Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 269 Zamp

I just finished Laura Hillenbrand's best-selling follow-up to Seabisciut, Unbroken.

The life story of Louis Zamperini is an inspirational and mostly painful journey through the Olympics, WW II POW camps, forty-two days in a life-raft and a return to civilian life after the world thought he was "lost at sea."

He was relentlessly beat to a pulp by forces both human and spiritual. He paid a huge price physically and physiologically. He lived to suffer another day.

I, we, have no real measure of the suffering he endured. There is nothing in our modern society that comes within a mile of the torture Louie faced on a daily basis at the hands of the Japanese as a Pacific POW.

Every night as I poured through another chapter I would close the book amazed at how strong he was and conversely, how weak I am.

I would have quit. I would have taken the Steve McQueen route. I would have fought back even if it meant more beatings. I would have cried for mercy.

Interestingly, one of the traits of the successful endurance athlete is in the ability to withstand pain. To recognize it, accept it and move past it. Get to the next experience, even if that means enduring five minutes or five more miles of agony.

Louis was an Olympian. He ran a 4:16 mile. He was so good that in an Olympic trial, a group of competing athletes conspired to 'cut' him in the race, boxing him in and hacking his shins with super sharpened spikes. Bloodied but determined, Louis won the heat.

We talk about military personnel being keenly aware of the powerful combination of training, discipline and success on the battlefield. Be that battle on land, sea, air or an arena, field or gym.

I was pleased then to see in the book's epilogue, under the section entitled "Questions and topics for discussion' number four:

Do you think that Louie's athletic career helped prepare him for what he would face in war?

My answer is an unequivocal, yes. And vice-versa.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Day 268 at Waffle House

You know why I dislike Starbucks. (It has nothing to do with coffee), Home Depot (nothing to do with building material) and Microsoft (nothing to do with Windows 8).

They are all pretentious impostors moving their mugs, two-bys and DOS' across the Monopoly boards of our lives like 800 pound gorillas.

(If nothing else) The RCVman is a hero to the underdawg!

So please tell me how a $5 cup of burnt coffee enhances the quality of my decision to keep or sell Atlantic Avenue.

But this is not a rant on the sate of consumerism or capitalism. And as much as I cringe whenever Howard Schultz tries to moralize the destruction Amazon rain forests to increase coffee bean yields, I truly appreciate Bill Gates'  philanthropy. OK and HD sponsors race cars. Go Homer!

Every once in a blue moon (what the Italians call Ogni morte de Papa - Every death of a Pope) I stumble across a refreshing antithesis to this subsidized social slime. Therefore.....

Today's winner of the RCVman award for unpretentious value in the breakfast category….. goes to……

The Waffle House.

No big PR, no glitz, no hipness, no doublespeak, cleaver ad campaigns or mumbo-jumbo. No outright lies colored as puffery.

Just good, cheap food. Sure, you can get hash browns smothered, spiked, smoked or stacked but beneath all the options remain the basic fare brought to your table with a smile and a coffee ($1.65) refill. I also love it when they call me Hun.

I don't care if this is Southern fried low-brow. I am a breakfast guy. I like starting the day with some carbs and a cuppa joe in an industrial strength mug. And I like my eggs without hypocrisy thank ya'll very much. I even bought the Augusta Chronicle for a dollar today to pair with my pecan waffle.

And what do you suppose was the headline story?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Day 267 Savannah

Ya know, every once in a while, I get the feeling that I should dig a little deeper.

We explore this concept in training and racing often, but I am more in reference here to the day-to-day. The mundane. The routine.

And since you asked (thank you) I will offer an example.


Today was a challenge. Today was a test.

I was assigned the mission, provided the logistics, briefed and shown the drop site.

That was the easy part.

The real challenge came doing it on the fumes. Dead tired, sleepless since DC.

So I got to dig a little. Focus and concentrate on NOTHING BUT NOW. Use both hands, keep the radio off, find the smooth crown of the road, and keep it real for 2.5 hours.

There were times that I had to shake the cobwebs. Stretches where the practice faded switching to auto-pilot, and by mile 50 I was singing the "Give Me Six More Miles Baby Jesus" (in B).

But we made it. And this course rocks. Not too dramatic or demanding, no signature climbs, no postcard ops, just 56 honest, rolling wide open miles through rural Georgia and South Carolina.
All I am hoping the video will reflect.

If it manages to capture some of the effort put forth by the videographer, all the better.

Because I think we can all sometimes use a sharper shovel.

Pic is just before the swim start on the Savannah River.

Saturday, September 27, 2014



The Sea-Gull shoot is in the can. Great day for a metric century in Delmarva.

Never heard of it?

That trio of states comprised of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Delmarva.

Don't feel bad, it was a new one on me too.

Downloaded the media on the 150 mile jaunt back to Dulles, where I have 45 minutes to watch some of the Husky game at the Z9 gate.

It is a one score game just before the half.

After the 2hrs in the air, I have one more drive, from Atlanta to Augusta. I am hoping to get in by midnight and catch a few ZZZZZs prior to my 0530 start of the morning's event, the Augusta 70.3.

Cyler just got sacked, shit.

I can't say the trip so far has been without incident, because there has been a few 'unanticipated issues', but we have made it to the half, and were still in the game.

Let's play it out.


(time to board)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Day 265, 100 to go!

After a wonderful dinner with friends last night, another grease-fest for breakfast with sister Kathy and a 150 mile escape from DC, I ended up, once again at the water's edge, the right coast, Atlantic Ocean.

I am not going to go into the details, the debate that swirls around the difference between the Oceans, here, but I soon will. Because there were guys out there actually trying to surf these wind-blown, choppy, closed-out, white-caps they (I am sure) call waves. But I applaud their efforts.

After shooting some b-roll I drove another 80 or so miles back to the motel. Where I now sit with a small cheese pizza and a quart of Modelo, charging batteries and downloading media in preparation for tomorrow's main event. And judging from the expo and number of bikes on cars I saw coming and going on US 50, it should be a great day. They are even calling for sun and 80 degrees (after morning fog.)

I am going to my upgraded King bed early tonight because tomorrow is going to be a long one.

Sandwiched between the century ride (in Maryland) and half-iron tri (in Georgia and South Carolina) the Huskies open Pac-12 play against defending P12N Champions, the Stanford Cardinal. Whom I respect, but still hate. Unlike Oregon whom I hate with nothing but passion (although Mariotta is fucking good.)

Our true nature as a team, our chemistry, our attitude and the tenor for the remainder of the season rests on this game. It is, as they sat, HUGE.

And I am going to miss it.

Unless I luck out and finish filming early, navigate the 150 back to Dulles, and score some free wi-fi to watch on-line until departure time.

That would be cool. Woof!

Dawgs (call me Homer) 13, Trees 10.

One hundred days to go!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Day 264

Back in DC. Looks as if I have brought some moisture with me from Seattle as my sister tells me that these are the first rains in over two months. Hey, glad to help out, maybe the farmers in Central California will hire me for a rain dance. I am available (cash only and no barters.)

We visited our favorite greasy spoon this morning and got caught up on pertinent gossip, local, personal and International. Seems there is a lot to discuss on each.

I have done about as much as I can to prepare for the Sea-Gull Century on Saturday and the Augusta 70.3 on Sunday. Believe it or not, I have some margins built in, so excluding complete disaster I should be OK. Tired and weary, but OK. The obvious challenges, non film related, are getting lost on the 150 miles between Salisbury and Dulles and the flight being delayed or cancelled. I will tend to the former and allow the airlines to manage the later. Yo Frontier, check the oil.

The second leg, the 150 miles from Atlanta to Augusta will be a little different as I must balance my caffeine intake with the need to sleep immediately upon arrival at the motel. Fortunately, any errors here will merely result in the loss of sleep.

Weather is calling for 81 and sunny Saturday and 70 and partial clouds Sunday. Tells me this front is heading South-west.

Outside of human error, airline ineptitude or silly shows of stupidity the biggest question is, and always will be, the weather.

Shooting video of bicycle races can be a bit like baseball that way.

Sometimes you win, sometime you lose and sometimes you get rained out.

Nuke LaLoosh nailed that one. Remind me to tell you one day of my phone conversation with the real Crash Davis.

Pix: Top Kathy and me back at the Steak & Egg Cafe. Me and my Carona in Denver.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 263

Two hour layovers are perfect for this. Sitting on the carpet by the power outlet. And since I get to DC very late, have to get the car and drive to my sister's condo (where she has promised a hot meal and cld beer), the time is ripe to:

For those of you who have been following along these 263 consecutive blogging days, you know how vitally important this streak is to me. Not because I have a compelling story to tell, or have something dramatic to say, or even that I want to practice some craftsmanship towards continual improvement of the writing craft, but because…

I said on January first that I was going to make a blog post every day for the entirety of 2014.

For reasons that I find strangely empowering. I like the discipline. I like the challenge. I like making something out of nothing. Something in the way this moves me.

We did another, our third of eight, set of Super Eights this morning. They are hard. I gave my best effort keeping an alternating eye on the power meter and my heart rate monitor. They have a direct relationship. I felt good throughout the drill, but once out of shower, down highway and on-board ferry, things got a little weird.

I have been hearing strange noises inside my ears of late. Not the high pitched tintinitis, but a mid-range hum, like sitting beside the freeway for an hour. My vision seem to be fading as well. I am about half way through Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (soon to be a major picture) and had to adjust book distance several times from Seattle to Denver. At least I am not having to endure what Louie Zamperini did. This seems like a party by comparison.

Alright, I need to stretch some. Going to pack up and take a walk through this disaster of an airport. Oh, and speaking of which, have you flown Frontier? Tell me about this a la carte baggage stuff please. A regular fast-food airlines.

Belch. I'd rather swim with sharks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Day 262

This one is a doozie. Off tomorrow morning for another exciting road trip. Doozie as in there is a lot to do, and precious little time to do it in.

We get started with a 0430 wake up call. To the HoM for our third weekly set of Super Eights and then off to the 0705 ferry to Seattle. A quick four block hump up a few hills to the light rail to Sea-Tac for a 10:13 (on time) departure to Denver and then on to DC.

Friday is Sea-Gull Century expo and prelim filming and then the fun begins.

Saturday is filming of the ride from 9-1.

Drive back to DC (3hrs).

Catch a flight to Atlanta.

Drive to Augusta (3 hrs)

Shoot the Augusta 70.3.

I get Monday off.

The key will be to be 100% prepared as there is zero margin for error. To this end I spent all day today charging batteries, moving files, double checking gear and mounts and anything else I could think off to avoid the irritating "what have I forgot?' syndrome that causes so much unnecessary angst.

If things proceed like clockwork I might even get to watch a few minutes of the Husky/Stanford game from Dulles.

Which should be a doozie also.

Wish us luck.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Day 261

Monday, today is the first day of Fall. Wow.

Where has the time gone?

Are things moving faster? Are they seemingly spinning like a top? Is this phenomenon the same for you as it seems to me?

Is there anything we can do about it?

Well, yes there is.

We can enjoy every moment and stay centered, balanced and present as long as we are able.

I talk about this a lot in spin class, but it goes well beyond the confines of our two cycle dojos.

It is here and now.

I am tested on this about a thousand times a day. I fail about 9,999.

Yet I remain convinced that the eventual success of the practice lies in the effort.

Knowing that I will fail, that I am human and that by my very nature I will suffer and eventually die, makes it all somewhat like a game.

A game I can win right NOW.

But untimely I will lose.

I will get hammered by the aging process, beat up by decay and bloodied by entropy. I might succumb to cancer. I might get flattened by a semi. I could possibly never recover from this mysterious heart ailment.

So what.

I don't care.

I want to win this minute. Right here and right now.

The future can wait.

Reach for the now.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Day 260 and I am Happy

Not what I was hoping for, but…..

My run this morning was weak..but over an hour.

My test of the functions of the Canon Vixia were not spectacular…but conducted.

My proposal was drafted and edited…but it needs more work.

My clean-up of the garage and shed are done…but I still want out of the outrageously expensive storage unit.

My thoughts on the Huskies performance yesterday continue…but I am thinking we will need some breaks versus Stanford.

The Cougars played a great game against Oregon last night…but fell just short of a MAJOR upset.

I continue to seek a place for my RV…as soon as I buy one. Which could be tomorrow.

I don't know why the Garmin has stopped communicating with all three of my computers…but I know the data is there.

I have some of the logistical challenges for the BI Row-Ride event solved…but there remains at least 25 more.

I have tons left to do prior to heading to DC on Wednesday…but a ton has been done.

Have been having irritating issues with hypotension...but I am still standing.

The water is cold and refreshing…but I can't wait for a beer.

They are not what I had hoped for…but they are all something.

And I am happy for what I have.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 259 with the Dawgs

Well heck.

We had a great 90 minute session this morning. I did some prep work to test new camera mounts. The sun came out.

So I decided to treat myself to the game.

What a beautiful (almost) fall afternoon at Husky Stadium. The most breathtaking place to watch a game in all of college football, especially when you score a free ticket.

Not that Georgia State was going to make it a memorable contest (as they did) but I wanted to get out and be a part of the energy and pageantry that is found only at a NCAAF game in this stunning venue.

I had a blast. I love spending the day rooting for my Dawgs, soaking the rays and watching the OMG foxiest co-eds on the planet.

I was thinking to myself during the Huskies 45 point outpouring in the second half, that I have no idea how college kids (men) learn anything with that distraction. WOOF!

I have most of tomorrow's work lined out and ready to go. It isn't often that I get to root for the Cougars, but tonight, go get 'em Crimson.

Was a good day. 45-14 and for the second year in a row, we start 4 and 0!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Day 258

One of those days. Was one of training rest so the plan was to get caught up with paperwork, logo design, site builds, software updates and miscellaneous computer work. I also have a (big & important) proposal to author.

Being wide awake at 0200 and unable to return to REMS, I loafed in the sack until 0645. Made oatmeal with bananas, strawberries, apples and raisins for myself and Junior and built a beaker in the French Press.

And then it began.

As I was off to view an RV, we rescued a Barred Owl. An hour later the RV turned out to be to small and expensive, but I did find a cool overhead compartment bag (with wheels) for the next trip for $10 at Goodwill. All the way back I was thinking about the simple Garmin download and getting that project wrapped.

Not to happen.

And after five hours of tinkering I still haven't a clue as to why none of my computers would recognize the device.

It now appears as if I will have to skip the Husky game tomorrow because of my lack of progress today.

I am sure they will be just fine without me.

At least we saved an owl, I still have 20K in the bank, and made some progress on one of the logos as displayed above.

I think I am sufficiently recovered to rip tomorrow's 90 minute spin session. We shall see.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 257

Two meek sets today, a 5K run at 1100 and a 2x20 set at 1800. I feel trashed.

Jens Voight held 415 watts for an hour today in Switzerland and I did half of that for 40 minutes.

At least we got the Bainbridge Island Row - Ride fund raiser off the ground.

The initial flyer is shown.

Should be fun.

In need of sleep.

7-9 hours I am told.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 256, Vixen

A major decision is coming.

One of those, To Do or Not to Do choices.

I am toying with the idea of buying a used RV and starting a cycling trips and tours service. That would be great if the stakes weren't so high. As the last few dollars from the sale of my cabin will go towards the initial investment. Meaning that I will be broke. Really broke. No backup. No savings, nothing to liquidate.

Makes it interesting, no?

Or I could do nothing and keep the 20K in the bank collecting about 33 cents interest per month.

I found this very cool BMW turbo diesel 21 footer that sleeps four. It is pictured above. It needs 'some' work and has 77K on it. Gets 25MPG. That might be the deal maker as everything else struggles to get 10 (but sleeps 6 and has more room).

Something might break tomorrow.

I would really like to get it outfitted, cleaned up, sanded and branded in time to offer an Apple Cup package. Those of you in Washington State know to what I refer.

And then launch her in May of 2015 at the Tour of California.

Why not?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 255, Vacation?

Back to the log.

I feel like shit. Chest pounding, very low HR (48), headache, flashing neon signs in left eye. Tried to run it out this morning with an easy 5K. HR went to 180 in first two minutes then stabilized at 115 for remainder of the 30. I did say easy, right?

So here with 30 minutes before heading out to the PowerBarn, our CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Center for a 2x20 set (last night I kept HR below 130 @ 195 watts) and I am on the fence as to whether or not to ride.

One voice (the loud one) screams hell yes, you pussy.

The other whispers that maybe you should think about a day off.

I have been hydrating all day, taking electrolytes and had the usual bolus of protein after the easy (!) run. Plus I have been keeping with the iron and magnesium and I popped two 200mg ibuprofen an hour ago. I should be set.
But I still feel like shit.

At least I figured a work-around with the corrupted video files from Madison and it is now in final render.

Maybe it IS all stress related.

I might need a vacation. Simon's pool in Lanzarote perhaps.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Day 254 in De Nile

Let's see, yesterday as I was meekly slugging out the 10K, and just after my hip flexors, unable to lift legs high enough to clear some railroad tracks, caused a crash (yes I crashed on the run), I had to laugh at myself.

Dude, you have no business being here racing as if you have been in serious training for the last six months. As the demons danced deliriously I heard some words I often use as encouragement.

Don't try to get it all back at once.
Build slowly.
Stay within yourself.
Pacing is everything.
The mind is willing, but…..

And I laughed some more as the pun evolved with every footstrike.

Ending with:

"My mind was swimming in Kailua Bay but my body was drowning in De Nile."

Sometimes humor helps.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 253 Race

It wasn't my fastest.

It wasn't my best.

It certainly wasn't my longest.

But it was.

It was something. A place to start. A reality check. A marker. Some more data.

I probably shouldn't have, considering the dearth of training of late and the fluctuations of my heart rate, but it was a sunny day and the season is rapidly coming to an end. I wanted to race.

By abut mile 5 of the run (it was the Olympic Distance) I had labeled it the three P day.

My swim? Pathetic.

The ride? Painful.

And the run? Piss-poor.

But we got through. And there were moments of bliss during each of the legs. The water was calm, warm and clean. I had open space. Only got run over once. The ride was OK (see photo), rolling hills and one minor climb. I passed maybe thirty folks but got had with less than a mile to go by someone obviously returning the favor. On the run, there was nothing, no stride, no push no endurance and zero power. I even tripped over some RR tracks and did a nice shoulder roll popping up and looking behind to see how many were laughing.

A 3:01 was the tally. We didn't stay for the awards, as if that time warranted a medal. Another two hour drive and we were home, the day in the books.

I am glad we did.

And heart was not an issue until the finish and start of the drive when I had some strobe flashes and extreme fatigue.

We can build from here.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Day 252

Is it becoming a pattern?

Like cool nights and hot days that produce ripe fruit?

I have noticed that usually once a week my symptoms acerbate leaving me with a sole option (assuming I am in a place where the option is an option.)

It happens on a weekend. Last week Saturday in Madison was it. Last night was it here. The option is to lay down, take two anti-acids and an oxycodone-acetaminophen and hope for the best. Usually in 7-9 hours I will be ready to roll. But why the weekend?

Stress? Accumulation of fatigue? Bad diet (eating good on the road is as challenging as a college football away game), or all of the above? It could be the sum. But then why last night?

This, then, is a way to log the occurrences in order to manage them. To pick and choose the cycles of opportunity and exploit them. This is the mood-ring of my data charting.

To test I decided that I am going to race tomorrow.

Hell yeah.

I am in absolutely no shape whatsoever to race, but I don't care. I want to be back out there and mixing it up with reality. I want to say to myself (again) before the first buoy, 'should have hit the pool more',  I want to say (again) on the bike, 'if you are going to have ANY KIND of a decent time, it is here and it is now' and I want to say (once more) during that run, 'keep pushing it is almost done.'

And then I want to have some french toast and coffee and drive home.

THAT is a pattern I can use.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Day 251 Irony

"A fundamental irony rests in the understanding that often I am amazed at how happy I can be despite all this chaos, confusion and carnage."

-RCVman, September 12, Day 251 of 365. It is 68.7% over.

"There is no time to lose."


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Day 250

I guess I have issues.

That run on opposite directions, concurrently.

I was working on an isolated and remote military instillation on this day thirteen years ago. I will never forget the skipper's words as he addressed the base and asked for everyone's focus, finishing with words that sent chills up and down my spine.

He signed off with, "This is not a drill."

What issues, then?

As I consider the terrorist attacks a horrendous example of the complex reality of today's military and industrial world (and continue to have doubts over the honesty and tactics of the former administration), I also believe that instead of hanging banners that proclaim "Never Forget"…

We should do just that.

As in forgive and forget.

Sorry, but this is one of the core principles of several religions, especially the one I consider my own.

It it we feel that the past is indeed the past and doesn't and shouldn't have power over us. The present is reality.

Our only reality.

If you want to carry that hatred and fear and pain forward, be my guest.

But I think as a people we would be much better served to take the lesson and move on.

Never forget?

Whose propaganda slogan is that? Dick Cheney's?

Day 249, Carpe Diem

Man, there has been a lot of shit floating downstream. Looks bad, smells bad. I am not solely in reference to the local picture either, this is global.

People of the world: WTF?

Can we maybe lose some ego for the sake of ONE DAY OF PEACE?

Yo, rich white guys: Do you really think that whomever dies with the most toys wins something?

Hey, lobbyists, politicians and mindless, manipulable minions, look closer at the carnage you all perpetuate for the goal of profit and power.

Oil, tobacco, pharmaceutical and weapons industry: Drop dead.

Media: STFU!

Right wing conservative republicans: Take a pill.

Left wing liberal democrats: Grow a pair.

Police: Target what matters, not what produces revenue.

NFL, NBA, MLB: It's a kids game, not a market to corner.

Wall Street: FOAD.

Women: Be strong.

Men: Be gentle.

Can we have ONE DAY to think about all this please? Can that day be today?

Carpe Diem.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Day 248

Please keep in mind that the "new" format is, foremost and first, a log of my daily dealings with this arrhythmia. It is a way to capture the trends, changing symptoms and my reactions to them. We hope to draw some conclusions as a result of the data and make an educated guess as to future treatment, strategies and tactics.

It is mostly trial and error. In order to glean anything from this, we need to record what it is that we do and what happens when we do it.

Tonight, after six days on the road and nary a workout, I returned to the PB and slugged out a 2x20 set. It was OK, all things considered, with the notable exception that my HR was up about 25 beats, averaging 150 instead of last weeks 125. Hummmm.

Lack of consistency? Three hours sleep? Diet?

Don't know. Perhaps because of insufficient data, after all the sample size is small. Tomorrow will be a much better indication as we return to Super Eights in the morning and I will try to back that up with another 2x20 set twelve hours later.

Should be fun.

I am also adding magnesium and iron supplements.

Bottom line here, is that although this is about as exciting as watching an Ironman (most boring spectator sport ever created) it is something that I must do.

Otherwise its a flimsy wool blanket of random chaos.

Every one in a while I'll try to toss in some humor, or drama, or cheap sensationalism, or gratuitous sex. Maybe that would work.

Or not.

Meanwhile I need some sleep. ciao

Monday, September 8, 2014

Day 247, Rock

So many questions.

So few answers.

The diagnosis prefix idiopathic is used here with great accuracy.

It means, we don't know.

This, coming from one of the best medical facilities in the country, UW Medicine, creates another level of anxiety, concern, frustration.

I am not blaming them. I understand that not everything can be identified, labeled, treated. We have, after all, failed to this point to find a cure for the common cold.

It simply is hard to manage, challenging to cope and painful to witness the alarming loss of vitality. You never know when one of the many symptoms will show up, without warning, and launch a devastating left jab to the jaw. This atrial fibrillation bout is like watching Rocky Balboa in slow motion take one from Ivan Drago, Clubber Lang or Apollo Creed.

The Rock gets hit hard and often. He goes to the canvas. His coach and trainer (the fantastic Burgess Meredith) yells from his corner to stay down. Paulie looks away and Adrian covers her tearful eyes. It is painful to watch.

But something happens (I love Hollywood) an elemental power is willed into reality by the last remaining thread of Rocky's consciousness. He gets up. Off the canvas. Now, beyond pain and the fear of losing, he takes one step towards his destiny, barely able to see through swollen eyes and spinning vision. His arms are lead, his legs rubber but his will iron-like.

He shivers his loins, tosses a jab, then launches an attack, moving forward with a retro-fitted energy that literally stuns his opponent. The audience comes alive, now screaming for the underdog with rising crescendo as his barrage of punches baffles his opponent, who is now the hunted, the entirety of the cosmos and its enormous power against him.

You know the rest.

The allegory is of no surrender. Of not quitting. Of getting back up and getting back into the game. It is the color of the eye of the tiger. The strength of Mt. Rainier.

I guess I should be happy that I get to practice this every day.

Queue the theme song.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Day 246

Everything changes.

I guess it just makes it more interesting.

A little more challenging.

A lot more difficult.

My AF has been in pound-mode the last two days. Heart making a relentless solid effort to escape the chest cavity by beating through the membrane. As the saying goes, like a big bass drum. It shakes like an earthquake, rumbles, backfires, kicks like a mule.

It saps my energy, sends electrical pings up my neck and into my head, blurs my vision and churns my gut.

But it never hurts. I am constantly on edge, thinking that the next ping might be the big one, but I am able to function. Barely.

Yesterday was long and stressful. I slept little. Today started at 0400. I felt better but by mile 50 and hour 3 of the bike, pushing the little 50c scooter as hard as I could to stay ahead of the leader, I could feel the toll it was taking on my endurance.

I started to talk to myself. Stay with it. Hang in there. Keep your focus. Relax, Stay strong. You can do this.

Was I racing or working?

When the symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation take over, with me, they take over everything.

Makes no difference if I am sitting atop a scooter or my TT bike.

Everything changes.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Day 245

Long day. We shot a 25 mile club ride at 0800. The small but talented group is shown at left. Many thanks to the folks at SBR coaching. I think the video will be colorful and fun.

I rode the 50cc scooter back to the motel, for re-load and get to the expo by noon.

We finished the promo.

Headed back to the motel to outfit the scooter and test some video shot with the new Glide-Cam apparatus. It is in render.

Made a few adjustments to the scooter.

Had an omelet.

Got caught up with the Husky post-game banter. Another nail-bitter thriller.

It is 2000 and I have a 0400 wake up call.

I must trust the bike leg guys to have marked the couple of new changes to the course so I can see them in time.

As I am the media leader. First. There is no margin for error. I must be perfect.

And the gas gauge is broken on the scooter.

Should be interesting.

They always are.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Day 244

Seriously, I like to travel.

It's so full of adventure.

Especially when you do it on the cheap.

I just spent 20 minutes with the front desk in heated debate about WiFi. It is $2.99 a day. No it's not says I.

Yes it is, says them.

You got my $237.50 for four days in a sty, gimme a break.

Why, rules is rules?

Not when I negotiate, they ain't. (smiling broadly)

Why should we? (softening)

Because I know you have an override function that allows free access, so please use it and I will be your friend instead of your foe. Do we need to talk about the door lock and the carpet? (grinning)

No. (defeated)

Thank you. (seriously)

Really, I love to travel.

Just NEVER use Budget Rent A Car. Ever. Walk first.

These small things I never forget.

Day 243

I suppose you could call this a wasted day. I spent it at airports. There were delays, glitches and more errors than committed by the Chicago Cubs all of last season.

At present I sit in Chicago waiting for the last flight to Madison, which is scheduled to leave in three hours.

I started in Seattle at 0430 this morning.

As always seems to be the case, when the frustration factor nears the summit, the avalanche danger intensifies. At the exact moment when things need to speed up, they seem to slow down. I had 45 minutes to check one bag, clear TSA and walk to the gate. Cake.

But the United reps put on a stall routine and by the time I got to an agent, the bird had flown.

Good news was that I got a standby seat on the next flight and had the pleasure of sitting next to Husky QB legend Brock Huard. (pic to follow tomorrow as I am charging by iPhone battery).

Then the dreaded two full flights, one delay, one late crew and one grounded aircraft.

Here I sit.

I suppose you could call it a wasted day, but I am 100 pages into a good read, just had a cheap egg & cheese sandwich and called the motel and RAC where they both said, no problem we'll see ya at midnight.

I also have the story of Brock. And that is cool.

Pic is from a year ago as we opened the PowerBarn. From nothing to something.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Day 242

I bought a stethoscope to help with monitoring my AF.

As I was washing dishes Junior came home from school carrying the mail down the drive.

He had a padded manilla envelope that I knew contained the scope.

Amazon.com is like that.

I told him, hand drying a huge red plate, that I was thinking about changing careers.

He said, really? Mostly because I think he thinks I have a pretty cool job.

He ripped open the package to find the scope.

I dried the matching red bowl waiting for a response.

Can we try it?


We took turns.

When it was mine, I noticed the strangest thing.

I was in a beautiful, frolicking, steady rhythm, in sinus and in synch.

I checked it three times from three different angles.

Same result.


He never got the joke and that is very OK.

Off to Mad City in at oh-dark-thirty, regular heart beat and all.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Day 241

Guess I'll just keep my mouth shut. Seems I can't have an opinion without playing political charades. No vote, no voice. One can't have empathy or feelings towards one's community or environment without due process.

The legal system is all. God's will.

If some rich slob from who-knows-where buys the lots next door, cuts all the trees and builds a drug store, I can't speak in response.


My opinion has no value because I didn't hire a consultant to speak on my behalf?


I can't say that I don't like it?


THAT has no value?



Pic: My kind of power, OZ, ET & KG in the power stomp test.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Day 240

We worked on finding our limiters this morning. The things that keep you from your goals. The weak link in your kinetic chain.

For some it might be strength. They are lucky. It is an 'easy' fix. Lift weights. Improve your power. Get stronger.

For others it might be speed. The ability to generate frequent repetitions. Picking them up and laying them down. Cadence. There is an easy fix there as well. Practice it. Do it for five seconds and as we adapt, add time. Before you know it you'll look like the son of Road Runner.

Endurance>Training consistency.
Balance> Practice extremes.
Explosive power>Do it.

But the one area we discussed as being perhaps the most important of all, and the least understood and therefore rarely practiced, it the one centered around our gray matter.

The ability to stay focused. To remain in the moment when everything, including your body and the 'Voice of Manny' screams for you to stop.

We spun at high cadence this morning for thirty seconds with the music off to illustrate the difficulty in doing this. Immediately I was amazed at how loud the fans were. But then I found a comfortable groove and orchestrated a melody of movement that was very precise in its nomenclature. I was in the moment. A satori of sustainable high output. It was fine. And not the OK, fine.

With the power of this drill casting light-beam prisms of success on the heads-up display of my delicate psyche, I wondered if this has been the weak link all along? Since the very first day that I stood from my knees and stumbled towards balance and flow?

Maybe it's the head and not the heart. Left isn't the ONLY direction to turn sometimes.