Climbing Out Of The Hole

“No, no… Dig Up, stupid!” – Chief Wiggum, The Simpsons – Homer the Vigilante

I think this is becoming an annual tradition.  Every year around Christmas time, the chaos of the holidays eats up my ability to get any blogging done.  So that when other bloggers are writing up end of year round-ups, Iron Rogue is in radio silence.  After that, come the new year resolution/goal/plans posts, and this space is still in hibernation.

I almost don’t mind.  While I don’t have a problem with the end-of-year and new year stuff, I certainly don’t need to do what everyone else is doing.  The start of 2016, though has dealt us some extra turmoil that has kept me from getting started again.   The nature of that turmoil, I’m going to choose to keep private, but it’s comprised of more than one unexpected event, and dealing with it has eaten up not only time to blog, but also time to exercise and take good care of my health and fitness, which dries up the well of subject matter for this space.

That means, among other things, that I’ve put on holiday weight and then some, and I’m not in good shape physically – or at least not the shape I’ve come to expect of myself.  I think of myself as being in a hole, and climbing out of a hole is always challenging even if I’ve done it before.

I’m going to start, and this post is a declaration of that beginning.  Does that mean I have goals and plans?  No, not yet.  I guess I have… Ideas. If I discuss those ideas here, that won’t make a plan, but it’s a good start to not only creating a plan, but starting to write again. Also, many of these ideas will make for future posts, which I will label in an effort to pique your interest in reading this blog going forward.

To start getting my house in order physically and creatively, I started following BexLife more seriously.  I signed up to do a 21 day mantra challenge, where she provides a mantra every day (the above image is from Day 6) that you meditate on for 4 minutes.  I’m generally lousy at this kind of thing, and I did struggle with some of my meditation sessions, but for others, I had an epiphany or two.  You can see some of my experiences on my Instagram account.  As Bex says “Look How Dope My Life Is” (#lookhowdopemylifeis).

I have to be honest and report that I didn’t get it done every day of the challenge, but I did learn about myself and I think I can make meditation a more regular part of my life – daily would be ideal.  I also didn’t manage to make every day of a core challenge called #thegetthatcorechallenge organized by Heather Rose Scott of Fit Strong Fierce.  How did I drop the ball on two daily challenges that didn’t have much of a time commitment beyond a few minutes each?  

WE WENT TO JAMAICA! [future post alert!] 

So I guess I traded guided meditation for feet-in-the-sand and core exercises for swimming with the kids, but it didn’t do much for getting back in physical shape.  It wasn’t the most active of our family vacations (plus unlimited Jerk and Red Stripe), but I will do a write-up to talk about it soon.

Before I even started the 21 Day Mantra Challenge, I did an exercise recommended by Bex to build Do-It-Yourself Mantras.  You can find the video to explain it on the page linked above.  Briefly, you take a list of 10 things you want…

  1. …freedom to go outside
  2. …a super hero body [future post alert!]
  3. …[PRIVATE]
  4. ...harmony in my family
  5. …robots [future post alert!]
  6. …a working side hustle (i.e. monetizing this space, as mentioned in last year’s Vision Board Post)
  7. …to keep learning
  8. …to be a good Scouter [future post alert!]
  9. …to travel as much as possible
  10. …respect for my contributions
You also need a list of 10 things you can offer…

  1. …my integrity
  2. …my knowledge of active family life
  3. …my knowledge of mobile communications and wireless networks
  4. …my empathy
  5. …my strength
  6. …my experience with scouting
  7. …my willingness to learn
  8. …my words
  9. …my love
  10. …my flexibility
Anytime you want a mantra, pick one from each list (with some correlation between the two, hopefully) and your meditation session is good to go.
So, I’ve slipped in my meditation, my core challenge exercises, and many other ways as I try to put my life back into the shape I want; climbing out of a hole means slipping back down sometimes.  If you watch this space (and also my Instagram, especially with the #ClimbingOutOfTheHole hashtag), you’ll see how that shapes up.

I’m hoping to build a community around this site, too.  That means active families, and hopefully some novice triathletes too [future post alert!].  Besides BexLife, I’m also getting plugged into Nerd Fitness; I think this year’s adventures will be guided by the kinds of connections I start making.

“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.

“A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
“Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on
“Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.'”
 -Leo McGarry, The West Wing – Noel.

Looking Ahead to Barrelman, Looking Back on the Training Season

This is the final week of “training” before the Barrelman Triathlon.  I put training in quotation marks, because between lower back pain, a head cold (that descended to my chest on Sunday), and some of the rainiest weather I’ve seen in at least a month, I haven’t been hitting a lot of workouts.  I thank my lucky stars that I’m tapering, and the workouts don’t count as much (or at least that’s how I’m consoling myself).  

The good news is that I’ve gotten chiropractic treatment for my back and it’s been improving slowly yet steadily, and I’ve got until next Sunday to shake this cold.  Doctor Wife’s prescription is to be in bed by 10:00PM (N.B. my wife is not a doctor, but I still think it’s a good prescription).

I’m feeling ambivalent about the last few weeks of training that I’ve been through.  On the one hand, I’ve hit new records for distance in every sport (all time distance for open water swim and bike, and 2 year records for running, pool swim record probably occurred earlier in the season), I’m faster and stronger than I’ve probably ever been, and I’m thankful that I’ve been able to undertake the journey at all.  Still, I feel controlled by the program: Monday=Strength, Tuesday=Swim+Run and so on.  I was watching a Periscope a few weeks ago where the host was distinguishing between exercise and training.  If I understood her correctly, training has a finite goal, and is structured to serve that purpose, whereas exercise is more about general maintenance, health and fun.  I commented that I missed exercise and was sick of training, but I don’t think I really made myself clear. I just want to take an exercise class for fun sometimes, without questioning which of the 3 masters (Swim, Bike, Run) I’m serving.
This needs updating with a bunch of other new ideas…

I’m already wondering what I’m going to do with myself when it’s done; which feels like a mistake, because I haven’t finished the race yet. Still, stay with me for a bit while I ruminate. Most of all, I want to re-devote my time to my family; while I think I did ‘Walk The Line’ the way I said I would on my Vision Board, how can I ever really give enough? Big ticket items include volunteering with Shark Boy’s Beaver Scout Colony and helping the Lightning Kid with speech and occupational Therapy work.

The race weekend is going to be a hectic one. On Friday, I turn 42, so this race is kind of my birthday present to myself, and the sacrifices my family has made are the only presents I really wanted. Saturday will see us put both boys in the Family Fun Fit Beaches Kids of Steel Duathlon. This will be Shark Boy‘s fourth year, but the Lightning Kid’s first. He’s been really improving on a glider bike, and participated in a bike camp during the summer to get better on a pedal bike with training wheels. The trick will be keeping him focused on forward motion rather than waving at fans. He also does fall off sometimes, and even steers into his father’s legs (trying to cause a DNS no doubt). From the race, I’m going to Welland to set up my T1 and bike, pick up my race kit and get informed and oriented, then I head to a cheap motel in Niagara Falls on my own. My wife will be in Niagara Falls on Sunday to cheer me on (for the run leg) and then we’ll have our romantic getaway night… sore muscles and all.

Remember, you can still sponsor me and donate to RODS Racing; we’re still short of sending Laura home to a loving family. I’ll be wearing my official kit if you see me there! Wish me luck this weekend!

Motivation Monday: Crashing the Sport Chek #SweatForThis Party

Sport Chek invited some of my favourite local bloggers, like Wildly Fit, Robyn Baldwin and Darwinian Fail (as I composed this sentence, I envisioned them as Charlie’s Angels, and I’m like Bosley or something) to participate in their #SweatForThis campaign.  

Krysten (a.k.a. Darwinian Fail) is even on a TV commercial which you can see here.

I love this campaign, because everyone has their reasons to run, swim, bike, lift and generally break a sweat, so I decided to crash the party with my own reasons.  I’ve compiled them into this video, I hope you like it.  

I #SweatForThis

For some of the stories behind those images, our active family adventures can be found under the tag ‘family‘. I’ll call out some particular highlights like the 5 Peaks Heart Lake Race, our Ski Vacation to Smuggler’s Notch, the 2014 Toronto Yonge Street 10k, and our First Kids of Steel Duatlhon.

What do you think of the video?

Motivation Monday: My Vision Board

Vision Boards are a way to maintain motivation and maintain focus on your life goals.  It’s one of those new-age semi-hokey things that I’m guilty of rolling my eyes at when I’ve read or heard of them, but I’m nothing if not open minded, and when I started making goals for this year, some of them loomed a little large, so a little extra help staying focused might be a good idea.

I made a Vision Board of the things I don’t want to lose sight of.

Let’s break this thing down

  1. Barrelman Triathlon – My first Half-Iron distance triathlon, and the biggest goal for the year.  It’ll be just after my 42nd birthday, and if you’re a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (like I am), you’ll know 42 is an auspicious number, so it feels good to commemorate that birthday with something big.  It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to get ready for that race, so it’s important to keep it in the forefront of my thoughts.
  2. 187.  That’s my goal weight in pounds;  back in the 90’s it was passed around as a kind of gangsta symbol (let’s not go too deep into the darker meaning of it… it’s a good weight for me and it sounds badass).  I’ve kissed that line, and moved back up a pound or two only to return to close to it.  I need to hold to the principles of the Doctor’s Diet for the majority of the time.  I think my increasing training schedule will help me even travel below that line but I need to make sure that I don’t start burning muscle by not allowing my calorie deficit to get too big on bigger training days.  And those calories, of course, need to come from the right (i.e. healthy) sources.
  3. Monetizing the blog (or at least making it a little more professional). This is the least serious of my goals both in priority and in defining what the goal is. The truth (or at least what I tell myself) is, I just like writing and I would do this even if no-one read. Still, I do get a kick when I get engagement from readers, and I enjoy when the blog generates an opportunity to try new things, and I get a wee bit envious when I see other bloggers get opportunities that have passed me by. Because writing is the part of blogging I enjoy most, when I get time to devote to the blog, I write a post. If I want to capture more opportunities (reviews, events, sponsorship), I know things have to change a little. Self-hosting the blog (on its own domain) and re-design could potentially generate things like brand ambassadorship or other opportunities. The driver is more recognition and/or status than actual money, however, I do need to keep in mind the fact that this blog is a hobby about my hobby, and will always be prioritized as such; i.e. way down the line from some of the other items on this vision board.
  4. Bicycle. A half-iron is serious enough mileage that a new bike is called for. My old bike (with aero-bars I put on myself) is not going to cut it; it’s at least 14 years old and I’ll bet the frame is a bit fatigued – I can see lateral motion in the lower parts of the frame when I pedal on the trainer. The bike in the pic is a the Trek Speed Concept, and while I haven’t decided necessarily on that particular one, I do have to admit both the old steed I’m thinking of putting out to pasture and my mountain bike are by Trek, they’ve served me well, and the Speed Concept is available at price points in the kind of range I was imagining myself spending. Plus, there’s that whole ‘Trek’ name that gets a rise out of my inner geek, you’ve seen me show the Live Long and Prosper (RIP Leonard Nimoy) next to the Rock Devil Horns… I mean it ‘Live Long and Rock On”.
  5. Resolve. My word of the year. There are bound to be challenges to all these goals, so central to achieving them is RESOLVE. I can either find a way around an obstacle (RESOLVE the problem) or show grit and determination to power through it (using my RESOLVE).
  6. Reading. Shark Boy has learned to read independently (simple words, but he does get them on his own) and obviously we want him to progress. I’m reading him a few pages from The Hobbit every night too, and it’s great seeing him get engaged by longer form story-telling (and dragons and wizards etc. too). We need him to improve his printing, and I hope I can get him do to a little writing of his own. The Lightning Kid needs to work on letter recognition and some of the basic precursor skills that feed into reading; it’s early yet, but we know it will take him longer so it’s great if we can get a head start. I’m proud of how we get outside and active as a family (and looking back at the February goals, I know we rocked them), but the more academic stuff can’t get left behind either. I’m also happier myself if I can get at least a little book reading (sorry, blogs and articles on the web don’t count) done every day.
  7. Walk The Line. I’m proud of my kids, which means I’m proud of my family which means I’m proud of our marriage. For a marriage to withstand raising children, never mind rambunctious, dynamic ones like ours, never mind if one has special needs, never mind if you’re constantly out and about as a family, it needs resilience. Resilience is built into a marriage in a similar way to how it is built into a body: it takes a variety of factors. For the body, it’s the right mix of nutritional ingredients and varieties of exercise. A resilient marriage has a similar variety of necessary components – and I probably haven’t learned them all yet, to be honest. I know respect, time for meaningful communication, affection, quality time and actual adult date nights are in there for sure. I’m proud of how well we’ve been able to stick to those things during the past 7 years. Training for a longer distance triathlon will impact all those things, I can’t deny it. What is important is that I keep to that line as closely as I can, even if I wander off it a little. I mustn’t, as Joey Tribianni might put it, let the line become a dot to me. I was going to call it Holding the Line, but then I couldn’t make a Johnny Cash reference, and you should always make a Johnny Cash reference if you’re given the chance.

Have you ever made a Vision Board? If not, what other motivational focus tools would you recommend?

March 4th? March Forth!

Today is my father’s birthday.  He would have been 73 years old… at any rate, this date tends to make me a little sad, that we can’t celebrate it with him in person.  I know he’d be crazy about his grandsons, and they’d be crazy about him too.

Shark Boy knows a lot about his ‘Opa Klaus’ and sometimes asks questions about him, while I’ve been coaching the Lightning Kid on how to say the name.  The best way I know to celebrate his life is to get outside with my family and move.  I like to think he’s cheering us on and helping us overcome any obstacles on the way whenever we ski, bike, swim, run, or whatever.

I came across the idea that we should ‘March Forth’ on March the Fourth somewhere in my (probably online) travels last year, but it was too late to incorporate the message into my blog or other social media channels.  This year, I’m going to March Forth on March 4th, and throughout the year.  If you want to see how I do it today, your best bet is to follow me on Instagram…
As for the rest of the year, keep watching this space!

Friday Five: February Goals

I was inspired by Krysten over at Darwinian Fail to write up a series of fitness goals for February (and also, though not as recently, Robyn Baldwin’s Winter Bucket List).  I guess I’m really feeling the flow fitness wise.  Let’s see if I can round this out to the standard Five for Friday, though I expect some inter-dependence in these, if not out-right recursion (that’s a reference for any programming geeks out there).

  • Start implementing the structure of my Half-Iron training plan.  Though I haven’t thoroughly outlined it in this space yet, you might have caught a glimpse of the training plan last weekend.  In the early stages, I’m allowed 30-60 minute spin classes for bike rides (even when more in specified) and some workouts are marked with an asterisk which means I can cross-train in other activities instead of biking or running.  The important thing for me before the official plan kicks off in March, is getting used to the logistics of over an hour of strength training on Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as making Tuesdays and Thursdays both Swim and Run days.

  • Snowshoe.  Not only is this a valid form of cross-training mentioned above, but having bought a pair of snowshoes last year, it’s a return on investment.  I’m hoping to do the Tubbs Romp To Stomp this weekend.  I wanted to continue my commute series by snowshoeing to work after the last snowstorm, but it was too cold.  Still, with some initiative, I should be able to fit some snowshoeing in.  (Update: I did 20 minutes worth on Thursday morning… it’s exhausting, especially if you’re doing it on unbroken fresh snow).

  • Combine Weight-lifting and Yoga for Strength.  One of the things I’ve noticed about the training plan is that there’s no room for yoga, and the other is that strength workouts are timed for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I rarely lift weights for more than an hour – in my defence, I tend to structure whole body workouts and execute them in circuits.  Maybe I could learn to space out the sets, do more sets, and make bigger gains, but the truth is I also get bored.  I figure if I stay close to my basic structure which includes split squats, deadlifts, lat pull-downs and bench presses (or my dumbbell doubles time-saver) and vary things by throwing in some extra exercises that I see here and there, especially functional ones like pistol squat modifications, negative phase pull-ups, and handstands, I’ll get good variability and gains.  And of course, I’ll cap the workout off with some yoga flows that will include strength/balance work (crow pose is one I’d like to master).

  • Continue with the Doctor’s Diet I still haven’t written up a comprehensive review of this yet.  Since I’d like to continue the weight loss, I’ll be alternating between the STAT and RESTORE plans which are similar, but the RESTORE is more permissive in its list of fruits and has more (complex, not simple) carbs.  The longer we stick with this the more natural it becomes to adapt our lifestyle to it.  We still lean heavily on the meal plans, but we’ve had (and will continue to have) on the fly substitutions when we’re out and about.  

  • Enjoy the outdoors as a family  I think I can give us an ‘A’ grade on this for the winter season so far, we’ve gone cross-country skiing, I’ve taken Shark Boy skating, and the boys have even fooled around in the snow while I shovel the driveway (they even help shovel for a few minutes before a better offer comes along in the form of the neighbours’ snowbanks).   Not only do I want to keep it up though,  I also want to do even better than we have done.  So far there have been 2 factors that keep us from enjoying the winter outdoors on some days: 1.) No snow.  Snow is what makes winter fun especially for kids; we need it for cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, tobogganing, snowmen, and general fooling around.  There’s not a lot we can do about the actual weather, which brings me to factor number 2.) The cold.  While we do have to think safety first, and some of the days have simply been too cold to avoid frostbite or hypothermia, there have been days where the kids are seemingly fine, but the adults give up the ghost first? Why? Simple, we just put on coats, hats and gloves, whereas the kids have long underwear and more importantly snow-pants on.  Obviously, the answer is for us to put on snow-pants and get down to their level; we’ll probably be warmer playing along than standing there supervising anyway.  We can use our ski-pants, but I’m curious if they have snow-pants for adults…
Do you have any goals for February? Are you getting the most out of winter so far?

Friday Five – Coming Soon

In an effort to keep some momentum in my writing and posting (I’m a little stalled on a Lightning Kid post), I’m going to do a Friday Five post with 5 things that could be their own posts – and probably will be in the future.  Rather than beat myself up about my inability to get a good, quality piece written and published this week, I’m going to give you this, the bastard love-child of a clip show and sneak preview/trailer.

  1. Cross-country skiing.  Finally there’s enough snow for us to do one of our favourite family activities in the winter.  I think the Chariot is coming to the end of its service life; it’s in fine shape – it’s just the boys are getting a little big for it.  I stated in my submission to Pavement Runner’s Best Photos of 2014 that we probably wouldn’t be able to do running races as a family going forward.  It’s a bittersweet thought.

For cross-country skiing, which is more tiring than walking or running, we might have a bit of a reprieve.  Shark Boy can ski, he’s just slower than my wife or I which only makes sense. 

Last weekend he finished a 2 km trail on his own, and we were incredibly proud.  He never lets falling down (which happens when you’re learning or rusty, never mind both) get him down and kept the smile on his face.  He needed some coaching, coaxing, cajoling and cheer-leading to keep moving until the very end, but he did it!  We tried the Lightning Kid in a simple pair of toddler skis (that don’t require special boots) – and he was keen in theory, but hated it once he had to manage them and a pair of poles.  Once we had lunch, Shark Boy was still too worn out to go on his own, and we got a 3.7 km trail done with me pulling – fortunately, the boys kept the peace in the Chariot despite being packed in like sardines.  I had done an extra loop alone (besides pulling the Lightning Kid in the Chariot) while my wife and Shark Boy finished their 2 km, but pulling both boys along was super tiring.  I had to take breaks to let the lactic acid clear from my hamstrings, sometimes even in the middle of an uphill climb (which I dislike doing, as it always feels a little precarious).

The boys’ different stages of development (on skis) puts us at an interesting juncture in our ski days.  We’re going to have to learn to break the days up and split up – divide and conquer as far as teaching them and keeping them entertained, happy and content.  This will be an interesting season.

  1. 5 Peaks Trail Run Series Ambassadorship – I ain’t got one.  I was, however offered one, and though I didn’t like doing it, I had to turn it down as the time commitment was a bit much for me.  I am still happy *to talk up this race series as much as possible*; it’s accessible/beginner-friendly, has great venues, and the little kids’ races make it family friendly on a level that is unmatched by any other race or athletic event I’ve seen.  I’m adding Terra Cotta to my Race Calendar this year, and probably others too.
  2. DietBet – After the holidays, some of my clothes didn’t fit too well.  For pants to be too tight at the waist is one thing, but I had some favourite shirts that were feeling tight.  Something I’ve gathered (besides pounds on my midsection) is that losing excess weight (especially fat) is probably the best/first thing I can do to get faster in my runs and the bike (probably in the water too), never mind the health benefits.  Weight loss was recommended during my *sleep study* too.  My wife and I got a book called The Doctor’s Diet (by Dr. Travis Stork) as a Christmas gift (shout-out to my cousin-in-law Stefan, and a great triathlon series in the Pacific Northwest USA – TriFREAKS).  I know ‘diet’ is a four letter word, and that they don’t work, but we needed a real change, since we weren’t effectively implementing what we know are better nutritional principles.  We’re hoping to use this book’s principles (most of them, anyway) permanently, but for now we’re on a 2 week STAT plan, which is working quite well for me.  I’m taking part in not one, but two DietBets (again)…. and I’m going to win too.  I’ll be reviewing the plan and my experience with it in a future post.
  3. Hot Yoga –  One of my resolutions goals aspirations for the New Year was to try Hot Yoga.  I found a place nearby that has an introductory package of a week’s worth of classes for $25.  I’ll have a complete review of the experience in a future post, but it’s going well overall; here’s the website if you’re looking for Hot Yoga in Mississauga.
  4. Word of the Year – Remember how I mentioned I was doing 2 DietBets? One is being run by Diatta of Femme Fitale Club.  She recently did a post called *Ultimate Tps to Resolve Your Resolutions in 2015… it was the first time I’d seen the word ‘Resolve’ in conjunction with ‘Resolution’.  First point: I am extremely late to the game in terms of setting real goals for 2015.  I have wishes that are starting to turn into ideas, but they have no commitment or plan yet, but mentally I’m starting to gain confidence in myself and my ability to make them happen.  Second point: I don’t generally go in for a lot of the ‘touchy-feely’ stuff a lot of bloggers do, but I am open to trying new things, so I may find myself working on Law of Attraction type journal writing, vision boards, who knows what?  I like the word ‘Resolve’ because it refers to two meanings: 1) the idea of finding a solution to a problem; I’m an engineer by trade and a problem-solver by nature 2.) the concept of determination, endurance or grit, which is the stuff a triathlete is made of.  So, I’m making ‘Resolve’ my word of the year.

Can I get a high-five?

Holding Your Ground

It’s May, and there are no triathlons in my Race Calendar.  I don’t really have any goals set.  I follow bloggers who are doing half-ironman and ironman triathlons, bloggers who have already done their first marathons this season.  It’s an ecology of overachievers in the corner of the blogosphere that my personal flight pattern covers, and at the very least, the benefit of setting goals is well understood.  I should feel bad for not toeing the line by having some goals set.

I don’t.  I won’t.  I can’t, because feeling bad certainly wouldn’t change anything.  I’m certainly inspired by all those who are conquering new ground, there’s no question of that.   They are my heroes.

Yet, I can’t help but be reminded about something I read about the movie 300.  It’s based on the Graphic Novel by Frank Miller, and loosely (i.e. with plenty of artistic licence) based on the Battle of Thermopylae, where a mere 300 Spartans (give or take some other support from other Greeks) held off tens of thousands of men serving a Persian invasion.  When Frank Miller learned of the story of the Battle of Thermopylae, “…the film altered his perception of the ‘Hero’ concept insofar as he came to realize that the hero didn’t always win and that sometimes, to be a hero, one must sacrifice oneself.”  In that story, the good guys (according to the way it was told) didn’t “win” or conquer, but they held their ground against seemingly overwhelming odds.

So while conquering a new frontier in multi-sport and/or endurance is an appealing goal, that might not be the path for me at this point in time.  Over the past 3 years, we’ve become not only a family of two small children which is often overwhelming (“That’s cute.” said everyone with 3 or more kids), but a special needs family too.  The special needs aren’t that overwhelming, but the Lightning Kid has more of them now than he did as a newborn.  The transition from daycare to “real school” is coming.  I’m looking at some medical procedures, which I won’t detail here, at least not yet (nothing serious, routine stuff).  Oh, and there’s water in the basement (my precious man-cave!)… that’ll take time, effort and money.

I have an incredibly supportive spouse, but not a Sherpa wife.  Triathlon (and by extension blogging about it) is a hobby, and fits in after (or gets outranked by) family obligations, career, the welfare of my kids, my relationship with my wife, etc.  It can’t eclipse them.

These are not excuses, per se.  I’m not trying to weasel out of anything, in fact, I am more committed than ever to active, outdoor, multi-sport living.  So we’ll be running races with the whole family using a stroller, parent and child sports classes, triathlons for the kids, active family vacations and so on.  These are my values.  They are our Family Values. I can serve these values without pushing my personal performance envelope.  And to whatever would try to come between me and those values, I say:


Which loosely translates to “Come and Take them”.