Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Matrix: Revelations

This is what I thought about last week as I pulled off the electrodes, wiped the gel from the pads off my chest, and grabbed a quick shower. As a rinsed the shampoo off my head I checked the base of my skull for a hole.

So I got to thinking: "What is real in our lives?" By the time I toweled off, I concluded that to really live means we must experience both good and bad. Without the negatives, we would have no idea about the positives. That ice cream cone tastes good because our moms made us eat brussel sprouts. The 50 degrees today feels great because 365 days ago there was five feet of snow on the ground. Finishing an Ironman will be sweet because of all the trials that must be passed to get the finish line. All these I know are real and they are part of my life.

Today was the start of a new lunar year. There is a Chinese New Year's greeting that basically means "happiness and prosperity." There is a third part of this greeting that is often left off but this year it is imperative that I add the phrase "good health." Everyone in my immediate family right now has some medical condition. Four negatives but one positive "medical condition" that was "cured" on Sunday. My oldest sister give birth to her third child - a baby girl!!! So even though my family is in different parts of the country tonight worrying about our next visits to the doctor, we can all still celebrate a new life. How sweet it is.

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone!!! Happiness, Prosperity, and Good Health!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I was holding out until after Chinese New Year's to start my serious blogging, but there are things I need to get off my chest now, figuratively and literally. I was sitting in my bathtub sponging myself clean and ran through a full range of emotions from "am I stressing myself out" self-doubt, to "wtf - why can't I have one healthy season" outrage, to "damn it I am still going to do this ironman" determined resolve.

This all started last week. After a 3000meter easy swim workout (mostly drills) and a leg/core weight lifting session, I clean myself up and head to a movie with my friend. Halfway through the movie things get interesting. Heart palpitations, chest pain, lightheadedness, nausea, followed by a splitting headache. And no, it was not the movie.

So today I had an echocardiogram done and was given a heart monitor. I was told to do what you normally do. So I lifted weights and spent two and half hours doing SERIOUS indoor cycling. We don't throw a spinervals DVD in and watch it on the big screen. This is more like a prop-your-bike-up-on-an-8-inch-block-and-climb-for-18-minutes
followed by 15-minutes-of-sprints type of workout. I showed up at the group session with some funky new gear - a monitor the size of a small purse and five electrodes hanging off my chest. What fun it is to tell everyone: "My heart isn't working right." I was warned by the hospital techs not to get the electrodes wet; I won't tell them that my shirt was drenched in liters of sweat. I couldn't hold the some of the high RPMs like I wanted but I got through the workout.

So fast forward to my sponge bath. I have not had to do that since I tore my ACL a second time. It makes you think how fragile you really are. But there are some things that are more serious than others. If you rip up a knee, you can repair it eventually walk and run again. If your heart goes out on you, well you're probably dead. I get to rip those electrodes off my chest tomorrow and I have my follow up next week. I know I can still push myself and I will. But regardless of the diagnosis, I know my subconcious mind has already installed that restrictor plate.

It really sucks when Superman realizes that Lex Luther has some kryptonite in his back pocket.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Please stay tuned.....

Anyone hoping to find some of my random thoughts, please stay tuned. I promised myself I would complete a few housekeeping tasks before devoting time to this web log. So drop by in a few weeks and hopefully I will have some new stuff for your viewing pleasure. Thanks.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


We are surrounded by expectations. Friends and family expect certain things from us. Colleagues and peers expect us to act a certain way. In my humble opinion, the hardest expectations to live up to are the ones we set for ourselves. I want to meet and beat my expectations. If I do I will rejoice. But at the end of the day, if I fall short, I need to be satisfied that I gave all I had to give.