Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I think it's about time for a wake up call.  There are a lot of factors out there that can possible prevent you from accomplishing your goals.  There are probably two or three chalenges for every asset you have at least.  The odds are totally stacked against you.  Are we talking about an IronMan?  Sure, just as much as we are talking about your first marathon, or going back to college to get that degree, or starting your own business.  If you want it, and it is worth fighting for, then it's going to be hard.  It is going to take a fight.  Really, doing an ironman is easy, that's why everybody does them.  Starting a business is ordinary, that's why over 90% of americans are employees, not owners.  You want some advice?  Don't even try it.  Stop now.  Quit.  It's never going to happen anyway, just look at all the chalenges.  Look at all those issues and problems you have to overcome.  Impossible....  But wait, that doesn't really discourage you does it.  It doesn't make you want to quit.  Do you know why?

Let me tell you something you may already know.  You are awesome.  I mean, you totally kick but.  There is a reason you are reading this, and there is a reason you have decided to take it to the next level, or if you haven't decided to yet, then there is a reason you're going to one day.  Because you are built for majesty.  I know that probably sounds strange, it's not language we use every day.  What does it really mean?  It means, my friends, that you were created with a purpose.  You were made with something in mind.  You have been created in the most amazing way, the formation process you went through in your mothers womb still to this modern day baffles scientists and doctors.  Sure sure, we know very well WHAT happens, we just don't have a clue WHY.  Listen, read, or watch any documentary on this process and you'll hear a lot of what happens next, you'll hear almost none of "this is because".  We don't get it.  We put men on the moon and launched machines to the far reaches of the solar system, but we still don't understand where we come from.

It is a truism that if you want to understand the purpose of a thing, you can start by examining it's functions, what is it capable of doing.  So to that end, let's quickly examine a human.  A human is built, cell by cell, brick by brick, for something... but what?  well we can certainly say we are made for a fight, look at all the incredible survival systems we have, redundant processess that overlap and cover each other.  The adrenal system alone is proof that we are made for a fight, and it is not unique!  There are many bodily systems that exist just to boost our performance well above our imaginary limits.  one could also say we are created for survival.  Look at our capacity to understand the world around us.  Nobody can even hope to argue against our ability to harness the environment.  Such incredible intelligence, easily hundreds of times smarter than the next smartest animal, well above and in excess to the level of intellect we need just to be the dominant species?  when was the last time you examined your hand?  Listen; the smartest people on the planet have been trying to copy our ability to WALK for centuries, and have failed.  Your body is a mechanical, electrical, intelectual, artful, combat ready, obstacle destroying, masterpiece designed for ... well ... MAJESTY!!

Next time you run, or ride, or swim, or whatever, before you start think a little about the machine you are in command of.  The body you are solely in control of.  The shape of it, the size of it, the capacity of it.  All of these things are yours to command.  Your Will runs and governs it all.  It will flex and bend to become what you want it to.  Just like your life.  Push your self and you grow.  Stretch yourself and you improve.  Breakthrough your boundaries and it hurts, for a second, and you keep the new territory forever.  You are meant for greatness, you are born royalty, you are created for majesty.  Look at you!  You are pilot and captain and commander of the most amazing thing ever made!!  And it is capable of becoming whatever you drive it to!!  There, all done with my reality check for the day.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Seriously.  Yup.  Believe it or not, this is an extremely important part of endurance training.  The best part about sleeping, is that it is great.  Really, who doesn't like sleeping?  Here is a surprise, if you like getting 8 hours per night normally, with training it'll be more like 10 that you need.  Not surprised?  Well I was!  Sleep is critical for weight loss, stress reduction, muscle growth, protein replacement, hormone balance and a host of other amazing things your body needs to keep functioning.  You've got to handle the details for your body's sake!!  If you don't take care of the details, sleep will be the factor that suffers, and it's the one thing you don't want to compromise.  Honestly the toughest part of getting this IronMan finished, is the scheduling and managing of all the tiny details!  It's all the semantics that make it tough!  The workouts are hard, yeah, but it's dodging little kid swim lessons that is the real chalenge!!  Running is tough, but without clean cloths and a fresh supply of socks, your sunk.  It's a deal breaker!  Not to say that this stuff isn't manageable, it's just one of those little gotcha's that seem to fly below the radar.

Let's do a little math though just to see how all this works out.  Let's take a look at how busy you are, really, in an average week.  In a seven day period of time, there are 168 hours.  If we sleep 10 hours a night, and work 10 hour days five days a week (this includes driving time and lunch), we are down to just 48 hours... tiny right?  Hardly.  Let's say it takes us all an incredibly long time to get ready each day, say an hour including breakfast, and let's say we take a whole hour each day for dinner and cleanup.  So far, we've got 34 hours left.

Then let's say we have a family that we love and care about and we invest two hours each day in ADDITION to family meals like dinner, to spending quality time with them.  Tucking in the kids, reading them stories, kissing the wife, things like that.  Two hours a day people, do you know how far above the national average this is?  Just IMAGINE your life if you spent two dedicated hours each day to spending time with your kids!!!!!  IMAGINE!!!  whew, ok, that would be amazing, really, if everybody did that!  Anyway then we are down to 20 hours per week.

Finally, let's say you spent an hour a day, once your job, your sleep, your family, and your house are all taken care of and feeling very well maintained and loved, you just waste an hour each day, doing whatever.  That brings our total down to 13 hours per week.  Can you do something incredible like train for an ironman in 13 hours per week?  Survey says?  YES!  Absolutely!  Just look at the guide!  There are only a few weeks that are over 13!

168 hours / week:
70 hours sleeping
50 hours working
14 hours with family
13 hours training
7 hours being beautiful
7 hours eating cleaning
7 hours whatever

Now, let's have a little reality check for a moment.  Do you really work 50 hours a week? really?  Most of us probably don't have a 30 minute commute.  On top of that, if your a guy, there is no way your going to spend 7 hours a week taking showers and getting dressed.  Even if your a girl, 7 hours putting on makeup and brushing your hair??  But really, the real gut check on this list is that there isn't a category for TV?!  How can we function without TV??!?!  even if you dedicate the 7 hours of whatever to television, that's only ONE episode of Big Brother a day!  and no survivor?  hells kitchen? hotel hell?  grey's anatomy??  OH GOD WE MAY ALL DIE!!!  haha, just kidding, obviously.  But really, what are your priorities.  This is definitely possible and very doable but it does require disciplin.  As a final note on that topic, if TV really is a priority to you, then rearrange the hours so that you get more TV time.  The point here is that even with tons and tons of fluff, there are way more hours in a week than we need to get everything important done.

My advice, schedule your day in 2 hour blocks.  That way, if you get off track, you've only lost 2 hours at most.  Plus, 2 hours is a perfect amount of time to get something good done, be very productive.  This will really start to set you free.  Once you know exactly what your supposed to be doing and you know that it supports both your short term and long term goals and aspirations, the pressure is totally off.  You are able to focus on what's going on at that moment and get way more done because you have a plan you can trust.  The trick is getting it into your calendar.  Writing it down.  What would I see if I looked at your calendar today?  Now, go make a kick butt calendar, and rest easy with your 10 hours every night!  You crazy sleeper you!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Swimming Part 3:

I am really starting to like swimming.  It wasn't always like this but it's starting to be that way.  Swimming is really a whole body workout, I like to switch between freestyle and breast stroke.  The cool thing about swimming, is most people don't think they can do it.  It's one of those activities that people are afraid of for some reason, when it's actually one of the most fun!  It's way more fun than running (sorry runners), and pretty much stomps biking too.  I think i like talking about swimming the most simply because most people have this mental anchor stopping them from going for it!  I'll ask, what's the worst that could happen?  I could drown... really?  seriously?  in a pool at a health club your going to drown??  How's that irrational fear working out for you?  not so well?  How about we kick it to the curb and be happier for it!!

I have a special kind of loathing for irrational fears, I have no time for them in my life and don't like them at all.  I see fear as something that at one point helped keep us alive, maybe, but I still think sound mind and confidence will do a better job of that even in the wilderness.  Either way, in our modern day, fear is totally pointless.  It serves only to chain people down and hold them back.  I work with a lot of people who are afraid of the strangest things.  Like making important phone calls for example, or talking to their wives about tough topics.  But every time without fail, once the call is made or the conversation is done, people are glad they did it.  OF COURSE THEY ARE!!!  Say nothing about the fact that the things we fear are also the things that will give us the most happiness and best benefits, people are glad they did it simply because THEY DONT'T HAVE TO DREAD IT ANY LONGER!!!

I have an idea.  Let's reframe fear for a second.  Let me just slay some demons for a moment.  First of all, fear is not the thing that keeps you from jumping off a cliff to your death, logic is.  Fear is NOT the device which keeps people away from dangerous situations, LOGIC is.  It is a sound mind which saves you, not your fears.  I know lots of people who have a lot of fear, and still do stupid life threatening things!  And I know a lot of stories about people who were fearless who still died in a car accident.  Does the fact that you can die in a car stop people from doing it every day?  No, because that would not be logical.  So enough about that.  Let's take a different angle on fear then.  Next time you feel fear, ask yourself one question.  Is it likely that resisting this fear could result in serious injury or death?  Is it even remotely possible?  If the answer is no, then my advice to you is to do the thing you are afraid of JUST because you are afraid of it!  Listen.  Let's say somebody came over to your house and held you down on the floor so you couldn't move.  They were not hurting you and there was no danger, just annoying because you couldn't move.  How long would you put up with this treatment?  How long till you just wanted to go to the bathroom for crying out loud??  Well, this is exactly what fear does.  Maybe not so extreem in most of our cases, but if we let fear run wild, we would never leave the house.

Make the decision today that fear is not a warning sign of impending danger, but a sign that you are about to do something good for yourself.  Your about to expand your horizons, become more confident, enable higher self esteem and bigger belief in yourself!  Go swimming if that's your thing, or skydiving, bungee jumping, whatever just do it!  Kick fear in the teeth and you'll love yourself for it!  After all, God did not give you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of sound mind.  If the fear doesn't come from God, where do you think it does come from???

Happy hunting!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Food.  I really like food.  I think it's probably one of my favorite things.  I like to have some of it as often as possible, and usually as much as possible each time.  sometimes more than 4 or 5 times a day i like to have some.  How about you?  Do you like food?  Most people do.  Yet, for most people, we don't really get a ton of training how on how to manage this very effectively.  Some people are lucky, it seems no matter what they eat, it never catches up with them.  Other people, not so lucky.  I don't know much, but let me share with you what i do know about how to love food in a way that will make sure it loves you back.

First off, on a top level, you need to watch how much food you eat total on a daily basis.  This we are all mostly familiar with, you calculate how many calories your body burns in a day just siting there (this is called your BMR), and then you shoot for less or more than that based on your weight goals.  Use this site to calculate your BMR:
Now that the top level is taken care of, let's talk a little more in detail of the TYPES of calories you should be eating.  There are three main types you've got to watch, as I see it.  Protein, Carbs, and Fat.  And you measure each as a ratio of total calories against your daily max, as calculated from your BMR.  So if you want to lose weight, you eat less than your BMR.  If you want to gain weight, eat more.  If you work out, those get subtracted from the calories you've eaten.  Get it so far?  Simple stuff.
Now, for the ratio's, I like to follow P90X recommended ratio's to be honest, which change slightly between P90X, P90X2, insanity, etc.  Again, here is my thoughts.

The links for the info I am referencing will be below, but basically a person should keep to certain boundaries for which types of cal's they are eating.  If you eat 100% carbs, bad news for muscles and you probably won't get the results you want for example.  So depending on your fitness goals, or if you're just trying to lose weight, you need to change these percentages, but a good starting point is 30% protein, 40% carbs, and 30% healthy fats.  Keeping track of all this can be really complicated, so I like to use technology.  I use an app called MyFitnessPal for the iphone (see links).  It's amazing, it tracks calories, percentages, and your BMR vs your current weight.  It also let's you scan in bar codes for common foods and already has most of the info programmed!  SUPER EASY!!  P90X recommends you follow three phases.  The first is called fat shredder, in which you eat 50% protein, 25%carbs, and 25% healthy fats.  This matched with intense exorcise can really burn fat because of the shortage of carbs, you will eventually run out of energy using this so it is not recommended to do it for more than a couple weeks if paired with exorcize.  The second phase and the third phase are modifications on these ratio's.  For example, phase three uses 25% protein, 50% carbs, and 25% fats.  Phase three is what I eat and is designed for someone who is burning a ton of calories due to a high calorie burn workout plan (like training for an IM)

Hope this basic info helps and these links get you going in the right direction!  Please feel free to post links and comments that are helpful too, I am by no means the expert on diet and nutrition.

P90X basic info:

Book recommended by a nutritionist to me:

MyFitnessPal website, seriously get this app, it's awesome:

Here is the MyFitnessPal app website and info:

Good luck and happy food eating n' stuff!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The IM Training Plan:

What's the plan?  20 weeks of madness, resulting in life changing improvements, the best physical health I have ever been in my whole life, and the ability to complete an IronMan.  So far we have overcome much, we are on week 11!  Check out this weeks schedule:

Week 11 Schedule

This week is focused on running.  It's a good idea to have theme weeks built into your training.  This let's you really push your effectiveness at a specific event while maintaining the level's you have achieved in the others.  Of course, the most important part is recovery time, don't over-do it or you'll end up injured or too drained to continue.  Check out the intensity chart per week (it's minutes working out per week) I unceremoniously stole from the website I am using for training below!

The entire training program I am following can be found online at

The fourth week in each month is designed to be a recovery week, where you're still working out, just less intensely.  The program is built quite intelligently, with workouts called breakthrough workouts, which break your body and tissues down and push you past where you have performed before.  These are followed by recovery or low intensity workouts, which allow your system time to recover, and when it does recover, it over-shoots the rebound, which results in you having an overall far increased level of performance due to the recovery!  No recovery, no performance increase!

Here is a flash into a week of training!  Check out this week:
Monday - 90 minute bike, shoot for a target average speed of 17mph.  This is your race pace.

Tuesday - 90 minute tempo run.  Tempo run basically means your going to increase and decrease your speed based on minutes running, this helps push your cardio health without damaging your fast twitch muscle fibers, which come in handy when your running and are easy to recruit as your muscles get tired.  Similar to the way strides work for your muscles, but for cardio.

Wednesday - 3000 yard swim (1.7 miles), and 30 minute run.  Try to keep the pace of the swim consistent, this is a distance day, there are also speed days designed to increase your speed while keeping your exertion down (by boosting performance).  Keep the run easy, RPE 3.  RPE = rate of perceived exertion.  Basically how hard are you working on a scale of 0 to 10, 10 being pushing as hard as you can.

Thursday - 75 min endurance run.  Steady pace, RPE 3-4.  then a 1900 yard ladder swim.  this means you swim 300 yards, 2 minute break, then 275 yards, 2 minute break, then 250, 2 min, all the way down to 25 yards, then your done.  it's freeking hard to do!

Friday - 60 min easy run, 2 hour bike.

Saturday - Speed swim day!  8 x 100 yard.  so you swim 100 yards 8 times.  Each 100 yard spurt takes the first 25 yards easy, next 25 increasing speed, next 25 yards easy, last 25 yards hard effort.  EBEH

Sunday - 2.5 hour endurance run.  Try to use nutrition that you will have access to on race day.  these long workouts are the only chance you'll get to test out your race day nutrition!  I usually run about a 10-11 minute mile, so this sunday will be my first half marathon distance workout!  WOOT!!

If this sounds like a lot, then congratulations, your normal.  But when you break it down, it's really not that much.  Most of us make time for the gym anyway, and once you master your calendar, you'll be shocked how many hours you have in a week to get stuff done!  It's all about what's important!  God first, family second, everything else comes third.  Think about it for a second.  How long is 20 weeks?  yup, it's 5 months.  Even if you do half of these workouts, or do half of all of them, you're still going to easily move into a level of fitness that if maintained will add years to your life and even more important, QUALITY years to your life!  How's that for a gift to your family!  Live an extra 10 years!  Your spouse will LOVE your new looks too, trust me.  The benefits are endless, lower stress, new found health, spouse who ... yup, winning example to the kids, live longer, live happier, become awesome!  What's your good reason not to get in shape again?

Monday, August 20, 2012

The take-out principal

Couch to ironman in how much time?  Are you nuts?  People usually take a year to train for an IronMan dude, and those people usually already have an athletic foundation.  What are you thinking?  You must be crazy, but good crazy?  Your going to get hurt.  Prepare to be injured.  You'll never do it without getting hurt man, do you want to get hurt?  Just finishing the Ironman, that's lame you should try to get a good time too!  Why are you just going for completion?  It doesn't really count unless you can do an Ironman every year.  Your wife is going to leave you, think of all the time you're spending away from her.  What about your family man, don't you miss your kids, don't you think they miss you? You should quit.  Stop trying so hard.  Go home and read your kids a story.  Go home and make your wife dinner.  Writing about this is a waste of time, you should do something more important.  Focus on your business.  Focus on your job.  Stop being so abnormal!  Why can't you just be like everybody else.  This is the way we do things here, you better learn how to fit in with the rest of us.  Nobody likes you, you're not like other people.  Why don't you listen.  Your feet hurt today, just skip the workout.  Your roof is leaking, stop the training and take care of what's important.  Your legs hurt, quit.  You've got a headache, stop.  Your knee is acting up, you should quit.  Make more money, your not doing enough.  Your going to fail!  If you leave it all out on the field, and then lose, that makes you a loser, you're a loser.  Loser.  Nobody is going to listen to you.  You can't even write dude, why are you making a fool of yourself.  People are going to laugh at you.  People think your weird.  Stop smiling so much, it bothers everybody around you.  Driver slower.  Take fewer chances, you've got kids to take care of at home.  Just fit in.  Stop.  Quit.  Loser.  Faker.  Poser.  Wimp.  Failure.  Loser.

Sooner or later, probably both, you're going to have to overcome something greater than all the other obstacles you've had to face so far.  You're going to have to fight someone who knows you very well, someone who knows exactly where your soft spots are, and knows how to poke them so it hurts the most.  This enemy is fierce and relentless, just waiting for you to make the smallest slipup and then remembers it forever and throws it in your face over and over.  You'll never be able to totally silence this condemning voice completely, it'll be a struggle your whole life.  So you better get ready.  This fight is going to take everything you've got.  The battle is silent in many of our lives.  We just do our thing, never really going for it, never pushing past the limits.  We define our lives by the barriers, we allow ourselves to be fenced in, bridled, broken.  At least for a while.  But there comes a time for each of us when we have the choice, to step up.  To push back.  To do something amazing, and that's when we become aware of the struggle.  The truth is, as long as you're letting your fear determine your fate, you'll never even see this battle.  But eventually, you'll get a little spark, you'll decide to do it differently, you'll go out on a limb and POW, all this fire and fury erupts in your face!  Be ready for it!!

The truth is, this voice only ever tells lies.  You've got to be ready for it because it feels so true at the time, but it's always a lie.  Everything.  Be ready, the moment you decide and act.  Right when you step out and go for your first run.  Right after you step out of your comfort zone, that's when you'll be challenged the first time.  But when you pass that test, there are others to come.  Bigger, meaner, tougher chalenges.  And they never stop.  This is a good thing, a GREAT thing.  You've just got to remember, they are all lies.  Remember, it's YOUR LIFE, nothing else's!  YOU are the one to determine what reality is!

I know you have what it takes inside you to overcome whatever is challenging you today and everyday, whatever mental daggers have been thrown at you.  Whatever circumstances are trying to convince you to quit on your dreams.  You have what it takes to overcome all of them.  You were born with what it takes.  Believe it, and unleash it into your life.  Never let your fears decide your fate.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Let me just say, up front, I have never really like stretching before.  It always seems like I just want to get on to the next task when I finish a workout, and stretching before workouts, like in gym class?  Well that never felt very good either!  So the truth is, I don't like doing it.  So I went on a mini-mission to find evidence to say I don't have to do it!  Haha!  I love my perfect plans, they always go exactly like I want them to!  So I jumped on the internet, texted a couple buddies, and looked for the answer I wanted to hear, which is that it doesn't really matter.  Guess what I discovered.... that stretching, is incredibly complex and varied, there are many many different types and theories surrounding stretching, how to do it, when to do it, and why.  So here, is the important stuff, the most common ways, and the reasoning behind it.  So, prepare, yourselves, for today's riveting, and totally geeky breakdown of stretching!!

First off, at it's core, stretching improves flexibility.  There are about a zillion reason why you want to be more flexible, to a point.  Some would say you can become too flexible, I don't think this is a very common problem though, and certainly not a problem I have.  I can't even touch my own toes without bending my knee!  Not since I was 10 anyway! (oh the good ole' days)  So you can't really stretch too much.  I was more hoping to find out that you don't have to stretch at all!  Who cares about flexibility after all right!?  Don't do nuthin' good for the normal Joe, right?  Wrong.  Being more flexible helps prevent injury, for starters.  Also muscle growth is related to tearing fibers and then fixing them, and stretching helps to keep these fibers lengthened and counteracts tightness that can lead to injury type muscle tears, serious sprains, strains, and pinched nerves and the like!  I am not sure if you've ever had one of these problems, but I have once or twice, and they suck and should be avoided, unless you like pain.  It also improves performance, because if you have a higher total range of motion, then you also have a larger range of motion for the same power output.  Which is to say, your total range of motion for which you have max power, is larger.  I heard a story from a superstar runner friend of mine (Vanessa!), that if you took identical twins and trained them for an 800.  All other things being equal, the one that stretched regularly would bat the one that did not, because each stride would cover more ground while producing the same force.  Sounded great to me!  I want large ground covering strides that produce force and stuff too!!!  There are also many formes of stretching, good ones like proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, or PNF for short, and really really bad ones, like ballistic stretching.  I know, it doesn't even SOUND like a good idea does it...

The main point here is this.  Stretch.  Do it.  Do it after a workout, not before.  Always stretch warm muscles not cold.  Old school (like when we were kids... ugh...) thinking is to stretch before, but now they say that is bad, we should always stretch warm muscles.  If your going for a large workout, warm up first, then stretch, then do the workout, then stretch again.  Static stretching is good, PNF if you have a buddy.  check out the links and happy stretching.  Honestly though, after a little bit, you'll start to love it.  I know once i got over the complaining and griping, it is really starting to become a part of the workout that I actually enjoy.  See how my perfect plans turn out?  haha!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Let's Play

When you were a kid, what were your favorite things to do?  Did you like to quietly read a book by yourself?  Did you enjoy trying to see how far you could jump your new bike?  When was the last time you did what you loved when you were 10?  If your anything like me, it's been quite a while.  To be honest, I have to strain my mind just to remember what I loved to do when I was 10 years old!  I havn't thought about it in so long!!  Life, seems to have a way of eroding things like this.  Simple, basic, life giving things that we love, seem to slip away as we get older.... no, that's not right.... as we get busier.  Age really has nothing to do with it.  A great teacher once said, we don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.  Anybody know who that was?

Seriously though, life isn't designed to be ALL work.  Neither is training, or anything for that matter.  It's a balance.  I used to love reading believe it or not.  Piers Anthony's Xanth series.  There are like 20 books and I've read them all.  It's about a magical parallel universe to the state of Florida.  haha!  Everybody had a spell that was unique to them, something they could do uniquely and it was called a 'talent'.  I used to try to imagine what my unique talent would be if I had lived in Xanth.  would I be able to fly?  or maybe heal people?  Why don't I sit around and dream like that anymore?  Because, we used to do that as kids because, for lack of a better word, we were bored.  We didn't have something to do every minute of every day of every month.  We had time to decompress, when was the last time you did that eh?

It's time to do something we used to do on accident, which was great and good for us.  It's time to do it on purpose.  Schedule in some you time, time you can laugh to yourself and listen to your own breathing and heart.  Let yourself get bored in that time.  Don't rush off when you are assaulted 5 minutes in with a million things you just remembered you had to do.  Let those things wash over you.  Write them down if you must and get to them later, but for now, for an hour at least, let yourself get bored.  Talk to God, but not if you don't feel like it.  Read, or not.  Whatever!  don't plan it!  What I think you will discover is that it feels good once you get to that place.  And your creativity and problem solving abilities will sky rocket as a result.  You'll tap into a resource that is amazingly powerful.  The intuitive side of yourself, the truthful and right thinking side, that is always amazing!  You've got to coax that person out.  That genius inside you only shows up when your bored to tears and need to invent a new game or something.  When you slow down and get distracted by your own breathing, right then, BAM the best idea will hit you!  Make some time for your inner genius to work with you, talk with you.  When was the last time you heard from them?

Don't think you have an inner genius?  HAHA!  I can prove it to you.  Go take an hour, schedule it out and get out of your normal environment, and leave your phone behind.  Go to a coffee place you've never been to, or go park your car by the side of a nice road with a view.  And just relax, for an hour.  Bring a pad and paper, NOT a laptop.  No technology.  Nothing more advanced than a pen.  It will feel like the longest hour of your life the first time and when it's over, you'll know exactly what I mean when I say inner genius.  Bring a book if you like, and when you have a thought or idea, write it down and move on.  close your eyes for a few minutes.  can you keep em' closed for even 5 at once?  haha!  Boredom is the gateway to genius, simply because it is the opposite of what we are exposed to every single day.  The bars that keep us from being our truest awesome selves, are busyness, distractions, responsibility, and obligation.  Get away from them for a little while and you'll start to laugh and love more passionately and fully than you have in a long long time.  And most importantly, you'll start to unlock that inner genius that's been taking a nap deep in your hearts deepest corner for far too long.  He is in there, the glorious champion of your life, locked away in your soul, hiding from all your hubbub.  Go send him a message.  Hello, I know it's been a long time, but now I am here, waiting for you, and for the next hour, I am yours... Let's play...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


What's your excuse?  Photo by Brian Zimmerman
The Ironman, is a big deal.  Every race has around 3000 registrations, some end up getting hurt during training, or wimp out somewhere along the way.  Believe it or not, only about 2500 show up on race day for whatever reason.  That means about 20% of the people who make the decision to try, don't even show up at the start.  But even those people are already head and shoulders above the overwhelming population of the world, most of which don't ever even make the decision to start!!  (I am not talking just about the IM here).  If you simply decide to do something extraordinary, or even something great, you're already ahead of 90% of the world.  High-Five to you!  If you just made a serious decision to step out in faith and go for it, then you're already in the top 10% of humans!  Then all you have to do is get ready and show up on the first day and BAM your already ahead of 20% of those people, or the top 8%!!  You haven't even started yet!!   Let's look at the numbers specific to IronMan for a second.

The ironman has been running for approximately 30 years now, since the first one in DATE.  Over the years, the number of actual events per year has been climbing, but is at around 30 IM's each year, worldwide.  Of the roughly 3000 participants each event, about 1000 of them are there for the first time.  Assuming all of them complete it, then that's about 900,000 humans who have completed the IM in the last 30 years.  The world population is around 7billion.  So this means that if everyone who ever signed up completed it, then 0.0001% of humans would be iron men.  So just be deciding to try you put yourself in a very very elite group of people.  This is true for all great accomplishments, not just the ironman.  It all starts with a decision.  The key to this process is belief!  Why not you??!!  Why not now!!??

Transition station, lake placid the night before the IM
Photo curtesy of Brian Zimmerman.  Nice shot dude.
I was listening to a mentor of mine last night, who was making comments about a persons uniqueness in the universe.  Look at all the amazing life on the planet, and no doubt this planet is unique among the heavenly bodies we can see.  Of all the life on this globe, in all of it's variety and color, all this life is what it is.  Which is to say a fish will always be a fish and swim.  A deer will always be a vegetarian and be a deer.  A bear will always want to eat the fish and will be a carnivore.  All the life on this planet, is what it is and it has no choice to change, save humans.  Humans are given the amazing ability to adapt.  You want to be a vegetarian, go for it.  You want to be a runner, have at it!  You want to build a huge corporation and achieve freedom in your life and then help others do the same?  GREAT! Where exactly is the rulebook that says you can't be an IronMan?  Where is the law that says you can't swim??!!  Where is the stone on which "thou shalt always be afraid of heights" where is that rock?!!  I demand to see what the limits are on me!  The truth is, all the limitations you have holding you back, all of them, every single one, is a lie.   A horrible, disgusting, putrid lie that you need to remove from your life with all speed.  Get in the habit of replacing those kids of debilitating thoughts with something positive.  Make an affirmation and keep it in your mental back pocket incase you need it!  This is the battleground of your future!

Photo by Brian Zimmerman.  Huge high five to
the girl in the front!
You have the ability to be whatever you want.  To become what you want.  There is nothing saying that your past has to dictate your future, that where you come from is somehow controlling where you are going.  Break the chains!  Go for what you have always wanted to!  Giddy up!!  You are a human, act like it!  Guess how many other life forms, ever created in the history of time and space even have the ability to read this blog like you are doing right now??  NADA!  You are unique and special and wondrous and powerful and unstoppable and phenomenal and fantastic!!  Believe it!  Shoot me an email with your goals and what you want to do!  I believe that you can do every single one of them, anything is possible.  Greatness is your birthright, it's who you were made to be.  Forget your past, forget what others think.  You were created for breakthroughs, and to shatter expectations.  You were made to be an example of awesomeness!!  Go do what you were made to do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Breakfast of Champions:

This is a wonderful time to be alive.  There have never been more possibilities and opportunities for you to achieve more of your goals than exist today.  As perhaps never before in human history, you are actually drowning in options.  There are so many talented and incredible people doing things all over the globe that I just could never do!  But wait!  That's not exactly true is it.  I mean the part about awesome people all over the world is true, but why exactly couldn't I be one of them?  I caught myself thinking this almost automatically the other day and really started dissecting it when I came to a realization:  I had fallen into the mental trap of assuming that people who were doing better than me were actually better than me.  As I thought about it more, what I realized was that this was not necessarily true.  They were just doing things differently, and what they had learned to do, within reason, I could learn as well.

Now this is no shocker, to be sure, to realize that people can learn to do new things.  Or, learn to do things better, the surprise was at how quietly and sneakily the thinking that they were better than me had crept into my unconscious.  You know what happens when you start thinking defeatist like that?  You gradually stop trying and start procrastinating!  It's true!  Procrastination is one of those little things that goes un-noticed as the evil vile thing that it is.  Mostly because it seems harmless.  The truth, however, is that it is extremely harmfull to your goals and desires, the person it hurts the most is the person you were born to become.

Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.  Your "frog" is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don't do something about it.  It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.  It is amazing how often the thing you dread the most, is also the thing that will help you the most!  It is uncanny!  Almost as if there is a betrayer living inside your mind, trying to keep you from reaching your full potential.... .... .... hmm...

Anyway, back to the breakfast thing.  What do you want to do the least today?  get it done before 10 am.  And a little more on frog eating... The first rule of frog eating is this:  If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.  This is a funny way of saying, do the crap you want to do the least, first.  Do the thing that will have the greatest impact on your life, first.  otherwise you might not ever get to it!  This sounds terrible, but it's totally true, and I have good news about frog eating.  Our body, such a wondrous thing, has a little mechanism built into it to help us eat frogs easier and easier each time we do it.  This fabulous mechanism, these wonderful little boosters, are called endorphins.

Endorphins are the key!  When you finish something big and important, they go bonkers!!  Running all over your bloodstream making you feel invincible, unstoppable, confident, and otherwise fantastic!  They love you for doing what you had to do!  And the most helpful thing starts to kick in.  A well known bodily function kicks in that usually works against us, but we are going to make it work for us!  What eventually happens is you get hooked on those endorphins, it's called addiction, and your getting hooked on the feeling of enhanced clarity, confidence, and competence that they trigger.  When you develop this addiction, brought on by success and completion, you will at an unconscious level, begin to organize your life in such a way that you are continually starting and completing ever more important projects.  You will basically become addicted, in a very positive sense, to success and completion.

Remember Practice is the key to mastering any skill.  Fortunatly, your mind is like a muscle.  It grows stronger and more powerfull with use.  With practice, you can learn any behavior or develop any habit that you choose!  Including the habit of success and winning!!  This is as true for sports as it is for project management or business ownership!  Get good and addicted to winning and accomplishing your goals.  Let yourself get totally hooked on doing what you say you will do.  Just watch what happens when you cultivate the right addictions!  Let your body and mind work for you, rather than against you all the time!

Monday, August 13, 2012


It is an interesting and difficult condition to find oneself; to be human.  We humans are amazing things, powerful, adaptable, fearfully and wonderfully made we are.  To be sure, you don't have to look very far to find something incredible and miraculous about the human body.  But today I want to talk about what we don't see in photographs, medical charts, or on the TV.  I want to talk about a dimension of humanity that rarely get's any attention at all actually.  I want to talk about the world of thoughts.

"Yes, humanity surges with uncontrolled passion, is tumultuous with ungoverned greif, is blown about by anxiety and doubt.  Only the wise man, only he whose thoughts are controlled and purified, makes the winds and the storms of the soul obey him." - As a man thinketh

You can achieve your greatest dreams, or suffer your worst nightmares, simply by choosing or not choosing what you allow to occupy your mind on a daily basis.   Take being motivated as an example.  Do you always feel like working out?  Are you constantly and ceaselessly looking forward to your next run or bike?  Do you wake up on swim days overjoyed to be getting up early to go swimming?  Not always, but sometimes you do.  Probably more frequently at the beginning.  When I first started training for the IM, i was jacked!  You could have woke me up at 3 am and I would have been excited!  I was ready to go man!  I was motivated, excited, my butt was burning to get it done!  Relationships start out this way too, when you first meet and fall in love and you think everything is perfect.  You can barely think of anything but the other person and when you finally see each other again you jump on each other as if it's been 10 years!!  New jobs too, feel this way, though not so intensely.  Truthfully, most 'new' things start out with a flash of passion, this flair can carry you a good deal into a project or goal, and it is a great feeling and is a great place to be, but truthfully, it does not last.  Even on shorter projects it probably won't carry you all the way to the finish line.  Which is why you have to develop disciplin and careful planning.  Management of your mind and emotions are required.

Do your planning and your mapping of the course while your excited!  Plan out your next date with your wife when you feel overjoyed to be married.  But when the feeling fades, don't give up on the event!  Do it anyway!  Schedule your workouts when you are jazzed about your goals, but if you loose that jazz two days later, do the workouts none the less!!  So many people let themselves be jerked around by the winds of their emotions and as a result, never actually end up getting anywhere!  it's left, then right, then happy, then sad, then workout like mad, then lazy.  This is what the average person does!  All the time!  You know it's true without me even saying it!  The problem is, that the only thing average and ordinary will get you, is average, and ordinary.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made for crying out loud!!  Average isn't in your blood!!

"Tempest-tossed souls, wherever ye may be, under whatsoever conditions ye may live, know this--in the ocean of life the isles of Blessedness are smiling, and the sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming.  Keep your hand firmly upon the helm of thought.  In the bark of your soul reclines the commanding Master;  He does but sleep: wake Him.  Self-control is strength; Right Thought is masterly; Calmness is power.  Say unto your heart, "Peace, be still!""

Make your big decisions when you are on fire, and alive with passion for something, then carry out the daily tasks whether you feel like it or not, manage your mind and keep things positive between your hears.  Calm your heart but release it's potential!!  Your heart is a powerhouse, your mind is a storm of incredible power, and your body is a tireless servent capable of any adaptation needed!  You need but harness them and you can do anything!  ANYTHING!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Running, Part 2:

If you look around the internet for information about running, let me tell you there is a TON of info out there about how to do it properly, what shoes to buy, what SHORTS to buy, where to go to have an evaluation, how to hold your hands etc etc.  There is literally an ocean of data out there on running.  Why is this?  This is because running is a big deal, and massively addicting.  The reason most people don't like running is because it hurts.  Either the lungs or the shoulders or knees or whatever, but the trick is to relax!  Running is not about putting pressure on yourself, it's about enjoying yourself!  Once you break through the cardio wall, and your heart and lungs can keep up with your muscles, it becomes a really fun thing to do.  I know a lot of runners out there that actually get very very cranky if they can't get their runs in for a few days.  Yeah, you know who you are and it's not OK to yell because you haven't run!!!  :P

Based on what I have found out there, what we all learned in elementary school gym class is just about everything we really need to know about fitness in order to get started.  If your anything like me, you can spend hours out there searching for knowledge!  Looking for the secret to whatever it is your trying to do!  And while this is genuinely a good use of time, to a point, the danger is that you might not ever actually get around do doing anything!  Spending all your time 'figuring out how to do it' can paralyze you from ever actually doing it.  So let me tell you, whether you're taking about running, opening your own shop, breeding dogs (if that's your thing), or whatever: the fastest way for you to get it done is to START!  Today!  Right Now!  Just Do It!!!
I am not saying go out and run a marathon on your first day, or go quit your job before you have a business plan, that would be dumb.  What I am saying is; take the next step, whatever that is, today.  Then tomorrow, take the step after that.  And don't stop taking one step every day until the job get's done!  For future-runners-who-have-not-started-yet-but-will-one-day-probably type people, that means get outside and run two minutes away from your house, take a rest, and run two minutes home.  Then comment in this blog so I can give you a digital high-five!!  If your thinking of stepping out and owning your own business, ask yourself, "what will it take to replace my income", figure it out and WRITE IT DOWN.  Then comment on this blog so I can give you a digital mega-high five and work with you to make it happen!  What I am saying is; for most of us it's not what we don't know that holds us back, it's what we do know.
When I started this IronMan madness, I barely even knew what a triathlon was, and I sure as heck couldn't spell the word the right way (I am serious, if you know me you know I am telling the truth).  That is a good thing too, because if I had known then what I know now, I might have thought about not doing it.  I just made a decision to do it and started running.  I ran like 100 yards and then had to lay down, but I still DID IT!  The next day I ran 101 before I took a nap ;)  You know what though?  Before long I was running a mile, and then two, and suddenly 10!  Biking and swimming started to fall into place too, I learned how to spell T-R-I-A-T-H-L-O-N, and met a bunch of amazing people who could help me!  All of it seemed to magically and majestically fall into place all because I made a decision, and took the first step.

If you really think you need to know more about running, then watch the video at this link and then go for a run.  It's all you need to know to get started.  If you want to know more about business ownership, then give me a call.  If you want to know how to breed your own show-dogs, you are totally and completely on your own... I have no clue...  The real take away from today though, is to come up with one or two things that you have always wanted to do and write them down.  Then figure out what the NEXT thing you need to do is, and write it beside each one.  Then do em.  Get em done.  And tell me about it fer'-crying-out-loud because I love awesome people doing awesome things and want to hear about it!!

Basics of running video;

Email me your story from my homepage, or message me on Facebook or Twitter.  Can't wait to read it!
Let your inner awesome out.  Stop thinking and unleash the fantastic!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Biking, Part 2:

When it comes to triathlons, and the IronMan especially, I think there is one event which can really make or break your time and completion and that is the bike.  Just think about this, the difference between an 16mph and 17mph pace for the bike portion of an IronMan is a difference in time of about 1.5 HOURS!  That's right!  So if you want to know which to really really get great at to give yourself the best chance of winning / finishing a tri, this would be it!

I really really like biking.  I think it's very cool and super fun.  Where as running and swimming are pretty much you and your body vs the road or the water, biking has a technology element that adds to it.  This technology has been under development for a long looooong time!  It's becoming the perfect combination of man and machine!  look how you fly at break-neck speeds down the road!  I am telling you if you want to feel like a kid again, get on your bike and POW your ten years old again in an instant!  There are not too many things that can bring the levels of euforia you get as a kid on a bike.  And it doesn't matter how old you are when you get on, when you're riding, your a kid on a bike!

Let's do something way way out of the ordinary for me and go through some very entertaining history!  At the very least, we will all learn some interesting trivia which is sure to impress our friends next time we are all together for a few!!  I want to talk about the technology behind biking for a second.  A bike is basically a machine that is has been designed to take the energy output of your legs and transfer it efficiently into torsional energy around the axel of a wheel.  Believe it or not, the first bikes actually didn't even do this!  The FIRST bike was called a walking machine, and it didn't even have petals!  just two wheels that let you coast farther with each stride!  Then came some smarty who put petals on the FRONT wheel, made the frame of wood and metal (no rubber) and rode it on cobblestones (ouch)!  this was called the bone shaker (wonder why!).   A few years later came the giant front wheel bike we think of when we think of old bikes (still petals on the front).  The giant wheel was to smooth the ride over cobblestones, and to give the rider some mechanical advantage so they could go farther with each petal.  these bikes were so unstable that if you hit ANYTHING with the front wheel, the entire bike would rotate over the giant wheel and with your legs stuck under the handlebars you were rammed into the ground head first!  This is where the term "taking a header" came from, rather literally.  Only after many people sustained massive injury did they begin thinking of safety and they started shrinking the tire in favor of gears to yield the same mechanical advantage.  They placed the gearbox away from the front wheel so your feet were lower, but the chain still drove the front wheel (crazy loons).  They even made tricycles for ladies who needed to be afforded more dignity than the men of the day ;)  Believe it or not, the big wheel bike stuck around because of it's comfort for a long time, until they had the bright idea of filling the tires with AIR.  Then bye bye neck-breaking big wheel.  But the term "taking a header" would stick around through the ages (thankfully).  The technology developed for making bikes, bike sprockets and chains, and the mechanical advantages needed to achieve high speeds, all went directly into the automotive development when cars finally came around years later.  Tell that to the next car driving Jerk who honks at you!  Tell em' we were here first!!!

Today, bike technology is really quite amazing, and expensive!  You can spend well over ten-grand for a bike these days, which is totally insane if you ask me!  They even have automatic shifters that work off the pressure you are applying to the petals and crap!  wowza!  The really amazing thing is that all this focus on lower weight components and bike parts really is senseless when you think about the fact that anything less than 15 lbs can't be used in most competitions, and it's much easier to loose a pound of fat than it is to drum up an extra 10k!  Plus there is no regulation weight applied to the rider ;)  !!

There isn't much difference between a tri-bike / road bike / hybrid in terms of training success, basically whatever you have sitting in your garage will do the job for your training most likely.  So don't let that hold you back.  Just go get on your bike and be a kid again yippee!!!

More on the history of bikes!

The Previous Bike Article is HERE:

Want a special little tidbit on a special kind of biking called Aqua-Biking?  Check it out:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Swimming Part 2:

Swimming is the perfect thing to do first thing in the morning.  before the sun even comes up over the horizon.  Half asleep and wondering why you woke up so early in the morning, you drive to the beach, trying to convince yourself that the water will be warm today, when you know it's going to be freezing again.  Just because it's one of the largest lakes in the world, it thinks it has the right to stay cold all summer.  Silly lake Ontario, just warm up you!  But you go anyway.  When you get there you meet a real team of all-stars.  I can't tell you the number of times I've heard Roger congratulate someone on coming in first in their age group for a race i didn't even know was happening!  Seriously!  It feels like there's a few races every week and a couple of these early morning swimmers run away with the golds like every time!!  I can't think of a better group to wake up to and talk to first thing in the morning.  Not to mention the sights.  Braddock bay is beautiful!  You get to watch the sun come up over the water in the morning while you swim, it's just the best! The list of things I'd rather do first thing in the morning is a short list, believe me.

Good Morning!

Swimming is the thing that holds most people back when it comes to doing a tri.   This is crazy when you think about it.  Do you remember when you couldn't walk?  Do you remember when you couldn't run?  Of course not!  How about when you couldn't drive?  Ahh, now there's the trick isn't it.  Most of us remember when it was illegal for us to drive, but truth be told, there's nothing magical about the age 16.  It's not like you did not possess the physics capability of driving before 16.  I learned to drive a tractor when I was 10.  My mother learned when she was like 8 or something.  The trick to figuring out how to do something, is believing you can figure it out.  Swimming is no different.  People who believe they can't swim, won't be able to swim.  People who can't swim won't be able to swim until they think they can, then it'll take them about 5 minutes to figure it out.
Braddock Bay Swimmers, Rock-stars all... except the pasty one in the middle... that's me.  haha

Swimming in a competition is a little different, but it follows the same pattern.  It follows the same pattern because EVERYTHING IN LIFE follows the same pattern.  First comes belief, then comes learning, most likely followed by failure, which in turn yields to success.  The truth about failure, is that failure is weak and pathetic.  It doesn't last very long on it's own, you have to keep it alive in your mind or it naturally dies out of your life.  The truth about success is that it is preceded by failure.  You really can't succeed at something until you've failed at it a little.  First time you parallel parked, how did it go?  First time you tried to run, did it go well?  How about the first time you went on Facebook?  First time you kicked a soccer ball?  Shot a basket?  First time you liked someone?  First date?  First kiss?  SERIOUSLY these are some of our funniest stories because they are SUPPOSED to be complete train-wrecks   There is nothing wrong with messing up!  There is health and growth in making a fool of yourself.

You want to expand your horizons?  You want to experience something you've never done before?  You want to see life from a different angle, grow as a person?  Go make a fool out of yourself trying something new!  And then send me an email and tell me about it!!  Don't you dare not tell me!!  And if your reading this and you think it'll be a good idea to go skydiving (Jon) or bungee jumping or bull riding for the first time, go do it!!!  I want to hear the story and so will hundreds of other people who are begging for permission to go do a hundred other stupid things!  I was talking about swimming right?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monroe YMCA allstars

When you first make the decision to do an IronMan.  One of the first things you will realize soon thereafter, is that you need help!  Not just mental help for wanting to do an IronMan, but also help with training, equipment, scheduling, nutrition, and where to go when it's raining (other than straight to your bike).  So for me, I knew I needed a gym membership, and I knew I needed a place with a pool, and those things led me to the YMCA.  On top of that, I had the best idea ever!  I would do the IronMan and the YMCA would give me a free membership, in return they would write or publish a story about me and that would drum up new members for them!  Now, just let me say, this really is a terrific idea, and there are a few places around Rochester who are leveraging this exact scenario in order to get the word out about their business.  However, the YMCA turned out to be a little larger of a vision than just another gym in the area.
One of the first things you have the option to do when you head to your local Y is fill out a financial aid form. So not even 5 minutes after you walk in the door, they have already separated themselves from other gyms.  How is this possible?  Well, simple, they Y is not just a gym.

The Y was founded over 160 years ago, and is in-fact, a not-for-profit organization which aims to build a stronger community.  It has three major objectives or visions: Youth Development, Health Living, and Social Responsibility.  Now stop right there and let that sink in for a sec...  Exactly how many organizations have you heard of in the last ten years who has as part of their mission statement, teaching people Social Responsibility??  Tell me, do you think our country could do with a little more social responsibility?  I thought so.  Whether your talking about how to manage your finances to become debt free and financially independent, to responsible families and children AND adults, this is a great idea!  Not to mention youth development, which is a phenomenal undertaking in-and-of itself.  Let's face it, there are lots of kids out there who are lacking the influence of responsible adults in their lives to help them become responsible adults!  High-Five Y!  What about healthy living?  Well what about it!  They Y has more fitness programs and establishments than any other gym in Rochester!  From the various YMCA locations to the camps scattered all over the area (north point is one of my favorites, nice little splash park!) they do a far better job of helping people live healthy than most gyms who claim to do the same thing.  I mean seriously, they Y is here to give everyone an opportunity to learn, grow and win.  Every single day, they are working side-by-side with people in our community to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income, background, etc, has access to the Y programs that make people healthy, confident and plugged into each other!

I don't care if your talking about joining, volunteering, or donating to the Y, at this place your support has a super meaningful and lasting impact right in your own backyard.  Their missions is to achieve lasting personal and social change brought about by working together!  This is a mission I didn't know very much about before I joined and am glad I found out about it.

From the moment I walked in to meet with the YMCA Rochester's major super-stars at the Monroe YMCA, I knew I had stumbled into something bigger.  I am lucky to have met and get to work with Vanessa and Melinda from the Y.  Donna, my swim coach, Vanessa my running coach and second biggest supporter (second to my amazing wife), and Melinda the kayak queen: I have encountered nothing but blessings from their business and community support.  These guys really are a shining example of what the YMCA stands for and how awesome people can help you achieve great things.  I have literally everything I need to complete my training for the IronMan without looking any farther.  They have the equipment, the knowledge, and the connections to make you successful in whatever your fitness goals are.  And fitness is just the beginning of the vision!

If your not already a member, there's your first great idea!  Go join the Y and start getting into amazing super-good shape.  While your at it, you can volunteer or donate to a fantastic cause that will only help our future be more awesome!  Here are some links to help you get started.

Use this link to donate to the Y, make sure you click the Monroe Branch because they are the ones helping me out with all the ironman stuff, and because they are awesome!

Monday, August 6, 2012


OK, time to break the mold a little, maybe a lot.  Today I would like to take a moment and HIGHLY recommend riding your bike in the heaviest most turbulent rainstorm you can get your weatherman to promise.  Seriously!  Will this help you get ready for a bike race?  Perhaps, marginally.  Is this part of a recommended training plan I found somewhere, nope.  Does the rain help do some magic breathing technique or something?  Not in the slightest.  So why do it?  Because it is incredible fun!!  I stumbled over this fact completely by accident yesterday.

It was a normal Sunday mostly.  Hot and humid.  My training program called for a 3 hour bike and a 30min run.  Which is fairly normal for a weekend workout at this point.  Although, 3 hours is still a long haul make no mistake!  So around 1pm I strapped on the old kickers, jumped on my trusty metallic steed, and kicked it into medium gear.  17+ mph all the way baby!  This is my target speed for the bike because it get's me off the bike with a little under 8 hours to run the marathon.  Anyway, I head off without checking the weather of course, since I am far too impulsive to do anything that looks too much like planning!  So anybody who is in the greater Rochester area knows, that about 2:15 on Sunday, we had a thunderstorm that broke wind speed and rainfall records!  Now any normal person would have called for a ride to be sure, I even found a little spot, homeless style, under an overpass that was fairly dry.  However, by that point I was already completely soaked anyway, and more importantly, I am not normal.

Photo from under bridge.  The blurry is from the insane wind.  The little spout of water
at the top of the pic is the drainage from the roadway above.

I keep riding, heading down the Erie canal bike path at breakneck speeds, with the wind at my back, having literally a blast!  The water under the tires got as much as 6 inches deep in some spots where the rain had fully overflowed the easements and was coursing over the top of the path, branches were falling, little fruit like things falling from trees, what looked like mini crab apples, hit me once or twice!  I had to keep dodging bits of debris that were covering the path, it was amazingly great fun.  At the height of the storm with the wind behind me, I looked down at my speed while riding up a small hill and saw the number 28mph.  The wind really does affect your speed haha.

Ahhhh ADVENTURE!!!  Like food for your soul!  I turned the bike around and started riding back, facing the wind now, and ofcours had a hard time riding over 10mph, and even then the rain felt like little icy needles.  Which is fine, because at this point I am so high on endorphin's and adrenaline nothing could have bummed me out!  Thunder and lightning are normal to my ears, but about half way back on the return trip I heard a different kind of crash, familiar to my ears from back on the farm.  And about 50 yards up the trail, POW tree.
Tree.  Yes.  Dumbfounded for nearly a minute when I saw this fall, all I could think of was the word ... Tree
After thanking God for this awesome ride, and the fact that I am not dead, or pinned under a tree, or any other thing involving the tree.  I take a picture to remember the size of the blunt objects nature uses, and kept riding.  The rest of the ride was rather uneventful, except for the face plant I did in the pavement.  I seem to remember some lesson or something about bike tires not working very well in the mud, no matter.  It's my first wipe out ever, so I feel pretty lucky.  After my short but memorable make out session with the ground, it's back on the bike and heading home.

After all this, I really did have a unbelievable blast riding in the rain.  My workout went by in a flash, I worked harder than usual and barely noticed.  The ride will be a great story for ages to come and a happy memory for ages more.  I only wish I had some chums to share the madness with!  A few select people come to mind almost instantly, and if your one of them, you know who you are and your a stud!

Seriously though, you want some good medicine?  You want to feel great and love life again?  Go have an adventure, go ride in the rain, go hike somewhere you've never been before and spend the night out there.  Go do something totally out of the ordinary and lean on God to pull you through.  Then call me and tell me the story because I LOVE stories like that!  You better believe this will be fresh in my mind and one of the stories I tell while icing my entire body at the finish line in Cozumel!

Don't hate the hardships in life, love them while you overcome them.  Your going to be telling stories about them for ages, you might as well enjoy them while they last.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wait, how many??

I think it's time to geek out a little bit.  Let's run some numbers just to see exactly what it takes to burn a pound of fat.  What does it actually take to do an IronMan in calories?  Is this really something that anybody can do??  Oh I think it is and I will prove it to you with a short simple calculation:

Let's take some random person and say they are about average, roughly 18% body fat and is 180 lbs.  We are going to look at what it takes to do an IronMan from this starting point.  We can look at others later, I'll even show you the calculations and how I did them so you can do them yourself!

First, let's take a look at what it takes to do an IronMan:

Let's begin with the Swim (2.4 miles):
If you take the full 2 hours 20 minutes to complete the swim, and you breaststroke the entire thing, then you're buring about 817 calories / hour.  Total of 1,879 calories for the full swim.  In and of itself, that's a major workout!  Seriously!  That's a ton of calories!!  That's as many as I ate in a whole day before I started training!  WOW!

Now the bike (112 miles):
Say you are good on a bike and can average 16-17mph for the whole 112 mile ride.  This is pretty quick, but you'll be glad you trained up to this speed when you get to the run portion of the event and the pressure is off because you have plenty of time to run the marathon.  Riding at this clip burns about 1,000 calories per hour.  It's a good clip on a bike no doubt about it.  And to go 112 miles it will take you around 7 hours.  So if we multiply it out, that's going to be 7,000 calories.  It took me about a week to fully let that number sink in.  How is there even that much energy in my body!?  are you kidding?  that's like 3-4 DAY'S worth of food!  All burned up in just 7 hours?  You gotta be kidding me.  But, believe it or not, this is not as insane a number as you might first believe.  I will show you, keep reading.

The Marathon (26.2 miles):
Now, at this point, if you've followed the times, we've got 8 hours left to finish the marathon, so we need to average 3.3 miles per hour, or a consistent 18 minute mile pace.  This is totally doable as most humans WALK at 2.5 to 3 mph, so you really only need to jog about half of it, and walk the rest.  So let's say you walk some but run most and average a 12 min / mile pace (5 mph over the course of the run).  Then a marathon would take you a little over 5 hours.  So you would burn about another 3,500 calories.

I know, there are A LOT of numbers.  If your curious, the sources for the calculations are included at the bottom for you number types.  If you add it up, this means that an average IronMan will burn about 12,379 calories!  And that, my friends, is insane.  that is about a WEEK's worth of food.  Certainly not possible to eat that many calories during the event!  How can this even be done?  Well let me show you one more calculation before this very number heavy article is done.

Again, let's take a 180 lb 18% body fat individual, about average.  This means that this person is carrying around on them, 32.4lbs of fat.  This sounds like a lot but it's all spread out over your body.  Actually 18% is not high, it's very healthy.  As a general rule of thumb, your body get's nine calories per gram of fat burned, and there are 453.5 grams in a pound.  Therefore, there are 4,081.5 calories in a pound of fat, wow!  Now, if you have 32.4 lbs of fat reserves in your body, that means you have 132,240.6 calories just waiting until they are needed, waiting to be fired off.  Holy lots-of-calories batman!  this means that if you could run on only fat, no carbohydrates or protein, then you would use less than 9% of your body's fat-energy reserves to do an entire IronMan.  And this doesn't even count any muscle tissue, or protein, or carbohydrate's in your system, or glucose, or glycogen in your blood!!!  You are literally buzzing with energy each and every day!  You are seriously a huge source of energy just waiting to be unleashed!!!  the trick is convincing our silly heads that we really are, and that means you stop listening to all the "I am tired", "I have no energy", "I can't do this", "It's to hard", blah blah blah and start listening to the truth!

You are an incredible, rock-solid, unstoppable machine; built for one purpose: to be a magnificent reflection of PURE AWESOMENESS!!!!!  Let's go do it!

Nice calorie calculator:

Useful look up table:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


There is no physician like cheerful thought for dissipating the ills of the body; there is no comforter to compare with goodwill for dispersing the shadows of grief and sorrow. To live continually in thoughts of illwill, cynicism, suspicion, and envy, is to be confined in a self made prison-hole. But to think well of all, to be cheerful with all-such unselfish thoughts are the very portals of heaven; to dwell day by day in thoughts of peace toward every creature will bring you abounding peace.

There are very few things that can take you out faster than a crummy attitude. I know, we all have bad days, but lamenting and dreading and feeling bad about whatever, will drag you down and lock you up! There are a thousand saying referring to this, "never go to bed angry", "don't let the sun go down on your anger", "positivity attracts positivity" and the list goes on. They are all true. Not every day goes your way for sure, but we can't let that carry over between days, or even between hours if we can help it! I know it sounds too good to be true, but you can help prevent injury, keep yourself healthier, live longer, and have a better quality of life just by cutting the life of bad day's short, and extending the length of time you feel good. Here's why.

Your body is equipped with a countless number of little warehouses, each one full of every kind of chemical / endorphin / enzyme / protein / hormone / and amino acid that you can possibly think of. Each different substance itself capable of any number of miraculous things!! Just as an example, let's look at this one tiny little pea-sized structure at the base of your brain called the anterior pituitary gland. What does this tiny little collection of cells do? It makes something called HGH, which is responsible for muscle growth, bone growth, all of our development during childhood and puberty, our bodies ability to heal itself rapidly, and a host of other things! When HGH level's go down, we get more tired, our skin looses elasticity, and our immune system loses some effectiveness. HGH is actually nicknamed the 'fountain of youth'! and it's only one of a zillion different tools your body has!! So, how do all these chemicals decide when to go free and when to stay locked up? Your Brain! That's right, believe it or not, it's all controlled by the same command center as breathing and heart beat, your amazing, incredible, mind. It's all in your head, believe it! Your probably starting to get the idea here, but there are some things we can do to influence they way's and quantities and timing of all these little switches and dials our brain has to run this miraculous machine we call our body. Here's a few tips!

Laughing is one of the most valuable things God gave us. Joy is seriously one of my most favorite things! Let's try a little experiment in the power of words and thoughts shall we? I want you to say the word "JOY". say it out loud, not in your head. Just saying it makes you feel it. The louder you say it the better you feel! Just to prove it to you, I want you to yell the word "JOY!". I realize that very few of my readers will have the courage to really try this, but you've gotta give it a go before you judge! Stop what you are doing, stop reading, go outside and yell JOY and just try not to smile! It's impossible!!! Amazing!! This is the power of words and thoughts!

Seriously, if you laugh, pretty much everything get's better. Laughter really is the best medicine! It's a good idea to keep in your mental tool belt a few things that make you belly laugh hard. Like the word JOY. A few things that make you do the kind of laughing you cannot possibly do while running or biking without wiping out. Even more than that, keep in your mind the positive things people have said to you that have made you feel the best! Keep these kinds of things at the ready at all times, so that when your up against the wall during a workout, you'll have something to draw on that is more powerful than a power bar, more effective than any gel! You'll be able to tell your army of little warehouses of power house proteins and miracle substances to give you a little boost! Try out the word JOY a few times during your next run and watch what happens! I will talk more about why the word JOY and the activity of using your will to be thankful and happy is so powerful later, but for now, try out JOY, and watch some funny animal video's!

Here's one i think of sometimes about a sleepwalking dog, seriously!

This is the all time best collection! go at it, have a good laugh and make other people wonder what the heck you just finished smoking!

Laugh! And be Joyful!!