Category Archives: children

Sacrifice

 

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Triathlon, quite possibly one of the most selfish sports of all time.  Think about it, how many sports out there require long hours of solo training away from friends or family?  Am I saying this to scare you? NO! Not at all however this sport takes sacrifice and anyone who is considering joining or stepping up to a longer distance I feel as though this is something that everyone underestimates.  Let’s talk about some ways to keep your friends and family happy while you still hit your goals in things you love.

I am going to give a few tips that will help you balance life, work and your family while you are training this season.  Let’s face it, the spring is right around the corner, they are calling for temps in the 70’s here on the east coast next week.  If you want to have a successful season and keep everything balanced, read on.

Be open with everyone around you.

Whether you are new to the sport or a seasoned vet this is something that EVERYONE should do.  Tell the people around you about your goals and aspirations for the season.  If you show them that you are serious and you have goals set forth they will be more likely to support you through this journey.  Along with this everyone who is around you will not be able to say well this isn’t what I signed on for.  Be up front and open with everyone.

I can remember when I signed up for my first 70.3 and the people around me did not know what exactly that meant in regards to training time.  If I was open about the goals and what my week looked like it made things easier.  Telling someone up front that you need to go ride you bike for 3 hours on a Saturday is much easier to take rather than the morning of just dropping it on them.

 

Include spouse, kids, friends when possible.

This is something that can be more difficult but if you can pull it off correctly, you will win and that’s a promise.  Including people in your workout can be challenging because you have a very specific plan when it comes time to train. However if you can include things like group rides this will make everyone feel involved.  One thing that worked well with my training was to do the indoor or more structured workouts on the trainer while watching tv with my girlfriend. We were spending time together (granted she was relaxing and I was working) but we were still together rather than me disappearing for that time.

 

If you have children, you can include them in the workouts as well! Now I am by no means telling you to take the little juniors out on your Sunday 20 miler.  Use some common sense here but if you have a zone 2 run, your kids could ride their bikes along side of you.  Two people who are super awesome about this are Ironmom Kim and her husband Taylor.  It’s no secret that kids need to get outside more.  Here is your golden chance to get them moving and have fun with them in the process!

 

Have a plan!

Lastly it is super important to have a plan.  If you have a coach, which obviously is the ideal situation, however I understand not a reality for everyone, then take the plan that they give you and share it with everyone who needs to know it.  You can work with your coach on constructing the week if you have things to work around.  We all have lives, coaches understand that and most of us are athletes too.  We get it, but you have to be open with us just like you need to be open with your family and friends. After you have your plan, put it n the calendar, put it on the fridge, put it somewhere that everyone can see it.  Have you kids cross the workouts off or days once they are completed, keep everyone involved and it will make the process more enjoyable for everyone.

 

I understand that this s all easier said than done here, but it is my goal with this post to shed some light on things that you may not have thought of.  I also understand that the balance of this looks something more like a cat on a tight rope over a pool, rather than one of those plate spinners or the guy juggling the chain saws.  However if you are open and keep everyone involved, with time, things WILL get better.  This is not going to happen overnight people.

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The last thing I want to tell you is that no matter what there are a few things that are going to happen.  Number one, you WILL miss a workout.  It is not the end of the world. Don’t try to make it up.  Pick up the next day where you’re supposed to and keep right on moving.  Number two if you have kids, you workout will get interrupted, kids fight or bicker, someone drops something, shit happens.  Get off your bike, handle the issue and get back on.  Guess what, what are you going to do if you get a flat on the bike or you shoe is untied on the run?  You gonna just call it quits right ther?  Nope you’re going to fix the situation and then keep going.  So do just that in training.  Lastly there are going to be times you have to get up early or stay up late.  It’s just part of the game.  How bad do you want it?  You wanna get better?  You wanna hit that goal or crush that PR? The days when you don’t feel like doing it are the days you need to do it most!

 

If you found something of value here, please share with a friend or family member.  It is much appreciated.

 

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

The end of the beginning

It’s here….it’s finally here! Tomorrow marks the end to the beginning. Does that sound backwards? It kind of is and it kind of isn’t. Tomorrow is the first day of the last three days of my undergraduate career at West Chester University. It literally feels like just yesterday I was walking into the welcome day for student teaching and now I am beginning my last three days. It will be a bittersweet last three days for me. I will miss my students from both schools and the relationships I have built with all of them. I am excited for what’s to come next and where life will take me. 

In the final days and hours of student teaching I still have things to take care of. I have to apply for my teaching license, renew clearances and get on sub lists. My goal is to start subbing soon after students arrive back in school after their holiday breaks. The threat of graduation is looming and at times overwhelming but I am excited as well. 
As for my training, it has taken a backseat in order to complete the things I have needed to complete. I still train but my runs are shorter and my swims are less challenging. I am taking the advice from my mentor(who has been absolutely amazing) and taking things easy for now. There is no sense in going hard right now when my first race isn’t until June. One thing I have noticed is I feel like complete CRAP when I miss workouts. When I make the time to workout my days and my attitude are 100% better! Things are going to pick up after the new year and I am excited. I will start a 21 day cleanse and hopefully work to shed these last few pounds and really get into race shape for this season. I am excited for this season. I will be doing a few Olympic distance races along with a few sprints. I talked to the owner of a local bike shop today and I think I will be racing for their team next season which I am super pumped about. It’s going to be a great season and I am so excited for the things to come. 
The last thing I want to share with you is something that I have been kicking around for awhile but I will finally start pursuing. This summer I have a goal to become a motivational speaker who will speak at kids camps in the surrounding areas. My plan is to share my story with children and adolescents who are just getting started or looking to get started on a weight loss journey. I have been exploring ways to give back to a community that has given me so much and I think this is a great way to start that journey. With the childhood obesity epidemic at an all time high, there is no better time than to reach out to children who may need some help. I am looking forward to taking on this challenge and embracing it to it’s fullest. This is not for a monetary gain on my part, I plan to speak for free. I just want to reach out to children who are in the same shoes I was once in. This will take hard work and dedication but I’m willing to put in the 110% necessary in order to pay back this community. 
Along with this journey, I wanted to share another group that is on their own journey. Two guys I graduated from high school with are going on a cross country journey to spread the word of being who you are. They are a dynamic duo who both have faced their own challenges. Check out their site and first video. Keep it up Jon and Levi!! You guys are going to do incredible things together. 
http://jonandleviadventure.com
http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtube_gdata_player&v=cq7Sj6Eqhkk&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dcq7Sj6Eqhkk%26feature%3Dyoutube_gdata_player
I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone. All of my readers, all of my Instagram followers, my Facebook followers. You are all absolutely amazing and I would not be able to keep plugging along without you. The more important thank you goes out to my friends though. The ones who have been there from day one, the ones who have texted me on race days and random days. The ones who say congratulations and the ones who say hey keep on keeping on. You’re amazing and you all are my immediate support system and I can’t thank you enough. I will repay all of you I can promise that. 
As for now it’s off to bed so I am well rested for tomorrow. Thanks again for reading. 

I leave you with one of my favorite pictures from last season. Most importantly don’t ever give up on your dream and don’t ever let anyone stand in your way. 
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself. 

Time FLIES when you’re having fun!

Time is literally flying by this summer and I can’t believe it is July 14th already….I have only made it to the beach once or twice and we are half way through the summer!  Today is Sunday, which means Monday comes next and it is right back to work for me.  Most people use their weekends to RELAX and enjoy the time that they have off.  Nope not me!  I was constantly going this weekend… I woke up Saturday and knew I had to do some speed training this weekend because I hadn’t done it yet this week.  I had a swim lesson at home Saturday morning so I woke up and enjoyed my coffee and THANK GOD the weather held off! 

So it was lesson time!  I have been trying to schedule this family since the beginning of the summer but between vacations and this stupid rain this was the first time they were able to get in.  I love ALL of the families that I work with over the summer but this family is just SPECTACULAR.  They are one of the nicest families I have ever met and I could not wait to see them!  I hadn’t seen them since last summer so naturally they were beside themselves when they walked on to the pool deck.  After raining me over with wonderful compliments I got in the pool with the kids.  We had a great lesson and I couldn’t believe how far their daughter has come since last summer.  Her parents also told me that they were getting into some small 5K races this summer and it just so happens we are doing the same color run!  I think it is so cool that they can do stuff like that together!  I want a workout partner like that!!

After the lesson I jumped in the car and headed out to the gym while slugging my second cup of coffee.  Good and bad idea all at the same time.  When I finished that second cup as I was pulling into the gym, the intensity level of speed training shot through the roof.  I was so ready to go.  As I was doing my 800’s I glanced up and noticed that I CRUSHED my 5K PR at 24:20 and decided I wanted more.  I ended up finishing 4 miles in 30 minutes and some change. I felt absolutely incredible.  It is amazing the endorphin rush you get from working out.  I then went and blasted abs since I had to skip them in my lift this week.  Weighted situps and then a tabata with Russian twist, planks, flutter kicks, and ab roller.  I did two rounds of each and I was DEAD!  I headed straight for the smoothie bar to get my favorite recover shake and then it was off home for the party!

About the same distance as Saturday’s run but look at that time difference!
Saturday when I got home my next door neighbor was outside.  We have had a few confrontations with this family and when I arrived I saw him and thought oh god, here we go….I got out of my car and I could just feel him starring me down.  I sitting here thinking, what could his problem possibly be.  I purposely turned my music down and rolled down the street at a crawl of 5 mph.  He looks over again and says, “Holy crap man, how much weight have you lost?”  It took me a minute to process…but I decided ok, just go with it.   So I started talking to him about my race and riding etc.  He opened his garage and showed me his bike and I ended up talking to him for about 20 minutes.  The entire time I was standing there thinking to myself, is this real? Is this seriously happening right now?!  Do you remember saying you were going to kill our dogs like two weeks ago you wacko?!  Either way I entertained him and then went on my way.
Saturday evening I had some people from work here.  A girl who I work with came up with a challenge to Swim Across America.  Every lap that we swim converts to distance on the map and we have certain check points.  We hit our check point for New Orleans and so I offered to host the party at my house.  I was bumming a little bit because all of my friends happened to be heading to the beach for running of the bulls in Dewey.  I was a little low on cash though so it was no biggy.  Once everyone got here we fired up the grill and everyone had a really great time!  It was nice to have some people here and enjoy time away from being at work, that’s for sure.  When we were sitting around the table someone looked over at me, and right in front of everyone said “Ian!! Holy cow, look at your arms!”  Now if you have learned anything about me from these posts, I HATE being the center of attention! So of course someone else joined in and complimented me and I was just beside myself.  She followed it up with “Every time I look at you I am just amazed!” So even though I was the center of attention for a minute I didn’t mind it because that was one of the greatest compliments I have received yet. 
As for the rest of last week, nothing too big happened.  I workout, I eat and I teach swimming.  That’s about my life right now.  I did take my friend on a ride last Thursday.  It was her first ride on her bike so we took it slow and I just gave her a chance to crunch through some gears and get used to the roads around here.  After circling back to where we started, I hadn’t had enough yet and wasn’t ready to go back home.  So naturally I went back out.  I ended up killing my ride and really enjoyed it.  I know I said it before but there is just something about clipping into your bike and forgetting about everything else that is going on. 
Even after a slow start I still managed 20 miles in an hour and a half.  Can’t complain!
Tomorrow it is right back to work.  I am excited to start the “power phase” of my lifting and I really hope it carries over into my riding and swimming.  Everyone keeps telling me that if I just learn how to flip turn that my times will get faster but I won’t have to flip turn in my race so why waste pool time so close to my race on learning it and perfecting it.  Definitely something to consider for the “off season” though. 
Last thing I want to share is a picture of the family in front of the camper(that gave us a hell of a ride down) at the beach.  When I saw this picture I must say that I didn’t even recognize myself.  Still there are some days where I will walk passed a mirror or something and see my reflection and catch myself stopping for a second look.  It’s a great feeling and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
 Thank you to our awesome photographer Susan for this shot of the whole family!
Here we are in front of our camper for the first time!
I think I covered most of the stuff I wanted to cover, naturally I am sure there are things I have left out.  I am going to make it a conscious effort to post more often on here even though it is hard with so much going on!  Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.  Try to stay cool and HYDRATED with this heat wave coming across the east coast here!!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself.

Back to Reality

Well vacation has come and gone.  With a bit of a rocky start getting down there we lost a few beach days.  This also meant a few days of riding for me, but I still got out.  Overall we had a good vacation.  It wasn’t one for the record books by any means, but we had a great time.  Our “neighbors” were two women we met in a previous trip there and they are absolutely amazing! So glad we had a chance to see them again!

I believe I wrote a post on Tuesday Wednesday when I was down there.  So Thursday we woke up and played a round of golf with my Dad.  It was a little chilly in the morning but ended up being a very nice day.  We came back and unfortunately the weather did not cooperate with us and I lost another day on the beach so I went shopping with my grandparents. 

Friday I woke up and I was just delaying the inevitable.  I knew it was our last day and I didn’t want to waste a minute on the beach.  As much as I didn’t want to I geared up for a ride.  Boy am I glad I did!! I had a beautiful ride through the town of Myrtle Beach and back totaling just under 23 miles according to my Strava! It was a beautiful ride and I am so glad that I went.  For the first time I felt like a “real rider.”  What is that feeling, well don’t ask me because I can’t tell you but I sure did feel it!  I was just cruising along with cars going right next to me, which was the one thing I was nervous about.  For those of you who don’t know the town of Myrtle Beach well, there is a very high population of campers.  The first time that HUGE truck went wizzing by with a camper right next to me I was definitely a little nervous!

I came back from my ride and headed straight to the beach and stayed there for as long as I possibly could.  For those of you who don’t know me well, I am a complete beach bum and I LOVE the beach! We came back and had dinner and then I went back out Friday night.  As I was leaving my little cousin Nicholas asked me where I was going(he is only 2).  I told him I was going shopping and asked if he wanted to come, I promised him ice cream if he was good.  So of course he jumped at the choice, LITERALLY, he jumped off the steps into my arms!  So off we went.  We got to the stores and I plopped him up on my shoulders.  He was an absolute angel the entire time so of course I bought him ice cream. 

Here’s the little dude digging into his Ben and Jerry’s.  He carried that silly little drink umbrella around all night!

Our return trip Sunday was much better than the trip down.  No blown tires or craziness to get there.  We got home and unpacked everything and had some dinner.  My mom asked me what I wanted and after that week I just had some chicken and salad.  There were QUITE a few cheat meals down there!  After that I just went to bed, I was exhausted.

Today I got up and went to church as I do every Sunday.  I actually saw a neighbor there and she said “You look amazing! I saw you running the other day!” Then after church one of the ushers stopped me and asked if I had been working out so I explained I was training for a triathlon.  He expressed that he thought that was great and said how he always feels better when he works out.  I agreed with him and said there was no better feeling!

I came home and was back and forth between texting so friends to go down to the river or go out and get bike shoes.  I decided after my rides at the beach that it was time to bite the bullet and get some new shoes.  After riding down there I realized that I really need to get my shoes and clips on so I can get the most out of my rides.  So I changed out of my work clothes and headed out.  I went to a few bike stores before I ended up at Performance Bike over in DE to get shoes.  When I left the house I put on a tank that I bought down at the beach and went and looked in the mirror.  For the first time I felt comfortable going out in public in a tank.  It was absolutely INCREDIBLE!  Before this, the only time I wore a tank was walking to the beach and back….that’s it.  Today for the first time I actually felt comfortable going out in public and walking around in a tank and I felt so awesome.

Here I am in my Ron Jon tank!
 
When I left today I did not really have any intentions of buying shoes.  I have never worn tri shoes or any type of bike shoe for that matter.  I was just going to try some shoes on so that I knew what size to order from the internet.  When I tried on the size I thought I was they were too big.  This was good and bad because the shoes I found online were only $60 but they would have never fit.  So of course I walked out of the store with a pair of shoes.  I can’t wait to get my cleats and turn into more of a “real rider!” I also order my first ID bracelet from Road ID and I can’t wait for it to get here! 
My Shimano Tri Shoes
Aside from getting my new shoes there weren’t too many exciting things going on today.  I wanted to go for a ride and or run but the weather was just not cooperating with me.  As for tomorrow it is back to work.  This is also the last week of my summer class.  It will be the last time I put paper on pencil for a written test and it is REALLY weird to think about.  It did not hit me until writing this that it is the last time I will take a written test as an undergrad.  It will be bittersweet for me because I cannot wait to graduate and start my next chapter but I will also be lost not getting up and going to class!

As for now I am going to listen to a little more of this new Sublime album, Yours Truly and fall asleep.  If you haven’t tried it yet I highly suggest you check it out, it’s a really great album and I am liking it a lot.  My training is going very well and I am getting super excited for my race.  I am hoping that there are a few more people who come to give me a high five a long the way for this race.  This will be my biggest accomplishment to date and there are a few people who have been here through every step that I really want to be there to witness it with me.  Until next time thanks for reading and remember whatever fight you are fighting, DON’T YOU EVER GIVE UP!!

All for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

The little things…

Well it’s Saturday and I just got home from work. After a very stressful week I am reflecting and digressing as I have grown to do on my weekends. Tonight I worked an extra long day because of all the school bills I have acquired over the past week. I need the extra cash and it was only a few extra hours. It was however a VERY long day out in the sun and I am exhausted.  Some people may laugh at me and say I have it easy working as a lifeguard on the weekends but being out in the sun all day is exhausting!  

Yesterday was a great day. I went and helped at my mom’s school for field day and I had a blast working with the students of her school. It was a small field day and the kids were young but it was fun being around them. Even the simplest activities are exciting for them and watching them have a good time is great for me. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that are the best and that’s what this post is all about. 
After field day I came home and cleaned some things up around the house. I wanted to go to yoga so bad yesterday morning but unfortunately the timing just wasn’t there. We moved the start time of field day up so that the students weren’t outside in the heat of the day. I cleaned my room and handled various other chores around the house before heading to work. I was supposed to have a handful of lessons but people canceled and I only ended up teaching two. To say the least I was a little annoyed but that’s just part of life. 
After work I showered up and headed out for the night. I went into West Chester for some sushi and had an awesome time. The sushi was delicious and I highly recommend Kooma if you are from the area. I really couldn’t have asked for a better dinner, it was AWESOME!  I went to dinner with an old friend of mine. Same old friend as before and we had such a great time. Honestly after this week, it was exactly what I needed. When I was walking back to my car I came to my floor on the parking garage and I looked at the pillars that they have by the steps. I always wished I could jump over one of them like I had seen my friends do a million times. You know where you run up and put your hands on the top and then swing your legs around. I had never had the courage to try it but last night I figured heck, let’s go for it. So I tried it…and I DID IT!! It felt awesome. You may think this sounds so little and so silly but to me, it was huge! Again, sometimes it’s the little things…
After dinner I went back to my friends house. After some back and forth I decided to go in and I am also super glad I did. We hung out for awhile and I saw her new house which is super cute. It’s funny because after all of the time that has passed, we can hangout as if there has been no time whatsoever. It was odd to be laying in her arms again yet so comforting at the same time. When we were together the ENTIRE world was against us. It was a giant storm around us at all times but when we were together none of that mattered. We could come together and just forget it all. That’s exactly what I did last night. We came together and had such a great time and I forgot about all of the things that were stressing me over the past week. I forgot about everything and just enjoyed my night, isn’t that how life is supposed to be?
Where does that leave me now you ask? Scared, lost, confused, mad and a million other emotions. We were messaging back and forth today and right in the middle of the conversation it just stopped. I found myself sitting, waiting and wishing for a message that never came and I don’t like where I am now. I can feel myself boarding the emotional roller coaster I was on before and I can’t go back there. I have shut off my Facebook and I just need to take a minute to reflect and really think about what I need. I need so much right now and I don’t want to force ANYONE into giving something that they aren’t capable of, including myself. Not to mention I don’t really want to talk to anyone right now. People who don’t ACTUALLY care about what I have been doing have found me and want to connect via Facebook basically just to check up and see what I have been doing. I don’t have time for it to be honest nor do I really care to connect with them. If we haven’t talked since high school or even better yet didn’t talk in high school, I have no interest in being your friend on some stupid social network so you can creep on me.  Tomorrow is the service for my uncle who passed away and I know it’s going to be a day filled with emotion and I am not excited about it. 
I have been slacking on my training and I can feel it. Not physically but emotionally actually. I hate skipping workouts and I don’t feel good when I do. I get very down and very emotional. I know it’s proven that my exercise helps me and I need to just make it work and keep doing it for myself. It’s funny because even after putting this all into words I feel better. I love that I started this blog and it has helped me through so much. My bike should be arriving very very soon and I am excited to get out there and start riding. I know having my bike and being able to train in the evenings and go for a ride will get my activity level back up to where it needs to be. I thank everyone for reading and the continued support. It’s amazing and great to know there are people out there going through some of the same challenges. You may consider it hypocritical because I connect with people via blogging whom I have never met but don’t want to connect with people who I went to school with, don’t judge me. I am going to lay down and attempt to forget the emotional day I have on tap for tomorrow. I hope everyone has and enjoyable and relaxing Sunday and a great start to their week. Until next time….
All for now 
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself