Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Off to See the Wizard

      The road to success can be compared to the road to OZ, that is the yellow brick road with perils along the way. Everyone has had those days that feel like the dark forest, we all have fought our share of flying monkeys. The day(s) that nothing seems to go right or at least our way. When we get to the wizard is success what we thought it was or just the beginning of the next journey.
      Let's go back to the road, unlike Dorothy we have to build the road, brick by brick.We hope that our yellow brick road is made out of gold. Proper planning it can be or if we carelessly go they could be bricks painted yellow or fools gold. We must build the road one brick at a time with a good road map, positive attitude, smiles and things done right are bricks to build from daily.The attitude you take every day with every person you interact will give you direction. Hence a negative attitude or interaction is going to give you a negative direction. This applies to life, training and business. The challenging day, tough workout or multiple rejections can be twenty four karat bricks that take you the farthest. A smile goes miles is so true passing in the coffee shop, on the trail running or signing the contract.They say the first impression is the lasting impression. The right thing every time may cost you a little in the short term but will pay huge dividends in the long run. There are no short cuts, associate with people that are successful. Chances are very high that they are doing things the right way. Read books by successful people, there will be gold nuggets in there to make your bricks. Anyone that knows me well knows my admiration for Tony Dungy. I lived near Indianapolis when he came to the Colts and turned the team and the city around.I have read everyone of his books several times. He didn't do it alone, his faith in God and associating with strong mentors got him where he is.
      The final step is taking action, the law of physics (every action has an opposite and equal reaction) is true in life. A positive action will have a positive reaction and move you forward. 86,400 seconds every day: make every second count. I have lost races and age group placings by mere seconds. That split second decision can change your course for days or even years. Make every second count or as I once heard "invest every second" a positive investment is going to make a positive return. The day is a chain reaction eight hours quality sleep equals high energy and good focus. Quality fuel for the body keeps you going strong, the daily workout keeps the mind and body strong, any weak link in the chain may derail the whole day. We all need our distractions or cheats but we can make them positive ones: read something positive on the internet instead of engaging in drama on Facebook, drink green tea with honey instead of that cupcake. There are no "take backs" in life once that word is spoken, that second wasted or that calorie consumed the consequences are ours.
      We are all building that road to success. Yes, we all have to take a step back and turn over that brick we laid yesterday. Being humble enough to go back and fix it may put you miles ahead. The wasted seconds and poor decisions are past, learn from mistakes, continue to look forward to success. The wizard of Oz may not be who we expect or our success to look like it does. Sometime success is built on success so take the little win. The wins are the golden bricks that make for a bright future.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What Can't You Do

       Run 100 mile race, run a 100 mile week, run a marathon, run a 5k or walk a 5k, you may not have a desire to do any of these. Please don't say you can't or it will never happen, I have accomplished all of these and I will give you the secret.
      Human nature is to fight or flight and to say "I can't" is flight running away from what we perceive as too hard. I love a good fight, it has always been my nature whether it is a good argument or a formidable challenge. You can adopt that attitude and accomplish any of those feats or even something greater for yourself.
             Yes you can!
             Yes you can!
      I) Set your mind to it.
       The mind is the most powerful organ in the human body, it can stop you or force you to do anything. Once you have made the decision and mentally commit to it everyday you will accomplish it.
      II) Set your heart to it.
      Yes the decision is made but it takes passion to go to the finish. You cannot commit everyday to hard work if you can not put your heart into it with your eyes on the reward at the finish. 
      III) Make your plan
      This is where I fit in as a coach to develop a plan to get you to your goal. First you must decide on your reward to finish a cupcake, margarita or cold beer, your decision. Being healthier, faster, knowing you accomplished your goal are harder to focus on than a physical award. Being a competitive person the placing or a time is what I focus on as the prize. Daily activity is the best plan to continually move closer to your goal.
      IV) Do your plan - Try again
      This really is the easy part once you have finished the exercise because you feel better and proud that you completed the task at hand. I always say the first step out the door or into the gym and first half mile or fifteen minutes is the toughest. Engage the challenge everyday and when you make it to race day the truth comes out. The goal really is to finish and any result is a success, reward yourself. You may not achieve your goal but it is time to inventory how much stronger, healthier or faster you are than the day you started. Pick the next challenge and adjust your goal or your plan where you are today and you will succeed.

      Go out and make the most of what you have, the only thing holding you back is you.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Build it and they will come

      The process of building my business has made me realize by God's design we are builders. Noah built the ark, Peter built the church and Kevin Costner built a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield. I received a letter yesterday from a young man of how much I inspired him and he reminded me of my christian namesake and how he thought it was fitting. Very humbled, brought these thoughts.
Matthew 16:18 NIV "And I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it"
A seminar yesterday morning gave the suggestion that to build a successful business you have a vision of where you are going and what you are building.
      My dream is to help people become their best physically, mentally and spiritually, all keys to to being successful as an athlete and in life.
1 Corinthians  6:19 NIV  "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God. You are not your own."
Then it came to me that to build a business is not just to build a team of athletes but to build a team of coaches with teams of athletes.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV  "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. Just as in fact you are doing"
Our mission is to build others up, paying forward those are the strong friends who will carry you when you are weak. I have experienced this in races as well as life challenges.
      The foundation you are building on is also very important, if God is the foundation the results will be good.
Matthew 7:26 NIV  "But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand"
This is the reason I am building my business on Christian values and my coaching on my experiences and that of many other great coaches and athletes.
      Go out and make the most out of what you have been given, make the world a better place.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Time is Yours

      You awake in the morning, you are blessed and you have a decision to make. What will I do today? Will I make the most out of today and change someones life? You may or may not change someones life but if you go out positive and do your best the chances are you will. You may never know it or you may have someone come up to you years later and thank you for what you did.
      My sister Paula her husband Tom and my nephews Thomas and Lawrence changed many. Especially my nephews who in a short thirteen years touched so many people. I live everyday to their example of greeting life and people with a smile and make life fun. Time is an element we don't have control  of, there are thousands of books out there to help you manage it. Rather than manage it you need to make the most of it because it is limited. We don't know the when or how the end will come but we can make the most of the minutes in front of us.

One day your life will flash before your eyes, Make sure it's worth watching.

      I celebrate life today because I had great examples of how it should be. I mourn today because it was in loss that I realized what I had.
      Go out and live, be strong make today the best day in yours and those around you life.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

You Touched My Family

      April 15, 2013 is marked in my memory now and forever as someone or some group assaulted my family on my homeland. I was in shock that evening and still processing and grieving the next morning as it was not a nightmare it was real all over the front pages. I have read many post and blogs, mine will resound the same sentiment that runners are a very tight knit family. I have crossed that finish line twice, my family has stood on those very streets. Pain number one panic where are my personal friends that were up there that day, fortunately all safe. Pain number two fear that could have been my family, my wife still tears up because recognizes the landmarks and walk those sidewalks now splattered with blood like a war zone. Pain number three grief as I realize the casualty is an eight year old boy and a woman cheering family members. I compared this to the day I lost my sister and her family the day started with so much joy and excitement of near perfect weather and an exciting elite race to end dark with terror.
      Pride brings light to the darkness, as police, volunteers and runners ran towards the explosion to aid the injured and the medical tent instantly went from aid station to emergency triage. This act in itself I am sure minimized the fatalities, brotherly love overcame self preservation. The fortitude of runners was all over the media as seventy eight year old Bill Iffrig got up after being knocked down by the blast and with the aid of the volunteers crossed the finish line second in his age group. The love of my friends and family as my social media and cell phone were overloaded with messages and calls making sure I was not in Boston and OK if I was. There is more good and love in this country than there is evil.
      Anyone that has ran a marathon or other endurance race will tell you about bond that is formed with your competitors and the spectators. I experienced this at Boston last year as we raced in record high temperatures and fellow racers shared ice and popsicles along with coaching and encouragement. The spectators aided with ice, refreshments and spray from garden hoses cheering me like a best friend or family. These are things you don't forget and brings the tragedy of someone hurting these people so much closer. I know the runners like Bill will get up and run again and Boston will be there next year better and safer than ever. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Elusive Number 10

      The New York marathon was cancelled, my career change made Phoenix impracticable and yesterday I got my first DNF at the ORRRC Xenia marathon. All were supposed to be number 10 marathon for me, yesterday was not an "A" race but more of a test of my condition going into ultra training and season. I was under trained and had not put in any consistent miles all winter. The running group "RUN DMC" had a great showing and I could not miss this race. The thought had crossed my mind to drop to the half marathon but my stubborn side won out.
      A bad decision lead to a good decision at mile 22, I had to think like a coach and do what I would want an athlete I was coaching to do. The weather was perfect at the start 54 degrees overcast with a slight breeze. My plan was 8 minute mile pace until the last six and the then race to the finish, I stuck to the plan perfectly through the first half. I made a quick pit stop at the 2 mile mark just after circling back to the start line and caught up to Kim who was running the half. We talked and made the miles go by quickly to where she turned off for the turn around that was mile eight and I was feeling good. The temperature was rising quickly and the breeze was keeping it comfortable at this point. I hit Cedarville and turned of the bike path and onto the back roads and into the wind as we turned around. I was feeling the fatigue by this point and had walked hills and water stops and decided to walk when there was a stiff head wind. Ben and Andy were running 4 hour pace and I expected them to catch me and they did shortly on the bike trail headed back to Cedarville. I stuck with them until mile 18 when my legs started to get heavy and I fell back the next 2 miles dehydration started to set in even though I had taken water and Gatorade at every water stop. I was walking more than I was running I had several runners check on me as they went by, I love that fellowship of distance runners. I hit mile 21 where the course turns off for the leg where the half marathon turns around and saw the squads at the aid station, was tempted to stop as I took 2 cups of water and it didn't help. I did the half mile out and back and decided with the blister on my left foot and sure signs of heat exhaustion I headed to the squad this time. I hated quitting on a race but common sense beat stubborness, this was not Boston I had to be smart. 
      I made the tough decision for myself just like I would for someone I was coaching, that was a long ride to the finish line in the rescue truck. The emotions of disappointment were high especially as I threw my timing chip in the bucket without crossing the finish line. The conditions of 74 degrees, a strong head wind and lack of preparation made this the day not to finish a race. The emotional low was quickly replaced by the excitement of one of our group finishing her first marathon. Cheering her in knowing the tough conditions out reminded me there is more to this sport than just running. This is very much a team sport because her tears of joy were much more important than my tears of disappointment. I will have my great races but it is great to be part of a group of runners where we can relish in others first and great races.  

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Leap of Faith

      God has given me many blessings in my life with faith in his path in front of me being one of his greatest. This is one of those times that I have to rely on that faith. I was presented the opportunity to make my passion for running and serving people a carreer. I had to step out of my comfort zone and security of my sales carreer I had built the last seven and half years. I have many friends at the dealership and they were a great support network. Great things never come from easy decisions and this one was very tough.
      I had made the decision a several weeks ago and made the announcement at the end of February. Shock was the best description of the reaction but very supportive from my managers and co-workers. I will miss the daily interactions with these people, they are like family. I can say I have spent more collective hours with these people then I have with some of my related family. I am looking to find clients and athletes that I can build this kind of relationships with. I have had a great response from friends and family and many people expressed interest in training and coaching.
      I have heard it many times and I discussed with the gym owner when you love what you do every day it is not a job it is a passion. I have come to a point in my life that the value of time is measured by the quality of time spent with family and invested in others. You will not be remembered for the things you have done but the lives you have touched or changed. I plan to reach out to people who want to become all God has given them the potential to achieve. A marathon or ultra-marathon for some but to just run/walk a 5k for many, their goal will be my mission.