Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Proud Dad...

Just a very short post to announce that Katy has been selected to represent Team Canada at the Pan American Wrestling Championships in Campeche, Mexico in early August. I am so very proud of, and excited for, her!

It is shaping out to be quite a year. Last month she finished 2nd at Nationals...

... and will also be travelling through Europe later this summer to training camps and meets in Poland, Czech Republic and Germany. Then she goes with the Ontario Development Program to Puerto Rico in October.

Well done my beautiful daughter <3

Saturday, May 21, 2011

On the sunny side ...

May 21st, 2011 ... the billboards are telling me that this is the day the world will end. But with my windows wide open, the sun shining, a delicious latte half finished and music on the stereo, it feels like every other day - with my life just beginning yet again. I truly believe that, for all the drama we create around so many things past and future, every day is the only day. Neither the first nor the last, neither good nor bad, just this day we are given to do with what we will.

February 29th, 2008 ... now that was a day that must have felt like it was the end of the world for the Hayes family. For that was when Heidi - their bright, happy, seemingly healthy Grade Four girl - was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. In other words, their beloved 'baby' had cancer.

Heidi in front, with Biz, Nakita, Mallarie and aunt and uncle.

My introduction to Heidi and her family was through Orillia sports. My daughter, Katy, played basketball against Heidi's older sister Nakita a few years ago and we always saw Kita's mom, Biz, and sisters, Heidi and Mallarie at the games. They are all very bright lights - beautiful people with spirits so big they overflow. That sounds like hyperbole, but I mean it - their incredible positive energy spreads to everyone around them as soon as they walk into a room.

I don't remember when I first became aware of Heidi's health issue. You would certainly never suspect it to watch her and her family - no one that enthusiastic about life, and so full of love and enthusiasm for others could be dealing with something so huge, could they? 

When she could, Heidi still played sports, and her mom coached her and her sisters as well. When the other players went home to do homework or watch TV, the Hayes family went to the hospital or home to administer chemotherapy drugs. There were constant drives to and from Toronto, and long stays in the cancer ward. There were surgeries, terrifying scares, excruciating pain. It must have been hard for Biz to hear another parent or player complain about their day... "And then some jerk cut me off in traffic!" or "Can you believe the price of gas these days?".

Heidi and her family began journaling her experience in April 2008. It is an incredible, three year long display of incredible optimism and heart-rendering honesty.

"Nakita Hayes wrote:

just wanted to let everyone know that heidi is at sick kids in isolation.

she has the shingles and has been running fever.
her blood counts are ever ever low.
she getting ever bored stuck in her room.!
not sure when she will be out.
we will keep you posted."

"Biz Hayes wrote:

Counts still very, very low. Fevers still spiking. Doctors are puzzled as they expected her counts to have started to 

recover by now as she has been off all chemo for a week and is already on 3 antibiotics. They called in the infectious 
disease team to try to figure out if there is something else going on. More tests. Heidi is scared and just wants to 
get out of here."

For months, Heidi was in Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. She went through round after round of chemotherapy that was literally killing her to keep her alive She was given morphine for the relentless pain. She lost all of her hair - her gorgeous, trademark blonde curls..

Even in the face of that, there were updates like this one ...

"On the sunny side. ...the four of us actually shared a meal together tonight. Even though it was on a hospital bed and even though Mal and Kita had to eat through their masks , and even though we didn't have our advent candle burning....it was fantastic to share time and to laugh with (and at) each other.  Hopefully tomorrow night we will all be around the Christmas tree:)"

... and ...

"On the sunny side.... Sick Kids is a pretty fun place to be stuck in at Halloween. Everyone went out of their way to make it a memorable day for the kids there. "

While in the hospital for such long stretches, Heidi made many new friends. Other children facing the same challenges. And she lost some of them along the way. That is one of the hardest things for me to wrap my mind around - a child already facing so much having to say goodbye to a best-friend who has just died from the same disease that she is still hoping to beat.

"On Feb 6, we went to Jocelyn's funeral.  

Why Charlie Brown? Why?"

... sit with this for a minute before continuing. Really think about a nine year old going through that ...

Heidi's extraordinary outer beauty is matched by an inner magnificence, though, that is captured perfectly in this excerpt from the introduction she wrote for her journal ...

"Having cancer stinks!  However, things could be way worse.  Last Christmas, I asked Santa for life, health and love.  When I'm sad about having cancer, I remember what Santa wrote back to me. He said to remember that I already have life, health and love. He's right! I do.  My life may be a little messed right now, but it is still a great life.  Other than having leukemia right now, I am really healthy. And I have so much love I can't even describe it."

(I will wait a minute while you go get more Kleenex ... I know that I am crying all over again writing this.)

On the sunny side - to steal that signature line from Heidi's mom - in the Spring of 2010, Heidi's cancer was declared to be in full remission!!! She still has regular doctor visits but is officially cancer-free. She is playing basketball and, lucky for us, baseball on the same team as Nakita and my Katy (I love hearing her cheer, "C'mon Katy, you can do it girl!!")

August 6th, 2010 saw Heidi deliver a moving speech at the Royal Ontario Museum for a "Summer Dreams" gala fundraiser for Camp Oochigeas. Her proud family looked on as she inspired the hundreds in attendance and drew a well-deserved standing ovation.

Here is the most recent update from Heidi's mom ...

"Three years ago, (Feb 29,2008) Heidi was diagnosed with leukemia. It is difficult to find the words to describe what she has been through physically and mentally. Heidi is truly my hero. It is equally hard to explain what Mallarie and Nakita have been through these past 3 years. I am so proud of all of them. My girls..... I love you!

Heidi is in grade 7. She is doing an awesome job at catching up on all the school work she has missed over the past years. She played on the basketball, cross country and volleyball teams and is looking forward to rugby, wrestling, softball and track. Heidi is also playing Lakers (a rep basketball team). She has an awesome bunch of friends. Heidi is feeling well most days. She still has follow up appointments at Sick kids once a month. We are grateful for her continued good health.

February is a difficult month.. It brings memories of a scary, scary time for us and memories of family and friends lost. This February has proven to be very difficult for 2 friends. Our hearts go out to Connor and Adam and their families. Fight boys!! Fight hard!!!! LEUKEMIA SUCKS!! 

On the sunnyside.......Heidi's ever present smile continues to brighten the day of those around her."

So, what does all of that have to do with me???

Well, when Heidi's mom saw that I was fundraising for POGO (Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario) she told me that POGO had been a huge help to their family during Heidi's illness, and that she was thrilled to see my getting behind such a worthwhile cause.

I said a few months ago that supporting kids who are bravely facing up to cancer would be a huge motivator for me in training for and completing The Death Race. Writing this post has reinforced that infinitely. Heidi and her family were able to keep smiling through three years of brutal cancer treatment that no child deserves to face. I can certainly endure three days of awful racing conditions that I have willingly signed up for.

Granted, I will now face one new danger in Pittsfield, VT ... being strangled on the course by other Death Racers who get sick of my constantly saying "ON THE SUNNYSIDE..."


"Children with cancer are like candles in the wind who accept the possibility that they are in danger of being extinguished by a gust of wind from nowhere and yet, as they flicker and dance to remain alive, their brilliance challenges the darkness and dazzles those of us who watch their light."


A BONUS! I just discovered that "Why Charlie Brown Why" was inspired by an actual Peanuts cartoon centred on a girl with leukemia ... amazing to watch knowing this connection!

Did I mention that you can donate to POGO, and help kids like Heidi cope with cancer, by clicking the POGO logo???

Also, for my American friends ... here is a video about another Spartan Race initiative helping kids with cancer.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Down and Dirty Death Race Update

Haha! I just needed to say something dumb so I can get over myself and crank out a blog post. You see, I have become quite taken with my own loquaciousness - and have found myself bogged down in incessant wordsmithing. Thus the backlog of half-crafted "masterpieces".

So, on to the matter at hand! The Death Race. Now just FIVE WEEKS away! Here is a quick snapshot of my training, my health and my mindset as we come into the home stretch.

After my Easter Ultra-hike Debacle, as I am now willing to admit (retrospectively), my confidence was severely shaken. As I wrote at the time, "I am training for one of the hardest races in the world. And I can't #&% walk to Barrie??". Fortunately I didn't stay "down" too long and was back in the gym within a few days - still nursing awful blisters.

The real bounceback, though was last weekend on my second trip to Pittsfield, Vermont. It is fast becoming my favourite little town in the world - which is hilarious, as I am essentially tortured every time I go there. I chronicled my first DR training adenture in March, and this experience was comparably gruelling.

I arrived Friday just before midnight, after a 10 hour drive. As I pulled up to the farm, there were about 2 dozen people up cooking and laughing and visiting - all bathed in the bright red glow of a huge LED clock that was just reaching the 30 hour mark. I would learn in the morning that this was the elapsed time in the 200 mile ultramarathon, and these were the runners support crews and race organizers. I resisted the temptation to go investigate, and parked across the road, climbing into the back of my truck to get some sleep before my 5:30am start.

I woke at 4:45am, 15 minutes before my alarm was set to ring. As I scarfed down some breakfast and freshened up for the day I noted my first setback - no shorts. The plan was to wear my Nike running tights under some board shorts, as cotton underwear is a guarantee of brutal chafing. No time for modesty, so I decided to be "THAT" guy - running in tights with no shorts and no underwear. HAHAHA!


I also discovered that I had not brought my leather gloves, or fresh water. At this point, I used my voice recorder to note that "It's like they've announced a trophy for least prepared, and I am going after it with a vengeance." (One thing I DID bring this time was awesome socks, which made a HUGE difference!)

As I crossed the road, a freeballing vision in royal blue tights and white cotton gloves, I was easily able to ID the Death Racers in the crowd. We were the only ones wielding axes. There were plenty of people about, as the 30mile Ultra was set to start at 6am.

Right at 5:30am, the nine DR trainees were ready to go. We were greeted by Andy Weinberg (the awesomely loud and enthusiastic race organizer), Matt Soroka (who had guided my snowshoe adventure in March) and Jack Cary (a Death Race veteran who, throughout the day, quickly became one of my favourite people). With typical nonchalance, they told us to start ... "Jog down to the river and fill up a 5 gallon pail with water. Then carry it to the top of the mountain. When you get there, gather 10 pieces of burnable firewood and chop them to 3 foot lengths, then fill your buckets with rocks and come back down. Go."

And so started my second Death Race training. I set out with Thomas Lee (a friendly beast of a guy, about my age, who had been a wrestler and a bodybuilder), Michelle Roy (an intense but fun uber-runner who is also Thomas' ex-girlfriend), John and Ricky (both strong, fit fellas, probably in their twenties). The river was about a half mile hike along a hilly trail through woods. An interesting touch is the severed heads of farm animals staked onto various trees along this stretch. I am learning that this will be a very familiar route come Death Race weekend. We got to the river and loaded up our pails - 40 pounds if you are curious. Then we set out to hike the 5 miles up the hill, with a half mile vertical gain (about 4x the height of Blue Mountain). We shared the 10 mile loop with the McNaughton runners, of whom the 100/200/500 milers were already running, with the 30 milers starting just behind us. It wasn't long until the fresh and unencumbered runners passed us, shaking their heads as they strode by. "You guys are absolutely nuts" was the consensus commentary.

Somewhere around the 2 hour mark we emerged from the forest to the clearing at the top of the mountain. I had only ever been there when it was covered in snow and it was just as beautiful in the Spring. I didn't take much time to admire my surroundings, though, as I still had lots of energy and wanted to capitalize on that. By now, it was just Thomas and Ricky and me and we worked together, gathering and chopping our wood. Just as we finished, Michelle and John arrived. We all cheered one another on and then the three of us struck out back down the mountain with our buckets now full of rocks from the peak. Somehow I had been certain that the water would be heavier but this was certainly not the case - we all figured the rocks were at least half as much again. So 60 pounds? At least there were more ways to carry a pail full of rocks, and mine spent most of the descent balanced on my shoulders.

About halfway down we were passed by a very unassuming looking runner who I would later learn was Tony Covarrubias - about 300 miles into his 500 mile race. He smiled and waved and did not slow down.

When we got back to the barn we were told to head back down to the river and dump out our rocks and bring back the empty buckets. Then, upon returning, we were told to head back down again and fill the bucket back up with rocks. So a big, 2 mile break-even.

Next up, cross the road and head up to the pond. A spring fed pond that hovers around 45F all summer long. We were told to wade into the water until our belly buttons were submerged, and were then handed a piece of cardboard and an unopened 100 piece puzzle. 

The assignment was to assemble the puzzle on the cardboard before leaving the water. Try to imagine that - calming your mind as the shock of the cold sets in, and then stilling your body as the severe shivering starts, all to put together a puzzle that would be difficult even in your pyjamas in front of a fire. All of those rainy cottage days at my Nana's Long Point cottage came in very handy as I was able to finish the puzzle in about 20 minutes and drag my frozen legs back onto dry land. The others took longer, especially poor Michelle. I only say "poor" because she is an incredible ultra-athlete (who kicked my ass in the run) with NO body fat to keep her warm. She was shaking uncontrollably making it almost impossible to do the puzzle. I don't know if she did finish the task, but I am certain she was in the frigid water for over an hour.

The next "warm-up" (literally) consisted of 100 squats, 100 pushups and 100 burpees, then back to the trail to just do a straightforward 10 mile loop. Not to say it was easy, but it sure felt much less punishing without the load. My time was less than impressive (at just under 3 hours) but I was still going strong. The one near disaster came at the top of a very steep descent about 2 miles from the end of the circuit. I decided to give my quads a big stretch before starting down so sat right back on my heels and held for about a minute. As soon as I stood back up I knew I was in trouble - my blood pressure plummeted and I started to pass out. You know that feeling of falling into a dark tunnel? Well, I fought that off for what seemed like forever as I strained to not pitch headfirst down the rocky path. When I was finally able to regain my equilibrium, I hiked carefully down.

Next task back at the barn was, of course, to head back down to the river and back to dump the rocks, then another round trip to pick up more rocks. But this time we had to stack our rocks in two piles and lay our axe handle across them. Only when we could crawl under this "bridge" could we continue. 

Back across to the pond for two new challenges. The first was to guess how many candies were in a jar. I was off by 19 which meant 38 burpees, but not before having to eat two tablespoons of chopped garlic. With that freshly churned in my belly, I had to get back into the pond with an exercise ball covered in nubs. And, again submerged more than halfway in the icy pond, count the individual bumps. Picture this ball ... 

... and figure out how you would keep track of that count! And for every one that you were off meant a full minute of holding a 3 foot length of rope taut above your head. Thomas had gone before me, having crushed me in the 10 mile run, and was given the maximum penalty of 60 minutes. I couldn't even imagine having to do that, so I took a long time in the pond - emerging with an answer of 591. The correct count was 582 ... YES!! Only 9 minutes! Ricky (or was it John???) was right behind me, and got stuck with the full 60 minutes as well. I was counting my blessings big time!

Throughout the day, Andy and Matt and Jack kept reminded us that this was not mandatory training and that they would certainly understand if any of us had to leave part way through. I was surprised at how many people took them up on that offer. Maybe they are wired differently than I am, but I know that not finishing this day would make it much much tougher for me to gut through the actual race weekend.

At this point, I am pretty sure there were only 4 of us left. Me, Thomas, Ricky/John? and an 18 year old girl whose name has escaped me. After picking 200 dandelions and then doing 200 situps, we were each handed a very dull trim saw and sent over to some freshly felled trees. Using these entirely unsuitable tools, we were each to cut three three foot sections and then split them for the evening's bonfire. With ever more rubbery arms, each cut took at least a full hour. Our young lady worked her way through one log before having to take off, leaving Thomas and Ricky/John? and me to finish the sisyphean sawing. Finally it was cut and split and stacked (and I will give an unreserved nod to the other two guys, who were much more effective lumberjacks than I!).

Thomas and Ricky/John? were leaving as well, so I asked Jack, "If I do one more task will that make me the last one standing?". Jack replied "We only have one more for you to do - and you will have finished the whole list."

I am sure you can guess that the last job was to carry the rocks back down to the water, made a bit more punishing by having to lug a full bucket of water back up. As I arrived at the finish line I dumped the bucket over my head and received a rewarding round of high fives.

By now it was about 7:30pm and we had been going for 14+ hours. I grabbed a pair of boxers from the truck and headed back to the pond for a bracing bath, then got dressed and headed to the General Store for a piece of pizza and a beer. I brought another beer back to the race headquarters in time to see Ryan Dexter finish the 200 mile race in a record time of 51 hours! That means that he ran for just over two full days non-stop, grabbing a sandwich at the turn each time and heading right back out. Incredible.

I found out later that neither Tony nor the other 500 miler finished their full distance, stopping after just shy of 400 miles. They both have my FULL respect - wow!!!

I slept in the back of the truck again Saturday night and drove home Sunday. Monday I felt terrific and was in the gym at 6am :)

Now, it is not ALL candy floss and balloon animals at this point. Here is the damage report so far on my 43 year old body...

- I was diagnosed in March with ostephytes (bony growth) on an old break in my elbow. I will be having surgery in the fall. In the meantime it is very painful, and restricts me from much "pushing" in the gym - so no bench press, triceps, etc.

- I have pretty awful plantar fasciitis in both feet. I was at my chiro today and he said it is definitely getting worse. I made the decision to not run again until the race (having just put in 10km last night). Lots of rowing for my cardio, and rest my feet.

- I probably also have a stress fracture in my left foot (the outside bone, connected to the baby toe). He has been monitoring it and was not happy with its condition today. "If I send you for an x-ray and it shows a fracture, are you still planning to race?" ... "Yes." ... "Okay, no sense ordering an x-ray until July then. Good luck with that."

- My Achilles tear is still there but is under control. Lots of stretching and icing. I still feel a pull now and then but nothing scary like before.

- Other than that I feel terrific. Surprisingly, my SI (hip) and AC (shoulder) injuries are not haunting me at this point, and my IT band (thigh/knee) is in check - knock on wood.

So, with 35 days left to go I am going to back off on the running completely, maintain my weights without adding anything new, and step up my mental preparation. I actually do feel very confident in that department. I know full well how awful it is going to be, and how much I will want to quit. And I am absolutely certain that I will be able to dig deep and keep going. This month, I am also going to do considerable research on nutrition and strategies to cope with sleep-deprivation.

A few things that I am finding exceptionally inspiring ... the many, many people who ask me about the race and offer me encouragement; that there is an awesome contingent going down to cheer me on, including Dad, brother James, support Mike Kitchen, Jack, Katy(?), and the McGill family of Bill and Katie and David and Duncan; the comraderie amongst the Death Race hopefuls (lots of Facebook encouragement going back and forth between Bruce Allentuck, Jack Cary, Paul Roarke, Patrick Walsh, Joe Crupi, Ray Morvan, Thomas Lee, Michelle Roy, Kat Dunnigan, Ben Harper, Carrie Adams, Jason Jaksetic, William Castle, Rebecca Hansen, and others)

So, there. No literary masterpiece but an update nonetheless. Tick tock (as Ray Morvan always says) ... The Death Race is coming up fast!!!

NOTE: Will Castle, with whom I did the March training, was also at the McNaughton - running the full 30 mile race and THEN joining in with our DR training - that is seriously bad-ass, Will!!! 
And, never one to be outdone, Ray Morvan arrived direct from finishing a Tough Mudder and strapped on a 30 pound pack to crunch out his 30 miles ... ending at 5am. 

One other note - I will be running the Spartan Race in Milton on June 19th as a last tune-up before heading to Vermont later that week. Does anyone want to join me?? It is a very fun 5km run and I would love to have a crew there! (PS ... see if you recognize the handsome fellow around the 1:11 mark in this great video!)

Friday, May 13, 2011


Perspective is a wonderful thing. And it is one of the primary contributions a coach offers to a client - the benefit of another perspective, often a more empowering one.

Wednesday morning I met with MY coach, Karen Graham, to discuss what I had (and had not) done over the past couple of weeks. It has been a very busy and rewarding stretch, but I was also acutely aware that I had not followed through on several actions to which I had clearly committed in our last meeting. As I started to catalog all the things that had steered me "off track", I could hear the frustration building in my own voice. Karen let me ramble on, allowing me just enough line to get myself good and tangled up. Once I finally ran out of steam, she smiled and asked me why I was being so hard on myself.

I explained that I did not feel focused or disciplined or efficient, and that I felt like I was letting too many things get in the way of what I "should" be doing. I seem to start every morning with a list of things to get done, and invariably find myself scrambling through it at the end of the day - sidetracked by all the things that come up along the way.

Karen asked what I was not getting done. "Well", I replied, "It all gets done eventually, but I haven't blogged in over a week, my home could use a good cleaning, and I really need to get on the phone and generate some new business."

Then she asked me what I have been doing that has kept me so busy.

"Ok, on the weekend I drove to Vermont, ran an ultramarathon and did a Death Race training camp, sleeping two nights in my truck and spending a glorious Sunday morning in Burlington, VT. I got back Sunday evening and met with real estate clients to help them prepare an offer for their dream home. Monday, I started the day at the gym, training a fitness client, before driving 2 hours to Toronto, where I stepped in to help a friend successfully negotiate the end of a nasty three year divorce, before heading back to Orillia in time to present the house offer and then hit the office for a few hours of client follow up calls. Tuesday started with the gym, of course, then my real estate office for a few hours. Next I raced up to the high school in time to see Jack win his 100m heat in his elementary school's track meet (hoooora!!). Then a trip to the mall to replace my deceased BlackBerry with a new HTC Incredible. Back to the school to see Jack NOT win his 800m race, but put in a gutsy showing - finishing strong despite an awful side cramp. Then a late lunch with a friend for whom I have just negotiated a lease for the perfect office space within which to grow his business. A few hours at my hypnosis clinic, studying, then two real estate appointments and home to make some incredible veggie bean burgers for a late dinner and a movie with a great friend. That brings us to today - Wednesday - I slept in, taking a gym rest day, and am now here for my coaching session."

"What is your blog called?" she asked.

"Um, it's Living Myself To Death."

"Exactly!" she replied. "That is exactly what you are doing! It's not "Blogging Myself to Death" or "Working Myself to Death" or "Cleaning Myself to Death" is it?"

"No, it's not."

"It sounds to me, Johnny, like you are very much practicing what you preach. You are absolutely living yourself to death. Granted, it must be exhausting and sounds like a pretty wild ride, but would you honestly have it any other way?"

"No, I guess I wouldn't"

"And most importantly," she continued, "look at the people you are helping all the way along. And spending time with your kids. And paying the bills. And taking on a challenge like the Death Race that inspires so many more people. Doesn't that beat the hell out of putting ticks on your daily checklist? And to top it all off, you still have the self-awareness to recognize the importance of stepping back and assessing what's working and what's not. Sounds like we can do some fine-tuning but you sure shouldn't change much."

Suddenly I actually felt pretty great about myself again! She is right. That IS exactly who I am. And I honestly could NOT imagine being any other way.

So, I gave myself a bit more credit the rest of the week...

Wednesday, I enjoyed a sunny morning showing prospective investors through a lakeside resort/cottage compound. Tied up some real estate loose ends through the afternoon. Spent a hugely rewarding 90 minutes with a coaching client, helping her come to some very important realizations about what she wants to do next with her life. Then a chiropractic appointment to work on my beat up body (especially my feet right now) and then dinner out with Katy and Jack (lots and lots of laughs!!) before bringing them home and rewatching Kickass together (such a great movie, though some may justifiably question its appropriateness).

Thursday. Kids to school with top-notch lunches (by a dad standard anyway) and helped Katy make French Toast for her French class. Got offer accepted. Productive afternoon at the office. Picked Katy up from school, as she'd injured her knee at soccer, and dropped her to her Mum's house, where I got to see Jack's beloved new paintball gun. Back to the office for a bit, then home to enjoy my own homemade chili, garlic bread, salad and a beer. Started writing a presentation I am giving Sunday, and stayed up much later than intended (posting some fantastic bits and pieces to Facebook as I worked).

Today was equally busy, but I will spare you the play by play. It ended, though, with my picking up the kids and friends, making everyone a big fettuccine dinner, and setting them up with a movie while I wrapped up my speech and then wrote this blog.

In the morning, I am driving Katy and 2 of her teammates to Milton for a 2 day Ontario Development Team wrestling camp and then bringing Jack and his buddy Jackson to The Monkey Vault parkour gym for the day. Then heading to Cambridge for a relaxing night in a great hotel before presenting to three groups of baseball umpires Sunday morning - 50 minutes each - on the topic "Stepping Up to A Bigger Game", based upon my work in hypnosis and coaching, and designed to help them make the leap to the next level of umpiring.

So, when someone asks me what I do for a living, I usually just tell them I am a bon vivant (a title bestowed on me personally by one of Canada's all-time greatest writer/musician/artists, Paul Quarrington, R.I.P.).

All of those other things are my "side gigs" ;)

Thanks for the perspective KG!

PS ... Five great reads of very recent posts from my friends :)

  • http://carriea81.blogspot.com/2011/05/chapter-one-be-ing.html
  • http://poochbuddha.blogspot.com/
  • http://raceforthestrong.blogspot.com/2011/05/human-nature.html
  • http://www.khaledallen.com/warriorspirit/learn-to-love-pain/
  • http://musingsfromthesquirrelcage.blogspot.com/2011/05/fri-your-friend-and-thats-end-of-them.html

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Inertia ...

Yikes. After building up some great blogging momentum, I have really hit a wall! Granted, the past few weeks have been wonderfully busy with wrestling tournaments, work, training, but not really more so than last month. Somehow I found time then that I haven't made recently. Something for me to think about ...

There has been no lack of activity to blog about! My daughter won a silver medal at her national wrestling championships ... my son has decided to be a "competitive" paintball player (there really IS such a thing) ... I have struggled through foot injuries to get back in the gym and on the road ... I worked on an unsuccessful election campaign for one of the best people I know ... I watched my American neighbours wildly celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden, and tried to sort through my thoughts, feelings, opinions on all that ... I helped a friend mediate a very challenging divorce proceeding ... my real estate business has picked up ... I have been working with two new coaching clients who bring fresh, interesting challenges for me to help them navigate through ... I have been hired to speak to a group of baseball umpires about the challenges of stepping up to a higher level of competition. Any one of these provides more than enough material and inspiration for a kickass post - but it hasn't been in me.

It's a funny paradox. I always balked at blogging because I thought "who cares what I have to say" ... and now I feel guilty for not writing, assuming that people are hanging on my every word - haha!

There have been several "first paragraphs" written ... including on these "coming soon" topics ...

  • I'm Not Dead Yet!
  • DON'T Put Your Best Foot Forward
  • I Don't Care What My Opinion Is!
  • 2008 - The Year I Shit The Bed
  • Happy Anyway
  • Too Much Stuff
  • Energy Is Everything Is Energy
... and, yet, I didn't hit my stride with any (though I'm certain they will all be gems soon!).

So, now I am headed to bed. I leave tomorrow morning for another trip to Pittsfield, VT. In true Death Race style, I am not even sure what awaits me when I get there. I thought I was going to run a 30 mile mountain trail race, but have now been told to bring my axe, a weighted vest and a 5 gallon pail, and to be ready to start at 5am Saturday. This should be interesting.

Back soon!