The best I can do is teach you why

Kate and Izzy on the path to the beach/ surf sisters Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I just got back from a run. That’s pretty normal routine even on vacation. What set this… Continue reading

The Horizon, driftwood, and triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re back at Seagrove Beach, Florida this week. It’s our 2nd trip to the beach this summer. You kids are having a blast with your cousins. I remember… Continue reading

World Champion Craig Alexander talks about balancing marriage, parenting, and triathlon.

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

[Part 2] Why leading a blind athlete through a triathlon changed my life

* Continued from Part 1 Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, My alarm sounded at 4:45am on Sunday morning. I think I was already awake. I had fallen asleep thinking about swimming into darkness,… Continue reading

Why leading a blind athlete through a triathlon changed my life (PART 1)

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I learned so much about life yesterday. I wrote to you last week about my decision to lead blind triathlete Jeremy Winters through the Music City Triathlon. It… Continue reading

A New Adventure: Why I decided to guide a blind athlete through a triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I got a phone call from an old friend on Monday. It was one of those moments when you hear from someone that you haven’t talked with in… Continue reading

Our interview on Fox 17 Tennessee Mornings

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had an awesome experience today! You and I were interviewed on Fox 17’s Tennessee Mornings this morning by Nick Paranjape, Izzy. We got up early at 5am,… Continue reading

Twins: the small moments are worth all of the challenges

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve written to you often about how challenging it is raising twins. Especially twin 3 year olds. Thank goodness for you, Izzy. You’re such a big help. I… Continue reading

Gold Bond friction defense review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I learned early on that nothing makes a long race go from “merely uncomfortable” to “What was I thinking? I’m never doing this again” faster than blisters…and (ahem) chaffing. Yeah, it… Continue reading

Triathlon and The Endless Summer

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I was tired Sunday night. I did a long ride that morning and the rest of the day was full of activities, including the VBS closing celebration at… Continue reading

The Ken Coleman Show interview

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I did my first radio interview on Saturday. I was on the Ken Coleman Show where Ken and I talked about balancing parenting and pursuing your dreams with… Continue reading

A relaxing Sunday afternoon with twin 3 year olds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Yesterday I was asked during a radio interview how I manage to be “present” for my family after getting up at 5:00am and spending 4 hours on the… Continue reading

Louis Garneau Elite Lazer Tek 2 tri top and bottoms review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Triathletes are a loyal bunch. Although I’ve worn other apparel over the years, I still remember my first tri suit. It was a one piece Louis Garneau number.… Continue reading

30 Ironmans in a single year? And a father of 5? Meet James Lawrence: “The Iron Cowboy”

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

A Delicate Balance

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I came across this old photograph in Ochs Museum on top of Lookout Mountain. I stood in silence for a few minutes while you and Mommy looked at… Continue reading

Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This weekend I raced in Team-Magic’s Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon. It was my 3rd time to do the race. This year was different. I approached the race with uncertainty… Continue reading

Your children live by the example you set

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A lot is made in life of leadership. You’ll hear people talk about being leaders in various ways. Here are the three that come to mind immediately: Leading… Continue reading

Why showing up is just as important as finishing

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few days ago I was talking with my friend Daniel while we were riding our bikes. I spent several minutes telling him about my injured calf muscle.… Continue reading

Rudy Project Wingspan TT Helmet review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I have to be honest with you; Sometimes I look for short cuts – legal ways to save time or go faster. Especially in my racing. I wore… Continue reading

How to find the silver-lining

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wrote to you a while back about injuring my calf muscle. I took 10 days off from running and really babied my leg – icing it, using… Continue reading

Heard from the backseat: I want a pet!

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few nights ago we were driving through town you said something that made me laugh – and illustrated the differences in you kids. You’ve all been begging… Continue reading

Don’t be afraid of your reflection

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I took this picture yesterday while I was sitting on the front porch watching you kids play. I was thinking about other things, but casually watching you play… Continue reading

Meet Julia Polloreno: Editor in Chief of Triathlete Magazine, Triathlete, and Mom

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

Summer weekends at home

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great weekend. It was one of those rare times when there was no where we had to be: no birthday parties, no trips out of… Continue reading

How surf films changed my life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’ve been de-cluttering the house a little. Less stuff will give us freedom. And freedom has become the thing that mommy and I desire most in our life… Continue reading

Meet Hunter Kemper: 4 x Olympian, 7 x National Champion, 3 x Dad

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

Walking home

Dear Izzy, Max and Kate, I felt a little pain my calf muscle about 10 days ago. I pretended I didn’t. But 10 years into this triathlon thing I couldn’t just overlook it. I nursed… Continue reading

Why every kid should be a swim team kid

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I failed out of swim lessons. I’ve never even heard of a kid failing swim lessons, but your nana swears that I did when we lived in Belgium. Apparently… Continue reading

Rudy Project Zyon Sailing review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ll never forget the first time I put on a pair of “good” sunglasses. I picked up a pair of Rudy Project sunglasses 10 years ago at a… Continue reading

Fathers Day 2012: A letter from your mommy

GUEST POST BY KAREN NIKAZY – YOUR MOMMY. SHE WROTE THIS YESTERDAY ON FATHER’S DAY, BUT WE GOT SO BUSY THAT IT’S A DAY LATE. SUCH IS LIFE. Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,… Continue reading

Telling my kids about Lance Armstrong

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I don’t know Lance Armstrong. I’ve never even met him – although one time I was within 10 feet of him at an organized ride. Even though I’ve… Continue reading

What I learned by taking my 8 year old to a Jimmy Buffett concert

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last weekend we took you to your first Buffett concert, Izzy. You’ve been a little Parrothead since you were a baby. Since you were old enough to talk really. We… Continue reading

Meet Gordo Byrn: Ultraman world champion, multisport philosopher, and dad

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

The mix1 Project

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, When I was a teenager I was disciplined (with some things). As a wrestler I cut from my summer weight of 140 lbs down to 112 lbs for… Continue reading

One Wobbly Wheel

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few nights ago a neighbor pulled into our driveway to drop off one of your friends, Izzy. As usual our yard and driveway were full of toys,… Continue reading

Meet Craig Evans: a pro triathlete working a full time job and being a full time dad

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I met Craig early in my own triathlon “career”. I used to swim frequently at the Brentwood Indoor Sportscomplex, just south of Nashville, back then. One day Craig… Continue reading

The first time I failed as a father

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Ok, so it wasn’t the “first time I failed”, but it felt like it. 8 years ago when you were born Izzy I swore to you that I’d… Continue reading

Harpeth River Ride 2012: Chris Horner, Peanut Butter and Bacon sandwiches, and Cone Heads

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last Saturday I did the Harpeth River Ride metric century with my buddy Daniel. It’s become a tradition, with this being our 4th ride. The ride starts the… Continue reading

Meet Andy Potts – World Champion triathlete, Olympian, and Dad

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

My little girls

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Lately I’ve been explaining my letters to you to a lot of people. They’re curious about why and how I thought to do this. My explanation has usually… Continue reading

Nothing says “I love you” like a front headlock

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last night I had the pleasure of interviewing professional Xterra triathlete Craig Evans and meeting his family. It was my first video interview. I’ll post it here in… Continue reading

Meet Cam Dye; Pro Triathlete, Boulder’s native son, and Dad

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to Bree Wee: pro triathlete, surf girl, and mom. I want to continue to introduce you to great people who… Continue reading

Starting over

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great vacation at Sea Grove Beach, FL.  I hope you kids never forget going on vacation with your grand parents. One day you’ll realize how… Continue reading

Desperate, like the last day of vacation

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Yesterday I woke up with a sense of desperation. I dreaded Friday all week. Occasionally throughout our fun filled week at the beach, I would think about it,… Continue reading

Vacation before and after photos

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re still on vacation and you kids are having a blast! I wanted to take just a second and show you your daily progression: Before beach, pool, cookies,… Continue reading

Shallow enough for you to touch

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re at the beach this week with Nana and Papaw. Right now it’s 9:00pm and you 3 are sound asleep on the couch after a long day at… Continue reading

Starting lines and finish lines: How to be Grateful

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Here’s my confession: I haven’t run a step or biked a mile since Rev3 Knoxville two weeks ago. I’m going a little stir-crazy. I took the normal week… Continue reading

Meet Bree Wee: Pro Triathlete, Surfer girl, and Mom

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

The man’s guide to leg shaving: a step-by-step photo tutorial

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve been shaving my legs for years. I resisted the peer pressure in my first year of racing, but gave in in year 2. I won’t list the… Continue reading

Now what? Dealing with post race letdown:

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I swam this morning. It was just an easy 1000 yard “mostly pull” swim, but it was good to wake up early and stretch out a little. I… Continue reading

Rev3 Knoxville review: a family event

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a big weekend in Knoxville! For the most part it went exactly as I had hoped it would. While I didn’t quite hit my time goal… Continue reading

How to Follow a Training Plan

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Rev3 Knoxville is two days away! By this hour on Sunday I’ll be two hours into my race – somewhere between 25-30 miles into the bike with the… Continue reading

Right Now

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I slept in a little. For me that means 6:30AM. As I made my way down the hall, I could hear faint noises coming from your… Continue reading

Race Week

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Rev3 Knoxville race week is finally here. My 4th half-ironman race is next Sunday. I have mixed emotions about that already, as I always do. After 20 weeks… Continue reading

Charleston

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Here’s a little thing I wrote sometime in 2001, a couple of years after moving back to Tennessee from South Carolina. I wrote alot back then. I still… Continue reading

Fatherhood and Courage

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I heard Pastor Steve Berger talk about “courage” as Christians and the power that we have as believers to summon courage in our lives. Steve said… Continue reading

Buddy Trip 2012: Cheaha Challenge

“Toughest ride in the South” Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This weekend my buddies Bill Hampton, Daniel Tardy, and I completed the Cheaha Challenge in Piedmont, AL. We climbed the highest peak in… Continue reading

Sneak attack

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, One of my favorite things about mommy being a stay at home mom is that she keeps me updated on the daily happenings with you kids. Sometimes it’s… Continue reading

5 reasons why life should be more like baseball

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve been trying to slow the pace of our life lately. It occurred to me that the deliberately slow approach to the game is what makes me love… Continue reading

6 ‘o’clock Medicine

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Yesterday was one of those days when nothing was particularly bad, but nothing was particularly good either. My attitude wasn’t great yesterday. I’m tired from training alot. Unfortunately… Continue reading

Twins: dispute and resolution in two pictures

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This sort of drama plays out daily in our house. A quick spat, a tantrum, and mercifully a quick resolution, accompanied by a half choke half bear hug… Continue reading

Anchoring the ship: guiding principles for securing my life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I actually made some goals this year.  From an outsiders perspective 2011 looked great, I suppose. I got back to racing a lot, an activity that most people… Continue reading

The fine line: Living a good story vs. Telling a good story

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had lunch with one of my best friends a few days ago. He’s been in the Army since graduating from the Citadel in 1997. He’s been to… Continue reading

Spring Break: Dad style

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last week was spring break for you kids so I took off Thursday and Friday and we made a long weekend of it. It was far from the… Continue reading

Reframing The Good Old Days

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Over the last few months I’ve told you a lot about “good old days” in my life. There were the dedicated days a wrestler. The freedom and reckless… Continue reading

A weekend at Nana and Papaw’s house

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great weekend. Mommy finally had her day at the spa on Saturday, so you kids and I went to Nana and Papaw’s house. You guys… Continue reading

Why I decided get rid of my stuff

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve been overwhelmed a lot lately. Something’s been tugging at me, pulling me under, causing stress in my life that I can’t identify. I haven’t been sure how… Continue reading

Happy Anniversary Karen:13 years in 13 pictures

Dear Karen, Happy 13th anniversary. I love you. Here’s a recap of the first 13. We met on March 27th, 1998 in Murfreesboro, TN. 3 months later we were engaged and planned the… Continue reading

Being a dad is all I need

Dear Max, Being a dad is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. I’ll be honest though, it’s also hard sometimes. When you and your sisters came into my life I accepted… Continue reading

5 Ways to be a faster swimmer

I’m often asked for swimming advice, so I thought I’d post my most frequent tips here: Swim downhill – Most rookie swimmers tend to drag their legs like an anchor behind them. This… Continue reading

9 Ways to Survive Twin 3 year olds (or How Twin 3 year old are like Gremlins)

Meet Max and Kate, my twin 3 year olds. Sure, they look cute, but if you give them :30 unsupervised seconds they’ll turn your home into a scene from (insert post apocolypse movie… Continue reading

Watching your kids grow and the inevitable slope of time

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few years ago I remember sitting on the front porch on a warm spring day. I was feeling melancholy that day despite the weather change that normally… Continue reading

Inspiration, VIP parties, mud, BBQ, and getting lucky: Dad 2.0 Vision Quest Part 2

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, After the emotional trip to Dad 2.0 I wanted to just kick back and have some fun with the other writers and dads. I met so many cool… Continue reading

One Dad’s Vision Quest at Dad 2.0 Summit part 1

Dear Izzy Max, and Kate, I boarded an airplane last Thursday morning bound for Austin, TX. The idea was to attend Dad 2.0 Summit with my old friend Michael (friends since 5th grade),… Continue reading

Don’t be afraid…

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I stumbled upon this piece of art today. My friend’s sister made it. She creates cool stuff at Pitter Patter Art. I’ll let the message speak for itself,… Continue reading

The 500

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Mornings are one of my favorite times at our house. It seems that most of my favorite times come around our kitchen table, whether it breakfast or dinner,… Continue reading

Hello, I’m Uranus (plus the weekend training wrap up)

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This weekend was what I consider the first big training weekend in my build up to Rev3 Half Ironman. Saturday I went on a 52 mile ride with… Continue reading

Am I Ready?

MODIFIED, EDITED AND REPUBLISHED FROM A POST WRITTEN DECEMBER 8, 2011. THOUGHT IT WAS WORTH REVISITING TODAY: Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I recently read a blog post written by Gordo Byrn titled “Am… Continue reading

Confessions of a Bananasaurus

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I had a great swim. It seems that the sun and warmer temperatures are finally helping me break out of the funk I’ve been in with… Continue reading

Dreams, Fantasy, and Crap-uccino

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You kids were crazy last night. Mommy brought home some tiny things of ice cream for us as a treat. One of them was Starbucks Capuccino flavored. Max, you… Continue reading

5 Ways to Succeed as a Triathlete and Dad

Dads, here are the 5 ways I’ve learned to succeed at triathlon and keep the peace at home: Wake up Early! This is a tough one for alot of dads. Most everyday triathletes… Continue reading

Nothing is real if you don’t believe in who you are

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The little kid in the picture grew up on Rocky Balboa. That’s your daddy in 1985. I wanted to be Rocky when I was kid. Sometimes I still do.… Continue reading

How Kids add Fluffy Clouds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last night before dinner I decided to sketch a friend for the “runner dude” I sketched earlier this week. Kate, you took particular interest in the process. What… Continue reading

Peeing off the deck and other things Dad’s should teach their kids

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, As I watch you all I grow I’m always coming up with random things that make me think “hey, that was a good thing to teach the kids.… Continue reading

We just called it spaghetti

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I came home from work early yesterday because Mommy was sick. That’s a good thing for Dad’s and husbands to do. The goodwill Dad’s create by coming home early and letting their… Continue reading

The Wrinkled Shirt

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wear wrinkled shirts alot these days. A long time ago your Nana used to starch and press them for me, then before you kids came along I… Continue reading

The Hulk, weak as a kitten

 Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was a strange weekend at home. Izzy, you went to Aunt Carolyn’s in Knoxville with Grandma and Grandfather for a short visit so we missed you! Meanwhile… Continue reading

Don’t miss it

 Valentines Mug shots from Max and Kate Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Lately I’ve been wrestling with what I’ve decided is an addiction to noise. Our modern lives are filled with it: email,… Continue reading

How a triathlete does the Truffle Shuffle

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I blame you. I blame you for causing me to gain 20 pounds since Ironman Boulder 70.3 in August! Once I started training again the reality of the extra pounds… Continue reading

Crushed cheez-its. Smashed poptarts. It’s okay.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate I’m constantly trying to improve as a father. Mommy reminds me regularly that I’m already doing a great job, but to me if there’s one thing I need… Continue reading

It’s not the money, It’s the effort

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Happy Valentines Day! Thats your mommy cruising Charleston harbor in 1999. We loved Charleston very much. We lived there on Seabrook Island for the first year that we… Continue reading

Let Them Eat Cake

Busted! Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I ran my first 5k race since 2007 on Saturday morning. It was 24 degrees with 20mph winds. Luckily most of the race was on the heavily… Continue reading

Family Friday

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve been interested in our family history of late. I have lots of old pictures to share with you, but I’ll start here. This one is from 1939.… Continue reading

The List

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I know it’s been a month and a half since Christmas, but Izzy, I wanted to post your Christmas list here anyway. I love you sweet girl. Don’t… Continue reading

Don’t let your dreams be dreams

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Although “dreamer” sometimes carries a negative connotation, I think it’s okay to admit to being one, but only if it’s accompanied by action. When mommy and I first… Continue reading

Because…

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Mommy made this sign for our kitchen. It’s just a regular picture frame, but she framed a piece of paper that says “I love you, because…”. We (mostly… Continue reading

Get to / Have to

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Today is my rest day, so I didn’t get to do any training today. Did you catch that? I didn’t “get” to rather than “have” to. There’s a big… Continue reading

Chapters of Life

Dear Izzy, Max and Kate, We’ve had a busy weekend, so it’s been a few days since I’ve written to you. Mommy and I pulled out some old pictures this weekend, because mommy… Continue reading

The best thing I did today

Dear Izzy, Max and Kate, I’ve taken the last couple of days off from work just relax and get my head screwed on right before I tackle some new projects and challenges at… Continue reading

What Heaven looks like

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I took some chances yesterday. I said some things that needed to be said to some folks who needed to hear from me. I’d like to tell you that… Continue reading

Head and heart

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Yesterday was a long day for your dad. Life can be stressful sometimes and as human beings we get caught up in the current of that stress. It gives… Continue reading

“Feels like…”

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I finally got that bike ride done yesterday morning at sunrise. It was 24 degrees outside when I started, but I can’t stand riding my stationary trainer. I… Continue reading

Letters to my kids

This morning while riding my bike I was thinking about my kids, as usual. I often wonder what they’ll think of me one day when I’m gone. I’ve blogged on the subject before,… Continue reading

Last minute hustle

More of the same last night. Max crept into our bedroom around around 4:00am, followed by Kate around 4:45am. Karen went first to Max’s bed and ultimately to the couch at some point.… Continue reading

The reset button

I had a friend in elementary and middle school who drove me crazy with the reset button. It started with Nintendo and progressed with us to the Sega Genesis. Sports games were our thing;… Continue reading

About this blog

Most men competing in triathlons are driven, motivated, hard-charging guys. Unless they’re part of a very select group though, they also work regular jobs and have families to support and raise. I’m one of… Continue reading