Archive for December, 2010

I Found My Oakleys

Posted: December 27, 2010 in It's All Important Stuff

Most people have a sort of ‘signature’ – something that, at least in their own mind, represents their image.

For several years, mine has been my Oakley Straight Jacket sunglasses.  With these, my black trench coat, and scalped head, my son says I look like an “assassin.”  This is about as close to a compliment as a teenager can give to his father.

About seven months ago, I was packing for a quick business trip to Dallas and thought that I put my prize Straight Jackets in their case and into my backpack.  Upon arrival, they were not with me.  I had no clue what happened to them.

Over the years, many sunglasses have come my way from Tifosi and Rudy Project, so I have about a dozen cases lying around. Ironically, I actually paid for the Oakleys – and they are essential to my image – and I lost them.  Dammit.

Back to the OCD theme… I use the same Tyr backpack nearly every day to pack my workout clothes or whatever.  I tore this backpack apart at least 30 times looking for these shades.  My bottom drawer, full of old glasses and cases and body glide and every manner of triathlete paraphenalia was also ripped apart numerous times.  I looked everywhere and after about six months gave up.  Finally, I resorted to asking Santa for a new pair.

Then, days before the big holiday, while lugging my tired Tyr backpack out of the car, I notice a familiar ear piece sticking out of a zippered pocket.  A Christmas Miracle – somehow they returned.  What a joyous day.

My groove has returned.  The shoulders are kicked back a bit more and I absolutely feel much studlier.  Apparently I really need a Straight Jacket.



Holy Shit…What A Ride

Posted: December 20, 2010 in It's All Important Stuff

“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit…what a ride!’”

I am not aging gracefully, but I am starting to feel the years of abuse to my body.  Some would say that I have been riding on the edge for some time. (having had seven sports related surgeries and two more needed)

But, I am determined to hit the end with nothing left; knowing fully that I sucked every last ounce of life out of my body and mind.

Gearing up for 2011, I personally challenge you and myself, to fully embrace life’s journey and to fully pursue your dreams.  If you can dream it, you can do it!

My last days in this body may not be graceful and pleasant, but I am going to have a wry smile on my face.  If my final wish comes true, it will be as I previously posted – check it out.


Christmas Socks

Posted: December 18, 2010 in It's All Important Stuff

Shopping at the any mall, battling unfriendly drivers and, worse, battling friendly drivers, has to warrant hazardous duty pay.

Internet sales are up 11% from last year, yet the traffic pattern remains full at South Point and Crossroads.

Next year, everyone, on my dwindling shopping list, will be receiving socks – Christmas socks.

Many of us have a real sense of urgency with forestalling the aging process as long as possible.  I can tell you that my interest is totally rejuvenated following a quick trip to Arizona to visit my mom.

Ruth is one of the great ones.  She is 89 and has spent her whole life taking care of others – first her father, her family, my dad and along the way she worked in taking care of me.  It pains me greatly to see what entropy has accomplished on this beautiful person.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past two days have been spent in the craziest comedy and tragedy I have ever viewed – a nursing home cafeteria.

The menagerie of characters is amazingly similar to Sid’s toys in the first Toy Story movie.  There is a strapping man with a steam roller for legs and the smiling painted doll face with no clue whatever where she is.  They all assemble in great anticipation for lunch, arriving up to 30 minutes early, then grumble, some quite vocally, about how long it takes for their food to arrive. 

My favorite character may be “Baby Face.”  She arrives at the table with metal artifacts for legs, one bad eye and a remarkably similar hair do.  Baby Face has the same fixed smile and random motion as the movie character.

I would very much like to live a long and healthy life – having wrung every possible minute of fun and growth along the way.  When the time is near, I want to have a nice breakfast with a Starbucks latte, slip on my favorite bib shorts (sans chamois butter), pump up my tires, head off into the sunshine, slowly climb the last rise, slide down the twisting descent on the other side, and meet a bus head on.

I have seen the menagerie and want no part of it.

Humans seem to have a strong need to test love. “If they really loved me or if I was truly important to them then they would …”

We all have our own expectations of our friends, family and significant others.   How successful have you been lying in wait to see if they will perform?  Do you ever put  people into situations where they cannot possibly hit the mark, only to smack them with your discontent?

Rather than setting your spouse or friends up for failure and then making them suffer the quiet or loud disappointment, help them out. Recognize that you have an unexpressed expectation that you are waiting for them to live up to and that everyone has their own needs.

It doesn’t matter if we are talking about the amount of fuss made about a birthday, the need for quality time, the expectation that he/she will notice your new workout duds. It’s not fair to expect a mind reader.  It is also not fair to expect more than you know they can give.

This week stop waiting and teach a certain someone how to love you. Don’t ask for more than they can give.  Once expressed, understand that there is not an obligation for follow through.  But, if they do, accept it for what it is. Humans also have a very strong need to please.

Set someone up for success this week.

Six Words Times Five

Posted: December 10, 2010 in It's All Important Stuff
“Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny”

During a recent lunch with Lisa Lambeth, we were having many discussions at once, and she inadvertently helped me tie them all together with the notion of “Visual Turbulance.”

Have you ever walked into a house and instantly felt uncomfortable or claustrophobic?  Where every flat surface & wall is covered with a hodge podge of chaos.  Color is absent and simultaneously screaming at you.

This is Visual Turbulance.

Expanding on this, you also know people, maybe lots of people, with similar turbulance in their lives.  Chaos abounds.  Relationships are fractured and non-productive.  Life is a series of actions with no purpose.  Randomness rules.  Perhaps this is you.

For the past several months, I have been attempting to create a balanced, calm and productive living space.  I discovered that this has been true in my life for the past several years. This has always been a brute force effort – requiring much diligence and energy.

At lunch last week, I realized that I am seeking a lack of Visual Turbulance.  Entering my home, relationships, and work I want to be calm, safe and open.

Now if I can just find the perfect couch!

About three years ago, a friend of mine and I had a long and detailed discussion about her new running socks and whether they would work for triathlon.  She loved the new-fangled pair she had been trying out.  They were so custom that they were different for Left and Right and were duly marked with an “L” and an “R” on the top to differentiate them.

She did fret as to whether or not she could keep Left and Right straight in transition, and worried that she might accidentally mix them up.

It is true that I have some serious OCD issues.  I always put in my left contact before my right, and put on my left sock followed by right sock, then left shoe then right shoe….you get the picture.

So, I was totally able to relate to her worries about making a transition mistake.

Soon thereafter, I bought my 3rd or 4th pair of Balega running socks at Omega Sports, which happens to be clear across town.  I love running in these and needed a new pair to better match my new running shoes.

I get these babies home and open the sack.   “WTH, they screwed these up and packaged two left socks,” I complained to my friend.  Dammit, I was frustrated to have to trudge all the way back to the store.

Preparing my attitude all the way, I marched straight back to the shoe department and asked for the manager.  He came out to help.  “I just bought these socks here, went home, and had to come all the way back,” I chirped.  “I have had several pairs of these and love them, but do you see the problem with this pair?”  He looked them over carefully, and without giving him a chance to reply, I said, “do you see the labels right here?” pointing to the big “L”.   “You mean LARGE?” he sheepishly responded.

I am not sure that I said a word as I turned around and walked out of the store.  I had already owned 2 or 3 pairs of these exact socks which I had repeatedly used to run.  The saddest thing is that I ALWAYS put on my left sock first and grabbed the “L” sock and just ignored how the right was marked.

Spain, you have issues.


The “Zone Diet” isn’t really a diet.  It is more of an eating plan.  This resonates for me.

If you have a crappy lunch, don’t make it worse by having french fries for dinner.  The idea is to get back to eating well as quickly as possible. This translates to training.  If you miss a few days, get back on it.

Yesterday, I felt like an athlete.  Up at the crack of 7:45, I had a scrambled egg and half an english muffin for breakfast.  For a nooner, I munched down cheater chicken, new potatoes and salad – which did not suck.  And for dinner, I had an apple with peanut butter.  The guys at HEAT worked my tail off on the RealRyder bike.  Work wasn’t too stressful.  All in all, this was a great day for an off-season triathlete.

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. The trick is to string together a series of good days like this.