Saturday, October 31, 2015

Day 10.214 Jack n Joe

How we sort.

What have we found effective or illusive in the hunt for truth? Can there be any happy colorful medium between the binary black and white?

Is common sense something that we can only discuss in the past tense?

I know the complexities of life in this modern world and on good days even appreciate the paradox.

On the not-so-good days (like yesterday) it can overload, squelch, confuse and cripple.

This conundrum is one of the many reasons why I am  fan of Jack Bauer. The same reasons why I am a fan of Joe Kennedy. You all know Jack, but may not know Joe as well. Today Joe is in a classic double-blind, impossible, catch-22. He must make a decision with which Jack might agree. Do what you are told, or do what you know is right.

In the final episode of Season seven, Jack is talking with Agent Walker about the complexities of their work. Jack and Renee have just saved the United States from a nuclear attack, sparing millions of Americans from pain, suffering and eventual death. But Jack had to use a few 'unconventional' interrogation methods to obtain actionable intel in order to catch the bad guys (several of which turned out to be us). Agent Walker, in a rare and tender moment, asks Jack if he feels any remorse over his actions. He says sure but the facts remain that he did what he felt must be done in order to serve and protect the innocents of our country. NO MATTER WHAT. Agent Walker is (slowly) buying it. She is softening and agrees, although she has spent years as a hard-nosed by-the-book FBI agent and is only now understanding the hypocrisy and complexity of the paradox. Jack goes on…. ending his soliloquy with this…I guess, he says…wincing in pain from the radiation exposure suffered during the fire-fight heroics…that you should make decisions you can live with.


Joe Kennedy is a high school football coach. He is also apparently a devout Christian. He started a 'tradition' a few years back where players gather after their games to take a kneel and 'pray', giving thanks for a safe contest. This outlandish behavior is strictly prohibited by the school district, state regulations and federal mandates. Seriously, I am not making this up.

Many people will agree and blindly obey every letter of every law. This is simple separation of church and state issue, case closed.

I ain't buying it. Way too Cartesian for my liking.

In the same way that paradox (and a touch of irony) blankets the ways that justify Jack Bauer's interrogation means, coupled with his unwavering courage and devotion to duty NO MATTER WHAT, appears to me to be the same as Joe doing what his faith dictates is right. Not easy. But right.

You simply cannot separate the two by making it a matter of law. It is one issue. Today we face options, challenges and impossible situations like these more than ever before. The bad guys are everywhere planting explosives and kidnapping our daughters. They extort and they terrorize.

We need guys like Jack and Joe. They are heroes not criminals. If I had a son I would without hesitation recommend them as role models.

I will put up a dollar to your doughnut that today, right now, Joe is contentedly living with his decision. He may get fired. And that is never easy.

But he is right.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Day 10.213 Good versus Evil


Is this some type of cheap Halloween stunt?

At a High School football game in Bremerton, WA, a coach suspended by the district for praying (to the Christian version of God) after games at mid-field, sat in the stands and watched his boys play.

The school district's legal staff offered one of the most incredibly weak responses I have ever seen as precedent. The cowardly decision outraged thousands of parents, administrators and students.

The 'case' made it all the way to the other coast and the other Washington, the DC.

I am appalled.

The lawyers and administrators in a classic display of CYA, cited the need for strict adherence to the Constitution and, not wanting to upset the hierarchy and chain of command, and after Coach had basically thumbed his nose at the pathetic hypocrisy by doing what he considered to be a bonding, affirming, empowering moment with his players (things that coaches are supposed to do) a team that had just put their limbs on the line as a rite of passage, placed him on a temporary leave of absence.

Where upon he showed up to watch the team play. Good on ya Coach. BTW Coach is a 20 year Marine veteran.

Are you smelling confrontation here?

Yeah, me too. I am with ya Coach. Semper Fi.

But the truly evil and troubling part, trumping even the idiocy of the aforementioned bureaucrats, administrators, politicians and lawyers, is this:

Guess who else showed up?

A thousand football fans from local schools offering solidarity and support?
The Archbishop of Kitsap County?
Bernie Saunders?


A task force of Satanists.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Day 10.212 No Looking Back

Day went long.

But amazingly well.

We did our 0700 core workout from which I hustled down the road to catch the ferry.

My checkup with UW Med cardiology went better than expected with the walk-away change being we have reduced the frequency - not the dosage - of that nasty amiodorone stuff. We will experiment with an every other day schedule and chart the progress. My Electrophysiologist warned that we might see an increase of AF incidents, but that even that is 50/50. A chance I will take if the symptoms from the drug stand even this slightest change of a reduction of frequency, intensity or duration.

Please remember that this is the old 'Experiment of One' scenario, with that one being your humble servant.

The best part of the visit was getting the aforementioned specialist to do an interview with me for the new site providing an alternative medical opinion on the AF debate. If you cannot recall that, please check the Ask Your Dad post from last week.

After the hospital visit I have ten minutes to get to CT for the big presentation. I was five minutes lat but Chuck was 55 minutes late. When we finally sat down in the conference room, it was all mine.

He and Roger really liked the idea and everything about the new site, including all the bells and whistles which usually they do not, being from the old school vanilla black and white sales, promotion and marketing crowd. This represents the necessary impetus to move forward. And move forward fast.

Tomorrow is the interview with the REV3 folks, so, as they say, we have hit the ground running.

And I do not plan on looking back.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Day 10.211 Dress Rehearsal

It is a dress rehearsal of sorts.

We are in count-down mode for the big presentation tomorrow. Getting those pesky ducks into rank and file, a row straight enough to call it a parade. Show time.

Actually I am a touch amazed that we have been able to come so far, so fast. We have built a fully functional web site, added a half ton of content and even managed to develop a few fresh twists on the status-quo.

Yes, it is the same old stuff, health & fitness, training & racing, prose, poetry and pixels, but, and please stay with me on this one, it is now up to me where we take all this.

Nobody else.

Me. Oh solo mio. One. THIS one.

And now. Not tomorrow, next week or when I have financial security.

Tomorrow is the presentation, Friday is the first interview, Saturday is final inspection and we launch Sunday. Scary I know.

By Monday we should know.

Monday will also make the denouncement of this site. We have been doing this since 2007, with a post every day for the last two years. The streak is numbered. There will be 59 posts until Jan 1, 2016.

And then we move. is the new show.

You are invited. No need to RSVP, just come on over.

We have reserved a section of front row seats for you.

The curtain is about to rise and I am nervous as hell.

The dress rehearsal will help. Go.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Day 10.210 That's Why

We have moved our strength/conditioning/cardio/adventure cross-training sessions to the morning. These with my fearless nephew who will be turning 13 in a little over two weeks.

Up until yesterday our high energy sessions took place after his school and homework just before my evening indoor cycling sessions in the PowerBarn. It was a grind for me dealing with traffic, time and temperament, the last mostly mine.

So we decided to give the mornings a try, 20-30 minutes at 0700. This would allow him a brisk cardio and conditioning  work-out with ample time for a shower, breakfast and trot up the street to catch the bus. Yesterday was out virgin set and it worked out well, despite him getting a touch light headed at the onset.

This morning we added water, chocolate milk and a couple of juicy strawberries to the pre-workout mix and set about on our way.

His Dad, my brother, was leaving for work when we were out the door on our pre-dawn hike, loaded with backpacks and flashlights. It was raining lightly, a fine mist masking the almost full moon.

His Dad asked us why we were going for a hike in the dark and rain.

It was to be an out and back, about a mile and a half and we immediately began talking about subjects he was learning in school, French, algebra, social studies and civics. He is a smart kid, even amused that I had corrected a homework assignment before our start by circling the word separate that he, like thousands of others had spelled it the way it is pronounced, an e instead of an a.

We got to the bottom of a grade where I emphasized the pace and breathing necessary for this jaunt. I mentioned how clean the air was at this glorious time of day.

I remembered what his Dad had asked as we headed up the driveway.

A coyote pup hurried across the road just ahead of us and seemed to stop half way to look at us.

That's why, I said aloud.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Day 10.209 National Indoor Cycling Day

I took the liberty to coin a new National Holiday today. Welcome to:

National Indoor Cycling Day. NICD. This joyous event will take place henceforth on the Monday prior to Halloween to perpetuity.

No one needs to take a day off, flags can remain at full mast and banks will stay open. The only thing we need to do to comply with the intent of this new and exciting holiday is to put your butt in a saddle somewhere.

In case we are harassed by the US Department of Holidays judicial arm for celebrating without a permit, we offer ourselves as NICD sponsors in order to provide a legal corporate umbrella. Because evidently corporations are people too. So we should be safe.

Which is one of the many reasons to ride indoors now that leaves are falling faster than the wet dollops of rain that accompany them. It is also cold and dark outside. Worse yet it appears to me that automobiles are breeding at an alarming rate - fast as rabbits if I can play a pun.

All of which combines to create both supply and demand. There is a surplus of nasty riding weather in which distracted drivers aggressively commandeer every inch of asphalt as some entitlement from paying car tab fees and road maintenance taxes. One wrong move out there and it's lights out.

Ah but the demand! So the savvy rider, knowing the value received from turning those pedals with resistance and cadence - not to mention with a tasty tune or two as accompaniment - we heard Sexy Sadie this morning - will find a way to do what must be done. And that is this:


Where it is safe, dry, supportive, stimulating, harmonious, effective and totally devoid of anything resembling fossil fuel consumption.The no pollution solution.

And now we have a not quite official yet Holiday to celebrate it!


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Day 10.208 18 of 24

They are to be cherished.

Moments of sweet satisfaction. That delicious slice of life when it tastes as if the recipe was right after all - and not some typographical, gastronomical error. Moments when it all makes sense as immediate rewards earned from honest effort put forth manifest in truth.

I wish there could be more. And maybe there are. Perhaps I am simply too distracted to notice or too busy to help in spite of my relentless pursuit of the sacred present moment.

That fleeting now thing. Oh it will come around again soon and next time I will pay more attention to it.  Go sit in the corner grasshopper.

Juxtaposing the rhetorical to the real, this morning one of those magical moments sprung like Old Faithful.

Upon completion of our hour spin, one of the regulars came to the riser and stood before me almost in tears.

She said this: It happened today.

What happened?

I got to 18 and held it for the duration.


Backstory being that 18 is a resistance setting we often use to simulate a difficult climb. Our bikes max out at 24 so 18 represents a full 75% of that value, or maybe around a 9-11% grade. Stubborn and steep. It is very hard to translate this to actual outdoor riding so we use a combination of these metrics coupled with our old spicy friend RPE, rate of perceived exertion. One thing is certain - spend enough time at 18 and even the strongest will quickly fatigue.

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I repeated, announcing to those remaining that this is the way that we draw it up. Consistent, dedicated and gradual improvements will increase one's capabilities, increase their fitness, and most importantly, keep us moving in the right direction. Applause rang unabashedly.


The validation of this are truly moments to cherish.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Day 10.207 The Bus Came By

Last night I was in doubt. One of those 'I am nowhere near worthy' of the creative requirements the new gig demands. I think at one point or another, about one thing or another, we all have feelings of inadequacy. I don't know, maybe not -or- maybe those that either have no fear of failure or have successfully dealt with it are what we call champions.

Because let's face it, the few that get to the top of the mountain have successfully negotiated with their fears, of one type or another. There isn't a lot of air up there for one thing. That is excuse enough for many.

As I went into rest and recovery mode, sleep, these negatives sprang up from behind and knocked my to the curb. A bus was passing and I went under. My confidence and attitude was bent and bleeding. It was horrible, the feeling of not being good enough. Bloody hell as the Brits say.

It lasted about twenty minutes. An inferno of doubt. Did I just toss five large out the window? Can I really do this?

At minute twenty-one I rolled out from under the bus and came to.


At minute twenty-two I fell into an uneasy slumber. I was bothered. I knew the bus would be coming around again soon. It was nightmarish, like a bad bike wreck.

At minute twenty-three, on the corner of REM and Main, the bus came by.

And I got on.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Day 10.206 Truth be Known

Truth be known, I am no different from anyone else. Sure, I have some interesting perspectives that come from tenure, but I still seek guidance and inspiration with the ultimate goal that some of my more urgent questions will one day be answered.

But maybe that is exactly the point. That the urgency of seeking is actually the goal itself. Let's be completely blunt here, no one will ever have all the answers, know all that can be known or understand with perfect explanational depth the complexities, paradoxes and double-edge razors that whirl about our ears at the speed of sound. Nobody. Ever.

Making the journey there (wherever there is) the goal. Here is what we have in common: We are all there. Right now, this very instant. On that path, in the hunt and on that quest.


And the game has rules. The game has nuance, minutiae and the game has secrets to success. There are team games and individual games, with the goal of either to succeed, to learn and to grow. Notice I didn't say to win. Losing or failure of any type can be as powerful a learning experience as its opposite, as long as the lesson is absorbed, assimilated and addressed.

There is a lot of rhetoric these days about politics and economics, about war and famine, about people named Bush, Clinton, Sanders and some guy called El Nino. I will leave the analysis to others here, but instead segue to the one thing (outside of religion) that can 'save' us.

Your health.

Interestingly enough there seems to be nearly as much verbiage on this subject as there is on politics. What do we go? How much do we do it? At what intensity levels? How many times per week? What about protein? How much sleep do I really need? Will hard interval training actually be harmful to my heart? Will my baby become an Olympic champion?

You get the idea. On and on we go with the medical community in constant battle with the marketeers emanating to sell you pills and washboard abs.

Seems sometimes that the more we know the more we market. The more we see the more we sell. World Class Exploitation.

And this, of course, pisses me off. Royally. It is very much like having to buy bottled water because big oil has polluted the oceans to a remarkable (and legal) level.


Rant over, Here is something you can use. It is a quote by someone I have had the pleasure of interviewing (Kona 2002), it is simple, direct and extraordinarily powerful. Please take a look at this article and see if you agree with Joe. As I do.

 MR. FRIEL: The best way to maintain health and performance for the dedicated but aging athlete is by doing high-intensity interval training, doing strength training with heavy loads, including adequate protein in the diet, and getting lots of sleep.

Truth be known.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Day 10.205 How to pay for THAT?

We are making some nice progress on the new site. It is, as you developers know - and surely appreciate, a major league pain in the ass.

I hope that pain will be a small price to pay.

This morning we had another marketing meeting, in a series of such bare-boned utilitarian gatherings, with the following agreement solidified:

It is more important (right now) to bring traffic to the door and get Google to begin its ingenious indexing work, than it is to actually have something to sell the curious, intrepid adventurers that navigate to our safe harbor.

A modem marketing fact that leaves me wondering how long I have been out of the loop, so to speak.

This is computer science and technology so far over my head that I had to define hats once again with my partner, stating with emphasis that I am the content provider, and you, my dear friend, are everything else.

To be honest, I do wear one more hat as well, as I wrote another check to the guy wearing the everything else hat today.

So I should be happy that my job description has two main immediate ad urgent functions:

1) Produce written and video content.
2) Fund it. 

At the very least I have a responsibility that fills my days with joy, challenge, happiness and a rare opportunity to actually create something that will pay the aforementioned indebtedness on the fly.

I say this with as much sincerity as I can muster wearing the colorful hat of the indigent cynical jester.

So back to work we go. I have to script, shoot, edit and present the work flow concept for a presentation with the big boys one week from today.

Used to be I could simply sit at the conference table, hand out some fact sheets,  run a power point presentation and then ask for the order. They wrote a check and we went to work.

Now I have no idea of what is going on 'under the hood' but Mr Everything Else has me convinced that something called SEO will lure a million new eyes to our site every day.

I wonder how I am going to pay for THAT.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Day 10. 204 Ask Your Dad

Sample size is important if we are to draw good conclusions from antidote.

Over three million Americans deal with the sometimes lethal consequences of heart arrhythmia. That number will grow as us Boomers age-up. A man in his 50's has a 6% chance of hitting the heart lottery, but that doubles when he gets into his 80's. Science and medicine are learning more about the causes and effects at an encouraging rate. Which is good because by their own admission, there remains more questions than answers. They use the tern idiopathic which loosely translated from the Latin intones, "We have no idea."

So when I read an article connecting the key words of heart arrhythmia and endurance training, I grab the nearest shaker of salt.

There are simply too many variables to consider, too many options and way too many different training regimens to accurately define and classify the causes and effects of one on the other.

It seriously chafes my butt when one person, regardless of his or her success or experience, tries to 'warn' others that the results of their choices towards a healthy lifestyle could actually do more harm than good, and thereby putting the fear of God into a hill-climb or half marathon. There is challenge enough in getting our populace to exercise more without the the fear of final failure.

Please allow me a contribution here. Another "experiment of one' sample. size. Having some history and experience on both subjects all I can do is spin my story in a way that helps me help you. I have what is known as chronic atrial fibrillation - paired with a delicious dose of Bradycardia (too slow a rate). Five trips to the ER, four aversions, an ablation and a pacemaker implant later, I was not only broke but badly bent as well.

Both my cardiologists and my electrophysiologist answered my biggest question with a surprisingly similar phraseology, 'do what you want to do'. Go smell the roses.

But I do Ironman. I train every day and train HARD every day.

Good for you let us know how it goes and good luck.

I will now give you something to take away from all this besides fear. Here are the two most important things I have learned throughout my personal ordeal.

1) Get a good diagnosis as early as possible. Are you over 50? Book an appointment with the cardiology department of your PCP and have them do some tests.

2) Ask Your Dad. DNA carries the gnome. My Dad had it and his Dad did too.

I wanted to leave you with something positive from my circumstance. There you have it. Get checked out and Go Ask Dad.

Then do what you want to do.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Day 10.203 Hang in There

Ya hear it all the time.

In myriad contexts.

Spanning the globe of possibilities.

For better or for worse.

Flyin' high in April or shot down in May.

In victory and in defeat.

At weddings and funerals.

On planes, trains and automobiles.

On top of the mountain or deep in the valley of despair.

In the home, in the office or on the road.

Good times and bad.

Walking' in the sunshine or singing' in the rain.

In a New York minute or with sweet Texas time.

In the crunch, clutch or garbage time.

For the win or for the bin.

On a Chelsea morning or a dog day afternoon.

Rockin' out or singing' the Blues.

Happy as a clam or floundering.

As tiger or pussy cat.

Happy or sad, mad or glad, loving' or lonely.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Day 10.202 The Answer is Yes

The question is balance. What is it, how does it manifest and what, exactly do we do with - or without - it? Could it be more important than we currently think?

I'll give a recent example. Yesterday we tackled the rugged 33 miles comprising the Chilly Hilly course. It was a grey, cloudy, mournful Sunday morning after a particularly unsavory loss by the home lads. I was in need of something to counter the anger and frustration building since the defeat and bubbling in a cauldron all night.

A good hard ride might be the magical elixir that the witch doctor had ordered.

My riding partner is an old and dear friend. He has three kids, one of whom is a freshmen in college, a great job with one of the most important companies in the world and a new gal that challenges his intellect. He has yet to find time in all those responsibilities to follow a routine in order to keep his health and fitness where he would like it to be. He is, by his own admission, carrying about 50 unnecessary pounds.

Here is the fun part: While he weighs almost twice what I do, he can produce over twice the power. As measured by watts.

I, on the other hand, have a higher power to weight ratio and consistently have to wait for him at the top of the many hills on our route.

Where does the balance issue pop up?

In terns of training and focus it is clear: He needs to drop the 50 pounds while I need to add the 50 watts.

As we rode and discussed this, one other similarity emerged. Having just returned from a company sponsored sales and customer service retreat in Vegas he stated that he was 'turbocharged' and truly excited about his career. I shared with him my recent decision to go all in on the new website and how I love balancing the crackling and reciprocal energy flow.

Nodding in agreement, that this is a key component of success regardless of the magnitude or circumstance, we charged up the next hill as if vying for a TdF KOM.

Its not so much a question of balance - more a answer.

And the answer is yes.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Day 10.201 I Am a Rock

I wish I could come to grips with this.

Maybe it is too deeply physiological for me too understand, an agnosticical anomaly or some such alliterative admission of angst.

Why is it that when MY college football team loses, I am a wreck, but when OUR professional team loses, I kinda snicker at all the bandwagon losers. To be transparent, the college team and I have about thirty years of history and have been pretty lousy of late, losing as much as winning on a fairly consistent regularity, while the pro team has been in the last two Super Bowls, even winning one of them.

When my college team - made up of what the head coach has (rightfully) called the dumbest demographic in the world drops a game (as they did last night) I want to break things. But when the Pro team, rostered by millionaires culled from universities acting as farm teams, loses, I kinda chuckle and go about my business with a smug and cavalier nonchalantness that borders on scorn.

What gives?

I don't have the same attitude with, say, triathlon, where the Pros race shoulder to shoulder with the age-groupers. I have nothing but respect and pride with the dichotomy of the mix. The champions get a ton of dough, mostly from endorsements, and the other 99% get fleeced for outrageous entry fees. So what gives?

Perhaps my time investment is askew, creating a false importance born of my own devise. I follow this team. I mean FOLLOW. The fourth site I visit every morning is a fan page forum, this after NPR, Slate and the Seattle Times. Alright there is Gmail and Facebook in the mix as well, but you get the idea.

Paul Simon nailed it in I am A Rock with "If I never loved I never would have cried". That pretty well sums it up I guess. It is true.

I suppose I should be used to it by now. But I am not.

Love hurts. I love this team, its predecessors and the kids currently being recruited to come here and try to change things.

Maybe there is some strength building inside us as a result of all the losses, all the hurts, all the disappointment. We have spoken of this before. It hasn't killed us yet.

We are stronger. And an island never cries.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Day 10.200 TnT 2016 Cycle Tours

I am in a bit of a quandary. As many of you know, tonight my UW Dawgs take on the visiting UO Ducks. We haven't beaten them, or even come close, in eleven years. ELEVEN LONG YEARS. Tonight is not only homecoming but the first time in that span of painful time that we are actually favored by Las Vegas. I am still nervous as all get out. And trying to do whatever I can to help. We talked about it in class this morning using the contribution factor. As in  yesterdays "The World is Waiting for your Contribution" themeology. A linebacker can, a running back can, a free safety can and the left tackle can. But me? Say a prayer and cheer is about it. My quandary is this: I would like to symbolically inspire the entire Dawg family today by eating some duck - but I am vegetarian. Guess my boys will have to get it done on their own because I refuse to stoop so low (on the food chain).

After the following update on the Best Indoor Cycling Trips and Tours (TnT) package I will, as is our custom, give you my game prediction.


We will offer four outstanding biking trips in the Great Pacific Northwest for 2016.

Chilly Hilly - A one day 33 miler that is tackled each February by 4,000+ riders.
Fun 101 - A five day trek around the spectacular Olympic Peninsula on legendary Hwy101
Hurricane Ridge - An 18 mile ascent (and subsequent descent) featuring 4K gain.
Mt. St. Helens - 42 up and 42 back on the Tour de Blast course.

All Best Indoor Cycling tours are fully supported and led by experts on the route, terrain, secrets, and must see spots. Here is what you get:

The You Tube video of a live training session in the PowerBarn (45 minutes)
The target ride HD video set as a 2x20 session with GPS available.
The chance to commit early (50%) and commit to the ride via Pal Pay.
A fully supported ride in 2016. See PowerBarn calendar for specifics and price.
A free download of the ride with you as participant upon completion.

What could be better than that? Advance course-specific training with video and GPS, full day of ride logistical support, the ride led by a course veteran and a video of the ride upon completion.

We are launching with Bainbridge Island's famous Chilly Hilly because it is first on the 2016 calendar. The complete tentative schedule is as follows:

Chilly Hilly - Last Sunday in February.
Fun 101 - Last week of May.
Hurricane Ridge - June and July.
Mt St Helens - August

Additional rides, trips and tours will be added as demand increases. I, for one, would love to get back to Mexico and Alaska as we did on the CompuTrainer tours in 2010. We did them by cruise ship and they were, to take a page from the Mt St Helens playbook, a blast.

Our TnT rides are dynamite days sure to create lasting memories. And how could you ever forget when we provide a video recap of the trip?

Please sign up today and reserve your place for one or all of our exciting 2016 rides.

The epic awaits.

Huskies play the most inspired four quarters of football seen on Montlake since 2000 and march to a 30-21 victory. Chaos ensues and duck is devoured by all. Except me. I will, however, hoist a cold one in their honor.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Day 10.199 The World Awaits

As you most likely know by now, I am big on synergy. Combinations, amalgamations, farragoes, mash-ups. I once used this somewhat pithy line in a commercial for a promotion we were running called Bike Week: Rice and beans may be the best recovery food ever invented.

You get the idea. Peanut butter cups, triathlon and espresso with a almond croissant get honorable mentions here. As do the play action pass, three-part harmony and dinner and a movie.

I am really, no really, excited about our new project, the soon to be famous (fame being relative) go-to website carrying the URL of You can take a wild guess as to the content.

As way of updating you on progress, here are three items creating current energy flow (I could have said current current):

1) We have set November1 as launch date.
2) I have a sponsorship meeting Tuesday.
3) Design elements are underway, media assembled and wheels of revenue detailed.

How is that for a medley?

To date (almost) everything has fit nicely into place. Like when you randomly pick a puzzle piece and it fits right where you need it most. This is the single element that needed to pop. It HAD to happen in order to keep my attention flowing in the proper creative direction. And, thankfully, it has. A validation of cosmic origin supporting the initial decision to go.

We are in the game.

Our synergy and validation theme was reinforced this morning when I read this:


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Day 10.198 Practice, Produce and Perfect

PRACTICE IT (P1). Practice the things we do in all phases of our game. Practice the things we do not do well more than the things that we do. Shouldn't come as a huge surprise that I do TEN TIMES more cycling than swimming. Which would you suppose I am better at? Which do I enjoy more? What is my limiter? This is part scheduling, part structure and part discipline. This has to be done - assuming you want to see improvement, and especially if you want to move towards the pointy part of your age group in multi-sport events. Practice it disclaimer: Some folks have a 'just finish'  strategy. They are not interested in competing for fame and fortune. They possess neither the DNA to qualify for Kona nor the time or money it takes. They want to burn calories, improve their fitness and stay healthy. We do not all race and we are all not obsessed with going faster or longer. Even if you will most likely never compete for an age group win in an Ironman event, the physical activity you choose for health and fitness can be improved upon by putting the P1 principal into play.

PRODUCE IT (P2). Manufacture the energy necessary to physically place yourself at the start line. It has been suggested that showing up is half the battle. We have been cycling indoors as a group for over ten years. We do it at 0530. Not so much because we like that time of day, are morning people or our biorhythms are optimal then, but because we are all busy and find this hour 'available'. We produce the energy to get to the dojo. Once there we produce some serious wattage and group bonding. We get it done. One of my favorite bromides from year's past is a terrific campaign from the US Army. You remember the one: We get more things done by 9am than most folks do in a day. Produce results. P2 in the game.

PERFECT IT (P3). Practice makes perfect right? No. You can practice wrong, sloppily, lackadaisically, inattentively, incorrectly and ambivalently. These all reinforce the already unbalanced commitments you call practice. If you are not going to practice with 100% focus, 100% commitment and 100% awareness and willingness to improve, you are going through, what we call, the motions. There has to be heart and there has to be soul involved. Or go home, think about it, make a decision and come back tomorrow ready to change. Or not. Maybe you should be a sales clerk or a janitor. Nothing wrong with that. If that is your case this is probably not the place you want to be. Come back if and when you have made your decision. And good luck, seriously, we all hope to see you again working with us. We'll be here, working towards P3.

Practicing, producing and perfecting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Day 10.197 Attitude

You and your attitude.

What is the one defining characteristic that differentiates me from all the others in this circus?

It sure as heck ain't my blinding speed, Olympian-like strength or Ironman champion endurance. I will readily admit to you here and now that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer and I own no 401K, penny stocks or will one day float from a golden parachute.

But I am here and it is now. What I do with that is up to me. I still want to compete, improve and race. I will continue to train every day as if my next event was going to be covered by ESPNHD. This drives me.

It also assists with my motivation by relentlessly projecting my efforts onto the course of everyday improvement. The process. If I think I am a champion I might train with the proper intensity that it takes to win. If I can somehow increase my levels of awareness, presence, humility and joy as this training is unfolding along the process, I just might get lucky one fine day and actually succeed. GO ME!!!

I can live with 'failure to podium' if I can brutally access my effort and rate it as best I could under the current circumstances using the tools, experience and wisdom at my disposal.

What separates those that make it from those that don't isn't the bike they ride, shoes they don or supplements they devour….

….it is attitude.

There is an option available to you right now that can push your agenda and you know exactly what it is. Need another illustration? How about this one from our band-mates:

        A wrong note played timidly is a wrong note.
        A wrong note played with authority is an interpretation.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Day 10.196 I Know the Ending

I will attempt to resolve the tension from the rather pithy introduction of yesterday.

One day prior I used a phrase that came to me cleverly disguised as a lightning bolt of literary inspiration. Nailed square between the eyes by the physic charge of creative energy, I jotted on my ever-faithful notepad this:

I know the ending.

As did Aristotle and Plato before him around 300 BC.

And I speak their truth.

I know the ending.

Like any good three act play, like a tale of epic lore, and as each industry-denizen of Hollywood understands, the story is everything. As told in three parts, known as acts:

I. The introduction.
II.The conflict and tension. The goal explained and challenge accepted.
III.The resolution.

In both the metaphoric and literal, I know the ending. I know your ending as well as mine. I know your struggle as well as your victories. I know you as you know me (and we are all together). I knew John Lennon's end before MD Chapman did. Coo-coo-ca-choo.

I will be blunt from this point forward. Here is the ending:

You are going to get sick and die. That is our nature as human beings. No one will get out alive. We will, one day, all take another rite of passage and segue to whatever comes next. There is a strong belief that that means nothing.

What we do with that major truth is everything. Because we are all now in the second act, dealing with the challenges, issues, hardships, relationships, health problems, headaches, heartbreaks and hernias.

We are literally writing and acting our second acts today. Right now. I am scripting mine as I write to you. You are writing yours as you read this.

The opportunity, the golden one, the meaning and the message are clear.

The second act is where it's at. Here is the day. Seize it. Make it sizzle. Add some more love to the mix, get out of your comfort zone and rock. Drive your Corvette with the top down.

Let your star shine in the second act.

Because now you know the ending too.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Day 10.195 I

I know how it ends.

And will tell you tomorrow.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Day 10.194 Sure was Fun

The boy who flew too close to the grass.

I read once about dreams of flying and how they symbolize something sexual but I can't remember what. Was it in search of? Lack of? Need for? Or what (TF)?

I had a mach 5 flying dream the other night that I will begrudgingly share with you. I say begrudging because there is something very private about this, and, well, you might laugh or consider too childish for your tastes. Regardless...

I am in a garage late at night. I stand in the middle on the concrete floor looking up at the ancient 2x12 rafter joists. I know that atop them is the dust of ten thousand days, actual molecules from 1950 to today. For reasons mostly subliminal and symbolic I feel the need to touch the dust. Maybe it contains some magic element that is a key ingredient of the elixir I need as initiation into another level of consciousness. The old eye of newt and unicorn tooth formula perhaps. I take a quick visual inventory and deduce that there is no ladder available, matter of fact there is nothing in the garage at all. It is completely empty. I start to formulate a plan. The ways and means committee says that if I am to sample a pinch of this sacred pixie dust I am going to have to jump or fly like a helicopter.

Immediately I feel my toes, ankles and calves prepare for a vertical ascent. I also realize that it has absolutely nothing to do with muscle and my lack of jumping ability but the mental roadblock of doubt I have nurtured over the years. I have reversed the alchemy from gold to lead.

THAT is what is keeping me grounded. Of course, how could I have been so stupid? Let go, get light, allow yourself the power to rise up. Believe it! TRUST.

I feel a strange sensation in my core, a second chakra tingling in preparation for lift-off. I am chanting to myself the flying mantra and building confidence as the turbines warm to operating speed. I feel a glow radiate from within and know I can do it, matter of fact I know now that I have already done it a thousand times, it is just like riding a bike. Let go. Grant yourself permission to achieve your dreams.

I go. And rise into the air with a slight push from my bare feet. As I rise I chant of lightness by repeating the mantra of yes, singing it now as high octane support of my passage.

I lift and grab the top of the rafter feeling the light carbon-dusty sediment, rubbing some between my thumb and forefinger as a test. I am satisfied, but instead of descending I decide to keep the power and take a lap or two outside. This is freaking fabulous.

And I am now flying over the green, wet grass, next to the fence, above gentle rolling terrain and feeling ecstatic, happy, satisfied and whole. This is it.

I wake up when two dogs from next door sense the unauthorized intrusion into their kingdom and sound their howling alarms.

I have no idea what this means. Maybe I will win my age group in Kona, maybe one of my former gal friends will text me with a dinner invitation, or maybe our new website will hit pay dirt. I am not sure.

But it sure was fun.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Day 10.193 Amen and Amen

Milestones, anniversaries and occasions galore today.

As is the case with every day (if you stop to look).

My milestone today is the celebratory gathering of my classmates all of whom graduated in 1970 from a small Catholic school in Southern California. I went to the 40th edition in 2010 and was pleasantly surprised by the joviality and camaraderie of the aging 'Thespians'. Highlight was seeing my HS sweetheart and getting caught up. It has been a long strange trip, thank you all.

Anniversary to celebrate is my year with a pacemaker. On this very day in 2014 the good, talented and compassionate staff at the University of Washington Medical Center (you don't rely think I would let a Cougar or Duck do it?) opened my heart, connected two wires (black and red they tell me) that attach to a self powered device that regulates my arrythmatic atria on the bottom end of the electrical spectrum. I can pretty much tell you with a high degree of accuracy what my resting heart rate is upon request. I keep meaning to send them a thank you note for the miraculous technological procedure they diagnosed and subsequently repaired. It has not been all rainbows and unicorns since, but the process continues and who knows, maybe one day I will get back to…

…Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, where today (right now) the 39th annual Ironman World Championships are playing out. As you may know I have some history in the lava fields. You might also know that I remain as committed as ever to reaching the hallowed proving grounds ceremoniously ruled by Madame Pele. I suppose I could quit and lower my expectations, do a 5K or Grand Fondo and call it good, but I cannot. Will not, rather.

All of the above is mere backstory, just annoying white noise, without the dynamics and rites of passage encountered along the way. This path, this story, the long and winding road, filled with potholes, pitfalls and perilousness proceeds.

This afternoon is the wake of one of the people with whom I shared many magical moments. It is milestone, anniversary and special occasion all tossed into the psychic blender. Emotions will run wildly ahead of the bull. Tears will fall like the good Northwest rain. Friendships will be rekindled, fears assuaged and hope restored.

Life goes on. It is, as several someones have said, our oyster. We can do with it whatever we want.

I want more good memories. The time to create them is on the half-shell of the now.

God grant us the serenity to boldly move closer to the light with joy, peace and love in our hearts so that a year from today we may look back upon this place in time and space smiling with the powerful memories that our friends, classmates, teams, staffs, tribes and families have helped us create.

Amen and amen.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Day 10.192 Are We Clear on That?

Let's be clear on this. At this juncture (a open search protocol) you are seeking something.

Maybe you have said to yourself once or twice that you would like to lose some weight. Yes?

What have you done about it? Have you hoped, wished (or prayed) that Google might send you to a site somewhere where someone is selling an instant weight loss program (or pill) requiring little effort and costing only pennies a day?

You have? Don't feel alone, this is an 21 billion dollar a year industry.

You also know deep down that it is fraudulent, misleading and that you are being fleeced. Taken to the golden fleece cleaners.

I am here to stop those felonies.

And I want to start with YOU.

There is only one requirement to start. Yes, it is the hardest one yet both free of cost and available to everyone.


You absolutely have to want this to work more than anything. More than finding true love, more than a million tax free bucks, more that the adulation of your peers and more than watching your beautiful children graduate from college with honors.

It is as simple as that. No commitment = no success. You are doomed to lose more money than pounds if your commitment is not the first step.

Do you want to start?

First realize that weight loss is NOT the primary result of indoor cycling, Jazzercize or Zumba.

If you really want (are committed) to losing weight, being healthier, improving your fitness and feeling exponentially better about yourself (confidence) you must know what the used-car marketeers want to keep as their secret - and subsequently sell to you - that:

Weight is lost in the kitchen (or fast food joint), and fitness found in the gym (or home).

We execute a safe and effective plan incorporating these basic principles. We do them together, meaning you and I, and it and them. Please realize that progress is a process, and that this will not happen overnight.

We eat right. We train right. Better, we have fun doing it. Because we add accountability, inspiration and entertainment.

Together these form a powerful health and fitness combination. You lose weight as you gain fitness.

All you need to do is totally commit.

Are we clear on that?

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Day 10.191 Good, better, best

GOOD: Riding your bike?
BETTER: Riding for performance improvements indoors.
BEST: Using precise power protocols with motivational video accompaniment!

This format, the good, better, best comparison, is one we will consider utilizing in our roll-out campaign. It is somewhat of a knock-off of the classic and successful MasterCard "Priceless" campaign, which I consider to be an outstanding work of advertising genius. One can almost see Don Draper smiling as it is pitched to the MC advertising directors.

Behind the scenes and under the hood we are making consistent progress. Yesterday's marketing status report meeting went well. I am enthused and excited about the possibilities of the new project. We hammered out several key points and now have a clear model from which to work. I will detail it later for your consideration, review and commentary.

Another first is taking place this very evening in our local training center, The PowerBarn (soon to become our production studio for the indoor video training series and available exclusively at - see the hook?) as we sync two of my favorite things, college football and indoor cycling.

The big game, UW vs USC, on the big screen as we push big power on the CompuTrainers. This will test the system for subsequent use with the new video series.

GOOD: College Football.
BETTER: College Football and indoor cycle training.
BEST: A UW win as we cheer from the saddle.

We will need to ride with Lady Luck tonight if the Dawgs are to bite the Trojans again. But I do love a hopeless underdog.

GOOD: The game on HD in the PB.
BETTER: A great workout and entertaining accompaniment.
BEST: Huskies 31 USC 28

Light a cigar Don.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Day 10.190 Ritual

I find it both refreshing and amazing that my simple existence on this wordily platform contains so many opportunities for growth.

My latest book on tape is a seminar by Caroline Myss. She has always held a power over me due to her concise talent in explaining what should be by now glaringly obvious. She speaks of mysticism, shamanism, chakras, physic power, and all things spiritual. To me she is the yin to the yang of Carlos Casteneda, Joseph Campbell and Tao of Physics author Fritjof Capra. With the understanding that the archetypes she examines transcend modern stereotypes. Man is warrior, prince, jester, alchemist. Women a goddess, mother, healer, prostitute, artist. Part of her opening remarks were on the challenge, quest, duty of every human being to find the synergistic combinations of these archetypes to change our spirit energy into matter, words and thoughts into action.

This to me is thrilling. She is on to something hugely important. Especially in this time-crunched culture we have created for ourselves.

In an immediate segue she gracefully choreographed a move to the topic of the power of ritual. She engaged the audience with questions of their mornings. How they woke and the routine preparations for a long day of mirth. Most men's went something like this:

Shit, shower, shave, coffee, bacon, e-mail, commute.

Most women answered:

Stretch, water, hair, tea, TV.

As I attentively listened while navigating the damp roads to our Wednesday morning 0530 spin session I mentally created my own list. Here is what appeared on that list:

Pee, brush teeth, make coffee, pack kit, e-mails and NPR, toast, commute. And here is the biggie:


A ritual. A practice. An alchemy. A very wholesome and valuable lifestyle choice enacted.

There is power in ritual.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Day 10.189 Wheels, Wind & Will

Something about riding stimulates the creative process.

Maybe it's time in saddle with pumping oxygenated blood flowing to fertilize the arid desert of my western hemisphere. Maybe it is the all too scarce quiet time, a meditative hour spent with no-one but my own private circus. My daily meeting with the monkey management team.

Same phenomena with running. I have been nursing an inflamed left (of course) hip flexor for almost two months now, with the latest (self) diagnosis being bursitis. I can sum up the sensation in one word: Ouch!  But only when I run. Footstrike trauma to blame as the usual overuse suspect. There is significantly less ouch-ness when turning nice round circles on the bike, inside or out.

We (nephew and I) ran an easy two miler yesterday. This was in-between a morning hour spin and an evening 2x20 set. It felt good. Now the challenge is ramping back up safely and efficiently. Here we go.

As we ran I had this acronymic revelation:


When wheels are legs.
When wind is cardio vascular fitness, and
when will is the desire to improve.

A great combination I believe.

Go out and run or stay in and spin, then see what you think.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Day 10.188 The 15 Commandments

MY 15 Indoor Cycling (Spin Class) Commandments

1) Be on time
2) Be prepared
3) Get correctly set up
4) Check your attitude at the door
5) No chit-chat
6) No cell phones (if you are running a fitness tracking app - pause or stop AFTER)
7) Participate in the protocol
8) If you want  to do another protocol, tell me
9) Do the work
10) If you MUST leave early - tell me in advance and
11) Do not disturb the others as you exit
12) Hydrate often
13) Energize others
14) Clean your bike and floor underneath after the session
15) Please join us in applause for each other upon completion of the session (including warm down and stretch)

This is common courtesy.
It is respectful.
You send a powerful message to others as a result of your effort and attention.
Drive safe on your way home and be sure to down some clean protein.

Hope to see you in the saddle very soon.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Day 10.187 Of World Class

Today was another Hurricane Ridge ride. I have done plenty, but never seem to tire of the challenge, the scenery and the glow upon completion. And breakfast after.

RT was a full ten hour day and well worth it.

Not so much because my partners today were making their virgin assaults but because, as always I use this ride, 17 miles up to 5,200 feet and another 17 back down at white-knuckle Mach 5, as a cycling fitness gauge.

I did OK. Felt strong, never coming even close to over-exertion and enjoying every minute and mile. All fueled by one slice of peanut butter and honey at 0600 and one bottle of water.

It was as clean and crisp today as I have ever seen it. Spectacular in every way.

This ride will be a cornerstone element on the event wheel of the new site. I'll pick up at the Bainbridge ferry terminal, shuttle to PA, lead the ride and support it, and shuttle the intrepid customers back. All for what? Besides grins.

I am trying my best to price point the prestige. I know many European riders who would jump at this.

And rightfully so. As I said to one of the riders today who asked me to compare HR to some famous International climbs…

…She is, as they say, of world class.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Day 10.186 Rude Entitlements


This entitlement thing seems to be gaining traction. 

I was at a waterfront park talking about some serious stuff with my brother. He is currently seeing the world through bleak colored glasses. He is feeling helpless, overwhelmed and defeated.

We are sitting on a bench as I try my best to offer counsel, or at the very least support.

From behind us a voice is asking to use my brother's cell phone. I turn to look at a disheveled young man, mid-thirties sporting an out of control five day growth. He is a little scary looking and he makes the thumb and pinkie pantomime to me in the universal signal for the phone.

Left mine in the truck, sorry man.

He then asks for a ride to the store to buy some food.

My brother, in a civil and polite tone tells him that we are in an important discussion and could he please give us a few moments to finish.

He grunts an insult and I feel my blood pressure head into the red zone, but I return to the dialogue, ignoring his rudeness.

We finish and stand to leave. He is standing about twenty feet away and asks again if he can get a ride to the store.

I tell him that the cab is full but if he would like he can hop in the back that I would gladly take him to the convenience store even though it is the exact opposite direction of our destination.

Just to the store, he asks impatiently, and not back?

Best I can do right now friend.

I am not going to walk back.


We leave.

This morning a class regular sat using a mobile device as we were winding down in yoga fashion after a particular interesting 90 minute deeply meditative spin session.

Evidently she didn't understand how I see this as rude and disrespectful. To everyone, not just me.

Further, she confronted me after class about 'calling her out'.

I guess we all are entitled to rudeness and disrespect.

Just please keep it out of my house.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 10.185 Rev3 & RCV

Spent the entire morning writing. Cross my heart.

Not too surprising, eh?

The type of writing is the caveat.

I found out via a press release that one of our former clients has split from a partnership and are in the process of 're-launching' their events. Back to the core races with which they have been very successful.

The group is Rev3. There are the locations of their six 2016 races:

Knoxville, TN, May 15*
Lake Quassy, Middlebury, CT, June 4*
Williamsburg, PA, June 12
The Pocono Mtns. PA, Aug 7
Old Orchard Beach, Maine, Aug 28
Sandusky, OH Sept 11

My proposal includes all of their events, partial sponsorship and a promotional presence at each location. I will spare you the financial details. Those, as they say, are on a need to know basis.

Currently the model is the standard one, I run the expo booth and shoot race day video for RCV production.

Here is the twist: We are working R&D to send live video feeds from the events. With pre-loaded GPS course profile of the course, one can ride the entire bike leg while watching a live feed from the event. All in the comfort (or pain) of one's own home, garage, cave, studio, MR Center or wherever one has access to power, a computer and a CompuTrainer.

Is that cool? The technology has been around for a long time, but now it is available to the common blue collar working man (me) for just short of both arms, both legs and firstborn son.

We are trying to make it work.

Maybe I should be spending my entire afternoon working instead of writing.

So here is your exclamation point ending the former and setting up the ladder. !

* RCV currently available here.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Day 10.184 I Can Live with That

Three topics I have been thinking about all day.

Differentiation. What makes a person, place or thing different from all others in a crowded field.

Comparison. We have been instructed that to do so is a no-no. That it only leads to disappointment.

Judgement. The intellectual classification of value as filtered by our refined set of biased and subjective understanding.

I think these are tough ones. We use them every day, sometimes subconsciously, to make sense of chaos, to ease the decision making process, or simply to help us cope with the complexities of the modern world.

Why is something better than something else? What makes them unique, special or useful? How else am I to make an educated guess if I don't have some type of judging process available?

Those represent the positive. The negative comes barging into play when our responses are less than accurate, objective and true. Or if we draw the wrong conclusion which leads us into deeper shadow.

Here is the example du jour. I referenced the Navy SEALS last night in class. I spoke of their courage, their devotion, their dedication. What differentiates them from the ordinary Joe is what they do and how they do it. I am not interested in becoming a SEAL, but I am interested in taking a page from their playbook and using it to increase, enhance or motivate my own training. There is a powerful example in their character from which we can learn.

I see the difference, I make the comparison and judge accordingly.

This is all positive. Unfortunately, not everybody sees this and some are immediately aghast at the mere mention. Kinda like a Korean War or Viet Nam memorial. Good people dying in bad wars.

SEAL training is a wholesome model to which we can aspire. In comparison mine is weak, lacking, borderline pathetic. Seals and me should only be used in the same sentence when talking about the ones that can balance a beach ball on their nose while treading water in front of a large audience.

There is the difference, the comparison and the judgement. My take away is this:

I will work harder to uphold the standards they have set. If (when) I fail to achieve them, I will honestly accept that the value lies in the effort, the path, the practice and not the outcome or destination.

And can live with that.