Monday, December 20, 2010

The Holidays: A Time to Rejuvenate and Connect

I have a couple of holiday rules...

One is to maintain some sort of regimen. Even when you're don't have a strict workout, you should still do something - Go bike outside, go for a run, lift weights at the gym. I haven't been working out as hard lately, because I won’t go into formal training for the Ironman Louisville in August until after Christmas, but I have been having a good time rollerblading. Find an exercise you like to do, so you can fit in play time with fitness.

I also maintain normal nutrition during the holidays. Maybe not the day of, but certainly the day before and day after. I recognize that everyone will have holiday parties to deal with. For example, we just had our Cenegenics Boca Raton holiday party, and even though I had eggplant parmigiana as an appetizer, I didn’t have pasta with my fish. Have your glass of wine, sure, but don’t go overboard. Share desserts. Someone brought a gargantuan piece of chocolate cake, and there was no way a human being could eat all that! (I don’t think...) Often, people lose all of their discipline in December and feel bad the first day of January. Your resolution should be: Don't make resolutions! Don’t let the month of December be the month where you fall apart. We all fall off the wagon, especially during the season, but you pay the price when you try to get back into your routine.

So, again, play a little more, do some fun things. If you have free time, walk on the beach in the morning before the sun rises. Instead of running on the road, go run in the woods. Keep active. Five-year-olds have the best life; They run and play and nap. This is your time to run and play and nap. Enjoy your family and enjoy being around friends. It's a great time for goal-setting. Not as a resolution, but to think of what you really want to achieve in th next few years. Do you want to walk for charity? Spend more time at the beach? Learn how to play the guitar?

Maybe take every Saturday completely off, with no Blackberry or iPad. Just don’t turn it on. Yesterday, I was putting up Christmas lights, and I couldn’t even tell you if it rang. Some days you just shouldn’t care. Most times, it’s not going to be an emergency. My significant other, France, never wears a watch. It’s really interesting how she lives her life unattached to time. Now, when I go on long motorcycle rides, I never wear a watch. It’s the most freeing thing you can imagine. Don’t be connected to time, be connected to people.

I go to church around Christmas, but I tend to follow a more spiritual path, whether it's Kabbalah or shamanic rituals (I studied with a shaman for 10 years). I’m very convinced that people need to connect to rituals, whether it’s with your family, in your community or religious. It’s very important for your human-ness to connect to ritual. Even at our office party, we have a ritual where the staff goes out to dinner and we have a gift exchange and we bid on the items. It turns into a battle royale, where we all laugh and have a good time. This holiday, the battle was for lingerie, even though it's normally over a big bottle of vodka. But, everyone always goes home with one gift. Last year, I took home a Rastafarian hat. This year, I re-gifted it so that it would always be a tradition to include it at our holiday party.

This Christmas, I'm looking forward to my daughters are coming home, so we can walk on the beach in the morning and just enjoy Christmas together. I’ll definitely be on my motorcycle a little bit, and I’ll be outside for a lot of the holidays. My goal is to not even look at my computer for 4 or 5 days. Then, when Christmas is over, I’ll be ready to get into more discipline with my routine.

I wish everyone a peaceful and happy holiday season.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Memories From the Ironman Arizona

The Ironman Arizona was an unforgettable experience. It motivated me to push myself to new heights, inspired me to continue challenging myself even after the race was over, and, most importantly, showed others that anything is possible. Here are some of my memories from that experience...

Registration Day

I ran into Jeff Flocker, a former athlete I trained years ago!

Getting marked for the race.

Drying my numbers.

Taking my bike to the transition zone...

...And getting a flat tire before I even got started.

Pre-Race Meeting

My son, Bob, his wife, Michele, and my grandson Chaze.

France, me and Bob at pre-race meeting.

Pre-Race Load: "Oh, no! He's eating pasta!"

"Oh, no! She's eating pasta too!"

Race Morning

Me and my son, Bob, on race day.

Just before getting into the water...

Bob and I entering the water together.

Here we go!

Swim Start - incredible.

Just before having to quit.

End of day.

The Next Day

My son, bob, his wife, Michele, my grandson, Chaze, and my daughter Michele.

France and Cactus

Now that the Ironman Arizona 2010 is complete, I'm going to keep setting goals, keeping my sights set on the big one - The Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. My next stop? Ironman Louisville in August, 2011.
What about you? I'd love to hear about your goals and stories, anything from the decision to take the stairs at work to attempting a world record. We can all motivate and inspire each other with our successes, large and small.