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Lottery vs. Qualifying Athletes for Kona
Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ok, so here’s a bit of a rant. I am tired of being disrespected because I got a lottery spot to Kona and am a slow athlete. The truth is that I can go all day long at anything where lots of other people can’t. If something happens and they can’t “place” in a race or win, they give up. Not me. I don’t care what happens, I am finishing no matter what. I would like to see the fast athletes have to work as hard as I do to try and get faster and then have to constantly face disrespect, snickering (how can she actually swim that slow?) and come back to train every day. And train alone, I might add. Or better yet, how would they feel if when they got to T1 all the other bikes were gone except for theirs or coming in dead last in a race when they are literally pulling up the timing mats. To make a joke of it but feel so inadequate inside and ask yourself if it’s worth continuing. The stronger more courageous people do continue.

God put this dream on my heart. He also put my name on that lottery list and has given me the faith and wherewithal to build the endurance and knowledge to complete the race and fulfill the dream and learn and grow from it enormously. Isn’t that what the Human Experience is all about? Isn’t that worth more than another “placement” from a fast finisher that they do routinely? I’m not discounting the work a fast athlete does to get this placement and they get duly rewarded for it. I know, I know, the race is supposed to be the best in the world since it’s a World Championship. However, with so few fast athletes, who do you think funds all of the Ironman Races to pay for the prize money and support at each race? Yep, it’s us slow peeps. And, who is it that everyone waits to see at the finish line at Kona after the pros come through? Yep, it’s the slow peeps that have sacrificed and toiled so much just to finish. So next time you see someone really slow but that won’t give up, why not give them a smile and encouragement instead of a snicker or looking away. Isn’t that the true spirit of the Ironman?

More than Fine
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

More than Fine

When do we settle for fine? When do we settle for mediocre? It happens over time, one minute, one decision at a time….we don’t do one thing, then another, then do one thing half-assessed, and so on…and then one day we wake up and wonder what happened. Why we don’t have what we wanted or less than other people. And then we beat ourselves up wondering where we went wrong. We feel bad on the inside and just keep placating ourselves…saying, oh well, guess I can’t make it in this business or this is just too hard. Think I’ll try something else.

Little do we realize that no matter what “business” we are in, its all the same. Once you settle, you will never stop, no matter what business you go to. Because, you are also settling in the rest of your life; guaranteed.  Take a look at the decisions you make during the day. Write them down in a journal and see all of the opportunities you have to make different choices. We get into a habit of just going on auto-pilot because it’s easy and comfortable. These choices can be as small as, what you have for lunch that can set you up for feeling tired in the afternoon and not being productive, or watching a movie into the late evening and then waking up late or tired the next day and not performing well or at all, saying, “oh, I’ll do it better tomorrow.” Or, not getting ready for tomorrow the night before by prioritizing your work and planning how your day is going to go (packing up food, change of shoes for showings, planning your showing route, working out before so you can get to the office energized and on-time, preparing yourself mentally to see the day going just as planned or better!) and then chasing your tail all day and feeling tired and wondering what you accomplished.

Think back to the last time you achieved something at a high level? What was it? When was it? How did you do it? How did it feel? What tactics did you apply to achieve it? If you did it once, you can do it again.  You see, doing well is a choice…and…a decision. You decide you are going to achieve at a high level and once you do, you want more. It feels good. You feel good about yourself. And it leads to bigger and bigger things…

One of my favorite songs is by Switchfoot, a Christian rock band, called More Than Fine. And the lyrics say,

                "More than fine, more than bent on getting by, more than fine, more than just o.k. "

What if you made this your mantra? In life and in business? What if you put it where you could be reminded of it every day? What would happen when you make those seemingly insignificant decisions? Maybe they would go differently…

Make a decision within yourself to be MORE THAN FINE. MORE THAN JUST OK.  

What if people like Steve Jobs was ok with fine? Or Walt Disney? Or Lance Armstrong? Or Gary Keller? Or Mo Anderson? Or, Chris heller or Joe Rothschild or Natalie Gonterman or Bridget Juracek or Apodaca’s or Beth Schneider? Or any of the top producers in our office or market? This stuff isn’t unobtainable. They just made a decision to be more than fine.

The Team that Makes an Ironman
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hello family and friends,

Many people think that Ironman is an individual sport. And for race day, it is. It is ony the competitor out on the course, gutting it out. However, getting to race day, it is a team effort of fantastic people that get the athlete there. Folks that I talk to and share my story with have no idea about this, and neither did I when I started. I just thought you trained really hard by yourself and over time, you got to the distances and raced. But because you are doing 3 sports rolled into one event, and you are training on all three at long distances at the fastest pace possible (if you want to get to Kona), you are stretching your body's capability beyond it's normal limits.

So, you need a team of people to help you acheive your goals, which, coincidentally, is the same in the rest of your life....I want to take a moment and pay homage to the incredible team of people who have supported me in getting to each race and Kona:

Kathy and Pete Alfino - my Mile High Multisport coaches and two incredible people that have tons of years of racing experience and knowledge and have both been to Kona and sent athletes there several times.

Heather Kokx, Deb Rabinacheck, Keegan Bauer, Trina Fox - Fantastic massage therapists! These folks you come to know very well because your shoulders (swimming), IT bands (running) and hamstrings (cycling) and neck (cycling and swimming) all get pretty knotted up and sore. I had no idea that I would get massages 2-4 times per month when I started and be warned; these are not the typical go-to-the-spa types...these are athletic massages where they find the sorest spots and dig in!!! Sometimes tears and heavy breathing are involved to get through them but afterward you feel so much better. These therapists are worth their weight in gold because without them, an Ironman's muscles would seize up!

Rolfing and ART - These are two methods of muscle release therapy that are effective. I used Rolfing more than ART but they are both really good.

Chiropractic - Yes, you need lots of this. The body works better when it's properly aligned, so going to a good chiropractor is essential. I go to Dr. Robb of Ken Caryl Chiropractic and he's a bit unorthadox, but the only chiro that didn't insist on taking ex-rays and keeping me on therapy for weeks and months. I just go when I need it and am in and out in a jiffy feeling great. He also sells a great recovery concoction and has a proven way of testing for what your body needs. Very cool.

Dry Needling - Boy this is a fun one! Just had this for the first time because I had hamstring pain. Dr. Marci, one of the super-fast masters I swim with has her own PT practice and does this...she says that overused muscles stop working properly and build pain. To release it, a needle is applied (a bit bigger than an acupuncture needed) to get the muscle to release. Not as unpleasant as it sounds, and sure does work. My hamstring pain was gone that night.

Nutrition, Supplements and Recovery - Yes, there's no end to the stuff needed! To fuel your body to do these amazing races, you need great fuel. I used to be of the opinion that if I just worked out enough, I could eat anything and be fit. Boy did I have a lot to learn! Truth is, once your body starts needing good, pure fuel, you get in touch real fast with pure forms of fuel. Over the past 2 years, I have gone from eating sugar, some fat, lots of protein and carbs, to being a vegetarian, eating lots of great salads and drinking green smoothies from the book, Green For Life, which my coaches introduced me to. Long story short; I feel phenomenal, never get sick and keep my body performing at a high level with no injury (fingers crossed and knocking on wood!). Wow, if the general population could just feel for a day what good health actually feels like, I am positive they would all eat this way!

Supplements - yes I take supplements and for good reason. Again, wanting my body to run at optimum levels, and since I also don't drink milk, I supplement for some things; fish oil, calcium, coq10 (which promotes efficient heart function) and women's formula for athletes.

Recovery - Once workouts last for more than 2 hours and are on a consistent basis (7 days per week for Ironman) your muscles need recovery. I really like the Ironman Restore formula. There are many available and the key is to find what work for your body and belly (digestion).

Other - I have attended many seminars and workshops, always gathering more information that is very useful in the pursuit of my dream. I have also met many incredible people that are far better athletes than I, and I learn so much from them!

Truckloads of gratitude to all of you that make up the incredible team that gets me to each race and keeps me healthy along the way. You not only help my body work properly, you ease my mind and make a difference in my life. I truly thank you! 


Serendipty and Fine Folks
Monday, May 14, 2012

Hello friends and family,

Recently, I had started to freak out about not having secured a place to stay in Cambridge, MD for my first Ironman race of the season. In fact, I was awake one night thinking about it and then prayed about it. Next day, I went to the office and one of my fantastic agents, Lorianne, came up to me and asked if my race was in Cambridge. I confirmed and then she told me that her sister lives there. She said she would get us in touch and see if she was close enough to the race start to stay at her house, and if not, she might know someone who is. I was absolutely astounded. Not only did she remember that my race was in Cambridge (with all that she has going on in her own life), but took the time to talk to her sister about it and see if it would work out. Wow.

One day later, her sistser emailed me and then we talked by phone the next day. What a dynamo she is! Her name is Lisa and once we got on the phone, she started finding out when we (my BFF Crystal) are flying in, where the race is and what we needed. Right off the bat, she gave me 3 ideas for lodging: Bed and Breakfasts, marinas and private homes. Apparently, the race is so big and there are not enough hotel rooms, that people with boats and homes open them up to racers and make money in the process. Another wow.

Also, Lisa offered to email her meditation group to see if any of them either live or knew of someone that lives near the start. She asked if Crystal or I was allergic to anything and then even sent me a copy of their recent ebook on meditation and running! Wow again. Then I saw emails back and forth between them about who knew who and where they lived and what would be better for us.

The first Bed and Breakfast I came to is Victoria Gardens - Lynette Chase. I called to see about availability but got a voice mail and figured I would either get no call back or the call that says, "we're full and I don't know of any place else that you can go." To my surprise, Lynette called back while I was out on my ride and left a message that her B&B was full but she knew someone that had two rooms left in her house and had already left her a message that she might have someone who wanted them. She was calling me to see what Crystal and I preferred and would put us together. WOW! this lady had nothing to gain from coordinating our stay at her friends' house...I thanked her and said that we would be thrilled to stay with her friend, who, by the way, has a house even closer to the race start than any of the hotels that were orginally available. I offered to call her friend directly so she wouldn't have to coordinate and so gave me her number to do so.

A bit later she called back to say that she thought about it and realized that she had a couple that was only staying with her for two days and since Crystal and I were staying for 6, it made more sense for her to transfer the couple to her friends' house and have Crystal and I stay in her B&B. She said she already called her friend to see if that would be ok and wanted to know if it was ok with us. Also, she said she would make us breakfast everyday and whatever I wanted before the race on race day. Wow! Of course we wanted that! I agreed right away and thanked her again for doing so much to make our stay wonderful.

I called Lisa and she was thrilled and we are now figuring out when I can stop by and meet her and thank her for all her help. She also wants to know how my race goes.

When I told Crystal the story of how all of this came together she was astounded as well. I was so surprised at how helpful and completely benevolent these people were that don't even know me; all because I needed help. Wow! And I am continually shown over and over that if you ask God for something, he delivers it, and fast.

This brings up my next blog which will be about the team of people that it takes to be a great Ironman...even though its an individual race, it takes a big team of people to get you there.

I am so thankful and grateful for this journey and the opportunity to meet these incredible people that God puts in my life.

Also, if you or anyone you care about is traveling to Cambridge, MD this year, PLEASE have them contact Lynette at Victorian Gardens!!!


Kona Arrangements Are Made!
Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hello friends and family,

It's official; my sister, bff and two other girlfriends are going to kona! We are all going for different total days, but essentially the 9th-21st of October. My incredible business partner and boss, Brian Smith is going to cover me as Team Leader while I'm away. I feel like the most loved, blessed person on the planet to have the unwaivering support and faith of these folks and tons of others both inside and outside my office. Wow, my cup runneth over!

I laced up the Newton's that will carry me across the finish line at Kona, today. They are my traditional fuchsia and yellow and I added red laces on behalf of Keller Williams. I thought about the race year I have ahead (Cambridge, MD in June, 70.3 Half Ironman and Louisville, KY in August, Full Ironman and Kona in October), and wondered how I could make it more meaningful and less about just me. So, I decided to donate my entire racing year to KW Cares, which is our charity arm that awards grant money to real estate agent's clients and their families in need when catastrophies strike. Last year alone, it awarded $3M in aid to Joplin, MO.

I will set up a web site that will take donations on things and parts of races/mileage that can be sponsored to raise the money. Also, an agent that I'm coaching in his first triathlon, David Stich and The Denver Tri in June, has agreed to do the same. I am also going to get KW red and white tri kits (racing outfits-shorts and top) for us to race in to show our support. Wondering if the goal of raising $20K is high enough. Thoughts???

This week's training was a recovery week (you can check out my daily training schedule on this very site) since I was in Las Vegas on business for two days. Next two weeks will be peak level and very focused and I'm ready!!! Chrissie got a new bike fit (seat was too low so we raised it) and a shorter crank which helps me go faster and more efficiently. Got the crank put on Tuesday and have been on 2 rides and so far everything seems to be getting dialed in. I was having a bit of knee pain during long rides, which is why I went for the bike fit. We also added a little "shim" to my right shoe/cleat to level out my foot, which no one can really explain how it works, but seems to. :-) 5 weeks to first race of the season!!!!




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