Thursday, July 9, 2020

And then, goals change.

2020 was supposed to be my return to the land of athletic misadventures, my comeback year if you will. I had grand plans culminating with racing Ironman North Carolina 70.3 in October. Alas, due to progress going slower than planned in both the training and body composition fronts, I was skeptical that I would be prepared for this event. Mix in the risk of the event not even happening due to COVID-19, I felt that my plan was off the rails.

I saw on one of the many Facebook groups that I subscribe to that some athletes were asking for deferrals until 2021 and some, but not all, were being granted. So I gave it a shot and Ironman responded that I could defer. So I did.

So the 2021 goal is now:

  • Beaverdam Olumpic Triathlon in April 2021
  • If my training is going phenomenal, Ironman Eagleman 70.3 in June. The current odds are 1:4 against.
  • Outer Banks Olympic Triathlon in September 2021.
  • Ironman North Carolina 70.3 in October 2021.
The dates are all up the air as is everything these days.

Game on.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The best version of youself

There was an interesting conversation on some completely forgettable television show the other day. I don't remember the show. I don't remember the day. I don't even remember the participants of the conversation. I don't remember why I was even watching it. Maybe the bigger problem could be my memory but that's a topic for a different post.

The gist of this talking head conversation was that many people have an aspiration to be the the best version of themselves but few people actually know what that means. "Best" is different for every person. It not necessarily reality. In fact, it might be very rare for many. It might just be an aspiration. Nobody is perfect but can you be better than what you are? What is better to you for you?

But if you know what is your vision of the best version of you, then you can work on becoming closer to that vision. It is sort of obvious but in this time of establishing new norms due to quarantining it might be something to think about.

I think this "new normal" is going to last more than we expect. Do you know what your best version of yourself is or what type of person you aspire to be? Where are the gaps and what is the plan to minimize them?

I'm going to spend some time trying to write some of this down in the upcoming days. Join in if you want.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

My thoughts on the 2019 Disney Half

Last week Mrs. RockStar and I walked the 2019 Disney Half Marathon. It was her first half mary. I've done a few. The takeaways were:

  1. Our time was a lot slower (4:03:04)than my past halfs. In fact, it was my slowest ever.
  2. We knew it was going to be slow since that was how we trained. We executed our race exactly inline per our training.
  3. We were concerned about the balloon ladies who are supposed to run/walk 16:00 miles. If they pass you, you may be asked to get on the "bus of shame." We did not go on the bus! We finished the race.
  4. I was hurting after the race. It took me longer to recover than I expected. I missed out on my post Disney Shula Steakhouse tradition.
  5. I view this race overall as a success. 9 months ago walking was an issue. We've come a long way.
  6. We did it with Team in Training. Don't know if we'll do it again but we helped a good cause
  7. My next time at Disney will be 2021. Join me!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Making myself smarter - the 2019 reading experiment.

One of my goals for this year (and probably appropriate for the rest of my life) is to continue to get smarter. Either a derivative of this goal or perhaps a complement to this goal - I don't know which because I'm not that smart - is to not get dumber. Either way I look at it, I've got to do something to make this happen. It won't happen automagically.

So, I've decided to read. I've set a goal is to read a book a week, at least 52 for the year. Luckily I got some good book recommendations from a Facebook post where I asked for help. I also got a bunch of books as gifts for Christmas.  So, I have a queue of quality reading material to get through. Once I get through the queue I'll either buy some, get others from the library, and some I'll borrow.

Very few will be electronic books. I read old school bound words on paper. I am somewhat flexible in hardcover vs. softcover but a side effect of this goal is that I'll be looking at my phone less than before. Reading should expose me to more diverse thought as compared to reading the same stuff over and over on the phone.

I'll update this post with every book that I read. Here is the completed list:

1) The Autobiography of Malcolm X - as told to Alex Haley. Completed 1/2
2) Dick Vitale's Mount rushmore of College Basketball. Completed
3) Grateful American: A journey from self to service - Gary Sinese completed 2/18
4) The stranger in the woods - Michael Finkel. Completed 2/
5) The princes of Ireland - Edward Rutherford
6) Traffic - Tom Vanderbilt.

Sunday, December 30, 2018


On twitter the other day, I read a thread by Ali Yahya (twitter handle @ali01) where he described how he was inspired by Benjamin Franklin (no twitter handle) to manage a set of "virtues" on a daily basis. Franklin's virtues originally included Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, and Independence and were managed by tracking with red ink in a book. Over time, Franklin added virtues to track, ultimately ending with 13.

@ali01 modified this slightly. He called them habits rather than virtues. He tracked via a spreadsheet rather than via ink and paper. He started with four habits: sleep well, exercise, meditate, and update his habit list. In order to improve on something, it has to be a priority and have focus. There cannot be too many "habits" tracked, otherwise it this process will diminish them all. Even so, he has added to this list over time, managing 16 habits currently. He believes this has changed his life and helped make him who he is today, personally and professionally.

I've decided to do my own RockStarTri derivative of this. I'm going to start with my resolution themes: 1) Making myself smarter; 2) Improving my weight and body composition; 3) Continuing my Athletic transformation; and 4) Becoming a better person. I've realized this these aren't really goal oriented but more process oriented which is new for me. I expect to add sub categories to each habit  to help track progress, and perhaps add more habits to track.

One additional habit may be to update status via the blog but I haven't finalized this. Stay tuned. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2019 Resolutions

The overall theme of 2019 is that MrsRockstar and I are going to focus on ourselves more than we have in the past. I've been trying to put together some ideas on some resolutions for 2019 that I can actually help me become a better me.They fall into the following categories:

1. Making myself smarter via reading

2. Improving my weight and body composition

3. Continuing my athletic transformation.

4. Becoming a better person.

5. Regularly tracking my progress (or lack thereof) against these goals.

That's it. More details will come in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Life Goals

1) My friend Guido recently posted on Facebook that through diet and exercise he was able to eliminate all prescription drugs from his life. I don't know where he started but I currently take 7 prescription drugs. The life goal is to get to zero but let's shoot to reduce 2 in a year.

2) I'm fat at BMI = 42. I need to get unfat. Unfat is a BMI of 30 - for someone 6'2" that means 234 lbs. If I can get halfway in a year, BMI=36, 280 pounds, that would be good progress.

3) I can't lose weight at the expense of muscle. Need a stat to measure.

4) I need to get in shape (see number 3). Disney half in Jan19, StA in Apr19.

5) Fit into 2xl clothes and some XL. The 2XL are often too tight.

6) Need to find something to engage my brain.

7) Need to gain flexibility. A good goal would be to be able to touch my toes. Haven't been able to do that since high school.

8) Need to sleep through the night.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A life update

I officially retired from my work career in May of 2016. I was young to retire. Many thought I was so driven at work that there was no way that I could stop playing that game especially in the context that I generally played it well.  Many considered my retiring some sort of a ploy and figured I'd reappear at some other firm quickly.  My over/under was 6 months. Everyone else's was shorter.

The reality was that I was burned out. My health was crap. I lost any semblance of a work/life balance. I was not nice to be around and I wasn't performing at the standards that I expected of myself. In almost everything.

Since then I've been keeping busy with various projects but my focus has been simplifying my life, trying to avoid drama, getting my health under control, and dealing with the noise that otherwise can't be avoided while trying to live a life worth living. I did introduce some complexity by trying to relocate to the South but mostly I've been concentrating on the present.

I don't miss work. I've become mellower and less stressed (although my family will quickly interject that I still have my moments).  To paraphrase the great Chico Escuela "Retirement has been berry beery good for me.

I've decided to dust off the blog to chronicle what I do miss and what I'm going to do about it.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Resolution Ramblings

In this season of resolutions, three articles that I read earlier today seem to be having an impact on how I hope to think. Here is what I read and what my mind turned it into.

The first article by Mark Manson talked about how establishing habits can be more productive that setting goals. Goals, if done right, should be hard and are not always accomplished. Habits, while also hard, can be "keystone habit" which the author describes as habits that, once adopted, will reverberate into other areas of your life. These habit make acquiring other desirable habits more natural and require less effort. I let you read through this article from the link and rejoin this when done.

Welcome back.

The next article, while using many different themes, talked about what I interpreted as a candidate list for keystone habits. I edited the list down to 4 pillars to be done every day; exercise, cook. read and write ( I left out a few of the others mentioned but that is how I roll). I can't find the original article as it had more of an impact after I read it than when I was actually reading it. If I find the link, I'll update this post.

One of the themes throughout this recent reading journey was that, at the beginning, it is better just to do some each day rather than to get a big ass hairy goal (like an ironman, HA!!) and see where that leads. So I am exercising every day (2 days in a row),  will strive to cook rather an eat out as much as I do (Mrs Rockstar cooking counts too), and will write on this blog more frequently although only a rare sample of my writing will make the cut of being advertised via social media. As to what to read, I picked a book off from this article and a different book off another list of books that a well rounded person should read in their life. So, first up is David Sedaris' 'Me Talk Pretty One Day' and 'The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money' by Carl Richards.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

What were the most significant days in your life?

On this upcoming 15th anniversary of 9/11/01, my mind was wandering around the concept of the top days of one's life. The context is often when people being interviewed say something along the lines of "after the day of the birth of my children, today is the mos important day in my life. Some people keep a top 10 day of life list. Some are days that something good happened, some days something bad. I decided to give it a try:

1) The day I married my wife. (GOOD)
2-3) The days that my two children were born. (GOOD)
4) 9/11/01 - I had a 10am meeting in WTC, I never made it. My professional career changed significantly. (BAD)
5) 11/5/11 - the day I completed my first and only(so far) ironman. (GOOD)
6) 7/25/92 - Christmas in July. The day my then girlfriend agreed to become my wife-to-be by saying yes. (GOOD)
7) 9/15/08 - The death of Lehman Brothers. (BAD)
8) 9/8/09 - The day I lost a bike vs. car collision . (BAD)
9) A private bad day so bad that I won't discuss and will never on social media. (BAD)
10) 2/15/1990 - the day of my back surgery. (GOOD and BAD)

There are more good than bad but I think my quest needs to be to replace the existing bad with better goods.

Do you keep a list?