Thursday, March 28, 2013

Digging them Holes!

Wow, what a tough last few days. We spent our time the last few days digging holes 30 inches deep by one foot wide for a chain link fence to go around the orphanage. The process was painstaking and seemed to take forever. At the end of three days, we have 130 of the 150 holes dug and about 100 of them have the poles cemented into them already. It was fun to see the progress at the end of the time there. By the end of next week, the fence will be done and the buildings will be started.

We traveled to another orphanage today, Hope for Children, to see what the site we are building on will be like when it is done. It was awesome. I am so excited for the children at both places to be able to have so much more than they did before. There are about 55 kids in 6 room building in Port Au-Prince, and they are not allowed to really leave the building. In Jacmel, they will be moving to a three acre lot with individual garden plots, livestock, and plenty of room to run and play. This is an awesome addition from my exercise science perspective. It is so important for them to be able to get out and MOVE! Plus, they will be learning life skills along the way that will make them more successful when they leave the orphanage. They will also have separate dorms, their own bed (many share with 3 or 4 others now), a real kitchen, and now a safety fence to give them some freedom to run around.

The facility will also have a school and a medical/dental facility for both the children and the local community. Again, meeting a very high need. I am so happy to be able to be a part of the process. Working along side the Haitian crew for the last few days has been a blast. Their work ethic is refreshing, something that seems to be drifting back in the states. Although we do not share a language, it was fun to communicate with them. I certainly realized how much we have in common with very few words being spoken.

This has been a truly amazing experience so far. We will be traveling back to Port Au-Prince tomorrow to see the kids one last time before we take off on Saturday. We have had safe travel and fairly healthy students so far, praying for a safe end to the trip.

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Building Site

Today we went to the orphanage again to play with the kids for a bit. We then traveled to Jacmel. The van ride was tough, Haiti driving is much different than in the states to say the least. There were some amazing views along the way. We arrived at the Isaiah 61 house, our lodging while in Jacmel. We took a trip through the market, ate at a local restaurant (amazing food!), then walked to the 3 acre site where the orphanage will be built. It was incredible to see what the kids have now, and get a vision for what they will have in June. Tomorrow we will be starting to build a chain link fence around the lot. It sounds like construction do the new orphanage, school, and med/dental facility will start shortly after we leave!

Blogger isn't letting me upload pics, hope to have a few posted soon!

Haiti Day 2

Day two in Haiti. We are heading to Jacmel from Port Au-Prince to get to the building site. We spent the afternoon with the kids yesterday and will be heading to the orphanage again this morning before taking off to Jacmel. What an amazing experience so far. 

The kids are so full of love and energy. It really put the building plans into perspective. The living situation the 50 kids are in is not great. They cannot leave the building and have very little room to run and play. We brought them a few toys and books, and their faces just lit up! When the kids are able to move to where it is safer in Jacmel they will be able to run outside, go to school, and even learn to garden! The care takers for the kids cried when we brought a bunch of formula for the new infant they have. She did not speak English, but she asked someone how to say "God Bless You" to us. I think it caught both Ashley and I by surprise. 

Yesterday was tough on a few levels. Coupling the travel fatigue, the airport was a zoo. It is amazing to see all of the rubble still in town from the earthquake. The road and driving conditions, a lot of the living conditions, and just the general laid back environment are humbling. We often get caught up worrying about ourselves in our busy life. After day one, I am forced to think about how guilty I am in this aspect. I certainly worry about time, about tomorrow, and about work. I certainly do not take enough time to think about how lucky and blessed I am enough. God has blessed me with a great family, a wonderful wife, a job, and a safe place to live. God is good, and we are all really excited to start the day!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Taper Time!

Two weeks out from IronMan 70.3 Galveston! Last long ride was this morning. Time to taper. It has been a long off season with much higher volumes than I have ever had before. So far, I have gone 147 straight days without taking an off day. This week, the volume was the highest I have ever hit, and my legs are telling me it's time to take it easy. Pretty much, it means it is almost time to see if I did enough during my off season to make strides towards my goals for the 2013 season! 

Here is what my training has looked like since October.

I'll be starting my taper off in Haiti on a service project. My wife and I are bringing a group of college students down to help move an orphanage from Port au'Prince to Jacmel. Hopefully I'll be able to post a few updates during the building process while I am there! Check out to learn more about the organization we are working with. 

Friday, March 22, 2013


The Human Performance got a little positive press today! This is the second year for the Iron Beaver Challenge at Buena Vista University. It is great to see how many people have stepped up and taken the challenge. Helping my students work towards creating healthier lifestyles on and off campus is definitely one of the best parts of my job! Give the article a read, and let me know what you think.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Schedule Update

Spent a lot of time thinking about upcoming race schedule (most of the time spent thinking was during long runs!). I came to two conclusions. First, I need to add a tune up race before IMTX. Second, if I want to put myself in the best position to get my goals I need to race MORE! So I have added a few races to the schedule. It is still a work in progress, but here is where I am at now:

Event Name
IM 70.3 Galveston
Already Registered
Siouxperman Sprint Tri

Ironman Texas
Already Registered
Lifetime Minneapolis Tri
Alreday Registered
Ironman 70.3 Racine Wisconsin

IM 70.3 SteelHead, MI

AG Nationals

Rev 3 Wisconsin Dells
Already Registered
HyVee 5150 Triathlon

Ironman 70.3 World Championship
Hopefully Qualify
REV 3 Branson

Ironman World Championships
Hopefully Qualify
Rev 3 Long Course Nationals
If Do not KQ
Soma Triathlon
Probable if do not KQ
Rev 3 Flordia