Monday, November 3, 2014

Random thoughts on voting, public office and respect

Respect is color blind. Respect cares not about money. Respect rejects the notion of power. Respect is at finish line in the race for equality.

Bryan M. Howell, 2014

On the eve of the November 4, 2014 election, I am reminded of several posts I have made during the last four years of my own personal journey to discover myself. I am not an ageist. I really try to avoid overgeneralizations. It’s time to remind myself of one of the important things in life. Respect.

At the end of the day, I am embarrassed of blind hatred, stereotyping and the newest tumor on society … entitlement. Here’s a list I’d like to put out there for folks to see my angle on voting and the importance of honest public officials.

For Voters:

  • Don’t blindly vote down the list. The truth is this: If you do not take the time to educate yourself and truly consider the angles that a candidate introduces … you are sort of wasting your time. That vote is for YOUR opinion and it deserves you understanding what those choices on that ballot mean.
  • Don’t vote straight party. On a rare occasion, there is a better alternative. Some candidates do a good job of staying out of party politics. Pay attention to those folks. They are the game changers.
  • Don’t vote because of what your daddy voted. If you are truly an “individual” voting the way someone else voted is contradictory.
  • Don’t take a selfie in the booth. It’s stupid and could be a felony.
  • It’s not too late. Even tonight. Go out and learn about the people on the ballot. The “Google Machine” holds the key to many political mysteries … but remember, not everything on the ‘Interwebs’ is true.

For Politicians:

  • Do the job because you WANT TO HELP PEOPLE.
  • Don’t vote in absurd pay raises for your office and then go vote against pay raises for others.
  • In fact, do your best not to contradict yourself.
  • Speaking of self … please be yourself at all times.
  • Respect the opponents, the office and the duty of public service. Run a better campaign. Your voting public is tired of your poorly edited half-truth smear campaign. Be the bigger candidate.
  • Respect the people you pledged to serve. If you wouldn’t say it to the preacher or sweet older lady down the street, then you ought not to say it anywhere – because it will end up on the web somewhere.
  • Don’t use any elected office (or person) merely as a stepping stone. Get in and get your hands dirty doing that job before moving up the chain.

I started with my quote for a reason. I’m no genius, but unless we make our way back to a more respectful world … the ship will sink. With the power of information, the ship will sink more readily when respect is absent.

And to clarify, I do not mean this “fake” respect that we see all over the media nowadays. I mean genuine respect. When you put aside your preconceived notions and truly get as objective as possible it is a bit easier to see other’s point of view … or at least where their point of view originates. If you begin respecting others it will surprise you how much more readily understanding is reached.

Respect is a song by Aretha and it sure is catchy. She captured a wonderful concept. Now, think about respect beyond her lyrics and see where the road leads.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lost Loon Triathlon - Nashville, TN

This is a fun and family oriented event. It is chocked full of costumes, singing, and fun-loving outdoorsy types.

This was also the site of my first ever multisport event back in 2010.

It was fun coming back after all the training and racing I've done since. I remember the bike was fairly easy for me back in 2010 - but I still worked up quite a sweat. This time the bike was laid back and enjoyable - even with all the beginners and congestion on the course. I remember the canoe portion of tow 2010 event making my heart feel like it was going to leap out of my mouth and swim back to shore. It was vastly different this year. I am no longer scared of the water AND we've been through 3 months of rowing courses. We cruised that portion - passing several canoes and taking it easy. It was fun. Carrie and I did the run together, so we briskly walked it to protect her knee.

Good times. Fun event. All the proceeds go to the Long Hunter State Park. It is a nice park and not too far from downtown Nashville.

Rumors of a 200 mile bike day for Bryonman have started to swirl. It may happen this fall. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 9, 2014

I've taken a couple of weeks off to move ... time to get back on the horse

So we moved back to our origins. I am now based in Western Kentucky. The move has gone very well. I have been "cross-training" over the past couple of weeks. Moving furniture, cutting timber, digging holes, installing flooring and general moving-related tasks.

We are not moved in yet, but it is time to get some cardio going again.

I suppose it was time for a mini-break. I have been training very consistently for over three years. I think it has been healthy for me to break the cycle a bit. The good news is, the fitness is now 100% part of my lifestyle. Yet another positive effect of triathlon training.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mesa Olympic Relay - The debut of The Wayward Farmers

Sharky and I were 1st place in the Mesa Olympic relay on Sunday. Of course we were the only male-based relay team.

He did the swim and the bike and I did the run portion.

He swam a 32 ... which is a quick swim for an Olympic pool-based swim. That's about 8 minutes better than I would have done.

Then the race went on pause.

During the swim, a couple of uncaught thugs decided to jimmy open the door of my Silverado. My wallet and cellphone were gone and my console and door were wide open when I went to the truck to sit down for a minute. Panic ensued. I found a passerby that was willing to lend me a phone. I called Carrie to cancel the debit cards. The guy I borrowed the phone from said that there was a Cop patrolling the parking lot earlier. So I went out to where the race course meets the road ... and I see something lying in the rocks next to the school hosting the triathlon. It was my wallet ... with everything in it - except for a 50 dollar bill. Then, about another 100 feet away, I saw something else. It was my cell phone. I can only speculate, but I suppose the Cop rolled up on these punks and they ditched my stuff. How do I know? He spotted them and noticed they were just trolling around the parking lot rather than racing or spectating. I asked the Cop how they were dressed and he said "Just like the rest of you folks." I filed a police report. I doubt anything will ever be done. I am out 50 bucks, but I am 100% lucky to just be out that.

He biked a 1:14 for the 24 miles. I was happy with his time considering he hadn't ridden much since Ironman in the fall.

Oh yeah, now I have to run a 10K. My heart rate never dropped below 160 during the whole run. I was so adrenalized that it probably hindered my run. Couple that with the fact that while passing another runner at a little under a mile, I stepped on the edge of the sidewalk and turned my ankle. My pace slowed from a 6:45 to a 7:15 and then to an 8:15. I settled in there and hobbled my way to the finish. I ran a 49:40.

Click this link to check out my mile splits:

We did a 2:36.

It's good that I did the run for him since his broken foot is still on the mend. It was fun - even with all the added drama.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Whatcha been doin' Bryonman?

I have been busy. Work is fast-paced nowadays and having a full-time and two part-time jobs can put a wee bit of strain on a feeble brain and a crazy schedule.

We've bought a property in Western Kentucky, which is where we both grew up. We will have updates on that project over the next couple of months.

This weekend I am doing the run portion of an Olympic relay with my amigo Sharky. He's gone and gotten a broken foot and is not cleared to run. (That's a long story.) For my part, I am going to shoot for a PR in the 10K distance. I am afraid if I underperform 'the Shark' will be disappointed with me. Good luck to us in dealing with the wind we've had here in the valley over the past few weeks. We'll see what happens.