Saturday, June 14, 2008

How I spent my summer vacation…

Seeing Things_Page_1

Jakob Dylan ROCKS!!! His new CD “Seeing things” is EXACTLY what I wanted as a soundtrack to our trip and it was released on Tuesday – perfect timing. He has definitely found something within himself that is refreshingly fresh yet rooted in namesake’s confusing lyrics that make me want to be more creative. Hell – Bob is THE original poet - how can he not be good?

My 1st few weeks of the “off-season” have been fantastic…lots of surf and lots quality time with boyz.

Warmer water and good air temperatures along with the arrival of the southern hemi swells create the image of California that most people imagine and school kids draw on their notebooks. Long thick corduroy lines march up the coast from Baja causing a lot of “sick” days – we used to joke about it being the southern hemi flu :)

This is California surfing at its best!!!


In the afternoons when the wind turned on the surf – the boys turned to the San Diego version of a liquid ½ pipe – Wave House. If someone had proposed this business model in ANY business school – it would have gotten laughed at and shot down but in San Diego – this works and it ROCKS!!! Lifeguard chairs, cool tunes, hammocks and table service create the audience area for the “wave”…this just a cool place to hang.



Baja, Mexico was off the agenda this time due to the current border situation but maybe the will get their $%* together and it will be safe to travel there again. Apparently the Policia and organized crime have decided to target American’s traveling on the road from Tijuana to Rosarita and kidnapping and extortion are at ridiculous rates.

We decided to stay “local” in San Diego and that also allowed me a chance to get in a few VERY early morning rides on some old and new routes in and around town. It actually gets light enough to ride at like 5:15am so I rented a Cervelo Soloist from Nytro in Encinitas and it was actually a nice bike for a rental. The only problem is my Florida legs – their gearing choice and the La Jolla grades where not completely aligned.


I did a few repeats up Mount Solidad and I paid for it…


Riding and surfing are what I want to do - so for most of the week that is “off-season” training was but I did mix in a few runs (3) as per Alan’s advice…

My 1st run was a quick 6 mile trip around Coronado Island with my sister and the newest addition to the Velocity Team West. She is fantastic swimmer and runner and is working her way up to being a not so scared cyclist…she just purchased her 1st pair of “REAL” pedals and broke 24mph – this is a big deal for her.


She still refuses to “dress like Lance” for training and makes fun of me and anyone else who does not bike in oversized Nike Basketball shorts…I am still working on this one. She is training for 2 sprint races and has told me I am her coach – not that she really needs a coach for a sprint but apparently I am easily bribed…Chocolate Chip Toll House Brownie Squares – OMG – I could race Clydesdale.

My 2nd run was much different than anything I have done lately and I am really glad I had a chance to do it. I took the boys to the beach on our last day and the surf was “ok” but not great. Shane wanted to use my longboard as the waves where big but a little less push than usual and that was fine with me and I decided to run. No time goal – no distance – no GPS – no HR – no iPod – no nothing - just a nice run on a nice day on the road next to Swami’s. This is triathlons training ground and I have seen Faris, Michelle and a BUNCH of other people too fit to not be in the mix running the loop that is Encinitas to Solana Beach…I figured it must be a pretty good run and it was!!!

I had a chance to think back over the season and try and figure out what I did that worked and what I did that didn’t. I made a mental list of things that I NEEDED to make sure that I did this fall. I also had a chance to think through what I wanted to accomplish with the athletes I work with – how could I get them to their “next” level…how can I get them to break through? This run allowed me the chance to refocus my training and my goals for the rest of the season and look at what and how I wanted to help other people achieve their goals.

My 3rd run was a chance to catch up with a great friend and Velocity’s original client – Paul Cantin.


We have worked together for 14 years and he was my boss when I was REALLY NOT a good medical salesperson in California. In the beginning I was COMPLETELY convinced that I could sell our products from the scrub sink about 10 feet outside the operating room…for anyone who has ever been in or around the Operating Room – this is a ridiculous proposition and would be impossible but that is how much I did NOT want to go into the actual OR.

Paul, of course, was very understanding of my anxiety – he looked at me and said –

“Your job is in here – if you want your job – come in…”

Obviously I quickly got over my fear of stepping on the cord that kills the patient – I had bills to pay :) He has taught me more about my profession in medical devices and management than anyone else I have worked with and I was really lucky that he allowed me to “coach” him some 2+ years ago as my original lab rat when he decided to start racing triathlons.

His early feedback was always very positive and supportive, “you have no idea what your doing do you? You’re trying to kill me.”

The good news was that he made me back up my stupid ideas with a scientific reason and made me research new methods – basically he made me tell him why we were doing this training – he made me learn how to coach and in watching him progress - I also realized how much I enjoy it.

Anyway – we were in Palm Desert for his regions sales meeting and decided to meet at 5:45am for a run. The sun was just coming up over the mountains and the temperatures that would approach 110 were still a very reasonable 70 something.


We yip yapped (mostly me – I talk a lot) about what the next few race goals, schedules etc. Paul just did Alcatraz and also did IM Arizona in April and CDA last year and is completely capable of going 10 something – this is all in 2 years – the dude does the work.

The conversation turned to what we would be like to do for this year and next year but then we started talking about the impact on our racing and training on our kids and how we both tried to achieve balance by mixing in fun to the races we chose.

I told Paul a story about my dad Mike’s commitment to completing this 50 mile swim over the course of a summer and how I think somewhere in this I learned a lesson about commitment toward a BIG goal. His daily straight mile long swim workouts he would log seemed SO INCREDIBLY boring to me as a kid but he would mark the chart that hung by the pool office with his latest laps. This was all done on the “honor” system and I remember he would sometimes go twice a day to get in a little more to mileage to close the gap to the leader. I am not sure but I think he was the 1st finisher to 50 miles…

Paul and I both agreed and hoped that maybe some of our commitment to training and racing would someday influence our kids towards accomplishing their goals whether they are athletic, scholastic or artistic.

As anyone who races knows, it is hard to train – especially for an Ironman with family commitments. That being said - we both make it to 99% of our kids events and move our training around to make sure we can be there to watch them swim their 50 free even if that means riding the trainer at 4am for a 24 second race – it is worth it to us.


Maybe we would be better parents if we didn’t train – maybe we would be a little less tired – maybe we would have time to sit and talk about what we should have – would have or could have done…


Maybe…just maybe…by doing it instead of just yapping - we will have taught them is something they will take foreword as a positive in their lives and hopefully teach to their children…

Thanks Mike for teaching me the 50 mile lesson – I hope that I have passed this lesson on to the boys…

On this eve of Father’s day – I am flying back to Florida with a sleeping “Sir Surf A lot” and his smiling brother – happy that I was able to spend the week hanging with them and getting a little more balance…I am very proud of them…


as I am sure Bob is proud of Jakob…

On up the Mountain – Jakob Dylan

You’re old enough to know well
The better things are all up hill
Bitter songs are never sung
In the highlands where you belong
In the smoke of cannons below
Men they bury each other in rows
People come people go
Work in numbers and leave alone
There’s a light making its way
On up the mountain night and day
You’ll get tired and you’ll get weak
But you won’t abandon your masterpiece
Off to sleep you’ll go
Through the halls and opened doors
Silver bells swinging low
Strung in branches of the unknown
Soon morning comes
To warm the world and wake you up
Night is gone awful fast
It ain’t wrong to be sad
There’s a light making its way
On up the mountain night and day
You’ll go down and you’ll go deep
But you won’t surrender your masterpiece
Here it comes and there it goes
The unbearable sound
Of the earth making men out of boys
First you learn then you’ll teach
About the bright light

1 comment:

Mike said...

Shawn -

The first year I did the 50 mile swim, I finished but not first. The second year, I finished first, and mom heard about it all winter. The third year, mom finished first and I finished second.

- Mike