Cycling: ’cause I’m long, and I’m strong, and I’m down to get the friction on.

To quote Sir Mix-A-Lot, that is. According to The Bugle, he’s now Lord Mix-A-Lot since inheriting his father’s estates. How I pined for The Butcher while away! A whole five days without a bike ride! I told a little lie on my outgoing voicemail for Monday and let people think I was stuck in a client’s basement for the morning. The truth is I was exulting in my first long ride in over a week, mashing my way up PCH, giddy to be riding again.

So there, I’ve outed myself. My first lie to cover my habit. It starts so small, lying about where I am. Then it escalates until I’m shooting EPO into my scrotum to boost performance. (Wait – do you even shoot EPO? Do I have to go right for the scrotum? I’m sure there’s a better way. All those months working for Amgen and never a sample take-home pack or a demo session.) The pros of doing a long ride on a Monday were that beach traffic was minimal, and way less cars parked on the side opening car doors and heaving surfboards into my path. The weather was pleasant, the road freshly paved, a guy could get used to it. But I still have to pay the bills, and taking off for three hours is still not in my wallet’s best interest. I recently had to increase my hourly rate because gas is costing me a fortune. The down side is that my phone might ring less because everyone is feeling the burn. More time to train is nice, less money coming in is baaaaad.

That night I had dinner with my second cousin and his wife as they have just moved to L.A. from Chicago. We’d never met before, though we know about one another through the family grapevine. I tend to think out loud with people, often when they ask what my plans are for the future. In last night’s conversation I talked about how triathlon has really taken center stage in my life, giving me the reward for hard work that my writing hasn’t provided. That I am feeling my way through this new world and figuring out how to integrate it with my other pursuits. My wife and I talk about moving to northern California to raise children, and if we are serious about doing that it means in less than five years. What does that mean for my next five years? In my perfect world I’d have sold enough of my writing so I can write from anywhere, and northern California is a triathlon paradise with rolling hills and farmland, small lakes and rivers, and still easy access to the ocean (or the freezing Bay). I am working on building out this site so it can generate some revenue one day, even if just via advertising, so that money I spend on triathlon is a tax deduction. But I can also see a potential future in coaching, in a very specific way. I’m not experienced enough, or have any of the practical tools necessary to do it now. But a hallmark of my life is that I enjoy disseminating information. In my technology work I specialize in demystifying computers and empowering users to help themselves. In my screenwriting I put difficult concepts into a narrative form, luring people in with a good story in order to inject my agenda into their minds. Sometimes the agenda is just a complex narrative, but I have to invent characters and story that meet that goal. The whole purpose of this web site is to share my personal experience and research of triathlon with anyone who takes an interest. Nothing in my head is exclusive knowledge and if it can help someone else make positive change in their lives I delight in sharing. I would apply that theme to my coaching – help people fully realize their potential.

When I was 13 I worked for a psychiatrist. He made an incredible offer – he would mentor me through college and med school, guiding me through a psychiatry degree and eventually opening my own practice under his umbrella. He recognized in me an empathic gift, my ability to listen to someone’s emotional needs, the underlying truth of what they needed, and then feel my way through linking connections for them they might not understand themselves. A full med degree and training would have honed these skills into a successful practice, I am certain. But at the time I was still focused on becoming a screenwriter, and after careful considering I declined his amazing, generous offer. I don’t regret the choice – I am who I am because of decisions like that. At the same time it is evidence to me that I am not crazy in acknowledging my strengths, and making life choices that play to those abilities. We are all many things (i.e. writer, athlete, husband, creator, pirate, blowhard, boobie addict), and integrating those things leads to a feeling of fulfillment few fully accomplish.

This is spitballing, it’s all new. But I like gestating ideas of what five and ten years forward might look like. My wife and I made a list of our five year goals two years ago and I’m shocked how many of them have already come to fruition. I don’t believe in visualization – things like “The Secret” are total garbage, newage trash. But I think knowing where you want to be, and then figuring out how to get there, are critical pieces of life. I can tell you what kind of house, how many square feet, and what style I want to live inside. Right now I’m figuring out exactly what kind of tri bike I want so I can start testing models, even though I won’t be ready to buy one for another year when the models are all different. But knowing what I want and building a language for it allows me to focus my goals, sharpen my tools, and claw my way towards realization. It’s why I train, it’s why I write every day, it’s why cumulative work pays off over time.

Evidenced by riding my fastest 51 miles ever on Monday, after just a few weeks of HIIT workouts. 

51 miles, 2:58:00, avg 17 mph.

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