Adversity Reveals

This picture reminds me that leaning into the difficulties of fatherhood has one of the highest returns on investment, in my life.

Saturday’s entry in my Daily Stoic (link is to Amazon) was a reminder that adversity reveals, an excellent topic during these times.

I have a hunch, Colorado is in a lull in our virus process. I’m taking advantage of the lull to get outside.

This week, my kids are wrapping up an academic year’s worth of math.

Five weeks to learn, one week of review – on to the next year’s concepts.

Financial price was ~$500 per kid. The price in time was 4 classes a week (1-on-1, 30 minutes) and 4-6 homework sessions of 20-45 minutes each. The classes were led by a Middle School teacher. Her skill is how we made such rapid progress.

My role was making it happen and dealing with the occasional fallout when the kids struggled with the new concepts.

  • Financial investment – less than expected.
  • Time investment – less than expected.
  • Emotional Investment – more than expected.

It’s probably like that with a lot of things.

The true skill lies in pushing through the emotional hurdle of the status quo.

Bison Peak, Lost Creek Wilderness.

Our experience with Summer Math reminded me that harder is more meaningful. The kids have gotten a lot out of their struggles. In overcoming “math,” they know they have achieved something.

The challenges of these times have demanded more from all of us. Hopefully, you’ve seen the benefit of having to step up.

Difficult does not imply worse.

Right around 12,000 feet in the Rockies.

Governance matters.

Our local and state governments have done an excellent job at navigating through the early stages of this crisis. I disagree with a lot of what they’ve done! Part of what they’ve done well is manage all of the disagreeing voices.

The process of translating “the choices of government” to “an outcome in society” requires social trust and cohesion.

America has trust issues and many are making them worse. However, the lesson here isn’t for our country or your local jurisdiction. The lesson is for your family and your marriage.

There’s a balance between competence and cohesion. To lead, to govern, you need to be keeping both in mind and acting in a way that builds social cohesion.

Time and time again, I have been surprised by outcome.

We are 15 weeks into a process that will take far longer than I expect.

Adversity will continue to reveal.

Home School Stuff

Step Two – the paper mache mix is flour and water, overnight in the fridge

We zoned out and missed our 100-day party!

Going to place it next week on July 1st, Canada Day.

Step Three

Science Fair projects are coming along. Volcano research included studying, then writing a paragraph on, the Ring of Fire. Bella completed a diagram on the parts of a volcano. We also watched a National Geographic special about Kilauea.

We had a little excitement when we ran out of brown paint for the volcano. I called an audible and we did an impromptu class on pigments – mixed our own brown, which looked a little purple, initially.

Next up a little greenery and some ocean

Virus news is so volatile, there are developments opposite of my notes within 90 minutes of posting => endless humility training.

State in-bound quarantines (NY/NJ/CT), local positives (back up), large health systems partially shutting down (costly in care and profits).

Here’s what’s clear:

  • The closest most of us could come to a meatpacking environment is an air-conditioned bar => dense, loud, humid and temperature controlled => additionally, there’s alcohol and a need to remove masks to drink. It is in our collective interest to pay to keep these places shut.
  • ~100 million Americans live in a state where the virus appears to be accelerating (CA, TX, FL, AZ).

We have friends in the bar and restaurant business. Very tough times for them.

Not all bad news – the Feds won against a hospital group that sued to keep pricing secret.

Disclosure helps.

Corona Diary 24 June 2020

Father’s Day 2020, my pirates gave me treasure chests

We seem to be getting a feel for the highest risk activities for infection => face-to-face, indoors, for 15+ minutes with someone shedding the virus.

Still not much clarity on how long the asymptomatic shed the virus, long-term consequences for mild/moderate infection and profile of post-infection immunity.

Boulder County police are asking folks to back off the late-night fireworks – it appears we weren’t the only ones thinking it was gunfire!

The President has a point, poorly made, on testing’s impact on confidence => we can scare ourselves into a deeper recession. Masks build confidence.

Related, lots of charts out there comparing the US to the World. There is a chart circulating about US vs Europe that feels like fair comment.

The tweet below seems unlikely to be comparing like-for-like.

Feeling good about my decision to naturalize in the first 60-days of the Trump Administration – lots of Visa categories on hold through the election.

EU considering banning Americans from entering when they re-open next month.

Related, people are starting to talk about travel restrictions inside the US. However, there’s a lot of “talk” right now.

The Bezzle starting to appear: $3 billion never existed in the accounts of an Asian energy trader and $2 billion never existed in a German payments processor. BTW, the Bezzle is a measure of ongoing fraud in our economies and lies hidden most of the time.

The Bezzle builds confidence, and wealth, until you find out it’s not there!

Bought gas for the first time in 14 weeks.

Masks made mandatory in Cali.

Hot, southern states seeing upward movements in positives/hospitalizations (FL, CA, TX, AZ) => also Oregon.

The acceleration I expected for Colorado, turned up elsewhere, go figure. Still a long way to a vaccine.

The TX/AZ outbreaks are concerning as Colorado receives (continuous short-term) travel from these places. Plenty of Texas plates in our neighborhood during the summer and Aspen/Pitkin County connected to places like Scottsdale.

Our mini-outbreak appears to have settled, chart below.

In the chart above, you’ll see our recent peak. Just after that top, the city gave themselves the power to escalate against addresses that violate social distancing orders => official warnings, tickets/fines then terminating rental licenses.

Locally, we are concerned about what will happen when the students return in 45 days. We’ve heard collegiate athletes are back and starting their training.

In the high-country, the casinos are open. Driving down from Georgetown on Sunday, I noticed a billboard picturing a dealer wearing a mask. These are potentially super-spreader locations. In normal times, many of the guests take busses to/from Denver, about an hour each way, before spending the day/night indoors.

The Bolton book is unlikely to be remembered by history. Senator Romney’s impeachment vote might be. Romney’s $100 million IRA bothered me in the 2012 election. I know exactly what he did because it is what I used to do for a living. So the “bother” was more about my relationship with “winning in finance” than Romney.

Roll forward 8 years and we witness the benefit of having people of independent financial means in government. Also a reminder, act slowly, I will probably feel different later.

Science Projects are coming along – electric motors and volcanos.

Step One!

Luke Skywalker done!

Hands, face and eyes – challenging at any age.

The Edge You Are Looking For

I saw a couple things on Twitter yesterday that got me thinking.

The first was a question about the Keto Diet. Here’s my reply:

What’s the f(x) you are seeking to create? In my experience, too many people focus of tweaking measurable (nutritional) variables rather than gaining clarity on their end goal and keeping that in mind for the 1,000s of choices that go into a physical result.

Put another way, what is the life, or body, you are seeking to create?

If you achieve your goals with a Branded Diet then it’s certain that you’re doing a lot of other things right. Inside these “other things” you will find the true source of your success. Your edge will come from discovering, then applying, what’s common.

Our minds are easily distracted by focusing on differences.

Our minds crave an easy edge so we don’t have to endure the difficulty of change.

Related, I saw an athlete asking for advice…

What nutrition supplements would you suggest? Just trying to get a better nutrition regiment.

First, before you take advice, get to know their life.

It’s a package deal => work towards a life, rather than seeking a trick of protocol. There are a lot of well-known folks, who you’d be wise to avoid.

Second, the value of what you take often lies in what it replaces.

My current supplement protocol in order of usefulness,

  • Veggies => replacing starch and sugar
  • Morning Workout => replacing evening web surfing
  • Water => replacing sports drinks
  • Morning Coffee => replacing evening alcohol

Find an edge by creating a life.

Your body is a function of the following variables:

  • Peers
  • Habit
  • Choice
  • Availability
  • Sleep
  • Exercise

Protocol is a distraction.

Simple, not easy.

Some of my best stuff => Damage Limitation Strategies // Nutritional Vigilantes

The Other Side Isn’t Stupid

High altitude season opener yesterday – Mount Bierstadt, 14,060 feet – Ax rocked a mask the whole way

I live in one of the “bluest” parts of the country.

It’s tempting to describe Boulder as liberal but a lot of us do not support a Bertrand Russell-style of liberalism (link is to his Ten Commandments of critical thinking).

Anyhow, the last week has reminded me that life is unpredictable, that I’m prone to forget the sensationalism I am fed to provoke a response, and that we really can’t predict what will happen.

The Supreme Court => the DACA decision and their ruling on Equal Rights => do you remember when we told that the certain appointments would end America as we know it? Their rulings appear to disappoint both the left, and the right, in equal measure.

No-show MAGA Rally => still a super-spreader event but the COVID National Infection Tour is off to a slow start.

No-mask crew => Expect the pro-business wing of the Republican Party to stage a very strong comeback in the next 14 days.

Here’s a quote from a newsletter I received over the weekend:

Walking around in public without a mask is like wearing an “I want a deeper recession” sign.

John Mauldin

There are many people on the other side who are much smarter than we realize. A polarized media makes it difficult to counteract our default biases.

You can see the bias – of thinking the out-group is stupid – expressed by very, very smart people. We’re all prone to fooling ourselves.


Do you remember the “guns and religion” controversy 12 years ago? It was the tone, not the content, of the comments that bothered the target audience.

If you look deeper into those comments and consider what we are seeing in all of our communities then you will see people of all political affiliations clinging to their “guns and religion.”

It’s everywhere right now and it is what we do when we are fearful and under stress.

I’ll end with a snapshot of my daughter’s Father’s Day card.

It’s made out to her “Math Buddy” with love.

As a nearly 12-year old, she’s better at managing people than I will ever be.

Home School Stuff

Top of Hogback Loop, Boulder, Colorado

Science Wednesday was Plastic Milk – the girls weren’t interested and opted out – Axel enjoyed the session.

We’re going to take a break from experiments for a week and build ourselves a Volcano!

Eating the “plastic” was a highlight for him.

Workout Thursday saw Axel do more in 20-minutes than I can do in 25-minutes.

It’s a pattern you can do at home: (a) sandbag getup and run to the next room, repeat 4x; then 20 squat jumps (step down, never jump backwards) => keep rolling continuous.

Body slammed himself on the bench on the final rep of his 9th round (180 jumps total).

True savagery – once we were sure he hadn’t cracked a rib, we shared a laugh.

My daughter and I have been butting heads with her math.

This must happen to other families so I’ll share the workaround we discovered.

Like their Dad, my kids are good at pretending they understand when they have absolutely no frickin’ clue!

As you can see from the world around you, being clueless isn’t usually a problem. However, it is a suboptimal method to learn new math concepts via Zoom call.

In a typical school, the learning rate is slow enough that most of the kids figure things out on their own. At the Byrn Family Academy of Personal Excellence, we’ve been learning at a faster rate.

I didn’t realize how much faster until I noticed our youngest was nearly finished Unit Three of next year’s math. Five weeks to do half a year’s math curriculum => keeping things in perspective, it’s Grade Two and I give the kids supplemental lessons when they ask me about concepts. We’re not blazing AP Calculus but the pace for our Grade Four and Grade Six is legit.

With the new concepts, our oldest was reprinting the assignments on a clean sheet and handing in 100% correct work. Behind the scenes, I had been subjected to a half hour of tears and abuse => “Sweetie, it’s math, our opinions don’t change the answer.”

Anyhow, we both got sick of the struggle. She has no interest in receiving lessons from me => “Just tell me the answer, Dad!”

Not being able to teach is frustrating because I’m a great teacher! However, the goal is for student to learn, not the teacher to teach!

Family Value => It is OK to say “no.”

On the basis of “relationship before all else,” I resigned.

My resignation resulted in more tears. She’d rather struggle through with me than admit she doesn’t understand with her teacher.

So, we struck a truce…

  • Side by side, we review
  • When I find an error, she works through again
  • We arrive at the step that’s causing problems
  • Chip away until she gets it right

So far, no more tears and I don’t feel an ulcer coming on.

PE with Dad. Ax-man has 5L of water on the his back. Mountain Lion country (notice the bushes above, right). I had to tell him to stop dropping us!

Axel finished The Everest Trilogy by Korman.

He loved it and he’s going to do a book review with his English teacher.

My next summer essay is on the life cycle of an athlete.

Stage One is the Sporty Kid.

  • It is easier to have sporty kids if you lead the way.
  • Sporty kids have more energy for everything, ie learning.
  • If you want to develop sporty kids then the program is about their current ability level – not your workout goals (train daily before they wake up).
  • Use outside experts to teach technical skills.
  • Focus on enjoyment of the “doing” – resist the urge to teach.
  • Only positive feedback.
  • Focus on activities without a score and no judges.

Helping Friends and Family

Tuesday’s essay generated interesting questions.

These three questions touch on my work as a fiduciary.

#1 – What are the best types of incentives?

There are so many issues here.

Who is deciding, why are they deciding, what is the goal of assistance, does helping help, are you seeking to “parent” an “adult”, what does the situation require, where will this take us in 10/20/40 years, where is my energy best spent… and on and on.

A starting point for tackling these questions is this reading list. If you’re operating in a fiduciary capacity then the linked books are essential reading.

Before we get into thoughts about others, how are you doing? How’s your life? I ask myself this question over and over because of certain realities:

  • I am more likely to be successful helping myself
  • My ability to influence people outside myself is limited, prone to error and usually leads to resentment
  • The people most open to my help don’t need it
  • And the biggest thing I have found… what we think is “right” will most certainly change over time

How do you react when others try to help you? Many of us believe we already know what’s required of ourselves. Having an outsider give us more information rarely causes improvement.

Do you care enough to change? By this I mean, “Do I care enough about this individual to inconvenience myself?”

Am I willing to spend time with this person, consistent & frequent time, to help them achieve their goals?

…and it needs to be their goals. Not a goal of pleasing someone else. Not a goal scaffolded onto them by someone who thought it would be good for them.

If you “flow chart” the above then you’ll see there are high hurdles to overcome before you’ll be in a position to consider helping someone, beyond your daily example and the choices you make.

…and that’s a good thing because what most people truly need is you to listen and hear what they think about their life.

Listening, without knowing, and taking small actions will greatly improve your relationship and that’s more valuable than any external incentives you might apply.

#2 – What do you think about financial incentives inside family systems?

I believe in universal support: such as childcare, health insurance and value-for-money education.

Reduce stress inside the marriage (childcare), reduce the risk of ruin (health insurance) and improve human capital (education). Modest, achievable goals.

I do not believe in subsidizing personal consumption choices.

I do not believe in making it easier for a family member to enter the housing market. Learning how to wait, and buy modestly, is an essential life lesson.

A core value, that was taught to me by three prior generations, “everyone pays their own way.”

When considering financial support to an individual, run the numbers on providing the same benefit to everyone in the family system for 20+ years. Small choices have large impacts when repeated across decades and extended to successive generations.

Just like when you evaluate risk, you must assume you will repeat this choice many times. The discipline to assume you will repeat, for a long time, will help you think better.

#3 – What’s my role?

Share knowledge from prior generations, to listen, to love and to set the absolute best example I can within my own life.

The gift I give is my time and a key benefit I bring to the family system is having my own life in order. I am living the life I wish for you.

I am keeping my life together, so I don’t become an emotional or financial liability to my grown kids. I won’t be able to avoid every problem but sticking to the basics will eliminate many unforced errors.

I cultivate the humility to appreciate that I am clueless about what’s best for you. I’m willing to share what’s worked for me but, beware, my memory is clouded by hindsight bias and an inability to see where luck has greatly benefited me.

If you’re unsure then… just love ’em.

Be the brand.

Corona Diary 17 June 2020

Our youngest is a true joy. I have always gotten along well with the last in birth order.

Our eggshell geodes worked out in the end. Phew!

We poked around and learned about the different types of deposits as well as how salt likes to “hold on to” water.

Why is Colorado doing better? I have no idea.

  • We shut down earlier but opened before states that, many said, were opening too early
  • We skew younger but have many at-risk folks in our communities
  • We had outbreaks throughout our state – widespread community transmission
  • Weather, climate, low population density, transit usage patterns?
  • From the ground, our lockdown appeared loose but, possibly, not as loose as other places

Time will tell. Many states that “closed late” appear to be surging right now. Florida now 10-15x our positives, depending on the day.

Politico article on Colorado => while the narrative makes sense, my experience is a wide range of outcomes (from great to ruin) can happen with a similar set of circumstances.

Complex systems were a key part of Taleb’s conference. This section was done well and helped my thinking about the real world (my conference notes here).

25% revenue shortfall being forecast for our state budget for the year starting July 2020.

We’re moving to Phase Three reopening => Protect Our Neighbors. Seeing as travel restrictions have been lifted, Axel and I are aiming for our first 14er summit this coming weekend.

Current affairs are providing many opportunities to share my family values with you. Here’s one:

I can handle the truth. I want to hear your bad news.

The default position in my house is disclosure.

Disclosure nudges better choices.

My son used $179 of earned income to get himself a Lego 4×4.

We bought a pilates machine to hedge our exposure to Health Clubs closing in the fall. Neither of us could physically handle another extended run block.

Kettlebells still sold out from my preferred supplier. Being stronger than my current dumbbell assortment is a very good problem to have.

I set a 25-year max on bench press this morning. Gains!

Lexi got her iPhone from selling ~200 masks. I bought the phone through Chase Rewards (20% discount when I paid with points, Apple stealth price drop).

This week our oldest is doing online babysitter certification. She wants to take advantage of frazzled parents and summer outdoor babysitting opportunities.

Last weekend, I awoke to gunfire both Friday and Saturday nights. This was out of the ordinary for BoCo.

Colorado passed a police reform bill: chokeholds banned, limits on when the police can shoot us in the back, duty to intervene when a fellow officer gets out of control, personal liability for officers, and all officers must wear body cameras (and their departments release the footage within 45 days).

Xterra, a type of triathlon, cancelled all their large events.

How does the Federal response to this crisis stack up with other blunders of my lifetime? The biggest leadership failure I have witnessed was the Feds giving us a tax cut, telling us to go shopping and starting a foreign war of choice. The true cost in blood and treasure of our over-reaction post-9/11 is a high bar for screwing up. We’re not there yet.

Came across a reminder that life goes on… California is leveraging their state employees pension fund. This is a bad idea. I wrote about this with regard to Colorado’s fund. If you are planning on a state-funded pension then my article is worth your time. I see no way you will get what (you think) you have been promised – leverage, inflation or lack of returns are likely to reduce your true payout.

Lots of discussion about school boards dropping police in schools. Some interesting ideas about where the funds could be applied to generate better outcomes for kids: counsellors, healthcare, suicide prevention, birth control, substance abuse programs… Second Order Thinking. Good to see. Free birth control saves lives.

24-Hour Fitness closing a dozen clubs in Colorado. Don’t see how tenants can pay 2019 lease rates with 2020 operating capacity limited to 50%. at max.

I stopped getting massages in early March. My wife bought me a Theragun for Father’s Day. It works, as does replacing my run program with Peloton! 😉

US Surgeon General on Masks:

Strengthen your local economy, wear a mask.

Trump and the Military => the President is truly exceptional at using small, seemingly insignificant steps, to get people to move away from their core values. It’s a tactic I’ve seen in the sex offenders I have come across in my life.

A test you can use, “How does this person make me feel?” “How does this situation make me feel?”

The technique of incremental domination, by people in positions of trust and power, is why we need strong laws to protect our children.

Teach your kids how to spot charismatic creeps.

Know we each have a blindspot embedded in our value systems => wealth, popularity, sports achievement, personal advancement, spiritual enlightenment… an ethical blindspot lives in each of us and it’s uncomfortable to face.

Two trillion of infrastructure spending being floated by the Feds this week.

This makes a lot more sense than paying ourselves not to work. Also better than a randomized program of unregulated government lending.

Seeing more reports of a prolonged COVID syndrome (Finland, UK). No clarity in our local news. It’s an area that concerns me, personally.

Unsold supply of real estate increasing in Vail, along with price cuts.

Closer to home => Boulder median prices took a dive in May, falling to $872,000. That’s down from $940,000 in May 2019 and from $1,125,000 in April 2020. Agents in the city had 29 sales on 236 active listings. Homes sold in May sat on the market for an average of 54 days. [From a press release.]

Very, very local… an early June college party five blocks away from us created a hotspot. The fact that County Public Health can share information down to the date, and address, for transmission is a useful development.

Last night we had our first takeout since early March. Did an in-house date night while the kids watched The Kid Who Would Be King. We enjoyed ourselves.

Why I Want My Kids To Be Average

Ax-man making my home hairdressing look fabulous!

The thing I liked about triathlon was, if you were decent at everything, you could be world class at something.

– Scott Molina, World Champion Triathlete

Paul reminded me about this topic when he asked, “What do I want for my kids?” Paul is worth a follow.

Many, many parents’ actions indicate, “I want my kids to bring ME glory” or, with an Eastern twist, “I want my descendants to bring honor to the family.”

As parents, when we answer this question, we get an insight into our personal definition of honor and a clue to our value system.

We often reach for things we wish we’d been able to get for ourselves.

Something I found in my athletic career, when I set my mind to external results, I was sowing the seeds for dissatisfaction.

Applying a specific lesson from sport to the arena of life…

If I pass a habit (of external striving) to my spouse, or kids, then I am putting unnecessary emotional baggage into my most important relationships.

Going further, even if I’m successful, the kids are going to attribute their successes to their own efforts, certainly in my lifetime.

As an aside, I’ll leave it to Fooled By Randomness to offer cognitive dissonance on the source of external success. Time shows me many near misses with severe failure and ruin. I’m hardwired to own success and disown failures. This is an area where getting older helps.

Thinking about my far future self, am I really going to care about how anyone did?

Highly unlikely!

I am going to care about how they make me feel.

I’ll start by asking you a question. You don’t need to tell anyone the answer but you should be honest with yourself.

What would be more important to carry forward into the world?

  • Striving to outperform your parents?
  • Knowing you have outperformed your parents’ expectation of you?

If you’re unsure then ask someone close to you, “what do I talk about when I talk about my parents?”

Much of my approach is governed by listening to friends talk about their parents.

One our key family values is “We’ve already won.”

This frees us to slow down, favor the relationship over the mission and reduces our fear of missing out.

This mindset keeps us away from ruin and reduces our unforced errors. So we are more likely to reap the benefit of our own efforts.

Some lessons from coaching high-performers:

  • The coach is there to take the blame.
  • Success accrues to the athlete.
  • The plan is often the difference between success and failure.

Owning the above, helps the coach focus on the areas where they can have an impact AND frees the coach from taking ownership of outcome.

Ownership of another person’s outcome will make you miserable. I can generate a lot of “fatherhood fatigue” when I own every word, choice and action of my children.

To design a simple plan we can all execute, I need to avoid getting wrapped up in the endless micro-battles (real and imagined).

I also need the confidence to roll-the-plan and avoid sowing confusion by constantly tinkering for “fun” or “variety.”

Taking it together, where can I have the most impact:

  • My example via my actions
  • How I schedule our plan
  • The family incentive structure

Another lesson from watching families over long time horizons. The people who live up to “high expectations” are those who need them the least.

Put another way, expecting doesn’t work => action does.

Even stronger => mutually agreed collective action => the social pressure of working towards a collective “good example.”

Make it clear to yourself, and your kids, exactly what’s required to get your approval => your time & attention being a valuable form of currency in the eyes of your kids. We try to keep it really simple:

  • Exercise daily
  • Stay on grade level
  • Be kind to those without recourse
  • Learn how to teach yourself

Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking you are helping by expressing constant dissatisfaction.

Similarly, in your own life, if you are never quite get “there” then ask yourself where was I trying to go?

Kids And Mountains

Spending years crafting a desired outcome is something I do better than most.

It’s not just inside my marriage where I seek to influence outcome – I’ve been building a mountaineering partner. Since my son was two years old, he’s loved going uphill.

The “up” has never been a problem. In those early days, it was the “down” where he’d flame out. Back then, I’d never take him further than I could carry him out. We used to negotiate when the shoulder rides would start.

We’re into another hiking season and I wanted to share some ideas about developing your kids.

Last season, I carried everything, all the time. When I tried to get him to help out, the joy of the hike drained out of him. This led to some heavy, heavy days.

Over the winter, I adapted my training program so I could tolerate the loads.

This year, we’re trying something new. To change our view on weight, I’m leading by example and carrying extra water to every summit.

Weight is a privilege. The picture above represents ~25 pounds of privilege. 😉

Seeing me carry, had the desired psychological outcome and he’s been asking me to carry “more.”

Two things are required to earn the right to carry:

  • Beat me to the summit
  • Don’t fall on the way down

The not falling is tougher than it sounds. Our mental cue is “walk like a boss” => wide stance, toes down the mountain, stand tall. It’s easy for a minute.

Less easy for an hour while discussing the finer points of the latest Clone Wars season or estimating Chewbacca’s age.

Dad, Chewie is in every movie, I can’t figure it out…

With lockdown, my full program has become visible to the kids. They noticed that I do a lot of strength training. Two (out of three) asked to join. So they’ve been doing some supplemental work to our hiking program.

I made light sandbags for them. We do burpees, short runs, clean & press, keg lifts… Because their bags are light, they can run circles around me (literally). They get a kick out of being “faster than Dad” and that keeps them coming back for more.

Our youngest (below) is working with an orange dry-bag I filled with clothes. It looks HUGE but doesn’t weigh much. My son had bag envy – his is filled with pea gravel.

Let everyone be strong is a lesson I learned from Scott Molina.

Be sure you let your kids be strong and find their win. It helps build their internal motivation to persist.

As for the program we are:

  • following a gradual, weekly progression
  • doing it locally before considering any travel
  • including a mixture of too easy, just right and challenging routes
  • inserting easy days so we bounce back
  • making sure we get consistent sleep

If you think the above sounds like the approach used by a gold-medal coach then you’d be right. It was taught it to me early in my triathlon career.

I special ordered a black mask from our oldest. Combined with blue-iridium sunglasses, a baseball hat and a hunting knife… we don’t have any problems getting folks to yield on the trail.

Why masks?

Foremost, because America need more people wearing masks. Be the change.

Secondly, because we might be on some crowded routes when the high mountains open up. Get sick later.

Finally, because it’s going to make life above tree-line seem a whole lot easier when we take them off.

Over multi-year time horizons, we have tremendous influence on the direction of our life.

My son is 9 and we can hike any route I want in the Rockies.

Be willing to inconvenience yourself (today) to help the people in your life become what you wish for them (tomorrow).