Sunday, July 24, 2011

Focus on You

  Most of us have the opportunity to go to sleep and relax our bodies and minds, and start off on a fresh slate the next day.  The next morning is the most opportune time to really get your goals in order.  Perhaps you had a bad day prior, a lousy experience, or things just haven't gone your way.  With the next day you have the ability to start fresh.
  It is always important to set the tone for the day first thing.  Ever notice that when you oversleep, have a crick in your neck, or just had a bad night sleep the day just does not go well?  The first morning light brings the opportunity to set your goals.  Have a big workout? Have a lot of errands? Running the kids around all day?  Whatever the day may bring it is important to take the first few moments of the day to set your goals and focus on you.
  The world can wait a bit.  Asking yourself what do you want to accomplish out of each day you start is quite important.  If you are going to change your life, and stay on track you need these little moments. I think we all make an effort to start off right, but often times somewhere the day may go askew.  Again it is at that moment you need to reset, refocus, and restart.  Focus on what you need, where you are going. 
  Every day we start has to have a purpose.  Even if we choose to veg, there is a purpose.  Our bodies are smarter than we think.  Your body tells you many things if you take the opportunity to listen.  Crave sugar, legs heavy, just in a mental rut?  Take the moment and listen, there is a way to fix and change where you are headed every day.  It just takes the willingness and want to change.
  Life has many opportunities that are unknown unless you are willing to seek them out.  Live each day with a purpose.  Start each day with a goal, and be sure that your goals extend beyond just getting out of bed.  Your life will be so much more rewarding if you focus on your needs and set your daily goals.  Live with your cup full rather than leaving the question of whether it is half empty or half full. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Who is your Governor?

  As this blog thingy continues I try not to force topics or make up moments.   I try my hardest not to be fake in any manner and truly wish to be inspiring and insightful.  My company, around which the blogs coincides, I will write about the values I try to speak and teach to my athletes and customers.  With that being said I had one of those, "I have to write about this moments."
  This morning I enjoyed a fun ride with my wife and a friend.  While it had it's pertinent workout moments this ride taught me, or rather, reminded me of why I do what I do.  The weather was quite perfect for a hammer palooza on my whip, but I held back.  I kept looking over my shoulder at my wife working her darnedest to keep pace.  Our friend was somewhere between the two of us working equally hard.  I chose to focus on a different method of work for today.  How long could I push the same gear.
  I read a lot and I have studied most of the tricks of the trade when it comes to training and I have come to a conclusion.  They forget the utmost important principle: Enjoy what you do.  It is my opinion that you can mix fun, enjoyment, and a desire to be the best in a beneficial manner.  It just takes a little perspective.  We all try to be the best in one way or another.  But many times we get trapped by numbers, we become focused solely on output.  We become data focused. 
  With my goal to push the same gear for 40 miles I was able to really see how far I have come as a rider and athlete.  I challenged myself up the climbs, and even surprised myself a bit.  Was it the best ride I have ever had, no.  Was it the hardest route I have ever done, no.  Was it rewarding, yes.  Was it enjoyable, yes.  It was a different ride, better yet, it was entirely off the cuff.  I had the ability to change it up.  It was still a workout, but, I didn't care about numbers and focused more on the challenge ahead.
  My wife and I rode into town together, as she spoke of her numbers and how satisfied she was with her effort, I reminded her, was it fun?  Did you enjoy the ride?  Then it was a good ride regardless of the outcome.  There comes a time to leave the numbers, data, and hard focus on the side of the road.  Today was one of those days.  So as you are out there in the daily grind, remember you are your own governor. Either let it loose and seize the moment or focus too much and miss the big picture.  Just a by the way, I did hit my goal but I did shift once... to a harder gear at least.   

Thursday, July 7, 2011


I grew up on the classics, Looney Tunes, 3 Stooges, and Laurel & Hardy.  I think these affected me in a multitude of ways both psychologically and mentally (yes I know)...  They each had a running theme if you looked deep enough.  Mind you I was young when these were at their heyday but I remember them vividly.  The main running theme I pulled from them is persistence.

By know you are possibly thinking I am done with this blog.  But please let me make my point and I assure you it will get you thinking.  While these classics found their beginnings in early Americana, they have yet to lose their relevance today.  They subtly implanted their messages while being entertaining and on point.  Every character in the above programs had their adversary, had a conflict, and had a desire to overcome their given scenario.

The message was never as obvious as it is in today's programming.  In fact as a viewer you had to be just as persistent to see the message through all of the goofballs and wackiness.  My life has been very much a parallel to their subtle theme of persistence.  I have worked hard for every dime, I have stayed focus and on point when needed, and I have surrounded myself with a cast of necessary people to make life enjoyable.

Being persistent can lead to great success.  Persistence is one of those qualities that many people look forward to and often get imaginary points for.  Lessons are learned, rewards are earned, and goals are met.  While the Roadrunner was always the hero, wasn't Wyle E. Coyote a stronger character?  After all he had the ingenuity, the desire, and the persistence to try to reach his goal.   While he never reached his goal he was much stronger for all the effort he put into every day.

Persistence.  Desire.  Goofball qualities.  These are all very much pillars in my life.  If you want to be the best you have to work hard.  You have heard this many times.  The question is, do you desire to be the best?  If you don't, what is holding you back?  Do you need a goofball in your life to help you along?  All these questions and more can be answered by the next mornings toons.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dedication to Doing it Right

In the next coming weeks our family will be racing in some different venues.  The best thing is that my wife and I are not racing!  My oldest son Connor will begin his triathlon season in two weeks.  He has been racing now for nearly 5 years.  He has done at least one triathlon a year.  Though this year he has made the decision to compete in the IRONKIDS series.

We are very excited and of course very supportive.  He has set the goal to qualify for the championships which will be held in our backyard in West Des Moines.  This summer my son has shown a bit more maturity than he has in the past years.  It has almost scared my wife and I a bit.  We have always tried to teach the important prinicples that will help him to be successful in his coming years.  So it is very nice to see they are taking root.

This summer has seen my son go out for morning runs, mind you he is 10.  He goes and runs a mile in the morning then later in the evening he will run another.  He manages to get a bike ride in here and there as well.  He has told us that he wishes to give up baseball next year to pursue competitive cycling.  It is amazing to stand back and look at him and realize that he really wants to do things right.

This past weekend he raced a mile run in the Quad Cities and he hit a PR.  He improved his time by nearly 2 minutes!  I think that he is seeing how hard work can really pay off.  Mind you we still want him to be a kid and he is still very much a 10 year old.  But it is great watching the moments where he gets "it".  He wants to be successful.  He wants to be good, but most of all he wants to be a part of something bigger.

My youngest is right on cue with him.  He will also be competing in his first triathlon but that is not until August.  But until then, he is working with big brother on transtitions and most of all having a smile and enjoying every moment of being active.

So when you hit the roads, or pool, or work, remember to have the dedication to do things right.  As I tell my son, if you only go halfway, you are only halfway; and it is a long walk back.  See everything through to the end and be sure to have a purpose in your actions.  Good luck out there and we will see you on the roads. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's a Niche type thing

For the last decade of my life I have been trying to find that niche.  You know what I mean, that place where you fit in, you're accepted, where you feel like you.  For the past 5 years of my life I have begun to narrow that niche slowly.  With every day, week, month, year, etc, I am getting closer.  I dabble here and I dabbled there.  Found what works and what doesn't.

All along my travels I have found a lost part of myself.  I grew up a Boy Scout in the mountains of New York.  I spent summers camping, tying knots, building fires, a real woodsman.  As I grew older I moved from the mountains to the plains.  The scenary did not allow for the adventures I was accustomed to.  So I moved more towards my athletics and work.

Now that I am settled in my life, career, and family I have found those old passions alive and well.  Now I am able to share those moments with my boys and wife.  In planning our summer vacation all our plans revolved around our passions.  Triathlons, training, camping, climbing, you name it we have bcome a regular family Robinson .

I found that these activities bring a peace and solice to my life.  After years of struggle and searching for that something, I am now able to enjoy it with my family.  I believe having a clear focus will help anyone find their niche sooner.  Though I must say that the journey to get this point was well worth all the emotions involved.  I encourage you to find your niche, share it, and help others to find theirs.  It is just as rewarding to see others find peace and joy in their passions as it is to find your own.