The Church of Blog

I was going back through some of my old posts and came across The Church of Blog. As I read it I noticed a few things I would say differently now. What you will read below is an updated version of an older post I think is relevant for the day.


As bloggers we have some of the same people reading our blogs every day. So, as a blogger, if I were to have 2500 people visiting my blog everyday and let’s say that 70% of those people are the same people everyday…that would be roughly 1750 people. When you put that in terms of a church (if you are the church going type), 1750 people coming to your blog and reading what you have to say everyday is very impressive. For any one church service to have 1750 people every week is an impressive showing by most standards.

(Don’t que the piano player and start passing the chicken buckets around just yet. I’m not suggesting you go take up an offering…yet)

As a blogger, is it weird to think you might have a bigger audience than your own church has on a Sunday? Have you thought about the amount of influence you have with those readers? Are you responsible with how you bring people into discussion? What kind of community are you building through your blog?

As a blogger, you are in a position of influence. How are you going to use it?

I’d like to encourage you to build a community the fosters growth in each other, be authentic, and don’t be afraid to show your weakness so that your readers will gain the confidence to maybe try something they have never tried before… all because you tried it and failed along the way. We are all in this together and success always comes with a little failure so you know what not to do the next time.

I never dreamed EVER that I would become an Ironman, but I did it and writing about the process has caused others to try their first sprint triathlon or to even run their first 5k race. These are people who NEVER dreamed of doing either.

How are you going to use your influence?

What you write about matters and people pay attention. You never know when you might just inspire someone to go to another level and do something completely different… and love every minute of it.

50 Ways To Identify Triathlon Obsession

I was given 50 Ways To Identify Triathlon Obsession a while back and thought a few of you would really get a kick out it. I can’t tell you how true all 50 of these really are!

50. You are over 30 and there is still someone in your life that you refer to as “coach”.
49. Your last bike cost more than your first car.
48. You have peed outdoors more times in the last year than you did in your first year of university.
47. You think of mowing the lawn as a form of cross-training.
46. You’ve worn a heart-rate monitor to bed.
45. And it wasn’t when you were sleeping.
44. You refer to the front hall of your house as the “transition area”.
43. When you get home from a training session at the pool, the newspaper is just being delivered to your house.
42. You have changed more flat tires this year than light bulbs.
41. The most frequently used software program on your computer is the one that keeps track of your workouts.
40. You have no idea why they call Cal Ripken Jr. “Iron Man” when, after all, he was a baseball player.
39. The first three items on your grocery list are Gatorade, power bars, and gels.
38. When you floss at night, it’s to get the bugs out of your teeth.
37. Your legs move in a cycling motion while you are asleep.
36. When you see a drop of blood, your first reaction is that you spilled some red Gatorade.
35. You know how far you biked and ran last year, to one-tenth of a kilometre.
34. You think the ultimate form of wallpaper is about 64 racing bibs.
33. A 19-year old kid who works in a bicycle shop know more about you than your next-door neighbour.
32. Your children are more likely to recognize you if you put your bicycle helmet.
31. You have a vanity licence plate with the word “Kona” in it.
30. About half the shirts you own have at least a dozen logos on the back of them.
29. You don’t find the word “fartlek” in the least bit amusing.
28. When you refer to your “partner”, you mean neither your spouse nor the co-owner of your business but the person you run or bike with three times a week.
27. You shave your legs more often than your wife.
26. The closest you came to punching somebody was when they disagreed with your position on whether wearing a wetsuit amounts to cheating.
25. It doesn’t feel right that you can’t “clip “ in and out of the pedals in your car.
24. There is a group of people in your life about whom you are more likely to know how fast they can swim 100 metres than their surnames or occupations.
23. Some of the shorts you wear today are tighter than the ones you wore in high school.
22. You are frustrated with the latest Garmin Forerunner because its live readings have a margin of error of approximately three per cent.
21. There’s a separate load of laundry every week that is just your workout clothes.
20. One of your goals this year is to be faster at getting out of your wetsuit.
19. You failed high school chemistry but you could teach a course on lactic acid.
18. All you want for Christmas is something called a carbon crank set.
17. You wore a digital watch to your wedding.
16. You have to have completely separate meals from your spouse because he or she is on a low-carb diet.
15. Your bicycle is in your living room.
14. You have stocked up on a brand of cereal because it has a coupon that will save you money on your next two pairs of running shoes.
13. In order to establish a new personal best, you considered peeing without getting off your bike.
12. One of your proudest moments is when you lost a toenail.
11. When a car follows too closely behind you, you accuse the driver of “drafting”.
10. When you went for a job interview, you wrote your social insurance number on your arm in black marker.
9. Your spouse cried during Terms of Endearment; you cried during the television coverage of the Hawaii Ironman.
8. You are comfortable discussing the sensitivity of your nipples with other guys.
7. Your spouse is looking forward to the day when you will slow down and just run marathons.
6. You have paused in front of the mirror in your wetsuit and thought, “Hey, I look like Spiderman.”
5. You see no issue with talking about treatments for chafing or saddle rash at the dinner table.
4. You recently asked your spouse out for dinner by asking if he or she wanted to “fuel up” together.
3. For you, “bonking” no longer has a sexual connotation.
2. The magazine secretly tucked under your mattress has pictures of really expensive bicycles in it.
And the No. 1 sign you’re obsessed:
1. Most of this list doesn’t seem like a joke to you.

Food As Fuel

Here’s a subject that has a wide variety of opinions. Mine of course, is just
that…an opinion. I know that I don’t always eat the best, but about 90% of the time I eat great.
food_as_fuel

I’ve read a lot on the subject and have come to this conclusion. If
you are looking to get into better shape whether it’s for something athletic like running or triathlons or if you are just wanting to loose
some pounds to look better, the simple fact is this…it’s a neat little formula that has worked for centuries on end! Ready?

EAT LESS…MOVE MORE.

We live in a society, especially in the US, where more is more…not less is more. Big portions, big drinks, big everything.

We have become so accustomed to eating for eating-sake, but did you know
that your body will tell you what it needs and when? This takes a little bit of discipline and practice to figure out. But not a lot. You probably already know when you eat something bad and it doesn’t settle well within you.

I have had to train my brain to think about food as fuel, not food as a hobby or a past time or a way to medicate a problem…or just because it’s sitting in front of me.

This is what I do…

Everyday I know if I’m going to work out or not. I also know what kind of work out it will be. Running, swimming, cycling, or weights…no matter what, I know what I need to do to get ready for the workout. All of my workouts are in the morning except for swimming and what I have come to see is that what I eat the day before a workout (and sometimes two days before a really long workout, like a long run or bike ride) has everything to do with how my body performs and reacts to the training involved.

The  meal the night before a work out has to be lean and light enough for me not to have a bad night of sleep, but to give me enough energy to make it through the next morning. When I get up in the morning, I usually eat some lite like oatmeal or toast with peanut butter. I wash it down with some water and off I go. It usually takes me right to the end of the workout, unless it’s a long work out then I consume gels for extra energy and calories to get me through the training.

After the workout it’s time for good protein and carbs. One of the things I did to change my eating habits is to make breakfast my biggest meal of the day.

Once I have worked out, it’s time for breakfast. This big meal replenishes my body and gets me started for the day.

The fuel is now ready to get you through the end of the day. Generally, people are more active in the first part of the day and need more energy. Lunch is a little liter that breakfast and dinner is usually the smallest meal of the day. The major problem with eating a big dinner is that after dinner it’s usually bed time. So if you eat food for fuel, then what benefit is there to fueling sleep?

Remember…eat less, move more.

Dinner for me can be a good piece of fish or chicken, veggies, a little pasta and
I’m done. I’m a sucker for dessert and great wine, so I have to be a bit more disciplined here.

When it comes to eating out or traveling, I decide before I even walk into a restaurant, what I’m generally going to order. This sets me up to not feel the pressure of eating the bad stuff when I open up the menu.

In my head I can say, “tonight I’m having fish”. So when I get to the restaurant, I order whatever fish they have on the menu.

Again, there are so many theories on what is the right thing to eat. I like to read Runner’s World magazine and what they have to say about nutrition is usually right on the money for me. You can also read them online at runnersworld.com.

Overall, here’s what I know for the big picture. Your body was designed for protein AND carbs. These need to be good lean proteins and healthy carbs…and…all in moderation of course. The biggest benefit your body sees is when you eat fruits and veggies.

I hope I have made sense. As you know… I’m not a professional athlete, trainer or nutritionist… this is just what I have learned works for me over the years.

Being Fit vs. Being Healthy

Spence-Smith-Healthy-Life

Ahhh…in the midst of family, work, travel, friends and training for triathlons-life at times can seem just a hair out of balance or slightly crazy. I’d like to think of it as slightly crazy. But whatever you call it, there is always a need for true balance in life and to make sure the things we do in life are for the right reasons.

Living a healthy life is very important to me, but it’s not just about physical health. It’s mental, spiritual and social. It’s a very holistic approach but when it’s all working right, the balanced life is sweet. But know this… I’m not always living a balanced life… why? Because life sometimes is Slight Crazy.(see first paragraph)

One of the guys I swim with is Richard Baker. Richard is an encourager, motivator and triathlon coach under the name of TriSwami. What you will read below is an article he wrote that has balance written all over it. This can really be applied to life in general…not just the physical side of being fit or healthy. I read it in an email update from our swim coach Ashley Whitney and it’s such a great reminder for me. I’m hoping you will be able to learn from it as well.

Being Fit vs. Being Healthy:
Recognizing when you have crossed the line.
Richard Baker, aka Triswami

The goal of this article is to have you take a look at yourself and determine- ” What do I want out of this sport and am I approaching it with my overall health in mind?” “Am I fit AAAAAND healthy, or just fit?”

Some triathletes are among the fittest and healthy people around. Unfortunately, many triathletes are some of the fittest and unhealthy people around. For the purposes of this article let’s define fit as- moving really fast, jumping really high, cycling very far, lifting lots of weight, winning many races, looking lean and muscular. And, let’s define healthy as- high energy, well rested, maintaining a healthy weight, in touch with your world, thriving relationships, annual trips to the doctor for routine labs etc.  and rare trips to the orthopedist or the O.R.

For many, the status of being super fit and super healthy are mutually exclusive conditions. Many athletes struggle with the battle of being as fit as they can be, while maintaining their overall health. Endurance athletes can be the worst of the bunch and competitive endurance athletes take the cake!!! They are the absolute worst (best?) at simultaneously achieving uber fitness and declining health. It needn’t be one or the other. The driving force behind what makes them competitive can be their worst enemy. That driving force can be different for everyone, but for many of them it’s- the challenge or a desire to compete, a diversion from “real” life, weight loss, social interaction, an underlying obsessive/compulsive trait, addictive personality, improved fitness and, not surprisingly, improved health.

Ask yourself-

1. How was my commitment, energy level and motivation to train?
2. How was my commitment, energy level and motivation to family?
3. How was my commitment, energy level and motivation to work?
4. Did I take/have time for other hobbies?
5. What/who did I ignore or neglect?
6. How was my physical status? Was I losing/gaining too much weight?  Was I always sore?
7. Did I battle injuries? Did they resolve or become chronic?
8. How was my libido?
9. How was my sleep pattern?
10. Was I happy?
11. What did I accomplish?
12. Did I feel healthy? (Not “Did I feel fit?’)

The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, The Police, The Eagles, U2 and Led Zeppelin

rollingstone1I have a lot of favorite bands. I have a lot of favorite solo artists too. But when it comes to bands, these guys are at the top of my list. are bands that have stood the test of time and survived. I grew up listing to these bands. They are the ones who influenced me as a drummer and they still do.

As a lover of all styles of music, there’s just something about rock n roll that gets me going. I could listen to any song from anyone of these bands 20 times in a row and re-live the song every time. When I’m in the car and flipping through stations, I can hear one note from any one of these bands and the volume gets cranked!!! The whole world stops and rock lives on. I’m really excited about the times we are in when it comes to bands like this. But I’m a little sad for the future.

Here’s why…look around in the music world. Who out there do you think will be still making music 20, 25, or even 30 years from now? Who is coming out now or has been out for the past few years that will be in their 60’s selling out arenas and stadiums. Sure Mich Jagger is looking jagged around the edges, but come on…have you seen him run 2 or 3 miles on stage at the tender age of 60? I have and he’s still got it. I mean who else but Charlie Watts can wear a cardigan sweater on stage playing Start Me Up to 60,000 people!

So here’s to you rockin-bands-who-formed-my-youth…you guys rock. Long live Bonham…