Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why I chose McCain

When I look at what this country needs in leadership I see John McCain in so many capacities superior to his opposition. Over this protracted election cycle, it is hard to read up on every nuanced statement and position and as we have seen with both candidates snap decision or held policy beliefs have changed with more available information or when global circumstance arise. Unlike most of my Red republican brethren I have a strong conservation position and consider myself a Green conservative.

When it comes to this election I think it is important to get away from Republican and Democrat fringes. The vast majority of Americans regardless of personal preferences are clear thinking people who just want to live a life that matters. A life that does not intrude on others and hopefully not be intruded on in return. I believe that the majority of Americans, even with strong political, religious, economic and social views lives somewhere in the middle on the vast majority of issues. These are my opinions, these are my thoughts on why a McCain administration is the right choice for the next four years. You will notice that my positions against an Obama administration are not personal attacks but the difference in my political beliefs from the Democrat party.

What frustrates me about all this talk about wealth is the hypocrisy of how its earned and how its spent. It’s okay for an actor to make $20 million a movie or an athlete to make $8 million a year or a lawyer to earn tens of millions suing business. Its okay to inherit money like the Rockefellers and Kennedys. But if you’re the CEO of a company making a cancer fighting drug, and you make $5 million you’re the bad guy. The distinction is that the actor, the athlete and the lawyer are employees, while the CEO is the business owner. The business owner ostensibly creates more economic freedom for his employees and the economy and that is the anathema of liberalism which does not celebrate success outside of government intervention. Congress has shown many times over in its laws that if your rich, you can stay rich, if you’re trying to get rich its going to be very hard. The less income someone has, the more dependant fiscally or the more empathetic you become emotionally to getting a hand out of some kind.

The Republican mindset is the abundance mentality and not scarcity mentality. There is money to be made out there by anyone who is determined or responsible. The money you personally make today did not come from some else’s pocket, it came from your hard work or the value your company puts on the work you do compared to the industry standard. Capitalists, small business owners, men and women of industrious spirit understand that they can attract money which provides freedom of movement in every dimension of your life and it doesn’t abridge anyone else’s ability to make as money much as they want. In just a general sense, the conservative mindset is to save 10% of your income, give 10% of your income to charity and live within your means. I do not hear that from the other side. The objection to that statement is that conservative increased spending under Bush. No argument there and in my opinion the one reason polls show Obama in the lead. Conservatives are apathetic that the party has left the base on spending issues. Conversely I have given more this year to charity than Joe Biden has in the last decade, yet he thinks I need to pay more taxes to be patriotic.

This makes taxes the number issue of this economy. Raising taxes on citizens and businesses in a climate where there is no prosperity is an insane idea. No government in history has ever taxed itself into prosperity. The liberal idea of “spreading the worth around,” as the Democrat candidate told a questioner, is absolutely the wrong idea. The Obama economic plan is that 95% of all Americans will get a tax cut when 40% don’t pay federal taxes. Furthermore the Democrat plan has not addressed what taxes will be cut or what rates will be. Are these cuts coming back as a credit or a check? For businesses, will inventory, principal payments on loans and pass through business expenses be excluded or included. Investors Daily Journal calls Sen. Obama the most anti-capitalist person to possibly be president. As a partner in a small business that generates millions of dollars in revenue, this concerns me.

The McCain plan follows a republican ideal of creating opportunity. He will cut government spending except key budgets like defense, and education along with bolstering areas like veterans benefits. He will at worst leave tax rates where they currently reside and at best create more incentives for business to spend and grow by dropping the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. For the normal everyday person, not only will they still enjoy, yes enjoy the tax cuts enacted in 2003 but McCain will also work in other areas to keep consumers from paying hidden federal taxes. For example he will stop upcoming tax proposals on cell phone text messages and internet purchases. McCain has twenty years of history on fighting wasteful spending and has promised to fight ear mark and pork barrel spending proposals that come his desk.

A President McCain will seek to repeal the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This would keep $6.8 billion in the pockets of drivers. He has also vowed to repel the 54 cents per gallon tax on sugar based ethanol’s which makes it more cost effective for businesses to offer ethanol’s as a gasoline alternative for vehicles and create more stations delivering the product.

I appreciate the democrat position of being clear of foreign oil dependency in ten years. This however is a decision process and not an action process, regardless of what steps are made to overcome our country’s 30% investment in foreign oil, the following President will be able to reverse this decision. Of the two candidates, McCain has the Lexington Project and expressed publicly a clearer plan to increase the energy production of this country. He is not saying what he won’t do as President, but expressing in specifics what he will do.

The McCain plan sets into motion a larger infrastructure to support our country’s need for cheap and reliable electricity while at the same time decreasing the countries overall emission of toxics. Each candidate has described the need to use available renewable resources such as solar and wind. It is my belief the republican plan of tax breaks and incentives for business creating new energy technologies is superior to the Democrat platform of penalties for noncompliance to new laws they will create. McCain has stated his administration will build 45 nuclear power plants and create 700,000 new jobs. Nuclear power is the cleanest, cheapest and most reliable form of energy we can produce. He also supports the opportunity to drill along our coasts and in the 1002 Area. This is the disputed land in ANWAR that was set aside by the Carter Administration for oil exploration and has been stymied by democrats ever since. A McCain administration will work with private, state and federal organizations to streamline the production of shale oil within our borders which holds more barrels of oil than all the known oil deposits in the Middle East. Neither candidate has signed on to T. Boone Pickens Plan for switching the country’s dependency from oil to natural gas which is disappointing but not indicative of reluctance to participate.

McCain will stand up the pathetic, uber-partisan congressional leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Under their leadership congress has seen favorable polls drop into the teens. The upcoming election also has twice as many republicans up for reelection than democrats. The opportunity does exist for the democrats in the senate to have a super-majority. I show this because Obama has shown zero bipartisan effort as a senator. He has been called the most liberal senator in congress by National Journal, a congressional report. Certainly no one in either party is going to be 50/50, but the Democratic Party of today is far left of the Democratic Party of a decade ago under President Clinton as evidenced in a single person’s condemnation, Joe Lieberman. Obama speaks of change and has done nothing in his senatorial capacity to show action. The upcoming years will be volatile times. I do have serious doubt that a Obama, Pelosi, Reid trifecta will seek the middle ground in political matters. McCain is the only candidate with a proven record of reaching across the aisle in a bipartisan way. He at least has shown he can work with democrats on a variety of issues and find a way to create a piece of legislation that can be voted on and passed into record. I seriously doubt Obama will show the same maturity with the minority in congress.

I believe in a Supreme Court and federal judge appointment system that does not legislate from the bench and does not look to international courts for direction. A President McCain will appoint strict constitutionalists to the bench. I have seen far too often that the courts are an accelerator to changing the moral landscape of this country. The Supreme Court in just the last five years has upheld habeas corpus for terrorists and the created from whole cloth the Kelo decision that said a city can use ‘eminent domain’ to take a private homeowner property and give it to a private developer for their business use. This meant that hard working homeowners can have their houses taken by the city so a private developer could build shopping centers, retail space, office space and in the case of homeowners in Washington D.C., a new baseball stadium. There will be at least one and possibly two justices who will retire in the next four to eight years. I want judges appointed to the highest court along with the hundreds needed in the lower courts to use jurisprudence in their decision process and not personal opinion. I want the courts to refer to the will of the state in law and not create more federal laws that counter the will of the people.

Before spending 25 years in congress, McCain spent 23 years in the military. This is not a perquisite for president, but certainly not a neutral or negative addendum to a presidential resume. As a veteran, I have not seen from the Democrat candidate the respect or admiration for the armed services that I demand from any President. On the campaign trail he voiced the opinion of unconditional meetings with state that are openly hostile to democracy and America. He made ridiculous troop withdrawal timelines that emboldened our enemy and then backed away from those timelines after he sat down and spoke with the generals he would command.

I served under President’s Bush (41) and Clinton; I can speak to the level of esprit de corp that a president wields over his soldiers. Based on my personal experiences, a President McCain will instill a pride in our armed services that would be absent under Obama as it was under Clinton and Carter. Our military under McCain will continue to grow and have the most technologically advanced offensive and defensive weapons systems that can be developed. John McCain has tremendous respect among the military and international leaders for his reputation as a hardened, well educated, global strategist. When Russia invaded Georgia earlier this year, while neither candidate was involved in the overall concern, Barrack Obama could only call for restraint while John McCain, who had recently spent time in the country of Georgia as part of a delegation to understand the future of the country in Nato, was quick to address the issue with well thought ideas.

It has been said by Joe Biden and Madeline Albright that an Obama Administration will be tested on an international level the first six months of holding office. This mostly likely will not occur under a McCain administration but no one can predict the future. Yet when leaders of terrorist organizations, despots and tyrants all voice their hopes of a Obama presidency, that tells me they think a McCain led country will be tougher on them than the other option.

If the democrats hold all three offices of executive and legislative branches and quite possibly run a super majority of congress, they will enact the Fairness Doctrine. The frustration of democrats is that they cannot grab a foothold in talk radio. It does not matter that the liberal mindset controls the television and print media. Liberals will easily slay the Air America money pit to destroy the likes of Rush Limbaugh. The Fairness Doctrine will take opinion based radio off the air. Talk stations will become sports themed, or be shows on landscaping, cooking and the latest supplement fad to lose weight. As a smart, intelligent conservative I don’t need conservative radio hosts giving me marching orders, but what they do better than anyone is take my scattered thoughts on a subject and put them into a cogent theme. It also takes the biased, cut up, 3o second, emotionally charged subject on television news and spread it out over one to three hours using intellectual thought. With talk radio gone, a liberal congress will have almost no media oversight on their tactics.

A John McCain administration will uphold my second amendment rights. His statement sums my belief best, “We need to focus on halting the spread of violent crime and punishing violent criminals who abuse their Second Amendment rights, while preserving those same rights for law-abiding Americans…Bearing arms is a constitutionally protected right. With rights come responsibilities. I will continue to support effective, common sense measures that help keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, children and the mentally incompetent; that assure Second Amendment rights are exercised responsibly; and that do not impinge upon law abiding citizens in the free exercise of their rights, including the right to protect themselves and their family.”

The Washington Times has called Obama, “The most anti-gun presidential candidate ever.” In 1996, Obama said to John Lott, an economics professor who studied gun ownership statistics, “I don't believe that people should be able to own guns.” Since then, the Democrat nominee for president has voted to ban or limit firearm rights in every vote he has cast on the subject. In my opinion limiting gun ownership in urban areas creates more victims. Obama also voted to outlaw or tax every type of ammunition that is currently used by hunters, thereby not banning hunting weapons but impugning a hunter’s ability to use their legally owned firearm.

Speaking strictly for the state of Arizona, my medical premiums are high because of the tremendous strain our health care system absorbs from illegal aliens. Almost a dozen hospitals and several Level 1 Trauma centers have closed their doors due to illegals that use our superior health care system and then don’t pay their bills. I have sat in emergency rooms with a son who had a high temperature and other serious condition and listened to nurses and responders bemoan illegals that clog their doors for simple cold or non-emergency issues because they can not get appointments with general practitioners, adding hours to the waiting period for insured citizens.

I have never gone without medical insurance and firmly believe that most, not all, of those hard working Americans between 18-35 years of age without insurance do so of their own choice. I have the opportunity every day to talk to young, energetic employees making more money than they have ever made in their life and I always recommend they get medical insurance, even just major medical. If they do not have insurance, almost universally the answer I receive is they would rather spend their money on something else like their awesome car or they have a life style that is beyond their means.

My company does not provide health care for its employees, partially because we pay about 30% over industry standards. Otherwise, it is not cost effective for our business. Our look into the subject showed we would need to hire an administrator at approximately $40,000 a year who’s sold job would be health care management. Then the cost we would invest into each employees plan would add approximately $8,000 per employee on a group plan. In a true capitalist move, we pay them more to do what they want with their money, which we active suggest allows them to get a competitive insurance rate.

As a small business owner, I pay for my own health care for my family. The premium has gone up on average $75 a year with the same or less benefits. I have been brutally honest with people regarding the medical issues of my son and more recently myself. Since our son was born five years ago, I have paid out of pocket, on average $22,000 in medical bills, well over $100,000 total. Under the McCain plan with a $5,000 tax credit that will come right off the top of my taxable income, I will get some relief. Not necessarily a health care issue but McCain will also double the Child Tax Credit from $3,500 to $7,000. With a second child arriving next year that is an additional savings in my pocket of $7,000 plus the $5,000 medical credit and I will in essence get a $12,000 tax benefit under McCain.

I am very much a conservationist. I certainly will not defend the terrible pro-business mentality of the Republican Party. In 2005-2007 I was recognized by Tonto State Park here in Arizona for taking out over 500 pounds of trash each year in my own beautification program. So far in 2008, I have collected and recycled over 5,000 aluminum cans. My son and I walk around parks and parking lots looking for cans several times a week. I have businesses collecting cans for me that I pick up. I plant trees. I support a wildlife rehabilitation clinic.

That being said, McCain and Palin each bring to the ticket a conservation concept that does not pander to special interest groups and junk science. I have seen firsthand and listened to authoritative testimony regarding the efforts environmentalist activists take to hurt businesses, keep people from using our great outdoors or committing crimes in the name of protecting species. McCain will begin to unravel the bureaucracy put on states to remove scrub brush that perpetuates the million acre fires in the west. He will protect the rights of hunters and fisherman. I have always believed that west coast politicians are better proponents of outdoor stewardship that east coast, regardless of political affiliation. For example I respect the Udalls quite a bit. In essence it’s my belief that this Democrat ticket will pander to special interest and not what’s in the best interest of my environment.

I voted for McCain because I believe in small government. I believe in a cleaner environment. I believe in more money in my pocket and freedom to do with my money whatever I choose. I think the McCain platform will help me more than hurt me. I pay plenty of taxes thank you, it may sound cruel, but I put the efforts of rugged, risk taking individuals above government programs. It doesn’t take a village to raise my children; it takes a close knit family and if there were more intact extended families in this country we would all be better off. I don’t like paying higher medical bills every year or for the charter school my son goes to but I don’t want to pay for your kids all day pre-school or your medical bills. A McCain Presidency will protect our country; it will project international strength and will be better for our economy. It will be better for me and my family.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Medal, no not me

I am the head coach of a running clinic for elementary school kids. We meet a couple times a week. I do this through FCA-E (Fellow Christian Athletes-Endurance). I get a big kick teaching kids how to run and yesterday got great news.

One of the girls I train, took Overall 1st Place Female in a 1 mile run she did over the weekend. She got a great big shiny gold medal. She didn't even know and left before the awards ceremony. One of the moms in my class, (there is almost a dozen who I prepare training for) brought the medal to the class on Tuesday and we had a short award ceremony.

In fact a lot of the kids decided to do the fun run, another coach was there to supervise and I was really surprised at some of the times these kids put up. One kid did noticeably well which led to me discussing with him the ability he has verse the ability he shows at practice. He said he was surprised too, he was just running with a friend.

Some of the moms that competed in the 5k event, did well, one of them took 2nd in her age group. Two moms told me they signed up for their first triathlon because of the triathlon clinic I did for their kids in the spring before Ironman. That was nice to hear.

This is just a great group of fitness enthusiasts.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Let to my own devices

Mistress is leaving Mo and I for the week. She is going to San Diego to see her best friend who has been living in London the last couple of years for work. Once or twice a year said friend comes back to the states for work related training.

She will have a fabulous time, eating and enjoying the company I am sure. But this blog is all about me and I will be pulling my hair out. It is hard enough to take care and be responsible for myself without the help of Mistress; to also be responsible for the Mighty Mo...cue shivers.

Mistress was kind enough to make meals for our dinners ahead of time. Thank God. Faithful readers know that my cooking prowess is certifiably horrific. Mom has promised an open door for any meal and I may take her up for a night. Dad is off on a job so she hasn't been cooking much anyway.

It will be the last time before the baby that Mo and I will have nights all to ourselves. He has flag football practice on Tuesday and Thursday so on another night we will go the museum for the new dinosaur exhibit and we have a secret gift for his mommy. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone. We are going to mask and primer the baby room so it can be painted some unholy version of pink that assuredly will not be called pink but something that in and of itself would never be considered a color.

Have fun.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm torn

One of the more vivid memories of the dreamlike agony I put myself through on the bike at Ironman Arizona, now six months ago, is the feeling that all my ribs were broken. I know it must have been hours that I mulled in my mind just how I was kicked in the swim hard enough to break my ribs when I could not recall anyone really touching me at all. In the end it turned out all the muscles in my ribcage had cramped as had my heart and lungs which explained why I could not draw a breath without sharp pain.

In times since the race I have often felt the same cramp in my ribcage, particularly my right rib cage and struck it up to cramping from dehydration. See, all the times I really noticed the pain in my chest, it was after doing something outside that required exertion or after a workout and I always felt I was taking it too hard. I simply struck it up to a continued state of dehydration and lived with the either the dull constant ache or every few day a sharp pain.

Talking to my doctor at iNew Med on Friday we discussed this issue in the context of where I am in my current treatment, I shouldn't be dehydrated. He recommended I see my training partner, Dr. Jeff, and have him give me a physical exam. Turns out I have a torn ribcage. I probably did it at Ironman in April and just lived with the pain.

Do I call myself an idiot at this point? Do I call it an honest misunderstanding of the pain I am dealing with? I don't know. But it all goes back to the issue of me recognizing just what I am doing to my body.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I sometimes feel like I am about four different people. Maybe more. Its a good thing I am an honest SOB, or I'd have a hard time keeping all my stories together. Not that I am lying about anything, just that....well for example I have no idea if I have announced on CMS that we are expecting a girl.

I don't hide this fact, I just don't recall if I put that information here. I have put it elsewhere. We are going to name her, 'Mae' after my grandmother and her middle name will most likely be Leilani.

But 'splitsville' really is about the different lives that really all of us lead in a day. We are parents, spouses, bosses, employees, volunteers, supporters, athletes, the list goes on. In the end every hat we wear should go on top of the same head, we have the same idealogy, the same core belief and idea of fairness. Every permutation of our daily roles requires a different mindset, a different set of ability's, but not a different person.

There are obvious incongruities. The most mild mannered of women can become the most tenacious of atheletes on a course. Macho, super aggresive men will smile and wave at children behind him in a line. These may be personality traits that we don't exhibit in 95% of our daily life, but they got there somewhere.

I'm told that my grandmother and I were very close. Of a dozen grandkids we had a bond that was different and noticable. She dead when I was about ten and I lost my memory of her in a car accident. So while I am constantly held to a standard I don't remember but was valid nevertheless, I would like to hope that when my daughter is born, I have a bond with her that is special and unique and different than the personality most people see in my day. And it all starts with a name.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Only in Hollywood

When J.Lo did the Malibu triathlon (1500y/18m/4m) sprint in September, I told friends that she would be called an Ironman for doing it. In fact while having a coffee with a Ironman team mate the following week, his wife called to tell us that she heard on the radio that J.Lo had finished an Ironman that weekend.

The Times of the Internet has now implied that very thing by calling J.Lo an ironman celebrity.

I am not trying to be snarky here. Hollywood is just a big 'show off' zone, I have not heard J.Lo over emphasis the distance of the race or her accomplishment and for that I applaud her. As I predicted her accomplishment would draw other celebritys in the sport which is the actual poinit of the Times article.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Chasing tails

Today is one of those productive days where it seems less is getting done, when in fact a great amount is getting done. I may not be able to catch my tail and continue running in circles but the effort is sure spinning me in the right direction.

I bounce off wall after wall in an effort to catch my tail and knock stuff over, but whatever I touch needed to be touched. And everything that I knock over, needed to be knocked over.

The day is still young. I am trying to knock myself into a lotto ticket.

Have Fun.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lazy but healthy and happy

You know what? As long as I don't workout, I feel pretty damn good. Of course I sabotage all that warm and fuzzy with Rube Goldberg thoughts on how to get into a race or skip out for a ride in the heat. Oh, the unnecessary torture we put ourselves through.

My neighbors must think I am off my rocker. Why? I put up and turned on my Christmas lights last night. Mighty Mo is of the firm opinion that when the sunsets early, its close to Christmas and time for 'pretty lights'. Yesterday, with his help on a ladder, we put up about 300 bulbs. I had to put my foot down on the yard displays. Mistress was equally horrified and amazed to see her little boy standing near the top of a ladder and stringing bulbs along the garage. I figure as long as he can see the lights when he gets home around 6:30 pm, I am good, so the timer is currently set for about an hour.

My health feels pretty good. I think I have lost weight if not stayed the same weight in the last six months. Unlike most people, when I stop working out I gain weight. I am surrounded by people who lose weight when they stop training. Bastards.

Have Fun.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Check Ups

I got a message from my recovery doctor this week, "How are you feeling in regards to....and energy?"

My response about the energy is that I have more internal energy than is being externally expended. I followed that up explaining that I haven't worked out much in the last week.

His response was, "That's what we want."

It is? I think to myself, "Ah, Crap." See with the weather the way it is, its great for running and cycling right now. I see myself out there on the road. But my doctors are adamant that I spend this winter as a true exercise winter, like those that live in the Midwest and NE. A massive cut back in exertion. I have had a massive cut back in exertion since IMAZ. I figure I am on my 25 or 26 week of recovery. I cut back any more and I may want to petition USAT for a super-clyde division here in the southwest.

I had a partner who suffered a stroke last year. Out of the blue. Six months later he was training harder than ever in the weight room. Megan gave a kidney to her brother after IMAZ and she is racing again. Everyone has obstacles they have overcome and I am still in the Recovery Phase, far removed from the Considering Races Phase, or Base Building Phase.

I am constantly reminded that I was hours from death, from my own ironwill. (Of course Mistress includes she is so glad I am here) I am constantly shown in tests that a single mental lapse in the application of exertion right now has a higher percentage of fatality than a cat stuck in a dog pound overnight.

I am biding my time. It will come. Like all phases, I will move to another and another each getting me closer to a starting line.

Have Fun.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Today I give back to the sport. Well, not just today but starting today. I am the head coach for a nine week running clinic. Its an after school program for grade school kids that is put on by FCA-E. (Fellow Christian Atheletes-Endurance).

The nine week clinic leads up to races ranging from 1 mile, 2k, 5k and 10k. We are training kids and some of their parents. It should be a load of fun. I was part of a similar FCA-E experience with a triathlon clinic early last spring.

So maybe my 2008 racing and training season was a big, fat bust. I started the season last November being a rabbit for a friend in a 109 mile bike race and followed it up a few weeks later as a rabbit in a marathon. Both out of town events and neither one of them ones I really needed to do. Then I also did the tri clinic for two months and now a run clinic for two months.

It is so important for athletes to give back to the sport. Whether it be as a rabbit for a friend, working a shift at a race or teaching kids how to be active. Make it your goal next season to give back, in some capacity.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dress Codes

Do remember what you used to dress like in your 80’s phase? The big hair, maybe even parachute pants. Raise your hand if you wore a neon colored shirt. I sure did, I was a size medium wearing a 2XL neon pink shirt that said in giant black letters, “SPRING FUCKING BREAK”. Edgy stuff.

Remember your dance club phase? I beat you still have one of those club shirts or tops that you haven’t worn in ten years but you loved it at the time and just can’t part with it. Oh, how about your college phase, your university sweat pants, ‘sports’ flip flops and ball cap.

I am currently in my triathlon phase. I have been in this stage for roughly five years. It’s not my most attractive phase but it is comfortable. I wear Asics running shoes with a Polar foot pod constantly attached to the laces. I wear running socks or some derivative that has a cuff with funny designs on it. My most favorite pair ever, was a gift from a fellow blogger. They are neon yellow with a bright orange fox on the cuff, a design for his tri team. Guess I still like that neon. You might think that running shorts would be the norm but you would be wrong. They are usually too sweaty, so I wear baggy khaki shorts that will cover the tri shorts or just feel loose. The tops are various race shirts, baggy for the fat days, tighter for the sexy days. My favorite shirts from all phases are from my lifelong obsession with hiking, so quite often I wear my Mountain Hardware Canyon shirt. Today. Instead of ball cap, I wear visors. Of course my favorite has an M-Dot on it, but there are others. Not that my style has changed much in twenty years, but I wear my hair short since its usually wet or sweaty from the training. Let’s not forget the perpetual heart rate monitor watch on my wrist.

I tend to miss out on the more normal trends until they are well past their prime. I am quite easy to spot at restaurants and non-triathlon related gatherings in my running shoes, khaki shorts and Ragnar Race shirt amongst a sea of untucked, starched white dress shirts, designer boot cut jeans, box toe boots, quaffed faux hawks and Roman numeral watches on thick leather bands.

Sure I suffer indignities from my non-athletic peers for such lax standards, but I am comfortable. I don’t have hours to get ready for dinners or lounging around at home before lounging around at some else’s home for a football game or late night UFC party. I am lucky to make it less than a half hour late to a social gathering because I went long in a workout. Thankfully I had some extra shorts and a shirt at the bottom of my bag or in the trunk of my car.

Just stay away from me when I get to said event. The later I am the more food I will consume upon arrival. I suppose I wear some of that too. But isn’t that also part of the phase.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I am on my way to California this weekend to pay my respects to a deceased relative. I am escorting my mom on the flights. Its going to be a very odd trip for me. There will be many family members I don't remember except I have heard their name constantly over the years. I admit I have exiled myself from my extended family for the last twenty years as a way of dealing with my head injury.

Hard to say if I will react positively to this influx or not. I have dismissed several other, dare I say important passings in my family, the last two decades so it was even a shock to me when I voiced an opinion to go. Perhaps my own vulnerability from my last Ironman has finally shocked me into understanding true loss beyond my own selfishness.

Well it will make for an interesting story the next time I post.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Take your shot

I have been doing my little "runs around the block", as I have been calling them. The sane part of me says, "It's okay to run over your prescribed HR for a while." The insane part says, "Stick to the plan."

Some of you may think I have confused the sane and insane aspects, others of you know the true insanity for an endurance athlete is to 'Go Slow', thus I am in the right frame of mind.

As the weather cools here, more people get out for running, which means more people running by me. Its so frustrating that I know I would have normally never been passed by these people. Its bad enough I am averaging over 12-13 minutes per mile so I can keep my HR down. Runs that used to take me 25 minutes, now take 45 minutes. Gawd. Is personal humiliation a part of my recovery?

I have dreams about racing a sprint triathlon. I see myself in the water cruising past newbies. I feel the sweat on my brow as I absolutely fly on my bike at 95 rpm and 23 mph. My HR is through the roof but I am way up front. The 5k run is at full speed. I am blowing gaskets and just trying to hold on to my breakneck pace. When I see the finish line a hundred yards ahead, I find one last final surge in me and I celebrate my success with tears in my eyes from the pain, exertion and enthusiasm. My arms are raised and I am done.

That dream is going to be a long time coming. In the mean time go ahead and pass me. You will notice the tattoo on the back of my leg or perhaps the one on my cap. You can smile inwardly that you're faster than an Ironman this day. I will be looking at you too. Plotting, planning, waiting. Remembering your gait and your build. Someday I will be released from this imposed sanity and I will hunt you down and I will smoke your ass.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Second Presidental Debate Drinking Game

Single shot for the following words-
  • Maverick
  • Clinton
  • My friend
  • Reach(-ing, -ed) across the aisle
  • Bin Laden
  • pork barrel spending
  • Judgment
  • Bi-partisan
Double shot for the following words-
  • Reagan
  • John F. Kennedy
Triple Shot for the following words-
  • Nixon
  • Carter

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why is it so hard to like normal?

I had a perfectly awesome weekend with my family. I mean, gosh, I truly am blessed. It was one of those weekends that felt five days long and the most relaxing of vacations. So why is it that I miss the action of training my ass off like a fiend for hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings?

I have no training goals. I have no races until at least 2010. I have a huge ache in my heart to punish my body, pushing the limits of cardiovascular endurance and muscular stamina. I have team mates pre-riding Silverman in Nevada and others running 50 miles in 13 hours preparing for next years Badwater Ultra. Had I not had the ending I did at my last Ironman, I would have been doing one of those training sessions.I want some of that action. Hell Ya.

The doctors are telling me to treat this winter as a true hibernation, like almost every other endurance athlete does else in the country does when the weather turns nasty. Of course that is the best time of the year to train down here, because unlike the rest of the county the weather will be highs of 70-80 degrees and very little rain.

Well I can only look at a far as today and hope I get the next workout completed.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Never Fear

After blogging this week on some of the most stressful aspects of my life, time after time after time, I realize I really have nothing to hide. I have always treated Common Man Syndrome as a forum for my highs and lows. To me its a watered down diary. I mean c'mon, I am not going to put my deepest fears, frustrations, and thoughts on here like I would a private journal but its cathartic and to me very fun.

I would like to think its interesting. If nothing else this week might have made your life feel a bit better compared to mine. Finding out we are having a girl is stressful enough, to lose a close relative so suddenly really screwed up my week. Honestly without an outlet like CMS to write these topical thoughts and feelings and receive support from the comments I think I would be worse off.

I can't wait to get back to some diligent training. My body is just not ready for it, mostly from a nutritional and lack of sleep point of view. I can even acknowledge that I am not eating much and can't make the necessary adjustments to get my energy level back up. It will turn though.

Never fear, I am not in some deep depression. I am interactive with the world. I work hard. I went to Mo's school today for parent appreciation day. Basically he showed us his kindergarten projects and favorite tasks. I get it. I know I have a lot on my mind, but not looking to bum out everyone around me and if I've done so the last few posts, forgive me.

Its Friday. The weekend. Find something to get excited and enthusiastic about. I may not find it, but I am going to look.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Out of tune

I said this would be a crazy week and boy has it.

I awoke Wednesday and loved the fact that I would run that afternoon. The moment I put my feet on the floor I realized I wasn't. Have you ever felt that before? The minute you get out of bed you realize your body is way out of balance. Stress on my body. Stress on my mind. Stress in my pocketbook. I am not unique here.

I used to laugh about movie stars who tell gossip rags they lost weight because of a break up, "How could anyone miss a meal", I would think. As someone who eats subconsciously I can tell you, right now, I have no appetite. And it affects everything. I know I have to eat and I try. But its just nibbles. Mistress is used to telling me to put half the food on my plate back, now she's been telling me to eat more. Even foods I ate for comfort, last long on the plate and eventually go untouched.

When I climbed out of bed Wednesday, my body felt the full affects of last weeks stomach flu and itinerant dehydration. The twelve hours of merry making at Saturday parties, the news of death of someone close and the sex of our child.

All I ever want to do, is workout. Even with all the conditions I have pressed on me by my doctors and family to be responsible, I still feel the joy of exercise in all its forms. Its the one true way I know to release stress. And yet everything in me, consciously and subconsciously, is telling me not to. That I am hungry and thirsty and tired and unfocused, and my muscles will not carry the day. Did I not learn my lesson to listen to my body already?

I think I have. So this day does not belong to me. I have not charged the hill or commanded a sure victory. I will suffer the chortle of the internal choir in my mind, knowing they are wrong. That today and perhaps the next few will be days of consolidation. Time to fix what has been spent and used up.

It rains on the just and the unjust. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad. Cliches about a cosmic balance. For this to be the case in my mind, somebody out there is pounding down a bag of Halloween candy right now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Its going to be a girl


Those were the word uttered by Mo, as the nurse made the proclamation. The OB says that everything with Mistress and the baby are absolutely fantastic. HR is good. She has gained only 2 pounds in the five months of pregnancy and was told she could stand to gain a few pounds. Nothing that a couple of hot fudge sundaes can't fix. Its looking like the delivery will be around February 16th.

Mo was so excited he called Grandma before we were out the door. While Mistress followed up with the doctors, he and I went to play putt-putt golf and some air hockey. Then he insisted he buy a new dress for his baby sister so we went to Babys R Us and sure enough he found a dress, and shoes.

I am still trying to adjust to having to be a new dad all over again. A daughter has added some more stress to that mix. I have lots of friends that I can lean on for education on raising a girl, so for me it's all about the practical application.

Isn't it always...