Serenity, Chaos and Champions

MD Lake CompressedSwimmers Ryan Jerz

Catching up with Maridee after her light workout (1hr bike, 1hr run), she stands amidst the staggering scenery at Alta Lake, the starting point for the IRONMAN race to be held in Whistler, BC. The calm waters will soon flood with calamity when 2,500 participants begin their bruising baptism into 12 to 14 plus hours of epic endurance, pain and ultimately, self-actualization.

And among those flailing limbs beat hearts of lions. Each one has her own story and reasons for the sacrifices they will have made just to hear that starting pistol on August 25th, 2013. Their motives are difficult for many of us to comprehend, as the most common question fielded by IRONMAN participants is, “Are you nuts?” Continue reading

Do Ironmen Care About the Environment?


You bet. Athletes who gravitate toward non-mechanized (running, swimming) and non-motorized sports like cycling are by nature closer to the earth. So it stands to reason that those who participate in sports that have low carbon-footprints relate to environmental causes and want to keep Mother Nature healthy.

This is not to say that Formula One drivers, drag boat racers and tractor pull participants don’t associate with environmental issues.  Perhaps, GoDaddy endorser and Indy race car driver, James Hinchcliffe, and members of other gas-guzzling sports support numerous environmental causes, but they would have to just to break even. Continue reading

4 Weeks to Go


There’s only 4 weeks left as she races to the starting line. Maridee has just 28 days to prepare for one of the monumental milestones of over 50 years of life, laughter and tears.  She has been training for the Whistler IRONMAN since January, but how she will feel on race day is still unknown.

“Every day is different. You train as much as you can and do your best to cross that finish line. Training is a key part of the process. You can never be too ready and you can’t fake it or phone it in. Preparation is everything and with 4 weeks to go, I feel pretty confident”, MD explained in our recent interview.

And train she has. Since the beginning of the year Maridee has biked 2,000 km, run 350km and swam more than Flipper, TV’s favourite dolphin did in an entire season.  She could have stopped in on her bike to see him at the studio, because the 2,000 cumulative km she has put in is equal to riding from her home in Whistler, BC to Hollywood, CA.  And don’t forget the 350 km Maridee has ran through rain, sleet and searing heat. Move over Forrest Gump, because that’s like running from Vancouver to Kelowna! Continue reading

Bear Minimum

Black Bear Crop

A machete wielding maniac would make me run, but not as fast as a 500 lb bear coming at over 40 km/hr. On the scenic trails of Whistler Mountain in British Columbia, Canada, bears have been sighted. But when I heard the rumour that organizers were releasing a hungry bear onto the course as a way to promote higher speeds for runners training for the 2013 IRONMAN,  I was surprised.

It’s not a bad way to generate interest and sell tickets, but you won’t find more dedicated, disciplined or motivated individuals than the top level triathletes who are preparing for a full IRONMAN competition. And that includes Maridee, the accomplished amateur athlete whose story and training we continue to follow closely. She went from couch potato to super fry in a few short years. She doesn’t like running and didn’t know how to swim – but she’s an IRONMAN and not afraid of bears.

We’ll be documenting her progress – the tears, the pain and the glory – right up until she crosses the finish line August 25th, 2013. She’ll tell us how she found her path to inspiration in a way that will motivate all of us, so please stay tuned…

Couch Potato to UberTuber Podcast (Part 2)

In this episode, Maridee tells us why she decided to participate in Ironman races – and how far she is prepared to go to complete them.

Maridee Shares Motivators

Look Better or Feel Better?

9263934093_d9c57d31beMD finish line


Photo by See-ming-Lee


Billy Crystal’s famous character, Fernando, told us it’s always better to look good than it is to feel good. But accomplished IRONMAN athlete, Rodney Buike , gave us a tip that you won’t find in the manual. When he heard that my friend, Maridee (crossing the finish line above), was training for the August 25th Whistler race, his sage advice was surprising: douse liberally with water at the last aid station to look fresh for the finish line photo…

Couch Potato to UberTuber Podcast (Part 1)

As we follow Maridee in her journey to the starting line at the Whistler Ironman on August 25, she will be the subject of a number of informative and entertaining audio interviews/podcasts. In episode 1, MD shares how she avoided sharks while learning to swim and her recent weekend training – 7.5hrs bike, 2500m swim and 2hr run – and how she relaxes:

Pain Leads to New Confidence (Part1)

Making the Grade – For All of Us

As Maridee climbs to reach a pinnacle of fitness – participating in the IRONMAN race in Whistler, BC, August 25, 2013 – we’re going look at the steps she takes to reach that summit. And in doing so, we may come away with some ideas and strategies to ascend to our own aspirations.

It’s easy to over-simplify things or to minimize how difficult tasks actually are. Then we can brush them off, put them on the back-burner or ignore them completely. But don’t fall into the trap. If we respect the difficulty of the challenge, we can take realistic action to reach our goal.

Incredibly, on race day Maridee will swim 4km, bike 180km and run 40km. But there’s a lot more to it. In the 6 months leading up to the event, MD will run over 500km, swim 100km and bike nearly 2,000km!

And those are just numbers on a page. Imagine running from Vancouver, BC to Portland, Oregon – that’s how far 500km is. Her cumulative bike training will be equivalent to riding from her home in Whistler, BC to Sacramento, California – and back! But it doesn’t end there. Here’s a look at the elevation (the hills) she has to bike:

Bike Profile


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Continue reading

Aliens Arrive?

Lake Swim

These are not aliens arriving from another galaxy in search of a planet with water, they are swimmers. This was taken in the morning mist as Maridee (smallest, 2nd from right) and company trained for their upcoming IRONMAN event.

In the beginning, being the smaller one of the group was was a bit nerve-wracking for MD. Her trailing the group as the last swimmer gave other team members more comfort, but she feared that her size and place at the rear of the pack might have consequences – like in the horror movies where the last guy on the trail is always the first to disappear.

Lake shark sightings are rare, but an active imagination and a few slithering strands of milfoil weed clutching at your legs can produce similar effects…

Electrifying Ideas

Creativity Paint

Hey Cheryl, creativity is the lifeblood of any job, profession or business.  Applying creativity to selling – whether as a salesperson or in any situation where you need to influence your audience – is especially important. Some people seem to have a knack for creativity, but even uber-creative types have times when they need to dig deep to come up with new approaches and compelling ideas.

Here’s something for you:

Play Movie

Maridee Rides Again

And swims and runs. Not many – including Maridee – could predict that what started as a dare to do something she never liked (running), would get her off the couch, into her Nikes and on her way to the finish line in the 1995 Portland Marathon. It took courage, determination and a bit of taunting to make it happen, but happen it did. And all in a short time from when the challenge first charged out the mouth of her friend who doubted– for the last time – MD’s endurance (or her resolve).

5 years went by and MD had little to prove, until the idea of doing a triathlon emerged. There was only one problem – MD didn’t know how to swim. And I don’t mean she just couldn’t swim well, she swam like a rock. The girls used to push her into the water at pool parties just to get a chance to meet the lifeguard… Continue reading

Triumph and Temptation

It’s OK, Stan. Most of us struggle with this all the time. You’re probably torn between these:

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If you need a little boost, focus on that face of the tow truck driver as he took your wheels away on a hook. That should get you on your feet! I try to draw from others around me who seem to have it going on. Here’s something that will get us all motivated. Continue reading

Climbing Higher

Dollar Peace

The ladder of success can be ascended from many angles. Victory is a relative state that can be measured in different ways, and one that is elusive for all of us at one time or another. The wealth of some people is in their humor, their kindness or their level of awareness. Others have a knack for making money and friends. Whether you seek pleasure, talent or treasure, we’re going to explore different ways to rise up in the world and become more tomorrow than what we are today.