Sunday, July 31, 2011


One of the cool things that happens with Team Fish is that my friend Kurt makes BUTNZ! for us. Last year's looked like this:

Kurt has been making BUTNZ for years, and they make a great toss out to people as we ride through the course. I also give them to the people who support the ride, and who support Team Fish. You can not believe how much BUTNZ! brighten someone's day.

Kurt has made BUTNZ! for us all five years. On my first ride, I met a woman named Diane who was undergoing chemo and had timed her treatments so she could ride LiveSTRONG. We rode for quite a while together, talking about surviving, and she was in that place where doctors weren't sure what kind of odds she had, but she was certainly sure. She just KNEW she was going to survive. I rode on, but not before I gave her a BUTNZ! and told her I would be praying for her. The tough thing about these rides is that you meet people and then you don't know what happens next, you aren't able to follow their stories.

The next year, my friend Kurt (a different Kurt, not the one who makes BUTNZ!) rode with Team Fish and, after the ride, was walking through the food tent. A couple sat down next to him and he struck up a conversation with them, then gave them a Team Fish BUTNZ! They asked about the significance of Team Fish, and Kurt went on to explain that it was kind of my rallying cry when things needed to change: It's time to either fish or cut bait. Well, there was a woman sitting behind them who overheard the conversation. "Did you say Team Fish," she asked. Kurt replied in the affirmative and the woman introduced herself as Diane. She had indeed made it through, and was, at that point, 8 months cancer free. Today, she would be approaching her five year anniversary.

BUTNZ! Kurt just mailed out this year's edition, and assured me they are going to AWESOME!!!! With Kurt, I have no doubt they are and I can't wait to see this year's BUTNZ! I cannot recommend his work or thank him enough for his kindness and support of Team Fish. If you want to know more about BUTNZ! or would like to order some for an event, you can find him at www.BUTNZ!.com.

You can Support Team Fish by CLICKING HERE!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Miles, Finally

I managed to get to the doctor today. After nearkly two weeks of feeling absolutely terrible, I was diagnosed with (drum roll please) the common cold. I was hoping for something a little more exotic, like Scarlet Fever, but it turns out I just have a cold. Oh well. The good news is that I feel like I am finally getting better.

In fact, I finally felt well enough to ride today. I put in almost 30 miles, but it was 101 degrees when I left the house at 6.30. Jeez! The ride was actually two very different rides. Heading out, I was just spinning and trying to get my legs under me. They were most decidedly not cooperating. With a combination of the heat, the layoff and the lingering sickness, I just found it very difficult to find any kind of rhythm.

At the turnaround, I took on a little fuel and cooled down with a bottle squirt over the head. As soon as I hit the pedals, I felt a difference. The legs were responding and I could feel the bounce in the pedals. It was back, and it felt good to be riding. I covered the return ride nearly 2 miles per hour faster than when I went out.

I'm going to try to get a short ride in tomorrow morning as well. Perhaps it will be cooler. Perhaps.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Team Fish: The Ride for FIVE is Dancing!

Team Fish has it's first official rider for this year. My buddy George is officially on board for our LiveSTRONG Ride for FIVE! Last year he kicked in the Team Guppy experience. This year I am promoting him to Team Fish for sure. It's so good to have you with us again, George.

On the fundraising side of things, Tom Kilgore has stepped up in a HUGE way and it will be my honor to ride for Joan Lewis. Big ups to my friends E, J. Scott, Kyle, and Marvin. After just one day of official fundraising, we stand at $775 toward our goal of $5,000. We're up early and DANCING ON THE PEDALS!

On a separate note, I was lamenting my lack of training. Yes, I am still sick. My friend Kurt gave me a word of encouragement which I would do well to remember, in cycling and in life. He said, "Sometimes in life you just don't get to prepare for what comes next. You are quite aware of that. Make the best of it. Push down, move forward, repeat..."

If things work out the way I hope, I'm going for a short ride tomorrow.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ride for Five: Update

In every battle, there is always that calm which precedes the clash of arms. The two armies face off across an expanse, sizing one another up, usually acquainted with the damage the other can inflict, the tactics they might employ, and trying to get some insight into exactly what is coming. You see it a lot in movies, in Gladiator when the Romans are facing the Germanic hordes, or the Orcs facing the Riders of Rohan at Helm's Deep for those of us who are Lord of the Rings geeks, or even the Scots and the English at Bannockburn as portrayed in Braveheart. And then there is that moment when someone lets fly with an arrow or a spear or even tosses a sword and the battle is joined.

So it is with Team Fish as we prepare for the fifth annual LiveSTRONG rideride, dubbed the Ride for Five. It's my fifth anniversary of winning against cancer. It's my fifth year of taking the battle to this monster. And once again we stand across the distance, facing off against each other, sizing one another up.

Once again, my friend Greg Woods has shot the first arrow into the battle. He has pledged the entire cost of my entrance for the LiveSTRONG event (and then some!) to get things roling for Team Fish. Words cannot express my thankfulness, and it will be my joy to ride in honor of John Woods.

So, with one month left before the battle is joined, and we're wading into it. Now, WHO'S WITH US?

Support us by CLICKING HERE.


One of the unfortunate side-effects of the National Stuttering Association's Annual Conference was the flight out, sitting next to a guy who had Captain Trips (or some such thing). I'm not sure how I always find "THAT" guy, but I do. And, as (my) luck would have it, I picked up the bug and have been laid low for about a week and a half, hacking, coughing, and generally not sleeping as an added bonus.

As a result, I am clearly behind in my training, having been sick for about a week and a half. This is the second sustained sickness I have had this year as I have prepared for the fifth annual LiveSTRONG ride. Still, I actually feel a little better today. I am hoping I can get in the miles necessary to do this right. And to survive it.

Thoughts and prayers are always welcome.

National Stuttering Association Annual Conference

I went on vacation with the family to the National Stuttering Association's annual conference (frequent readers of the Fish Blog will recall theat Little Fish stutters, but it never seems to slow her down). We had the honor of meeting and listening to and meeting David Seidler, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The King's Speech.

We also had a great time reconnecting with old friends and also meeting new ones. There were almost 1,000 people this year and more than 300 were first time attendees. The momentum gained by The King's Speech has really given a push to the awareness of those who stutter. Further, that awareness has led to more and more people finding the National Stuttering Association and getting resources, help and support. It's a great place for those who stutter, or if you know someone who does and the organization continues to get the word out: If you stutter, you're not alone.

Once again, I laughed, I cried, and it changed my life. Not to mention the incredible things it continues to do for my Li'l Fish. Pretty amazing time, to be sure.