Saturday, July 24, 2010

Damn Good Times

Why I care...

Rustic living, Northern Manitoba, 1991. (That's me on the right.)

Hauling my sled past open rapids at -40 below.
I am who I am today because of the lessons I learned from Mother Nature. You see, back in 1991, when I was 20 years old, my friend David Scott and I went to live like Grizzly Adams for one year in northern Manitoba, Canada. We built a cabin and lived without electricity, plumbing or communications, 120 miles away from the nearest town, Churchill, Manitoba, The Polar Bear Capital of the World. Living in the wilderness changed me profoundly and forever. I learned lessons I may not have learned otherwise. It taught me patience. It taught me the difference between wants and needs. It taught me the importance of weighing the consequences of my choices. It taught me the importance of conservation and sustainability. It taught me how fragile and tough nature is.  It taught me about the interdependence and connectedness of life and our environment. It taught me death is simply part of natures way. It taught me how amazing running hot potable water and abundant chocolate are! I learned all of this and much, much more. Many of the lessons I learned, perhaps the most profound ones, I am convinced are best taught by Mother Nature in wild places. Having spent much time in major cities too, I am also convinced many of these life lessons cannot be learned in a city. This is why I believe it is so important to preserve and protect wilderness. I am afraid that if we lose wilderness, we will lose are ability to have an accurate perspective about what life really is and our role in it. This would not only be tragic. It would be self-destructive and devastating to the human race.
On the Churchill River, mapping our progress.

The Little Beaver River.

Pictures from my training in Mammoth, CA...

Swimming at June Lake.

My bike. Ready for action.

Long ride ahead.

Wide open spaces.

Friendly faces along the way.

Beautiful California.

The air is thin at 7625 above sea level.

A little Mammoth history: the first tow rope ski lift.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Training in Mammoth Lakes, CA

This weekend I've decided to combine my training with visiting great friends who live near Mammoth Lakes, CA, where the elevation is about 8000 ft. I've brought my wet suit, bike and running gear and I'm ready to go! Today, I will swim in June Lake for an hour, then I'll bike and run for an hour each around the lake, after my swim. Tomorrow, I'll bike for about 5 hours and I can't wait to go as I've been told about about a beautiful ride which sounds amazing. Our planet is an amazing place and the beauty of Mammoth Lakes reminds me how important it is for us to take good care of it. And, I'm honored to be dedicating my IM race to RACE4EARTH and the Center for Biological Diversity. And, if you haven't already done so, please be sure to support their vital work!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Just 8 weeks before the gun goes off...

The time is fast approaching when I will wade into the water with 2000+ other triathletes to begin our 2.4 mile swim. The first event of a very long day. 140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running all within 17 hours! Fortunately, I feel pretty good about it all. I think I'll be ready. Currently, I'm sore and tired from all the training, but am anxious to do the race. Believe it or not, the race is the fun part! Truth is, life has thrown some curve balls at me over the last few weeks, which has made finding the time to train a bit more difficult. Other than that, I am feeling very confident about how my training has gone to date. I am feeling strong and fit. I'm pretty tan too! :-)

Salazar's New Moratorium A Good Start For Protecting People, Environment But Ignores Ongoing Dangers of Shallow-water Drilling

Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, issued this statement today in response to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s latest order for a moratorium on certain offshore oil and gas operations. “We applaud Secretary Salazar’s new moratorium on risky deepwater drilling. The catastrophe in the Gulf has given us all a nightmarish education on just how dangerous offshore oil drilling is. The moratorium is essential to protecting the people, wildlife and beaches of the Gulf Coast.”
 “However, we’re deeply disappointed that the secretary is still ignoring the very real dangers of shallow water drilling. The largest oil spill in the world last year was in shallow water as was the largest Gulf spill before the BP explosion. All offshore drilling — no matter the depth — is dangerous and should be suspended.” A Minerals Management Service review of blowouts between 1992 and 2006 concluded that “most blowouts occurred during the drilling of wells in water depths of less than 500 ft.” The agency found one blowout per 362 wells drilled in 500 feet of water or less and just one blowout per 523 wells drilled in deeper waters. The same report also found that 56 percent of all blowouts — whether in deep or shallow waters — happened before the true vertical depth of the well bore depth reached 5,000 feet. The blowout in the Deepwater Horizon drill occurred at about 18,000 feet below sea level. “The latest moratorium only goes halfway in protecting the people of the Gulf and its wildlife. Leaving these other rigs to continue business as usual ignores the terrible lessons we’ve been taught since April 20,” Suckling said.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Small world. Smaller Ironman world.

Yesterday, as I was waiting to board my flight back to LA from San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, I saw a tanned guy who was wearing an Ironman t-shirt. Of course, I said hello and asked him what IM race he had done. Turns out, he was one of the two thousand plus participants who finished Ironman Coeur d'Alene just last week on June 27th, AND it was his first Ironman 140.6 finish! It was truly a "small world" moment because, as I told him, IM Coeur d'Alene had been my first (and only) IM finish too! His name was Justin and he was in Mexico with his wife and daughter celebrating his fine accomplishment. It was great to see his wife's pride and his quite satisfaction of his worthy accomplishment. There's nothing quite like the satisfaction that comes going the distance to finish an Ironman race. There's a saying about Ironman which goes like this: You can quite anytime you want, but no one will care and you'll always know. I love that.