Monday, January 29, 2018

Putting Life into Perspective

The end of 2017 and the start of 2018 has been nothing but eye opening. Life has a habit of showing you that focusing in on what's important is all that matters. One week before Christmas our 22 year old roommate was killed in a senseless single car accident. To this day we still don't know what happened or what caused her to drive off the freeway. We only know that the night before she was full of smiles and happiness and the next day she was gone. Sadly though it took 4 days for her to pass away. She was placed on a respirator. The hospital waited for her family to arrive and to have time with her. The benefit out of this was that she was a donor. Her very healthy skin and organs will help save lives.

Then just recently the unthinkable happened. We all love Tawnee Gibson of Endurance Planet. She has openly shared her life with us through her podcast. She was so happy and rightfully so to be pregnant and expecting. Her baby made it full term. Then upon delivery the baby didn't make it. Absolutely unthinkable.

The men (boys) in the picture above are part of the Platoon our son is in. He's in the center of the picture standing up. His life is at risk every day. Marines die is accidents often. In his training, accidents can be deadly. His life started scary enough. A normal day in the house. My pregnant wife had a rough night but she seemed ok. I had my cycling clothes on ready to go ride a few hours with friends. As we sat there having coffee she began to feel worse. So bad that I bagged the ride and sent my friends off. Within an hour she was in severe pain. We called the hospital and told them we were coming in. It was Sunday morning, traffic was light. We arrived and within one hour our son was born. He was 9 weeks early and weighed 3.5 lbs. There were no smiles on the doctors, my wife or myself, only worry. They quickly checked him and then allowed me to carry him down to ICU. There he would spend a month fighting for his life.

The other day someone commented "It looks like you've developed a close friendship with your son". I told my wife and she said "I think the two of you have been fully attached since you carried him down that hall"

I worry so much sometimes about where my work life is going. I worry about getting slow. None of that matters. The only thing that matters are the people in my life especially my son in the picture and my wife who is in the Middle East right now learning Arabic and volunteering at a soup kitchen.

It's a good life.....

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Work and Fun

Work has kept me quite busy. Between the three major work project I have it can sometimes be overwhelming. When I get to reflect though it’s actually plain fun. I work with athletes who challeng my own ability. I work with running shoe companies who trust what I have to say. I work with new companies trying to bridge the gap between concept and commercial product. I was interviewed a few weeks ago on two of these projects. You can listen here:

It’s a good life....

Thursday, October 5, 2017

New Recovery Item

5-6 years ago while at Zoot I got a call. The guy on the other end of the line said “So and So said you are the guy to talk to”. So and So were well respected names so I said “come on in”. This guy had this sample of a motor and a long story. Not long after that he was back with a workin sample I could put on my foot. I was sold. We tried for almost 2 years to put his motor into a Zoot shoe. We needed to modify the shoe and he and his team needed to get the motor smaller. The parent company of Zoot was fully behind the project but in the end things fell apart.

In August of this year I received an email from my friend (the guy who first called me) asking my size and address. My new Footbeat shoes arrived. The group had tried to work with other brands to no success. They decided to do it all on their own. What is it?

First and foremost it’s a medical device. An orthopedic surgeon wanted to create an easier and more effective way for his patience to recover from surgery. With the FootBeat shoes on, you turn the motors on by remote. A motor is in each shoe. The motors simultaineously lift a platform up at pre set intervals. That platform pushes on your arch. It’s a soft push. The push is enough force to generate blood flow. When a patient is in recovery they are usually sitting or laying down. Blood pools in their feet. The reason for this is a small valve just above your foot can’t open without sufficient blood pressure. The same thing happens to you when you fly. So this little motor lifts the platform which creates enough pressure to create blood flow. Patients recover faster.

It turns out, the same thing applies to athletes. Athletes work hard, then go to their office sit down and circulation to the legs slows down. Recovery is hampered. They then go out the next day and do it again. For a runner this is where injuries happen. Have you ever noticed with your injury that it didn’t happen suddenly. You felt it combining. That’s because every time you run you strain that connective tissue that gets injured. Not some times but every time you run. The body is created to repair thost little micro tears you create. But when you do it day after day the body can’t keep up and the micro tears turn into injury. That’s why all injuries are over-use injuries. The Footbeat shoes with their loud motors, push restorative blood. That restorative blood helps to repair those micro tears every day. You can do the math.

I’ve had my FootBeat for 8-9 weeks now. I’ve learned to use then for more than just recovery.

1. I use then for 10-20 minutes before I run. My legs feel absolutely fresh.

2. I use them for 10-20 minutes after I run. For obvious reasons.

3. I use them at night for 30-40 minutes. I dont’ wake up sore or tight.

4. I wear them on the plane. I got off a recent flight to Berlin with legs that felt like running was possible.

These things are not perfect. As mentioned they are loud. There sometimes is a cross in connection if your phone is too close to the motors. They then won’t be working at the same time. The shoes could be better but their not bad.

If you are coming to Kona or Arizona try them out. There is a simple test. One leg on, one leg off for 20 minutes or more. The one leg on will feel fresh and alive. The most common description is “Lighter”. The other leg will feel normal whatever that is.

I’m so happy to see this item come to the market. I’ve been in the product business for most of my life. While spending 12 years at RRS my job in part was to find the winners. The products that would make a difference in the business. I learned to concentrate on the runner and was usually right in my decisions. I rarely if ever called anything breakthrough. Recovery boots are these big sleeves you pull over your legs and the plug into a wall. They squeeze your legs reducing blood flow. When they release the blood flow rushes back in. The squeeze can be uncomfortable. The boots don’t squeeze your foot which by the way is the furthest from your heart. What hurts the most on most runners? You can get all of this for $1200. With Footbeat the blood flow is pushed from the foot. This makes the circulation complete. It’s the blood flow in the boots and in the Footbeat shoes that creates the recovery not the squeeze. That is scientifically proveen. With Footbeat, no squeeze and they are $450. That’s kind of breakthrough. Do the same thing, easier and less expensive.

I have to be honest here. Footbeat asked me for help in sport. I’ll be in Kona helping them lauch to the triathlon world.