Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Its a crazy ride, hold on

It could have been dramatic to say this week could kill me, but c'mon, this is me. I've had a lot of weeks where I could say that. And right now, its just not funny.

All kidding aside, Monday was a very tough day for me. More specifically the time between 11 a.m. and noon. Not only was the market tanking but my partners and I were in the middle of a robust meeting regarding changes to our manager compensation plans, (it was not to pay them less, I can tell you that). On the way to lunch, I grabbed my phone to see that I had missed several calls and frantic text messages. That was how I found out a very close uncle died in his sleep. I had an effing email in my mailbox from him over the weekend.

Luckily my dad was already driving to California to see family and can help the family out with the remaining details. The rest of us will be flying out when needed for the funeral. I am not unfamiliar with death or dealing with mortality so I am just more or less somber right now. Contemplative of a man that I looked up to and despite the usual family foibles admired. He was a Vietnam veteran, small business owner, computer programmer in the late 70's and early 80's when that was unheard of.

My family, including Mistress and almost all my oldest friends call me"CJ", the last initial standing for his name, a testimony of my fathers love for the man when I was born.

It sort of throws a somber mood over today when Mistress, Mo and myself find out the sex of the baby.

This is not a day to end with my usual "Have Fun". This is very much a Charlie Mike, Continue the Mission, day. Continue living and loving and laughing as best you can because you never know when your time will come. The market will go down some more and it will most certainly go up. Credit ratings will improve and profit will come back to our lives.

Sometimes days just suck.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Uncomfortable feelings

I truly feel I am at a tipping point. Going from hardcore, 'A' type, all go, no quit, with a hard transition into family man with a baby on the way, freaks me the eff out sometimes. I am told that it could be equated to a hard detox off drugs. A quite literal detox of my body in some regards. Just being around a race gets me revved up. I thumbed through some triathlon magazines at a friends house and my heart rate jumped. Dear Lord I love this sport.

I am falling into old mental traps that got me into this condition in the first place. I see that Rock n Roll marathon is having their first race in Seattle next summer. I have spent a few hours lately thinking, "Maybe." Not the best place for my mind to be.

I sometimes think that my two year rehab plan is prison time. Also not the best thoughts to be thinking. I am fully invested in the future of my health and have been completely committed with what needs to be done yet I find myself longing to hang onto a wheel for a long ride. On the few occasions that I am able to run outside, I have found myself trying to NOT look at my heart rate monitor to make sure I am under 140 bpm. Because when I don't look at it and I go over, its not my fault. Isn't that self sabotage? Of course it is. So I do everything I can to keep my mind right and remember why I am taking the hard road over the easy one.

Its uncomfortable to see the changes I have gone through physically. As someone who has to work extra hard to keep the weight off, I relied heavily on exercise to counter my weakness for unconscious eating. Now my exercise doesn't equal what used to be active rest. It is hard to believe that I have not gained any weight in the last four months but nothing feels tight excepts my pants.

Its known in any endurance activity, triathlon or life, there will be periods where you are peaking and riding a wave of consistent training and other times where what you do will give you heat rashes and bruise your ass, always feeling wiped out. These are usually seen as negatives. I have always looked at them as pain purifying the body, making it stronger.

I'll get through this. I can get through anything. But right now, I am feeling like I have a heat rash under my arm pit and my ass hurts from sitting on the bike to long. I just wish that was the literal case instead of the metaphysical one.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mighty Mo in Action

A couple of photos of Mighty Mo in a flag football game last weekend. At Tuesday's practice, which I missed being in bed with a stomach bug, Mo became an defensive animal. He grabbed ten flags and got an unintentional tackle, but he grabbed both flags on the way down, so in a game situation he wouldn't have been penalized for it.

The coach told him he didn't even recognize Mo out there on the defense he was so on fire. The coach gave him a new nickname, "FULL SPEED". He was so proud of that, he called me on the way home and talked a 100 miles per hour about how he was pulling flags on much faster kids on the team using his 'snake mode' we practiced the last two weeks. Snake mode is when you're super fast and strike in a straight line right at the other player like snakes on the discovery channel shows.

When he went to bed I said, "G'night, Mo. Daddy loves you the most." His response was, "My name is Full Speed."

Mo in the middle
Mo getting a rare hand off

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stomach Flu

Ahh. I hate writing crappy posts like this but it is the BIG thing going for me this week. I picked up the stomach bug or some food poisoning yesterday. Both have pretty much the same symptoms. I was able to get enough work done that I didn't ruin my work day Monday but can't say the same for today.

Moving around is just torture and laying flat is slightly better for my guts. Hopefully it will be gone by tomorrow.

Have Fun.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Its starting to look a lot like....

...Christmas? WTF.

I was in Lowes and they already have two giant aisles of Christmas stuff set up. It was very strange to see Christmas tree decorations next to witches on brooms and ghouls over gravestones. One section had an assortment of stockings and above them on the top shelf was giant pumpkin and witch blow ups for the front yard.

I am a huge Christmas season guy. I love it. I will put my skimpy assortment of Christmas lights up outside a week or two into November and take them down usually late January, but this is too early even for me.

I am not a Halloween fan and only do what I do for the sake of my sons happiness. He is too young to understand personal beliefs on the subject and imposing my will on this would seem unfair to him.

My #2 misgiving of living in the Valley of the Sun, is the lack of a true winter season. It just doesn't seem like Christmas when it's sunny and 75 degrees November to March. My #1 misgiving is the lack of rain, which I miss terribly.

Letting Grudges Go

Like most people I hold grudges. Sometimes for slight injustices and inequities, sometimes for much more personal attacks. As someone who is Christian, has practiced affirmations and meditated daily for almost twelve years, I find it somewhat incompatible and think about this often in my quite times.

I held two grudges for over a decade. The longer one was against a former best friend, someone I grew up with down the street, went to school and vacations with, partied and hunted together. He had a gravity that pulled people towards him but it was evil. In the end, I finally saw him for the narcissistic, egomanic man he was, someone that had known me daily for fifteen years and yet didn't give a shit about anyone or anything, not even his own family. The more traumatic of the two was an OSC (Officer Candidate School) instructor that made it his personal mission to destroy my life. It is the closest to physical torture I have ever come and it scarred me physically and emotionally for a long time. A sincere apology towards the end of school from his Commanding Officer for the abuse heaped upon me did nothing to temper the hatred I had for the man.

I gave these grudges almost a daily audience in my mind. As I studied more and more about how to reprogram my mind and let go of the past, I realized I could give away so much except for these two. What used to be a flowing river of held frustration and anger in mind slowly trickled down to a dry river bed with two gigantic boulders in middle. I had forgiven everyone but them. Even the woman who took my memory and changed my life forever.

I spent years meditating, praying and affirming, two or three times a day, to release the grudges against the two people I hated more than life and yet had not seen in many, many years. I knew that when I took away their power over me, I would be free. And I was free for sometimes moments and occasionally days before something would jar my mind back to the same intensity I held for them.

Finally one day it clicked. Call it divine intervention, call it giving it up to the cosmos. Wrap it up in some psyhco-babble, I don't care. I know I finally just got frustrated with these two grudges after a decade and I prayed my heart out for my God to take this pain out of me. I talked for hours. And it happened. Unlike before, I felt something snap in me. Like the last piece of a puzzle. Like I was whole again. I knew that I was free.

That was four years ago. I still think of those two people but in a much more dispassionate way, they hold nothing more over me. Much like Charlie Sheens character, "Chris" in the movie Platoon was shaped by Elias and Barnes, my life was formed by these two people and I am in part who I am today because of it.

People who meet my son are pulled to him with a gravity that is unmistakable. People come to him in resturants and stores, they walk up to him in parks and on the street, to be near him and touch him as if he has a palbable charisma they can take with them. It has amazed us since the day he was born. But I saw that once before, the exact same gravity my son has I saw in the person I thought would be my best friend forever. But the power of attraction my son has is pure and full of love. I know that my mission is to teach him how to not use that power for selfish gain lest it corrupt his soul the same way I saw before. Forgiving the friend gave me the discernment to nurture the power of attraction in a positive way instead of trying to eliminate it from his personality.

The other man, the instructor, I think about when I face fear. There are still some aspects of his punishments that I can not face, nor think I ever will, but I forgive him. His might have been my greatest accomplishment in letting go of a grudge. His scars I could not control. I was his prisoner and he held my military life in his hands. Surviving that course, which graduated only12% of the starting class, still rates as one of my greatest accomplishments of sheer willpower over pain and suffering. The iron will I developed to overcome tremendous physical and mental injuries from a car accident, were forged into a sharpened blade at that school.

My life is so much better since I forgave those people and finally broke down the two remaining boulders in my psyche. I let their power linger over me for over a decade, many of those years I fought just to get them out of my head. I wasted so much vital energy and time rehashing and opening wounds that should have healed long ago. I held on to them, when surely they had long stopped thinking of me. I think of all the anger that flooded into me at a moments notice and how that affected my relationships with people that only wanted the best for me. I let people from my past affect people I loved in my present and who loved me in return.

All of us hold grudges, against friends, family, co-workers, past relationships. Make an effort to clean these people and their transgression from your mind. I am not a professional and know that only some issues can be solved with counseling. Its not easy. It took me years of daily processing to finally remove the largest of my grudges. I talked to business mentors and spiritual mentors. I talked to myself. I can only say that my life is so much better since. Yours will be too. Trust me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A winsome lesson

Now that Mo-Mann plays football he has a couple of coaches. He has been very attentive and energetic to their instruction, which is why so far this year he is the only kid on the team that hasn't run laps for goofing off in practice. Watching him out there give me a great sense of pride, we never expected him to be able to do these kinds of things with the medical issues we dealt with earlier in his short life.

Between plays at a practice not long ago, the coach pulled Mo aside and started giving my son direction. Up to that point, I or my father were the only men in his life who had done this with him. I wanted to know what was being said. I wanted to listen to what this man was telling my son without a blood relative being around. Now the coach is a good guy, I know it wasn't weird. It was him educating my son on flag football. I saw Mo looking at him real intently, nod his head up and down a couple of times, put his mouth piece back in and sprint to the huddle.

Not having any memory's of my past to relate to, I have a hard time with little things like this. I don't remember having coaches give me praise or getting in my face for a mistake. I don't remember a mentor from my youth. It makes it impossible to cue into those emotions and thus I am creating new ties with my son, through his eyes. I am always taken by surprise at the lack of relation I have to being a child.

Two boys at last practice burst into tears because they didn't catch a football on a routine play. They're five and six years old. Talk about pressure. The coach tried having Mo run with the ball and to keep away from the defense. he ran so far out of bounds he was interrupting other practices, he was very serious that no one would touch his flags and in turn made all the parents laugh at his dedication. Though not a much as when he hiked the ball and then turned around and ripped the running backs flags off. The coach just laughed and looked at my son and said, "Mo...well at least you squared up and grabbed both flags Mo. Next time do that when your on defense, not offense."

I have been helping out a practice too. Mostly with the defense. I don't have much of a clue what I am doing, but right now it's just fundamentals. Like Mo told me, "Daddy, when someone has the ball, you get that flag!" Substitute flag for, "Terrorist bastard that needs a hole in em' that God didn't make" and I can translate flag football defensive strategy.

Have Fun. I am.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Is it too much to say, yet again, that habits are just patterns that are done over and over again? I had lunch with Mistress at her office yesterday. It was really healthy. I remarked that I had eaten well for the last 3.6 hours, could I keep it up for 36 hours or even 36 days.

I have programmed my mind for success in a lot of areas of my life but not in all areas. Eating habits being one of them. I eat healthy 90% of the time, its the portion sizes that kill me. I let my guard down one afternoon per week and that ruins six days of a great progress. I think I can speak to many with those two statements.

So I ask myself, "Am I gonna do the work? Or am I gonna be like every other schmuck with an excuse."

Of course I am going to do the work. I have enjoyed my time eating like a Common Man and its time to exert some control over my life in this area. I have lived life excessively and the results have not been the cathartic experience I wanted. Instead quite the opposite.

My doc's have given me perfect parameters for hydration and nutrition. I will make them my parameters. I will reach for the perfect food for an evening snack, if I truly need one, instead of the comforts that add only to my waist and not add to the quality or quantity of the years of my life. I am changing the view I have of my plate and putting food back, I don't need one more scoop of this or an extra helping of that.

Speaking for only myself, I wish I could add exercise to this equation to hasten results. I know for now that is not going to help my health, perhaps it will even make it worse if I blast the way I want to. So its all on my emotions and my intellect. In a month of positive success, the actions will become unconscious and I will be closing the gap between my vision and reality.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Its an everyday correction

Someone who means a great deal to me is Nancy Toby. We have blogged together for many years. She and I were part of the first tri-blogger get together which was Ironman Florida in 2006. She and I could not be more different in so many areas of our lives yet I have a huge heart and deep respect her.

Nancy and I are not afraid to mince words. Dare I say we have 'robust dialogue' in our emails which are sometimes eight or nine exchanges in length, that go on for days. Maybe only she would understand that I consider her the Jefferson to my Adams.

One of the reasons my thoughts turn to Nancy every day is because every day I am forced to confront myself and the consequence of Ironman Arizona. Weeks before Ironman we had a typical exchange of emails. As always she challenged me, this time to answer what criteria I would use to determine if I should continue racing or DNF if physically I got into trouble as I had in the past. She gave me some advice on mental acuity tests and a stern admonishment that no race was more important that my health as a husband and father. Part of my response below became a bit too prophetic. Its an answer that I reread in my mind everyday when I wonder how I can ultimately change who I am. (For a bit of clarification 'Charlie Mike 'is an Army term for Continuing the Mission.)
Charlie Mike or DNF?

Tough question to talk about honestly because my primal decisions countermands rational thought. I know inside me is a dark place that I go to when faced with a mission/challenge/race. Its a switch that shuts off pain and emotion. Its raw and base. There is snot and blood and action. Its the last 'R' of the Ranger creed which says "Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor." In other terms, Don't Quit, Do You Have The Heart?, Ever Forward, Charlie Mike, and other quips I have used to Just Keep Moving Forward and finish what I started.

I don't know if I can stop in a race, I don't like to even sit down exhausted during a run. I know I should have stopped at every aid station along the bike course last year and called it a day. I did not intend to stop at T2, however what came out of my mouth to the volunteer was not, "Take me to my gear bag" and she immediately rushed me to the med tent. But what was constantly being repeated in my head for the last 56 miles was not negative thoughts like, "Your slowing down", "Your butt and whole body hurt", "Give Up." It was one word: "Options". Quitting is not an option, its a solution akin to death. As long as I was on the race course I could decide what to do, I had decisions to make to keep me alive. Once I quit, the step between solution and acceptance would last much longer than the pain I would be in while out there.

I will Charlie Mike till the end, I don't know how to quit. They will have to pull me off the course. I do think I have learned through my experience last year that if I do pull out of a race for whatever reason, I will not be ostracized by my friends. That was a concern of mine, letting people down, but really I just don't want to let myself down. I can come up will all sorts of alibis to not workout or cut a practice short, procrastinate a task, justify one thing over another. But in the end, deep down, I will know if I quit early on what is important and after all the effort and money and sacrifice I have put into this race, its important today. I will know, if I still had something in me to give. That I had not exhausted every option. That for me, is harder than living with a DNF. Should my line between doing whats right and pushing the edge be a little bit closer, probably, but in me its pretty far apart. Whatever I can do for short term for results I can deal with long term later.
Everyday I replay this statement in my mind, looking for answers. Trying to decipher my internal language and rewrite the code that is inside me. The code that may very well kill me if I don't learn how to control it. And I don't want to die. For now, while I recover I have plenty of time to figure myself out and I am glad that I have Nancy to ask me the tough questions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Are you a Loser?

Tonight is the premiere of the third season of Biggest Loser on NBC. This show is pure gold. I love watching people reaching fitness goals, be it through physical activity or diet or both. You get my point.

There are very few shows on TV that will actually make me very emotional or even teary eyed. Yes, I am not a fan of the "overly emotional for no reason contestant", but for those that watched last season, the turmoil that the two brothers went through in just playing the game and who would leave and who would sacrifice them self for the other is something that couldn't have been forced through a script.

The best part of reality shows is meeting the new contestants and making judgments on their personality. Who will be gone right away? Who might make it? Who will surprise me? I am always surprised by the determination some people put into their fitness program and not an episode goes by that I don't want to go for a run after.

If you have never watched this program, thinking that its just another silly, over wrought, reality show. You are cheating yourself.

Monday, September 15, 2008

There will be no end to this

The Malibu Nautica triathlon was this past weekend. A wildly popular event in southern California, in the last decade it has seen serious participation from Hollywood stars. This years event was no exception, though it may have serious repercussions (good and bad) for triathlon, at least in my mind.

Andy Baldwin, ("The Bachelor", active duty Naval doctor, all round good guy) repeated as the winner of the Hollywood Division or whatever it is they call this group. Good for Andy. As a Ironman World Championship finisher at Kona, he is doing all of us Ironman finishers proud by upholding the standard.

Matthew McConaughey, (need I say more) came in second place in the Star Division. Say what you will about his Just Keep Livin' lifestyle, but this guy is doing what most of us guys would love to be doing if we didn't have to work; surf, run, bike, bbq and then travel to South America for all that plus drinking with pals. All those tips from Lance Armstrong, his bike coach, certainly paid off.

Now we come to third place. Jennifer Lopez. J-Lo. Jenny from the block. Diva extrodinare. I will say congratulations to her for finishing third. Looking at her time, it wasn't extra-ordinary, McConaughey beat her by 50 minutes and Baldwin by more than that. The reason I say this will be good and bad for triathlon because of Lopez.

She will most certainly speak highly of the sport which is a good thing while at the same time praising herself for an otherwise mundane if not slow time for the distance
(1500m swim/ 18m bike/ 4m run). It is what Diva's do. I am not such a dolt as to dismiss her entry as having some positive affect on the sport, much like Oprah did for women and marathons in the 1990's. However, while being interveiwed on a Good Morning America last month during the Olympics, in a pure diva moment, she wondered why anyone would be talking about some guy named Michael Phelps when she is training for a traithlon. I guess Phelps was stilling her spotlight that day.

Not that triathlon needed the assistance. The ranks of annual USAT members have tripled the past few years. Events that had less than 500 entrants just a few years ago, now have thousands. Now that WTC has changed their sign up process for Ironmans, people now travel thousands of miles to an event, the year before they race it, so they are guaranteed a spot at the expo sign up. Whatever is left over of the 2,400 slots are then put online for the rest of us to fight over.

No we didn't need J-Lo to put triathlon on the map but like it or not she will give it a lot of attention. Good for her that she can now add 'triathlete' to her lifes resume. Its a milestone that never wears off.

Friday, September 12, 2008

An Honest To God Tri Training Post

The weather has taken a turn for the mild the last few days so I decided to ride to work on Thursday. I have not ridden outside since Ironman in April. As I said my goodbyes to Mistress and Mo, I promised to call as soon as I made it to the office, about 16 miles and one hour away. There is a lot of lights on this route and along with keeping my HR under 140 bpm, I figured this could be a leisurely ride.

It was amazing. I had forgotten the freedom and thrill of riding in the morning. I missed it like an old friend. Even the potholes and standing water from the previous nights rain brought a nice change of pace. Everything went fine on the way in, the weather helping me stay in my safe zone for heart rate. I felt like a triathlete again. Throughout the day I hydrated and watched my output, looking for any signs of my body shutting down and there wasn't any.

I also picked Thursday because of Mo's football practice which is halfway between work and home. On the way there, I realized my sit muscles had lost their strength in my recovery and those familiar pains from balancing on a tiny, if gelled sit, started coming back to me. Thankfully, Mother Nature stepped in and the thought of riding in a 40 mile per dust storm triggered a call to Mistress, "Wait at work. I'll be right there. We will drive together to practice."

To beat the wind, I had to push my bike. My HR climbed to over 150 and even once a 160. I was hoping that I would not suddenly seize up like a motor on the side of the road. Not to worry I arrived safely and Mistress had a bottle of sparkling water waiting for me. That's what passes for Champagne for me know.

Even if my day ended at just over 27 miles in two sessions, I'll take it. Its a start. Hopefully one that maintains momentum. You just never know. In a year or two, I may just be racing again. In the meantime, its a little victory for the day.

Have Fun

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Healing Grounds

I know that my life completely changed on 9/11. In no small part 9/11 made me commit to triathlon after decades of being a gym rat, body builder or workaholic. I realized that I could no longer spend ten hours a week enjoying my fitness pursuits indoors and had to move outside. I realized that our lives are far to short and I did not appreciate the wonders of this world enough. It changed my mindset, my nutrition and my fitness goals. I was moving to slow and not living a life of purpose, vision and direction, though I had done much in it already.

While most in the media will mention this day's significance only in passing at the top and bottom of the hour I will spend time at the Tempe Healing Grounds. I will also ignore the arm chair generals who will second guess whether this or that course of action was best and what that meant for the country. Instead I will focus on almost 3,000 flags.

Each 3'x5' flag stands on a white eight foot pole. Each flag has the name and information of a person who died in the attacks. I will be overwhelmed at the loss of life. I will sniffle and I will well up, holding back the tears. Maybe not being so successful at it. I will make it impossible to ignore the families that are without husbands, wives, moms, dads, children, or siblings. These people suffered tremendous pain. I will do my part to shoulder that burden if but for an hour or two.

Take time today to think about how different your family would be if you suddenly were not in it. Think for a moment about your place in life. Consider what you really want to do or be in life, better spouse, athletic pursuit, business opportunity, volunteerism. Then do it. It may take years but take that path.

My path today will wind through 3,000 flags. Outdoors, where the sun will shine and I will give thanks that since September 11, 2001, I have moved so much closer to the richer, fuller life that I wanted.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Finding beauty and richness in the mundane

I read a story, a fascinating story, of a Lebanese woman who while working in her sons restaurant opened an oyster and found 26 pearls.

Now, while this is a physical manifestation of finding the literal buried treasure don't we as endurance athletes find the same treasure in sometimes a literal sense but most often in the metaphysical sense during a seemingly routine workout. I read this article and thought, "Man. How many times has she bought the same type of oysters from the same vendor and preformed the same cleaning and preparation of them, maybe five or six thousand times and now she finds this."

How often have you dreaded a workout, only to finish with some of the best results of the month? Maybe even the best results ever?

Far to often we get so caught up in making our distances on the swims, riding exactly the bike distance, (heaven forbid a century ride ends at 96.8 miles, you WILL ride that extra 3.2 mile around the parking lot if you have too to hit a century), carefully researching the exact distances of our runs online, (even doing a short out and back to round off the number), that we often dismiss or blindly pass over finding a pearl in a routine exercise. We need to seek out the pearl in every workout and celebrate it. Isn't completing a workout in and of itself something to celebrate?

The point of this post is to remind you that in everything you do from the boring to the extraordinary there is beauty. This woman could have skipped over the oyster because of some incalculable flaw or lapse in effort. But she didn't and instead has something worth a world record. Don't yourself lapse in your effort to improve your performance and you too may very well find that during the most boring part of the day, (shucking oysters) you find your best before you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lance Armstrong out of retirement

The associated press is reporting that Lance Armstrong is going to race the Tour de France in 2009. He will be led once again by Johan Bruyneel the mastermind behind his seven tour wins with US Postal/Team Discovery.

Lance will be racing for Bruyneels new team, Astana, and receive no pay of any kind. He is also planning to race in the Tour de California, Tour de Georgia and Paris-Nice.

VeloNews is using currently using unnamed sources in their article and pointing fingers at Vanity Fair magazine. VF is not corroborating this report, though they look to be holding their cards close to the vest with a smile on their face. They are confirming that this months edition has an interview with Lance and thoughts are they may be slipping this information from the interview early in order to spur circulation.

In any regard, if Lance does come out of retirement to race TdF, it won't be for a nostalgic victory lap. He will setting himself up for the win and the enviable hatred of all of France.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kidneys suck but blood is royal

Mo had his first organized team sports game on Saturday morning. He is playing flag football. The coach told Mistress and I afterward that he was pleasantly surprised at his hustle and ability to take direction. He is hoping to make him a running back if he does better. However for the next couple of games he will play defense as there is no 'plays' except, "Whoever has the ball, grab their flag."

The long and short of it for me is that between the game and several hours of work around the house afterward, a bathroom break surprised me with very dark colored urine and a sore lower back. From that point on I spent the remainder of the weekend on the couch pushing fluids. By Sunday night I was back in the yellow.

My dad got back Sunday morning from a consulting gig he had in Hawaii for the last month. My mom flew out for the last week. The brought lots of great shirts and chocolates and rubber tree sandals. Also some great information.

As I have written about before, my dad is Hawaiian. My mother is Dutch, which is why my brother and I are look like Haoles. In any regard, mom and dad were able to met with more relatives and he found out we are direct descendants to the royal family. When I asked how far removed, he laughed and said, "The closest family with less than seven letters in the name." For those unfamiliar with Hawaiian last names, many have between twelve and eighteen characters. I took it from the response we're pretty fricken far down the list, but I am apparantly royalty. Now I can cue up all those day dreams I had about someone showing up out of the blue to bestow upon me a lavish inheritance.

The kicker that makes me smile a lopsided grin is the affirmation I wrote on my bathroom mirror last week and read every morning. "Today is a new me."

Friday, September 5, 2008

I am a medical money pit

Went to the dentist Thursday. Wish that was all I could say about that. I think everybody dreads this visit, though I will say I have the coolest dentist, ever. Its the only reason I go back, because the pain factor sucks. That being said, I'd easily hang with my dentist anywhere from a BBQ to Vegas.

This was the first time I had to fill out a medical questionnaire post kidney and liver failure. A lot more boxes to check now. Makes me shiver. Turns out that I need to clear some drugs with my iNew docs before I have some procedures done. Oh yeah I have an impacted wisdom tooth and need two crowns. I'd like to say its cheap but I'd be lying. Just get in line with the way I am going.

The exciting news is that I have just one wisdom tooth in my mouth. The two teeth that have been cracked from accidents and fights are finally at the point they need to be crowned or filled or whatever. As long as it lasts forever and I don't feel a thing. I'm cool.

Look, I have no problem willing my body past the point of no return, wringing the proverbial and sometimes literal puke out of it. If I do something painful to my body, no problem, I will do what I have to for recovery. You want to stick a needle in my foot or hand or mouth and we better be discussing SEDATION THERAPY. I cringe when I get stuck for an IV. Which lately...pretty frigging often. Luckily, sedation therapy did come up, thus the additional drug information to discuss with the docs.

The world keeps spinning and I keep holding on. I'm gonna be dizzy when I get off, but the point is to stay on as long as you can. And laugh about it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Abundance Mentality

How apt is it, that a post about having an Abundance Mentality falls on my 1,500 post at Common Man Syndrome.

Yesterday I wrote about the Scarcity Mentality, a mental position people have where obstacles and time management are more consuming than the burning desire to accomplish a big huge goal. The Scarcity Mentality leads a person to believe that nothing more can be created from the one pie we get each day, or more appropriately no more hours in a day. The scarcity mentality is akin to a victim attitude where everything happens to you and you have no control.

The Abundance Mentality is the stark opposite. This position is a place where anything is possible. There is not one pie in a day that is constantly being nibbled by time, and problems but there is another pie when that one is gone, then another. There is always enough when you have a big enough desire and great enough will. Those that want something the most, always find a way to get it.

When you find your burning desire, found a goal worthy of your sacrifice and investment, it can fail in a moment if you don't realize that YOU can do anything if you put your mind, heart and feet into it. The Abundance mentality will allow you to prioritize your day and see through the seams. Make changes to your routine and create new habits that are in line with your burning desire, like say, going to bed one hour early instead of channel surfing so you can wake up one hour early to workout.

Thinking in abundance is thinking with a mind of openness. Obstacles at work and home are not wasted with useless intent rather with clear focus. An affirmation I use that is universal to work, home, during training or races is the following, "I attract what I radiate."

When you radiate fear or greed or exhibit any lack in life, (all scarcity) that is what you will get in return. However if you radiate enthusiasm, inspiration, success (all abundance) you will get that in return.

Let me talk about myself for a moment, I know I have but one body. I know that I have damaged my body in so many different ways, it sits today with a barely tenuous grip on normal existence. To many doctors have said and continue to council, that my life of exercise and exertion is over. I can live a long life if I simply embrace the life of the Common Man. That to me is a life of scarcity. I live in a life of abundance. I will continue to have a positive outlook and determine success based on my efforts, not someone else's opinion.

I may be crippled in my endurance pursuits. I may never race again. But I am determined to do the best with what I've got and if the extent of my endurance future is only a 5k or God willing a Sprint or Olympic triathlon then I will give it my all with the same intensity and determination I had at longer distances.

I radiate what I attract according to the thoughts, feelings and mental pictures I constantly entertain and radiate. I choose to accept health, happiness and success. I now chose lavish abundance for myself and for all mankind. This is a rich friendly universe and I dare to except its riches, its hospitality and enjoy them now.

The abundance mentality is nothing more than taking your normal inclination of, "I don't have time", "I don't have the energy", "I can't do it," and making them a positive declaration of your intent to accomplish your burning desire. Thinking with abundance brings love, enthusiasm, hard work and commitment together in one tight well oiled machine.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Scarcity Mentality

One of the primary obstacles in reaching a goal is not the physical obstacles of work or relationships, how much you weigh or how out of shape you feel. Nor is the spatial constraint of time management a daunting challenge. For when you have a burning desire you have all the time in the world and you have all the energy you need.

To touch back on obstacles, it often comes down to the mental preparation you are doing that determines their size and scope and if, if, they are able to be overcome. When it comes right down to it, the people that accomplish their burning desires are not better than you in all aspects, but more determined than you in what's important to them. This is where the scarcity mentality is located.

The scarcity mentality is the belief that there is not enough of something, like courage or determination or time, to accomplish a goal. I am here to tell you that a belief is not a truth. A belief is something you have been told over and over again by someone important to you. That doesn't make it right.

You can be told enough times that you will never amount to much and believe it. Told that you will never walk again. Told you can't possibly finish a marathon or triathlon. Told that you are not smart enough to think for yourself. That is the scarcity mentality being put on you. There are too many to print that we put on ourselves.

The truth is you can do anything if you believe in it enough and act on it. Somebody told their entire life they will amount to nothing has finished ironman. People with physical and mental obstacles have completed marathons. I personally learned how to walk again, then run, then finish marathons, then an ironman. Now I am starting over again from something maybe worse.

I haven't believed for a moment that I wouldn't be on a race course again, at some time in my future. Maybe a dozen doctors, all experts, have told me as such. The scarcity mentality is meant to control. Its made to create fear and limit potential. The human body and especially the mind have vastly more potential than anything we can imagine.

The scarcity mentality is what has kept you, yes you, where you are at today. You can find the time. You can have the will power. Do you have the desire to do something?

Do it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A new frontier

For the last year Mistress and I have been trying to get Mighty Mo to learn how to pedal a bike. He never took to trikes or big wheels. When we presented him with opportunity's to ride bigger bikes with training wheels at toy stores he always complained that it was too hard and showed disinterest after a few moments. He would always remark how cool the bikes his size looked, just never wanted to take the next big step.

Over the weekend I had to go to a bike shop to get some work done on a cleat. The screws need to be torqued out. Mo took an interest in the bikes and actually pedaled around the store on one of the built girl frames. When we went to Walmart next, I told him he could look at the bikes and sure enough he found a bike he liked to look at. Then he liked to ride it. Then he liked daddy to buy it.

I'm a sucker for my son. As we walked out of the store, he proudly pushed his new 'speedbike' with a ear to ear grin. He got quite the remarks about how cool it looked and how proud he looked.

Mo for his part took to riding his training wheeled new bike like a duck to water. Every day he rides down to the park to do laps around the playground equipment. Each lap is about 200 yards. I jog beside him giving pointers and grabbing him if he gets to wobbly or off kilter. He has a perfect pace for my HR so I get in about 30 minutes of running each night and don't feel like a dweeb for my pace. At least my body's not dying at that pace. We take breaks and kung fu fight in the sand. Play Star Wars on the equipment. Then when we run out of water we head back home.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pay your dues, on your time

I think one of the trickiest moves from 'having a desire to do something extraordinary' to accomplishing that goal is the jump from 'What You Are' to 'What You Want To Be'.

Anyone can relate to wanting to lose weight but not able to give up the vices that created the thought process to begin with. Its hard to feel like you're making any effort when you can't put down the fast food, can't stop the late night mindless snacking. Furthermore, who hasn't made the pledge to wake up early on Monday and when the watch alarm went off, rolled over for more sleep.

Its easier to make this conversion when you have a coach or mentor who closes the gap between reality and your burning desire. If you have a coach, chances are you make a financial investment to them and that sacrifice is a tremendous impetuous to spur action. You don't want to waste your money.

It can still be done without investment into a coach if there is an investment in education and a peer network of accountability. When you tell everyone you know what your burning desire is, it creates an internal mechanism that hardens resolve. When people ask you how your doing with your goal, you are more likely to stick to the steps when no one is looking.