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Posts tagged ‘mike’

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

Laying out my Transition Bags and Gear
Originally uploaded by Iron Mike Schubert

Lack of change is certainly not my problem these days. Every day is almost as different as it is the same. I’m walking around with open eyes, an open heart, and asking myself “Self, what do YOU want to do today?”

Last Tuesday, I brought my new bike home. It’s the Scott Plasma I talked about a couple of weeks ago. It’s a dream to ride. For its maiden voyage I rode with a new friend, who also had recently acquired a new road bike, out at Stone Mountain Park. Something just seemed right about this particular ride around the rock I grew up so close to.

Tonight, I’m headed to a “Grind” class. I’ve been told it’s unlike any “spin” class I have ever taken. I’m looking to hire a coach and these Tuesday / Thursday classes might just put this group over the edge. The classes are periodized and executed on your own bike. That means I get to use my power meter during a spin class! They also have an indoor “Current” pool that is like swimming in the ocean. They have “Grind Bricks” which allow you to do a swim before class or a run immediately after. I’m really pumped about the possibilities this change will bring.

So I have my bags laid out before me, ready to be packed for the adventure. My gear is clean and lubricated (where necessary). My mind and body are clear and primed.

I am ready for a change.



Over time I have come to accept that age is just a number. It can be used as potential gauge of a lot of things, but it’s really just a milepost. I’ve roamed this planet for 37 years and have experienced quite a bit. The pleasures, the pains and every emotion in between. At this point, my age is simply an indicator of the events that I’ve lived through. Hostages in Iran, the fall of the iron curtain, the opening of China to the world, and the onset of the digital age are among the key events that have shaped the world in the time that I’ve breathed it’s air.

How old do I feel? 25. Some days 19, but it’s not awkward to order a drink since I’m legal, so 19 is fleeting. 

What’s my metabolic age? 16. According to my Tanita scale, anyway. Let’s hope the hormones of the 16 year old don’t come with that.

So I can measure myself in many different ways, but at the end of the day it is just a snapshot in time. Looking back is interesting but it obfuscates the present. Looking forward is interesting as well, but worrying about it may prevent enjoying the here and now. 

If what I did yesterday still seems big and audacious, then I must not have tried hard enough today.

Rock on.


Is This the SAME Mike Schubert?

Yes. I’ve known a large number of great people over the last 35+ years of my life. Many of them came into my life or I lost track of during one phase or another. One question I get a lot when people catch up to me is “How did you get into Ironman?” Being an engineering type with a simple story to tell, I thought I’d write an article for the world and share when people inquire. It goes something like this:

The whole Ironman dream started back in the 80’s watching somebody crawl across the finish line on NBC. I remember thinking that I loved to swim and bike, but couldn’t run 10k much less a marathon. So it just kinda sat out there. Tennis was my strong suit and I stayed pretty fit up until 96 or so and then drank too much beer and took on the desk job. Bad combination.

So in 2003 my dad passed away, my job sucked (good pay, no expectations, but it wasn’t challenging or remotely rewarding), and one day I felt a pain on the left side of my chest. No big deal it turned out, but my doctor said I needed to lose weight and eat better or that story would change. So I started going to the gym at lunch and eating a little better and dropped 30 pounds in roughly 3 or 4 months. That made it easier to run and I started doing 5ks. Then 10k’s, Then half marathons and finally I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2006.

With food poisoning. Yeah – food poisoning 3 days before my first marathon. I should’ve been eating 2500 calories each of those 3 days and instead barely ate 1000 each day. But somehow I got up and toed the line – and the finish was spectacular. It was 30 minutes after my finish when I was still sick (i’ll spare the details) that I realized I should raise the bar much higher than it had been. I am capable of pushing myself harder, farther and through more pain, than the typical person. I had done a short course triathlon earlier in 2006, but this was the moment where I realize anything was possible.

As of the date of this post, I’ve done 2 Ironman triathlons – Lake Placid, NY and Madison, WI. 4 or 5 half iron races. 15 marathons in 8 states (it’s a great way to see the country I figured). One of those marathons was Goofy’s Challenge in Disney where you run the 1/2 marathon on Saturday and the full on Sunday for a total of 39.3 miles. I have pictures from just about all of these if you’re really interested.

It’s absolutely insane to type all that out. But in a nutshell, that’s what keeps me waking up every day and going to sit in an office. It goes beyond just being my stress relief but is something that makes me absolutely giddy. I still remember the first time I got on my bike and road to Stone Mtn Park from my house as a kid. And as an adult I remember getting on my bike and riding to the Alabama state line and back.

I guess I’m still a computer geek. I like tinkering with code and solving problems, playing games, and soaking in the sun. Now it’s your turn – what’s your story?

Good Things Are In Store For Me

I have had a migraine for most of today. Growing up, I had one pretty much every day. In my twenties, the severity increased, although the frequency decreased to maybe once a week. Now that I am in my thirties, the frequency has decrease to maybe every 3 weeks – but the severity fluctuates between bed ridden and not bad. Today, it wasn't all that severe, but it really screwed with my mood and ability to function. I made some careless mistakes and was generally depressed.

On my way home, I picked up some takeout from the local Japanese restaurant. I am not sure why they give out fortune cookies, but I guess to many residents in my county the Asian population is all the same and they expect to get a fortune cookie. My fortune – "Remember three months from this date. Good things are in store for you." Deep down I realize this is just some random pre-printed paper shoved in a folded over piece of fried sugar, but looking at today's date I can't help but wonder what is in store for me. You see, three months from today is my birthday.

Yeah, I know. It's just a coincidence. Oh well, back to my project -> which is launching this weekend! I'll talk more about that once we go live.

Finding Strength (continued – Maximizer, Learner)

Today's Best of Mike series post comes from August 17th, 2004. It's the last of the ones centered around the Strengths Finder tool. Enjoy!

Finding Strength (continued – Maximizer, Learner)

It's funny how things in this life all seem to tie together in the end. Things that have little or no meaning standing on their own become larger than life when you couple them together. That brings me to the final 2 of my 5 dominant profiles as described by StrengthsFinder.

Maximizer –

Strengths, whether yours or someone else's, fascinate you. Like a diver after pearls, you search them out, watching for the telltale signs of a strength. A glimpse of untutored excellence, rapid learning, a skill mastered without recourse to steps-all these are clues that a strength may be in play. And having found a strength, you feel compelled to nurture it, refine it, and stretch it toward excellence. You polish the pearl until it shines. This natural sorting of strengths means that others see you as discriminating.

Although I'm apparently obsessed with strengths for the past couple of weeks, I wouldn't say that they 'fascinate' me. Identifying and leveraging strengths is a good pattern for accomplishing both regular and irregular tasks. Businesses would call this their strategy. Wal-Mart is a low-cost strategy. You can leverage them for consumer staple type items knowing that they will have the right selection at a reasonable price. My friend Dave is excellent excellent at research. I know that if I ask him a question, if he doesn't know the answer, he'll be able to find it doing some really quick and dirty searching. I see leveraging the different strengths of people as an efficient way of providing a valuable product.

Learner –

Your excitement leads you to engage in adult learning experiences-yoga or piano lessons or graduate classes. It enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period of time and then move on to the next one. This Learner theme does not necessarily mean that you seek to become the subject matter expert, or that you are striving for the respect that accompanies a professional or academic credential.

I start working on my MBA/Finance degree next Monday. I've been in a consulting role for 6 years, which leads me from project to project – each with its own new twists and challenges. I enjoy reading books that would probably put a majority of people to sleep.

Tomorrow, I'm going to look back on these 5 dominant strengths and how they were determined. The question I have in my mind is "How much does a person's experiences affect the way you answer the question?" Are there quetsions that I answered strongly one way or the other that were based on a small, biased sampling of the experience the question was asking?