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An Inspiring Story of Determination and Valor

October 12, 2012

Each event I attend or participate in has resulted in some fantastic new friends.  This article from the News Herald is a perfect illustration of the support and integrity of the people you’ll find- both participating and spectating.

Ben Balz, an 11 year old that lost his leg to cancer at the age of 6, was participating in the Pensacola Beach Sea Turtle Tri this past weekend when about 1/2 mile in to the run portion his prosthetic leg became loose and fell off.

Determined to finish, he immediately began looking at his options.  Hop or crawl to the finish line?

A third option was presented when Pfc. Matthew Morgan, a Marine helping at the event, approached Ben and offered to carry him to the finish line.

Ben and Pfc Morgan were met by a roaring crowd at the finish line.  It was an emotional moment for everyone.

You can read the full article HERE.

At any tri event, the finish line can easily become a highly emotional area.  This time it was taken to the next level.  Both of these young men are such an inspiration.


Great Advice for the 4th Quarter

October 10, 2012

Here is some great advice shared with me by Mike Lindstrom for the start the 4th Quarter of 2012:

“Take some time for yourself to check-in on your written goals for the year.  Oct 1st (start of the 4th quarter) has come and gone so time to step-it-up and finish the year strong.  I like to always create a “4th Quarter Push Plan” and have it posted up or with me in my journal when I am on the road conducting business.

If you are serious about the 4th quarter, print these questions and write down or type up your answers.

Here are some key questions to ask yourself:

  1. What are some things I have been putting off or avoiding in my life?
  2. Do I have any “shoulds” that I have been procrastinating and what am I willing to do to make them  “MUST” items?
  3. Who in my life do I need to reach out to and just say hello or tell them how much I appreciate them?
  4. If I had at least 5 things that I could accomplish by New Years, what would they be?
  5.  What is my driving force (purpose) and true motivation each day that will empower me to achieve my goals by end of year?”

As always, Mike has provided me with a great tool that urges me to stay on track and to do so with acknowledgment of my accountability. Why would I NOT take the time to answer the above 5 questions?

You can read more about Mike and what he can do for you here.

Image source:

Finish Line Emotion/Effect

June 20, 2012

Here is a great excerpt from the book Iron Wars paraphrased in the following article.  I think this passage is fantastic and, in some way, explains my recent fascination with the sport. I do not think I will be a long term Ironman competitor. I have one coming up soon so we’ll see how it goes; but never say never.

“In 2008, a Canadian-born sociologist named Michael Atkinson published a paper titled, “Triathlon, Suffering, and Exciting Significance.” In it, he argued that the tremendous amount of suffering that all triathletes experience in training and, especially, in races is not a negative price that participants pay in pursuit of the rewards of the sport; instead, that suffering is itself the primary reward. Atkinson argued that the comforts and conveniences of modern life have come to pamper us so much that much of the excitement has been drained from our daily existence. Our bodies are so coddled that we crave physical challenges. On top of that, we have grown mentally soft, and we know it and vaguely despise ourselves for it. Triathlon represents a way to put some excitement back into our lives, to toughen us mentally, and to boost our self-respect. The sport delivers these rewards by affording us an opportunity to overcome great suffering. The prize that every triathlete seeks above all others is what I call the finish-line feeling—that tremendous feeling of satisfaction that comes when we complete a race and conquer the internal weakness that tempts us to quit.”

I have had the finish line effect in 70.3 events. When I crossed the line in Augusta 70.3 2011 I almost broke down in tears. I did not understand the feeling so I fought it but I do not think I will fight it if/ when I finish IM CDA. Tears will be flowing, get the camera ready.

Bubba Watson Has The Right Idea

May 21, 2012

This is a great concept. Most people do not stop to think, “what is my brand”? In this interview with The Masters champion, Bubba Watson, the commentator asked Bubba “if this was a business school case study” what is the Watson brand?

Bubba has a clear view of the image he wants to project. He is a fun loving family man that has his priorities clearly aligned.

If the commentator asked you what is your brand or your story could you answer the question in 20 second or less? Do you see yourself as the person you are or the person you want to be? How does society see you?

Bubba Watson can see his return to Augusta National Golf Club in a blur of orange topped by the Confederate flag speeding down Magnolia Lane.

You can see the video and full interview from Bloomberg News here.

Whole Foods

May 21, 2012

I am in the healthcare business and I am troubled by current state of affairs and the pending legislative solutions. The following article is an articulate market based alternative to Obama Care.

GEL is not intended to be a political blog but more or less about challenging people to think bigger about their capabilities as humans through positive reinforcement. One of the central tenants of the blog is a belief in the individual and the importance of personal responsibility. The most fundamental tenant of personal responsibility is taking care of your own health. If you can not do that how can you be a productive member of society? The healthcare system as we know it should be devised to aid in helping people make better decision about healthcare.

The following article opinion was written by John Mackey, CEO and cofounder of Whole Foods. If we could turn this document into a bill and pass it in the house and the senate I think we would see a dramatic drop in healthcare cost, obesity rates, cancer, heart disease and an increase in the general welfare of the country.

Please enjoy this article and think critically about the current healthcare debate:

The Whole Foods Alternative To ObamaCare

Loss of a Legend

April 6, 2012

With a heavy heart I want to report the death of a legend. Anyone who has read “Born to Run” will appreciate Micah True’s, AKA Caballo Blanco, contribution to the world of running and for giving the world insight into the Tarahumara” culture.

If you have not yet read “Born to Run” please clink on the link and order today from Amazon. This is one of my all time favorite books.

YouTube has a lot of very cool pieces featuring Caballo Blanco. Here is one of my favorites.

It’s All Relative

April 1, 2012

Suffering is relative right? I want to keep that in mind as I post. I have a knee issue, not the end of the world… but I do really like this quote from p. 72 of Iron WarThe magnitude of the satisfaction that a triathlete experiences upon crossing a finish line is directly proportional to the amount of suffering he has overcome to get there.

There are highs and lows throughout life, we are all tasked with managing those to the best of our abilities. The one’s who win are the one’s who are still smiling when the going gets tough.

That is one reason I really like Crossfit and the world or triathlon. This voluntary suffering makes us stronger to deal with the other issues of life. A quick story, last week at Crossfit Atlanta, after a killer workout, I was trying to prevent vomiting on my shoes when one of my fellow Crossfitters, gasped for air, smiled and said enthusiastically “that was awesome!” I looked at him like he was crazy and then I realized it was awesome (if awesome means sucked horribly).

But why not approach it from the attitude that it was in fact awesome? For one isn’t that the reason you are on the earth? To push your boundaries and see what you are made of? The since of accomplishment is gratifying and if you choose to remember the positive, even on the days it sucks, then it will motivate you to get off the couch and go push your limits again.

When you push those limits, suffer and succeed then the rewards at the end of the rainbow will taste that much sweeter.

Quick knee update: Saturday, Rode the trainer for 50 minutes. The knee felt good. Sunday, ran for 25 minutes and walked for an additional 15. Also felt good. Cautious optimism. I am hoping that on June 25th, I can look at this three week rest period as a mere speed bump and not a defining moment.