Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Day 3.90 Mr Zilla

Someone asked me after our workout this morning how I am feeling.

I resisted the default 'fine, still standing or not-bad', with more of an accurate assessment.

For the record it went something like this:

The mechanical, technical and medical components surrounding the pacemaker install are all good. They do their jobs and there hasn't been any further incidents of arrhythmia since the procedure in October. I am back to working-out very hard in preparation for a half-Ironman race in June. My mental state is immeasurably improved and I feel good. All good. The bad is that the medications tasked with maintaining all this cause some rather ugly side-effects. I could list them but I don't want to bore you. It is sufficient to say that there is currently a 50/50 split between what I envision to be the experimental time necessary for dosage correction and my adaptation to the chemicals and their demands.

I can manage most of the big uglies. The one that is a caged (and pissed-off) Godzilla is the horrific nightmares that stalk me in my sleep. Only the acronym OMG can adequately classify. Sometimes I don't want to go there (sleep) because I am terrified of another round with this nasty fire-breathing heavyweight.

BUT, it is getting better. Last night I told Mr Zilla to get the heck out of my dream. Just turn around and scurry your scaly butt up those stairs and out of my head. NOW.

And it worked. At 0312 I was wide awake trying to decide whether or not it was real. For some reason I had my iPhone in hand and I saw the clock as well as Stella (the dog I am sitting) looking at me from the foot of the bed with eyes as big as neon hubcaps. I know what she must have been thinking.

I feel empowered today. We have another session this evening where I will hammer again to partially prepare for my A race and partially to induce fatigue so I can sleep. Earn it, we like to say.

And if that SOB shows up again, I now know the value of looking your fear in the eyes.

Just turn around and scurry your scaly butt up those stairs and out of my head.  NOW.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Dat 3.89 Overnight

Great session this morning. I was wrong in expecting a small turnout as today is the official start of the phenomenon known as spring break. Spring break being, I guess, the time that people, especially those with kids, go places.

This has always confused me. Like the boating season. It could be my propensity to seek alternatives to convention or it could be more pragmatic in that I do not care to do/go - where/when everybody else does. If I feel like taking a break I don't need Spring to tell me it's time. If I want to paddle a kayak in December, guess what?

About half way through our 60 minute workout (it is now habit), I honored The Beatles (again) by playing the original mono version of "I'm Looking Through You." from the incredible 1965 LP Rubber Soul.

I had never perfectly heard, and therefore never shower-sung, one particular lyric. I caught me off guard. It is not as profound as some Lennon/McCartney lyrics certainly are, and it quite frankly leans to the side of cliche, a trifling triteness when spoken, but a pot of gold when sung in three-parts.

'Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight.'

I commented that there are a lot of things that share that same nasty habit.

Further, I addressed the nasty habit of good health, peak fitness and disciplined momentum fleeting equally as fast. Like overnight.

The take is this: Don't let it happen. Don't let a single day wiggle away.  Vigilantly move towards your goals. Do not be sidetracked simply because somebody says you need a break, or it is time to sail.

Make hard effort a routine. Rest and recover. Repeat.

Because fitness shares the same nasty habit as love.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Day 3.88 Find that courage

I had three important conversations yesterday. They all came after a particularly intense 90 minute indoor cycling session. One in which I had to rally the troops (and myself) to complete the mission we had started. To each participant, and myself, I asked for the courage to find a way in themselves to close out our session with focus, attitude and strength. I implored them to give everything at the finish despite the fatigue, the hunger, the pain and the seeming impossibility of the request.

And they did. And I did. We found the upper level.

This word gets tossed around more than green salad, but it was awesome. Totally awesome. I was elated, proud, satisfied and completely spent.

And by that I mean that I felt hyper alive and thrilled to have taken part in such a dramatic example of the power we all possess as individuals and exponentially as part of a  team.

Two of the conversations immediately afterwords reinforced what I felt.

The third taking place later in the day with someone who has been struggling with challenge on all fronts. You know that feeling of desperation and darkness where there seems to be no hope?

As we talked over ice cream, I fell into the same old monologue; You know them: Listen to your heart, whatever decision you make is the one you will must live with, take care of yourself, make one good choice today and another tomorrow, don't take anything personally….. on and on.

Until I got the message.

Take the lessons and skills from the things you do well - and apply their protocols to the things that you don't.

Find that courage.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Day 3.87 A Big Fucking Yuk

We didn't come here to be mediocre.

We came here to challenge ourselves to be better, regardless of the level of success we currently own.

Where ever you are on the 3D graph of your life, you have the opportunity today to do something to better it, to trend upwards.

You can eat better.

You can work harder.

You can work smarter.

You can sleep deeper.

You can manage stress more efficiently.

And you can do all of the above. Starting right now.

There is no entry fee, no placement test and no appointment.

You just need to start.

And don't stop.

Anything less is the middle ground, comfortably squatting atop the fence. Neither confirming nor denying. Moderate in all things. Like a rusty chain.


I mentioned this morning in church (class) that I am preaching to the choir about this. The congregation all nodded in recognition that yes, they had all heard this before. Then the fire and brimstone landed square.

It is now our solemn (and sacred) responsibility to take this to others. In order for the choir to be heard by those currently deaf to its importance, afraid of its challenge or anxious over its intensity. We must reach them. And fast. We must convert.

We need more awesome and less mediocre.

And that is why we come here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Day 3.86 Trending Upwards Jack

Practice with focus reinforces your commitment and significantly increases your chance of success.

Passive learning is fine, but not enough.

The best way to improve ANYTHING is to do it.

Often. Always. Relentlessly.

Watching how it affects your mind, your body and your spirit.

The body is the easy part. (How I wish that was an altruism!). We were born to move. We have an incredible gift in ambulation. We can get from here to there any number of ways. We can get there in a New York minute or take our sweet Texas time.

I was thinking about extremes today. The space between genius and stupidity. Between love and its empty counterpart. Between maximal effort and laziness. Between fit and fat. Courage and fear. Faith and desperation. Hypocrisy and truth. Then and now.

While I navigated my little truck thru the mine-field of a state route (in this case 305), the wind in my ear remind me that it is not so much about BEING one or the other, but TRENDING towards it.

I am not a genius. But I learned something important today.
I am not in love with one person, but many.
I am quite fond of maximal effort, yet judge myself lazy at times.
By most measurements I am fit, yet I carry excess fat.
Sometimes I feel like Jack Bauer, other times scared shitless about the future.
I have faith that one day I will be free of desperation.
There are some hypocrisies, but way more truth.
If only I had made a few different choices way back then, maybe things wouldn't be so strange today.

Or not.

I pull to the curb to allow a screaming ambulance to pass. As the obnoxious but utilitarian sound subsides, I hear a metaphor's shrill statement:

Just trend upwards. Get a touch, one step, closer to your ideal. Head in that direction with all your heart and all your focus. Move towards the light you want to be.

And don't stop.

This is the practice.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Day 3.85 Soap Lake Lava Lamp

I took the mound this morning and pitched to a big hitter. In my relentless pursuit of what I like to call 'an honest living.'

I will no doubt provide details along the rough and rocky road of the process, but what caught my interest as I did initial research (validity testing) was a series of seemingly random, but very connected, stops along the way.

Some sample buzz:

Innovators and early adapters.
How to touch people.
Ideas that spread - win.
More choices on less time.
Is it remarkable?
Sell to people who are listening.

In Seth Godin's TED presentation he astutely connects these important dots, finishing with mention of a little town in Washington that he says, looking at a projected map, that if this is nowhere, Soap Lake is the middle of it.

He then told us about the brilliance of the lava lamp.

The 60' one that Soap Lake wants to build as a tourist attraction.

It was as if the flood gates of the Grand Coulee dam had opened.

Well, the initial round of remark-ability measurement has been completed.

The Soap Lake Lava Lamp fits every criteria of a remarkable concept. I hope they make it.

I hope I do too. Stay tuned.

Pictured above are remnants from one of the many Kitsap County, WA Mosquito Fleet landings. There is a bicycle trail that now connects them. Like dots. Like how a pitcher is connected to the pitched-to.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day 3.84 Let that go

Avocados and eggs.

I wish I had the avocado tree that grew in the back yard of a house I once rented in Orange County, CA. It was immense, gnarled and prodigious. There grew hundreds of avocados on every giant limb. I made guacamole by the gallon.

I wish I had a hen house. Like the one on my ranch in Carlton, WA. Not only did we keep an efficient team of Rhode Island Reds but geese, and a hybrid of turkeys and chickens, we called turkuns. It was not uncommon for weekend breakfasts to feature ten-egg omelets.

Now avocados are $1.50 each and I own no hens. How I miss that small bit of self-sufficiency!

What else do I miss?

My '65 Mustang.
My cabin.
My Rodgers XP8 drum kit.
My friends in the Indian Ocean.
My Mom.
My health and fitness.
My job.
All the girls I have ever loved (was that a song?)

Missing and wishing. Miss this and that, wish this or that.

Attachments. All and everything. How I cling.

The reality is that all those things are missing (gone) from the present. Did I ever think they would last forever? Yes, I did.

Do I wish otherwise? Yes, I do. Sometimes.

Let that go. Please.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day 3.83 Sugar-coated hog wash

A recent article suggests that diets for obesity don't work. Neither does exercise. Further the author says that the 61 billion dollar weight-loss industry are thieves in cheap disguise. On THAT point I agree! Lastly the article (sent to my in-box as a service) says that being clinically overweight is OK, and does nowhere near the financial damage currently cited as catastrophic. They say that it is time to stop telling the fat to thin out.


There are other reasons why we exercise, eat healthy and invest wisely in ourselves, dear author. Foremost being imho.......


Let's face it, when you look and feel good, when you have worked hard to better yourself, when you enjoy the healthy satisfaction of effort and reward an altogether different level of confidence is available. I (and please excuse my Type AA-ness) feel horribly slothful if I miss one workout or pack on two pounds as a result of a weekend with the binge brigade. This isn't admitting guilt, it is dedication to discipline. Those who fail chronically usually give up. We need to encourage and support not excuse and justify.

It could all come down to self image. How do you feel? How do you want to feel? Are you content with your current status? Are you in this for improvement and self realization? Do you think that the physical plays a part in all that? Can you run a 10 minute mile or hoist 50 pounds overhead? These are life, not merely athletic, skills. In an emergency you may need them to save the life of an innocent ten-year old, not simply to meet the current societal directive of beauty.

Do you read? Do you pray? Are you a good neighbor?

The same way that you read to increase your knowledge base, take quiet meditative time to de-brief and contribute to society rather than steal from it is just as 'right' as taking care of yourself.


So let me be clear. I don't care how you spin the financial effects. I don't care about the impact to social security or the GNP, and I certainly won't swallow a hallow and sensationalistic twist on the state of obesity in America.

We (the we that assemble here) train and strive for continual improvement. Saying that it is OK to do otherwise is not only wrong it is enabling an already reeling demographic. 


Give me a plan. A cause. A reason. A reward.

Not more sugar-coated hog wash to dummy-down my discipline, please.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Day 3.82 Target: Pucon

Here is the rough draft I sent over to HQ for approval this morning. It's not like this is the first time you have heard of the campaign, but it is going out to our 50K+ users maybe as soon as tomorrow and for them it will be the first look. Hope I got it right. You have been on-board for a while so you know what is at stake.

If you have always wanted to ride exotic and remote 'bucket list' routes, now is your chance. The popular CompuTrainer Real Course Video line of indoor training products wants you as a partner. The model is to crowd-fund a series of videos shot around the world in stunning, picturesque and challenging locations. Can't get there? We'll bring the next best thing direct to your door!

A $25 contribution gets you the RCV upon capture, production and processing, almost half-price of the existing product line. The Pucon campaign is underway. We stand at 22% of target. We would like to gauge the outcome of this campaign in order to create momentum for subsequent videos.

And to encourage a successful start, RacerMate, for TWO DAYS ONLY, (Thursday & Friday, March 26 & 27) will match all contributions!

Add another layer to your indoor training motivation by contributing today. Should this test campaign prove successful, we are prepared to extend the series to five volumes by the end of this year. Your involvement gives you a share of the future. You decide where you want to ride.

South Africa?
New Zealand?

CompuTrainer wants YOU on OUR team. Please visit our campaign site and join us today. The Pucon, Chile campaign has only one week remaining. We need to act.

Now is the time. Pucon is the place. Together we can.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Day 3.81 I'll Take 'Em

In a semi-serious rhetorical question posed to long-course triathletes (Ironman) a few years ago, the answer wasn't overly surprising. But one of the published responses was. The question:

If science (in conduction with big pharma) invented or discovered a drug that would allow you to win Kona (World Championship) but would cost you five years off your life, would you take it?

The 'no surprise' percentage from the AAA type over-achievers was overwhelming, about 65% responded without a second thought, answering yes. 20% of those answered fuck yes.

The one answer I found comical was the person who wanted a qualifier. He asked, before answering, what five? The bet hedging got me to thinking, 'without the diminishing quality of life reality, would obvious instant glory be worth hastening the end game?' Seriously, if we are destined to spend the 'golden years' prostrate in a hospital bed linked to life support systems and unable to clean up after ourselves, why NOT have one moment and its glorious memory?  Because it's cheating is the only legitimate response. Ask Lance.

But this hypothetical situation plays out in other metaphorical ways. Remember the days when the anti-smoking coalition's scare tactics told us that every cancer stick we puffed cost us five minutes of life? That 100 minutes per pack (I am assuming that this was a non-filtered test) means that for all the Camels, Marlboros and Rothchilds I inhaled in my silly younger, bullet-proof days, I should be ashes and dust by now.

For approximately the last quarter century I have wised-up to the benefits of good habits. I quit smoking a long time ago, gave up hard liquor and quit eating meat. I exercise daily. That combination has probably kept me alive as a couple of heart-related issues could have easily gone 'the other way'. Point being that everything we do, every combination, every bad habit kicked and good one pursued, gives us a better chance of sticking around. You might be the toughest guy on your team and still get broadsided by a cement truck, sure, but the things we can control, we must.

Here is an interesting study published in US News & World Report. Please read it.

A team of Harvard University researchers analyzed data from six large studies that focused on the leisure activities and body mass index of more than 650,000 people older than 40 who were followed for 10 years. They found that those who clocked 75 minutes of brisk walking each week – which translates to about 11 minutes a day – lived 1.8 years longer than those who didn't exercise at all. And those who got 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week, or 22 minutes a day, gained 3.4 years. The findings were released in November 2013.

Did you notice the (bold) 3.4 years metric? On only 22 minutes a day?

I'll take 'em, thank you very much.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Day 3.80 The Hunter

This I truly believe:

Whatever you choose to be doing HAS to be worth everything. It HAS to be the most important thing. You must tackle it with 100% focus and bravado. You can take no prisoners. And all this HAS to be done - no matter what, doing whatever it takes.

Or don't do it.

Don't even start. Because if you toss the towel, quit, back-off, second-guess or succumb to weakness, you will make it worse. You will secretly despise your character, see your excuse as legitimate, and dummy down to an unacceptable level of output. This you will accept as your best.

Perhaps the most damaging phrase I hear every day needs further examination.

"I am doing the best I can."



If that shallow, trite, pithy, cheap and condescending alibi is YOUR DEEP AND SINCERE TRUTH, then you're off the hook.

If indeed you are doing the best you can, across the board, in sum, relentlessly maxed-out, then you have not only wiggled off the hook, you have become the hunter, and that slothful party at the other end of the line had better haul ass outta here.

Because that is all we ask. Become the hunter and simply do your best. Always.

Then we can start.

This I truly believe.

Friday, March 20, 2015


Everybody likes free stuff.

We call it schwag.

Free stuff you can actually use.

My new idea with these t-shirts (the cheapest I could find) was to use them as sweat-catchers. Logoed sweat-catchers. Instead of a pricey printed towel, I opted for the cheap cotton T. But they butchered the logo file I sent and I am hugely disappointed with the silk-screen. Corners were cut and I paid the price in a dearth of quality. Dang, another lesson learned. But.....

.....My loss is your gain.

Friday, Saturday & Sunday only, everyone who makes a $25 contribution to the Real Course Video - Pucon (Poo-con) Chile crowdfunding campaign gets a FREE T!!!!!

Pictured are Susan and Gretchen showing the schwag.


Day 3.78 Still smiling

Maybe it's over.

God I hope so.

Relentless chest pains, numbness, hypotension and the frightful feeling that I am sure precedes a stroke has been the status-quo for almost three weeks. Toss in some GI pings, a few choice hallucinations, horrific nightmares and INCREASE in appetite, and you have a recipe for worry.

Yesterday, it a moment of existentialistic consideration, I wanted to ensure that the adjective 'tragic' is never uttered when it refers to my corporeal departure from this world. I have made it almost sixty-three years, had a boat-load of serious fun, made more mistakes than a classroom of third graders and hung out with several stunningly beautiful people. I have no bucket list. I have pared-down, streamlined and reduced my possessions and responsibilities to an approximate minimum. I have a few regrets, sure, but today, I consider myself above average on the happiness scale, maybe a seven on the one to ten. The hatches may be battened down, but we're still smiling.

I have lots to do. And probably little time to do it. Please don't misunderstand, this is not a whine, complaint or morbid paranoia, it is fact. Reality. We are all in this same tuna boat. I accept this. We are of the nature to suffer and die.

The most important thing I have left to do is keep going. The biggest reason why I am hoping to be past the symptoms listed above is that they dramatically impact my desire to keep active, fit and race-ready. The last few days have been challenging. I have questioned my motivation, my approach and my resolve. I am very familiar with physical pain. But this is something I have little experience or understanding of. It is scary.

The 'keep going' element involves my need to contribute. Somehow. Nobody will hire me, leaving my wit and tenaciousness as only attributes. I want to work. I need to serve a purpose and I simply must have a project.

For those of you that follow, you know what that means.

Had a long chat with the boss yesterday. He likes the crowd-fund idea. We might send an e-mail blast to the fifty thousand users in our d-base. But if that fails I think I am prepared to self-fund travel and production costs in exchange for a significantly higher percentage of sales, like half.

A gamble sure and one filled to the top with risk.

But what the heck.

What have I got to lose?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Day 3.77 Thanks Amazon dot com

Amazon.com stepped up last night making the largest single contribution to date!!! In doing so their web services department took us over the 10% hump. We are rolling folks, close to the finish (13 days remain) but still far from our target. I need to find a way, that magic combination, of urgency and need, to increase the percentage of compliance. THIS MEANS YOU! As the photos illustrate, in both group pictures we have a meager 25% response. WE NEED 100% folks. AND WE NEED IT NOW. TODAY. I can't sit around and wait for Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, or Nordstroms to get it. But you, I do.


And btw, this is the most important element of my existence right now. All focus (see yesterday's post) is on this campaign. I need to make this happen. It is my job. I was reminded again yesterday that if one's effort and goals are pure and total, the money will show up.

My effort is sincere and my goals are pure. Please team with me on this. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Day 3.76 Fund it here

On task.
On point.

We are down to fourteen days folks. Just two weeks to go in our campaign to crowdfund the start of an entire new project. Our model creates a library of the most spectacular cycling routes and the highest profile bike segments in exotic locations around the world. I go and you get. (A mere) Twenty-five dollars is your entry fee to a collection of video shot in high-definition that will entertain, educate and, most importantly, keep you motivated to train more indoors. We have selected Pucon, Chile as the first stop in our global mission to bring home the video fun.

We need to stay focused as we head towards the finish line. You know the feeling of getting close. It demands all you got, physical and mental. YOU NEED TO FOCUS.

Please join our team today. We must get out of the gate with a successful initial campaign in order to attract corporate sponsorship for future volumes. This is proof of concept. We have to make it work. We need to to stay on task. We must keep on point. FOCUS.

Thank you.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Day 3.75 Early

I have a mantra.

Actually I have several, but for the sake of brevity, I will address only one today.


I readily admit that I am a morning person. I like the stillness and calm and potential of pre-dawn. To me it is a chance to start anew, to gain some momentum, find traction and steamroll into a new day. Further, I have always been a fast starter. Out of the gate and onto the track on a mission and in a hurry. I believe that this has been partially responsible for my penchant towards endurance sports as another of my mantras (I know, I know) is - once begun - better finish. Begging the question - Can one start fast and still finish strong?

Consider training. If you are going to do double sessions (and you are) you must build into your schedule the appropriate recovery time. Should you need proof of this, try a high intensity spin followed by hill repeats TWO HOURS later. Can you not already feel the empty tank?

The way to properly orchestrate a successful training campaign (and I know you remember our mantra [3] of training and racing being proxies for life and love), you will quickly see that an early start, session one, is absolutely necessary if you are to double up later in the day. After proper recovery.

This glorious morning, as the sun started its trajectory over the Emerald City, the view of which I enjoy by simply turning my head ninety degrees to the left, we executed the following monster cycling protocol at 0530, I call them 30-30s.

Starting in gear 12 do 30 seconds seated with groove zone cadence.
Stand and do 30 seconds in same gear.
Sit and recover at 7/120 (you should know what that means by now) for 30 seconds.
Ascend through gears 12-20 and repeat for one hour.

Afterwards we went right upstairs and put mallet to anvil in a fierily upper body/core set. Done and done.

I am out of almond milk, so protein recovery was three eggs and a slice of Havarti melted onto rye toast. And coffee.

I am so glad we have this opportunity to work together.

To get it done early.

Photo: Gretchen hangs her first place medal in the PowerBarn.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Day 3.74 You can do better

Took us four hours to change the oil in two Volvo Penta diesel engines yesterday. Would have been half that had the new excavator worked properly. We struggled, but finally got the old, filthy 40W lubricant out and the new, honey-colored oil in. Without sloping too much into the bilge.

En route to the marina I passed one of the new rent-a-bike stations. I stopped, checked it out, read the instructions and made an initial assessment.

Bureaucrats win again.

Shitty bikes, a confusing system (including helmet exchange) and way too expensive ($8/day or $16 week-end). Way to miss by a mile Seattle Council.

So you say that it is better than nothing and at least a start? OK, fine. But how much time and money has been wasted to get to this point? Some anti-auto council member wants to show Seattle in a greener light, or as hip as Portland, so this ends up a white-collar feel-good, not something that is a transportation option or has any transit value. Tourists better love it like the Space Needle. Sheesh.

I wonder what the success rate is Nation-wide of those cities that offer bicycle street rentals? 20%, 10%? Less?

Take a cue from the locals: Make it easy and make if affordable.

Please do not take the thread strike looking. Swing for the fence, Seattle. You can do better. As we can change oil faster.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Day 3.73 Ahoy

Today I have the privilege of doing something for the first time.

I am quite excited about it. Despite the fact that I am in my second day of significant chest pain. I should be sleeping, but even that doesn't seem to help. 'Call the clinic' has been scribbled on my to-do list every day since last Wednesday yet I keep believing that I will 'get over' whatever it is that is that is causing this discomfort.

The strange part in all this is that I actually feel best when working hard. This morning's ninety minute set* as example, was challenging and intense. Towards the end I had a couple of reminders of mortality, but for the most part, it felt good. And when I am up and moving it is OK. I am dizzy, a lot of shoulder crunching, shallow breathing and bronchial irritation, my lungs feel like hay are filled with tumbleweeds, I have tingling in my left arm and I witness regular spasms at the center of my chest. It is completely new, all this, and a little scary.

I have downed a bolus of protein, had a three egg sandwich and a tall glass of electrolytes. I took a forty-five minute nap after our session*. And I am about to head out the door to visit RG before getting on the 1:10 ferry to Seattle. I hope all that aids and abets some recovery.

*Today's spin session:
One minute seated in gear 16
One minute standing in gear 16
One minute seated recovery in gear 7 @ 120 rpm.
Repeat from gears 16-20 for 90 minutes.

And now I am off to work on my friends boat. Something I have never done.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Day 3.72 The Direct Approach

This being my initial run-through with crowd funding, I have made some mistakes. Like everything else there is a learning curve. Please bear with me as I stumble my way through.

It was suggested that I try THE DIRECT APPROACH. OK, here goes.

The project (Code name Real Course Video - Pucon, Chile) is a benefit-based crowd funded entrepreneurial opportunity. That means YOU (and all your friends) each contribute to the travel and production costs of filming cycling routes in Pucon, Chile. It is one of the most stunning stops on the Ironman 70.3 circuit.

The benefit being that each contributor gets a free DVD, or download, of the cycling travelogue. If you happen to own a CompuTrainer or run a CT Multi-Rider Center (several CTs for group training) you get a fully functional Real Course Video as compensation.

Meaning that you get to see and ride whatever courses I shoot in Pucon. And for only a meager $25 contribution to the cause. The platform is Tilt.com and is very user friendly.


Please help me get to Pucon, Chile to film bicycle courses. Everyone who contributes $25 gets a DVD or download of the trip. CompuTrainer users get a fully functional RCV.  Join our team today! http://tilt.tc/D2xM

Thank you very much.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Day 3.71 By Bike

I used to get mildly amused about how many forms of transportation it took me to get from A to B.

One trip, might have been the Canary Islands, it looked like this: Shuttle bus, ferry, light rail, Boeing 757, Airbus 380, shuttle bus, taxi, rental car. And I was going there to film bike racing!!!

Imagine my fond remembrance this morning when I decided to 'get it done'.

It went as follows: Truck (Ford Ranger) Trixie (My fixie), RV (33' Fleetwood), truck again, Honda Goldwing GL1100, fixie again, truck again. And tonight we train on indoor cycles!!!

The Transportation Boogie in A!

Editorially, as much as I like my truck, have fun driving the RV and get a kick out of the Goldwing, by far the best of them is my bike.

It is so much fun getting out on the asphalt with a single gear. There is one infamous 11% grade en route today about which I was a tad nervous, but we hammered up it like a journeyman carpenter with a new Estwing. Nailed it.

I anxiously await the first real ride of the season. I think I am ready. Workouts have been progressing nicely and I have been feeling cheerful and chipper of late. They are closely tied together, these two. Confidence and gratitude are the speed and power of life.

I think we are moving in the right direction.

And (given a choice) I will take the joie de vivre of the single-geared bicycle above all others.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Day 3.70 Cuppa Joe & Go

Four chores.

Swirl around my mind like a sheet of single ply toilet paper in a dust devil.

None of them game changers, none of them even remotely difficult.

All they really are is a honey-do list.

Things that must get done. I have them filed chronologically. In my view they will come as naturally as my next breath. I must focus on one at a time, full attention in overdrive, not rushing one to get to the other. Nothing half way.

The first one starts at 0430. I like a clean and crisp open. Hit the ground running. Cuppa Joe and Go. The Eagle flies.

After that will come the second, and don't forget the minor third.

After that, the two that I dread. A visit and a phone call.

Still, they must be done. I have postponed the final pair until after today's post, thinking that is what they deserve. Low priority.

Are low priority chores the one's that should be done first?

I just added a fifth.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day 3.69 Thanks Too Much

Chronologically it went.

Brother. Nephew. Father.

Brother is seeking financial assistance. Nephew had time to down some eggs, strawberries and a mini-muffin before a ride to the school bus. Father is undergoing a painful stay at the nursing and care facility. I stopped by to see how he was coping and to bring some hot coffee.

And my day was underway.

Brother said that he was going to call his neighbor who has been overly helpful with Nephew, as he is best friends with neighbor's son.

Nephew says that school is OK and they are practicing four scores for the Spring Concert. He plays the bass clarinet. There is baseball practice after school.

Father remains disoriented and frustrated. He wants to go home but he is not ready. The T12 compression fracture is healing slowly, as is the case for most 82 year-old folks.

I am now back at work creating a Tilt campaign to raise travel funds for an RCV trip to Pucon, Chile.

Something that Brother said lingers in my memory.

He said that he wanted to say thanks, but wasn't sure if he should.

Why not? I inquired.

I have thanked him twice already.

It is my experience  that you can never say thank you too much.

Chronologically it goes.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Day 3.68 Wanted Dead or Alive

This is a tough one.


Your fuel and your comfort.

Everybody loves to eat. I even enjoy coking. BUT…………….

We all know, but most of us choose to deny, that our diets could use a dash of discipline and a pinch of proscription. We can surely add by subtraction.

If losing weight is a concern, be it to get healthy, get lighter or to achieve your racing weight, there are as many fallacies out there as there are facts.

It is an increasingly insidious reality that causes me to reclassify the two kinds of people. Here goes:

1) Those that want your happiness. (friends)
2) Those that want your money. (foes)

You want washboard abs in 30 days?
You want to lose 30 lbs in 30 days?
You want a miracle?

Or do you want to commit to what actually works, takes time and effort and costs nothing?

Congratulations if you chose the latter on the list. Because that, or liposuction, are the only ways. We do that, exactly, how?

You have heard this a thousand times, this will make 1001.

Diet and exercise. We talk a lot about exercise here, today lets segue the conversation to diet. And start easy.

Look at your diet. Note it. Write it down. I will bet you gold and silver that it exceeds the RDA of two thousand calories.

Analyze what you are ramming down the pie hole, its quality and its quantity. Add by subtraction. Remove the crap. Add veggies. Reduce total calories. This means portion control. It doesn't have to be spartan or painful. It simply has to be. Then look for the villains. They are usually empty calorie carbohydrates. Lose or reduce them. Sentence them to hard time.

My villains might as well be Bonnie & Clyde, or the James Gang. Empty, addictive, waiting to ambush. They might be yours as well. Take a good hard look.


Bread and beer.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Day 3.67 !

There is a lot going on.

Always is.

Consider the algorithm of one person's sphere of circumstance as it radiates outward into space. Multiply that by six billion.

For good measure toss in cellular communication, cloud data transfer, high frequency micro waves and electronic transmissions.

You get a jumble of cross-feed, interference, noise bleeding where silence and calm once thrived.

A real mess.

However, between each rising of sun and moon, we have a chance to do some good. Maybe for ourselves by taking the vital time necessary for self-care, by assisting others as they struggle with life's complexities, or simply by adhering to the layman's Hippocratic Oath and do no harm.

Personally, I try to add one exclamation point to every day. That might be a totally focused and intense work out, it might be one successful phone conversation, it could be creating a safer and more secure environment for someone in pain or it might be resisting the urge to consume.

Lord knows that of late there has been a plethora of opportunity to pick one of the above and get a touch closer to the truth. That truth:

99% of the time when we say we are doing our best, we lie.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Day 3.66 FAST

The classic Public Service Announcement. Having spent many hours, days and weeks dealing with emergency response, this poster, hanging every twenty feet at Swedish in Seattle, sums it up nicely.


It became most apparent the last four days, how ill prepared we are to handle the aging up of America.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Day 3.65 A Toast

Sorry, no change without a purchase she said on the ferry.

Sorry, no change on the bus he said.

I sit just behind the rear door and listen as a loud, obnoxious either disturbed, inebriated or damaged man of forty-four (I know this because he mentioned it in his monologue five times) harasses the young girl whom I ushered aboard moments before. Glancing in the mirror to gauge the driver's reaction - he was ignoring the situation leading me to believe that this might me normal comportment for this route -I look out the window.

There, inside one of the most famous steak houses in Seattle, sit four men costumed for business. The waitress, in a snowy starched linen shirt and black apron, is setting dishes in front of them. I can almost smell the garlic wafting from the steaming plate of clams, mussels and jumbo shrimp. They each have a crystal goblet filled with what appears to be white zinfandel at arms reach. They are Caucasian, thirty-five to forty, and pleased with themselves.

I hear the obnoxious bus rider again tell the girl of his sordid plight and how - should they date - he would pick up the tab, because that is the way he was raised. I stifle an internal comment and wonder how long before I have to go Jack Bauer on the poor guy.

I take another look into the restaurant - we are loading a crippled woman in a wheelchair so the stop is longer than normal - where I see the businessmen making a toast. I stifle another overtly judgmental comment, just as the guy tells the girl in an aggressive and remorseful tone that he was married once and that the seventies were good, but he doesn't like the way things are going now.

I wonder to what the men are toasting.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Day 3.64 Get to Work Ben

We were talking about quality. Again.

I suggested that no one came here because they are wanting the mediocre. No one wants a little more 'easy'. We desire to be tested. We want to know more about ourselves. We are not content to wallow in the comfort zone any longer. The time to charge is NOW.

Further, I asked for the challenge.

Bring me the twenty became the rally cry, sabers rattling at fifteen.

Give me the impossible, the ridiculous. Give me your best shot. Or stand aside as we pass.

If indeed our high intensity sessions are proxy for life's challenge, and if the meaning of one is to augment the other, then you are going to have ask, evoke and seek, the road less traveled. You know, the steep one, with potholes, with detours, road-kill and a relentless wind in your face.

There is no victory in the middle. There is no reward for fear. There is no lifetime achievement award for those whose body of work is 50% fat.

Quality has a cost. If you seek a better definition, a higher understanding and greater value, you will have to pay.

That payment is in currency not adorned with the caricatures of former presidents.

Get to work Ben.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Day 3.63 I Don't Care

My cynical side says:

I don't care,
so what, and
leave me alone.

I struggle with this a lot. Politics: I don't care. Celebrity and fortune: So what? Fear, hatred and apathy: Leave me the hell alone.

I remember once getting irritated and obstinate with a gal because she suggested that the media is ultimately responsible. For what? I asked incredulously. For everything, she resounded.

No they're not. We are.

We create the media. We are the media. They simply report on what we do. It is a mirror. Granted there is a pronounced tendency to exaggerate the negative, playing the 'if it bleeds - it leads' card, but they are not the culprits. We is. We have not only met the enemy, we have hopped into the sack with them.

Any wonder most of us, the cultural creatives, have dropped out, opting for alternatives to the basics of survival and spiritual growth?

Apathetic, unimpressed, sad.

But not defeated. We stand united willing to follow compassionate leadership. And if that cannot be found, we must stay true to ourselves and ready to act when called.

Yes that means multi-tasking. Today's rip-roaring set challenged our abilities to stay centered and combine mind, body and spirit into a sixty-minute celebration. Here is the protocol:

Five minute warm up.
15 seconds of a standing charge approaching 100%
45 seconds seated recovery.
X 5.
5 minute recovery at 120 RPM after each set.

Striving to keep a relaxed focus and dynamic breathing throughout.

I continue to believe that if one can train body and mind together, that partnership has the power to locate the soul.

Anything less than that I don't care, so what and leave me alone.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Day 3.62 Meaningful Work

As we did yesterday, I am ordering a new tactic to the strategy. Strategy being above and tactics below. Strategy is the what and tactics the how. The Boss gives us the strategy and we execute that plan, the mission, by putting our tools, experience and talent into play. We are the foot soldiers on the ground, in the mud spilling our blood to carry out the mandate.

Perhaps that is over simplification. Point being that in order to be successful we have to completely buy-in the the plan. We have to be willing to sacrifice. We have to give. One must be willing to die for the cause (a BIG reason why terrorists, fanatics and fundamentalists are so dangerous to society.)

My concern here is for me. Because I feel that the only way I can serve community is by being the best I can be and hence, inspiring, motivating, encouraging and leading others. By example mostly, but some times that alone isn't enough, forcing a change in tactics. The strategy holds. The methods evolve.

This is the same whether a foxtrot or a firefight. Once again the stakes have been raised. I woke this morning facing a whole new situation. Time is running out.

So I need to play a longshot. Gamble a little and trust my instincts. Intuition and gut reaction. Put some faith in the impeccable leadership of the unknown.

You know how sometimes you get an image of someone from the past, and ten minutes later they call or send a FB message? You know how you think of a song and sometime later in the day, maybe at the bakery, you hear it? This seemingly coincidental serendipity, I feel, has a broader application. One we can use to our benefit. Or me to mine.

That is the new tactic. To push this cosmic agenda. Effective immediately (now) we will use a material and tangible noun (person, place or thing) to evoke another noun (sometime there might be an adjective as quantifier.) This will seem overly selfish at first glance but please remember the reason why they instruct putting YOUR oxygen mask on first. Because if you can't breathe, you simply cannot help anyone else. On this, the FAA gets it right.

Deep breath.

I am thinking about meaningful work. Because I need to align my need for purpose with the reality of every day cash flow. This is an old story, told in many ways, often.

Today I think of it with all the energy and faith I can evoke. I need some magic.

Meaningful work. Meaningful work. Meaningful work. Meaningful work.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Day 3.61 Change the Oil

Maybe you have noticed, maybe not.

I haven't been recording much data of late about my heart. You know, the one that gets an electrical charge 94% of the time from an implanted device. I haven't been documenting much about the meds that accompany and assist the device in maintaining the cardiological stasis known as sinus rhythm, either. The reason is simple: There isn't much to report and what there is to report is boring as hell. Even to me.

The mechanical and technological components of the 2014 Medtronic MRI Sure Scan A2DR01 PaceMaker (with an MVP complete care management accessory) work flawlessly. The device seems to be the equivalent of the '65 Mustang or a '79 Honda Goldwing, classics. Sure, there are some nasty side effects from the medications, but overall there isn't much to do but wash, wax and change the oil every three grand. I could document the insomnia, constipation and dizziness but I will spare you the indignity (as I spare myself.)

In place of the nursing chart will be, effective immediately, the daily protocols which make up my/our training regimen. After all, that is what I do and who I am, not an invalid with a laptop.

So here we go.

This morning's session featured (the cute) numerology of the month and day, meaning we executed the 3.2 protocol. Please remember you can do these with any bike, trainer or ergometer using RPE, rate of perceived exertion or FTP. This morning on the club's Kaiser M3s we used gears.

3 minutes standing in gear 16.
2 minutes seated recovery at 7 and 120 RPM.
3 minutes standing in gear 17.
2 minutes seated recovery at 7 and 120 RPM.
Repeat in ascending progression maintaining the recovery parameters.

You get the idea. We topped out at a rare 21 (of 24), maintaining 55 RPM and repeated the progression for the entire hour.

It was a fanny kicker and we needed the AC/DC, Phish, Steely Dan and Dire Straits to assist with those precious moments that dramatically differentiate quality from quantity.

Tonight is a 10 mile time trial in the PowerBarn as we kick off our annual Madness in March Indoor Cycling Tournament.

I trust I will be recovered by 1800.

And don't forget to change the oil.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Day 3.60 Ideas to pick

"As humans we are meant to create and bring forth ideas into creation."

I really like that one.

Today is Sunday. It is warm (comparatively) in Seattle. Yesterday afternoon I shot video of the town and the mountain. Those of you living in the GPNW know of what I speak. It was crisp and unfiltered as I shot alternating time-lapse video of brick and clay, steel and glass, granite and snowpack, beak and feather. The last two because two bald eagles were shopping for dinner over the gently rolling waters of Murden Cove on Bainbridge Island. I happened to be there watching.

To create. Across the board. I have a primal need to create good health. I want to be able to freely and gracefully navigate through this magical labyrinth. I also enjoy testing and training, creating challenge (as if there wasn't already enough.) When in the flow EVERYTHING is ideas and creation. The downtown skyline amazes me in its complexity and architecture, Mt. Rainier, on a day like yesterday, is breathtaking. The eagles added a final stroke of natural perfection. I am part of all this creation, ideas relentlessly begging for attention. Sometimes they shout.

I stood there and watched as inspiration from this spectacular moment in time etched my soul like the images captured on film at 60 frames per second (progressive).

Today I would like to create a better me. A more harmonious and connected me. Where ideas burst forth into creation with less struggle and more joy. I don't need to ask, I just need to do.

Should they fail to mature to fruition today, their seeds have been planted. Might be ready tomorrow, might be spring. In the meantime I will make sure as best I can to properly respond when they ripen. Harvest as creation. I have ideas to pick and pack. And the sun is up.

Video is in render.