useful. But I also make a big effort to control my light patterns at night or the incoming light sources at night. I do have my dorky biohacker glasses I wear around the house, and I’m quite conscious of turning off lights after sundown. Also in the morning, the first thing I do is get up and go outside and experience nature and usually that’s bare feet and frequently I’m doing Tai Chi in the sun. So exposure to sunlight in the first part of the day, the first half of the day, or specifically in the morning, will also shut down melatonin production and begin cortisol production and cortisol rises and sets with the sun. So as your day goes on cortisol levels increase. And ideally, if they’re properly regulated, they shut down in the night and that’s when melatonin levels kick in, when we have poor relationship with our exercise, and we have chronic cardio which all endurance cyclists do, or when we are fight or flight too often, and we’re not mining our breathing patterns, we’re neglecting to calm our systems with forms of meditation, whether that’s moving meditation, walking meditation, or, or literal stillness, when or whatever other methods you use to relax the sympathetic response to life and stop dealing with reactive emails and phone calls and all the things we deal with all the time or running errands. When we fail to be actionable on these processes. Then we go to bed and our cortisol levels are still floating quite high and disrupts melatonin production. It also delays the onset of slow wave sleep and REM sleep, which impacts recovery negatively. As an athlete, it also impacts physical repair processes and repair of the brain at night flushing of a limp through the body, and then you wake up the next day. And this is where you get statements like I’ve had a lot of athletes who is man I slept 10 hours I woke up and felt like I was exhausted. That’s chronic cortisol overload. So, mining circadian rhythms is a big part of this. And it’s a perfect example of little things that make a big difference. If you’re still sleeping with your phone next to your bed and it’s on all night, that’s step one. So we’ll let you dig into that on your own. If you want, I can put some resources for good sleep hygiene recommendations. In the shownotes ben Greenfield got some really good lists on that and his are quite extensive. Put a 30 item list, just find the 10 that work for you. And you’re already way ahead of where you are. If you haven’t minded this before, it can make a big impact on sleep performance.
Nathan Haas 2:01:08
And this is the same thing here at the Archons razors, just finding the smallest things, you can do it for the biggest change. It’s not gonna work. I mean, perfection is great, but I’m better. It’s great. Actually, that’s the goal
better is great.
Nathan Haas 2:01:22
And the changes, the changes become exponential over time, one,
Colby Pearce 2:01:27
one step at a time. Just keep an eye.
Nathan Haas 2:01:30
Yeah, you know, one of the other things that I’ve kind of learned through my study research and filiation with different kinds of therapists is that when we’re looking at screens and our eyes and just becoming so fatigued, I mean everyone’s habit where you just kind of like Wow, I can’t really focus on that or like changing direction of focal point in focal distance becomes like, almost painful. And now we have it often when we’re actually jet lagged. You just have to feel like you’re not in space and time anymore. But what’s actually happening is that there is this really incredible breakdown of coordination between a lot of the faculties of the brain. And those faculties which the AI plays a huge part in giving information to. So when we don’t have information, we have lack of information, which means lack of input to what the action potentials on the body will end up having. Having which means that we lose proprioception, we lose power, we lose the ability for information to flow back to the brain or because our eyes are tired. And this is one of the things that I’m particularly particularly focused on. For when I am allowed to leave the house is going outside and looking at as many things in nature as possible as many different shapes as many different colors as many different contours as many textures as I can looking at them. Because what we are doing is we are retraining our brains through that input throughout I to re integrate all of those networks that we have probably damaged by looking so much screen or this time. And again, I’m not blaming anyone for looking at too many screens, I’ve been doing it for sure. And my screen time is definitely probably at least two times what it normally is. I’m not proud to say that but you know, that’s the best I can do right now. And I still want to get through my days. But one of the things that I want to do is to get back out in nature and look at all these things that are not straight lines that are not 2d objects. And you know, Rudolf Steiner. You know, kind of one of his big principles is that, you know, Steiner schools don’t have straight lines. Because these are not things that we are used to having this is this inhibits creativity, when we have lack of creativity, we don’t have any more fulfillment of our real self, we’re distracted, our ego our shadow self comes through. So making sure that we get out into nature to actually look at the contours and the shapes and the textures and the colors. of nature is not just small talk to say that this is about your spirit. This is about science, this is about actually retraining the brain to retrain the body. And to bring back all of those sensibilities that you can and can’t measure. It’s really important that we do that. So again, I’m not just on sleep, but about all that stuff that we’re doing around sleep looking at screens. Yes, not planning, not blaming you for doing it right now. But as soon as you can, you got to get out there and slow meditative walk, which is just the act of walking and just looking at as many things and absorbing it and letting them be what they are is probably my definition of that. And that is what I’m going to be doing a lot off when I get out of here.
Colby Pearce 2:04:44
It’s something I do daily as well, and I’m having a blind sheep, who helps me with that because he doesn’t move too fast. But I would add to that, that yes, I agree with everything you said anything in and I would add to that, that one of the brilliant things about being in nature well today Two things I’ll add are one is you’re in full spectrum sunlight, which is how our bodies evolved to see things. And when we’re in an artificial light environment, no matter how natural your bulbs are, most of which aren’t. We’re disrupting that. We’re disrupting that Lightwave and manipulating
Nathan Haas 2:05:17
it, I would say with sound as well.
Colby Pearce 2:05:19
That would sound as well. Yes, sound through speakers. Yes, of course, of course. And so when we do that, especially LED lights, man, it just if you want to read about how bad LEDs are, knock a shelf out, but we have no LEDs in our house. And I’m pretty big believer in not having those be part of your environment. The other aspect is when you’re looking at a screen, whether it’s a laptop, or a big screen, or a phone or an iPad, or whatever that screen is usually within 24 inches of your eye. When you’re in nature, you’re training your eyes to look at objects that are far away. And this is really psychologically signal Again, because when you’re always focused on things that are right in front of your face, let’s think about this for a minute. If you spend your entire reality thinking about things that are within
Nathan Haas 2:06:11
12 inches of your eye or 24 inches of your eye, what does that paint for your own psychology? How do you relate to the world if that’s all you do, is look in a tiny sphere. That’s just a foot or two from your head. I could make an assumption here as well Cobain say that from a survivalist perspective, when things are that close, they also can present a certain danger. So you might be in a fight or flight response, creating more cortisol and also not being in a parasympathetic state because everything’s close. So that’s your frame of mind. And it’s also closing your posture, which again, closes your breathing, which creates all this facial tightness across the body and these patterns that close up. Which again, just create this kind of like infinity. loop of just negative chemicals through the body more sympathetic, more cortisol, the list goes on.
And the list goes on everything.
Nathan Haas 2:07:07
And, and I mean, this could also extend to move and I want to be careful how I say this because I don’t want to come across as a hater because I’ve been loving lately. It’s been super useful for me, which is whiffed. I’m on a virtual bike ride. And that is a really interesting experience for my brain. I don’t quite understand it yet. how that relationship happens on a chemical level, but you know, we are we are also starting to live virtual experiences as well, which, from my philosophy, not that I’m feeling anything right now, from my philosophy. Anytime that you were in a virtual experience, it’s not nature, there’s going to be some kind of a loss. And something that you and I’ve been talking a lot on is, and it’s not a coined term yet but it is for us, which is like indoor trainer syndrome,
Nathan Haas 2:08:02
is a very real,
Nathan Haas 2:08:06
in, at least in my experience because I have certain susceptibility to injury through my hips. But I’ve been getting all sorts of injury from being on an indoor bike too much, not on that single plane movement. So whether that virtual experience is affecting me in itself or just as an outcome of using it. This this indoor bike riding is it’s the best I can do for now. And swift to me has definitely made the overall experience much more exciting, appealing and doable. But at the same time, I’m kind of hoping that people will give it a bit of a break after this and make sure they catch up on that last time.
Colby Pearce 2:08:52
Yeah, I was a little disappointed to see they’re professionals with races happening now. The other day I read that like really But I mean, for me, there’s so many brilliant things that bikes can do for you. You know, I mean, don’t get me wrong Cycling is a sport that screws up the human body in a lot of ways. And I’m the biggest bike dork in the world, you’ll know that I’ve made that lofty claim about myself. So what I when I say that I give myself license to bash cycling a bit, because it’s bash me a few times, so. But bikes do a lot of brilliant things for us. They take you places that are so far away from your home or wherever you started using the power of your own human engine. They let you see the world at the perfect pace. You know, walking is is a great way to experience the universe, but it’s pretty slow. You got to do a lot of walking to get anywhere far. But a bike you can go so far on a bike in such little time. In a car, you see the world in an air conditioned box and 60 miles an hour doesn’t let you see quite the same amount of things. So I think a bike is a perfect way to tour a country to experience your environment. It’s also a great way to build a robot stamina and into that end, it also helps you connect with nature because you’re in the natural environment. In Colorado, that means you get snowed on sometimes I know you’re Australian, so you’ve never been snowed on anything. But I agree that the trainer is a virtual environment. And I mean, I’ll just pose this question would you rather have virtual sex or real sex Nathan?
I’ll go with vegetable every time.
Colby Pearce 2:10:42
I’m sure your wife’s in another room. But anyway, like, my point is, the real experience should always be the first choice, butter or margarine, mineral rich water local spring water or Diet Coke and actual bike ride or virtual bike ride. You’re right. Virtual cycling has its place in for you right now it serves a very specific purpose. And when I was training to make the Olympic team, I did a lot of intervals on the trainer as well. So, you know, for a man with a why, there’s always a how, meaning, if you’ve got a really big goal that you want to achieve, you’re going to find ways to make that goal happen. Just as you said, when you’re on the road, you’re going to find ways to bring me so paste in your luggage so that you can increase the efficacy of your food a little bit when you’re on the road, and it’s
Nathan Haas 2:11:38
the same, the diversity will stay higher.
Colby Pearce 2:11:41
And diversity, he has biodiversity. So these are all things that are the same concept and when you use swift or indoor training to maximize your fitness, especially the pointy end of fitness, it can be an effective tool, but make no mistake about it. Cycling is about connection with the outdoors and
Nathan Haas 2:12:00
And physics and gravity and, and fighting gravity, which means that your posture, which should look for the past the path of least resistance, and as all things in nature do by law, yes, when you are cornering and moving side to side, and there’s all these different planes of movement, and your posture is growing because of it, it’s changing your attitude. When you’re on a fixed bike where gravity is coming from one direction and stability and stabilizers are starting to switch off because they don’t have to. And different core driving muscles are now starting to be used as stabilizers. There’s certain effects that are going to happen through the body. And one of the things that a guy called Steve Hogg, who you and I both hold in very, very high standing. Here he left me with one quote, which kind of always sucks. Pilates for me. And that quote is that posture begets attitude and attitudes beget posture and translation of that is when a postural distortion has been there for some time. It changes how we relate to the world in all ways. Functionally, emotionally and psychologically. Yes, when the distortions are removed, it can be disorientating in the short term. And this is the point that we’re trying to make here is that when we go back outside, it is going to be disorientating. Yeah, it’s going to be on the short term. And what we have been trying to do here is try to let everyone know to prepare for that and to accept the inevitability of that. But ultimately, to fast track your healing through that time and that disorientation back to being orientated is just get outside into nature. Eat nature, drink, nature, sleep, nature. Be nature, yes, whatever that means to you, because it’s going to mean something different to everybody. But your posture is going to be one of your best indicators that you are back. And don’t forget that you can create your posture to change your attitude. And you can change your attitude by changing your posture, as Steve would say.
Nathan Haas 2:14:23
I think there is a great amount of wisdom in maybe made from my side of things ending on that.
Colby Pearce 2:14:30
I think that’s a great place to wrap up. If and, you know, we had a long list of things to outline here, and we didn’t make it through all of them. But, you know, that’s okay. I think we covered a lot of good ground and if people liked our conversation, they can let us know and then maybe we can have some more.
Nathan Haas 2:14:50
I would be interested to hear what people say. I mean, you know, me, I feel that our conversations are interesting. But at the same time, I I Don’t try to hide the fact that I’m no real expert. I’m just somebody that is studying life and things in. And I feel that with you, we have a great friendship and a really open relationship in terms of communicating ideas and challenging each other, and probably a little bit more one sided at this point. You know, you’ve you’ve challenged me in many great ways. But I think that, you know, as far as I feel that there will be some things for people to take from this conversation, whether you like part of it, or none of it. There will hopefully be something that you can take from it. And yeah, please let us know.
Colby Pearce 2:15:37
I think you’re selling yourself short. Nathan, I think you offer a lot of expertise. You’re also a very intelligent and open person and that’s a value to a lot of people and athletes because they will gain a lot of understanding through your perspective. So I appreciate you taking the time to share with us today. And, you know, also one of the greatest gifts that I can receive as a coach is when my athletes do challenge me, because while some may consider me an expert, you know, coaching is about relationship and it’s about back and forth between the writer and the coach and any coaches treating you in a authoritarian manner I think is selling both you and themselves short. It’s you know, I learned a tremendous amount from working with mathletes. That’s the point. That’s why we’re all here to learn from each other. So thank you for your challenge and input and your work. Thank you for sweeping your own doorstep sir.
Nathan Haas 2:16:38
My pleasure, Coby and thanks for having me on your very cool show.
Colby Pearce 2:16:43
You bet. All right, everyone. That wraps up our episode. I’m sure Nathan will be back for another one. Thanks for listening and take care and be safe, be wise. Be healthy. Listen up among The ramblings on this podcast represent me and me alone. They’re not indicative of the thoughts or opinions of fast labs or Chris case or Trevor Connor, or anyone else. Also, none of this advice is intended to prescribe or diagnose anything. I’m not a doctor. I don’t play one on the internet. So, just want to be clear on those points. Thanks for listening.