Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Why we do what we do

Why do you get up at 5:00 am to run, ride, swim or hit the gym?  Why do we push ourselves and each other?  Why do we come home and plunge our bodies into a tub of ice to ease the pain?  We are called obsessed, crazy or even selfish.  People say things like, "I don't understand why you have to do it all the time" or my favorite, "Its not healthy to do all that".  The fact is, most people just don't get it.  

We don't do it because its easy.  We certainly don't do it for personal glory.  Most of us will never see the podium at any event we do.  We may do it for fun, we may do it because we can.  We may do it for each other at times, because we promised to be there. We may do it as a way of being spiritual.  There is nothing more awe inspiring than running, and watching the sunrise, especially if you are fortunate enough to share that morning with people you are close to.

There is another reason we do what we do, and that is to help others.  Personally I have had the privilege of meeting many of you, actually most of you at a charity event.  I've had the honor of being a Team In Training coach, and forging amazing friendships in the process. We have worked together raising money, and "doing what we do" together.  Yes, we swim, we bike, and we run together for charity, for people, for people we don't know and sometimes for people that are very close to us.

Miles 4 Hope Sept 2012
In September 2012, during the Miles 4 Hope ride in Clearwater, another rider asked me about the writing on my calf.  As you can see in the photo, I wrote "4 MOM" on my calf (I didn't have the Ironman tattoo yet) as I had done in years passed.  My mom had a debilitating brain tumor removed over 22 years earlier, and fought the effects and side effects of surgery and subsequent radiation treatments.  I told her story, he nodded and told me he had lost his mom to a brain tumor.  He then said:  "spend as much time with her as you can"  then he dropped back to his group.  No one saw my eyes well up with tears behind my dark sunglasses, and I started barking orders, looking for little yellow ride markers and checking to see if everyone was okay.

It was an amazing ride and amazing day.  Its actually the day Kari and I met.  Ask her about it, I'm sure she'll be happy to tell you.

Mom passed away about four months later.  No amount of miles I ride or run will ever erase that pain. I'm not going to be cliche and say I'm racing for her.  Its not about her, and its not about me.

It is about helping people.  I'm teaming up with Brain Tumor Alliance who's mission statement:

"Through our work, we aim to raise awareness and funds for brain cancer research while helping those suffering with a brain tumor have a better quality of life."  

Maybe I can make a small difference.  Maybe I can help raise awareness.  Maybe I can raise enough money to help a family whose still fighting.  Fight with me, and help me.  Please donate, and share this with as many people you know.  You know how to find me, on the road, or in the gym.

The next time someone asks you why you get up before dawn to run, ride or swim, tell them its a way of life.  Tell them, its what you do.

Please, never stop doing what you do!

Friday, January 16, 2015

I have an announcement

Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, but Edison said he never failed, he just learned 10,000 ways that won't work!  That's why we keep going, why we fight, and why we never give up.

Yes,  I know, I've been here, and done this before.  Some might think I'm crazy, and they are probably right to some degree.  I mean really who wants to do it again.  To go through the anguish, the roller coaster of emotions, the day to day grind.  To go to bed and wake up day in, day out and do the same things over and over.

I have been waking up with a renewed sense of urgency, and purpose.  I've been smiling more, that's how I know the time was right.  I know there is a long way to go, and lots of decisions to be made.  Plenty of hard work ahead, but yes its time.


Everyone has been asking, and yes there is a date.  Saturday, October 3rd in Cambridge Maryland, the A-Train and the PB&J crew will take on IRONMAN, Maryland for another 140.6 mile adventure!

PB&J Crew IMFL 2013

There will be pain.  There will be plenty of swearing.  There will be plenty of "goof" updates from Brad.  I am certain Jamie will tell me she hates me plenty of times, although this one was her idea.  There will be plenty of blood sweat and tears as we train together over these next nine months.  I'm ready.


A number of years ago I did my first triathlon at Fort Desoto, I saw a couple crossing paths on the run course.  The age written on his leg was 68, I didn't see hers. They stopped, embraced and kissed, then he smiled and said "I'll see you at the finish line". It was one of the most moving things I've ever seen during a race.

For the last two years, Kari and I have trained together and raced together.   She's been at the finish lines for me and I for her.  I can honestly say, I was more nervous the day she did Ironman than the day I raced it myself.  She's been beside me on the worst day of my life, and the most amazing day.  I sincerely hope that she and I will be that couple, years from now at a race, stopping to kiss or even cross the finish line together. 

The real announcement:  I asked her, and she said YES!  Now we don't have a date set, but stay tuned, the journey continues.