The Zone, Vol 12: Triathlon


by The ParaDocs

June 19, 2020

The Zone Weekly with paraDocs

Covid-19 has changed just about every aspect of our lives.And as we venture outdoors this summer, we’re likely to encounter a whole new set of changes. For some, these changes will be easy. Others might have difficulty adapting.

In Volume 12 of this guest series, Psychotherapist, Dr. Francis L. Battisti and Nutritionist, Dr. Helen Battisti help us persist, reminding us that this pandemic is not a sprint, or even a marathon. It’s a triathlon.

For over 10 years, they have worked closely with us on aging concerns and have presented many webinars and in-person workshops.Their newsletter, The Zone, is a weekly mental health and nutrition tip sheet during times of change.


As we move closer to the official start of summer, some of us may find that we’re ready for necessary changes that need to be made, while others are not. Our persistence of purpose may be tested right now. History teaches us that Pandemics don’t resolve within a short period of time. With this knowledge, our persistence level to continue to move forward needs to be continually assessed and strengthened. This is not a 5K race, nor a 26.2 mile Marathon, but rather more like an Ironman/woman Triathlon. As this level of triathlon requires multi-levels of persistence, the same approach can be helpful during this period of time.

Just as the Ironman/woman trains physically, mentally, and spiritually, we too need to persist on multi-levels. While the Ironman/woman Triathlon has a clear finish line, a Pandemic does not. Although not seeing a distinct finish line may make it more difficult to have a persistence of purpose, focusing on the knowledge that we are working to take care of ourselves and others, can offer the motivation that we need to be persistent.

Key Takeaways

  • This is not a “walk in the park.”
  • Persistence of purpose needs to be constantly energized.
  • Allow history to be a teacher to gain further insight.

Best Practices

  • Routinely checking-in with yourself and with confidants about your physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
  • Establishing/refining a personalized routine to address physical/mental/spiritual well-being.
  • Incorporating spices such as garlic, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and cayenne into your diet can help you during times of chronic stress. Visit allspice.com for ways to incorporate these spices into your daily meals.

Things to Limit

  • Listening to your “negative critic.”
  • Substituting sugary beverages for water.
  • Lighting that interferes with the darkness of your bedroom at night. Light can interrupt your sleep and cause fatigue.

In summary, to help maintain our persistence of purpose, it helps to stay in the moment. Worrying about the future is like rocking in a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.


Quote of the Week

“You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.” – Tom Huddleston

About the author 

The ParaDocs

The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P. and Chief Academic Officer and, Dr. Helen E. Battisti, PhD, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change. If you would like to subscribe to The Zone, please email info@avilainstitute.org and we will get you on the mailing list.


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