Tag Archives: Ironman

Caffeine and Training Follow Up

As usual, I went overboard.  I made a fairly drastic change to my diet starting on Tuesday and decided I would try to stop drinking caffeine for a while as well.  The latter lasted about one day.

The brain is a complicated place and I dove in over my head.  When you drink a lot of coffee, then stop, it’s the equivalent of some mean-ass-man stopping by your house and telling you, “The fun is over punk, no more being happy.”

Man, the feeling you get when you stop drinking coffee is f-ng ridiculous.  You can’t have a clean thought if your life depended on it . . . and oddly you feel like your life DOES depend on it because you are genuinely concerned you may die.

Well, maybe it’s not that bad, but it is certainly not a the plan to follow if you enjoy being in a good mood.

So, after about 30 hours of that nonsense, I caved and had a coffee.  Today I’ve had a couple and feel like I’m ready to conquer the world again.  But don’t think I don’t understand how jacked up that is.

I do not want my happiness tied to any chemical, period.  I don’t take prescription drugs and pretty much refuse to go to the doctor.  But, like most things in life, you need to be reminded about fifty times before something like this sinks into your thick skull.

So, here’s what I’m committed to from this point forward: moderation.

My natural tendency is to chase the highest of highs.  5k, sure.  Half marathon, I’m in.  Ironman?  F-yeah!

My dietary change is hard enough, and even with that I have to be careful.  Going from eating crap half the time to an overload of green vegetables has caused a few problems in its own right.  I ate a full Pizza on Sunday, then decided to be gluten free on Tuesday.  That shit doesn’t happen without pain.  So, from here on, I’m easing into everything I do, including Ironman.

I haven’t yet signed up for Louisville and really don’t know if I will.  It’s about 50/50 right now because there are a lot of things going on that feel out of my control.  With all this broccoli falling from my steamer, I can’t justify putting another burden like 140.6 on my plate.

But, if you’re a betting person, you might be wise to put your money on my masochistic tendencies.

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A Very Humbling Day

Have you ever had someone try to warn you, but you didn’t want to listen?  You didn’t want to believe it?  Even though you know it’s true, you just can’t accept it as fact. 

I’ve had a training buddy telling me to be careful for a couple weeks now and it was not something I wanted to hear.  But he was adamant and I kept hearing his voice in my head . . . over and over.  Today, I decided to address my neglect head on and it lasted all of 17 minutes. 

17 minutes! 

Just over four months ago I swam two and a half miles in an hour and twenty minutes.  The waves were brutal, and I was in the middle of a 2,800 person mosh pit.  Today, I swam in my own lane, with no obstructions or current and made it 17 minutes. 

My buddy was right.  He kept imploring me not to skimp out on swim practice.  “You lose it quick, man.” 

Yeah, but this quick?

I also did a 1/2 triathlon, 1.2 mile swim in mid-October, and while it just about killed me, I finished the race and felt like I could swim a bit more . . . but seventeen minutes?

I’m pretty sure a lot of it has to do with my diet and hopefully “temporary” fascination with coffee.  I can honestly feel weaker when I drink too much coffee and I have certainly been doing that lately.  Sleep has been a little off, too.  Hopefully some of this will sort itself out soon. 

So, tomorrow I will come back for more.  This is literally one day at a time for me now.  I have to keep dragging myself back to the pool to get familiar with the feelings.  The goggles, the initial splash in the water, and that freak show that can be the YMCA locker room.  Image

Until then, I will stay in the moment with no goal other than to get it going again.  Things will fall into place, but you gotta keep showing up . . . and listening to your training buddies when your heart tells you they’re right. 

New Years Resolutions Start Now

New Year’s Day sounds logical for a new beginning, but that’s always seemed like a cop out.  I mean, what’s the wait?  Today is here, why not today?

It’s easy for me to say.

The truth is, many of us spend our lives talking about “when” we’re gonna change or start a new project, eat better, etc.  Then it becomes tomorrow, next week or never.  I’ve been a little sick the last few days and as I start feeling better it reminds me that it’s time to begin again.

I’m doing Ironman Louisville in August and this is probably the worst shape I’ve been in all year.  I haven’t run in December and plan to run a 1/2 marathon on trails in February.  Sooner sounds better than later for getting my shit together.  But it goes so much deeper.

One of my biggest fears about doing Ironman was the post-script.  What would I do after climbing the mountain?  The logical thing to do is look around for a while.  And that’s what I did.

The high of reaching such a pinnacle is undeniable.  I floated on a cloud for weeks.  I even did a 1/2 triathlon six weeks later without training a lick.  I was “An Ironman” nothing could stop me.

But as Winter approached that magical day in Madison faded into the cold.  I struggled with motivation and nagging injuries.  I neglected workouts with the same logic people use to cheat on their diets.  But deep down I have been afraid.  Afraid of losing what I built.

When you scale the mountain, you have to come down.  It can be a dangerous and rocky descent, but you don’t have a choice.  The bottom is the trickiest part because you can go anywhere you want, and usually that’s what we do.  But that mountain doesn’t move and those who are driven eventually turn around and scale it again.  Not because it is there, because that’s what we do.

I’ve been swimming a little and doing leg exercises, so I’m nowhere near square one, but to hit my goals for next year the race starts now.  Not tomorrow, next week or January 1st, but today. NEWYEARSDAY3

A big part of that for me is keeping my head straight with writing.  Not writing because I want other people to be interested, but writing so I understand this process.  I really believe this blog was at least 25% of the reason I did so well at Wisconsin.  Sorting through my thoughts was cathartic for my training.  It helped me step back and ask what was working and where I was missing out.  It helped me visualize the race on paper and, for me, that’s the best way to learn.

This will be my second post of the day and I can already feel the crust is falling off my bad attitude.  It’s 11:36 on December 23rd and I have the distinct feeling that New Years Day is already here.

My Clandestine Affair With Ironman

“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” — Leo Tolstoy

I grew up in little Midwestern town called Beloit, Wisconsin with a tenacious group of friends. We played until the sun went down, and often thrived under the moon.  Endurance junkies that didn’t know shit about hydration or nutrition — we just played until we dropped.

My knees throbbed, my ankles ached, and my hands . . . wrinkled like prunes.  I was too young to understand, but somewhere deep inside all of this toil, was a hidden love for Ironman.mike capitol

When I went to college, it was more of the same, but I quickly added drinking to my list of endurance routines.  An Irish Boy with a training base built over hundreds of years and I did my best to uphold tradition.

Competitive softball replaced college and took me all over the Midwest on a fancy tour bus.  Sometimes we played 6 or 7 games a day, all for the right to carry home a trophy nobody else cared about.

After softball, I went back to endurance drinking because it was easy.  The first step is always “take action” and for some reason pouring a drink is infinitely easier than tying a pair of running shoes or filling two water bottles.

Alcohol is patient and it prevailed for the next 15 years, but the “easy way” certainly wasn’t making life easy.  I wish I would have realized all of this waste, but time was the only thing that could heal my wounds.

Somehow I found the strength to change priorities.  My decline was imperceptible to the naked eye, but I was falling apart.  Not much was making sense and the deeper I went, the more confusing it became.  It all started to change when I discovered and accepted running.

And run I did.

For the next eight months, I found a new muse.  “One more beer” started morphing into “one more lap” and that simple substitution may have saved my life.

Eventually it rekindled my fascination with the Ironman I first saw as a child.  Who were those crazy bastards doing insane amounts of endurance from sunrise till sunset?  Their behavior was so unusual that it never occurred to me I could be one.  But I didn’t have a choice.

I signed up for Wisconsin on a whim.  It was my home state, and in some ways I looked at it as another chance to go back and showcase for the locals.  I’d left a mark in baseball, now I would leave one in triathlon.

The day after I signed up, I started writing about the quest.  Years of endurance drinking buried emotions and now they flowed like an all night keg stand.

Ironman branded my brain and I searched my soul for its meaning.  The frightening swim, the daunting bike, and the run I never really believed I could do, ever . . . let alone at the end.

The blog became a daily dose of convincing myself I could be an Ironman.  I served my thoughts on a platter for the world to chew and spit out.  I praised the race for setting a new bar, a new standard for a new person.

I shredded my body in a masochistic experiment just to prove I belonged.  Long, torturous swims, rides and runs that left me exhausted, yet inspired to grab that elusive feeling I couldn’t quite explain.

I’d raced Ironman Wisconsin countless times before I jumped into Lake Monona.  I’d finished the race in my mind, I just needed to deliver the proof.

The 11:58:58 next to my name in the Ironman annals proves we are officially “an item,” but the honeymoon is over.  Now, I must seduce her again.

The first thing I noticed after the race was a feeling of  extreme relief.  But that is what Steven Pressfield (The War of Art) would call “Resistance” tricking me into believing the job is finished.  A persistent voice in my head telling me, “You have nothing to prove, now go back to your comfortable ways of drinking late into the night, sleeping in, and making excuses.”

That is a battle I will likely fight to my grave.  That temptation to take the easy route.  The temptation to put it off to tomorrow.  The temptation to squash the pain with a drink, a nap, or an eating binge.

Life is never easy, but I have other plans.  I have seen how discipline, focus, and hard work can take me to a new place.  Now it’s about finding the time and patience to court Ironman again in 2014.  I look forward to the challenge, I just wish she wasn’t such a bitch.

How You Can Swim Safer and Faster In Triathlons

Here is a great article written on open water swim safety by Robbie Bruce, Lead Performance Specialist at RX Endurance.  Even though I posted this after my analysis, Robbie’s perspective is the precursor for a lot of my opinions on swimming smart, safe, and fast.  He looks at what’s right and what’s wrong with Ironman swims and gives a ton of solid information, including 8 things you can do now to be a better and more confident open water swimmer.

Triathlon Deaths – By Robbie BruceIMG_0142-XL Over the past few weeks a lot has been written about in regards to the amount of deaths in triathlon especially in the swim portion. A lot of blame has been cast, towards pretty much everyone, and plenty of solutions have been suggested. The fact is, the blame falls upon us all. This problem will likely never see a 100% turn-around with zero deaths but there are plenty of ways we can improve while still keeping the sport tough.  Here is USAT fatality study discussed:

http://www.usatriathlon.org/news/articles/2012/10/102512-medical-panel-report.aspx

Dangerous conditions and temps- 

FINA (International Governing Body) came under some scrutiny in 2010 when American’s best open water swimmer Fran Crippen, 26 died during the 10k Marathon Swimming World Cup in the UAE.  It was reported the water temp was a balmy 87 degrees with the air temp hovering around 100.  Was he equipped to swim and race the distance?  More than anyone.  But, were the conditions unsafe?  FINA has since set minimum and maximum water temp regulations but others have not followed suit.

From the OTD article:

“There is a growing consensus that a warm-up or pre-race water acclimation area can help relieve athlete anxiety, but races are not required to provide one.  USA Swimming and FINA, that sport’s international governing body, have set minimum and maximum water temperature regulations for open-water races, but USA Triathlon officials have not.”  (There are rules about when wetsuits can be worn.)

Veteran Southern California open-water and triathlon coach Gerry Rodrigues is sharply critical about the absence of water temperature “collars,” and maintains that the sport must protect amateurs in that area.”

“Generally, most triathletes are under-prepared for their triathlon open water swim segment,” he wrote in an email interview with “Outside the Lines.” “Introduce the extreme element of super cold water, coupled with their anxiety from a crowded field race environment, lack of prep, fast race start without warm-up, a tight wetsuit and a predisposed health condition, the formula is now there for increased problems.”

I absolutely agree that both USA Triathlon and WTC should implement a water temperature “collar.”  That was my concern for athletes doing Ironman Tahoe.  Some water conditions are often deemed too rough and many races have cancelled the swim portion of their event.  Don’t get me wrong.  I will swim in anything.  I am lucky enough to have a background in open water swimming and I prefer it rough in the water.  It benefits me from a competitive standpoint but I also understand the risk to the triathlete.

The swim portion of the New Orleans 70.3 race I signed up for in 2012 had its swim cancelled.  I was personally bummed but as I ran past the lake on the pre-bike run leg I saw the conditions and thought to myself, “Man. That is some very rough water.  I would swim it and have a rough time but I can totally see why they cancelled it today.”  I hated it but it made sense.  From an Race Director’s perspective, if you have it and then have all of your kayaks assisting swimmer who can’t finish what happens if someone does have an emergency?  Who is there to help?  The RD is the least favorite person when a race is cut short, but that is the part of their job.dsc_2978

Athlete Preparation- 

Gerry is one of the most well regarded experts and coaches when it comes to open water.  He has his team based in San Diego, CA called Tower 26  http://tower26.com.  Click on the link and the first words you see in big/bold letters “BE RACE READY.”

That is where I believe triathletes set themselves up for, not only lost time in the swim , but potentially lost years off the rest of their life.  As often as triathletes are lauded for their dedication and attention to every detail, they are also incredibly lazy when it comes to certain areas.  We look for any way to buy “free’ speed.  We will spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on items just to help us “go faster.”  The only item you can purchase that covers both safety and speed are those funny looking aero helmets.  They cost around 2-300 dollars and we will maybe wear them 4-6x per year.

When it comes to swimming, triathletes have been told for year and years, “The swim doesn’t really matter.  Don’t waste your time trying to get much faster.  Just try and get through it.”  Not only from a training perspective but a preparation perspective these types of attitudes have always rubbed me the wrong way.  One of the most alarming quotes from the OTL piece to me is this one:

“A week before the race, they did a test open water swim not far from the triathlon course.  They talked with their teammates and coach about how to stay calm if they got bumped or felt panicky in the water.”

In no way am I saying this increased a possibility of death but it did not help.  The fact though is that this is much too common among triathletes.  “Race is coming up!  Let’s go try on a wetsuit and swim an easy 20mins in the lake.  That should do it.”  It is a lot like people walking into a nutrition store 2 weeks before Spring Break, purchasing a “weight loss” pill and expecting it to help the way they look at the beach.  I hate to break it to you.  It does not work.

If your race has hills on the bike.  You train for hills.  If it is going to be hot.  You train in the heat. If the race is open water and could be rough you . . . train in the pool.  Wrong.

But, that is the widely practiced and expected method of training and it should not be.  This responsibility falls on the athlete and the coach.  You can’t mentally prepare for the swim start of a triathlon.  You must live it and practice it and then . . . you learn to love it.  It is less about starting the race faster than your counterparts and more of what it does for your overall comfort in the water.  You see more fear on the faces and in the eyes of triathletes as they walk to the swim.  It is not the length of the 140.6 miles it is the 2.4 miles that await them in the water.  Bottom line- quit over-looking the swim.

Race Directors-

I have never directed a race nor do I have the desire.  Being an RD is a lot like being a long-snapper.  No one knows your name until something bad happens.  During the OTL show the subject of under-trained and prepared volunteers was brought up.  This is a dicey area where there is no real answer or solution.  Would it be ideal if every single volunteer in the water was open water rescue certified?  Yep.  Is that practical? Absolutely not.

I think most of you would agree, every time I walk into the YMCA to swim in the pool I look around and think, “If something does happen to me. I am pretty much screwed.”  So even requiring a pool certification for in water volunteers would likely be a mute point from a safety/preventative point.  In fact, a few weeks ago during a race I was actually leading in the swim and had my own personal kayak following me.  I thought “man this is nice but if do have an emergency what is that person going to do to save me?  There is no boat around.  Good luck getting me in the kayak and to shore.”

There were not enough volunteers or boat safety.  Last weekend I stood on the shore at the Goose Pond Triathlon watching some of my athletes swim the 2 loop 1.2 mile swim.  It was well supported with 15-20 kayaks and 4 support safety boats.  EMS was also parked by the swim exit.  That race had maybe 200 participants.  Did it seem safer?  Yep.  Could it have prevented a swim death?  We will never know.  What is the solution? No idea.

I do believe courses should be available to in water volunteers the day before or even 2 days.  They are not handing out water and sponges.  They should have to meet a criteria I believe.  They have a bit more responsibility to put it lightly.

Governing Bodies-

As I stated before I believe a temperature “collar” should be implemented but it doesn’t need to stop there.  World Triathlon Corporation has the “SwimSmart”  initiative  that includes a minimum of 52 degrees and a maximum of 88.  I think the 52 is a bit low, and let’s be honest, they will drop that thermometer 50 times in order to find a 53 so they won’t cancel the swim.

Cancelled swim means lost revenue.

I think access to a pre-race warm up should be available at EVERY event.  Especially when the temps are cooler.  Stretch cords aren’t going to do it folks and don’t prevent anything.  Make it happen.  As great and safe as the new “rolling start” sounds there is no correlation to increased deaths because of mass starts.

I actually think the mass start, second only to the time trial start is the safest.  You have 1-3 rows in the front going out hard.  Most of these are experienced open water swimmers.  As the rows go back you have the slower, less experienced swimmers. With multiple “waves” now you have actually increased the number of front row swimmers likely to go out fast or hard.  It might reduce the “bumping” and “chaos” but I doubt the anxiety and lowering of your heart rate.  Above everything else, just add a pre-race warm up.

What can you do? 

–  Prepare for the swim like you do the bike and run.  It’s simple.

–  Go in for routine check-ups with your doctor.  We may think we are invincible and our kids may think we are the comic version of Ironman so do yourself and your kids a favor and get your engine checked.

–  Bump and Grind.  Find as many ways to simulate the roughest start possible. Do that and race day will feel calm.

–  Make yourself swim hard and do it often.  Most triathletes swim the same speed…all….the….time.  Know how that feels.  You will be a better swimmer and the first 100-200 meters of the race won’t be a surprise to your aerobic system.

–  Choose venues that suit your abilities, experience and confidence.

–  Swim in the open water as much as possible.  You won’t only learn to hate the pool, you’ll increase you fitness.  Ever notice how much harder long course practices are from short course?  Go get in the open water.  Increased comfort, fitness, and ability will follow.

–  Learn to love swimming.  If you can do that you will find more ways to prepare appropriately.

–  Look at race history and the percentage of cancelled swims.  Don’t like it rough.  Don’t sign up.

Prepare to swim smart, safe and fast. 1236114_502555959835215_1512090986_n

Chasing A Swimmer’s Dream – Guest Blog

By Robbie Bruce – Lead Performance Specialist at RX Endurance

I could list all the wonderful things my mom has done for me but I believe signing me up for “swim lessons” before I could walk was one of her greatest gifts.  I have loved the water ever since.

I feel more comfortable in the water than with my feet on land, actually.  Mom also told me that no matter what, always do what makes you happy and do not be afraid to fail.  Ever since I could swim I’ve dreamt of wearing a USA parka and standing on the podium listening to our anthem being played, and crying like a baby with tears of joy.  I think representing your country is the greatest honor in sports.rev3-knoxville2013-free-dsc_0384smaller

I swam 6 days a week for my entire life until I was about 14.  I broke a lot of records and swimming was my life for a very long time. I actually remember the day I quit.  I was in the middle of a kick set (probably why I hate kicking so much now ;)) and I was kicking as hard as I could, yet, I could not feel a thing.  No pain.  No nothing.  I actually did 4×50’s crying.  Trying to kick so hard with no feeling.  No mental pain and my legs did not hurt.  I felt nothing because I had nothing.  Swimming was no longer fun for me.  I did not want to be at practice nor did I want to race.  As good as I was and as “promising” as people told me I was.  I got out of the pool that day, walked up to my favorite coach and told him I was done then called home to break  the news to my parents.

I never swam year-round again but I did choose to swim summer league for my club.  It is much more laid back and fun.  Every Tuesday in the summer I would line up against old teammates still dedicating their lives to swimming.  I would hop on the blocks with baggy swim trunks (dude, I’m about 16 right now and Speedos are frightening) while everyone else wore skimpy Speedos.  I still had guys that were “rivals” and have always been competitive so I always wanted to win.  We would race and some of my proudest moments were dusting them with my board shorts on.  I even remember swimming next to them on purpose until then end before I floored it for the win.  Swimming was fun for me then.  It was laid back and I wanted to be good because it was in my heart and not because it was on the schedule on the fridge.

Fast forward pretty much 1/2 my life and the past few weeks I have had the itch to go after my dream again.  I did not train very well swim wise but cranked off a 55:00 and obviously came in under prepared for Swim the Suck but managed 20th against some Olympians and All-Americans.  Kind of dawned on me after that race when the Olympic gold medalist and race winner walked up to me and said, “Have you been ninja training?  Because if you haven’t and ever decide to train we will all have to work harder.”  I took it as a nice “aw shucks” compliment at first but as the weeks have progressed it’s changed.  Is 33 to old?  It might be.  I think its worth finding out.

Swimming for me now is different.  It is not the black line at the bottom of the pool, it is the open water and the freedom it gives me.  Hell, swimming with our training team 3 days a week at the lake has taught me more about swimming than the 10 years I swam year-round.  I love it.  I know that some people think I am some awesome swimmer but I am not.  I have the ability yes.  But I have not performed, trained, or ever 100% focused on it before in my life.  Couple that with wanting to and having a passion for it I believe I finally have the recipe I have always needed.  Too late?  Maybe.  It’s time we see.robbie profile

I love the sport of triathlon and everything about it.  I will compete and participate in triathlons as long as I can.   I also love open water swimming and believe I owe it to myself to finally find out.  Find out if I have what it takes to make the US Open Water National Team.  Wear the Red. The White. And the Blue.  Am I behind the 8-ball when it comes to training and likely age?  Hell yes I am.  I’m okay with that.  I think it favors me actually. It is fresh and new.  I have the heart now and I truly believe I have the talent.  I admittedly have always slacked on my swim training because it came so easy. Shame on me.  I know. Wont happen again, I promise.

For 2014, I have decided to focus 100% on trying to qualify for the US Open Water National Team.  I will likely still do a few shorter triathlons but no Ironman races for me which was tough to swallow. You know I want to go back and dominate the IML course (and I will). In a very appropriate twist of fate. My qualification race is the day before IML next year so their is no way to try and do both.  So, I am going with where my heart is.  I can assure and promise you I will still be totally immersed in the sport of triathlon, the training it takes, training improvements, coaching, etc.  So please do not worry. In fact, I think this year might make me the best coach I have ever been.  I liken it to working in a restaurant for a long time and just not enjoying eating the food.  My training will be fresh and my coaching will be better.

imageMy venture wont likely lead to me lining up for the open water event in 2016 at the Olympics in Rio for the chance to win a gold.  Will it lead to me being named to the US National Team?  I feel like I have a shot. Weather I end this journey with a gold or some red/white/blue attire, if I merely find out I just did not have what it takes to get there.  Either way I will go to bed knowing I went after a dream and at least know it wasn’t in the cards, OR I will go to bed every night knowing I made that  dream a reality just by taking a chance.  So if you need me tomorrow and I don’t answer your call, text, or email  immediately, I will respond within at least 1.5hrs.  I will be busy in the pool working on a dream I had almost a 1/4 of a century ago with the same joy and vigor  I had when I dreamt it.  Dreams never die.  It is your desire and belief to go for those dreams that fade first.  Don’t let your dreams die one second before you do. Go all in.

Bob Babbitt Inspired #IMKona

From that day I watched my first Ironman race in Louisville, I was hooked.  But it seemed so strange —  3,000 people putting themselves through what seemed like torture.  There must be something more.  Why?  What was going on here?

The deeper I got into my own training for Ironman, I began to realize the stranglehold it can have on you.  It literally changes your life and dozens of friends have told me what I was doing motivated them to start running or get a bike or get back in the pool.  The lifestyle is contagious.

And Ya know, sometimes you just get the feeling you should be doing more with your life.

This morning I woke up way before the alarm and got out of bed naturally.  The first thing I laid my eyes on was Twitter where I saw a link to a story about Bob Babbitt who has been involved with Ironman for 35 years.  They had me at hello.

Babbitt grew up in Chicago as an outdoor lover, got tired of the winters and moved to San Diego.  He started a gym class in one of the local schools, and became good friends with Tom Warren, who won the second Ironman in 1979.  Babbitt decided to compete the next year and essentially dedicated the rest of his life to bringing triathlon to the average guy.   Along the way he also co-founded the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which he says is, “his proudest accomplishment.”

He also was the co-founder of Competitor Magazine.

When I read stories like this, it touches a place far deeper than I can explain.  It’s about purpose and passion, not simply going from point A to point B.  Babbitt spent many of those early years around Ironman covering local races for free, but he got far more than money can ever deliver.

It’s more than times and racing up and down roads, it’s a vibrant approach to living.  It reminds me of the feeling I had when I started Creative Pig Minds.  I had a dream and nothing would get in my way.  I “worked” 15 hours a day and was completely engaged.  It was hard work, but incredibly Zen, “in the moment” kind of stuff.

That is exactly how I would describe my first Ironman experience.  Completely in the moment for 11 hours and 58 minutes.  I was flooded with purpose.  I knew exactly what I was doing and literally lost myself in time.  To me, that is the epitome of living.

When we trudge through life with jumbled thoughts we are bound to be unhappy.  Our subconscious doesn’t like to be thinking one thing and wishing it were doing another.  It’s a recipe for conflict and a perpetual flight mode.

Babbitt went with his heart and created a lifestyle he couldn’t resist.  He embraced a direction that was engaged and filled with purpose.  It sounds simple, but going where you really want to be takes a lot of courage because most people, including yourself, don’t want you to leave.