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...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

105 Miles!

Salt Lake Century Ride—the day after…
May 22, 2011

SG -- SL Century 5/21/11 Antelope Island   
I will return to the Laugh, Think, Cry format in my next post. Today you get a report on my latest adventure...

Trust me, those are huge buffalo!
For those of you not familiar with cycling lingo, a century is a 100 mile bike ride. Let's face it, 100 miles is a long way to pedal. It doesn't sound like much fun for a non-endurance guy like me. But alas, my friend (and high school teammate/college roommate and fellow Bruin DeJaVuin’ relay runner) Doug Bateman, and I, did it. This wasn't Doug's first rodeo, but it was my first. We actually cranked out 105 miles by adding a small loop on Antelope Island--where we  didn't see any antelope, but did find some buffalo roaming. This little jaunt was a “training” ride for me. If I’m going to be fully prepared to pull off the Ironman in November, I’d better be comfy in the saddle for a 100+ mile bike ride.  Remember, I am not long distance dude and I certainly am not a seasoned cyclist. The longest ride I've been on so far is in the 60-70 mile range. So, after some cajoling from Dougie, I signed up for the Salt Lake Century a few weeks ago (the best way to begin preparing for a race is to send in the entry fee) and it ended up being a terrific experience! The only negative was the sting from the sunburn I sustained. I look like a lobster that fell asleep under a sunlamp sporting a sleeveless top, spandex shorts, a food tent bracelet, gloves, and a watch. The rookie biker learned a lesson there…
Far left: forearm  Left: food tent bracelet area  Middle: Garmin watch area  Right: Glove area
So back to the ride...
I haven’t been on the bike much this spring as my school schedule relegates me to early morning, 5:00 a.m. indoor spin rides rather than real asphalt treks, so I was wondering how I’d hold up. Was I was just spinning my wheels in the gym (pun intended) or had I actually become a stronger cyclist? Well, the verdict is in: I have improved significantly. All of the hard work I’ve put in strengthening my core and mashing the wheels has paid off. Yes! I felt strong and had some fuel left in the tank when I was done (so did Dougie and his impressive quadriceps!). Oh, and in addition, we actually had fun. Really, it was a kick in the spandex in more ways than one.
Dougie: "I'm not going to fall for the banana in the sprocket trick!" 
At the conclusion of the SL Century (while consuming a delicious chocolate Creamie) I inquired of myself, “Could I now go run 26.2?” And the answer was a resounding, "I think so!"  This pedaling experiment was definitely a solid confidence builder. Over the years in coaching, I've learned that you start with  hope and belief first, but inevitably performance must follow in order to create true confidence. The wheels are turning toward Florida. I’m on my way--still a lot of work to do, but I'm pedaling in the right direction!

Some random Century stuff:
Centurions vs. Marathoners:  I recall reading a forum thread last year where some endurance nutjobs were comparing and contrasting the difficulty and challenge of centuries vs. marathons. With a few 26.2's under my race belt, but no century notches on the bike stem, I could not form an opinion. Well, now I can. And the winner is…? 

With all due respect to cyclists (I recognize that I did a “flat” century and there are some monstrous, mountainous buggers out there), on bended knee I tip my hat to those who go by foot. IMO, no contest. Marathons are much, much tougher.

Ok, to wrap things up as we pass milepost 99…chew on the terms listed below, there will be a quiz later. This verbage will help you get a better grip on this biking dealio called a century. How’s your latin, amigo? J

longus pentica pedica tractus- 5+ continuous flippin’ hours on a bike
deffesus gluteus maximus– in its simplest translation: tired butt
laborious lapsus loobus- the important and very private process of lubricating certain body parts before, during, and after the ride
commessatio volatisis grossus insectus – the unintentional ingestion of nasty flying bugs (near Antelope Island and the Great Stink Lake)
angustus verimuchus neckisus- very stiff neck
"Vescere pedicus bracis meis!"- "Eat my spandex shorts!" (a phrase that comes in handy when nearly being sideswiped by an inconsiderate motorist)
"Aduros umerus humerus ouchis!"- a specific elongated exclamation of  “Ouch!” when your pal gives you a friendly slap on a fried shoulder the day after a long ride under the sun. Quit laughing, it ain’t funny.
attero crotchica- the incessant rubbage of the stuff due south of the spandex equator 
plumbeus potholesus- a stupid road hazard that is an all too common fixture on Utah roads in springtime
"Areimus you freakin’isus kiddingicuss?"- what a prostrate would say to his internal organ colleagues if he could indeed talk
acceleros funis parasitus– free loading drafters that use my still rather prolific gluteus maximus to lessen wind drag and their own effort
oopsus foetor ventus- 1) accidental (or sometimes intentional) breaking of wind that wafts back toward unsuspecting cyclists, 2) effective method of shaking any acceleros funis parasitus!
quadragenarian duo vinco vici victum pedicus centurion laureus- a pair of 40 something has been/wannabes who successfully completed the Salt Lake Century!

Just keep biking, but make sure you wear a helmet or you may end up looking like this guy...
The No Helmet Hairdo  -- A bad safety & fashion decision
Hey followers/stumblers/supporters: I'd love to hear your comments, biking experiences, thoughts, jokes, or whatever.  Please? Who will be the first to start?