Thursday, February 25, 2016

And So It Goes...

The world is a messed up place. A long, very long time ago. It wasn't so messed up...but the world keeps going. Doesn't matter if we like it or not. It just goes. As humans, we can feel on top of the world one day, and then understand that no one - not other humans, not the lakes, the trails or the rain, gives a rats ass if there's air in your lungs. Maybe we need to be okay with that - maybe we don't have a choice. We start as dust, and end as dirt. In between, is a mess of chaos, that we need to learn to love more than we hate, if we don't, the time is gone. Not wasted, but gone. Time is one truly priceless entity.

2015 Recap

Its 2016!!!
The last year has been very interesting. Many lessons learned, and re-learned. There are no guarantees in life. None. Don't be fooled.

Overall I'm ready for 2016 and so excited. I can't decide if that's an inadvertent way of saying 2015 was a bad year, or just keeping a positive spin. I'm happy the things that happened - Happened. I'm a firm believer in no regrets, and will continue to maintain that. When I look back, I have so many really good memories. New Experiences, New People. PR's.
I learned a lot. I accomplished a lot. I stayed on track. I raced hard. I hunted smart.

Races:
The Minnesotan
Miesville 56
Almanzo 100
Liberty 70.3 (Swim/Bike only)
Dirty Lemming 100
MPLS Triathlon (2nd place AG)
Maple Grove Triathlon
Ragnar MN
Minnetonka 5 Mile Swim
HECK of the NORTH
Monster Dash 13.1
I may have missed some??

Music:
Eaux Claire Fest. Sylvan Esso. Sufjan Stevens. POP

Books:
Water for Elephants. Gone Girl. Found.

Bike Tour. Superior- Valhalla - Bayfield - Washburn - Red Cliff - Superior. Sailing. Bike packing, Madeline Island. Black Bears. Sand. Off the Grid Cabin. Nights in a Hammock.

Emily.

Keep Pushing. Can't stop - Wont stop. It's 2016. The most important moment in your life, is always right now, live in it, eat it up, breathe it in. Always.  Nothing will ever change that. Don't hold back. You have no idea how far you can go. No one knows their potential.

Today starts Ironman Training. This is one of the moments where I can start telling myself. I'm going to train hard, train smart, recover smarter, and execute a very difficult race. and maybe with a lot of luck, i could qualify for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona. That's a big maybe. more like MAYBE.

Grandmas Marathon filled early.

Maybe DK 200.




January 2016

I wanted to post at least once per month this year of 2016. January has been filled with the start of my Masters in Public Health program at the U of MN. It's an exciting time to be alive, and immersing myself in health care and public health. Other than being extremely busy, i truly enjoy what i'm learning about and where i'm going. This semester will be extremely difficult for me. That is an understatement. Balancing full time work at HCMC, full time grad school, and training for endurance races, does not leave me much time to spend with loved ones, and sleep a little bit here and there. 
I am someone that likes to push my limits and seek boundaries. I think i found some. Writing this down will help me remember this insight. Come June 2016, I will stand victorious at the finish line of the Dirty Kanza 200, having survived that race, successfully completed 8 credits of grad school, and continued to progress in my position at HCMC. 
I continue to find gratitude and inspiration in those around me, and will do my best to not let agitation get the best of me. That is one thing i'm committed to. I will not let grad school turn me into a crabby asshole. If i'm not careful that could happen. Don't let that pressure affect us.
I'm a lucky man.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Spending freeze

I hope this post will be followed by many other in the near future. Inspired by others, some friends and I have decided to not spend any money for the month of February. We gassed up our cars, went grocery shopping and stocked up. (This excludes our months bills, mortgage, utilities, phones) Our goals include challenging our views on luxuries, embracing being uncomfortable and creatively save money.
First day: I saw a mouse at the house, which is no big deal usually, but i realized that the last mouse trap was connected to a dead mouse in the bottom of the garbage! I decided to dig it out rather than live with a mouse in the house for the next month. Hehe.

More to come...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Race - Ironman Lake Placid 2012

2.4 mi Swim - 112 mi Bike - 26.2 mi Run

It all started at 4:45 am when my alarm went off. I didn't sleep much but felt awake and alert. I laid down at about 9:30 the night before, but just wasn't tired. All of the rest i had been getting the few days prior, with no exercise to tire me out, had left me with tons of energy, lying there awake. At 12:30 am i got up and had 1 Benadryl. This is not something i have ever done before a race, and it was definitely breaking the golden rule of don't do anything different before race day, but i had to get some sleep. I think it helped because the next 4 hours i drifted in and out of sleep.

So we were up and walking to the transition area by 5 am. I drank a half of a cup of coffee and ate a half of a muffin and that's all i could stomach. i felt full. I had stuffed myself the entire day before in preparation of the race. we got to the transition area and filled up our bike tires (where they sat inside the olympic oval in anticipation), then headed to Mirror Lake. To be honest i wasn't nervous, i had the mind set that i was going to take it easy, have fun and finish the race. We came out to New York for this race, I was going to bang it out and that's how it was gonna be. The distances weren't intimidating, I knew i could handle them and that's it.

They say "Think of it as a long, supported training day with 2000 of your friends"

Before we got in the water I ate 2 Gu's. I remember feeling hungry at that point too, kicking myself that i couldn't get more in my stomach; it may have been nerves. So we enter the water and swim across the bay to sit on shore until the race was close to starting. The water was packed. My dad and I waited while someone sang the national anthem.

At that point we hugged each other, said I love you and then at 6:59:50 I floated into the water towards the start line. At 7:00:00 AM the cannon went off, and the mayhem began. At first it wasn't so bad...but it got worse. There were people everywhere, kicking and slapping all over the place. Anytime i popped my head up to try to find an open gap to swim in I could see there were people surrounding me for as far as i could see, with no open spaces or gaps. I did my best to focus, and just keep swimming. That is a mistake i had made before, is letting the chaos distract me and then slow me down.
I just kept swimming, when would run into someone, try to find a little gap, swim to that one, run into someone, find another gap, and so on.

About half way through the first leg of the swim i heard screaming...alot of screaming. when I popped up. I heard "help, swimmer down!" There were at least 50 people that stopped and were screaming at the top of their lungs. At that point i could see the swimmer being held up by 3 other swimmers, he appeared to be unconscious, on his back, head tilted back and he appeared limp. That's when I started screaming. screaming for a boat, kayak or paddle board. Through my foggy goggles I could see a kayaker on the inside of the swim course loop looking around confused. He could hear something but from his position so low in the water he couldn't see what was going on. The splashing was so loud from the swimmers that he couldn't figure out what was going on, plus he had hundreds of swimmers in between him and the downed swimmer. After what seemed like 5 minutes of screaming the kayaker was headed over. I took off and kept swimming at that point, not sure if the swimmer was dead or alive. Hoping they were okay I tried to refocus on swimming, and regain my motivation, which proved very difficult. It left me wondering what happened to that person. I knew it wasn't my father due to the color of his swim cap.

So i rounded the corners and was headed back; space opened up a little bit and i found my ryrhm and relaxed. I got to the turn around ran out of the water and right back in. I was feeling good, relaxed, heart rate wasn't too high, I felt like i could swim all day :)

I swam another loop in a good rhythm, staying to the outside to keep out of chaos. I felt good. When i got out of the water i was relaxed, the clock read 1:19. i was happy with that time having not pushed myself in the water. I striped my wet suit off and began a slow run up the beach which was a long transition run. The spectators were going nuts. I was smiling and ready for transition 1. I ran up to my bike gear bag and started pulling my stuff out and changing...when I was about done a volunteer informed me there was a changing tent I was supposed to change in. :) whoops. To get to my bike and out to the course I had to run through the changing tent, which was pure chaos. I was happy to be able to run through and skip it. I grabbed my bike and was off. Feeling great! I saw my
 Mom and aunt Ginny on my ride out of town, which was really nice to hear them screaming my name. It's amazing how i can pick my mother's scream out of a crowd of screaming people. :)

I knew i needed to take it really easy on the bike. The first  10 miles had a decent climb so i took it nice and slow. Then came the screaming decent into the town of Keene. I maxed out at 46 mph...which is the fastest I've ever gone on a bike!!! wow! i was still getting passed too. After the decent, there are some flats that we had some tailwind on, those felt great, felt like i was flying. The last 25 miles of the loop is all climbing, I felt like I wasn't pushing it too hard and was passing people and keeping my heart rate low (mostly below 150). I was eating 1 Gu every 30 min, 1 endurolyte tablet every hour and eating bonk breaker bars and pro bars every chance I got. I was consuming over 400 calories per hour. In my research, people are supposed to get 200 - 300 calories per hour.

When i got back in to the town of Lake Placid, I was feeling really good.
I stopped for my special needs bag, which I placed a peanut butter and honey sandwich (bees knees local mpls honey....thank you Kristy) As i rode through town and tried to swallow the half  a jar of peanut butter I smothered my sandwich with, the spectators were going crazy. I saw my Mom and aunt Ginny again and waved to them. It just so happened that when i waved the crowd went nuts. Hehe

I then started my second loop. Feeling great. I knew i still had to take it easy...I had a 56 mi ride (most of it climbing) and a marathon to run. hehe.
I had hit my 56 mi split at 3 hours ...which was really good, ahead of schedule for my goal. So i knew i could slow down and do the next loop in 3.5 hours. I kept riding and kept up with my nutrition plan, ahead of my nutrition plan actually. At the aid stations i would swing in,  catch a water, gu and bonk breaker bar and keep riding, with out stopping or getting off my bike. I hadn't even gotten off my bike to stretch or anything yet.
It was at mile 80 that i started to feel the fatigue. My stomach was starting to hurt and Gu's were beginning to taste like rancid snot. A few times i caught myself riding too fast in the flats. My legs weren't tired, they felt good, but my energy level was waning. I took it easy on the 25 mile climb into town, and thinking back I'm glad i did. If i would have kept pushing it I would have paid dearly at mile 3 on the marathon.
Pulling into town, It felt good to get off the bike. I wasn't completely sick of the bike but glad to get off and run. The bike aid stations had been great. Volunteers would hand you anything from Gu's to bananas to water bottles, I don't think i missed a hand off once.

So on to the run...at this point it was 3 pm, the hottest hour of the day. I began my marathon at exactly the time i wanted to. My recently acquired exercise induced asthma had started acting up around mile 90 on the bike, and I was really starting to feel it. I was running at a good pace but my stomach was starting to hurt really bad; it was more than my stomach too, my insides were in severe pain. I couldn't eat anything solid and Gu's were starting to not be possible to eat. I made it one loop, stopped at my special needs bag and changed my socks, the ones i wore were soaked from putting ice in my hat and cold sponges in my shirt. When i sat down to change them was when i noticed how bad my legs were cramping, I've never had cramps like that in my life. 
From there I got up and carried on...i was feeling worse and worse and stopping and walking frequently.
Around then a middle aged man passed me, and said "Wow,... 28 and gonna be Ironman, ....wish i woulda done that"
I was extremely surprised at my response, but it went like this:
"yea if i make it"
he shot back "Don't even say that!"

That should be a testament for what was coming next, and how i felt.

When i think about that memory, i am very thankful for that man.

It was about then, at about mile 16 when I stopped, i was dehydrated, at severe caloric deficiency, and was having a hard time breathing with my asthma.
I felt like I couldn't walk,
I felt like i couldn't stand,
I was on my knees heaving, in the ditch... surrounded by a beautiful field of horse pasture, surrounded by the gorgeous Adirondack mountains. The horses had seen this before, the other athletes as well. Everyone knows, the ditch is not the place you want to be. Coming out of the rhubarb is even harder, regardless of the sport, that is not where you want to be.

At that point I was in a world of hurt. My vision was construed, and i was not sure i was going to finish the race. i was not sure i was going to live.
I thought i was going to die -  and I'm not kidding.

With the heat is beating down on you and you feel like you can't walk, you feel like you can't stand, you feel like you can't breathe, the next stage, naturally would be death. If there is no going further, returning to the dirt is next.
I was expecting to feel like i may die during this race....(ha! I came prepared. hehe)

But I was not expecting to doubt myself.

My mouth felt like a desert. I thought I had no nutrition on me until i stuck my hand in my back pocket and pulled out a blueberry roctane Gu. I knew then, that i was getting enough electrolytes but not enough calories. My stomach hurt so bad I didn't think I could eat anything. I knew i was going to have to force something down, that was not going to be fun. I knew one thing, I was not going to turn around, I pulled myself up, and I walked toward the next aid station, over a mile at that point, taking little drops of the last Gu I had, gagging each time, but feeling a bit better. I knew when I got to the next aid station i would have to force some food down. I got there and looked for what i thought had the most calories per volume, which was a chocolate chip cookie and some pretzels.
Now most people that know me, know that I LOVE chocolate chip cookies, but during Ironman, no way, they were hardly palatable.
I took a bite of the cookie and gagged, my mouth was still like a desert. I was able to keep everything down fortunately. It was just after then, that I started to feel better, actually i felt AMAZING. i couldn't believe how quick i popped back. Before i knew it i was running again. i also succumbed to trying the chicken broth on the course, which i thought would be terrible, but a volunteer convinced me to try it.
The chicken broth was actually really good and proved to help. Onward i ran feeling better and better.... i felt like i had a whole new life in me. I felt amazing, i knew i was going to finish Ironman, and i was going to feel good at the end of the race, and not need medical attention. I had pulled an entire 180. I was alive again!

I caught alot of people that had passed me..

So i was chattin it up with quite a few people on the course...i told probably 15 people..."ya know ....back there when i was in the dirt...i thought i was going to die! I really did...turns out if you can hold some food down, it really helps." ... i ran and did not stop. There are 2 big hills going into town, both equaling almost 300 feet of climbing...i ran up them both...at the end of Ironman. No one else was running up them. I felt so good ...I was about to finish Ironman! I made it into town and when i was turning the corner i saw Steve. i yelled " keep it up, nice work Steve Berg!" He was about to enter the oval and finish. So i knew John was not far behind him, and i only had 2 miles to go. Faster i ran, harder i pushed. The last 2 miles were an out and back. I knew i would see John somewhere close. Finally i saw him, he was walking, and he didn't see me when our paths crossed! So i ran to the turn around and headed back towards to the Olympic oval. About 1/2 mile before the finish I saw John, ran up on him, gave him a tap on the shoulder and yelled " I got my second wind!" and kept running, I wondered if he would try to catch me, but i had a good lead and i was moving. I entered the oval feeling great, I crossed the finish line at 13:09:00 and yelled out a big Whoooo! 2 volunteers immediately grabbed me by the arms and escorted me towards the food and water. One of them stayed with me for a bit, tried to talk me into one of those metal blankets (which i can't stand) and then let me go.

Then the eating began....fruit, sandwiches, pizza,
In the morning i ate 2 huge omelette's, tons of veggies, a pile of potatoes and bacon and sausage.
Took a nap, got up, ate a huge salad and some Guinness,
Took another nap, got up ate an entire pizza, drank more Guinness
Wow

Unforgettable experience

:)

Yes, I will do it again

I will never stop pushing myself



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ironman bound

Well,

its here... 51 weeks ago we all signed up for the most challenging thing we have ever encoutered. And now its here. i can say with confidence i am ready. ive been training for 9 months and i am ready. in the past year i learned how to swim with efficiency, and i love it. 1 year ago i did not know how to swim, that is important to remember. it feels so good to move through the water like a fish....instead of like a gasping chicken doing the crappie flop :)
were on the way,  in a really nice camper. a totally sick camper actually...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

106 + 17

Well,

After the Liberty Tri, I am 5 weeks out from IRONMAN LAKE PLACID! Which really means 3 weeks out from tapering down. Not alot of time. The first weekend after Liberty, Dad and I went for a 106 mi bike ride in the hills of western Wisconsin. Total elevation gain 4500. That's right where we need to be for Lake Placid. The ride felt great, we stopped in Maiden Rock, WI for quiche and coffee and saw thier Veterans march down main street in a parade. During the last 5 miles of the ride we got rained on pretty good.
Then on Sunday, I got out for a 17 mi run! I ran Minnehaha creek to Lake Harriet, around Lake Harriet and back home. Felt great. legs were fatigued but overall happy with a successful weekend.

106 miles is the farthest i've ever biked in a day and 17 miles is the furthest i've ever ran in a day...:)

Liberty Half Ironman 70.3

Liberty Half Ironman!!

What a race! I finished in just under 5:20! Which i was very happy with...all things considered. The heat was 92 degrees. The humidity could have been cut through with a butter knife. The swim went mediocre, 39 min. I got very distracted on the swim with getting kicked a lot. I need to learn to ignore that and keep swimming instead of popping my head up. The bike course was great, rolling hills. 2:47 was my time. 20 mph average. I didn't push it too hard on the bike because i wanted to have a good run...The only people passing me had race wheels and aero helmets, so i was happy about that. Then the run came. The first 7 miles i felt great. After that the exercise induced asthma kicked in. The humidity was restricting my breathing quite a bit and reduced me to 3 miles at a 10 min pace. WOW...i went from running 7:30's to 10. I was not getting enough oxygen, and i was too tired/zoned out/full of endorphins/numb to recognize that myself. I still finished strong with a 1:50, but at the finish line i was in rough shape. My lips turned blue! Almost entering the medic tent, i recovered after about 20 min of catching my breath. Once i popped back i felt great. During the recovery time I did not realize i was not getting enough oxygen. LESSON LEARNED!! Take deep breaths even if your lungs are in pain.
It's amazing how each race is different and you are faced with new challenges.

I saw alot of friends on the course. What a great weekend! Thank you to everyone who shared it with me.

Friday, May 18, 2012

100 miler!

100 Miles! Prescott to Nelson! Fuck Yea! What a great ride, we stopped in Maiden Rock (x2) for Quiche and Turkey sandwhiches. I felt great after the ride, I could have kept going, it was a blast. We chatted with an 80 year old woman (tough bird) who was selling vegetables from her garden, and aprons that she made, beautiful vintage fabric. We are going back this weekend and I'm hoping she will be there again. Stand by for photos. Sunday i ran 11.5 in the morning This weekend was a serious confidence booster. I'm feeling great about upcoming races. The past couple weeks i had some concerns...still have some...But last weekend was exactly what i needed. Also May Day was on Sunday. My Black Cherry apple cider (5 gal) did not last long. Yum. We had a perfect day for it. What a great weekend. Lots of gratitude for the people in my life. :)

Minnetonka 1/2 Marathon

Well, I ran Lake Minnetonka 1/2 marathon for the 3rd year in a row. I was not expecting a PR. But i did it! 1:33! On a slightly hill course! It was such a great race! Perfect running weather, we were supposed to get rained on but it held off. I stuck with the 7:15 pacer for the first 10 miles, Wanting to pull away at every mile marker...but held off until mile 10. Then peeled out. Not sure how fast i was running the last 3 miles, but final pace was 7.09 min/mile. So it must have been 6:45 or so. I should have taken off at mile 8. It was so fun! I almost puked at the end of the race. I finished 117th overall, top 10% in my age group! It's amazing how you get faster and faster, the more miles you put on. I'm excited to continue to break my PR's. The Monster Dash will be a great opportunity for that.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Turn it up

Well, As if training hasn't been serious for the last 6 months, it time to turn it up. Really turn it up. Next week were gonna ride 100 miles, in the hill in Prescott, WI. At this point I need to be swimming 3 times per week, Riding at least 1 huge ride per week, and one long run per week, and a bunch of shorter stuff/speed work in between. My day off right now consists of biking 10 miles... I'm hoping next week to get in 17 hours.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Insight Gained

Well, I had kind of a wake up on Sunday...Ironman is 12 weeks out!!! Holy Shit! :) Something kind of hit me...9 months ago, I thought, as training gets more intense and we get closer to the date, I'll feel better and better about the race, I'll gain confidence with my strength and ability. I thought as the race gets closer i'll think, no problem, i got this.... Au Contraire... As we get closer to the race i've started to learn and gain insight into what i really got myself into. As your training gets closer to Ironman distance, you start to really understand the potential severity of this race and what it's really gonna be like. You start to gain a valid and acurate understanding of it. I believe that insight and understanding is not possible with out the actual experience. There's a wide mix of emotions. Excited, nervous, giddy, and i'd be lying if i said i didn't feel the slightest, smallest moment of fear, while watching an Ironman video the other day. That is something, that is new! A few months ago i didn't experience that. Fear is something that i experience rarely. It was just for a second though.........hehehe :)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Update!

Well, It's been about 2 years since my last post...Of course a lot has changed...I finished school. Got out of the restaurant business, got a job with a behavioral health company, have learned a ton through work and more life experiences. Also got REALLY into triathlons... Did my first sprint tri last year, then a half iron, then the next day signed up for Ironman Lake Placid. So the last 6 months of my life has been consumed with training... learning how to to swim has been a lot of fun... once you realize that you probably will not die while swimming (in a pool)... it's not so bad. Hehe. I actually have really fell in love with swimming. It's a lot of fun to shred water. Last year at the end of July, during my 70.3 distance race, i could not swim the 1.2 distance freestyle. I had to turn over on my back and do the back stroke, (which by the way, i also did not know how to do..) But i at least had my head out of the water and could breathe, I couldn't steer (which presented a whole other problem), but i could breathe.... . No joke, i was doing everything wrong...EVERYTHING. Breathing wrong (yea, how can you breathe wrong?), kicking wrong, my stroke was wrong....I might as well have put my wet suit on upside-down, and my goggles on backwards and tried swimming... So the last 6 months i have been swimming a minimum of 2 times per week. I haven't missed a swim class since Oct. I have learned how to swim!!!! I still have plenty of areas to improve, but i'm not flopping around like a dying fish anymore. I recently realized that i NEED to be writing more, especially during intense training like this. This is when insight is gained. A bit more on training. Up until a month ago or so, it wasn't too bad... not too hard, or grueling. Last year, training for half iron distance, was nothing like this...I have never felt my energy be so depleted; my muscles have never been as sore as they have been the last 2 months. But it's a good sore. I'm missing traveling... This winter was the first winter i haven't got out of dodge for a bit. Which was ok, the winter was very mild, It's also a good reminder of how lucky i am to have been able to get out for a bit each year. Some might say I'm kind of a spoiled little shit like that. :) I believe i'm grateful for it though. It's all about making things happen, and anyone can do that. Another thing that has changed my life for the better is something called Heath Realization or the Three Principles. The principles explain why our perceptions appear so real to us, and a lot about our perceptions of our own reality. This is a subject i've been very interested for a long time, and somehow i landed a job that i get to teach this stuff. I really haven't figured out how i ended up with the job i have, i feel like i sort of gravitated to it. When i was going to school i had absolutely no idea this is what i would be doing. I'm not sure if that is luck, karma, good fortune or good unconscious planning, but it worked out, in my favor. Yet another reason why i believe i'm a very lucky person. This may sound like ridiculous, hippy rhetoric, judge it as you like, or don't... maybe just let it be. Consider this: What would it be like ... to let the world be... instead of wishing things were different, instead of straightening the picture frame that is crooked, instead of trying to control what others do or say, or judging what they do or say, just accept them as they are. Let it be. It can be very relieving to let that stuff go. You can't control what people think, no matter what they are going to have their own perceptions, regardless of how hard you try to affect them, They will always have their own separate reality. Anyways... enough of that, otherwise life is good here. I look forward to what future experiences may bring. Like crossing the finish line of at Ironman. I'm pretty sure my perceptions at that point will be very interesting.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Purpose? naw...

The summer is going fast!
I have tons to write about with little time.

I'm almost done with this semester of summer school. Which i'm excited about, I'm graduating in December and i'll be thankful to be done.
Something kind of peculiar happened to me on Wednesday night during my senior seminar class. My professor, Prof Payne, was asking us to evaluate ourselves on a 6 dimensional scale and share with the person next to us. well that went fine, and then he started talking about our purpose in life, and asking people "what is your purpose in life"
Now - this is something i am very interested in and have spent an immeasurable amount of time and mental energy on. When i say alot of time, I mean alot, like... years.
So i raise my hand and ask (Prof. Payne and I have spent alot of time together)
"Are you actually asking what our purpose in life is?"
he replies with "Well, Yea"
At first, I'm in disbelief.
Then the peer to my left turns and says "I know what my purpose in life is"
I reply "Well thats fantastic, but i haven't a clue, I have ideas, but how would i know, What if my purpose in life is to have fun?
The class then asks "Would you be disappointed if having fun was your purpose in life"
I say "No, not at all, i just would want to know, so i could focus on that and not think about it anymore." Subsequently, there were other classmates who also said they knew their purpose in life. Maybe there are more people than i realize that have their purpose figured out.
This discussion goes on for a bit with other classmates and finally it hits me.
I believe my purpose in life is to EXPERIENCE NEW THINGS! New people, tastes, smells, feelings, sights, sensations, places. Everything! Diversity! I really enjoy it all.
In the past i've written about how a new bad experience is still beneficial. You felt something new, even if it was bad, it was something you have never experienced before. probably learned something at the same time too.
This explains it all. He He. This is what motivates me, new experiences.
I've also been learning how to achieve new experiences with only mental energy. Something that takes a lot of time and practice.
Anyways,
It was a nice epiphany (or perceived epiphany)
I believe worth sharing.

Disclaimer:
This doesn't really mean that i have anything figured out, i also will not forget that there is a good chance we have more than one purpose in life (i should hope so, one purpose seems a bit cheap, he)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

These Days

Well,

Unfortunately i have been too busy to write all summer. I have been struggling for a while to be able to continue to do things that i really want to do.
Yes, i want to finish school and graduate, yes i want to learn at my internship.
But really i want to read books on the beach, I really want to go for long bike rides and camp on the river. I really want to slay sunnies!
Fortunately i have been able to do some of that.
Some.
The summer will slip away soon.
Thats ok though
Seizing the day can happen any time of year


I am running the TC 10 mile again this year. My father got in this time too! I'm hoping my knee feels okay, i'll need to take precautions and stretch it properly.

Also, a few months ago i built a chicken coop.
With the help of the fabulous baker boys i'm a proud chicken farmer! I've got 5 hens that are doing well. We'll see how winter goes, i still need to insulate their coop. This has been a really fun project and i am really happy to have gone through with it.

This is the 2nd year i have had a community garden. It's going well but there's a learning curve, i have new ideas for next year. Always improving!

My internship will be done in 4 weeks now and i plan to play catch up on summer.
I'm talking to some people about a 100 mile ride (bicycle)
and i'd like to do a little bike tour and camp along the way, maybe only 3 days or something.
Camp V is planned for september, which i am really excited about. 4th year running?

Anyways,
i'm happy
sometimes i get stressed
but i'm happy
thats the goal
i hope you are too.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

1/2 Marathon Results

Well,

The race went well. I finished in my goal time. 7 min 54 sec average mile. A friend of my fathers was running the race also and caught me at the finish line. When we checked the stats...he beat me by 1/5th of a second.
My knee was acting up unfortunately, so i cant say i enjoyed the race that much...but it was the furthest i've ran so far.

total time
1 hour 44 min 11.9 sec

stay tuned for photo's of the finish

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Half Marathon

On sunday i am running in my first half marathon ever.
13.1 miles will be the longest i have ever ran. I am so excited!
Were gonna teach those Minnetonka folk how grade "a" beef moves.
Faster than them i hope.
After that is the May Day Parade. which is right outside my house.
A whole day of festivities!
I think by the end of it i'll sleep well.

Stay tuned for results on the race, and the number of people i leave in the dust! (not sure if the high class in Minnetonka know what dust is but i'll make sure to kick some up for them)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Minneapolis is #1 !!

In case you haven't heard:

http://wcco.com/local/biking.best.cycling.2.1614588.html

If you are a biker, Minneapolis is the best place to live according to Bicycling Magazine.

The May issue of Bicycle Magazine just came out and named Minneapolis the most bike-friendly city in America.

The city moved into the number one spot after being named runner-up last year.

Portland, Ore., Boulder, Colo., Seattle, Wash., and Eugene, Ore. are the cites that round out the top five.

The cities are ranked based on the number of bike lanes and routes, bike commuters, cycling events and renowned bike shops.

Minneapolis has 127 miles of bikeways, with 83 of those being off-street trails. There is more bike parking per capita in Minneapolis than any other city in the country. The city also has many bike amenities and big bicycling community.

In June, Minneapolis will start the largest bike-share program in the country.

The worst cycling cities are Birmingham, Ala., Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn.

Having commuted by bike for over 5 years now, and being part of a bike shop and many different events i am very happy and very proud of our city and the people in it. People are catching on to the efficiency of bikes in the city. It's just smarter. Plain and Simple.

Spring/Summer

The day is sunny
the colors beautiful,
so much to do my head is spinning
too many choices
that is the modern problem with my generation.
too hard to focus with swarms of everything flying around my head.
just want to run for the hills
or the beach
anything simpler than this.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Maple Hardwood Floors

I have been working on a few different projects around the house. None of them as intense as the project of sanding and finishing the maple hardwood floors. When i bought this house, there was disgusting stained carpet everywhere, except the dining room and living room. So i tore that up and found hardwood floors...with paint and old finish on them...and lots of it. Somebody had taken a paint sprayer and sprayed the trim and not put down anything to block the paint from hitting the floor. (why i aughta)
So dad and i began taking paint remover and scraping it off...
after maybe a day of scraping shit off the floor on our hands a knees and a few pints, we decided we needed a knew method. Too much sweat was pouring out with little result.
We went to the next step of renting a floor sander...what a great idea, i just have to walk behind the damn thing.
Well i rented an orbital floor sander that just didn't quite do it. It wasn't strong enough and didn't take the paint off quick enough. After a day of that (and a few pints) we decided we needed a drum sander. With some recommendations i went to Pete's Hardwood Flooring in St. Paul. They gave me some training and sent me off with 3 different sanders: drum sander, edge sander, and a radiator sander.
With the help of some friends (Jordan, Adan and my Dad, thank you all) we started sanding. I knew this was going to be a really big job...but i wasn't sure quite how big. We sanded about 400 sq feet with 5 different grits of sand paper.
By the end of it i was exhausted. It took 3 long days of kick your ass work.
I decided to finish the floors with a flat finish made of wax, linseed oil and flaxseed oil. It looks great and isn't the traditional glossy floor finish you see in rich people's houses. hehe.

Here are some before and after photos:




cold press

Today its 70 degrees.

I'm having my first cold press of the year
my gums are numb.
It was a big cold press.
: ))

March

March is over. That signifies a few different things for me. First off, this was the 5th winter that i survived cycling through the arctic tundra that Minneapolis is. This is by no means bragging; i feel an overwhelming sense of pride. Pride in my beliefs, pride in what i accomplished, and happy to keep doing it. Life in excess is nothing i want to be a part of, and that doesn't mean i think driving in the winter is morally wrong. I just discovered I don't have to do it.

My winter bike is in ruins at this point. It really did me well, carried me many miles through rain, sleet, snow, potholes, paved and unpaved road. I have replaced every component on the bike during the last 5 years (except the handlebars and stem). It also has colonies of thriving rust all over it. The worst of areas is beneath the seat post, where i had to re-weld the seat stays after a sign fell on it and snapped them off.

Also this has been a record breaking March...No snow...not a flake...i saw some hail one day...


This is not the end of that bike frame my friends!!!
The Eager Beaver will ride on!!
Off in to the sunset.
It needs new bearings in both hubs and a new chain, but after that it will be basically brand new....well... as new as its gonna get.



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bike Ride!!

Just recently a friend of mine told me about a park just out of minneapolis that is connected by bike trail. This park has a camping area, many lakes, fishing, hiking, and much more! Well that just sounds great, a place i can bike to and camp.
So a few days ago, Teeny and i decide to bike out to the park. The trail consists of 10 miles of paved trail and 15 of limestone trail. Its still March but we are having a very warm march; it was about 55 degrees with the sun out that afternoon. First we made it to Hopkins and after that the limestone trail starts. The trail was a bit muddy as we had alot of snow this year, but it was a beautiful ride. We made it out to the park after 25 miles. Unfortunately we didn't get to explore the park very much as the pub was calling our names. On the way back we stopped at Jake O'conner's for a pint, whisky and some shepard's pie. mmm. After that we were on our way home and made it as the sun fell.

50 mile spring ride!

Hopefully there will be many more to come with camping and fishing included.

Here's the route:

http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3553884

I rode my Surly Long Haul Trucker that i recently built and it performed well... The brakes i decided to put on the bike turned out to be not a very good choice. They work, but not as well as i would like.

Overall good ride, good bike.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010

The only poem in 6 months

The light sparkles from a few as we're all on different paths
If your lucky and smart you might catch some of it
It might show you something
It may make you feel something
Have fun
Find joy in all things
If something makes you smile
Well. Then. Smile
and enjoy it
Laugh. Laugh out-loud and enjoy it
Cry and enjoy it
Don't hold back
Don't die a stubborn, prideful bigot
Live with excitement, love and eagerness
Let people inspire you
Instead of keeping your pride,
you may actually be able to learn something from someone else
Just Maybe-
There are so many beautiful people in the world
with ideas, and thoughts and feelings
far different from yours.
You should talk to them


Hi, My name's Brett
How do ya like me so far!

Las Lajas, Panama

We pulled in to some cabanas (rustic cabins) late night after being lost for an hour. It seemed even longer because i was driving. As we were walking around the seemingly deserted area another car pulled up. We had checked the huts and they didn't have anything but a bed and a shelf. Which is exactly what you need in a beach hut. The lizards and grasshoppers roam free here, jumping from shoulder to shoulder.
We went back to the chained off entrance to talk to the other car. He found the property manager and woke him, and luckily he let us pass. He gave us some sheets, that barely stretched half of the bed and said good night.
We were left to our huts and bottle of rum to stare at the stars.
STARE WE DID!
There was very little light pollution and the stars were incredible. One of my top 3 star gazing nights. It was if we were at a basketball game and all of the cameras flashes were going off as Michael Jordan dunked the ball from the free throw line. A dunk like that only happens for 3 seconds. Now imagine it for over an hour.
The stars were competing for our attention that night.
They wouldn't stop sparkling and shining and shimmering!
We saw quiet a few shooting stars as well.
I don't know if we realized it at the time but i'm pretty sure it was a new moon. I don't remember seeing the moon, and it was a dark night.
Especially being in rural panama. You had to be lost to find this place.
When we woke up the next morning with the sun so bright i couldn't see with out sunglasses
We had a huge beach with one other family on it. When i say a huge beach i mean massive.
We picked coconuts for breakfast. Delicious coconuts.
Then...... we were off on our next adventure.
: )

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Post!

Hello Hello,

Well i have to apologize, i haven't written in 10 months or so. Plenty has been happening around minneapolis and in my life...i guess i just haven't felt like writing.

First and foremost...I bought a house in august for those of you who didn't hear. I have been very busy with that, fixing and repairing things. So far things are going pretty well. I'm enjoying having the freedom to do what i want with a place. It has changed some of my opinions now that i am (as my uncle Mark would say) a real tax paying son of a bitch. hehe.
I have been practicing a lot of yoga the last year. lately its been every other day. I am really enjoying the challenges that has presented and always look forward to new poses and expressions.
This summer i was running quite a bit. My father and I had some great times running early morning.
Also i ran the Twin Cities 10 mile race last October and had a blast. I averaged 8:07 per mile, and crossed the finish line in a sprint. I guess i got excited when i saw the crowd. I registered for the Lake Minnetonka half marathon in May and look forward to that.

This summer and fall wasn't easy though, my family has had some tough times, but we pulled through, we always do.

I stuck around minneapolis for the summer and enjoyed the wonderful weather here. Went on some great camping trips to Vagasil Island on the St. Croix river.

My next adventure is coming up very soon......Panama!
After booking the tickets realized i will be there during Carnival! The biggest celebration in the world!!! (basically) 3 days long....
I look forward to surfing, hiking a volcano, deserted islands, fresh seafood, and warm weather.
I will hopefully be writing frequently now.
tell then
Ta Ta


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Summer

Summer is almost here. Tomorrow is supposed to be 85!
as always things are looking great for this summer.
There will be biking and kayaking!
camping and hiking.
and Gardening! i have my first gardening plot

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I think i need to move away from MPLS. I cant do another winter here
There are just too many other places that are far more amazing than MPLS in the winter.
fuck that noise

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Puerto Rico is an interesting little place.
The weather is perfect. Tropical with an abundance of fruit.
We picked mangos, almonds, and coconuts.
I met some really great people in such a short amount of time.
Nick and Claire's families were so wonderful. So generous and kind.
It was wonderful to meet them.
I had some really great unexpected experiences.
The beaches are gorgeous
I need to remember the emotions i was experiencing when i was out there.
There is alot to learn from this one
plenty. just dont forget it.

But i'm home now
let it all blend

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rincon

Rincon is beautiful.
I met up with nick and claire today...so wonderful to see them...
We are in rincon at claire's grama's house...on the beach....with such a positive energy here...I am very happy to be here spending here with them.

Meeting up with them was kinda funny
i left old san juan today in a caro publico
and found an old Hamm's beer hat in the back...(which is something i've been looking for. its a really great hat)

Old San Juan was nice...wouldnt spend more than 2 days there...Met some other travelers and hung out for a bit...THey were really cool. Made some really great connections. One guy in particular was great...we had such great time talking and see the world in a very similar light.
Truely unique experience should be valued more.
we had some of that for sure.

I'm confident we will meet again...or maybe we already have.

cant wait for surfing...tomorrow 7 am. nick is taking me out...he's basically pro.
really he amazing...

life is good...my head is satisfied with the wonderful environment i am luckily in.
for the moment
thank you

Friday, March 27, 2009

Puerto Rico

Well...i'm in Puerto Rico right now...
Old San Juan...staying in a really old building. for $16 per night...its perfect...kind of reminds me of the hostel the guy stayed in in the book The Beach.
This is the oldest city in the United States. I really like it for what it is...kind of toursity.. but over all really unique...There are walls here from the 1600's still up. Lots of pastel bright colors... The first few days have been really interesting... so far some unexpected stuff...but it feels good to be in a new city...that i have never experienced...meeting new people and enjoying the hot sun and beautiful ocean...
I made it to Vieques the first day...which i was a bit surprised...set up camp on the beach...and work up to such a beautiful scene. The second night it rained a bit but i stayed dry...The waves were loud though...cant complain about that though..
Went to the Bioluminescent bay...which was really something to see in your lifetime...i cant really explain in over the comp...i'll explain it when we are face to face...
just picture sparks underwater all over you...in the ocean at night. only when you move though.

amazing...

I'm going to Rincon in a few days for more beach camping and surf. And to help my wonderful friends with thier wedding...
I think i am baking vegan cupcakes as their dessert...this will be the second wedding i have baked the ceremonial dessert for!...let me know if you want to book me for your wedding! may need to contact me a few months in advance...
and i charge big time!

ok internet is expensive here..gotta run...
be well.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

AIG

You greedy assholes.
I could fucking strangle these money hungry wolves
about 70% of of the employees that received bonuses received more than $100,000.
The highest bonus being 6.4 million
and 15 people receiving more than 2 million.
And now their chief executive is asking them to give half back?
How about you give it all back and pay a fine.
they need to get wacked between the eyes.
go team america!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Well after this blog being down for a bit...its back up!
sorry to anyone who thought i was blocking them...the blog was closed to everyone.

I was hibernating a little bit this winter.
atleast from writing.

anyways...news is i bought a ticket for Puerto Rico...i leave in 13 days...kinda put that one off a bit.
hehe
I have some friends getting married down there and another friend that will be traveling in Puerto Rico as well.
The goals include:
practicing spanish
surfing
camping as much as possible
kayaking and swimming with bioluminescent plankton (at night of course)
Spending time with wonderful people.
hike some puerto rican mountains

Friday, February 13, 2009

Someday i will run through the fields
with nothing holding me back.
not even modern clothing
you will dance and run with me
the flowers will sing
the pollen will fly
we will smile and laugh
until we fall down
at that point life will be great
but it may not last long.
unless we stay together
and run forever

the stale cold will be gone
and we will not notice it
we wont remember how bad it gets
because we have green.
and the empty gray is gone

live in it
life

Monday, January 5, 2009

run.

went for a run today...which usually i hate doing...

decided i was going to run a mile.... then decided i was going to run another.
First one 7 min flat
Second in 6:40!!!

I dont think that i have ran a mile since high school. and even then i dont think i ran it in 7 min.

it felt really good. i think i like running now.
i think i'm gonna run everywhere!
hehe just kidding, that was a movie.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Good bye Christmas

Wow am i glad Christmas is over.
This is going down as the worst christmas in history.

First off the santa killer is such a terrible story. That is so sad and awful.

second, how ironic is it that Eartha Kitt, famous for singing "Santa Baby" dies on christmas?
are you kidding? is that real? santa must have really come for her. After all that singing she did for Santa, maybe she got him all excited and never delivered? who knows?

And i did not have a good holiday season at all. No offense to everyone i spent it with. or the ones i didn't spend it with.
The holidays are really just kinda ridiculous.
I'm all for quality time with loved ones but i try to spend quality time with them year round, not just once a year.
Its just silly.
Wait.....hold on. i know whats coming next...
I'm a grinch...................Good one.

And the holiday music really tops it off. oh man, i'm glad thats done
Worst holiday ever.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

life is really crazy.
think about it
for atleast a second.
it really is something.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Scratch that last post...

I got an offer a day after for a job at Brant Lake Bowl!!
They are offering health insurance after 90 days too
i would love to have health insurance.

Anyways, i am pumped, come visit me at the BLB!!

Citizen cafe is still a really great place to eat, check that out too.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I got a job!
I got a job!
I got a job!

I just got so excited i put on the Old Wisconsin Slim record (speed 78)
I danced freely in my room to all four songs!!
Yee Haa!!!
It was a real hootenany!!

Citizen Cafe
Come visit the quaint cafe with excellent food and now better service!!!
38th st and 24 ave So. MPLS!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

my body is limp
laying there.
it has been worked to exhaustion
it is so tolling
yet it still cannot rest

there is a line,
a certain amount of everything that the human body can endure
we are not invincible
all along i had been thinking i was invincible
no body told me
i wouldn't have listened anyways.

and then it began.
right as i was lying here,
i felt my brain being massaged
not my scalp, but my brain
it was so soothing.
i drifted off...then back in.
it stayed clear for a bit.
there was nothing in my world
it has all drifted away

Then the most wonderful loving pressure was on my head
not a bad pressure but a pressure like you are getting a hug
some one was giving me a hug. They knew i needed it.
bizarre
amazing
evolution

Friday, November 28, 2008

Being Home

I have been home for over a week now.
I can say i am not very happy to be home.
Adjusting has been harder than ever.
I did not expect this at all.
It is so dark here.
I was used to another 5 or 6 hours of bright sunny day.

Its weird how my emotions are flying around.
I am totally out of my element
its not fun
I'm not myself

Usually i feel i can adapt a bit faster than this but its harder than usual right now.

maybe planes are a bad idea
Transporting people into a totally different place,
in such a short amount of time

my mind needs meditation.
It needs to be clear.
for atleast 1 minute
please?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Poems of an unknown author

I need to be free
I need to be free as a bird.
Free as a stray Argentinean Perro.
yes stray
and yes free and happy
free to see, explore and learn

do not tell me what to do
do not try to control me or any part
I'll knock your dick in the dirt faster than a shot of whiskey
you wont be able to say
run free spirit, run free
fly free

Don't try to hold me back
Don't tell me I'm wrong
I wont hear you, the wind will take it away

I will continue to hike the paths of of past explorers and know:
THIS IS REAL

When nothing is around me
nothing in this dimension
i have some sense of the world being real
I will continue to see everything that i can
Take it in
Learn from it
Never stop

I need to be free
free as a bird

Poems of an anonymous author

Sobering up is like traveling through time.
you sit there and watch eveyrthing move around you,
wondering when you're gonna get to the other side,
how much time its gonna take,
and how hard its going to be.
There's so much going on around you
all with very little meaning
But it moves, and it moves fast
and you are still.
When you try to think about how long you have been in this state
you have no idea
Eventually things slow down and you arrive at your destination
Afterwards you sit and wonder what world or dimension you were just in
or if you were even Alive.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

photos

Whiskey on the Glacier


Perito Merino, one of the biggest glaciers in the world and still advancing
there is hope




on a hike in El Calafete



Before Paragliding




James and i grilling Argentina style



Wine tasting in Mendoza

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama

Yesterday was a fantastic day
for so many reasons

We started out at 9:30 taking a bus out to some wine country in Mendoza. There we rented bikes and proceded to our 7 vinyard tour. all on bicycle!!!
it was a blast i got to taste some really fantastic wine. we actually made it to about 5 wineries.

After that we headed back into town. Our friend Kama´s birthday was yesterday and we grilled a ton of food and had great drinks while watching the election results.
We were cheersing to Kama and Obama!!!
THe lemon marange pie was magnificent as well.

Dinner was served around 10 or 11 (standard argentine dinner time) after that we went to the Irish pub and finished there.
Today some how i am feeling alright

As the results from the election came in i was with people from all around the world. Everyone cheered when the results for California and Washington came in.
everyone was very happy
It was very surreal for me watching it on TV and not being in the states.
i feel so much better about our future.
breathe easy

TOnight i am headed south on a long bus.
patagonia is next, which i am so excited about but wish i had more time.
i will get photos up soon

ohh also, i went paragliding over Mendoza,
it was pretty cool
kinda crazy
you just run off a mountian cliff with a parachute on and off you go.
there is absolutly nothing around you except air.
it almost didnt seem real

ok all for now
i am so happy i will be able to come back to the states now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Photos!!!

scroll down to previous posts for more photos
finally


video
monkey drinking beer

Dali painting? Nope, just southwest Bolivia