Tuesday, 28 September 2010
More camp details are available online at http://www.ictrinet.com/2011Camp/.
You can register now. Online sign-up is available at Active.com: http://bit.ly/9fd14r.
Friday, 25 September 2009
I am a big John Krakauer fan; I am not sure if I have read everything he's written but it is probably pretty close to that. Into Thin Air, Eiger Dreams, Under the Banner of Heaven ... all great non-fiction books, each a page-turner.
Krakauer has a new book out called Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, and I've been reading it. Like many, I was fascinated with Pat Tillman and his life, not the least reason being I raced against him in the 2001 Eagleman Ironman 70.3 triathlon (the top military finisher there each year now wins the Pat Tillman Spirit Award). I also have a good friend from Arizona who trained with him. Each time I've been to Tempe for Ironman Arizona -- where you swim in the shadow of Sun Devil Stadium -- I've thought of Tillman sitting at the top of one of those light towers at the stadium, 200 feet above the ground, just chillin' and taking in the view ...
I had a chance to read the Andrew Exum review in the Washington Post recently and have to say I agree with his assessment of Krakauer's new book. Bascially, Exum (a former Army officer who saw duty on the ground in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2004 and as a civilian observer earlier this year) states that Krakauer's book might be a little better if Krakauer took a little more balanced view of the motivations of some of the administration or military officials involved. Bascially, it's OK to have an axe to grind; it's a free country and that is, no doubt, one of the many freedoms Tillman and others were and still are willing to sacrifice to protect. But you know the blade has been sharpened a bit when you read a passage like this (re the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision):
"It wasn't simply Gore supporters who were outraged by the Court's decision. In a dissenting opinion that was uncharacteristically harsh in tone, Justice John Paul Stevens (a Republican appointed by President Gerald Ford lamented that the outcome of Bush v. Gore 'can only lend credence to the most cynical appraisal of the work of judges throughout the land ...'"
C'mon. I would have thought a journo like Krakauer would be all over the facts, owning them, making them his own, but not slanting them to make a point (one in this case not very central to his book). I guess the point is that if some things had gone a little differently (e.g., the Supreme Court affirming a Gore win in Florida vs. a Bush victory there), then maybe Tillman wouldn't have had to die in Afghanistan. Maybe, maybe not. Still, there is no serious journalist alive who could have done a modicum of research and concluded that Justice Stevens is anything other than the heart and soul of the liberal wing of the Court. And, mind you, I'm not saying that is a problem. I went to law school with Justice Stevens' daughter and son-in-law, and they are all very good people, no doubt in part because the Justice has set a fine example in his role as an impassioned and dedicated public servant. It's OK to choose a side and take up the battle cry.
My point is not that Krakauer is wrong because he has chosen a side I'm not on. Rather, I think -- especially given the standard that he has set in his other work, Under the Banner of Heaven being the best example -- that Krakauer's failure to get some of the small stuff right leaves me questioning some of the other conclusions he reaches. I read a book recently where a famous Civil War infantry charge was mistaken for a cavalry charge ... hard to believe it could make it into print, but there it was. In this case, Stevens-as-a-liberal isn't even a controversial point (no one thinks he is a conservative, regardless of that Ford appointment). Trying to make the average reader accept that a Republican or conservative voice on the Court voted against the Bush v. Gore result ... that's just not good writing/editing (best case) or it is disingenuous (worst case).
The stuff about Tillman's youth and his high school, Arizona State, and NFL football career is good and more in-depth than you would get from a magazine article. He even has access to some journals that Tillman kept, which are revealing. You can tell, though, that Krakauer is no sports desk refugee: another complaint I had was the annoying habit of recapping Cardinals losses by putting the Cardinals' losing score first ... "Tillman made nineteen tackles in a 14-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles" Huh? I blame the editor equally for that one, though.
Whatever you think of Tillman (or Krakauer, for that matter), this book is worth reading simply to keep the conversation going and the memories alive. You can't say there have ever been too many guys like Pat Tillman.
I would say the coda to his life is that "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13). Some might disagree, maybe even Tillman himself. But that's how I'll remember his story.
(BTW - one tangible legacy is the Pat Tillman Foundation; check out the website and consider supporting it. Their leadership programs are unique and reflect the dedication and passion that were such a key part of Pat Tillman's personality and character.)
Finish strong (and sign up for the Tucson training camp/retreat in January!!),
Thursday, 3 September 2009
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Sign up for the 4th annual FCA Endurance/ICTN tri camp/retreat in Tucson, January 23-25, 2009, at Active.com:
Details below (bike ship option to be posted shortly).
UPDATE: Attention Campers! Tucson’s Brian Grasky of Grasky Endurance Coaching, and Kirk Nelson, professional triathlete and coach, will be putting on a special 2 day, 3 night pre-ICTN camp for ICTN registrants with reduced special pricing. Brian has been coaching for over 5 years and has put on numerous successful camps throughout Arizona. Go to www.graskyendurance.com for more information. A portion of the pre-ICTN camp proceeds will be donated by Grasky Endurance Coaching to ICTN.
The fourth edition of a unique tri camp/retreat is coming up January 23-25, 2009, in Tucson, AZ, hosted by FCA Endurance (www.fcaendurance.org) and ICTN (www.ictrinet.com). ICTN is a network of triathlon and endurance-related ministries which include, among others, FCA Endurance, Athletes in Action Triathlon (http://www.aiatriathlon.com/), and All Nations Church, Peoria, AZ (http://www.anconline.org/index1.html).
If you are a believing endurance athlete (or even just an endurance athlete), this is a must-attend event. Each year the workouts, coaching, speakers and fellowship have been incredible, and those lucky enough to be regular attendees all agree that coming back to Arizona in January for this event is like being at a family reunion (OK, a family reunion with some great weather, awesome training opportunities – think Mt. Lemmon – and some cool friends with whom you can swap tips and war stories).
In the past, we have had pros like Heather Gollnick, Chris Lieto, and Jamie Whitmore participate, and we expect another solid lineup for this year as well. For example, Brian Grasky, an elite athlete and coach from Tucson (you may have seen him featured in the October 2008 issue of Inside Triathlon magazine) will attend and coach, as will pro triathletes Kirk Nelson and Brad Seng of the Sports Beans/NTTC team.
Confirmed coaches/pros for 2009 include:
Brian Grasky, Grasky Endurance (http://www.graskyendurance.com/)
Kirk Nelson, pro triathlete with Team Sports Beans/NTTC (www.trikirk.com)
Brad Seng, pro triathlete with Team Sports Beans/NTTC (http://www.bradseng.com/)
Kevin Paladino, Coach Kevin Multisport (http://coachkevinmultisport.com/)
Confirmed teaching/racing pastors for 2009 include:
Scott Bennefield, Body Life Pastor – Hoffmantown Church, Albuquerque, NM, multiple-time IM finisher
Bob Brubaker, Senior Pastor – Christ Community Presbyterian Church, Clearwater, FL, multiple-time IM finisher (http://www.bobbrubaker.com/bob.htm)
You can sign up at Active.com: http://www.active.com/page/Event_Details.htm?event_id=1614380&assetId=eea529fa-c3e2-453f-a2b8-3d76b848d3ea
The host site for this year's camp is the Sheraton Tucson, and you can make reservations direct at this link. There is a special room rate available through December 24th: http://www.starwoodmeeting.com/StarGroupsWeb/booking/reservation?id=0808133739&key=B0EDC
We'd love to see you there. I encourage you to consider attending, so that your 2009 will get off of to a great start spiritually and athletically, and you can also get plugged in with a great group of people.
Friday, 31 October 2008
Finish strong (and see you in Tucson in January!),