Monday, November 9, 2009

Nothing Wrong With A Little Hard Work

I am a firm believer in working hard and that you get out of life what you put into it. I was out on a run yesterday (Sunday) and noticed three children raking leaves. As I got closer I notice that these children were not working on the same lawn. The first house I came to had a young boy about 8 years old and what I presume was his sister who looked to be about 10 years old. The two off them were armed with rakes and were busy working their piles of leaves to the curb. As I watched I thought nice job. Get out there early, work hard and get it done. When I was given these types of jobs as a youngster I would look at the work I had do and push through it as fast as I could while doing a good job and then get on with my day. The third child was working on the lawn next door was not armed with a rake. He was armed with a leaf blower. This was not just any old leaf blow. This was a heavy duty back pack blower. The kind I used when I worked for a commercial landscaper. This thing could knock a grown man down. Well, maybe not but it is bad ass! He was ripping through the leaves and making short work of his chore. I did not look at this and say to myself, nice work. It thought how does this teach him anything other than to take the path of least resistance. The path of least resistance doesn't lead anywhere I want to go. At the end of the path of least resistance you will not find any reward that you fought hard to earn. You will find nothing but mediocrity at best. When you have to work hard and suffer physically or mentally you have a greater sense of accomplishment once you have achieved your goal and I can assure you that the goals you reach will be much greater than the goals of those who chose to take the path of least resistance.

I think the youth of America is looking for the easiest way to complete any task that is put in front of them. Sometimes that is the right thing to do but I think we need to help our children understand what it means to feel the satisfaction of working hard to complete a task. Don't send them out to rake leaves with a leaf blower. Maybe if we put a rake in their hands fewer of them would be over weight. My daughter is only a year old so this is just my opinion at this time but I know when the time comes she will be picking up a rack and helping out in a way that teaches her that hard work has many rewards.

Please let me know your thoughts on this subject.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My First Thoughts

This is my first posting. Please keep in mind I am not a writer. I am just a guy who wanted to put his thoughts about triathlon, family and life out there for others to think about. I was inspired to create this blog after my friend and triathlon training buddy Mark created his blog months ago. I am calling it "TRI TO DO IT ALL" because as a triathlete that's what life is all about. You are trying to fit an extraordinary amount of stuff into a small space of time. Most of us have full time jobs, families and homes. All of these involve responsibilities that must be met if you want to continue to have a job, family and home. So when I am not working, spending time with my family or taking care of my house I am trying to find time to swim, bike, run or weight train in the gym.

During the off season I would say I have a monkey on my back reminding me to train. When it is time to compete the monkey becomes the 800 pound gorilla in the room except the gorilla isn't just in the room. He is on my back telling me to get up early and run or do what ever I need to do to prepare for what ever event is next. I took a look at the training program I followed this past season to prepare for the Musselman half ironman. The hours spent training each week range from 7 hours to 10.5 hours. This time is only the actual physical training time. This does not take into account the time it takes to prepare for a workout. You may need to drive to the pool, get changed and get into the pool. After you get out of the pool you need to shower, get dressed and drive back home. I stretch before and after every run and before I hit the road on my bike I need to make sure I have enough air in my tires, full water bottles and enough food to carry me through the ride. If you do the math the preparation and cool down time can easily add up to another 3 to 4 hours each week. That means I can expect to spend 10 to 13.5 hours each week training on top of the 50 hours a week I put in at the office. That doesn't leave a lot of time for family and home.

That leads me to my next thought. Your family has to be behind you if you are going to do this crazy thing called triathlon. They have to understand that you have to be selfish with your time for about five or six months of the year. I am lucky because my wife gets as geeked out about my events as I do. I think her favorite part of the day is when she gets to ring the cow bell when she sees me in transition or coming into the finish. I have another family member who doesn't get it yet but hopefully she will. My daughter Isabelle who will be one year old this Sunday got some good nap time in with my on a couple of long runs this past summer.
The net net is triathlon consumes a great deal of time but also comes with many rewards. It keeps me fit and healthy. It inspires others around you to take action in regards to their fitness and will hopefully help my daughter understand why an active lifestyle is better than the inactive lifestyle that many of today's children chose to live.
Thanks for taking time to read about what is my mind and have a great day.