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The whacky and chaotic Livingston clan!

Checkin' IN!!!

I am not sure what I want to accomplish with this post more than some personal catharsis.  A memory popped up on Liz's timeline from my first 70.3 IM St George in 2015.  I then posted this in the comment I shared along with the facebook video:

The first one, unfortunately I had to make the decision to not participate this year. Liz can tell I am a bit off, but after this move, a lot of priorities centered around our nuclear family first. Grateful for a growing family and overall good health. Missing this one this year is a test of mental fortitude, it just sucks !
So, there it is.  It just sucks! That's what is is.  I think in the realm of life and endurance sports etc, there are at times when things just SUCK.  And that is ok!!!  Example.  On course, during any triathlon distance, its going to potentially suck.  That may be due to improper mindset, preparation, nutrition fumble, over/under training and accumulated fatigue to highlight a few and not discount the spectrum of many other things.

Look!  Life is great.  Liz is mostly happy and healthy.  Dennis is growing and adolescing, and at times it is extremely unknown ground, but it is what being a parent entails.  Juniper and Astrid are growing and for the most part happy, healthy and vibrant.  So yes, life is good, great and wonderful.

The move, is another component to be grateful about.  The transaction and the move were nothing like the 'ideal state' of things, but we got through it.  Being on the other side and the many priorities we chose to deal with, has been laborious and tedious but mainly fruitful and rife with lessons learned and satisfying accomplishment.  Many frustrations, too - Let's keep this real!

The weather this year hasn't been favorable for many of the outdoor activities.  i have been able to get some sporadic things in but I have not been able to find STELLA.  She stole my Groove.  I WANT IT BACK!  At any rate.  Liz and I are stuck in trying to break out of the post move funk.  We have a few things to complete on the house - including the rest of the flooring, the finishing work, more painting,  building things (benches, gates, windows, fences, doors, sanity, etc) and many other seemingly little things to others but big to us.  So, we try to work through the tediousness of those things.

So maybe I need to go here for me!!! 

What has the endurance sports lifestyle done for me and what does participation in 70.3 triathlons and others regardless of event brand done for me?
Text from Linkedin post: I don't often post here, but I am grateful to how my participation in endurance sports has improved my mindset, allowed me to chase my potentials with a greater appreciation of focus and discipline, and the stability it has provided me in my personal and family relationships.  Career is vital and my participation in endurance sports has framed my mindset to allow me to achieve things I once considered out of my reach.  It has become far more than a hobby or interest, it is part of me and my lifestyle. It has enhanced my personal and moral compass and approach to career, life and family!  Cheers!

Well, first and foremost it helped me have a vision.  I don't do well with goals, rather its the tasks that I do best with.  Reason being, the hyper focus that leads to goal creation is often skewed and too over whelming or often for me its limiting.  It distracts me from reaching my potential.  I would rather chase my potentials than quota's

It's like Winston Churchill's thought:
“Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.”
This lifestyle also helped me re-cast what I needed to focus on.  I had little balance especially from the work life balance point of view.  I was hanging in there and on the hamster wheel of life - getting destroyed!  What else.  It has helped me re-shape and center my mental fitness.  I truly like what someone relayed in a group post the other day.  Triathlons in middle to long endurance distances are the "rehearsal for life" (quote from a C26er).  Things get hard.  Things go beyond rote activities.  It has helped me look at change with a much different vantage point and has pulled me with large leaps in context to a maturity I once thought well beyond my reach.  I can look back and see I have gone far past that.  This video clip truly reflects a lot of my mindset feelings in different fashions:

I need to get back to the Rise and Shine strength - which I have let slip:

This lifestyle has done many more things.  One of which I think saved my relationship with my wonderful wife, Liz.  I think in some ways we were starting to head in opposite directions.  It wasn't that it was a risk to us, but it definitely was becoming a large stumbling block to which I was mainly accountable for.  Let's be real, i am not one to get highly nor clinically depressed, but I get into my funks too.  Admittedly, I dislike not being able to participate in this upcoming weekend at St. George.  It has become a small family tradition for us.  I imagine many people don't understand why I want to do something so HARD.  Why would one want to go through and suffer and embrace the suck of three disciplines that can be difficult just in focusing on one at a time let alone combining all three.

I was not a fabulous swimmer, and I am not perfect.  But I have become confident, trusting and strong with LEAPS of learning to still come.  It has become my sanctuary.  I can go get in the water and let everything just spill away as I get down to two basic elements of swimming - breathing & movement.  EVERYTHING, and i do mean everything, can just wash away over the 1 - 2 miles during a swimming session.  Each stroke and breath becomes concentrated on a single purpose - staying alive!  I can't explain it really but I can invite others and share with them why I find a vibrance and a vitality in the water.  Open Water Swims are a different world.  To be able to swim among others in a battle royale of trying to go from point A to point B.  To be able to rub with others, and concentrate on a singular focus - not drowning!  Sounds exciting no?  :)

I am an ok cyclist.  I know my limits and know how to extend them.  Like waking up to complete my first 50 miler, but having the stupid capability to finish 100 miles after a wrong turn.  This is where I really came to understand that mind and body can do much more than the limits I impose on it.  I love getting out and just pedaling.  In our valley there is always a wind.  And on most rides that wind is a head wind for 80% or more of any route we choose.  Also living at approx 4500+ ft above sea level helps too.  I think I find this to be the most productive of the disciplines for me.  Whether it is a 20 mile daily ride or a 112 mile suffer ride - it's great to get out and turn the pedals.  It allows me to think about the crank and not get run over by all the rogue drivers out there.

I used to hate to run.  This discipline has taught me many things.  From running earlier in life and getting shin splints and later intense knee pain during my first half iron man.  Running shut my knee down which made me become a student, a learner and completely humbled - Click here for my knee story!  In fact, I had to stop and listen to a doctor who also happened to be an athlete.  I quickly had a choice to make - Either I remain the stubborn idiot I had become or listen to the quote from Charles Darwin:
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” 
So I quickly chose to adapt and manage change.  I was able to quickly understand the benefits of not resisting this and becoming more fluid.    I think my wife was astounded that finally something was breaking through.  I think it was mainly because I couldn't just be stubborn and muscle through.  I had to listen to the advice in this quote:
"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power."
~~Alan Cohen
So, I learned that I had to understand that although running was most accessible and easy, there was a encyclopedia of learning both physical and mental in front of me.  I learned to love to run, in fact, I leaned to live so I could run.  Running gave me the opportunity to learn that in some ways I was a douchebag in my interactions with other runners and humans.  People didn't care that I was a triathlon finisher or triathlon participant.  They cared that I was a human that listened and cared about their value they provided me.  In return I was then able to share my value I could offer them.  I learned that journey was far more valuable, enriching and telling than - hey look I started at a 15 min per mile pace and I can almost go sub 7 minutes now.  I learned that one step doesn't a journey make, but tha courage it takes to make that first step wields power that can change lives.  Running allowed me to achieve the following:

So to summarize.  The endurance sports lifestyle has provided me opportunity/relief/growth/satisfaction/peace.  It comes with an associated opportunity cost - my effort, my time, my mindset, my family, my career, my value.  In return I receive so much more.  It's not from a brand, or an event, or a distance, but rather from a perspective that can only be gleaned by lacing up, showing up, being present and being willing to feel the fear and do it anyway.  To relinquish my self, and surrender to something beyond me.  It is similar to the journey I have taken with my wonderful wife - Liz.  I had to step into the dark to identify where the source of light would be and we have journeyed toward that light as best we can.  It hasn't been perfect, and we have stumbled along the way.  But be it endurance sports, or our relationship - it has been a grand journey.  So, yes, I am in a funk, I am fighting to find my way out of it, but its like being in the middle of a suffer-fest and holding on, enduring, embracing the 'suck', until the leap that is about to occur.  This one appears to be more mental than physical.

So, I say thank you to my wife for being patient, and willing to with stand my quirks.  And for that I will ALWAYS be grateful, even when I am unwilling to identify it as that.  Well -- life is going on outside of my computer, time to go play dad, husband, me.  Cheers!

So, I think this meme applies a bit differently but is so a propos:

And you bet your bottom dollar I am very aware of those judgmental little beady eyes of the past and present, but I'm getting to better understand and subscribe to the next meme!!!

I will let judgments be their burden not mine!
lesson learned

difficult lesson learned

never wanting to accept this, but learning this lesson for me

middle finger always applies in this lesson learned.

Activities - 

I use the following trackers:
  • Garmin Connect (which pushes the files to the following services):
    • Training Peaks
    • Strava
    • and the ones I don't remember (Map my stuff via Under Armour and things like the Great Bicycle ride initiative stuff)
Truly, I mainly use Training Peaks as I pay for an annual subscription on it now, and it is the most detailed in data and other helpful information to keep me where I want to go.

Relevant Pics


The wonderful wife - Liz
me and my 12 y/old

the girls!

Family shenanigans

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