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"Get on the Floor!!"

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Written by Pat Curran

Posted on 17 January 2018

Last Updated 17 January 2018




DESTINATION TOUGHMAN: 27 Days Until Race Day

 

 

“Dance the night away, live your life and stay on the floor

Dance the night away, grab somebody, drink a little more

 

Laa la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laaaa

Tonight we gon’ be it on the floor…

 

Laa la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laaaa

Tonight we gon’ be it on the floor…”

 

--Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull singing “On the Floor”

To watch video, click here

 

This Sunday is the 23rd Annual West Point Triathlon. Distances are an 800m swim, 13.7-mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. The entire race will be on the grounds where I trained just over 15 years ago. It’s a perfect opportunity to compete without holding anything back. First step is to visualize success.

 

Race day begins around 3:45am with a solid hour of hydration and stretching. Leaving little to chance, I spend the night before tediously inspecting, packing, and loading all of my equipment into the car. After the initial morning stretch and topping off water bottles, I quietly walk through the house to make sure everyone is OK, then drive away to the race start. Like an army of ants making our way through the cover of darkness, we all walk from our cars with bags and bikes in the same direction toward packet pickup and the transition area. This is where we keep all of our equipment in small assigned areas during the entire race.

 

At this point, there is a combination of excitement and nervousness in the air. Each competitor is going through their own checklists for how they imagine their race will be. As I prepare, I hear some the “experts” talking to the “novices,” giving advice and sharing stories. When looking at the hundreds of bike slots with equipment, no layout looks exactly the same. There are no correct ways to prepare, although some methods are better than others.  

 

For the rest of the time, I keep my eye contact and conversation to a minimum while listening closely to everything around me. The only reason to break out of my zone is if I hear someone in desperate need of help. Sounds cold, but it has to be this way. The greatest danger at this stage is to get caught up with someone else’s avoidable drama. After months of training, it’s your style, your challenge, and your race to own. It’s very common to have someone, something, or some event take you away from that focus, thus throwing off your rhythm.

  

Now it’s about details and being decisive. My thoughts turn very simple and direct. It’s as if the instinctual, primal part of my brain now “calls the shots” while the intellectual side acts as a reference library for the unexpected. “Keeping things simple with short swim today... Swimming without wetsuit… Placing bike shoes in front of bike with socks inside... Placing running shoes behind bike with extra socks in plastic bag to keep dry… etc.”  

 

With the prep work done, all that is left is the walk down to the beach with swim cap, goggles, and “throw away” flip-flops from the Dollar Store. It’s the walk to the dance floor to the see the other “party people,” and to spend the next 2 hours giving everything I have toward the best possible outcome. After watching several other waves take off, I hear, “Wave 4, Move forward... 30 seconds!” Then, there is silence followed by a loud horn blast. All cheer as we sprint into the lake. From that point it starts to become a blur. There is no past and no future. Just spirit… Just being…

 

This what its all about. Preparing for the moment, so you can be in the moment. This is typically when we are at our best.

 

Next week will be my final motivational email for the TOUGHMAN Training Period. I’ll be ready for the full 70.3 Mile race. Starting August 27th through September 9th, I will be sending brief “Calls to Action” for donations to any of the (5) Freedom’s Light charity organizations.

 

During this period, please consider investing in our nation’s success by giving to these programs that support wounded military members, their families, first responders, and children of 9/11 victims.

 

Until next week…

 

God Bless,

--Pat

 

www.freedomslight.org

 

Did this week’s message help you? If yes, here’s an opportunity to help other Great Americas, starting at just $25.

  • Fisher House: To donate, here
  • Tuesday’s Children   To donate, click here
  • Wounded Warrior Project: To donate, click here
  • Children of Fallen Patriots: To donate, click here,
  • USO’s Operation Care Package:  To donate, click here

 

 

 

 

Letters From Your Father – “The Riddle”

 

 

“Here’s a riddle for yah

Find the answer

There’s a reason for the world

 

You and I...”

 

 

Five for Fighting, singing “The Riddle”

To watch video, click here

 

 

Dear Girls:

 

This decision point occurs in the late Fall of 2011. In her first few weeks of life, Julia provides both a message and a riddle for all of us to ponder.

 

-------

 

It is one of those late nights where several commitments collide. Being on multiple project teams at work, I have two items to complete before 7am the next morning. Additionally, I have a final exam in one of my MBA classes later in the day that I have not had a chance to study for.

 

Knowing a little bit about my situation, one of my project leaders emails me from the United Kingdom around 3am. There is a 5-hour difference between us. “You’re up early… How can I help?” he writes. As I begin writing back, I hear Julia crying in the other room. As soon as I walk over to see her, she immediately stops crying and smiles. Now with Julia in my left arm, I finish typing my email slowly with my right index finger, informing him that my youngest daughter just woke up. His email response is simple: A Superman Logo. When I see it a few moments later, I laugh and think, “OK. He gets it…”

 

Unfortunately, the laughter does not last long. Time is running out. Good news is that I have one task near completion. The bad news is that I am sure the other request won’t meet expectations. Also, with Julia now on my knee wide-awake, there is little chance that I will sleep or even have a chance to study. What’s a Dad with a baby in front of laptop to do? I decide to log into YouTube to find some music videos for us to watch.

 

After a few searches, I come up with “The Riddle” from Five for Fighting which we watch 3 or 4 times. Julia is too young to sing but clearly likes the melody. On the final time listening, there is one verse that grabs my attention. The lyric goes something like this:

 

The batter swings and the summer flies

As I look into my angel’s eyes

A song plays on while the moon is high

Over me,

Something comes over me…

 

I guess we’re big and I guess we’re small

If you think about it, man, you know we got it all,

Cause we’re all we got on this bouncing ball

And I love you free, I love you freely…

 

Here’s a riddle for yah

Find the answer

There is a reason for the world

 

You and I…

 

After watching, I place Julia in a baby seat next to me. To my surprise, she gladly accepts. Every few minutes or so, I look to my right, and she smiles back. The situation now seems odd because it’s reversed. It seems like she is the one keeping me company now. By 5am she falls back asleep while I continue to do the best I can.

 

The rest of the day is a bit of haze, but I manage to get through. I finally get a chance to study for my final exam about 30 minutes before the test and barely pass. Driving home with a Starbucks coffee in hand, I think about how peculiar the events of the last 24 hours were. Too tired to think about it more, I “bookmark” it in my mind as an event to reflect back on.

 

-------

 

Kids, your Mom and I have spent plenty of nights with little-to-no sleep. It’s not like anyone does anything wrong. It is just part of the challenge of being good parents. However, this event seemed unique. Reflecting back on it left me both a message and a riddle that I think all of us should ponder.

 

First, the message is to simplify your life by focusing only on those things that matter. Treat the rest as background noise. Sounds cliché, but I have actually taken the time to write down a single sentence purpose, 5 key areas of focus, and about a dozen or so values that shape my thinking and priorities. It has brought a lot of clarity, focus, decisiveness, patience, and peace in recent months.   So, when the time is right, I recommend you try it too.

 

The second item is a riddle that we should all feel compelled to struggle with. “There is a reason for the world. You and I (and many others)...” It just may not be the reason you originally think growing up. If you are reading this as an adult and are confused or have not found the reason yet, keep searching. It’s something that can only be discovered and not told. However, I hope that I’ve provided some clues over the past few weeks for you to think about.

 

Next week will be my last entry for 2012. Hopefully, I will tie a lot of this together with a simple message.

 

More next week…

 

With Love,

--Dad

 

 

 

 

This Week in Training:

Last week was great in terms of increasing intensity and speed. But it came at a cost to my muscles and joints. Biggest learning is the importance of stretching every single day from this point forward. I just have to get through the next 2 weeks, then I get to dial it back for a 2-week recovery period.

 

 

Given the race this Sunday, I am starting the week with a bang. Here’s this week’s workout schedule:

 

Monday: 14 x 1 Mile (< 9:00 min/mile pace on track)

Tuesday: Long Stretching Routine; Ice Knees

Wednesday: Bike 65 miles; Run 7 miles

Thursday: Long Stretching Routine; Ice Knees

Friday: Swim 2000m; Long Stretching Routine; Ice Knees

Saturday: ToughKids Training w/ Girls & Stretch

Sunday: West Point Triathlon!

 

 

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