Sunday, November 22, 2009


Karen and I went hiking with Frank, Robin, Giovanni, Lois and a few other people Sunday to explore Puu Waa Waa - an ancient, large cinder cone of a hill, or mountain (depending on if you are looking at it or hiking up it.)

Karen and I rarely get to go hiking since we've moved here so it was a treat to get out and see some new sights.

It wasn't exactly a short hike. We ended up hiking about 7 and a half miles round trip with 2,185 feet of climbing. It was a great workout though. Here are a few photos from our hike.

Karen, Giovanni and Frank near the start of our hike.

Long tall trees
Big fields and puffy white clouds
Our destination - The dome in the background, Puu Waa Waa.

At t he Summit. Hualalai volcano is in the background.

Watch where you step - COW PIES!

Danger lurking at the port-a-potty.

Are we lost yet? Robin our map reader
A line at the port-a-potty. As you can see no bushes or trees so you have to use the port-a-potty.

Lois and the David from Switzerland who is traveling around the world.

View from the top: Mauna Loa can be seen way out there through the vog (volcanic fog).

Seen from near the top: Mauna Kea way out there, too.

A clearer shot of Mauna Kea.

Karen at the summit marker.

On our way to the top.
At the top of the world. Well, not quite, but at least at the top of Puu waa waa.

Hmm. It's vacant and the rent is probably cheap. But it's a beast to hike to.

On our way back down.
Look! goats.

Giovanni taking photos.

Taking more photos.

Frank on the way up.

Cows in Hawaii? Yes. We have one of the largest working ranches in the USA on this island and not far from where this is.

Heading makai - toward the sea and back to the car.

Friday, November 20, 2009


How hard did you race? After all my complaining about how hard Ironman was, after watching this I will never complain again. He is a true Iron Dad! Dick and Rick Hoyt. (if you are reading this on Facebook, you'll have to go to my blog to view the video. )

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


With Thanksgiving coming up, I've been wanting to give back for all the blessings I've had this year. I've been blessed with a beautiful wife, great kids, and in a few months our first grandchild. I've also been blessed with good health - which hasn't always been the case in my life.

Even before Ironman I have felt like I wanted to do something with my fitness and health to help raise money and/or awareness for a cause or condition. Athlete and Navy SEAL David Goggins is one of my inspirations. He participates in ironmans, ultramans, and ultramarathons to raise money for children of fallen special forces members. 

As Ironman drew near I regretted not thinking of having some fundraiser in place where sponsors could have donated money for every mile I trained. Kind of like a walk-a-thon. I trained well over 5,ooo miles. Even at a dollar a mile that would have been some serious moola.

For several months now I've been trying to figure out how to get involved and do something such as that. There's plenty of people and causes out there that are in search of money but few of them are willing to help you figure out how to do something unique and different to accomplish it. It's more of a "take this form, have people fill it out, collect their money and bring it back."  For those who can do that I applaud you, but I'm looking for something  that is a challenge for me. something that I have to work at physically to accomplish. Something that takes endurance and a lot of mental toughness. Something that  is worthy of what it would represent. If that makes any sense.

I've thought about Team In Training or Janis or other fundraising-type of organizations but I really want to do more than just fundraise. I'm not good at going around to friends and businesses and asking them to donate money that most don't have anyway. I think I'm leaning more toward raising awareness for a cause perhaps. I'd be happy just to run down the road with a vehicle following me with a banner on it for some cause. I have thought about getting a few sponsors and running around the island to raise money and awareness for something, but that's been done before. 

With Veterans Day just here I thought maybe I could run, bike or swim and try to raise money for supplies for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. I kind of like that idea since our son, Daniel, is one of those troops. But is that enough? Would or could I even get any donations? Would anyone join me? What would I do? How do you even go about getting support? It would have to be something noticeable. An attention grabber. Something public and something that would draw people together I suppose.

Or maybe something along the same lines as David Goggins is doing. Maybe try to do something for families of fallen Marines. Maybe just a letter of appreciation for their  sacrifice. But how do you even find out who to help?

As you can see, I have a lot of research to do. I'm open to ideas or suggestions. If anyone knows of any companies that provide help along these lines let me know. Or if you have ideas on just how to get started or whatever ...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Each month the Marines send out a newsletter to the families of those who are serving. This is our first newsletter since Daniel has been deployed. It's a little unnerving especially when the commander admits it's dangerous and scary but it is what it is. If you want to write Daniel while he is deployed his address is:

lcpl wrighthouse
2/2 E Co unit 73070
FPO AE 09510-3070

It's OK if you don't know him personally. Just write to say hi and tell him what's happening in the world. Remember, he and the rest of Easy Company are cut off from the news of the rest of the world. The postage is the same as if it were being mailed within the US. Thanks and here's the newsletter if you care to read it.

From Capt Gorman
Dear Easy Company Families and Friends,
The TEAM is back together again. The difficult and arduous training is already being put to the test. The Marines & Sailors of Easy Company have been given a difficult job here in Afghanistan. The terrain is challenging and the enemy understands how to fight. Our focus has to remain on securing the people, connecting with the people, and helping the people regain the land that is rightfully theirs. The Marines & Sailors understand this and have already begun to build relations with the good people in our area of operations. Ninety-five percent of the people want change and help, but they are scared; 30 years of war and grief have made hope a distant dream for most. Unfortunately, this does not change without a fight.

(Members of 2/2 Easy Company training in the Mohave before deploying to Afghanistan)

From Day 1 your Marines & Sailors have impressed me with their discipline, motivation, and keen sense for understanding the dynamics of a counter-insurgency fight. They are professional warriors, and have proven they are ready for the physical and mental stresses of this environment. The tempo is high, but the Marines & Sailors are responding with motivation and eagerness, and the enemy is learning that they are not safe anywhere in this area.

The Marines & Sailors of Easy Company are all brave men, who have volunteered to fight far from the comforts of their homes and families, so that others can sleep safely at night. They are all America’s heroes. They love their country and they care for one another. The TEAM is strong, a trait that will be invaluable in the difficult days ahead.

This is a dangerous place; I will not hide that fact. It will be a long, difficult deployment for the Marines, Sailors and our families. Your unwavering support keeps them going everyday. I am proud of each and every one of our Marines & Sailors, as I know you are.

Please continue to reinforce their spirits with your support and dedication.

Semper Fidelis,
Capt Gorman


Below is a comment left on my blog from my sister, Debbie. I thought it was pretty funny so I'm posting it as its own post.

Hey there,
Learning & Earning is a great story. I was talking with my physical therapist Tuesday and he told me he was going to be competing in the Silverstate Ironman this coming weekend and that it would be done as a team. He will swim and two of his buddies will bike and run. He said he has always wanted to do an Ironman but knew he could never complete one by himself.He is afraid he could not do the 112m bike or the run (especially the run)after doing the other two. Although he has ran marathons before.
This is what our conversation was like:
Debbie: My brother just completed the Ford Ironman a couple weeks ago.
Jason: You have to Qualify.

Debbie: He Qualified.

Jason: Really, He must be single and not fond of sleeping, how long did he train?

Debbie: No he is Married and loves sleeping but hasn't done much this year,and he trained all year.

Jason: Well he doesn't have a Job or Kids then right?

Debbie: No he has a Job and five kids.

Jason: I had knee surgery!

Debbie: He had knee surgery!

Jason: I'm too old to start training that hard.

Debbie: He just turned 50.

Jason: How does a married guy with a job and kids and knee surgery commit that much time training and stay sane.

Debbie: He is an "IronMan"and I didnt say he was sane any more.

Jason: Awesome!

Just wanted to share my conversation with you that was about you.

Thanks Debbie for making me me smile.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I remember when I was a kid flying down hills on my bike at a million miles an hour. The wind roaring by drowning out every sound in the world. Freedom! The sun bright and warm. The smell of freshly cut grass in the air. The sky so blue I longed to be a bird to soar as high as I could go. Laughter came easily and I didn't have a care in the world. My whole life was in front of me. Anything was possible. You know what? That's exactly how I felt during Ironman.

Over the past year I've learned a lot about myself and life in general. I'm not sure you can train for Ironman and not learn a few things about yourself.

I learned that shaving your legs, though thrilling, is harder than it looks. That ice baths hurt like crazy but feel great at the same time. That having an understanding and encouraging wife is the most important training secret in the world. I learned that having a good time is more important than having a good time. Get it? In other words, is having a fast time in a race worth it if you aren't having fun training? After all, most of us are doing this for the fun of it, right?

I learned that music is the second best training secret in the world and that sweat will ruin a $400 iPod just as easily as dropping it in the ocean. I learned that the hard way. Training without music sucks, but I already knew that.

I learned that having family and friends cheer you on when you are completely exhausted and feel like giving up can completely revitalize you.

I learned I could hate even the thought of getting on my bike but hate the thought of not getting on my bike even more. I learned that riding through mud puddles is just as fun at 50 as it was at 15. Running barefoot through soggy grass is magical and skipping is ... well, you just have to try it (in public) and see.

Food! I learned a few things about food while training for Ironman. Carbs and calories work together your body can process only so many in a certain amount of time. Extra protein can pack on the weight real fast and salt tablets are the miracle drug of triathlon.

I learned not to eat raw almonds while riding a bike up a steep hill. Don't eat anything while riding up a steep hill or be prepared to be coughing food particles out of your lungs for the rest of your ride. PB & J sandwiches are the best food ever on long bike rides. Well, that and salty, greasy deep-fried chicken legs. Raisins are great for instant energy but easy to inhale while running. Chewing gum while eating an energy gel makes them go down easier and no matter how hard you try you can't eat an energy gel while swimming without stopping. I also learned I can't chew gum and swim at the same time. Can you?

I learned not to put any limitations on my goals or imagination. I can do the impossible. I did the impossible - Ironman. Never say never or can't. Dream big.

One thing I learned just recently is that finishing Ironman meant more to me than I ever could have imagined and that's the way I wanted it. That's why I trained so hard. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who could swim a few laps, bike a couple of miles and take a few minutes to think about running and consider that their training and probably finish an Ironman. And that's great. But I wanted my Ironman to mean something to me. I wanted to earn it. To brag about the thousands of miles I ran, biked and swam just so I could swim, bike and run 140.6 miles with a few other people on one very special day.

I wanted to earn every step, every pedal and swim stroke on that day. I guess one thing I learned is that it is much more rewarding to work hard for something rather than to do the bare minimum and get away with it.

That's just a few things I've learned this year.


How many times in your life have you installed seat covers in our vehicles? I've probably installed 20 or more sets of seat covers ...