Wednesday, September 26, 2012

So, you thought it would be easy?

What do you do when things get really hard?  Do you act like things aren't as hard as they are, and fake it?  Do you start to blame other people?  Do you start to get quiet and unplug from people?  What happens when it turns out to be significantly harder to do an IronMan than you originally thought?  Where do you turn when getting your next promotion is flat out more work than you predicted?  How about when your grand training plan somehow get's off track?!  What about when your nutrition plan just simply is not cooperating and nothing seems to be working?  I tell you what, when your ironman event is late in the fall, like Cozumel ironman which happens in late November, there is going to be an issue that I failed miserably to predict.  I never saw this particular problem coming which is silly, really, since it's totally unavoidable and happens every year as surely as the sun rises.  And it's impact on my training plan is a subtle as a freight train to the face!  It's called sunlight, and we have less and less of it each day as the winter draws closer!

So what now, with less and less time each day to train, and with the weather getting colder and colder, what can I do?  Should I get angry because nobody warned me?  Should I quit?  Should I act like the nutrition will somehow just work itself out and refuse to show any need for help?  of course not, that would be totally and completely lame!!  HAHA!  The lameness is easy to see when it's somebody else's story, sure, but these are the things we do every day when it's our own story!  What do you do to hide yourself?  What are the things your not fully comfortable talking about or discussing?  Is it finances and money that makes you feel inadequate?  Maybe bosses or people you have a lot of respect for make you uncomfortable?  Well I say, you are flipping terrific exactly the way God made you and you should stop pretending because your cooler when you don't!

Here is the secret; you have incredible potential.  An astonishing amount of untapped ability, talent, skill, precision, and power all locked away in this thing called your future.  And you have all the keys you need to capture it all and never give any of it back.  We as humans however, have a hard time believing that we are awesome, we thing we are broken, weak, clumsy, ugly, fat, skinny, whatever.  And we do things to try to hide our weaknesses, and the things we do to hide are the things that end up stealing the future from us.  I am talking about failure, or exposure, or embarrassment.  These things are not things to be avoided, they are things to be sought out and charged into!!  Failure isn't what happens when you don't succeed, it's what happens JUST BEFORE you succeed.  You MUST FAIL in order to succeed!!  that is the truth.  So if you want to unlock all the phenomenal awesomeness that you have in your life, in your future, in your God made person, you've got to stop being afraid of the very things he uses to bring you to your best!

Today I am going biking with a pro biker.  This guy is a competitor in bike races.  He has like trophies and prize money and stuff, and I am going to feel like a pansy riding with him, but that is a lie.  The thing that tries to keep me where i am at says, "he is better than you", "your a loser", "don't waste his time", "he's going to think your pathetic".  HAHA all LIES!  the truth is, I will be a better rider the more time I spend with him and that is EXACTLY why the lies come in.  The lies are afraid of me reaching my full potential and want to keep me away from the things that will help me get there.

Today, and every day, is about slaying demons!  kill the things that want to kill your future, never let a single one live, don't even let them take another breath!!!  You are incredible, wonderfully, and powerfully made, and should be totally and uncompromisingly intolerant of the things that syphon away your strength and take away your potential and future.  Go get em and knock em down!  Go get uncomfortable and start improving yourself!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When did this happen?

There is a cool event waiting for those of us who decide to change and make a difference in the way we live our lives.  It is an awesome thing that will happen to all of us, right when we least expect it.  It happened to me a couple days ago.  All the training, all the dieting, all the striving to make a difference in our level of health, so that we can live longer and be with our families for more years, as an example of a healthy person who is awesome!

When you start you are looking for results practically every few hours, or at least every day.  At least I did.  Each day after a workout I would check myself out, and look the same.  No difference yet champ. And the weeks roll by, no change.  Eventually though, you start to feel better.  More energy, more happy, laugh more, ect.  Still no change in how you look.  So eventually you stop looking, seriously, you just get over it.  You love working out because you feel great, you could never go back to not working out because you remember how shitty you felt all the time.  See you could never understand how crappy you feel, if you are unhealthy, until you are healthy.  Your normal is unhealthy, you think that is normal for everybody, but it's not.  Once your free of feeling crappy, you realize just how crappy it was!!!  This is true of everything too, not just health!  It's true of a crappy JOB, a crappy relationship, a crappy whatever.  People are afraid to step out at first, but once they do they realize how much better things could be!  ESPECIALLY when it comes to your fitness!!

Here is some truth, i know it may be difficult to swallow, but it's true none the less.  If you have bad days a lot, or you think your spouse is a pain in the neck, and hate your job.  ALL THOSE THINGS WOULD BE IMPROVED IF YOU GOT IN GOOD SHAPE!  the reason is because YOU would improve.  if you want your life to be better, then go make it better.

Anyway, once you are free from the crappyness of un-health, and you look back, you basically stop looking in the mirror because you realize it's not about how you look, it's about how you feel.  Then, nature, and God, have a fantastic surprise waiting for you.  The months roll by, training continues, and you accidentally glance in the mirror again and POOF!  out of know where you have suddenly become the person you always wanted to be, not because you changed your body, but because you changed your LIFESTYLE!!  POOF you suddenly are married to someone you love, not because they changed into someone lovable but because YOU changed into someone who could LOVE!  POOF your business is on a whole new level, not because the people on your team or in your life suddenly got better and more awesome, but because YOU changed into someone who can see the awesomeness already there in other people! 

If you go make a move in your life for just one reason, and you only get to pick one, this would be it for me.  Because I want to suddenly be surprised at the person I have become three months from now when i start to move.  6 months from now.   I am about 4 months into my training, not even fully there yet, i have 2 months to go and i am already astonished at what a difference has happened in my life.

Go get it, go get your reward, go get your true self, go become who you were ment to be!!!  You have everything you need already!!  You have what it takes!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Ahh, the ever elusive motivation.  Passion and excitement can carry you a long way, a very long way, into a goal, or a training plan.  But not all the way to the goal.  You get pumped, jazzed about something, you get all fired up and go for it!  Guns drawn nothing can stop you!  For a while, it's amazing, and you do great stuff, you nail your workouts, you hit your times, you get your cardio health up and your body in the best shape of your life.  You open your own office, double your income, hit your milestone, whatever.  Eventually, however, the excitement is going to wear off and you'll have to find something deeper to keep on your training plan.

Why do you want to be healthy?  Don't you know it's way more fun to be fat and eat everything in sight and never ever get off the couch?  What is your reason for wanting to be in good shape?  Do you just want to look nice in your skinny pants?  is that all?  You're going to need something to hold onto when the waves get rough.  Something to keep you going when it suddenly isn't exciting to wake up at 6am for a run anymore.  When you've done it so many times it's not even a big deal to those around you anymore.  Sure, you've broken through countless barriers, and overcome amazing obstacles, and your in the best shape of your entire life, but even extraordinary becomes normal over time, so now what?

Let me tell you why I am doing this.  For me, this is a very selfish and personal agenda behind doing an ironman.  I have all the usual reasons, just to say i did it, to brag about it, because i like the name, etc etc.  But those aren't going to carry me over the finish line.  Those reasons don't really even stand up to a month of training.  The real reasons for me to go for it, for me to complete it, is because my family deserves a winning example.  My kids, even though they are only 2, understand the importance of running, biking, and practicing something till your good at it.  We have a saying whenever something goes wrong, we tell them to say "nooo biiig deeeal!".  This is a great way for a child to understand that when something goes wrong its not the end of the world, not even the end of the day, it's just an opportunity to overcome and grow!  This is true for knee problems from running, neck problems from biking, or fear of swimming!  If your nervous, stressed, uncomfortable, then your growing, learning, improving.  I am not saying that being stressed all the time is good, i am saying that NEVER being out there past your boundaries is also very not-good.

So when the chips are down, and weekends are suddenly not available, how do you cope?  Do you quit?  Or when you're more lean that you want to be (how is that for a problem we would all want to have) and you know that if you get much leaner it's going to affect your performance, how do you handle it?  If you are eating your breakfast and you dump your milk all over the ground and your two years old, what do you do?  When your cereal bar get's stolen by a dog, what now?  Do you scream and cry and throw a fit until someone else solves your problem for you?  Congratulations, my kids can handle a crisis better than you!  haha.  Or do you rise up, take a deep breath, and do what needs to be done.

The trick is to make the plan when you are fired up, when your on cloud nine, when your invincible and your convinced the world is about to be dominated by you for all time.  When you feel seven feet tall and bullet proof, that's when you position the cannons, issue orders to the troops, and prepare for battle.  You layout the path when your full of faith and power.  And then you walk it, even when it's hard, even when your faith is low, even when you don't feel so powerful, you walk it out.  When you look back, having NOT QUIT, having NEVER QUIT, and realize what you have accomplished, you'll ACTUALLY BE seven feet tall and bullet proof, now it's not just a feeling, you've won.

It is all or our responsibilities as men and women, as image bearers, to do this.  We must reflect the power and strength we inherited, the majesty that is our birth right and go for it.  Risk it all.  Leave it all out on the field.  Bike down steep hills at night, whatever it takes to make your dreams a reality!  Your dreams were given to you for a reason and that reason was not just to make you wish for them in vain!
Seriously, what is it that you want out of life?  Why don't you have it yet?  Why haven't you started working toward it yet?  What is holding you back?  Whatever it is, today, take a moment and turn around to look your fear, your chains, whatever they are, look them in the eye and say no.  Say enough!  I don't need you, I am better off without you in my life.  It's time to be free.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Running, Part 3:

Adaptability.  If i had to choose a word, which describes an area of the human race, which no other species has in quite the same magnitude as humans.  The one word which is the reason we live in the most remote corners of the globe, the reason we are the dominant species on the planet, the core of what gives humans an edge over not just every living thing alive today, but every living thing that has EVER lived.  it's adaptability.  God gave this to humans in spades, no question.  Yet, even when we have gobs and gobs of this lying dorment inside each and every one of us, we are all so very afraid of change.  It's really quite a dichotomy.  I have found the incredible adaptability of our bodies through Ironman training, but that's really only the tip of the iceberg.

The couch to Ironman idea, the foundation of it, is that our bodies, minds, and hearts are far and away more adaptable than we give them credit for.  Look at the show biggest loser for a moment.  Some of those contestants lose 2x, 3x, and even 4x their final body weight over the course of the competition.  Holly smokes batman!  Adaptable bodies.  I would never be able to finish this ironman were it not for the designed in adaptability of our muscles, ligaments, bones, tissues and everything!  Thank God for that!  Furthermore, I am trusting in the adaptability of mind, even more so than that of our bodies.  Truthfully, three months ago, if you had asked if I could ever do a marathon, i would have said no way,  and swimming 2.4 miles was strictly impossible for all but the elite.  Say NOTHING about riding over 100 miles!  To be sure, changing the way you think is MORE important than changing the way your body functions.  Get this, three months ago I was having trouble getting my mind around 26.4 miles, now I have a friend who is this very weekend going to run one-hundred miles!  RUN!  You are a total STUD Haslam!

The question of how to get started running keeps coming up.  So let me tell you what i think a good way to get going is, from zero, in order to avoid injury and still have a fairly quick ramp up to good runs.  For starters, just run for 15 minutes.  Don't worry so much about distance, pace, or anything, just run for 15 minutes.  this should be challenging if you just got off the couch, but if you've been doing the chalenges throughout the running entries, you'll be able to do it.  Stretch well, rest the next day, then do it again.  Keep doing this for about two weeks, then double the time.  Keep that up for about two or three more weeks, then double the time again.  Keep your runs easy, don't push too hard, remember the cardio wall isn't going to make it easy on you no matter how much you want it to.  And breaking through it will feel amazing!!  Pay attention to your body and focus on form.  Watch the video on running I posted in running part 2.  You can do this!!  by the time your up to running an hour, you'll have done enough reading and studying of your body to keep going without my help i am sure.  Remember, your body is adaptable, but so is your mind!  Start spending time and talking with runners, they will broaden your perception of what you are capable of.  Beware the neg-head and find some great people who believe in you.  Have faith in the one who designed you, He did a good job!

I think that you are build for greatness.  Honestly, there is no other explanation for why we are capable of so much more than what we need just go scrape by.  Seriously i think most people could live their whole lives and never even need any more than 5% of their total potential.  Most of us can be respected and admired just by living up to 20% of who we are truly, the true master that lives inside each of us.  Just imagine what would happen if you were 50% of your true self.  Just take off the boundaries on yourself for 2 minutes and think of what you would be if you were just you.  the real you, no masks, no limitations.  What would you do tomorrow if you knew that you could not fail?  Guess what, even if you do get injured, you think that's the end?  Your incredible body will recover from that too!!!!  You are designed, cell by cell, for incredible astonishing awesomeness!  The reason this feels so foreign is because that awesomeness is not realized all at once, it is built day by day, step by step, run by run, phone call by phone call.  It never feels glorious in the moment, but you wake up one day, having lived from your true strength for years, and it hits you.  You need to be yourself, because the real you is exactly what the world needs.

Link to Running Part 1: Running Part 1

Link to Running Part 2: Running Part 2

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
- Howard Thurman.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Biking, Part 3:

Biking is a blast.  Nothing else to say.  It is fun, downhills are a rush, uphills are a chalenge, I like going fast!  it's amazing fun!  I think you would all be surprised at how fast you can train yourself up to being able to do really long distances too!  Most of us can go 10 miles easily our first time out.  Others have no trouble going 20!  I'll tell you one thing though that any person who has ever biked for speed already knows.  Wind SUCKS!  Also, as a quick little side-note.  A bee landed on me while I was riding, and I looked at him and said, fly away little friend, and then I realized it was a hornet, and he stung the life out of me while I attempted not to crash and tried to brush him off at the same time!  So, listen, just as a reminder;  bee = friend, leave these guys alone, they don't want to hurt you anyway, just interested in what your up to.  Hornet = not-friend.  These guys don't care what your up to they just want to mess up your world.  Kill them with high speed and in great quantities.

I just went for a 56 mile ride over the weekend.  56 miles along the southern shore of the great lake Ontario.  I averaged around 22mph on my way west, with a nice wind at my back.  I got to see some really cool stuff too!  Like these weird tree's that seemed to grow old shoes!!  HAHA!  Apparently the local legend is that if your shoes stick to the tree then your wish is granted.  Interesting.  I also got to see some FANTASTIC country side on my way out.  Apple orchards that went on as far as you could see, and a lake that stretches out farther than your eyes can focus for miles and miles and miles.  Cool stuff to be sure, but the wind.... ugh.

I turned around 1.5 hours into the ride, having gone about 34 miles, knowing it would take me longer to get back and knowing I had taken a rather meandering route there, I decided I would just go a little past my finish and turn around again to get to a full four hours.  By this time I had already realized that I had forgotten my gel's and food, so I was going to be very hungry... But I had no idea how hungry hungry could get!  So I started, blissfully unaware of how much the wind and lack of energy would totally and completely kick my rump all the way back home.  Seriously, I mean wind is one thing ok, but how does it even make sense that you would have to pedal to keep from stopping when your going down hill???  The wind was just 10mph and gusty.  So i couldn't even ride in a straight line, incredibly exhausting.  I know that i can ride about 17.5mph on flat ground with no wind, but here i was seriously struggling to keep my speed over 14!  By the time I was half way back I couldn't even think straight.  I mean it, I remember thinking very irrational things, like my bike hated me, and that I might never get back.  haha!  Your mind starts to play tricks on you at some point for some reason, I haven't really figured out why or how yet...  Either way, about 10 miles from home, having struggled against the wind to even maintain a 16mph average for the trip, starving and having no energy left, and being sick of riding miles and miles with no food right through prime apple country, I decided to take an apple.

I carefully looked up the name of the farm I would be sampling from for mention here.  It was called Glendale Farms and it was AWESOME!!!  I am near positive this was the best apple I had ever tasted.  I put another in my pocket for later and with new found vigor I hopped back on my ride after my 5 minute break and off I went.  The last 10 miles were hard but not like the 10 before it.  Here is the moral of the story.  If you forget your nutrition on a long ride, not even a wishing shoe tree will save you from the suck.  Another moral of this story, is that if you really are hungry, God probably put an apple tree or 500 nearby just for you.  Another even crazier moral is that if a bee lands on you while riding your bike, don't wait to see if it likes you before you brush it off!  Yet a fourth moral of this story is, that if a bee lands on your apple while you are biting it, then ride straight into the nearest shoe tree... well OK that last one might not work out so well.  But, remember, it might not be so wise to wish upon a shoe tree, if your bike shoes are the one's you'll need to get yourself home, you might get stung by a bee.... ok, I am done now.

Anyway, the point is, if you get out there and do something, amazing things will happen to you and you'll have great stories to tell at the very least!!  Have fun, and post your craziest moment / coolest discovery while riding your bike in the comments section!  I bet there are some awesome spots and stories out there!  Let's hear em'!

Check out more photo's of the area here: