Monday, April 16, 2012

Where you fall might be where you are suppose to be.

I know it's been a while since my last post. It's been super crazy busy and it's not going to be letting up any time soon. Cadence and I are watching a movie so I thought I would get a blog in. A lot has happened since my last blog and it should make for some interesting reading.

This past weekend I had my longest training day ever. 80 miles on the bike and a one hour run. It was almost exactly 6 hours long and I didn't really bonk until about half way through the run. I didn't think I would make it but I did and only "kinda" wanted to hurl. The workout was followed by an epic meal that was fantastic. I had a burger, fries and shake, as well as a cup of cookies from Caseys. It was legit. I pretty much slept the rest of the day so that my wife could mess with me while I was sleeping. Pictures on Facebook, picking my nose and just your typical tom foolery. But it was a good day and I actually enjoyed the bike quite a bit. Austin and Tyler Vander Linden rode along for the entire ride. Pretty surprised they did that, they only planned on riding half. They both did good and were excellent company. I hope to talk them into more long rides in the future. Tyler even rode the last few miles on a flat without knowing. I think he thought he was just worn out but he was actually working twice as hard. Flat tires are NOT aero.

I considered this long workout a breakthrough. I have been doubting myself a lot lately. Even on my long runs,currently around 13 to 15 miles, I have been doubting whether or not I could endure. Even though running is my favorite and I have done it a hundred times, I still feel like maybe I can't do it. But then I do it and I feel like I accomplished something every time I get it done.

I am realizing the mental part of training for an Ironman. It's not something you only deal with while training, it's pretty much something that is dealt with every waking moment. It's a serious balancing act trying to make sure I can be everything to everyone without snapping. Working opposite schedules with Nicole makes things so difficult. It pretty much means that neither her nor I have any free time during the week. She leaves the house when I do so that she can get to the gym and when I get home I am making dinner, doing dishes, trying to be Dad and all those things. We don't get to work as a team much but when we do life is so much smoother. Work has been very stressful as well. There are a lot of changes going on and I'm trying to adapt and I'm trying to be a good coworker and employee. 5 years at my current job is 4 years longer than any before. But work is work no matter where you do it. There are not many jobs that people can enjoy, and those people that have those jobs I envy. I would love to have a rewarding job and someday I will.

The week before last my Aunt went in to have her gall bladder removed. I had this surgery last November and was at the gym two days later. Literally, two days later. I wasn't able to do a whole lot but I was sweating and working out. Anyways, her surgery quickly ran into severe complications. I might have some of the details incorrect but you will get the point. When the surgeon went to inflate her abdomen, so they can see what's going on inside, she pretty much died. They ended up having to perform CPR on her for several minutes, broke every rib in her body and she was without oxygen for 4 to 5 minutes. Before they could start CPR they had to move the gas in her abdomen into her upper torso, or something like that. So pretty much, the worst case scenario for any surgery happened to her. According the chaplain this had only happened 1 other time in Methodist's history. So it's pretty rare.

My mom called me at work and asked that I come pick up Cadence because Kelly had had an aneurysm while in surgery, or something. So I picked up Cadence and later went to the hospital to see what was going on. When I got there she was in ICU and they had placed her on ice to keep her brain from swelling. She was posturing, he eyes were fixed and dilated and she was unresponsive. All signs of a severe brain injury. We, or at least I, was preparing for the worst. It really wasn't good and seemed hopeless. Her husband and 3 kids were all very strong through it all and did very well giving eachother strength. The hospital had decided to paralyze her, put her in a coma and lay her on ice for 24 hours. At the end of that time they would warm her up and reassess the situation. I can't speak for anyone else but I didn't think anything good would happen at the end of that time. When I saw her in the ICU I had never seen someone hooked up to so many machines. They were breathing for her and pretty much keeping her alive.

24 hours later they started to warm her and to everyone's surprise she opened her eyes, the night before Easter. I was not there but according to my mom, it was pretty intense. The hospital staff were crying and everyone was going crazy because they were witnessing a miracle. This still didn't really determine what kind of state her mind would be in though and it was still a concern. But over the next couple days they determined her brain was not damaged and she started talking, walking and then went home. Essentially, she was home a week after dying. I can't freaking believe that story, it's too good to be true. A worst case scenario turned best case scenario. Hallmark couldn't come up with that if they tried.

Nicole and I were talking about the situation after finding out Kelly was going to be alright. And I mentioned that what happened to their family is a gift. I don't know if they would see it that way or if anyone agrees but I think of it that way. Not very many people get to see life the way they will now. To actually suffer that loss and then get back what was lost, really would make you see life differently. To have that second chance would change everything. We all like to say that we are taking advantage of life or at least think it. But really all we are doing is just kind of getting by. Living for our weekends and vacations, everything in between is just work. Working to earn some "me" time. I have a feeling they are going to start seeing this differently. We all know that we could die at any time. But we do things that shorten our time so we obviously don't realize it.

I guess I'm saying try to realize that we only live once. No one really knows what happens when we die, so live like this is your one shot. That doesn't mean you have to live like a crazy person but you should live happy. Set goals and reach for them, even if you fall short. Where you fall might be where you are suppose to be.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Well, it's been quite some time since my last post. But I haven't been slacking, just been very busy. I am actually suppose to be cleaning the house up but I'm just not feeling that right now.

The Storbeck  Family and their friends. Princess Camryn on the bike. 
The Ironglut Spinathon and Century Challenge has come and gone. I can't say how glad I am that it's over and how surprised I was by how well it went. The families that came to talk about their experience with Children's Cancer Connection were very inspiring. It was also very nice to get to see the kids that benefit from what we are doing. What we are doing was just made so much more important by seeing the actual people we are helping.
The back row of bikes before the ride began. 
I was really worried about whether or not we could keep a group of people in a small room entertained and riding bikes for 6 hours. Well, the answer is yes we could. Our sponsors all came through with prizes and things that made it fun for the riders. They also were able to donate items that we auctioned off and made a really good chunk of money for our charity. Next year will be an even bigger success! Hy-Vee on Euclid made some awesome sandwiches and cookies. I may have had more than my fair share of the cookies. When the event was over we were able to donate quite a bit of food and beverages to the shelter downtown. So our event covered a lot of ground on March 4. Pretty proud that we pulled it off and that it did that much good. We are still waiting on some final numbers but the amount raised is somewhere right around $4000.

My newest project is a video I made for a contest. The contest is called Kona Inspired. They are asking that people with stories of inspiration and stories that fall into the "Anything is Possible" mantra be uploaded and then voted on. So I'm sharing my story in the hopes of an entry into the Kona Ironman World Championship. Kona is a race that, for the most part, you have to qualify for. Which means you have to be pretty damn fast to get qualified. The chances of me qualifying anytime soon are pretty slim. So to be part of this race would really be a dream come true. Not to mention that if I were to finish the race, my story might be used in the broadcast. That would possibly help us spread the IM4RM fundraiser to a really large audience. And at the very least, maybe inspire a few people. The Kona broadcast is the single thing that pushed me into triathlon. I had no intentions or even thoughts of doing triathlon until I watched the Ironman World Championship. To be one of those stories, like the ones that motivated me, would be a great success story.

My training has been going really good. I have had a few hiccups here and there with small pains but for the most part I'm just being cautious and everything is fine. I had a massage last week and I am still gauging the effect it had on me. It was only the second time I have had it done and this guy didn't hold back (keep your dirty thoughts to yourself). I think he was able to get some muscles loosened up and aligned but I'm still kind of recovering from it. It felt like I was run over by a truck the following couple days. I'm currently in my test week and I am getting more great results from the Triathlon Dominator plan. Everything is improving and I love the workouts. I really can't say enough good about this plan.

I normally have something to say that is heartfelt or inspirational in my blogs. I don't want to reach so I'm just keeping it simple. But I would like to add a quick something. Take advantage of every minute. Don't waste any time waiting for something to happen, go get it and make it happen. If you want it, you have to get it. And hug your family and friends. Spend time with them and appreciate them while you have them. Any time they could be gone. I have been doing more of this lately, especially with my family. I look at my wife, daughter and parents and can't imagine life without them. Time is limited so use it while you have it. Our schedule is crazy busy and it seems like we are always on the go, but when we are able to spend that time together, that's all that matters.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A bit of this and that...

 I had somewhere I wanted to take this blog but once I started typing it out, it just didn't seem to be too heartfelt. So I will keep it simple and then give you an update on what's been going on. I wanted to write about what defines a person. How you are not defined by the standards that society has put in place, but instead by the standards we put in place for ourselves. Don't let society make you think that you are less than because you don't fit the mold. Don't let someone think you are poor because you have less than. Don't let someone think you are ugly, fat, skinny, because of their standards. You know you, and if someone else makes you doubt that then don't waste your time with them. 

Let what you do define you. I'm not talking about what your job is or what kind of education you have, nothing like that. I'm talking about what you choose to do in your own free time, that's what defines you. 

But anyways, I'm kind of stuck after that so I won't drone on about this. I just want to get that out there. 

My training the past couple weeks has been pretty great. I have had absolutely zero, knock on wood, pain anywhere. At least nothing out of the norm. We all have small aches and pains, that's part of endurance. Just nothing to make note of. After my massage a few weeks ago the calf issues I was having are completely gone. I have been following a pretty strict regimen of stretching and rolling the calf, as well as stretching everything else from the belly down. I think that Yoga has been very beneficial as well. I always feel like I'm not getting anything done on Yoga days but it's a day to repair the body, as well as the mind. I am mostly repairing the body during the yoga, but later in the day I repair the mind with a cheat meal. I literally live for this meal! Favorite thing of the week, eating whatever I want for one meal. I just gotta say that when all you eat is chicken and vegetables and some bred throughout the week, that one meal is pretty damn important. 

Pretty much the past few weeks have been structured like this: Monday and Tuesday are bike skill workouts building speed and power. Each of those workouts is immediately followed by a 1 hour strength workout. The strength workouts are awesome and I really enjoy them. These are my favorite two days of the week, that don't involve food. Wednesday is a swim workout focusing on form followed by a run. The run has been mostly hills on the treadmill and lasts about an hour. It actually goes pretty quick when you are doing sets instead of miles on the treadmill. Thursday is a hill repeat workout, which is just horrible. This week I did a 10 minute warmup at about 7mph, treadmill is in speed rather than pace. Then 10x60-90 second hills at an 18% grade at 6.5mph followed by a walk at -3% at 2.8mph. Each of these totals 3 minutes. Let me tell you how hard this is... Real hard. For me the last 10 seconds of each hill is a struggle. My legs will feel like they are on fire, my lungs feel like they are tearing apart, it feels terrible. But when that last hill is done, I get a really good feeling of accomplishment. Tomorrow I have a 3x900m swim followed by a 10 mile run. It's suppose to be snowing and 30 when I need to run tomorrow so I'm thinking outside would be fun. Sunday will be and has been a 2.5 hour bike. 

I have really been enjoying this training. I haven't dreaded anything yet, even the hill workouts. I wouldn't say I  like them but I don't have a hard time motivating myself to get it done. I have been feeling like there is not enough time in the day though. It just seems that there needs to be about another 5 hours on each day so I can get everything done and then relax a bit. Monday and Wednesday I'm up at 3am to ride and then a the gym at 5am to lift and home by about 6:30am. It's just always go go go. And now with us trying to get our house on the market our weekends are completely shot. Throw in trying to organize fundraising events and the IM4RM campaign and things just fill to the brim. I definitely couldn't do it without the help of my wife Nicole and my friends, mainly Justin and Carl. They have all helped a ton with IM4RM. 

We have racked up quite a few donations for IM4RM and Ironglut. I think both will turn out great! I really hope so because not only do I want to raise a lot of money for the charity, but I want the people coming to the event to enjoy themselves. I don't want anyone to be disappointed. We will also be having our race kits made for IM4RM. So if you are interested in sponsoring us now is the time to get involved so we can get your artwork on our jerseys. 

Well, that's all I got today. I gotta do some dishes and clean some house. Have a good weekend and don't forget to register for Ironglut at 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The secret to losing weight!

This picture is the day I failed my fitness test. And I know how dumb the pose is,  I didn't chose that. I was  270lbs  on this day which was much lower than shortly before. You will also notice the Flaming Lips wrist band I'm still wearing. 
Before I started my weight loss journey, about 3 years ago, I was literally the complete opposite of the person I am now. If you would have told me then that I would ever have ran a Marathon or finished a Triathlon (of any distance) or even considered training for an IRONMAN, I would have probably just puked at the thought. I remember saying, somewhat jokingly, that I based my life after The Dude. The Dude being The Big Lebowski. I wanted to be lazy and just sit. I was addicted to playing World of Warcraft like it was crack. Back then I would get off of work, go home, grab my smokes and ashtray, computer and then sit on the couch from 5:30 to about midnight playing WoW (World of Warcraft). I would hold off going to the bathroom until it hurt too much to hold. I would order out almost every night, usually pizza. And it was always a large potato alfredo pizza with an order of Italian fries. Wow, it's good stuff. If I didn't have the cash to order out, I would cook. This is sad to admit but I would cook up some Hamburger Helper. I would tell myself that half was for dinner and half was for leftovers, only it never came in halves. That's an entire box of the Hamburger Helper stuff and 1lb of beef, I ate that all in one sitting. And to top it off, it didn't even fill me up. I never ate anything by the serving, only by the package. I was on a fast road to heart disease and severe health problems.

So how does someone with this lifestyle of massively overeating, smoking and complete inactivity get to be a marathon finisher, a triathlete and an Ironman in training? By figuring out what it is that it takes to be healthy. I have talked about the Aha moment before and how it can snap you out of some bad habits. Well that's true, but you also have to keep that Aha and hold on to it for dear life. 

When people want to talk about weight loss I feel that 100% of the time they are genuine. They really do want to lose weight. I remember how it feels to look around and realize you are the fattest person in the room, at the party, in the building or that you know... It's not fun and in all of those days of gluttonous glory I wanted it to be different. Several times I would tell people I had started to workout and eat right. Looking back on that, I had absolutely no idea what those two things were. We used to eat a box of mac and cheese with fish sticks and we honestly thought it was healthy. Or we would bake diced potatoes in a a vat of butter and consider it healthy because it was vegetables. I don't think we were alone in this train of thought either. I would say that most of our country is under the same impression. But let me tell you, eating healthy and working out is not something you can consider a diet. It's not something you can do until you hit that goal weight and then go back to the way things were. It's going to be a life long commitment.

This is the day I passed my fitness test and weighed 248lbs. Body fat was 35%, today around 15%. The week of Ironman, I will post pictures in these poses to compare. I need to redeem this but I want you to see what I was.

Let me back track just a bit. When I used to ask someone who had lost weight how they did it, I wanted to hear them say, "take this pill" or "it's easy". Guess what, no one ever said that. I remember someone in high school that was overweight getting in shape. I asked him what he did and he told me he ran. I thought to myself, "DAMNIT!" That seemed to be a going trend though. Anyone who had lost weight had done some actual work for it. I was just never ready to hear that.

Finally, a short time after our daughter was born I caught a glimpse of a man that worked in the restaurant next to my work. His name was Kevin and he was skinny as hell. I remember him being fairly big, not like me but definitely in poor shape. But this day he looked all sorts of svelt. So I asked him or someone I worked with what he had done. They responded with Farrell's Xtreme Bodyshaping. I thought about it for a while and asked for a membership for Christmas, it can be a bit pricey, especially to a new dad still holding on to expensive habits.

Without being an infomercial on Farrell's (Altoona location) I will just say that the place is amazing. The people are great, everything about it was exactly what a fat dirt bag like myself needed. We made friends and learned a lot about healthy living and also who we were. The confidence we gained through this program sling shotted both Nicole and I into our future. We continued with FXB for a year, and I even tried my hand at a tad bit of instructing. But the true test was when I felt I was able to let go of FXB. It was my comfort zone and my home away from home. But I wanted to see what I had in me so I continued on to where I am today.

Now let me just plain out tell you the secret to weight loss. To lose weight you first have to realize that you are not going on a diet. Diet sounds temporary and what you are going to do is FOREVER. You have to be ready to sacrifice a lot of what you know to get what you don't know. And let me tell you, it is soooo worth it. Now that doesn't mean you can never enjoy a donut or cookie, trust me, I tear that shit up. But I only do it once in a while. If you are ready for this just try giving yourself one day a week where you can eat whatever you want. Every other day count your calories and your nutrient levels. Use something like Every time I have kept track of what I eat I lose weight like nobodies business. And after you can let it go, turn that free day into a cheat meal. If you track your calories all week, including on a free day, you will see that your calorie deficit takes a huge hit on free day. So you can keep that to a minimum by turning day into meal.

Second, you have to keep moving. Go walk every day, run, swim, ride a bike go to a fitness class. Just keep moving because it burns calories and gets your metabolism moving. If you are like me and lack motivation for this get into a class like Farrell's or most gyms have free classes with membership. When I was told I needed a doctors note to workout at Farrells, I bought a kettlebell and video. I worked out at home and lost 25lbs in just 10 weeks. It is possible to do it on your own, just a bit more challenging and a little less fun. You can also google something like Tabata workout or Crossfit workout. Do something like that, they are short and hardcore.

And lastly, don't beat yourself up for not being perfect. If you are anything like me in your weight loss journey you will seriously consider going to the toilet to expel the candy bar you just ate that was not on a free day. Or beating yourself up because you only finished 8 of 10 hill climbs, like today. You have to be able to understand that you will not always do it perfect but that tomorrow you will go to better.

Since I don't proof anything I ever write, I hope that all makes sense. And if you reached this part of my blog then you have surely benefited greatly from my wisdom. In that case you owe me a donation, please go to to make a donation. Or better yet, if you are wanting to get started in fitness, sign up for Ironglut! It will be a good ass kicking that will show you what a workout is and break the ice for you. Once you realize that everyone at the gym looks as silly as you, it makes it easier to go. I avoided it for a long time for that reason. Anyways, thanks for reading and you really don't have to donate but it would be nice.

Friday, January 6, 2012

IT'S FINALLY DONE! Well, kinda...

The project we have been working on is finally up and running as of today. Our events that we have been planning and stressing about are finally ready for participants. It's all coming together finally and the stress level is starting to lower, finally. It's going to be worth it though considering we can only do good. Even if only $2 is raised, which we have already passed, we will have succeeded. So there is no failing now! To what degree we succeed is another thought though.

When we were meeting with Nick Inglett at Fitness World West discussing our Ironglut event. I was explaining why I felt so strongly about supporting Children's Cancer Connection. Until actually talking about it I don't think I really even knew what it was about what they do that made me want to help them so much.

I explained to Nick that when I was attending DMACC, and by attending I mean honing my ping pong skills, that we had a hypnotist entertain us one day. The hypnotist told us a story about the power of the mind to help us understand how hypnotism works. He told us that he himself had at one time had a tumor inside his brain. He went on to say that he declined modern medicine because he knew the power of his mind. Then he said that he was able to fight cancer by using the power of positive thoughts and energy to turn his death sentence into a new life.

We have all had the coach or parent that will tell us to, "Walk it off". I think that this idea is more powerful than getting over a stubbed toe or a banged knee. I don't necessarily think that a person can walk off illness or disease. But I do think that the mind plays a huge roll in your recovery and also determines the amount of fight that your body has in it. The way you react to a situation inside your head will determine how your body reacts.

Back to my meeting with Nick... So after we wrap up our discussion he says, "Let's go save some kids." Until he had said that I didn't consider what we were doing as saving kids. I thought of it as bringing happiness to kids and families in a super tough time. But when I started to think of what I told him about my experience and then put that with what he said, it really made since. We are making kids smile that are going through the most difficult they will ever face. Not just as a kid, but forever. Cancer is something that will effect the rest of their lives no matter the outcome. But yes, we are helping them feel better. At the same time what if one of the services that Children's Cancer Connection provides is the one thing that sets that child's mind in a positive direction. That direction helps that child fight through chemo treatments or through any of the several side effects of the disease and it's different treatments?

Well, I made it through the holidays with minimal weight gain if any really. I didn't think I did very well but everything is good. I am officially now in the Ironman training plan and I can't tell you enough how much I love this plan. The off season plan was great and so far the Triathlon Dominator is legit. The strength workouts are extremely tough and challenging. I'm having a blast riding my bike by myself in my living room at 4am and then going to the gym at 5 to lift. This stuff is awesome and I don't see myself burning out on it. Recovery days are kind of a drag because they are not challenging enough. The yoga is good though and I can tell it's helping me.

Please check out our site at and donate a bit if you can. Or sign up for the Ironglut if you have or want a rock hard ass. If you would rather find your challenge at the bottom of a glass, sign up for the Flip Cup tournament. It's all going to be fun and it's all for a great cause.