The Truth

Don't Fight Your Body or Mind

  1. Don’t copy others – Don’t try be someone else. In order to prevent copying others you must understand who you are. Don’t fight yourself. If you are not a morning person, then don’t force yourself. If you are a night owl, then embrace being up at night. Listen to your body and plan your success and details of your day accordingly.
  2. Study Your Pain – When you push yourself you reach new levels of tolerance and pain. This is what you must study. Not where you are comfortable. Pain is your compass for you to gauge where your potential is. Most people underestimate themselves. They don’t give enough credit to how strong and creative they actually are.
  3. Repeat what you enjoy doing, modify what you don’t. – Pretty simple logically. You cannot just stop everything cold turkey. You need to experience life and be happy, but you have to look at what is not working and fix it. One idea to is to think about what is it that you wish you could stop doing and plan to do the exact opposite.
  4. Turn bad days into good days – You will mess up and you will fall short of your goals. Don’t give up. Never give up. You have to adjust. It is all about your reaction to the situation. These tests of failure test your passion to the goal of reaching your target. If you want it bad enough you will find a way.
  5. Develop a vision of yourself. Who do you want to be? First, create a vision of that ideal version of you. Second, grab some inspiration. Find some idols, mark you channels of motivation online, read your books. Build up your library. Third, get to work. Move into action and start to get things done. Fourth, finish. You are now the marker of your success. You have one mission and this is to complete your challenge you have designed for yourself.
  6. Don’t get stuck on URGENT. Move onward to IMPORTANT. Every moment in our lives we could justify something that is urgent and needs to get done NOW! We must realize that most of the time these items are fake impersonation of important. Rather, they just clutter our lives with appearing to be busy. The problem is that because of all these urgent matters at hand we never get to important and fail to reach our goals. Essentially, don’t fool yourself by bragging how busy you are. That is a joke of a method to displaying how important you are. Instead, stop doing for just doing. Pick the right stuff. Do the right items on your list. Focus on what is essential. Apply the Derek Sivers Hell Yes method.
  7. Set Limits on Yourself. This does not mean reducing your goals. In order to achieve your dreams you have to set limits. You are not able to do everything. You are not some cyborg robot that can work 24/7. You are human. Turn things down. Say no. Close the small doors and wait for that opportunity. I cannot tell you what the process is to make these decisions(see #1), but focusing on no more than 3 items tends to be a great place to start.
  8. Schedule time for yourself. You need your own space. Schedule it on your calendar. Your calendar is more than scheduling other people’s time. Schedule your own. Treat yourself right. If you don’t take care of yourself, then you cannot take of others.
  9. To Do List – people love checking off boxes, but many times we can easily remove 90% of what is on our list. They are not essential. They are meaningless tasks. Instead try the why to do. Why are you doing these things? If you cannot give a purposeful reason give it the old scratch off and move on. Trust me it will always be there later if you feel it is indeed of importance. Don’t get distracted with being busy for the sake of being busy. Getting things done is not essential. Getting things done for you is important.

Remember, the most powerful thing you can wear is confidence.

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Ironman Journey Resumes after 3 month of Nothing, Rev3 Cedar Point Here I Come

Alright, I have hit the highs and lows of motivation, training, and nutrition the last six months. I hit an all time high of fitness from Nov – Jan. I hit an all time low from Feb – May doing nothing and being a mess.

Back in October of 2012 I started this journey to complete my first 140.6 triathlon.

I am back. I have 19 weeks to get ready for Rev3 Cedar Point.

Last night I attended swim clinic to find what I need to work on after a long time of no swimming.

Today I hit up the pool for a technique swim

My training has completely changed due to me not following my plan set by my coach. I am now on a 20 week Ironman plan. These next four weeks are just about getting back in the groove.

I will have another 4 week block and then a 12 week intense, locked in training block to get ready.

Today I did the following

Warm Up – 100 free, 100 pull, 100 kick hard, 100 paddles

Drill Propulsion Progression
MS: 2 x 50 (15″) Swim Golf; 2 x 50 (15″) for each of the six Propulsion Progression Drills; 2 x 50 (15″) Swim Golf. Focus Swimming: 2 x 50 (15″), focus on front quadrant: lead hand is extending until recovering hand is about at your ear. 2 x 50 (15″), focus on catch: think “finger tips down. 2 x 50 (15”), focus on catch: think “over the barrel.” 2 x 50 (15″), focus on best form you can maintain. 2 x 50 (15″) Swim Golf.

I wrapped up with 100 kick, 100 paddles, and 200 free set.

Total: ~1800

I will be sore tomorrow. I was sore this morning.

Here is Ironman Journey Episode 6

You can catch the first five episodes here -

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Out Season Week 14: Reflection and Run Test with a Double BOOM BOOM

I finally got my butt moving for this run test. Fear is not even close to what I was feeling. I had to overcome a mental block like you would not believe.

A block knowing that I could have trained better.

A block knowing that I have been chicken to running outside since converting to treadmill training in my basement before it broke.

A block not wanting to see my final time.

A block in just not enjoying running period.

Today I got up and forced myself to the Y to run on the treadmill there. My last two run tests have been outside, but since I have been training on a TM over the last month I decided to stick with the TM. I got to the Y and after signing up for one of the new TM’s I made my way over to find a young couple taking the very one I signed up for. This made me mad, but I decided to just move to another treadmill. An older one.

I did my warm up and just was not feeling it, but tried to tell myself to get loose and focus. After one mile of gradually picking up speed, I stepped off to stretch and get ready.

I cranked the TM to 9 mph and tried to hold that pace at least until the 1.5 mile marker. That was the plan. My hamstrings felt tight, but I got into a real nice groove. A groove so nice that that TM decided to short out on me and turn off. I went from 9 mph to 0 in .5 seconds. Talk about a disruption of flow. I was about .3 of a mile in and had to quickly move to a new TM. Needless to say that a 6’4″ 220 lb man coming to an abrupt stop like that caused a lot of people to stare.

I moved down and started back up. There was about a 30 second lull in the running, but I figured that since I was only a little bit into the run it was not a big deal so I just continued forward instead of starting over. I was out of whack from this point on. I tried to maintain the 9 mph which my watch read as being sub 6:10 mile pace. I was doing good until around the 1.5 mile mark when I had to stop for a quick cramp stretch. I had a 10 second break in the action to stretch my hamstring. I know it is not recommended  but it is what it is. I had to move the pace down to about 8.5 and 8.0 mixed in back and forth to be able to finish and keep my hammie from going crazy.

In the end I hit my goal. I ran the 5K under 20 minutes. I was quite happy. I know that I would be able to do this even if I did not have to stop twice. I was at 19:28 so even if I slowed down a bit more I would have been under 20 with no stops. This was a great sign. Perhaps this is what I needed to reignite my running goals.

This is my second fastest time. Last year I ran 19:!4 at  4.21.12 : PROJECT RENEWAL 5K

I know with a bit more mileage and run focus I could get below 19:14 in a race. I need to seek out a race in about 6 weeks after this next training block of 6 weeks of run focus.

So, this is a double BOOM BOOM. I am quite happy with the results. Reaching goals is always a great feeling. The hard work and getting up every morning early has paid off.

Here is my Out Season Test Recap

Week 1: My time was 20:52 with a 6:43 pace
Week 8: My time was 20:33 with a 6:37 pace.
Week 14: My time was 19:28 with a 6:17 pace

A few things I have learned through the Out Season.

1. Mileage – I have gotten away from the notion of worrying about getting so many miles each week. Rather, I have finally begun to shift to work on the actual workout at hand. Run for 45 minutes with the intervals instead of just an easy 7 mile run. I am adapting my thought process to put in quality instead of quantity  Last year I thought the more miles, the better. It is QUALITY that matters and this Out Season has proven that idea.

2. Rest – You have to listen to your body. Even though I had workouts to do six days a week there were times when my life and schedule were just too busy to do it all. The body wears out if you don’t take care of it and sometimes that means taking an extra day here or there. The journey is long so if I have to sacrifice a workout here or there it is worth it to stay healthy and injury free.

3. Rest and Nutrition – Two more important things especially this time of year. Getting good sleep is huge. As I work on eating more balanced and eliminating foods that I don’t really need(this does not always happen :)) my sleep has improved. I realize the importance of getting enough rest. I also realize the importance of proper nutrition. They work hand in hand and do make a difference. Sometimes you don’t notice right away, but charting data long term you can see the results.

4. Spice It Up – during the Out Season I hit a low in motivation. I had to change things up. I did a CrossFit workout during my test week. Probably not the best week to do this, but it was needed. That change of pace changed everything. Sometimes we have to go against the grain, against the standard protocol and do something different to reignite our passions. I plan to do CrossFit once I am done coaching. It will be a good break of action from SBR(Swim, Bike, Run) and keep me going. The key will be balance and not wearing the body out. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

So there you have it. My first Out Season is in the books. I made massive gains that I am so proud of. I look forward to training hard and seeing where it takes me this year in my races. I will enjoy the rest of this rest week by mixing things up with some swimming and lifting and then move on to  a six week run focus training program before hitting up my Ironman training. Time to sign up for the races!

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Game Changer: GETTING IT DONE! Team and AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge

Alright, it is time for me to talk about the amazing team taking shape over in the Facebook world. It is a team I created based off my triathlon training motto this year called GETTING IT DONE!

This team is compromised of everyday individuals who are on the path to creating healthy positive habits in their daily lives. Many of us have tried several diets, training plans, exercise routines, etc. Like all of us we have hit the highs and lows.

I know that for me personally the most important factor to my first year in triathlon training was developing a network of people who could help me along my journey. I had experts in the tri sport to give guidance on strategy. I had a group who helped me get out of bed every weekend at 4:30 am to go run when it was cold and I just wanted to sleep. I had friends who I could talk about training. I had a group during the week who ran together to discuss life, sports, and whatever else was on our mind.

The point being is that I had people to help me when I did not know how to help myself.

This year I have personal goals of fitness and triathlon racing. You have goals about your races, life, exercise  What I want to do with this team is get everyone together who needs a team to help them along. No matter what your current fitness level, eating habits, and personal goals are we can help each other. It does not matter if you are training for a marathon or a Zombie run or simply just getting out to walk. As a team we will be here for each and everyone one of us. We all have a goal to get better.

GETTING IT DONE! will be a team where we can network. We can reach our for help when our eating goes astray. We can share recipes or tricks that work. We can hold each other accountable. We can offer motivation. We can do this together as one unit to help us reach our individual goals.

So, GETTING IT DONE! is forming as we speak. There are many people interested. Many are exploring and checking things out. It is time to take the plunge and commit.

To start things off we are going to start with the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge. This is a super easy, but highly effective system to cleanse the system and begin to form healthy habits. We will start this on January 7th. Many have used this system and the results don’t lie.

After the challenge will then move on to create our next goal(s) for the next month. We will take it step by step and in the end we will reach our goals.

So, I encourage you to check out the Facebook team page. Check out the links on my blog(many resources coming very shortly). I encourage you to make a statement in 2013 and get ready to create some healthy habits. When ready sign up on  the form and get your AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge bundle and be ready to join us on our path of AWESOMENESS!

Here is a link to the FB Team page:

Here is info to sign up for the 24 Day Challenge

We are less than one month away from getting ready to change our lives for the better. The official start date is going to be January 7th. This is a Monday and will give us time to get ready mentally for kicking some serious butt. 

Here is the form. This makes it official and will let me know who is serious. I will be placing orders for AdvoCare by December 21st if you need to order.

In the meantime I have lots of things in the works. As always, let me know what you need. I am ready to get back to racing weight and working with others to reach their goals.

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My First Presentation Reflection…..FINALLY!!

This nametag made feel more important than what I really am!

Last Monday and Tuesday I attended the ITAG (Iowa Talented and Gifted) Conference in Des Moines. There were over 500 educators, professionals, research experts, parents, etc. in attendance for the conference. It is a massive gathering of some very intelligent people that really make me feel inferior in terms of my knowledge.

 I submitted a presentation proposal about 6 months ago as this was always something that I wanted to challenge myself with doing. It has been a goal of mine, but at the same time I have a great fear of giving a presentation. To make a long story short, my proposal was accepted.

 The title of my presentation was, “Going Global With Coffeechug! How To Go Beyond Your Classroom Walls.”. You can view the slides, handouts, and wiki I built for the presentation here.


I spent a great deal of time preparing for this presentation. It underwent about three themes, slides, layouts, and basic structures. I kept changing things because I did not feel it was good enough. I won’t go into all the headaches I put myself through, but you can read this post about how I stressed over my handout.

On Tuesday, it was my day to present. I had the last time slot to present. I honestly was not sure about what type of turnout I was going to have. However, the last session really was amped up by the head lady and with about 20 minutes before I was to begin my room was packed. I had a room full of people and thought that this was good. All my efforts were going to be worthwhile. I set a goal of not losing my audience. I did not want anyone leaving during my presentation.

I did what I do best. Tell stories. I gave stories and examples like crazy. Perhaps too much because my 60 minute time slot flew by. I needed more time!!!!!!

I had connected with an amazing teacher from the Philippines who created video of her 1st graders. This video is amazing and a great eye opener about what is happening around the world. It is an eye opener that we are not as cutting edge as we give ourselves credit for! My goal was to give my audience their very first global partner. I wanted my audience to record a short video response to the video for these first graders.

A few stuck around for the video due to me talking too much. We finished and many of them did not want to be on camera. I found this interesting. As gifted educators we are constantly challenging and pushing our students outside of their comfort zone and yet as adults we were not comfortable enough to do the very same thing. Part of this was not knowing everyone, but I figured that since we were talking to 1st graders it would not be a big deal. Very little video was recorded and I quickly had to rethink my plan. I now have my 2nd grade son taking a video into his classroom where his teacher has been kind enough to shoot some video for us to send back to these amazing kids!

So, what did I learn? How did it go?

I give myself a B+. I was very comfortable once I started talking. I want to do less talking and more engagement. I wanted more interaction, but this presentation made me realize that perhaps these audiences don’t want more engagement. I created a Twitter hashtag, made a Google Document handout where we could collaborate during the presentation, had a video partner established, and built a wiki for us to further connect. What I found interesting is that nothing developed on any of these levels. I really think they wanted a paper handout and to just listen. That is fine and I need to have this as a plan B next time I present. I need to be more accommodating to my audience. I don’t like paper. I don’t like to to use paper if I don’t need to. I need to remember that not everyone is like me.

I also need to provide more time for questions. I had some amazing questions being asked. The questions drove the presentation. Less content, more time for question and answer. I felt that my audience was engaged. I had a lot of eye contact and more questions than I thought would be asked.

It felt good to present and connect. I am following up on some connections with people who wanted more information. I have already applied and been accepted to speak at the 2012 Global Education Conference in November(time to work on a new presentation) and would like to continue to present and challenge myself.

It was a great experience and a great conference. When I attended other breakout sessions I studied how others presented and how the crowd interacted. I now know that I need to give them the straightforward facts and steps for them to follow. They want specifics. I like big ideas for me to then go back and ponder and create my own path. Not everyone is that way.

Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way. There are too many to name, but Amanda(my wife) had to listen to me a million times and helped me stay focused on organized.

Thanks to ITAG for allowing me to present. I only wish I had feedback from the audience to learn more about what they thought.

On to the next one……..

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Ironman Training – Days 15 – 21 – Week 3 Preseason

Here it is

I did not do a thing during my third week of preseason. I mentally did not have it in me. I started off the week with best intentions. I brought all my training gear to Des Moines, but with Ava up all night before leaving at 4 am last Monday it just set the tone. I was tired and worn out Monday. I stayed up late preparing for my presentation and slept in Tuesday.

The rest of the week was a blur. It might have been the busiest week of my teaching career(this week might win out though!). I did not have time. I could HAVE made time, but I really felt like all it would have done was wear my body out.

A big fat 0 for training. At first I was very angry with myself. I was disappointed in my dedication to my fitness and the sport. However, I have moved on. Anger gets you nowhere in life. It happened for a reason. I am okay with it.

This week I am refocused. Today was going to be my day in the pool. Well, Ava was up ALL NIGHT! I overslept my alarm and I am now off to missing a training session. I have a plan to get it all back and will do so later this week.

Life is crazy. Parent teacher conferences two nights as a teacher. Two nights of parent teacher conferences for my children. Lego Robotics practice Monday night. Girls basketball practice after school on days without my teaching parent conferences. Life of kids and getting them from point A to point B, homework, chores, etc. I have to make time.

Working out helps me. I know it does. I am much more relaxed and not so grumpy when I train. I will get back into things somehow, someway. I have a crazy 6-7 mile race coming up in a few short weeks so I need to prepare.

Life creates obstacles. The key is not to say blocked for long, but to learn how to move on. I will do just that.

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Ironman Training – Day 8 & 9 – Rest and Run

Preseason Week 2
Monday: Rest due to horrible night of sleep

The plan was to swim on Monday, but I opted to take the day off. Amanda and I were up all night with Ava who was just having one of those nights. Not sure what was all going on, but she was not happy. I decided to let the body rest and not push it on such little sleep.

Tuesday: 40 Minute Run
Zone 1 – Zone 2 with focus on strides going uphill and downhill

Today I met up at the Y with Chad, Brian, and Curt. It was great running with people again. They all agreed to run along with me. I had a 40 minute run planned. I was up and ready to go with my AdvoCare supplements. The run is starting to come around. We ran at a nice leisure pace, but it was already about 45 seconds faster from when I ran last week. We headed out for 20 minutes and turned back around.

My Garmin watch is starting to not work. It quit running for about 30 seconds before starting up again. It has been through a lot the last three years so I know that I need to start looking for a new one. I will hold out as long as I can for now.

Slowly getting back in the swing of things. With the 10 Day AdvoCare Cleanse and training I hope that my body will be back to normal soon.

Have a great day and continue working hard to GETTING IT DONE

P.S. if you did not see my previous blog post, then you have to check it out. A student of mine created an EPIC Theme Song for me and my other YouTube series titled, “Nerd Factory”. Be sure to check it out.

Here is the link:

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Ironman Training Day 7 – Bike Trainer

Preseason: Week 1
Bike Ride – Long 90 minutes

Today I was to perform a 90 minute ride completing the following:

Easy/Steady ride at conversational pace at 65-70%/Zone 1/Easy, some 70-75%/Zone 2/Steady. Include 30’ in one gear of choice (middle of rear cassette).
Pick it and stick it. Use your legs to keep tension on the chain at high speeds, use your body position and/or standing to move the bike at low speeds.

It was way too cold out this morning for me to even consider going outside so I just rode on my trainer. Therefore the whole pick it and stick it idea did not really work as planned. However, my legs were sore from my 60 minute run yesterday and riding the bike for 90 minutes proved to be a challenge even at a steady easy level.

I felt good the first 45 minutes, but my legs were tired by the end and I did not find this too be easy. Getting back to shape is not easy when I was at such a different level of fitness a month ago. But, this allows me to train right and move in a different direction and pace which will hopefully pay off down the road.

So  I was able to finish 28 miles in 90 minutes.

Tomorrow I begin a 10 day cleanse and will continue to work on building up my endurance and work on technique.

A weekly recap will be coming soon along with my next Getting It Done episode.

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Ironman Training Day 3 and 4: Rest and Ride

I did not workout yesterday. I had a bike workout scheduled, but decided not to ride. I woke up tired. I went to bed the night before tired. I opted to just rest and not force things. I have a long journey ahead of me and there is no reason to begin by pushing the body when it is not ready.

My body is undergoing some changes which makes things a challenge. As I work on cutting back on caffeine and a lot of the junk food(except after school!!!) my body is hitting several walls a day. It will take some time for the body to get back on track with being healthy and not relying on junk to get through my day.

I have decided to tackle a 10 day cleanse using Advocare. I ordered the goods last night and will begin this cleanse when the products arrive. I think this will help me focus and jump start my train of thought to forming good habits.

I thought about riding last night when I finished up school work around 9 pm, but decided to just call it a day and be happy with decision. It was a good decision as I was able to actually talk to Amanda for the first time this week. I cannot believe how busy life gets. I feel like we just brush past each other as we tutor, coach, hand off kids, take kid here, take kid there, etc.

I woke up this morning ready to go. I took some Advocare Catalyst and a bottle of water and jumped on the bike. I have not been on the bike in a long time.

This morning I completed the next ride workout. It called for a 60 minute ride with 2 x 8 minute intervals with 2 minutes at 60 cadence and 2 minutes at 80 cadence. The goal of this workout is strength and therefore I was performing at a Level 2/3 during 80 cadence.

About 10 minutes into the ride my butt started to hurt. I am going to have to start over with building up my seat tolerance. I did not feel too bad on the bike, but 60 minutes felt like a long time. I watched an interesting documentary on Netflix about happiness. It provided some food for thought, but did not do much to pass the time quickly.

Tomorrow I head to the pool to complete the workout from Monday that I was supposed to do.

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