Thursday, April 17, 2008

Intensity, Accountability and Change


You have to bring it. Daily. This is not a dress rehearsal, it is your life, and life as a whole is eventually terminal for everyone. Do not waste your time as today could be all you have. Make sure your friends know how you feel about them. Kiss and hug your spouse when you see them. Let someone in when driving in traffic.

There are decisions to be made regarding your intensity around what your work, who you are, what you will accomplish outside of work (play), what you return to those around you and what steps you are willing to take to deliver.

Diet and Exercise
This week was the finale of the Biggest Looser TV show. Basically, we have a bunch of people who shielded their feelings with food (and eventually fat) or weren't accountable to themselves for missing one trip to the gym...which leads to two...to five...to a month...to years. Their new found success hinged on them becoming uncomfortable with themselves to a point...that they applied for the TV show and expose themselves (and considerable bodies) to the world. Five months later we have what are commonly called "makeovers" or "transformations".

What the first transformed was their attitude, then they brought some intensity to that attitude and feeling of being uncomfortable.

My transformation has to do with portion control. I MUST count calories. You see...I am one of those people who can eat until...well, until it is gone. I liken it to racing when you have a second, third or fourth gear. I have a second, third or fourth gear for eating. Must be a family trait because my brother and I can both do it. Show me another 5' 8" guy who could eat a large pizza and a 12 pack of Pepsi and then go running and hold it all down? Guess what...wrong things to eat and way too much. I have to take the time to write down what I eat and post it in the house. I also have to periodically pull anything Lorrie buys OUT of the house because it is usually crap. I can smell Girl Scout cookies through car doors. (another gift) My attitude has transformed around my diet and no miracle...I'm loosing weight. Duh!

Health
Ever crash on your bike? Get really sick for an extended period of time? What did you ask for? I asked for "one more chance" to be healthy and race. As I'm approaching 40, my perspective has changed more to be healthy. Forget winning anything. I want to be the fittest 40 year old around. You know what? If I am...that winning thing will take care of itself. This means get that physical. Get the blood work done. Anything with an oscopy at the end (although uncomfortable) is a good idea. I actually LIKE going to my dentist. Mainly because after an accident crushed some of my teeth...I take care of my teeth like no other person on Earth. Intensity/passion and accountability.

Swimming
Many triathletes claim that they "hate" swimming or are "learning to love" swimming. You have to decide you love it and spend more time in the pool just having fun. FUN in the pool is not staring at the black line for three hour sessions every morning. Fun in the pool is swimming outdoors, in the lake, in the ocean, PLAYING WATER POLO, swimming with your kids (or in my case - really young cousins or your friends kids) and pulling them through the water as you swim. THAT...is fun. Every August (daily) my cousin Christine and I "race" in Wisconsin...I swim with no wetsuit in the lake and she rows next to me. The lake is about 3 miles across. First one across the lake and back...wins. THAT...is fun. (Especially when we bet dish washing...she never has a chance. I'll do anything NOT to wash dishes on vacation.)

Cycling
After I won the lottery and finished Kona, I came back and worked on my cycling intensely. Guess what? I'm now a better cyclist than I am a runner. (I'm a decent runner for being a "big guy". Chest...yes, I have a 46 athletic jacket and a 34" waist along with what seems to be a solid and firm "B" cup.) Tonight, I bring the intensity to cycling with Village CycleSport at 6pm at intervals. I can't wait to see how I stack up. I wonder how many I'll win? If any? (We have some fast dudes and chicks at the front of the group.)

Running
When I first got into triathlon I could run hard but not very long or many days of the week. I wrote a schedule down of how many days I ran and my running started to improve. Then I started to add intense track sessions...speed followed quickly behind. Amazing. I love to run almost as much as I like to ride.

Work
Bring it! Don't puss out on your job because you are tired. As a former business owner and project manager...what if I was tired when I was supposed to be approving your pay check? Yeah...I thought so. Get to work.

If you are a corporation out there; pay, advance the career and listen to the professionals you hired. If you won't your competition or another company will. Loyalty is a two way street now. Jobs are more like consulting engagements. You do the work and move on. Gold watch after two years. PAY your people. IMPLEMENT their ideas.

If they are accountable to themselves or their family...they will take action with or without you. Don't mistake passion for a job as loyalty.
Last but not least,
VOLUNTEER
Help an organization that you have no apparent reason for helping. No compensation. Maybe just a "thank you". Anything - kids, old folks, ALS, Cancer - there are many to choose from. Just be you, the human being. Not you, All-USAT or All-Kona whatever. Let them see the sparkle in your eyes that you get from helping when you have no reason to help and you are there anyway.
Make the change in you. Hold yourself accountable. Lead by example.
Three years ago a friend and I started a little project to try and help with ALS research funding and awareness. We just emailed our friends and asked them to email their friends. Today, about 250 people PLAN on attending that event. Weekly, I get email from ALS patients and their families asking for help or thanking me for "all I do". All I do? Wow. I thought we could help but I honestly never understood how far that went until recently. That...will be a blog topic another day.

It is time to ride.
2.25 mile run, 1650 calories, 1650 swim (easy)...and tonight's ride

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