My parents got me (and my brother) to try virtually every sport in the book, from skiing, ski-running to basketball, badminton, table tennis, rowing and everything in between. By the mid elementary school I kind of decided that tennis provided the most enjoyment so I started to train it. Competitively I was very unsuccessful, with the number of losses greatly outnumbering number of wins in tournaments, but I nevertheless enjoyed playing it every day. Then came the university and the awareness that training leads to nowhere. I started teaching tennis while continuing to play it several times per week. Because my whole “competitive advantage” in tennis was based on endurance and speed around the court, so I never really hated running. Even as a part of condition training for tennis. So the switch to more-endurance and less-technique based sport was not difficult.
Regarding the nutrition back in those days I cannot complain. We always ate at home, with cooking courtesy of my mother based on more traditional Slovenian cuisine that quite heavily relies on bread and potatoes. Sweets were quite limited, no sodas or other junk food on the menu. Though my favorite meal was homemade pizza, courtesy of my father! As the years passed and got more and more independent (gymnasium, university), I didn’t pay much attention to what kind of food I was eating. Still very little junk food, no soda or excessive amounts of sweets, and as I was quite physically active, I could basically eat whatever I wanted and it didn’t show. Over the winter I normally gained a couple of kg, which were then lost in the spring. Regarding the fruits and vegetables, they probably represented the minority of my nutrition, whereas the staple source was carbohydrates from wheat or potatoes and supple amounts of meat and dairy products.
So this is what my “before-endurance” years looked like, as far as I remember. For my first steps into the endurance world, please head to this section.