Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Little Publicity

Earlier this week a local new station ran a piece about TNT. The story featured three ladies from our triathlon team who had joined in honor of a friend who had leukemia. It was fun to see the clip and hear more about their story. I had worked a lot with two of the women last year and it was just another reminder of how much they accomplished. Hopefully a lot people saw the video and maybe we’ll get a few people signed up because of it.

With our season kickoff this weekend the running of the piece couldn’t have been better timed. A week from now we’ll be holding our first swim practice and it will be back to coaching. I can’t wait! Hmmm…Speaking of swimming I guess I should get my arse to pool. Ok I’m off to the pool. Below is a link if you want to take a look at the video. Take care…

Video clip...

Monday, January 29, 2007

It’s Just Another Day

I may be the odd person out when it comes to birthdays, but I’ve never been one to be like “hey hey, woohoo, it’s my birthday, look at me, look at me.” In years past people have found out that my birthday had just passed and they are like, “why didn’t you say something.” Who knows why? All I know is that I’ve never made a big fuss about my birthday. That’s not to say that I don’t like getting a group a people together to go have a good time, but I’ve never been the type that says we should fly the circus in. That is why I was a little surprised that the theme of the entire weekend would turn out to be my birthday. Now some will argue that that is how it should be. Or that you have to go big when it’s your golden birthday. (Including Ms. R) Well for my benefit that’s what ended up happening. I’m still in the camp that it’s just another day, but I appreciate all the thoughtfulness and effort that people extended on my behalf. So here’s the run down…

Friday: Ms. R took me out to a very nice dinner after work. We went to Stella’s, which is a great seafood restaurant in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. The food, drinks, and deserts were top notch. We then headed to The Depot in downtown Minneapolis to go ice staking. I hadn’t been on a pair of stakes in about 15 years, but it’s kind of like riding a bike and you never really forget. We had a good time skating around and there was some great people watching to end our evening.

Saturday: Now this was the day that I had actually planned things out for how I wanted to celebrate my “just another day.” A group of 14 met in downtown St. Paul to go to a roller derby. That’s right they are bringing it back and it was a blast. From the opening whistle these girls came ready to skate hard. There was plenty of action in the form of great skating and the ladies ramming into each other with someone going into the crowd. There were a few crowd favorites based on their rough and tough style or their pure skating ability. Plus the couple of pure grab the other girl and take her down to the ground incidents really got the crowd going. I wasn’t sure if people we going to like it, since none of us had ever been before, but everyone seemed to enjoy the action.

The only hiccup was that Mr. JT had a concert next door which made traffic and parking a nightmare. Nothing against the music or the fans of said performer, but I couldn’t help but laugh at the streams of ladies who were dressed to the 9’s to go sit/stand in a dark concert hall. To me it was all too funny.

Anyway after the derby we headed to a local bar for drinks and food. A few more people who couldn’t make it to the derby trickled in. It was great just to chat it up with some friends while having a few adult beverages. Thankfully the shots were limited, I think it’s an age thing, and people just enjoyed the atmosphere.

Sunday: Cause there hadn’t been enough todo about my birthday and nursing a bit of a hangover there was still more to come. This of course was all Ms. R’s doing. We had a TNT fundraiser event Sunday night. One of our teammates but together a huge cookbook as a fundraiser and this was the kickoff part for it. Suzanne, the lady who’s fundraiser it was it one of our best TNT cheerleaders. She’ll talk to anyone about the program and her experiences. She Rocks! So of course Ms. R had to tell her that it was my birthday and she was ready for me. Half way through the party she called for our attention. She then proceeded to clothe me with a crown and gold cape and lead everyone is singing too me. I’m so not a spotlight person so she loved drawing everyone attention to me for the remainder of the night. It was a very nice gesture even if it’s something I would request doesn’t happen again.

Thanks Suzanne

final product

with Ms. R

So there are all the details of how a simple little thing such as a birthday took over an entire weekend. That said, it was a great weekend and I’m grateful for everything people did for me even if it’s not my style. Too bad the age change doesn’t do anything for me in terms of age group classifications.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Path through the Forest

As I’ve been trying to work my way out of this little funk, or at least determine how that is going to happen I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my motivation and drive. For undertaking something like the Ironman there has to be a certain amount of personal motivation and reason in the first place. I know my reasons and wants are there though they maybe somewhat hidden at the moment. This got me thinking to what catalysts usually help fire up the motivational juices. For one there is this blog community with tons of amazing people challenging themselves to accomplish their goals. Even though I haven’t been the best reader/commenter as of late, your posting still play an important role. I mean where else will you find people like Mouse who can be quoted as say such things as "screw getting a man who is rich, or a man who is hot. we want to marry an IRONMAN!" The other big catalyst that I’ve come to realize is my involvement with TNT. As a mentor and now as a coach I’ve come to appreciate everyone who takes up the TNT challenge. TNT was the beginning on my triathlon experience and this trend continues for many on our team members. Seeing someone and being apart of their journey from beginner to triathlete is almost beyond words. To work with someone and track their progress week to week and month to month is so motivating it’s ridiculous and most of the time they have no idea that they are having an effect me or anyone else. In short I miss my team and I’m so glad that we are starting up again in a matter of weeks.

So what does this all mean? Well for starters a portion of your motivation has to come from within. There has to be a part of you that says yes, I want to do this. The second aspect is that we are not all superhuman and can’t always do this all on our own. We have to be able to rely on others and take motivation and strength from outside ourselves. We go this way and that way struggling to find our way. It takes time, effort, and sometimes an outside influence, but eventually we will be able to put all the pieces together to find our way through the forest and end up at whatever we were searching for in the first place.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Off Center

This is the feeling that I’ve had lately and I rather dislike it. A lot of this seem to stem from trying to find my focus and drive as I startup another season. In the big picture there is Ironman Wisconsin somewhere off there in the distance but yet it has an enormous effect on my everyday life. I’ve struggled with getting into a regular training program since the beginning of the year. Not that I should be doing a ton, but the routine is just not there. The other portions of my life; work, friends, relationships, coaching, ect continue to win out and be my focus. This isn’t entirely a bad thing, but at some point soon that will have to change. At some point my focus will have to change and that will mean significant changes in my life and I’m not sure if I’m ready for those changes.

I guess what this all boils down to are the fears that are associated with doing an Ironman. To which there are many and occur on many different levels. On one side you have the race itself and all the training to prepare for it and then on the other there are all the personal affects and all the things that get sacrificed for the sake of preparing for such a race. All of which scare the bejesus out of me. My guess is that every Ironman nubie comes across these issues and for me that time is now and will probably continue for the next 9 months.

I guess through all this mumbling what I’m trying to say is that I have fears and issues to address over the next 9 months. Some will have to be taken care of sooner then others, but at some point I will need to deal with each and every one of them. If I disregard even a single one there is no way that I can reach my goal with is the finish line of Ironman Wisconsin

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


This is how you could have described my yoga experience last night. We did a lot of balance poses which kicked my butt. My balance has lots of room for improvement and I defiantly felt the weakness is my knees and ankles thanks to all those old soccer injuries. The instructor only came over once to offer a modification to one of the poses as it was clear that I wasn’t really flexible enough to pull it off.

Beyond the benefits of increase flexibility and balance I’m really like that this yoga class provides that quite/meditation/reflection time. With as busy as life, work, training, and coaching is going to get in the coming months it is going to become more and more important to have that down time. Having a class where the only noises are light music and the sounds of people breathing qualifies as some quality quite time.

So the lesson which we have all heard a thousand times and I’ll stated it again; as busy as we get running around a hundred miles an hour 24/7, we can only do it for so long before we crash. Working in those necessary down times and breaks will reap huge benefits is all aspects of life. (Yes I can provide wine to go along with that cheese…hehe)

Now I’m off to go convince people to join TNT. Later folks….

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Salute

This is a salute to all the boys and girls, men and women who dawn the red and take up posts at your local swimming pool or beach. These brave souls risk their lives to support a safe environment for our water recreational pastimes. They challenge even the sun and end up with bronze bodies that even a regular to a tanning salon would be jealous of. These super people with their rescue tubes and whistles are setting the standard for young people everywhere. I feel so fortunate that I might be included in the ranks of such great people. So here is to all that those who take up the watch and say “you will not drown on my watch” and “walk don’t run please.” We couldn’t do it without you!

In all seriousness I found out how hard a lifeguard’s job can be and they shouldn’t be short changed by any means. Over the weekend I completed the final two days of the lifeguard class. After completing both the written and skills test on Sunday I am a certified lifeguard. Not that I plan to join the profession anytime soon, but I’m finally finished. woohoo Now with all the coaching red tape taken care of I can just focus on coaching which is super sweet.

Thank for all the well wishes last week. I spent all day Thursday and Friday in bed which really sucked. Things were at least making a turn for the better by the time Saturday rolled around. I wasn’t 100% but well enough to go sit in on the CPR portion of the class which was almost a total repeat of the class I took in November so fun times. Things are about back to normal now since I was taken off my feet last week.

Tonight it’s back to yoga which should be fun. We’ll see how many times the instructor corrects my position this time. Afterwards I have to go write my speech for our TNT information meetings which start this week. At least they are short, under 5 minutes, cause I’m just not a big fan of public speaking. I think I have to speak at 3 or 4 meetings over the next couple of weeks. So I have that to look forward to. :P

Anyway that’s about all I have. Oh and you would have thought that after spending two days in bed I would be all caught up on your blogs well thing again. So as usual I’ll be playing catch up this week. Take care…

Friday, January 12, 2007

A bug

Apparently at some point this week I caught a nice little flu bug. So for the last day and a half my life has consisted of sleeping a couple of hours at a time, get up maybe eat or watch TV and then it’s been back to bed. I’ve mainly been dealing with the chills, body aches, a fever, and fatigue. I guess it could be worse, but I hate being sick. The only good time you can have while being sick is if you really aren’t and you’re just playing hooky. I’m ok with that type of illness.

I know there are a few people racing this weekend so good luck to all the racers. If I’m feeling better I’ll be in lifeguard class all weekend. Woohoo doesn’t that sound like fun? Ok I’m outta here. Take care and have a great weekend everyone…

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I'm It

I’ve been double tagged by Kim so here are my responses.

1. Find the nearest book.
2. Name the book & the author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
5. Tag three more folks.

Tides of War by Steven Pressfield
“And yet nothing,” put in our youthful firebrand Callicles. He spoke of his service, this winter past, on the Naval Resources Board. Among his duties was to treat with the brokers who represented the foreign sailors – the islanders of Samos, Chios, Lesbos, and the other maritime nations who served for pay in the Athenian Fleet.

Tagging: Mouse, Nic, and Running Shorts

The A-B-C Survey

A-Available or Single? Nope, sorry ladies
B-Best Friend? I have a lot of close friends. No reason to single out a favorite.
C-Cake or Pie? Cake, unless it’s Grandma W’s apple pie
D-Drink of choice? Long Island Iced Tea
E- Essential Item? Computer
F-Favorite color? Blue
G-Gummi Bears or worms? I’ll take the worms please
H-Hometown? Rochester, MN
I-Indulgence? Tri gear
J-January or February? January, gotta take the month I was born
K-Kids & names? None that I know of
L-Life is incomplete without? Finding that thing you were meant to do or be.
M-Marriage Date? Some future date
N-Number of siblings? 4, count them 1, 2, 3, 4
O-Oranges or Apples? Apples
P-Phobias/Fears? The monster under my bed
Q-Favorite Quote“You can quit and no one will really care…but you will always know!” - John Collins
R-Reason to smile? Ms. R
S-Season? Winter, bring on the cold and snow. Plus I’d always rather be cold then hot.
T-Tag three people: Mouse, Nic, and Running Shorts
U-Unknown fact about me: I as a cross-guard captain in the 5th grade
V-Veggie I hate: Most of them…
W-Worst Habit? Starting most sentences with “you know” and I hate making decisions so I don’t or just flip a coin.
X-X-rays you've had? Feet, knees, head.
Y-Your favorite food? Potatoes
Z-Zodiac? Aquarius, sing it peoples...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Another First

Last night I did something new to try and get this new year of training and racing off on a good start. Wait for it, wait for it, ok it’s really not big at all but last night I went to my first real yoga class. I already knew that my flexibility is ruinously bad, but last night proved it even more. Overall it was good class and I enjoyed it, but I knew I was in ruff shape when the instructor kept on having to pull my hips back during downward dog. I couldn’t even get this rest position right. hehe Anyway I’m glad we went and hopefully things will improve over the 10 week session.

A couple of you made points/questions about the ages in the lifeguard class. Luckily I am not the oldest one in the glass, but close. The other TNT coach is actually a few years older then me so she gets the title of oldest in the class. We are the elderly states-people in the class totaling seven. The ages for the class go like this…

2: 15
2: 16
1: In College
2: 27+

So yeah we feel a little bit old with regards to the rest of the class. Nonetheless they are all really nice and fun to work with so the age difference hasn’t really mattered.

Ok that’s all I got. Take care…

Monday, January 08, 2007

½ a Lifeguard

Over the weekend I completed the first 2 of 4 sessions to get certified as a lifeguard and I’m tired. We were in the water for probably 7-8 hours over the course of the weekend. Afterwards I couldn’t get away from the smell of chlorine even after numerous showers. Overall the course has been good with some good information to offset the dry common sense type of things. The hardest by far has been the submerged rescues, though the 500 m swim kind of kicked my ass too. It wouldn’t have been so bad but half of it was breaststroke and I have about the worst breaststroke kick known to man. Anyway that’s how we started our first day and it ended with the submerged rescues.

Of course I was the first to try the submerged rescue after I was the victim for the instructor to demonstrate. (Note: Playing the victim for a submerged rescue is almost as nerve racking as being the rescuer.) So after not having a chance to watch how to do it the instructor had me rescue him. Ummm, yeah that didn’t go so well. For one I really didn’t know what I was doing, two the guy probably had 60+ lbs on me, and he went completely limp the entire time and just made me struggle. (Nice guy right, :P) I got him up just fine, but I couldn’t get my rescue tube under him so he kept on slumping forward. I think the tube slipped at least 6 times before he stopped things. I was completely drained after that. We kept practicing it with the other students and it went better later on, but it was really hard and very tiring.

The second day was spent doing first aid and then doing backboard drills for head and neck injuries. We learned the different ways to deal with the neck injuries and getting people on the backboard and out of the water. This went fairly smoothly until once again it was time to do this with a submerged victim. Now not only did you have to get your victim up you had to restrain their head underwater, roll the victim while you make your way upward and then finally get them above water. Once above water you worked with a partner to get a rescue tube in place, because you didn’t start with one, and then do all the backboard work to finally get them out of the water. After rotation and playing all the roles (primary, secondary, and victim) I was spent and ready to call it a day. Thankfully that was the last thing we worked on before stopping for the weekend.

Next weekend we’ll be back in the classroom covering CPR and then we’ll have the written and water tests on Sunday. It’s been a good experience, but I’m ready for it to be done with. Anyhoo I’m half way to getting this last certification done with and I can’t wait til it’s all over.

Now I need a nap…

Friday, January 05, 2007

Don’t Let Them Drown

Last night I finally made it to the pool. It was pretty busy, but it slowed down after the first wave of people started filing out. It had been awhile since I was in the in water but things felt ok. I consider this a good thing with having to spend the next two days at lifeguard training. (and next weekend too, blah!) The longest part of my workout was a 500 had I’ll have to do as part of the lifeguarding test. I wanted to make sure I can still swim that far. I don’t think I’ve swam that far in one shot since the half IM. It wasn’t blazing fast by any means, but I think I should be ok for the test.

Tonight it will be poker with the fellas. Unfortunately there will be no drinking or a real late night for me. It just wouldn’t be the best thing before the clinic and I’m sure I’ll catch the usual flack when I bail early. It’s to be expected but all in jest. Maybe I can win a bunch early and run away will all there money. hehe

I hope you all have a great weekend. Mine will consist of sleeping, eating, and trying not to let people drown. We’ll see how that last one goes. Take care…

Stupid Blogger

So apparently my post yesterday never really happened with the text being a no show. The long and short of yesterday's post was that I couldn't complete even my first workout of the year as planned. I ended up not swimming and just going for a short run instead. So my apologies for blogger not publishing what I told it to.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Not Even One


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A New Year, but just another day…

Another year has been written in the annuals of time, but realistically it’s just another day. I’ve never been real big on New Year’s resolutions. Maybe I’m still bitter from having to write resolutions every year as a child. As the years passed I came to the conclusion that change can happen at anytime. It shouldn’t take the beginning of a new year to make things happen. If the new year helps make those changes then I’m all for it, but in the end it comes down to individuals making the effort to change something in their lives. For instance this morning I packed up my gym bag in order to hit the pool tonight. Yes it’s the first workout of the New Year and the start of my base, but in the end it’s just another day in the life of a triathlete.