I could never do that

This is a blog I wrote for http://www.thejourneytv.com/ that was posted earlier this week. Check out Chris over at journeytv.com he has a lot of great content and original videos. 

“I could never do that”. That is one of the phrases I hate the most. Anytime someone asks me about triathlons, marathons, or just my gym routine, all too frequently I hear the annoying phrase that never pays. I guess annoyed is a bit harsh. The first thing I feel when someone says it is sympathy. I’m sad that somewhere in their life journey someone either told them of their limitations or they just started making them up themselves. What is most interesting is I’ve heard this from all types of people CEOs, minimum wage employees. All races, all genders, all ages. It would seem that not believing in yourself knows no limits.

My reply is usually kind. I’ll respond “oh you would be surprised” and I’m happy to let the conversation fade away. It isn’t until people insist that I start to get pushy.

Dick Hoyt
Sarah Reinertsen
Passing comments are one thing, but if you are going to try to convince me of your future failures, well then I’m going to convince you otherwise. In world of Sarah Reinertsen’s and Dick Hoyt’s the phrase“I could never do that” just doesn’t hold a lot of weight anymore.

So what can’t you do? From working out, to telling someone you love them, all that you dream is within your grasp.

 “There is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.”

Francis Bacon Sr

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Fear is something that doesn’t assist me

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Oh the fat things you will do

Oh the places you'll go by dr seuss
It has been a couple of weeks since I did one of the worst (fattest) things I’ve ever done in my life. Keep in mind that for me to say it was one of the worst, well it has to be pretty bad. I’ve done some CRAZY foodie type things. Some things I will never admit to unless the pictures are being used against me.

So the tale goes like this. I’m home alone a couple of weeks ago. I’m mowing down some of the smaller reeses peanute butter cups. Like some sort of mad-scientist it dawns on me that while these are delish, that they could be EVEN BETTER. Next thing I know I’m like a mad man searching through the kitchen looking for the peanut butter jar.
reese peanut butter cup I honestly barely remember finding it.
What I do remember is unwrapping the minis as fast as I could and jamming them into the jar of peanut butter. 30 seconds later I’ve got peanut butter all over my fingers and 10 foil wrappers are scattered across our kitchen counter.
Natural Jif Peanut ButterThis may have been the worlds first peanut butter blackout. I quickly clean up and ask my dog to quit giving me the look of shame. I’m pretty sure he was just jealous. My wife and kids got home a short while later and I tried to act as natural as possible. The only thing I could think to do is ask “what’s for dinner” even though I had a gullet full of peanut butter delights.

Dr. Suess says “oh the places you’ll go”.
I say “oh the fat things you will do”.

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If you can’t get fired up…

If you can’t get fired up at least keep creating sparks. I thought of this at 5am this morning while on my way to the gym. I’m having a tough time getting into the swing of things with my diet and workouts. I was so scared of not being ready for my Ironman that it kept me on the straight and narrow (for the most part). Now I’m dealing with a case of the “mehs”.

The fact of the matter is I like to:

  • Eat whatever I want
  • Hang out with my wife and kids
  • Watch movies and play video games
  • Stay up late while doing any combination of the three listed above!
Don’t get me wrong I enjoy working out and being fit. The problem is that it is fourth on my list of things I enjoy doing. I should add, it is a distant fourth.
At least I’m trying. I went to a two hour spin class on the 4th of July and I got up this morning and jogged three miles. Not too bad for being lazy. I know the fire will return. Until then I’ll keep kicking off sparks as often as I can.

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Favorite Gym Tunes

While at the gym this morning I got to thinking how important music is to me while I’m jogging on the treadmill. If I don’t have my tunes, I’m either not working out or at the very least I’ll cut it short. Treadmill time just drags without music.

One of my favorites to listen to while I’m running is the Collision Course EP. Created long before Glee made mash-ups popular, it is six tracks joined together from Jay-Z and Linkin Park. Amazon has it for for under six bucks. If your workouts need a kick in the pants, I highly recommend it.

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Back in the game

I’m officially back. The good news is this is the fastest I’ve ever returned to working out after an event I did any long-term training for. The bad news is I have an extra 9lbs from Ironman Texas that I have to lose. All I can say is it was fun while it lasted.

I’m hoping my amazement in how fast my fitness level goes away, is second place to my amazement at how fast I get it back. Time will tell. What I know from experience is that it is never too late to start over again. And again, and again.

My workouts last week were:
Tuesday – Morning jogged of 2.5 miles on the treadmill.
Wednesday – Morning spin class for 55 minutes. Afternoon swim of 800 meters freestyle.
Thursday – Whined about being sore. I guess that doesn’t count.
Friday – Morning spin class, the last one for awhile with my favorite instructor at my gym.

Not a bad week. My back had been is acting up a bit so I’m taking it kind of slow.

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It’s my party and I can eat if I want to

Weekend before last was my birthday/Ironman victory party. My wife rocked the house with food and drinks for twice as many people than we had invited. I had a blast and everyone that was invited was able to make it. I gave a verbal race report and even though I tried to keep it brief, it lasted over 30 minutes. What can I say, once you get me going…

The party had two surprises. The first was my brother-in-law’s surprise appearance. He lives in Dallas and didn’t think he was going to be able to make it. The second was a ultra-nice frame that had my finish line picture and my finisher medal enclosed. This was a temporary frame and once we have the final version it will be displayed in the entry way of our home.

So I ate, drank and was merry and a good time was had by all. I’d do another Ironman if it meant I’d get another party with this dear group of friends.

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My Gym – Lifetime Fitness City Centre

I’ve been going to gyms for a long time. Over the past 17 years I’ve been to Air Force gyms, 24 hour fitness, Ballys and now Lifetime Fitness. I joined over two and a half ago and it is by far the best gym I’ve ever been to. The place is unbelievably clean, free towel service, indoor/outdoor pool, kids play area with computers, indoor basketball courts and an awesome spin class studio.

I’ve been at all times of the day and I have never waited for a piece of equipment. In addition to the free towel service, “wet-wipe” stations are throughout the club so you can wipe down the equipment you are using. The spin class studio is huge and the group fitness manager, Cathy Knauss, teaches a great class and always has something new going on. The outdoor ride of a lifetime event is a fine example of fun fitness events.

I took swimming classes at this gym when I could only swim one length of the pool without stopping. That seems like a long time ago (2 years) seeing how during my Ironman training I would swim over 160 lengths without stopping.

How much do I love my gym? Well I’ve had some months that I have more visits, than days in that month. Yep, sometimes I go twice a day. Spin or run workout in the morning, swim workout during lunch. Over the past year I’ve lost over 50lbs at Lifetime and I look forward to that trend continuing.

Lifetime Fitness helped me become an Ironman. I did most of my IM training at the gym. Swimming, running and cycling. I found that when you like going to your gym, it makes it easier to get your workouts completed. I can’t recommend Lifetime Fitness enough.
Oh and the peanut butter and banana shakes are pretty darn good as well.

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I’m truly humbled this evening as I read the most recent post on my wife’s blog. I always enjoy her writings, even if they are aimed at moms. I love every blog entry she generates, but this one is her best ever, since it is about me Smilie: :-)
She wrote it for my birthday which is on 6/2. It is special to me not just for the time she spent writing it, but because I know it truly reflects how she feels about me. I’m lucky to have Melanie as my wife, as my friend and as my “baby mama”. I’m thankful that after almost 14 years of marriage she still wants to keep me around. I’m crazy about her as well.

You can find my soon to be published wife’s blog at http://a-mothers-journey.blogspot.com
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011
reposted from a-mothers-journey.blogspot.com

Married to an Ironman

My husband is an Ironman.

I have always been amazed by him, since the night we met. He impressed me right away with his kindness and the manner of respect that he showed me. OK, well, first with his broad shoulders, muscular legs and blue eyes, but really, the kindness and respect were right after those. I met him after a long relationship that had ended in heartbreak and betrayal. It had been almost a year since that relationship ended. I was not looking for another guy. But, I met him anyway. He blew me away after only a few minutes together. I could tell right away that he was the real deal. He was easy to talk to. He was a gentleman. I actually asked him what was wrong with him on the night we met. I assumed there must have been a flaw for him to be single. There was not.

I told my roommate that night that I thought I had met “the one”. Now that I am older, I will tell you, I don’t believe there is a “one”. Although this does not sound very romantic, I believe there are a large number of men that I could have committed to and lived a relatively happy life. However, I am so proud that I chose wisely. For once in my life! In fact, the morning after the Ironman, I bragged to my mom and dad, “I married a winner!” Truth is, this was just as true on our wedding day as it was after the race.

Michael did not have the beautiful childhood that I was blessed to have. He has never used that as an excuse to be less than what God created him to be. God planted within him at a young age a drive to succeed and a desire to hold himself to a higher standard. God planted within him a seed of self-discipline, mental fortitude and commitment the likes of which I have rarely seen in another human. He does not look for the easy way out. He does not shirk challenges. In fact, he seeks them out. He puts his nose to the grindstone for as long as it takes. And then, he conquers the challenge. And he comes out stronger than before. This is the way he lives his life. He does what he says he will do. He is faithful to complete everything he begins. He willingly makes sacrifices for the good of our family. In a world full of big, spoiled, little boys, Michael is a man. This is why he amazes me.

The finish line was like something from a movie. He had told me, and many others, that he would achieve his life dream of crossing the finish line, or he would go off on a stretcher. Methodically, he checked each hurdle off his “to do” list that day. First, a 2.4 mile swim. Next, a 112 mile bike ride. Finally, a marathon (26.2 mile run). Looking like a warrior after nearly 17 hours of struggle, he did cross it. And as our children screamed, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” I knew in my heart we had all witnessed something profound and sacred. A moment that I will never forget. A moment that will stick with our children as they grow and struggle and face their own challenges in life. We were all able to see from the outside what goes on inside the heart of a champion. There was pain. There was sacrifice. The odds were against him. He just kept putting one foot in front of the other. He pressed on, step by step. He would not accept defeat. He never surrendered.

And as he crossed the line, five minutes before the deadline, Mike Riley proclaimed to everyone who could hear it those magic words, “Michael, you are an Ironman!”

But I already knew that.

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Ironman Texas Just About Wrapped Up

I’ve never been a tattoo guy. I like tattoos, but never had one. The main reason has been that what I thought was cool or funny in my 20s, didn’t seem as much so as I approached my 30s. Double that as I approach my 40s. That changed with IMTX. I knew before the race that if I finished in time I would get a “mdot” tattoo. I thought of tons of cool designs, and I planned to ask my friend Dave to do the artwork for me. After the race, I decided to keep it simple, but that it would need to be big as Texas.

A pleasant surprise to all of this, is my inlaws offering to pay for most of it. The perfect early birthday present.

I got the work done at http://artisticimpressionstattoo.com and I can’t recommend them enough. Great shop, great people.

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