If your into Triathalon this video really captures the Kona Ironman World Chamionships, what a wicked place to run, swim and ride!
Great editing on the vid too.
If your into Triathalon this video really captures the Kona Ironman World Chamionships, what a wicked place to run, swim and ride!
Great editing on the vid too.
This story is a reprint from huffingtonpost.
Name: Adam Wedekind Age: 21 Height: 6’6″ Before Weight: 375 pounds
How I Gained It: Growing up,I was always the bigger guy in the room, but I was happy about the advantage it gave me playing sports. Right around the beginning of high school,I hit a growth spurt and sprouted up to about sixfeet tall. People called me “giant” around school,but it never occurred to me that I was overweight. Being a shy person,I had a few friends in high school,but soon became addicted to online video games. The strangers online quickly became an escape from my daily life at school because there was no judgment on looks or weight. I could be comfortable with my weight online,so I soon spent more time on my computer than outside or at school.
When I got my license my weight seemed to exponentially grow. I could now go out late at night to feed my hunger anything and everything it desired. Fast food from McDonald’s,Burger King or Taco Bell was not uncommon,and a battle to finish an extra-large pizza by myself was soon easy. By the start of college,I am guessing I was around 320 pounds –my weight was off my scale,which only went to 300 at the time. When I moved to Ohio for college to live with my mom my weight got even higher. I hit a bout of depression because I didn’t know anyone at my new school,and I fell back into a routine of playing video games and eating fast food once more. I would estimate I spent about sixteen hours a day in my room eating and video gaming and wasting my life away.
Breaking Point: My parents had always warned me about diabetes and other weight complications,like knee and back pain,but I blew it off like they had no idea what they were talking about. In July 2010,my grandfather (a bigger guy just like me,where I got most of my height from) passed away from complications of diabetes. The fact that I was heading down the same road really hit home. It was like a slap across the face that I needed to get my life and weight under control. Most of all,I wanted to be happy again. I bought a new scale and weighed myself; it read 375 pounds.
How I Lost It: My mom bought me a gym membership as a way to motivate me to lose weight in August 2010. The gym was open 24 hours a day,which was great for me. I was so big that I was embarrassed to work out. My first day in the gym,my T-shirt looked like it was dipped in water from all the sweat. I would start on the treadmill and move to the weights and finish with the bike. I would go from about 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and go home and sleep before my classes later in the day. It became a nice little routine.
Another big change I made was my diet. I never actually counted calories, but I took all the knowledge about food I could find from school,from TV and from websites to find meals that were deemed “healthy” and suited my tastes. I threw soda out the window from the start. I ate sixmeals a day with healthy snacks and lots of water. I carried a gallon jug of water with me everywhere I went. My lunch every day consisted of a grilled chicken salad,and I started eating dinner with my mom at home rather than ordering fast food or pizza.
The weight started to come off slowly. I saw it first in my face and then in the rest of my body. Every week I took a progress picture. It just gave me more and more encouragement to keep going. Clothes were starting to fit again,and every new piece of clothing I bought was one step closer to better health. I went from a size 56 waist all the way down to a 36. I couldn’t even believe they made 36×36 jeans!
Accountability was a great motivator to keep me at the gym. My mom was there to make sure I kept on track,and even my online gamer friends knew about it. I would post updates on a forum or blog and reap in the encouragement they gave me. I also started my own blog,and my family, friends and other weight-loss bloggers keep up with me daily. It keeps my mind focused on my goals knowing that people read about what I do on a daily basis.
Then I found a new love in my life that I never thought would happen: running! Running is my favorite workout; I could go out and hit the pavement and leave all worries at home. I joined the Kent State Running Club at school. I ran a 5K and then a 10K,and then a sprint triathlon,two half-marathons and — just this January — the Walt Disney World Marathon.
Today,I am training for 2012 Ironman Arizona. I keep the weight off by running,biking or swimming at least an hour a day and cutting back on fatty foods. I eat a lot of vegetables and organic foods,along with grilled meats. I am part of two running clubs and a triathlon club,all of which give me great advice on how to keep excelling at the sports I love. I surround myself with active people,who in turn keep me on track for keeping my weight off for good. Now,I am happy.
I did not choose my journey, it chose me. Very similar to the saying “you can’t choose your family”, I don’t believe you can choose what happens to you in life. I definitely didn’t choose December 27, 2006 as a date that would change my life, or better yet, my way of living. Jubilation turned into a constant state of anxiety after me and Vivian found out we were pregnant. October and November of that year are marked by the memory of Vivian being on bedrest and trying to keep her entertained and keeping the house cleaned. After so many years of trying to get pregnant, it was nice to roll into the family Thanksgiving dinner with a pregnant belly. I was really sitting on cloud nine. There was laughter and the occasional “let me feel your belly”, and I was feeling quite proud.
I was afraid of what the future may hold, but for a totally different set of reasons. As I sat there soaking up the atmosphere, I thought about how I’d send Shiloh to college, or what dating tips I’d bore him with. That night I returned home and settled down for a glass of wine. Thirty days would pass before everything turned upside down.
It was on that fateful day that Vivian said to me “I think something’s wrong”. We sat for about an hour before it became increasingly clear we needed to go to an ER room. Once there, we were admitted and taken to a room. I remember the doctor coming over to me and saying he may have to deliver our Son that night. Another doctor came in and began giving us the statistics for babies being born as early as Shiloh. Everything was bleak, and I felt as though I’d been kicked in the balls. Hearing the words “he may not make it” and “you need to brace for the worse”, seemed so easy to say, but too hard to swallow.
I’d been in tough situations before, but nothing came close to this. Being scared is not something that comes easy for me. In fact, there’s not too much I’m afraid of. As I sat there watching Vivian, I tried to wrap my head around the outer body experience I was having. Decision was met with indecision that night, and there was nothing I could do about it. I prayed, and prayed, asking for a sign all would be right. They tilted Vivian upside down in hopes that pressure would stay off of her cervix. This was the only way to keep my son alive. They measured for dilation constantly, and fitted Vivian for a catheter.
There were a lot of tears that night. We didn’t know what was about to come, but in hindsight, I glad we didn’t.
article is a reprint from Huffington Post
We’re smack dab in the middle of self-help season. Websites are running their annual “How to Make Your Resolutions Stick” stories; bookstores are devoting front-and-center display space to the topic. And yet, just three weeks into 2012, our personal wish lists for self-improvement are already fizzling. Many of us are already transitioning from the wide-eyed idealism of Jan. 1 to a more sober resignation of maybe next year.
Why can it be so hard to make the life changes we seek?
Because we often think about self-help in all the wrong ways, and it comes back to haunt us when the going gets tough. It’s hard to blame us. Just consider what some of the supposed gurus of self-help tell us to do in their books, blogs, and TV appearances — look at the questions that Dr. Phil, for example, tells us to ask ourselves:
Dr. P would have you believe that questions like these hold the key to improving the person you are. But look more closely. These questions have a common link — and I don’t just mean their use of arbitrary digits that seem more likely to have come from fortune cookie lucky numbers than any sort of actual research.
More importantly, these questions share the assumption that there’s a true or core self residing within each of us. And that introspection is the way to discover it.
But the thing about introspection is that it gives you different conclusions under different circumstances. And locating your core self? Well, who we are as people is also dynamic and context-dependent.
Are you looking to be a happier, more productive, more successful person? Are you in the market for self-help? Then the better advice is stop putting so much effort into finding your “authentic” self. Learn to embrace the self as flexible.
Consider one study of students at Stanford, who were asked to serve as pen pals with “at-risk” middle-schoolers. The college students were instructed to offer encouragement to the younger kids by explaining in their letters that they, too, had struggled at times in school, but eventually persevered and found academic success. They were told to emphasize the idea that natural ability is overrated-that intelligence “is not a finite endowment, but rather an expandable capacity.”
Did these letters help the middle-school students bounce back from adversity? It’s impossible to say — the letters were never delivered. But the mere experience of writing them had a lasting impact on the college students themselves: Months later, the letter-writers were still reporting greater enjoyment of school than were other Stanford undergrads. Their grade point averages were higher, too, by a full third of a point on a four-point scale.
You see, viewing the self as a static and stable entity is what puts us on the defensive and leads to chronic self-deception in the face of setback. When you accept that the answer to “Who am I?” should be written in pencil and not pen, threats become opportunities. Failures transform into life lessons. Even if this isn’t how you usually see things, it’s not too late to start now.
Yet another study — this one from Hong Kong — illustrates how easy it is to change how you think about yourself. Researchers gave students one of two different, ostensibly scientific articles — articles that either depicted intelligence in static or flexible terms. Those led to think of intelligence as a fixed quantity took the easy way out: They didn’t persist on tasks in the wake of poor performance, and they avoided taking on new challenges later. Only students told that intelligence was malleable showed the stick-to-it-iveness necessary to improve their performance down the line.
OK, so self-help isn’t really for suckers. (Hey, my new book, Situations Matter, is sitting on that front-and-center table at bookstores this month, and I’m not complaining.) The motivation for self-improvement is indisputably admirable. But the problem is that too often, we just don’t think about self-help the right way.
What should the self-help gurus be telling you?
That the aftermath of failure is precisely when you need to remember that the self is flexible.
That you’re better off focusing on effort and other controllable factors, and not on fixed aptitude.
To forget about “not being a ____ kind of person,” whatever the presumed deficit in your supposedly authentic self may be.
Bad grade on your paper? Lousy earnings projections for the quarter? First one voted off the reality dancing show? There are dangers to chalking up setback to a lack of ability or a glaring limitation of your true self. Instead, force yourself to make a list of the changeable factors — internal and external — that can bring about better outcomes the next time around.
Because whether in California or Hong Kong, good things happen when you embrace the self as malleable. Regardless of what you read in the self-help aisle, you don’t have to lose sleep hunting for your core identity or reconnecting with your inner you. Chicken soup for your soul and numbered questions are overrated.
For more by Sam Sommers, click here.
Love is an expression of will, but the brightest morning will kiss the darkest night and what you’ve come to love will be taken away. There is nothing in this world that truly settles fear. Fear will forever be the greatest illusionist with an unending audience. But he can only take what we choose to give.
Desperation seems to be the last straw to the emotional state. Something pulls at me to make a decision as if time is being rolled out of a gate. I seek, I ask, I try to find more time as my spirit gets weak. But nothing is more important as silence when I’m awake.
Love will use belief and sincerity to battle fear as it grows within. Doubt and confusion meld with one another to send love on it’s way. As I sit between the two looking for a direction to take, it dawns on me a little too late that the path is something you must make.
An embrace, a nod, a forced smile…sometimes it’s the little things that bring me back to faith. Not a faith defined by the hands of man, but the faith discovered by crossing the burning sands.
There are so many living with silent joy and invisible tears. Forced to live secluded in a world full of shadows, I know where there is one, there are others, absent of time, we will discover one another. The beauty of this moment is the beauty of the words unspoken…to love is to be loved, and to give is to receive.
We walk such similar paths / one a son, the other a dad
our dreams kiss every night, we share courage, but only one can fight;
If destiny comes from a woman, and our future is defined by this
single moment; I would truly loose all sense of time, if I erase your chapter
from my mind;
Not knowing has me clinging to the tip of the edge, the reality of the finality
keeps me from hearing anything anyone has said;
The verdict has already entered my head; If the love of your life
who is not your wife, begins to drift away how could you rely on faith;
Look away, try to pray, ask the heavens if there’s another way;
The nightmare creeps in, you blame it on your sins; If you would only
see that this is for the greater good, there’s therapy for your grief;
A certain silence erupts within the air, it’s the kind fed by despair;
When the pain is ready to set-in, there’s a cracking, a fluttering,
accompanied by a swift wind;
A beautiful butterfly floats near the temple but closer to the eye,
close enough for you to hear…“I’m free”;
So close but worlds apart, joy and happiness will not depart;
There’s so much I want you to see, is pushed back with “I came,
so I could be”; I’ll turn, but never walk away, and each time I
see a butterfly, I’ll say…thank you Shiloh
for bringing such a beautiful day;
Hey baby boy, sitting here writing these words, I realized that I’d never taken the time to sit down and write to you. I’ve written some poems and did a couple years worth of journaling, but I’ve never slowed down and penned a letter to you. Bet you are saying, it’s about time pops! I know, this was a long time coming, but like we always say, everything has it’s time in the universe. I’ll try to be direct, but you know I tend to rumble. Your baby sister has joined you to complain about the length of my “talks”. First thing, I have to say is thank you for all of the life lessons. It’s strange, but in a lot of ways you’ve been guiding me, more than I was ever able to guide you. I’m happy for the time we spent together when it was only the two of us. It may have been 1 or 2 in the morning and there were times you were sound asleep, but I cherish the memory because it gave me perspective. It allowed me to stay connected with what was important, which was to get you home. We had some great nights, and I’m so happy I had the opportunity to share with you my favorite poem. I think you memorized “IF”, and if you didn’t, I know felt the energy of the words, the truth behind the words.
I know you felt the amount of love we shared. I believe you looked forward to seeing me as much I couldn’t wait to see you. I apologize for not taking time off from work and I refuse to use excuses to justify trying to care for you and work. It was a mistake; one of the few regrets in my life, the decision is something I deal with everyday. There are times when I feel like your departure was premature. As if the penalty for my past misdeeds caused you to leave. A foolish thought, from a foolish mind, but when you search for answers to questions, what you find really does not make sense. It’s when you stop looking, stop asking when you find reasoning and ultimately peace. I’m happy that you led me to that place. I took a couple of years away from everything and everyone, I don’t quite know why, but I suspect I needed time alone.
The time did allow me to reflect on our last hour together, probably more so, the last 15 minutes. I will never say I made the right decision when the Dr. asked me if he could call the time of death as it was a foregone conclusion they’d done everything they could to resuscitate you. I know you understand my love for you, but that will always be the worst part of my life. For a long time, I tried to forgive myself, until you told me there was nothing to forgive. I’m thankful for your spirit, but I would still trade my life for yours. Your little sister has split “the most important part of my life” phrase, but you will always have a special place in my heart and soul. You remember when I promised you the past is not a place I would live. I’m holding true to my promise, will celebrate your life, and live inspired by your life. “IF” is a great poem and a great life lesson. I enjoy watching the sunrise because it reminds me of the first time I saw your eyes. I felt warm, renewed, it’s like marveling at a miracle. You are that sunrise, there’s no yesterday or tomorrow, there is only that moment. Like I said baby boy, it’s been a long time coming. Thank you for your patience. Your loving father!
People have asked why I chose to ride my bike as a way to honor Shiloh. I start my explanation with a story someone shared with me when I first started riding 3 years ago. I won’t bore you with the details, but the moral of the story is there are 2 types of cyclists, those riding away from something, and those riding toward something, and from time to time, those cyclists are the same person.
For me, cycling has become a great way to get away. It keeps me grounded and allows me to focus on what’s important. There are days when being on my bike mirrors days when I was in the NICU. You can’t loose your focus, you can’t let the pain stop you, find support by talking to those around you. The bottom line, cycling is a training ground for living life. Why am I writing about this? I came across a great article written by Marv Zauderer that talks about strengthening your mental skills. While we would all like to believe that “life is what you make it”, the reality is that “life is how you manage it”.
Goal setting, positive self-talk, managing emotions, concentration, and communication are skills we use on a daily basis for a number of things, including taking care of a child in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. They are also the skills you need to be successful when cycling, running, or eating healthy. Every athlete I’ve ever talked to says the same thing…being successful is more mental than physical. Motivation means everything. My reality is that, I’m riding away from and toward something. Same ride, same effort, same cyclotherapy.
As I approach the kick-off to iride4shiloh, I find myself becoming more and more restless. It’s not anxiety, but more of a wonting to get going, put some skin in the game. Although I don’t like waiting, I don’t have a problem with being patient. I was thinking about this big adventure the other night and why I have to reach my destination. I usually bounce things off my baby girl when I can’t shut down my brain. I like sharing with Renee how her big brother lived a strong and courageous life. How important it is for us to conquer doubt. I’m certain Shiloh was confused and scared when he first arrived in NICU. But I truly don’t believe he had any doubt that he would not make it home…how could he. From day one, Shiloh fought and as each surgery, treatment, and test brought him pain, it prepared him for the next challenge.
February 6, 2007, was a rough one. Shiloh had surgery for his eyes. He was born with Retinopathy and we were told that the surgery was needed to rid him of the disease. There was the blood transfusion, issue with his blood pressure and a steady dose of morphine. He weighed 2 lbs at the time, and he was measured daily to check for a distended belly. There was a lot going on and my little man really never cried when he was in pain. But you could see it in his eyes, you could feel his discomfort. I watched the first half of the 2007 Super Bowl in the waiting room at the hospital while my son went through yet another surgery. Little did I know that life would consist of more surgeries, constant prayer and the insane feeling that I had absolutely no control over my life.
Renee has drifted off to sleep, and her innocence is oblivious to pain, absent of a feeding tube, IV’s, or the hum of monitors that are attached to every limb as she tries to sleep. I remember a nurse watching me and Vivian as we sat quietly next to Shiloh. I’ve never had a transfusion, and I can’t recall the last time I gave blood. But here I am five years after that experience preparing for my upcoming challenge. Riding a bike is a piece of lint compared to the things Shiloh had to go through. I know I can’t go back to February 6, 2007, there’s nothing I could change. But hopefully jumping on this bike with the goal of helping others, will pave my journey back to forward.
All the colors are crystal white and the mirror is a perfect reflection of the night. All emotions wake and the temperature steadily creeps erect. Smoke fills the air but flames never dance near the tread of your pace…beads of sweat kiss your temple as you try with all your might to take one step back, but there’s no retreat, no space for your heartache.
You hear your spirit speak with words guarded from interpretation, and born from this language is the vibration of insanity. You breathe, you stutter, you count the seconds away. You discover parts of your subconscious while your conscience wonders if you should leave or try to stay.
You stand still and your mind stops racing; you close your eyes only to feel your body bracing. It’s difficult but you accept your journey, you accept why your life will never be the same. As you begin to walk, you notice that grace has paved the way, and mercy sits atop a cliff overlooking the riverbank. The stars and your moon start to surround you and you hear a growing whisper chanting for you to fight.
As your wide strides inch ever closer to a place where all things are illuminated, and within the distance of perception and reality, you become aligned with words and actions that recreate your fate. You choose freedom in the presence of your fears and desperation and embrace the consequences of being mindful of every minute of every day. Only then will you see that this experience has become the ion of your faith.
Without effort, you exhale the warmth of this existence…the sands of time have refined your memory. One morning you will stand in your darkness, with truth prevailing over your sorrow…living has given you perspective, and your voice is strong enough to say…”it’s a beautiful day to write a new ending”.