Category Archive: fatherhood

The gentle glow, now and again

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve never been sure which holds me more captive – the gentle warming  sunrise with it’s subtle, and then sudden, burst of light or the cooling breeze and… Continue reading

Chattanooga 70.3: The Oldest Surfer on the Beach

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It took a few days before I started to reflect upon the whole thing. Like many times in my life, a song triggered emotions. I sat on the… Continue reading

A Full Life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You have strep throat Max. I’ve been home with you the last couple of days, working inbetween building legos and finding on demand episodes of Avengers Assemble and… Continue reading

Happy 7th birthday Max and Kate

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You turn 7 tomorrow, Max and Kate. I’m posting this a day early – because like back then, I couldn’t wait to meet you. Mommy made this short… Continue reading

What is the Holy Spirit? (my favorite possession)

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I sat in a chair in our living room with the sun rising and coming through the windows behind me. You curled in my lap Kate… Continue reading

Twin Encouragement

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I have a friend, fellow triathlete and writer who often serves as an inspiration for me. I was introduced to Bo Parrish by a mutual friend because we… Continue reading

Part 3: Parenting a (very) young student athlete through adversity

READ PART 1 READ PART 2  Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was silent for a few moments. I sat and rubbed your back while you stared at the wall. I stood to… Continue reading

Part 2: Parenting a (very) young student athlete

READ PART 1 HERE Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, “Is she with you?” I said. “Yes. In the van,” she said. “She’s okay. Just needs a little while.” “What was her time?” “Don’t… Continue reading

Parenting a (very) young student athlete through adversity

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’ve been running together in the evenings, Izzy. As soon as summer swim season ended you said you were ready to start “training” for middle school cross country… Continue reading

Why we go back to the Sea (Seagrove 2015)

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Each year I think that perhaps the waves will feel just the same as before. Like some familiar part of my life that has lost it’s mystery. Like… Continue reading

Backstroking your way past fear

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,  I watched you from a few feet away. I could see the sob working it’s way up within you, the quiver of your lip, and then – the… Continue reading

Meditation and Regular Life again and again

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve written to you a lot over the last few years about relevance, being authentic, about how each of you is your already your own little person and… Continue reading

Memorial Day 2015

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I promised you that I would eventually get back to writing to you about the day-to-day of our lives. While there isn’t always something profound about our daily… Continue reading

A Pirate Looks at 40

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I turned 40 a few days ago. Someone asked me how I feel about it; I’ve been thinking about that question ever since. I’m not sure – I guess… Continue reading

3 simple things half ironman training taught me about life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve learned a few things about training for half ironman races over the years. In the process, triathlon has taught me a lot about life. And I hope… Continue reading

Driving a truck with no shirt on and running with horses

  Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, They saw me coming around the corner I guess. And by the time I reached the fence dividing them from me and the road and their open… Continue reading

The Electric Horseman

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I sat with my hands over my face. Slowed my breathing, released slow. easy. breathes. felt hot tears fill the corners of my eyes, roll down my cheeks,… Continue reading

The Welcome Home Routine

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Tonight when I came home you three were sitting on the couch together. Scowls all around. Sometimes you 3 meet me at the door or even in the… Continue reading

The flu, bitterness, and baseball slumps

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I planned on starting the year off right. Start writing again. Start exercising again – moving towards something that resembled training eventually. And the hardest thing of all… Continue reading

New Years Day 2014

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I was asleep when the clock struck midnight on 2014. That’s generally been the way I’ve ushered in each new year for a decade or more. At one… Continue reading

Are you free? 5 lessons from Kate on how to be true to yourself.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve written to you a lot about being authentic; True to yourself even when the world doesn’t think you should. I’ve written to you about being relevant; Being… Continue reading

The Christmas Tree

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You wrote this poem last night Izzy. Thank you for the beautiful reminder (you’ve always had a way of keeping us centered). It made Mommy and I both… Continue reading

Thanksgiving and a lesson on giving over breakfast

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We spent Thanksgiving surrounded by family. We’re lucky to be surrounded by your grandparents, your uncles, aunts, and cousins. Because you’re the youngest of the nieces and nephews… Continue reading

Erin Baker’s Wholesome Baked Goods review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I stumbled upon Erin Baker’s breakfast cookies around the same time I got involved in triathlon. I don’t recall exactly, but I’m sure I saw a Triathlete magazine… Continue reading

“Come look”

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,  Mommy ran into our room laughing this morning while I was dressing for work. “Come look,” she whispered. I love you, – Daddy  

Faster. Circles.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You play on the tire swing on Saturdays at the playground behind our house. You girls sit on the tire while Max spins you around again. Again. Again… Continue reading

Old Friends

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Papaw moved our family to Hendersonville in 1985 after retiring from his career in the Army. I was in 5th grade. Because we moved in the middle of… Continue reading

Fall memories and delaying the endless pursuit of perfection

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We made an entire week out of celebrating your 5th birthday Max and Kate. Sunday we invited family and a few friends to come and play at Ring… Continue reading

Happy 5th birthday Max and Kate

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I sat alone in a cold empty hallway. A nurse left me sitting in a solitary chair outside a set of double doors.  “I’ll come back for you,”… Continue reading

Why recruiting matters

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had coffee recently with a guy I used to work with years ago. He admitted that he’s never understood guys like me. As he put it, “hardwired… Continue reading

Fall break

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I hurt my knee back in June. At the end of a long day on my feet I stepped out of the cargo van full of empty peach… Continue reading

Taking your 9 year old daughter to see Jack Johnson

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I put my arm around you Izzy. We sat in the balcony together while Mommy sat on the 2nd row. As the lights went down, you rose to… Continue reading

Why Dads should wrestle with their sons

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You’re all getting big enough now that you’re starting to measure yourselves against me. I had heard that day would come. Can I run faster than daddy? Nope,… Continue reading

The problem with relevance

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I used to worry because I didn’t know how to explain to you kids what I did at work. I lacked relevance in my own heart and mind.… Continue reading

A Saturday nap on the couch

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I don’t nap. Ever. Unless it’s dark outside and past 8pm, I can’t sleep. In order to sleep I need complete darkness, complete silence, and a full day… Continue reading

Where writing comes from

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A new friend asked me today about writing. It forced me to think about my process. The lack of such of a thing. I reflected upon it as… Continue reading

The lines in my face

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I read about a group of local guys who are riding their bikes from Oregon to Patagonia. I looked them up and realized that I know one of them personally. I… Continue reading

Breathing still: a journal entry from the past in the present

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Here’s an  old journal entry I dug up from 1999. I wrote it one evening as the sun set over Bohicket Creek, on the Ace basin, John’s Island, SC.… Continue reading

Izzy and the Brentwood Kids Triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, One of the best days of the year for us in each of the last three years has been your race at Team Magic’s Brentwood Kids Tri, Izzy.… Continue reading

2013 Mtn. Lakes Triathlon review

Dear Izzy, Max,and Kate Ten years passes quickly. So much in my life is different in 2013 than it was in 2002 when I made my first trip to Guntersville, AL for Team… Continue reading

Tales from the dinner table: Volume 4: We break things

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was just the three of us at home last night, Max and Kate. Mommy was teaching swimming lessons and Izzy was at church with a friend. I… Continue reading

With each 1st day of school

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’m struggling for words of late. Unfortunately that’s meant fewer letters to you kids. There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly it’s because life is good… Continue reading

The distance you travel is relative

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re leaving this afternoon for my final triathlon of the summer down in Guntersville, AL. I’ve done the Mt. Lakes Triathlon many times over the years since my… Continue reading

Seagrove August 2013

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We walked on the beach in the dark. I put my feet in the water and looked across the black water. It rose against the horizon, the moon… Continue reading

How life should feel

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re at the beach again this week. We visit the beach twice each year. It’s important to us; a way to connect. A reset for the heart and… Continue reading

A flat stone sinking into the deep

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Your feet almost reach the foot-board of your bed now, Izzy. I don’t know why I noticed this recently. But as I passed by your room while gathering… Continue reading

A summer morning’s walk

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We walked down to the creek yesterday morning.  You asked to take your shoes off and walk in the shallow parts. I sat and watched from the grassy… Continue reading

Believe

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve never been the sort of believer who talks freely about hearing God’s voice. It always seemed so out there to me; like something people who are a… Continue reading

Freedom, joy, and High Cotton

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s been a hectic summer.  Odd work hours for both mommy and I, practices, bible school, always something these days. Several weeks ago we started a new family… Continue reading

Back on solid ground

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I needed some rest. Like Jimmy Buffett said, “I can’t run at this pace very long.”  So I took a week off from training. It’s rare for me… Continue reading

Carpe Diem, my son!

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Yesterday Mommy got you two little ones bathed, changed, and generally cleaned up. We were leaving “in 5 minutes” to go deliver peaches. She told you not to… Continue reading

What I learned by falling down

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I started loading peaches into the truck at the storage building at 7:30am on Friday. I worked on my feet at the Farmer’s Market until 4pm. Then we went… Continue reading

Old Hickory Lake Triathlon 2013

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Going “home” stirs something in the spirit. When you’re weary and tired from life’s day to day challenges, returning to the place where your dreams were formed and… Continue reading

Sometimes you have to choose

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Tuesday morning was a learning experience for me. Mommy and I decided to let you go to a birthday party sleepover on Monday night, Izzy; the night before… Continue reading

Learning to let go of control

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I woke at 4:30am  on Sunday – Father’s Day. I climbed on my bike at 5:15 and rode 43 miles. Mostly moderate-to-hard miles, feeling like the extra effort… Continue reading

Suffering,chocolate donuts and greatness

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I came across this old picture a few weeks ago at Nana and Papaw’s house. It’s from a cold evening in February 1993: McClellan Gymnasium on the University… Continue reading

Fireflies

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Barefoot silhouettes small voices in whispers beneath the trees of our front yard. Hiding our house from the world. The same house that didn’t feel like enough not so long… Continue reading

200 years too late

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I didn’t want to run. I woke up and turned off my alarm that had yet to sound. I’m preprogrammed to wake up between 4:30-5:00am now.… Continue reading

Time to swim ashore

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, As the sun set into the Gulf I sat and considered the future. How one path leads to another and what’s behind you becomes overgrown sometimes and you… Continue reading

Life in the mixing bowl

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sometimes you have to go at the mixing bowl with reckless abandon. No time for keeping things clean. Making sure the time is right. The oven is the right temperature.… Continue reading

Team SP 5k for Oklahoma

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, In response to the tornado in Oklahoma I wanted to do something to help.  It’s a strange feeling being on vacation while so many are suffering. Mommy and… Continue reading

My favorite time of day

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate We’re having a blast on vacation. Each day is filled with hours on the beach, trips to the pool, sandcastles, boogie boarding, and holes dug to “all the… Continue reading

No ones keeping score

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I walked down to the beach alone.  I sat in the sand, digging my toes in, feeling the coolness of it’s depth – before the heat… Continue reading

The Leap

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I get emails and messages sometimes from other moms and dads who read my letters to you here on the blog. They often thank me for sharing my… Continue reading

3 Bugs in a Rug

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I woke up at 4:30 this morning and went for a swim. I’m starting what my coach calls a “transition week,” meaning I’m shifting from a week of… Continue reading

Meet Liz Lyles: mother of two, wife, and Ironman champion

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

Rev3 Knoxville 70.3 race report

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had such a great time at Rev3 Knoxville last year we decided to go back again this year. I trained hard, through the ebbs and flows of a… Continue reading

Race week mantra: Chop wood, carry water

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wake up thinking about it. I try to put it out of my mind – focus on the tasks of the day, being present in the moment,… Continue reading

Joe Kapacziewski: Husband, Father, Triathlete, and Soldier

Dear Izzy Max, and Kate, I have met and talked to a lot of interesting people over the years of my involvement in triathlon. Some of them were and are athletic heroes of… Continue reading

The Last Long Run

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, As I approach the end of my 20 week training cycle I’ve been reflecting on the journey. Here’s a post I wrote for Rev3’s blog called “The Last… Continue reading

Tales from the dinner table: Simple prayers

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s been awhile since I’ve shared one of our dinner conversations with you. We put a lot of importance on family dinner time. Mommy has been teaching swimming… Continue reading

Handprints: how time passes

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Yesterday I held you, tired from fighting frail after the struggle a crackling of machines. Warm from your mother’s womb Softness of God nestling against my chest and… Continue reading

Ahead of What?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate I worked my way through it. The first big overdistance training weekend of my 20 week training cycle. I’ve done  a few rides in excess of race distance… Continue reading

Clarity and Trust in the Texas hill country: Part II

PART II OF TRUST AND CLARITY IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY. READ PART I HERE. Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We drove straight to Salt Lick BBQ when we arrived. It didn’t disappoint.… Continue reading

Clarity and Trust in the Texas hill country: part 1

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Carolyn Horton handed me a pistol. “It’s scatter shot,” she said. “So you don’t need to have good aim, just point and shoot.” She walked back up the… Continue reading

Rudy Project Gozen sunglasses review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I now own 3 pair of Rudy Project sunglasses. Yes, they’re that good. Along with my Zyon sailing and Noyz glasses I was lucky to also get my… Continue reading

Daddy, here’s a dollar

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, People don’t slow down often. I saw a guy cut across a median on the off ramp and slide 3 lanes over. That move motivated, I presume, because… Continue reading

Life is just a tire swing: Easter photos and potlucks

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great weekend! The sort of weekend that you hope for during the other five days of the week….filled with fun, love, and photo opps. It… Continue reading

Peaceful Easy Feeling

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Grandfather sent us this picture of you fishing beside the Pedernales River in Texas, Izzy. I stared at it for a long time. Different emotions overcame me as… Continue reading

8 of my triathlon training essentials

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s becoming more and more popular, but triathlon is still a “fringe sport.” For that reason I’m asked often what sorts of products I use regularly in training.… Continue reading

Sunshine on a cloudy day

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The breezes helped me relax as I lay motionless, eyes closed, drifting back in time: a beach in Hawaii, a beach in South Carolina, Mexico, Duval Street, Bourbon… Continue reading

Quiet beautiful pictures in our hearts and minds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Moments like this make life worth the struggles we sometimes face.  The quiet beautiful pictures we slow down to capture in our hearts and minds (and sometimes on… Continue reading

Seek and you will find

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We wandered through unfamiliar streets. Bordered by thick green, heat waves, and banana trees. All of it felt like it might close in on us at once. I… Continue reading

Rites of Passage: Rev3 Blog

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Rev3 ran my second installment on their Rev Blog yesterday. It’s called “Rites of Passage”. When I wrote it I was really thinking about your papaw and about… Continue reading

It feels so good feeling good again

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wrote to you a few days ago about some of the struggles I’ve been having with my health. At first the doctors called it an ulcer. When… Continue reading

How Triathletes raise their children

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I fear you’ve seen me riding my bike trainer too often… You discovered a hole in the front yard, placed your rear wheel in the hole, steadied the… Continue reading

Changes in Attitude

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The first 20 passed effortlessly. The first signs of spring allowed me to ride in bib shorts and a jersey rather than the layers I’ve been wrapping myself… Continue reading

Karen

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Life gets busy. We keep a hectic schedule at our house, between work, school, gymnastics, swim team, training, side projects, friends, family, etc. I’m not good at the… Continue reading

Saturday Ride: Pressing into the still life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Another silent morning. Layered. Pressing into the still life. Sunrise held captive by the heaviness drifting across the horizon. Snow fell, mixed with thicker, less beautiful, ice. Into… Continue reading

The Way I Take: One Twelve Media

Dear Izzy, Max ,and Kate, I heard a guy speak yesterday on the book of Job. As he made light of the Job’s trials I considered the path I’ve been following.  My life… Continue reading

Loneliness and the journey

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I started to feel it this weekend. That empty feeling I get. The loneliness that sets in as the miles build. I’ve written to you about how miles… Continue reading

How to scare the bajeebers out of your kids

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’m a bad daddy. I scare my kids. But only at their request. Here you two little ones are a few nights ago after “seeing a monster” downstairs… Continue reading

Perspective in the dark

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was dark when I walked in. The oddity threw me off balance for a moment. I stopped, rubbed the morning stubble still on my face, as if… Continue reading

Peeking into the cave

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had a rare Saturday with no training yesterday. Thanks to a quirk in my schedule I managed to get my workouts accomplished during the week, leaving me… Continue reading

Attitude is Everything

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I found this note in your “Izzy – Tall and Proud” envelope at home. It’s one of the many places you store your self-affirmations and life lessons that… Continue reading

It will come: Belief in the face of fear, doubt, and uncertainty

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The deep ache set in somewhere around 30 miles.  I ate another gel and began to slow. I’ve been on my bike diligently through the winter, but for… Continue reading

Swiftwick SUSTAIN sock review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wrote to you about Swiftwick a while back. Someone commented on the letter to the effect of “how can you write about socks?” It’s easy. My socks… Continue reading

Healthy Life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We don’t need a life coach at our house. We have you, Izzy. I’m constantly finding your notes around the house ranging from “how to save the planet”… Continue reading

How Revolution Changes Everything

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve changed. Sometimes you’ll hear that people don’t change; It’s just the circumstances around them. I’m not sure I believe that. Perhaps a little backstory is necessary if… Continue reading

A true American super hero: Fireman Rob Verhelst

Across the Threshold: 140.6

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last night I found myself on my bike trainer at 9:30pm in our living room, listening to music, watching a basketball game, spinning my legs, my mind racing.… Continue reading

Monster Trucks, ear plugs, and the voice of God

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, When it started we were stunned. I wondered how loud it might really be, assuming that from our vantage point the noise would be manageable. It rattled our… Continue reading

Mizuno Wave Rider 16 review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I went surfing a few times when I lived in South Carolina. One day in particular stands out in my mind. It wasn’t one of the quiet days… Continue reading

A Chat with your Papaw: Eddie Nikazy

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This the 200th letter that I’ve written to you here. So I thought I would do something special. Your papaw, my dad, is a man of few words.… Continue reading

Kitchen dancing: Gettin’ down to the Grateful Dead

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Another installment in our “gettin down” series: Kate, my little hippy child, we just had an extended kitchen dance session to the Grateful Dead’s “Hard to Handle.” I… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong and Grace

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, They gathered together, as much as that’s possible, in our modern age of social media. Virtual torches and pitchforks lifted. Snarled expressions. A thirst for blood. When there’s… Continue reading

The monsters in the dark: triathletes and 4:30am

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s there every morning. It’s been there my entire life. Most mornings it pokes me, pinches me, pushes me until I’m out of bed, on my feet. Listening… Continue reading

Zoot thermoMegaHeat jacket and pants review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I prefer the outdoors to indoor training (although my coach is trying to teach me to love my bike trainer). Unless I’m equipped with the right gear  it… Continue reading

Tales from the dinner table: candle lit dinners vs. real life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sometimes I imagine other families having dinner. For some reason it’s quiet, dimly lit, perhaps just a candle flickering on the table. Maybe there’s soft music playing. Probably… Continue reading

Life gets serious

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I got an email from my contact at a PR company I’ve been working with a few weeks ago. He let me know that he was moving on… Continue reading

The Snackadium

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s the best time of year for football fans everywhere. The NFL playoffs are in full swing and the BCS National Title game between Alabama and Notre Dame is… Continue reading

Happy Saturday: Gettin’ down to Frankenreiter

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We do a lot of kitchen dancing at our house. It brings laughter and joy into our home. When you’re grown with kids of your own I hope… Continue reading

Meet Brady Murray: Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

New Year’s Day 2013

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last year around this time I decided that I needed change in my life. A lot of it. I needed to listen to the stirring in my spirit… Continue reading

The Family Friendly guide to planning your race season

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate I gather my things. I shuffle around the house in sweatpants looking for something to write with. Some years I find a pen, but I’ve used a crayon… Continue reading

Saturday morning ride: Breaking Belgian

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, My family moved to Belgium shortly after I was born. We lived there until I was your age, Max and Kate. There are only a few things I… Continue reading

The year of “OF COURSE”

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great Christmas. We’re fortunate to live close to family, so we make the rounds every year: Christmas Eve lunch at Aunt Lisa’s in White Bluff… Continue reading

Saturday morning run: alone in the dark

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was 23 degrees this morning. I put on layers: running tights, running pants over them, wool socks, a long sleeve shirt, a new running jacket, a thermal… Continue reading

Healthy eating for the entire family: A chat with RD and pro triathlete Kim Schwabenbauer

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’m often asked about nutrition. I guess it’s because I’m a triathlete and that causes people to assume I also eat wisely. While I think I make good… Continue reading

Just One

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We  went to the grocery store after gymastics practice Monday night, Izzy. It’s a sort of daddy-daughter routine of ours, no matter how mundane it may be. I… Continue reading

Pearl Izumi PRO Softshell WXB 3×1 Glove review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I don’t like to train indoors. I’m indoors too much as it is, so I always choose an outdoor training when I can. Even when it’s freezing, sleeting,… Continue reading

A Children’s Book: The Girl and the Dog

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You often talk about growing up to be a chef and an artist, Izzy. But you spend the bulk of your free time writing. I find stories, notes,… Continue reading

The legend of ol’Grey Tooth

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, In the darkness, beyond shadow, and depths of night, there lived a creature known as ol’ Grey Tooth. He terrorized his sisters. And crept into his parents room… Continue reading

Tales from the dinner table: the trophy wife

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sitting around the dinner table at night is important to our family. We try to sit down everynight for dinner. Sometimes it’s a simple pizza or take out, but… Continue reading

Saturday morning ride

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I rode through the country this morning. The first grey, damp ride of the new training season. I passed a field of cows, moving slowly in the half… Continue reading

Raising Twins: what kind of cars do clowns drive?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few nights ago I took you two little ones to Pet Smart with me to get Coco the dogs nails trimmed. Seemingly simple trips always turn into… Continue reading

The first step: Why signing up for your next race makes all the difference

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The distance is nothing ; it is only the first step that is difficult. – Madame Marie du Deffand I stumbled upon this quote yesterday. I thought about… Continue reading

Watching the embers float away

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I spent Saturday night in the backwoods of Kentucky, sitting close to a bonfire, staring into the heat of it. I sat close. Close enough that I pulled… Continue reading

How my little girl plans to make sad people happy: Part 2

PART 1 Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wrote to you a few weeks ago about your sticker club, Izzy. You’ve continued collecting stickers and putting them in notebooks. I find them all… Continue reading

What Rocky Balboa taught me about self-worth

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The original Academy Award winning Rocky came out in 1976. I was 2 years old. The film and it’s sequels have been a part of my life as… Continue reading

Why I love trail running: Creativity vs. Efficiency and life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Road running is a measure of efficiency. Trail running is an expression of creativity. When my road season ends I’m always anxious to get on the trails, deep… Continue reading

The miles: how I covered 112 for preemies

* Part 2 of: 112 miles for Preemies Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I shuffled into our driveway, stepping from the road’s pavement to the crumbling aggregate rock. It’s separating, becoming gravel in… Continue reading

Room in the Inn

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I met Anthony last night. He writes poems in his notebook and recites them with passion for the words. He can feel the weight and the blessing of… Continue reading

He waited up

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I went to a visitation last night for a friend whose dad passed away. He had been sick for a long time. We stood in the funeral home,… Continue reading

My 1st article in Triathlete Magazine!

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I started reading Triathlete Magazine in 2002. Since then I’ve dreamed about publishing an article in the magazine. After 10 years in the sport, many miles, and lots… Continue reading

Three Little Birds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You played in the leaves at Nana and Papaw’s house on Sunday. Took turns on the rope swing in the backyard. Watched several deer sneak into the yard,… Continue reading

112 miles for preemies

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, 500,000 babies are born early every year in the United States. In 2008 you were two of them, Max and Kate. You were 10 weeks early. That experience… Continue reading

Looking back it was so fast

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was only a two mile drive, so my car’s defroster was still working to reach the outer edges of the seasons first frost. I sat alone in… Continue reading

Happy Halloween!

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You asked me to draw you a zombie. I sketched this guy out for you at the kitchen table a few nights ago. Part zombie, part Frankenstein. Just… Continue reading

Simple things: the philosophy of Max

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve written to you before about how we take turns at the dinner table praying. Each of you get a few seconds to say your own prayer. It’s… Continue reading

Weekend Ride: Endless possibilities and a wave of black birds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had a rare opportunity Saturday morning. The opportunity to do whatever I wanted, with no time limits. Mommy coached a swim meet most of the day and… Continue reading

Watching your child compete

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was your first real gymnastics meet, Izzy. You had been nervous for a week leading up to the meet. “What if I don’t do well on the… Continue reading

8 Ways to Relax

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I studied the trees. It’s fall and the colors are changing. Brilliant shades of orange, yellow, red, and purple. Several minutes passed as I stared and… Continue reading

Happy 4th birthday Max and Kate

Dear Max and Kate, Yesterday on my trail run I noticed the contrast between the blue of the sky and the changing fall colors of the trees. I considered how to describe the… Continue reading

Alone in the woods, listening

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I spent the early hours of last Sunday morning in the woods. Alone. I love trail running and by August I’m usually looking forward to the end of… Continue reading

How my little girl plans to make sad people happy

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You’ve been collecting stickers, Izzy. All kinds. Big and small. Elaborate fuzzy glow in the dark stickers and simple stars. You spend hours putting them in books. Yesterday… Continue reading

Hospitals and milkshakes

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You’ve been sick since Thursday, Kate. Your fever has peaked at 104.6. Mommy and I sit and watch you rest on the couch. And at night we sit… Continue reading

Why I didn’t race: Part 2

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, CONTINUED FROM PART I Learning to be still played a big role in why I didn’t go. After 20 weeks of training I stayed home, and missed the… Continue reading

Why I didn’t race after 20 weeks of training: Part 1

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, They’re racing at Rev3 South Carolina this morning. I was supposed to be there making my 5th attempt at a sub-5:30 half ironman. But I’m not there. I… Continue reading

Just part of it

Dear Max, I was awake. I rested there on my side, watching you sleeping fitfully. Shallow breathes. And each drawing gaps between your ribs. Retracting. We’ve been down this road before. The fear… Continue reading