Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Legs strong, but...

You are going to get sick of hearing this, I hope. It's crazy how many big brand franchises are interested in wanting to get involved with my new app. Just today alone I spoke to the biggest in it's industry space and they love it. When the person you are talking to says they would use it personally you know that's a good sign.

So that's it with my awesome days, it's actually surreal. To have and sell something that everyone wants is an incredible feeling. Something I've never experienced before.

The upside of all those good feelings is it carries over to training. I enjoy my runs now and because I'm thinking about stuff deeply the time flies by.

The only issues I'm having that I haven't had for years is I'm feeling a twinge of planters fachitous. It's because I'm running only and not stretching as much as I should. Specifically the hips. Believe it or not it all starts in the hips.

Many people will stretch calf's and think that will work. Nope. Open up the hits by stretching and doing weights is also really good.

Talking about weights I've been so meaning to get to the gym. Maybe tomorrow. I'm not a huge fan of lifting weights but the benefits are undeniable. Especially at my age. You lose muscle quickly. Even getting to the gym every third day would be more than enough.

Food wise my toughest time is between 4:30 pm and 8 pm. It seems I'm constantly grazing. Especially if I came back from a run, then salty chips seem in order.

So it's been almost a month of eating well, training 3 days a week and having only one night of beers. Tomorrow will be the big weigh in day. My prediction is it will be a 2 or 3 lb weight loss over a 30 day period. That disgusts me. It's definitely age, as it's so easy to put weight on and so hard to take it off.

On the Facebook side I'm getting over it. I have had some comments that they miss me on Facebook, not the same. For me I was thinking about it, I keep myself real and when I say real I mean "immature" and honest. I find so many people as they age get so politically correct and take life way to seriously.

I did hear the movie "the interview" was pulled by Sony for Christmas day. Bummer. I was so looking forward to that movie. I guess the terrorists won on that one.

Even my daughter was giving me a bad time today. I was having a great day, lots of good meetings and when I got off the phone I'd be signing in the house "yeah baby! yeah baby! yeah baby!" and she gave me a bad time. WTF? What I'm I doing wrong. Of course I didn't listen I kept doing it and she threatened to hit me.

She also said she hates when I say "that's so hot". I guess it creeps her out hearing her dad say that.

Couple more meetings tonight, then I want to get to bed early. I'm kind of exhausted this week. After tomorrow I'm not setting up any more meetings, just doing number crunching. I have lots validated and can now crunch. And I hope to workout at the gym and do some ab crunches too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's much easier when you have something someone wants...

I have the most crazy dreams, always have. This morning I had a dream that was so real it woke me up at 5 am. It was one of those dreams that rattled me, next thing you know I'm wide awake and can't get back to sleep.

So what do I do. I turn on my Apple TV and start watching WW2 stuff on You Tube. I'm very intrigued by Hitler and war. I think what intrigues me is the human condition. The other things that put me to sleep that I watch is You Tube video on Serial Killers and Mobsters. Again, it just blows me away that these are actual people.

Within about 15 minutes I was fast asleep again. I needed to have a good sleep, I had an important visit to the head office of Honda to talk about my app and see if it was something they would be interested participating in. Turns out there is interest, at least enough interest to take it to the next level and set up a meeting with some more marketing people. It was very encouraging.

When I asked the person I met if they would use the app personally, the answer was "yeah, I think I would".

This is my second meeting with a National Brand.  The first was a National Pizza brand who committed to have me come down in January to see how they could integrate and another is the beginning of a partnership with a company that has 3000 clients that could use our app and they are prepared to start introducing us.

Tomorrow will be another big day. Meeting with a big restaurant chain, I won't say who it is but there name starts with an Mc and their logo is yellow and red.

What is most fun is that I have a product that people want. I've never had something that has been in such high demand and there is nothing like it on the market, at least not done well.

So between customers and investors it seems every time I show the app, people either really like it or love it. Tomorrow I also have a presentation with a major VC out of Silicon Valley, a guy with three, billion dollar exits and on Thursday with another VC.

I must say I'm having a blast. Not only with customers and investors but with the team I've put together and the interviewing of people I'm interesting in hiring.

Today there was no training. I got home late, around 6 pm and I was tired. I actually woke up tired. Still from the beers I had on Saturday and some junk food from last night. I'd like to say I ate perfectly today but can't. I'm for some reason feeling like I'm in Ironman training and catch myself having some potato chips and Alice made some stew, so I had to have a couple bowls of that, it was delicious.

It was funny meeting with my contact from a major Car Brand. I did a lot of business with him when I owned Embassy. We traded stories on what we both did since then. When I told him mine, the selling of the business, the Ironmans, the yearbook business in Silicon Valley, the SS app, the documentary and now this new app he was like wow, I was thinking, lots has changed.

The best part of my change was I got my mojo back. Ironman kick started that and it changed my life.  It's amazing how getting in shape physically changes your mindset. I found myself going from old feeling to feeling like a 20 year old again. It was such a huge confidence builder as well. For the most part I feel on top of the world and enjoy life.

There is no doubt in my mind I'll be training again tomorrow, I'm on the every two day schedule and I'm sure it will get back to every day. I have no desire to do an Ironman again, I'm retired. But I am looking forward to training and doing some half Ironmans. Providing I can swim and not panic in the water. That is my only fear.

This next week I'll have a little bit more time for training. I have less meetings and am going to be focused working from home tightening up all my numbers.

Other great news is I'm back working with JJ. JJ was a VP for me at the yearbook company. It's like we are getting the band back together. He loves the app and he has major contacts at many of the national retailers. Major contacts.

Staying off facebook has been fun too. It's such a time waster. So now the time I wasted on Facebook I've now put back into blogging. It's like my relaxation.

Oh, on the beer front, I was thinking after work tonight that it would be nice to have a cold one and relax. Instead I thought about it. I thought about even with a few beers I'd feel crappy tomorrow. I thought hey man I'm starting to feel better, I don't want to go through the pain and suffering long term for short term gain.

Which reminds me, I think I need to set my bike up on the trainer downstairs at the Pig & Whistle.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Food is a drug...

Ok, so as I've gotten older I've started to better understand my body. More specifically the changes I feel when I eat or drink and wake up the next morning.

For near a month I haven't had a beer. I'm really trying to lose some weight and I have to say it is hard. Even eating correctly it seems it takes forever for me to lose just a pound. Yet, if I don't eat well it seems it takes no time to gain weight.

I did eat well for a couple weeks straight. Pretty much a ketosis diet which is high fat. I find a ketosis diet is awesome for me as after a while on it I feel really great mentally. I've read a lot about the ketosis diet and they have been giving it to epileptics for near 100 years and it greatly reduces seizures. They are also saying people with bipolar are much more balanced on it. I figure if it balances brain chemistry for epileptics and bipolar people, it must be pretty good.

I do know for me I feel great when I'm on ketosis. And there is the rub. I went about 2 weeks eating perfect and then one day I ate some junk food. The next morning I woke up like I was hung over, like I got hit by a truck. I would have never experienced that in the past when I was younger. I didn't pay attention and would be the energizer bunny.

Now I feel the truck hit me. It was actually pretty cool as I didn't have to read about how eating junk food was bad, I FELT it myself.

On Saturday I had some beers, first in near a month. Not many, but the next day I felt horrible. More than just physical, but mental. I've heard from guys older than me when I was younger that it gets harder to have beers when you get older, I'm now starting to believe it. It's actually becoming a turn off because when I eat well I feel so great I don't want to mess it up.

I find that it takes me near about 2 or 3 days to totally recover not just physically but mentally.

The toughest for me is how much hard work it is to get the weight off and how easy it is to put it back on. Last year I got down to 190 lbs, about 12 lbs less than now and it was so tough to get down to that  weight that I vowed to keep it off. Nope. Wasn't ready.

Much of it was the wild adventure starting SS app and being part of the documentary. It was fun, there was drama and I had way to many beers in Boise.

On a personal level this past year may have been one of the most interesting periods of my life. I really started to know thyself. I've also been able to change my mindset and I've had a big mind shift when it comes to my life and career.

I look back and I have regrets. I know many people say "I have no regrets". I do. There is so many things I would have done differently. Now I'm at the stage of my life that it's like a second start at life.

The difference is time is of the essence. Life is short as you get older and it's also very liberating. It forces you to check and double check everything to make sure you are not wasting your time.

I can feel I'm onto something. Not just career wise, but person wise. I hope so. I want to have a great backside of my life.

I think why I'm feeling so good is I feel like I'm learning a lot. I'm engaged and I think I'm onto such a great business that it's fun. I'm also in total control of everything and it's fluid.

You know you are on the right path when it doesn't feel like work. I guess in a way it isn't if you define work as getting paid.

In between a number of meetings I was able to squeeze in a run. In years past I'd feel guilty if I ran during working hours. Now I don't, at all. That's been one of the best transitions I've ever had.

Best part of the run is that I got so many business ideas. My runs are like others showers. Some people do all their thinking in the shower, I do my on swimming, biking or running.

Food wise I didn't do great today. It seems when I start training I feel I can snack on some chips. I used to when I was doing Ironman training. That was one of the rewards of Ironman training. I could train and eat some snacks without overly watching what I eat.

I also dropped my facebook account. There was a time I was big into twitter, then Facebook and now I'm feeling I just want to get back to simple and old school. Watching TV....and trying to relax. I'm not going to lie, I'm not there yet, I quasi watch TV and spend my time on the Internet, doing research and when I get bored I hang out on Fiverr.

I love Fiverr. I've been needing some stuff done and it's amazing how much stuff you can get done for $5 and most of the time the work is pretty decent and even if it's not I usually don't care because it only cost me $5.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

It's been about 3 months...

Wow, I can't believe I haven't blogged in three months, it seems longer.

Lots has happened since then, maybe that's why I think it's been longer than 3-months.

First off, I feel completely at ease not wanting to do another Ironman, my retirement choice was perfectly timed.

All that has happened is I've displaced all my Ironman behaviours and focused them on starting a business.

It's been really weird for me, for the first time in my life I'm not getting a paycheque. In over 30 years I've never not been paid. It's both motivating and concerning. It's motivating that you want to get back to making some money so time is of the essence and it's concerning in that you eat into your savings.

Weirdest sensation for me is I'm working as hard as I ever had and I feel like I have a job. Which I do. I'm in the process of trying to launch my next venture, a mobile geolocation coupon app. You know you are onto something when you are working extremely hard and it's not fatiguing. If I was getting paid this would be the dream job.

I'm also learning a lot. From starting a business to growing a business to selling a business I'm pretty skillful and there is nothing I haven't handled or can't handle. The new learning is about what is required to raise money from outside investors. I've definitely have been a quick study and much of the business plan requirements are great things to do up front even if you aren't looking for investors.

I've also started to do some business coaching and I'm surprising myself in that I know more than I thought I knew. Much of what I know is just ingrained in me and I do it without thinking. I have a couple of guys I'm coaching right now and it's been really interesting and I'm actually enjoying it a lot.

Over all the years the one lesson I've learned is to validate and idea. So many people get a good idea and then without doing a lot of research and when I say research I mean talking to customers and they build their business model with the hope that the customers will come.

The reality is that being an entrepreneur does not mean your a risk taker, the good ones are actually risk adverse. The good ones spend as much time as possible identifying all the potential problem areas and only once they have exhausted those areas do they then invest. Basically when the probability is high that the idea will work.

I wish I knew this concept when I was a younger person in business. Actually looking back I did do this originally when I started my lawn care business. I just bought some business cards and walked door to door asking if they needed someone to cut their lawns. Then I borrowed my dad's lawnmower and then we used Alice's dads car as a truck and we were in business. I had the customers before I even spent money.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm smarter, or the world has changed or I value time but my favorite word lately is validation. And if you don't think you can validate an idea before spending much if any money on a concept you are wrong, dead wrong.

The one thing I've come to realize is that validation of a business idea takes about 40 - 60 days if you are working at it pretty full time. Basically if you do it right your entire business model and action plan is complete with full financial targets and KPI's.

As I've gotten older I have a real value of time. I realize I'm no longer 24 years old and its a commodity. It's no longer a commodity to me. If I live to 80 years old I'd still only have 30 years left. I know how fast 20 years flies by. There's not a lot of time left and God forbid you don't live to 80 years old.

This past year on so many levels has been an amazing and insightful learning experience for me. There is so many lessons I've learned and levels of self-discovery. In many ways I'm seeing things more for what they truly are and not what I hoped them or wanted them to be.

A big lesson for me is on human nature and understanding others motivations and how they think. I have experienced some crazy stuff and got some great insight into the human condition.

In many respects I feel old and wise and in other respects I feel I'm young and starting out in a new life. The only difference is this new life has a countdown timer and you have to make the best of it as fast as you can. No time for wasting time.

Training wise I'm in that "I don't care" what I look like. I turned 49 years old this year and figure it's kind of that age where you're not expected to be in great shape or look good.

I'm still training a little, trying to get out 3 or 4 times a week for a run. I definitely feel better after I train and my mind is getting to a point where I could see myself getting back to some serious training mileage for the fun of it.

Diet wise it's near impossible for me to lose weight. It goes on so easy and it doesn't come off easily. Even on a Ketosis diet it takes forever. Still working at it, I'm around 202 lbs and need to get to at least 195lbs so my clothes still fit.

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Lifestyle...

I'm entering a whole new world. A changed lifestyle. With no Ironman races to train for and work becoming my top priority.

That doesn't mean I'm not going to train. That would be all wrong. We all need to exercise. It not about stopping cold turkey and doing a 180 in a different direction. It's about not having a structured training plan.

I'm still an Ironman and always will be. You get a lifetime membership when you do 12 or more. I love the number 12, it's enough that it's a significant amount and it's not too much that no one can understand your mission.

When I meet the older guys that have done 25 or 30 or even 200, yes I met a guy this past year that has done over 200, I can't understand them. I have no idea what motivates them to train all the time and go through so much suffering. They definitely have issues or demons of some type.

I was on wikepedia last night reading about Chrissie Wellington. What an amazing story. She came on the scene, blew everyone away for about 5 years and then left. Retired. Moved on. And left on top. So did Mark Allen. Chrissie always said she didn't want Ironman to define her. You've got to look her up on Wiki, it's an amazing story. As a side bar I also have a signed 18 x 22 poster of her in the Pig & Whistle.

I'm still hooked on Ironman. I love the history. Last night to relax I surfed eBay looking for old shirts, posters and stuff from Kona. I've bought Mark Allen and Dave Scott playing cards and an original press photo of Mark Allen crossing the line when he won his first Ironman. I know Mark personally and next time I see him I'm going to have him sign it. Up in the Pig & Whistle it will go.

Diet wise I'm eating primarily protein and greatly limiting my carbs. The one good thing about eating that way is it makes it easy to know what you want to eat, especially when you go to restaurants. All you order is meat. The cool part is you can eat as much as you want. My snacks now are nuts, primarily sunflower seeds. The past few nights it's been snacking galore on sunflower seeds.

Yesterday I hit a good milestone. I broke 200 lbs and weighed in at 199.8 lbs. A win, especially since I'm still training and it's not muscle loss. If I got to 190 or less I'd be happy at that weight. 185 or less and I'd be a rock star.

Two days ago I got my Trek road bike back from the shop. They did a complete overhead and replaced the drive train, a $430 touch. Ouch. This bike is a collectors item. It's the same bike that Lance Armstrong used in the Tour Du France. NOT the exact same bike, the same model. That year was the only year they sold a limited number of exact bikes. Normally the bikes on the tour are different than the production model. Not this one.

I've never had it into the shop in over 12 years. The bike has been a machine. I really didn't need to take it in this time. I just thought it was long over due and couldn't hurt. Mind you I am worried it was so perfect for so long I hope the overhaul didn't do more harm than good in the long run. Reid once told me he wants that bike when I die. He doesn't even ride, he just knows it's cool. It's a collectors item.

My original bike is also a collectors item. It's a Dave Scott Centurion. I could never part with that bike either. That bike is now over 25 years old and my first Kona Ironman in 1988 I rode it.

My existing triathlon bike I'll never sell either. Like the others it's part of the family. I bought this bike because it was the exact same model that Chrissie Wellington won her first Ironman on. It's a Cervelo P2. Not a P3 which was the higher end model, a level down. Just shows you don't need the top model to win the Ironman. I even named my bike Chrissie.

Unless you can't tell, Chrissie Wellington is my idol. Yes, a women is my idol. I think she is the most incredible athlete in the world. What she did was amazing. I can't believe that not every young girl knows who she is. Oprah should be interviewing her.

The afternoon I got my Trek back from the shop I took it for an hour ride. It was strange riding a road bike and not a triathlon bike. I'm using muscles I haven't used and I constantly want to get down into the aero position and realize I have no aero bars. Prior to having a triathlon bike I thought road bikes were more comfortable, now it doesn't feel that way. Once I adjust to it I'm sure it will get back to that.

The one thing I do miss is my seat on my triathlon bike. It's so comfortable. It's hard as it's made out of carbon fibre and you would think it would be uncomfortable. It's not. I tried countless seats until I found the right one and it was hard. Too many people think the softer the eat the more comfortable the ride. Not the case, at least in my case.

Ran this morning. It was delightful. Nice slow, easy and it's amazing how the creative juices flow. I came up with a great idea to help promote Salmon Social.

I'm even finding that walking is helping my creativity. Yesterday I did something I've never done. I worked from outside of the house. I walked to a local breakfast joint, had an omelet. Then to Starbucks, then to McDonald's and back home to work in the Pig & Whistle and outside. About 4 miles of walking.

I love the new world. You don't need an office so long as you have a computer, Internet and a cell phone. You can work from anywhere. I don't think I could ever go back to working in an office. For me I'm much more productive working from home than I ever was working in an office. Much fewer distractions and great work and life flexibility.

This afternoon instead of walking I took my mountain bike. In fact I'm writing this post from a local restaurant where I having a nice salad for lunch and a glass of water. After this I'm ride to another place and do some work. I knew I'd figure something out. Working from home 24 / 7 can wear on you.

I used to work in different rooms of the house to change it up, but so far after two days working out of the house this is much better. The short break of going from one place to another clears the head and provides time to do some creative thinking.

Wow, I just realized it's Friday. You know life is good when you don't realize what day of the week it is.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Third day's a charm...

A photo I took from the back of our house in Winnipeg.
This weekend I slept in and when I say slept in I mean 11 am on both Saturday and Sunday.

I'm not sure why I'm sleeping in. I know it's started since the second blind in the bedroom has been pulled down and the sun doesn't shine in my eyes every morning. I'm also wondering if it's my body adjusting to eating healthier and adjusting.

The human body is an amazing thing. It always wants to be in a state of homeostasis otherwise known as balance. Sleep is that healing state where the body goes to work healing itself. Perhaps some of the healing has still been from Ironman Boulder two weeks ago.

My sleeps are interesting in I'm a heavy dreamer and I'm often in a self hypnotic state. I work many of my problems and strategies out in this self hypnotic state. For those that don't know what a self-hypnotic state feels like it's that moment where you are in a light sleep and able to focus on something.

In many cases it feels real. An example is that I'm thinking of a to do list of things I need to do and in fact I think I'm writing out the list and actually preparing. I wake up to realize it was just a dream. Or there is times I'm strategizing how I'm going to deal with something and visualize myself doing it and  it's like a dress rehearsal.

I find these states awesome. I wake with clarity and motivation. There was many times I'd have to do a long ride in the morning and the self hypnotic would prepare me and I'd wake up motivated to do it.

Right now my self hypnotic sleeps are work related. This week I start my full on promotion of Salmon Social. Last nights sleep was another preparation. I was taken back to the original thought of the app and the enthusiasm and unwavering belief that it's got huge potential. I woke up with my mind reset and clarity of how I'm going to present it moving forward.

The key is to have unwavering confidence, enthusiasm and belief in what you are doing. Anything less and it will not work. This applies to anything in life.

I also woke up fresh and looking forward to doing my run today.

I'm working on a train a sport every third day, giving myself added time for recovery. I've learned that so long as you train every third day you will not lose your fitness. My last run was on Thursday so today, Sunday, was the third day.

What a difference this run was over my first run back from Ironman Boulder on Thursday. On Thursday I was mentally and physically still out of it. I think most of it was because I had done nothing in 11 days and my body needed the kick start. On Thursday 30 minutes felt like 90 minutes. My muscles hurt and my mind felt like I was grinding it out.

Fast forward to today and I was looking forward to it. Right from the moment I started running I felt strong. I knew it was going to be an hour run for sure. I was actually going to go a little longer but persuaded myself that whether I do 60 minutes or 70 minutes there would be no benefit doing 10 extra minutes.

It was the perfect distance and without the pressure of training for a race and just running for fun I found I did not have the same Achillies type tightness I had before Ironman Boulder.

There is definitely a mental correlation between soreness, tenderness and injury. I found that as time has gone on and I didn't have my heart in Ironman racing or I felt unprepared that my body would seem to be more injured or I'd experience more muscle soreness.

I won't discount age as well. Although I think most of it is mental.

Only thing that bothered me after today's run was my leg soreness. An hour run should not have any effect on my legs. I should feel like I did nothing. Instead I feel like I did a mini long run. It's a little bothersome. Is it age and I need more recovery? Or is it something else?

For sometime I've been planning on going in for a medical check up. For the month leading up to Ironman Boulder I had a chronic couch. I caught it from Alyssa and Alice also got it. I've never had a cough that has been so prolonged. Especially after training I'd be hacking and during training the back of my right lung would hurt.

I'm a hypochondriac at times and of course think the worst. Is is cancer? I'm sure it's nothing but I figure it's best to get it checked out. I'm not getting any younger. Or am I just mentally feeling discomfort of muscles than I used to. That I'm not as mentally tough at blocking the pain.

I have been giving a lot of thought about how I want my life to look like on the back half of my life.

On the first half of my life I focused primarily on career. Pretty much all my time was focused on starting, growing and managing my business. From the ages of 19 - 48 my primary focus was work.

People say do you have any regrets? Would you do things differently? Most people say no, that they would not be the person they are today if they didn't experience what they experience.

I feel differently. I would do things differently and this next half of my life is going to be that half were I do things differently. I'm still working through those years and identifying what I'd do differently. I haven't yet got it all figured out and I need to be careful that I don't spend too much time reliving the past.

I'm getting into some really deep thought. Asking many, many questions in my own head. The primary one's are "What is happiness? Why do we pursue happiness? Is happiness even real? Is it even worth pursuing? How do you achieve happiness?"

Like most of us I've had moments throughout my life of happiness. Then moments of struggle. I think many of us think happiness is having moments of happiness strung together in such a way that their is nothing but happiness, that it's eternal bliss.

I'm not sure if that is happiness. In fact I'm not sure happiness is the right word. I don't even know how to define happiness. I can define being happy about something in the moment. I don't know what happiness is.

Frankly my initial thoughts are happiness is a state of mind.

For example, two people could do the same Ironman. One person has a race with no problems other than the long day wears on them mentally and it turns out to be a horrible experience. Yet another person could have all forms of adversity and perhaps even get injured, struggle through it and at the end reflect back on it that it was a great day. That it was epic.

Same circumstance, one person had a positive experience, the other a negative one. One happy, the other unhappy.

One thought that keeps coming back to me is reprogramming. Changing one's thoughts pattern.

The big question is how do you do it? How do you erase previous programming. Keep the positive knowledge and wisdom and erase all the bad stuff so you don't recycle yourself to be the same the second time around as the first time but just with different circumstance.

I was thinking that would be one hell of a business where you could go to a place and have yourself reprogrammed. Now that I think about it I think they made a movie about doing stuff like that and it didn't turn out to well. Maybe it's not a good idea to have others reprogram you. But what if you could reprogram yourself?

Then my next level of thoughts go from wanting to have a better back half than the first, to trying to figure out how to reprogram myself to the next question which is "if I could reprogram myself what would I want the back half of my life to look like?"

Then I think, "why over think it?" I look back at the best times in my life and I just let life flow. It was the times I tried to control a situation or had a preconceived idea of how I wanted to guide the situation or wanted it to turn out and it would never happen or it would be a struggle to make it happen. There was no natural and enjoyable flow.

I think what's really cool is not that I'm asking myself these questions. I've been asking them for as long as I remember. I think what's really cool is that I'm determining my direction on feelings.

Basically asking myself "does it feel right?"

An example is I was looking at Riding across america tours. Rather than thinking how cool it would be and thinking I'm going to make it happen. I play it through my mind as it's happening and simulate the feelings. Then observe the feelings. It's like I'm doing it and feeling if it is going to make me happy.

In the case of the ride across america it took me no time to realize, nope, not for me.

As you can tell I'm going deep in my mind. I think the motivation is time. You only have so much time on this planet and when you're young you don't realize time is precious.

More so now than ever I'm understanding more about what Steve Jobs said during his convocation speech at Stanford talking in the spirit is "life is too short, do what makes you happy".

Yesterday I was google surfing and came across a Jim Carrey convocation speech. I'm going to leave this blog post with this most awesome part of his speech.

"My  father could have been a great comedian, but he didn't believe that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant, and when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don't want to do, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love". 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Intuitive Turning Points...

Once upon a time, October 9th, 2009 my brother Bob and his girlfriend Darlene came to visit from Winnipeg.

That night we ended up in the Pig & Whistle and before the end of the night the beer bong came out. It's just not any beer bong it's the most industrial looking beer bong that holds 24 beers.

It was created by Davis Sohor, at the time in college, and up to that point he told me "Uncle Bryan I've made so many beer bongs, this one is the best beer bong I've ever made". And Davis never does anything half assed. It was a gift to me from him after Davis, his dad and my good friend Rich and I did Ironman 70.3 Muskoka.

The week leading up to that fateful Friday night I was losing weight and it was continuing to burn off well beyond my standard 180lbs at that time.

Intuitively I knew I was on the verge of breaking a barrier and that if there was any time I could get my weight down to the low 170's or even into the 160's is was by riding this wave.

The only problem was my brother came over and the beer bong was broken out. My brother is a big beer drinker and had never seen it before and by his own admission once seeing it he was scared of it. It's not your standard college type beer bong, it's in a class all it's own.

I had no plans to drink from the bong but I was primed from just having beers and my brother threw out a challenge like 6 beers from the bong without stopping and I win $150. I came short, not by much so then he gave the money to Alyssa and Reid for birthday gifts.

The point of my story is that before I took a pull from that beer bong and even before the night began that if I had beers I was going to stop my body from losing weight. It was going to stop it and even reverse it. I knew this in my bones. I knew if I had too many beers my chances of getting down to the low 170's or high 160's was gone.

In hindsight I have mixed feelings. It was a regret that I stopped the losing weight train and on the other side it was a great night with my brother and his girlfriend and I have some great pictures from that night.

The night was about a month before I did the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater and I ended up doing a personal best 4:38 which should have been faster had I not broken my chain, so it's not like it ruined my race. It just took my body out of the fat burning zone and I lost that special opportunity to see how low I could go.

I do know the lowest I've ever been, it was when I was 19 years old I got down from my high school football playing weight of 212 lbs to 158 lbs. My first Ironman I was 161 lbs. My weight for Clearwater was 183 lbs. I often wondered how much faster I could be in today's world with my weight in the 160's.  I had my chance and I "bonged" it that Friday night.

Today was a similar day to that Oct 9, 2009 night but reversed. I intuitively knew that if I over ate or had beers I would balloon up. That I'm on the threshold and if I make the wrong moves I can blow up 5 lbs in a very short period of time and at 200.4 lbs currently the last thing I want to do is get up to 205 lbs. Not to mention the warm weather will be ending soon and I need to lose about 5 lbs to be able to fit into my jeans comfortably.

Yes I've quit drinking beer but on a cold Saturday afternoon with nothing to do it does enter your mind that enjoying a meal at a sports bar, watching sports and having a beer or two could be nice. It's kind of a romantic Saturday afternoon get away.

We did get out of the house. We did go for a drive. The temptation to stop and have some food and beers was pushing hard.

This time around I thought back to that October 9th evening and remembered what could have been had I not put the breaks on my bodies fat burning. I remembered the regret. It wasn't a split second decision, I worked all the pros and con's through in my mind.

In the end I decided against stopping, eating and having beers. I would stop, eat perhaps and just have diet coke. Even with that we got lost in the escarpment and couldn't find any cool looking places to stop so instead we just picked up sunflower seeds, peanuts and pistachios and diet coke and drove around some more in the dreary rain.

To me I felt this as a turning point. Not just a turning point not to gain weight but as a turning point of the self discipline required to get back to my goal weight. I'd really like to reverse my October 9th regret and put myself in a position to see if I could get into the low 170's and still carry muscle.

We drove around for about 2 hours, I was trying to recreate our Route 66 trip. It was so fun driving through all these little towns. Only problem is the roads we drive on I know all to well. I think the fun of a road trip is not knowing what is coming up next. It's all one big adventure. It's hard to be an adventure when you know where you are and what to expect.

After we got home we chilled. I was in the prone position on the couch and on my computer. Toggling between work stuff, personal social media stuff and checking out things of interest and going down the google hole.

At some point I googled "Cycle Across America" Tours. It's something I've always wanted to do. Yet I haven't even fully enjoyed my retirement from Ironman and I'm looking for another ultra endurance challenge. WTF is wrong with me?

This time it was different, I was looking and not close to committing to doing it. In the past I'd look and then thinking about it for about 15 minutes and sign up to do it.

There was a number of reasons I didn't sign up to do it. In no particular order, there will be dark moments especially when you ride with a group. I've done these types of rides before where you ride and you camp or stay at a school or church at night. They move your gear, you have to get your camp set up at night, you need to tear down in the morning, you need to do chores. It becomes a grind.

If I do a ride across America I want to do it in style. Staying at hotels not campsites or church basements along the way. I also don't want to ride rain or shine or be under a tight schedule. These tours are typically 60 - 90 days long and by the end it becomes a grind.

My vision of doing a ride across America is to have family with me. I get up and ride 5 or 6 hours a day. They drive the 90 minutes to the next stop to meet me. We relax in a hotel. We sight see. We go out for dinners and if we want to stay at a place a little longer we do. If it rains or there is bad weather we don't ride that day. We stay indoors.

A second reason I wouldn't sign up is time. It takes 60 - 90 days of vacation time. I don't have that time to spare. I have too much other stuff going on.

A third reason is it's too much like an Ironman. It won't take long and it becomes an endurance event and painful. I don't really want that torture. Again, if I was to do it I'd want it to be enjoyable. If I don't feel like riding, I don't.

A fourth reason is I won't do it without my family with me. Being away from home for 3 months is a long time to be away from family. I did it this year as part of the documentary for Salmon Social. It's as tough mentally to be away from home as it is to do anything.

When you are away from those you love, especially at my age, you feel like you are squandering life. That you are eating into quality family time that you can never get back. To take a summer to do a cross country bike ride with strangers and not experience being with your family seems just plan wrong.

Mind you if I was a younger person with no ties I'd probably do that ride in a heart beat.

In the end it really didn't even get down to decision time, I figured as much as it would be fun to do for all the above reasons I wouldn't do it.  If I did it it would be only with my family with me the entire time and at my pace and we would make it a 3 month vacation with more memories of the vacation than the bike riding.

After googling riding across America I then looked at adventure racing. The cool part was I'm not interested in all that stuff. I think about it and then I visualize what the day is going to look like. The up early, the pushing yourself to dark zones and I ask why? I've been there so many times, I know I can do it, I've gotten the T-Shirt(s) literally and I'm not interested.

I am interested in doing something though. Perhaps weight training? A buddy suggested body building? I'm not sure. I do know I'm not going to rush it. It's way to early, it's only been 2 weeks since my last Ironman and I have a lot I want to do with my career. The worst thing I could do right now is commit to something new. A new challenge. I need to just relax and let life unfold.

In many ways I think today was a "Pop Quiz" type day for me and I passed.

One thing I forgot to mention that helped me make my decisions throughout the day was listening to my body.

Over the past week I've noticed that the back of my neck was getting tight. I've had that feeling over the years and for many years it would be chronic and I'd just ignore it. I no longer do. I came to realize that that neck stress is my subconscious telling me something is wrong and I need to address it. When I do it goes away.

I consider it like a compass. If I start experiencing neck pain, or back pain something is wrong. It's not always clear what that is but it gives me a starting point to explore what it possibly could be. Miraculously once I figure it out the pain goes away.

For me as I've mentioned in earlier posts I'm changing a lot of my thought and approaches that I took on the first half of my life for the second.