Monday, December 31, 2007

How was YOUR first???

Do you remember your first???
I do. The day was hot. As the day wore on, I felt the heat but I was excited. I was mostly excited because I did it all by myself!!!!
It was 1985. I knew the day was going to happen, but I never thought I would be in that kind of competition.

I just had to do it. But, who in their right mind would want to do this sort of thing??
The "thing" was a triathlon. I had been running marathons, and 10k's but there was something cool about attempting a "swim, bike, run" competition.

The reason I ask this question to you is that there is some kind of beauty in doing a tough-discipline based competition for the first time.

The butterflies. The nervous-ness. "Did I train enough??".

My first race was so long ago, I don't even have pictures. I do however have pics from when my son raced for the first time this past June. He didn't say much. I knew he was nervous. The water gave him pause. He was not sure how he would fare.

But he did very well and I was very proud. He has since raced two more times and he has the bug. Plus, he can smoke his old man pretty good.

As the new year breaks, I wish many "first times" for all of my blogging buds, and first for many of you who email me and read my little missives each time. Maybe you have your first marathon. Your first ultra, your first 100 mile bike ride. Maybe its the first time you try to get into your wetsuit.

2008 can mean for many of you an incredible journey is just getting better and more exciting.

Triathlon has opened doors and opened eyes for me. The sport has given me sooooo much more than I have given it.
May you get out of all that you expect out of your racing in 2008.

See you at the races.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Crunch Time

Back again. Tried the Gaiam Ab-Ball Workout this morning, after a 40 minute dreadmill run. Gaiam, if you check out this link, is a pretty progressive firm, with a wide array of products.. Yoga, Pilates, green home furnishing and stuff. Nice. The picture on their website is of an attractive woman in "mid workout" pose. What is she thinking???? Hummm.

Okay, that works for me, but of course the makers of these fine products appeal to women as well.. so.... thats where Jonathan Roche comes in.

I have to give those Gaiam people some props. They are pretty sneaky, having attractive young people plug their products. Jonathan does the whole workout in the "my shirt is off and check out my 6 pack" attitude. He's done 9 Ironman distance races, and 10 straight Boston Marathons.....and he has white teeth. Even though I loathe him, I will plug his training site. Aren't I a good man??????

He has a beginners and an advanced workout. Each is about 12-15 minutes. I did the beginners today because my abs are not of six pack caliber. More like a keg. It was a good workout. Could do it twice and get a good result. Having done many of my Brides Pilates classes, I felt prepared and not out of my league. However, the Ab-ball is a great way to change things up.

Speaking of my Bride. She completed training for a Group Power workout through Body Training Systems and will be starting that discipline along with teaching Pilates classes at a new studio in Willoughby. I will keep you posted. Where would I be without this woman???? In a gutter.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Balls, Christmas Balls,

Belated Christmas greetings. The Bride got me a new laptop and I am working out the bugs in getting on line. For the time being, I am on the p.c. in my office. The verrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyy slowwwww. computer. I want hare speed. I got a Turtle, and I don't mean one of the actors in Entourage. Soon, I will get the laptop working just right and...look out.

Coffee update- 9 days without and everything is cool. Took suggestions from you guys and am using a herbal tea. Have three times gone into the belly of the beast. (See previous post) and have lived to tell the tale. Dreams are fine. Life is good. I feel that my brain and nervous system without massive amounts of caffeine, ramping up the neurons firing away, have developed a little monologue. Kind of like a truce.

nervous system
Wow, this is how life should be. I don't worry any more about directing this human to act like a crazed man." (Nervous system, then bats eyes at Brain) "You like me, You really, really like me.".

"yeah, I like you for now, but if he slips back into that Christmas Blend routine again, your toast sister"

You are married 31 years to a fabulous person and you think alike a bit. Bride got me a 6 pound medicine-workout ball. I got her one of those 8 pound balls with handles built in. It was hilarious when we each unwrapped the gifts. I will provide a link for you on my next posting about the Gaiam ABSball. Ironman triathlete Jonathan Roche is the star in the dvd thats provided. She'll put it to good use torturing her clients and her husband.

In the meantime, enjoy the holidays and....ohhh yeah....heres some turkey, in case your hungry.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Into the Belly of the Beast

Hi gang..little update on the growing known as "J.T. gave up coffee on Monday and now its Saturday and he is still alive" The theory behind this wild venture is to get control of my eating habits and also that it would help me in my training for triathlons.

Earlier posts talked about wild dreams that have ensued because of this. I am happy to report that, now...I sleep like a baby.......I get up every hour and cry. No, just a small attempt at humor. My dreams have not exactly reverted back to normal, but most people who know me would say....."What the heck is normal"?. Good point. I have no rebuttal.

No more dreams of Juan Valdez, Mrs. Folgers, and Bob Vila. My wife has not appeared in any dreams recreating the bed scene in "American Beauty", but with coffee beans, not roses. My dreams have been about sunsets, spotted owls and Warren Buffet playing chess on a raft with Tom Hanks. Perfectly normal stuff.... wouldn't you think.?? Oops. Thought so.

I have emerged from the fog that is.."constant consumption of caffeine and the sugars that accompany it". My workouts have not been with as much volume as the past few weeks but the focus is there and I feel better. That last sentence is entirely true.. No Baloney. I have lost about 4 pounds and my snoring is no longer supersonic, just locomotive.

As part of my therapy allegedly proposed by Dr.Phil, but not endorsed by the American Medical Association, I went into the belly of the beast to see how I could handle..."The Abandonment of Caffeine that comes from ground beans grown in Juan Valdez's back yard".

Yep, I went to one of those world famous coffee houses-shops-stores..whatever you call those stores that are on every corner and even in Victoria Secret dressing rooms. I...(blush) was told this by credible sources. Anyway, I did the darndest thing. I went up to the counter and the kind ladies and young gentlemen who have seen me come in for a while now assumed the usual. You know how they anticipate your call?? "I'll get you that double latte-skim-mocha-espresso you always order". But I was quicker. "No thank you." I said. " I am making a change in my life and while I LOVE each and everyone one of you, I suspect you are drugging me. This coffee with mega doses of caffeine has taken over my life and I am putting a stop to it."

Actually, I just stood there and ordered......this is very weird....I ordered "After Coffee Chewing Gum. I am not kidding. I figured it was a start. I know it sounds stupid to buy gum that your supposed to use after you drink coffee, while you have an embargo against coffee, but thats what I did. I don't regret the move. I feel proud. I sat there chatting with a few of the guys whom I always trade lies with. I had gum and water. It was like Jonah going right back into the whale.

I went into the belly of the beast and I stared down that beast. I will go back.
If I order tea there, do you think it will lead me eventually down the same old path???
Or can I resist the decadence that comes from massive amounts of caffeine??

Enquiring minds want to know??

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Hey gang. The trembling has subsided. My memory has returned. I once again know that #23 for the Cavaliers is LeBron James. I should know, since I have been covering that kid since he was in 9th grade. In my caffeine depleted state on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I lost all sense of time. Am I the father of three, married 31 years, or am I father of 31, married 3 years. I was all wacked out. The memory faded. The hallucinations began... on the air, no less. I spoke in tongues. I had wild dreams. Juan Valdez, Mrs. Folgers were taunting me for dropping coffee, and my Bride was in bed with coffee beans...Christmas Blend coffee beans sprinkled upon her neck-id body. I was told I need professional help. All of that is true. Thanks Steve. You are correct. I did get help.

Okay, so said Dr. Phil is......Dr. Phil. Is he the best source to interpret my dreams and get me back to sanity, or is he just a big shot because...........OPRAH said so. I will go with the Oprah angle.

The dreams. Monday night, was the Valdez..Folgers-American Beauty take off.
Tuesday night was the aspect about our roof falling apart and me having to call in guys to build a new one. There were Amish guys and someone who looked like Bob Vila. I took the Vila guy as a hoax because he introduced himself as Bob Vil-ahh, instead of Veee-yah. I wasn't fooled.

Wednesday night, I was racing in a long form triathlon in upstate New York. Gorgeous setting. Now I realize it was the SOS. The Survival of the Shawangunks. Theres some killer uphill portion of it and in my dream, I quit just about 50 meters from the top. I have never quit in a race in my career, and I have nearly 85 triathlons to my credit. So, this was weird.

The famous Doctor agreed to see me. ***

Dr. Phil
"the first dream, to me.. means you have a fear of heights, afterall, why else would you let a donkey carry you up a steep mountain. Mrs. Folgers being stern means you never connected with your mother, and the coffee beans symbolize your fear of intimacy."

"I disagree. I flew with the Blue Angels, my mom is also friend and I am a very affectionate guy"

Dr. Phil
"Whatever..alright...dream number two. The busted roof. Means because you gave up coffee, your life is falling apart. The roof is You. Its broken and can't be fixed, no matter how many Amish guys you know".

"Wrong again. My life is spectacular. Great wife, kids, friends, work. I admit however that Bob Villa might symbolize my fear of huge power tools."

Dr. Phil.
"Whatever. Dream #3, the long triathlon means you never finish anything. You start projects, like curing cancer, or climbing Everest and you always go halfway. "

Wrong, Quack-doc. I always finish what I start except for my pledge to learn to speak Spanish fluently. Thanks for nothing. "

So, there you have it. Day 4, 3 exhaustive dreams. Did not workout today, still stressed out about my session with Dr. Phil. Was tempted to get coffee. Went past a Caribou and my car actually was shimmying all over the road. I fought it like a cowboy fights a steer. It was like the auto had a G.P.S. Grounds Perking Sensor. Folks, I will survive.

***(Means said counselling session never took place. Was purely fictional.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Consumed by Coffee

Cutting caffeine is killing this man. Fearing for my life and sanity, I vowed to drop the coffee habit... The caffeinated kind, at least, and see if I could survive without the ex-tra- leaded-give you- a-- boost -like- Cape Kennedy coffee I have been drinking in recent years.

The coffee comes from the fine, fine people at that Seattle company that has coffee shops everywhere. I mean everywhere. I saw a store yesterday in a shoe repair shop. They had a deal. Free heel repair with each latte purchased. Sorry..not true..but..hey....well....I think I was hallucinating....but come to think of it, I now feel, about 2 inches taller.

Monday Am I got up early....probably still affected by the 3 cups on Sunday, staying warm at the Browns game. I should also tell you I was in the press box, not on the field, so the keeping warm part was likely a cop-out..but I digress. Monday morning I ran outside...good the cold, the got me there. I am a sicko.
Lasted all day Monday with no crack--err--coffee and except for the blinding headache and the one point where I was speaking in tongues, I was just fine. I was losing all sense of memory. "Hey, who's this big guy wearing #23 for the Cavaliers"? "Hey he's good". So, aside from those issues I thought I had a chance to kick the habit.

But last night was hell. My dream....what can I say???? My wife and I were on a vacation at a remote paradise. We took mules up to our love cottage. Mules led by Juan Valdez. Scary stuff. The lady running the cottage was Mrs. Folger. She was a very stern woman, not like in those old commercials. Even scarier. The bride went into the suite and I walked around for awhile.

But when I entered the suite, I looked at the bed and there was "The Bride" sans clothing, but in a scene like that in "American Beauty" was covered in coffee beans, not Roses. I'm not sure, but I think it was Christmas Blend. Decaf Christmas Blend. She beckoned me.

The Bride
"Come here you big beast"
"Who??? me??"
The Bride
My, your a big strong man..whats your size??"
"Grande with the ability to expand to Venti".

With that exchange I woke up in a cold sweat. I mean, they say "Mountain Grown and they must really mean it.!!!!! " Man, this is gonna kill me.
I worked out this am at the gym and did 40 mins on the bike. I did not slide over to the "crackhouse". I am making progress... I'll keep you posted. Pray for me.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Perky Person's Problem

Fans of TriGuyJt react to shocking news that the blogger-triathlete-sportscaster guy is thinking of curbing his coffee intake.

A little history. Often, I would use a product called "Ripped Force", which I believe had things like massive amounts of caffeine, Ma Huang , ginseng , and God knows, antifreeze, plus small particles of plutonium. The stuff had a kick. I would use half a bottle in the am before I went to the gym, or went on a long run, or bike or swim. To say the stuff helped my workouts is to say that the Grand Canyon is a little ditch. Wow. I recall my bride used, perhaps a 5th of a bottle for her workouts, and she actually had to come off it. One doctor visit she was told she had high blood pressure. That was about 6-7 years ago.

Somehow, I quit using the stuff. Hypnotism might have played a part....but .....I.......just can't recall...... I would drink usual Diet Coke and average run of the mill coffee. Nothing earth-shattering.

But the past couple years or so, I have discovered a strong brand. Its the brand that my tri-buddy-philosopher-folk music star Charlie is not a big fan of. I won't name the brand, but you can guess since the brand is beginning to TAKE OVER THE WORLD. Its got a great kick and I do like the tastes of many of the flavors. But I am not sure the coffee is helping me realize success in training and (This is important), keeping the scale in my bathroom from reading a higher and higher number each time I step on it. Its crazy. Get up. Go to the "crackhouse" as my bride jokingly calls it. Have the stuff...go to gym...have great workout..then go about my business and as the day goes on...EAT EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT NAILED DOWN". Its amazing.

My bride likes to go to the gym early..6:45 or so. I work nights...its not a fun turnaround for me, I would rather, not get up early, but go to get coffee about 8:00, then to the gym. Not cool. I would be missing lifting with my bride. She's a personal trainer. I was missing those workouts with her so I could go and get my FIX. And let me tell you, those workouts were killers!!!!
Great functional stuff ...

So, I am making an effort in getting the workout in, with extensive am nutrition and being more consistent with my habits throughout the day.

I am not a Red Bull guy. Once in a while tea, perhaps. So this plan to drop the dependence on caffeine is ambitious. I know I can order decaf, but I remember one of our reporters at FOX8 did a piece about some places decafs having some caffeine in them. ESPECIALLY where I usually go. That place that will DOMINATE THE PLANET. I recall Jodi wrote a month or so past, that she stopped craving coffee. She got up one day and POOF, it was gone. More power to her. She's a better woman--err.. person than me.
What about Green Tea???

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Thirst for Praise

J.T. and son Patrick--Fathers Day 2007. Maumee Bay, Ohio
Pat's first triathlon....

Getting 2 solid upper body workouts and one leg workout per week. Doing over 4 hours of aerobic base the past two weeks. Biking-Treadmill-or Elliptical. Cool, Cool, Cool. No swimming. Have some shoulder issue but thats getting better. Okay no more on the injury. All in all, things are good.


I admit, I am a "Half Full" guy. In fact, I think most people who compete in triathlon are ""Half Full. Some might say "Half Nuts", but I have always said the training and the pursuit of a goal are what keep me going each day. They keep me from.....drum roll..eerie music up and full...THE DARK SIDE.

So, ever since I can remember, I have read inspiration books. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.."The Power of Positive Thinking" and so forth. I search for quotes that help build me up. I figure, if I can present a positive image to the world, maybe I can impact others. I ran across this quote from Dale Carnegie.

“You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world's happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”

Mother Teresa said..

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

There are tons of quotes from famous people in books that could stack up to the heavens. Go on line and you'll see quotes from Einstein to Yogi Berra. From Mark Twain to JFK.

But sometimes its the ones spoken by the unknown that really hit home.

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”—Anonymous

Jerry Vainer might have thought of himself a failure when he got devastating news about 25 years back. He had cancer. Multiple Myeloma. Talk about a wake up call. The cool thing is Jerry plunged ahead and turned a tough thing into a big benefit for others. He is one of those involved in "Team in Training" and what he is doing for others is remarkable. He will run the Music City Marathon next spring in Nashville.

I am sure he had words of encouragement spoken to him when he was at his darkest moment. Now he is turning the darkness to light.

If you get a chance, drop by his donation page, I am sure he would appreciate it very much.

Thanks alot. All the best.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

See Bill Bike!!

Did you know this man has done a triathlon??

Bill Belichick, the Patriots coach, described by experts as a coaching genius, has spent at least one day,perhaps more..swimming,biking, and running.

A little history. Bill became the Cleveland Browns coach in 1991. Before he came to town, I did a litttle research and found out he had competed in a triathlon on Cape Cod. I figured that bit of history on the new coach would be a common subject for us to launch our "media guy visa Football Coach" relationship.

You never want to get too chummy with the people you cover, but it was something the two of us took a liking to, I guess.

I invited Bill to compete in a race in the Cleveland area. He appreciated the invite and said he might be able to squeeze one into his schedule. That never happened as he threw himself into the job of coaching the Browns. Each year become more intense, more pressurized than the previous one. Next thing you know, Art Modell moves the Browns, and Belichick was gone from Cleveland.

Not that he did not appreciate the aerobic workout. Cripes. He would hop on an elliptical..or a stairmaster or a bike or a treadmill and would spend hours watching tapes.. He was consumed by the job. He often rode his bike from his Brecksville home to the Browns facility in Berea.That unfashionable baggy top we have seen him coach games in is what he wore much of the time as he worked out...studied film, barked at his players in meetings and drilled them on the field.

I like to say he was a closet triathlete and he still kids me about my trying to get him into the sport. You might recall he has flourished in New England. They have a few Lombardi trophies, don't they??

Had he thrown himself into triathlons the way he throws himself into coaching..I'd like to think he would least be a pretty good age grouper. He would, likely conduct scientific studies on ways to shave milliseconds off transistion times and I am sure he would drive his triathlon coach up the wall with his drive and determination.

By they way, Coach Bill would be in the same age group as yours truly. Don't even think about it Bill, you'd be in my dust.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Ageless Wonder

Holy AARP Batman!!!!!

It just hit me. Next year, I will be racing in the 55-59 age group. Should I choose to focus on the fact that I'll be a young kid in that group, or should I focus on the fact that I'll be in my mid 50's racing some folks who were in diapers when I began racing in 85'.

Yikes!!! Am I on the slippery slope toward oblivion?? Or at least to Parma?? (local reference only, not intended to slam the fine citizens of this Cleveland suburb.)

I can remember when I started in the sport. There were, maybe 2 races in Northeast Ohio to choose from back in 1985. The Perry outdoor Triathlon was where I lost my triathlon virginity. The swim was in a pool. 400 yards. 12 Mile bike and 3 mile run.

Then, Cleveland had the Emerald Necklace Triathlon, which was the grandaddy to the Cleveland Triathlon. Older racers may remember National City sponoring races downtown as well. I even remember when a certain cocky Texas kid came to Cleveland as a pro and performed well. Wonder what ever happened to that Lance kid??? Heard he got into bike racing!!!

Nowadays, there are several strong organizations that put on races in Ohio and neighboring states. Its really great to see how the sport has "Blown up".

Call this a late Thanksgiving tome. Thanks to all the race directors over the years. Thanks to the strong competitors and most of all, thanks to the spirit of everyone who races.

So....why are You in the sport??? Whats Your story???

I'm all ears.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Seuss Bike and Run

Enjoyed watching the network coverage of the Ironman World Championships. Having done 3 Ironman distances races, but none in the dot-m world, I still consider getting to Kona a lifelong dream. Well, dream since I began racing 22 years ago. However, I have never had the luck in the Ironman lottery and I am not fast enough to qualify. Someday, somehow, we'll find our way to Kona.

You can see the Dr. Seuss influence in this posting. Loved his books as a kid and, even today always get a chuckle from them.

So, folks...heres my tribute to the sport, through the influence of the late-great writer.

Three Legs and Jam

Where is my swim cap
Where is the water
I will not nearly drown
and get saved by my daughter

you cannot kick me and knock out my front tooth.
you cannot kick me and block off my swim route.
I will not let you..i will go faster.
I will not let you...go see your pastor.

you have no prayer
i can't be beat
you have no prayer
you can't compete.

i will not stop
i will not quit
i will not vomit
not even one bit

show me those pedals
show me that bike
I bend over cranking
down the long turnpike

racing is tough
racing takes grit
racing is sweating
and showing your fit

give me some gu
give me some exceed
don't make me stop
even when I plead.

I will not falter
I swim, I bike, I run
I will not falter
in the hot sun.
I am a triathlete
Few do what I do.
I am a triathlete
I slurp my gu.
You cannot stop me
I wont be denied
You cannot stop me
Many have tried.
If you are tough
if your spirit soars
Go grab your wetsuit
and head to the shore.
Will you be a triathlete?
Do you have the fire??
Will you be a triathlete
With burning desire???
Footnote on Fast Bees
Many posts ago, I lauded the Medina Bees State Cross Country Champs.!!! This past weekend, they fared very well at a prestigious national meet. The Nike Team National In Portland Oregon.
The team finished in 12th place out of 22 teams. Running for Medina :Donny Roys, Jeremy Arthur, Sam Maynard, Hunter Heaton, Kent Rankin, Lucas Walter, and Ryan Fallow. Roys was the top finisher placing 10th overall with a time of 16:30. Mike DeFelice traveled as an alternate and competed in the open race that included international participants with teams traveling from as far away as Kenya.
Congrats Bees on outstanding racing, triguyjt

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Of Mice and Men

Okay gang. We hear about needing new energy sources, and I agree.

These things aren't exactly cheap to build, plus theres always the "Three Mile Island" factor. Of course, Every nuke plant would blow up if Homer Simpson clones worked there, but I digress.

The way I figure, the solution to the energy problem and perhaps the source of all of our future sports heroes is right here in my lovely town of Cleveland, Ohio.

Credit the tremendous school, called Case Western Reserve with finding a way around the energy problem. Their researchers have messed with some lab mice and created the "Lance Armstrong" of mice. Click right here... Mighty Mouse

The article spells out what they did, but suffice to say, its amazing. The treadmill little mighty mite can go nearly 6 straight hours... They cover 20 meters a minute. Ha!! you say thats nothing!!! Maybe, but those little critters don't have the stride of you, Mr-Ms- triathlete. But.. the mice don't build up lactic acid like most athletes and they utilize fat in an incredibly efficient manner.

Energizer Bunny, take that!!!!

Think of the ramifications. I mean, there 10 trillion mice in America. No, not all of them are in Manhattan!! Have the Case Western Reserve U. researchers alter them somehow...I don't know...just do it. Then hook up all the little treadmills and you could power every city in America. Plus, the mice are tired of those mazes!!! There are solar farms and wind farms and there could be mice treadmill farms. How about a visual. Little mice on the treadmill, each with their tiny i-pods and their water bottles, running their butts off....for the betterment of the world.. Give em a cheese break every 6 hours.

If they do this on mice, could they fix me up so I can run forever??? Come on guys, alter my enzymes!!!! I dare you. Bring on Ironman Hawaii!!!!!!

Shoot...sometimes the solutions are right under our noses...our twitchy little noses.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Showering Gratitude

Hi there.
The man, pictured above, who has been responsible for much of our training and race day replenishment is gone. He died today at the age of 80.
Keep him in your prayers. We owe him a debt of gratitude.
Who was this man??
You can likely guess, by what he is sipping, but for the full story, click this link

Not being flip, but do you think anyone ever though of dumping a cooler full of his invention over his head??. You know, maybe at a party?? Perhaps as a show of respect. Probably not.
Do you have to be a football coach to get showered??? Wouldn't it be neat if business tycoons dumped coolers over each other when their stock goes up??? Or, when the president elect is sworn in he/she gets a bucket full. Why not???
And to think he invented what is now a sports icon, because Florida football players weren't able to take a pee after games. Because Johnny Football couldn't tinkle, we now have a 5 billion-gazillion dollar industry. Ain't this country great??

Going to BJ's to buy a case of the stuff. Tonight, I ask fellow triathletes worldwide to raise a bottle and toast the spirit of this pioneer.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

6 pack abs

So you want 6 Pack Abs??

I never knew it was this easy*

The miracle of surgery. Doctors etch the 6 pack abs. Now Thats Body Sculpting!!!! Are you kidding me???

Thanks to Lou and his cool website for alerting me to some interesting things in the fitness world.

Now I check his site out every day.

Would I ever do something like that??? I don't think so. I don't have 6 pack abs. More like "Keg Abs"!! And I don't even drink!! Its 6 degrees of 6 pack abs. I weigh 190 which means I could be a "Clydesdale" in triathlons. Clydesdales!! Budweiser!!! There it is. 6 degrees.!!

I have too much of a love affair with my dark mistress. If I looked That Buff, she might think I was cheating on her.

Can't give her up. Maybe thats why I run, swim, and bike so much?? You think???

Life without her would be cruel. I think of her all the time!!! Excuse me, I have a 2 hour run scheduled....then a date...with.....her!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Bummed out Bike

Help. Its me again. J.T's Red Cannondale. Look what the heck he's done to me!!!!! Good Lord.!!! I cart his 190 pound frame all over from race to race and this is my freaking reward??? He hangs me upside down in the flipping garage!!! Its gonna get cold soon, and bet he won't take any mercy on me.!! Come on!!! All the alloy is rushing to my aero bars. I can't breathe!! I'm gonna throw a chain, you watch!!! And look at the bike hanging next to me. Thats J.T's bike from a few years ago. He's feeling blue and you can see why?? Many other bikes I know get to go into the house. The triathletes put them on trainers and they get to stay active in the winter. Not to mention warm. I'm gonna freeze my tires off. Now you know why i"m cranky all the time!!!!
His worst discipline in the triathlon is the bike and he puts me away for the winter??? Give me a BRAKE!!!!!!. Sorry. Play on words there. He should be on me all winter long. Would somebody please help me. Please!!!
Ohh yeah, I found out he's been seeing another bike..its a stationary bike from the gym, and he's got some hottie spin bike too from the gym, PLUS he likes to use one of those elliptical machines!!!! Do those machines ever see the outdoors?? Do they go Whump!! Whump!! over backroads. Do they scale hills and small mountains??? Have they seen the business side of a Cleveland pothole?? I think not!!!!!Has he no pride.????

This is me in better times. He pulled me out of the garage and took a picture. Wanted to brag about me, but I know better. Look at that. He won't even take my number off. Shoot, that race was over a month ago. Lazy, no good, triathlete.

I have a feeling he only wants me for maybe one more season.... its just a hunch. Maybe he's grown tired of me. Maybe he will blame his slow biking times on ME!!! How unfair. I want you to know I NEVER had a FLAT...EVER in any race. Period. Just a very dependable bike and I get treated like dirt.!!! Ha!!! maybe he should just train more.!!!!

Look at some of these bikes from the Maumee Bay competiton. Don't they look happy. Don't they seem fulfilled??? Those bikes are LOVED!!!.I tell you , but I get used for some training and then put in a dirty garage that LEAKS sometimes.

I"m letting Lance know about this??? He'll give J.T. a piece of his mind.

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving to all those hard working bikes in Triathlon. They should all be thankful they don't have to deal with Triguyjt.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If you can't beat em.....join em"

Was finishing the Med Express Mountaineer Half Ironman this past summer. The announcer said, "Lets hear it for John Telich of the Cleveland Triathlon Club".

Actually, he was about 5-6 months premature. Today, I filled out the form and put the application to join the club in the mail. Looking forward to seeing what the Club has to offer...or maybe what I might have to offer the club. We'll see.

I checked out the clubs website. Theres forums, message boards. Theres various areas around Cleveland to train. Wednesday runs at North Chagrin Reservation. Other venues too. Theres a long course club, which I figure I would be a part of since, I did a Half Iron in 07.

Now, I just have to crank up the training. Get more consistent. Been doing different types of workouts lately. Did one that was all rope skipping. (shins are sore). Spent 30 minutes out of my 50 minute run at Chagrin River Park by charging up the steps at the sledding hill about 30 times. That got the heart rate going. Tommorrow, I will hit the weights extensively.

Thanks to those who made suggestions on where to swim. I'll be hitting the water soon.

But, I feel good about joining the Cleveland Triathlon Club.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Perspective Anyone???

(courtesy Cleveland Plain Dealer-Chuck Crow)

Covered Ohio States win over Michigan on Saturday at the Big House. Our station website posted one of my post game pieces. Try not to laugh at the goober-like beanie hat I was wearing. Hey, it was chilly. No style points needed. Heres the link

The fact that the piece got posted is part of my point on perspective. The game ended at 3:25 or so and I got most of my interviews with Buckeyes on the field. Okay, thats good so far.

But we joke that God never intended for pictures to go through the air. We were to use a satellite truck provided by our Fox Detroit affiliate. Waiting outside the Buckeye lockeroom after getting most interviews, I got the call that many of us in the business get, and it always gets our heart rates and stress levels maxed.

"The satellite truck is out of commission."

I say "cripe sake", or something a bit more blue and then things get really complicated.

"You gotta drive to the station to feed your stuff"

"Double Cripes Sake". The station is 45 minutes away. Its now 4:30pm. Ohh, yeah, theres 111,000 others trying to leave Ann Arbor.

We get in the car and myself and Dough Herrmann, our photographer are jumping out of our skin. Doug says we won't make it. I say, lets give it a shot.

Traffic is crawling. Its misty, rainy and miserable.

Somehow, while inching toward Southfield Michigan, we encounter better traffic patterns and now we are going 70 miles a hour. On the phone with the station.. Booking satellite windows and stuff. Will we make it.?? I'm stressed to the point of no return. We had all these great interviews but what good are they if we can't feed them.

Long story short..we arrive... 2 minutes before the window. Guys are meeting us at the back door. We get the tape cued and start feeding.

Stuff made it. Whew. It was the most important thing I wanted to do...get some postgame interviews on the air.

While finishing the feed, the station was doing a live interview with the family of a missing woman solidier in Iraq. I immediately came down to earth.

"You are an idiot", I told myself. I was so consumed about some interviews from a football game, I lost sight of the big picture. Yes, the work was important, but ask that family if they cared about the Ohio State-Michigan game. Their daughter is in harms way. God knows she could really be is a real bad way, and all I cared about was getting Beanie Wells interview back to our viewers in Cleveland.

I often times can't see the forest for the trees. My work seems all encompassing. My focus on training can be the same. I need to look at the big picture.

I thank that family for the reality check and I pray for their daughters return to safety.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tough Ohio Kids

Back again..

How many of you can point to the video of Julie Moss, crawling across the line at Ironman Hawaii as one of the reasons that got you into the sport???? I don't know how you can see that and not have a strong reaction. Ditto for the first time you saw video on the Hoyts. Right? Yep.

Thanks to ESPNU and of course to the ever-in-your-face-we-have-every-moment-that-happened-in-the-course-of-human-events- YOUTUBE, we can check out the incredible fortitude of a young Ohio cross country runner at the State Championships.

Claire Markwardt of Berkshire High broke her leg in two places...just 40-50 feet away from the finish line as she posted a personal best. Amazingly she tried to finish. Yep, she crawled.

I warn you that the video is a bit much for those who may be sensitive. However, I know all of you fellow triathletes have had rough moments in your races and or your training. You can handle this.

Here is the link..

I salute Claire for her incredible toughness, and her spirit of competition.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Color Red

Read something in the Wall Street Journal today that caught my eye.

A study led by professor Andrew Elliot at the University of Wisconsin-Madison ,found that using red .....(a sample of the color, just in case your wondering), in various ways on testing materials hurt college students' performance.

Brain scans suggest this was because they saw the color as threatening. The professor is still trying to determine if this fear is because theres an association of red with teachers' marks. The fear could just be instinctive as well.

I associate all my papers in school with the color red. But, I never flinch when I see blood, or when I bought my tri-bike, it HAD to be RED..(again, a sample of the color). Red is Power!!!!

Above..... The Aforementioned bike. Don't have a name for him...or is it her??? For now, IT is simply "The Red Cannondale"

Over history, my fav entertainers or athletes. Red Grange, Red Barber, Red Skelton, Red Buttons. The Ohio State Buckeyes. (Scarlet and Gray) Scarlet is a first cousin of Red, and is invited to all holiday get togethers at the House of Red .

I do make exceptions. The Indians were beaten by the .....ahhhhhummm Red Sox.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

C.C in a Speedo

Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia won the American League Cy Young Award. Its always a buzz when kids (I can call them kids, he's barely older than my youngest, Joe) you have seen come up through the ranks get honors. Its a vicarious kinda thing.

courtesy Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Gotta confess. When he was starting out, we made plenty of references to his size. He is a few pizza's north of 300 pounds, I believe. We called him Captain Cheeseburger...blah blah blah.... I mean, come on...he was, like two triathletes combined. Not two triguyjt's. I've poked fun at my stocky build. But, two AVERAGE sized triathletes combined.

Anyway, I applaud him. He matured as a young man, and as a pitcher and heres hoping he has much success for many years. Hopefully all of it wearing a Tribe Uni.

So....I stumbled upon a blog today, some guy from Minnesota. Steve in a Speedo. Guy is hilarious. He's an Ironman guy. Cut his teeth at IM Wisconsin. Very funny guy. Twisted in a harmless way........I think.

C.C. and Steve melded together and..... tahhhhh dahhh. a Speedo.

I won't have the art department do a warped blow-up of the big fella. I will just leave it at that.

I will also say, success comes in all shapes and sizes. The team. The Media. The experts in baseball all wanted C.C. to lose about 50 pounds. He never would have been as successful losing all that weight. What he is now, works for him. God Bless.

And Steve can keep on wearing his speedos or goodness sakes, anything else for that matter to race in.

By the speedo for me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Take it to the house ..or Cribbs

For the week.....4 hours of running--biking-and elliptical. most of it at heart rate between 135--145.. steady work. plenty of core work. balance on stability balls. 2 upper body workouts. one leg workout. good week.

Covered the Browns-Steelers game Sunday in Pittsburgh. Yes, the Steelers won 31-28, and yes, the Browns might have gained a little more respect, but a loss is a loss is a loss.

However, with all those high priced, highly touted players on the field, I was struck by the fact that the one player who caused the most fear from the other team..the one player who impacted the game in so many ways was a player considered not good enough to get drafted. Not good enough to earn the huge signing bonus. A player from a school known more for its basketball than for its football.

The player????Joshua Cribbs of Kent State University.

Cribbs photo-courtesy

Sunday he returned one kickoff 90 yards that set up a t.d. The rest of the game the Steelers tried several ways to kick the ball so he wouldn't get his hands on it.
They even squib kicked a ball, that he bobbled.. picked up at the goal line and.........................................
proceeded to run 100 yards for a T.D. It was electrifying stuff from a seemingly unlikely player.

Unheralded. Average height. Good speed. Nothing exceptional. But all Cribbs has done since coming into the league is outplay guys much more talked about. Guys with bigger reputations.

I thought about how teams try to keep the ball out of his hands. I thought about how this guy with a great personality, who even has his own tv show lights up a room when he enters. How he volunteers to do community projects. I thought how one couldn't be more grounded, if he were wearing lead boots.

I'm sure many thought the apex of his athletic career was at Kent State when he was the multi-purpose q.b., but Josh thought he could do more. Josh believed in himself.

We might at the moment, think that life can't get any better. That right now is as good as it gets. We might think that our triathlon times can't get any faster. That we can't possibly train anymore, or train with any more intensity.

When I think like that, I think about the Joshua Cribbs of the sports world. How anything is possible.

Are you a Joshua Cribbs waiting to break out and succeed???

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Go Berserk

It started to click today. Putting off hard workouts. Thinking what I was doing was "good enough". Pure and utter bull-poop. I don't know how I managed to race this year. 4 Triathlons. One Half Iron, 2 Olympic distances and 1 sprint. I know I should have raced better. Maybe I was caught up in the euphoria because my son got into the sport. I trained alot, but my sense of purpose could have been more defined.

When I had great seasons of racing, I always had a plan. Pretty detailed. But a plan. Not like most times this year.

triguyjt 07
"ahh, lets run for an hour"
triguyjt alter ego
" fast??? how many surges??"
triguyjt 07
"ahh, I don't know. I'll just wing it"
triguyjt alter ego
"gheeesh..what a wuss"
And thats how most days went. I would put in time, but what was I doing with the time. So... I will adopt the motto that was coined by one of the most thoughtful of scribes on the sport of running, George Sheehan.

If you want to win anything
-a race, your self, your life-
you have to go
a little berserk.

george sheehan

So in my own way, I went berserk today. Granted, it was a treadmill workout in the basement gym of triguyjt and "the pilates instructor"...but it was a solid, No frills, hard workout. 60 minutes. I mixed in strong tempos. I attacked hills. It was like i was "Pre" come back to life....but with ohhhhh 40...nahhh 45 extra pounds.

Felt fantastic. Felt alive and I have one person to thank for it.

My bride. Many posts ago, I talked about how she conquered her fear of flying. How she shows guts when she has to fly on an airplane. I thought of her doing this. Zip Lines down in St. Lucia this past March. How utterly fearless she appeared, when I knew it had to be agony inside of her, hanging by a line, 70 feet above the jungle floor.

I took racing for granted. I never put myself in that position of overcoming one fear to be great. What was I afraid of?? More mediocrity???
My bride goes to the gym every day and works her fanny off. She has purpose to what she does. When she teaches Pilates, or trains one on one she wants the experience to be just right. She prepares. She doesn't just show up and wing it. I respect her so much. Her type of prepartion is what I should have when I prepare to race.

I have one regret. She doesn't race triathlons.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Here Comes Shamu

The wetsuit won't be in lake erie anymore this year. believe it or not, I was in the lake 2 and a half weeks ago..temp was 62. Last week in October. Wasn't in long.Yikes. One of my goals is to swim San Francisco Bay. Escape from Alcatraz. THAT water is, what 55 degrees or so!!!!! Whew

Yep, Shamu won't be making any splashes. I mean come on. Check out my profile photo in the blog. I am not svelte. 195 pounds most of the time. Best races, I was in the 180's. But I compete. In my own, slow as molasses way.

Now I am in winter mode. Am checking around for places to swim this winter. Any area triathletes with any ideas??? I would appreciate any help. I hear its great at Cleveland State. Solon??? I took spin classes from Dr. Heather Petroff at Peak Performance in Broadview Heights. They have a good swim program.

Goggles are ready. The swimsuit and flotation devices too.

See you in the water

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bee's Buzzing

Great week of training. Had 4 hours, 30 minutes of distance running, and 3 upper body workouts... will set my schedule for 2008. Will post that soon. Most likely, the first event will be the Buckeye Trail race on January 26th. I am leaning towards doing the Half Marathon. Will let you know.

Great job by the Medina High School Cross Country Team. They won the State Div 1 title on Saturday. Donny Roys, pictured in the back row, second from the left was the State overall champ in the Division One Race. Brecksville Girls won the Div 1 title.

Got any pics of your team or individuals in endurance racing, send them to me.. and I will be happy to give kudos to you.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ryan, Alberto and Denzel

Thinking of three people.. each one because of their heart.

Ryan Shay. You may have heard. Collapsed and died at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in New York. Tremendous sadness. Cast a pall all over the Big Apple this weekend as thousands are there for the Marathon Sunday.

Alberto Salazar. The great marathoner was profiled in Sports Illustrated this week. Detailed his heart attack in recent times. And also talked of how he felt another one likely to come on. How he alertly sensed one was in the offing. How they needed to open up one artery that was 90 percent blocked. Doctors thought it was 30 percent blocked.

How Alberto ran his competition into the ground all those years and came close many times to running himself right into a casket. He taunted death many times.

The third person is 15 year Denzel Douglas of Lakewood High School in suburban Cleveland. Denzel had a heart transplant in Summer of 06. 3 weeks ago, the body rejected the heart and he spiralled downward. He lasted about 2 weeks. He was buried on Friday. Buried in a Braylon Edwards Cleveland Browns jersey.

I never knew Denzel, although I visited him at the Cleveland Clinic as he was fighting for his life. I met his cousin, Darla. I hugged his Mom Tara and tried to buoy her spirits. Denzel was unconscious, as the best heart professionals in the world did all they could to save him.

He was an immensely popular young man who always made everyone around him feel good.

I wonder why Denzel never got his chance to play basketball for Lakewood High. Why Denzel's picture had to be in an obituary column in the paper and why it came to a point where kids were wearing tee shirts with his picture on them. Why was his time so short.

I often think that we are given so many beats of our hearts. My ticker is in great shape. So might be yours. However there are no guarantees. Denzel had not a care in the world until last summer. Ryan Shay was trying to represent his country in the Olympics. Glory in athletics was what he was after. Alberto Salazar dodged death. He has a second chance and is turning young athletes into champions.

So, I guess what I am wondering come the big guy has allowed me to be here..right now...age 54... dreaming of racing triathlons .?? Why do I get each day?? What am I doing with each day??? Am I too consumed with training while missing the big picture.???

A heavy heart still beats, just the same.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Fly High with Courage

Greetings from the other side of Halloween. Thought of courage last night as I watched dozens of kids gather the gumption to approach my neighbor, Scotti's home. He put all of us to shame. 50 lava lamps. A neon ghost that danced with the wind. Scary Music. Dark secrets waiting to jump out and scare kids.

In some way, the kids summoned up courage to approach the house. Some had their parents goad them along. Some tried to show their friends how brave they were. Many never came within yards of the home. It was too scary.

What did Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous pilot write about courage????

"Courage is doing
what you're afraid to do.
There can be no courage
unless you're scared."

The sport of triathlon and endurance is filled with people who stare at some kind of fear...and strike it down.

Open water swimming intimidates lots of people. I've have had many people tell me they could do a triathlon, but "swimming in a big lake is just not for me". They fear the unknown. They are away from a comfortable lane in their comfortable Y pool. Its a whole other ballgame. The open water stops alot of people from getting into our sport.

Joe Sanchez, one of my buddies at Fox 8 did a triathlon a few years ago, but not before he summoned up the courage, the strength to wrestle the demons of open water swimming. It was no small feat. Thats why I respect what he did.

I have always been comfortable in open water. I grew up on Lake Erie. Spent day after day in the lake. Swam out far from shore. Hung out on a raft. Then swam to shore.

My first Ironman distance race, The Pineman in 1999 began well. But as 400 of us racers were out in the middle of the lake, the fog descended. We had NO idea where the heck we were. I felt calm amidst all that. I knew I would reach shore sooner or later. For me to get to shore did not take any courage. But for others. Those who never swam that far before. Those who were freaking out in the fog. They had to summon the courage to get to shore.

My gorgeous bride, gathers her courage every time she flies. Getting into a plane is no small feat for her. She lived overseas from age 10-17. Over and back from New York to Europe many times. But then, one day, she just got panicked having to fly in a plane. Every time since then, she works up her courage when flying the friendly skies.

All around us are examples of courage. Standing up to a bully. Conquering the fear of heights. Telling your peers you don't need to smoke that marijuana or drink that booze. The list can be endless.

How high can you fly?? Whats holding you back???

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bizarro World in Cleveland

Workouts going well.Have gotten in excellent upper body workouts and one solid leg workout. Did my brides Pilates class on Sunday. Had been straying from Pilates as triathlon was winding down. I always figured, its best to enjoy the gorgeous late summer and fall weather by training outside. Today, a nice leisurely run at the Chagrin River Park. See earlier post about my thoughts on the place.

Bizarro world in Cleveland. As long as I have been doing the sports on the boob tube for Fox 8, I have never seen all the sports teams perform as such a high level at the same time.

Indians were always lousy till the 90's. Cavs had their moments in late 80's but never got past Michael and the Bulls. Browns had solid 80's teams with Kosar, Mack and Byner but were the pits from the early 90's until the team was moved to Baltimore. Since the Browns were re-born in 99, they have been doormats, save for one year.

Now, what the heck is going one??? Lebron and Cavs in the finals.!!! Thats yours truly quizzing LeBron after a playoff win.

Triguyjt "Cripes, your a tall human being"

LeBron "Standing next to a midget, what would you expect?"

Triguyjt "What was the key to your victory?"

LeBron "Scoring more than the other team!!!"

Triguyjt " Thanks LeBron,..Back to the Studio"

Indians go to the 7th game of the ALCS???

And now, the Browns are 4-3. What in tarnation is going on???

The teams success's mean my triathlon world gets knocked around!!! I could always figure on racing in late May or early June, but now, I have to be ready to travel to the Cavs playoff games..........

The Indians went deep into October, jostling around some potential races and now, the Browns might make the playoffs. That puts January plans in jeopardy.

I am not complaining. Secretly, I think we are living a Seinfeld episode in Cleveland. What was down, is up and what was up is down.

Next year, heres hoping all the teams records are through the roof. That just means I will have to be one heck of a juggler, but not any more of a juggler than most of you, who bust your butts in training and racing and working your jobs.

Give me a title, and I'll go anywhere!!!!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hank was a Smart Guy

Good solid, workout today as I remain in the "recovery phase" from the triathlon season.
I did 5 sets of upper body work and 25:00 on the elliptical as I try not to aggravate my bone spur on my right heel, plus a very sore right hammy. Enough about that stuff.

Soon will be ramping up the mileage as I anticipate 2008 to be my most intense season in my 22 years in the sport. Why not?? I'll be 55. 5 races this year. Next year I would like to do 7 with perhaps my 4th Ironman distance race to finish out the year.

Now to Hank. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

"The heights by great men
reached and kept
Were not attained
by sudden flight,
But they, while their
companions slept,
Were toiling upward
in the night."

Its the perfect poem to sum up our sport. In fact, any sport. Whomever thinks they can just "take flight" and smoke out the competition is kidding themselves.

I have been guilty of it for certain races over the years. I am not elite by any stretch of the imagination. But there has never been a race where I have posted a personal best or where I was high up in my age group where I didn't put in the extra work.

Its not that we toil while everyone else is sleeping, although some days it feels like that. Its that we don't take for granted the fact that "peparedness and sacrifice means a thoroughly satisfying racing experience."

Theres some smugness about us in this sport. We are aware that we compete in a very demanding sport and that we are in the upper percentile of fit people around. I just hope that I don't take any of that for granted. That I continue to strive to do my best. That I strive in training and that I strive in going the extra mile in doing for others.

Thanks Hank. Hey, you were ahead of your time.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Decisions Decisions!!!

Still debating with my advisory board on which races to do in 2008. My advisory board????

The board is comprised of my left brain, my right brain, and all the muscles in my body. I have to convince some parts of the brain that I can do a race.

Will let you know when the tentative schedule comes out.

Today, good upper body workout and lots of leg work.

Plus 35:00 mins on stationary bike. Heart rate 140-150.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Thank You Tracy Zuckerman

I never got to know Tracy Zuckerman very well, although I worked many years with her husband Barry, a photojournalist at Fox 8.

I want to thank her for a gift that she gave me, but I can't in person.

Tracy died of cancer recently. For about ten years, Tracy was battling cancer. Thats right, ten years. Imagine the Indians making the World Series in 1997. Okay, now imagine you find out you have cancer at about that time. Now imagine battling the insidious disease for a decade.

Thats what Tracy did. All with a smile on her face, and a song in her heart.

I want to thank Tracy for a little piece of heaven on earth. Chagrin River Park in Willoughby.

I have lived in Cleveland for all but 9 of my 54 years. I have been to every Metro Park in the wonderful Emerald Necklace that we love here in Cleveland. I had never been to Chagrin River Park. That all changed this past Saturday, when friends, family and colleagues of her husband gathered to hold an informal service in her honor.

A riderless horse was part of a procession. Tracy was an avid horsewoman. They were very close to her heart. Barry gave a stirring tribute. I don't know how he held it together. B.Z., that was your finest moment. He spoke of a woman who embraced life. A woman who always smiled and fought cancer with dignity and courage and never a.."Why me"? from her lips.

The park was one place where she could be free. Away from the treatments, the drugs, the underbelly of cancer. I met the women who rode with her. All spoke of her great spirit of life.

A few days later, on the very same kind of perfect fall day, I returned to Chagrin River Park. I discovered the trails she may have ridden on. The jogging paths that circled the woods.

The Bridge that takes joggers and walkers over the Chagrin.

The steps to the sledding hill. 52 of them. All perfectly laid out. I ran up and down the stairs. Sweat was flowing. My feet barely meeting the ground. In a way I was running for Tracy. Paying tribute to this beautiful woman. Enjoying the feeling of being free and easy, without a so called care in the world. As I ran, I smiled most of the way. Just as Tracy may have done, staring at the prospect of leaving this earth way too soon. And as I ran, I thought that all those so called aches and pains. The hamstring pulls, the sore feet. They don't mean a hill of beans compared to the gift I received from a woman who always lived in the present.