What is this blog about? Laugh, Think, and Cry...

My blog is for you and for me. I hope you find some inspiration here. I follow a "laugh, think, and cry" pattern based upon the following quote from Jimmy V (Jim Valvano, former N.C. St. basketball coach) during his final days of battling cancer in 1993. Btw, It it is quite OK for you to cry in the laugh section, think in the cry section, and laugh in the think section... :) Click here if you want to view the entire Jimmy V speech.

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week; you're going to have something special.”


A lot has happened since I began this blog last fall. When I selected Jimmy Valvano’s “Laugh, Think, and Cry” speech to use as model of inspiration for my theme I had no idea that cancer would strike my family like it has in the last year. My older sister Susan recently buried her husband Glenn E. Hall (49) after an incredibly grueling and difficult battle versus a very rare and aggressive cancer called alveolar rhabdomyosacrcoma. It began attacking his brain last fall in what initially appeared to be a sinus infection. There was no indication to think it was anything else. By the time it was detected it had left a trail of destruction of irreparable damage.

My younger sister DeAnn currently battles ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed on October 5th, 2010. Her fight continues.

On September 13th, 2011 my beautiful queen Stephanie picked me up from the gym after a long workout. Moments later I learned that my wife of 25 years, my best friend, the mother of our four amazing children, confirmed one of our worst fears. Stephanie has breast cancer. We held each other tight and the tears flowed. Our world has been rocked yet we are certain we can and will still be standing after it is all said and done.

Stephanie and I have decided to share her battle. We have been preaching and living the word “challenge” over the past few years. Our lifestyle has changed and we have been blessed to meet so many wonderful people through our running adventures. This is something that would be impossible to keep hidden so we choose to open up and invite others to come along for this “run” with us.

Stephanie and our family now face something much more daunting than a mountain marathon or an Ironman triathlon. We understand that many are confused as to why this has happened. We get it that some people don’t know what to say or how to react to the news. It’s ok. We have accepted it for what it is. Cancer is here, it is real, and it is us. Stephanie has it and so our family has it. We are a team. One for all and all for one. We are fighting to save our Mommy, our friend, and my wife. Early detection and current medical technology coupled with faith, love, and hope give us a fighting chance, a chance that not all cancer patients receive. We are grateful for this. Stephanie is young, strong, and tougher than nails. Our family and the doctors are doggedly determined that we are going to defeat this foe.

We plan to use this opportunity to become stronger, better people. As the storm clouds gather and the rain comes pouring down as it most assuredly will, we hope you can find the rays of sunlight with us and in some way become a stronger person yourself. The goal of my blog was to inspire and be inspired. Stephanie shares that same wish as she tells her story... stephsfight.blogspot.com

Tick tock...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

THE Florida Ironman Recap!


Goal:  Finish the Ford Ironman Florida Triathlon, November 5, 2011. Done. J Before I begin this post, let me emphatically state that I AM NOT AN ENDURANCE ATHLETE. REALLY, I’M NOT…

Ok, here it is: my much awaited and anticipated Florida Ironman recap. J Thanks for your patience! Since landing back in Utah I have been knees and elbows deep in family, cancer fighting, and the new basketball season…

Because I have been bombarded by questions about my Ironman, I’ve decided to use those questions, yes, your questions, to write this post. As always, I hope that I can make you laugh, think, and cry.  This is as much about YOU as it is me. So, here we go.  Here’s the skinny on the 140.6 for Stephanie

Q: Are you going to do another one (Ironman)?
A: I didn’t expect it, but this is the most oft asked question I’ve received. Well, I would have to say no, yes, and maybe. I know, I know, not too committal, huh?

Why “no”? 1) Participating in an Ironman is expensive. You will drop a few thousand dollars and that’s on the low end, 2) my main goal was to finish so at this point I don’t have anything else to prove at the 140.6 distance, & 3) the training is a tremendous drain on your time and your family—it becomes another part-time job, and 4) I AM NOT AN ENDURANCE ATHLETE. REALLY, I’M NOT.

Why “yes”? 1) It was unbelievably cool to be a participant in an Ironman event. You’re a part of something very unique that only a few people will ever  attempt. The atmosphere is energizing. You can feel the electricity—it is a “hair raising” experience. I wouldn’t mind feeling that again. And, I would go back to Panama City, Florida in a heartbeat and hop in the same race again. It kind’s like playing a really sweet golf course again or why I like to order the same thing over and over again at restaurants. Hey, if it works, I stay with it. If I did Florida again, I would be very comfortable with the course and would try and improve my time. 
Why “maybe”? The timing and circumstances would have to be perfect. So we’ll see…

Q: Was the race easier or more difficult than you expected?
A: Great question. Though very hard, it was not more difficult than I expected. In some ways, I suppose it was easier…let me explain.

It was 140.6 miles & 13+ hours long!  So, of course, it was the most difficult, grueling athletic test of my life. But, it wasn’t more difficult than I expected. I suppose I can chalk that up to very good training and preparation. My physical workouts were sufficient and I had also spent many hours doing my custom “10 Minute Mental Workout”.  This training was every bit as helpful as the actual physical training and it helped me to visualize success. This had a very welcome “calming effect” during the race <insert “centering breath here> J.  The finish line was not “new” to me—I had crossed it dozens of times in my mind prior to the event. Confidence was on my side.

I am a very stubborn, determined person when I set my mind to something so there was NO WAY I was not going to finish. But, the following people boosted me tremendously and thus, made the race easier…
1)     My unofficial tri coach Greg “GP” Peterson. Wow! One of my greatest supporters and a terrific teacher. He repeatedly filled me with the knowledge and encouragement I needed to succeed. Nothing was left to chance. It is hard for me to imagine tackling this monster without his help.

2)    YOU! There is an excellent chance that if you are reading this post, you motivated me during the race. I kept a written list of your names (52 to be exact) in my pocket and pulled it out and read it during fuel breaks on the run. The images of all of you and your voices in my head was “skin tingling” inspiring! Bet you never guessed you were with me in Florida, huh? Well, you were! I’m a lot like my Dad—that list is something he would have done. Speaking of him, he’s next...

3)    Robert Galley, my Dad. I felt the presence of my father around Mile 16 of the marathon. It was unmistakable and will never be forgotten. It was a private, personal experience and the moment when I absolutely knew that I would finish. The remaining 10 miles were actually the easiest “last 10 miles” of any marathon I’ve ever run. Kind of surprising.

4)    Stephanie, my queen.  I was so absolutely inspired by Stephanie that truly every single mile was joyful. It was a celebration of her, and her struggle, and our struggle.  It is hard to imagine “enjoying” an Ironman, but I did.  She was my fuel (and still is)…

Q: You love your rock n’ roll, how did you survive 13+ hours without music?!
A: I had done quite a few very long workouts without tunes and had grown accustomed to not rocking out while working out. Music is not allowed during Ironman events and I think it would have been a major distraction anyway. Without tunes I was fully able to soak in the “sounds of the race”.

Q: Were you sore in the hours and/or days after the race?
A: My quads were pretty dang sore afterward, but I was mostly just fatigued rather than “sore”. I think this was due to my good training. My body was ready for the race.  I’ve actually been much more sore after considerably shorter races and training workouts.

Q: What was the hardest—the swim, the bike, or the run?
A: Awesome question.  They are all difficult for me in their respective way, but one becomes harder than the other two. The run. The 26.2 mile beast.

The swim is my least favorite of the three, but what I do like about the swim is that it is first, so I get to eat the frog right away and then move on to better tasting stuff. It is dang hard for me because, to quote my first swim coach, “Steve, you are an oil tanker and we’re going to try and transform you into a speed boat.” Translation: I am a slow, plodding swimmer and though I had trimmed myself down to my college football playing weight, I am not a water skipper. I have improved my technique tremendously over the past few years, but it is still a struggle for me. I have yet to add an Evinrude to my equipment bag!

The bike is prickly thorn in the posterior for me because it is just so dang long. 112 miles. 5-6 hours. Who goes for a ride that long at race pace?! Idiot Ironmen, that’s who!  It is a grueling haul that takes its toll on your legs, your core, your back, your arms/shoulders, and on some other body parts, too!! J
I suppose I’d have to say the run is the hardest for me mainly because at that point you are so dang tired and it now becomes as much, or even more, a mental than physical game.  The demons rear their ugly head and you have to wage war on them face to face. In a twisted way, this is much of the allure of these insane endurance events. It’s the challenge of “overcoming” that entices you to send in your entry fee. Do you have what it takes to win this mental battle? I can say without any hesitation, that yes, you and I are both capable of getting the “W”.  And, it doesn’t necessarily have to be an “Ironman” triathlon and you don’t have to be an “endurance athlete”.  You just gotta have a whole lotta “want to.”  We all have mountains to climb and our crosses to bear, so get climbing and, uh, bearing. Let’s live it up, baby.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

This One is Personal!

Goal:  Finish the Ford Ironman Florida Triathlon, November 5, 2011, Panama
Current Weight: 187 (college football playing weight—wahooooooo!)
Ironman Goal Weight: A lean, strong, healthy 189
Current Training: The hay is in the barn.

THINK: 140.6 for Stephanie

Pain hurts! Well duh, of course it does! I hate pain. I avoid it. My pain threshold is lower than my triathlete heart rate (at my last doctor visit I set off the “low heart rate” alarm during a blood pressure check—the nurse was freaking out until he asked me if I was a runner or a long distance triathlete!). Now, while I don’t consider myself a wimp, I really just cannot stand pain. Which is why…I AM NOT AN ENDURANCE ATHLETE. REALLY, I’M NOT! Please, keep pain and suffering away from me. Can someone please pass the ibuprofen?!

Moving on to mile whatever…
This may not make any sense to you, but I’ve had a change of heart. On Saturday when I participate in the Florida Ironman, I actually want to hurt. Bizarre, huh? But, yes, I am looking forward to the agony. I know I can handle marathon sting and I know I can deal with half-ironman torture. But, can I endure the mental and physical pounding of an Ironman Triathlon? 140.6 miles?! I hope so. I believe so. And since Stephanie was diagnosed with cancer, I have felt like I need to and am supposed to…

Yes, it has been my recent hope and prayer that this insane race can help inspire Steph to continue her valiant fight against cancer with the same vigor and positive attitude that has carried her and our family thus far. I guess what I’m saying is that I want to hurt like Steph is hurting in order to help her. Somehow and some way I want to take her pain away and it’s frustrating to be incapable of such a thing. Now, I know completing an Ironman is far easier than beating cancer, but it’s all I’ve got right now. It just seems like the next best thing. It actually feels like the only thing I can do at this moment. So, Florida Ironman, please dish out some nasty, aching, throbbing, awful grief to  Athlete #2251 on Saturday. Yep, bring on the pain, baby!

Dozens of races and several thousand training hours have brought me to this starting line, but it will be Stephanie that gets me to that finish line. I will need a lot of help to pull this off. I’m sure my Dad will be there with me, in fact, I know he will. Others will be there too in spirit and I will think of many of you--my family, my players, relay crazies, and all of my friends. But, Stephanie will be first and foremost in my mind as I swim, bike, and run in Panama City. Every swim stroke, every pedal crank, and every footstep is for her, my queen and my best friend. This race has taken on such importance and deep meaning to me. It is difficult to explain how my perspective of this race has changed in the past 6 weeks. I have to get this done. I have no choice but to hope, believe, battle, and conquer for Stephanie. This is NOT just another race or crazy endurance event. This one is personal.    

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Goal:  Finish the Ford Ironman Florida Triathlon, November 5, 2011, Panama
Current Weight: 189
Ironman Goal Weight: A lean, strong, healthy 189
Current Training: Final “build” week—it’s almost here!

LAUGH: Shake Your Fist 

I love chocolate. Ok, I just lied. I LUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUV chocolate (and sweets in general). When I got my paws on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a kid I remember reading and rereading the part about Augustus Gloop and turning completely brown with envy! Can you imagine drinking from a chocolate river? Can you imagine swimming in it?! Pure heaven, at least until you drowned or get sucked up a pipe…

I pretty much like just about any kind of chocolate from chips to truffles to covered candies and nuts and just about any kind of cookie. I will eat dark, milk, white, bar, slivered, frozen, melted, whatever. I will eat from a jar, from a bag, from a can, and any kind of brownie except for the ExLax variety.  Bring on the brown! I will eat chocolate at any time of day or night and it seems to taste better when it is forbidden. Chocolate may be my favorite food group and nutrient. I think it is just that good. Furthermore, I consider chocolate milk to be a Top 5 all-time world invention (also included in this list is air conditioning, basketball, and the wheel).

Growing up as a metabolic freak (the skinny boy who could inhale chocolate by the pound and slurp it down by the gallon with no waistline consequences), I could and would consume chocolaty things in large quantities. There were no rules, no discipline. The only limit was time and quantity. Boy, things sure changed in my late 20’s when I was no longer able to eat whatever I wanted in portions suited more for a large barn yard animal than a suddenly sedentary slug. No longer could I bake a chocolate cake and eat half of it in one sitting (I did this many times in 8th and 9th grade—hey, just pull it out of the oven, poke holes in it with a fork, drizzle powdered icing over the top, slice it up and grab the chocolate milk and turn on Hogan’s Heroes, yum!). Nope, I now have to pick my spots and can’t just eat the manna from heaven whenever I want. Oh, such torture…

So as you can see, I am NOT in denial (“Hi, my name is Steve and I’m a chocoholic”). So how do I deal with this addiction? I simply “shake my fist”. Huh? That’s right. I look at the beautiful brown stuff and transform it into my enemy. I let my imagination run wild. The chocolate will grow horns, wield spears, and even point firearms at me. In a sometimes frightening moment, it becomes the devil himself (my favorite cake=Devil’s Food)! The chocolate is trying to hurt me and is attempting to keep me from becoming an ironman. It must be stopped! So I challenge it and even mock it. This is one time when I approve of trash talk. I announce my superiority over it and look it squarely in the eyes and “shake my fist” at it! I scold it and in no uncertain terms I declare with boldness that I will not let it defeat me! During such a confrontation, my daughters roll their eyes and say unspeakable things about their crazy father before exiting the room.

Now, do I win the battle every time? Of course not. Sometimes I immediately roll over on my back and go into full submission (Lori Kassing’s brownies, Mint Oreos, Symphony bars, the list goes on). But, the “shake my fist” strategy has helped me to win many battles with the brown stuff. It is one big reason why I’m 189 instead of 249. "Shaking my fist" has helped me to discipline myself so that my body is now in position to become an ironman. So, when the brown temptation comes as it most surely will, simply shake your fist and come off the conqueror… J

Monday, October 3, 2011


Goal:  Finish the Ford Ironman Florida Triathlon, November 5, 2011, Panama City, FL
Current Weight: 189
Ironman Goal Weight: A lean, strong, healthy 189—now moving to 185 and struggling to rid myself of “Mr. Grissle”, a pesky combination of skin and blubber (sorry for the visual) that stubbornly adorns my shrinking waistline.
Current Training: I am in my final “build” phase before beginning a tapering phase before the race—the butterflies are swirling inside and the excitement is growing.
Current Injury Status: None.

THINK: The Weaker Sex?   

While hanging out in the boys’ coaches office I once heard a colleague say, “I’m not a male chauvinist pig (there’s a flashback to some groovy 70’s slang), I just think men are better than women!”

When I was novice marathoner/triathlete, I would get a little miffed when a girl, woman, or lady passed me on the course. Growing up as a male in the throes of American sports culture and having spent many hours in scores of foul-smelling locker rooms, I suppose I have a smidgen of chauvinism trickling through my veins when it comes to athletic events. I confess I have on occasion used insensitive phrases like “lose the skirt” and “you throw like a girl”. What can I say? I need to repent and I have…

Now, later in life with a handful of marathons and a mess of triathlons from sprint to half ironman distance under my race belt, I have been an eyewitness to the impressive performances of women in endurance events. Don’t be fooled by the cute colors, pony tails, or tutus. These chicks are tough. Some are fast, some are slow, some are experienced and others are just learning. But, they are all tuuuuuufffff! Wanna know why? Mothers. Yep, mothers. Let me explain…

Most of these endurance machines are mothers, and the ones who aren’t have what it takes to become one! What I am getting at is that women are tough enough to give birth! Yep, they lug around a human bowling ball for months in their tummies and then, well, you know what’s next. Yiiiiiiiikes! I was fortunate enough to witness the birth of my four wonderful children. Staying out of the way I let the expert do the work. It was flat out jaw-dropping incredible to watch my wife in action! I am married to one tough mother. She’s a four time amazing Mommy. I couldn’t do it (duh!) but I wouldn’t want to do it even if I could. Let’s face it fellas, women have a pain threshold and mental toughness that is special. You won’t hear me call them the “weaker” sex. They are steady and steadfast. They can endure and overcome pain that I cannot. They have my R-E-S-P-E-C-T (cue up Aretha Franklin here) and admiration. Now, I’m not saying that us dudes are total wimps, but let’s tip our caps to the gals and the next time a determined princess or queen passes you on the course, don’t take it personally, she’s just running like a mother...

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Ordinary to Ironman. If I can do this, you can do something way better. Check out my blog on Blogger (sgalley.blogspot.com) or Tumblr (iamnotanenduranceathlete.tumblr.com) and laugh, think, and cry.


August 7, 2011
Goal:  Finish the Florida Ironman Triathlon, November 5, 2011, Panama City, FL
Current Weight: 191—this has been the toughest stretch of weight loss…
Ironman Goal Weight: A lean, strong, healthy 189
Current Injury Status: None
Current Training: Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. 25 years ago I married my best friend Stephanie. Tomorrow is also the day I begin “13 weeks to a 13 Hour Marathon” (Triathlete Magazine). What a great day!

LAUGH: Hey, That Was My Left Cheek, Pal!
Last week I was able spend some time in Southern Idaho visiting my sister’s family. I decided to go for a solitary fun run while there. The plan was for a 5-8 mile early morning run on the rural roads outside the thriving metropolis of Wendell, Idaho: Population: 2,430. If you count the dairy cows, the population quadruples. This is milk country, folks. (Insert your own “udder” joke here).

So, I head out the door and run west with my GPS watch as my guide. This was to be a “low-key, mind-clearing, thinking” run--no competition here--just gonna go scamper out in the sticks and hopefully not smell too many barnyard odors. I’m feeling good and new scenery is a welcome site.

Well, I didn’t consider the fact that I would be passing many farms guarded by territorial canines. No biggie, I love dogs and they love me. I also did not account for the fact that I was the stranger in town. I am unarmed in unfamiliar surroundings. The only heat I was packing was dissipating through my headband. I would be no match for a Fido hell-bent on protecting his turf. These are not tame “city pooches”. These guys have farm skills.

I saw no less than 20 dogs. Every farmer in Wendell must have a dog(s). At least 15 of them vehemently voiced their displeasure at my decision to run down “their” road. I tried to explain to them in my best doggie language that I was harmless and just out for a training run. Easy there Sparky, I’m a lover not a fighter. I slowed down, I dropped my hands to my sides, and I even walked to look less threatening. A pair of border collies seemed to understand, but the rest of the furry sentries stared me down with distrust and disgust. Was that German Shepherd foaming at the mouth?

I’m a dog lover, but my nerves began to tingle a bit because I was doing a “out and back” route. I would have to travel through the gauntlet again. The alternative would be a much longer run with no guarantee of a dogless road back. I am NOT faster than a four-legged security officer. As I began the loop back home, I formulated some contingency plans in case I was attacked. What would Jack Bauer do? I would climb the nearest tree, I would get on all fours and bark back at them, I would hurdle the barb-wired fence to my left, or I would jump into the canal on the right. Though Jack is one of my heroes, I had no intentions of hurting a dog. But, I did want to return home in one piece. Surely I won’t be so strange to them the second time around, will I? Don’t make me slap your snout, Snuggles. Here we go, I’m ready. 

One mile later and a couple of harmless barks echo from a front porch. No sweat--they’re just cheering me on. Thanks fellas! I keep running and another half mile down the road I pass the Collie Brothers. They get it. I’m just another runner doing his thing. Man’s best friend, why worry? I round a corner and scan the roadway ahead. I spot a run-down trailer and junk-littered front yard. What in the Sam Hill? Is that a pack of six troops blocking my path? I usually don’t hallucinate until mile 22. Ok, I haven’t seen these guys before—they must have been sleeping in on my first flyby. Be careful, this could be a trap. They are not barking, but they aren’t wagging their tails, either. The Gang o’ Six have the road completely blocked and they look like they’ve done this before. This ain’t their first rodeo. Ambushed. Dangit. When they finish with me will anyone ever find my remains?! I stop. 100 feet of asphalt separates me from this motley looking crew of collarless farm dogs. In unison they begin walking slowly toward me with tails pointed to the sky. Ok, relax—let’s try diplomacy. “Hey guys! How ya’ll doing?” I bend down, smile, and extend a hand of fellowship. I hope this works because I don’t see a tree or canal, and there’s no way I’m making it over that barb-wired fence before they chase me down and sink their teeth into my flesh! Their slow walk turns into a trot and lo and behold, tails start wagging and heads start bobbing! Yes. It’s love at first sight! The next thing I know I am surrounded by six romping, licking, sniffing, and playful pupsters. I start walking and wonder why I harbored any worries. These guys are part of my posse now. I’ve made some new friends!

Then it happened. The biggest of the lot (breed unknown) lowers his head and begins to growl. Are you kidding me? Please, no! Maybe Bubba is jealous that his boys are having fun with SOMEONE OTHER THAN HIM?! I stop walking and try to console him with some puppy talk. It’s not working. I can feel Bubba’s hot breath on my left thigh and I have an all too close view of his incisors and bicuspids. Hydrogen peroxide is not recommended for use on puncture wounds, consult a physician. Things continue to go south. Monkey see, doggy do. Two others stop wagging tails and create a chorus of growls. It’s as if they think I’m a spy trying to infiltrate their canine cell. “Dudes, I promise, we’re on the same team!” Now the other three stop wagging tails and time slows to an awkward crawl. When was my last tetanus shot? I await the proverbial movie of my life to flash before my eyes as I prepare myself to become a giant Milk-Bone biscuit (I’m in dairy country after all).  For a brief moment I have a random thought about an African documentary where a pack of hynenas attack a helpless… Owwwwwwwwww! Really?! That’s gonna leave a mark! Bubba just nipped my left buttock and the other sharks are starting to circle! OK, all bets are off—no Mr. Nice Guy!  Instantly the fight component of the fight or flight mechanism kicks into high gear. No way I’m going to perish in Wendell, Idaho in the jaws of the Gang o’ Six! “Go home now!” I bark angrily at the grumpy growlers. They stop and stare. Oh yes. They most likely are “24” fans and are mulling over the consequences of their unruly behavior. They’ve seen what Jack can do. I repeat the same command and point to their property with feigned authority. Incredibly, the pack starts to back away led by Big Bubba. Wow, these guys obey better than my students. I keep shooing them back until I feel safe enough to pass. Once they get inside their yard I start to jog and they start to bark. Not in the clear just yet—maintain eye contact. As the distance between us increases, my pace quickens and then I realize…if Two Tooth Tommy comes out of that trailer dragging a hangover and a shotgun my right cheek is gonna be full of lead!  Let’s skedaddle and get out of Dodge! I started pickin’ ‘em up and layin’ ‘em down faster and made a daring escape!

I’ve always known that the two biggest dangers to runners are cars and dogs. I was almost taken down by the latter on this day, but no, I survived, suffering only a minor nick to the left cheek. Sorry, but I’m not going to show you the wound…


Sunday, July 17, 2011


Goal:  Finish the Ford Ironman Florida Triathlon, November 5, 2011, Panama City, FL 
Current Weight: ? I’m on a 3-week “no weigh” plan—I’ll explain later, maybe.
Ironman Goal Weight: A lean, strong, healthy 189
Current Training: I am now beginning the push to prepare for the Utah Half Ironman on August 27th & the Top of Utah Marathon on September 17th. Everything from this point on will be geared to start revving the engine in preparation for November 5th.
Current Injury Status: None.

LAFFAs some of you know, I detest misspeeeelings and cruciphy myself when I make them myself in any dokument or correspondunce. I even hate to misspell in a text message!  During my latest Ragnar Relay experience not only did I run with some outstanding runners but I shared lube and blisters with an exsellent group of spellurs! We passed some of the time expressing our disappointment in the por speling by sum of our fellow Ragnarlians on the coarse (imagine 2,400 vehicles with names, slogans, etc. decorating there windows—we didn’t see ‘em all, butt saw many).  One of the gems we viewed over and over again was a teem name displayed on a back window we trailed fer many, many miles:  “Squirl Bait”.  C’mon people, my pen is out of red ink…

THINK: Very Important Triathlete
I remember my kid-like excitement (I was 20, so I guess I was still actually a kid!) when I enjoyed the opportunity of attending the Wimbledon Championships in the mid 80’s. While I was not a tennis player, I had grown up watching the greats with my father and playing a little with him in between all of the football, basketball, and running After all, it was “sport”, and it was “competition”, so I was all in. I think tennis is a great spectator sport.

Back to London…I ate some strawberries and cream and was thrilled to watch stars like John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, and a new German kid on the block named Boris Becker, play tennis on the world’s greatest grass court stage. And, of course, I dreamed like every athlete… “Wouldn’t it be cool to play here?” Everyone’s done it. We imagine scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl or hitting a home run in the World Series (insert your own dream here). But, even if we couldn’t do that wouldn’t it be cool just to share the court or the field with the pros? Just once? Sure, you can pay thousands to participate in “fantasy camps” with pro athletes, but you aren’t sharing the same stage with the same athletes in the same event. Except in the world of triathlon. When you swim, bike, and run in an Ironman event, you are sharing the water and the road with the world’s best professional triathletes. You also get to share the same finish line with them (albeit hours later
J).  I think this is pretty cool and it makes the Ironman a very unique event in the world of sport. As a forty-something who went pro in teaching/coaching, I will participate in Florida with the some of the world’s elite triathletes. A VIT, I guess. Pretty awesome…

CRYThe Best Way to Prepare for a Race
 My mind is constantly filled with the idea of making each moment and day count.  Find something worthwhile to pursue, decide to try something impossible, or make a written plan for whatever “it” is that you’ve always wanted to do but just haven’t completed yet. And then tell someone who loves you about your goal

There are tears of joy and tears of regret.  Take your pick, the choice is yours. A genuinely sad thing happens when we procrastinate and fail to act on our desires and dreams.  The following quotes motivate me to seek the tears of the former and not the latter:

“Mr. Meant-To has a friend, his name is Didn’t-Do. Have you met them? They live together in a house called Never-Win. And I am told that it is haunted by the Ghost of Might-Have-Been.”
        -Marva Collins, educator. b. 1936.

“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘it might have been’.”
            -John Greenleaf Whittier, writer. 1807-1892.

Checklist time--think for a moment or two...

  • What race or event do you want to do? 
  • What race or event do you need to do? 
  • Now, go write it down. 
  • Next, go show someone you love and ask for their support. 
  • Ok, just one more step to get you moving. It is a great piece of advice from my friend, coach, and inspiration, Greg Peterson (2 time Ironman triathlete). He says “the best way to prepare for a race is to send in your entry fee.”

Let’s go… (and don't forget, if you like this blog you can become a Google Follower or even easier, you can subscribe by email below and a message will automatically be sent to you with each new post)

Monday, June 20, 2011


Every improvement starts here. Now is the time to begin.
LAUGH: Fundraiser…
A dang good chuckle from a recent conversation with my biggest fan and most ardent supporter: my wonderful wife and best friend, Stephanie…
“We should organize a 5K to raise money for your missing butt.”  J

THINK: Primal  
So what is “primal”? It’s closely related to the Paleo and Caveman stuff out there. Google it. Now, far be it from me to critique “diets”, “lifestyles”, and “meal plans”. Me no expert. Me just dumb basketball coach. Me have to do what me think best. But, me very firm in decision to avoid fads and go with long term strategy. Pills, mail order food, or injections? Uh, no. Plastic surgery? Puuuuhlease! Lapband? Definitely not. Eating bark? Hmmmm, maybe.

In December I stumbled upon the Primal Blueprint when I was searching for nutrition and lifestyle plans that are used by current endurance athletes (ironically, the author of Primal Blueprint is a former marathoner/Ironman triathlete who points out the dangers of becoming an emaciated endurance athlete!) The ideas were intriguing and so I explored them further. Liking what I saw from a nutrition standpoint, I picked up my caveman spear and threw on a loincloth (ok, I’m exaggerating). But, I can declare that I have been “semi-primal” for several months.  I don’t know if I will ever be 100% primal, but I’m not so worried about that right now. My focus now is on making steady improvements and adjustments to my nutrition while I continue to learn.

Bottom line: I am losing fat and gaining muscle. The measurements don’t lie--more on them next time. This is amazing to me. This is something I haven’t been able to do on previous body transformation attempts. Cool. Basically, I eat a lot of plants and animals and ditch (most of) the sugar, wheat, and processed garbage on the inner aisles at the store (remember, I am only “semi-primal” at present).

More specifically, I am eating much lower carb totals and my body is enjoying ample muscle-building protein while burning whale blubber from my still considerable fat storage facility that surrounds my midsection. I was sure life without my oatmeal, bread, peanut butter, and buckets of sugar, etc. would be brutal, even torturous. Not so, my friends. I have LOTS o’ energy, I’m never hungry, and I feel better. In fact, I feel ridonkulously good and I credit the move to Primal in helping me bust a 3 year weight plateau naturally and without going hungry. I've turned the corner, folks. Perhaps me will really sport a loincloth and chuck spears at wild animals on next Jordan River Trail run hunt. Well, on second thought, uh…no.

Now, I’m sure at this point some of you may be worried about me. Steve has lost it. He’s certifiably nuts. Gonzo. He’ll be reciting yoga mantras under a pine tree and inhaling Al Gore’s hot air by the end of the summer. Relax. I haven’t totally freaked out. There is no pony tail, Grateful Dead posters, or VW van just yet. But, I did purchase some light blue camo Vibrams and am about 6 weeks into my barefoot running experiment--more to come on that in a future post. J 

C’mon Steve, what are you eating?!
If you really want to know more about The Primal Blueprint, you’ll have to read it yourself...it is very interesting stuff.

OK, ok…here are two of my favorite Primal meals that began as personal experiments. The first I call  (Semi) Primal SPLAT (I named it this after the sound it makes in the pan on the final turn before its spectacular finish!). I never thought I’d be one to eat veggies for breakfast! Wow, maybe I have freaked out?! The second is MyBAS: My Big Awesome Salad. Enjoy!

Note: (BH= big handful, SH=small handful, ESH=extra small handful – I don’t use measuring cups or spoons, I just grab it and chuck it in the pan like a good Caveman would)

*(Semi) Primal SPLAT
PRIMAL SPLAT!  My dog Champ loves it, too!
Carrots (6-8 baby or 2 medium/large)
#Bacon (3 slices—)
#Sausage or ham (2-3 links or equivalent)
ESH Onions (whatever kind you like)
ESH Walnuts (weird I know, but it works for me)
#2-4 Eggs (how much protein do you want/need?)
2-3 BH Lettuce (or any greens of your choice)

#grass fed, farm fresh is my first choice

Cook bacon and/or sausage first and cut into pieces (we often precook it all at once and then use it later). Saute carrots in butter (yep, the real stuff) over medium heat. Add in onions for 1-2 minutes after carrots are semi-cooked. Crack in the eggs over the carrots/onions. Sprinkle bacon/sausage pieces evenly over eggs. Cook to over easy or over hard stage—whatever you like—and then use large spatula to turn it all over making sure that it SPLATS! Near the end of cooking or after you remove it to a plate, top it off with the greens. This colorful dish is a nutrient-filled and protein-packed tummy-filler that will prepare you to move boulders and chase down elk! Yum! I plan on trying some variations of this—I may have a six pack of SPLAT recipes soon.

MyBAS--My Big Awesome Salad (this culinary delight provides me with 3 days of big awesome lunches at school). I spent 45 of my 46 years as a salad-hater so this was a big stretch for me…my Mommy is shocked.

4 BH mixed greens (I like Romaine/Green Leaf lettuce & spinach)
BH  sliced and/or diced baby carrots
SH  cashews
1 sliced & diced avocado
2 BH diced chicken (I often used leftovers or precook extra on another day—you can use other meat, too)
ESH sunflower seeds
4 sliced & diced hard-boiled eggs

Toss it and then top with your favorite dressing. I depart from conventional practices here and drizzle mine with a little non-primal (I told you I’m not 100%!) BBQ sauce. Steph thinks I’m nuts, but I love it and my taste buds just don’t dig any salad dressings. None, including the one you want to tell me about. Save your dressing breath. Me no like them.

MyBAS is a crunchy creation full of yummy flavors and packed with a primal protein punch! This lunchtime treat will get you ready for an afternoon and evening of hunting wild boar with a medium sized rock!  Give it a taste test this week and tell me what you think…

Grok on!

CRY: The Faces
I’ve seen dozens of them during the past 4 years at races. You can find them at virtually any running event or triathlon. I’ve stared at them. I’ve read the names and the captions. The faces strike an emotional chord with me.

What faces? There’s one. Over there on that guy’s shirt. Who is she? It is someone’s Mommy. She is a loving sister, the funny aunt, or the girl next door. The faces on the shirts belong to those who sadly left their loved ones too soon. There is a beautiful, yet heartbreaking story behind each face on every shirt. He or she is running for someone else.

My eyes are drawn to the faces on the shirts like a magnet to steel. I try not to stare, but I do. I forget about running and begin contemplating the precious value of life and time. Instantly aches and pains seem to disappear. I feel a sudden rush of energy, a renewal of spirit, a longing to run faster, to be stronger, to be kinder, and to just be better in every way. It’s a reverent yet enthusiastic sensation fueled by the gratitude for the opportunity I have right then and there to be alive--to have the ability and opportunity to move, to run, and to share the experience with my family and/or friends.

I don’t know the people or stories behind the faces on those shirts. I can only imagine. But though they remain strangers to me, there is an odd familiarity, an unexplainable connection between us. They inspire me to carry on with a rejuvenated appreciation and enthusiasm for life. 

Let’s go for a run and have some steaks afterward...
Get your hands off my steaks or you'll meet the sharp end of my spear!
C'mon followers, let's hear some comments or share a "primal" recipe (I'll bet you have one and you may not have even thought of it as "primal"!).