Taking 60 seconds a day to make it a better one

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Why cyling 620+ miles in 7 days is like founding a company

Day 1.

I have a GREAT idea!  Something that will change the world!!

Day 2:

Nobody knows how my bad ass idea is going to make this world better, and millions will be better off because of it.  I might even charge for it.

Now, I need a logo.

Week 3:

(Or earlier)

Holy crap, how am i going to… [hire people, develop this product, build a website, file my taxes so i don’t get ripped off].  This is a bit harder than I thought it was going to be…


My first day on a 620+mile journey down the rocky, windy, hilly gorgeous California coast, to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation, has been 88 miles of delicious energy.  it all started with 150+ people from around the country ready to ride in support of challenged athletes, with about 14 of those challenged athletes on the ride with us.


It was like Day 1 of starting my company GOTRIbal.  The fire in my belly. The excitement to build something powerful and influential. The constant onslaught of ideas exploding in my brain.

And then the first hill.

And the second.  The long second hill. The one I’ve never ridden, so I don’t know when it ends, or how steep an incline it will be around the next corner.

All this as I’m supposed to be enjoying the journey, and I see the “Group A” speedy riders flying by me.

I can’t help but think about the similarities between participating in an endurance event like this, and founding a start-up.

Random challenges I’ve never encountered (hills!), not knowing how long the challenge will last till I get over the hump (Hills!), and watching other Founders get investor funding, building awesome teams of people, and killing it with their product (Damn “Group A” over achievers!).

But the best thing about endurance sports (or a start-up) isn’t about speed. It’s about all the intangibles you sometimes lose sight of.  The really cool things you build to be better.

Like, the strength and smarts about your equipment, your body and your threshold for pain ….


Then, it’s what you do with that development once you build it, like mentoring other founders or speaking at events, or writing blogs, making your business case smarter, your pitch deck more influential, or your financials cleaner….(or like a 620+ mile ride for Challenged Athletes Foundation).

Ultimately, doing any endurance event, like founding a start-up, is more about how persistent, tenacious and mentally strong you can be and not just how weak or strong you are.

And in this journey down the coast, I’m reminded [AGAIN!] how nobody succeeds in realizing a dream (starting a company, riding 620 miles, or running 1 mile) without the full blown support and belief of the people you surrounding you.


I can’t wait to see what Day 2 has in store.

Onward and upward, always.


Hills were made for climbing

A lot of us who play outside on our bikes or in our running shoes, tend to get a bit antsy around ‘hill training’.  There’s a good portion of people who question our angst, saying instead “I love hills!  Bring em on!”


We might like to have a Love-Hate relationship with those folks, [love em cause we wish we could have the same attitude, hate-em cause we don’t], but hills – like broccoli and spinach – are just really really good for us.

You are stronger, more confident, more efficient and yes, even faster, when you do more of them. Whether you walk them, run up em, or cycle them, hills help us just be better moving bodies.

In 2 days, I’m starting a journey to support athletes who’ve had their own personal hills to climb.  Kids and adults who have lost limbs due to war, tragedy and illness. I will ride 620 mile from San Fran to San Diego to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation in their mission to give equipment, clinics and mentors to those who can’t play outside and climb their favorite hill just outside their back doors.


And in my journey, I’ll be climbing California coast’s very real, sometimes long, and I’m sure exhausting hills. But I’ll be alongside challenged athletes with one arm, or some that can’t see, or some missing both legs — and hopefully I’ll be able to keep up. [don’t think for a second these athletes aren’t FAST]  I look forward to the challenge, and welcome your comments on the hills I roll over ….  they’ll all be posted here for your viewing!

Onward and upward, always.


Saddle sores and the meaning of life

Recently, the never-ending-running-machine, Dean Karnazes quoted Roger Bannister (the first human to break the 4-minute mile barrier) in his reference to how the ancient Olympic Games are so different than today’s modern Games:

the Greek ideal was that sport should be a preparation for life in general, this increasing professionalization and corruption in concert with burgeoning emphasis on individual victory has led to the decay of the ancient Olympics.

He brings up more than one good talking point in this simple quote, so I’m not going to spend an entire post on all of them.

One in particular, is powerfully poignant.  That whole bit about ‘preparation for life in general’ hits a chord.

In less than 10 days, I am taking on a new athletic journey that will have me sitting on my bicycle for 620 miles down the coast of California. And as much as I’d like to say I’m just doing this of my own free will and desire for adventure, alas, I just don’t have that kind of cajones. I needed a reason other than ‘adventure’.

I am riding with a group of 100 other people who are raising money and awareness for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, a nonprofit that gives equipment, prosthetics, hand-cycles, mentorship and clinics to those who want and need to get back outside and keep playing.

As an able-bodied, somewhat obsessive-compulsive athlete my entire life, I have intimately experienced and understood the inherent values – be they physical, emotional or psychological – that comes from practicing a sport (or many, in my case) for competition.  And barring good parenting, sport is most definitely one of the best things an individual can do to prepare themselves for success in life, health and emotional well-being.

I expect musicians, classic painters, and other artists to disagree.  I mean, you don’t become a Yo Yo Ma without discipline, commitment and focus.  But what you miss in those disciplines are the physical benefits you receive by moving your body on the field, pool or running trails; and understanding of how nutrition impacts your ability to move, focus and concentrate, and the experience of seeing how your behavior impacts others who are counting on  you.

So thank you Roger B. and Dean K. for stating the obvious.

And as I ready my tubes of chamois cream for the ride of my life, I’ll be thinking less about my saddle sores and more about who will experience the benefits of sport as a result of my efforts.

Onward and upward, always!

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