•December 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment




•September 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment


Mission Accomplished: Trailer of “From Ordinary to Extraordinary”

•January 7, 2011 • 1 Comment


•July 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Advertising Age awarded this as one of the top five slogans of the 20th century. I believe this is the best slogan ever. Very simply, it brings attention to the most critical component of accomplishing anything.  The phrase serves multiple purposes, but I will highlight two.

  1. It is a constant reminder to not avoid the most critical component of accomplishing any task.
  2. It serves as a rubber wall that stands in front of you when you’re ready to hurl all types of reasons, excuses, facts, opinions, and theories about why you can’t or should not do what is supposed to be done.  After you’ve stripped away all of the theory, you realize it comes down to just doing it. Plan and strategy in hand, there is still one step that remains. Very simple. Think about it.  Next time you don’t feel like doing something that you know is necessary, throw one of those “excuse balls” against that wall and see what happens. It bounces and comes right back to you. The rubber wall challenges and dares you. It puts the ball back in your hands to make things happen. The wall doesn’t care about feelings or emotions. It doesn’t care about any unfortunate circumstances that you have to deal with. It only deals with reality.

I believe the slogan is so powerful because it transcends sports and applies to anything in life. Sports just serve as terrific ways to demonstrate the principle because they are a bit more tangible and quantifiable for people to see.

“Just Do It”. Those who truly understand and live by this principle are those we most admire. Results speak for themselves.

The concept can be difficult to grasp because it is so simple, unemotional, and just plain black and white. It’s easier to play in the gray area. For some of us, it can be difficult to have the ball in our hands, and take responsibility for the outcome. It can be easier to lean on other reasons that justify our inaction or a particular outcome. Perhaps it’s even easier to hide under the umbrella of something being “unrealistic”.

It’s clear to me that those who “just do it” are the ones who are responsible for creating the examples that others can later use to identify as something being “realistic” or not.  For some, nothing is “realistic” until it has been proven done. For others, it still doesn’t make a difference. The gap that stands between reality and something being unrealistic is the action of just doing “it”. If we wait for circumstances to be ideal, nothing will ever be accomplished. Things can always be better. Timing can always be better. I was reminded recently, that nothing is static and action creates possibility. Thus, you have to remind yourself to “just do it”.

“It’s not that simple”, some may say. But actually, it is. It’s a tough pill to swallow. Difficult? Maybe. Improbable? Potentially. Possible? That’s for us to prove.

Great commercial-You’ll see why .

Ironman Miami: 4 months away….

One brick at a time….

•June 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“You don’t try to build a wall. You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built. You don’t start there. You say, I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. And you do that every single day, and soon you have a wall.”                                                                                                                                         -Will Smith, Hollywood’s Most Powerful Actor

Sidenote: If you recall from a previous post, I was supposed to begin my official training on June 1, with a 20 week program. Well, my first week ended up being a wash because I got food poisoning. Recovered, I was able to start the training this past Monday.

I thought about the quote above as I made my way through Monday’s workout. The quote and many other insightful words, videos, stories–pretty much anything else I could cling on to–were used to help push me through my session. Out of all the things I thought about, however, Smith’s words really represented the major takeaway for the day.

That day I was hit with an extra-strength dose of reality that I had not been hit with yet. As I made my way through my workout, it became very clear that whatever I was doing for the last three months should definitely not be considered “training”.  Monday’s schedule called for swimming and running. The lesson was understood after my swim workout.

I swam 2,350M (1.46 mi.). Even though it was broken up into various sections (warm up, main workout, cool down) and sets, it was still challenging.

Moreso than the physical, I found the mental aspect of the workout to be the most challenging. It was extremely tedious. On top of that, I was by myself-with no music. For those that know me well, know that mundane, routine activities and I do not go together AT ALL. I don’t know how to describe it other than mental torture. It’s not like I didn’t know mental discipline will be a significant factor in completing the race, but I guess it never hit me like it did on Monday. The torture didn’t start until I began the “main” part of the swim workout.

I first had a warm up of 6×100.  This means that I would do 6 sets of 100M swims. I swam in a pool that has a length of 25M. I believe the short length of the pool compounded my issues. 100M is the equivalent of swimming back and forth twice. Although I even found the warmup tedious,  the main workout had me shaking my head and just feeling angry. The main workout consisted of 4×400. That meant that each set consisted of swimming 16 lengths of the pool. SO annoying. During this main part of the workout, I was hit with multiple feelings/observations simultaneously that ended up just putting me in a bad mood. In no particular order, some of the negative thoughts were:

  • “Seriously? 16? 4 time? This is going to take forever
  • This is only the beginning of the training! It’s only going to get worse going forward
  • There is really no way for me to go, but to finish. If I cut corners today, I will cut corners tomorrow, and I will end up looking like one of the people in the “Till I Collapse” video I posted on the blog
  • I have soooo much training to do over these next five month
  • Thiiiiis sucks
  • I don’t even have music. I feed off of music. I need to get an IPOD for the water. I’m beginning to feel like Rain Man the way I’m talking to myself so much

There were many more, but I think you get the point. I eventually manned up though and pushed through after focusing on Will Smith’s quote. I remembered that what I was going through was PRECISELY the reason for me doing the Ironman. It would be a means to develop a stronger mind. The principle that was being emphasized that night was mental discipline. After calming myself, I distilled all of my thoughts into one objective-complete that day’s workout as best that I could. That’s all that mattered.

The Ironman represents the big wall that must be built with one perfectly laid brick at a time. That philosophy meant that I could not just aim to finish my workout. I had to focus on finishing the workout by applying the best swimming form possible.

I began this whole Ironman process with the end in mind. I know that I will finish. However, now recognizing that, I must never think about the end or the race again. I would be getting ahead of myself. My focus now is making sure that each day I am laying a perfectly laid brick. This means that I can’t cheat on my workout, diet, or rest. If I do, I will pay for it in the end. Again, life presents itself in my training. The most effective way to live life, is taking it one day at a time.

From this point on, don’t call me a triathlete; call me a bricklayer.

*My training schedules will be posted each wk. This week has already been posted.

June 1, 2010: Now it’s real

•June 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

“Real recognize real grandad, and you lookin’ kinda unfamiliar right now!”     –Riley Freeeman (Boondocks)

Note: video features some explicit lyrics.

After having a great memorial day weekend where I indulged myself by eating all of the foods that I should not be eating, June 1st is now upon me. Fully aware of what lies ahead I felt compelled to treat myself before becoming a machine over these next 5 months.

The video I posted is powerful and speaks to 1) the type of determination that I will use to drive me over the next several months and 2) depicts why I will be training intensely…so I can avoid ending up like any of the people in the video.

This is one of the  “realest” videos ever.

Great expectations….

•May 21, 2010 • 2 Comments

Neo: What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets? Morpheus: No, Neo. I'm trying to tell you that when you're ready, you won't have to.

“People are not a product of their environments but rather their expectations.”

A good friend of mine had this quote posted on his facebook status the other day. I thought it was an excellent statement because it is conventional for people to say “[we] are a product of our environments”. But just as the quote reads, that assertion is incorrect. I believe it’s actually closer to a cop-out. Don’t get me wrong, one’s environment can certainly play a significant factor. However, to fully subscribe to the thought that we are simply a product of our environment would completely absolve us of any type of responsibility that we have to dictate the outcomes of our lives. We all have the gift to manufacture our own reality. The fundamental philosophy that makes that possible is rooted in the expectations one has. Life begins and ends purely on expectations.

It is for this reason, that I am now going through my final preparations for June 1st. This includes mapping out all of my training plans. On June 1st,  I will have exactly 5 months until the Ironman 70.3 race.  During the period between June 1-October 30, my preparation, training, and intensity levels will kick into a higher gear. All of the activities that I partake in: from what I eat to how I train and rest, will be specifically tailored towards accomplishing my objective of completing the race. I understand that every individual decision I make can either take me closer or further away from accomplishing my goal. Thus, I will be thoughtful and certainly disciplined to ensure that I am only making conscious decisions that will move me closer to my mission. The completion of the race is not merely a goal. It is a mission, based upon my expectation.

I’ve already decided how this is going to end. And so the rest is just details. In my mind, I have already crossed the finished line. I just need to go through the necessary formalities.

“The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.”

– Abraham Maslow