Sunday, February 22, 2015

Let the insanity begin...

I woke up this morning, it was a nice quiet Sunday morning. I turned on the bedroom TV to relax and in typical Sunday programming fashion on was a infomercial with the guy who created the Insanity workout program.

For Christmas the year before last I bought it for Alyssa. Which really means I bought it for me too. When I was in Boise in the condo we started doing the program in the mornings. It took a while to get used to it and not look like I had too left feet. I'm not going to lie, it was kind of tough and it worked.

We bailed after about 2 or 3 weeks but even in that short period of time I was seeing results.

I was doing some Googling last night, the subject "how to lose 20 lbs in 30 days". The results came back that I need to do high intensity training and that low heart rate aerobic training isn't the best way to do it.

So as I was lying in bed watching the info commercial, which is so awesomely done to get you to want to order the program I got motivated to go downstairs and start the first DVD of the insanity program. It was the fit test.

With the fit test they go through key exercises within the program and in one minute you see how many you can do and record it. Then every week you do the same fit test and record those results and compare.

The one thing I noticed during the session was how tight I am in the hips. I noticed the same thing during my weight training session. To the point that when I was on the squat machine it hurt. It was a feeling I never had and I know why, I haven't been stretching much.

I used to stretch at least 10 - 15 minutes after every training session. Between the stretching and the weights I'm convinced that is why I was rarely every injured. After the age of 40 it's essential to do weight training without a doubt.

It felt great to get that insanity workout done. Even though this one was only 27 minutes it seems like a lot longer. I was doing a lot of heavy breathing and grunting just to get through. I did a pretty good job too, except my form was awful. The only exercise I had to rest a little with was the push ups near the end.

Everyday I pretty much weight myself even though it's recommended you do it once a week. Today I was up .4 lbs. Definitely retaining water from the muscles repairing themselves.

This afternoon Alice and I went for a Sunday drive. I had to get out of the house just to see something different than the inside of the house. When you work from home after a while you need a break from the house. Mind you I could never see myself working from home ever again.

Even with my new venture which I expect to grow pretty large pretty quick with a hundred plus staff I see it being a virtual company. I was thinking it would be great not to have a head office, period. To have a PO box that mail is sent to. It not even the wave of the future, it's happening now.

I was looking for telecommuting software online and found out that Apple has many of their advisers working from their homes. You call the 1800 line and it ends up in someones bedroom office. I love it.

Aside from it being an awesome lifestyle for most people, I find people work harder, there is no office  politics and everyone seems much happier.

One our drive we found a old fashioned Hot Dog diner in Burlington that we had never seen before. It open in the 1930's. We had to stop for their footlong hotdog. Even though I'm on a diet I'm more into portion control than abstinence. Life is too short and I really don't think a hot dog is bad for you.

When we got home I decided today was the day I was going to learn how to use my go pro. I got it last year and it was used during the documentary for shots, yet I never got into using it personally. I don't know why, I'm the video guy and did video Vlogs in the past all the time with my flip camera.

It took me about 2 hours to figure it all out. For a normal persona it probably would have take 20 minutes or less. It seems no matter what I do I never do it right the first time. It could be anything, like putting together a barbecue and if there is a way to do it wrong I'll find it.

My plan was to start to video my 20 lb weight loss journey. It add to the motivation or at least it provides more pressure to succeed.

I filmed my first Vlog on this evenings trainer ride. My plan was to set it up and watch the Academy Awards. It didn't take long into the program that is was bad. I thought it would be exciting this year. It was just bland.

The ride was good and worked up a nice sweat. I think I've gotten over the past feelings of dread when I had to ride indoors. I remember so many 3 hour plus rides and a lot of 5 - 7 hour Saturday rides downstairs. You have no idea how hard it is to ride for 6 - 7 hours indoors. If the U.S. government wants to get secrets out of Al Quada all they need to do is make them ride a bike for 7 hours on a trainer.

After the ride it was right to stretching. It's definitely time to get back at stretch. One of the stretches I do was so hard I couldn't believe it. It used to be easy to get into that position. I had to really work at it this time. And the pain during the stretch was there. Mind you I've learned to like the pain of stretching, I just breath deeply to get though it.

I'm glad I'm starting now, better safe than sorry.

Insanity Workout - 27 minutes
Bike - 1:01 / 28 km

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hurting real good...

When you get back to weight training after a long time off, you feel it. It doesn't take long. Yesterday I did weights today I'm sore and tomorrow the soreness will even get worse.

On one hand it feels good in that you know you have taken the first step in stopping the atrophy of your muscles, on the other it hurts, I'm shuffling and moving like and old man. Moving my arms above my head hurt and getting up from the couch my entire body hurts.

You have two options. Relax and let your body recover, or push through it and get training.

The good thing about just pushing through is the pain is extremely temporary. It only takes minutes after getting started where the endorphins kick in and you don't feel the soreness anymore, at least until you stop.

This morning I woke up sore and immediately put on my running gear. There is something that makes it more likely that you will train if you put on your running gear right away.

I made myself a cup of coffee, added my coconut oil and half and half cream. It's delicious. Adding coconut oil just makes my coffee taste more full and satisfying. It takes a little getting used to the oil floating on the top and feels a little strange at first, but once you get used to it, you don't want to drink coffee without it. It took me about 2 - 3 weeks to get used to it.

Taking coconut oil is probably one of the best things I do. It's an amazing product. It helps recovery, it helps satisfy food cravings, it's great for your body on so many levels and aids in weight loss.

About an hour after I woke up I was on the road. It was snowing lightly and the sidewalks already had about 4 or 5 inches of fresh snow on the ground. It was a slow start as I was sore. Then the soreness went away and it was a slow run because I was running on the snow on the sidewalk, it's like running on sand.

Immediately I noticed my heart rate was lower than usual. A direct result of the change in my diet, I added carbs. Frankly all these diet systems work for some and not for others. What I've heard none of them talk about is heart rate. If you want to know what foods are ideal for your body wear a heart rate monitor.

You can even wear it right after you eat the food. I can tell you that if I eat a couple pieces of pizza my heart rate is fine. If I over eat pizza my heart rate goes through the moon. I also know that if I'm eating an overall good diet for my body my heart rate on my runs goes down dramatically.

For example, on the Banting diet which is all fat, protein and 5% carbs, my running heart rate would hit the157 bpm at a low effort. After just two days of eating a nice mix of protein,  carbs and fat, my heart rate today was 130 - 135 bpm for the entire run.

I did get some good news total, actually its' more like an added bit of motivation. My Ironman buddy Peter bet me I wouldn't lose 8 lbs by end of March. The actual bet is I won't get down to 198 lbs by the end of March and the bet is for $200 if I win and $400 if I lose. When I combine that with Rodney's bet, that means if I don't do it I'll be paying out $600. If that isn't motivation I don't know what it.

Actually Rodney's bet is 185 lbs by end of March. Peter just sent me a semi life line. I have a much better chance of getting down to 198 lbs by end of march and if I do, the money I lose to Rodney will be paid by my winnings I got from Peter. At least that is the plan. I have a decent shot of getting down to 198 lbs IF I don't drink beer.

One of the risks I run, which is really a double edge sword, is weight training. What you potentially lose in fat, you can gain in muscle. Yet having more muscle you burn more fat.

I'll know when I get to my ideal weight, I won't nap anymore. When I was 185 lbs or less, I never napped, other than once in about 3 or 4 years. It was the strangest feeling, I had just way to much energy to sleep. Now I find it hard to stay awake, I can barely make it through a TV show without falling asleep.

I started eating some fruit. I love fruit, much more than vegetables. Alice is the opposite. The tough part right now is that the fruit tastes sour. Yet when my taste buds adjust they will taste sweet. I'll be craving it. Right now I have to force myself to eat it because of the sour taste.

The key for me right now is to keep everything simple and not get too worked up. To pace myself mentally. It's so easy for me to spend all myself thinking about work and ideas and getting on that mental treadmill. On todays run that mental treadmill was starting and I just had to stop myself and tell myself not to over think, let the process unfold and trust it will all work out. Have faith.

I use that word faith purposely, rather than hope. Hope is victim word. The difference in attitude is very different when you use the word "hope" versus "faith", you do not give up your power when you  have "faith" it will all work out. It's a power word.

I definitely know right now that tomorrow's training is going to be tough. As the night goes one I'm getting sorer and sorer. I know if I can keep training consistently, I don't snack after 8 pm and don't eat anything but fruit until noon, I'll drop the weight. Mind you at my age it goes a LOT slower than when I was younger.

Last year I dropped 10 lbs in 30 days for Ironman Cozumel. It was the toughest thing I have ever done. It was near painful tough. I trained close to 70 hours that month alone, I ate super healthy and took lots of supplements. After I dropped the weight, I was down to 190 lbs and told myself that I need to keep the weight off because I don't know if I have it in me to go through something like that month again. So much for listening to myself. Now I'm even in a worse position.

But I have faith it will happen if I stay the course.

I keep track of my weight and pulled out the last year that shows my weight transition. Too bad my weight chart wasn't a stock I owned.

On a personal level I kept myself busy today setting up some bank accounts. It's a long story but I recently got a U.S. Credit card from RBC in the U.S. and then find out the only way I can pay it is through a U.S. account, even though RBC is a Canadian Bank. It kept me busy for about 3 hour being on the phone and then having to go to a local bank branch. If there is one difference, it's much easier dealing with the U.S. branch.

Either way it was a good distraction and there is something gratifying about solving anything to do with money problem. For me I always feel whole if my personal accounting and business accounting is up to date and all my government stuff filed. We never procrastinate with that stuff. It wears on you if you do. I have no idea why people procrastinate when it comes to that stuff, it just wears on your mind. It's like spending all day thinking that you need to train, rather than just doing it as early as possible and spend the rest of the day feeling like you had a major accomplishment that day and ride the positive feelings.

Run - 1:22:34 / 11.19 km
206 lbs

Friday, February 20, 2015

A double double...

For a lot of years during heavy Ironman training I did double workouts everyday. Since I retired from Ironman I haven't done them and it doesn't feel natural.

My situation is starting to change and I'm mentally transitioning from uncertainty to certainty. This transitioning has a very calming effect. More so that I would have imagined.

I'm starting to feel that life is once again getting back to normal. I felt like I was in this free fall journey for the past year and now I'm just coming out of it. The telling sign is I'm starting to feel in control once again and I'm feeling more than motivated to train. It's just feeling like the natural thing to do.

Yesterday something just snapped in me. I can't define it but something changed in that I know that I'm entering the next phase of my journey and I now look forward to focusing on the goal of making my new business a wild success and get back to training hard.

Yes training hard. And no I don't have a race or goal. Mind you there was a moment earlier today that the thought of signing up for a half Ironman crossed my mind. Then I thought of the swim and the last time I was in the swim and panicked and wondered if I could even do a half Ironman swim without panicking.

That is my only fear, the swim.

Talking about the swim, I swam today! First time since Ironman Boulder. I also went to the gym and did weights.

You have no idea how hard it was for me to finally head to the gym for two reasons. The first was I know it's going to hurt, a couple days later. It's the typical feeling of muscle soreness and tenderness you get when you don't work out for a while and your muscles atrophy. The second reason was I figured my training clothes will be a little tight and I'll have that Michelin man look and walking around soft with Ironman tattoos is a little embarrassing. I did upgrade to a large shirt from my normal medium shirts. But I was able to fit into my triathlon shorts. And in the end, it was no where near as bad, I felt comfortable.

My plan was to do weights. My plan was not to swim. After I did weights there was just a feeling that came over me to do a second workout. I knew if I didn't do a second training session I wouldn't feel like I trained.

The only dread I had was entering the cold water of the pool. I was pleasantly surprised to find the pool super warm. It was especially nice on a cold day, today it was -25C.

The swim? To say it was a slow swim is an understatement. I think I was doing about 2:10 per 100 yards. BUT I was in the water. I was swimming. And as much as I don't look like an athlete and I've lost most of my muscle, I FELT like an athlete again.

Walking out of the gym I felt great. It was like old times.

I can't say how great it was to relive those old times. It wasn't even a transition feeling. It was a "bam" old time feelings. The endorphins were going. The optimism was going. The feeling on top of the world was there.

My eating today was not a diet. I ate regular food and tried not to over eat or eat past 8 pm. I have a contest with Rodney to get down to 185 lbs by end of March and I doubt I'll get down there. I'm not going to starve myself and I'm just going to get back to what has always felt natural to me and the program I followed for years.

First off, I'm not a breakfast eater. I feel best when I don't eat a traditional breakfast. A banana and coffee is all I needed. Then lunch for me I feel best when I just have a sandwich and or a bowl of soup and dinner just anything so long as I don't over eat. There is nothing wrong with pizza, so long as it's not the entire pizza.

Today I was a little worried about the hand. I broke it in January and it should now be fine but lifting weights was going to be the test. It was a good test because I didn't even notice it unless I thought about it.

I know Simon keeps giving me "tick tock" about signing up for an Ironman. There has been times I was thinking should I sign up for a race and I come back to the same conclusion, "no way" beats up your body way to much.

Mind you today I was even thinking of doing a third training session. I had to drive out to Waterloo and I drive through the escarpment which is were I ride my bike and I was so wishing I could ride. If it was summer I would have gotten on my bike and rode.

I can't say how incredible I feel and how it happened immediately. It was like something snapped in my head and I'm feeling back to my natural self. I wish I could bottle this feeling right now. It's zen.

Weights - 45 min
Swim - 30:59 / 1280 meter
206.2 bs

It's been an interesting year...

Wow, what a difference a year makes.

Twelve months ago I left the safety of a good job and jumped into the unknown. Little did I know what that journey would entail or how it would change me in the process.

The best way to describe this past year is to say it's been like I've been in school. It's been an education on every level both professionally and personally.

Not one moment has it been easy. Yet it's been gratifying and I've done some of my best work. It's taken me outside of my comfort zone and then expanded it.

I now feel myself at the "gateway" to the next phase of my life.

Everything I had to face this past year is coming to an end and I'm soon going to be entering the doors to my next big adventure.

It's strange in that I already am starting to feel my mindset starting to shift. It knows I'll soon be out of the "unknown" and moving into the "known".

I'm a passionate and driven person. Once I get my focus on something I don't give up and by not giving up, other things in your life suffer. In my case this past year without question my diet and exercise has suffered.

The numbers on the scale speak for itself....up 20 lbs.

It's pretty amazing how things could change in 12 months. Up 20 lbs is pretty insane. That weight gain was caused by a "lot of being out of my comfort zone" and extreme passion to jump into what I'm doing 110%. Diet and exercise became secondary and having one two many beers became my relaxation. A triple whammy.

In my minds eye I'm right outside the doorway of the next phase of my life and before I walk in I'm trying to visualize what these next 12 months are going to look like? What am I going to be doing on a daily basis? What is the mindset I need to have to be most effective and successful? Before I walk through that new door how do I recharge myself fully?

The answer to all those questions come down to surrounding yourself with a great team, focusing with minimal distractions, and in my case, making diet and exercise a priority again.

The diet and exercise priority has begun. Yesterday was the first day in a LONG time that I did a double workout. I ran in the morning and I rode my bike in the evening.

The morning run was cold, it was -25C. I only went for 40 minutes but was over sweating and my neck was exposed because I had to open my jacket a couple times to answer my cell phone and by the time I got home my next was so cold it felt like it was burning. First time that ever happened to me on a run and I was in pain. I couldn't get in the house soon enough.

There is definitely something about exercise that gives me clarity, energy and optimism. Alice says I'm a different person when I exercise. It's true. There is no doubt in my mind that exercise is my first drug. I feel like the person I'm supposed to be when I train.

I also quit my Banting diet. To gimmicky. I like it because it's easy to follow. I don't like it because it just doesn't feel healthy. Instead I'm going back to how I used to eat. A basic mix of carbs and protein and fat and just keep it simple by not over eating, no junk food and no snacking past 8 pm.

Personally I'm very ready for this next phase.

Run - 43:45 / 6.97
Bike - 40:00 / 20 km
206.2 lbd

Friday, February 13, 2015

Today was THE moment of truth...

PRE READING CAUTION - "Please pack a lunch before reading"

People talk about the moment of truth. Normally it's in hindsight were someone looks back and says "that time when, that was the moment of truth".

Today I knew TODAY was my moment of truth. I even know the time it started. 10:30 am.

At 10:30 am on a Friday and a pretty good week and meeting last night I thought wouldn't today be a great day to go out and have some beers. You run the thought through your head and it becomes intoxicating.

Your mind starts with imagining Alice and I at a bar, super relaxed and fun atmosphere, the beers coming and a party atmosphere and talk, talk, talk and life just seems better with alcohol.

It was very intoxicating, no pun intended.

As the morning went on with this vision in my head I had the tug of war on my shoulder between the little white angel and the little red devil.

The big deciding factor had to do with my weight. If I was 185 lbs I was out the door and we would have taken the day off. Nope, I didn't do that because I know that if I would have left and did that that I was effectively throwing up the white flag and giving up.

When I say giving up, I mean accepting getting old and fat. I'm not there yet. Maybe I am and I don't even know it, but in my mind I'm not there.

Today I got a newsletter from my old Jesuit high school alumni. In it it has photos of guys that may have been in your class and are at some of the events. I looked at a couple and frankly if I didn't see there names under their pictures I wouldn't have recognized them.

One guy in particular I remember in High School him being older than me but was one of the best athletes on the football team and had girls all over him. I saw a picture of him and there is not one element of him that I recognize, not even a twinkle in his eye. He's a fat middle aged looking guy.

Now don't feel sorry for him. I was reading that he's CEO of this large company in Winnipeg and his salary was $2.2 million last year alone.

Then I see another guy, same deal. This guy I recognized but again, he looked old. He was 51 years old, again, his compensation for last year was $6 million plus which is a huge amount for a Winnipeg company and he's two year older than me.

Why is it when you see a friend succeed a little part of you dies?

Yes it's a joke comment we've all heard before but isn't it true. I remember these guys in high school. In fact I was fortunate enough to go to a high school where a lot of rich kids went and not so rich kids went and where most where over achievers.

My old high school was called St. Paul's high school in Winnipeg. It was a special time in my life. I never felt like I belonged, I got into constant trouble, I got kicked out ....for near 2 years....I surprised them and came back and in the end my only driver was to graduate from there so I could say I graduated from St Paul's. It was for no other reason but for people telling me I couldn't do it.

In fact I didn't even pass the entrance exam, and I tried hard. I just wasn't smart enough to do it. Thankfully my dad and uncle went to St Paul's and they probably felt obligated and figured by letting me it it would bring in some Alumni funds.

So here I am I'm in the 9th grade and I start at this super highly regarded high school. One of my classmates dad was the Premier of the Province and everywhere you turned someones dad was in charge of something or the guy who was in charge of something was a St Paul's graduate.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of time. I liked some of the people, I disliked some of the people.

I also knew this was a special time for me. I was looking under the covers at life. I was seeing future leaders without their masks on. Whatever all of us became when we got into the real world, we all knew each other only as we were young and one's status in life didn't count. You only liked people for who they were, not who there daddy was or how rich they were.

I was one of those kids that lived in more of a middle-upper middle class neighbourhood and to get to school had to take three transit buses with 2 transfers. In -30 C in Winnipeg and starting your journey in the black cold of morning at 6 am as you wait in an bus shelter with no heat for the bus to show up it's not fun. You don't know what cold is until you've lived that life.

Back to my story.

So I see these guys that I went to school with, doing great, but frankly looking pretty bad. But I was kind of jealous too. Not about their money but that they looked so bad that I wished I looked that bad because I would just give up and eat and drink anything I wanted.

It's an awful look, it's the look of "I've successfully transitioned fully out of my youth". It's a look I was on the path to having had I not got back into Ironman at 41 years old and stopping and then reversing.

But in the past year I haven't taken care of myself eating the wrong foods and drinking to much beer. I kind of put myself on the expressway for that "awful look" and the "awful look" is just the first part of it, then comes the "full transition" and you are no longer at all the person you were. It's like the caterpillar becoming a butterfly, but in reverse. Mind you that's up for debate depending what side you are on.

I'm on the side of wanting to be Peter Pan for as long as I can. I want to stay young in mind, heart and spirit. I don't want to be one of those guys that loses their political incorrectness and who's life becomes safe, secure and regular. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just not what I want.

I want to keep striving for more of everything. I see life as a constant challenge. I want to keep growing as a person and to do that I find you need to often be outside of your comfort zone. You have to jump into the pool with both feet, you have to walk the rope without a net. You need to live.

When I see the "awful" look it tells me that if you have the "awful" look that you found your comfort zone and decided to stay there. It's like a bird finding a nice nest, that's warm, has food, and just plopping yourself down and deciding to live the rest of your life from the comfort of your nest.

Would I like the kind of money those guys make? Hell yeah. Who wouldn't. If you made me an offer to have the amount of money those guys have and trade it for learning and growing personally I'd turn it down. Instead I'd propose a third option, work to have all the money you need and never stop growing or learning personally.

So what does all this have to do with moment of truth?

Well today I had a choice to make. I hit a fork in the road. For the past week I've been eating healthy and training. In fact, in the past 5 days I've run over 50 kms. I don't think even during heavy Ironman training I've run 50 km in 5 days.

BUT I knew that if I went for beers I'd set the clock back at least 1 week in just one night. Then I'd wake up feeling like crap tomorrow. Then I might have a beer or two to take the hair off the dog and then if I was lucky I'd do a run on Sunday, maybe Monday and if I managed to get my head back on it, I would have set myself back 2 weeks.

That means that one day of beers would wipe out 2 weeks of progress and if it wiped out two weeks of progress then I wasted those 2 weeks of progress and shouldn't even have started. Because if I hadn't started, then there would be no progress that could be wasted.

Basically I'm saying if I just give up and eat and drink what I want when I want then I'll never lose progress that never started. But if I am going to start eating healthy then I need to stay eating healthy at least until the goal is met.

There is something about getting over the 2 week hump that makes a difference. If I start and eat well for 2 weeks and then I drink and eat badly for one night then effectively I lot those 2 weeks and I'm back to zero. However, if I eat healthy and no beer for 2 months and then I eat unhealthy and have beers I only set myself back 2 weeks, but I still have a good 6 weeks that can't been taken away from me. The only way those other 6 weeks could be taken away from me is if I eat and drink without training for the next 2-3 weeks and if that happens I'm back to FAT ground zero.

So it's 10:30 am and I have the urge to kick back on Friday the 13th. I run all this stuff through my mind and realize this is the moment of truth and not the moment of truth for just setting myself back 2 weeks but the moment of truth about whether I'm about to throw in the towel and not care about food and drink anymore.

Now on the surface this might seem like a simple decision and why not just eat and drink whatever you want? Hell your going to be 50 this year, kick back and enjoy.

The answer is because it's not a decision just about food and drink, it's a decision of the future direction of my life. For what I want to do I can't continue to reset the clock every two weeks. I have some very specific goals I want to do in business and life and having a two week vacation is one thing, but resetting the clock back to where you started every 2 weeks is another.

Constantly resetting won't work. Resetting is keeping me in my comfort zone and I will be able to brag I got that "awful look" going for me.

It wasn't a short battle. Close to two hours before I made a decision and the decision was to just go for a run. It's the coldest day of the year in Toronto. I've ran 4 previous days and a rest day from running would be good, but instead I just started to get dressed into my running clothes.

Eventually I was somehow magically dressed to go for a run outside and really didn't want to face the cold weather but just pushed myself out the door.

There is something about getting out on a run that just puts everything back into perspective and it doesn't take long, maybe a quarter of a mile, sometimes less.

I quickly found myself giving thanks to just being alive. There was just a simple pleasure in breathing the air, the cold on your face, the pores opening and just being out in the world of nature, even though the nature is in a suburban neighbourhood, it still feels like nature. The brightness of the sun, the whiteness of the snow.

These last 4-5 months has had a lot of uncertainty (still does) and an emotional roller coaster. What I've learned is a simple one hour run can change my next 24 hours. Providing I can push myself out the door. Which is the hardest part of the run.

But once I'm out the door....this happens....

I start my run with the feeling of control. That I'm choosing to run. That I made the decision to run. That I choose to be in a positive state of mind at this moment. That I chose to be thankful for all the good things in my life. I chose to breath the fresh air and feel the sun.

Then I get the feeling of perspective. As I run everything seems to shuffle into perspective, effortlessly. Things that were weighing me down, now that I'm running don't seem as big of a problem.

Finally I end the run with optimism. It seems whatever obstacle I'm facing the run has given me the vision on how I'm going to overcome it. It also gives me the "who gives a fuck" attitude and that regardless "I will overcome".

That level of optimism then gives me power and that power then gives me resolve and confidence to stay the course.

And that's what happened today. I went through that moment of truth. I witnessed what it would look like if I went out for a beer.....that' I would be giving up on my dream...That I don't have unlimited time to keep restarting every two weeks, AGAIN and again....and went for a run....

It was a good move, I came back powerful and full of resolve.

My resolve is not just to not give up. My resolve it to become the best I can become in business. I have some unfinished business in business. I never have felt I've realized my true potential, not even close. I've never been in 100% control and have never been able to be the final decision, or set strategy without exhausting battle.

This time around I'm only moving forward with my business with total control. Not that I don't have partners or shareholders. I have those. What I mean is I make the final decisions, period. Only then will I truly know what I can do in business and I personally think it's going to be pretty amazing.

So there is two challenges I face. The first is finding the right business to get into and then raising the money and still maintain decision making control.

Both are hard to do and I've never been closer to making the two happen. Hence I can't restart every 2 weeks.

In my minds eye all I think is no more than 3 years to accomplish every goal I have in business.

Yes you heard it right, 2 - 3 years. It shouldn't take longer. It's like when I got back into triathlons, I went from 50 lbs overweight to Kona Qualifier in around 3 years. There should be no reason I can't do it in business what I did in Triathlon.

And frankly I have to. I don't have much time left. No I'm not dying, at least that I know of. But I am going to be 50 years old this year. At best I have 5 -6 years ahead of me, after that there is no guarantees health wise.

I value time so much it's not even funny. I talk to young business people about how valuable time is and they don't get it. I didn't get it at there age either. When you are young, time is a commodity. All you have is time.

As you get older you realize how fast time has passed by and that time is valuable. That the key is to preserve time and not waste any of your time. It's like your down to your last chips, you have to be selective on what you bet them on.

When I was young in business I just jumped in with both feet and figured I'll figure it out as I go along and in 5 years we'll know if that decision paid off or not.

Now I can't do that. I don't have 5 years to wait to see the results. I need to see results in 5 months or less and I WANT to see results in 5 weeks or sooner.

Unless you have been where I am now or have been there, this concept is very difficult to truly understand. It's the equivalent to hearing new grandparents say how great it is to have grandkids. You academically hear what they are saying but until you have your own grand children you really don't "feel" what they mean.

Same with time. If you don't truly feel how precious time you only know what I'm saying academically. Time is so valuable to me right now it's close to painful. In many ways it's a blessing. It forces me to look at things with a "I can't waste my time" filter, not a "I don't want to waste my time" filter, but a I CAN'T.

There is a quote that Steve Jobs has about time and himself knowing he was going to die from his illness. I TOTALLY get it, deeply.

I'm no Steve Jobs, but what I do have in common with him is I want to do the best work of my life. I still want to be in the game, I still want to compete, I still want to stay young at heart, I don't want to get that "awful look" (Jobs didn't have it) and I want to be very proud of something that was 100% my fault. Win or lose.

And just today something weird happened, for the first time in my business career. I'm letting the universe unfold. I've done this in my personal life my entire life and I've had an awesome personal life, but I've never done it in business.

You have no idea how hard it is and liberating it feels to allow the universe to unfold in an area that you have a preconceived idea of how you think it should unfold.

For now I'm just going to remember that this is Friday the 13th. The number 13 is my favourite number and I accomplished two things today. I didn't give up and with respect to business I'm letting the universe unfold.

Run - 56:30 / 8.18 km

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Where there is a will there is a way...

This week has been an interesting week so far. I'm actually in a moment of zen compared to previous weeks.

First off, I'm starting to lose weight. A week and a half back I hit an all time high of 210.4 lbs. This morning I weighed in at 204.4 lbs.

The cause of my weight loss it the Banting diet (high fat / low carbs) and no beer. If I have any chance of losing weight I have to stay off the beer, it also keeps me mentally sharp.

This Banting diet is really good. It was around 100 years ago and in 1959 got the "poo poo'd" from the world and is now making a comeback. Not a lot you can eat but the rules are simple and you can eat as much of them as you want and most of the time I don't feel hungry.

Last night I cheated, I had some yogurt with 12 carb per container and about 5 containers.

Early this week my mindset changed regarding my new venture. Actually it didn't change, it just became even more "resolved" to make it happen. And by that I mean "there is no way this is not going to happen and where there is a will there is a way!".

This raising money is all new to me, but I'm a quick study. I've been getting advice from some people on structure and frankly most of the advice I get from Canadians is bad advice. Thank goodness I'm dealing with a Silicon Valley lawyer that has been part of hundreds of deals. He sees stuff and terms that others do not.

He's also good at explaining what I think are complex concepts. I've gotten a crash coarse and actually feel pretty comfortable now. I proud and surprised with myself how quickly I'm learning.

I'm going to sound like a broken record but I'm also really looking forward to not fundraising and making enough money that I never have to do it again. It's a very academic exercise and I find it tough because it's a bit of a beauty pageant and a little distasteful and in Canada they are just so risk adverse.

Right now I'm in the process of finalizing our term sheet and heading right down to the U.S. where I feel more comfortable and where deals our done. My whole career 90% of my customers were U.S. based.

The funny part is I know I piss off some of the people who have been giving me advice. They think I should take it. I had one guy tell me that getting contracts signed with big companies take forever. This was a VC type. He then went on to tell me I should focus on small accounts.

So I'm thinking okay, first off it's not your money, you are representing other peoples money. Second off you know nothing, my whole career we have signed deals with major corporations and it ain't that tough. I told him so and he backed down right away saying "really, oh, well I guess you have more experience in it than I do, I just assumed". Geez...and this is the type of guys that are telling me what to do.

I was thinking in hindsight about them, "if you are so smart, why don't you have your own business?" I even spoke to one guy, who was from Silicon Valley and super smart with 2 billion dollar separate experts and he pass up on Airbnb and Uber. So that tells me that no matter how smart you are, no one has a crystal ball.

My plan is really coming together. I figured out a model that will reduce my need for capital, a pricing structure and now I'm at about 25% of what I originally thought I'd need. Frankly though, only with my background and experience is it doable, a young technology person with programming and marketing hacking skills couldn't.

In fact I got a call from one of those in NYC and it was a smart sounding young person, raised good VC money and they realized they can't get more sales by growth hacking online. They realized they need an outside sales force, have tried, failed and realize how hard it is.

He asked me a question, "if you had three things to tell me how to run a sales force what would they be?" Good question, totally unanswerable. I thought hard about it and said, "that's like asking a brain surgeon what his three top things are to do brain surgery". We even had a loose conversation that he would want to hire me or a guy like me. I told him I could do it, easily, but I have my own thing I'm working on right now. The loose offer he made was something most people would think twice about. I didn't.

What's really cool right now is these young tech companies are realizing that personal connections matter and have no idea how to do it. They are used to trying to do everything through the computer or social media and now they realize "old school feet on the street is where it's at".

Funny part is many of the guys that know how to set that up are retired, or don't deal in the technology world, social media world and don't get it, or are too long in the tooth.

To set up a sales department from scratch is fricken hard, especially to scale quick. It's Ironman hard.

I had two takeaways from that conversation. Number one is it further reinforced how committed I am to making next to nothing to launch my idea, and number two that I realize there is a big market for someone with my experience. I often tell programmers that the ultimate smarts is not programming, because it's all black and white, the toughest is dealing with people who there are no rules and you need to figure out the computer of someones brain and emotions.

On the training side I'm back at it. Ran 4 days straight this week which even in Ironman training I never did, it's usually 3 runs a week.

The runs have been awesome I get so much thinking from them and I come back with more resolve and inspiration than when I left. I can also tell that my being in a better state of mind makes it easier to train and keeps me motivated. When I'm not there it's easy to get on that emotional roller coaster and bail on training session.

It's also been cold. Today I ran in -22 C with windchill. I got back and my face was really red and windburnt whereever it wasn't covered.

The good thing about running in the cold is there is less people to run around and no people walking there dogs. Often the people walking there dogs don't pull them out of the way and I have no idea if they are going to bite me or not. The worst is when they let the dog jump at me because they know it's friendly but I don't.

So today's a big day, later in the day. Have more discussions and possible negotiations and finally getting to the point I can go get some money and finalize my financing. If I can't get it all I'm off to Silicon Valley for a week or two and knock on some major doors.

I don't know how this will unfold, but I do know..."where there is a will there is a way and this is going to happen!"

In the meantime its a waiting game. A very strange feeling to me.

Monday 1:05 / 9.24 Km
Tuesday 1:10 / 10.32 km
Wednesday 1:19 / 11.22 km
Today - 1:16 / 11.21 km

204.4 lbs

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Crunching the numbers...

Woke up today, 205.4 lbs. Yeah Baby!!! Three days ago I was 210.4 lbs. I know a lot of it is water weight, and I don't care. It still feels good. It's also motivating as my eating strict to the Banting diet it's working. I've been told Banting will peel of the weight.

It was interesting reading about the Banting diet. It was popular 100 years ago and then was dismissed in 1959 and now it's coming back. It's basically a Ketosis diet. High fat, moderate protein and near to no carbs.

Like I mentioned the other day. I hit the "I'm pissed off" wall and it's time to get serious about my diet and get down 20 lbs. Actually I need to get down to 185 lbs as I have a bet with Rodney. I owe him $100 now, I had a bet with him I'd stay off facebook for 3 months. Failed. So I did a double or nothing that I'll get down to 185 lbs by March 31st.

Yesterday was one of the best days I've had in a while. Last night was one of the best sleeps and one of the best dreams I've had in a long while. It had to do with Simon Cross and Malaysia and us doing an Ironman, (which I have no plans ever to do again, I'm retired) and a big feast, then doing some redneck stuff of barbecuing off the engine block of an old beat up truck I had.

The one cool thing in my world is I have two world. I dream every night, without fail, unless I had a few too many beers. Then I remember nothing. Otherwise I dream every night and my dreams are awesome. It's a whole new world. There is times I want to go to sleep to get into my other world reality.

What amazes me is that you can live days or week or more without water. Longer without food. But you can't survive more than a day or two without sleep.

I have a theory that as humans we are super advance computers. No charger. Our body is like a self contained power source. BUT with our minds being a computer, it's like we have to shut it down to clean it or reformat it. Best theory I've come up with so far.

In fact I think as computers evolve they will figure it out and make them human like. Self thinking and self sustaining.

The one thing about being overweight is you wake up refreshed and in about 20 minutes you feel tired. In my case it's because I'm eating well and my body is working hard to get rid of the toxins and burn the fat. It's working harder than if I was at my ideal weight.

This time round I've stopped drinking diet Cokes. I've never dieted without diet cokes but according to the Banting diet, diet sodas and juices are off limits.

I noticed when I pee it's very sudsy. It's like beer foam. To me it's a sign that my body is getting rid of something that's not normal. I was thinking maybe some of the quality of beer, the stuff that makes foam, is still in my system and now I'm getting rid of it.

So I did four things today. Number crunch, go for a long car ride, banter on Facebook and watch TV. Oh, and blog.

The number crunching started with spending 2 hours with Atul, my financial analyst. Going through our customer ROI model and then starting off the sales compensation structure.

I really enjoy doing financial modelling and working with Atul is great. We learn from each other.

To do a compensation model it's a blend of making money and figuring out what will motivate a sales person and studies have shown it's not money. Contrary to what you think. It's more about the emotional satisfaction they get from their job. I've seen people work for free in cases where they own the business because they feel proud that they own a business and can brag and feel superior doing it.

Figuring out the plan is both an Art and Science. It often comes down to a structure and then trying to put yourself in the shoes of the sales person and see if you would be motivated and engaged under that structure.

My goal is I want to make this a career position for people. Something that gives them health benefits and brings something they need and want into their lives.

Anything to do with sales I love. My passion is sales. It feels so natural to me and managing sales people I love. I love Glenn Gary Glen Ross, Wolf of Wall Street, Tin Man, Wall Street, Tommy Boy and any sales movie. There is not a sales person on the planet that can BS me. Most sales people by nature are lazy, or try to find the easiest path. Nothing wrong with that, it is what it is, the key is to figure out how to keep them motivated and moving.

Next was off for a truck ride with Alice. We drive all around the countryside for 2 or 3 hours. I don't know what it is but I love car rides. Time to talk and always a change of scenery. Best is when I get lost and don't know where we are. Its' an adventure. The other fun part is going down roads and seeing stuff you never see.

Talking to Alice if we retired the funnest thing for us would be to travel, but not by plane, but by car in "road trip" fashion. Drive and let the magic truck takes us where ever and stop and stay at whatever hotel comes along and feels right.

Frankly I know I can't retire and not working I'd be afraid, I'd probably party way to much. Last time I semi-retired after seeing my business it was a party almost every night. Hence from those days the name the Pig and Whistle originated when my buddy Jamie asked me what I was going to do for my future and I told him I was going to do what I'm doing now. He then said "you mean you are going to hang around this bar like the guy on the TV show the Pig & Whistle?"

For those that don't know the Canadian version of Lawrence Welk was call the Pig and Whistle and it was a variety show within a bar called the Pig & Whistle.

Back home and it was more number crunching in front of the TV and checking out Facebook. Facebook is my office water cooler and men's locker room. Lots of banter back and forth. All in good fun. None of my facebook friends get big heads or I pop them and vice versa. You have to have thick skin and be able to take a puck to the head to be my friend. I've had many de-friend me, or unfriend me. I call it culling of the herd.

On the work side once again I must say this period of just planning and trying to raise money has been very educational. As strange as it sounds the business model is evolving to be much better than if I already launched months ago. I realize whatever I lose in upfront time I'm going to more than make up with with a strong plan.

The tough part once you get started is to toggle between execution and strategy. Each in there own right is straight forward and not a problem, until you mix the two, it creates much more pressure. This is the first time in my life I've pre-planned to this extent. Usually it's gut feel and then make it happen.

Now it's gut feel and then prove out the numbers. In most cases my gut feel can be supported with numbers. In other cases seeing the numbers I've figured out better strategies that make more money.

My broken hand is getting better although typing is tough. It's still sore. The bump on the hand bugs me. Definitely a reminder and life lesson, so long as I remember it.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Lots has happened...

Been off the blog for about a week. Lots happened.

First off Alice and I went to Buffalo for the Fleetwood Mac concert. We had floor seats, their were Alice's Christmas present.

Aside from it being a great concert it was a great atmosphere.

It all started when we got to the hotel. The line up to get to the desk was about 100 ft long. By the time we got to the counter the line was 200 ft long and this was at 3 pm in the afternoon.

A big observation was we were the young ones. We are 49 and I'd say most of the people were 60 years old. Which makes sense, the members of the band are in their sixties and one of them is 71 years old.

Next observation was how everyone had brought their own booze and was drinking in the lobby and the hall ways and elevators.

I will not lie, we brought or own as well. In fact, we snuck some into the concert in my jacket. I wasn't the only one. All of us in the audience seemed to be like kids again.

The only person I saw young was the 19 year old seated beside me with his dad. He grew up listening to his dads music. Just like Reid, he loves 70's music.

The floor wasn't the greatest location. Sounded good to have floor seats but after too much standing we decided to move up to the cheap seats.

After the concert is was out for a few more drinks at the local pub and then back to the hotel. Then disaster. We got to the hotel and Alice checked in her purse and her wallet was gone. Didn't know if it was lost or stolen. Next thing it was walking back to the bar in the cold Buffalo weather to find the bar closed. Terrible feeling. All credit cards, Nexus card, money....gone.

Next day we checked back at the bar. Nope, they didn't have it. Then the stadium, nope, closed.

Drove back home, feeling a little worse for wear. Actually a lot worse for wear. Had to stop for a "take the hair off the dog" snack break.

Then came Monday, our Toronto snow day. Just a little bit of snow and the city shuts down. In Winnipeg it would have just been another day. I'm convinced that everyone in Toronto loves snow days. When you think about it, it's a day off.

Good news was we got a call from the Buffalo stadium, they found Alice's wallet.

So we jumped in the car and off to Buffalo we went. It would have been not a bad drive but with the snow, the highways had the snow cleaning team in front of us and we drove about 25 mph for an hour. Couldn't pass them.

Finally got to Buffalo, got the wallet. All the money was still in there. Crappy part was Alice cancelled her credit cards and Nexus card before getting the call from Buffalo. Amazing part was the stadium didn't find her phone number in her wallet, it wasn't there. They found the address then did a cross check against all the ticket holders, found me, then called me. They tracked us down, above and beyond. Nice job Buffalo.

On the drive back we stopped in to Turtle Jacks. As we sat in the place there was this super drunk kid bugging a table with a father and his two young adult children. The bar ended up having to escort him out.

After a while we left and went across the hall to Earls. Who do we see? The drunk kid. This time he's making trouble and getting close to having a bunch of guys beat him up. The guy was drunk. At the other restaurant when the girls told him to get lost, he started saying "do you think I'm a loser? do you think I'm a loser? Just wait when I start making $150,000 a year you'll want me".  I guess he thought that was a great pick up line.

Then when the security guards were kicking him out he looked at their uniforms and told them he invested in that company and did well.

At Earls they finally got him out of there and I have no idea how he didn't get beat up. The table in front of us had a guy that looked pretty strong and I figured he was going to beat on the guy, but he didn't. He actually had compassion on him and let it pass.

Then out of no where we get a round of drinks sent to our table. It was from the guy who looked strong and didn't beat on the kids. Totally unexpected.

I thanked him and we started talking. Got on great and then their group invited Alice and I to another bar they were heading to and asked if we wanted to join. We did. It was fun. They were mid 20's and they thought I was cool.

Turns out the young kid was a guy that has done door to door sales management for the past 5 years and that is exactly what I'm looking for for my next venture. We talked about it and he gave me his number. I invited them all back to our house, but I didn't realize that behind my back Alice was shaking her head "no".

When I got home I was wondering where they all were. Good thing Alice made that call, about 20 minutes after getting home I was tired and fell asleep.

Next day first thing I did was text the kid, then we arranged to meet. I wanted to learn more about him and tell him about what I'm doing and see if it's something he might be interested in.

We met at Shoeless Joes, and it turned into an 8 hour meeting. Few beers. He was really interesting to talk to and I love a door to door sales guys stories. He was selling Alarm systems and I did door to door sales of Alarm systems when I was 19 years old. It was like trading war stories.

Prior to going to Buffalo for the concert I was doing pretty good on the diet side. Dropping weight and training.

Post concert, too much beer, too much food and I wake up on Wednesday breaking the 210 barrier. YIKES!!!  It was enough to push me over the edge and say enough is enough!!!

Oh how in just 12 months one can gain 20 lbs and it's worse because I dropped muscle too.

Something did snap in my mind. I got an email about the Banting diet and it's really a Ketosis diet and it's time to get back on it.

This time it feels different.

It's been two days since then and I've had two great days of eating and two days of training and down 2 lbs.

Has been a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I was waiting for a term sheet. It finally came today.

Mind you in the process I was starting to focus on next steps of best way to create and scale a sales force.

What got me on it was I got a call from a young guy at a company that is VC back that is struggling with knowing how to set up a direct sales force and heard about my abilities and at first called to pick my brain and then was wondering if I'd be interested in talking about setting his up, good wage, stock, etc. He's based in NYC.

I told him I'm in the middle of my own deal now, but I'd have no problem taking a look at what he's doing, what his value prop is and giving him some advice.

Based on what he told me, I could definitely build and scale a huge sales department quickly. But when I compare it to the offering I have with my new venture I have a much better value proposition. No doubt in my mind I'd want to build mine first. If all falls through and I don't raise the money for my business, it sounds like I'd have a good fall back position.

BUT it did get me thinking about sales structures and now I'm really excited about some options I have for my business. To put it in perspective I'd want to have a team of 150 - 200 sales people to go at launch in Canada alone. Then scale to the U.S. about 6 months later with a 2000 person sales force.  It might sound aggressive, but it's something I can do without question. It's like saying "can you do an Ironman?" Answer...yes. Actually building the sales team is easier.

This weekend I'll be working with my financial analyst and run options. We've been running payback models for our customers and they are off the chain great. Selling this product is going to be like "Barry Bonds hitting off a T-Ball".

I can't exaggerate how much of an emotional roller coaster this is. I even had the weirdest dream about when I worked at image color and there was Tim, Dick and Neil. I was in dispute with the two owners (which happened in real life) and Neil was defending me. It was an interesting dream.

The one thing that has really come out of this is I'm so certain this plan is going to be the bomb. If I can sell it, and I can scale it, there is no choice but for it to succeed.

Today was expense day. Entering all those receipts hurt. Lots of my money already invested. Lots going out, none coming in. Very strange feeling. It's also a situation that is causing me to see a whole different perspective. I'm normally running at 1000 mph and now I'm down to 5 mph and I have no choice, it's a waiting game. In the process it's interesting to observe myself and how I feel about everything inside.

In the end, I feel I'm becoming a better and wiser person from the insight and ups and downs of the situation.  I can't stress enough how I just want to get out of this phase of fundraising and get back into the trenches and build a business.

So at the end of the day I'm feeling great and at 8 pm to top it all off I went for a run. I knew it would be a great run. I had not much to think about and nothing to worry about.  It was just a peaceful, zen like run.

Yesterday Run - 1:22:30 / 11.19 km
Today Run - 43:50 / 5.96 km