Tuesday, December 30, 2008

To Marco


As you well know, I commit my life to you. It doesn't always turn out the way we plan but the goal is always the same. I want you to live your life, choose your path and go after it! My job is to help you find the path and to help you realize it. You always hear me talk about the rules of life. Respect your mother, do the right thing, make the hard choices etc. Every once in awhile I find new things and it's important to let you in on them. They aren't really new to the world we live in, just new to our conversations.

The picture above fittingly is one you took. My goal is to enjoy as many sunrises as possible in life and this one was spectacular. The mountains of Slovenia offered the setting but the Sun gave us the color and my gosh what color. By the way you are only 10 and you took this picture. That's a great eye for beauty and just a stunning picture.

Rules to Live by

A coach named Gordo Byrn wrote these down. The are extremely simple and good rules to follow:

1. Spend less than you make

2. Tell the Truth

3. Train Daily

4. Control your desires (Candy, TV and more as you grow)

Spend Less Than you Make

You've heard Mom and I talk about this at length. We are a bit extreme when it comes to this idea or so our financial advisor tells us, but it's really clear, if you want to reach your dreams you can't do it in heavy debt.

Tell the Truth

That one is simple and it's so much easier that trying to keep up with a lie. Let's say I told someone I did my best Ironman in Hawaii in 9:08 in 1997. It's possible because people less fit than me have gone that fast but I didn't do it. But now the lie is started and that someone told someone else. I'd have to work to remember who I told this lie to and what the lie was in the first place. It's so much easier to say my best is 9:57 and I did that in Florida where hills don't exist.

Train Daily

Because I run, bike and swim this one seems easy but it's not. Yes, I believe you and everyone else should get their body moving on a daily basis. Right now as a 10 year old kid this is not an issue. We generally have to slow you down. But, you know the world is fat and there is not enough training going on. Daily training is not just the body, you have to continue to train your mind. Just look at Papi. He's 75 years old and is in the Gym each morning, but he his a heavy reader of good stuff just like you. Reading good stuff is one of the best ways to train your brain. You can read Jarhead (when you are old enough) as long as you read mind bending good stuff too.

Control your Desire

Desire is good, too much is bad. Triathletes who live, sleep and breath triathlon have no life. Nobody including triathletes want to be around them. Too much TV will make your eye's freeze open. Too much candy will make your teeth fall out. It's simple, don't squash your desire, just control it.

Final Words

Dream - Son, Dream big dreams and keep doing it the rest of your life. Write them down and go after them.

Life is not measured in how many breaths you will take, it should be measured by how many times it takes your breath away - Don't be surprised if I ask you what you did today to take your breath away?

Marco, I love you!

It's a good life....


I must thank Gordo Byrn, Chuckie V, and Bree Wee for the content of this letter. My inspiration comes from reading what others have to say and these three tend to say a great deal.

Friday, December 19, 2008


2008 Rantings

Pork - I've made my statement. When I finally leave Germany I may never eat Pork again! My gosh do the Germans eat Pork. The Grocery store meat department is probably 70% Pork products. The Organic meat section is 90% Pork. The main meat at Stripes (adidas cafeteria), Pork. I guess when you're famous for your schnitzel and your Bratwurst you better be good at preparing Pork. Pork is everyday here.

Snow - I don't know that I really ever ranted about snow except that we don't get enough. Big snowstorm moves through Germany, it snows south of here in Munich, it snows north of here in Berlin, it rains here. Average temperature this winter season 2 degrees celcius and rain. That is not a stated average temperature, that is just what I see on the Bank more than any other temperature. Believe me, I welcome -5 and snow.

Wasp Stings - First of all they hurt. Second they really hurt when your heart is pumping from a heavy pace of running. Finally though, if you are running with someone and they get stung by a wasp or bee, interrupt your run and make sure they are o.k. Imagine the headline "Man dies from Wasp Sting - Running Buddies get their 10 mile 65 minute run in"

Mud - It's been 4 weeks now and there is no end in sight. Mud is daily. So much mud that my mtn bike gearing stops working after 20 minutes of riding. Mud on my face going to work and coming home from work. Mud on the noon run. Mud in the shower. Mud on Scout. Mud on Marco. Mud on the car. Mud in the car. Mud in my ears. Mud up my nose. A freaking wet, cold, muddy 10K race recently. 4 weeks of Mud and Counting.

Fat Men - I really have nothing against fat people. I know people who are afraid of fat people but I am not one of them. But they have not been saved by my ranting. The pool is the main area of concern for me. Skinny swimmer guy vs. large quantities of head up breast stroking fat people. Skinny guy loses every time. One note on head up breast stroke. I also see really fit, muscular men doing it and women who look good in that two piece doing it. Folks at the speed and effort you are swimming those laps you are not having a positive fitness effect. I know it's relaxing but really now, isn't there something else you could be doing. Back to Fat people. Fat men in G-String swimsuits, stay out of my pool please. Finally the good old USA. The regular shock of getting off a flight from Europe anywhere in the USA is a complete shock to the system. America is just plain fat. One last fun point. The family participated the other night in an international get together at the Bowling Alley. One big group, lot's of lanes and food for 12 Euros each. The food, Americana. Most of it deep fried. Welcome to America.

President Bush- Back in January sitting in a hotel in Panama, I watched the State of the Union speech given by George. I watched as he placed blame for the economy on congress, for the slowness of the war on congress for everything wrong with Washington on Congress. He took no credit for the ills of the day. I still believe it was the lowest point of his term in office. Recently though he made up for some of his downfall. His quick reaction to one flying shoe was amazing. It was like he practiced it but of course he didn't. Then he just carried on talking. I was also impressed with the President of Iraq for his reaction on the second shoe but that doesn't compare to the first shoe. Amazing!

Ego - I think this was my biggest topic. Clearly I'm afraid of having a big ego. Chuckie V said it best, "Wherever Ego, I go". Ego gets you knowhere. Maybe it makes you feel good for a short time but you will be a lonely person and that's not what I want to be. So I have vowed to rid myself of Ego, as well as Pork.

Leadership - Oh my what an overused term today. It's so overused some companies use it in a job title. He's my rant. Leadership is not a given title, you earn it. You earn it with your example. You earn it without your ego. Leaders make everyone else around them better. Leaders can make things seem easier. Leaders make coming to work a challenge, a joy, a mission. Leaders do not place blame. With the title you have the opportunity to be a leader but it is not given to you, you have to earn it. This does not mean leaders and whimpering ra ra let's go team people. They simply do everything with the clear indication that it's not about them. Leaders lead people. It's fairly simple.
Goals are my recovery. Goals to be a better husband, father, son and Man. Goals that keep us financially secure for life. Goals to improve on my not so gifted talent to swim, ride and run and goals to relax. Goals make mud easier. Goals make living ego free easier. Goals make life good even when all around is worth ranting about.
It's a good life....

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Friday morning work. Reminds me of old times.
I just love the beer garden village. I ride through it every day and it's just a neat place.

Winter at it's best. O.K. it would be better if there was a big beautiful Mountain in the back.

The winter sky.
Random thoughts from the week.......
I was running a fitness test yesterday. It was 6 laps all left turns in the forest. Each lap was 1.37 miles long. By lap 5 it was getting boring. I thought to myself, "that's o.k." The task itself was not boring at all. It was a field test and when I do it three weeks from now I'll know if I'm improving or not. The steady not fast, not slow pace was the boring part. So I thought more and finally determined that you have to do the boring. You have to do the head down steady pace in everything you do. The reward is that thing you're working towards. That's the really exciting thing. If you turn the boring into excititng maybe you aren't looking down the road or maybe you'll never get there.
By the way, the Test:
6 laps 1.37 miles or 8.4 miles total.
Lap's 1,2 5, 6 were on 10:15 pace. Laps 4,5 were slower.
Total Time: 61:46 or 7:21 pace.
Average HR 148 - My LT (race pace) HR is 164
I'll do the same test in 3 weeks. The first goal is to run the same 6 laps faster at the same or lower HR. Once I'm comfortable there, I'll begin to add laps with a max of 10 laps.
Remember the goal is win my age group in at least one race in 2009.
Who do you work for?
Work right now is centered around one big meeting in January with the world. Our goal at the meeting is to tell the world our story and get them to tell their world the same story. Simple right? Not when you do as much as we do. So we build this book for everyone. When they go back to their world and all the hoopla is gone they need to work and the book is there for them to reference and say "Oh Yeah". So this book is rather important. The first rough draft deadline was last Friday. We had been working on the concept since late October. We were working on the piece of the document that could be a great tool. Back in October we agreed that this part of the document was a huge effort to build and nobody in the world used it. But it was determined that the Big Boss likes it and therefore we will build it. So on Friday, the interns were working on the document and I had my part to do as well. One of our people came in and said "Dave, can we talk about this thing". I grabbed our boss (not the Big Boss) and discussion took place. We talked about the immense size of this section (216 pages) and the either really small pictures or really big pages it required. We talked about the usefulness and finally I said "It seems we are building this for the Big Boss when he's not the audience." So we worked up a solution and just then the Big Boss walked by. We told him the format was too much and that we had a suggestion. He said yes, that is the right way to go and add this stuff too! End Result, we brought 216 pages down to 11. Back to where we thought it should end up in October and the document will be highly usefull. The end result is know your audience. Heck we were building something for the Big Boss when it wasn't what he wanted in the first place. Long story there but it's usefull. Now of course not everyone was happy. One poor sap came in an argued, "It's Friday, deadline day, my people have done all the work already and now you want them to change, this is bull-shit, you don't change on the last day" I think he was missing the big picture. Besides we didn't ask "His" people to lift a finger.
It's a good life......

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Double

Little Marco Jewell decided to double up today. First of all running is not something we push marco into. We offer up events and he does or doesn't do them. Today Mary and I were planning to run a local 10K. There are always kids events so we asked Marco if he wanted to join in. He said sure and "can I do the 10K too?" So we headed to the event. You just have to love Europe. The kids events started at 11:00 there was a 5K at 1:15 and the 10K at 2:00pm. So we show up to the race site for the kids events. We find out that you must be 16 to run the 10K so Mary opted to run the 5K and Marco agreed. 11:40 and Marco was off on event #1 a 1250 meter kids event. He doesn't have that competitive spirit yet but it will come. He runs super smooth and can out kick anyone. He just doesn't feel the urge to win. That said he crossed the line in 12 or so place with a big smile on his face.
A quick snack, change of clothes (for mom and I) and it was time for the 5K. The plan for Mary was to run with him as far as he could go and walk if he needed. Not my kid, he ran the entire way. His first 5K after already running 1250. It makes a Dad proud.

My 10K was a good steady effort. I'm roughly 3 weeks into training and I'm a bit tired of the work so a 10K effort was a good change. In roughly 3 weeks I improved my average pace by 10 seconds so I'm happy with that. It's going to take time to achieve my goals and today was not a test for goal just a test for progress. All is good!

Marco getting ready for the race. Camo was the choice for the day. Number 23 is a good number. It was my football jearsey (yes, I played football - Not very well I might add) number. All smiles at 11:00am.
Here's that kick I was talking about. The kid doesn't even look like he's working it.

Dressed and ready to go for the 5K. The rain started to come just before this event. 35 degrees and raining, just beautiful. I don't have pictures of their finish because I was warming up for my event. I had a blast because during my warm-up I caught up to Mary and Marco and ran with them a bit and then managed to run the final turn on the track with them. It was a good time.
It's a good life....