Friday, January 31, 2014

Kona by CompuTrainer

Holo Hei Hei

Day thirty-one, trim some fat Papa

Can we condense it some, maybe employ a little succinctness? 

All THAT in one sentence?

That was the initial plan, correct, to cut all the verbosity and fluff?

It was. 

Trim the fat with a boning knife. 

Like Hemingway trout fishing in Spain. 

Give it a go then.


Every day matters, every choice counts, every heart beat takes its meaning from the one that came before, practice mindfulness, commit to the process and say thanks a lot. And keep moving. 

Not bad. Not perfect either, but a good start.

I could have said half of that in a thousand more words or sixty short minutes. I could have brought in imagery of sea stacks, the changing tides and running on water-washed silicone sands. 

Yes, I know. Thanks. 

You are most welcome. 

But you're not done, are you?


Finish then, go ahead. 

Alright, here goes: All this; I could be wrong. 

You're right. But you're also wrong. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day thirty, a diagnosis

It read: Left anterior descending artery and its diagonal branch are short, causing inadequate blood flow to left ventricle. Coupled with Bradycardia (chronic low heart rate) and arterial fibrillation (cardiac arrthymia) patient symptoms, angina-like, dizziness, shortness of breath, continue, worsening when at resting or low metabolic rates when HR irregularities are more pronounced and noticeable. Patient has 'irregular irregularity' causing blood pooling and pressure build, an uncomfortable, but non-threatening experience. Continue with 325 aspirin daily until amiodarone is 100% washed from system (30 days) and then re-assess. No restrictions on physical activities. Continue with low-fat, plant based diet. Continue with probiotics and B-complex supplements. Increase FTP by 10% over next forty days. Take girlfriend to a movie and relax. Good luck. 

Closing his eyes (and immediately seeing a casual ride on crisp spring morning), he whispered in the general direction of the cosmos, 'can we close the chapter on this one, please?'

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Day twenty-nine, precious little time

She said that nothing changes everything.

You agree?

I see her point but I think, as usual, there are exceptions, so yes I disagree because there are things that do change everything.

Death would be one.

Love another.

But I am thinking more about what we experienced this morning.

That 'commit to the process' thing?

Sure. With commitment comes passion and perseverance and presence.

I smell a metaphor about to bloom.

It's like that guy who busts his tail for forty miserable years at the same soulless company, saving 20% of every paycheck in a retirement account only to have a myocardial infarction on his 65th birthday.

All that sweat for a

The goal is the daily process, experiencing the glory of now, not waiting till retirement for the ROI.

Poor guy.

It changes everything.
return on his investment, but didn't quite get to retire in the Canary Islands.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Day twenty-eight, her smile.

She was dancing to music only she could hear.

Eyes closed, she whirled on one foot, her long auburn hair flying out as if spinning in an amusement park ride one warm summer's twilight. But this was Home Depot on a gray, drizzly January morning, and I had work to do. Not fun work either.

I smiled wondering what she was hearing, wanting to share the dance, even if for a single chorus.

But it was a private ride, authorization by invitation only.

In the plumbing aisle, I wondered if this was one more social display of the dichotomy we often feel when torn between tension, stress and anxiety, and our soul's need to express freedom, happiness, unabashed joy or some personal statement of self.  You don't need an exploding scoreboard or live on Pilgrim Road to know who is wining that contest.

Or, as another verse, can I be happy despite the relentless barrage of shit falling from laughing karma's outhouse?

Can I?

Can you?

The 1/2 CPVC coupler was twenty-eight cents, ninety-degree elbow, thirty-one. Her smile was free.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Day twenty-seven

Tell me again, please, what we are trying to do here.


Reinforce what, exactly?

Whatever happens to be here, whatever we have subconsciously attracted to our now.

I am just sitting here talking to you. Trying to anyway. You can be difficult.

Perhaps we should be sitting here strengthening our friendship, effectively communicating, and reinforcing our commitment to whatever it is that binds us.

OK, got it. The power of the present, right?

We have a winner.

Would you like some tea?

As soon as I finish writing the perfect sentence.

I thought you did that yesterday.

What I thought was perfect yesterday, turned out to be very mediocre today. So I am doing it again.

Like spin class.

Like everything.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day twenty-six

I wish it did.

What is it this time?


You wish motivation did what?

No, I mean I wish money motivated me.

It doesn't?


Not at all?

Not in the least. I'd rather ride 100 miles on chip-seal.

You do recognize that in today's world it is has pretty much been judged a necessity.

Yes, it has.

Why then your insistence on ignoring that reality?

Dunno. It makes me feel dirty. Can't help it, and I have tried to alter my perception. It just doesn't fill my sails.

You won't fill your belly or gas tank either without any.

True. Alright, I'll get a job to have more money.


And then what?

What do you mean?

What do I do with the money?

Pay taxes and buy stuff of course, like everybody else. That doesn't motivate you?

I wish it did.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day twenty-five

She was sobbing. I didn't recognize the softness and despair at first, but it came apparent when the cops and social workers started in.

In a bed next to her separated by a thin curtain, my EKG machine beeped every time my heart rate dipped below 50, which happened often. I wanted it to stop so I could better hear her story. I wasn't eavesdropping or spying, I was hyper concerned and compassionate. I felt so bad for her, despite that I was the one needing the efforts of the ER staff more than she. Or so it seemed.

She had swallowed a bottle of her Mom's sleeping pills because a girl at school had been bullying her for weeks. She was crying as she tried to answer the litany of questions. I could tell she was trapped in a purgatory somewhere between truth and salvation.

I wipe mist from my eyes, reprimand myself again for being weak. My temporary neighbor was screaming for help and here I lay tethered to a machine flashing vital signs; Mine. What a selfish bastard. Let me out of here so I can go help some one with stuff way more important than my own puny and pitiful heart irregularities.


Up any road.

Before it's too late.

And I hear it: Is it for her or myself that I cry?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Day twenty-four

They just sit there with no animation of purpose. No passion, no attitude and no energy.

Who do?

More, what do?

Assuming (and I know the risk) that motivation cannot be taught, all the wisdom, experience and opportunity in China won't rally the troops. You simply cannot inspire someone who hasn't the self-motivation to advance, let alone charge. 

What about the dangling carrot? 

Offer rewards? Short term.

Fear of punishment?

Perpetuates itself. One cannot thrive when the sword dangles overhead.

We can lead the horse to water, at the very least. Or put the dumbbells on display. 

Yes. Set it up. Assemble those that 'get it' and invite those that don't to join.

You are gonna lose a lot. They will create fantastic excuses to justify their, what…?

Lack of motivation. 

Chances we have to take. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day Twenty-three

I think we miss this one more than we think.

Which one?

The Pirsig principle.

The guy that wrote Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?

And Lila yes.

What is his principle that we miss?

That the only Zen we find at the top of the mountain is the Zen we bring up there.

So only the enlightened ride to the top?

To ride is enlightenment. One has it to get there, not to seek it there.

I could take a helicopter and get there faster and easier.

Faster and easier?



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day Twenty-two

Nobody gets here alone.

It's in the news again?


The Wooden factor?

At its finest.

Tell me again how it goes.

The primary responsibility of the star is to understand the role his team played to get him there. Ask any sprinter.

That is a lot of humility to ask from an athlete.

But not too much from a musician, surgeon or scholar?

Somebody built that piano, the doctor needs the nurse and a teacher without a student is wasting her gifts. Takes a team.

We should be thanking our competition for providing us with the opportunity to do our best, rather than trashing them for being flawed.

Bow with respect upon entering the dojo and salute the degree of difficulty upon completion of the course and its distance, is the sporting equivalent of the yogis namaste.

Wooden said all that?

Among others. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day Twenty-one as Art

Examples of this are everywhere. Literally in front of us at all times. Waiting patiently for us to notice, in the sunshine or in the shadows. 

Did you ever see NIght at the Museum? Outside the camp and quirk is a fascinating hook; That statues, paintings and works of art could have Buddha nature. They might be self-aware. Given the gift by their creators. 

Imagine Mona Lisa hanging around all day patiently waiting for that one tourist from Arkansas to notice her mood.  Or David sucking his gut at the approach of a clowder of Asian girls. I once stood in awe of a life-size Vermeer in Amsterdam feeling the weary Prince's gaze following me through the room. His dog's too. Like the Prince wanted to share something.

Something important. Something personal. Maybe one whisper of crucial information necessary to keep me from what today, 500 years later, is a restoration project. 

Now I understand. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Day Twenty

Seems daunting.

All in the perception, amigo. I used to think riding 112 miles was impossible. And running a marathon AFTER? Get outta town.

But then something funny happened. And please pass the perspicuity, it had nothing to do with humor and everything to do with the miraculous. See that clearly.


The start. We begin initial movement it its direction. Get up, gear up and light out.

You make it sound easy.

You want me to make it sound hard? Coat it with 27 grams of sugar?

You want me to talk you out of it? That would be a felonious disservice for someone claiming to be a pal.

Shall I beat you over the head with the truth until you look at it differently?

But I could never………


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day Nineteen. Race indoors.

It is something I have to do.

Part practice, part exploration, part therapy.

These words get tossed out there like al dente vermicelli looking for a landing plate. 

Why, today, are you telling me this? she asked, eyes wide and blue. 

Because it is important that someone understands, to balance with the minions who don't. 

John Lennon never worried about people liking his songs. Or MLK his message.

I am not they. 

Lucky you. 

Further, you don't strike me as someone with a delicate ego. 

Delicate as in sensitive? As in deeply caring what other people think as opposed to the cliche insisting otherwise? About not taking anything personally? About it being just business? About compassion? As in, You may say I'm a dreamer - but I'm not the only one - because the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy?

Imagine. Dream. Write. Race.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

CompuTrainer in Kona 2014

January 18, 2014

CompuTrainer, and the Four PIllars of Triathlon are pleased to announce an exciting new partnership. More than just a swim, bike and run, this tri-trip & tour takes you to the hallowed grounds of the greatest one-day endurance event on the planet, to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. May 5-11, 2014.

Seven days and six nights of luxury accommodation on Alii Dr. Fully guided and supported. We'll swim with dolphins, ride the Queen K and run at sunset along Alii Dr from the start/finish of the Big Island's big dance. 

This is your chance to qualify for the adventure trip of a lifetime. CompuTrainer has provided the tools and guidance for thousands of athletes to race in Kona, pros and age groupers alike. If this has been your dream, this is your ticket. 

Air fare to/from Seattle, all accommodations, guided and supported training, massage, guest speakers and a wrap-up awards banquet that would make even Bob Babbitt blush! Starting from just $1,500 per athlete. 

Call Kevin (the RCVman) today @ 360.674.8128 for more detail. We'll have news and updates splashed everywhere beginning Monday.

Time is running short. Game on May 5-11, 2014. We have reserved only 20 spots. 

Be one. 

Day Eighteen.

Yes, the average increase was 10 watts. In one month, across the board. Some averaged higher, some lower. Ten.

You can look at those results several ways, it seems to me. Without knowing a few crucial details, I will judge them, for lack of a better adjective, as monumental.


Sure, because knowing nothing but the abstract (tools, time, format) anyone marking a ten watt improvement in a month has made a significant commitment to improvement. They have done the one thing necessary to grow, they got started. They saddled up and shouted yippie-ki-yay to every cowpoke in cosmopolis.

Open the gates, here I come - and nice alliteration by the way.

From that perspective ten watts might as well be a hundred, thanks.

Any other perspective is wearing rose colored glasses atop a hobby horse in a smokey saloon.

Wait, you said ten watts.


We average ten PERCENT.

Hi ho silver and gold.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Day Seventeen at

Marked by unusual and impressive intellectual acuteness, the idea was opposite of vanilla.

It had it all, wrapped and ready.

It was bold, beautiful and beneficial.

All he had to do was affirm to the positive.

Say yes.

Move in its direction and commit to its process.

Accepting this reality as truth he sprinted towards the edge of the cliff where the road

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Day Sixteen; The Enemy

Come in friends and team-mates.

It may sound seditious.

It may incite or inflame. But;

There exists powerful factions that will protect their margins at all cost.

That cost, to you, might be your health. Or your cash. Or both.

The deeper I dig into the "medical, health-care, pharmaceutical" complex the more it mirrors Ike's cautionary words about the military industrial. It may be even more diabolical.

Please take responsible action into your own hands. Get off processed foods saturated with Omega-6s, loaded with sugar and overly worked from seed to shelf. The arterial inflammation they cause is a plague affecting 75 million Americans. 

Or you can gulp meds and have just enough energy to click on the TV.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 15. The Competition.

Are you obsessive over numbers?


You should be. Not neurotic, or anal, or myopic. And not stressed, rigid, tight or constrictive.

To excel (maybe that isn't important to you or maybe you don't want to be compared to a spreadsheet) or to consistently improve, one must keep nose to grindstone (eyes on the prize and an ear to the wind). With this synergy of empirical awareness, one should quickly see that success waits patiently at the end of one's obsession.

So please choose your obsession wisely.

Most gadgets are toys. Precious few can be classified as tools. Obsess over your health, fitness and personal power. Obsess over action. Make presence and right effort your goal. Find the tool (weapon?) that best fits your character and wield it like a Superhero.

I don't care what the numbers say as long as I, in the confessional of brutal honesty, can label my effort as 100%.

THERE is a number I can obsess over.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 14. Indoor Training Effort.

Umeke it is called. A wooden symbol of love, warmth, right effort and the Hawaiian spirit. It is ceremoniously presented to the Professional and Age Group champions after racing the Ironman World Championships every year in Kona. It is the metaphor for champion. The best in the world. I stand in awe with each presentation, hands red from applause.

Play it back. Rewind. See the hours of training, the ambition, dedication and effort required to arrive at this magic destination. You cannot buy a place on this podium for any amount. It takes everything else, however.

Everything and all the time.

It is a full-time goal, a quest demanding overtime on a regular basis. One must become familiar, intimate and almost salacious with suffering. That is what it takes.

But please do not think for one minute that this suffering is the sole domain of the elite. Everyone who has accepted this gift of spirit and has set out to explore the 140.6, knows equally well the demands upon mind, body and spirit. It hurts us all. And the slower of us get to experience even MORE of it, because we are 'out there' longer.

So let us be clear about this.

Good effort is good fortune.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Day Thirteen

Day Thirteen

Time flies. We are 24 hours from two weeks in. Enough has already gone down to make a sanitation engineer sneeze. You have come to the middle. We started long ago.  Not to worry, the story always starts now, here, with your involvement. You wanna game? Jump in. Take a look around. Choose an ally. Make the choice solid, as there are pranksters, thieves and masters of the con lurking behind every dumpster, in every shadow. Shine your unique wattage. Light the way.

I asked the other day for a definition of one word. I don't care what Random House says, same goes for Wikipedia. I am interested in your abstract. If we are going to spend time on this path (as it seems we are) I need you to reinforce and reciprocate . You gotta want this as much as I do. You gotta know that I am not in this for the gold. There is something more. Something greater, something we cannot fully understand but know and feel by the power of its presence.

I think my poor body knows. I think my soul knows. I'll ponder it some more today and see what we can analyze from the centrifuge.

The daily spin is competition.

Dr. Awojobi's spin on it here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Day Twelve

This, again, is an experiment. As the measurement morphs to management, then circles for more measurement, we are presented any number of options. I find it fascinating that we can chose endless ways to use this hard data to justify, validate, prove, motivate and inspire.

That is the easy part.

Yes, all the stimuli we absorb on a daily basis needs a filter of sorts. To form some sense about the plethora of random input that bombards us relentlessly. Otherwise it's an overload, fuses melt and we scramble for the cover of the safe and seemingly secure.

In My Room..

But, the cultural creative insists (rather dramatically at times) that we take this effervescent farrago of quanta and reassemble into something we can use as art. All the data and emotion from these experiments can be oil for our canvass. And we get to pick the hues and gradients. The dominates and the supporting. All we see, have seen, heard, have heard, felt, have felt, read, and have read sits on the pallet. This moment is your brush. Take all of that and rework it into something we can use.

The challenge is to keep trying. Keep the experiment going. Make art (in any form) often enough to dance in a natural progression. Enjoy the process, savor every espresso. Use more magenta. But that's not the right choice either, sometimes.The beauty is the complexity.

Who said that if we can't explain it simply, we don't understand it well enough?

Brian Wilson?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Day 11, Sun sets on Kona

Day Eleven.

Blow your nose.

Beg pardon?

Among the stylized and superstitious, the most important ritual one can preform while preparing for a session or event is the clearing of the nasal passageways. This to accommodate the maximal transfer of oxygen into the abdominal region.

I thought that is what the lungs are for.

Under normal metabolic stress, partially, but when we want or need to increase or intentionally decrease the rate, deep breathing vice shallow lung intake is way more efficient and productive.

Try it right now. Want to relax? Breathe deep. Take it below your sternum, past the diaphragm hinge and into the deepest part of the belly you can feel. Let it expand to cinch your belt. Think Cheen-tu-RAH, the Italian word for belt, as you expand and tighten simultaneously.


Hummm, yeah. But there's no way I could do this while holding 250 watts for twenty minutes.

Try. Start with one minute and increase as you adapt.

And remember to blow your nose. The sun setting on race day doesn't always mean we are done.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day Ten

But it's easier to go to McDonald's, watch the big screen and stay medicated.

No argument there. And it seems that is exactly what a huge percentage of us choose.



69.2% of Americans over 20 are overweight, including obese.


Amazingly sad. Why do you suspect this is the case?

We are lazy?

Lazy, distracted, bored, busy, apathetic, uninspired, poor. Whatever the reasons we make the decision to take the path of least resistance. Easy street. We give up.

Some get overwhelmed by the challenge.

True, so here is the secret, and please help me share this,


Stop snacking. Flush the diet soda. Bury the burgers. Go for a walk. Turn off the TV and get outside. Log off. Set a goal and then write it on paper and mail it to yourself.

We could all invite some one to join us.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Day Nine: Lemond to

Idiopathic is another way of saying "We don't know". There are a lot of things that we don't know. We don't know precisely why we are here. We don't know exactly who, or what is responsive for us being here. We don't know why, seemingly we are put here to face trauma, suffering and eventual death.

There are as many opinions and theories on this as there are fish in the sea. We just don't really know. Scientists guess and research, theologians ponder and hope, mechanics deconstruct and rebuild.

What we do know is that certain things make it easier to cope with our cosmic ignorance.

Eat good, ditch the processed crap asap.
Move your ass. Often and with vigor.
Manage stress. There is plenty to go around, no need to monopolize.
Give thanks that we know that some things we don't know, or,

Know the idio. Greg did and does. See for yourself.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day Eight

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Seize the thing and the words will follow?

Exactly. I am continually amazed by all that we experience, and in particular by those things that excite or stimulate us, because we explore, seek detail and are fascinated by them.

Exercise physiology. Computer science. Philosophy to name three. Think for a moment the lines of code necessary simply to script their principles.


But we have to start.

And once begun.

Better finish.

Try this: Attempt to capsulize a tenant of each into one logical and utilitarian sentence, and in the form of a question, of course.

I'll give you ten minutes.


Good one.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day Seven.


Do you always encrypt with conversational asymptote, or did I catch you on a roll?

Sorry, yeah, it helps get me outta cheap social situations. I just don't have the patience anymore.

Cut right to the chase, eh?

Absolutely, my Mom used to preach that if you don't have anything useful to say, find something. The arrow quip just happened to be the last thing I had read.


(shrug) maybe. My cardiologist told me this morning that it is more important that my heart beats regularly, than at some fixed rate. Got me to thinking about longevity, time and purpose.

Your take away?

It's later than we think.

They toast by bumping cheap plastic cups holding outrageously expensive cheap American lager, an irony not lost upon either.

Day Six

Seats assigned, they sit. Options of dumb PG13s, dumber in-flight printed propaganda and the superlative of trying to relax in coach.

'Until recently I thought that since we are all are going to the same place, spending an additional few hundred dollars for first was folly. But five hours in this position is just short of cruel and unusual.'

Nodding his agreement, he marked the place in his paperback with his thumb, lowered the book to lap, caracoled his head right and offered,

'The arrow that hits bulls-eye is the result of ninety-nine that missed.'

'Can I buy you a beer?'

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day Five, or why we train indors.



Food, fuel, work, play, effort, passion?


Pain, suffering, uncertainty, jealousy, anger?

More than a little.


Foremost and first.

Quality and eternity?

The abstract is real, too.

Data, intensity, duration and degree?

All valid, all available.

What is outside of this 'everything thing'?


What's to lose?

Nothing again.

What's to gain.


Seems we have come full conceptual circle.

Yes, shall we begin?

By all means.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day Four

Eighteen years of Catholicism preceeded my introduction to Buddhism. I think this is fairly (or unfairly) common.

How this slid from his mouth, avalanche-like, only reinforced his disdain for small talk. He is here and I am now. The weather makes no difference after all.

Additionally, it is of little importance where I am from, or where you have been, even if we shared a portion of this path a lifetime ago. The issue is now and the opportunity is here. What do we do with this?

All that in a blink of one green eye.

They said all I had to do was be aware.

Be aware of what?


Let's talk.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Day Three

The headline could have read: Best Indoor Training Video. You prepping for Kona, Tahoe, Boulder or something a bit shorter, closer or more 'reasonable'? could be an element. But there is no headline. We cut right to the chase.

Blindsided, he instinctively defaulted to verbal cliche, but amazingly had enough time to process the subliminal flash of neon sub-text that suggested (to him alone?) that all these are connected, elements of one. The Big Island is connected by water to the humble home of Chilly Hilly. The only difference between an Ironman and an indoor tri or du, was one of distance, as the intensity can remain a constant. And that sometimes geography has little to do with a family's connectivity.

"You from the Island?"

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day Two

'Inchoate through submission' jumped like a frightened frog to the HUD of his awareness. WTF is THAT? he wondered aloud, causing a minor ripple of interest from the others queued up to check baggage.

Start and keep going? Begin to end? Act to accomplish? Stay present through movement? Get by giving?

The guy in front turned and with total sincerity, as if faithfully following the conversational agenda, said matter-of-factly,

"Chilly Hilly is 52 days from today."

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Day One.

"Everything starts with zero. Nothing. The binary empty cupboard. Without." From there, managing his motivation the way a hungry lioness decides to hunt, we begin.

It had been a long journey to get here. Full of pain, suffering, loss. But here he was, facing the opportunity, once again, to orchestrate the magical. To shiver his loins  and fully commit to the goal. To embark on this quest by simply taking the initial step in its direction. He had nothing to lose, fear and apathy the more-than-worthy opposition.

Step one.

Everything has changed. Colors purer, sounds vibrating in harmonic triads, breaths deeper. A series of tiny steps. He took another. Amazingly his body responded with a push as if an ethereal call-to-arms had sounded. By the third he was on fire, soul blazing, eyes focused, heart drumming.

The journey of a thousand miles had begun. There is no turning back. Day one. Commit. Go. Do not doubt. Be bold, be gracious. Sip the water, inhale, relax, listen.

"One", he sang.

A Stellar's Jay echoed a singular note in response.