Tommy Burleson shared his testimony during the intermission of my son’s Upwards Basketball game this morning. Mr. Burleson played starting center for the 1974 North Carolina State NCAA Championship team. He was the MVP of the 1973 and 1974 ACC Tournaments and was All-Final Four in 1974. He also played on the US Olympic basketball team and played eight years in the NBA. He now lives down the road from Raleigh in New Bern, NC.
Mr. Burleson mentioned that at age 14, he was already 6’8″. Now, at 7’2′ tall, he’s large. I’m 6’5″ and felt small next to him. Not a feeling I’ve had much since childhood.
In his testimony, Mr. Burleson shared the importance of building foundations in life. He stressed that Jesus Christ was the foundation for his life. He spoke of the importance of taking care of the fundamentals, like praying and reading the Bible each day. He founded and operates the Tommy Burleson Christian Evangelistic Ministry, which supports a medical mission in tiny Malawi, Africa and through which Mr. Burleson operates outreach basketball camps.
Mr. Burleson also mentioned the impact of his father, a former Army Green beret. As a former Airborne Ranger with sports active kids, I was interested in his father. Mr. Burleson explained to me that his father was in the elite advance troops that glided into Normandy on D-Day and he served in the Green Berets and on President Truman’s honor guard. His father would wake his son up every morning at 5:30 a.m. so they would work out together, running anywhere from one to three miles each morning. Sounds like a good idea.
Mr. Burleson was also enthusiastic for the testimony of another former NCSU athlete – Russel Wilson and recommended the following video he and some of his teammates made on the Making of a Champion:
Almost makes me want to cheer for the Seahawks. Almost, but note quite.
This is much more satisfying and inspirational than reading about the Zimmerman-Martin case or the most recent Roberts Court jurisprudential disaster:
[WARNING GRAPHIC IN NATURE]
Thanks to Mark Remy at Runners World blog.
While I don’t subscribe to the idea that God takes an active interest in the outcome of sports games, I’ve admired Tim Tebow’s open display of faith in Christ. I also like the fact this Heiseman Trophy winner was homeschooled.
For many if not most games, Tim Tebow writes 3:16 under his eyes, standing for his favorite Bible verse, John 3:16.
Well in his first play off appearance and win yesterday, he set a personal record of passing for 316 yards and set a playoff record by averaging 31.6 yards per completion. See here. And against the NFL’s number one defense. Very cool. 3:16 cool.
Craig Alexander wins no. 3 and sets course record at 8:03:56.
The Queen of Kona Chrissie Wellington wins no. 4!
My top-10 list of lessons I learned from coaching swim team this season.
10. You don’t know it all. The minute you think you have it all figured out, something is going to make you look really dumb.
9. The best technique cannot replace poor fitness.
8. The best fitness cannot replace poor technique.
7. 79-degree water feels much colder!
6. There are no rest areas between Cary and High Point.
5. The most encouraging away meets are at schools with the same mascot. Everyone cheers for you!
4. Make sure you have enough room for everyone at practice.
4. Learn to count!
3. Don’t be afraid to push for the next level. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish!
2. Don’t forget why you are there.
1. Remember: you are not alone!
There is a great article on Runner’s World here.
This article chronicles the experience of an experienced runner attempting his first triathlon.
Some of my favorite quotes from the article:
“I was already a decent if casual cyclist, and as for the swimming, well, all kinds of folks swim a good distance without drowning–so why not a runner in marathon shape? … ‘You’ll find out,’ said my Wise Inner Voice, and then it went off to spend the summer with somebody more inclined to listen to it.”
“Pool swimming is as different from open water as running on a treadmill is from running from a hungry bear.”
“Legends are full of heroes who unknowingly pick up the instrument of their own destruction, but rarely do they pay retail for it.”
“…cycling encompasses everything from Lance Armstrong climbing an Alp to an English vicar pedaling about his parish, and the difference is discomfort. Runners train so they can run long distances comfortably. Cyclists train so they can cover long distances while in pain the whole time.”
“My legs complained at the strain, feeling both stiff and soft. They felt as if I had swapped my legs for someone else’s…I was pretty sure I could do the distance. I just didn’t know whose legs I’d be using to do them.”
Personal note: I was thrilled with my 52 minute PR for the 10K run leg of an Olympic Tri. This guy did a 43 minute split on the run leg for his first ever tri. That is why he gets to write the articles and I end up reading them!
Northern vs. Southern Triathlon
I was able to compete in two separate triathlon in June: Kerr Lake (NC, Southern) on June 6 and North Country (NY, Northern) on June 26. Both races were roughly the same distance, but were vastly different in both latitude and geography. While in no way a complete sampling, this is my comparison of the two:
Southern race was sunny and very hot (high 90’s). High humidity.
Northern race was overcast and cool (60’s – 70’s). Low humidity.
Assessment: Much much better in the northern weather — especially the run!
Major advantage to the northern race.
Southern race was small, rolling hills.
Northern race had a hilly run course, and a huge mountain on the bike course.
Assessment: The hills and the scenery were part of the draw of the northern race.
Still, the northern race was much more difficult, and there is little chance of a PR on this course.
Advantage to the southern race.
Obviously, the organization of the race is not at all related to its location in the country. The southern race was larger with much more organization. However, the northern race had a lot more food and giveaways.
Southern race was faster and warmer. Water temperature was not wetsuit legal. Steep hill to T1.
Northern race was colder and rougher. Water temperature was about 69 degrees, making it wetsuit legal (I didn’t use one). Breathtaking scenery and crystal-clear water.
Assessment: This swim course was my reason for doing the northern race. It wasn’t my fastest swim but one of my strongest and my favorites.
Advantage to the northern race.
Southern race had low rolling hills. Despite the hot weather, it was my fastest bike course.
Northern race had bigger hills with a huge mountain in the middle. I had to push my bike up some of the steepest grades. Crazy downhill speeds.
Assessment: Northern bike was an adventure, but it was almost suicidal.
Advantage to the southern race.
Southern race had small hills, but the heat was unbearable.
Northern race was more hilly, but with much lower temperatures. An added benefit for me was that a friend ran the 10K run course with me. I ended up with a PR for the run course.
Assessment: I’ll take the northern hills for the lower temperatures on the run course.
Advantage to the northern race.
Southern race was close to my home, accessible by an early morning drive on race day.
Northern race was available only as part of our vacation travels.
The northern race was much more scenic with better temperatures. However, the southern races have faster times and, most importantly, are closer to home. I will try the scenic challenges when I can, but will look first for races nearby.
What an exhausting win against Algeria … just when it seemed that no matter what – Dempsey’s best efforts, consistently anti-US errant refs, balls bouncing off cross bars – the USA wasn’t going to score and the game was all but over … Landon Donovan to the rescue. Phew.
2pm Saturday – USA v Ghana. Will be a difficult fight. Repeat or revenge? Ghana knocked USA out of the last World Cup. If we advance, particularly if we were to make it to the quarter finals, it would be a huge step forward for soccer in the USA. It’s a long shot, but worth dreaming. If we advance and the NFL strikes in 2011, professional soccer just might catch on here.
While Donovan to the rescue might not be anything new or unusual, this has already been a tournament of firsts for USA. Michael Bradley’s game tying goal against Slovenia was the first by a player to score a World Cup goal for a team coached by his father. Today was the first time USA scored in the third round of World Cup group, and accordingly the first time we’ve won a third round in group. USA’s finishing first in their group is a first since the first World Cup in 1930, which was played by only 13 nations, with no Germany, Italy or British teams, and no teams from Africa.
In related news, the French team returns home ignominiously. From the Finals in 2006 to winless group play. It makes me wonder whether Zinedine Zidane paid French coach Raymond Domenech to possibly eclipse Zidane as the biggest French arse in World Cup history. The French team was a world-class catastrophe with Domenech being at the center of the team’s meltdown and also utterly lacking class in France’s closing loss to the host nation. Good riddance.
It was also an incredible day at Wimbledon … and it’s not done yet! Ironman tennis?
Slovenia?! That tiny blip on the northeastern corner of the Adriatic. Scenic certainly, but the nation of 2 million wouldn’t make our top-25 list of States (wouldn’t likely make top 35). For that matter, they don’t make the top 25 ranking for FIFA either. With that said, this tiny little country clocked in at 26 in FIFA rankings; and with bodies flying everywhere, number 26 Sweden just beat number 2 Spain. Further, the trash talk might be as much or more FIFA marketing through creative interpreting. If Slovenia wins, they’re into Round 2 and we’re almost certainly not absent an English collapse. Go Algeria!
North Korea versus Brazil had a surreal feeling to me. These Korean men playing their hearts out for a brutal, personality-cult dictatorship. On the other side, the smooth Brazilians, persistent and smooth and unstoppable like a river. The Brazilian’s first goal was magical … did that really go in? How? The debate will endure whether Maicon intended that goal, unless he tells, which I hope he doesn’t.
Okay, as a colleague pointed out, perhaps that was Robert Green’s way of apologizing to the US for the whole BP troubles we’re experiencing. In negating what would have been the first goal of the World Cup, the refs in the first match taught many (to include the announcers) that offsides is based on two players in front, regardless of where the goalie is. South Africa played inspired and their goal should be part of the permanent World Cup highlight reel. The Italians apparently forgot their coffee and were decidely uninspiring in the pouring rain against tiny Paraguay, who tied the reigning Cup champs. Germany practised the soccer Blitzkrieg in demolishing Australia. The most noticeable thing about the Netherlands remains their vibrant orange notwithstanding their high ranking. No one from North Korea has defected from their soccer delegation and with their loved ones held hostage, it’s unlikely any will. Brazil plays today.
One of the problems with triathalons is how much weight you drop. The sport ruins wardrobes. They no longer fit! The multisport routine if popularized would be an effective measure in combatting the growing pandemic of childhood obesity. More on kid tris: Accessibility drives popularity of kids triathlons
This weekend opened triathlon season for the rest of our family that cares to do tris. The kids had a blast on Saturday competing in a KIT (Kids in Training) triathlon — a great organization that teaches kids how to do triathlons and has fun in the process. Our six-year-old completed his first and was ear-to-ear grins every time he passed by. It was pretty hot though. Afterward we ate at Brigs and discovered for the first time their strawberry shortcake … there was nothing short about it. A delicious mountain … and our 3-year-old had ordered it for dessert. It was bigger than he was. He needed some help, a lot of help … Delicious. We’ll be going back for some similar “carb loading” in the future I’m sure.
Help is also what I needed today in completing my first tri of the season with fellow blogger Steve. Aside from being redirected by a kayaking referee to a buoy on the swim course about a hundred yards away that I had apparently missed, the most notable part of the race was the scorching heat. I felt more like a snail on the run than a human, let alone a triathlete. I had a snail’s pace during the run and left a moisture path behind most the way … After the race, we immediately departed for the mandatory post-race cheeseburger. When we returned to the car an hour later (big cheeseburgers), the car thermometer read 103 degrees.
Perfect for baking eggs and triathletes on the pavement …
Top 10 things I hate about biking
- My seat, somewhere beyond 40 miles
- Hitting anything
- Sore calves and thighs and glutes and neck muscles and AT bands and …
- The fear of asphalt rashes
- Spin class with a sadistic monster named Deshaun
- The up side of big hills
- Getting passed
- The Bonk Monster
- Flat tires
Top 10 things I love about biking
- The adventures of zoom zooming through new places
- It doesn’t involve running
- Carbon fiber
- Espresso Love and it’s ability to ward off the bonk monster
- Spin class with a sadistic monster named Deshaun
- Going faster
- Chasing friends and being chased
- Cruising with my kids
- The freedom to just go