Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Ultimate Compliment

What would be the ultimate compliment? Ponder while I tell you about my day.

Today was a beautiful (but hot) afternoon to go biking with the usual JDRF suspects - Dave Dahler, Steve & Amy Eager, Steve & Kitty Verkuilen, Joe Brady, Harvey Johnson (who has become a crazy rockstar on his bike), Patti Batt, Bob Gorsuch, newcomer Julie from Saris, Sheryl, Laura Bauer, etc. A great mix.

I was rushing around because a new neighbor decided to pop over to introduce herself and welcome me to the neighborhood - turns out we have known each other from a previous life, but I digress. The point of that story is that it made me late. So I rush into a convenience store to buy necessities - water, gatorade (I could NOT find my vitalyte and was seriously bummed), blueberry crumble coffee (yes, I am a coffee snob) and then I look...what on earth is actually edible? Hmmm... I pick up...these oatmeal cookie dealios. Um, bad idea.
So, I eat it as I'm driving and realize it has this know the one... "shelf-life" taste, like it could last through a nuclear holocaust? That's the one.
Patti and I are climbing a hill called "Old Mother" (which I might have added one more noun to that phrase) and the so-called cookie gets...well.... tossed.
Hm. Interestingly enough, I feel GREAT after that.
After finishing up a great ride with friends, I go home and spend some time chatting with Anne Findlay, one of the Triabetes superstar athletes. As we are chatting away, she makes a comment about Jesse doing the Ironkidz trip - a great excursion planned by the good folks at insulindependence that pairs up a type 1 child with one of the triabetes athletes. And she says, "you could be Jesse's Triabetes athlete."
You see, she then cracked up because she remembered - I do not have type 1 diabetes. Now, John Moore has said to me on many occasions that I should be flattered that he frequently forgets that I produce insulin. In our world, that is an extremely flattering compliment in some strange way. It just is. Now I got two of the athletes forgetting...who can I get to forget next?
PS The picture of the cookie is NOT a product endorsement NOR was it delicious NOR do they give us money for this project. Um, yucky.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Feelin' the love

This past week has been extremely difficult, and yet, it's been one of the best. The outpouring of support has been just nothing short of incredible. I'm amazed at the people who have called or emailed me.
Our lives are full of chapters. When one chapter closes, another opens. Triabetes has been one of the most rewarding projects I've ever been part of. Every time an athlete calls me or emails me to tell me how it has changed their lives...I can't tell you what that does to me.
Nella told me that we should be able to have the documentary out there and ready to go in December. December! It's going to change lives, more so than the 12 athletes, the executive producer (me), the emmy-winning filmmakers (Nella/Ray), the amazing team at Diabetes Training Camp (Matt), the folks at Insulindependence (Nate), and those who have touched us through sponsorship like Charles.... it has expanded my diabetes world in an incredible way.
Now I get to focus 100% of my diabetes energy on watching Triabetes soar.
A humble thank you to all of you who got my back.... :) I look forward to seeing many of you at the Capital Brewery on Friday for the celebration party! (It cannot possibly be my 39th let's not call it a birthday party!!!! )

Monday, July 14, 2008

So...what should I call my FOURTH ring - the Ace Ring?

King ring. Third ring. The "Granny Gear". So what if I have one???? You smarty pants triathletes can have your double and pour it on when you hit the hill, but I like my triple.

Here I am, cleaning Johnny C for a Sunday ride over at Runnels. I got the text, "coffee and muffins at 9?" Well, duh - of course! So I arrive and there is Mike cleaning up his pretty new Trek Madone 5.2. SWEET. For those of you who don't know it, the open garage behind me is the garage of Jon and Michelle Ericksen of Crono Metro and Planet Bike life. You can interpret that as "Jon is in his garage while we are outside and he is re-taping Michelle's Cannondale...his 4 bikes are sitting outside like the world's most costly garage sale....

Honestly, I think it was true heaven...geekdom. Smell the wd40...smell the Simple Green...the chain grease.....the...the ... oh, you get the idea!

So the rain finally goes away after we go to Pasqual's for a mexican brunch for the Gods. Let there be light, young riders, and bike to Riley....

Ok, I'm getting to the "fourth ring" part, settle down, sheesh!

So, as we get to the Riley Tavern, we buy a pitcher of beer, throw a stick or two to King, the official dog of the Riley, and it dawns on me..... I have a secret 4th ring..

That's right you crazy Ironman training people! I bike all the TIME from the Riley...or the Union with a beer in my tummy. This of course is an unfair advantage for me, because I'm used to biking with beer, or pancakes, or a big mexican brunch in my belly....I've got it MADE. I'm going to SMOKE those serious athletes who have removed the poison from their bodies because they can't IMPROVE.

Thus, a fourth chain ring. Admit it. You're jealous.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Would you like one breath, or two...with your swim?

Sunday mornings are turning into my "swim with fellow Triabetes athlete, Joe Brady" day. Not that I mind, it's exactly what I need both in pushing me to pretend to be a triathlete AND to feel the camaraderie of the team. Joe was trying out his second wetsuit of the season, a two piece deal he saw Larry Smith wearing while at Diabetes Training Camp in Chicago. We had a good chuckle as we figured out which one was better and he claimed the new one to be more buoyant as we sat in the middle of the lake with his feet out.
Open water swimming has been a bit tricky in these parts as flooding has made some less-than-idea lakes even less-ideal. Lake Ripley in Cambridge had more recent flooding but the quality was do-able (not tasty, but do-able). We swam just inside the buoys to avoid the boats, me with my tingling left arm (what the hell is causing that?) while I concentrated on relaxing my legs, as I am pretty prone to leg cramps because I'm so tense in the water.
Joe tells me that during his open water swim classes, Dave is teaching him to breathe on every stroke - long, deep strokes, each time. I'm going to try this next time I'm out, but I cautioned Joe that he needs to learn several methods and here is my "I've been-there-done-that" advice from Ironman 06. Wind, rain, and waves bigger than your head smacking you in your face gives you the option of what breathing pattern you choose. If you are an even side breather, you're screwed if you are used to breathing left...and can only breathe right. My advice is to practice breathing in 3s, 4s, 5s and 7s. It also gives me something to think about while swimming.
It's been fun training with another triabetic athlete. If you are ever in the neighborhood and would like to join us, give me a shout!
Now, whether or not you take my swimming advice, you are at your own risk considering my excellent skills didn't stop me from swimming smack into a buoy. Nice sighting on my part, eh?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

So, I'm sitting on this blanket...

Concerts on the Square is a wonderful place to be on a warm summer night. Hundreds of people on blankets, picnicking and enjoying the Madison Chamber Orchestra, seeing people you know, (watching your seven year old find live ants to put on the spiderweb of the beautiful lion statue at the see them devoured). You get the idea.

I'm with old Madison friends, and a few new ones. I met Sheryl on a WNBR. That's "Wednesday Night Bike Rides" to us locals. She met us out and brought some of her friends to mingle with us. Turns out, one of her friends went to junior high and high school with me in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Graduated the same year, in fact!

So it turns out a few others from the Eau Claire North Huskies reside in the area.

What's my point? I don't know. I think my point is that today I got an email from another alum, Eric, who I haven't talked to in may, ah, 23 years? And he said, "I just saw your Triabetes video, it's great what you are doing!"

So my point is that Triabetes is everywhere, and I absolutely love that. New fans! hooray!

PS I have no idea who this is in this photo below taken in 1980 but dude, I had to post it.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

How do we get our documentary "out there"?

Most of my blogs are about training. Or maybe you think most of my blogs are pretty random. :)

We have had some great sponsors supporting our work over the last year. A list of them is available at But what does it take to get an award winning film crew to not only travel the country to shoot the film, but to actually get it chopped out, spit out, and looking perfect? How do we get it to Sundance Film Festival?

Cash. And lots of it.

But more so, it takes good hearted people like you. You see, much of what we do is out of the goodness of people. We rely on people every day to donate their time, talents and money to spread this message. Not only do we need to secure the money, we open our doors to anyone willing to help us with PR as we near the finish of this project. We look to people willing to promote it, to interview the athletes, to get them the gear they need to race, etc.

I was out for a run yesterday after a nice bike ride with my friend, Stacy Cook (who bought herself a sweet little Trek Madone 5.2 today for only $1,000!) and I was thinking, "Man, how COOL would it be to enter this documentary into film festivals and how do I make that happen?"

That's where you come in. The last few months we are working hard on our training. But we have to be thinking ahead to the future of Triabetes. I know you want to see it in completion just as much as we do. I lean to you - if you know of anyone wanting to get involved in the project with time, talent or of course, deep pockets, you know how to find me.

Now I have to go mow my lawn. I think it has gone to seed.