Wrapping Up My Iodine Year – Element 53


53 was one of the best years of my life.

Here’s my year.

Brick by brick.

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Baseline Stress – Started November 2021

I was unaware of my baseline stress. Heart rate variability (HRV) gave me a look into both my stress, and my health.

HRV doesn’t care about my capacity to grind through fatigue.

Start gathering daily heart rate variability data and take a look

HRV is not “the answer”

The answer is removing the choices that screw up my HRV

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Connection – Started January 2022

When I returned to Twitter, my stretch goal was 10,000 connections by 2031 (empty nest for us).

Quickly, I realized I’d anchored on a meaningless number

What I needed was a handful of connections

A handful of my kind of people

  • Who are your people?
  • Where are they?
  • What do they like to do?

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Engagement – Started February 2022

In the Rich Roll podcast (recorded July 2022)

I wanted to see if there was a place for my voice

This goes beyond connection => positive action

We are wired to get a boost from helping other people

I love helping people figure things out

  • What’s your thing?
  • Who’s trying to learn about your thing?

++

Narrative – Started May 2022

Humans run on narrative (book link)

Write a story you can:

  • embody
  • share
  • teach
  • be proud of

Let the story take you where you want to go

  • What’s your story?
  • Where do you want to go?


Links & Additional Resources

Sunday Summary 20 November 2022

My YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/@feelthebyrn

Top Threads

  1. Using sheet metal screws for a frozen XC course, worked well
  2. Accelerating Your Fitness
  3. Aerobic Threshold Resources
  4. Does Your Endurance Training Stabilize
  5. My Aging Athlete Hypothesis

Endurance Training Tips

High-Performance Habits

True Wealth – Building A Family System

I gave my crypto post a retweet yesterday

The post isn’t about crypto.

The post is about deciding where not to focus.

The post contains a filter:

1/. Will “this” make a difference?

2/. Will “not-this” make a difference?


“Family” is a 20+ year project that made a difference.

Like any big project – it is daunting at the beginning.

Many people fail to take the first step because they lack confidence in their ability to complete the task.

The first step was “me”

One of my favorite filters has to do with selecting a home base.

Live Where You Don’t Need To Leave

Applies to more than our hometowns

It applies to our careers, our home lives, our relationships

Let’s go even deeper

Be someone I’m not trying to escape.

  • the way I act
  • what I say
  • what I write
  • what I think
  • how I want to be in the world

I started with with “say” and “write”.

  • Write about the person I want to be.
  • Stop talking about the things I didn’t want to be.

I was seeking to change patterns in my life

Patterns that led to my divorce – patterns that led to my current situation.

I wanted to be more like the person I wanted to attract into my life

  • Athletic
  • Kind
  • Calm

Maybe, your list is different.

Write it down.

Know where you’re trying to go.


From my Rich Roll podcast

I knew if I didn’t marry this woman then it would be greatest mistake of my life.

Getting married is the easy part.

We’re planting a seed, attending a party, everybody likes to get married.

Building a marriage, however, requires effort over time.

Effort at overcoming ourselves, our pasts and, sometimes, unhelpful family habits.

++

One of the first lessons I learned in Private Equity, concession for concession.

Makes one an effective negotiator, screws up a family system.

Why?

Two main reasons

  1. Leaders do more than their share. To properly direct a team, we need to earn it.
  2. We never see all the work done by our teammates. If I think the work split is “fair” then, odds are, I’m not doing enough.

Fundamentally, I see marriage as an agreement to face the world, together.

It’s going to require both parties to put “together” first.

It can take a while to get used to this new way of thinking.

You have plenty of time.

Hopefully, a very long time.

++

Embracing an “attitude of no escape” will help you make the changes required for success.

Create a family where you don’t need to leave.

Lean into your difficulties.

My biggest problems led to my most meaningful solutions.


Linked Articles

Sunday Summary 13 November 2022

Top Threads

Endurance Training Tips

High Performance Habits

Three Tips for Playing Your Best Game


Above, my 2000 landing page

All the world-class players I know, take their game very seriously!

This attitude runs from life-and-death situations (combat, medicine) through to less lethal environments… say, lane etiquette at the track / pool.

OUR game is IMPORTANT

It could very well be.

Let’s explore for a moment.


First Tip : What do my ACTIONS say about the game I am actually playing?


How about ten years living like these guys?

If you survive then you will be a phenomenal athlete.

That’s how you play the “endurance athlete game”

NVDP – similar game, similar approach

All Domains => BIG survivor bias in the winners

Special people, challenging to integrate into a family system.


The high-performance game is a young person’s game.

Why?

Meaningful relationships outside your domain are impossible (think NFL Quarterbacks, Grand Tour Winners).



Second Tip: Connection is the central ‘problem’ of aging

The reason high-performers keep coming back…

  • They can’t find the answer in their domain…
  • And we’re all telling them how great they are…
  • So they keep plugging on…
  • Until their lives fall apart

I had the rug pulled out on my life, too.

It was a good thing.

I started asking myself better questions.

We are free, at any time, to change direction.

Is my game solving the central problem facing my future self?

Have I even thought about this question?


Third Tip: Knowing “What We Don’t Want” Is Easier

When you hear the voice, “this isn’t where I need to be.”

Listen

Our true needs are simple.

Too often I fall prey to lifestyle inflation (here & here) and showing off.

Not only is that game impossible to win, it will take me somewhere I didn’t, and don’t, want to go.

As a young person, the first values we notice are the “not for me” choices of our peers.


So, if you start journalling, lower the stakes.

The game of life is ever changing.

What’s right for you today, will change over time.

Maybe, you’ll find a life partner and agree to face change together.

I have complete confidence you’ll figure it out

I say to my kids.

We’d figure it out, together.

Same reassuring mantra, different target => my wife

Our lives, our paths, our friendships, and our marriages…

only need to make sense to us

The voice we hear in our diaries, the themes that reoccur in our writings – that’s who we need to be faithful to.

If we don’t choose with intention then we get the default set of values of our parents, our peers, or our surroundings.

Own your game.

What do my actions say about the game I am really playing?

Where is this likely to take me?

Creating a Self-Directed Life With Meaning

Let’s dig a little deeper into a topic I discussed with Rich.

The year is 2000, I’m divorcing and have the urge to leave everything (job, city, hemisphere).

This is a common feeling.

The idea that everything would be better if I could just start fresh.

The one piece of advice I listened to….

Slow Down

Before taking action, I started journalling.

My program was from The Artist’s Way and boils down to this…

Write three pages every morning for 12 weeks and pay attention to what you’re telling yourself

These days, there is a video course.

My journalling resulted in my first Top Ten List, below, from 2000.



There wasn’t much overlap between where I was and where I wanted to be.

The desire to leave, seemed legit.

So I left.

How did it go?

  1. Writing you
  2. In an organized office
  3. Feeling relaxed
  4. With an 8:29 IM best
  5. In a home base
  6. Having published 1,000+ articles
  7. Still have too much stuff
  8. With an absolutely wonderful wife
  9. Could do with being less serious
  10. Once again, looking for new challenges

It is NOT as simple as writing a list and sitting back.

We gotta make it happen.

To make improvement happen, we need to know where we want to go.

…and writing is one way to get out of our own way

…out of all the external wants of our environment

Working in finance, living in Hong Kong, caught in a life driven by acquisition/spending…

My thoughts were dominated by external wants.

I went to Far North Queensland and the South Island of New Zealand.

Cleared my head out and built the life I wanted to lead.



These days the process is much simpler.

Five Minutes AM & PM

I use a few short prompts I got from Dickie Bush



Same idea: get out of my own way and see what I’m telling myself.

What do I have to say?

2022 rhymes with 2000

  • Less is OK
  • Grateful for my adult setbacks and childhood difficulties
  • Moderate the peaks
  • Simple questions work
  • Winning doesn’t feel different
  • Less stuff makes me feel serene
  • I’m preparing for a very slow race
  • Get fit, not stuff
  • My kids are leaving soon – enjoy them
  • Tired means I’ve done enough
  • Focus on the week, not the outcome
  • It’s OK to leave it alone
  • Don’t buy anything I have to manage
  • Everything is trending up

Do you notice the difference between the two lists?

First off, the list feels more positive. I start every morning by writing down something I’m grateful for.

When I started, gratitude seemed hokey.

23 years ago, I felt the same way about love.

It’s a lot easier to fill a need if we’re open to the concept.

I want to repeat, it’s important…

Love. Respect. Admiration. Connection.

You don’t have to admit it to anyone other than yourself.

Be open to realizing what’s lacking in your life.

Next, my list makes it obvious that my life situation is not a problem.

Whatever I need to do… I can do right here.

This gets to The Question I talked about with Rich.

If this was it, are you OK with it?



You Gotta Make It Happen

=========

More Resources

My thread on the book, Time Management for Mortals – how to do

Five Questions to Ask Yourself & Becoming Lifestyle Sustainable

The biggest mistake I saw in Finance – a life of experiences, not stuff

The Choices That Define Your (Financial) Life

A similar article to today, from 2004.


LINK to web archive of above

A similar article to today, from 2011


Link to Top Ten List from my early 40s – from when I decided to phase out racing


Posted in our kitchen

Six Mantras to Cut Drama in Half

Every day, we make a choice : Drama or Peace

Because the mantras are different than how many of us were raised, they take a little getting used to.

  1. It Is OK to Say No
  2. All Family is Optional
  3. We Can Handle The Truth
  4. Talk Like Everyone Is In The Room
  5. We’ve Already Won
  6. Everyone Speaks, or not

Think about them in the context of the last unforced error you made.

What the mantras have in common is they lower the temperature.

  • By removing a feeling of obligation, we reduce resentment.
  • By acknowledging truth can be uncomfortable, we remove the burden of hidden lives and carrying secrets.
  • By constraining our words to what we’d say to someone’s face, we are more careful and considerate.
  • By acknowledging the benefits of our current position, we stay focused on living well.
  • By allowing everyone to contribute, we slow decision making and reduce the capacity of a single person, or a single moment, to derail us.

Pay attention to the one you think is the most difficult.

Choose Peace

Sunday Summary 23 October 2022

Top Threads

Endurance Training Tips

High-Performance Habits

14 Years Old


I was looking through my phone to find pictures for our daughter’s birthday card.

In 2022, I noticed we’d hadn’t done much together, other than train and drive in my car!

13 proved to be a turning point.

When I pointed this out to her, and said I’d like her to join various family trips we have planned…

I could tell she had her own priorities and goals.

Not sure how much I’m going to see of her.

The plan, all along, has been to equip her with the skills for a self-directed life.

++

I’m finishing up a great book called Happy, by Derren Brown

One of my favorite insights is his observation… parents can’t help but pass their unrealized ambitions to their children.

I looked around:

  • An oldest daughter who swims (with an eye on the highest levels)
  • A son who wants to be a doctor

It’s a useful insight.

You can see it everywhere – my doctor pals have sons who want to be athletes!

++

Darren’s book goes further and talks about anti-ambition.

What we NEVER want to be.

I’m sure I’ve given them some of those!

The path to resist against.

++

My next realization…

She’s done with me in 1,000 days.

I was 17 when I arrived at McGill University.

Hung with myself, mostly, for the next decade!

We’ve moved into the 1,000 day countdown for pretty-much-on-her-own.

++

So, what to do.

#1 – Congratulate her on becoming a wonderful young woman. She’s far exceeded my expectations, an absolute star.

#2 – Ask her what level of time commitment she thinks she should make to the family. What’s the minimum?

#3 – Continue to support her journey through the process of becoming an independent woman.

…and help her with the process of figuring out where she wants to take her life.


Raising Fit Kids

Towards a Self-Directed Life

They say we should teach about subjects where we don’t need notes.

Fit kids is that subject for me.

  • Our kids are 10, 11 and 14
  • We live in one of the fittest zip codes in America
  • Our kids are competitive in whatever they set their minds on
  • Most importantly, they are happy, engaged and a core part of every team they join
  • We’ve been raising them with intent, since before they were born

I threaded the outline for the video last Friday.



Winning means NOTHING if you lose the relationship.

Children carry an embedded option for the most common challenges of aging

  • something to do
  • someone to share experiences with
  • someone to love

Don’t blow it by being a bozo (at the game)



If the family has a special sport, swimming for us, then think in terms of minimum weekly frequency

None of our kids had to “be a swimmer” – all they needed to do was swim a little bit

Every. Single. Week.

Touch the water, once a week, since they could stand up


5-8 hours a week of jumping, climbing, twisting, spinning – All Summer Long

Very Consistently Undertrained

Our kids have done a lot since they were little.

What they have not done is specialize in a specific niche, or train like an adult.

I’ve also been careful to match my encouragement to the way the kid likes to train

  • Long days
  • Fast days
  • Mix of days

The kids decide what and how much – my role is to up-skill and keep it fun.


Ironman Finish – more than 11,000 days after I was born

10,000 Days

From the time a child stands up…

…to realizing their maximum adult potential

About 10,000 days

Longer in my case!

Several important realities flow from this timeline:

  • We control less than half of those days!
  • We don’t even control what we think we control – for example, effort at practice
  • It will not be the parents’ call – without a deep love of exercise, the kids are DONE as soon as they get out of the house, sometimes before!

The most important relationship in a child’s life is the quality of their parents’ marriage
Choose coaches, and mentors, based on the quality of their non-athletic lives

What Do We Control?

  • Modeling Personal Excellence
  • How our children see our marriage and other relationships
  • Sleep & Nutrition Habits

Spending my time, and giving my attention, to create a link between Fun and Work

Leave Room To Load Later

  • Middle School
  • High School
  • The Collegiate Level

None are a final destination!

Give the athlete somewhere to go when they leave you.


Being a badass breeds confidence – this impacts everything

Start With The End In Mind

Where do you want the athlete to be when they are done with their competitive career?

  • Resilient
  • Courageous
  • Persistent
  • Healthy
  • Enthusiastic

Use sport as a vehicle to teach these traits.

Start today!

Keep these traits front of mind when you’re tempted to make it about winning.


A teacher’s job is to fill the world with positive memories for the student to carry forward