Lucas and Noah are getting ready to kick off their second season of sharing their love for playing together.  They do it with an impressive display of movement, Noah, who is just 9, includes his younger brother by pulling and pushing him while swimming, biking and running!  He is not doing it for the attention and the whole family is pleasantly surprised that the boy’s brotherly love is reaching an international audience.  Noah’s subtle wisdom is beyond his years, he just wants to include his brother by being a vehicle for inclusion and play.  Right on Noah!

I am fortunate to have a front row seats for this wonderful journey as their coach.  Really, I’m just a facilitator of play.  Sure there is some hard work involved and Noah has a lot of skills to gain and improve on but the process is super fun.  One of the highlights of my birthday was working with the boys at the pool.  The most gratifying thing for me as a coach is to see people enjoying the process of movement.  Progressing with their focused play in a way that is life enhancing as well as lifelong sustainable.  Since, truly beginning to swim last year Noah has made great strides in improving his balance and timing in the water allowing him to move with better efficiency and speed which equates to more joy.

When you turn 40 you don’t just get a birthday, you get a birthday celebration week.  My first week of 40 was outstanding and many of the highlights were working with the Aldrich family and CAF.  Willy Stewart has kicked off a journey for the Aldrich’s and CAF to showcase the boy’s story.  The narrative will be powerful.  During our second swim session we were able to put Lucas in a boat and have Noah do some intervals in the pool (resistance-fun-training) toeing his little brother.  The smiles on Lucas face said it all.

Just before that we went over to Worlds Cycle to pick up Noah’s new SCOTT bike.  Noah, like myself, was a kid at Christmas.  I know one of the best gifts you can give someone is something that sets you free, gives you purpose, takes you places, sets the stage for adventures big and small, keeps you healthy, and lets you pull your little brother to partake on a journey, together.  Yes, a bike does this and more.  A bike is truly one of the best investments you can make as part of achieving life’s fulfillment.  It was a festive atmosphere when the Aldrich’s picked up their new bike and it became more meaningful with my kids and Willy’s there to join in the fun.

Look for the boys while they train for the next race: Spring Sprint San Diego on May 3

Play well,

Kevin

Racing to the other side of 40?

I am fast approaching my last weekend to be a 30 something year old.  The hours are ticking by, where by, I will be vortexed to the other side.  The other side of the ‘hill’.  Turning 40 forces some inner reflection.  You are fast approaching that person in your youth you always viewed as ‘old’.  I am about to be that guy?  Really?

I remember vividly being a teenager when my dad turned 40.  “Lordy, Lordy Jim is 40!” and all the “Over the Hill” jabs that came with it.

And yet, the times are changing.  I have countless role models, far older that exude a potency for life and play to be admired.  If anything, they seem to be speeding up.  Maybe on the other side of the ‘hill’ we have momentum on our side as we descend.

I am still a kid at heart and my focus for play has only deepened.  Outward appearances only remind me of character scars over the years while my body adapts to life on earth and primes for a 5th decade.

Four decades is a nice warm up for the race of life to begin.  The foundation is laid.  Knowing yourself enough to support and love those around you being key.  My dad power only minted 4 years ago, is ready to be squared with my daughter entering kindergarten and my son starting preschool.  The ride is only just beginning.  Being a husband for, but one decade, is about status quo for taking the reins of marriage and galloping in the direction of our mutual wishes.  I know and feel life balance on a regular basis with simple mindfulness in the action of the moment, be that what it is.

I know what I love and most of the time get the boundaries right.  Prime example, after riding my bike I sit down (still in bike garb) with my favorite post play meal, some vanilla ice cream + raisons + peanut butter = happy belly.  Then, to my horror, I see myself in a cartoon in the New Yorker.  Am I looking in the mirror?  What kind of sick joke is that…bicycle clothes are super cool!  Err wait, that guy is a dork….like me.

What will happen to my body?  You turn 40 and things happen.  Lose hair, gain hair, lose muscle, gain fat, need glasses, can’t do that, can’t do this…etc.  Won’t be out exploring the foothills doing a birthday suit run while contemplating life perched on a rock?

I can only speak with experience and foresight for the case study of 1.  Myself.  My body is telling me that it is as robust and strong as ever.  My mind has the experience to ‘not get in the way’ and my spirit, well, let’s say that a quiet concentration has me knowing my essence more and more.  Dare I say, it takes 40 years just to find the flow?  At least for a slow-processing-spandex-wearing-likes-to-hang-out-in-a-swimsuit-all-day kind of guy.

One thing I know that brings me fulfillment is movement.  Challenging, take me places, explore and adventure types of movement.  Queue, foundational movement like biking, running, and swimming (I like to swim in rivers, lakes, and oceans for the exploration and adventure aspect).  But also just general movement for play and focused concentration.  Mindfulness is just playfulness with focus.  My kids show me this daily.

I have always had a knack and a love for endurance movement.  At the core of my youth activity in soccer and swimming was the love of endurance movement.  Now, with the foundation laid, it’s time to set body, mind, and spirit to purpose with a challenge.  Key, is for life balance throughout the journey.  When it comes time to play, empowered play, is how I like to view it, being the movement is the fulfillment.  I’m learning to kung fu whatever presents itself as my current activity.  Being a dad & husband the most important aspect of my life will balance with work and play.  A big part of my play for the first half of this year will be performing this race with the purpose of strengthening the heart;

Ironman Switzerland!  Because my linage is Swiss, and it is one of the more beautiful destinations to bring the family to explore.  And because on the other side of the hill we have momentum.  Let’s see what a focused 40 year old body, mind, and spirit can do…1st half 2015 Race/focused play Calendar.

 

 

 

 

 

Saddle optional

Last summer after more than a decade of riding a standard seat, I switched to Fizik’s Tritone (noseless seat).  The effect was immediate.

Suddenly, it was like my left leg came online.  Being right in the thick of race season I did not have much time to tinker and play with the new position with races just weeks away.  Now, coming off of a winter with many hours focused on the form, balance and timing of riding, I have a clear understanding of the benefits to this saddle.

On my standard seat I always rode up and to the right.  This essentially loads up and weights my right leg more than the left.  It puts my hips off center.  With the hips off center the whole chain of movement is affected.  I did not have too many issues, luckily, but I did have some IT Band problems that would crop up in the right hip and some lower back pain on the right side of my sacrum.  With hindsight and after riding with a new and improved balance for almost a year, much if not all of those problems were due to the saddle position.

The first and most immediate benefit was the centered riding position.  This improved my balance on the bike and started a journey that effected the entire chain of command of my movement and awareness on the bike.

Hello left leg!  After years of lengthening the left side (due to moving to the right side of the saddle), the left leg was getting a fair shake at the pedal stroke.  This took some time to tune into and apply the new timing that came with it.

With a centered riding position my hips are now level and able to assist the entire system.  I can bridge (from contact with the aero bars to the seat) more powerfully and effectively.  This allows me to have a better rhythm and stronger sense of efficiency on the bike.

My hip angle is more dialed in, which allows for a straight spine and better energy flow.  Riding pain free for hours and hours is a real treat and makes a sport I love even better.

My weight distribution is easier to manipulate and adjust.  Sitting on the seat is optional.  I can hover on the seat with sound balance and without burning my legs.  I can redistribute the weight in the saddle and apply it to the pedals and/or aerobars for much longer periods of time without a true standing up position.  I can take 5, 10, 20lbs, all of my weight off the saddle without standing up.  Applying this added weight smoothly to the pedals is an immediate gain in power output.

It has given me an improved centeredness on the bike which is enabling more awareness for everything I do on the bike.  Add this form revolution to the fact that I am simply more comfortable in the saddle and you can see the smile on my face with the wind in my hair and beautiful places to ride.

Happy riding!

Getting your bell rung; LA Triathlon 2014

LA Triathlon 2014, getting my bell rung.

The chase was on.  The three in front of me were a tough mile’s worth of effort ahead and the urgency to close the gap took center focus.  Between the riders and myself was a two person motorcycle with a race official on the back.  He was only paying attention to the top three riders and must not have known I was behind him.  Coming into a strong descent with a sharp right turn at the bottom I noticed a few things in an instant.  1. I was going really fast to close the gap and coming in hot.  2.  The motorcycle was slowing down way too much and impeding the best line for the corner.  3.  Riders (age group racers were promised not to be on the course until the pro wave was off the bike course) were now coming in both directions.  4. With the riders on the course (two way traffic) and the motorcycle in the way I was being forced to take the corner exceptionally sharp going in and coming out.  5. Water was flowing across the road right at the bottom of the descent.  6.  Running out of real estate and having too much speed I would be forced to break while taking the corner.

I remember feeling the water as the coolness of it sprayed my legs and then in an instant the right side of my body was kung fuing the pavement.  In a microsecond that slowed down time I could begin to feel the impact of my right cheek bone hitting hard and thinking, ‘wow, this is going to hurt’.  And even though my eyes were closed while this was happening, then, it went really dark.

Having won the 2013 La Triathlon it was exciting to come back and try to defend the race.  An event that is super fun.  It is a challenge and requires a focus and attention that forces a blissful mindfulness on to you.  It is this ‘forced’ mindfulness that I love about racing.

This year the race was completely different from the past decade of Venice Beach and Downtown LA racing.  Although a spectacular race, the city’s residents had grown tired of having some of their streets shut down for a couple hours Sunday morning to let a bunch of swimsuit wearing crazies roam free on their city landscape.  Although missing the old race format the new one held promise for being an Alcatraz-like adventure triathlon with the Pacific Ocean swim, hilly bike and beach running with steep hills throughout.  It was not going to be a fast sprint triathlon as much as it was going to be tough and force a high level of concentration.

The race brought out some tough competitors and I looked forward to seeing how well we could move on the course.

The swim was awe-inspiring.  I love swimming in the ocean.  Feeling the body tune into a strong effort while still having moments where you notice a school of fish, see 20 feet down in clear water, feel the chill of the morning air, and feel the warmth and ambiance of the early sun means you are dialed into the moment.

I’m in this sport for mastering the art of moving meditation.

I exit the water seconds down to swimming stud Eric Lagerstrom.  Trying not to max out the heart rate I carefully climbed a steep pitch up a sand embankment to T1.  Once on the bike we began climbing and now I let the HR climb as well.  Within a mile there were 3 of us at the front and by about 3 miles there was a group of six of us in a draft legal pack.  I began sizing up the riders and their strengths and weaknesses.  Guys like Eric and Chris Foster I knew from past races and that they were exceptional riders.  But I looked for subtle queues of where their form might be.  The other 3 riders were new to me. 

We were doing three laps and had finished the first lap without anyone getting away.  Halfway through the second lap and heading back to the ocean we went around the water corner and I did not so much as attack but just nail climbing the hill.  It created a gap and whether they let me go or if I pulled away did not matter, it was insightful.  I hesitated, not being ready or expecting the gap and just finished the climb at a comfortable pace.

This gave me an idea.  I knew right were to attack.  At the turn around for starting the 3rd lap we would go down a steep descent, take a sharp right and then proceed to the 360 degree turn before climbing back up the same thing we just descended.  With the riders naturally stringing out here, the sharp turn going into a climb I figured I could get away before they really even knew I was getting away.  Then, hit the gas for the last lap.

Finishing up the second lap and starting the descent I was in perfect position riding 2nd wheel and excited to implement my plan.

Taking the right hand turn I noticed that the riders were pretty strung out.  Perfect.  Then, I notice a bunch of red cones shooting out into our race course with some volunteers shouting and waving their hands.  I assumed that they were trying to slow us down just before taking the turnaround at the bottom of the hill or maybe somebody wrecked as I could see the age groupers were now on the course, (they were not supposed to be sharing the course with the pros and we were told in the meeting the day before that they would not be on the bike course until we finished.) but the cones in the middle of the course were surely a serious hazard.  The rider in front of me was heading right for the cones while I went wide right of them.  I thought if he didn’t crash and take me out he might send a cone flying in my direction and take me out.  It was a total white-knuckle incident and fortunately we made it through.  The rider behind me also followed and the 3 of us proceeded to the turnaround at the bottom of the hill.  The same one we took in the first lap.

When I turned around the other 3 riders were not there?  I scanned up the road and saw them quite a ways up the hill?  What!?  It dawned on me that they had changed the course in the middle of the race and moved the turnaround up.  The three guys in the back of the pack must have had time to hear the volunteers shouting to, “stop here, turn around”.  I don’t know?  I have never experienced a race course changing in the middle of a multiple loop course.

I let it go and started chasing the 3 up the road.  I dropped the two who had also taken the ‘wrong’ original turnaround.  It was going to take a massive effort, they were not waiting for us, which I had contemplated that they might do.  By the top of the hill I had made some descent progress and it felt like I still had just enough time to catch them and throw in one more attack.

With the gap seconds from being closed I came to the water corner.  With riders coming from the other direction, the motorcycle slowing to a stop in the best line for taking the corner, I was forced inside.  The angle was too sharp.  I hit the water and then hit the pavement.  It knocked me out.

I’m not sure what the time frame was for being unconscious but I remember standing up with anger in my blood.  I could tell my bell just got rung and I could feel blood dripping down my cheek.  Against what deep down felt like the right thing to do, I jumped back on the bike determined to finish.

The fight to race was gone and the body wasn’t feeling too sharp but I knew finishing the race would still be good medicine for the soul.

The run would have been really fun had I still been in the flow and in the race.  The beach run and finish made for a challenging and festive atmosphere.  But I finished with a bad taste in my mouth.  I wasn’t sure if I should spit it out or digest it.  I was in pain and had an uncomfortable headache.  But it could have been a lot worse.  I knew I would be ok in a few day and have a full recovery soon enough.

The race was quite the experience and finishing in 7th place did help me digest the lesson a bit easier. 

Until next time…play well.

Boise, New York, Paris, Morlaix, Cleder

Entering my fifth decade of breathing and playing on our planet and life continues to amaze and awe.  A quick update, and outline of the second half of the year, in this, my last year being a thirty something year old.

New York City Triathlon Aug 3, 2014

With my family leaving for France a week ahead of me, I was left scrambling to have our house ready to rent on AirBnB for the month of August.  It turned into a lot of late night’s kung fu-ing the organization of our house to have it ready for our new guests.  The NYC Tri was a day and a half stop on my way to reuniting with my family in France.  Upon waking at Oh-dark-thirty the first excitement I felt was that later today I would be in France!  But wait, first there was a super exciting and challenging event…seeing how fast I could swim the Hudson, bike the Henry Hudson Highway, and run the Central Park northern loop with some of the faster triathletes on the planet.

The race organizers informed us that the tide would not be favorable for swimming fast; this is great news to swimmers for a race that, historically, does not add much weight with a 12min down river mile swim.  Swimming has become a wonderful focus, after 30 years of competition, my form awareness was still growing and I felt like some recent milestones had been accomplished with a new understanding.

We dove into the Hudson and guys were tackling me.  It was a struggle to find any clear water to apply anything other than survival.  A few moments later, I found myself in the back of a 10 to 15 person pack.  Moving to the right, into open space, I focused.  I felt the stroke from every angle and moved through the field and up to the front of the pack.  Cameron, Ben and I hit the stairs essentially as a group with Cam just a split second in front.  Cam and I ran to the front and charged ahead with a small gap behind us.  I was briefly conscious of being in the lead and setting myself up for a strong performance.

I reached my bike first and struggled only for a moment to be on my way.  That was enough for Ben and Cam to create a small 5 to 10 second gap starting the bike leg.  Now, it was time to unleash my weapon, pedaling with improved timing and power, I hung off the back of these uber cyclists.

Then, that was it.  My body and mind left the zone and focused on the crazy supreme effort.  I gritted my teeth and raced on but the body and mind were not performing at a high level.  ‘Snap out of it’..or maybe I should have told myself to ‘snap into it’.  I became an easy carrot for bikers, being picked off by most of the men’s field as I tried to search for a second wind that never came.

In hindsight it is obvious that life balance had been skewed for having a performance worthy of competing with these stellar athletes.  But that’s OK…the experience was still worth it and after all…it was time to head to France!

France August 2014

Sunday morning I woke up at 1:30am MST for a 5:50am EST race start.  In short order after the race I packed up my bike on a NYC sidewalk, put on some clothes and headed to the airport.  Notice I had no time or way of taking a shower!  Tom and his dad were great hosts and dropped me off at the airport with just enough time to be comfortable catching the flight.  Then, it was delayed, and delayed, and delayed to the point that I was going to miss my connecting flight!  Luckily, being a large airport with lots of flights to Paris an agent was able to transfer me to another flight in the early evening.  So I got to spend the whole day at the airport with the Hudson River lingering on me.  Long flight to Paris.  Once in Paris, I carry my luggage for the month and my bike what feels like 5k to the train station to wait for my connection there.  I’m drenched in sweat.  I have little understanding of the system so I am asking everyone for an explanation of when and where my train might arrive.  It seems I have a good 2 hours to wait.  When I finally get on the train, I have entirely too much luggage (bike box is huge) and spend the rest of the 7+ hour trip moving my stuff around to stay out of everyone else’s way. 

Finally, after the longest day(s) of my life I arrive in Morlaix for the last bit of my travel, a pleasant 30min drive with my wife to Cleder!

Start Vacation here.

With a new region of France to explore along with my whole family the feeling of joy and excitement mix with a sense of fulfillment.  So many new sensations to experience.

We did a lot of things well; like bonding as a family through play at the beach every day, walks along the coast, playing hide and seek on an intriguing property, family breakfast, lunch and dinners together at the table both inside and outside.  We were free to be together and explore and it was wonderful for the whole family.

Time with the kids is precious.  They teach me so much about the moment.  They are locked in it better than adults.  We often try to pull them out, sometimes rightfully so, others not so much.  But on vacation we could all linger in the moment together.

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Serendipity, Synchronicity, and Transformations

Serendipity, Synchronicity, and Transformations – A powerful week in July

Coaching is something I’ve been drawn to do for most of my life and it has been with thoughtful devotion that I seek to master a skill you can never truly master.  The best way I’ve found to discover the truths along the journey are to find joyful ways to engage in play.

The week of July 20th, 2014 will be remembered as a powerful week of serendipity for my life experience. Life is stunning in its synchronicities and being aware of powerful coincidences can bring about extraordinary transformations. Being a coach is a wonderful gift everyone should experience. Being able to witness, first-hand, what people can do with a bit of support is a profound understanding to experience.


A student will come to a coach, hungry for something more…hungry to get more out of themselves.
We feed and nourish the student with ideas and attitudes. We find the angle for their next step.  Day after day you start to see changes in their thought and emotional process. We hold the student accountable. They begin to have a feeling. When this mirrors up with belief; amazing things happen.  The transformation is often seamless; happening in small increments daily until together the days add up to a completion of form.

Coaching for over 2 decades, I’ve witnessed countless transformations each one powerful in its own way. Witnessing the adaptions take place can be just as powerful for me as a coach as it is for the student going through the process of change.  As a coach we store each experience in our library to use in creative ways for the next metamorphosis to take shape.

I’ve been fortunate to work with 6 year olds and 70 year olds all seeking out their own unique conversion. Witnessing these alterations has had a profound effect and I’m grateful for seeing how fast people make a change when they decide it’s time. I love being a catalyst for setting up serendipity.  In the process I always get coached as well.  The synergy is powerful.

The week started off with one of the more powerful transformations any parent will witness. Seeing my daughter turn from 3 to 4 gave me a wonderful feeling of sadness swirled in with happiness as these two emotions began dancing and blending to give me a supreme moment of gratitude. Surrounded by friends and family I hit the pause button on life and felt an internal/ external connectedness to eternity.
 Change is a beautiful thing to accept and witness, it is all around us and must be embraced with an open mind.

On July 23, not one but two of the bigger transformations I’ve played a role in became national stories. Meaningful coincidence? Synchronicity!

First came the news that Lucas and Noah were getting coverage on the Today Show and that they were going to send out a film crew for their next Triathlon in Emmett, Idaho!

I met Alissa and her boys on April 30th after a short exchange of e-mails and an introduction from my father and CEO of the Y.  He had met with the family and had the foresight to send them to the TriClub. Knowing only that Lucas was born with a rare and life-limiting neurological condition and was limited to a wheelchair.  I did not see this as a problem but more as an opportunity and a challenge to find play in one of its many forms.

Triathlon!? For a 6 year old boy confined to a wheelchair, you say?  Absolutely! 

See the possibilities. 

One of the key characteristics of a coach is to see, create, and imagine the best in people.

Alissa, Noah, and Lucas came to the Y and met with me in the ‘cave’ (our TriClub office tucked away nicely in the basement with no windows and lots of endurance equipment).  It was striking and immediately noticeable the bond the brothers had.  For most other brothers the closeness would have been crossing personal space boundaries.  But these two had a different way of communicating.  Lucas has an amazing presence.  I’ll never forget the smile he had when we first met.  It said everything I needed to know about Lucas.  The intelligence in the eyes opened up my heart.  The eyes are his best source of communication albeit with the closeness of the brothers I think Noah picks up more than just Lucas’s gaze.

I was struck by Noah’s poise as well.  At only 8 he seemed to have some character values well beyond his years.  I recognized the gift of having a younger brother with special needs.  Noah has an ability to empathize and be compassionate that envelopes his character.

Lucas has severely impaired motor skills from a disorder known as lissencephaly.  The family was there to meet and talk about ways to incorporate Lucas and Noah into our youth triathlon program at the Y.

I knew we could make this work, I wasn’t sure exactly what we could do but I knew it would be a playful journey of discovering the ways we could train.  My main objective was to be welcoming and to listen so that we could be supportive of their needs.  Then, walked in Willie.  William Stewart also known as the legend that he is, “one-arm Willie”.  Willie is one of my favorite people and he’s taught me so much.  He is one of those characters that has experienced a rich life and has energy to give back.  He helped convey the possibilities and I think Willie was the first to recognize that the story had implications at the national level.  Shortly after that another super hero of the TriClub coaching staff came in, Kelly Driver, and the meeting really took on a celebration to start this playful journey.  We were all psyched to set the stage for some brotherly play.

The next day Alissa, Lucas, and Noah came to a TriClub practice and we facilitated some play.  We found out that Noah had some work to do on his swimming and that with a little help from Alissa; Lucas could participate in all our swim, bike, run activities.  I think we had subtly mentioned some racing opportunities in our first meeting but hadn’t really locked anything down yet.  After a few TriClub practices we had a summer goal; The Y Not Triathlon on July 12.  That gave the family just 2 months to get ready for Noah to pull and push Lucas through an entire triathlon.  Did I mention Noah couldn’t really swim…!  That didn’t faze Noah; he is brave, determined and fueled with love for his brother. 

I’ve seen kids transform from barely keeping their heads above water to completing a 150 yard swim in one week.  So I was confident Noah would gain the skill he needed to swim in a lake while pulling his brother.  But he would need to be committed to weekly practice/play.

Alissa and Noah came to a few of the adult 1 hour swim clinics that I coach.  For Noah we mostly just enabled some time to be in the water and play for the first couple sessions.  After a few sessions he was getting confident in the water having learned his balance.  The seamless transformation had begun.

The journey was amazing for me; I can only imagine the joy for the Aldrich’s.  We spent several weeks out biking around downtown Boise meandering down the greenbelt.  It felt good to have a family playing together in our program. Sometimes Alissa would pull Lucas in a chariot and sometimes Noah would show off his strength by taking a turn.  Alissa is fortunate to be able to come out and play with her sons and it brings much joy to see them play together. 

Our sport is wonderful for creating imaginative ways to get outside and explore as an entire family.

Lucas and Noah completed the triathlon and did it with smiles, just 2 months after walking into the cave and inquiring about our wonderful sport.  Little did we know that the local News coverage was soon going to go viral on a national scale

Playing a role and seeing a transformation take place is a life changing event.  It is wonderful to see the Aldrich Family be able to share their story of love and its profound implications with the nation.

I’m grateful for getting to know you guys this summer!  Love manifesting in the power of play.  Keep playing Aldrich family; we’re just getting warmed up.

As if this story was not enough for the whole year, I found out about another transformation getting its start in the ‘cave’ and getting national attention later that same day.

Restwise had just been awarded one of the finalist positions for The Big C Competition!

Matthew Weatherly White is a co-founder of Restwise and another one of my favorite people who has taught me much and I’m very grateful for his mentoring.  Right around the time that Matthew had started educating me on the implications and applications for the Restwise tool, Chad Ward approached me about private coaching. 

Chad had been a weekend warrior most of his adult life with a background in competitive sports in his youth.  He was always up for the challenge.  Then, in the span of 2 years he battled and won against melanoma and then prostate cancer.  When Chad attempted to get back to the active lifestyle he had been used to, he was experiencing abnormal amounts of fatigue.  Some level of frustration and depression set in.

Upon meeting with Chad I empathized well and recognized many signs of overtraining.  I haven’t experienced cancer but like Matthew, (much of his inspiration for RW came out of doing a ‘number’ on himself with overtraining) I had been a chronic over trainer in my younger days.  The summer going through this overtraining at its peak was tough but the experience for being a coach today is incalculable.  Chad’s pre and post cancer bodies, at least for the time being, were very different.  It took much less stimulus than he was used to, to see the immediate effect of over-doing-it.

I was eager to coach Chad and support him in finding his playful activity levels again.  But I also recognized a part of him in me.  A competitive, determined, I’m-tough-enough attitude that can get you in a whole lot of trouble if you don’t channel the energy appropriately.  I also knew that mirroring up an athlete that is driven and motivated with a coach that excites this aspect can be a recipe for disaster.  The last thing I wanted to do was push Chad to hard, even once.  At this point he was standing at the edge of a cliff, one wrong move or a stiff breeze and he would have seen his active lifestyle dreams take a potential long term plummet.

I also knew he was ready for activity; we just needed to reset what exercise and training met for Chad.  That’s not to say that it needed to be this-really-easy-don’t-do-too-much kind of thing.  But it did mean recognizing the wide range of variables that play into optimizing the day.  Being able to listen to the body and very clearly know where the sweet spots lay.  While understanding that the sweet spot floats around from day to day. 

Restwise was just the tool for creating a powerful feedback loop between Chad and I.  Matthew was gracious enough to sit down and discuss the tool in a serendipitous meeting between Chad, Matthew and I.  I was still understanding the magic of the tool and Matthew continued to tutor us on a wide array of training methodologies. 

The snowball was just launched from high up on the mountain. 

RW allowed me to adjust his training daily to meet the needs of his body and mind based on the RW scores.  Initially, I wanted it as a safeguard.  But the tool was instrumental in morphing Chad’s attitude and knowledge about training.  He evolved and transformed over the coming weeks and months.  He began to find his pre-cancer activity levels.  He began to play again but this time he had more tools in the toolbox for optimizing each and every day;  setting the stage to find more enjoyment in being active.  The RW tool is almost magical in how it sends the user on a journey while giving them the tools to start optimizing each and every day.  The rite of passage is captivating in its simplicity when understood and applied appropriately.

The first test with Restwise and Livestrong proved to be a big win for everyone involved.  I introduced Matthew to Mary Biddle with the Livestrong group at the Y and they took the Restwise tool all the way to being a finalist in The Big C Competition!

The day was shocking for sure; two transformations that I played a role in and witnessed first-hand had just become much bigger national stories.  The synchronicity from these two events coming out on the same day seemed to be a powerful message from the universe.

The very next day I met with an amazing Life Coach with many talents, Shelli Johnson.  I’ve been wanting, asking, yearning for mentorship and Shelli is exactly the breed of coach I want to learn and emulate from.  We had a short but insightful meeting and I gained so much from the experience.  Thank you for breaking trail on the path I’d like to emulate and for daring me to be better.

Thanks for listening, I’m grateful for the mentors in my life…and that includes every person I have the pleasure of working with.  I’m grateful for being able to witness and take part in all your journeys.    
Seeing possibilities,

Coach KE

Lifetime Tri Minneapolis

Lifetime Tri Minneapolis

This was my first year getting to do this iconic race that I have seen on TV over the years and watched some amazing performances.  I was excited to throw my hat in the ring and be a part of the action.

This is the birth place of the Equalizer, where the women get a head start (10:01 this year).  It’s fun to feel like a hunter on the run!  This was the first race for the Toyota Triple Crown.

Chris Foster and I had a sweet location for our AirBnB, right next to Lake Nokomis where the race took place.

The water was refreshing and at a wonderful temperature for not wearing wetsuits.  This is the first race in years, that I can remember not being on the front line for the start of the swim.  I got there just a bit late and the pole positions had been taken.  So I just lined up in the 2nd row and felt good about my chances for getting out well anyway.

Sure enough, after running in things spread out and a couple dolphin dives put me at the front of the race with Hunter and I drag racing Cam who came over and took the lead into the first buoy.  I enjoyed the swim and maintained the sweetest spot in 2nd or 3rd throughout the swim.  I was able to let go, in that the mind shut down and my attention was on the form that we know as swimming.

I came out of the water bracing for one of the hardest parts of the race; standing and sprinting to our bikes with guys that throw down 4min miles.  I was on the soft side for this T1.  Hunter and Cam pulled out a few seconds on me.  I was able to get past Hunter on the bike but Cam was gone…

I had no sense or idea where I was on the bike course.  I looked over the course map well but was having trouble applying that to the real world.  I was shocked at the road conditions and wishing that I had put less than 120psi into my wheels.  I was bouncing all over.  Can I get some time on the ground!?

It took massive power and core strength to ride the bumps and keep the effort up.  Not much free speed on this crossbike-like course.

Greg Bennett and Ben Collins rode threw me early in the bike while Hunter Kemper and Brooks Cowan rode near me the whole way.  I was tentative to lead because I just didn’t know which way the next turn was coming.  When Hunter started taking off his shoes to enter T2 I thought we had another 5 miles to go!?

The three of us started the run in 4th, 5th, and 6th.  Hunter had the run of the day and flirted with over taking Cam for 2nd place but missed by a handful of seconds.  Ben Collins had the race of the day with a solid bike and break through run to win the race. 

Only Chris Foster ran threw me having started the run just a few seconds behind me and on his way to the second fastest run on the day.  With Chris came Dave Thompson the local legend and owner of the bike course record.  When Dave caught up we were closing in on Brooks who went out a bit too hot with Hunter.  “Alright boys, it’s a battle for 6th”, I said with a bit of sarcasm.  I heard a little smirk from Brooks as he fell off the pace.  Dave and I battled it out for the remaining 4miles. 

We each attacked the other a couple times but couldn’t get away.  I was enjoying all the cheering Dave received as the local guy.  It was especially cool to see his wife and little boy out there cheering him on.  It gave me a huge boost to think of my family back in Boise.  “Thanks for the dad power” I mentioned to Dave as we tried to break each other down.

With a little more than a mile to go he pulled away from me on one of the diverted grass and mud sections.  I reeled him back in and then picked up my cadence.  It felt good to be racing and pushing the pace.  For one of the first times in my career as a triathlete I ran with mental fortitude.  I created a small gap but could still hear Dave’s breathing and footsteps.

With a mile to go I maxed out my effort for the next 5 minutes.  It worked and gave me enough cushion to avoid the sprint finish for which I am 0 for 10 in my career.

In the Race for the Toyota Cup I caught all the girls save for Alicia Kaye (who kept Ben at bay by a few seconds and is leading the Toyota Triple Crown race by those few seconds) and Radka who finished as the 2nd female and just 7 seconds in front of me.

Very happy with 6th, thrilled with the swim and run and the bike is moving in the right direction.  I’m ready to pop all three here pretty soon.

Results

Racing in the Central Mountains of Oregon

The Pacific Crest Triathlon weekend has been a summer highlight going on several years for Hortense and I.  It’s a beautiful area of wilderness with a great landscape for exploring.  I raced the Half on Sat and Hortense raced the Olympic on Sunday.  We both placed 3rd overall!

Just 3 weeks removed from the IM Boise 70.3 I was able to gain some remarkable fitness albeit not enough time to shake off some fatigue from the bump.  The highlight for me was getting tough on the run.  After Matt Lieto broke me early on the bike I turned things around and ran amazingly well.  11 minutes faster than I ran at Boise!

This video needs some music but it has some clips of the swim, bike and run beauty of this event:

race coverage
race results