Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Lessons

Jesus really spoke to my heart this year, especially this Christmas. I really wasn't prepared for a Jesus Intervention, but as many know, Jesus gets you when you least expect it and when you most need it.

So, I have been thinking of writing this for about a week or so. I held off because I wanted to see what else I would have to write about, as well as, how I would write it. I also had a couple people ask about the blog post and feel more compelled than ever to write it.

Let me start with the fact that I have a dysfunctional family. I don't write that to hurt anyones feelings or hurt anyone. It is the truth. I have a very fractured family because of the dysfunction and it isn't any one persons fault. Saying this reminds me that all families have some degree of dysfunction. This is a symptom of the fall of man and sin. Those the reason Jesus was born and the reason we celebrate Christmas. He enters the world broken by sin and dysfunction. His intervention is timely this year considering the time and season. I don't write this for sympathy but for the glory that is Jesus.

To understand the story one needs a brief glimpse of the dysfunction. All the various sides of my family have had to deal with addictions, drugs, violence, death and separation. Again, it isn't the fault of any person in any part of the family. It was our reality. These issues took what was a seemingly close knit family and sent them in their various directions. As time passed by, I was left with less family. For the past decade I thought I only really had one part of the family left, my mother. We had our own issues. Again, not her fault or mine. Just the symptom of the fall. So, in my heart, I believed that I would be left with no family as I got older. It really broke my heart.

Over time, some family reached out to each other, usually at funerals. Then we would quickly say our good byes, we need to keep in touch, and then get in our cars and drive back in the direction we came from. Some family members even called, left numbers and tried.

However, even though family reached out, I was afraid. I didn't know what they wanted. I didn't know what I had to give. I remembered the things the adult members of my family would say about the others in the family. Most of the time it wasn't very nice. I heard this a lot as a child. It left me tainted. I saw my family through very distorted glasses. I wish and pray I could erase the words and images that are planted in my brain about my family. Those images are there and I have to deal with them.

So, what was the intervention? The intervention was seeing my family this year at Christmas in my home. The things I saw and observed brought joy to my heart and deep sadness. I saw an uncle who I thought was the tough old man turn into a soft concerned parent. I saw a cousin who I really hadn't spoken to for more than an hour over the last decade in my home with his children and wife.We spent several hours talking and enjoying each other again. We were like brothers once. Again, joy filled my heart and yet there was sadness for all the lost years. Finally, I caught up with my nephew who I hadn't seen for about 20 years. Spent hours just hanging and enjoying each other's company. again, joy filled my heart and sadness. Sadness of the time lost.

The revelation. Jesus' time on Earth was marked by meeting people where they were. Most of them broken by many of our standards. He loved them, he lifted them up and he forgave them. Something we have a difficult time doing with people and our family. I remember those conversations about how this person did this and that person did that. I could tell you a lot of stories and I am sure you could share some too. However, is that what we should be doing. Should we be tearing people down in front of our children or should we be building each other up? I look to what did Jesus do? He built them up, he grew them, and if they stumbled forgave them again and continued to love them.

As parents we are given an awesome responsibility. We are charged with growing our children in Jesus and growing His church. How can we do that if we are tearing people down in front of our children. Our tongue is a wicked thing. We can build nations with it or tear them down. I choose building a nation. I choose building the family that Jesus has given me and building the bridges that are there.

My prayer after you read this is to not feel sorry for me, that isn't the point, but to think before you speak. I pray that when we speak we think and act as if Jesus was right next to us. Ask our selves What Did Jesus Do! He gives us so many examples. I pray that we walk in such a way that we wan't our children to. We mold the future. Build, don't tear down. The world is broken enough.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Post Turkey Day

Well, I thought Turkey day I would gain some weight! I was really surprised when I got on the scale and it read, drum roll please, 182 lbs. I almost feel on the floor and broke a hip. I even checked the scale to see if the settings were correct. Final verdict. 182lbs.

I credit the weight loss to my Insane workout, hard working wife for helping plan the meals (hiding the bags of chips and chocolates) and a killer 40 mile ride yesterday with Summit Freewheelers.

Let me tell you about the 40 mile ride. Started the morning off with half a bagel w/ cream cheese and a cup of coffee. Ok, 2 cups of coffee. Meet up with the Rich, George, Jim and Aaron at Barlow Trail Head and hit the road with 2 water bottles. We blasted the first 20-25 miles with an average of 19 -20 mph. I was feeling really good. We turned into the wind at about mile 30. I looked away for a moment and I got dropped. I sucked it up and fought back. Actually they waited for me at the next light. We waited for Jim who was about a mile behind. We stayed as a group for the rest of the way home. These were 10 tough miles. Some where along the way I hit the wall. I hit it hard but I suffered along the way. George dropped back to pick me up and talked about his new T.T. bike he is thinking of building. Then my saddle slipped. I have never had that happen before in my entire cycling career. It slipped bad! It was pointing to the 1 o'clock position. I rode about 6 miles with the saddle that way. The boys are very sore to say the least. Big thanks to George for pulling me home!

Post ride, I felt it. I was starving. I need the sugar bad. I had the shacks. When I get really low on sugar I begin to shack, break out in a hot sweat and get very disoriented. Thankfully Pulp was open. Tag the owner was working Turkey Day and he made me a power smoothie. It was awesome! Big thanks to Tag!

I finally got home and crashed. I feel asleep before I hit the pillow. Slept for 1/2 hour, showered and joined the cooking frenzy in the kitchen. The feast was a blaze. Food was every where and the table was set. All we were waiting for was the timer on the turkey to pop.

The only real reason I didn't gain weight on Turkey Day is... I really don't like turkey. I eat it, but i gorge on the sides. After a big bonk, my stomach is in knots so I don't eat much.

So, 182 lbs.

Lessons learned...
  1. Eat more before a big ride.
  2. Have recovery food in the jersey.
  3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Now, it is time to do some Black Friday shopping!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Damn, that hurt!

Some people that are close to me know I suffer from pain continuously. I have had back pain for over 15 years. I herniated multiple discs in my back in my early 20's which led me to be very slothy (if that isn't a word I get the credit). I gained weight, smoked a lot and took to lots of pain meds. There were days that I couldn't even pick myself off the floor. I had succomed to the pain and led my life by it. After several years of crawling on my hands and knees, looking like a question mark when I walked, and threatened with serious back surgery, I changed. I bet my close friend that I could run a 4 minute mile. He laughed and I took it as a challenge. I needed that challenge to change my life. I litarally stopped smoking that day and began running. I began running every day no matter the pain. I also stopped taking the pain meds. Was that a harsh withdrawal.

As the days of running went on I dropped a lot of weight, kicked the smoking habit and under went some personality changes. I didn't know how the pain and the pain meds had changed my personality. I wasn't any fun to be around. I am surpised by how many people stuck by me and still are my friends today.

After Race Across America, I didn't feel like my old self. I was tired, in pain and I noticed that I wasn't me! I knew what it was and didn't want to admit it. The pain was bad again and I wasn't me again. For the first time I went to see a Chiropactor. They took the xrays before they would proceed with treatment. Then I got the news I really wasn't ready for. I had lost a disc. The disc had disintagrated over time and the ones that were herniated above that disc where also going to be gone soon. Then there was more. My neck, yes, my neck. I had herniated a few discs in my neck.

So, now I am bone on bone with future discs to desolve away. I will probably look like one of those old men who perpetually looks on the ground as I walk.

So, why the flash back. I had a set back last week. Yes, back pain. It was hard to stand it was hard to sit. It was just pain. So, I stopped training for a couple of days, actually 3 days. I am back at it this week and yes the pain is still there. It is less. But it is still there it will never go away.

Now, I am at a cross roads. Do I give into the pain or do I carry on.

Carry on. I can't change my spine. I can't make it better. What I can do is stay fit and not carry any extra weight then I should. I also need to keep my core strong.

Yes, I will cycle on! I need something to keep me in shape. It is a love of mine and it's my addiction. When I ride I feel no pain. The world is stripped away and the pains of life are no longer there. Stress is gone.

God has given me a new life in Him.  I have a second chance because of Him. I know He has something He wants me to do. The greatest joy is being in His will. I know he will use my 2 wheels for something awesome. I know He will use this pain for His purpose. I thank Him for all my days with pain and without.

Did I ever run that 4 minute mile? No, I feel short. My fastest mile is a 5:45.

Credit to Big G. He carries me! I am because He is.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 8, Ouch!

Another workout done and more to go. This one kicked my butt. I left a puddle of sweat on the floor that I have never left before. I don't even sweat that much when I ride the trainer for an hour or more.

Today's meals...

Meal 1: Breakfast: Kashi Lean Granola 1 cup w/ 1/2 cup Almound Milk.
Meal 2: Meal replacement bar. CliffBar
Meal 3: Sugar, Sugar and more Sugar. What was I thinking

Couldn't go without coffee. I need a way to fix my coffee habit.

more to come.......


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week One Done!

Week One of an Insane workout done. You know I don't usually buy into an infomercial. I usually take what they promise with a grain of salt. This program is a home run. I have followed the workout program the first week to the best of my ability. I only missed one workout. I have followed the nutrition portion well.

The results, well I can really say that the workouts really test you. they work you hard! The harder you work out the better the result obviously. Let me say this, I can't keep up! I keep plugging away. By the end of the first week I was doing much better. The first three days I really hurt!!! I really could tell that I pushed myself and that there would be some muscle made. As for weight lose, I have dropped about 1lb. I think this is a great result. I know I have replaced fat for muscle. I look to drop another 1lb this week. If I drop more I will do the happy dance!

This weeks goals...

  1. Decrease coffee and sugar intake. Major weight loss barriers.
  2. Focus on meal prep and logging my nutrition.
  3. Doing morning workouts.
  4. Cycling at night! 
I will start daily logs this Monday.

Monday, November 5, 2012

You may not want to see this!

The Before. 185 lbs, Yikes!
Well, after cycling all year and logging in more miles then I ever thought possible, I took a break. I took about 2 months off. I enjoyed not being on the bike and eating food. Boy, did I enjoy eating food. It is time to get the motor running and work out. Training has begun. I am posting a before picture. This is the heaviest I have ever been. I have started one of those weight loss programs and I will keep you posted.

Today's Weight: 185 lbs

Fitness Test

Switch Kicks             41
Power Jacks               40
Power Knees              55
Power Jumps              27
Globe Jumps                7
Suicide Jumps            15
Push-Up Jacks            14
Low Plank Oblique     13

Goal 165 lbs

I am not looking to be ripped, not looking to be a stud muffin but to be healthier. Also, I just want to carry less weight up the mountains I plan to ride this coming summer.

I hope all my friends and family will cheer me on. Hide the wings and beer.


I am building a winter training bike from my old Raleigh M-60 mountain bike. I love this bike. It just has the geometry I could ride all day. It was a 26" mountain bike. I am converting it into a 700c road/cross/commuter. The bike will get a new fork, rear brake adapter and drop bars. It will be 1 x 10. That is a single chain ring up front and a 10 speed cassette in the rear. Joe Darwal of Akron Bicycle Club has donated a new crank set for me. Andrew Miller of SnakeBite Racing Team donated some road shifters. Parts are starting to come in. If you know anyone with a wheel set they can donate or for minimal cost have them contact me.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tart Cherry Juice

The day after I turned 43 it was time to see the doctor. After a summer full of cycling. I was tired and sore. I logged almost 10,000 miles since last January. A combination of spinning, indoor training and hitting the bike. I actually took some time off, gained weight and thought time would heal th soreness. However, the doctor thought the aging process was catching up with me and told me about Tart Cherry. Some old lady recommended it. She said that after she drank it her pain level was much better. So, the doctor inturn thought it might help me. Okay, I am drinking old lady juice. Tart Cherry Juice. Today began the training process. Man it hurt. Thought I would vomit at least three times during spin class. I tasted it and carried on. Well 26 miles logged. Back to training. And yes, old lady juice.

Keep watching as I build my winter training bike.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I seem to always say this, it has been along time since my last post. Keeping a blog or journal is difficult and requires a lot of time. It also requires someone who has something interesting to say.

Well, I have stopped training for the most part over the las 2 months. I have pain plagued with pain, fatigue and work. Not a good combination. However, I need to get back to training. I will try to blog my rides, spins and general thoughts. I might even post a couple of pictures.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Something I wrote back in April

I struggle a lot and many times I struggle by myself. I often leave God out, follow my pride and try to solve things on my own. This is what I prayed in April.


Awaken the Holy Spirit in me. Fill my heart with your love and joy. Show me how to live in relationship with you and to set aside the things of this world. I ask that your death to pay for my sins so that I may live in your eternal kingdom. I pray for your will in my heart and my heart to be your will.

I will follow,

I turn back to my journal often to read this. It reminds me of the commitment Jesus made for me so that I can be whole in Him.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Today I said good bye to a friend. I know he is with the Lord but it hurts to know I won't get to talk with him again. I have learned an important lesson. Time is short. Make of your days the best you can. Reach out to someone daily. Love them as much as you can. Don't go to sleep angry.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

It has been awhile

It has been awhile since I have written. The nature of being fallen has chained me. Today I was reminded that I am Free! Jesus died so that I may experience freedom and so you may experience freedom.

I admit I struggle. I really struggle. I struggle to be a nice guy. I struggle to be positive. I struggle to let go. I    struggle to forgive. I could keep writing about the things I struggle with but it might bore you. Actually, this blog helps me and is public so that those who have the same struggles can also find freedom in Jesus.

So, why the public journal. I am a Christian and have been for over 10 years and have heard a lot about how the world views Christianity and Christians. Some think we are hypocrites and if we truly believe and follow Jesus that we would be different. Well, I don't know what different means. What I do know is that I still struggle with the same things that non-Christians and Christians alike struggle with. For example, I still struggle with my boss at work. I don't know one person who doesn't struggle with their boss at one time or another. Sometimes, ok, maybe a lot, I believe I know more than some other people. Or, that my way of doing something is better or the only way. Sometimes I don't know when to shut my mouth. Sometimes I don't know when to not say something and listen. Yes, even I hurt my wife's feelings.

Following Jesus hasn't made me perfect but pointed out how fallen I am and how similar I am to everyone else Christian and Non-Christian. The only difference I see is that I have hope. I have hope that  I will one day meet my perfect Father who created this awesome universe.

So, I am fallen but today I am reminded that I have freedom in Jesus Christ.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday with Celeste

It isn't often I get to spend a lot of time with my daughter Celeste but this weekend was an exception. The weekend ended up with her drawing a bath for Claudia (with bubbles), helping me with a school project and her coaching me through a workout. She is an awesome girl.  She spent her morning working on the new lego set she got Saturday. I never thought she would so into legos. Celeste went to church with us then came home completed her homework and played with her toys. She is growing up so fast!

I learn so much from her. The one thing I learn from her is that I am so inadequate to raise her. Thank God I have Claudia to help guide me through this parenting thing. I would never get it right. Claudia is an awesome Mom. She is the kind of Mom you wished you had when you were growing up. She is kind, gentle and patient. Most importantly she is very forgiving, doesn't get tied down with all the crap of the world and looks forward with a Christ centered focus. I have said many times that I would love to be more like Jesus, that's a tall task that I will never be able to complete. If only I could be more loving, more kind and more patient. If only I could be more like my wife. If I could be more like Jesus.  If only!

So, how to be more like Jesus. Develop Jesus habits.
  • Habit 1: Read His word, know His truth and be a living example of His word.
  • Habit 2: Pray and Pray a lot. Pray in all things. Pray through the good, the bad and the ugly. Pray always.
  • Habit 3: Serve the Church and see the work Jesus is doing. Be transformed by the miracles that happen daily around you.
  • Habit 4: Forgive: Who are we to not to forgive others when God allowed his only Son to be killed for us, so that you and I could be restored to a right standing before God. Jesus forgives.
  • Habit 5: Restore.  Jesus restored people, relationships and hearts. Start restoring a broken relationship.
Just a few habits. I am sure we could add a lot more. These are the big ones. Read them, think about them and pray about them. Try doing one of them for a week. Let me know what happens.

Oh yeah, the workout...

100 squat thrust
30 pushups
30 sit ups

Long Ride, didn't happen

Life just get in the way. After doing a full review of cold weather gear and my tires I concluded that I wasn't prepared to embark on 100 miles in the snow and cold! I really wished I could have made it.

Good news is that the replacement CycleOps trainer is back. I found it at my front door Saturday afternoon put it back together and rode it for 1 hour. That is all I had to give. My mom was over, cooked a roast and hung out for a couple hours.

The trainer is the updated or upgraded version. The previous trainer had the old knob style adjuster. They new one has a flip handle. Adjust it once and your done. Jury is still out on which one I like better but it was nice to it back.

One thing I noticed was the resistance seemed to be more than the old one. The increased resistance could also be from lower gearing for the rear cassette. I had to change out the rear wheel due to a bald and cable showing old tire. The rear cassette on the new wheel is 11-23. The old wheel was 12-27. The combination of new trainer and new wheel set up could have been a big resistance increase. Not a big deal. More resistance = more strength= more endurance.

New Trainer is ready to roll! Thanks CycleOps!

The goal for this week is to get the proper gear for winter riding and get my Look Keo Pedals replaced. The right pedal is clicking like crazy. Bad bearings and from what I can tell they are not replaceable. I hope I can score a warranty replacement pedals from Look. If not I have to think about what I will replace them with. I need something that is servicable, rebuildable and will give a long service life!

Milage for Saturday: 16.5 miles
Year to Date: 244.48

I know it isn't much but a Roast Beef dinner was calling me!

I am behind but there is so much time to catch up!


Friday, January 27, 2012


I didn't ride Wednesday. I was at the local Cleveland Touring Club annual meeting. The club is planning an awesome year and truly planning for the future of the club and cycling in Northeast Ohio. Very exciting!

Myself and some of the club members hung out at The Fire House after the meeting. Great conversations and a really great beer. What great combinations!

Thursday I went to the Twinsburg Fitness Center to hit the the spin bike. Ted Yates, our ward 3 council person, led the class. He always makes it hard and he makes it fun. He typically leads spin classes Monday night, Friday morning and Sunday morning. Check his class out!

I spun for about an 1.5 hours for a total distance of 33.5 miles.

Year to date total 227.98

Saturday I will have my first 100 miles for the year. I hope the weather holds up!

The CycleOps trainer should be back home in a few days.

Check back often,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Holy Crap, it's been a week

Hey all,

Sorry, it's been a week with out a post. I would like to say I was really busy but I haven't. I have been distracted doing a lot of busy stuff. Not that any of it wasn't important.

I met with Chris Solyntjes last week to talk about a project I would have on my heart. Stay in touch. I will need your help with this project. I can't wait to we begin working on it full tilt. Stay Tuned!

Last weeks training didn't go so well. With so many distractions I failed to focus on my training. One thing about training is that there is always another day. The bad thing about there always being another day is that you might get in a cycle of there is always another day.

Went to spin class at Twinsburg Fitness Center and got a great work out in with Jeff. This is the first time a I had spin class with Jeff. I wasn't sure what to expect but it was a really great work out and the sweat poured like rain in Cleveland.

Also, forget to mention that I formed a leak in im my fluid trainer. After 8 years or more and several hundred hours of training time my CycleOps fluid trainer began to leak. I checked the warranty on line and found that it only had a 3 year warranty on the resistance unit. I thought I would have to spend over $300.00 dollars on a new trainer. Claudia (my wife) called CycleOps and they said they would replace it even though it was 5 years out of warranty. Wow! If I ever have to buy another trainer, CycleOps is where I will go! So, the resistance unit is the mail and in a few days I will have a leak free unit.

Totals so far ...

Saturday: 2 hours on the trainer 33.18 miles
Sunday: 1 hour on trainer 16.8 miles
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 26 miles spin Bike

Total for the Year 193.48

I will be getting in a long ride in this Saturday outdoors with Long Distance Cycling Club of Cleveland. I going to attempt to get 100 miles in. Lets see how things go.

Peace Out!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Today started with a migraine. They suck. The little bit of light are like daggers to the eye. After a good sleep, migraine gone. Graded math tests for my classes, caught up on my emails and got to spin class. Hitting the goal of 12,000 miles on my bike this year is going to be tough. I will make it. 

Ran 2 miles before spin class, not counting that into the total. Just getting some cross training and breaking the monotony up. Also trying to drop a couple pounds. Need to lighten up for some big hill climbing.

28 miles today spinning.
Total for the Year 117.5

Keep checking back...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday Training Session

Saturday I joined the Cleveland Triathlon Club for a 2 hour work out at the Twinsburg Fitness Center. I had an awesome work out and met a couple of great guys. The snow we had this week kept some of the club members at home warm and cozy in their bed. I was lucky to be able to be there. Celeste stayed with her grandmother so I could train. Claudia is still with her sister as her knee mends.

Total from Saturday 27 miles
Yearly total: 89.5

Not where I want to be with my milage. I will be hitting trainer and spin class a lot this coming week. I'm about 300 miles behind for January.

Keep checking back!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First Real Workout for the New Year

Wow! Two hours on the trainer. CycleOps fluid trainers are awesome. They have a lot of resistance and they really make me sweat. I don't know what the real world difference of speed on a fluid trainers are when compared to riding the road. What I do know is that your speed is slower and your legs burn. That said, this should really get me in shape for Calvin's Challenge and The Diabolical Double.

One really kewl thing about training indoors is you can really catch up on television and movies. I watched X-Men for the 33 time.

Today's totals...

32 miles
15.9 average
1800 calories burned

Running Total  62.5 miles

Check out the Garmin data!

1/11/12 Trainer Data

Check out Garmin products. They make really awesome bike computers. I got my bike computer from one of my Team H2Ope team mates last year. Really awesome data and really helped my training.

Lizard Night

Well, Day 2 of training was met with a serious obstacle. The Winking Lizard. I can't really image that wings and beer would be considered high powered workout food! Claudia decided it would be nice for the family to go out to dinner. She is going to Toronto to help her sister recover for the next week. Her sister had major knee surgery Tuesday. So, Winking Lizard is dinner!

However, the rest of the day I was good. Breakfast was 1/2 cup of oatmeal w/ maple syrup and Lunch was a salad with tuna and hard boil egg. French dressing covered it all.

Catch up with me this evening for tonights work out.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spin Time

Today I completed 32.5 miles in spin class. The first of many miles that I will be counting towards my 12,000 mile goal.

Weight: 185

Spinning is a great way to spin away the stress and frustration of the day. The only bad thing about spinning is that your mileage is more than you would actually get if you were riding on the road. On the flip side, my indoor trainer has lots of resistance and the mileage is actually lower than if you were riding on the road. So, it should balance itself out. Well, at least in theory. I plan to get on the road some this week and hopefully get 50-100 miles on the bike this week. The rest will be trainer and spinning miles.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Plan

I have been considering what I will do this year. After completing RAAM I knew I could find more challenging rides out their. However, I wanted to challenge myself for the whole year.

The Plan

Overall Goal is to ride 12,000 miles this year!

So,  how am I going to do this. Ride my bike like crazy. If you do the math, I would have to ride my bike about 40 miles per day every day for the rest of the year. Very doable.

How will I calculate the 12,000 miles since I can't ride my bike everyday. The weather just doesn't allow for that in Northeast Ohio.

The Math...

  • I will use indoor spinning workouts to add to the total.
  • Stationary bike spin workouts in my basement.
  • Commuting to work this spring.
  • Rides with various NE Ohio Cycling Clubs.
  • Races, local criteriums, group rides and tours.
The Races/Tours I have scheduled this year are...

Calvins Challenge
Westlake Criteriums
Deepcreek Diabolical Double Gran Fondo (Christmas present from Claudia)
Eddy's Sweet Corn Challenge
Ohio Gran Fondo
Cyclocross races 

Stay in touch! Follow My milage. Meet me for rides! Check back soon for more rides and ride descriptions. 

See you on the road,