- Behavioral Economics
My time as a competitive athlete on my highest level is already passed. It was an interesting time. Those years have brought me very valuable experience and exciting competitions.
In Germany, I have run the marathons of, for example, Koeln, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg and Muenchen. Internationally I was part of the Paris marathon and it has been a very special experience.
My absolute highlight was the New-York-City-Marathon in 2007, when I was the 14th German behind the finishing line, and in total 381st of 26.041 male finishers. Of those successes I have always drawn feelings of deep satisfaction.
I was a very good marathon runner, but never became a great one. Reason for that is that I always did ambitious Bodybuilding as well. My delight in sensuality and physical aesthetics were the main cause for that. The result was that most of the time, even though I had a body fat content of about 9-10%, I also had a Body-Mass-Index of about 27-28.
Superfluous, running little-to-use muscles, can store carbohydrates, but also consumes lots of valuable oxygen. Moreover, to have more muscles means also to carry more unnecessary weight. Fixed over and over again by the regular view into the mirror onto the look of the own pretty masculine body, I could never decide to refrain from bodybuilding.
Maybe I am the fastest bodybuilder who has ever completed the marathon in New York City.
Within fifteen years of competitive sports I have explored my body very well. I know very well how my body responds to what kind of diet. I know what kind of, how frequent and how long my body needs regeneration to deliver certain performance. I know the effects of different types of exercise and nutrition on my hormone levels, on my mood, my charisma, my gestures, my facial expressions and my appearance, and various cognitive abilities of my brain.
I tried every kind of special sports diet. Trough my teenage-time I took of every little paradigm shift in the nutritional sciences note and tried it in practice. Researchers sometimes said this, a few years later that, and again a few years later again the opposite.
From self-experience I knew very soon that protein and fat, especially in the form of meat, are very important not only for physical regeneration and super compensation processes but also for the provision of intellectual performance. Dietary fat is not only and not at all primarily responsible for obesity. Fat is not an evil and it is a big mistake to forebear from it.
From self-experience it was very early clear to me that the time of the day one takes a meal, has high impact on his musculature and physical renewal processes. With an empty stomach at night, especially in the early phase of sleep, more growth hormones are being distributed.
From self-experience it was evidentially clear to me that higher training stimulus means more fat burning. With dread I noticed regularly, how poorly-trained trainers did not understand the difference between ‘absolute’ and ‘relative’ and explained for years and decades that moderate and aerobic physical exercise would burn more fat than anaerobic.
Even in my core course in sports in school my teacher tried to explain me the value of a “pyramid of training”, when I already knew that after a long warming up one should begin immediately with maximum muscle stimulation.
I am still doing sports on a high level, even if I do not run any more marathons and even if I will not do an Ironman-Triathlon anymore. Anyone who has ever driven sport on a very ambitious level will receive significant withdrawal symptoms when he stops abruptly with it. Almost all professional athletes are slightly manic-depressive after their career. Competitive athletes constantly switch between aggressive phases with high distributions of stress hormones and dopamine, and deep regeneration phases with complete absence of stress hormones. In addition, athletes often experience as well intense and dramatic euphoria as frustration and intense experiences. Professional athletes live unhealthy. Above all, they are almost never balanced. But they know their brain and their body better than any other person.
The dependence of my self-awareness of my own body and my consciousness, of different kinds of sportive activities and nutrition, awaked my interest for cognitive psychology, especially motivational psychology, as well as the biology of my own body and my own personality. Step by step I began to turn away from classical philosophy. But to study cognitive psychology it was too early because it did not exist as a subject in Germany yet.