Thought for the Day

Friday, October 23, 2009

I Believe...

I haven't been blogging much even though a lot has been going on. The thing is, I've been apprehensive about swimming 2.4 miles. And the events that I've been doing generally haven't been very reassuring.
However, on Thursday night I did a Splash & Dash race at Tempe Town Lake, a 1000 meter swim and a 4K run. The swim was not great, but I know I can do better. And I managed the pace I will need to do to complete the Ironman swim within the cutoff time.
The following morning I got up and went to the pool and put in a good workout.
I'm swimming better every time, and feeling more comfortable every time I get in open water and swim in a crowd.
It's not going to be easy, but there's no reason to believe that I can't make the swim. It will take focus and hard work, but I should be able to make it.
I'm still scared, but I'm starting to believe...

Monday, October 12, 2009


You got to cross that River Jordan,
You got to cross it for yourself;
O there can't nobody cross it for you,
You got to cross it for yourself;

Those words from an old spiritual, sung by slaves on plantations before the Civil War, have profound meaning that can be broadly applied. There is the spiritual, religious meaning, but these spirituals were sometimes used as veiled ways for those held in slavery to sing about seeking freedom. There are many meanings to this song.
Since March of this year, I've consulted six different swim coaches. I have had as many as three different swim coaches writing workout schedules for me at one time. I've read swimming instructions from dozens of books, articles, and websites, and watched several demonstrations on web sites and DVDs. I've almost lost count of how many friends and acquaintances have given me advice.
All of this help has gotten me closer to actually doing a 2.4 mile open water swim in under two hours, which is what I have to do on the morning of November 22, Ironman morning. I'm grateful to everyone who has contributed to getting me this far.
But I haven't done it yet. It all comes down to me swimming. And swimming and swimming and swimming.
No one else can do it for me. I've got to do it for myself. It's a pretty simple idea, but an important one.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

David, my Triabuddy

A part of the Triabetes experience which I haven't mentioned much on this blog is the Triabuddies. Triabuddies are kids who inspire those of us training for Ironman, while we try to return the favor.
When we cross the finish line at Ironman, we will each take our Triabuddy with us. This is a way to connect the older generations, like mine, with the younger ones coming up. Facing physical challenges, living adventurously instead of sitting at home in front of a TV, is a concept that applies to everyone who wants to live a healthier life.
My Triabuddy is David Auth, a great kid I unfortunately have not been able to spend enough time with. He lives in Carlsbad, California, and I'm here in Chandler, Arizona. We have exchanged a couple of emails and talked on the phone, but we finally met face to face for a short time last week.
Sue and I were in California helping Sue's father get some of his affairs in order after he moved into an assisted living facility. We made a detour through Carlsbad on our way home.
David and his family, Mom, Dad, two brothers and little sister, had just gotten home from camping. David had the bad luck of finishing his trip by falling on the camp fire and burning his hand, so he kept his hand in a glass of ice water the whole time we talked. He was clearly in pain, but he's tough.
He had already told me in email to "remember to never give up!"
David has never given up in his battle with type 1 diabetes. He's been fighting it since he was 4 years old. There's not much that could be more challenging than that, but to David, it's just part of life.
He enjoys lots of activities besides camping. We talked about how his hand injury might cost him some flag football practice the next day. He also likes soccer, basketball, skateboarding... He says street hockey "is the coolest sport."
David does it all with the enthusiasm of any other kid, but it takes a little more for him than for most other kids. It takes counting carbohydrates in his food, being aware of how much insulin is in his system, testing his blood sugar with frequent finger sticks.
But David says, "It's just what I do."
David does these health-maintenance chores because he knows that managing his blood sugar helps him feel better and keeps him healthy for all of the things he enjoys.

David is looking forward to the three-day sailing and kayaking journey to the Channel Islands he will take with the other Triabuddies. They will enjoy hiking and camping and diving with certified wilderness guides, experienced diabetes mentors, and kids just like themselves. This trip, and participation in the Ironman, aims at teaching these diabetic children not just that they can live normal lives, but that they can do anything.
No stranger to swimming in the ocean and exploring nature, David has been a YMCA Adventure Guide and an Oceanside Junior Lifeguard. He loves the outdoors and hopes to someday have a career which involves being a wildlife expert. A couple of his favorite TV shows are "Survivorman" and "Man vs. Wild."
Please consider helping David reach his fund-raising goal, and Triabetes continue this inspiring program.

David's page:



Monday, October 5, 2009

Don't Worry...

With apologies to Bobby McFerrin

Here's a little song I heard
Hope no one minds I changed the words

Don't worry
Be happy

Swimming is easy in your wet suit
A heat wave can make that point moot

Don't worry
Be happy

Tempe Town Lake's not really a sewer
But on a bad day smells like manure

Don't worry
Be happy

Swim coach said keep your head down
Try to remember that while you drown

Don't worry
Be happy

Gotta find a way to swim downhill
Mill bridge to Rural then Rural to Mill

Don't worry
Be happy

You've got two hours to get ashore
Or they won't let you race no more

Don't worry
Be happy

Transition 1 takes extra time
Reconnecting your Paradigm

Don't worry
Be happy

Check your sugar and adjust your plan
And then continue the Ironman

Don't worry
Be happy

The Beeline Highway on windy days
Feels like riding uphill both ways

Don't worry
Be happy

Spend some hours in the aero pose
Weight on your crotch and clipped in toes

Don't worry
Be happy

After three trips out to Fountain Hills
You get to test your running skills

Don't worry
Be happy