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):

A post shared by Nat Harward (@natharward) on

[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:

Homemade Protein Shake recovery mix

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


Oh yeah — you’ll want a kitchen scale:

Homemade protein shake recovery mix (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 |2022-09-26T21:23:05-06:00March 2nd, 2018|Triathlon|2 Comments

Why Isn’t My Heart Rate Monitor Working? Because It’s Dirty

Why isn’t my heart rate monitor working today?

May 2020 UPDATE: You can go thru the process of cleaning your heart rate monitor regularly . . . but seriously, just get a Polar H10. You’ll see in the comments below that I switched from saying, “A lot of people in my forums recommend it” to “I got one, and I recommend it.” I got mine Dec 2019 and it’s been just about flawless. The first battery ran out quicker than I expected . . . in March. The replacement is still going. No connection problems. No data drops. No data spikes. Will report again in December. Again, skip the frustration … just get the H10.

That’s a question I never want to ask myself yet I have several times this year. I have two Suunto watches — for tracking my triathlon training, mountain adventures, and navigating in the backwoods — the Spartan Ultra and the Spartan Sport Wrist HR.

Heart rate monitor cleaningThe Suunto Spartan Ultra.

My Heart Rate Monitor: Suunto Smart Sensor

The Suunto Spartan Ultra (SSU) doesn’t have HRM on the wrist, so I always wear a chest strap with it.

While the SSSWHR model has an optical heart rate monitor on the wrist, I wear a chest strap heart rate monitor all the time with that one too since chest straps are slightly more accurate … by all the time I mean except swimming, since pushing off the wall nearly always has enough force to slip the chest strap out of position and that’s mad annoying.

Multisport Heart Rate Monitor - Suunto Smart SensorThe Suunto Smart Sensor Multisport Heart Rate Monitor

Anyway, things were going swimmingly … two watches, one heart rate monitor strap synced to both, connected quickly and flawlessly every time … for 7 months until one day in July things between my SSU and my HRM went south.

Heart Rate Monitor Frustrations

At first how it went is I’d go to the “pre-start” screen where the watch is locking in connections just before starting an activity, and the screen would show a connection to the Suunto Smart Sensor HRM (which connects to the watch via Bluetooth), even indicating my present heart rate. But as soon as I started the activity, the watch showed my heart rate as “—-“, and when I later finished the activity synced the data to Movescount, there was no heart rate data. Annoying.

So I tried stuff like unpairing my watch and the heart rate monitor. And repairing. And the same thing would happen.

And then it got worse … my SSU just stopped finding my HRM at all whenever I tried to re-pair.

I replaced the battery, hard reset the watch, un-paired the HRM from every other device and on and on … all to no avail. But there’s a good ending to this story.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I was soaking my chest strap as well to ensure there was enough moisture to conduct electrical pulses from my skin and so the chest strap had something to read and data to relay through the device.

Almost the whole time through this, I could still get my SSSWHR to connect … almost.

For awhile, my heart rate monitor performance was unpredictable, and I couldn’t stand it.

I mean really couldn’t stand it.

I count on heart rate data in my workouts to track how much work I’m doing and how much at what intensities. Without the HR data, my data has gaps and I my aggregate numbers get off. Since I really want that data, and I couldn’t get it from my SSU, it became almost unusable for me for awhile even though it is an amazing watch and can do so many other things.

This was no good.

It’s supposed to be a great watch! It IS a great watch! I’m the U.S. Endurance Community Manager for Suunto!!! … but my watch, within year 1, isn’t working!!!

Not a good situation.

Trawling the Internet for a Heart Rate Monitor Solution

Through my various attempts to getting a connection to happen, I did clean my strap. But not really clean it.

In trawling the internet for what people do about their HRMs, I found a forum post where someone went into depth about cleaning it. I decided to go Type A and clean every single thing I could to see if that would work. Because if a deep clean didn’t work, then it truly was a product defect and I’d send it back for a replacement.

How I Cleaned My Heart Rate Monitor

Prep: disconnect, un-pair, “forget” or otherwise completely sever the connections between your HRM and your watch, phone, bike computer and any other device you’ve connected it to. Get a bowl, dish soap, rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol and cotton swabs / q-tips.

Step 1: Fill a bowl with warm water and some dish soap. Place the chest strap into the bowl. Let it sit overnight.


[1] Liquid dish detergent and laundry detergent are best.

[2] By “warm” I mean less than 100F (<40C). So, like “the middle” of your hot and cold settings. Very lukewarm or maybe a tad on the “when I put my finger in to test it, it feels slightly chill.”

[3] Yes, a bowl and not the laundry even though that’s what’s in the user guide.

Why? According to my biochemist bro:

For dish and laundry detergent: they don’t have any moisturizing additives that leave non-conductive deposits behind. The whole point of washing is to get rid of the non-conducting oils.

For water temp: hotter water will do a better job cleaning, BUT above 40C it will damage the elastics & stretchy fabrics in the band. And that breakdown is no good. (Fwiw, 40C is the hottest recommended temp by Suunto in the user guide.)

The crud that builds up on the electrodes and makes them non-conductive (so you stop getting accurate readings consistently) is a mix of greasy skin materials. Sweat is bad for your HRM band and the electronics because sweat includes oils and salts. That combination loves to stick to smooth, rubbery surfaces like the electrode pads. Detergents are their enemy and will wash them away.

And my take on why soak overnight instead of tossing in the laundry machine per the user guide (English PDF, other languages): less wear and tear. I’d rather my band sit in a little bit of water than get tossed around with my jeans.

H/T to Dimitrios Kanellopoulos for starting a convo with me that lead to adding this info! He’s active in this Suunto users group on FB. Join us.

Step 2: While the chest strap soaks, open the HRM to replace the battery. And then clean the battery with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol, on both sides. When the alcohol has evaporated, put the battery in. Using the q-tip and rubbing alcohol, swab around the sealing edges of the case but don’t swab directly on the electronics board. If the battery connectors look dirty, carefully swab those. Swab the entire removable casing/shell/battery cover. Finally, reinstall the cover.

Somewhat risky step … not liable for anything that may or may not happen if you do this: if you are still having data consistency issues after all this, some people say to put the battery in upside down for about 20 seconds. Not recommended because reverse voltage can damage electronics, and while the sensor probably has some voltage regulating safety bits, it’s best not to stress them with a battery the wrong way.

Step 3: Clean the connector terminals on the sensor. Whatever brand of HRM you use, there are likely two metal posts on the sensor that “snap” into the chest strap. That’s what I’m talking about. Swab those super clean with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol as well.

NOTE: Rubbing alcohol will also damage the elastics. So be careful where you swab (same in Step 5).

Step 4: (Next morning) Remove chest strap from water and dish soap solution. Rinse out the soap.

Step 5: Again with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol, swab out the receivers on the chest strap where the posts on the sensor snap in. Really get in there to wipe them clean.

Step 6: Let all the alcohol evaporate, run the chest strap under water or apply electrode gel. Put the strap on. Snap your sensor in. Reconnect to your devices, one at a time.

Step 7: As a result of your cleaning efforts, enjoy a HRM that works!

I Cleaned It. That Worked. Heart Rate Monitor Restored.

So after all that my SSU found and successfully paired with my HRM and hasn’t skipped a beat since.

So . . .

Yeah . . .

(Chest strap) Heart rate monitors need clean electrical lines to sense the electrical pulses of our heart beats and clean lines to send all that info from the strap to the sensor. If those lines (in the strap) and connections (from strap to sensor) get too dirty (easy to happen when you train daily and jump in a lake now and then), then they need to get cleaned.

OK! Now I can stop ranting about my HRM not working … because I know it’s my job to clean it.

New ritual: HRM deep clean every 2 months.

Between Deep Cleans, Try This:

Put a small drop of dish soap on the soft side of a kitchen sponge, and then quickly swipe the contact pads. This will keep the contact pads cleaner so you can go longer between deep cleans.

[FOR REFERENCE: I hear people have success using the Polar H10 belt and Bluetooth enabled HRM transmitter, and they say it’s more robust than the Suunto Smart Sensor, requiring less maintenance.]

[UPDATE Sep 2018: I got a Suunto 9 in June when it launched and have sold the Sport WHR.]

[UPDATE Dec 2018: I also sold my Ultra. All-in with the 9.]

By |2021-12-28T14:13:25-07:00September 30th, 2017|Triathlon|78 Comments

Utah Valley Marathon: Race Report 2016

Ran the Utah Valley Marathon on June 11, 2016.

My Utah Valley Marathon data on TrainingPeaks.

Finished 12 minutes slower than my last race.

//// What happened? ////

I popped a caffeine pill before the gun and that single action derailed my day and 3 months of training. Miles 1-12 were solid, and then the effects of dehydration set in.

Basic wisdom: “No new nutrition tricks on race day.”

I’ve never taken caffeine pills in my life.

In that moment of being speed greedy, I didn’t account for needing an extra bottle of water to counteract the drug’s diuretic effect. Now I have a good story to back up the wisdom.

All training and racing is a process … no matter the outcome yesterday, #PoundTheRock continues as I improve my run in pursuit of a sub-3:00 finish and qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

Pre-Race Layout

Hidden: the two caffeine pills in my shorts pocket that derailed my race.

PS One of the greatest little gifts from sponsors are those balls in my shoes. Odor snatchers. Check em out … bit.ly/snkrbls


Always good to run with a friend for a bit. Taylor (she’s a singer/songwriter based in LA) and I ran a chunk of the first 5 or 10k together. I took off … and not long after I tanked around mile 14 she flew by and went on for a great finish of 3:28:25, taking 3rd in her division.


Dehydration cramps set in well by this point. My constant goal was make it to the next aid station for water and Gatorade.


How to deal with cramps … walk (blue dips). Cramp, walk, drink, recover, run, repeat.


By mile 23 … still a mess and drinking lots of water to get normal.

Mad props to Vanessa who’s been my sherpa on the past 2 marathons. Nothing like having a 100% reliable friend offering support on race weekends. Thank you Cousin V!!!


Despair & Relief


Lessons learned. Time to recover and prep for next time. Process Produces Progress.


Like I say … #PoundTheRock.


Utah Valley Marathon - 2016 Race Report - Finisher Certificate

Utah Valley Marathon 2016 Race Results: bit.ly/uvm16nat


Utah Valley Marathon - 2016 Race Report - Strava Splits 1 Utah Valley Marathon - 2016 Race Report - Strava Splits 2



Utah Valley Marathon 2016 by the Numbers

Miles: 26.2

Elevation Gain: 1,111′ <–WUT. I THAWT IT WAS ALL DOWNHILL

Elevation Drop: 2,817′

Calorie Burn: 3,700 (est.)

Final Time: 3:40:52

20th in Division

195th of 955 Overall

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Video] Crossing the finish: bit.ly/23gg00g

[Data] My Utah Valley Marathon Data on TrainingPeaks: tpks.ws/hebUE

[Data] My Utah Valley Marathon Data on Strava: bit.ly/uvm16

[Data] My Utah Valley Marathon Race Results: bit.ly/uvm16nat



#TeamTriggerPoint // Grateful to represent TriggerPoint, for their support and the camaraderie of my team, and especially for TP’s products. From rolling with their gear (and eating and resting right), I could walk fine that night, went for a hike the next morning, and feel great.

Ran on Newton Running Distance Vs which took something to get used to, but which I now very much like; with Sof Sole inserts that are a super step up from the stock inserts, and the most comfortable socks I’ve ever put on from Balega.

Not shown, but I plan and analyze everything primarily with TrainingPeaks. Big fan of the platform, appreciate their continuous improvement of it. It’s what I have all my clients use #ResultsStartHere

AND … super awesome props to Utah Valley Marathon crew for working out a deal with the race photographer to provide digital downloads for FREE. Many thanks.

I originally posted this on Facebook.


By |2021-01-15T15:37:23-07:00June 17th, 2016|Triathlon|0 Comments

Fear of Yours Not Welcome in My Corner

Had a recent insight on fear.

I coached Damian Reid in 2015 to his first half marathon in 6 years and am coaching him in 2016 for his first marathon ever.

He shopped the marathon circuit, showed me a few options, I made recommendations, and he landed on Cape Town, South Africa (Sept 2016).

A few days later…

Screenshot 2016-06-12 19.58.25

I get cold feet about all kinds of things in life.

But the worst kind of cold feet I can get is other people’s cold-feet fear.

<<Damian gave me full permission to share these details. Thanks, brah.>>

I believe Damian was initially acting responsibly and giving this gentleman the benefit of the doubt.

He’s from Africa … specifically Botswana which looks to have more adjacent border mileage with South Africa than any other country.

He’s run three marathons … that’s 3 more than Damian and most people you meet.

He’s the champion of a squash club in a major metropolitan area … obviously still a committed and accomplished athlete.

Unless Damian really wanted to pull out his phone to check the course elevation during this quick, post-match conversation, I’m sure the thing for him to do was nod and say, “Thank you, I’ll take that in consideration and speak with my coach.”

I’m glad he did basically that.

Damian recapped the info. He suggested we may go to Plan B. He trusted me. By so doing, Damian put his faith in himself and in me as his coach ahead of any fear triggered by Mr Botswana. That shows great strength on his part.

People can be totally wrong. And this guy was.

Having an appointed supporter and champion to be there for me in life’s challenges has been a super awesome practice, and once I have those people clear on the roles they embrace for me, then they ARE the person I go to when I hit moments of doubt, darkness, fear or spiraling questions.

When people spew doubts, their fear, and more questions in response to mine, I get more darkness … and now I’m 2x in the dark, or even worse, because I have mine AND theirs. Bad recipe for any situation where I care about moving forward.

Doubters don’t belong in my corner. Who does? People whose faith surpasses fear.

People committed to helping me (and you) through moments of doubt, fear and seemingly unanswered questions are better suited to shine light and direct me to my own light switches so I can see clearly.

As a coach, my athletes count on me to make solid recommendations and not knowingly let them walk into high-failure, low-learning situations. Living + training at sea level, then running a first marathon at elevation counts as one of those. (Post for another time: great coaches do on occasion run their athletes/clients thru inevitable-failure, high-learning situations.)

My athletes, clients, friends and anyone I know, myself included, will experience fear. What I aim to do is support them to recognize their own faith. And, when invited, help them move smartly, faithfully and powerfully toward their faith, even in the face of whatever fear is there.

I felt confident I hadn’t overlooked the geographical challenges of the Cape Town Marathon for Damian, and I thought I’d show him what goes into those evaluations so in the future he can make them on his own.

Here’s what I found:

Screenshot 2016-06-12 20.20.56

I Googled “cape town marathon site:strava.com” and found exactly what I was looking for:

unfounded fears of cape town marathon elevation

(gray, left axis = elevation; blue, right axis = pace of the Strava user who recorded this. Bless the internet and smart phones. And Google. And GPS. And Strava.)

What follows is how my texts went down as I shared this image and more with Damian.

Damian, it’s between 0-200′ above sea level … the whole time!

The entire elevation gain is 721′

The Salt Lake Marathon, while at moderate elevation, has a total gain of 789′

Berlin has 366′

New York City has 454′

Boston has 572′

721′ is nothing crazy

And most importantly … 

In your half marathon you climbed 935′ … you got this 😊

(1,870′ over the course of a full marathon is challenging for a road race and specific training for such is smart)

I imagine will be stunning to run all the way around Table Mountain … without ever going up it (shaded green = mountains):

Fear of Cape Town marathon - route on elevation map

The hardest parts will be miles 16 and 17:

Fear of Cape Town Marathon - the hardest miles

Highest elevation gain in a mile … 145′ … and then the steepest drop in the next mile … 131′ down.

Going up that late in the race will burn your hamstrings …

… and coming down will be an extra load on your quads.

And then you’ll hit mile 18 … that proverbial wall!

Which is also fairly uphill looking at rest of course … 92′ up.

Those 3 miles will be a HUGE mental game and discipline to execute whatever plan we make ahead of time.

So excited for you!!!

Man! Love digging into this race info and thinking about strategy for ya!!!

When you take a look at all this … will you let me know how you feel?

Damian’s a champion. He got it:

Fear of Cape Town Marathon - got it

Back on track. Fear put to rest.

I have no idea how many years ago Squash Club Champion ran his marathons. And I really don’t think he meant ill will. I don’t think he was consciously aware of fear or wanting to incite fear in Damian. I genuinely think he thought he was being helpful … most people do when they give advice … and, to the extent that now Damian and I have thoroughly looked at the elevation profile of Cape Town 2016, he was helpful.

Perhaps it was an innocent slip of memory. Perhaps one of the three marathons he ran is somewhere else in South Africa or around Cape Town and is at elevation. Or maybe years ago the same Cape Town marathon Damian selected had a route at elevation.

Whatever the case, none of that matters because the only relevant items are the facts about Damian’s race and Damian’s preparation for those realities.

So it is in all aspects of life.

I experience so much “advice,” even when given with the best intentions, that, when unrobed from the cloaks of “wisdom” and “concern” for my well-being, amounts to a presentation or attempted transfer of the giver’s unresolved fear and insecurities. And guess what? Their fear and insecurities are theirs. Not mine. And 99% of the time the fear isn’t grounded in reality.

So …

Thanks. But if I see or smell fear, I’ll hand your a ticket for a seat in the stands.

When I’m in the ring — and when, ever, are any of us not? — ya gotta have faith for a spot in my corner.

RIP Muhammad Ali

January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016

A man who lived word and deed entirely in faith ahead of fear.

Fear of Cape Town Marathon - Muhammad Ali

By |2021-01-15T15:37:23-07:00June 12th, 2016|General Life, Triathlon|0 Comments

Redcoats and Running: An Ode to My Grandpa Doug

My grandpa died today.

Grandpa Doug was about 6 weeks shy of his 97th birthday.

Or, he died last night. We’re not sure. Some time in his sleep he said bye to his tired and aged bag of bones and went on to that realm of spirits where now he communes freely with his wife, Nedra, his siblings and other friends and family already there.


My Grandpa Doug grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts and moved to Los Angeles as a young lad to finish art school.

There he met my grandmother, found work doing industrial art + design, and settled to raise his family within sighting distance of the nightly Disneyland fireworks, where he stayed until today.

There are 2 pictures embedded from Instagram on this post and they often don’t show on the first page load. (Why?!) If you don’t see 3 model cars below, reload/refresh or click here and here to see Grandpa Doug.


Grandpa: drove the red one from MA to CA and later his family in the Bel Air.

A photo posted by Nat Harward (@natharward) on

For years, I knew him as an artist.

Doing cool things like …

The Flying White House Letterhead
My Grandpa Doug designed this letterhead for Air Force One … before it was Air Force One.

The Flying White House
Pretty rad family history, huh?

When I was 26 I visited him for a few days.

In that 1:1 time, I discovered my grandpa was more than an artist. He was a writer too.

He wrote regularly for his company’s management journal … editorials on life, leadership, service, being great, being a citizen.

I snapped pictures of a few of them.

And today I’m sharing one of his editorials because he wrote it about today.

Not about his death, but about today

the day the world gathers near his home for the marathon of marathons, The Boston Marathon

the day students across America’s schools read and recite Longfellow’s tale of the midnight ride of Paul Revere

the day that marks the moment when one man, standing among 70-some of his fellow farmers and blacksmith countrymen, stared down 700+ Redcoats between Lexington and Concord and dared to take The Shot Heard ‘Round the World

… the day we call Patriots’ Day

From Grandpa Doug:

Until recent years, April 19th was a holiday in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts — Patriots’ Day, in commemoration of the rag-tag colonial revolutionaries who beat the British Redcoats on the battlefields of Lexington and Concord on that day following the famous midnight ride of Paul Revere.

Today, like many American holidays, Patriots’ Day has become a flexible holiday, a weekend extension, hence this year’s celebration on April 17th. Also, like many America holidays, it is less remembered for its original significance than for a sporting event of national interest. On New Year’s Day, it’s the bowl games, on Memorial Day, the Indianapolis 500, and in Boston on Patriots’ Day, it’s the Marathon.

We remember such a day, more than forty years ago, when we took a twenty-mile round trip bicycle ride to see the Boston Marathon. In those days, everyone was interested in the performance of a past winner, a high school teacher and former heart patient named Clarence DeMar who started running as a young man and continued until his death when was in his seventies. There was always a Johnny Kelly in the race and at least one of them won it two or three times.

Running, it seemed, was a localized craze confined to the Greater Boston area, and anyone could do it — rich, poor, large or small, youngster or senior citizen. One winner, “Tarzan” Brown, a Narraganset Indian, was so poor that his taped shoes hung in shreds on his blistered feet at the end of the 26 miles.

Today, the running craze has spread across the country and to other parts of the world as well. Most people don’t consider themselves athletes, certainly not competitors out to win races. Running is just good healthy exercise and an opportunity to clear the mind, and, especially if you run early in the morning, to prepare yourself both physically and mentally for the rigors of the day ahead.

Only by staying mentally and physically fit can we expect to win any future battles with whatever Redcoats may block the path to freedom.

— Douglas C. Tubbs

Love you, Grandpa.

For my daily list of 10+ new ideas, I dedicated the time to gratitude for you:

  1. Thanks for staying mentally fit.
  2. Thanks for working to be as physically strong as you could through heart troubles and broken hips.
  3. Thanks, more importantly, for having the heart to rally the hearts of all your family … our family … in respect, connection and love.
  4. For framing one of my drawings when I was a kid, I felt so validated.
  5. For your courage to drive across the country and finish art school in LA.
  6. For patiently pursuing greatness in life … in courting Nedra, in your craft of drawing, in writing, and in joining the Church and being a disciple of all good things of Jesus.
  7. For joining the Church and embracing what you could love about what the restored gospel offers.
  8. For holding down the fort in LA so we could visit that great part of the country and have family there to be with (Disneyland!).
  9. For having a cheerful countenance.
  10. For learning to whistle, and doing it shamelessly and gleefully … and sometimes completely unconsciously.
  11. For wanting family to be together, to be friendly, to be on good terms.
  12. For hosting me at your place for a few nights in 2012.
  13. For supporting the family in gathering in big celebrations for your birthday every 5 years from the 80th and on.
  14. For doing all you did to teach and show my mom the ways of language and writing and art.
  15. For enjoying yummy food and wanting us to as well.
  16. For being interested in and asking about my life — my various entrepreneurial ventures, my travels, being a triathlete.
  17. For answering the phone whenever I called.
  18. For loving, really, unconditionally.

See you on the other side 🙂

By |2021-05-06T17:04:08-06:00April 18th, 2016|General Life|1 Comment