Today we'd like to welcome Patrick Hyland, a fellow OYNB hero and the face behind The Irish Introvert, who is gracing us with a guest post about how something so ordinary can affect his decision. He created The Irish Introvert, in his words, “to help inspire, motivate and educate, through the sharing of significant experiences, and reflections upon those life defining moments”.
I sort of accidentally stumbled upon this ground-breaking discovery a few months back while training for my first marathon, and for quite some time afterwards it remained just an amusing anecdote, until more recently when I took the time to delve a little deeper, through a period of solitary reflection. It was only then that I realised the true significance of what I had uncovered, and what it all meant in terms of what I was doing and where I was headed.
What is this incredible revelation of biblical proportions that you speak of, I hear you ask. Well it all came about one day, while trying my hand at baking.
I had been adhering to a strict high-fat ketogenic nutrition plan for a number of months pre-marathon, and I came across a recipe for a delicious keto-friendly treat. Being a complete sucker for desserts of any kind, I hurriedly hit up the local supermarket to pick up the 4 simple ingredients: dark chocolate, grass-fed butter, peanut butter, and almond extract.
Back in the kitchen, I had melted the first 3 ingredients in the microwave and all that was left to do was to add a couple of drops of almond extract, before putting the mixture in the fridge. Now that I think of it, I suppose this most simple of procedures doesn’t really constitute as baking. But, I digress.
As I excitedly screwed off the cap, the intense aroma of the liquid that was inside immediately filled my nostrils, and almost made me gag.
Fuck me, I thought, what is this stuff!?
I turned the bottle around, read the ingredients through watery eyes, and to my horror found the culprit. Alcohol: 90%
What the fuck?!
From there, I started to ask questions of myself to which I truly didn’t know the answer, such as, “If I use this shit, am I off the wagon?”
At that stage over a year had passed since making the life changing decision of packing in the sauce. I was feeling better than ever both physically and mentally, yet here I was debating whether or not to add a couple of drops of almond extract to some melted chocolate! It was ridiculous to the point of being funny, but after some time I came to realise that this whole episode would encapsulate all the positively nourishing effects that this decision has had on my life, and sum it all up in one simple concept.
Positive self-development is an infectious obsession.
When we look to make positive improvements in our lives, however big or small, and as we reap the many amazing benefits as a result, it becomes a sort of an incredibly healthy obsession. We begin to look for new and exciting ways in which we can develop further, which are unique to ourselves and the path that we thread. In doing so, mind and body become more in tune, and with that, we grow closer to finding our true purpose. That, which makes our inner fire burn.
An incredibly exciting discovery for sure, but one which I plan on continuing to delve into further, and I invite you to do the same.
Patrick Hyland is a native of Co. Laois, in the midlands of Ireland, and he now lays his hat in Shanghai, China. You can follow his blog, The Irish Introvert.