Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Measuring Success

Success Isn't How Far You Got, But The Distance You Traveled From Where You Started

As I get closer to our big day on Saturday, I have been reflecting not so much on what I can do today but on the difference between today and 18 months ago.  I don't think I am special or unique except in one way.  I wanted to change more than I wanted to stay stuck in my old ways.  I think that was an important hurdle for me both mentally and physically. 

Everyone has something they want to change or improve in their life, but how many people are willing to put in the required effort the bring about change.  If it was easy, everyone would have what they wanted.  But the fact is, it isn't easy.  So when you want to change your circumstances DO IT, and stick with your plan.

Michelle has been my biggest supporter and biggest fan for many years.  No matter how I do on Saturday, at the end of the day she will be MY hero for her good example, drive, and determination to put in the required work to reach her goals. 

She has traveled a great distance from where she started and I am proud of her.

Friday, September 24, 2010


In each and every moment, you are successful at doing something. You take action, and that action successfully brings a result.

Success is not really something you must strive to create, for you are always making it happen. What's important is defining and intending the success you do create so that it is a positive force in your world.

Many people are successful at just barely getting by. Others are successful at bringing pain and dismay into their lives.

Yet the very same skills that succeed at creating mediocrity and despair can also be used to create rich fulfillment. What's needed is not so much a change in effort as a change in focus.

You truly deserve a great and wonderful life, and you have everything necessary to experience that life. Keep your thoughts focused on your most meaningful desires, and your actions will align with those thoughts.

You're always succeeding at something. Choose now to make it something great.

~Ralph Marston~

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Running and HOPE

Email from a friend 8/6/2010
RYAN!  Now I have a question for you.  How do you go from walk/running 30-40 minutes on a treadmill to actually running a marathon?  How long was your marathon?  What is the trick to getting to the point where you actually run the whole thing?


Nice family too . . . lucky man!

Thank you I am very blessed.

The transition was gradual.  I could not run in the beginning because my own weight was hurting my knees.  I lost most of my weight swimming and riding my bike, which did not really put much strain on my legs.  Then after my hernia surgery, I was down to a point where it was not painful to run and I did not have much choice since the doctor said I could not swim with the incision.

Once I started running, my goal was not to run a marathon, which is 26.2 miles.  It was just to continue to lose weight and stay healthy.  As I said in the video, my sister was working toward one so I just had her tell me what she was doing each week and I tried to keep up.  (She is in good shape so I was literally trying to keep up at that point). 

Then something wonderful happened along the way.  Someone told me I couldn't do it.  That made me want to do it even more so I could say I told you so.  I am kind of twisted that way.  I am really motivated by someone telling me I cannot do something.  Anyway, I did not set any speed records when I did it but I ran my marathon in December.  It took me 4 hours and 18 minutes.  Afterwards, I made it a point to say thank you to the people who did not think I could do it.  I could not have done it without them lighting the fire under me.

My wife is doing the upcoming marathon with me and she does not plan on running the entire thing.  She is working up from a walk/run so she can do it.  This would be my suggestion for someone who wants to start running.  Walk 10 minutes, run 5 minutes, walk half mile, run a quarter, etc.  Just experiment with what is comfortable for you.  Build on little successes and over time the endurance will build up.  My wife's goal is the do the marathon half walk half run.  (Update: Michelle signed up for her first 5k this coming Saturday 9/25/10.  She will be using the 5k as a prep race for the marathon October 2nd)

Anyway, I hope this helps.  Seriously, ask me all the questions you need to.  I love to help when needed and enjoy sharing.  One reason I like to share is that when I hear from people that they are having a bad day, weight is up, eating is bad, etc, I feel like many times that they are not looking for answers to the problem at hand. 

Rather, they are looking for HOPE.  Hope that if someone else who has been in their shoes can do it maybe they can too.  By sharing my story, my goal is to give someone that hope they have been searching for.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Strength and Courage
It takes strength to be certain; it takes courage to have doubts.
It takes strength to fit in; it takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to share a friend’s pain; it takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to hide your own pain, it takes courage to show it and deal with it.
It takes strength to stand guard; it takes courage to let down your guard.
It takes strength to conquer; it takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to endure abuses; it takes courage to stop them.
~Author unknown~

Self-respect is the fruit of discipline

One of new contestants, Brendan, had this saying tatooed on his arm before making it on the biggest loser show......

Self-respect is the fruit of discipline...-- Rabbi Abraham Heschel

I can tell you from personal experience that this is 100% true. I wrote this in my journal 6/8/2010...

"I have realized that in the past I have never had a problem letting myself down but I could never let someone else down who had high expectations of me. One of the best side benefits of losing weight is that I have rediscovered my self esteem and confidence, so now I don't want to let myself down either."

When people ask me what the best thing about losing weight is, the answer doesn't start with the visible change. It's the internal changes that have the biggest impact. I wish I could package how I feel today and give it as a gift to those who struggle with this so that they would know that it is worth every ounce of energy you put into it.


The biggest loser season opener got me fired up last night for my run this morning. The first time they ran a marathon at the end of the show was when I was still overweight and I remember thinking what a wonderful accomplishment it would be if I could do that someday. Anyway, the winner Tara, had time of like 5 hours. That was my initial goal. And then the guy last season raised the bar, Darus did it in 4:05 or something like that.

Long story short, if you want something bad enough and are willing to put the required effort and dedication into it, anything is possible. Whether it's running, work, family, or whatever.

Make it a great day everyone.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Weather Outlook - Not good!

St George, UT weather outlook - Hot then more hot with some partly cloudy hot with a low of hot. DANG!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Personal 70.3 June 5th, 2010

I will be slowly trying to add things to this as I get through my old email and photos. The following was my recap my personal Boise 70.3 in June. I followed the same course and Michelle was my race director and mobile aid station, which I really appreciated.

Hi all,

I was planning to do the Boise Ironman this year but could not afford all the gear. Friday I decided I was just going to do it with the stuff I had and see how it went..............

I made it!

The 1.2-mile swim took 1 hour 4 minutes. 54-degree water with a short sleeve short leg wetsuit was not a wise idea but I made it. My friend who is doing the real race said if you show up with a wetsuit like that, you are disqualified because they do not want you to freeze to death. Go figure…

During the transition to bike, I just shivered for what seemed like forever.

The 56-mile bike ride took 4 hours 29 minutes. I was using a 15-year-old Specialized Stumpjumper mountain bike so my time was quite a bit slower than if I had been using a road bike designed for this type of thing. I was still happy with my time.

On the transition to the run, my legs were jelly and it took a few minutes to get my rhythm.

Then as I get into a groove on the run, I passed a women’s running event, which looked to be geared towards getting people motivated to exercise and get in shape. There were people lining the running path cheering these women on. Then on my mile 3, someone had a sign on side that said 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step'. That has been one of my mottos since I started all this and to see these ladies taking that first step that I did not that long ago choked me up so bad I thought I was going to hyperventilate and pass out. When people tell me they wish they could run like I do, I tell them THEY CAN! When I started in September last year, I could not beat my five year old with no shoes to the corner.

Anyway, I got it together and kept on running. Michelle was by my side on her bike for the run and near the end she went up ahead to meet mom, dad, and the kids. Then when I came down that last long straight away on Capital Blvd I got quite emotional again with the magnitude of what I was so close to finishing. I pushed through it and felt like I ran the fastest mile to the finish. I was happiest with the run result of 1 hour 55 minutes after all the biking and swimming.

I told Michelle next time I should swim more than zero times and bike more than zero times in preparation for something like this. Since my hernia surgery last year I have not swam or ridden my bike at all.

Thanks for all your support and letting me share my goals with all of you.


Friday, September 17, 2010

City of Regret

Worth the read and applicable to whatever you may be going through in your life..

I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I'm talking about my annual "Guilt Trip."

I got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been. No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town.

As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year's most important event, the Annual Pity Party. I wasn't going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there.

First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had family. You probably know ol' Wish and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterday's. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share.

Then Shattered Dreams would surely make an appearance. And It's Their Fault would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don't Blame Me and I Couldn't Help It.

Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent "pity party" could be canceled by ME! I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn't have to be depressed.

One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN'T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging. Knowing this, I left the City of Regret immediately and left no forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I've made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them.

So, if you're planning a trip back to the City of Regret, please cancel all your reservations now. Instead, take a trip to a place called, Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors, the I Forgive Myself and the New Starts are so very helpful. By the way, you don't have to carry around heavy baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. GOD BLESS you in finding this great place. If you can find it -- it's in your own heart -- please look me up. I live on I Can Do It Street.

How I lost 135 pounds - Health Fair Video

Hi all,

I work for Idaho Power Company in Boise, Idaho. They were planning on having a health fair this year that included a Biggest Loser inspired weight loss competition. I went to them and asked if could help promote the event. They were excited and I was too. I have never made a new year's resolution until this year and it was to help others reach their goals by being supportive and encouraging, just the same as the people around me did, so this was a nice opportunity for me to help inspire someone.

When they had the health fairs I got to speak for a few minutes each time. Not that I am a wonderful speaker or anything but I wanted people to see that a regular Joe can lose weight if you just stick with it and have a great attitude.

Trinity Lakes Trailhead

I kept this blue shirt for a whole year so I could take this picture at the end of the trailhead in Trinity Lakes. After we left the trailhead I put it in the garbage and left that part of me behind. It felt good. The best part of the 2010 trip was the fact that Michelle came with us. We all had a wonderful time!

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