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Author: bobmina

Here you'll find the writings of a man who's been improvising everything from the get-go. From fat kid to Racing Cyclist, to Triathlete, to Dragon Boat racer, while working on becoming a grown-up husband, father, and man, the story continues to write itself. Come along, won't you?

On The Bubble

When I was a kid, I loved to watch the last day of Time Trials for the Indianapolis 500, known as “Bubble Day.”  It was simple:  There were 33 spots in the race, but often you’d have 45-50 drivers trying to qualify.  On the final day, you would have 10-15 drivers making their last runs at glory, a last-hour dash that often combined engineering, desperation, and bravado. Margins were always impossibly small.  Those left on the outside looking in would be so very close, seeking those last hundredths of a second.  At the same time you’d have the man in 33rd position – the man everyone was trying to bump out: The man on the bubble. It was easy to imagine what…

We The People

I’m watching the current events in the political world the best that I can in real-time, watching the debate as strong sentiments from both sides go back and forth in a never-ending parry and thrust.   I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit worried; the pace, the sheer volume of things being overturned, the cacophony surrounding it all in a news cycle that is almost minute-to-minute.   People wanted change, and change won. This is the brick through the windows America needed to throw, and like it or not, change is what we’ve got.   Through it all I still try and keep focus on the people. This morning I read a story from U24 Team USA member Luis Beteta…

The Story of George

The Story of George Originally Published to http://www.xtri.com Authors Note:  Though I haven’t raced a triathlon in seven years, the vast majority of my athletic pursuits were in multisport for the better part of 13 years.  From 1996-2009 I watched the landscape change as Ironman races began to expand into North America, and wrote the following piece when I started to sense that things might be moving in a direction that, while profitable, was likely going to come at the expense of flavor, character, and depth. In the last three months I’ve heard about the demise of Beach2Battleship, Mooseman, Vineman, and now Timberman.  Races that went against the tide and held their own, but could only do so for so long.  It’s…

Every. Single. Day.

In a perfect world, Politics and Sport would never cross paths.  Of course, in a perfect world Pizza and Chocolate would be vegetables, but I’m afraid that’s not the case.  In our imperfect world we’re left to deal with the reality that Politics shall always find their way into places you don’t want them to be, but they need to be. I have been involved in Dragon Boat racing since 2004; first at a Corporate Team level, and then on the US National Team in 2011, 2013, and 2015.  My Head Coach through those years was Dr. Robert McNamara, M.D., FAAEM, Professor and Chair for the Emergency Medicine Department, as well as the Chief Medical Officer of Temple University Physicians.  He has been…

Off The Wall

I have had the privilege of working as a Race Announcer for both Triathlon and Dragon Boat Races through the years, and no two races have ever been alike, predictable, or easy to manage.  I have my notes, my schedule, my “Flight Plan,” biographies for key people and teams, but those are really just simple ingredients.  Despite the title oft-given to the person with the microphone – MC (Master of Ceremonies), any good announcer knows he or she is just a passenger – a narrator who controls nothing other than the words that come to describe the moments.you hope will be the right ones for the moments. For the last decade I’ve been the unseen voice starting and ending the days of…

You. Are. Ready.

  In August 2002, my racing had turned to a quiet place – it was idle.  Lynda and I had just bought our house, and the sheer volume of necessary work to make it our home was overwhelming.  For the first time since 1998, I wasn’t going to be lining up at Ironman Canada.  I felt lost, rudderless, unsure of just what to do with myself. So when race-week came, I wrote this.  It was sent to the Triathletes of the Dead Runners Society List-Serv on August 20, 2002 as a way to give my heart, and all this passion looking for a place to go, somewhere to just be.  Somewhere to let those feelings run down the course, beyond the sunset,…

140.6 Reasons

The cycle of sentimentality is as perennial as the seasons.  When we turn away from June and into July, I always find myself recalling the days long since passed when I was putting down miles, miles, and more miles, en route towards the inevitable end of another Ironman summer.  From 1998 through 2003, every year had a set cycle – a rhythm of slow ascent that crawled in January, February, March, picked up some tempo in April and May, and then went absolutely vertical from there until race day. At the end of the build comes “The Taper.”  This is the three-week long cut-down in mileage where you desperately try and allow the body to rest up, while at the same time you…

A Shot of Patience

One moment you’re cruising along, thinking about lunch, or that next meeting, or the weekend, or when is the sun ever going to come back – merrily surfing about the random stream of thoughts that wander through on an easy run.  And then it starts. “What is that?  What is that pain there?  When did that start?  Is it getting worse, or staying the same?” Anytime you’re asking that question during a run, it’s the equivalent of all of the warning lights on the Administrative Console of your body turning yellow.  It’s not an emergency – not yet – but something is amiss.  A smart runner would pay attention to such a warning sign.  A smart runner would realize that pain is…

No Easy Pass

While skimming Twitter earlier today, a story caught my eye regarding a New Jersey driver who’d managed to rack up $12,000 in fines by blowing through EZPass booths all over the East Coast on 200+ occasions.  Some of you may be thinking, “How’d he manage to do that?  How could he have gone through so many times and not been caught?”   I can testify that doing such a thing is rather easy to accomplish.  I know this not from my own experiences, but let’s just say I might have had a hand in a similar tale some 20 years ago. In the summer of 1990 if you were driving in and around New York City, EZPass signs suddenly sprang up overnight.  There…

4.12.1995

April 12th is always going to be a special day for me, almost as important as a birthday.  While everyone has a day where they were born, I’m not sure everyone has a day where they can point to and say, “That day, that’s the day I learned what it means to be alive.” Some parts of this piece appeared on Xtri.com in April of 2004.  It veers hard towards that triathlon audience at the very end, but no matter what it is you’re doing – running, walking, paddling, rowing, swimming – whatever it is that you’ve chosen to get up and do, this still applies.     If you’ve read my work before, you probably know I used to race bicycles. From…

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