Saturday, December 31, 2011


I have been seeing a number of people posting Dalai Lama sayings and one in particular caught my eye several months ago. He was asked what surprised him about humanity. "Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived." We only can make ourselves happy ultimately, but how we do so is just as important.

Trying to be motivated, or even motivating others is difficult. There are thousands of things that make us tick. Realizing that we have skills, some of which are untouched, and trying to make the most of them should be an important part of our lives. When I switched careers, I had realized that I wasted years of my life in the computer industry never applying myself, or having my employer tap into what I was capable of. It disappointed me so much that I left and never looked back.

Teaching allows me to professionally apply many skill sets and try to get great outcomes. Being creative, tapping into others abilities, and trying to turn those into positive outcomes is a great thing. However, I wasn't applying this to myself.

We are ticking clocks. We can't live forever. Every second that ticks off the clock and is not applied to getting the most out of yourself is a wasted second. This past week I was disappointed that I have lost a few years, and resolved to not allow that to happen. On the bike, I became motivated differently, knowing that there are skills and potential that haven't been tapped into. Despite my age, there is still a possibility of success. Resolving to not allow those seconds to go away without applying them to your own development can be a great motivator to start 2012.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The real start for 2012

I posted a few months back that I was getting started again. That didnt work out as good as I had hoped. Teaching was in the way, and getting comfortable. Now that things are rolling, I have been able to pull things into order and truly get on my bike.
Just this week has shown good success. I have dropped 3 pounds, and rode 4 of 5 days. One day I didnt ride because of blood work and doctor appointments. I have a routine down now that I plan on sticking with. I look forward to 2012 knowing that I can make progress, and have a workable plan.
By the end of January I will be down to 200 pounds or lower I hope. Judging by this week, I know I can do it. I will push very hard to get to 190 as quickly as possible. During this time I am just putting time and getting miles in. I am not doing anything crazy, just using my time wisely to something I want to do.
I am planning my first race the last weekend of February. I will just ride it for experience, but have no expectations. In March I will do other races locally for training and to get back in the swing of things. I hope to have my weight down below 180 by then. With the diet I have set, that shouldnt be an issue.
In April I will do my first race in California. I look forward to it since I miss racing there so much. The competition, the feel and the events are so much more fun. I will race in Ontario or Dominguez at least once in April and then go on from there through the summer.
I am more motivated now than I had been before. Seeing progress is important as well. My wife is making changes as well, so having support, and a lack of temptation to slack will help considerably.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Another new start

Tomorrow is a new start for me. I finally have everything working right, and a commitment to control stress, get home on time and take care of business. I plan to get 1 hour per day as a minimum. That would be on the track bike, cross, road or what have you. I am adding walking in at 8pm for a bit. I haven't had soda for 2 days now. Changes in my diet are happening now. I aim to be below 200 by Thanksgiving. Perhaps be below 190 in December. I know I can compete there, but will get into the 180 range early next year. When the real races hit in March, I should be in fine shape, with a low body weight.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011


Well I finally have the time to ride my bike this summer. The joys of being a teacher. So in between interviews for positions for next school year I am doing an hour per day. Doing a bunch of writing as well. Hitting up AP newswire/Yahoo with contributions, and doing my other writing as well. Just enough to make a couple of bucks, and stay busy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Starting slow with a goal

Summer is here. Bike races are all over the place. It's like being in an ice cream shop or something. Funny thing is that I am allergic to milk.

This time of the year is so motivating. Seeing everyone riding, going all over the place to race is nice to see. Having summers off as a teacher is nice. I need one of those jobs coming up and everything will be right in the world so to speak.

I am finally getting back on my bike. School is done, stress is down, I can focus a bit as well. I am taking a different tack right now. I am not training to race. I am just riding, an hour per day to start. Before it was a struggle to recover because I was trying to train, and my body wasnt ready for it. I am going to take it super slow for a change.

In July I will aim to do more hours. I figure a month straight of basic rides will allow me to acclimatize to riding and get a bit of fitness back. I can focus on dropping weight as well. Hopefully this time it will work since I am not trying to train and lose weight at the same time. Just burning calories, and getting some endurance built up.

I purposely wont go hard for a while. Maybe late July, or August I will start thinking about group rides. But I cant allow my body to get run down. Earlier this year was a struggle with recovering properly. A little too much and I was toast for several days. I am also watching my medication closer, learning little bits every day.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The battle against cancer

There has been a great discussion thread in the clinic on going on. It is above 2500 posts now on little lies that a certain Tour de France champion has been telling, and the web of deceit that surrounds him. I was appalled this weekend by Bill Maher saying who cares on his HBO show. As a journalist, writer, cyclist, cancer survivor and sporting enthusiast I care. Quite a bit actually.

Perhaps Bill can get away with being a hypocrite. However someone that supposedly raises millions in the name of cancer research, and curing the disease can't afford to be. Being a poster child for any cause takes a certain purity, anything less is exposed, and leaves a bitter taste in one's mouth. Our hard earned dollars are not for someone's folly. We have expectations in this world, and that isn't of some Texas homeboy playing the Euro game and beating them at it while living a lie.

In my own point of view, whatever we endeavor in life, should be done to the fullest of our own abilities, without artificial sweeteners, and be based on our available skills, talents and perspiration. To be the best at anything isn't about injecting the right drug into your hip on a regular basis and not being caught. There isn't a shortcut to being a genius, an intellectual, an effective leader; and those that rely on artificial means to prop up their performance in athletic means are living such a falsehood that they should be ashamed. It is one thing to have an injury, and receive treatment. Long live drugs to aid the body in what it cant conquer on its own due to injury or disease. However to take the same and exploit them, is a rape of sport.

Apparently money is also a disease, it acts like illegal performance enhancing drugs. Those with money can afford to act intelligent, to get many of those around them to cover their tracks, and to build a thin veil around what is less than stellar. Money is power, and with it you can prop up your performance, the same way that steroids or other enhancers can make you the athlete you never were. We now have rich people that try to fake intelligence because the have money and notoriety. Our society is becoming polluted, and where the cream used to rise to the top, we now have poisoned pools of humanity relying on lies, money and drugs to fake their way through life.

Bill Maher is part of a posse that is way too selective in it's power to hold people accountable. His bully pulpit becomes less tasteful, removes itself from power and becomes bitter on a weekly basis. It is a shame that what could be a powerful voice, is now less respectful of those viewers that it holds so dear. Perhaps it is a brand of entertainment, but that is going by the wayside, since the show can't figure out if it has something to say, or just wants to offend for ratings. Intense scrutiny of so many figures exposes them all to the reality of life. Be it a yellow jersey liar, a less than effective comedian, a talking head on the news, or our elected officials. Maybe the world isn't motivated enough to spend the elbow grease in peeling back the layers of these fools that rise to the top of the collective conscience and insult us.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cancer sucks

For some cancers the survival rate is pretty high. With my Thyroid cancer it is up above 98% if caught soon enough. Or if it is a rare form, like with Roger Ebert, his had spread and affected lymph nodes and his brain. I am really starting to think that Thyroid cancer is the worst one to get, only around 24,000 or so people per year are diagnosed with it.

With other cancers they do not cut out the entire body part. A vital body part. Sure they may remove a mass, or a little bit of something here or there, but with therapy, and good care, there is still functionality left. Once you get through the treatments, your body slowly recovers, using it's own ability and functionality.

The thyroid is a vital part of our body. It and the endocrine system affect everything. Insulin, adrenaline, testosterone, growth hormone, and a variety of other things. With thyroid cancer, they remove the entire thyroid gland, like with me. Sure you can take pills to try to replace what is lost, but its not that easy.

This is what is frustrating. Taking a pill doesnt cover everything. What happens if your stress goes up? What if you exercise? What about during the winter? How do you kick your metabolism up? One little pill doesnt do it. The pill doesnt change sizes like your natural thyroid does to adjust for your life.

You cant drive down the freeway without changing your pressure on the accelerator pedal. If it is at one level and you need to do 10mph more, you push harder. You cant do that with Thyroid cancer. You take one pill. Its stupid, no wonder nobody really recovers properly. Without something better in care, you certainly arent going to regain everything you were at before.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Notes from today

I had been trying to ride mostly on the road last year for training and to build my endurance up. I get tired of doing the same roads down in the Foothills area and the variations. I had found a nice route down through the casino area to add a few miles and some different scenery.
Lately I have been hitting the trails behind the house. It is easy to get an hour or so in. I usually dont wear a heart rate monitor on the trail, I know I am working at a higher rate anyways. I wore one today and found that my hr is a good 10 beats higher just on the single track. Normally I can cruise big ring in the 130-140 area and I was seeing 150 or more out there today. That has to be good for my endurance and race pace since you rarely challenge yourself on the roads that way.
I miss being able to ride up to what was called the helicopter pad. Back when the Foothills was just test roads for heavy equipment there was a helicopter pad at the top of one of the hills. It had a great 5 minute climb and a fast single track descent on it. Quite a bit of fun to do some reps on it to build power.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What does it take to really become a champion?

I have been working on a book for a while. Actually several books, some fiction some non fiction. I had been exploring writing a bicycle racing book. After all I have been racing since 1984, and have won a few races over the years. I figure that I have a little something to offer, at least for a beginning racer, or someone trying to step up to an elite level. It's not like you are going to write a 400 page book and tell someone how to win a Grand Tour, that takes years of work, you don't start training on the Friday after Thanksgiving for that one.

I got to thinking a bit about some of the characteristics in what makes a champion. I have won a few State Championships, and didn't think anything super special at that time about any of it. Some people just perform at certain races, and success comes from experience and putting the right tactics together. What really got me thinking is what has changed for myself, and some other master's racers over the years from when we raced elite and now. It's obvious we enjoy what we do, but that doesn't necessarily make everything right. Enjoyment doesn't get you out at pre dawn hours in freezing cold.

I started to boil things down to obsession. There are small and large obsessions in our lives. Many think negatively about that word as well. Yes, in the wrong hands, just like a weapon, obsession can be misused and cause damage to oneself and others. A healthy obsession however can pay massive dividends if applied correctly. I realized that when I was younger there was a certain obsession involved in riding at a very high level. Those that feed it, and fully explore it's boundaries seem to take that next step up. Those that use it wisely have some success. Managing it in your life can change you forever.

At our advanced ages, with some desire for success in whatever we do, how do we artificially create an obsession without that motivation? That I am still searching for. How to start that water boiling again so to speak. I have found books about combating an obsession, but few that help in creating one. Observing and mapping out one's energies from day to day, and how to really focus them is very difficult, we lead scattered lives, with little strings pulling us in many directions at once.

So my partial conclusion on what it takes to become a champion is a healthy obsession. Now for how to do just that.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Worst month so far

I had been reading about Steve Tilford, and several others have great months. Very inspiring, and with the stars and stripes jerseys being handed out last month it makes you want to get out and ride.

My last month in a word: sucked.

I changed doctors and went on Armor for my replacement therapy. Calculations were a bit off and my TSH skyrocketed up to .99, the goal is to stay at .1 for suppression purposes of any thyroid tissue. I have never had such bad headaches ever before. I also got run down and now have the worst sinus infection I have ever had before. I am not exaggerating a bit. When you get out of balance so far, it is amazing what you go through.

I wanted to be out riding all December. I was looking forward to having 2 months training for the the first races of the season. I know atleast I can do some riding and my heart rate will be 100% better than last year. My max wouldnt reach 180 last January, now I can hit 200 again, and have some abilities back. I look forward to racing, but my early season plans are destroyed. So I will postpone what I had hoped, and will try for a strong late spring and summer.