Archive for February, 2009

What It Must Feel Like To Potentially Save A Life

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2009 by Kel

As I am putting together my next blog entry (hint: time for Threshold Workouts peeps) I received some amazing news. My sister Heather had been contacted as the last possible bone marrow match to save a life. I have chills thinking about it, about how my sister is an angel and how lucky I am to have the most amazing sisters in the world. She wrote Carrie and I an email that I wanted to share. Let’s give her our support by commenting on how proud we are of her!

Sooooo… I got the call today that I am the last possible bone marrow match for the individual w/leukemia that I was contacted about 9 months ago! I start the physicals next week starting w/more blood draws so they can analyze my DNA to see if I am a close enough match. If it is a go…then I am off to DC for more physicals…if I am still good then we will set the date for donation. The process can take up to 6 months…but I know this has been moved to an urgent status. Today I had emails and messages on my home and cell phones when I talked to the guy at the bone marrow place his first words were “we’ve been waiting for you.”

So pray…pray that the 64 year old man that is waiting for a donor keeps fighting, that his family stays strong, and that I am a close enough match! I know being a donor can be scary…but the ultimate positive outcome is life. Can you imagine if there was someone who could have helped save Grammy’s life! How much more time we would have had with her! So rest assure that you both made a great decision to be on the donor list. Even if you are never contacted…your heart is in the right place!

I love you guys

Heather and Rylee

Heather and Rylee

Heather, Kavan and Rylee

Heather, Kavan and Rylee

Until next time…Midget…OUT


Swim and Run Tidbits

Posted in Uncategorized on February 22, 2009 by Kel

Now that we are starting to ramp up our training for a GREAT season and setting our baselines to continue to improve on we need to remember that form is SO important in Swimming and Running. I have come across some video’s that I find really helpful as it relates to those two disciplines and wanted to share them.


The Freestyle Pull- Demonstrated by Olympian Grant Hackett. Check out his catch and pull, it is so strong!

Read the Tri Swim Coach comments as well. If you can understand what the commentators are saying in the video, let me know!

Also, take a look at an animated 3D version of the freestyle swim stroke: Aquatic Animation for Analysis and Education


Head Position in Freestyle- Ian Thorpe.

As the Tri Swim Coach says, “Pay special attention to his head position- it’s exactly where it should be. Eyes looking down at the bottom of the pool, part of the back of his head above the surface of the water. Looking straight forward in freestyle would cause your hips to sink while tucking your chin in too far would cause drag. This is why you need to take the Goldilocks approach and get it “just right”!”


Last year I read a GREAT book on run form and took the 90 or so pages and put the key elements into a 2 page bulleted document. To view it go to my GOTRIbal profile and find it under “Stuff”. Running is very rough on so many parts of your body that is is so critical to lean proper running form.

I wear Newton Running Sneakers (not for everyone but I am a big fan) as does both my sisters and we love the way it promotes midfoot/forefoot running (no heel striking!!). Heather directed me to a great video they have on their site, RUN RIGHT!


1) ATHLETE is now featured on The Internet Movie Database (IMDb), the world’s No. 1 movie destination online. CHECK IT OUT!

2) I was so excited when I was asked by Tanya Goodwin-Maslach to share a short story in her new book! Two Degrees of Separation is a collection of true stories about the power, influence, and outcomes that result when people genuinely connect with people. Not a “how to network book”, it is a collection of many people’s short stories, that illustrate how, when and why this skill is at the foundation of the every-day person’s greatest successes in Work, Sport and Life.”

3) I am so stoked about my first triathlon, Revolution3, in Middlebury, CT on June 7th. GOTRIbal and the pro’s are going to be at a dunking booth at the finish line with a streaming video capturing all the fun. It is a great pro field with Bree Wee, Desiree Ficker, Belinda Granger, Mirinda Carfrae, Lisa Bentley, Natascha Badmann, Joanna Zeiger, Chris Lieto, Michael Lovato, Luke Bell and the list goes on. It is going to be a challenging couse for all three disciplines but so much fun! I am starting to feel the excitement!!

4) This past week was a really tough week for the company and organization I work for. I am not an emotional person

My Dilbert Talking Head Was Used A Lot This Past Week

My Dilbert Talking Head Was Used A Lot This Past Week

and find myself to be very resilient but found myself choked up and at times had tears in my eyes.  Massive layoffs that just shocked so many people. On Thursday when the masses of email were being sent saying goodbye I saw the following blog entry from Jeff Galloway, Why Do So Many Leaders Run Marathons? If you don’t have time to read it here is the key items recapped:

The benefits to a company, when staff members exercise, are well known: increased productivity, decreased absenteeism, reduced health costs, etc. Business leaders tell me that office morale is highest when a “team” of staff members enters an event–particularly a half or full marathon. Surprisingly, a growing number of first-timers gravitate to the marathon telling me that it engages and blends body, mind, and spirit better than any experience in life. Here are only a few of the benefits I’ve heard from business owners whose employees have completed one of my training programs.

* Marathon training requires one to have a vision of success that is self directed, extended into the future and adjusted for realities each week.

* Staying strong and mentally positive, especially during the setbacks, means focusing and balancing many areas of your life for months at a time: training, rest, nutrition, motivation, career and family life.

* Most marathoners experience setbacks and overcome them. When it seems like you don’t have it and are ready to quit, the marathoner spirit finds the willpower to keep going. The resulting sense of accomplishment is unique.

5) To end on a GREAT and FUNNY note my sister Heather ran in the Austin 1/2 Marathon last Sunday. She pulled off a 1:36:01 taking 3 minutes and 32 seconds off her PB on a much hillier and challenging course. That is the GREAT part. What is the FUNNY part…dudes and dudettes…look at her finishing photo!!

Ahh, ahh, me so happy!

Ahh, ahh, me so happy!

Until next time…Midget…OUT!!!

Red Tide

Posted in Uncategorized on February 18, 2009 by Kel

If anyone has ever experienced Red Tide you know it is a phenomenon that can literally ‘take your breath away’. The past few weeks I have been receiving amazing emails and comments on my blog that do just that, take my breath away. Look what my sister, Carrie, has done:


Before you read on about this 100 mile bike ride that I will be participating in, I would just like to give you a little bit of background. This is something I am doing because Kellie, my wonderful sister, without knowing, has inspired me to do. Her pay-it-forward “campaign” has really hit home with me as well as many others who follow her successes and philanthropy. Many of us have so much, even though we may not think about it. I know I even take for granted the wonderful things I have and sometimes complain about trivial things! Well, I am becoming more in tune with the real struggles and hardships that people endure when their health is compromised. I see people like my sisters and my friend Dave Lam (director and producer of ATHLETE) always giving of themselves for the betterment of others. I have been motivated to do the same (I am even registering as a bone marrow donor, as both of my sisters have). Whether you donate (money…not bone marrow) or not, stop to think once and a while how lucky you are because even when things seem tough…there are millions of people out there who have it tougher and find the strength to smile. I am doing this because I can. I am doing this for those who can’t. Even $5 or $10 can make a difference. Be inspired…and then become one who inspires. Thank you. Support Carrie in the Tour De Cure 2009 OR join the Tour!


I am so thrilled that Carrie and my friend, Sara, have been inspired to joined the National Bone Marrow Donor Program! Carrie wrote me an email that said, “It was touching because the lady there knew 2 young people who passed because they didn’t get a donor in time. Their pictures are on a pin that I’m wearing and the girl swabbing her cheeks next to me went to school with one of them. So sad but made me feel good to help!

gotribal_color501Holy COW has GOTRIbal taken off! Take a look at the profiles of my friends that have taken the leap to join the Tribe!! Carrie (my cool sis), Susan – YES – THE Susan Wallis who is going by “Susan Marie” because, as she says, “everyone should have a double name!”, my girl MADNESS who is so crazy you can’t help but love her AND my college girl, Shannon, who just signed up for her first triathlon and joined the tribe for support! If you join don’t forget to be my friend!

athleteSOOOO many cool things happening with ATHLETE right now. Most I can’t say as Dave has sworn me to secrecy (does he know my name is Tella-Kellie?) but hopefully by mid-March some great things will be announced and then let the inspiration begin! The funny thing is one of my college girls that I played soccer with (and just love), Terri Holler, commented on my blog and said she reserved ATHLETE on Netflix and none of us, not even DAVE, knew it was out there! Check out the ATHLETE blog post on GOTRIbal and Netflix!

Yea, life is pretty hectic right now but I can’t remember a time I have been happier. It is ALL good!

Until next time…Midget…OUT!

Laughter, Thought, Emotion

Posted in Uncategorized on February 15, 2009 by Kel

On the heels of the National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer I wanted to share this video that I come across that is just incredible. Jimmy V’s 1993 ESPY Speech that is 11 min and 15 sec and worth every millisecond.

I will be doing the Half Marathon tomorrow and Grammy Young will be with me the entire race. What a beautiful woman that had her life taken at such a young age. My two sisters, Carrie and Heather, as well as myself always considered her our Angel. Good luck to everyone running on Sunday!

Grammy Young - Died at the age of 62 from breast cancer

Grammy Young - Died at the age of 62 from breast cancer

Calling All Ladies: GOTRIbal!

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14, 2009 by Kel


I am excited about this post! Why? It is an embodiment of who I am and what inspires me and I hope it brings meaning to others as well. Although mostly geared towards the female reader I think you guys will enjoy it as well.

There is nothing more attractive then a strong woman. One with confidence, inner beauty, intelligence, a warm heart and a smile that lights up a room. A woman that is driven by goals and aspirations. One that shares their knowledge with others to inspire and help others reach their goals. A strong woman is a successful one in all aspects of life.

Join the Tribe!

Join the Tribe!

It is no surprise that I feel athletics plays a role in building these qualities. I was lucky enough to see a Twitter post (yes, Twitter rocks!) that had a link to a site called GOTRIbal.  It is an organization aimed at empowering women and promoting triathlon around the world. I started a Jacksonville, FL Tribe and setup a profile for myself.  Thanks to Tanya for following through on her vision to setup a site to bring woman of triathlon together and allow the more experienced triathlete help break down any obstacles for those that are thinking of getting into the sport. You trained. You raced. You accomplished. Now you pay that gift forward.

Experienced woman triathletes and those thinking of joining the fun one day, setup a profile and join the Tribe!

I received such amazing comments from my last post, Pay It Forward, and I wanted to thank everyone who recognizes the importance. I wanted to share one that made me smile. I saw a post on the ATHLETE blog that drew me to the blog of Mad Organica. Read her “about me” on the left hand side and you will be in tears! I commented on her blog and her comment back to me was great. Keep Rockin’ Madness Rivera!

Hi Kellie, Thanks so much for the awesome comment on my blog today! I’m thrilled to have stumbled across you guys and the whole ATHLETE project and GOTR organization.  I LOVE that poster of you guys, and I am completely inspired by you to keep on doing my little training over here.  It’s such perfect timing for me to find you and Dave; to see my personal philosophies manifested in film, in organizations, in ACTION!  Anyone who knows me well knows that athletics saved my life in many ways as a girl and I absolutely believe in paying that forward even if it’s only to my two strong and beautiful athlete daughters.
xxxxx (Madness)

I also wanted to share something that I found in 2005 that I have on my desktop and look at once a month. It has a business twist but I think you will see it as a guide beyond the office.

Things Leaders Do

1. Personal Responsibility.
“Enron and 9/11 marked the end of an era of individual freedom and the beginning of personal responsibility. You lead today by building teams and placing others first. It’s not about you.”

2. Simplify Constantly.
“I always use Jack [Welch] as my example here. Every leader needs to clearly explain the top three things the organization is working on. If you can’t, then you’re not leading well.”

3. Understand Breadth, Depth, and Context.
“The most important thing I’ve learned since becoming CEO is context. It’s how your company fits in with the world and how you respond to it.”

4. The importance of alignment and time management.
“There is no real magic to being a good leader. But at the end of every week, you have to spend your time around the things that are really important: setting priorities, measuring outcomes, and rewarding them.”

5. Leaders learn constantly and also have to learn how to teach.
“A leader’s primary role is to teach. People who work with you don’t have to agree with you, but they have to feel you’re willing to share what you’ve learned.”

6. Stay true to your own style.
“Leadership is an intense journey into yourself. You can use your own style to get anything done. It’s about being self-aware. Every morning, I look in the mirror and say, ‘I could have done three things better yesterday.’ ”

7. Manage by setting boundaries with freedom in the middle.
“The boundaries are commitment, passion, trust, and teamwork. Within those guidelines, there’s plenty of freedom. But no one can cross those four boundaries.”

8. Stay disciplined and detailed.
“Good leaders are never afraid to intervene personally on things that are important. Michael Dell can tell you how many computers were shipped from Singapore yesterday.”

9. Leave a few things unsaid.
“I may know an answer, but I’ll often let the team find its own way. Sometimes, being an active listener is much more effective than ending a meeting with me enumerating 17 actions.”

10. Like people. (JG, this one is for  you my friend)
“Today, it’s employment at will. Nobody’s here who doesn’t want to be here. So it’s critical to understand people, to always be fair, and to want the best in them. And when it doesn’t work, they need to know it’s not personal.”

Until next time…MIDGET…OUT!!!

Pay It Forward

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9, 2009 by Kel

How can one ordinary person — you or me — make a positive difference in this world? How can we change the world one favor at a time?


I am a firm believer that participation in sports helps build confidence, teamwork, self-respect and respect for others. As a whole it makes people, well, happier.

Most that read my blog are those that participate in at least one sport and have seen the positive benefit that is has instilled in them. We are lucky to have had someone introduce us to sports or we joined out of curiosity and have stuck with it.

There are many that are not as lucky as us. There are two people, one a long time friend that I admire dearly and one I just recently met, that remind me how lucky we really are and how we should make strides to Pay It Forward.

Erin Hamilton: I met Erin when I lived in Georgia and we hit it off immediately. We both loved to run! Erin had an incredible job, worked long hours, traveled overseas and was very well respected in the company she worked for.

Erin and I after the Comrades Ultramarathon in South Africa in 2003

Erin and I after the Comrades Ultramarathon in South Africa in 2003

She decided that was not her calling so Erin started the local Girls on the Run organization in Cincinnati in early 2005 with her own money because she believed so much in the Girls on the Run mission and wanted the young girls of Cincinnati to receive its benefit. Erin now serves as the Director, leading the day to day operations of the organization.

Girls on the Run© is a non-profit prevention program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. Their curricula address all aspects of girls’ development – their physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being. Take a look at how you can make a difference.

This is also the organization that my sister, Carrie, and I proudly represent in the movie ATHLETE.

Jason Lester: When I started to do research on the Ultraman I came across the website of Jason Lester. What an incredible story of his life, the obstacles he faced, his perseverance and movement to inspire and encourage others to endure and reach beyond the limits of what they thought capable. He started up


The NEVER STOP Foundation which is dedicated to using athletics as a tool to encourage all youth, to have the chance to achieve their full potential. The foundation provides programs and learning opportunities that encourage its participants to think creatively about their lives while giving them the practical skills to turn their hopes and dreams into reality.

Jason was the first challenged athlete to ever complete the Ultraman Hawaii race. Now his main goal for 2009 is to participate in a monumental endeavor, the Race Across America (RAAM). This is a 3,000 mile bike race from one end of the U.S. to the other. Unlike the Tour de France, it is not done in stages but is continuous. See how you or your company can help:

TEAM UP with Jason Lester in the 2009 Race Across America ( RAAM )

Many thanks to Jason who has helped pave my way to what it takes to start on my Ultraman journey and continues to be a source of inspiration for me. Keep inspiring!


When I was at the San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon expo they had a booth setup to have people sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program. My sister, Heather, pushed me over to the booth and said, “She would like to become a donor.”  I was like, what am I getting myself into? I signed up and just received my letter, almost 3 months later, that they have added my tissue type to the NMDP Donor Registry. They also said thank you for taking the first stop to help save a life. There is no reason why we should not all be on that list. Please Join the Donor Registry.

There is a lot you can do to help others. Count your blessings and “Pay It Forward”!

Until next time…Midget…OUT!

Swimming: The Other Discipline

Posted in Uncategorized on February 5, 2009 by Kel

All triathletes have that one discipline that they find challenging. No matter how hard or long you go the improvement is minimal and you just sit there and shake your head and try to figure out what you can do differently to get better. For me that one discipline is SWIMMING!

My  coach says to me, “You need to get in the pool!”  He had me doing 4 pool sessions a week and 3 of them are hard effort swims with one endurance swim. Supposedly time and hard efforts will help me to start to feel the water and perfect my form to what feels right for me. Two weeks and 25,000 yds. later I actually know what a catch and pull feels like for more than 3 strokes! I have a long way to go and my coach has me focusing on some key workouts and I look forward to continued improvement (even if it is only to cut a few min off my IM swim time, I will be much more efficient and fresh coming out of the water). Note: he really wants me to get my tush into Masters Swim but that is not going to happen but I suggest it for anyone who has the willingness to do so.

The one things I am a BIG proponent of is to extend your stroke as you go to air. Cool video for you triathletes out there.

It is also great to swim with others that are faster than you. Yes, JC has been kicking my butt in the pool on Monday’s and it has been really good for me. Joy, you need to join us more often 🙂

Onto other items:

1) It is important to let go of your sport and go hang out with your friends to remind yourself there is life beyond work and triathlons. I go out with the girls on Friday night and right when we walk into “The Loop” to grab some yummy pizza JC sees Track and Field on the TV and we did not hear from her the rest of the evening (joking, sort of). We had a great time and congrats to Courtney for making the First Place Sports Running Team and to JC who just got sponsored by Brooks (that is huge)!

JC, Joy, Holly, Courtney & me (looking stoned)

JC, Joy, Holly, Courtney & me (looking stoned)

2) I now understand the importance of NUTRITION, SUPPLEMENTS, MASSAGES and HOT EPSOM SALT BATHS to help recovery and performance!

NUTRITION: I am on week two of my nutrition plan my sister, Heather (Owner of Jonesing 4 Fitness), has me on. It is awesome and yes I am eating my veggies! Who ever thought I would be making Tilapia? NOT me! My favorite is my snacks in which are these incredible shakes. I never feel hungry and never over stuffed. I am maintaining my weight and have more energy then ever. You ROCK SIS!

SUPPLEMENTS: I have taken supplements in the past but really never felt they “worked” for me. I am getting older but at the same time should be in the midst of my peak years. It only took a week to see the positive effects Kona Endurance had on my recovery and performance. Kona Endurance – Solid Product!

MASSAGES: A friend of mine gave me a gift certificate for a massage (thanks Steph!) and highly recommended this lady. OH MY GOD she was amazing (she even went into the side of my abdomen to get to the most used part of the hip flexor – who knew!). It really pays to get a GREAT massage therapist who understands you and what your needs are. TREAT YOURSELF, it really does wonders for your body.

HOT EPSOM SALT BATHS: People believe me this is heaven on earth. Select the link below and scroll down and look at the bullet points pertaining to the benefits. Amazing Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths

Oh yea, for those that are afraid of my “guns” (funny comment on my last post), try dropping and doing 20 push-ups on every mile (or 10 minutes) of your runs (be smart…not on your speed/hill workouts) and you will see some awesome core and upper body benefits (my coach actually includes this in my training plan and it is really effective).

Hope some find these tips helpful…until next time…Midget…OUT!