Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Worst Two Words in the English Language

Yes But.... 

I hear these two words spoken daily and they have no business being together. The first part of this combination is easy Yes or No. Either you agree with something or you don't. It's ok to say I don't agree with that, I would do this. But it's Yes or No. The second part of the statement doesn't belong. Here's how it plays out. 

In business - Yes But we don't have the resources, Yest But we don't have the time, Yes But our system won't allow it. Yes But we thought we didn't need it etc. 

In daily life - Yes But houses are just so much more expensive then they were, Yes But I got distracted, Yes But I had other things to do etc.

In racing - Yes But I got a cramp, Yes But those guys were drafting, Yes But I lost the first pack etc. 

I urge you to remove it from you vocabulary and either answer No or answer Yes And. 

Do you plan to buy a house - Yes And to do it we are going to cut back in these three areas. 

Can we add that to the website - Yes And we will need to figure out a workaround in the warehouse. 

Did you have a good race - Yes and I learned that if I lose the first back I have to work harder to chase. 

It's a good life....

Happy Easter!

One of my favorite lines in all of music "No One Makes it Out Alive. " Put your headphones on Turn this up loud and listen. This is why I love music and why I love this song on this day.

It's a good life....


Friday, March 29, 2013

Mobility 2.0 The Hamstring

I was searching for this video and came to a realization. If you go to Youtube and look for stretching videos for runners you will find a great number of videos all with a small amount of viewership. For instance the video on the link below has something like 3,900 views. Yet if I search for Cross Fit Videos on Mobility or doing a Squat you'll find videos with 60,000 views and more. What this tells me is that runners and triathletes simply don't do the little things enough. They don't stretch, they don't mobilize they simply train. And then they get injured. Again 79% of all runners will get injured this year. You can choose to be in the majority or you can pay attention to these blog posts and find out that you don't have to get injured.

If you have tight hamstrings or tight hips this video is the best I've found. I use a Yoga band instead of a rope. I think I bought it at Dick's Sporting Goods but I'm sure you can find it on Amazon too. But first listen and watch the video. It works!

Active Isolated Flexibility.

It's a good life....

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Affirmation

Quote of the Day "I'm off Twitter, I need better Affirmation" - anonymous

The other day in the office the simple statement above turned my head into a world of churning thought. The source of affirmation has been one of great learning for me over the years. Let's first look at the definition of affirmation:

The declaration that something is true - Wikipedia

To better understand what I and most everyone I know am looking for is positive affirmation. We want to know that we are a good person, good father, good husband/wife and that we are valued by our employer and friends.

Today more than likely we are looking for those affirmations in the way of likes or comments on Facebook and Instagram or by reTweets on Twitter. In fact, how often do you check back after you have posted something to find out how many people liked it? That's affirmation! But the question I've always had and what I believe is in the quote above is that this kind of affirmation is fleeting and relatively meaningless.

As a boy I searched for affirmation from coaches, friends and my parents. I desperately wanted it from my father but he lived 3000 miles or more from me most of my childhood. Once I "grew" up it was employers and the others I looked up to. I was constantly looking for a sign that I was good.

I was introduced to Brian Buffini  and it changed my outlook on affirmations. Yes, I know his website is all about maximizing your Real Estate business but there is a huge part of his training and coaching that revolves around your life. It was in this realm that I learned affirmations must come from inside, from yourself first. I learned that if you tell yourself you are good at all things in your life then you don't need others to do it for you. I learned that you can find things maybe you are not good at doing and affirm your way to greatness. I learned that in doing this a new world was created I didn't even know existed. Once you are satisfied you see the small positive affirmations that you were missing. Like the hug Marco gives me every day. That hug is more than an I love you hug, it's a "Thanks for being such a great Dad hug"

I have a short list of things I do regularly to Self Affirm who I am. If I find myself slipping into trouble at work or with the family I refocus on these steps to get myself back in line. By trouble I'm telling you that I'm not perfect. I can be an ass from time to time. When I feel myself slipping into that I come back to these things.

1. I write in a Journal - I focus on the good stuff I did or am about to do.
2. I look myself in the mirror and say good things about myself.
3. I play my guitar often - It sounds really good to me and that's very affirming.
4. I read this little booklet often going through it step by step. It's amazing how well it works.
5. And I finish virtually ever email, blog post and letter with It's a good life...

It's a good life....

Friday, March 22, 2013

The High School Runner #2

Quote of the Day: You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink....

800m: 2:27
Mike: 4:59
2Mile: 10:31 New
Long Run: 1 Miles

3 years ago there was a list. A list of 10 different sports or activities. We asked him to choose one. We told him he had to choose one and if he liked it great but that he had to commit for the upcoming season. He chose running. We double checked and he confirmed.

For three years we drove to practice once and sometimes twice a week. On weekends we went to cross country meets in the Fall and Track Meets in the Spring. There was some early success that first season when he fought his way on to the team that would go to Cross Country Nationals. For the most part he was a kid doing a sport. He did it at practice and on race day but he was a kid the rest of the time. It was purely a fun place to spend a few hours a week. He looked forward to practice and to race day because that's where his friends were.There were times when I got frustrated because I saw talent that he didn't. But I regularly told myself patience. It (drive and commitment) will come when it comes or it will not come at all. I had to tell myself and him that I was OK with either.

High School started and I did the smartest thing I've ever done. Introduced him to his coach who I've known for 20+ years and walked away. The coach is running to him now. I am just Dad. His Cross Country season was a success. He learned how to train, he made great friends and he got faster as the season went along. Between that Cross Country Season and this Track Season he became a runner. He is 100% committed and talking  There is a great deal that has gone into that statement but I believe the biggest two things are:

1. He and coach are bonding.
2. The #1 runner on the team recognized his talent and has taken to him. The Senior and the Freshmen are training together.

It's a good life....

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The High School Runner #1

Quote of the Day: "I have to remind myself he's only 14" - David Jewell

800m: 2:27
Mile: 4:59
2 Mile: N/A
Long Run: 11 Miles

Last night we were talking about running the 2 Mile. The coach has given him 10:45 as the target. Saying "you run that and we'll call it a success." The fact that he's even wanting to talk about it makes me giddy.

It's a good life...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Running Shoes Fashion or Function?

Quote of the Day: "Some runners are too concerned with fashion, and we try and steer people away from that." Bryon Mahon in an article about How to by the Right Running Shoes

I'm the biggest believer that you should buy running shoes based on Fit and Function. Know the kind of shoe you should run in and then find the best fit. But I work in the shoe industry and am a huge fan of shoes looking good too. There are plenty that I look at in the market and just say yuck! The shoe pictured above is one I worried was too much. But my recent travels and my recent times wearing it tell me quite a different story. Here's what I'ver heard: 

  1.  Those are stunning - Flight attendant as I was boarding the flight. 
  2. What's the Brand - Everyone
  3. Where can I get those - The Customs Agent in LA. 
  4. Are those Brooks, they have the same lacing - Guy at Whole Foods. Little does he know we were using it long before Brooks and I didn't tell him that. 
  5. I really like those - They guy at Starbucks commenting in front of my new Boss. I did not pay him to say that. 
The interesting thing is nobody knows I work at Zoot. They are commenting on my shoes. Think about that, how many strangers have you approached to comment on their shoes. I have done it often but it's my job. It simply has amazed me. Every time I wear them somebody makes a comment. 

I love my job.....

It's a good life...

Monday, March 18, 2013

How Do You Stay So Thin?

Quote of the Day: Chronic Stress is the major factor that weakens our immune systems. Chronic stress comes from long-term imbalance related to nutrition, movement, environmental toxins and pollutants, emotional trauma, job stress, excessive sun exposure, disconnection from the Earth or any combination there of...Sid Garza-Hillman Approaching the Natural

The question, How do you stay so thin? is one Mary and I get often. Maybe not in those exact words but it's often. Just recently in Singapore all I heard is you need to eat more meat, you need to put more meat on you.

For the most part I think those questions come from two places.

  1. I want to know that it's natural for you. That you eat and eat and eat and you simply never put on pounds. 
  2. I want to know that you work out so much, more than natural and that's why. 

I will admit that both are partially true but they are in no way an excuse for you or anyone else. Yes, both of us have thin in our genes. But both of us know that if we just ate crap we would put on weight. Yes, both of us work out more than the suggested amount by the Surgeon General. But neither of us do it for weight management or body image. We do it because we love to do it. It releases us from our world. 

The real truth is we work very hard at all of it. We work hard at what we put in our body, we work hard at what we expect from our body and we rest hard. We are great at doing absolutely nothing. Or at least I am. 

We eat clean. 
1. Organic meat only. 
2. No Wheat - Mary has an allergy to Gluten so we stay away from it. 
3. No Dairy - I know, no cheese, no yogurt etc. Look at the rest of the animal kingdom. Name an adult that drinks milk. You can't. 
4. No soft drinks
5. Our plate is 90% fruits and veggies and 10% meat. Because of this we eat often and a great deal. 

We work out. 
1. Mary runs or walks hills daily. She finishes each with 5-10 minutes on the punching bag. 
2. I run, ride, swim, and hit the gym close to 90 minutes a day and I stretch nightly. 

Are we perfect at all of this. No. I still eat Pizza, I eat Greek Yogurt, I take full days off working out and some weeks I can squeeze in 30 minutes a day. What we are is consistent. We are a great deal more consistent then we are not. And all of this has nothing to do with wanting to be thin. It has everything to do with wanting to be alive and active for a long time. Longer than average and longer than was thought possible  when we were born.  

It's a good life...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

New Music

Quote of the Day: Music Moves Us - Anonymous

I love music. I play it, listen to it and get moved by it. Marco and I rooted for this guy to win American Idol last year and he did. We liked him because he's a Singer/Songwriter and a darn good musician.

It's a good life.....

Friday, March 15, 2013

You're Fired! How to stay Engaged

Quote of the Day: The average level of engagement that American team members have with their work has remained at 30% or less for the past 10 years, and almost as many are hostile to their employers. 
- Conscious Capitalism - John Mackey and Raj Sisodia

Catalina Island, CA from my last flight of the week. Interesting still photo of a propeller 

Number 2 on what I believe in my work life is Love What You Do. I'm lucking because my sport running and triathlon is also my job. But even in this world it would be very easy to get down on my job, get down on my company and be part of the Majority and not engage. I do a few things regularly that I think help to keep me engaged in my work:

  1. I regularly tell myself that I'm good at what I do. 
  2. I take frequent disengaged breaks from work. I do this daily, weekly and monthly. 
  3. I read often about how to remain engaged. My favorite book of all time in this world is the Power of Full Engagement
  4. I get out of the office regularly - I can do this as part of my job and it helps to get outside and talk the the retailers, athletes and others who play a role in the business. 
  5. I Fire People 

What does that mean I Fire People
As best as I describe it is, regularly I come across people who bring me down rather than build me up. Or they are simply sour about my company. When they do too much of that I Fire them or remove contact with them from my life. In work that mean's I will engage with them only when they contact me. I will not start any engagement with them.

  • I will not email them. 
  • I will not stand at the water cooler with them. 
  • I will not seek them out. 
Do I tell them You're Fired, No. I simply remove them from my life and move on. This way the negative energy is no longer around me and I can go on doing great things in my work. I would give you examples but that would mean bringing them back in my life and that' would be crazy. 

It's a good life....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Running Around the World: Singapore

Quote of the Day: You Look Too Healthy! Man in the hotel elevator commenting on my appearance after a run. 

A fountain in the Mall that is attached to the Sands Casino. That's Salt Water that runs into a flowing river where you can take a Gondola Ride. 

For such a small country this place really packs a punch. Everything you hear about it is true.

  • It's clean. It looks 100% manicured but I think much of that is just natural. 
  • Traffic flows. For such a tight space with a good sized population traffic is rarely backed up. 
  • Security - where much of Asia is full of a present police and security force Singapore is just as present without one. That doesn't mean they aren't there, it just means they don't show themselves. 
  • Rules - Again where much of Asia (specifically China) ignores many rules the Singaporeans obey like Germans. 
  • Active - There is a huge community of active people running, cycling and the like. 
  • Friendly - Everyone gives you a smile, shakes your hand and offers help. And what's amazing is that it's a huge mix of cultures and it doesn't matter which culture you meet up with it's always the same. 
We ate lunch at the Country Club. It reminded me so much of hanging out with Dad when I was young. We were always at the country club. I think he was smiling down on me today. 

I love traveling the world and finding gems like this. This is the second Olympic size pool I found in the city. What a great setting to workout in. I wish I had my suit and goggles at the time. 

This has been my view every morning as I drink my coffee. That is the Sunrise shining on the tree. It's much more beautiful then the picture. Just really cool the way the light begins to show itself. 

There are a couple complaints I have and they have nothing to do with this city. The more I travel the more I'm disgusted with the behavior of the travelers. 
  1. The man who walked into the lounge this morning with a t'shirt that read Addicted to Bitches. Who wears a shirt like that? 
  2. The man yesterday walking around at breakfast in his bare feet. This is not your home. 
  3. Just the general rudeness in people who travel. 
I can't finish on a rant. I'll finish on Food. Great food is all around in Singapore. The issues I have with Asian food are really limited to China. It's actually quite funny to hear a Singaporean man tell me he doesn't trust the China food either. The two things you can't trust in China are substitutions. They eat everything and you know there are substitutions. Even the wine they serve is probably not the orignal wine from the vineyard. The other major thing is cleanliness. It's just a major issue when you walk into a dirty smelly "kitchen" to pick your live fish out. So landing in Singapore those old reflexes kick in. It took me a couple days but they are gone now. The food is fresh here and it's really well prepared. You can find all the world foods in the city.  I've had amazing Indian, fresh Seafood and last night:

We ate at a Teppanyaki place. Outstanding food and quite entertaining. That's Lamb on fire.

It's a good life....

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Running Around the World: Country #29, Singapore

Quote of the Day: Jet Lag cures include a 2 hour workout and a 15km run. How does a 45 minute nap sound instead?

Photo Courtesy of

Singapore marks the 29th country I've run in. I think I'll try all the suggestions in the Quote of the Day today. My impressions of Singapore so far after 1/2 a day.

  1.  Stay at the Traders Hotel if you want to be close to good running (The Botanic Gardens are 1 block away and there's a golf course across the street). If you search on google the Botanic Gardens are usually at the top of every list of things to see in Singapore. I took care of that in my first morning run. 
  2. I've also checked out the pool and the gym. The pool although not square is large enough (3st. 30 meters end to end) to work on your swimming form. The gym is good but it looks like it will be hot in the day. 
  3. Singapore is known for its large Ex. Pat community and I think I found it. The runners in the park, the folks walking the streets, and everyone at Starbucks is not from here. Sure many could be from the hotels around but you can tell a local from not a local and there are lot's of local western faces in the crowd. 
  4. Singapore is home to the largest Marathon weekend in the world. Something like 100,000 runners take part in one of 3 or 4 races. That is evident in the number of runners I saw today. I didn't ask where to run this morning. I walked out the hotel found a group of runners and followed them. They showed me the way. 
  5. The other thing this location is good for is cycling. On my run I saw 2 riders tucked into their aero bars. On the elevator back up to the room I shared the ride with an Aussie guy and his bike. He had just ridden 2 hours on the streets around the park. He stays in this hotel each time he comes and he brings his bike. 

It's a good life....

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mobility for Your Feet

Quote of the Day:"Armstrong also said that every top rider doped during the prime of his career and that his doping techniques were unexceptional, if not conservative"

Read More:

I don't have a problem with Lance Armstrong. He's done as many good things as he has done bad. But he needs to admit that he was determined to be the best at everything which included his "program". Just leave this quote out and I'd be fine. Yes, every one doped but most everyone also got caught. You did not which makes your program better. 

MobilityThe number one question I get is this "I'm injured, what do I do? In the San Diego Area I am a connector. I connect injured athletes to specialists who I think can help. The shoe cobbler, the massage therapist, the chiropractor, the trainers you name it they get the referral. To some degree it makes sense. 79% of all runners this year will suffer some kind of injury. Just in my household alone, I stepped on a date that put me on the ground writhing in pain. That ballooned up ankle kept me from running for 6 days. Marco suffers knee pain often. Mary has a displaced rib currently that although is not a result of running it is all connected and since the rib issue running has not been consistent.

I stated earlier that I believe mobility is more important than flexibility and flexibility is important. Mobility it taking that layer in your body that is limiting your range of motion and making it fluid. I was first introduced to mobility by Chris Maund at the Chek Studio. At the time I was still recovering from a nasty bike accident where fixing my face was more important than fixing my structure. 8 years after the accident, Chris worked on my structure. He taught me how to mobilize my lower back to make sure tightness there did not limit what I had to do. I still use that mobility today almost 18 years later. Chris also taught me that taking care of my feet was maybe more important for a runner than anything.

Phil Wharton taught me that taking care of your feet was also a form of mobility. It was mobility that fixed my ankle. Slowly but surely I got that baby more mobile each day. I met Phil in Boston MA. He was part of a group brought in as Friends of adidas when I worked for that brand. He has the calmest demeanor and is simply a walking talking running guru. He's just brilliant. The below video is one of his best. If you simply do this routine or part of this routine 5 minutes before you run, bike, swim, hike, climb etc and then spend time doing again as part of 30 minutes each evening of mobility and stretching and your chance of injury will be greatly reduced. Other than dates, my injury rate is quite low and it's due in large part to guys like Chris and Phil.

I'll write more on Mobility and Stretching. There is no one answer and not everything I talk about or put on this page will work for everyone.  But it's worth at least a try for everyone since 79% of you will get injured this year.

It's a good life....

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Desert Sprint Triathlon

Yesterday was the Desert Sprint Triathlon. I raced it to test my fitness and to test my life. First the test my life part.

I flew to San Francisco on Friday to work with Javier Gomez. My return flight put me in San Diego at 8:30pm. I picked up Mary and Marco and we drove to Palm Springs. We got to the hotel around midnight and got to bed around 1 am.  3.5 hours later I was up and ready to get to racing.

I chose to do a long warm up riding my bike starting in the dark to the race. I find the older I get and the shorter the event the more warm up I need. The race started fine. A hard sprint to the first turn made sure I wasn't punched, kicked or lost my goggles. I settled into a hard pace and was soon out of the water. Slow as molasses transition and I was out on the bike. I told Marco before the start that my plan was to redline the entire race. LET'S GO, YES, ARG!.......Pace was hard and felt smooth.....On your left was a constant. LET'S GO, YES, ARGGGGGGGGGG! Short little climb to transition (still amazes me that when the road goes up most go backwards). Off the bike with another sluggish transition and I was on my turf the run. LET'S GO, YES, ARGGGGGGGG! Instantly the run felt strong, I could run hard and not feel it. LET's GO, YES, ARGGGGG! I was running through the field. Let's remember that my age group was the 5th to start so the a big part of the race was in front of me. Finally at mile 1 it was silence. Just me, by breathing and my pace. The LET'S GO, YES, ARG! was this dude who road behind me most of the way and who got off the bike with me. He wouldn't shut up. I pushed hard on the run to drop him so I could get some silence. Soon the race was over.

I learned that the training I'm doing is working. In a very short time I went from struggling through a 1/2 marathon, traveled around the world and put in 2 weeks of adjusted training and boom I felt strong the entire way. More on what I"m doing later.

After the race it was some R&R with Mary and Marco. The Desert did not let us down.

It's a good life....