Category Archive: Swimming

Backstroking your way past fear

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,  I watched you from a few feet away. I could see the sob working it’s way up within you, the quiver of your lip, and then – the… Continue reading

3 simple things half ironman training taught me about life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve learned a few things about training for half ironman races over the years. In the process, triathlon has taught me a lot about life. And I hope… Continue reading

Driving a truck with no shirt on and running with horses

  Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, They saw me coming around the corner I guess. And by the time I reached the fence dividing them from me and the road and their open… Continue reading

Faster. Circles.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You play on the tire swing on Saturdays at the playground behind our house. You girls sit on the tire while Max spins you around again. Again. Again… Continue reading

Fall break

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I hurt my knee back in June. At the end of a long day on my feet I stepped out of the cargo van full of empty peach… Continue reading

A Saturday nap on the couch

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I don’t nap. Ever. Unless it’s dark outside and past 8pm, I can’t sleep. In order to sleep I need complete darkness, complete silence, and a full day… Continue reading

Where writing comes from

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A new friend asked me today about writing. It forced me to think about my process. The lack of such of a thing. I reflected upon it as… Continue reading

The lines in my face

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I read about a group of local guys who are riding their bikes from Oregon to Patagonia. I looked them up and realized that I know one of them personally. I… Continue reading

Izzy and the Brentwood Kids Triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, One of the best days of the year for us in each of the last three years has been your race at Team Magic’s Brentwood Kids Tri, Izzy.… Continue reading

2013 Mtn. Lakes Triathlon review

Dear Izzy, Max,and Kate Ten years passes quickly. So much in my life is different in 2013 than it was in 2002 when I made my first trip to Guntersville, AL for Team… Continue reading

With each 1st day of school

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’m struggling for words of late. Unfortunately that’s meant fewer letters to you kids. There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly it’s because life is good… Continue reading

The distance you travel is relative

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re leaving this afternoon for my final triathlon of the summer down in Guntersville, AL. I’ve done the Mt. Lakes Triathlon many times over the years since my… Continue reading

Seagrove August 2013

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We walked on the beach in the dark. I put my feet in the water and looked across the black water. It rose against the horizon, the moon… Continue reading

A summer morning’s walk

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We walked down to the creek yesterday morning.  You asked to take your shoes off and walk in the shallow parts. I sat and watched from the grassy… Continue reading

Freedom, joy, and High Cotton

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s been a hectic summer.  Odd work hours for both mommy and I, practices, bible school, always something these days. Several weeks ago we started a new family… Continue reading

What I learned by falling down

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I started loading peaches into the truck at the storage building at 7:30am on Friday. I worked on my feet at the Farmer’s Market until 4pm. Then we went… Continue reading

Old Hickory Lake Triathlon 2013

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Going “home” stirs something in the spirit. When you’re weary and tired from life’s day to day challenges, returning to the place where your dreams were formed and… Continue reading

Sometimes you have to choose

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Tuesday morning was a learning experience for me. Mommy and I decided to let you go to a birthday party sleepover on Monday night, Izzy; the night before… Continue reading

Learning to let go of control

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I woke at 4:30am  on Sunday – Father’s Day. I climbed on my bike at 5:15 and rode 43 miles. Mostly moderate-to-hard miles, feeling like the extra effort… Continue reading

Suffering,chocolate donuts and greatness

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I came across this old picture a few weeks ago at Nana and Papaw’s house. It’s from a cold evening in February 1993: McClellan Gymnasium on the University… Continue reading

Fireflies

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Barefoot silhouettes small voices in whispers beneath the trees of our front yard. Hiding our house from the world. The same house that didn’t feel like enough not so long… Continue reading

200 years too late

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I didn’t want to run. I woke up and turned off my alarm that had yet to sound. I’m preprogrammed to wake up between 4:30-5:00am now.… Continue reading

The Leap

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I get emails and messages sometimes from other moms and dads who read my letters to you here on the blog. They often thank me for sharing my… Continue reading

3 Bugs in a Rug

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I woke up at 4:30 this morning and went for a swim. I’m starting what my coach calls a “transition week,” meaning I’m shifting from a week of… Continue reading

Meet Liz Lyles: mother of two, wife, and Ironman champion

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

Rev3 Knoxville 70.3 race report

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had such a great time at Rev3 Knoxville last year we decided to go back again this year. I trained hard, through the ebbs and flows of a… Continue reading

Race week mantra: Chop wood, carry water

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wake up thinking about it. I try to put it out of my mind – focus on the tasks of the day, being present in the moment,… Continue reading

Joe Kapacziewski: Husband, Father, Triathlete, and Soldier

Dear Izzy Max, and Kate, I have met and talked to a lot of interesting people over the years of my involvement in triathlon. Some of them were and are athletic heroes of… Continue reading

Spring Training products for triathletes

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re beginning to see lasting signs that spring is here. After another long winter of slogging through miles in the cold and wet Tennessee winter, warm afternoon walks… Continue reading

The Last Long Run

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, As I approach the end of my 20 week training cycle I’ve been reflecting on the journey. Here’s a post I wrote for Rev3’s blog called “The Last… Continue reading

Tales from the dinner table: Simple prayers

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s been awhile since I’ve shared one of our dinner conversations with you. We put a lot of importance on family dinner time. Mommy has been teaching swimming… Continue reading

Ahead of What?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate I worked my way through it. The first big overdistance training weekend of my 20 week training cycle. I’ve done  a few rides in excess of race distance… Continue reading

Clarity and Trust in the Texas hill country: Part II

PART II OF TRUST AND CLARITY IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY. READ PART I HERE. Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We drove straight to Salt Lick BBQ when we arrived. It didn’t disappoint.… Continue reading

Clarity and Trust in the Texas hill country: part 1

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Carolyn Horton handed me a pistol. “It’s scatter shot,” she said. “So you don’t need to have good aim, just point and shoot.” She walked back up the… Continue reading

Rudy Project Gozen sunglasses review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I now own 3 pair of Rudy Project sunglasses. Yes, they’re that good. Along with my Zyon sailing and Noyz glasses I was lucky to also get my… Continue reading

Daddy, here’s a dollar

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, People don’t slow down often. I saw a guy cut across a median on the off ramp and slide 3 lanes over. That move motivated, I presume, because… Continue reading

Life is just a tire swing: Easter photos and potlucks

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great weekend! The sort of weekend that you hope for during the other five days of the week….filled with fun, love, and photo opps. It… Continue reading

Peaceful Easy Feeling

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Grandfather sent us this picture of you fishing beside the Pedernales River in Texas, Izzy. I stared at it for a long time. Different emotions overcame me as… Continue reading

8 of my triathlon training essentials

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s becoming more and more popular, but triathlon is still a “fringe sport.” For that reason I’m asked often what sorts of products I use regularly in training.… Continue reading

Sunshine on a cloudy day

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The breezes helped me relax as I lay motionless, eyes closed, drifting back in time: a beach in Hawaii, a beach in South Carolina, Mexico, Duval Street, Bourbon… Continue reading

Seek and you will find

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We wandered through unfamiliar streets. Bordered by thick green, heat waves, and banana trees. All of it felt like it might close in on us at once. I… Continue reading

Rites of Passage: Rev3 Blog

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Rev3 ran my second installment on their Rev Blog yesterday. It’s called “Rites of Passage”. When I wrote it I was really thinking about your papaw and about… Continue reading

It feels so good feeling good again

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wrote to you a few days ago about some of the struggles I’ve been having with my health. At first the doctors called it an ulcer. When… Continue reading

Skin Strong skin equipment review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I have enough to think about on long training days and race days without thinking about raw, chaffed, or sun burned skin. But I’ve been there. The middle… Continue reading

Changes in Attitude

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The first 20 passed effortlessly. The first signs of spring allowed me to ride in bib shorts and a jersey rather than the layers I’ve been wrapping myself… Continue reading

The Way I Take: One Twelve Media

Dear Izzy, Max ,and Kate, I heard a guy speak yesterday on the book of Job. As he made light of the Job’s trials I considered the path I’ve been following.  My life… Continue reading

Loneliness and the journey

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I started to feel it this weekend. That empty feeling I get. The loneliness that sets in as the miles build. I’ve written to you about how miles… Continue reading

How to scare the bajeebers out of your kids

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’m a bad daddy. I scare my kids. But only at their request. Here you two little ones are a few nights ago after “seeing a monster” downstairs… Continue reading

Perspective in the dark

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was dark when I walked in. The oddity threw me off balance for a moment. I stopped, rubbed the morning stubble still on my face, as if… Continue reading

Peeking into the cave

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had a rare Saturday with no training yesterday. Thanks to a quirk in my schedule I managed to get my workouts accomplished during the week, leaving me… Continue reading

Meet off-road triathlon pro, mother of two, and PhD: Danelle Kabush

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It sounds impossible for someone to break into the triathlon world and finish 3rd in the world, among pros, in just their 2nd triathlon ever. But Canadian off-road… Continue reading

It will come: Belief in the face of fear, doubt, and uncertainty

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The deep ache set in somewhere around 30 miles.  I ate another gel and began to slow. I’ve been on my bike diligently through the winter, but for… Continue reading

Healthy Life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We don’t need a life coach at our house. We have you, Izzy. I’m constantly finding your notes around the house ranging from “how to save the planet”… Continue reading

How Revolution Changes Everything

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve changed. Sometimes you’ll hear that people don’t change; It’s just the circumstances around them. I’m not sure I believe that. Perhaps a little backstory is necessary if… Continue reading

A true American super hero: Fireman Rob Verhelst

Across the Threshold: 140.6

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last night I found myself on my bike trainer at 9:30pm in our living room, listening to music, watching a basketball game, spinning my legs, my mind racing.… Continue reading

Monster Trucks, ear plugs, and the voice of God

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, When it started we were stunned. I wondered how loud it might really be, assuming that from our vantage point the noise would be manageable. It rattled our… Continue reading

Trevor and Heather Wurtele: Pro triathletes into the great wide open

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Trevor and Heather Wurtele are rising stars in the long course triathlon world. While it’s not that unusual for two professional triathletes to be married, Trevor and Heather… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong and Grace

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, They gathered together, as much as that’s possible, in our modern age of social media. Virtual torches and pitchforks lifted. Snarled expressions. A thirst for blood. When there’s… Continue reading

The monsters in the dark: triathletes and 4:30am

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s there every morning. It’s been there my entire life. Most mornings it pokes me, pinches me, pushes me until I’m out of bed, on my feet. Listening… Continue reading

Tales from the dinner table: candle lit dinners vs. real life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sometimes I imagine other families having dinner. For some reason it’s quiet, dimly lit, perhaps just a candle flickering on the table. Maybe there’s soft music playing. Probably… Continue reading

Life gets serious

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I got an email from my contact at a PR company I’ve been working with a few weeks ago. He let me know that he was moving on… Continue reading

Happy Saturday: Gettin’ down to Frankenreiter

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We do a lot of kitchen dancing at our house. It brings laughter and joy into our home. When you’re grown with kids of your own I hope… Continue reading

ZumXR xtended release sports drink review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, As a triathlete I’m always on the lookout for products to help me maintain my energy and stay hydrated. I had the opportunity recently to try out the… Continue reading

Meet Brady Murray: Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

How Breakthrough Endurance plans to change the face of Endurance racing

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate I sat down recently with professional off-road triathlete Craig Evans and his nutrition coach Cliff Duhon of Breakthrough Nutrition. I’ve known Craig for several years, as our paths… Continue reading

New Year’s Day 2013

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last year around this time I decided that I needed change in my life. A lot of it. I needed to listen to the stirring in my spirit… Continue reading

The Family Friendly guide to planning your race season

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate I gather my things. I shuffle around the house in sweatpants looking for something to write with. Some years I find a pen, but I’ve used a crayon… Continue reading

The year of “OF COURSE”

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great Christmas. We’re fortunate to live close to family, so we make the rounds every year: Christmas Eve lunch at Aunt Lisa’s in White Bluff… Continue reading

Healthy eating for the entire family: A chat with RD and pro triathlete Kim Schwabenbauer

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’m often asked about nutrition. I guess it’s because I’m a triathlete and that causes people to assume I also eat wisely. While I think I make good… Continue reading

Raising Twins: what kind of cars do clowns drive?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few nights ago I took you two little ones to Pet Smart with me to get Coco the dogs nails trimmed. Seemingly simple trips always turn into… Continue reading

The first step: Why signing up for your next race makes all the difference

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The distance is nothing ; it is only the first step that is difficult. – Madame Marie du Deffand I stumbled upon this quote yesterday. I thought about… Continue reading

The miles: how I covered 112 for preemies

* Part 2 of: 112 miles for Preemies Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I shuffled into our driveway, stepping from the road’s pavement to the crumbling aggregate rock. It’s separating, becoming gravel in… Continue reading

My 1st article in Triathlete Magazine!

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I started reading Triathlete Magazine in 2002. Since then I’ve dreamed about publishing an article in the magazine. After 10 years in the sport, many miles, and lots… Continue reading

Three Little Birds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You played in the leaves at Nana and Papaw’s house on Sunday. Took turns on the rope swing in the backyard. Watched several deer sneak into the yard,… Continue reading

112 miles for preemies

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, 500,000 babies are born early every year in the United States. In 2008 you were two of them, Max and Kate. You were 10 weeks early. That experience… Continue reading

Weekend Ride: Endless possibilities and a wave of black birds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had a rare opportunity Saturday morning. The opportunity to do whatever I wanted, with no time limits. Mommy coached a swim meet most of the day and… Continue reading

Alone in the woods, listening

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I spent the early hours of last Sunday morning in the woods. Alone. I love trail running and by August I’m usually looking forward to the end of… Continue reading

Why I didn’t race: Part 2

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, CONTINUED FROM PART I Learning to be still played a big role in why I didn’t go. After 20 weeks of training I stayed home, and missed the… Continue reading

Why I didn’t race after 20 weeks of training: Part 1

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, They’re racing at Rev3 South Carolina this morning. I was supposed to be there making my 5th attempt at a sub-5:30 half ironman. But I’m not there. I… Continue reading

6x World Champion Dave Scott on fatherhood, Kona, and the abyss

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Ironman is what it is today because of one man; Dave Scott. Although he didn’t create the race, he quickly became the most dominant figure in the sport… Continue reading

The ocean never forgets

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was cold Sunday morning. I descended a hill on my bike.  The first sharp grip of fall around me, the first flush of warmth I’ve felt leaving my cheeks in… Continue reading

My birthday weekend

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We celebrated my 38th birthday this weekend. I took off from work on Friday to celebrate and go for a long ride. It was difficult to get out… Continue reading

What I’ve learned in 38 years: All streams flow into the sea

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ll be 38 on Sunday. And while 38 is far from “old”, it’s another year closer. Or farther away from youth, depending on the mood I’m in and… Continue reading

The problem with authenticity

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The problem with authenticity is that the world hates it. Most people, collectively, don’t want you to be you. They want you to be like them. That’s how… Continue reading

Parenting expert Dr. Meg Meeker on the athletic parent and raising athletic kids

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You know this by now, but Mommy and I aren’t perfect parents. Sometimes we need help. I was fortunate to be introduced to Dr. Meg Meeker several years… Continue reading

Across the Chasm: Writing letters to your kids

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I sat in my familiar spot on the front porch steps a few days ago watching you play. It was late in the afternoon. Past dinner. I gave… Continue reading

Former National Champion Bruce Gennari on his health scare, family, and longevity in the sport

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

A tire rolling downhill: my triathlon life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few days ago a good friend told me that I’m like a “tire rolling down hill.” He was talking about my relationship with triathlon specifically. He said… Continue reading

BASE Performance review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, After 12 years of training and racing I’ve used a lot of products. In fact, that’s probably the most common question I get from new or aspiring runners… Continue reading

Shut off the voice that says you can’t

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Saturday I had a training breakthrough. Those are hard to come by at this stage of training and racing. I’ve been doing triathlons for a long time, so real… Continue reading

Somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I couldn’t help myself. A few days ago I sat and listened to two women on the playground, about my age, talking… Continue reading

Izzy’s big day at the Vaco Kids Triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max and Kate, You did the Vaco kids tri again this year, Izzy. Our friends from Team Magic put on the race in Brentwood, TN at the Maryland Farms YMCA. We… Continue reading

When do you get your kid a dog?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You’ve been on me for weeks,  maybe months. You want a dog. This is your fight really, Izzy. Your sweet spirit has always been content with what you… Continue reading

The real reason I race

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sunday after church you handed me this, Izzy: It wasn’t by accident. In your 8 years of life you’ve always delivered the voice of truth in our home.… Continue reading

Bare feet on the kitchen floor, the sound of waves, and 3rd grade

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Mommy and I sat alone on the beach on the last day of vacation. She talked to me about the sound of waves. I’ve thought about it since,… Continue reading

How Becky Lavelle turned tragedy into hope and inspiration

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

My first article for Triathlete.com

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Today is a big day for me. I’ve been competing in triathlons for the last 11 years. And I’ve also been reading Triathlete Magazine all those years. Through… Continue reading

The best I can do is teach you why

Kate and Izzy on the path to the beach/ surf sisters Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I just got back from a run. That’s pretty normal routine even on vacation. What set this… Continue reading

The Horizon, driftwood, and triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re back at Seagrove Beach, Florida this week. It’s our 2nd trip to the beach this summer. You kids are having a blast with your cousins. I remember… Continue reading

World Champion Craig Alexander talks about balancing marriage, parenting, and triathlon.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

[Part 2] Why leading a blind athlete through a triathlon changed my life

* Continued from Part 1 Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, My alarm sounded at 4:45am on Sunday morning. I think I was already awake. I had fallen asleep thinking about swimming into darkness,… Continue reading

Why leading a blind athlete through a triathlon changed my life (PART 1)

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I learned so much about life yesterday. I wrote to you last week about my decision to lead blind triathlete Jeremy Winters through the Music City Triathlon. It… Continue reading

A New Adventure: Why I decided to guide a blind athlete through a triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I got a phone call from an old friend on Monday. It was one of those moments when you hear from someone that you haven’t talked with in… Continue reading

Our interview on Fox 17 Tennessee Mornings

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had an awesome experience today! You and I were interviewed on Fox 17’s Tennessee Mornings this morning by Nick Paranjape, Izzy. We got up early at 5am,… Continue reading

Twins: the small moments are worth all of the challenges

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve written to you often about how challenging it is raising twins. Especially twin 3 year olds. Thank goodness for you, Izzy. You’re such a big help. I… Continue reading

Triathlon and The Endless Summer

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I was tired Sunday night. I did a long ride that morning and the rest of the day was full of activities, including the VBS closing celebration at… Continue reading

The Ken Coleman Show interview

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I did my first radio interview on Saturday. I was on the Ken Coleman Show where Ken and I talked about balancing parenting and pursuing your dreams with… Continue reading

A relaxing Sunday afternoon with twin 3 year olds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Yesterday I was asked during a radio interview how I manage to be “present” for my family after getting up at 5:00am and spending 4 hours on the… Continue reading

Louis Garneau Elite Lazer Tek 2 tri top and bottoms review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Triathletes are a loyal bunch. Although I’ve worn other apparel over the years, I still remember my first tri suit. It was a one piece Louis Garneau number.… Continue reading

A Delicate Balance

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I came across this old photograph in Ochs Museum on top of Lookout Mountain. I stood in silence for a few minutes while you and Mommy looked at… Continue reading

Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This weekend I raced in Team-Magic’s Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon. It was my 3rd time to do the race. This year was different. I approached the race with uncertainty… Continue reading

Your children live by the example you set

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A lot is made in life of leadership. You’ll hear people talk about being leaders in various ways. Here are the three that come to mind immediately: Leading… Continue reading

Why showing up is just as important as finishing

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few days ago I was talking with my friend Daniel while we were riding our bikes. I spent several minutes telling him about my injured calf muscle.… Continue reading

How to find the silver-lining

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wrote to you a while back about injuring my calf muscle. I took 10 days off from running and really babied my leg – icing it, using… Continue reading

Heard from the backseat: I want a pet!

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few nights ago we were driving through town you said something that made me laugh – and illustrated the differences in you kids. You’ve all been begging… Continue reading

Don’t be afraid of your reflection

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I took this picture yesterday while I was sitting on the front porch watching you kids play. I was thinking about other things, but casually watching you play… Continue reading

Meet Julia Polloreno: Editor in Chief of Triathlete Magazine, Triathlete, and Mom

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

Summer weekends at home

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great weekend. It was one of those rare times when there was no where we had to be: no birthday parties, no trips out of… Continue reading

How surf films changed my life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’ve been de-cluttering the house a little. Less stuff will give us freedom. And freedom has become the thing that mommy and I desire most in our life… Continue reading

Meet Hunter Kemper: 4 x Olympian, 7 x National Champion, 3 x Dad

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

Walking home

Dear Izzy, Max and Kate, I felt a little pain my calf muscle about 10 days ago. I pretended I didn’t. But 10 years into this triathlon thing I couldn’t just overlook it. I nursed… Continue reading

Why every kid should be a swim team kid

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I failed out of swim lessons. I’ve never even heard of a kid failing swim lessons, but your nana swears that I did when we lived in Belgium. Apparently… Continue reading

Meet Gordo Byrn: Ultraman world champion, multisport philosopher, and dad

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

The mix1 Project

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, When I was a teenager I was disciplined (with some things). As a wrestler I cut from my summer weight of 140 lbs down to 112 lbs for… Continue reading

One Wobbly Wheel

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few nights ago a neighbor pulled into our driveway to drop off one of your friends, Izzy. As usual our yard and driveway were full of toys,… Continue reading

Meet Craig Evans: a pro triathlete working a full time job and being a full time dad

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I met Craig early in my own triathlon “career”. I used to swim frequently at the Brentwood Indoor Sportscomplex, just south of Nashville, back then. One day Craig… Continue reading

The first time I failed as a father

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Ok, so it wasn’t the “first time I failed”, but it felt like it. 8 years ago when you were born Izzy I swore to you that I’d… Continue reading

Meet Andy Potts – World Champion triathlete, Olympian, and Dad

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

My little girls

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Lately I’ve been explaining my letters to you to a lot of people. They’re curious about why and how I thought to do this. My explanation has usually… Continue reading

Nothing says “I love you” like a front headlock

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last night I had the pleasure of interviewing professional Xterra triathlete Craig Evans and meeting his family. It was my first video interview. I’ll post it here in… Continue reading

Starting over

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great vacation at Sea Grove Beach, FL.  I hope you kids never forget going on vacation with your grand parents. One day you’ll realize how… Continue reading

Meet Bree Wee: Pro Triathlete, Surfer girl, and Mom

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Mom’s and Dad’s as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

The man’s guide to leg shaving: a step-by-step photo tutorial

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve been shaving my legs for years. I resisted the peer pressure in my first year of racing, but gave in in year 2. I won’t list the… Continue reading

Rev3 Knoxville review: a family event

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a big weekend in Knoxville! For the most part it went exactly as I had hoped it would. While I didn’t quite hit my time goal… Continue reading

Race Week

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Rev3 Knoxville race week is finally here. My 4th half-ironman race is next Sunday. I have mixed emotions about that already, as I always do. After 20 weeks… Continue reading

The fine line: Living a good story vs. Telling a good story

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had lunch with one of my best friends a few days ago. He’s been in the Army since graduating from the Citadel in 1997. He’s been to… Continue reading

Why I decided get rid of my stuff

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve been overwhelmed a lot lately. Something’s been tugging at me, pulling me under, causing stress in my life that I can’t identify. I haven’t been sure how… Continue reading

5 Ways to be a faster swimmer

I’m often asked for swimming advice, so I thought I’d post my most frequent tips here: Swim downhill – Most rookie swimmers tend to drag their legs like an anchor behind them. This… Continue reading

9 Ways to Survive Twin 3 year olds (or How Twin 3 year old are like Gremlins)

Meet Max and Kate, my twin 3 year olds. Sure, they look cute, but if you give them :30 unsupervised seconds they’ll turn your home into a scene from (insert post apocolypse movie… Continue reading

Inspiration, VIP parties, mud, BBQ, and getting lucky: Dad 2.0 Vision Quest Part 2

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, After the emotional trip to Dad 2.0 I wanted to just kick back and have some fun with the other writers and dads. I met so many cool… Continue reading

Don’t be afraid…

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I stumbled upon this piece of art today. My friend’s sister made it. She creates cool stuff at Pitter Patter Art. I’ll let the message speak for itself,… Continue reading

The 500

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Mornings are one of my favorite times at our house. It seems that most of my favorite times come around our kitchen table, whether it breakfast or dinner,… Continue reading

Am I Ready?

MODIFIED, EDITED AND REPUBLISHED FROM A POST WRITTEN DECEMBER 8, 2011. THOUGHT IT WAS WORTH REVISITING TODAY: Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I recently read a blog post written by Gordo Byrn titled “Am… Continue reading

Confessions of a Bananasaurus

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I had a great swim. It seems that the sun and warmer temperatures are finally helping me break out of the funk I’ve been in with… Continue reading

5 Ways to Succeed as a Triathlete and Dad

Dads, here are the 5 ways I’ve learned to succeed at triathlon and keep the peace at home: Wake up Early! This is a tough one for alot of dads. Most everyday triathletes… Continue reading

How Kids add Fluffy Clouds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last night before dinner I decided to sketch a friend for the “runner dude” I sketched earlier this week. Kate, you took particular interest in the process. What… Continue reading

Peeing off the deck and other things Dad’s should teach their kids

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, As I watch you all I grow I’m always coming up with random things that make me think “hey, that was a good thing to teach the kids.… Continue reading

The Wrinkled Shirt

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wear wrinkled shirts alot these days. A long time ago your Nana used to starch and press them for me, then before you kids came along I… Continue reading

The Hulk, weak as a kitten

 Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was a strange weekend at home. Izzy, you went to Aunt Carolyn’s in Knoxville with Grandma and Grandfather for a short visit so we missed you! Meanwhile… Continue reading