Friday, November 25, 2011

5 Rings

Inside The Olympic Dream from cameron sylvester on Vimeo.

The Rowers seem to always have the best videos.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Silver Fern

Never been to New Zealand. Want to go. People speak very highly of the country, its people and landscape.

Watching the Auckland World Cup over the weekend, on the great live feed from Nz Tv, reinforced my desire to visit. I was taken away by the crowds on hand for it. The numbers looked to be similar to Hamburg, people lining the streets over the entire bike!

Some might feel 'home field advantage' doesn't play a factor in triathlon. I think this weekends results beg to differ. From Hewitt's and Gemmell's victories to Davisons and Adams hard nosed efforts, the Kiwi's dictated and dominated the event. Hard work and talent were obviously key to the outcomes, but that extra % was pumped through their veins from the '6th man' so to speak. The desire to give back to the crowd could not be matched by others just racing for points.

As Bevan is quoted post race: "It was a great race for New Zealand"

The media's attention to the event was even more impressive. Interviews and press galore surrounded the race weeks leading out to front page papers the day after.

It's no surprise that NZ rates as one of the top medal/capita countries each Olympiad. The people love sport and love to embrace it. All sports too, for a rugby crazed nation they remain open minded to endurance feats just the same.

What sociological factors make Kiwis this way?

One guess comes from a story a friend who backpacked there once told me. Traveling the south island, he would often work under the table at sheep farms to fund his trip and lengthen it out. Essentially living there for 6 months he began to see their values in life. He felt Kiwis tended not to place emphasis on personal prizes such as fancy cars or high salary jobs. They drove a car that got them from point A to B, serving purpose. Value was placed on health and family. With health and family they had love and happiness, and that's all that life needed. He saw sport to them was an outlet to join health and family together, whether it was touch 7's or a hike together in the mountains.

Having such simple values in life perhaps prepares kiwi athletes to perform to their best. They don't get sidetracked by sponsors, and they don't compete for themselves, they compete for a cause and are driven by it.

Bravo to Gemmell for his cause for cancer. It helped him get to that finish line first.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Not Just Good Looks

Triathletes often get the rap of being endurance junkies with relapsed mental skills to that of a 4th grader. Viewed as inept with the literary world, outside of Physiology Journals, we are snickered at for diverting too much blood and oxygen away from our brains. We can be regarded as reclusive, with dormant social skills, coining the phrase Tri-geek.

I invite you to change your minds. Attend a World Cup after-party, reclusive-No, cheap drunks-Yes. If a World Cup after party is not in your vicinity then I would invite you to have a peak at Words with Wilson by Aussie Dan Wilson. Look at him as our mindful posterboy, reminding you that "Just because we have chiseled abs and stunning features it doesn't mean that we too can't not die in a freak gasoline fight accident."

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Some people go to chruch, others run.

Sunday is the day of the week which seems to differ quite substantially from all the others. It is a day of rest for some, and day a prayer for others. It's a day where we get to do what we love or have passion for. Whether its 1hr away from the kids to read your book, gardening, or meeting up with friends Sunday is a day to do things close to heart.

To me, Sundays started off at a young age as a day of strapping on the boots and skis and heading up to slopes for Nancy Greene. Meeting my friends and bombing up and down the t-bar through the trails, bush, and gates. This was followed by fries most often dipped in hot chocolate. The smells and sights associated with those times come back to me now and then on a Sunday.

At this point in time Sundays are a day to get out early and run. There is something very therapeutic and releasing about going for a long run early on a Sunday. It's a time of the a week to unwind and think over your thoughts. On a long run you can reel through everything on your mind and more so. My best ideas have come to me while running. It has been proven that exercise is the best for not only your physical well being but also mental, no surprise really.

A long run done first thing Sunday morning can set up the day well. Getting out into some fresh air, blood flowing, wakes you up and gives you a jumpstart to a productive day. Whether that day involves watching football, baking, kids, or what have you, the morning run can perk you up and get you going.

One of the first runs i did with coach Jon I asked him if he ever ran with an i-pod. "Run with what!?" He told him he had done it once and never again. Felt it interupted with his running and his ability to feel pace and form. Up until that point I would often run with one, I took his advice and now I can't imagine myself running with one again. Listening to your body (breath, foot patterns) and mind while running is whats important, I run to leave behind lifes distractions. I was running late summer at Elk lake and heard an Owl hooting, there it was just off the trail on a branch. Big hooter as well, fascinating, something I would have missed with an i-pod.

I-pod digression aside, Sundays have a different meaning and value to everyone. Whatever your Sunday encompasses, enjoy it and take the day to reflect and look ahead to the upcoming week.

Photo Courtesy: Andrew McCartney

Saturday, November 05, 2011


"A body in motion will tend to stay in motion..."

Someone famous said that, Fig Newton, was that his name?

Momentum is key in a lot of daily activities. For instance, to save gas i'll pop it into neutral well before a red light and use my momentum, i've gotten quite skilled at it, sometimes i'll get it just right at finlayson/Quadra southbound where i'll combine my momentum with cresting the hill to come to a stop just feet behind the car in front of me without using gas or brake.

This principle also works well for pack riding, you want to keep your momentum with as little effort as required. Running, perhaps the most elusive sport to keep momentum, has the potential for huge gains if momentum can be conserved.

Other little momentum savers in life: popping the toast right out of the toaster onto your plate / timing a revolving doorway just right / swings / and roundabouts.

One thing i'm horrible at with momentum is swimming flip turns, maybe that's why i have dreams where all our roads are canals and a 5k swim workout is swimming down MacKenzie to UVic and back home on cedar hill X.

Anyways, theme of this post is about keeping momentum, or as we often term it, 'rolling'. In years past I've struggled near the end of season to stay fit, I gradually lose my momentum and finish with disappointing results and feelings. I'll take a break and lose the rest of any remaining momentum and then spend most of the winter gaining it back before building from it. This year has been different. Gradually gaining momentum from May through October I felt strong to finish the season and ended on a high. We took a short/effective break and kept the ball rolling. Resuming to some structured training this week, the pre-break fitness has held a lot of the momentum and now we can build upon it.

How does that other one go....oh ya 'A rolling stone gathers no moss....'

Thank you to my Family for another year filled of encouragement and support; My coaches, teammates and therapy crew for a program and environment inducing high performance, comradery, and health and to my sponsors and supporters for their loyalty and belief.

2012 has begun!