Sunday, January 30, 2011


Late January is a typical time for the best-intended New Year’s resolutions to begin to lose steam.  Despite all of my planning (see my last blog post), I too am prone to a setback.  First, I had traffic, bad weather and just plain getting lost (hard to believe in the GPS era) cost me my three weekly Team in Training triathlon workouts.  I did still keep the Rock Body Challenge fitness classes going so it was not all a loss.  However, a business trip to Washington DC and a busy work schedule followed that lost triathlon week with a blank slate of zero workouts until the weekend.  My motivational ship was rapidly filling with water so what was I going to do about it?

A key to maintaining good habits is not to give up when you break them, but how you respond when you do.  So with every plan to set a good habit (whether that be diet, exercise, or something else) one should also have a setback plan or a way to get started again.  Generally for me a reward system often helps me get going; I try to establish a special treat (e.g. some item of fitness gear I have an eye on or something like a massage) if I maintain three straight weeks with four or more workouts a week.  So in turn I am going to provide a “punishment” system of sorts by using the old fashioned football term of two-a-days taking the many opportunities for those on my master schedule and try to make them happen.  The main advice is to determine something that works for you and get started again; don’t use the setback to give up completely.

One of the challenges that often derail my plans is when work takes me out of town on a business trip.  I will search for some good tips to handle that common dilemma and share what I find.  In fact in just two weeks I will have the opportunity to face down that challenge to my workout habit as I have another trip to Washington DC.  Now it is time to start planning my second workout of the day after Masters swimming.  A run is probably in order so after a little time to recover (writing this post helped) I will hit the trail.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Master Schedule

Seeking balance always means I am a slave to a master schedule for both my professional and personal life.  As I mentioned in my last post, I currently have the challenge of triathlon training and the Rock Body Challenge (RBC) right on top of each other as I strive towards this goal of getting in the best shape of my life.

For the triathlon training, Team in Training (TNT) holds a team run Tuesday nights at Washington Park at 5:45 PM, a group swim workout Wednesday nights at 8 PM, and a group workout on Saturday mornings, time and activity to be determined although we try to incorporate the third sport of the bike when we can.  In addition my TNT coaches suggest Mondays and Wednesdays for weight training days (which I am replacing with workouts at The Rock).  Finally each week another run and swim workout on your own should be scheduled (try to run and swim twice a week).  For the swim workout I try to leverage the local Masters team, which swims at 5:30 AM Monday-Friday (haven’t made any of those workouts this year yet), Saturdays at 7:30 AM and Sundays at 9 AM (my most likely target).

For the RBC, there are fitness classes (think P90X like), Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 6 AM, kickboxing Monday and Wednesday nights at 6:45 PM and a more challenging fitness class Saturdays at 9:15 AM.  The RBC also has special challenges scheduled during its 10-week program that I will have to work in.  So putting this all together here is what the master workout schedule looks like:

Notice Thursday is left blank which is my make-up day if I miss a workout or is an important day of rest, which I will write about in a later post.  On Mondays and Wednesdays I choose between The Rock fitness class and the kickboxing, while on Saturdays I have the options of Masters swimming, the Rock fitness class and the TNT Group Workout.  Several days have the potential to be what football players call two-a-days where I will work out twice (always Wednesdays while Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays all are possibilities).  Having worked with this schedule now for a few weeks I know I won’t make all of the workouts planned, but it has been fairly easy to meet my goal of 4-6 workouts a week with all of these options.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Rock Body?

If you read my December 16, 2010 post, I have made a vow to get in the best shape of my life.  Of course to benchmark that I need to remember what was my previous best shape?  Like many of us that was probably college or high school (although riding a bike all over Stockholm in the summer of 1995 while on a Swedish diet could be close).  Back then I was skinny so I know that means I need to lose some weight (I am targeting 10 lbs).  But with that younger version of myself also came less strength so a part of getting in my best shape is stronger, not just thinner.

To get that best shape won’t be easy.  Signing up for the Lavaman Triathlon and training with Team in Training, which I did in December, is probably not enough. It is recommended by our Team in Training coaches that we mix in weight training twice a week as a part of our triathlon training.  However, instead of doing the weight training, I have substituted fitness kickboxing at The Rock Martial Arts and Fitness Gym (  I am now in the second week of the Rock Body Challenge (RBC), a “10 week challenge to not only strive for a physical transformation, but quite possibly find yourself in the best shape of your entire life.”  Looks like that aligns well with my goal so now the question is can I balance the RBC, my triathlon training, my professional life and make sure my family remembers my name?  Stay tuned as I update my progress regularly here at Aloha Fridays.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dream Chasing

If forced to only give one piece of advice to my kids, I would say it is “chase your dreams.”  So while I hope to focus this blog most of the time on the life part of work/life balance, occasionally work will show up here.  A big reason for that is because if I sit back and look at it, I have a pretty incredible “day job.”

For the past almost year, I have been the Program Manager for the Dream Chaser, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) vehicle to fulfill future needs for transportation of humans to Earth orbit.  Perhaps not as well known as it should be, but the Space Shuttle is retiring this year and with this retirement the United States capability to take humans to orbit is going with it. For the near future, US astronauts will be dependent on Russian Soyuz vehicles for transport to the International Space Station (ISS) and as the good capitalists they have become it is likely the price of those rides will grow significantly when the Space Shuttle stops flying.

SNC along with several other aerospace companies are developing a variety of approaches to offset the Space Shuttle’s retirement and quickly field a new US capability.  Without spending too much time in either the complex engineering or political issues involved, trying to work on such a challenging and pressing problem is both rewarding and taxing.

While I hope to stay true to the original purpose of this blog to discuss how I balance an exciting career with everything else I try to do, I hope you won’t fault me for occasionally bringing you into the world of building the next spaceship.  After all not everyone is as fortunate as I am to chase dreams as a part of their job.

An Artist's Rendering of the Dream Chaser Launching from Florida

Sunday, January 16, 2011


So it has been a while since I posted a message and the explanation I am providing is…research.  How can you write a blog entitled Aloha Fridays and write a specific post about the subject of “Living Aloha” without going to Hawaii?  Well that is what my family and I did for two weeks over the Christmas/New Years holidays as we traveled to three islands, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, while living plenty of adventures that I should provide blog material for a while.  The reality is I have probably been lazy, but as they talk about in Hawaii, perhaps I have simply been operating on island time.

OK enough about why the gap in posts, let’s get this thing moving again.  One important thing I learned in Hawaii is entitled “Duke’s Creed.”

In Hawaii we greet friends, loved ones and strangers with Aloha, which means with love.  Aloha is the key word to the universal spirit of real hospitality, which makes Hawaii renowned as the world’s center of understanding and fellowship.

Try meeting or leaving people with Aloha.  You’ll be surprised by their reaction.  I believe it and it is my creed.”
Aloha to you
-Duke Kahanamoku

So for Aloha Fridays to become more than just a clever name for my blog, but the lifestyle I hope it becomes and I can share, I need to explore Duke’s creed further and what it means to live aloha.

Duke's Statue in Waikiki