Wednesday, March 28, 2012

To my Thieving Friend

So I had an eventful end to my vacation.  We arrived home and I decided to meet up with some of the bike team for our weekly workout.  I had a flat on my road bike and instead of fixing it, I decided to ride my tri bike.  I looked and could not find it anywhere.  Long story short I determined it had been stolen.
While I would be happy to expound about how and where it was taken that is not the point of this blog.  This is more a less an open letter to the individual/individuals that decided they needed my bike more than me.

Let me tell you what you have in your posession.  You have years of hard work.  You have thousands of miles of tears, smiles, blood, and determination.  You have the hopes of a young child and happiness of a middle aged guy.  You see you did not just take a bike.  You did not just take fancy wheels.  You took a one of kind family heirloom.

When I purchased that bike I spent a year paying for it.  I spent miles getting the position just right.  I added parts and subtracted others.  I travelled the US, climbed mountains, rode the valleys, flew the along the coastline, and enjoyed the open road more than most.  I knew every clink, clunk, shift, and click.  I knew every rock chip, paint smudge, and sweat mark on that ride.  You see it took years of work, dedication, and effort to achieve and earn the right to ride a bike like that.

Not only do you have in your posession my years of hard work, you have the hopes of my sons in your hands.  I had promised to my boys that once they were able and had put in the work they would be given the bike.  They would be given the bike, not you.  Maybe you have had a rough childhood, maybe your parents did not teach you what it means to earning something, or what working for something would result in.  Well I have and will continue to teach my boys the values of honest, hard work.  Once I am able to replace what you have taken, I will once again hold my promise true to my boys.  I am sure they will also see the effort and hold our values true so that they may earn my bike once again.

My thieving friend, I hope you take care of the heirloom in your posession.  I hope you have not taken to part it out or cut it up.  I hope you enjoy it.  I hope it might motivate you to change your life.  Hopefully my bike will change your life as much as it changed mine.  You know you did not just steal a bicycle.  You did not just steal a fancy pair of wheels.  You stole my hardwork.  You stole my dedication. You stole more than I think you know.  There are a thousand eyes on you now.  Take care, ride safe, and I hope you have a helmet...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Educate, Educate, Educate

It has been nearly ten years since my wife and I changed our life.  We have been doing triathlon now for what seems like an eternity.  We have seen great changes not only in our physical presence but mental as well.  The journey has been an amazing one.  You never realize how much the body and mind can be pushed to tolerate.  Ten years ago I watched my wife tackle her first triathlon while I waited with anticipation to see her at various spots.  It wasn't but five minutes after seeing her cross the finish line that I said I can do that.

Well here I am now.  My life has been completely transformed from what it once was.  I am now a certified triathlon coach with a small but succesful group of athletes.  I have created a tri club, bike team, and became an Ironman.  All that aside I found I had and have so much more to learn. 

With every year I learn or tweak my training and mental approach to my chosen sport.  I have gotten faster, stronger, and more willing to endure what ever I put myself through.  This year will truly stand out more than most though.  About two months ago I did some testing with my wife.  I got some news that astonished me.  For as healthy a lifestyle my wife and I lead, we have become rather unhealthy.  I found that I have been in Stage 3 (of 4) adrenal failure.  When the body is pushed there needs to be response.  I found that by the afternoon of most days I was done.  I had cut out energy drinks (1yr clean), I have one cup of coffee a day, took my vitamins regularly but still I had no energy.

Thanks to this little test I finally had the hopeful solution to ending my constant state of fatigue.  I have started on a couple of other natural vitamins, and restructured my training (training at a very low Heart Rate 139).  My energy is slowly coming back and I am finding that I am stronger by the end of the day rather than peetering out at 1 in the afternoon.

This could not have happenned at a better time.  My first race of the season is just 2 weeks away.  I also have much bigger plans this season.  I found myself struggling this past weekend with the decision I have made for this year, but I know I will see them through.  So I will take a little bit to toot my horn, so bear with me.

I have been offered a spot into a pilot program called Worth the Hurt.  It is based out of the San Francisco Marathon, and it features 6 sponsored athletes who are willing to race an ultramarathon (52.4 miles) and raise money for a given charity.  It is not just the ultramarathon that I will be doing, but I also have an Ironman a month after on the docket for this year.    I have selected the charity and I know that I am confident that I can finish both events.  I will have more about the charity and the program in future blogs.  I am excited about this opportunity and the prospect for the future of my company.

In the meantime, I urge you to educate yourself.  Learn what you put your body through and what happens when you push too far.  It has been ten years since we changed our lives.  I continue to learn something new and learn more every day.  Take care of your body and stay focused on the things that mean the most.  To me it isn't how far or how fast I can go.  My family is truly the only thing that matters to me.