Friday, September 21, 2007

Getting Through.

"Restlessness is discontent - and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man - and I will show you a failure."
~Thomas Alva Edison

The goal is not to be the best, but is it really up to me to decide that? Is there a difference in my own journey between just to finish and to finish leaving some impression upon those that remain that something, someone, special just passed through?

The goal is to finish. But can I truly just finish?

At Ironman to just finish was special... but I know I will be going back.

This is different. There is no going back.

It has grown obvious to me that work ethic does not determine success where I am. It has grown apparent that my own success may not be up to me entirely; two things that go against every fiber of who I am. I refuse to believe that in this world I am not responsible for my successes, my failures. If I work hard and do what I know to be right, I will succeed.

Therefore, the equation I have always lived by, my own recipe, no longer holds true. I can not, in this realm, rely on physics as I know them, but instead am sort of bound to the tides of wherever this is and will forever struggle with fighting against the current which is counter to my own truths or to succumb to the truths of "now" until it dispenses me where it sees fit.

I thought I knew the truth about things.
The truth may, in fact, be schedule dependent.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Volcano Pictures

Without further adieu, see for yourself the madness that is the Wilderness Marathon at the top of Kilauea, HI. The pictures just do NOT do it justice. The most noticeable effect witnessed in person but unclear in the pictures is the steepness of the hills. At mile 22, for example, that sucker was probably a 10% grade for 2 more miles. That's fun.

Most of these were taken from a disposable camera I took with me during the run. One of the people I met in the middle of the thing was kind enough to take a pic of me at mile 14.5, which is a few down there. Jan and her dad also took a couple at the very beginning and at the very end.


"The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic."
~Oscar Wilde

Watch closely, you will actually see me cross the line at Ironman CDA 2007. Ah, watching that makes me want to sign up RIGHT NOW for another one... but I promised to wait until 2009...

It is what it is... What is it?

"They misunderestimated me."
~George W. Bush

Its fall. Thats what. I misunderestimated its effect.

I forgot how fall felt until this morning when it was on the verge of raining, cold and dark.

In some parts of the world fall is pretty and colorful, with changing leaves, "indian summer" (whatever that means) and gradualism. It means the gardens will begin producing a new bounty and the evening air will hang heavy in the early setting sun's red glow.

In Seattle it means ick. And get out your trusty rain-proof everything.

It means keeping plenty of towels in the garage for wiping dog feet.

Fall means another 10 months until summer. The beginning of going to work in the dark and going home in the dark.

Fall means its time to dust off the bike trainer in anticipation of garage riding for months.

Ok, this is a really bad view, I admit. Fall brings good things also. It brings another season of Seahawks football and more importantly, tailgating with the crew. Seahawks football brings its own set of ulcers and frustrations also, but we wont dedicate blog time to that, right now. Fall means marathon training for the hilly, chilly and wet Seattle Marathon. I think thats fun. Its fun getting done with it.

Fall means Oktoberfest beer-a-thons all over the northwest.


I dont know, its hard for me to paint it in a positive light when I love hot weather, beaches and 4:30 AM sunrise. I love swimming after coffee at 7 AM followed by running the mountains at noon and more swimming. I love seeing the sun rise beyond the cascades and Husky Stadium on my bike ride to work at 6 AM. I love summer. I can not lie.

But if it weren't for the 10 months of ICK, perhaps I might not enjoy summer quite so thoroughly every minute of every day.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Plate Champion

“A big man is always accused of gluttony, whereas a wizened or osseous man can eat like a refugee at every meal, and no one ever notices his greed.”

~Robertson Davies

On friday I turned 30. I did something extraordinary on my 30th birthday to mark the occasion. It was my first foray into competitive eating, sort of. I became a SushiLand "Plate Champion."

This is truly an American art--overeating for the sole purpose of saying you overate... The feat of becoming Plate Champion involves consuming, in whole, 30 plates of sushi in 90 minutes. 30 plates means at least two pieces of nigiri-style sushi over rice per plate, or 60 pieces of sushi. Maybe this doesn't sound difficult to many of you out there, and indeed, for me, it was not as hard as, say, Ironman. But at 25 plates my body began to negotiate with me when it came to swallowing.

Body: You think you are going to really swallow that mouthful of salmon, rice, wasabi and soy?
Gluttony: Yes.
Body: Go ahead and try.
Gluttony: (chewing, chewing, chewing, chewing...still chewing...) So you have a point.
Body: Tell you what, dumb-ass. I will let you swallow HALF of a bite at a time, and only after you mix it with some tea and chew each HALF bite for approximately 5 minutes. And you will accept this deal or barf.

I turned 30. I ate 34 plates. I am a Plate Champion. Not only that but I set a new record for our department at school, the former record being 33 plates. I actually finished 20 plates in about 45 minutes. It was nuts.

I got a t-shirt and photos to prove it. Its really not something to be proud of, but somewhere on the edge of reason I tell myself that this might decrease the amount of wasted food that might have otherwise populated the garbage. It might be partially true. Maybe.