Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Finish Strong, Start Stronger.


It's that time of year again. The time when we all start to reflect on our past year and think about setting some benchmarks for the coming year. Have you taken any time to review your 2022 goals and see where you stack up? Are there are some boxes you were unable to check? I've probably done more self reflection and personal development work this past year than any other time in my life. Well, there IS that one time I didn't do the term paper and got tossed off the basketball team but that's another blog all together 😩. As we steam toward 2023 I thought I would share a few things that I've been working on to make next year a great year.

I was asked these questions by Mental Toughness Coach Ben Newman:

What are the habits and disciplines over the last 30 days that have been working the best for you?

Take a few minutes to sit and reflect about what you've been up to for the last month or so. What has worked? For me, I committed to doing "The Unrequired" workout every day. I don't have a timeline, I'm just doing it every day. In the process I have had a few days where I did not want to do it. The momentum I have created by pushing through those days has made me stronger mentally. And the work out is making me stronger physically. I'm not riding my bike on 100 miles, I'm not running crazy distance. I'm simply doing the same one hour workout every single day. Sharpening the sword.

What is the biggest area of opportunity in the next 30 days?

How can you best spend your time? If you look out 30 days ahead what do you see? We all have no problem seeing all the challenges, the bumps in the road. But what are the opportunities? What would happen if you poured into that? Are there new relationships to be made? Do you see new business opportunities? Try to identify these opportunities so that you can be in a better position to capitalize on them in the coming 30 days.

What are the habits and disciplines that you have created that can be left behind in 2022?

It's been said that the best way to create change is to do it in small steps. Drop one bad habit at a time. Wholesale change typically ends with us reverting back to the bad habits we have created. What would happen if you changed one thing for the entire year?  Pick one thing, commit to not doing that anymore. I have started a "never do it again list". This isn't something that I would post on social media but it's something that I look at from time to time to remind myself that I'm trying to be better.  Give yourself some grace. If you have 10 things on your list and you accomplish eight of them, are you not in a better place? All too often we look at falling short as failure rather than reframing it as progress.

What habits and disciplines can you take with you into 2023? 

Hey, we ain't all bad! There are some things that you have done well this year. Make note of them. Stack a few more on top. Bring those good habits with you in 2023. Look at it this way, if you let one bad habit go you've got room for one good habit. Take some time to sit by yourself and write a few things down. What has gone well? Be honest. Don't be afraid to pat yourself on the back here. Maybe you've had a great 2022. If so, what are the things you can repeat in 2023? Why re-create the wheel?

We GET to do this. 

I'll leave you with this. I heard a guy speak about the difference between "I have to do this" and "I get to do this". What's on your schedule today? Are you looking at it and saying "I have to go to the grocery store, I have to do the laundry, I have to, I have to, I have to?" What would happen if you change that to "I GET TO"?  It lands differently doesn't it?  You see, we are all only here for a little while. None of us are getting out of here alive. If you adjust your perspective, sprinkle in a little bit of gratitude and reframe from "I have to" "to I get to" you might be surprised at how you feel.  I get to work out today. I get to pick my daughter up at the airport today. I get to see my family on Christmas. I get to do all the things involved with running a contracting business. What do you GET to do?

OK one last thing...

Another good nugget I got this week was "Finish Strong, Start Stronger."  Many people wait until the end of the year to make change. Today is December 21st.  That gives you 10 days to finish strong so that you can start stronger. You'll get a 10 day jump on everybody else and that little piece of mental toughness kicking around in your mind can be fuel that others don't have. Let's not mail it in. Let's keep our foot on the gas, pick a few things that you can knock off the list by year end. Would you take the last half of the last quarter of the football game off? Would you walk off the field with two outs in the ninth inning? Nope. Hammer down, finish strong, start stronger.

Go forth and conquer. 😊👊. I'm WATCHIN' you! 👀

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Keep Your Chin UP.

Ironman Mont Tremblant 2019 was my most recent Ironman race.  Notice I didn't say "last". 👀.  Anyway, I was cleaning up some files on my computer and I came across this write-up I did after the race.  I don't know that I ever posted it anywhere so I thought I would incorporate it into a blog post.  I have also met a ton of new friends since then and I thought someone might get something out of this. I have often said that if you could write down all the thoughts that go through my head on race day it would be interesting.  This is close. Enjoy! 😊

Thank you ALL for the kind words and encouragement regarding my Ironman finish on Sunday.  I was not as prepared for this one as I would have liked due to some nagging injuries, weight and other things such as life in general.  But are we EVER really where we want to be? Perfectly prepared?  Yeah, maybe sometimes.  But I had a choice, I could sit on the sidelines and mope or I could jump in and do it and see what happens.  I have never been afraid to fail and I truly believe you have to be willing to fail if you want to do something great.  Rather than bow out, I chose to try to focus on the positive and I found many positives along the race course and beyond.  I knew I could swim ok…. And I was pretty sure I could get through the bike ride with a respectable time even though I was showing up with ONE 100 mile ride in my holster.  The running? Well, I knew it would be a grind, or a walk… it was both.  I realized out on the trail when I was walking that my chin was on my chest…I pulled it up…. It went back down.  Pulled it up again and said to myself that I have nothing to be ashamed of.  Hey, you’re out here walking… this is what it’s like.  I realized that THESE are the tough people… the one’s out there doing what amounts to a death march.. and doing it late into the night.  I was walking and shuffling my second lap after managing a shuffle for the first 14 miles or so.  LOTS of those people were on their first loop!  How do you have anything but respect for these guys?  Amazing.  Chin went down again…. Pulled it up… looked straight ahead.  Walking… doing the math…. “ Good Lord, I’m gonna be out here forever”…How many miles is a kilometer..? OK… 9K = One 5k plus 4K… and a K is roughly .6… soooo…. how long IS this thing?  42K?… OK.. So… 21Kx2…divided by 4….  Just get me outta town , and then back… and then out … and back…And on and on….. Somebody tell my family I’m fine…I’m just gonna be awhile…Chin back down…. Back up again… Choked up… pissed off…I’m BETTER than THIS!!!  Then here comes a firefighter in full gear… walking…. Then a guy that had an 8 hour bike due to a mechanical…Saw Brian Brewer on the overpass… That guy is something.. he had friends on the bike and the run at the same time and found the ONE spot on the course that he could support both.  By my count he spent at LEAST 8 hours on that bridge.  I saw him a ways out… God, I can’t let BRIAN see me walking…. Shuffle shuffle shuffle…. Get under the bridge…(walk walk walk)…. Pop out from under bridge… shuffle shuffle shuffle “ Hey Brian”…. Could’t keep up the facade….had to walk… and he hollers at me “ Hey 207 in the HOUSE”…. Chin came up….Kept me moving.  And he was there both times I went by.  Thought about Sean Snow and how tough HE is…he kept moving in Ireland with hypothermia…I can do THIS,…Spent some time thinking about friends with challenges… whether it be cancer or some other illness that keeps them from competing… I bet they would LOVE to be out here… keep walking… faster if you can… shuffle… let’s try a shuffle again… shuffle….NOPE… walk walk walk… heel hurts… well, HOW BAD?  I mean.. CAN you RUN?  If so then RUN!…. But it hurts… It hurts so bad… What if I make it worse… how bad IS it?  Maybe it’s just the calf… ok, land flat footed, don’t flex… Damn… walk walk walk…. Where the hell is RICK?? I haven’t seen him all day!….Jesus, I know he was gonna go for it, I hope nothing happened….Chin on chest…. Pull it up Bob, Don’t want someone seeing you like that.  And on and on it went… like that… until I had about 4 to go… and I popped out of the trail onto the main road... I managed to shuffle the last three or so… and if you think you’re gonna WALK past the “shoulder to shoulder” crowd of people at the finish you’re crazy… I managed to ignore the pain, choosing to hear the cheers, see my family and friends, and get across that damn line.  Made it….   

You know, it’s awfully easy to say “respect the game”, “don’t quit”….”Never give up”….but when you actually have to DO IT it is a real moment of truth.  You find out a little bit more about yourself in those moments, that’s for sure.  Anyway, that’s kinda’ how it went on Sunday so I thought I would share.  Those of you that know me well know that it is not so much about the RACE for me as it is all the stuff in between… the stories, the challenges, the training rides/runs….the memories with friends and family that no one can ever take away. I don’t know how long I will do this crazy sport but when someone tells you that you “ inspire” them, well that’s pretty special.  Thanks again for all the messages, notes, comments and kind words.  I’m a lucky guy!

Chin UP guys. 😉


Sunday, December 4, 2022

Changing Our Perspective

They say the Big Man upstairs only gives us as much as we can handle. I know a lot of people spend a good part of their time building their base of faith.  I believe it's more of a private thing and although I don't attend church I respect the fact that everybody has to be at peace with their own faith.  I try to be a good person, a great dad and friend to many.  If that gets me a little closer to the pearly gates then so be it. If they are saving me a chair down in the southern part of town well then I guess there must be a reason.

So when I hear "Jesus take the wheel" I picture someone just letting go, giving up, losing control. There have been times this past year with my business where I have felt like we are driving 70 miles per hour down the road and someone just chucked the steering wheel out the window. Not a good feeling at all. It reminds me of a saying I heard once " the brakes are gone, no sense steering". Where am I going with this? Well, there are a few things I have heard recently that made me think.

Are you a VICTOR or a VICTIM?

You didn't know you had a choice right?  So much of this has to do with mindset.  We have all had bad things happen to us, but are they happening TO us or FOR us? How do we respond? Do we go on the offensive or do we curl up in a ball in a corner and give up? Don't get me wrong, if you get drilled head on by a drunk driver you're probably a victim.  That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about reframing your mindset in a manner that has you taking a different viewpoint of the things that happened to you. Maybe someone stopped contacting you. Maybe that's a blessing in disguise. Maybe you lost your job, and found a better one. Maybe you missed the great deal on the vehicle you wanted to buy and the next week another one popped up that was an even better deal. I've heard it said recently that you get more of what you focus on. Focus on the bad and that's what you'll attract. Manifest, visualize the good over and over and you might be surprised what comes into your life. What do you have going on currently where you can apply this shift in mindset? How can you be the VICTOR, not the VICTIM?

Is it a LOSS or a LESSON? 

So many of my life's lessons have been the expensive kind.  Not sure why that has been the case but it always seems that what I learn comes with a price.  We all make mistakes, it's part of growing up and figuring life out. However, if you take those mistakes and view them as lessons then they at least have some worth. You've heard the definition of insanity right? The process of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Learn from your mistakes, even better, help someone else avoid making the same ones.  That's probably the thing I've enjoyed most about coaching, being able to help someone else avoid some of the pitfalls I have endured.   

I always like to tell a few race stories in my blogs so here's a story about a loss and a lesson. In 2017 I trained hard for a marathon. It was my goal to qualify for Boston. My training partner and I ran the course for our last long run, a 22 miler. So we knew the course exactly. On race day, there was pretty much a monsoon. We ran in full rain gear basically so now I was gonna have to try to run a Boston qualifier wearing a Northface coat. I set that aside and we took off and were hitting our pace even though there were probably 20 to 30 mile per hour winds and a straight downpour along the ocean in Maine. At about the 11 mile mark we came upon a volunteer and he was sending everyone to the right, down a side street. He was motioning people to the right and saying "down there and turn around at the end". I said to my training partner as we were running stride for stride "that's not the course". But everybody was headed that way so we had to make a decision and we went right. At the end of the road there was no orange cone or anything that directed us to turn around and everybody was just kind of turning around at the end of this little side street and running back. We came back out onto the main course and when I hit the 12 mile marker my Garmin watch showed that we had been 12.5 miles. I said "don't worry about it, keep the hammer down and they will figure it out at the end". I needed a three hour and 25 minute finish time to qualify for the Boston Marathon. When I hit 26.2 miles my watch said exactly that, three hours and 25 minutes on the nose. I was just barely hanging onto an eight minute per mile pace so it took me another four minutes to finish the added half mile. The race Director admitted there had been a mistake and said he would do his best to fix it. The Boston Athletic Association denied his request to amend some finish times. We fell into that category.  So I had to run my ass off in a monsoon only to be denied my goal. Not because I didn't run well but because someone else made a mistake. So yes that was a loss. The lesson? Life isn't fair. I kept my chin up ran another marathon three weeks later and try it again but it wasn't meant to be. I went to Boston and cheered my training partner on. I could've played the victim card but I didn't. That doesn't help anybody. My perspective was that I was happy, healthy and able to drop a "325" marathon at age 48. 

So not everything has to be just a plain loss. There's always a lesson in there somewhere. If you peel back the curtain you can usually find the positive in every negative. The choice is yours. 


I've spent a bunch of time over the past year thinking about this one while on my quest for world dominance. 😆. I guess it came to mind during contractor coaching where it seems people in the same business and in the same geographical area would think it was crazy to actually sit down and talk about each other's business. Don't get me wrong, there are networking groups where you can sit and talk about all kinds of stuff but there is only one discipline in each group. That's why I really like the contractor group that I'm a part of. However, it is so vast there are very few people in my geographical area that are a part of it. Outside the group it seems that most people have a scarcity mindset. They don't want to share business practices or beliefs or even share something that might help a competitor. I've always viewed it from an abundance mindset, in other words, a rising tide lifts all boats. I figured if I could help everyone get better then it just levels everyone up overall. I remember when I was busier in the triathlon training world and my friend Rick and I opened up a riding center. We had the option to rent the adjacent space but we didn't know if we would need it. As we were mulling it over a new guy came in and scooped it up. It was Scott Baumann from Iron Legion Strength Company.  We kind of kicked ourselves about it but then moved on. I went over and introduced myself to Scott and asked him about his business. Then I set about getting him some referrals and helping him get going. He told me months later that he was really shocked that I had handled it that way. He said that most people would've been intimidated because we were literally looking for the same clients. I never really gave it any thought in fact I even referred my own mom to him and his staff. He still tells that story today when he speaks to groups about business and life. I hadn't realized it at the time but what seemed natural to me to try to help another person can be unnatural for many others. And the bonus? I got a great friend out of the deal. So help others, be genuinely happy when you see someone succeed. Work to level yourself up and you'll be surprised how people respond. They say the best way to help yourself is to help someone else. I truly believe that. 

Perspective. To me it's all about mindset. I always say that life is about choices. You get to choose your perspective and you get to choose the mindset that you lead with. Are you going to be a victim or a victor? Did you suffer a loss or learn a lesson? Do you operate with a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset? Speaking of choices, you also get to decide if you want to play small or play big. What is that one thing that you've been thinking about doing that you haven't acted on yet? Ever sit there and ask yourself "what would I do if I could do anything?".  I mean literally sit there for 10 minutes and just think about that. Then ask yourself this, "what would have to happen for me to be able to do that?". THEN GO DO IT.  Let me know if I can help. 😉

Go forth and conquer. 👊