Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hawaii Tri-cation April 2012

What is a "trication" you ask?  It's my idea of perfect vacation!  Since we moved from Hawaii in 2003 we've tried to go back once each year in the Spring.  It's always the perfect time considering we've had 4 months of many cold, gray and 2012 brought too rainy days to count.  There are so many things about Hawaii that I love and often ask myself why I ever moved back to the mainland??

I highly recommend to any sun loving endurance enthusiast to spend a week or longer training and vacationing in Hawaii as it creates the perfect balance of everything that the fuels my soul.  I was able to feel like I could train like use to train since heart surgery last year! I felt great seeing all my consistent training this winter pay off.  I completed the week of my trication with great training totals swimming 8K, biking 202 miles and running 42 miles!  It's easy when you love to exercise and don't have to work.  I really enjoyed training on some of my old routes and open water swimming!

Most importantly I was able to spend quality time with my wife & son.  We were able to do many fun things while spending 10 days in Hawaii.  I've tried to capture a few of our many adventures in my pictures below. Enjoy!

Easter in Hawaii!

Sea Life Park

On of my many bike rides I took a picture of Windward Oahu.

Got to love the Hawaiian flowers!

Reece and his new friend.  We took a really cool night guided tour of the Honolulu Zoo which I highly recommend!

Reece, Sophia & Olivia Wolf playing on Waikiki Beach!

Reece enjoying the Waikiki!

Reece running from the North Shore waves!

Noooooo, my sand castle is getting crushed.  The cool thing about the beach is it allows all of us to play in the sand and feel like a kid again!  Reece loved making big sand castles.

Hiking Keana Point, Reece was trooper as it about 6 miles, although was saw monk seals, whales and cool birds!

Yes, shark sighting on the North Shore!

Reece turtle surfing in Waikiki!

Turtles get some sun on the North Shore!

That's right, look closely as this dolphin is blowing bubble rings! 

I think this dolphin at Sea Life Park was smiling at Reece and I!

Morning run sunrise!

My last morning run on my trication I had to capture the cool Hawaiian sunrise.  We had another memorable trip and it definitely makes me want to move back to Hawaii.  Some day we will return to the 808 paradise with one way tickets ready to live the simple life!

Thanks for visiting and remember to enjoy the journey!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Coaching & Hiring My Coach

I think sometimes in life we all search for our calling or place in this world.  Some people are fortunate to know exactly what they want to do and end up really enjoying their chosen career.  The reality is many people search their whole life trying to find something that fuels their soul. 

Ever since I started giving swim lessons at 13 yrs old I've always really enjoyed teaching and coaching.  Over the last 15 yrs. I've had several different jobs teaching and working in Public Health, however I've come the realization that ultimately coaching is what fuels my soul.  I feel blessed I was given the gift to share my passion and expertise with others.  I can't express how much I enjoy inspiring and helping athletes of all ages and ability levels to reach their goals.

As the 2012 triathlon season kicks off and Team Blaze Spokane Triathlon Club now has over 200 members it's great feeling to know that my wife Tristin and I started the club in 2004 with the idea of providing an opportunity for people that share our passion for endurance sports.  We're so fortunate to be surrounding by so many positive people, great sponsors and members that truly support each other.

Again this year I'm coaching 10 athletes for IM CDA, 20+ athletes for Boise 70.3, Boston Marathon and several other races.  I truly enjoy being able to share my knowledge, expertise and passion with others.  Ultimately I hope to one day coach full time as it's something that fuel my soul and helps give my life direction as I can help people change their lives.

So, why would I hire a coach?  I've had a few people ask me this question recently.  I obviously realize I don't know everything and most professional athletes have coaches as left to their own judgement they get injured.  

Motivation has never been an issues for me and I've always stretched my talents in any sport through consistent hard work.  I came to the realization that after 10 yrs in triathlon/running that after I went through heart surgery last year I wanted to hire a coach.  I hadn't been coached since I swam in college in 1995 as I thought I could do it all on my own.  I reached out to friends over the years for guidance, however I've basically coached myself and set all my own schedules reaching many of my goals with solid results until 2009.  At this time I started to notice my cycling was really not improving any more and unfortunately the injury bug struck me several times. So, I figured if I was going to train and try to do my best I would look into hiring a coach.

It was difficult decision to accept and trust the feedback from someone else.  I looked into several options and decided to ultimately hire someone I knew that has been an excellent example of working hard to achieve his goals.  My coach Aleck Alleckson with Summit PC in 5 years has gone from +80 lbs overweight to multiple Hawaii IM qualifier (9:26!), which is impressive, although it was the fact he's a father and works a full time job too that is really impressive.  

It's easy to be drawn to hiring a fast triathlete to coach you, however hiring someone that understands how to balance family, work and training is key.  Consistent communication and access to your coach for more than just workouts is critical to effective coaching.  If in doubt ask questions about the details of the coaching.

My initial observations have been positive as I started the training with a calf injury and I know left to my own judgement I would probably still have a calf injury.  He's provided me with great feedback to be able to get me healthy again and now I'm back to running pain free!  I've also realized I wasn't biking nearly enough and my biking intensity was seriously lacking.  I've spent the last 2 months doing more quality riding and volume than I would ever do on my own which I feel has also helped my running. 

I now more clearly understand the feeling of looking forward to the workouts for the week and accountability associated with having a coach.  It's great to have someone to discuss both the highs and lows of training/racing that really understands what it's like to juggle everything to make it happen.  I'm looking forward to the season ahead as Boise 70.3 is 16 weeks away!

If you're looking for a reasonably priced coach that truly understands how to balance family, work and training I encourage you to send me an email ( and check out my coaching web page for fee structure/testimonials from athletes I've coached.

Healthy training,
Coach Scott

Friday, January 6, 2012

Training & Life Balance

New Year's Run

I'm often asked how I balance family, work, coaching, and training.  It's a lot to juggle, yet worth it to me.  It makes the journey more rewarding when you share it with others.  It's a cool feeling to have my 6 yr old son ask, "how was your workout dad?"  I enjoy involving Reece in the process by taking him swimming or riding bikes. 

As we wake up each day we have thousands of decisions to make that impact our lives.  Some of these decisions are simple, "what to eat for breakfast?" and others more complicated regarding, "how to balance my day?"

If you have a family, get kids ready for school,  prepare for work, etc., I've found you have to be VERY organized with your time.  As I stated in my previous blog post you have 168 hrs in a week and 24 hrs in a day, so how will you manage it?  I've struggled with developing an effective schedule to try to not impact family time since we had Reece in 2005.  For me it's about finding a schedule that works for me and my family.  The saying, "if mama ain't happy nobody is happy" holds true.  I'm fortunate to have a spouse that has done IM and run marathons, so she understands the time commitment and supports me.  This still doesn't help with the guilt I felt in 2008 while training for IM Canada.

Polar Bear Plunge 2012

Let's face it, training for an Ironman or 70.3 can be a selfish venture.  It's a huge undertaking and requires more communication within the family than ever before.  I recommend althetes share their training schedule with their spouse in order to maintain the balance at home. 

I've completed 4 Ironman triathlons since 2004 and coached 250+ athletes to Ironman/70.3 finishes since 2005.  This personal experience has taught me many lesson about managing time and ultimately helping others learn to find time they didn't know they had to reach their goals!

Five key tips include:  

1) Maintain Life Balance  

Making time to spend with your family will make the experience mean more to you. Prioritize your family time, work and training. Remember the things that really matter in the overall scheme of life. You are never want to look back one day in the future and say, "I wish I would have gone to my son's game." If you have kids remember they are only young once.  Training for an Ironman/70.3 triathlon takes a lot of time away from the family and friends, however if you set a realistic schedule you can maintain life balance.   It's important to remember to do the best you can with the time that you have available to train.

2) Being Realistic

When I trained for my first Ironman triathlon I had already complete 75+ races including 3 half ironmans and run 4 marathons. I swam in college, so I knew that I could do it, although honestly looking back I was training out of fear of the unknown.  I knew a regular marathon was really hard, yet I'd never biked more than 70 miles.  Fortunately I was able to figure out how many hours per week I needed to devote to training. You have to take into account your family commitment, work and other time commitments. I recommend setting your triathlon training program around the hours that minimally impact your family schedule.  Trying to train more than fifteen to eighteen hours and work full time isn't realistic unless you're super structured with your time.

Try training in the morning when everyone is sleeping, use your lunch break to squeeze a run or swim and train early on the weekends.  In worst case, ride your bike trainer at night after the kids go to bed.

3) Specific Training  

I realize everyone has limited time, so the key is to plan out your workouts and communicate the schedule with your spouse.  Use a family calander to set a master schedule as this will help keep the peace at home and allow you to avoid stress. 

Be specific with workouts, use a plan and stick to the plan. Don't train out of fear or feel you need to do want everyone else is doing to reach your goals.  Training with purpose is far more important than just putting in the miles.  For example, many people training for IM think they have to do a certain number of 100 mile rides or run so many 20+ mile runs.  Remember you're not a pro and you want to enjoy the journey!

4) Consistency

Staying consistent is the key to reaching your life & triathlon goals. I've found most people that sign up for longer triathlons are motivated individuals, however sustaining this motivation is key to achieving our goals.  I feel how consistent you are is directly related to how organized you are with your time. 
5) Enjoy the Journey

I've found over the years that having fun and surrounding myself with positive people is key.  I encourage peopel to train with others by joining a triathlon club like Team Blaze Spokane or Ironheart Racing Team  By adding a social element to the training you'll have more fun, learn a lot and be inspired by those around you. 

I can honestly say that I enjoy the training with friends as much as I do the races. I feel enjoying the journey is about life experiences, developing positive relationships with others and helping to inspire others to reach their goals. At the end of my journey I know I'll remember the special life experiences and friendships that developed along the way more than the results.

June 9th

My training for Boise 70.3 started on Monday!  I'm really looking forward to having a coach (other than myself) for the first since swimming in college.  I know I'll be focusing more on biking than I have in past and look forward to seeing where training takes me in 2012!

All the best in the 2012 triathlon season! I encourage you to follow these 5 steps to maintaining balance and reaching your goals! I look forward to family time, coaching, training, racing and enjoying my journey in 2012!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Turn Dreams into Reality in 2012

Beautiful sunrise in the Columbia Gorge

The New Year is always a time of hopeful new beginnings!  Whether you call it a New Year's resolution or goal it provides an opportunity to look at your life and assess the path you're choosing.  The challenge for many people is taking an honest, yet realistic look at their life to determine the life changes or dreams and how to make those dreams a reality. 

 For me last year this process was completely different than in past as I was recovering from heart surgery and honestly completely starting over. I felt so blessed to finally have some resolve and be able to feel like I was living my life again instead of feeling trapped inside a body that was failing me. I learned in 2011 not to take life for granted and enjoying the journey for me was all about giving back more than I take. I feel completely blessed to have my 2nd chance to share my gifts with others and help to inspire other people to reach their goals.

In 2011, my goals were simple.... start living again, spend time with family and help/inspire other people through my situation by showing people that even though life doesn't go as planned it is truly how we respond that defines us.   I feel I accomplished these goals proving to myself I could participate in triathlons and running races even if I wasn't as fast as before I heart surgery.  I truly learned to appreciate the participating and enjoying the process no matter the result.  I was just thankful to be able to participate again.  I proved to myself and others that anything is truly possible as I completed the Ironman only 6.5 months after heart surgery!

I believe that anything is possible, although so many people put limits on their dreams and unfortunately they never become reality.  I feel many goals are about having the mental confidence and consistent dedication to make it happen.

So, what is holding you back in 2012?  Many people have fear of taking risks, although dreams can never become reality if we don't take a risk.  The risks I speak of vary from person to person based on our individual goals.  It's all about priorities and perspective. 

In 2012, my primary goals include....

  1. Staying Healthy (Being consistent and listening to my body)
  2. Maintaining Life Balance (Prioritizing family, exercise, coaching and work)
  3. Giving Back (I feel that giving more than I take truly fuels my soul)
  4. Inspiring  (Use my experience and passion to encourage others)
  5. Enjoying the Journey  (Focus on the process and keep it fun)
My secondary goals include:

  1. Improve my cycling!  (I need to bike more with purpose)
  2. Boise 70.3 ~ 6/9/12 (Train consistently starting 1/1)
  3. Ironman AZ ~ 11/18/12 (Race to my potential and enjoy the journey!)

So, why no time goals?  One of the many things I learned recovering from heart surgery is that time goals only matter to me (so I'll post them on my mirror =)), although motivating they can also add extra pressure. The challenge with time goals is the variables involved are out of our control.  If you want to qualify for the Boston Marathon time goals are key, however otherwise enjoy the journey knowing you did all you could in training to do your best!

Over the last 12 yrs. since I started this endurance journey to the lose the 40 lbs I gained after swimming in college my best results have come when I know I did all I could to consistently train to prepare both mentally and physically for the challenge. 

I recommend writing down your realistic goals and placing them on a mirror so everyday you have the reminder of your goals to fuel your motivation.  Set mini goals between your big goals to keep you motivated. 

For example many people want to lose weight, however establishing a mini goal of walking 3-5x week for 20-30' is more realistic than losing 20+ lbs.  Weight loss needs to involve lifestyle changes!  Don't fool yourself into thinking you're going to realistically lose more than 1/2-3/4 pound per week and keep it off.  The Biggest Loser is inspiring, but let's be real as some people are juggling many balls with family, work, and other unpredictable life challenges.

I recommend getting active, eating healthier, drinking more water, and sleeping more consistently.  Surround yourself with positive people that motivate you and rid your life of toxic energy draining people!  Connect with reliable training partners and workout first thing in the morning when you can control the time before the day gets chaotic.

What road will you take in 2012?

So, what does it take to turn dreams into reality? 

It takes time management!  I hear so often from people, I don't know how you do it as I don't have time.  Really?  If you figure there are 168 hrs in a week and you subtract 48 for work which includes prep, commuting etc. You now have 120 hrs left and if you subtract 56 hrs for sleep you now have 64 hrs left.  Now subtract 21 hrs weekly for eating, 22 hours for family/TV/social time, you're left with 20 hrs!

The above scenario can be very realistic, however many people waste more time than they realize.  I encourage everyone to set up their life in the 168 hr example above and you might be surprised at how much time you have available to make your dreams your reality in 2012!

Thanks reading and supporting! Remember to enjoy the journey in 2012!

As the sun sets on 2011, what dreams will you make a reality in 2012?

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 Recap

Reecer the elf was looking cute as could be on his last day before the two week Christmas break.  The night before the last day of school Reece decided he wanted to make all the other Kindergartners in his class bell necklaces.  It was one of those proud moments as a parent when you see that your child even at 6 yrs old is starting to get it and understand that it is important in life to give more than you take.  He felt so good about giving all his little friends a holiday bell necklace.

This year he has been an absolute trooper with me recover from heart surgery, yet he's been such a great kid and continues to bring joy to all those around him.  He's physically grown so much this year,  lost not two but three of his top teeth and three of his bottom teeth. At one point I called him "gummy", although as Christmas approaches he now has a mouth full of new permanent teeth! 

He started Kindergarten this year and really loves school! He actually listens really well according to his teacher! (we're still working on this at home=))  This last year was highlighted by Reece's new house/play structure in the back yard (thank you Grandpa Fred), playing soccer, completed 3 triathlons, catching his first fish and snorkeled/surfing in Hawaii. 

Reece's big catch!
Tristin's 2011
The year started with Tristin taking care of me as recovered from heart surgery, which was not an easy task. I'm not a very good patient as I don't handle being sick or injured well, although she wouldn't let me get down and continued to encourage me to focus on the positive. She would consistently remind me that I needed to take it one day at time and focus on my life ahead.

Tristin taught full day Kindergarten, although unfortunately her job was only one year and ended in June. She continues to amaze me with her persistence in trying to get another teaching job. As everyone knows the job market is terrible, yet she continues to stay positive while substitute teaching and look for a full time job.

Family mtn biking in December proved to be a fun, yet cold experience.

Hopefully 2012 will bring Tristin the opportunity to inspire and shape the lives of young people again through full time teaching job!  Reece & I are very fortunate to have such an amazing wife and mother in our lives.  She is truly a positive light to all those around her.

Team Blaze had 32 members take on Ironman CDA 2011 and all finish!

My year began in recovery mode after my heart surgery to replace my mitral valve I began the road to recovery with the support of my family, friends and inspiration from Team Blaze Spokane Triathlon Club members.  In February when I finally received clearance to exercise again I couldn't even lift my right arm above my shoulder and my first swim I looked at Tristin after 50 yds. and said, "I have long way to go".  In her always glass half full response said, "you now have all the time in the world". 

Going through and recovering from heart surgery provided me with endless life lessons about what is truly important.  Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I learned how truly blessed I am to live the life I do.  It's so easy to take everything for granted until it's all sudden almost all taken away. Life doesn't always go as planned, however I've learned the only thing I can truly control is attitude by finding the positive in every situation.
Team Blaze members training in Hawaii (Gretchen, me, Tristin, Kim, Tobin, Lora and Diane)

In April we took a Hawaii "trication" with Team Blaze friends was exactly what I needed to get me back on my feet again! We spent 8 days training and playing on Oahu and built some amazing memories! It was on this trip I started to reflect on goals for 2011, yet some of them seemed crazy even to me.

I've always been determined and willing to work hard to overcome. At a young age I've always been so internally driven to win and push the limits, yet when I was recovering from heart surgery I was truly starting over with so much uncertainty.  I knew I couldn't jump back into my old life, although I needed to have some goals to start living again.  So, I wrote down three goals and kept them to myself which included: 1) Inspire and help others #2)complete the Ironman triathlon again #3) Run the Portland Marathon (ideally in under 3:15 again).  As I coach and athlete I feel goals are key to motivation and focus in staying consistent with training, however after just having heart surgery 3 months before who was I trying to kid or convince?  I was determined to prove that anything is possible!

Goal #1-Inspire & Help

In order to reach my first goal I needed to view my heart surgery as a blessing.  This was initially challenging as I spent day after day sole searching as to why this was happening to me, yet over time I came to accept and understand everything happens for a reason.  Once I came through heart surgery I realized god was giving me a 2nd chance and I needed to make the most of it.  I made the decision to use it as vehicle to inspire others and connect with groups like Ironheart Racing Team.  I was able to turn my situation into a positive and share my passion for helping others through my gift of coaching to give more than I take. I continued to help people quit smoking through my job as an Outreach Specialist at Alere Wellbeing and help people reach their fitness/life goals through coaching triathlon.

Some the amazing members of Team Blaze Spokane Triathlon Club giving back to our community though volunteering at 2nd Harvest Food Bank. 

Goal #2~ Ironman

After getting my doctors to give me their blessing so long as I didn't "race" the Ironman, now the only thing left was to convince my wife.  I was pleasantly surprised when she said OK as long as you take it easy.

 The only problem was that I wanted to complete IM CDA which was only 6.5 months after heart surgery and I only had 6.5 weeks to train.  I had more than one person question my sanity.  "Did you have heart surgery or brain surgery one person ask?"  I knew this was just the challenge I needed!  I was already coaching +30 athletes and club members participating, so why not get out there with them and enjoy the journey?  I had a great time training with everyone the last 6.5 weeks before the races and surprisingly arrived on race day in decent shape. 

Norma and I after IM CDA
The IM CDA 2011 was my 4th IM, yet unlike any other as I wasn't racing it, but instead I was supporting, encouraging/inspiring others and living my life again!  I truly learned during my 140.6 mile adventure why people do the IM. It's all about the journey or process and everyone has something different that motivates them to persevere through the challenges of the day.  When successful these inspirational people of all ages and ability levels join this select group by reaching the white line in the middle of road at mile 140.6 to call themselves an Ironman.  It's an emotional and amazing experience to finish an IM, although when it's all said and done it's the process and journey that leave a lasting memory.  I will never forget this amazing experience and friendships that developed along the way!

Goal #3-Marathon

So, I had completed goal two and now I was super motivated to start training for the Portland Marathon, although I had no idea what to expect as I was now entering uncharted waters. Training for IM CDA was actually simple as I wasn't trying to go fast. Now I had time goals and I didn't really know what was possible. Everything was going great training and I ran with my neighbor who just happened to be an athlete I was coaching so it worked out great. My times were getting faster and training volume was solid. My confidence was the highest level it had been in 15 months then I strained my calf 3 weeks before the marathon. Hindsight is 20/20, yet now I realize I should have just rested after the injury until all the pain/tightness was gone, but of course I didn't and somehow convinced myself that running the marathon was a good idea.

I actually felt great running with the 3 Team Blaze athletes at the beginining of the marathon and then all of sudden my calf was tight by 13 miles and by mile 18 I was reduced to a painful run/walk, although I was determined to finish what I started no matter the result. In retrospect I probably should have stopped at mile 13 and avoided tearing my calf in two places which resulted in yet another recover period of no running for 8 weeks. Now that my claf has healed and I look back I'm glad ultimately that I finished the marathon to partially meet goal #3 albeit much slower than planned.  In the future I learned that if I'm injured the only way to get healthy is REST.

As 2011 comes to a close I'm hopeful that my roller coaster ride of health challenges and injuries are now behind me. Life doesn't always go as planned, however I've learned the only thing I can truly control is my attitude. I feel truly to blessed to be surrounded by some amazing people that support and inspire me to be a better husband, father, friend and coach.

Ironheart Racing Team members and I signing up for IM AZ.  All of us have gone through heart surgery and plan to participate in Ironman Arizona on Nov. 18th, 2012
In looking forward to 2012, I'm motivated to continue to set and achieve new goals. (still thinking about those now)  I want to inspire and encourage others to reach their goals by realizing that anything is possible if you consistently dedicate yourself.  Remember to live life to fullest without limits, keep it positive in 2012 and enjoy the journey!

Happy Healthy Holidays and thank you for supporting!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bionic Birthday!

At 7am on November 15th, 2010 I kissed my wife good bye and I literally put life in the hands of someone else.  It was truly the first time in my life I had reflected on my journey with honesty.  Today  marks the 1 yr anniversary of my heart surgery or as my wife likes to say the day I become "bionic" with my new St Jude mechanical mitral valve.  This has truly been the most difficult yet rewarding year of my life.  I've learned to appreciate all the blessing in my life.  I reconnected and opened my heart to my faith in god.  I have spent endless hours sole searching and trying to remain positive enlight of some dark days.   I'm so fortunate to come through surgery and regain my zest for life.  As those close to me know I'm passionate about family, friends, healthy living, challenging myself through endurance sports and helping others. 

Words can't begin to express how I feel about these two special people is my life.  My wife Trisin is my rock and she always sees the glass half full, supports me in all do and lifts me when fall.  She's an amazing mother and friend.  Everyone that knows Tristin is fortunate to be blessed by her spirit and compassion for helping/giving to others.  My son Reece  is so full of life and continues to make me a better person.  He was so young he didn't really understand all I was going through, yet he was always there to help provide the that full of life spirit I needed when I was recovering from heart surgery.   

Team Blaze Spokane Triathlon Club which Tristin and I started in 2004 is an amazing extended family.  I'm truly grateful to all of you that came to see me in the hospital, sent me positive messages, called and inspired me to start living again through contagious spirit within the club.  This group has now blossomed to 180 members of all ages and ability levels.  I feel blessed to be able to coach and share my gifts with such a fun group of people that support and encourage each other.

I also feel so fortunate to have connected with Ironheart Racing Team and meeting David Watkins who is an amazing guy that has so much energy and passion for life that it's contagious!  Ironheart Racing Team has now grown to over 150 members throughout the world.  This group does amazing things to raise awareness about heart health, supports several charities and provides free heart screenings for high school students.  This next year several of these athletes including myself are planning to race Ironman  Arizona in November of 2012 as we continue to raise awareness and inspire others to live life to the fullest!  I encourage others to check out this awesome group. and

Team Blaze Ironman CDA 2011 group provided me with truly a once in a lifetime experience.  I was 4.5 months post heart surgery and coaching most of the 31 members participating in IM CDA when I went Hawaii for a week on a "trication" with other Team Blaze members  and upon my return to Spokane I decide to sign up for IM CDA.  It was crazy idea, but hey you only live once.  I only had 6.5 weeks to train, which is less than ideal, yet I was super motivated and inspired by all these amazing people. 

IM CDA race morning!  I can't remember how many people ask me on race morning if  I actually going to participate. Yes, although after that frigid swim I had my doubts,  Wow, it was cold! 

 I felt I had good plan for the day and it wasn't about me.  It was about supporting and encouraging these amazing people that had supported and inspired me, although some of them didn't realize all they had done to encourage me to start living again.

My IM CDA race day pacer!  Norma is an amazing lady that I've had the pleasure to coach over the last 5 yrs.  She has made amazing improvement as she's a model of consistency and become a good friend!  IM CDA was a special experience as it was something we did together and finished the journey!  I was so impressed by the determination that all the Team Blaze athletes displayed as all 32 athletes that started finished!

These picture above represent another milestone for me which involved racing my first triathlon since heart surgery which was a sprint triathlon in Chelan.  This was fun weekend with multiple races and camping other club members.  It was fun to race again and watch Reece do another kids triathlon!

Annual trip to Green Bluff to get some pumpkins!  We ended up with a 35 lb monster pumpkin!

Roy family Halloween photo!  We always enjoy dressing up and the Monster Dash kids run provided a great opportunity to have some fun.

Reecer is now 6 yrs old and thriving in Kindergarten!  He continues to keep me young as he's full of life!

As many of you know I've traveled down a bumpy road this last year, however last year they told me this picture wasn't possible any more.  I'm living proof that anything is possible. We can all do more than we think we can.  I want to continue to the best person I can be.  In 2012, I want to continue to inspire people , coach and share my gifts with others.  I've learned so many lessons, feel truly blessed and hope to continue on the smoother road this next year. 

Ultimately, we all only get one journey through life and although at times it may not seem fair or feel overwhelming I truly believe that god has a plan for all of us.  He doesn't give us more than we can handle and through us we share can share his love with others.  I've believe that he sends special people into our lives that help guide us, believe in us and lift us back on our feet. I'm blessed to have so many of these amazing people in my life. I want you all to know I appreciate you and I wouldn't have recovered the way I did this last year without you.  

During the last year of my life I've truly learned the importance of not taking it all for granted.  I've learned to slow down, be more observant  and give back to others as we all can make time to support those around us.  Thank you to my family and friends for helping to lift me up when I needed you most! 


Thanks for reading & remember to enjoy the journey!