Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finding your smile

This past weekend I got to watch a sprint triathlon that occurs in my neighboring town.  It is an odd time for me in the fact that I am a spectator, chief of support crew, or head kid wrangler.  Any way you look at it I was not competing.  My wife and all five of my athletes happenned to be racing though, so it was the first time I get to watch my work happen.

The morning was fun and full of anticipation.  I hopped on my bike and rode with my sons to the race site.  An easy 6 mile ride with the burley in tow.  I watched my older son, Connor (9), stay with me with a smile.  He stated proudly, "Dad I am hanging in your draft, and it's easy."  I looked at the speedo and we were cruising along at 18mph.  He was excited.  He has been working so hard to pedal right and use good mechanics, which he kept reminding me of.

We reached the site, and I made quick rounds to see all of my athletes before the starting gun went off.  I always make sure to see my wife and give her a kiss and smack on the butt just to remind her to push hard and have fun.  My sons and I found some good viewing spots and we waited to see the first of our athletes.

Jeff came through first, then Brooke, when my wife came in we cheered loudly and gave her some quick advice and once again hollered for her to have fun, then came Brad, ecstatic to have finished his first competitive open water swim, Jackie came along looking strong, then Katie also made her way into transition.  Once the athletes were out we moved to the finish line.

I saw all my athletes cross the line, in various states of determination and expresions.  Kerrie came through and my older son took off to help pace her in, he is very good in the final 200 meters having paced me and Kerrie in for a number of years now.  The one moment that really made me proud was seeing Jackie in the final stretch.  She had a smile that went ear to ear.  She had done something that she had never done before.  She had confidence, she felt good, she had the knowledge and willingness to finish her race.

I loved to see and hear their stories of the expectations and realities they faced throughout the race.  More importantly I loved to hear that they wanted more.  They had genuine fun.  They wanted to go longer, faster, and harder in their next ventures.  I look forward to seeing them continue reaching their goals.  I am here to help you reach your goals, but more importantly, I am here to help you reset and reach the new goals as well.  "Commit to the Effort".  Continue to race with a smile...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Breaking the Ice

I recently had a brand new opportunity placed in my lap.  Part of my venture with THRIVE is to incorporate public speaking.  I have done some lunch and learns and small group talks but this was my first paying gig.  I was anxious and eager to finally throw my hat in the ring and grab a hold of this opportunity.

My message runs along the lines "How I changed my life, and how you can change yours."  I believe that stories from a personal standpoint are very effective.  Through my activites in triathlon, rock climbing, firefighting, and just my life in general I have a variety of experiences to fall back on.  I have acheived the change in my life because I took the steps to ensure success.  I found a place to start, I committed myself, I was determined, I found a sense of passion, I finished, then most importantly, I RESET my goal to progress on.

Goals and the importance of resetting your goals is where my niche lies. Too often we get caught up and focused solely on the one goal we may have that we forget about the little things.  Life is busy and if you are narrowly focused you miss the beauty and events happenning around.  So as you set the goal, be sure to take in the entire experience.

The reward of acheiving that first goal are two fold.  First they give you a sense of accomplishment and reward since you enjoyed the journey, and hopefully it leaves with the desire to do more and continue on.  The second, is a bit of depression due focusing solely on the single achievement.  Remember when it comes to goals avoid the depression and enjoy the journey.

Changing your life is easy.  Being Committed to change your life and make it stick is the hard part. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What is THRIVE Multisport

  I started THRIVE for a couple of reasons.  I have spent the past 3.5 years creating and organizing the Altoona Triathlon Club in Iowa.  This has been a rewarding, learning, and time consuming project.  The club now has over 100 members and is headed in the right direction.  We have continually focused on the family aspect of triathlon and keeping families fit through fitness.
  We put on numerous clinics and group workouts and I found that quite frequently I was always leading them.  I would take time with new members and help them to learn the basic skills so they would enjoy being a part of the group.  As I did this more and more I found that I really enjoyed seeing people succeed and grow into their fitness of choice.
  With the club functioning I found my son, Connor (9), taking an interest in starting events and wanting to learn how to be more involved.  So we sat down as a family and made the decision to formally create a company that would be a legacy and pave the way for my boys to chase after their dreams. 
  The name was the hardest part.  THRIVE is what I want my clients to achieve.  I want them to learn how to train properly, be well rounded and educate themselves.  I want to share the tools that I have learned and help them find the passion to keep progressing in their goals. So as you see THRIVE athletes on the course, know that they are knowledgeable and have a full understandng of how and why they are doing certain things.  They will push to succeed and reap the benefits they seek.
  Know that THRIVE also offers other services: Motivational Speaches for your business functions, Race Direction, and Consultation services.  Check us out at http://www.thrivemultisport.com/.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kansas 70.3 6/12/11 Race Review

I tried something for this event that I have never done.  We camped at the race site via tent.  With some unexpected weather and animal occurrences this was the absolute best weekend I have ever had before a race.  Our site was great and shaded for the entire day.  The temps were moderate and the folks we met were a ton of fun.  As it was Saturday night before the race it was a mini firefighter convention with guys from Sioux City, IA and Fargo, ND as well as my own department.
            The morning of the race temps were perfect and a light breeze kept it nice and cool.  Kansas is setup with two transitions, with one at the top of the “hill” and the other at the bottom.  I had a great feeling and was especially focused on my goals—Be 5 hour flat and run the “hill” both times.   I set up T2 and made my way down to T1.
            The morning passed along uneventfully.  I was in the third to last wave which gave me the opportunity to watch the pro’s come out of the water and make their way on to the bike.  It is nice to see that they struggle with their wetsuits as much as we do.  I was caught a bit off guard that they had moved up the wave starts in time and saw my color caps headed to the ramp.  So I quickly got my goggles and cap and made my way to the water.
The water was warm.  They say it was 74 but I believe it was much warmer.  The start was smooth I got right out and felt my stroke doing well.  There was a wind across the water which was noticed more once we got out further into the open area.  It felt as though a boat had crossed our path as the swells were rhythmic and constant.  It felt much like Galveston without the salt.  The swim is rectangular in shape with two left turns.  The first went smooth and headed us into the current. 
The second turn is where I lost my time.  I rounded the second buoy in a small pack spotted the net buoy and hit the gas.  After about 200 yards I spotted again and everyone was gone.  I looked to my right and realized that I had spotted the wrong buoy and swam the wrong way.  So I adjusted my course and swam once again against the current to correct my line.  I finished the swim in 40min.  In looking at my prior attempt I was 5 min slower this time, but in general the entire race was 3-4 min slower in their times this year.
I headed through T1 quickly and efficiently.  I hit the bike and focused on keeping a level head and smart race plan. It would have been very easy to hammer this course.  It is nice rolling hills that seem to go on forever.  It is truly a course built to my strengths as a rider.  The wind was a bit hard to judge as it seemed a bit more swirling and never really had it solid in one direction or another.  The Kansas route is one of the nicest I have been on.  They recently paved about 20 miles worth and it was like riding on glass.  Fueled and pedaled exactly to plan and finished my 56 miles in just over 2 hours and 30 min avg. 21.6 mph.
My dismount into T2 was one for the record books.  I braked too late unclipped erratically and narrowly missed two other riders since my feet were unsteady.  I heard John Madden in my head “rumbling, stumbling, bumbling”.   I saved the bike and other riders and stayed on my feet to the claps and cheers of the surrounding crowd.  I hit my spot and once again made a quick transition.
I headed out on the run to finish my goals.  One thing of note was someone brought to my attention that my leg had a stream of blood running down the back.   Thanks to my rookie dismount my crank slammed my calf cutting it a bit.  No biggie.  But I hope my tat survives.  I felt strong and my heart rate was right in line.  I wanted to run 8:30’s for my 13.1 miles.  I nailed it.  Smooth and steady for the first half then picked up the pace for the second loop.  I think that this greatly aided by the overcast weather and gentle rain shower on mile 9.  My run was completed 1 hour and 50min or so. 
I finished in 5 hours and 11 min.  I was off my goal of 5 hour flat, but I did hit the goal to run the hill both times.  I felt great and was ecstatic about how good I felt.  I have big hopes for Boulder in August.  Crossing the line I gave Chrissie Wellington a big hug and got a publicity shot as usual.
Before I finish I have to thank my support crew.  First I thank Brooke for helping my wife and being an awesome cheerleader.  It was fun sharing this weekend of first time experiences with you.  I know you made a lot mental notes and learned a lot about ticks, spiders, beetles, and making s’mores.  I look forward to your future success and continued determination. 
Second.  But she really knows she is first, my wife Kerrie.  It is not often we get to enjoy such an environment without interruption and this weekend was amazing.  I could not do what I do without you.  There is no one else that I would rather have by my side, than you.  You are my everything.  I rounded every corner on the course looking for you and waiting to hear your voice.  You fueled my fire.  You put love in my heart.  You help me race with passion.  You give me purpose. 
Lastly I have to tell you a quick story.  As we headed out of the park we decided to grab a bite to eat. We were driving down the road into the city of Lawrence when ahead there was a rider pedaling in the distance.  As we got closer the rider was on a tri bike and in a race kit.  I said out loud, ”No Way”.  The girls said, ”What?” I said, ”That is Chrissie Wellington.”  She pulled into the left hand turn lane so I naturally rolled up along side her.  I said you just won and they make you pedal home?  She said she was headed to her home stay only 10 miles away!  She said that she thought that every hill in Kansas was packed into those 10 miles.  There is no truer person than her.  If you need a role model look her up.