Cycling to BJJ – onto a New Sport

•November 1, 2017 • 2 Comments


Over a year and a half ago I, with my wife and children, moved to Texas from Los Angeles, for family reasons, starting a new phase in my life. It has been an interesting transition, moving away from an amazing city, as well as all my friends that I had made during the 22 years living in LA. Moving also meant that I was leaving the local cycling community that supported me and helped me grow into a decent cyclist. These incredible people also encouraged me to start racing which led to amazing adventures and experiences.

I was primarily an endurance athlete in high school and college (track & Field, Soccer, IMG_0009Rugby, combined with a few years of Karate). After college, other than playing some beach volleyball and working out at the gym I didn’t do much else from a physical standpoint. I moved to LA at the end of 1994 where I continued to go to a gym. In 1999 a retired captain of the Serbian Rowing Team, Slobo Svrdian, who was then a high level master’s rower, spotted me having lunch at the deli I used to go to in Marina del Rey. He told me I had the ideal body for rowing and persuaded me to start. In only six months, I started rowing for his team and we won and placed in a number of prestigious rowing events. I stopped rowing in 2002 because my personal and work life got in the way. The reality of adult life can really cut into one’s training!

So without rowing to help stay in shape I became a gym rat again at Gold’s in Venice. In JensLATRIByCruse2006 I started to train for triathlons after being encouraged by my strength and conditioning trainer, Rob Robinson, who became a really good friend. Over time I developed a knee issue through running, so I transitioned exclusively to cycling. As a cyclist I started from scratch with no cycling experience (no group riding experience, no peloton etiquette, no idea about race strategy, etc., etc.), but because of the support from some serious cyclists, who took me under their wing, I progressed much quicker than if I had tried sorting out the competitive cycling world by myself.

Racing bikes was some of the most fun years ever. The competiveness and team camaraderie combined was like a drug! So many highs! Participating in bike races pushed me to do the necessary training in order to be a rider within a competitive team structure. Because I started cycling so late in life, and my larger than average frame, I was never going to be a “star” rider…but I was strong and became decent enough to help team mates win, whether it was lead out, catching a break, developing a break, or protecting a rider in the peloton. I became a good team “worker,” or in cycling lingo a “Domestique.”

All riders know that falling off the bike is inevitable. The saying goes, “it’s not “if” I fall off the bike, it’s “when” I fall off.” In 2007 I crashed in a race. Little did I know I toDSC_0100tally wrecked my left shoulder. It functioned ok until 2014 when it totally gave out and I needed surgery. After surgery the surgeon recommended that I stop riding. That was the end of any competitive cycling. The risk of coming off the bike again and hitting the same shoulder was way too high. It took 2 years to get my shoulder back to 90% (it will never be 100% since I have some cartilage missing, and will probably need a shoulder replacement at some point). With no competition on the horizon as a motivator, and my involvement with a new fitness start-up company, Sirens & Titans Fitness, my training on the bike quickly decreased from 6 days a week, to 3, then 2, then 1 times a week, until even that whittled down to nothing.

After the realization that cycling was over, I was a little depressed for a number of reasons, including not having a race schedule to motivate me to seriously train. Therefore, it became increasingly difficult to maintain my fitness. Over time I knew that if I didn’t find something soon, I would not be in a happy state physically or mentally!

For the longest time I have always wanted to try Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, which is a grappling Patchsport. I actually would regularly drive past a BJJ studio on Lincoln Blvd around Venice, near my home there. I would crane my neck out of the car window, as I drove by, to try to see inside, which I never really could. Even though I wanted to I never stopped because at the time being a serious cyclist I really didn’t have more time to even think about another sport, if it wasn’t going to help my cycling.

Earlier this year, I went online and found a BJJ studio, 10 minutes from my home. I called and then met Marco Aguilera, the coach and owner of Aguilera Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Studio/Team Brasa in Prosper TX.  The reason why I called Coach Marco, after doing some on-line research, his studio appealed to me Studiobecause he was a competitor himself. It appeared that he was the type of person who practiced what he preached. After meeting him there was no doubt in my mind that he was the right coach for me.

My rule has always been, whatever sport I have decided to participate in, to pick and select a coach who competes, or has competed, at a highest level in the sport I want to be coached for. Practical “real-life” application is more important to me than theory. Coach Marco competes successfully in some of the most important BJJ competitions in the country. Being so new in the sport I was lucky to have found Marco. There are many BJJ studios around, as with everything else, there are good and bad ones. I was very lucky to find an excellent one!

What does BJJ teaches me about life?

By starting BJJ there are a number of realizations that the sport is teaching me early on. These, for me, are definitely examples of how a sport intersects life.

When I first started I thought I was going to dominate, a force to be reckoned with, based on my strength and athleticism. I am not alone thinking this, since it’s very common for many White Belts coming into the sport, who have been successful in other sports, to think the same. Well, it became apparent very quickly that although strength helps a bit it is technique that will generally win the day! When I realized this it kind of knocked me DSCN0899down a little. Knowing that one of my attributes, physical strength, which I have applied successfully in other sports can easily be nullified by technique. This realization forced me to open up very quickly, and to be honest with myself. Open to be able to take in what is being taught and honest with myself to understand and realize I know absolutely nothing! AT 55 I know NOTHING about BJJ. In essence I am going back to pre-school.

When you do not know anything about something you are totally vulnerable! Not a comfortable place to be, at least for me. In order to learn I needed to accept being weak and helpless (lack of knowledge). At this stage many people give up BJJ because they cannot handle the thought of starting something from the beginning and realizing that it will take a lot of work to progress in this sport. I knew very quickly that I had to find humility. Humility is needed in order to understand that I am just a j1beginner, the lowest man on the totem pole. I had to put ALL my pride aside and put all my trust into my coach’s hands, as well as that of my teammates. I had to give myself up to the process. Without doing that I was going to go nowhere within this new environment fast!

The necessary humility created more emotional feelings within me. I became so much more sensitive to my actions on the mat, for instance when my coach provided feedback that my technique was poor during a particular roll. It made me feel horrible about my failings, and that I may not be picking things up as quickly as I felt I should. But, very soon this raw emotion turned into something positive, with the realization that you just need to let things flow. BJJ is a lifelong journey and there will be so many ups and downs. You realize that part of growing in BJJ is learning to handle these ups and downs and to be open to learning new things. Listening to critique and recommendations is an opportunity to improve and get better. The incredible thing, I found, regarding this sport, is that everyone I have met so far wants to help and see me improve. By being open you will receive so much more

If you are having a bad day in cycling you can hide away in the peloton. In BJJ it’s all you, you are exposed, and your technique, your strength and weaknesses are available for all Clifton_Beach_5to see, whether you have a good or bad day. You are basically naked, the real you is right there, and there is no pretending, no hiding. This sport exposes pretenders very quickly. It forces you to try hard, give 100%, to be respectful, to listen and welcome the input from the coach and your other teammates.

Coach Marco explained to me that you should NEVER compare yourself to other people in the sport, but to compare yourself to you. The question you should always be asking is “am I better than I was last week, last month, this time last year.” If the answer is yes, then you are making progress. Comparing yourself to others is a dangerous proposition, since there are always people that are going to be so much better than me, such as people who have studied BJJ since they were a child, people who learn quicker, people who are stronger more athletic than me.

BJJ emphasizes the need to know your craft and apply what you have learned, and continue building on it. BJJ develops a thirst for knowledge. You will NEVER know everything. There is always something new to learn and to improve on, you can never settle or rest on your laurels. It forces me to concentrate and learn, because without this learning I would never progress and improveTunel en la vía férrea (FEVE) Ferrol - Ortigueira

BJJ teaches you hard work. To learn you need to make a serious commitment and go and train at least 3-4 times a week, minimum, in order to retain, improve, and progress.

The nice thing about BJJ is that the opportunity to learn is always available. Even if you are injured you can still improve, by going to the studio watching class and taking notes, watching You Tube videos, or actually go to take class and work around your injury by working on the techniques that do not affect the injured area. One learns not to make excuses. There is always a way.

On top of all this you learn that incorporating competition is also very important to your improvement in the sport. BJJ is like any other new activity or sport one participates in;

Frist Stript

Professor/Coach Marco presented me my 1st stripe. So elated!

there are extreme highs and lows. You think you are making big strides and then you feel you are in a rut and not progressing. Sometimes, due to these challenges, even the motivation to go to class goes…but you cannot stop because you have a tournament coming up!  You know at the tournament eyes will be on you regardless of your level. You are representing your coach, your teammates, and yourself. I would never want to let them or myself down. I want to always be the best I personally can when it is time to compete. This is the motivation that forces me to work on all the little details and put in the time prior to a tournament, even when getting to class is hard, I’ll do everything I can to get there.


“I’m not an artist, and I want to take risks, and when the possibility of failure occurs, it’s because the idea is all exciting or interesting as a high wire act, and sometimes you’ve got to fall off, just by virtue of the fact that you’re constantly trying to evolve and do new things” ­- Peter Morgan


The Closest of Friends

•September 3, 2017 • 3 Comments


I do think technology has made cultivating relationships easier. So, now it’s possibly to do with quantity and not about quality. The result is that friendships over the last 15 years or so have become shallower?

I used to think that the years from around five years old to my mid twenties were the Bond for Lifegolden era of friendship in my lifetime. Meaning, I thought during those years I made my best friends.

My question to myself was – can the golden era of developing friendships be at all possible later on in life?

True friends are such an integral part of my life, by filling it with sunshine, warmth, positivity and unconditional love. So of course I would say that they are an essential part of my existence and happiness.

Friends see us through difficult relationships, marriages, problems at work, and major Inseparablechanges in life, and so on. They do more than just get us by. My dear friends allow me to enjoy live, are loyal, and support me regardless of what happens and the mistakes I make. In fact, research has shown that friends actually help us live longer and that there are certain habits that genuine friends possess, which make them more like family. They have particular characteristics, including the ability to dish out tough love that creates that glue that bonds us.

These characteristics set real friends apart from the other relationships in our lives. So to answer the question I posed to myself in the third paragraph – a definite resounding The GangYES! I have made friends over the last 10 years that I consider family who are in the same circle as those friends I made earlier in my life. All the new genuine friends I have made make me feel like I have known them my whole life too. When I look at the group of my closest friends, new and old, and study each of their qualities and attributes, there is definitely a common thread. Here is what I have found:

Best Friends show us the truth as to who we actually are:
We can, I know I can, be a negative sometimes, going through periods of intense self-criticism; whether it’s feeling inadequate in a particular situation, or just not liking what Vito a friend for lifewe see in the mirror. My closest friends are the ones who tell me the truth and bolster me when my self-opinion starts getting low. They strengthen my self-esteem and definitely make me feel better about myself.

They make our friendship a priority:
We are all so busy. Sometimes, it feels that there is no room in the day to take on much else. However, it seems that my real friends don’t let life interrupt the relationship. They always have time for me. Genuine friends make each other a priority.

They point out when I am wrong about something:
I have many flaws, one of them is that I am sometimes adamant about being right about something when in fact I couldn’t be more wrong. My real friends identify and point these situations out for me, in an honest and mindful manner and keep me accountable. They support me on both sides, when I am wrong and when I am right. Being totally honest separates a true friend from the rest. Friends who are open and straightforward are the most important ones to have. This unbridled honesty it what sets my genuine friendships apart.

They are tuned into me:Late in the game but here to stay!
A true friend always gives you his/her full attention and awareness. I have found that a real friend stays present in the moment by paying attention to my needs, as I do to theirs. It needs to be a mutual thing and cannot be one sided.

True friends listen:
I have found that people who are not as invested in my life, as a true friend is, tend to turn a conversation back to him or herself, when I need them to listen to me because I have something to resolve. When I want to discuss a problem or issue real friends never make the conversation about them. Interesting to note that many times in my life I have found that becoming tight friends with someone resulted directly from the ability of having an open, two-way dialogue with this person.

SK and JW Cheers to life!They keep me grounded:
Genuine friends celebrate my every accomplishment, but at the same time they keep my feet on the ground. They are able provide me with checks & balances to maintain the best version of me. They do this by being totally honest with me, while supporting me when I succeed, at the same time reminding who I am at my core.

Always have my back:
My dearest and closest friends always make me feel supported, telling me the truth regardless of how painful the truth might be. Being honest all the time, is not always the easiest thing but it is what creates a strong bond between people.

Real friends forgive each other:
When it comes to relationships I am sometimes not the easiest person, making judgment Mr Honesty JDerrors from time to time. It is at these times that genuine friends know how take this and don’t take things so personally. When conflicts come up, real friends have the courage to reach out directly to each other versus going around angrily gossiping and letting the negative situation grow. My real friends understand my flaws, and because they understand them they are capable of forgiving me. This allows us to move on very quickly and prevents the use of excess emotional energy.

Support through adversity:
My genuine friends are there through EVERYTHING, the ups and down. I can’t stand it when people want to become close, during a period of success. Getting support from A day of Suffering togethersomeone during the toughest of times instantly elevates this special person in my book…they become family, become part of my inner cycle. A true friend has the power to reduce the stress in my life

Best friends force me to become a better person:
My best friends are people I trust, who I can discuss problems and personal matters with, get drunk with. They are confidants, but more importantly they are role models. Through example, kindness and other attributes, genuine friends bring out the best in me, which is one of the greatest gifts they could ever give me.

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” – William Shakespeare

 “A good friend is like a four-leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have.” – Irish Proverb

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Forgiveness, the art of letting go

•February 12, 2017 • 2 Comments

It is normal that when someone you know or care about hurts you, you can hold on to anger, resentment and even thoughts of revenge. Or, you can make it easy for yourself by embracing forgiveness and move forward. I think true forgiveness is one of the hardest letting-gothings for most people to do; I know it is for me.

Most everyone has been hurt by the actions or words coming from another person. Might be a colleague sabotaging you in a meeting, someone criticizing your parenting skills, finding out that your partner had an affair, etc. The resulting wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of bitterness and anger.

If we don’t practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays the biggest price. By embracing forgiveness, you can then partner with peace, hope, gratitude and joy. The simple act of embracing forgiveness can lead you down the beautiful path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Holding a grudge is easy

When you have been hurt by someone, particularly by one who you love and trust, the fighting-tigersresult is usually anger, sadness and confusion. If one keeps thinking about the hurtful events or situations, resentment, grudges, vengeance and hostility can take over your life and drown you. If the negative feelings overtake the positive ones, you will become a washed up shell of whom you are supposed to be, driven by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. You will eventually be defined by how hurt you are, which will become a crutch and an allowance for failure.

Forgiveness – what is it?

Forgiveness is a decision and a powerful way to let go of resentment. The act that hurt or Helping handoffended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other more positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can also lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.

It is important to remember that forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

I personally found out the benefits of forgiveness…

A few years back I went through a very emotional and stressful situation. Emotionally it animals___birds_eagle_in_the_fog_on_background_with_mountains_057742_was one of the worst experiences I have ever endured in my life up to that point. Something I never thought would happen to me. I felt I was so unfairly treated and did not deserve it. I became so, so angry, bitter, and definitely looking for revenge. It was a stressful time, no sleep with nightmares, accompanied by loss of appetite. I was stressed out and became sick quite a few times during that period. Over time I became physically worn out with no energy for anything. I felt like a different person. No resemblance of my former self. I knew something had to change. I was open to something, anything.

One day, almost a year after the event, I met up with the person. We had a calm and boy-in-lakeselfless conversation. I began to understand that person’s side of things. All of a sudden I had this urge to forgive. It was not a conscious thing; it was more of an impulse. After listening, absorbing, and understanding what the other person was telling me, I suddenly said the words “I forgive you.” I am not kidding when I tell you that as soon as I said those words it felt like the heaviest weight was lifted off my shoulders. I felt 100lbs lighter! I instantly began to relax and felt so happy as if I had just finished a massage session and meditation class simultaneously…the feeling felt so good it was like I had just taken something! Instantly, the psychological toxins left my body. One or two days later I felt like a healthy new person, ready to start a new chapter in my life.

So, I know though personal experience that letting go of grudges and bitterness decreases stress and clears the impediments to happiness, health and peace. Being able to “forgive” affords one the possibility of the following (some of these positive outcomes have actually been scientifically researched):

  • Fewer symptoms of depression with less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved heart health with lower blood pressure
  • Higher self-esteem which leads to healthier relationships with the people around you
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being

Forgiveness is a commitment

If forgiveness is not an impulse or doesn’t come spontaneously, then it needs to become a conscious commitment in order to start the process of change. Change is hard for a lot of people but thinking about the following tactics might help:

Consider “forgiveness” and its importance in your life at a given time. Think about how heavy life is when carrying anger and bitterness in your heart. Reflect on the facts of the situation, how you’ve reacted, and how this combination has affected your life, health and well-being. Actively choose to forgive the person who’s offended you, when you’re ready. This will help you move away from being a victim and release the control and power the offending person and situation have had in your life. As I have learned, by letting go of grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt. You will find compassion and understanding for the person that you forgive.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”  – Mark Twain

Can I find true Happiness?

•March 25, 2016 • 1 Comment



For many years I thought one had to work hard in order to find happiness, and once actually found from that point on I would be consistently happy until my last day.

TreesAs I have moved through life I discovered that there was always some perceived obstacle in the way. There was always something I felt I had to get through before happiness would flow over me, some unfinished business, and time to be spent on something, or a debt to be paid.

I am not saying I have never been happy. Obviously, throughout my life, I have experienced extreme happiness. What I was looking for was more consistency.

After accomplishing, or overcoming, each perceived obstacle in many cases happiness Springdidn’t necessarily follow. Of course there was a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, but that did not necessarily mean it equated to true happiness.

A few years ago it dawned on me that these obstacles, to overcome, and goals, to achieve, were my life and would always be around. If I didn’t pursue happiness in a different way I would never find it.

After talking to a bunch of people it appeared what I was encountering seemed common. I realized the same mentality affected many people who were also attempting to find true happiness. They too found that true prolonged happiness was always out of reach due to the tendency of putting up barriers which needed to be overcome.

BeautySo, to be truly happy I realized that I needed to realign the way I thought. There’s no better time to be happy than right now. Why wait? Why not be happy now? It is important to FREE oneself of the restrictions set by an artificial road-map we set up for ourselves. Life is filled with challenges and negativity. It’s best to admit this and decide to be happy anyway. Humans are great at always making excuses in many aspects of our lives, including why happiness is out of reach. We are all experts at this.

The key is to enjoy every moment that you live within (time with your family and 2-flower-wallpaperfriends, a walk on a beach during a beautiful sunset, a bike ride in the hills, whatever the moment is) and treasure it. Clear the mind, live in the moment for as long as possible, and be happy that you can do the things you can or want to do. Once you internalize how special each individual moment is you will feel blessed and realize that good fortune is shining on you. No one can take that moment away from you. It is yours to enjoy and remember. TRULY open yourself up to these moments. REMEMBER that time waits for no one.

Every day will give you a number of happy moments, even when life is proving to be HD_beautiful_nature_landsacpe_1920RCRL_8003challenging. SMILE and focus on these moments. Let them guide you and push you in a positive direction. Doing so will pull your life into the direction YOU want to go. Life is our reality and is not perfect. But one cannot tell me that no good moment occurred in the space of 24 hours…even if it’s just the sun shining on your face.

So, even though finding consistent happiness is a work in progress I am definitely learning to decrease the number of barriers and obstacles I put up…there is no better time than right now to be happy. I am alive, and every day will give me a special moment. Sometimes I just need to apply the effort to look for it. It is there.

“I thank my God for graciously granting me the opportunity of learning that death is the key which unlocks the door to our true happiness.” –  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sunset

The Big Comeback!

•January 6, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Fireworks explode over the River Thames


Happy New Year! 2016 will be the best year ever!

Wow, it’s been a really interesting couple of years for me. This is the first post for many, many months. Since it is the beginning of a new year, it is time to start writing again. I have missed it.

On Your Marks Get Set Go – RESET!

First, I feel writing things down, whether my thoughts, ideas, or plans, is the first step in making things actually happen, whether it’s helping other people, working on projects, or whatever it is. You know what I am saying. In many cases, writing is the first step to moving forward…

Secondly, it’s also important that I follow through and do the things I need to do to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. Only when one is healthy, by that I mean more than just the physical…I mean happy, can one excel at giving oneself to others. This takes discipline and commitment, and is easy to neglect.

Due to a busy schedule, a new family, launching a fitness business with a dear friend of mine (90 plus hours a week), and health issues, I have not been immersing myself, as I have done in the past, with the activities I usually do to stay sharp (physically and mentally). An intense Strength & Conditioning routine, cycling, weight training, writing, and reading have taken a back seat.

Bummers & Downs

I have experienced a number of downs within the last two years, including major shoulder surgery.  Little did I know that when I crashed during a bike race in the summer of 2008, I seriously injured my shoulder. However, after the crash I was able to go back into the gym and continue my strength and conditioning program, doing heavy weights, Shoulder Surgeryeven able to do military presses on most days. Over the years I had incidents that consistently affected the left shoulder, but it only took me out for a couple of days to a week and then I was back working out that area again, like nothing happened.

Then in February 2014 my left shoulder started hurting with the pain continuing to increase in intensity over a short period. With that came significantly decreased mobility. Finally, when I could not bare it anymore I went into surgery in June, after an MRI (torn rotator cuff, inflamed Burse, displaced nerve, chipped bone, cartilage damage, bone particles embedded in my bicep, and a detached bicep)  So a year and a half later it has improved, but there is still pain, with mobility at around 85%, which I will take! The area requires continuous physical therapy which I need to include every time I work out…it is getting stronger, so there is light at the end of the tunnel. However, I do have one small area, around the socket where there is no cartilage so at some point, down the road, a replacement will be required. Whatever, the most important thing is what I can do with it now!

Knee MeniscusThen something else, I started running again at the beginning of 2015. In May I was running on a stretch of road and tripped over a pothole, damaging my left knee. Over a few weeks the pain intensified and with a MRI it was determined that I had a torn meniscus. I had surgery in July. The good news is that the recovery was relatively quick.

There is a tendency to let one’s DOWNS keep you DOWN. When you are down it is easy to make excuses in order not to do stuff. But, the older you become it is important to understand that there are less and less “tomorrows.” Once you release this you can use that to motivate yourself to move up, forward, and leave your comfort zone.


I spoke to a friend recently, a top celebrity fitness trainer, who is super strong and fit, she said –”I was the most unfit IMG_1004 when I was a working in the fitness industry as a trainer…there was never the time, or sometimes the energy; I needed, at the end of a full day of training clients, for myself.” Since working in the Fitness Business it has been difficult to stay self-motivated with all my energy going towards other people’s fitness and well-being.  Combine that with my injuries, I have had the perfect recipe of not being consistent with my own strength and conditioning.

The time to start working on my overall strength and health is now.  I will probably never race a bike again. If I go down on my left shoulder again it will be a mess!  But I will start engaging by training on a bike, slowly and sensibly increasing my endurance and sustained power. Just to have fun but garner the benefits of riding too!

I want to get my body back to where it was in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and have fun doing it, dropping 30lbs, while reaping the benefits of lean muscle.

This post is not meant for sympathy, but it’s a launching pad, for me, for bigger and better things!  Here I come 2016!

Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Alpine Skiing

What is your Problem!? Just live life & be HAPPY – Simple!!!

•September 28, 2014 • 3 Comments

When I was a younger I spent a lot of time thinking and worrying about the possibilities of problems and/or negative _IGP4413 situations developing in the future.  What I have learned and try to remember is that having actual problems are problems enough, and there is no need to give space, or to become mentally hampered by spending time thinking and stressing about the possibility of problems, problems that may not even occur!

Also, I need to live my life, today, right now, in this moment, with the passion, and attention that it deserves. I need to embrace it and add special meaning to it all, and try not to become hindered by imagined problems.  This is very difficult to achieve for most people, even the most controlled among us.

Although, as I get older and live my life, I have developed much experience and tools to live my life in the way I choose, and to deal with the challenges and setbacks that constantly come everyone’s way.  This is the Beauty of experience and age.

So, Instead of stressing, being nervous or intimidated by what might go wrong, I am now much better equipped to be able to let myself be inspired by all that can go right and the resulting rewards, and the resulting happiness.  Although still hard, It islate summer light definitely getting easier, for me, to envision and make the choice to live the best life I can imagine, re-framing from going down the negative thought processes, and make the required commitment to do that.  In order to achieve this, another thing to consider, it is important not to be around Debbie Downers since that is a sure way to get dragged down the wrong path. Clean up your Rolodex!

The challenges that I do encounter and overcome serve as a reminder and let me know that I am moving forward in the right direction.  Actual problems keep me motivated to overcome them and drive me to fulfill my goals and dreams.  Nothing will stand in the way or prevent me from getting there!

I try reminding myself of all the opportunities awaiting for me every single day, which moves me forward, driven by the limitless possibilities awaiting around every corner, or within just a single phone call, or a single meeting…

Bottom-line, I want to and try to live my life with purpose, courage, richness and joy.  Part of this is only possible if I erase my mind from possible problems and negativities.

Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.

Pope Paul VI


Time to Sleep…

•January 6, 2014 • 5 Comments

2013 was a crazy year for me, during which I felt mostly tired.  No racing of any kind, but it was definitely a year of contemplation, planning, building, implementation, and moving forward.  It was a challenging, rewarding year with both loss and gains…

photo 1Loss…I lost my beautiful Doberman Anka.  She was my solid and consistent companion for almost 10 years.  Amazing how bonded we become to our pets, and how much they can teach us about our own life.  I could wax on about her forever, on many levels!  What makes the loss somewhat bearable was that she passed peaceably in her sleep, very early in the morning.  She was truly an amazing partner, her consistent presence helped me through some heavy stuff.  I will think about her and her life, what she gave me, for the rest of mine.

Gain…The day Anka died my incredible nephew, Lars, was born.  The Cycle of Life!  Going forward, Lars’ birthday will have special significance to 2

Gain…I have re-established a very special friendship that started in New York City 21 years ago. This event is a revelation and has restored my faith in certain aspects of my life which, based on certain events, took a little bit of a beating.

Gain…I went into business with a good friend, who has developed an amazing fitness and healthy eating concept.  It is based on his experience of training top-tier elite athletes and pouring that experience into a 30 minute workout that has produced amazing results.  We are in the process of opening a center in Los Angeles.  Construction is in full swing, with the opening occurring later this month.  If you are interested in finding out more, here is the website:

As the year progresses I will, among other things, touch base on the above, going into more details.  Since I haven’t written for awhile I thought I would create a starting point for 2014…

One area that I want to improve on, since I have been constantly tired, is SLEEP.  I have blogged on so many other areas in my life, areas I want to improve on, or eliminate, but I think sleep ranks up there in regards to importance.  I have come to the conclusion, at least for me, the saying “you can sleep when you are dead” is so bloody asinine, completely senseless.  It’s taken me 51 years to make this discovery for myself!

I have always done well with minimal sleep, whether recovering from training, or conducting business.   At least that is what I have until recently thought.  But, the reality has finally set in.

Maybe it is maturity and/or the increased ability to be honest with myself.  Lack of sleep causes me to “drift” through the day, not fully taking in a conversation, the view, the taste, the breeze on my face.  Everything appears hazy since there is a lack of focus.  As I move into the 2nd half of my life I want to see things much more “clearly”!  I want to take in everything, and will now attempt to achieve this.  I am going to make a concerted effort to get more quality deep sleep, by getting into bed earlier and eliminate such things as late night computer and TV.

People try all kinds of things to be able to live in the NOW,  like meditation, reading books on the subject, paying someone to help them with the process, whatever it may be.   However, it dawned on me that all of this is a waste of time and money, without the foundation of sleep and being rested.  Being rested allows me, better than ANYTHING else, to live in the now!  Sleep and rest also increases my memory, endurance, strength, patience and definitely cuts back on ROAD RAGE!  There are just too many benefits to list.

“True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.”  William Penn

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