About Nat

Marketer and Triathlete in Salt Lake City // Pound the rock. Do good. Have a great time.

Forgiveness + Tribulation

I gave this talk on forgiveness in my ward September 15, 2019.

Three and a half weeks ago, my wife and I landed in the Paris airport, ready to begin a two-week second honeymoon and celebration of my progress in triathlon — the chance to race at the ITU Age Group World Championships.

I qualified to participate during races last year (oly, sprint), and we got married in June of this year. So as we brought our carry-ons down from the overhead bins and shuffled off the plane, we were well familiar with our feelings of anticipation and nerves of excitement to embark on a journey one year in the making.

Our bags for a week in France, a week in Switzerland and two World Championship triathlons.

After passing customs, navigating French directional signage for traces of English and snacking on chocolate croissants, we boarded a train, hoisted our things up on a luggage rack and collapsed, again, into our seats for a 4-hour ride. 30 minutes in, I got up to walk around. I crossed into the car behind us and, upon returning, passed the luggage rack to look down and find the lower slot empty.

Our bags were gone.

Stolen.


From just those few words, you might have felt, right there in your seat, that gut sinking, stomach-in-a-knot-tying sense of dread — the feeling of being violated, of the world not going the way you think it should, and grand plans running awry.

Perhaps you recalled a time something someone said or did broke your sense of reality, when your trust corrupted, or when unexpected circumstances shattered your sense of the way the world and people are.

We are all familiar with tribulation.

I am going to talk about forgiveness.

We all face tribulation. By tribulation, I mean events that bring about trouble, suffering and sorrow.

We experience tribulation …

. . . from our own weakness
Our own humanity guarantees mistakes.

. . . from our own intention
Yes, on occasion we know better. We rebel.

The line between good and evil cuts through the center of every human heart.

AS, emphasis added

And sometimes, we act in evil.

. . . from others’ weakness
We are surrounded by humans, like us, blumbering along, dropping balls, communicating poorly, forgetting, assuming incorrectly even with good intent, innocently insensitive and so on.

. . . from others’ intention and malevolence
Yes, on occasion we brush up against crime, the intent to harm and destroy and rob another of his or her agency.

In all 4 situations, millstones temporal and spiritual end up around our necks.

[B]ut we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.

Romans 5:3-4, emphasis added

And whether we be afflicted [no matter the source or type of our afflictions], it is for []our consolation and salvation.

2 Corinthians 1:6, emphasis added

Among patience, experience, hope and the many attributes we can develop in tribulation, practicing forgiveness is one that is always available.

A heading from a Come Follow Me lesson reads:

As I am forgiven of my sins, my love for the Savior deepens.

March 11-17

Further, I believe our love for each other and God and the Savior also deepens as we forgive — whether for sin or weakness — ourselves and others.

DISBELIEF / REJECTION

When I first looked down at the empty luggage rack, my initial reaction was disbelief. As my gut sank, I rejected the possibility of theft. “THIS THEFT CAN’T BE TRUE.” I first accused myself of mistake and error: “Am I really looking at the spot where I put them?”

I looked up. Yes, Emma was just seats away.

My gut again said they were stolen, and I held off, granting general humanity the benefit of the doubt as I wondered, “Perhaps someone had good reason to move them?”

Forgiveness in this moment

There was forgiveness for myself: I forgave myself for the natural, hasty accusation that I was in error.

RECOGNITION / ACCEPTANCE

When I determined our bags were nowhere in the car, I shut off my disbelief, my willingness to be generous and my willingness to believe in the goodness of others. I began to accept the reality of theft. After leaving the first station, we had stopped at two others.

“NO, THE TRUTH IS WE REALLY HAVE BEEN ROBBED, AND OUR THINGS ARE GONE, NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN.”

Forgiveness in this moment

There was forgiveness for myself: I forgave myself for the harsh abandoning of granting others the benefit of the doubt, and for saying things like, “I’ll never let our luggage out of our sight again,” a statement which implies the accusation that no one, in any circumstance, can be trusted.

REACTION / RESISTANCE

But I didn’t want the theft, or the consequence of it, to be true.

In a moment, the meaning of the theft transmuted from “a few material things are no longer in our possession,” to

  • “this entire trip is a bust!”
  • “Emma will never travel with me again!”
  • “I am a failure of a man, not doing my duty to watch and protect my family and our things!”

In the swell, I resisted the reality and rejected my emotions of sadness and hurt.

Rather than letting my emotions come over me, I fought — “I don’t want this to be true” — by seeking for things I could control in vain attempts to force time backward and reality to undo itself.

“I will contact the conductor. I will get him to undo the situation, notify the police, review the security footage, apprehend the thieves, restore our belongings to us, and make all well in the world again.”

We did that, and I even paced up and down every level of every car of that train, saying to myself, “By checking every nook and cranny I might magically rewind time, undo what has happened and bring the suitcases back.”

My sadness, unacknowledged, gave way to anger, badgering the conductor to do more, and saying under my breath, “Just wait’ll I find those thieves and see what I do to them…”

Were I sharper, I might have metabolized my own anxiety rather than pushing it out on others.

Upon visiting every car and exhausting the conductor, I came to that place where Father Adam and Mother Eve arrived some time after The Fall: the realization that there is no going back to the Garden of Eden.

Emma and I experienced, as we all do, another Fall in mortality. And there was no going back to the way life was before.

Forgiveness in this moment

There was forgiveness for life generally: I forgave, generally, that it happened — to forgive the world, knowing the conditions of mortality.

There was forgiveness for myself: I forgave myself for my own proclivity to catastrophize situations — to shout “woe is me, all is lost!” in a selfish show to win sympathy and attention from others.

I forgave myself for responding to feeling robbed with attempts to rob others of their agency.

I forgave myself for entertaining, even if briefly, the thought that it was Emma’s fault because she was facing the rack.

I forgave myself for being less than gracious with the conductor.

There was forgiveness for the conductor: I forgave the conductor for being a man of limited means and doing his best, which was far short of stopping the train and turning back, or calling in French special ops to drop their present tasks, review security footage at the 2 stations we stopped at and put all resources into tracking down and apprehending the thieves.

There was forgiveness for the police: I forgave the police for doing what seemed to be so little — asking the station Lost and Found departments if they had received anything and inviting us to file a report.

There was forgiveness for the thieves: I forgave the thieves for the feeling of being violated.

REACHING OUT / CALL FOR HELP

I came to myself as I realized we weren’t in this alone and that there were more ways forward than the singular solution I had at first: rewind time and undo the theft.

I sat down across from Emma and we looked at each other, aware of our shared sadness. We expressed gratitude for having each other, and offered each other assurance that all was not lost, that we’d have a good trip, and everything would be OK.

I emailed the Team USA managers to ask about getting a replacement racing jersey. Just in case, I contacted a friend here who had the jersey in my size, and asked him to give it to another friend who was traveling to the event later.

Emma contacted a neighbor to ask her to fetch a new pair of my contacts from our home and rendezvous with my friend before he traveled.

Emma made conversation with the people sitting around us, and the man behind us asked a friend of his, who was into triathlon, to recommend a store where I could buy the proper shoes and pedals for my bike, since mine had been in my suitcase.

WE COULDN’T UNDO THE TRUTH OF THE THEFT, BUT WE COULD ASK OTHERS FOR HELP TO LIVE IN OUR NEW REALITY.

REPAIRS + RESTORATION

Once we arrived at our destination, we spent the next 36 hours receiving help and going to work to restore what was lost.

We visited the bike store.

We got new clothes.

We got toothbrushes and toothpaste, and essential things to live comfortably for the next two weeks.

WE RECEIVED HELP AND TOOK NEW ACTIONS ALLOWING US TO LIVE WELL IN OUR NEW REALITY.

Forgiveness in this moment

There was forgiveness for my uncle: I forgave, even here, my uncle, our host, for not knowing exactly where to take us to get what we needed to replace what we lost.

There was forgiveness for the store owners and the small town: I forgave them all for having what they had — and not everything we hoped they would.

There was forgiveness for the thieves: I forgave the thieves again, now for us taking time to do all of this, instead of our original plans.

RECONCILIATION / PEACE

It is easy to replace a shirt, or pants, or a toothbrush.

It’s harder to replace unique, sentimental and one-of-a-kind items.

Around my birthday in March, Emma remembered that during a previous trip, I threw out a suitcase that had come to the end of its days, and she presented me with a wonderful new suitcase. With our Europe trip months away, the gift was as much a gesture of restoration as a statement of promised companionship in the months to come.

I gave the suitcase a dry run during business travel that spring. Finding myself pleased with Emma’s selection, and also wanting to say, “I’m looking forward to an adventure with you,” I got Emma a matching suitcase. Having matching suitcases for our European adventure was part of the thrill of going.

The suitcases being gone, and everything within, seemed to tarnish the memory and the sentiment. And it seemed buying new suitcases simply wouldn’t polish that out.

One is not only to endure, but to endure well and gracefully those things which the Lord ‘seeth fit to inflict upon [us].’

NAM, Patience, emphasis added

Beneath any temporal restoration lays a sense of spiritual and emotional loss — where the tribulation actually lives.

Even as Emma and I restored our lives temporally, my soul was troubled:

  • Why did this happen?
  • I would have put the suitcases in a different spot had I known . . . 
  • I should have never taken my eye off our bags.
  • I could have prevented this fiasco had I . . .

The bottomless pit of worrying “Why me? Why us? Why now?” in search of an explanation where there is none, and the troubling triumvirate of woulda/coulda/shoulda, are certainly predictable, normal, human responses to tribulation. And I don’t blame myself for having had them, and wouldn’t blame you either.

But they are millstones and were around my neck on that train and the days following.

To endlessly ask “Why?” when the Lord has said, “I give you tribulation for your salvation” seems to be an impatient plea to bring about justice on our time table, rather than to shoulder the cross of mortality and continue walking toward Heaven.


My grandfather died in a military plane crash in 1961.

Some time within a year of that event, my aunt was talking with friends about whether God lets things happen, or if things happen and He is surprised. After that conversation, my 12-year-old aunt knelt in her room and prayed and asked God about it.

The Holy Ghost overcame me from head to toe and the answer was: ‘i-t d-o-e-s-n’t m-a-t-t-e-r.’ And that has given me comfort throughout my life. That it’s not given to us to know in this life. And on the other side in the grand scheme of things, we’ll be able to see and understand. But for now it d-o-e-s n-o-t m-a-t-t-e-r.

PHH, personal notes Sep 22, 2016

The answer revealed to her reminds me of the oft repeated scriptural phrase: “it mattereth not.”

To beat oneself with woulda/shoulda/coulda, seems to deny ourselves “the grace that, so fully, He proffers me” (Hymns) and to reject the gift of the veil and conditions of mortality, wherein we have space between our choices and the necessary, full, eternal magnitude of their consequences coming down on us, so that we can repent and go at it again without being doomed to live forever in our sins.


In all tribulation, there is the physical-temporal component, and the spiritual-emotional component.

The spiritual component and how we feel about it is more important than the physical because …

Things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18, emphasis added

Our visible things will not go with us.

But our unseen hearts and thoughts will.

From President Henry B Eyring:

If we are to have unity, there are commandments we must keep concerning how we feel. We must forgive and bear no malice toward those who offend us. The Savior set the example from the cross: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34). We do not know the hearts of those who offend us. Nor do we know all the sources of our own anger and hurt. The Apostle Paul was telling us how to love in a world of imperfect people, including ourselves, when he said, ‘Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil’ (1 Cor. 13:4–5). And then he gave solemn warning against reacting to the fault of others and forgetting our own when he wrote, ‘For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known’ (1 Cor. 13:12).

That We May Be One, Apr 1998, emphasis added

I promise to do my best, to be patient with you. To cultivate a forgiving heart. And to seek spiritual gifts in the tribulation we experience, inadvertently and intentionally.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Books that helped tremendously in my practice of and growing capacity to offer and receive forgiveness:

I listened to all of these on Audible, except Alice Miller’s work which I found on YouTube. It’s now also on Audible.

Try Audible Plus or gift someone a 3-, 6- or 12-month Audible membership.

h/t to Ashley Rasmussen for these suggestions. Her man Danny was featured here earlier.

By Nat|2021-02-11T14:11:12-07:00September 15th, 2019|Faith, General Life|0 Comments

Weight Loss and Management: Nuts and bolts from a physician

This is a guest post on weight loss and management from my friend and former classmate, Taylor Christensen. He blogs over at Clear Thinking on Healthcare. My go-to resource on weight loss and management is Matt Fitzgerald’s Racing Weight. That book is useful if you are pursuing performance as a very active person or competitive athlete, as I am with triathlon. Having read Matt’s book, I enjoyed his research-based, field-tested, no-dogma approach to nutrition. Similarly, I appreciate Taylor’s straightforward look at the fundamentals. Knowledge like this is useful when well-meaning friends, who are ideologues about nutrition, and glossy marketing fluff come your way. Enjoy.

Speaking as a physician for a moment, I’ve had a long interest in weight loss, and over the years I’ve accumulated a list of things that I believe anyone trying to lose weight (or trying to avoid gaining weight) should know.

If you have any questions about these points, please ask.

Here are my 9 Principles of Weight Loss:

1. Changes in total body weight are attributable to changes in the amount of fat, muscle, water and stool in your body.

Daily/hourly variations are water and stool.

Fat and muscle change slowly over the long term.

If your weight isn’t decreasing over weeks, it’s either because you’re not losing fat or because you are losing fat AND gaining muscle at the same time (if you have increased your exercise recently).

2. 80% of weight loss is dietary, 20% is exercise.

To lose weight, the focus needs to be on your diet.

Exercise has huge mental and physical health benefits (including motivating you to do better with your diet), but it’s not the primary thing that will directly make you lose weight.

An example: It’s a lot easier to not eat a 900-calorie piece of cake than it is to exercise off that extra 900 calories (a 200-lb person would have to run about 6 miles to burn 900 calories).

3. Weight loss is simple math.

You must take in fewer calories than you expend.

If you expend more calories than you take in, you will lose weight (assuming muscle mass is constant). No exceptions.

There are thousands of things that predispose to weight gain or make weight loss more difficult for people (including genetics, sleep, stress, medications, insulin resistance, etc.), but all these things can only affect weight either by causing you to eat more calories or burn fewer calories.

4. There are only three types of calories: proteins, fats and carbohydrates (aka ‘carbs’).

One calorie of protein = one calorie of fat = one calorie of carbs.

But carbs are different in an important way — they also affect hunger/fullness hormones. Eating carbs stimulates more hunger/cravings, which usually leads to you eating more calories total. The more processed (i.e., “simpler”) the carbs, the more they seem to stimulate those cravings.

5. Our bodies are amazing at interconverting these three types of calories, so your diet’s balance of carbs vs fat vs protein is less of a concern for weight loss.

There are a couple caveats to this.

First, as mentioned already, eating lots of carbs, especially simple ones, is going to make it more difficult to lose weight due to the extra hunger they stimulate.

Second, for some people, the timing of eating and also mix of calories (proteins vs fats vs carbs) may have a nontrivial effect on how many calories their bodies are burning. These caveats (and many others not mentioned) do not change the calories in vs calories out equation, and their importance varies by the person.

6. One lb of fat is about 3,500 calories.

A calorie deficit of 500 calories per day means 1 lb of weight loss per week.

7. Setting your daily calorie limit so that you will have a 500 calorie deficit per day (it’s calculated based on your age, gender, size, and activity level) and then tracking every calorie you eat to make sure you don’t go over that limit is a GUARANTEED way of losing 1 lb per week.

The preferred calorie tracking app for this seems to be MyFitnessPal.

This calorie limit will be fewer calories than your body is used to taking in, so you might feel hungry for a few weeks until your hormones adjust to this new intake, and then you will find that you’re not hungry like you used to be and even feel overfull if you try eating as much as you used to.

If you are not losing 1 lb per week, it is because you are either
(1) eating more calories than you’re tracking (food labels can be at fault sometimes)
(2) burning fewer calories than the calculation estimated, or
(3) gaining muscle mass.

8. Being thin and being healthy are not the same.

You can eat horribly and have a sedentary lifestyle and still lose weight as long as you don’t consistently go over your daily calorie limit.

So please exercise and eat lots of vegetables, not for your weight but for your health.

9. The above points should make it clear that, to lose weight, you do not need to adhere to some strange or restrictive or trendy diet.

Chances are, these will not be sustainable for you anyway. The sustainable way to lose weight and keep it off is to enjoy food, eat healthfully in a way that fits your life and to not eat too many calories.

Taylor originally published this April 18, 2019. The comments there are worth looking at too. Thanks T!

By Nat|2021-01-15T16:39:38-07:00May 7th, 2019|General Life, Triathlon|0 Comments

In the news: “How A Utah Man Became A Triathlete By Changing His Morning Routines” – KSL TV Feature

Change your routines. Change your life.

Pleased that Aley Davis and the KSL (NBC) TV team asked me to share how routines helped me turn around my life and remain a core part of my success today. (If the video doesn’t show below, click here.)

Wanna try a tri? Come train with Balanced Art Multisport’s #bamtrifam and you’ll fall in love with training in a whole new way.

Or come to an Intermountain Tri clinic for a safe, welcoming space to learn basic skills in swimming, biking, running and triathlon.

Or if you’re not in the Utah/SLC region, check out www.mytimetotri.com (a project by USA Triathlon and IRONMAN) for tips and resources to give swimming, cycling, running and triathlon a go.

And you’re always welcome to ask me for ideas. I love when people reach out with questions about shoes, gear, training on heart rate, nutrition, what races to do, how to run faster …

Our bodies are incredible machines and a big part of my life is mastering mine and helping people celebrate theirs.

Notes:

  • In Jan 2018, I co-founded Intermountain Tri and now serve as the president — join with just your email. Come just to swim, bike or run … or all three in triathlon.
  • When I talk about consistently being up until 3a and having no habits … I’m talking about 18 months into having started my marketing business (launched Aug 2012; 2013 was ROUGH and I kept sliding right into Apr 2014). With no boss to report to, no office to show up to, and so on, there was no fixed activity pushing against the demands of my time. So everything got very loose. I lost sense of the day of the week. Weekends were indistinguishable, as was afternoon from morning and “too late” from “time to go to bed.” And my lack of strength with managing my own time became evident. Just as I crammed assignments and studying in school, I tried to cram client work. Hence the late nights. So many days, I would give myself a huge pep talk that “I’m waking up at 6a tomorrow to reset the cycle!” And then I would surely sleep until noon or 1p. And the cycle continued. For months. Until I did these three things to hijack the death spiral:
    • Signed up for Ironman Maryland. I wanted to have a good experience and knew I had to train to succeed. I couldn’t just show up and wing it. It was too big a stress to waltz in.
    • Asked someone who was already really good at getting up in the morning and going to bed on time for help. Many thanks to Erica Wiley for her gentle and supportive texts as I got sleep on track, starting with shutting down and going to bed at a consistent time.
    • Committed to a training plan. I made half progress here with a half-marathon training plan I found and then peppering in runs and rides. But then I hired coach Alan Gulledge who really got me in gear.
530a M/W all winter long at BAM’s tri training studio in Sandy
  • The cycling class I teach is the BAM Power Program.
    • The workouts are written by sports medicine doctor and pro-cycling coach, Dr. Max Testa, of Park City.
    • Anyone who rides any kind of bike for any purpose at any level of competition/interest/competitiveness can benefit from the classes because they start with an assessment of your present fitness and then are structured around helping you progress from there.
    • It’s very different from a traditional gym/studio “spin” class, which is structured to burn calories. And it’s not like riding on Zwift or Trainer Road because you don’t waste effort “racing” people. Yes, we’re all in the same room (you can join online too!), but each person is in their individual zone, and there’s no leaderboard. It’s just a cool crew of people working hard together and supporting each other.
    • Dr. Testa adjusts the classes each year based on his research and the real outputs of all his riders.
    • Bottom line: it’s the most effective method possible for gaining fitness on the bike that makes you stronger and more efficient.
  • The doc they interviewed is absolutely correct about momentum is your ally with routines.
    • The momentum also comes, as he says, from “feeling much better than you did before.” Once you experience the state change, you know you can get it and will work to get it again.
    • If your baseline is zero, just start moving. A gain of 1 is a gain from zero! Once you baseline is 1, then a gain to 2 is still a gain . . . and on and on, until you perform the routine 5-7 days a week no problem.
  • At USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals in Aug 2018, I finished 20th in the Olympic-distance race and 10th in the sprint. End of summer 2019, I will wear the red, white and blue on Team USA at the ITU Age Group World Championship in Lausanne, Swizterland.

Watch (2:04) and read the whole KSL story here:

KSLtv also did stories on BAM Coach Suz Martin and BAM Coach Bill Fowler and his family.

By Nat|2021-01-15T16:40:55-07:00April 19th, 2019|General Life, Triathlon|0 Comments

Pick a Tri Coach – How to Hire the Right Person to Help You with Your Triathlon Goals

I was a tri coach for 2 seasons and then hung up that hat to focus on training and my work as a marketer. In the process of closing that up, people were still reaching out to me asking for help. I wrote 6 tips on looking for a tri coach for them, and now for you.

My tri coach history

From self-coaching thru 2 coaches and hiring a tri coach at BAM

When I did my first ironman in 2014, I first self-coached for 3 months. Then I met a tri coach and hired him for the last 3 months. It helped tremendously. I had no idea how much volume I need to lay down to be ready for the long distance. And by his prodding, I went and did a sprint 2 months before and a half the month before. I wouldn’t have thought to do that on my own.

After IMMD, I got another coach to focus on running speed. That worked off-and-on for awhile. Then life got nuts and I moved from Manhattan to Utah and focused on marathon. I worked my way through that the best I could … once again self-coaching.

At the end of that marathon year, I reached out to Wes Johnson, founder and head coach of Balanced Art Multisport (aka BAM). I had become FB friends with Wes and followed the progress and success of many of his clients. These were people making tons of a progress and some at the forefront going to Kona, filling local podiums, etc. We connected and I hired Andrew Stasinos, also a tri coach with BAM. That was late 2016. I’ve made so much more progress in this time than my first 4 years in triathlon.

My tri coach Andrew and me at my first race under his coaching, Ice Breaker 2017

Another element about selecting a coach that doesn’t show up in my 6 tips is the value of group workouts. You want the chance to workout with your coach. That’s a huge upside to working with a tri coach from BAM. There are coaches around the world that know the sport and are pretty good with science and will give you time and support. I mean, not every tri coach makes this cut but of course you can find them.

It’s a whole additional category to find a tri coach with all those skills who also has a fun, large, solid, active community of athletes so you get a good mix of working out solo and a group session 1-2 or more times a week.

On that note, I invite you to join Intermountain Tri — a open community of 400+ people who swim, bike or run on their way to living the good life. Loads of weekly workouts, monthly clinics and a smattering of discounts and resources from team partners. Sign up with just your email at www.intermountaintri.com

It REALLY makes the experience a lot better to develop relationships with other people while progressing as an athlete. You can definitely make progress working out solo, but it’s really nice to get group time in. And unless you can shell out mega $$ for regular 1:1 time in-person with a tri coach, attending group workouts where your coach is there … that’s a great way to get more face time with them in an economically viable structure for you and them. The #bamtrifam was also a clutch asset in why I reached out to Wes and continue to stick with Andrew.

So … a lot here and in the list below, and I hope you find it helpful. I highly recommend reaching out to Wes. He, Andrew or one of the other 8 coaches could be a great fit for you.

Fwiw:

  • my swim race paces dropped to 1:20/100y (was at 1:35-40/100y) in combination of being coached to swim more, swimming with faster people, and getting instruction and video analysis on basic stroke mechanics to correct
  • Between my first FTP/lactate test on the bike Dec 2016 and re-testing Oct 2017, I gained 40 watts (16%); this follows doing BAM’s Power Program which I highly recommend
  • I broke a 40-min 10k run in 2018, and even through 2017 I hadn’t broken 45

I mean, I had to do the work. But it was their guidance of how to smartly/reasonably/carefully go about all this without burning myself out, without triathlon taking over my life and without injury. On top of all that, I have never had more fun with triathlon and this is one of maybe 3 or 4 big pieces that has me very happy to have made the move to Utah.


Hire a Tri Coach: 6 Tips to Get it Right

I recommend every triathlete or one with more than a super casual interest in endurance sports get a tri coach.

You can find a plethora of options through the ‘Find a Coach’ directories hosted by Training Peaks or Ironman.

Here’s how I suggest finding a tri coach that fits you for triathlon, cycling, swimming and endurance events:

[1] Before contacting any coaches, get your life priorities straight as they are for you.

Write them down. And understand before going into it that a coach most often falls into the realm of “physical/athletic performance.” This is distinct from you being personally responsible to maintain baseline wellness. If you’re hiring a coach to help you with baseline wellness and you don’t care about performance, tell them. My priorities (more on those here), for example:

  1. Core relationships (dating & romantic partners, people I live with, people I interact with 6-7 days a week)
  2. Baseline wellness (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual)
  3. Material safety (do honest work for honest pay to cover my necessary material costs: food, shelter, transportation)
  4. Athletic performance (speed, form, strength, competition)
  5. Career success (fulfillment, growth, profitability, ongoing growth and development)

[2] After looking at all that, decide how much monetarily on a monthly basis it’s worth it to you to have a tri coach to support you as a triathlete or endurance athlete.

Write that number down. That is your maximum. That number ought to be a little uncomfortable, but it should not disrupt or strain you. It shouldn’t disrupt you taking care of the priorities higher on your list. If it does, you will resent your training and your coach. You will be spending money on a lower priority that ought first to be spent on a higher priority. That simply won’t work long term.

[3] Shop the platforms, make a short list (Target: 3. Five is fine. MAX 10) of people to contact.

Lean toward people that you could, without great expense, visit in person. Most of your interactions will be virtual. Keep in mind it helps to have someone you can meet with so they can look at your form.

[4] Contact all of them.

Let them know you are interviewing coaches. Have a tops 30-minute conversation with them. Ask about their training philosophy. Before revealing your life priorities, listen to them and see if it sounds like / feels like they have similar priorities. You should at least sense they respect that they are coaching a PERSON with a LIFE. If they sound like they are coaching an ATHLETE whose life IS training, run. Unless you are a pro athlete, that is not the case for you . . .

Endurance training with a tri coach is a LUXURY to be used to increase the overall quality of your life.

I highly recommend that endurance training NOT become your life. Relationships and work that adds value to society and your community are far more important than you going to Worlds or Kona.

In this vein, but secondary to matching priorities and values: you’ll also want to ask them about people they have worked with and whether they have had . . .

  • exposure and
  • success

. . . working with people similar to you. And in this case when I say “people” I mean “bodies”: age, injury, background of swim/bike/run and other sports, etc.).

There are so many variables, it certainly helps to have a tri coach who has familiarity helping people at whatever stage of the endurance sport journey you are at.

[5] Immediately rule out anyone whose price is above your # in [2].

If you really like them (they are a top 1-2 pick), say, “I got your price is X. When I started my search, I wrote down Y as my limit. To respect the work I did to look my priorities, I can’t go above that. And I respect your work as a professional, so I wouldn’t ask you to lower your number and diminish the value of your expertise. It’s OK if this doesn’t work between us right now. Are there any parts of your service that aren’t necessary, that you could cut or limit to make it work?” If so, cool. Figure it out. If not, cool … thank them for their time. Move on.

[6] Keep looking and then select.

Continue your tri coach search until you find a match for your priorities, what you’re looking for, healthy interaction where you feel respected and you feel you respect their expertise, and where their number is a match for yours.

Good luck!

By Nat|2021-01-15T16:53:28-07:00September 1st, 2018|Triathlon|0 Comments

Cook a Steak: My How-To

I learned a lot from my father who is a master chef and baker, but we never had a father-son “Now, my boy, come here and let me show you how to cook a steak” moment so this is one thing I’ve figured out on my own . . . with a little help from my friends.

How to Cook a Steak

Step 1: wrap in paper towels


You want to sop up all the blood. Yes, you want it juicy, but there’s plenty of moisture in there. You’ve heard restaurants tout “dry-aged” steaks, this is what they are talking about.

Step 2: place in the fridge

If you’re leaving it in there overnight, put it in a ziplock bag or cover with plastic wrap.

The *best* way to do it is in a breathable situation, but you probably can’t afford to let the rest of your fridge get “fresh” from an aging steak, and I bet you don’t have a mini fridge dedicated to aging meats, nor ventilation to run that funk outside instead of through your basement … so just cover it with plastic.

Step 3: wait

How long (how many days) you wait depends on your schedule. You can unwrap/rewrap in fresh paper towels multiple times. The thicker the cut, the more drying cycles/time you’re gonna want.

Step 4: admire the beauty

Mother nature. On my plate. Gorgeous.

Step 5: salt & pepper

That’s all you need to cook a steak. Keep it simple. Keep it classy.

Step 6: rub it in

Push the salt and pepper in there.

I like to smush my cuts down a bit. Helps especially with the thicker cuts.

You can also do the salt earlier in the drying/aging process.

Step 7: put it on a hot piece of metal

As hot as you can get it.

(Reasonably. At home.)

I’m a fan of a hot pan and oil (vegetable oil; coconut oil smokes, butter burns [but comes into play later]), and lots of times the George Foreman is handy.

If you have a strong argument for why this is a bad thing, I’m open to hearing it. But seriously, I’ve cooked a lot of delicious meats on this simple thing.

For thin cuts (3/4″ or less), a minute on each side will do the trick and keep it nice and medium rare. If you want browner than medium rare, get outta town.

For thick cuts, give reverse searing a try (bake at low temps for a bit first, then sear).

This was a pretty thin cut of bison, it cooked super fast.

Step 8: rest with a square of butter (on a fresh plate)

Even once you take it off the heat, the cut retains heat and continues to cook. Let it for 3-5 minutes, or until that square of butter starts to run all over. This stage is called resting.

Butter alternative: Mexican crema, ohh baby that’s good

Step 9: enjoy

Don’t use a table knife. Use a knife knife.

Step 10: that’s it

Hope you enjoy my version of How to Cook a Steak. If you gram your food, use #RedMeatThursday (only, of course, if you cook it on Thursday) and I’ll look for your excellent creations.

I won’t post all my #RedMeatThursdays, but here’s where that comes from:

  • intense workouts on Thursday
  • red meat for dinner Thursday to rebuild
  • recovery-effort training and lighter eating Friday to prepare for . . .
  • high-volume + intensity training on Saturday

Bon appétit.

For faster protein immediately after a workout and that will let you get back to work in a few hours, check out my homemade protein shake recovery mix.

By Nat|2021-01-15T17:06:42-07:00June 21st, 2018|General Life|0 Comments

Homemade Protein Shake (recovery mix) for triathletes, endurance athletes, and high cardio training

Over the years I’ve sampled various post-workout products and none suit all my desires so I’ve delved into making a homemade protein shake recovery mix — my own blend of powders I can dump into a cup of milk and blend with a banana to make a quick, nutritionally sound and tasty recovery shake.

If you are interested in honing your nutrition knowledge, I recommend Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald. Straightforward. Zero fad recommendations. Research based. Field tested by pro and Olympic athletes. Practical. No dogma. Doable.

Why I decided to formulate my own mix (a “NATSTACK” if you will):

[1] I’m not down with most of the whey-based options (e.g. Muscle Milk).

Not a huge fan of the taste (can be chalky), some have artificial sweeteners (part of the taste, and I’d rather give my body real sugar that it knows how to process), I found myself gaining weight when using it (I’m a triathlete and not interested in gaining weight), most have tons of other stuff (for fancy labeling), and I like to keep it simple and raw (if I need an amino or something, I’ll add it myself).

[2] I want something heartier than straight chocolate milk.

Here’s a look at stuff I mix in (if it doesn’t show below click here):

[3] Non-whey options are good but pricy as a food staple.

I’m looking at you, Orgain, Skratch and peanut butter powders like PBfit and PB2.

[4] If money were no object, I’d have Core Power ship me crates every week.

There’s nothing I drink faster than a bottle of their Chocolate High Protein blend right after a workout, but at $2.50/11.5oz bottle, that racks up so I make it a luxury here and there, or I grab one at a gas station when I’m in a bind and can’t get home to get nutrients in me before heading on to my next thing. Also, see above — I want something heartier than plain chocolate milk.

[UPDATE: Core Power changed their formula. They got rid of the sugar and added artificial sweeteners, and then they said they’d sell the old formula on Amazon …

… but at this moment (June 29, 2019), I only see the new, artificially sweetened formula in 14oz bottles on Amazon.]

I want to blend in a banana, peanut butter, strawberries, almond butter or other items, so a bottle of anything alone won’t cut it.

It might tide me over, but it doesn’t give me the satisfaction of a meal.

[5] I like control.

‘Nuff said.

Enter “NATSTACKS”: Homemade Protein Shake Recovery Mix(es)

I looked at a couple mixes I liked and reverse engineered the recipes from the ingredients list, nutrition facts, and generic nutritional info about each ingredient.

Homemade Protein Shake Recovery Mix – Formula 1

  • 250g powdered milk
  • 75g powdered sugar
  • 75g table sugar
  • 75g cocoa powder
  • 10g vanilla powder (yes it’s a thing)
  • 5g salt

Drop all these into a container, shake it up and boom you’re good to go with your homemade protein shake recovery mix. I don’t have the $ ready for you at the moment, but I am sure it is near 25% the cost of equivalent stuff in bin with fancy packaging … and you know exactly what’s in here:

Put a heaping tablespoon or two (25-40g) into 8-12oz of your choice of fluid (rec: almond milk or whole milk), add a frozen banana, honey, cacao nibs, a pinch of cloves or nutmeg, a spoon of peanut or almond butter … whatever you want to spice it up.

  • For the sugar you can mix and match powdered sugar, table sugar or baking sugar (which is finer than regular sugar but still grainy and not a powder). Just net out at 150g of sugar.
  • Cocoa powder can be dialed up or down for however chocolatey you like it.
  • Vanilla powder can be swapped for liquid extract as the poweder isn’t common in grocery stores. 1 tbsp. Put that in last. It will make things a little clumpy, which is why the powder is better. You could skip the vanilla and be fine.

Handy Tool for Scaling Your Batch:

Want to try a little this time and scale up to a huge batch next time? Easy.

Use the ==> Homemade Protein Shake Recovery Mix formula calculator


Plans for Homemade Protein Shake – Formula 2+

  • add glutamine (hands down, here’s your best bang for your buck glutamine offer) (also, why glutamine)
  • suggest swaps for peanut butter powder in place of all or some powdered milk
  • suggest amount of peanut butter powder as an addition (choco + PB flavor)
  • suggest amount of ground nuts and/or cacao nibs to add for fun
  • set precise amounts of cocoa powder for low/medium/high chocolatey-ness
  • experiment with dextrose (glucose equivalent from corn) in place of some table/bakers/powdered sugars

Enjoy.

Oh yeah — you’ll want a kitchen scale:

It’s easier to manage this process by weight than volume, so that’s how I did it. Any of these scales will do. Seriously, don’t go nuts making this decision. Super accuracy is not important here. Fwiw, I got this one, which handles up to 15lbs or 7kg.

Disclaimer: all my nutrition knowledge is informal and experiential from the field of my own training. I have no license or qualifications from a governing body to dispense personal nutritional information. I also share this taking no concern for anyone’s allergies or specific dietary restrictions. That’s up to you to figure out. Consult a doctor, registered dietician or nutritionist. That will do you some good anyway.

By Nat|2021-01-15T16:57:31-07:00March 2nd, 2018|Triathlon|2 Comments

Get a Grip on Your Time and Money (Podcast Bonuses)

Welcome friends and listeners of my time and money episodes on The Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur Podcast!

Brian is a good friend . . .

. . .  but enough of that.

Here are the FREE spreadsheets and tools I talked about.

Make copies and use them to help you create and adopt systems for getting a grip on your time and money.

 Ep 171: Time

 Ep 173: Money

JUMP TO:


[1] Tracking time

Use the Time Tracker for 3-6 months to establish your baseline for how much work you get done in a month.

After clicking the link to access (below) . . .

Log into Google Docs

Go to File >> Make a copy… (if you try to make a copy when not logged in, it won’t work)

Add your name to the file name

Choose the folder in your Google Drive for where to keep it

Check “Copy comments”

Press “OK”

==> Click Here to access the Time Tracker

Or find a time-tracking app that works for you.

I use Hours TogglTrack.


[2] Forecasting time

After using Time Tracker for 3-6 months to establish your baseline for how much work you get done in a month, have a go at the Time Forecaster.

Same as above, open the file and make yourself a copy

Go to File >> Make a copy…

Add your name to the file name

Choose the folder in your Google Drive for where to keep it

Check “Copy comments”

Press “OK”

Once you have your copy set up, click the down arrow on the “MONTHLY TEMPLATE” tab at the bottom, and select “Duplicate”

Then click the down arrow on the duplicate tab, and click “Rename…”

Change the name to something like “MAR 2018” or “APR18” or “18.05” … and then repeat the process until you have at least 6 months’ of tabs to work with.

==> Click Here to access the Time Forecaster

If you find a slick time forecasting app, tell me about it!

Just leave a comment below and include the name and/or a link.


[3] Tracking revenue

You want to know which people (clients) or items (products) are making you the most money! And … on what kind of schedule. Do this with the Revenue Tracker.

Same process as above to copy and make your own!

The Revenue Tracker complements the Money Tripper (below) with a little more detail on where exactly money is coming from. The Money Tripper is simply for tracking money once it lands. The Revenue Tracker will allow for better sorting and insights on revenue.

SIDEBAR: Yes. Eventually you want to upgrade from measuring just revenue to measuring profitability and margins so you can do the things that make you the most money, even after expenses. If you’re a service provider, straight revenue is a good start and then take that number and divide by hours tracked against it in your Time Tracker to see your real hourly rate by project/client/type of project.

==> Click Here to access the Revenue Tracker

Invoicing systems for getting paid faster (and easier) … hello Bonsai!

I’ve gotten checks in the mail (slow, paper isn’t super secure).

I’ve been paid by PayPal (30 cents + 2.9%).

I’ve been paid by credit card (30 cents + 2.9% or more).

And now my preference is bank transfers/ACH (just $5!).

I use Bonsai, a super awesome platform with several tools for freelancers:

  • proposals
  • contracts
  • invoicing
  • expense tracking
  • and more

40,000 freelancers around the world use it. I recommend you check it out. Use this link to sign up and get a FREE month.

If your business is product-based or high-frequency in transactions, then you need an e-commerce solution. But if you’re billing monthly, bi-weekly or taking deposits and final project fees for high-ticket items and professional services, this is a great option.


[4] Managing cashflow

Use the Money Tripper to manage cashflow and stop spending money you don’t have or wondering whether you “really can” afford something.

Follow the same instructions above to make a copy for yourself of my Money TripperAfter.

Be sure to check “Copy comments” so you keep the instructions on how to use the sheet!

==> Click Here to access the Money Tripper

A more advanced tool is YNAB (You Need a Budget).

YNAB is designed primarily for personal budgeting, but you can have one budget for business and another for yourself. Just link your business accounts with your Business Budget and your personal accounts with your Personal Budget.

YNAB is built on the same principles the Money Tripper is built on:

  • spend only dollars you actually have and
  • every time you get a dollar, give it a job. Which, naturally is followed by
  • spend dollars only on the job you assigned them to.

Get a free month when you sign up for YNAB with my link.

PS If you haven’t done so already, open separate bank account(s) for your business.

It makes bookkeeping, taxes, and all that so much easier. You just don’t want to waste time muddling through personal expenses to find those that count as business expenses. I use Small Business Bank — no fees, no minimum balance requirements, they have an app for mobile check deposit and of course you get a debit card with your business checking account. To get started, that’s all you need.


Get a grip on your time and money!

Time is the ONE resource you can NEVER get back once you’ve spent it.

And you’ll succeed faster when the way you spend and invest money matches your priorities.

It’s easy for time and money to become “the tails that wag the dog.” But you’re the dog. You’re the boss. Be the boss. Take control.

I’ve shared these tools because they are the methods I followed to take control at a time of my life and business when I had it backwards … when I had lost all the freedom I wanted when I struck out on my own, and had become a prisoner to the business I had made for myself. But as I MADE IT, I could UNMAKE it. And REMAKE it. Which I did. And so have hundreds of entrepreneurs the world over.

So give yourself some grace in whatever has happened up to this point, and try these on (one at a time!) to start the process of remaking your business for the better.

Good luck!

P.S. I’m here. Leave a comment below or send me a note and I’ll be touch.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

By Nat|2021-01-15T15:37:22-07:00February 23rd, 2018|Marketing|1 Comment

Pound The Rock

Pound the rock.

It’s in the footer of my website.

It’s in my email signature.

It’s the first phrase of three I have littered all over the internet. (The second and third being “Do good” and “Have a great time.”)

It’s the motto Gregg Popovich uses at the San Antonio Spurs. Their fan club is named after it. In fact, I’ve been told, it’s the only quote/motto/words-of-inspiration that appear anywhere inside the Spurs’ facilities.

So what about it? Why pound the rock?

This:

When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before. — Jacob Riis

We love telling “overnight success” stories.

They aren’t true.

Every “overnight success” story is … just a good story.

A story designed to get us to believe “we too” can be as successful as the “overnight” success.

Well, we can.

But not overnight.

Because they didn’t get there overnight.

These stories, so it seems to me, often are told to sell “the overnight method.”

When we buy that method, we get burned. Expectations fall unfulfilled, and we don’t succeed overnight — because we need to pound the rock:

To pound out our weakness,

To pound in our dedication,

To pound out non-essentials,

To pound in our focus,

To pound out dead weight,

To pound in muscle memory.

The true backstory of every success (“overnight” or not) is years of trial and error . . .

. . . effort on effort, and upset and defeat followed by persistence and consistency … all of which finally yield a win.

I’ve long said the most important attribute for any marketing campaign is consistency. You can blog once a day or once a year. If you stick to your schedule, people will accomodate whatever pattern you establish … if you stick to it. What doesn’t work is rush then stop. Publish then quit. Launch then disappear, only to relaunch with flare and pizzaz in 6 months quickly followed by flame-out, just as before.

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order (Mos 4:27).

This isn’t bad news.

Success isn’t in one-trick ponies or luck-of-the-draw rewards.

Success is in being adept at producing desirable results again and again, at will.

Success is in knowing “the wisdom and the order” of how things work, the present limits of your strength (your lactate threshold, for example).

Yes, part of success is arriving at the destination, a destination — of finishing or winning a race.

But grander elements of success are:

falling in love with getting there

knowing you can get there when you decide you want to

knowing what it takes to get there, how to command the elements and the circumstances to combine and align in getting you there

in other words, knowing how to get there again, on command … without assigning any piece of arrival to luck or chance

experiencing your personal capacity to do work every day, to conquer in the face of resistance, and to survive or even thrive in the face of calamity.

“Pound the rock” is a motto to succeed every day.

Between each sunrise and sunset, put.in.the.work.

99 of 100 blows of the hammer end with the rock uncracked.

In a darker moment, the uncracked rock may seem to laugh or scorn.

“What are you doing? Does your work even count? You’re not strong enough. You have the wrong tools. You can’t do this. You’re not making a difference at all. What a waste. Now this, what you’re doing, this is insanity!! You keep swinging, expecting me to crack. I’ll never crack. The outcome is the same. And always will be. Move on … move on to easier ground.”

It’s tricky.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, seeing no results, and expecting a different outcome.

Yet that definition is insufficient.

There are some tasks that are … a pound-the-rock scenario. A scenario where is just does take 99 repeated blows of no-difference-at-all results, which, when followed by the 100th WHAM! everything changes.

It may seems just one blow counted. One blow must have been different from the others. But no … all 99 changed the structure, strength and integrity of the rock until on the 100th it cracked. All 99 up to that point took mental grit and steadfastness and belief that the work was worth it.

I’m not a “good” runner.

I’m not “gifted” or a “natural.”

I don’t have lean thighs.

My VO2 max, when I’m not fully trained, is super average.

My calves are huge, the extra weight doesn’t help.

My calves also don’t connect high on my leg, so their biomechanical leverage is . . . average.

My knees rotate out and my tibia & fibula bow in to compensate, so some force from every step gets wasted in non-vertical, non-forward vectors.

My early years of swimming made my ankles super flexible, and early years of gymnastics trained them to act like absorbers; but great runners have stiffer ankles, trained to act like springs.

Yet my half marathon times keep coming down:

1:42:09 (7:47/mi) — 2008

1:40:26 (7:40/mi) — 2014

1:28:27 (6:45/mi) — 2015

1:24:35 (6:27/mi) — 2017

Why is that?

Because I pound the rock.

There’s nothing special about me.

Sure, I’m learning better form. As I pound the rock.

Sure, I’m in overall better shape … because I pound the rock.

Sure, I’m more flexible and less prone to injury … because I pound the rock (and rollll out, thanks TriggerPoint!).

Sure, I have better run gear and better workout routines … because I pound the rock.

I just pound the rock.

And anyone can pound the rock.

This much about life seems so simple and clear: when you work hard under the direction of people who understand the mechanics of how things work, you get results.

That’s why I put “Pound the rock” everywhere.

To remind myself of, and to stand for, the ethic of putting in the work.

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground” (Gen 3:19).

“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal 6:7-8).

Mastery thru repetition.

Affinity through consistency.

Results from no work are empty gains.

Dreams with no work are naught but wishes.

Gains from shortcuts are, eternally speaking, hollow.

Unearned upsides can be wonderful blessings and grace from heaven, but if converted in my mind and heart to expectations or views that “I don’t have to work because good things simply come my way” or “I will succeed because I am deserving of success” … those attitudes diminish my soul and others’.

Which brings me to another reminder baked into those three words:

To touch base, to make contact with, The Rock … every day. That rock being the “lowercase” rock of revelation and the “uppercase” Rock of Revelation who is Jesus Christ.

To meekly remember I am able from the gift of choice.

To meekly remember I am forgiven and cleansed from His gift of mercy.

To meekly remember I am empowered beyond my natural strength by His gift of grace.

So . . . I pound the rock.

By Nat|2021-01-15T16:47:21-07:00January 3rd, 2018|Faith, General Life, Marketing, Triathlon|1 Comment

A frozen banana has a three-fold mission in every shake

The frozen banana has a three-fold mission in every shake.

[1] It cools the shake.

[2] It thickens the shake.

[3] It sweetens the shake.

There you have it.

Frozen banana winter wonderland of thick smooth sweetness in your mouth.

Why yes, I buy my bananas 15 lbs at a time. A shelf in my freezer is dedicated to bananas. I may even get another freezer and dedicate entirely to bananas.

Pro Tips for the Frozen Banana, etc.

If you’re using greens, blend them first with just the liquids. That will allow them to get chopped up in finer pieces without everything else in the way.

Add frozen fruit last. It’s the hardest to blend and will blend easiest when everything else is already liquidy and smooth.

Try my Homemade Protein Shake Recovery Mix. It’s easy and delicious. And a great post-workout nutrition boost for triathletes and endurance athletes.

For endless inspiration of smoothie recipes, check out my friends at Simple Green Smoothies. Tons of recipes. Other cool food and nutrition ideas. And Jen is the bomb. +400k Instagram followers, she must be doing something right.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

By Nat|2021-01-15T16:37:20-07:00December 22nd, 2017|General Life, Triathlon|0 Comments

Are we related? We could be cousins . . .

Are we related? Over Thanksgiving I found out I’m related to 12 of the 102 Mayflower passengers (5 directly), so if you have any connections there chances are good we could be cousins.

How did I find this out?

www.RelativeFinder.org

Join my group and lets find an answer to the question “Are we related?”

The password is my first and last name together (this website without the ‘www’ and ‘.com’) — all lowercase, no spaces.

Even if we aren’t related, Relative Finder will show you if you’re related to a large basket of famous authors & poets, saints and popes, composers, entertainers, movie stars, sports figures, U.S. Presidents and their families, signers of The U.S. Constitution, signers of The Declaration of Independence, European royalty, scientists and technologists, and more.

FYI, if you’re a family history / genealogy noob . . . “3rd cousins twice removed” explained:

Your first cousins are the children of your parents’ siblings, i.e. your aunts & uncles’ kids. First cousins because you are the first generation down from the sibling connection.

Your second cousins are the kids of your parents’ cousins, or your grandparents’ siblings grandkids. Second cousins because you are two generations away from the sibling connection.

Now, your second cousins’ kids, what are they? Your second cousins, once removed. “Removed” just means however many generations off from the sibling connection. The smallest number of generation lines to the sibling connection is the “___ cousin” and the “___ removed” counts the rest.

So when my second cousins’ kids have kids … they will be my second cousins twice removed.

My Grandpa Doug‘s line goes way back to early U.S. colonial days so I’ve got some cool connections, a lot of which are through him. People including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Emerson, Thoreau, Steinbeck, Elvis, Harry Truman, Jefferson, the Bushes, Johnny Carson, Carrie Fisher . . . lots of people.

Pretty cool to find these things out.

If you need a hand getting into the group or set up with anything, post a comment.

Have fun, cuz.

By Nat|2021-01-15T15:37:22-07:00November 26th, 2017|Faith, General Life|0 Comments