Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Ironman Thank Yous

NumberPlateI find myself on the eve of the known unknown. It’s been 9 years 1 month since I last completed an Ironman. I know what to expect. Yet there are so many unanswered questions. One question I can answer is how to play along at home. You can track me here. In keeping with my pre-race traditions, I have a long-ish post.

As with any undertaking of this magnitude, the nerves come into play. With old age comes wisdom, though it appears that the accompanying dish of calm and grace under pressure was not on the menu. Barring an injury on course, I will complete the distance. The question really comes down to the total time on course. The work has been done, deposits have been made. Tomorrow, athletes will withdraw with gusto, hoping that they have sufficient funds, and in some cases, overdraft protection.

To get to this point is a monumental effort. Not by the individual, standing along in the face of trials and challenges, but rather by an extended team of caring, loving and supportive people. This is the most selfish thing I do. It requires tremendous amounts of time, energy, and effort. Despite my best efforts to impact my schedule alone, the tax on my family, friends, and social network cannot be ignored. I want to take a minute to thank each of them, and tell them I will be carrying each of them with me on course tomorrow.

To my wife, Christy, you are an amazing life partner. There is no chance, NONE, that I would have this opportunity if it wasn’t for you. When I was nearly dead and broken, you did what needed to be done. You were patient with me, and then told me to get off my ass, quit my whining, and get back to racing. It takes a special kind of love to deliver that message. As a role model for our children, I could ask for none better. Your dedication to Oom Yung Doe excellence is a constant reminder to our children about the value of setting and achieving goals. Your dedication to your husband, and their father, is a shining example of what it is to give in a marriage. You give so that I may race. For all that you do, I love you to pieces.

Kid Bots, I hope that you find this message one day in the future and can understand how much you mean to me. You guys give me more joy in a day than I deserve. C, your intelligence and wit are without match, and your incredible curiosity tells me that you are likely to be a creative genius some day. T, I have little doubt that should you continue to want to be a professional life size Lego creator you will be one. I love how lost you can get in the craft of building your creations, and you honor me every time you share them with us. R, your personality is starting to shine through, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see you out on course going long some day. You’re fierce and strong, and don’t take shit from anyone. You guys keep me going when I get to the dark places in training and my racing. I look forward to seeing you all at the finish line.

Alex, there is no greater best friend a man could ask for. 20 years, each one a joy. While I am sad that you are off to new adventures on a new continent, you have served as a role model to me in more ways than you will ever know. There are few non-family moments of which I can think that I cherish more than our morning rides. I’m not sure when we will get another one in, geography being what it is and all, but that doesn’t matter. There are years ahead of us still. I am a much, much stronger rider because of chasing you.

Coach Ben, you have taken a broken down old man and whittled away to get something that, if you squint hard enough, resembles an athlete. My goal for this race is pretty simple. Go faster at 40 than I did at 30. It’s a much harder course, but I don’t really have any doubts about the results tomorrow. This has been a great journey. I hope to do honor to the team colors I will be flying tomorrow.

529Legion guys. Where would I be without you guys? More than anyone else, each of you has been witness to my transformation through sport, specifically riding. I love being in the saddle, whether it’s XC racing, all mountain riding, down-hilling, or being a roadie. I love you guys for the incredibly down to earth people that you are, how much support you give each other, and how fun you make it to be on two wheels. A couple of you have sent me mails ahead of this race. THANK YOU. Your words and encouragement will carry me through the race. As a group, you guys really are something special and to be treasured.

Harvard-Westlake Scramble Participants. It was a great joy being a part of the process, and helping raise funds for such a cool event for high schoolers. A special thank you goes to Rob Levin. You always believed in me, and I’m not sure why. Kids don’t forget the kindness of adults. Please don’t stop being you, and please keep nurturing and shaping those young lives. I look forward to finding other opportunities to connect my racing with the young’uns at HW.

Lastly, a message for those of you who find this posting and think “I could never do that.” Yes you can. 19 months ago I was 191 lbs and a complete out of shape mess. This race day sees me at 157lbs, 2 lbs under my target, and 2 lbs more than I weighed when I was in college. There are no hacks. No short cuts. Just dedication and hard work. You have to believe you can do this, and you will do it. You have to be willing to put in the work. No excuses, no complaining. I get it. It’s hard with family and work and pressures etc. I get it. The support crew has to be in place first. No question. Without my wife’s support, no way I do this. No way. I am extremely fortunate to have a coach put together a plan for me, and hold me accountable, but there are a myriad of these options available to anyone. Ben is awesome, and he will ultimately be the difference between me as an endurance event participant with a finisher medal, and me as an endurance racer at the pointy end of the field. If you do the work, you can complete these races, whatever the distance. I dare you to try. Hold yourself accountable, but please try. If you have even an ounce of desire to discover more about yourself and about what you can achieve, *try*. Or Tri. That’s the route I went. Just get off the couch.

My cousin had an extremely scary cancer run in. It was a wake up call to him about his health and lifestyle choices. His transformation has been nothing short of astounding, and he inspires me. He put in the work. He looks and sounds so much healthier for it. It’s great to see his progress shared so publicly on Strava. He didn’t look for a shortcut. He looked for a result. The power to dream is such a beautiful gift. One of my dreams is to continue to improve in this sport, see the world via race venues, and continue meeting amazing people who share a passion and love for this sport. Whatever your dream, don’t wait. Nine years and almost to the day my father passed away. He never saw me race. These things are so much more special when you can share them with loved ones. Find your dream, share it with your loved ones, and, to quote Lt. Daniels from The Wire, “do the work.”

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Brandon Watson

Brandon Watson is Director for Windows Phone 7. He specifically focuses on developers and the developer platform. He rejoined Microsoft in 2008 after nearly a decade on Wall Street and running successful start-ups. He has both an engineering degree and an economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MBA from The Wharton School of Business, and blogs at www.manyniches.com.

Latest Stories
Sensors and effectors of IoT are solving problems in new ways, but small businesses have been slow to join the quantified world. They’ll need information from IoT using applications as varied as the businesses themselves. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Meike, Distinguished Engineer, Director of Technology Innovation at Intuit, showed how IoT manufacturers can use open standards, public APIs and custom apps to enable the Quantified Small Business. He used a Raspberry Pi to connect sensors...
With the proliferation of both SQL and NoSQL databases, organizations can now target specific fit-for-purpose database tools for their different application needs regarding scalability, ease of use, ACID support, etc. Platform as a Service offerings make this even easier now, enabling developers to roll out their own database infrastructure in minutes with minimal management overhead. However, this same amount of flexibility also comes with the challenges of picking the right tool, on the right ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
DevOps is not just last year’s buzzword. Companies with DevOps practices are 2.5x more likely to exceed profitability, market share, and productivity goals. But how do you enable high performance? What can you do right now to start? Find out from DevOps experts including Gene Kim, co-author of "The Phoenix Project," and the Dynatrace Center of Excellence.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Recognizing the need to identify and validate information security professionals’ competency in securing cloud services, the two leading membership organizations focused on cloud and information security, the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and (ISC)^2, joined together to develop an international cloud security credential that reflects the most current and comprehensive best practices for securing and optimizing cloud computing environments.
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn’t require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbuilding of data centers ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...