I remember growing up idolizing prominent figures: baseball player (and former IronPigs Manager) Ryne Sandberg , Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, and the likes. I was enamored by their abilities, their passion, and their determination to be the best at what they did – they were Super Gods! They were untouchable, invincible, and everything I dreamed of being one day.
In retrospect, through my present adult eyes, I now realize that there are positive and negative elements of your role model selections in your youth. You take a gamble with your selection because there is no way to truly know these individuals on a “to the core” basis. Some will have a fall from grace and with that crashing fall comes a certain confusion in a young mind. Children don’t know how to process what happens in a scandal of epic proportions. Yet, some of the role models of my youth did continue to lead productive, positive journeys through their careers and some of them I still hold in high regard to this day. Another aspect I think we lose sight of when acquiring role models is the lack of a reciprocal relationship. You place so much pride, investment, and trust in someone who doesn’t even know you exist.
There was one role model, however, that sticks out in my mind as soaring above the rest. I truly admired and looked up to this individual starting at very young age. And, honestly, I might not have realized it at the time, but my biggest role model was - my Father. He didn’t have all the “bling”, the fancy cars, the loud flamboyant demeanor of superstar role model but he did possess one trait that was parallel to the idols mentioned above - he was passionate about what he did. He wanted to be the best he could possibly be and continues to strive to be the best. I admire him for that. But there was one other thing he did that the others didn’t and really made him special in my eyes, and I believe this is what makes a true role model. He invested his time into me and our family.
What is my one word of advice to all the adults out there who want to be their child’s superstar role model? Invest your time! Investing time is the key to making our children look up to us as role models. Granted our role as parents is very complex, twisted, multifaceted, but the one as a role model cannot be overlooked. As my father did with me, we need to fully invest our quality time and energy back into our children because, at its essence, our actions and our love will transcend into the person they grow up to be.
When investing this bonding time with our children, it is not just showing up at an event or listening to them with half an ear. We need to put them first and truly get to know them which, in turn, will allow them to really get to know us on a different level. To do this we can communicate with them on their level, allow them to see what we do at work, have them engage in activities we are passionate about, be optimistic, and take the time to answer their questions. This investment you make with them, showing them how you work mentally, physically, spiritually and even emotionally, will go a long way in developing their character, confidence, and personal drive. Time investment will show them how to become successful individuals just like ourselves. These bonding moments will also allow them to see that perhaps you are not perfect and that it is okay. Witnessing our failures and missteps will show them how to overcome adversity and how to adjust their goals in order to succeed. The time investment is priceless and invaluable as they continue their journey of life.
When we invest this time back into our children’s lives they will invest with you. As we make the investment we need to make sure we lead by example and instill in them the confidence to stay true to their moral compass. We need to show them how to become strong and love themselves for who they are. I strongly believe that our children do look up to us but it won’t be until later that they will really admit it. We need to set the precedent for our young minds of the future, as we set the bar high for them, and lead them to success.
I challenge all of the parents out there to play an even bigger role in their child’s life, regardless of age, and to make a positive impact on their child’s life. We must remember that kids will then emulate everything that we do. We must be cautious in our mannerisms, tendencies, tones, sternness and approach of a balanced life. We must set great examples to make great individuals. Let’s go out there and help our little futures become the greatest individuals by investing the time that will allow your relationship to flourish into far beyond the reaches of “parent” and into the realm of Gods. Be their role model and you never know, they may put a poster of you on their wall one day!
How to CAPTURE IT!!
SET YOUR GOAL THEN GO AFTER!!
I have discovered throughout my life how important it is to have goals and how essential they are for one to succeed. I started noticing, though, how many of us have goals (which is wonderful) but sometimes we don’t put a solid foundation down as to how these goals will eventually be attained. As we head into the New Year, I want to help you in reaching your goals for 2013. Listed below are my favorite goal setting tools designed to help build that strong foundation that will ultimately result in success. My latest goal is to race triathlons professionally and from my experiences throughout my life and from racing, I have put together a strategy outline that you can use to achieve any goal you can think up. These steps have helped me immensely and I hope they will do the same for you.
1) Goal Identification:
a) Figure out what it is that you want to accomplish. Develop benchmarks to keep you on track or to use along the way to gauge your progress. Set a specific long-term goal and adapt your benchmarks as short- term goals that you can check off on your way to your long-term goal.
2) Motivating Factors – definition: to act as the motive for; the causative factor of; instigate, induce
a) This is the reason, the force, which drives us or will drive us to attain our goals. It could be in the form of a reward, to prove to yourself or to others that you can do something, the inspiration you receive from others, or possibly just the satisfaction of completing the task. Motivating factors will help you push through the tough times. I encourage you to re-visit these factors throughout your journey to remind yourself of what your inspirations mean to you.
3) Perseverance – definition: to continue striving in spite of discouragements
a) This is the ability to push through diversity or difficult times in order to achieve your goal. At times your perseverance will be tested to its limits but will be necessary to break down the roadblocks you face in order to fulfill the ultimate prize. These next three items: Fear of Failure, Doubters, and I CAN’T – are the topics I feel are the ones most commonly associated with not attaining your goal. Your ability to overcome these issues will be critical in your overall accomplishment of your goal. I want to delve a little further into these subjects below.
i. Fear of Failure - Failure in our society has become a very negative word and I am not exactly sure why. Instead of treating it as a negative word, reverse the perception and use it to your advantage. So when you come up short don’t be afraid of it, embrace it. Failure will happen - it is inevitable. It’s not the failure portion that will make or break your quest to reaching your goal; it’s what happens after and how you react to it. Are you willing to put the extra effort in to make sure the same outcome won’t happen again or are you going to do everything the same to ensure the same negative outcome? I urge you to change your approach and look at it from a fresh perspective. That is where the answer lies. Don’t take failure as a negative, use it as a positive and learn from your experience and change your approach. You didn’t fail, you ruled out one way that is not going to get you to where you want to go and you’re discovering the correct path.
ii. Doubters: These people will be all around you. Unfortunately, you will always have people telling you “you can’t do it”, “you’re not good enough”, or “you’re wasting your time.” My point of view is, why not at least make an attempt and see for yourself. Don’t let someone else’s comment deter you, especially since they haven’t done the homework like you did. You have to live life on your own terms - not on someone else’s. You don’t want to have any regrets when you’re taking your journey towards your goal.
iii. CAN’T: Remove this word from your vocabulary! This is a self confidence, or as some believe, a laziness issue. Never think that you can’t, anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I do not believe the issue comes down to the fact that you can’t do something, I think what happens is that if the approach to the situation is off, you might be attacking the situation wrong. Try it from a different direction. Be creative, don’t let a can’t deter you. Turn your can’t into a can.
4)Support System – Who are you going to have in place to help you attain your goal
a) Your support system are the people you will surround yourself with to help you achieve your goal. This group of individuals will help you through the toughest of times and help get you pointed in the right direction when things don’t seem to be going as planned. These individuals can be your parents, siblings, teachers, pastors, coaches, friends and people you might never expect.
One motto I have lived by is: “Surround yourself with great people and great things will happen”
It’s the truth. Embrace this group of people when they want to help and ensure that they feel included and a part of the process. Continually thank them for their support.
Goal setting is critical when trying to attain all different levels of success throughout your life. Setting up the proper goal setting outline will allow you to achieve your goals easier than just saying I want to do this or that. Don’t get discouraged, no matter what road blocks are thrown at you during your journey, pull from everything you have put in place to help you through and keep moving forward. You will get there. You can do it. Put your mind to it and it is amazing what one can accomplish. Also, lead by example. Help inspire others to reach their goals, be part of their support system (sometimes it is just as gratifying to see someone else reach their goal as it is to reach your own), help motivate them, and help them persevere through the rough patches.
DREAM BIG and then GO CAPTURE IT.
Give IT Some Time!!
When trying to start to improve your overall health or begin a more active lifestyle, be patient. The first couple of weeks might get you feeling tired, sore, and out of sorts. That is normal, completely normal. It will take a few weeks to a couple months for your body to catch up to your new schedule. Make sure you keep your workouts fresh, try different things so you can see what really works for what your goals are. Talk to others to see what has helped them through this part of training (My Two Cents: make sure you stretch and train with someone who knows what they are doing, you don't want to start bad workout habits). Make small goals to accomplish at the beginning to help you along your way. Once you make it through about 2 months of training you will be surprised that your body and mind will be wanting you to workout. So give it time, keep it fresh, and keep an open mind and you will surprise yourself at what your next workout goal will be.
Today at Kona
This morning I started out with my first taste of the bike course and the winds of the Lava Fields. I was very excited to get on it and to see what it's going to be like. Though my ride was short, I managed to get some valuable feedback from my little training session. I felt like the course could be extremely fast but if I take it out too fast in the beginning of the bike it could come at a cost later. If I hit strong winds at the late stages of the bike then it would catch up with me in the marathon and proper nutrition is essential. I have to be extremely careful to not get caught up in the time, speed, people flying by me, etc. and just concentrate on how I feel and make sure I am comfortable at all times, while keeping a positive attitude.
I then drove home to be greeted by a smiling family ready to head to downtown Kona. We just walked around on Ali'i Dr. stopping at the different product and gear booths. The kids always love picking up all the free stuff. Then headed over to registration to make it official. So #1672 is officially signed up and ready to go. Then we made a must stop at Lava Java for lunch and saw a lot of Pros and fast looking triathletes, while chowing down on a great healthy meal.
We then came back to rest up before heading back downtown for the Ironman Parade of Nations and to see Macca at the Profile Design tent.
Just being there for the Parade of Nations, getting to see Macca and seeing the expo briefly really started getting me amped up for the race. It was a great feeling when I saw all the people lining the streets just for the parade and then I realized, this is what it will be like for the race. AWESOME!!!! Can't wait.
We finished up the night at where the rest of the K-Krew is staying and celebrated our son's birthday. Happy 4th Birthday BooBoo!!
I am honored to have been asked to contribute my first blog on K17SPORT.com. I hope you enjoy!
From the get-go of this trip, I felt like a jet-setter. We decided about three days prior to departure day that I would be joining the trip. Just me and my hubby jet setting to Vegas, what could be better?! Since we had separate reservations, sitting together was questionable but we ended up able to get seats next to each other on the plane - yeah! We ended up landing in Las Vegas at about 11:00pm Vegas time and about 2am our time. I was stuck in two different days, theoretically, and it felt extremely weird. Once we arrived at our rental house and got settled, it felt like 4:30am to us. I was wired, to say the least, but knew I needed to get to bed. My jet-setting excitement was now exhaustion, how does Lady Gaga do it!?
Our first stop Friday was the expo at Henderson Pavilion. Kenrick went to pick up his packet (athletes only - I guess they're afraid I'm going to steal a packet and hop into the race under someone else's name). I checked out the free offerings at the booths (waited until my extremely fit sidekick was with me so it didn't look like a non triathlete was trying to steal samples of GU Chomps or Powerbars). I think the expo would be even more fun if they had a band playing or maybe a restaurant/beer tent set up, just to get the buzz going (no pun intended - it was so stinkin' hot I really could've used a cold one). There were many familiar companies and freebies galore for the kids so that was a plus. It was nice to have been there the year before so we knew the lay of the land and I had no pre-race day nervousness on where to park, or if I would be able to see him, etc.
We headed over to Lake Mead so Kenrick could get a bike and swim in. There were quite a number of people there getting a swim in. Many of them were doing training swims in their wetsuit and very much regretted it because the water at Lake Mead was sooo warm. A homeless guy tried to strike up a conversation with me so I ended up pacing back and forth at the water's edge doing the avoid and dodge while waiting for Kenrick to return! He got a quick swim in, I got about 50 pages read in my travel book (The Help - highly recommend this book to all the ladies!). Friday night we checked out Red Rock Canyon (me as navigator was not a good call so we didn't make it out to Valley of Fire as we had originally thought due to wasted time trying to find Lake Mead).
Saturday we headed out to Lake Mead again so Kenrick could get another swim in and also run. I decided to run with him (well, I guess my pace was a tad slow for this Ironman because he started walking next to me and said "how's that pace going?!"). So he went on ahead and then came back to rescue me for the last ten minutes of our 30 minute jog/run. The heat, even at 9:30am, was insane! I can't even imagine what the athletes felt the next day. My throat was sore while running which then traveled up to the ears and nose from the heat. I was happy to get back to the air conditioning of the car after that! We headed over to the bike drop off at Lake Las Vegas. Not much going on at the bike drop off so that was pretty quick. We ran into a fellow Allentown athlete (Kenrick had a Fitness Central t-shirt on and that struck up the conversation). It was nice to meet a fellow wife who was also a non-triathlete and could relate to my frequent "why do they put themselves through this!?" thoughts. But just as I, even though we don't like it for ourselves, she was incredibly proud of her spouse and loves to cheer him on and be there for support. After bike drop off we headed to T2 to drop off the run bag and checked out the expo once more before headed home for pasta and air conditioning. We needed to rest up - the big day was tomorrow!
4:30am - Ughhhhh the dreaded early wakeup of race morning. My body is getting more used to this, and it's exponentially easier without kids in tow (though I do miss not having them at the race, they're always so excited for their dad). The drive into Lake Las Vegas race morning was backed up and a bit chaotic. I have to say, Ironman needs to drastically improve on this detail of the race. Cars were stopped trying to just drop off their athletes on the side of the road, because transition closing time was approaching and people were getting nervous. Also, once we got into the lot there was no one parking cars. Everyone had to fend for themselves, and it didn't look like people were utilizing the lot in the most efficient way. Hoping we wouldn't get parked in, we found a spot and started walking quickly down to transition.
The atmosphere at this race was definitely more international than I remember last year. I was incredibly impressed with the international fan groups for athletes. Some international athletes had huge contingencies cheering them on and awesome matching t-shirts, I always love that! (Though, to the guy from Switzerland, I could've done without your authentic Swiss cowbell that you were so proud of and had to ring for about ten minutes straight and then pass to your daughter for her to ring too. Any cowbell ringing prior to 6:00am is just plain rude!) Continuing on, Kenrick was able to get his pre-race stuff in order, gave me a final kiss, and was off to the staging platform as he was one of the first ten waves. It was a tad disappointing though, that his age group was put into 3 separate waves! The waves were small enough that I think they could've at least done 2 but 3 none the less. I found a great spot on a cliff area near the starting line where I could see the pros jumping in for their practice swim. However, note to the over excited Dad of a 30-34 male, I"m not too happy with you for your accidental nudge from behind me as I"m standing near about a ten foot drop! I understand you're excited and want to get a primo viewing spot like me, but I was here first and you near killed me!
From where I stood, the athletes entered the water, but then the official swim start line was on the other side of the hotel/balcony/bridge thing they swim under. So all of a sudden I got my second scare of the morning and heard the gun go off for the male pros and realized I would need to quickly watch Kenrick enter with his wave then hustle over to grab another primo viewing spot at the official swim start line. It worked out perfectly and I was able to continuing waving I love yous to him until seconds before his gun went off.
Having now experienced a mass start at Ironman Lake Placid, from a spectator view point I actually prefer the mass start. As a crowd, you feel more of a collective excitement knowing that everyone around you has their eyes on the same place as you and once you hear the gun go off for a mass start the crowd collectively gasps knowing that their athlete is about to start an experience of a lifetime! At this race, the pros were entering and young 20 somethings were walking around me in their pre-race nervousness and it just felt weird, and I'm assuming, even more so, frustrating for them.
I was able to see Kenrick exit the swim and also one portion of the bike before he left the Lake Las Vegas complex. He looked strong and happy as he headed out to fight and conquer the heat. I got some ok photos of the swim exit and bike portion and then headed to the car to travel over to Henderson Pavilion/T2. The exit from Lake Las Vegas went much more smoothly than I envisioned. They had the roads very well marked and I made my way to Henderson Pavilion in really good time. I headed to Whole Foods, got a chai latte to perk up and some food and knew right where to stand from our experience last year.
I was able to see him about 5 times on the run and I never missed him once! I was getting better at the camera timing too so the pictures were coming out good. He was staying strong and looked fluid in the run, he never looks labored ever, I always marvel at that. It was awesome to see the pros mixed in with the age groupers. It was hard as a spectator, though, to get a sense of who was in first, what lap your athlete was on, etc. Another part of this race that I think is amazing is the overhead helicopter that is recording the race from the air. It just adds an element to the race that kicks it up a notch! I was praying I had counted my laps right and convinced myself that his last lap was upon us, so I headed to the finish line. I was a bit surprised that there wasn't much of a spectator presence at the finish line (but then I thought well this means he's out in front because most spectators are watching their athletes on other laps so that must be a good sign!). I stood next to a very friendly Canadian dad at the finish line who was waiting for his son to come through. He was in mid-sentence telling me that he thought his son was on his way and then he yelled "there he is!". I love that moment, watching a fellow spectator get a glimpse of their loved one, their face beaming with pride, he cheered and snapped photos as his son went past. He looked back to me and said "that was my son!". And I said "congratulations!". And off he went to give his son a big hug. As a spectator, I love watching other spectators have those gushing with pride moments. These athletes work so hard and their families see that hard work all year and I know first hand how much Kenrick works and sacrifices for these races - it is a huge accomplishment and commitment. Kenrick went past me soon after and with a huge smile on his face he crossed and finished his second consecutive Ironman 70.3 World Championships.
I hustled myself to the finish corral to meet my hubby. After a few minutes in the food tent/cool down area he came out to meet me. I'm always amazed how "okay" he is after these races, I would be unable to speak, walk, or hold my head up. He's always got a "I"m doin' alright" look on his face. We remained at the finish for a little while, stayed in the shade, and attempted to find where the results were going to be posted. They had a technical glitch all day with the online tracking so we had no idea exactly where he finished at, due to the wave starts. Almost every race we have been at this year has had some kind of technical glitch with the online athlete tracking. I really wish a company would develop a fool proof system for this, at the Burlington race we worried Kenrick's chip wasn't working and that his results wouldn't be counted. At that race, there was a volunteer manually entering finishers and their numbers at the finish line so that gave us some comfort. In addition to online tracking, Ironman also needs to drastically improve their website. I have not heard one person, athlete and non-athlete, say they like the Ironman website, or can even navigate it for that matter. It's way too dark and they have too many things going on.
To sum up the day, I was extremely proud of Kenrick. His dedication, mental toughness, and athleticism impress me each and every time he sets foot on the race course. I don't know how he does it. Way to go honey!
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it!
Thanks to Everyone
Well the race is all over now I am recovering and will soon be ramping up the training again to prepare for the next race. First though I wanted to give a HUGE THANK YOU to my wonderful wife and kids. I raced on my birthday and all I kept thinking about was how I should be the one giving them presents on my birthday for the amazing support they have given me throughout this whole adventure. With out them this would not be possible. I have an amazing wife and three great kids.
Next I would like to thank my parents for making the trek down to San Juan and giving me so much support emotionally and physically (I was leaning on them pretty hard after the race before I made my way to the massage tent). There dedication to there children and grand children with there functions is unmatched and am proud to say that they are my parents. You guys are the best.
Thanks to the Bridgeton Group, PXT, Fine Line Racing, Walabax Construction Services, and Pop21eye, for your support in the 2012 season. I am looking forward to a great rest of the season, and thank you for believing in me.
I would also like to thank all my family and friends who supported me through this first race. I pulled from everyone's support and had a good race.
Special Thanks to Mandy Lovett for keeping me in check leading up to the race. Also to Ann Lovett and Barb for an awesome brunch and for the support out there on the course.
Finally to all the volunteers that helped with the race and the spectators there yelling out words of encouragement on the course, it really does help motivate.
So big thanks to everyone who tuned in and who was there cheering us on. You can go to the K-Krew page to view some pictures surrounding the event.
Next Race White Lake Half: May 5th - White Lake, NC
PXT - "PX Triathlon"
I've been sending out sponsor letters like they're going out of style. Last Thursday I heard back from one and then followed up with a phone call on Friday. I talked with Marc Mangus President/Co-Founder of PX Triathlon. He gave me some background on his product lines and I informed him of my goals and background. PX Triathlon's mission is to supply triathletes with quality but affordable race and training apparel. After talking with Marc for a while it was clear that he is just as motivated to succeed in his business aspirations as I am with my journey to become a Professional Triathlete. I received a good vibe from Marc, he is trying to supply us triathletes with quality products without breaking the bank. I will be receiving a shipment of gear and will give a review, so stay tuned. I urge all of you to check out the website www.pxtriathlon.com or catch up with them on Facebook.
I sent out my first wave of Sponsorship Letters yesterday and will hopefully hear some positive feedback. I have my fingers crossed. Contacted about 15 different companies varying from tri-related companies to food companies. I stuck with companies were I use or eat there products. I also looked into a few local companies that share my same philosophies, so we'll see. Just looking for some help to get things moving. If anybody out there knows anybody that works for a company that might be interested in sponsoring me please pass my info. along. I appreciate everybodies support. My goal is to get my name out there to get some exposure. We'll see.
Kenrick Smith - Be a part of the K17Sport Lifestyle.
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