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Goals 2019 Edition

25 Jan

ANNUAL GOALS POST!

My annual “goals post” is a favorite for many reasons. A benefit of this digital renaissance is that you can use blogs and social media to find out what matters to people. What motivates them? What do they want? This annual post is my personal report card to myself; a meditation on my progress, achievements, goals and ambitions.

Tim Shane 2018 Headshot

Tim Shane 2018

I do appreciate you taking the time to read what I am sharing as being able to articulate the goal is both critical and crucial. More often than not I succeed at what I set out to do and learn some lessons from both the success as well as the failures. However part of this process is putting it out there so you can hold me accountable. I will spare you my goal setting systems that I have been evolving since childhood as they can be found in earlier entries of this blog.

First let us recap the post and accomplishments from last year (2018). I realized 2016 just blended into 2017 in the recap and 2017 was pretty epic. Now that I look back I seem to excel in the odd numbered years. When asked “How are you doing” even if I am at my best I reply with “getting better”. 2018 was good but seems like I was really setting myself up for success in 2019! In each area I will recap then put the 2019 goal.

HEALTH!

Tim Shane Spartan Ambassador 2018 Medals

Tim Shane Spartan 2018 Medals

This becomes exponentially challenging with each passing year and 2018 had some ups and downs. 2018 was the first year that I wondered about how much better I could be if I made health a priority earlier in my journey. On the upside I am most certainly starting the year more fit and flexible than the past decade and possibly ever. While it seems my energy and endurance where things I may have taken for granted in my younger years, I admit I have to work to keep them from declining in my current state of youth. I explored some diets which led to a healthier lifestyle overall and I certainly find myself free of dependencies on sugar, caffeine, gluten, salt and harmful artificial ingredients. I foolishly intended to retire from Spartan Racing and OCR at the top of my game in 2017. Turned out I was still able to do enough races to keep my Trifecta status and make improvements. It is part of my lifestyle now and I find myself wanting to get out and run, climb, jump, hike, crawl, swing, swim, fly, hang, carry or whatever it takes to overcome the obstacle and I don’t need a medal to do it.

Recovering in the Eisenhower Suite at Rough Creek Lodge 2018

Recovering in the Eisenhower Suite at Rough Creek Lodge 2018

Jo DeSena, the creator of Spartan Race was at Rough Creek Lodge sitting at the same table that I determined I would get much better at Spartan Race 7 years prior. I wanted to ask for a picture with him and compare it to my first race in 2011. (Perhaps I didn’t because I could not back down from however many burpees he would have me do for the picture and it was the eve prior to Race Day). If that opportunity every presents itself again I will not hesitate because I had not realized how far I had come until I went and looked back. Another observation is Spartan Race made health my top priority in these entries since my first race 7 years ago. It has been an amazing journey thus far. Riding horses has had a fantastic impact on my health as well. I rode an average of once a day of 2018 and that also helps keep the weight off and the strength and flexibility up. It helps when you start to gain weight that you are making the job harder on your team mate. It also keeps you going on those hard days when you know you have a partner that loves you and is looking forward to your workout together.

Tim Shane Jumping the Fire

Fire Jump of my Last Beast of 2018

On the other side as I crossed the finish line of my last race of 2018, the Spartan Beast, I could not make it the next few feet to the banana and water station. The next day I could not walk on my feet and seriously thought I would have to be in a wheelchair. That led me to the podiatrist where I learned I have a whole new set of challenges in my feet. I had to wear a boot for a few months and make some changes to my footwear. I thought I was doing so much better as I ended the year with all my toenails and in actually good shape. It was certainly humbling end of 2018.

2019 Health Goals are to maintain my college body weight (under 200 lbs) with increased strength and flexibility and ideal BMI. Remain in optimal shape for my fiance, my horse as most certainly myself. I will keep by Spartan Trifecta Tribe Status and explore the new Trail series. I will continue the streak with annual physical to keep all my levels optimal. I will protect my rest, spirit, recovery and relaxation as part of my overall health.

CAREER GOALS

Tim Shane with Max Allen

Tim Shane with Executive Director Max Allen and some photo-bombers

What we do defines us. We may say, think, feel and want good intentions, but in the end it is what we do that impacts our reality. Here is the 2018 Recap. On the new mission to “Boldly Go” as an affiliate of the Dallas Lighthouse For the Blind, to continue the trend of growing and utilizing my skill set all came to fruition. The goal was to not only grow but return to the trend of doubling in size. This was achieved in revenue potential which is my job. However some things I used to feel in control of seemed to have been removed from my plate. (Keeping down expenses, optimizing resources, keep up retention, speedy innovation of new solutions).

Picture of Envision Mission on the Donor Wall

Envision Mission

The Dallas Lighthouse for the Blind merged with a much larger organization named Envision.
On the upside Envision is a non-profit organization with a mission and resources that I have only previously dreamed. This organization has a positive and productive impact for the blind and visually impaired as well as the lives of so many people every day. Fortunately all my experience being able to navigate and embrace change gave me opportunities to shine, landing new clients, some of which setting new records for the largest contracts in history of Bold. This sets the stage for growth despite the chaos going on in the world in 2019. On the downside mergers and acquisitions can bring a great deal of change, stress and fear. As a result many of the core team that were vital to the thriving culture of the early days of Bold are no longer officially part of the team, (although I will always consider them a part of mine). These changes also further inspired my creative and philanthropic roots with Shane-Arts bringing everything together.

The Haunting of Whiskey Ranch

The Haunting of Whiskey Ranch

In recent years I have separated the “Creative” innovations from the revenue generating “Development” in my goals. Much of my success can be attributed to my ability to optimize both. We got the “band back together” and returned to Lake Ray Hubbard as well as launched a new venue (TX Whiskey Ranch) in October with some of our original core members and some excellent new talent. In 2019 I plan to bring them back into alignment.

Tim Shane Loves Whiskey

Tim Shane as Sam Diamond at the Haunting of Whiskey Ranch

2019 Career Goals are to seek and secure new revenue generating and mission driven philanthropic opportunities resulting in a minimum of double digit growth (10% or more) for my clients and campaigns and to balance the creative innovations with the developing success.

Horsing Around… more seriously though

Tim Shane and Artful Design at the USDF Regional Championships

Tim Shane and Artful Design at the USDF Regional Championships

2018 was the best year so far, as it was our first full year as a horse and rider team. We progressed all the way to regional championships and have been happy with our two champion and numerous blue ribbons and scores from recognized shows. For the Dallas Dressage Club we took our top 4 scores and averaged them together and it came out in the 70’s. Perhaps my most proud achievement of 2018 was officially making “Artful Design” mine, or me hers depending on your view. The bond and connection we share is amazing and continually rewarding in so many ways.

The infamous Show Horse Artful Design aka Capri and transfer of ownership from Nikki Littrell to Tim Shane

Success in 2018

2018 was very good to introduce me to the world of “horse show business” making new friends and connections as well as reconnecting with old ones. Germany did not happen and I am scratching that goal for the foreseeable future.

Horses Jumping into 2019
2019 Horse Goals

Excel through the next level and beyond collecting more top ribbons than my debut year. I also plan to explore Freestyle and Eventing as that is what initially attracted me to Dressage. It is my assessment that this is quite an audacious goal as I am at the most competitive level in the region so the odds are against us. It is also important to declare as a goal that I not allow my competitive nature to dominate the winning connection I have with my horse.

PERSONAL and RELATIONSHIP GOALS

2018 had some personal and relationship twists and turns as well.  With my knowledge of digital marketing I will keep some personal, spiritual and relationship goals off line, but they do exist (Having boundaries was a goal I achieved a few years back).  Before the digital world I would still only focus on and grow the positive, and in the digital world so many people only put their best on the internet.  That does not mean there is not loss and struggle.  It seems I am coming of an age where we are losing some crucial people in our lives.  Just within Shane-Arts we lost both Rhiannon McMillen and Ginger Mensik way before their time.  My “family” is growing far more than so many of you have come to know and love over the years.  Some of those goals are not to be “measured” the way I approach my other endeavors, but they are still a priority.

Thank you so much for reading and looking forward to a very good report as we enter the “Roar’n Twenties”!

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2018 Austin Spartan Super (Prep & Post)

3 Jun

The struggle is real.
The struggle is required!

TimShaneAustinSpartan2018This year’s Austin Spartan starts a new chapter, or rather a new book or possibly life era for me.  It was my intention to hang up my OCR gear at the end of 2017 and go out having exceeded my goals in Sparta, Greece .  Then I started to realize I had a whole new perspective from other years. It was less tempting to make unhealthy choices when eating and I embraced the opportunity to push myself.  It became a way of life. I realized how much my journey enhanced my mind, my work, my creativity, my drive and most surprisingly my spirit.

Tim Shane 2018 Spartan Super Sandbag

One of the reasons I thought I would retire is every year the courses get harder and Spartan comes up with new obstacles and challenges as my physical body gets older.  I quickly learned my journey as a Spartan has given me strength, balance, endurance and discipline

Tim Shane Canyon of the Eagles 18

In 2018 my Spartan journey goes beyond the starting line to the finish, but the entire lifestyle leading up to it.  The first is the people. Each race has tales for friends, family, foes, companions, lovers, trainers and life events that all play an important part to each medal, wedge and “Did Not Finish”.  About a month before the race I connected with Stephanie Hengstenberg and we had synergies on many levels. As a “dancer momma” she fit the profile of the artist that built her own success through sales and authentic human connection that I am evolving my profession into, and I fit the profile of the kind of client she was looking to coach.  I shared with her the trial and error of finding the healthy lifestyle for training for a Spartan Race, horse shows and other such adventures and we thought we would explore her coaching me using her ISAgenix system.

TimShaneRaceDayAustin2018

To be transparent I am not selling the ISAgenix system nor did I purchase the products so I would not have the bias of defending my choice, but rather having tried many supplements in my journey opened my cynicism to any shortcuts for such a demanding endeavor as a Spartan Super.  The Austin Super Spartan race is among the only two DNF (Did Not Finish) in my OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) career. A few years ago that I attribute to misjudging my nutrition the night before the race. I treated myself to a nice steak to celebrate the days victory and thought I could use the protein.  This may work for some and maybe it did for me in my younger days. This was still during the struggle when my body was adapting to the extramed. This year I learned my body seemed to go into rest and rebuild mode when I eat beef. I learned this by my muscles seizing up at the very top of the “Stairway to Sparta” obstacle.  Since then I learned never do anything new on Race Day and pay attention to my body’s nutrition leading up to and actually on race day. The role of coach and trainer was open this year and she thought she could put together a custom solution for the little over 2 weeks leading up to the race.

StairwaytoSparta

Stephanie brought her family to the All British Car Day and loaded me up with parts of the ISAgenix system with very clear instructions and a plan.  I explained my strategy for the Super is to cut any excess body and water weight to stay lean yet hydrated for the race. I would need to stay hydrated, flexible and powerful.  She put together a plan that did not include the entire system but some things she thought would help.

RoverABCD2018

TIP– A quick sidebar in case any of my friends in sales and swear by Shakeology, Kyani, Herballife, Nuskin and all the new stuff on the horizon and know I am a hard sell on any one of these nutraceutical or fitness products, but you never know 100% what someone is struggling with (Sometimes we don’t know 100% ourselves) or all the luck and science that goes into timing, but Stephanie got my buy-in on 2 things.  The first is that she believed in me and her product so much she was willing to cover the cost and second she offered a system that would save me time and money between all the supplements and diet hacks I was juggling. A Beach Body rep named Melissa McAllister did something similar in 2012 and really helped me on my way.

Week 1 – ISAGenix

I was off to a good start in the first week which consisted of 2 Shake Days followed by a 2 day cleanse, then picking back up the shake days.  I researched the products and was happy to learn it was a clean and natural solution pretty close to my original plans that made me so successful the year before.  The shakes tasted great and actually saved me time in the mornings and the evenings with my lifestyle and still delivering the protein, carbs and calories that I needed.  I measured immediate weight loss in the first few days and was feeling pretty good. Following the system and he daily check ups for accountability helped me resist the unusually high amount of temptations to falter that week.  Then came the “Cleanse” and that is when things got complicated.

The Cleans for Life drink seemed well enough but I did not have access to the other items that typically go with the cleanse so by lunch I was already “hangry” even with the IsaSnacks.  I am a pretty big guy so I was feeling it in a major way. Stephanie kept encouraging me through until I realized I was losing energy. My rest days can be considered work out days to most and I was getting ready for my first horse show. My dress rehearsal was a disaster so we opted to turn it into a Shake Day until after the race.  Also I was sure that I measured the amounts I was supposed to take and maybe I should have taken a bit more.

Week 2 – ISAGenix Adjusted

WEEK 2 – Most of the other aspects of the system were actually already part of my regime.  For example there is a Natural Accelerator Capsule is pretty similar to my Irwin Naturals Triple Tea Burner combined with my Cool Cayene from Herb Mart.  The Recovery Drink is similar to my FIT AID which is only at Central Market, Amazon or as a sponsor at some Spartan Races. When I total up the time spent tracking down my normal routine, some of the redundancy of some of the supplements and the actual cost, I can appreciate the savings in time and money of getting them all from one system.  

THE 2018 SPARTAN RACE

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Of all the Spartan Races I have done I always feel like I could be more prepared.  That being said I felt pretty good about this one. I was up in front on the starting line and I overheard a female voice basically telling a similar story (Did the Ultra Beast last year, thought I was done and somehow right back here) and I turned around and recognized her.  Just as my mind said “Yea she’s late 20’s maybe early 30’s tops and maybe I am the oldest one still being so insane” the emcee gave a shout out to the oldest person in our heat, George at 76 Years Old going for his 5X Trifecta. #NoExcuses is a great #Spartan hastag for 2018.

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I had a good handle on the course as it was a similar layout to 2017 Super and Hurricane Heat with a few additions of my favorite portions of courses past (Granite Cliffs, The Granite Chapel and the legendary green PVC Tube).  The sky had low fast moving clouds strobing the Texas May Sun that caused a cool Zack Snyder effect on the course and I had my custom soundtrack. While there were plenty of water obstacles, the sandbag carry was more of a muddy terrain than the sharp gravel I always dread on the Austin course.  

I was actually about 30 minutes earlier than my projection but made up for it with burpees on the end.  Found a nice balance of improving my time and fitness while enjoying the power, beauty and soul of the terrain each Spartan course is notorious for.  Many of the famous competitors opted for the BIG BEAR race this year both gave me an opportunity to shine but also missed the feeling of sharing the same course with such legends.   I am evolving the #WhyIRace part of my journey.

The Austin Races usually have severe thunderstorms and as I finished the wind was picking up and the dust was blasting the racers and spectators alike.  For the first time I am aware of Spartan cancelled the Sprint due to weather. This was fine because I was looking at the AT&T Stadium as my Trifecta Sprint.  

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RECOVERY & CLEANSE

The Recovery was good.  About 2 days until I was back 100%.  Minimum bruising, no blood, and the recovery drinks from ISAgenix supplemented much of the routine, but still relied on BeetElite and FitAID who was at the finish line this year.  There was a new recovery drink called Armor but their drinks were warm and pulling a can or two of FitAID out of the ice cold barrels was becoming a tradition.

Upon my return I started the ISAGenix Cleanse for life following the instructions to the letter.  It did get me to an all time low as far as weight loss but not sure the lack of energy was worth it.  I will say I am open to continuing to try the system if I can find the right balance for my lifestyle    

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2017 (and 2016) Years In Review and Missions Accomplished!

15 Jan

This is the time of year when I reflect on my wins and learn from my losses and share them with anyone that is willing to read or listen to help me be accountable to the solutions.  Say what you will about 2017.  It was one of my best years ever.  It seemed to be a year of things coming together like a giant master plan.  As I look back at previous years I caught something.  I usually don’t share the bad stuff.  Last year (2017) seemed so good because it also included 2016.  Most of my bold wins of 2017 where me addressing to the epic failed attempts of 2016, so in all honesty these success were two years coming.  It was surprising to look for the 2016 recap and find that I did not even pause for the failures but kept on going until I succeeded.  Come with me back to early 2016…    https://shanespeare.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/2016-i-am-in-you/

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Best Health! Best Race Season Ever!
ULTRA BEAST, Hurricane Heats, Triathlon and Trifecta Deltas

I am so proud of my performance and lifestyle change I happily went to the doctor at the end of the year just to get a full physical to back it up.  The results were great.  Much of it can be attributed to a few key moments I will talk about in other entries, but the primary one was Spartan Race!  Whenever I am worried that civilization is doomed, I know we are fine because there are “Spartans” all over the world, and I have traveled to meet so many of them.  I pursued the Trifecta Delta (https://youtu.be/9yEf_HG9520 for those that do not know), completed the Ultra Beast and Hurricane Heats and the Colorado Rockies Beast and finished out 2017 with my tenth (10th) Trifecta in in the first official race in SPARTA, GREECE!  

However looking back I totally got my ass kicked in 2016 attempting it which is probably why the success is so much sweeter to me now.  I returned to the Hawaii Trifecta to do the Ultra Beast towards my Endurance Trifecta and was cut from the race missing a “time hack” by ten minutes.  This sucked more because I had so much more to give but I was mismanaging my effort.  They gave me a radio and let me be the “Sweeper” which was an amazing life experience in itself.        

That “set back” launched me forward as soon as I returned stateside to finish the Beast hours ahead of my fastest time.  I started to measure metrics I never understood prior and learned you do not have to choose between macro and micro, you can do both.  I got a bike and started swimming and training to do Triathlons and set goals not from race to race, but from day to day and workout to workout.  I treated myself to a Garmin Fenix 5 watch and committed to never doing less than I did yesterday.  I trained a bit with a Half-Ironman who told me there was a James Bond themed Triathlon that I thought I would “tri” and came in 2nd place.  I soon realized that I didn’t need the Spartan Race to put myself to the test, but started looking at them as a chance to document my improved performance.  Although I didn’t need a race to do my best, I began exploring virtual races to keep raising the bar.  I committed to traveling to new races and completed the Hurricane Heat, the Colorado Rockies Beast, the AT&T Stadium Sprint (which is the first one my mother attended and finally got “why” I do this) and the first Dallas Ultra Beast better than I predicted and recovered on a plane en route to the real SPARTA to finish my best race season.       

LOVE and LIGHT

Picking up on the “LOVE and LOSS” I certainly feel I made some wise decisions that put my heart in the right place for “LOVE and LIGHT”.  Especially in this digital age of swiping left at the slightest inconvenience and over sharing what I would consider intimate details I did find love and it is beyond anything and everything I ever imagined.  To share any more would contradict the breakthroughs I’ve had regarding closeness and intimacy, but I can tell you what resonates with what we generally hear; trust yourself and follow your heart.  Perhaps I always take the long way around to get there, but I feel my heart and soul are healed and very capable of loving and being loved well in return.  This continues to be the biggest win in my life so far.  The only reason I didn’t lead with this was following the structure of the last entry and I did not want to disgust those of you that have read this far.  Love is the most amazing thing ever!

CAR FANTASIES FULFILLED!

Long before I could legally drive and while most boys were obsessed with girls or video games I always had a thing for exotic european cars, particularly those of British heritage.  For decades I have been pushing, towing, fixing, troubleshooting and cleverly customizing my dream cars with no payoff other than occasionally people saying “I love your car”.  I was never saving on gas mileage, never had a warranty and never took arriving at my destination for granted.  When I did have to go to a mechanic they were usually a specialist and we usually had to brainstorm about innovative and creative solutions.  During this time I had the second incarnation of my beloved Triumph TR-6 https://shanespeare.wordpress.com/2015/06/, my James Bond BMW Motorcycle, the reincarnation of my LandRover Discovery II and my Wildest Dream, my V12 Aston Martin convertible.  Do you remember that poster of a car barn that had a dream car for every day of the week?  I made it, although I don’t know what I would have filled the other bays with.   

The Aston landed my first Blue Ribbon at All British and European Car Day and the Rover saved our lives when we were somehow picked up into the air and dropped on our heads.  It was truly a supernatural paranormal out of this world experience but to land upside down in opposing traffic and for us to walk out with a minor scratch and a bump on the head was pretty amazing.  They built them like tanks back then and I found a replacement in the same color with a few upgrades while at the hospital being checked out.  The good folks at North Texas British combined all the best to make my third Rover.  Much like all the letters after NCC-1701 I think I am sold that I will always have one of these in my collection.  

Now this could have been me dodging my next regeneration.  Whether you are a Whovian or believe a cool cat has 9 lives I was pretty much dead when I hit a deer on a motorcycle in 2002.  Then when 7 years later almost to the day I was hit in Deep Ellum on a motorcycle I was paying attention.  Some might say “stop riding motorcycles”, but I was pretty clear the universe was saying third time’s the charm (in 7 years).  I thought I was good until 2016-17 when I looked around and saw the drivers on their phones all around me.  I parted with the motorcycles and saw this was my way of cheating my next regeneration the way the 10th Doctor did for my Whovian friends.  I live every day hoping I was right.     

MY KINGDOM FOR A HORSE” ~Shakespeare

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man
~ Winston Churchill   

Fortunately horses have often found their way into my life and my heart and in 2016 it was presented to me by a brilliant and very influential saleswoman that I could train, ride and even compete for almost the same budget (in both time and money) as I was allocating to my other endeavors.  I always say you should be learning something new because it helps with your perspective with all things and being around horses is changing my life for the better.  

There are many paths that converge on this.  As part of my healing heart I shared my passions and also embraced those that were shared with me.  That opened my eyes to how often I see horses around while I’m running, walking or training on my bike.  Even in the city when I would train for the races I found myself at a barn right off the trail behind my house that goes to White Rock Lake. (Rocking M Stables).  Trying to climb the stairs after a Spartan Race is quite a challenge, and then you see a horse jumping over the fence or traversing the terrain just puts it all into perspective.  Maybe I’ve been going about this all wrong.       

I started taking lessons and progressing on school horses but was not able to ride as much as I wanted so began the search for my own horse that I could ride, bond, train, learn, grow and essentially evolve.  Many warned me about this process and I consider myself fortunate to have found such a great horse with the help of my trainer and insight from trusted friends.  I am on the right track with a beautiful and talented mare named Artful Design.

The Five Year Mission… To Boldly Go… Blind?  

Over the past five years many good friends that have become my work family have come to work at Bold.  Bold; Our brave venture into human connection through sales, marketing, call centers and emerging technologies.  Just like Star Trek, we “boldly go” and some have come on for a cameo or an episode, season and some have been part of the entire series.  Bold has consistently grown year over year, pretty much doubling what we did the previous year.  As with all the other things lining up this past year we strategically joined forces with the Dallas Lighthouse For The Blind.

This has so much potential and opportunities going forward I feel this is the cusp of something entirely new professionally.  This also gives me the flexibility to continue my creative pursuits with Shane-Arts as we go into our 25th year.

What’s next?

It is quite satisfying to cross such epic life goals off my list.  I am sure there will be a way to top them in 2018 and beyond.

What is a Spartan Race?

5 Dec

Leonidas

“What is a Spartan Race?” is a question that seems to come up more each year and there is yet to be an answer with satisfaction.  It seems everyone has their own definition so here is mine.

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The Spartan Race is a test of endurance, bravery and courage for the mind, body and soul.  It is the leader in the obstacle course racing (OCR) phenomenon that is increasingly impacting the globe.  Take the fast thinking agility of the Ninja Warrior and the determination of an Ultra marathon runner or Ironman and have them face themselves and their fears in the hero’s journey and it starts to give you an idea of the mindset of a Spartan Racer.

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Spartan commands it’s own distinction in new world of endurance and adventure themed events.  At the time of this writing it seems there is Spartan Race, Tough Mudder and “Everything Else”.  In 2010-2011 I discovered the world of “Everything Else” while working with first responders with my job with Praetorian Group.  Running seemed boring but playing “Jailbreak” or “Warrior Dash” was a blast.  Perhaps it was a chance for adults to get dirty and play in this world of safety helmets and antimicrobial tech.  For me there was no real training, planning or lessons to be learned.  It was just a bunch of us playing and drinking afterwards.  

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When I mentioned I was registered for a Spartan Race many were compelled to counsel me on what it was as if they were paying their final respects.  Tough Mudder gets similar reactions and I notice many favor one over the other but there is a mutual respect yet bias between the two. Racers usually have a preference and I favor Spartan.  (If you want to know more check out “Rise of the Sufferfests”.)

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Spartan Race come in all shapes and sizes from inspirational workout tours, blogs and Spartan Sprint all the way to 12+ Hour Hurricane Heats, 26+ Miles Ultra Beasts and Agoge.  https://www.spartan.com/en/race/learn-more/race-types-overview
BeastTripleTrireverse

Spartan Race attracts racers of all shapes and sizes because it transcends just the physical athleticism and balances the importance of the heart and mind which often levels the playing fields for those that may not be the fastest runner or the strongest climber.  It is brilliant because it truly strengthens all three.  If you start with all heart, those burpees will get you off the couch and training your body for the best shape of your life.  If you are in top physical condition these obstacles will test and strengthen your mind and your spirit.  If you have soul these races will transcend you to another level and another plane.  
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Spartan Races are mental.  I got over fears I never knew I had in the very same race (Claustrophobia in those tiny green underground tubes in Austin anyone?).  Can you run 26.2 miles?  How about 28 miles over rugged terrain, slippery rocks, waist deep mud or waist high fire in extreme climates and epic destination terrain?  You must learn to psyche yourself up and how much of an influence the mind actually is over the body and soul.  Thanks to Spartan Racing I pushed my physical and spiritual farther than I could in any gym or place of worship.        
HawaiiTrifecta

Spartan Races are spiritual.  I distinctly remember thinking I as a few levels beyond a “near death experience” when suddenly storm clouds parted and light shined on a cross in a chapel carved into a granite cliff.  I also remember the multi-cultural spiritual experiences of the Hawaii Trifecta and if you are monotheistic your mind can certainly empathize how early Greeks had so many gods if you experienced the Spartan Race in Sparta.  “This is blasphemy!  This is madness!”  You know your cue.    

Spartan Races are physical.  You might think this goes without saying but top NFL athletes are put to the test and humbled.  I was running alongside Lance Armstrong in Austin a few years back, and know ultra fit pop stars that have taken the challenge.  My body may not look it as fit as I would like it to, but when I show up to a gym, cross-fit group or triathalon in a Spartan Finisher shirt it feels like having the pride of some well earned chiseled abs.  

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Spartan Race changes your life.  I remember the traffic to for the Texas Beast a few years back.  Cars were lined up for miles filled with amped up racers that took their pre-workout a bit early.  I got out and jogged almost 8 miles to the start line with a smile on my face.  I was honored to be the last volunteer sweeping the course after the Ultra Beast in Hawaii.  I no longer need a race to get out there and push myself.  I do it every chance I get.        

Who am I? I AM A SPARTAN!

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Chapter 7- Well Wishes Through A Wishing Well

9 Mar

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It is wished that one day in the future one might say it’s an old saying; “To survive a broken heart makes you a better person”.  To say today who’s wish it is may jinx it, but in this moment twice as many eyes were closed as they made their wish and blew out their candles.

Jessy Black had exponentially more candles than her planetary clone Judy Smith Blackwell, so Linda Wallace pointed out that gave her exponentially more wishes as she sat back and sassed and sipped.  Shannon Kearns maximized the epic emotional exponent of the event as Terry Brink nursed them all in recovery.

Joshua Dennis must have wished for a light because he was all a glow, which was handy since everyone was in the dark since the candles were blown out.  Audrey Tennant led everyone in a serene prayer which Marie Del Marco commented on was a great way to understand the infinite spectrum of emotions they were all feeling at this party.

It was indeed an emotional time.  Terry Ash EbboMontie Jo Burgy and Logan Maxwell Green were tending to a group of crying guests and Jason Acton asked what was wrong.

Nothing!” respectfully replied Cynthia Santiago.  “They’re actually very happy“.
Why all the tears?” he politely probed.
If you’re not a Pisces you wouldn’t understand.” affirmed Kristine Mansour Armentor.

Haley Esposito and Etty Horowitz nodded and sipped their drink while Laura Lutz Jones and Karen Wiley commented on the snacks and Donald McLaughlin wrote a script about the party favors.  Of course Lydia MackayAndrew Aguilar and Heather Forsythe asked about auditions and Lee Jamison wished she could fit it in between saving all the kittens in the animal kingdom.

Jocelyn White and Christie Renee Welch were wishing in one hand and I would be no gentleman if I were to say what they were doing in the other.  (Lisa Moore says she will tell you if you really want to know)

 Shana Anderson was serving drinks like Bettie Martini and Mallory Malapeño Carrick was pouring shots while Carmen Dexter was serving books that Tiffany Riley was humorously interpreting for those physical comedy connoisseurs Arthur MortonKiki Curry Winters and Celeste Rogers.  Amanda Mount HunterCandy Buckley and Carolyn Collins cut a rug on the dance floor as José Bowen led the band in a funky new groove.  All was chill until the thrill of Kevin Long letting the dogs out.  As he did he noticed on the horizon a league of Spartan Race Warriors led by Matt Nguyen and backed up by Stephen BrodieScott WhiteJeremy EscobarEric Gacia and Trey Birkhead in his 5.0.  As Matt removed his duct tape helmet he commanded to his troops….
SPARTANS!  Prepare for Gloriiiious Birthday Cake!

Aroo!  Aroo!  Aroo!” they all said wondering if it was Gluten Free and exactly how many burpees would be involved.  As they stormed down the ridge to the party the moon eclipsed leaving them all in darkness once again.

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This is pretty cool” acknowledged  Brandon J. Walker as Brad Ward added
I’m prepared” lighting up his torch as did Shawn Gann down in the party camp.

The two lights traveled to each other just as the new moon reached it’s total eclipse of the heart and then once again, as before, there was an unmistakable sound.  Everyone looked toward it and once again, the moon seemed to be a portal transporting visitors from another world.

There was another crack of thunder followed by a downpour of something other than rain.

OUCH!” complained Wale Akin getting hit in the head with what he thought was hail, but turned out to be cold, hard cash with an emphasis on the cold and hard.
Coins!” identified Brad Hartliep
Yes, but they don’t seem to be from around here” observed Douglas D Martin
And they all seem to be coming up heads instead of tails” warned Becca Shivers 
“What’s that?”asked Abi Abel pointing to a tiny light which grew larger as it got closer.
Maybe it’s a shooting star” hoped Jerry Martin as she made yet another Birthday Wish.
Maybe it’s a soul” theorized John M. Flores
Looks to me like a train” pondered Margaret Ponder
It’s a SOUL TRAIL!” zinged Roxy Hernandez with her coming timing and dry wit

Robyn Fletcher Acevedo pointed right at you as you laughed for validation that you are developing an expanding sense of humor as well as imagination.Kevin Jeffers pushed everyone to shelter as the train glanced the ridge and came down towards the party camp.  All the hopes and wishes came through the portal in the eclipse but everyone was too busy scrambling from oncoming train to notice. Jessica Foster and Michelle McElree stood like a dear in the headlight until Tom Urquhart pulled them from the path just in time.
The train slowed and stopped right at the camp as if it was exactly what it intended to do.  Steam, smoke, dust danced in clouds of electric zapping as passenger cars doors opened and people flooded out.  Stefany Cambra and Eimilie Mitchell emerged wearing exceedingly fashionable steam punk attire.  Jacqueline PettitEric Wilder and Josh Hepola emerged at the caboose with what might have been strange weapons.  There seemed to be others but they were hard to pinpoint in the commotion.  Just as the clouds seem to settle and light began to return the train blew it’s horn so loud everyone covered their ears.  The engine turned off and the door raised open to reveal a man in a top hat carrying a large wooden box.  He dropped it down on on the ground to make a stair and two chucks appeared.  As people looked it it was #OurPro.  Her voice seemed to be amplified as she said…
“I heard it was your Birthday”
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2016! I AM IN YOU!

9 Jan

What a difference a year makes!  I’ve been looking forward to this post for quite some time as 2015 proved to be both the most challenging and the most rewarding.  I do my best to live every day and every moment exceeding my personal best. This post is more about benchmarks and milestones than hoping to keep cliche promises to myself.  Moreover I put this out there online with the intention to share, inspire and connect as we all continue our human adventure.  Looking forward to meeting the challenges of leveling up in 2016!

2016SpartanULTRA BEAST’n TRIPLE TRIFECTA DELTA   
#SpartanRace

While proud of my 2014 Spartan Trifecta I am even more proud of my lifestyle change exceeding the Triple Trifecta in 2015 including destination racing and confidence in knowing I will achieve my 2016 goals. The Hawaii Trifecta experience was such an awakening! I look forward to expanding my Spartan Travels in 2016 and going for the ULTRA Beast and the Spartan Triple Trifecta Delta!  (https://youtu.be/9yEf_HG9520)!

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LOVE and LOSS

2015 claimed many of my companions and dealing with death and loss forced me to deal with aspects of myself I viewed as weakness but were needed as strengths (sensitivity, humility, humbleness, feelings).  I lost my father, thankfully not my mother that survived the Tornado, both my cats and too many friends and loved ones.  Life is too short to have many walls, but it is good to have boundaries.  I have a feeling 2016 will provide many opportunities where I will have to know the difference.
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Continuing to BOLDLY GO

If I may be so “Bold” ever since I learned the word “mission” I knew mine was to “boldly go where no one has gone before”.  Once again I underestimated my professional goals.  In a lesson on goal setting I made what I thought was a stretch goal for myself.  (A V-12 Aston Martin DB9).  Just when I thought I was living the dream with my TR6 I thought I would show how setting a goal, developing a plan and following through can lead to success, but it turned out to happen even faster than I optimistically projected.  My goal was to build my dream team and while I am aligned with some incredible talent and a crew that would make any Captain of the Starship Enterprise proud, but there is still a great deal of room for improvement and new roles to fill.  There are also many new projects which will be launched under the Shane-Arts or Bold banners.  
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In 2016 I plan to surround myself with the right people to keep me exceeding my personal best in addition to me helping them exceed theirs. May all the roles be cast, the dream team assembled but in 2016 I hope to always keep a chair open for that new rising star.   

(www.shane-arts.com  and   www.boldstaffing.com)

Keep On Saving The Day!

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPZW8_ID-l4)

The lifestyle change of eating better and being better to the environment has continued to the point where I had almost no trash and while I was proud putting out four times the recycling to a single bag of trash, by eating clean, healthy and sustainable the even the recycling declined taking reducing my footprint to a new level.  This also brought about a healthy diet and reignited my passion for cooking.  Many seem to think healthy clean eating is boring and taste bad but I actually found the opposite to be true.  There have been many times in 2015 that people that justify certain toxins for themselves have been impressed with my healthy alternatives, even though I do my best to focus on the flavor and experience rather than the healthy substitutions.  I do not believe I am missing a thing but I am able to keep optimizing my performance while still enjoying all the goods.  In 2016 I plan to do more sharing of delicious food and drink through healthy (or healthier alternatives).    

As always, there are a few other experience, knowledge and financial goals I do not wish to put out there on the internet, but they are out there in the universe and I look forward to celebrating their success in 2017.