Checking in from Subic Bay, Philippines


After 11 flights in one week, I am finally becoming numb to the hassles of traveling; the lines that never end, the shuttles, trying to get around baggage restrictions, airline food and sleeping in the seated position. I started out not being able to sleep for 15 minutes; I can now practically sleep for 6hrs straight.

Traveling gives a very freeing feeling. I have all of my physical possessions contained in a bag, bike box and backpack. At any moment I can pick up and move to anywhere I like.

It does require not having much holding you down, but part of being able to do this is luck. So many others around the world have no opportunity to pursue their passions and dreams because of where they are born, their jobs, family, or other reasons. So I feel very fortunate to have a passion and the ability to follow it. In addition to having the support of so many people, even if I am 8,000 miles away.

Traveling also brings on a sense of what matters in life; our family, our friends, our health and nothing that has to do with our possessions, appearances, money or finish times. This is magnified any time we are away from the important things and any time that you are around others that have almost nothing and are just as happy as you are.

Knowing (either by reading or experiencing) what is outside of our box that we call the United States, really gives perspective. Yes, we have a struggling economy, $4 gas, the values of our 401k’s are falling and there are a lot of other worries on people’s minds. But compared to the rest of world, we have it pretty good. Many others would love to have to worry about those things.

I am not trying to get on a soap box and I am not saying that we shouldn’t be upset at our issues, because they are important. But I am saying it is important to take a step back from time to time…pay attention to the simple things...we will all be better for it.

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I arrived in Subic Bay, Philippines on Monday this week to work with well known coach Brett Sutton. The first days of training have been pretty solid, but what really makes them tough is the heat and humidity. To give you perspective, the dewpoint, or measure of the amount of water in the earth’s atmosphere, is roughly 70* in Miami…it is 80* here, with an air temp or about 90* F.

I have been sick this first week and have been doing my best to get through it. An Ironman, lots of travel, a bit of partying and no sleep for 5 days finally pushed me over the line. I have since gotten antibiotics at the local drugstore, where you can just go in to buy them….no need for a doctor. I think I may be stocking up while I am here.

I am staying in a hotel here with a few other athletes. It is very nice and everything is convenient….except the pool. We have to ride about 20min up a giant hill to get there. After a tough morning bike session, it is not so nice on the legs. The track is across the street and we can do our rides right from the hotel.

Outside of training, the country really gives a sense of being fortunate. Subic Bay is very nice…and patrolled. Outside of SB, there is a lot of poverty and it is a different place. Over the next 4 weeks I will update my blog regularly with my experiences and pictures from here in the Philippines.

Comments

MarkyV said…
$4 gas?

You've been gone a week.

We're down to 2.50 :)
Sugar said…
that's awesome, you are with brett! he is a genius! nice to see one has the guts to go to the 'dark side' or 'out side the box'. cuz there's a hellva a lot more to triathlon coaching then gordo and multisports, etc.
brett is the best at what he does. bring out the best in his athletes. be sponge and listen grasshopper! ;-)

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