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"Fear is the Mind Killer!"

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Written by Pat Curran

Posted on 17 January 2018

Last Updated 17 January 2018




Reverend Mother Mohiam: Do you see this? Put your right hand in the box.


Paul Atreides: What’s in the box?


Reverend Mother Mohiam: Pain…



Klye MacLachlan and Sian Phillips in the 1984 version of “Dune”

To watch movie clip, click here



This is the week that my training plan begins to ramp-up significantly with regard to time, distance, and intensity. Up until now, all of the training has been a stretch but obtainable. The next 4 weeks represent the “gut-check.” During the following 2 weeks, I have to literally let go of any preconceived notions of what success is and allow my spirit to find a way home. Finally, I ramp down for a 2-week period to rest my joints before the big race.


If it were only as easy as writing about it…


Previous years, my body breaks down from an injury during this phase, limiting my ability to power through the full workout plan. So what’s different this year? I have learned that the secret of success relies on being consistent, patient, and as frictionless as possible. This is how I plan to allow the pain to pass through me.


Also, to make it through the remaining weeks, there has to be some fear. Just enough where I can’t bear the thought of giving up but not so much where the situation seems hopeless. Too much fear is the mind killer! When the mind fails, spirit and body fail with it.


All great thoughts… Now, it’s time to put it into practice and get tested! Let’s see where this year’s journey takes me.


Until next week...


God Bless,





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Letters From Your Father –

Belief # 7: To Defeat a Tyrant, First Make ‘Em Bleed…


Xerxes: There will be no glory in your sacrifice. I will erase even the memory of Sparta from the histories! Every piece of Greek parchment shall be burned. Every Greek historian and every scribe shall have their eyes pulled out, and their tongues cut from their mouths. Why uttering the very name of Sparta or Leonidas will be punishable by death! The world will never know you existed at all!



King Leonidas: The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, even a god-king can bleed.


Rodrigo Santoro and Gerard Butler in the movie “300”

To view video, click here


Dear Girls:


In a prior week’s note, I shared with you my belief in “justice for all” and explained how it fuels much of what I stand for. One way this belief translates into action is when confronting tyrants. Let me first explain what a tyrant is, so you can recognize them as they enter your life.


Although their scope of influence may vary, the tyrant’s profile is typically void of conscience and driven by the pursuit of maximum power and control. Without a shred of moral consideration, they leverage all possible ways to take what they can from others and destroy any threats in their path. Negotiating with tyrants is not an option. Tyrants make deals as a way to buy time to gain more leverage. Once they gain more power, they alter the terms of that deal in their favor simply because they can.


To beat a tyrant, first assess your surroundings and move to a safe place. Emotionally this feels like an act of cowardice but all experienced fighters know that the first step in winning when you are at a severe disadvantage is to withdraw. The larger objective is to create new, more favorable conditions to re-engage in the future.


Next, evaluate the situation objectively. To do this well, start by peeling away all of the “smoke and mirrors” created by the tyrant intended to hide their weaknesses. The tyrant’s 3 favorite weapons are fear, uncertainty, and doubt delivered through the art of manipulation. Now, within the privacy of your own mind, assess true strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to each of you. Also, identify competitors who would benefit from the tyrant’s demise as well as opportunities to create alliances out of mutual self-interest.


After you’ve made your full assessment, it’s time to be both creative and patient. Develop the optimal conditions that allow you to use your strengths and minimize any risks. Begin with the goal in mind, which is to “defeat” the tyrant. Notice my word selection… Defeat means to do enough damage where the tyrant can no longer act as a threat against you. And typically, the first step to defeating a tyrant is to make ‘em bleed.


Best case, competitors will take advantage of the tyrant’s weakness in order to gain from the opportunity. Another possibility is that the tyrant will avoid you because of your boldness and perceived alliances with competitors who they fear. The worse case is that you lose badly. Think through what losing badly really means before acting on any plan. Most times, the fear of losing is far worse than the reality. If this is true, it only strengthens your position as the underdog in stopping a tyrant dead in their tracks.


To close, I want you to know that I loathe conflict. I hate fighting and at some level feel like it’s a failure of some sort. If being around someone gets too hard, I usually find a way to graciously exit the situation. Life should be spent innovating, creating, and contributing something of value for the greater good. But sometimes conflict is unavoidable and fighting skills are necessary to preserve liberty. In the future, I will teach you more lessons on how to protect yourself and others, so you are prepared to pick your battles and win them without hesitation.


More to follow…


Love You Forever,





This Week in Training:


Last week, the final structural piece of my training plan that I have been envisioning for the past 6 months was put in place: Conquering Bear Mountain (see pictures below). I spent 3 hours early Friday morning going up and down by bike in order to practice dealing with challenging hills. Although successful, I was so exhausted that I felt sick the rest of the day. This caused me to postpone my Saturday 90 min run (hilly terrain) to early Sunday morning. The run went very slowly due to soreness.


Here’s the bright side. I survived. Now, my plan is to track time on all of my hill interval workouts. This week, I am going to establish my baseline times for (6) 1-mile hill run repeats and (4) 5-mile climbs up Bear Mountain. Each week my goal will be to rely more heavily on adapting my run/bike technique for better time and efficiency. That’s how I plan to let the pain of the next few weeks pass through me.


Here’s this week’s training plan:


Monday: Run Hills: (6) 1-Mile Repeats (Timed); Swim 10 x 100m

Tuesday: Bike 90 min, Run 60 min, 10 Chin-ups/100 Push-ups

Wednesday: Swim 12 x 200m; Bike 1.5 hrs

Thursday: Long Stretch, Core Strength Training

Friday: Bear Mountain Intervals (Timed) - Bike 3.5 hrs

Saturday: Run 1.75 hours (Hilly Terrain)

Sunday: Stretch (Triathlon Training w/Girls)



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