This is a blog for the strong, the determined, the wild. In the past ten years more than 100 have joined the triBE on a journey to BE strong, to BE fierce, to BE triathletes. We are dedicated to the belief that anyone can BE a triathlete and support each other in every endeavor. Our team members are all sizes, speeds, and ages. This is our story.

"When anyone tells me I can't do anything, I'm just not listening any more." ~Florence Griffith Joyner

If this isn't enough you can read more from me here:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Of Pirates and Princesses

“Why does everybody make things so complicated?” ~Avril Lavigne

Look at these children.  They are family members and the children of friends and they have had so much fun this weekend.  They have been running races and earning karate belts and skiing. Their happy faces tell the story of fun and accomplishment.

Remember when you were a kid?  You ran everywhere you wanted to go.  You only walked when you were tired.  You sat down when you were forced.  You ate what was offered and you were always so hungry by dinnertime.  Your first question was always, what's for dinner? You fell asleep as soon as you stopped moving and slept long and hard.  You didn’t worry about anything much.  You just went through life all out.  It was simple. 

Carrie and Steve Lopez
Tam and Jason Marshall
Grown up life is much more complex.  We work, we worry, we manage our time, struggle with doubts about ourselves, handle a thousand tasks and decisions, and develop complex relationships. And somehow in all of this we forget all the joy we took in running off to play, in just going all out.  
Nicole Kanouse
 Quincey Vieling and
Brian Upshaw
The past couple of weekends, many of my friends decided to play.  They were princesses and pirates in races all over town.  For some, it was a first race, for others, a tenth or fiftieth.  Some just wanted to finish.  Others were hoping for a personal best.  All of them ran laps around those folks still sitting on the couch.  Look at their faces.  Win or lose, what you see is pride and accomplishment.  
Michele Pliner
The swag you earn when you run
30 miles in one weekend!
And their ability to run, to play, to ride, to swim, to surf and jump through tires is a gift denied to so many, a gift that each of has in some measure.  It is a gift we take for granted until it is gone. 

I hope that this week you will get out there and play.  Stop worrying about how “good” you’re going to do and just get out the door.  Give it what you can whether it is a run, a walk, a ride, a swim, yoga, spin, weights, skiing, hiking, rock climbing, rowing, paddling, surfing, or pilates.  Play HORSE with your kids or race them to the mail box.  Dance while you do the dishes. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late… Just go out and play.   Start with this song. 

A final congratulations to Sara and Jason Dowdy, Neal Ater, Rose Ray, Jon and Sara Gray, and all the athletes I missed who showed up to play this weekend and are not pictured here. 
You inspire me every single day! 

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. ~Angela Schwindt

Friday, February 22, 2013

Are You Destined for Mediocrity?

“A NO uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a YES uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.”  ~Mahatma Gandhi

I have asked women the same question hundreds of times in the last decade.  “Do you want to do a triathlon?”
I have heard 3 responses.


I am a big fan of YES in life.  I wish we would say YES more and figure out the details later.  I think we learn from saying YES, we learn from taking risk. 
I have a lot of respect for NO. NO means no.  It means you understand the situation and yourself well enough to answer definitively.  NO means that other things in life are more important.  I get that.  I understand that everything can’t be YES, nor should it.

What makes me crazy is YES, BUT… As soon as someone says YES, BUT… I just want to walk away.  This is the person that wants to say YES, but is unwilling or unable to overcome the challenges that YES involves. Maybe she doesn’t want to hurt my feelings.  Maybe she doesn’t want to feel left out.  Unfortunately, YES, BUT… folks are late.  They back out at the last minute.  They make excuses.  They are whiney.  They balk when it gets hard or it doesn’t quite go as planned.  Their effort is less than full and the outcome is less than expected.  The result is mediocrity.
We all love a hero, be it the athlete that overcomes adversity to run a marathon, the woman that works for 20 years to cure a disease, the kid that raises money to build wells in Africa, or the man that devotes his life to working with the poor in India.   And there are a million every day heroes volunteering in schools, picking up trash, building houses, taking care of the elderly, speaking out in town council meetings, cooking healthy dinners for the kids.  Every one of these people said YES.  Unconditional YES.  YES period.  And then they each dealt with every difficulty along the way.

People ask you to do things all the time.  These choices are challenges, risks that could turn out badly. You can say YES, BUT… to a lot of questions and then do those things half way.  Or you can say YES to a few and NO to the rest, and then go all out on your choices.  In fact, you can say YES to every day.  But yes has to mean YES.  Full in YES.  Heck YES!  Gonna do what it takes YES.  Because if your YES turns out well, the result is a better you.  You get to grow and learn and get stronger and smarter and ever more awesome, ever more the everyday hero that you have the potential to be. 
Otherwise yes really means YES, BUT… which really means kinda, if it’s convenient, and not too hard.  Because in my life, being mediocre is enough.

What’s the point of that?

“Every choice moves us closer to or farther away from something.  Where are your choices taking your life? What do your behaviors demonstrate that you are saying yes or no to in life?”  ~Eric Allenbaugh

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hope is Not a Plan

Trish Horel, Neal Ater, and Molly Halcomb

Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.  It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions.  And the actions which speak louder than the words.  It is making the time when there is none.  Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things.  It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism. ~anon

So how do you get from where you are today to a triathlon on May 12?  You hope it will all work out, but it’s a good 3 months out.  It’s tough to make yourself work hard today when where you’re going is really far away. 

But the truth is, hope is not a plan.  As we already discussed, success is the result of a thousand good decisions and many fewer bad ones.  We need help at times to make these good decisions.  Sometimes help comes in the form of training partners.  Sometimes it is cheerleaders.  And sometimes the best thing we can do is go out and race. 

One of the most successful ways that people stay on track in training is to sign up for a race or two before the "Big Race" to get ready.  There are a lot of reasons why this works, but here are a few.
·        When you spend a little money on something, you get a lot more serious.
·        When you tell people about your plans, you feel more accountable.
·        When others depend on you, it’s pretty hard to quit.
·        Intermediate races help you chart your progress and track improvement. 
·        You get used to and hopefully over your nervousness before a race. 
·        You make mistakes and learn from them. 
·        You can adjust your training to overcome weaknesses.
·        You get test your equipment, clothing, race strategies, and nutrition.
·        You get t-shirts, medals, and other cool racing swag.
·        Racing is fun.

So this week’s post is just a series of challenges, a list of races you might consider on your way to your “BIG” race, whether it’s the Danskin or something else.  Here’s your chance to put some money on the line and get yourself motivated.  Pick a race.  Pick two.  Add a friend that wants to join you.  And then tell me about your plans.  I’d like to join you, to cheer you on and if I’m able, join in the fun.  Let’s get started. Try one of these.

March 9-10:  WildmanTri Festival – Olympic, Sprint, Aquabike, Duathlon, and MyFirst Tri Races
March 17:  Tour deCure – Bike Distances of 10, 25, 50, 70, and 101 miles
March 23-24:  AnnualGreat Clermont Tri Festival - Sprint, International, Kids, and Aquabike Races
March 30:  Clean AirRide – Bike Distances of 14, 28, 48, and 100 miles
April 13:  SpringFling Tri Festival  - Olympic, Sprint, Aquabike, Duathlon, and MyFirst Tri Races
To be fair, there’s a running race within 25 miles of Orlando every single weekend, often more than one.  Pick a weekend, pick a race.  You can find many here. 
Several team members are already signed up for the Princess Half Marathon next weekend, the Tour de Cure on March 17, and the Corporate 5K on April 18.  I'll be at the Corporate 5K leading the Trinity Walking team.  You are welcome to join Team Trinity! 

What are you going to do? 

The awesome medal from the Daytona half!
A big shout out to our many team members that ran the Daytona half marathon this weekend!  Congrats to Amanda Dean, Molly Halcomb, Trish Horel, and Sara Dowdy.  In addition Pam Ater walked two laps of the speedway (10 miles) cheering on her family as well.  It was a chilly 35 degrees at the start, but these women were undeterred.  (A tip of the hat to the men that ran with these women, Bill Dean and Neal Ater.)

Rachel at Danskin last year!
Please send your good wishes for a speedy recovery to tribe member Rachel Gardiner who broke her tibia this week.   I know she would appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers if you are so inclined. 

As always, please send me information about your activities so that I can share with the team. 

And a little motivation from an awesome Military mom and triathlete.  We all have a story.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Safety Dance

Bill Watterson:  Calvin and Hobbes

• Let’s all keep our heads, and other body parts, together
• When you gamble with safety you bet your life
• Chance takers are accident makers
• Is better to lose one minute in life… than to lose life in a minute.

I have the same conversations with triathletes every year.
I bought a new bike.
Awesome!  She’s a beauty!
I’m so excited to ride.
Be careful.  Everyone falls on a new bike.

 Or this one

I’m thinking of switching to clip shoes.  Will I go faster?
Absolutely. You’ll strengthen your hamstrings too.
Everyone says they’re dangerous.
You must practice.  You have to be careful.  Everyone falls when they switch to clip shoes.

I want to be 100% clear.  Biking is awesome, thrilling, and great exercise. 
I absolutely love it. 

It also takes practice, vigilance, and care.  It can be dangerous.  And in the battle of cyclist versus car, road, gravel, dog leash, or pedestrian, the cyclist never wins.

There are some simple ways you can improve your safety without significantly decreasing you pleasure.

  • Buy the right bike.  The bike should be the correct size for your frame.   
  • Get fitted to your bike by a qualified professional.
  • Make sure your bike is in good working order.  Get a tune up. The gears and brakes should work well.
  • Check your tires.  Make sure they are inflated to the proper pressure before every ride.
  • Look over your bike before you mount.  Are there any loose wires?  Does something look “not right?”
  • Carry a tire changing kit or fix a flat canister and know how to use it. 
  • Wear a bike helmet 100% of the time and make sure it fits properly.
Clothing and fuel:
  • Wear bike shorts.  They really help your rear.  Just sayin’.
  • Bike shirts exist for a reason.  They have pockets, wick sweat, and prevent sunburn.
  • Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Never leave home without a full water bottle. 
  • There are lots of energy products you can try for long rides.
  • Always carry your phone.
  • Never, never, never, never wear headphones.
On the road: 
  • Do not ride alone.
  • If you insist on riding alone, tell someone your route and stick to it.
  • Plan your route in advance.  Know where you are going.
  • Choose a route with well-maintained roads and trails.
  • Do not ride at night.
  • If you insist on riding at night, wear reflective clothing and have a light and reflectors on your bike.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Yield to cars, children, bikers, dogs…  most anything that can get in your way.  Slow down and yield.
  • Practice, practice, practice on your new bike or with your new clip shoes.
  • Practice drafting with friends before you join a formal cycling group. 
  • Expect everyone to do stupid things, especially cars, children, and dogs.

Bill Watterson:  Calvin and Hobbes

In the end, no matter how safety conscious you are, I think you are going to fall at least once. Sadly I do not know a single rider that has not fallen at least once.  It may not be your fault. You may not even realize what happened.  My only hope is that you going slowly enough that the injury is limited to a few bruises or scrapes. 

I write this post in honor of my dear friend and teammate Marie Leticee who went down hard this weekend while training for a century ride next month.  She has a lot more than a few scrapes and bruises, and I know she appreciates all of your good wishes and prayers for her speedy recovery. 

Today an average of 140 people were injured in cycling accidents. 
600 cyclists will likely die this year.

Ride safely.  Heaven can wait.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The grrRAWR of Frustration

 "Certainly, none of us enjoy going through struggles, but you have to understand that your struggle may be an opportunity for advancement and promotion.  The very thing you are fighting against so tenaciously may be the springboard that catapaults you to a new level of excellence.  Your challenges may become your greatest assets." ~Joel Osteen via Anne McCarthy
Thursday afternoon I had this conversation with my physical therapist, Maddie: 

Me:  Can I ride my real bike outside this weekend?
Maddie:  No.  You’re not ready.
Me:  Why?  I really want to ride.
Maddie:  If you have to stop quickly, you could twist your knee and undo all this work.
Me:  What do I need to be able to do to show you I am ready?
Maddie:  Get your range of motion back.
Me:  But I can’t get the swelling down to bend it, and I still can’t straighten it.

Thursday was a bad day.  I was angry and frustrated.  It didn’t matter that 2 weeks earlier I couldn’t turn the pedal of a bike one time.  All I could think was, why is recovery taking so long?  So I took Friday off.  Instead of going to the gym, I went out with friends after work.  I didn’t do my exercises.  I didn’t stretch.  I didn’t ice my knee.  I pouted.  And played.  And got my head in a better place.  And then it was over. I began again on Saturday morning.

I met Donna Walker and Lori Hoover at 9am on Saturday morning to send them off on a ride.  It was 43 chilly degrees, but they went anyway.  Because they are awesome.  I went to the gym and did my best to ride "with" them.  12 miles in 51 minutes.  Pokey, but the best I can do.  And I made up that missed Friday workout Sunday morning.  Instead of sleeping in, I made arrangements to meet with Donna Walker so that I was sure to go.  I did my exercises.  I did my stretching.  I did core and upper body and finished out the week. I am icing my knee right now. 
Last week I made a plan.  I told you I needed to be accountable.  Here is the plan with my results:

·        This week I will train 6 days.  On Sunday I will spend time planning this week and making decisions.  (BOOM…  DONE!!) On Monday and Thursday I will do physical therapy for an hour.  On Tuesday and Friday I will go to the gym to lift and work on core for an hour and I will ride the training bike for at least 15 minutes.  On Saturday I will ride with the team. 
I did not do Friday’s workout until Sunday, and I could not ride with the team, but I completed all the workouts as best I could. 

·        This week I will add one serving of fruit to each day’s intake of food.
This did not really happen.  There were a lot of unusual lunch meetings and activities that changed my eating habits.  I need to keep working on this one. 

·        This week I will drink a glass of water in the morning before I leave the house.

·        This week I will do my stretching exercises and ice my knee daily. 
Skipped Friday.  Bad choice.  Pouting gets you nothing.

·        This week I will go to bed no later than 10pm. 
Thursday night I went to bed at 11:00.  Bad choice.  Pouting gets you nothing. 

So I wasn’t perfect.  I didn’t really do everything right.  And so today I will make a new plan and keep trying to make the decisions I need to make to move forward.  I need to try to make more good decisions again this week…  every week…  every day…

It’s so easy to let one bad choice derail you.  You think, wow I messed that up.  Forget the whole plan.  But that’s just stupid.  Every failure is an opportunity to do it right the next time.  Every mistake is a chance to learn about yourself and get better.  Don’t let a cookie derail your whole eating plan.  Don’t let a single frustration ruin your whole fitness plan.  Life is full of little disappointments, mistakes, and failures. 

Everyone fails.  What you do next says everything about you. 
Here’s your weekly inspiring video.  I know it’s 20 minutes, but it is truly AMAZING.  (Take a minute off from the game.) It’s the story of how someone with REAL disappointment handled things. 

Have a good week.  Make a good plan.  Get help to hold you accountable. 
Oh, and thanks for your help.

“And I got out of there without punching anyone, kicking anyone, or breaking down in tears. Some days the small victories are all you achieve.” ~Molly Ringle