A Sunday Quote and Weekly Exercise

One of the things I do everyday as I plan my day ahead is find a quote that draws me in on a random topic.  I write this quote at the top of my bullet journal daily planner page for that day. It is part of my morning routine and sets a wonderful feeling for the rest of the day.

While I would love to publish a daily quote video, or at least a daily quote post, I thought I’d start off with a Sunday Quote.  A quick and easy video with a quote, commentary on why it sings to me and even a small exercise for you to do during the week which relates to the quote.

So, here we go, my first quote video, nicely interrupted by the cat.

You can purchase “Relaxation on the Run” by Jay Winner, MD at the following link: https://amzn.to/33JX2G7

Today’s quote:

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” – Alfred D’Souza, clergy

This week, when you feel like you can’t action on something, STOP and get your daily journal or a sheet of paper.  Write down what action it is you can’t take.  Then spend a few minutes writing down what obstacle is in your way.   Review the obstacles and determine which ones are real and then make a plan to overcome.  Better yet, forget the obstacles altogether and just do the action you feel you can’t take.

Please share your responses here, on YouTube, and Twitter.

Check back next Sunday for a new quote.



New Video – Kicking Off a New Chapter

After spilling the beans on my life over that last number of years, let’s reboot Aric In Training and start a new chapter of my life journey.

A New Video, A New Chapter

The 10-min video below is from the heart, candid, and the first step to getting back into the swing of life.  Please subscribe, like, and/or comment on my YouTube channel, Aric In Training.


Cycling: Watch Out For Anything!

For a split moment, while watching the Tour de France, I momentarily thought the TV had switched to the Animal planet.  Running out in front of the peloton was a dog…  a dog that probably regrets trying to cross the street. Check out the action below:

After watching this, I should ask dog owners to make sure their dog is leashed when attending any sports event, for the safety of the dog and the cyclists.

While we are on the subject of Tour de France crashes, check out the second crash in the following video that brings the peloton to a stop! With the narrow roads and so many cyclists riding so close together, the worst can happen.  Luckily no one seriously hurt.

And seriously, if you don’t think dogs, or even cameramen are problems for cyclist, watch this next video.   It amazes me how many dogs there are roaming the streets of Europe.

Cheers!  Enjoy the dramatic footage and keep your eyes open while on the road.  As Mark Cavendish says, “It’s just life.”

Video: The Payoff for Cycling to the Top of the Hill

I really don’t like cycling up hills. This is the weakest part of my cycling ability.  To improve this, I have been building up to cycling to the top of Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara.  While I didn’t get to the top today, I did get far enough to appreciate the reward for riding up, up and up.  The view that one has high in the foothills of Santa Barbara is simply amazing.

While I was up there today, I shot two videos using my Flip Mino camcorder.  The first is at a point partially the way up Gibraltar Road from El Cielito Rd.  The second is along Mountain Drive, just east of El Cielito Rd.  The two are quite similar, but you can see the advantage of going up.

Thank you watching.  I hope this inspires you to go up that hill rather than avoid it.  The view is worth it!

How Swimming Becomes Easy

Why is swimming the most difficult sport of the three in a triathlon? It certainly is different from cycling and running in terms of technique, muscles required, and environment.   When you swim, you are pushing against liquid in four dimensions, which is completely different than fighting gravity on the ground in two dimensions. It also takes a different kind of training  to master.

My approach to swimming was more of shear strength.  While my swim coach was able to teach me side stroke fairly quickly, freestyle (frontal crawl) presented many challenges.  My form was so bad that I required lots of oxygen, which I couldn’t get, to feed muscles as I forced my way through the water.  I was tense, lacked balance, and was unable to get oxygen to keep moving.  So, for the 2009 triathlon season, my swim was all about brute force with a scissor kick and the side stroke (I finished three triathlons this way). I found out the major disadvantage of this stroke was that it tired out my legs before I even got on the bike, effecting my bike and run times in a major way.

There must be a better way?

YES, there is a better way.  Ever wonder why Michael Phelps is so fast, yet is pretty scrawny? (You could probably fit three of his quads in one of mine.)  I certainly have more strength than he does, yet he can run circles around me all day long.

What is the difference between Aric and Phelps?  The key to swimming speed is moving through water efficiently, with as little drag as possible. When a boat builder starts designing a boat, he/she does not start with the engine, he/she starts with designing a hull that moves over the water with minimal drag and then puts a motor on the back.  Swimming is the same thing…  you don’t need strength to be an excellent, efficient, fast swimmer.

Enter Total Immersion, a method of learning how to swim based on kaizen. I heard about it through my local triathlon club and signed up for their two day workshop figuring I had nothing to lose.

The two day workshop explained the fundamentals of how to start swimming; designed so that someone who has never been in the water before can easily grasp the basic positions needed to develop the right, efficient form from the beginning.  Little did I know that this would spark a new passion for swimming within me.

The key to successful Total Immersion swimming is finding balance in the water so that you move through the liquid efficiently.  The more drag you create, the more you have to work to maintain speed with every stroke.

I won’t go into too much detail, because I don’t want to infringe on their sales.  I will say this though, what is did for me in two days, was far beyond my expectations.

Upon reviewing video of me swimming on saturday morning, our coach described my technique along the lines of unbalanced and uncoordinated as I struggled for breathe, dragging my legs, furiously kicking, and swinging my arms in desparation to get to the other side. Not a pretty picture.

By the end of the second day, I had very good balance and my body was more coordinated to the point that I was relaxed.  Breathing was much less of an issue because I was using less energy to move through the water.  The power was coming from the hip, not the kick. Just by finding balance, I was able to drastically reduce the energy I used to swim.

While Total Immersion didn’t make me into Michael Phelps in two days, the improvements I saw were amazing.  I know that with more practice and refinement of the Total Immersion drills, I can be a fast and efficient swimmer.

All of the sudden, I am looking forward to the pool. My 2010 triathlon training plan is now full of exciting workouts, both on land and in the water. You know, swimming isn’t so difficult anymore, it is almost easy.

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For more on Total Immersion, Check out the following YouTube Channels:

TI Swim Japan

TI Swim

Total Immersion Israel