Sunday, December 28, 2014

Back to the future...

So I wake up and first thing I do is head downstairs to the Pig & Whistle to work.

For those that do not know, the Pig & Whistle is the most awesome man cave on the planet. It's a world class bar with a walk out basement. Full TV, pool table, pin ball and 70 inch TV. It's every little boys dream.

So I don't go down to drink. Nope. Kegerator is broken.

I go down to work. I had research I needed to do for my business plan.

With that said, it didn't take long for me to start opening beers....from the bar fridge. As I mentioned, Kegerator is broken.

So I'm working away and making lots of progress. Then I'm thinking, "you know the guy I need to talk to is Lee Scott". Lee used to be the CEO of Walmart World and a guy I met and, well frankly, it's a long story.....but lets say the Walmart slogan, "Save Money. Live Better" is because of me.

I look on my computer and Lee's email is not there. Damn. I got his card a long time ago and I didn't put it into my database.

So I do the google search for "Lee Scott" and try to find his twitter address or something. I figure I'll get in touch with him that way.

No luck. And I'm good. I couldn't find it.

So I'm sitting thinking....where did I put his business card?

Only thing I can think of is in the "cubby hole". It's basically the crawl space under the stairs.

Last time I had Lee's business card was when he gave it to me in 2002 when I met him at a Saturday morning Walmart meeting in Arkansas.

So I go to the "cubby hole" and start looking.

Did I find the card?


What did I find?

I found a diary that I started in 1987, it was when I was 22 years old and I had not yet found my career path and was unemployed.

I started reading it and none of it was how I remembered it.

It's amazing how much your mind twists things.

First off, not has much changed from my 49 year old self to my 22 year old self.

The similarities was that I complained about my weight worse back at 22 at 165lbs as much as I do now at 205 lbs. Actually I complained more.

I can't tell you how many posts I read that I just ate 2 litres of ice cream, or in the middle of January we went to Dairy Queen.

Then I read I ran a lot. Almost everyday. My posts would read like this, tough day, ate 2 litres of ice cream, 4 hamburgers and ran 6 miles. No joke. That's how it read.

Some of the highlights....

I went to a movie with Alice almost every second day.

I turned down two jobs, one as a Fram Filter sales person, because my dad was going to get me a job at his work which fell through because "Ken and Doug" didn't think it was a good idea.

That forced me to find a job at Color Image, which is really Image Color, which is the company that launched my career.

It was funny reading about me offering to "work for free" to hire me. Which they did and they did end up paying me, $6 per hour.

I read about punching one of my brothers in the face with 3 quick lefts. I read about my neighbour dying and insisting before he went to the hospital that I feed the birds. And much more....

All stuff I remember "nothing about".

I even wrote on one post that this meeting with Martin Bergen, a big time land developer in my home city, that I applied for a job was so awkward that I would never forget it, ever.

Guess what....I forgot it. Even reading it I was like, "I kind of vaguely remember that. Sounds funny".

Big take aways or trends.....

I ate lots of ice cream. I went to Juniors a lot for hamburgers and fries. I went to a lot of movies with Alice.

A fun part was reading about how the owners of the business that hired me saw me as management and wanting to be the president of their company.

Touching part was reading about me and Neil Mackie, my boss. We had a lot of fun and pranks together and I wrote very flattering things about him. To this day Neil is the most "get things done with no bullshit guy" I know. We had so much fun and laughs and got shit done.

What was most apparent to me is not much changed in my soul. Actually I lie.

I'm less of a whinier today.

Yes, believe it or not as I was reading my diary I was wanting to slap myself. I was winning so much about eating to much and weight. I couldn't be happy.

I was also amazed at how judgemental I was and there was at one point  that I was thinking I needed to find God.

I had to stop reading. Not because I didn't want to read more. It was just that reading is not a normal behaviour and I was getting tired after about 3 hours.

But I didn't really stop.

Instead I found a book about my family ancestry and my grand father and his father. My Grandfathers father was in WW1. To read about the war injuries and how he came back not the same as he left and put mental hardship on his family was interesting.

Yup, mental hardship. No one would bring anyone home. One guy from my Great Grandfathers work as a painter at a big Canadian Pacific Hotel came over for dinner and my GG asked him if he was enjoying his meal because after the meal my GG said he was going to beat the shit out of him. No joke.

Could you imagine being that guy. Your eating. Then you find out you are going to get the shit beat out of you after the meal.

If it was me, I'd be eating really slow. I'd try to put my GG to bed.

In the end I realized one key thing. WE DON'T CHANGE.

Don't get me wrong. I've gotten better, but my core programming has not changed.

As much as I thought I've evolved and am smarter, I kind of am, but not really.

I'm more patient. I'm not as emotional.

But I'm still that same fucked up kid at 22 as I am now at 49.

I was reading passages of the diary to my kids. Both laughing. Reid big time.

To them it was bizarre. It wasn't like I was writing supper deep. There was times I was just describing what is was like to come out of the movie Platoon for the first time and other times describing my fights with family members.

I do know my handwriting was a lot better back then. I could actually read it.

I'm also amazed that I actually did it.

I'm not going to say it was easy to read either.

It's a very different feeling reading what your younger self felt from your older self perspective.

I will say I'm much smarter now. I read this stuff and wonder what direction life could have gone knowing what I know now and being able to apply it then.

The other thing I realize was how much Alice loves me and has been a rock. I even read about the day I proposed to her... on a park bench....then we went through a Wendy's drive thru for dinner.

I also look back at all the old pictures of my grand father and his family and I see the faces of those in the family now.

Interesting Sunday. It was like time travelling.

Then I was thinking "when future generations read this they are going to laugh in disbelief".

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Feasting...

This Christmas I did something I haven't done, I don't think ever. I didn't care about what I ate or drank.

It happened about a week ago when I made the decision not to care about it, not to dwell on it. Not to beat myself up on it.

On Christmas eve my approach was confirmed to be right when I was talking to my best buddy Al. I was updating him on all the stuff going on in my work life and he said, "how do you keep track of it all?". I laughed and said "this is nothing compared to other stuff I've done".

Then I just got down on myself and said, "man, I feel so fat right now". I didn't catch myself. Then my buddy said, "hell man, who cares, you have so much going on and so much important stuff to focus on the last thing you need to do is add watch your weight to the list". I agreed.

So this Christmas I truly didn't care about my weight, didn't dwell on it once and didn't look back. I ate and drank way too much, I'm sure I'm up probably 5 lbs. So long as I can still do up my pants I'm cool. I'm not buying a new wardrobe.

With all that said I do plan on dropping some weight and firming up.

The issue is not can I, the issue is "why should I?"

Now that might seem a little bizarre to say, but it really means, "what's my motivation and how does that motivation look when visualize it?"

If the motivation is to do an Ironman, the visualization is seeing yourself train long hours and cross that finish line.

I'm no longer motivated to do an Ironman.

I can't do the balanced approach to life thing, I'm not an accountant or engineer. My bent is sales, leadership and doing things to the extreme. Basically I make the impossible possible. It's not part of my DNA to be low key balanced. Trust me, I've tried. It's the old saying, "a tiger can't change it's stripes"

No, the key is to be able to visualize something that fit's my personality that becomes my next goal.

I've been thinking about the ultra running stuff. I like running, but again, it's just like Ironman in that you abuse yourself. Mind you it's less training hours total, but to run a 50 mile race is still mentally and physically tough. The only thing that would possibly attract me to the ultra running is the trails and terrain look beautiful.

In my heart my big goal is to grow my new business. I want to see what I can do with it only 3 years. It's the length of time it took me to lose 50 lbs and make it to Kona. What could I do with the same level of determination? Which I have right now.

So basically what I'm saying is my visualization of being my ideal weight and fit needs to be based on doing the least amount of training as possible.

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday, someone who's opinion about fitness and diet I trust more than anyone else and he told me at my age it's all about "high intensity, low volume". He said that even 1 minute a day of high intensity, low volume you can get benefit.  I believe that.

My neighbour got into Cross Fit and does it in his garage. It has a couple little kids and very little time. The workouts are short and intense and he's dropped about 20 lbs and looks great.

Not that I'm going to get into cross fit. I've tried that, it's an insane sport, very open to injury, which I did when I threw out my back doing dead lifts.

I did do that Insanity workout earlier in the year, that wasn't bad. It was a challenge and only 30 - 40 minutes a day.

The concept of high intensity, low volume is an interesting one to me. It's completely different than any training I've done in the past, which has all been long and slow.

Now it's just a matter of figuring out which type of training I should be doing? I definitely need to have another conversation with my buddy Gord, the expert.

Then I need to visualize to see if it could fit into my lifestyle. Once I get to that point where I can visualize it fitting into my next 3 years lifestyle then I know I'm onto a winner.

Diet wise it's the same. If I can visualize it as part of my lifestyle I can do it.

The approach I'm taking right now is to empty my head on any past beliefs or others beliefs about diet and exercise and solely be guided by my visualization and intuition. Does it feel right and can I "see" myself following that lifestyle.

So I'm going to tell you a little story that kind of relates.

As all Christmas eve day's I headed out to the mall to buy Alice a Christmas gift. I didn't know what to get. Usually when in doubt get jewelry. You can't go wrong with jewelry. But buying a physical gift just didn't feel right this year.

The more I thought about it I remember Alice telling me that Fleetwood Mac is playing in concert in Toronto this year and she would love to go. We are not big concert people. I think the last concert we went to was over 25 years ago and it was Billy Joel at the Winnipeg arena. I still remember that concert, it was amazing.

So in the mall, I sat down on a bench and started to google Fleetwood Mac. Then realized that they are coming to Buffalo, which is as close for us as going to downtown Toronto. It definitely felt right that getting tickets to Fleetwood Mac would be the best Christmas gift.

Before I left I was thinking I should buy Alice a card, then decided not to. It started off by me just being too lazy and not wanting to read and then stand in line to pay. Then I thought it was a waste of money because you just read it and throw it away, and then I thought, hell, I'll just make her a card. Just like I did when I was a kid in school.

When I got home I spent the next hour or so finding the right tickets. Found a couple on the floor for a good price. Then I got started on making the Christmas card.

Making the card was not as easy as I thought it would be.

When I was a kid and made a card I remember getting lost in the experience. I'd still at my desk or table and have my head down almost sleeping and it was easy, it was relaxing, it was fun. You had to pick the colors to use, you had to think of what to draw and it all came with creative ease.

It wasn't as easy as I remember.

First I had to get some markers and pencil crayons, no problem. Found those easy. Then I got some paper, no problem. Found those easy. Then I had to sharpen the pencil crayons and hunt for the colors I wanted. That's when it started getting hard.

Then just starting to write on the paper it was getting hard. I didn't realize it at the time but immediately I spelt the name Merry and Christmas wrong. Then as you are writing there is so much pressure to make sure you don't make the letters too big and have to start over.

Then you have to think of stuff to draw. It was just not as easy as when I was a kid. Then as I was looking at all the markers and pencil crayons all over the table all I saw was all the work to pick them up and clean everything up.

But I kept at it. It took me about an hour and I was done.

It was not the nicest looking card, but I felt it was better than buying any card as I put some effort into it. I actually cared enough to take the time to do it.

Like I said, it wasn't easy. The equivalent to me would be if I had to spend a morning watching Saturday morning cartoons. I remember as a kid how fun that was. I even remember saying to myself as a kid that when I get older I'm still going to watch cartoons. Then when I got older me and Saturday morning cartoons drifted apart.

What I think was tough about making the card was that you have to give it all up. You have to be in the present. You need to have an open mind and just do in a relaxing way. In many ways I took myself back in time to being a kid again.

I think many moms do or may have had to do that as they play with their kids and get into their world. For me I haven't been in that world for a long, long time.

Maybe that's why people getting into things like woodworking or painting or sculpture or gardening. It makes life a little richer. A little more peaceful.

It's goal less.

I think that's what is most different. In my life I always need a goal and thinking of doing something without an end goal is very different to me. It's way out of my current programming state.

What I do know for certain was making the card was fun. I was so looking forward to Alice opening it on Christmas and seeing her present. It got me more excited about Christmas than I have been in a long time.

I'm sure there is a lesson in this experience if I want to see it.

On the same note, the kids got Alice a present she just loved. They got all dressed up earlier this week and got their picture taken with Santa.

Again, it's those simplest things that take one's time to create that are the most touching.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


I look back and wonder what motivated me to drop 50 lbs and get into Ironman shape and do 9 Ironman's in my 40's and even making it to Kona and Clearwater.

I'd like to know. I can't remember and I definitely don't have it now. I think I could guess, but it would be a guess.

It's weird motivation is that moment in time. I was actually thinking about signing up for a half Ironman this year and my kids are like "why? why do you want to further beat up your body? You can't even walk down the stairs in the morning anymore? You've done 12 Ironman that's already crazy enough, stop already".

No joke. That is there advice.

It's amazing on how fast you can lose it. It takes a long time to get it and then if you don't keep it up you lose it.

I find myself being on of those guys that gets on a roll and the momentum carries and the motivation is created from seeing the results. At least that how I remember it.

If I start off good, train, eat well, stay off the beer, I can go for a while. Then if I stop eating well, stop training and drink beer I'll go on that schedule for a while until I get completely disgusted with myself and change paths.

It's definitely pychological, a state of mind. Why is it that it's so easy to take the easy path to softness and hard to get on the path to fitness and health?

Here's a thought, maybe we are not supposed to be on that healthy path. That we were programmed to be on a fun path? And as hard as we try to get on that healthy path our programming pulls us back to the fun path.

Perhaps the best thing to do would not fight it. What would the world look like if we all just did what we wanted to do with no regrets or feeling bad about it? That we just accepted it? That we just accepted ourselves and were comfortable within our own skin and just enjoying every moment?

What kind of a journey would that be like. To totally change your programming, or rather allow your programming to take over you and just go with it.

In many ways I do that. More often than not I do allow my programming to take over and then I think. That thinking gets me getting down on myself.

I'm trying to imagine what it would look like to follow your programming. The only thing that comes to mind is the movie "Office Space" where the lead character gets hypnotized and doesn't care anymore.

Perhaps all these thoughts are because I'm just sick of trying to drop weight. I've heard as you get older it's harder, I can't agree more. I think it's both physically and mentally tougher to lose weight as you get older.

Mind you I know one older guy I work with and I really like his attitude, he just doesn't care about his weight anymore. He figures when you get older no one expects you to look like you are in great shape.

My plan was to take this week off from meetings. So much for that. I have two full days on Monday and Tuesday. I have a lot of number crunching to complete, I really shouldn't be taking meeting. I was hoping for this week to be a relaxing post Christmas week.

I really do want to get back fit and drop about 15 lbs. I feel that I'm losing a part of my identity. That by me not being at a specific weight and fitness level that I'm not my true self. It's weird, I can look at photos and tell if I'm my true self or not.

Alyssa showed me an old picture from only 2.5 years ago and that was exactly where I want to be now. That time felt right. It even felt more right in 2009. I'd put 2009 as one of the best vintage years of my life. I remember training hard and did a lot of hanging out with Jamie and Barb Grant in their back yard and at the Pig & Whistle. The blog was rocking, I made so many friends on twitter and life was good and I knew it. There was incredible momentum.

I think back and it was really a 3-5  month period of hard work and eating right in 2008 that carried me for close to 7 years.

At least I'm motivated back to blogging. It's a start.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Recovery and a Rant...

Recovery was the order of the day today. Before going out last night I made sure I had nothing on the work calendar and could take the day off.

If I had any work meetings I wouldn't have been unable to unwind. I have two things working against me, the first is my Ironman DNA and the second is my age.

I always tell people that tell me they know someone who does Ironmans is that they have issues. It usually startles them for a bit, then they do a deep thought and they typically reply with a chuckle and  "your right". Having the Ironman gene basically means you take things to the extreme.

Oh, and I'm not talking about I did one Ironman. It's only when you've done two or more illustrate you have the gene. Doing one could just be a bad decision. Two or more, you have issues. Needless to say if you have done 12 you definitely have the gene.

So going out and having a few beers with the Ironman DNA basically means we get on the train and don't get off the train until our subconscious says it's enough. Add to that that I'm now 49 years old I don't have the same constitution I've had in the past. In the past I could party till 4 am and do a 100 mile bike ride the next day.

Yup, those days are gone.

First off, we didn't close down Jersey's, from what I can remember and second off, I woke up this morning and felt I was hit by a truck. I forgot what it felt like the next day.

I did work emails, setting up some meetings for Monday, but for the most part I just vegged out and watched TV with a sore head. Drifting in and out of sleep all day. As the day went on I started feeling even worse. By Dinner time I as in a bonk state. Alice ordered some pizza so the carbs helped. I think must sitting up my heart rate hit about 140 bpm. It reminded of of that time I did something similar and had to train the next day and with my heart rate monitor on I noticed I went anaerobic just pumping up my bike tires.

It's all good though.

Rather than beating myself up on how I wasted a day or over ate or ate the wrong food or hurt the strides I made with my diet, I'm not. No good comes from "buyers remorse".

Before the night started I mentally prepared by telling myself I was not allowed to get down on myself on any of the side effects.

In a way it's a "positive affirmations" approach. But my affirmations would be something like "you had fun, you enjoyed yourself, yes your body is beat up, yes you self the day away, yes you ate too much chocolate and potato cool was that. Enjoy the moment and let's not turn a positive into a negative"

I'm glad to say the approach worked. Every time I was going to beat up on myself I stopped. I emptied my head in a very zen like way and just stopped any negative self talk.

I really think having that day or two off of doing no work, however you get there is important. It's like a mini vacation. I used to call them mini-vacations in a bottle.

Needless to say the only training I did today was walking from the couch to the kitchen or bathroom and make no mistake it wasn't easy training.

Alice too was tired. We both fell asleep watching TV on the couch. I heard the kids coming in and by the time we woke up, got off the couch and went to bed it was 5 am.

I was going to bring this up on yesterday's post but didn't, I have big concerns about the movie "The Interview" and the movie theatres not wanting to show it because of cyber threats.

What really bothered me the most was the first time I heard it my initial thoughts were "I sure hope they don't listen to this and stop the showing". For two reasons, first what they are doing is terrorism and you can't let them bully you or they will do it all the time, and the second and most important reason was I really wanted to see it on Christmas day. It was going to be part of my family Christmas plan.

Then I hear that the attacks were from North Korea and that the theatres won't show the movie. What the heck has happened to us as a society? I often think what would our ancestors who fought in WW1 or WW2 think if they saw the way our society reacted to these threats?

I watch a lot of WW1 and WW2 stuff. Wow, were these guy courageous. They were real men. Bigger men than I could ever be. I see them interviewed with their family's 50 years after the war and the wife and kids would say "dad never said much of anything about his war experiences". This was a common threat. Then they would finally get the dad to open up after 50 years and the horrors and killing he faced daily and hourly were off the chain insane.

This morning I was watching a show on Stalin and his rise in Russia. Then you think Hitler was around at the same time. Stalin was responsible alone for the killing of 26 million of his own people. Hitler war was responsible for over 50 million deaths. That was less than 100 years ago.

Fast forward to today and we see all the waring in the middle east and then there is a lot of warring in places we don't even know or care about so in reality we don't even care or recognize those wars.

When you look from 40,000 feet up you realize war is just part of the human condition. To expect people not to fight and not to kill each other is unrealistic.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not for war, at all. It's horrible. It brings out the ugly in people.

But I am against terrorism.

And I'm against being weak against terrorism. When a country like North Korea tries to intimidate us with threats and we let them into our living rooms and then get so scared that cancel the movie release, we are basically saying we are afraid of you. They actually won and then it becomes perpetual for others to follow. If it works, others will follow. It's human nature.

There is actually two losers her on this movie. The first is us, we got terrorized and I personally would like to see those that made the decision to not play the movie be removed from their jobs. They are weak. There is a saying, "if you stand for nothing, you fall for anything". I see so many people make their decisions based on public opinion or in the guise of being politically correct. To me those types of people are weak.

The second loser is North Korea. If I was North Korea, I would have welcomed the movie coming out. I would have then went on the media world wide and expressed disappointment and went for the world sympathy vote. Instead, the regime run by a 20 something, basically a college kid, does some cyber espionage and frankly he's probably pretty blown away that it got this far and they really did shut down the realize. In my minds eye I see him sitting with friends having beers, laughing in disbelief that it actually worked.

To me I could go on and on. The bottom line is the world has gotten way to politically correct. We've become a country run by talking head intellectuals who couldn't lead themselves out of a wet paper bag. Yet we listen to them and are afraid to take a stand. Now people are looking back in embarrassment and the president of the united states has to speak out publicly how disappointed he is that they are not showing the movie.

Our WW1 and WW2 vets are rolling in their graves. I could only imagine what message they would say to us, I think it would "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me".

Besides, let's think about this. Do you REALLY think someone is going to walk into a theatre for this movie to do anything bad without taking their life in their hands? Do you know think every theatre in the U.S. will have so many of the movie goers packing? Do you not think there will be guys intentionally going to each screening packing with the hope that someone walks in to cause some trouble?

You think I'm joking?

I'm not. I'll tell you a short story. I was in a bar on a Sunday afternoon in Indiana about 2 years ago on a business trip. I ordered lunch and struck up a conversation with the guy beside me. He did steel work and was from somewhere south. We got to talking and he told me that he was packing.

Now I'm Canadian, and basically no one packs in Canada but a cop. I was intrigued and wanted to know why he was packing? He went on to tell me it was all legal, he had permits and the reason he was packing was because of all these random killings in shopping centres and movie theatres and he was packing to protect himself and others. Stressing more, others.

I actually came to believe him. He asked me a question, "do I feel more safe knowing he is sitting beside me with a gun and if a guy came into this bar and started shooting that he'd be able to protect me?"

 I thought about it and I did feel safer knowing that.

So back to my theatre illustration. This guy, I think his name was Pete, and all the other Pete's would be gladly protecting and waiting for the "bad guys".

On a personal level I'm not about to live my life in fear because some bully wants to bully me into changing my lifestyle. If you want to stop bullying, you stand up to the bully.

There is my rant for the day.

Actually, I lied. I have one more. I find that these people that are so "into the weeds" on their point of view and think they are so liberal and open minded are also the first to unfriend you from Facebook or block you from Twitter. God forbid you have a different opinion that is not politically correct or you question their helicopter parenting style and next thing you know "poof, they are gone".

I can say I have seen a lot of positions that I totally disagree with and there is a number of people I just have nothing in common with or can't stand, but I have NEVER unfriended or blocked them because I disagree with there views.

In a way I know our society is in pretty good shape because of it. When life is good, people who are not very strong are allowed to think they are stronger than they are. If WW3 started, they would be removed / kicked down from their pedestals pretty quickly and the real leaders would come out of the wood work and get to work fixing things.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Jersey's shore...

It was one heck of a day, week and month.

I can't tell you how awesome I'm loving life. I know I'm on to the best business venture of my entire life and it's so cool having a product that everyone from customers to investors want to be part of.

This week I had questions from a restaurant chain that starts with "Mc" as me how the heck I came up with this concept. It kind of threw me. It was not a question I had before. How do you answer that it's a combination of life experiences and it all just came together. It's like that Steve Jobs speech were you can only connect the dots looking back, not forward.

What's been really cool is these national brand chains all start off with the same position, "we have an app already" and then shut me down. Then I tell them, "my app is different, let me show you" and then they see it and typically go "wow". I one case I had the president of the company tell me my app was "ingenious" and then said lets get together to move forward.

These are not small brands, they are major food, automobile, retailers and merchants.

I'm also meeting with people that want to invest. I really want to find the right partner. Someone that can add major value and contribute from a strategy and future fundraising standpoint. Raising money is all new to me and it's been a blast.

It's not unlike selling a product or service, other than you are selling your business to invest in. For me, I consider selling to invest in me is like selling a house. Sales people DON'T sell houses. They think they might, but they don't. People BUY houses. You cannot take someone that doesn't like a house and sell them to love it. You can show a house and either they like it or they don't.

I've had some interesting discussions with potential investors. I have learned so much and it's like being part of a movie.

I had one guy I met be so arrogant and cocky that if he put a million dollars on the table and told me he wanted to invest I wouldn't take it. I was told by my lawyer than often those most interested will take that approach to drive the pricing down. That may or may not be true, but I can say, he "humped" himself because I would not get into business with that type of guy.

He was also funny, I gave him my background about starting a business when I was 24 and my years of experience and he then got all wild and said, "well you know any investor will do due diligence" and I said to him "I have not problem with that, I'm truthful and have integrity". This guy really pissed me off. With that said you can't pay for that type of ride at Disney Land. And there is this small part of me that wants to make this business so successful and stick it up his ass.

Of all the stuff I've done, business seems the most legit compared to doing 12 Ironmans and competition in 3 world championships in my 40's after losing 50 lbs and coming off the fat guy bench. To me my Ironman tails I don't even believe if I didn't have the pictures.

I shouldn't get to wigged out. I ended up googling the guy afterwards and found out he was sued for securities fraud of some sort. The guy actually amazed me because as I was talking with him and reflecting after I was thinking is this guy a "psychopath"? They say in high finance there is a lot of them. Either way, it was an experience that gave me a good story.

I can honestly say I've never had so much fun working. Some would think when I took the yearbook company from start up to huge growth success that I'd have been most happy. It was fun. We created a great team. In fact, I'm getting the band back together on my new venture.

BUT is wasn't as fun as this. I'm not 100% sure why this is the funniest time of my life, I think it has to do with the product, the time of my life, my experience and the fact that I'm the final decision maker.

You know life is good when you don't know what day of the week it is without looking at your calendar.

I finished my last meeting at 6:30 pm tonight and decided to take tomorrow off. With no income coming in, we don't go out much anymore, but tonight I decided we should go to Jersey's and have a few beers.

Jersey's is kind of like Cheers. It seems everyone is a regular. We don't go there a lot but when we do it's the same people all the time. The service is amazing and they do it with like 2 staff. I've seen restaurants and bars with 10 staff not be as good and prompt as the Jersey staff.

I made sure I turned off the computer before I left home, I turned off my phone. I didn't want any access to having beers and then getting online. Nothing good comes from drinking and tweeting, or emailing or face booking. I told Alice before we left, if you see me go for any electronics, tackle me.

It was kind of a crazy night at Jerseys. It was full. We had a few drinks and then it seemed like craziness started to happen.

One person came up to our table to say she was a reader of my blog in years gone past. She was a friend of Adena's (my sister from another mister) and that she would see Alice in the store and recognize her from the blog. In a way it's pretty surreal hearing that. I never really realized how much in years past people read the blog. It was like a whole different subculture.

I will say I have met people that had read my blog and told me it changed their lives. I really don't get it. All I'd write about is what I'm writing about now, nothing. Just what happened in my day.

So this is how it unfolds from what I remember. I met her and then this gay guy comes up to me and I think he wanted to fight me. Then a Russian guy was hitting on Alice and I couldn't understand a word he said and I met a guy in the bathroom and he said he texted me to be friends and then before the end of the night there was a discussion / argument I had with a guy that I can't really remember what it was about and left him my business card.

It was really weird. We were just sitting by ourselves at our table and enjoying ourselves and the next thing I know it became a circus wheel of people and experiences. Turns out by the end of the night the gay guy became my good friend, almost brother like. It was the most weirdest 180, he went from I thought wanting to fight me to loving me. I actually thought it might have been a case of miss-identity. Did he think I was someone else?

The guy in the bathroom I met I started that one. As I was taking my pee I was looking at the urinal and the text and logo of Crane was poorly imprinted. Then I looked over at the urinal beside me and it was printed differently and worse. I think the guy thought I was looking at HIM if you know what I mean.

I wasn't.

I looked at the two logos and said, "Crane is mailing it in". When you build something and can't even get your logo right you have issues. When I pointed this out to the guy, and he realized I wasn't looking at his package, he saw what I thought and mentioned, "they used to be a good company". I agree. It's amazing how something so simple can tell me so much about a company. It basically says no body at crane gives a shit. No pun intended.

So my new bathroom friend and his wife came by our table to say hi, they were very nice. I remember the guy having a puffy coat like George on Seinfeld.

It was definitely one of those nights. It turns out it was also customer appreciation night and they were bringing around free food and they had shots. The young girls from the shot company wanted me to have shots, I said no, my disposition doesn't react well to hard alcohol. It was funny, she heard it, she told me she totally gets that, her boyfriend has the same problem and then she insisted I have one. Now that's a dedicated brand ambassador.

We got home, it was a fun night. It seems I can't lose weight so I'm at the edge of not caring. I'm getting to old to be vain. Who am I going to impress? I may as well have fun.

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.

Friday, August 15, 2014

And the beat goes on...

Yesterday I did my first run post Ironman Boulder and Today I did my first bike ride.

I had to hold myself back from using the word training session. I guess the phrase "training session"doesn't really apply when there is no event I'm training for. Now I guess it's just a workout or "I did some exercise today".

It's been strange. The run was actually tough. Mentally and a little physically.

At first I didn't know how long I was going to run. Was I going to do 30, 40 or 60 minutes? Prior to the run my one hamstring was a little sore. It's strange that it would be a little sore I hadn't done any training in about 10 days. Yes, I'm aware I used the word training. Screw it I'm still going to use the word training.

My heart wanted to do an hour. My mind said lets see how it goes. After 10 minutes my body said this will only be a 30 minute run. My mind was cool with that as it was not enjoying the run. Which is strange, I love running. My heart said I'm sitting back and enjoying the ride there's no need to go further we aren't training for anything, you don't need to gut it out.

Last night I had one of my longest sleeps since getting home. It was about 9 hours. I really needed that sleep. It was such a good sleep that I was pretty much dopey for much of the day. When I mean dopey I mean that I'd go to the fridge and forget what I was going for or mean to search something on google and forget what I was doing.

When focused my mind was sharp. I got a lot of work done and by 3 pm I was ready for a break. I took my road bike into the bike shop to get them to tune it up. It's 12 years old and I've never had to have it tuned up. I still don't I just want to get it checked. I ended up going for the $185 re-build. Where they take the entire bike apart and rebuild it. I also asked them to take off the clip on aerobars. I'm going real road cyclist.

When I got back I went for a nice easy bike ride on my triathlon bike. I love that bike. I like that I can ride upright and then I can ride in the aero position and the seat is most comfortable. There was a part of me that questioned whether I should have took my road bike in to be rebuilt. That I should just stay on my triathlon bike and save the $185.

As I rode I tried to relax. I thought of my new training routine. What sort of sessions will I have? I was playing scenarios over in my mind. I did the same thing on yesterdays run.

One thought I had was mixing sessions. Perhaps an easy run 40 - 60 min, a speed work run 30 - 40 minutes and a long run 70 - 90 minutes.

I'm still wanting to incorporate swimming, biking, running and weight training into my training. A concept I have is not to train in 7 day weekly blocks. Instead train according to relationship between session after session.

For example, if I run Monday my next run would be Thursday and my next would be Sunday. So long as I train every third day I will not lose fitness.  I would do the same with cycling, biking and weights.

I'm still in the very early stages of figuring out my training routine. Just brainstorming to myself about different options. I'm intentionally not wanting to get input from other or start researching and reading books. I want to figure this all out based on my own concepts and then experiment doing them and monitor the results.

The weather is starting to get a little cooler and less humidity. I'm a warm weather person. Just knowing it's hot out makes me want to train. I think it was around 19 C out today but that didn't prevent me from putting on a long sleeve shirt under my cycling jersey.

It felt good to ride. My legs and mind enjoyed the 1 hour session. One hour on the bike is a perfect amount of time to ride, it's easy mileage.

As I got home I was thinking about my kids. Alyssa is 23 and Reid 17. Both are working out regularly. In fact the other morning Reid went to the gym at 5 am. He didn't get up at 5 am. He was up all night learning about how to use Final Cut Express and by 5 am decided to go to the gym.

Both him and Alyssa know a lot about fitness. Their generation understand so much more about weight training than my generation did. When I was there age the only people that had somewhat of an advanced understanding of weight training was professional body builders. Not anymore.

I listen to them talk about sessions and routines. I look at the routines and they are very much different than anything I've seen before. I don't want to get into cross fit. That is another level of fitness.

As I rode I wondered why my kids workout. I think part of it might be because they see me do it. I remember as small kids they would go for runs together. Even thought I quit doing Ironmans for 17 years I still tried to workout. I'd go in spurts. Just like regular folk. I'd have a good run for a while then I'd do nothing for a long while and repeat. They still saw me do it.

The reason I think them seeing me do it might have contributed is because when I was a kid about 13 years old I remember my dad buying a pair of Nike Waffle runners. They were the original ones. He started to run and I thought that was very cool. It seemed as quick as he started he stopped. I was a little bummed. I got over it as I started to run and wore his Nike waffle runners.

Years later in my early 20's there was a short period of time I'd meet my dad at lunch and we'd work out on the local pools universal gym.

It's amazing how those small episodes can have such a lasting impact.

When I started running it was back in the early 80's. Back then running was not yet a fad. Those that ran were looked at to be a little strange. Today it's so much different. Everyone runs.

I remember my grandmother telling me I should stop running. That it's not good for me. Here generation felt it was bad for you. That you would wear out your joints. I had one older guy I worked with tell me that his theory is you only have so many heart beats and that running speeds up the heart beats and therefore causes premature death.

The early age group marathoners were good. In those early 80's no one knew how to training and figured more mileage was better. Both in running and triathlons. No one knew anything about nutrition.

There was weekend 10 km races I'd go to and some of these middle age guys were putting in 70 miles a week and in their mid to late 40's and early 50's were running 36 minute or faster 10 km races.

When I started my comeback in 2007 I attended a number of 10 km runs expecting to see similar middle aged guys to the early 80's in spirit. Not the case the guys of old were faster than the guys of new. It realized the old days were over. Those early guys were amazing athletes.

Nutrition wise I'm trying to keep up the habit of having a whey protein shake after every training session. I'm no longer using any of the advanced and performance enhancing supplements such as beta alanine. Those days are over for me.

Earlier today I asked Alice if she wants to drive to Mont Tremblant to watch the Ironman this weekend. It's about a 7 hour drive. I enjoyed our route 66 ride so much I'm having withdrawal. She said no. I'm glad. It seems so romantic and then when you get on the boring interstate type highway it becomes boring.

Instead, tonight we went to the movie "Boyhood". I really liked it. They filmed it over a 12 year period using the same actors and it was amazing to see the transformation of the actors and changes to their appearances. Especially the kids. It was a long movie although I recommend it.

You know it's a good movie when after the movie it gets you thinking about your own life or viewpoint. I remember going to the movie Platoon as a young person and being blown away. It caused a lot of post movie conversation and analysis.

Tomorrow is a new day and I'm not yet sure what I'm going to do training wise and when. I do know I need to do something soon with my upper body. Perhaps a swim and weights are in line.

Mod Bike - 1:07:36 / 30.30 km