Posted by: David D. Daggett | October 13, 2017



             Whoosh . . . .blows the wind across the island as the great Hawaiian warrior blows in the conch shell horn calling all athletes to the theme of Kupa’a.  Kupa’a was the theme for the 2016 Hawaii Ironman World Triathlon Championship.


Presented in lu’au style by Island Breeze dramatizing the theme Kupa’a which means steadfast, firm, and immovable.  Through music, drama, dance, and fire these honorable values of the Hawaiian culture were presented to us.  These character strengths are in emblematic of the ancient Hawaiian people and also of Ironman competitors in their pursuit of the finish line on race day.


The theme of Kupa’a applies to all of us and all aspects of our lives.  Focusing on our families, faith, fitness, and profession in a steadfast, firm, and immovable manner allows us to stay true to our values and our long-term successes.

Kupa’a is very similar to our long-time theme on this blog of consistent execution over time toward a worthy goal, always produces positive results.  Times will get tough and there will be lots of hard work.  Yet, like the Hawaiian warrior, or the Ironman on race day, if we remain steadfast, firm, and immovable we will persevere with positive results.

Whoosh . . . as the wind again blows across the island in the wish and prayer for all competitors to take the spirit of Kupa’a home to their families and communities far away, and to remain steadfast, firm, and immovable.

Living Kupa’a,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | August 22, 2017

Be A Good Ambassador

Be A Good Ambassador

We all know that riding the bicycle is probably the biggest risk we take as triathletes.  Accordingly, t is incumbent on all of us to help raise awareness of the dangers and be a good ambassador for the cycling community.  We just published an e-book with the updated North Carolina bicycle safety laws you can get free here.   Please join me to help spread the word and encourage bicycle safety.

First, know the rules of the road and follow them.  In North Carolina the rules of the road have recently been updated and I believe they are very helpful for cyclists.  Please learn the rules and follow them.

Next, be visible.  Twice in the past week I have been stopped by motorists and thanked for having daytime riding lights to enhance my visibility.  One elderly man commented that although he tries to be very mindful of cyclists he has a hard time seeing us.  He specifically mentioned the difficulty seeing us as we go in and out of shadows on those beautiful back roads that we love riding on.   My tail lights really helped him, and clearly helped me too!

Lastly, please be a good ambassador out on the road.  Your actions affect the safety of all of us on the road.  Most drivers are unaware of bicycle safety laws so it is important that we all help spread information and treat motors with respect out on the road.

Remember to review the e-book and help spread the word!!


Knowing the laws, being visible, and being a good ambassador will help keep us all safer on the road.

Ride safely,



Posted by: David D. Daggett | March 30, 2017

Keep The Faith

Keep The Faith

            “Faith without works is dead…”  Of course, this passage applies to all aspects of our lives including training and racing.  Consistent execution over time is the work that backs up our faith.

Entering my 36th consecutive year of racing triathlons I set one goal – qualify for the 70.3 world championships which is back in the United States this year.  Due to three teenagers and a myriad of family obligations, there was only one qualifying race that would fit the schedule.  Although quite early in the year for me, Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico would have to be it.  Unfortunately, I would have to make the trip on my own due to family obligations back home.  Accordingly, this race was “all business” . . . give it all I’ve got to qualify for the world championship.  I had faith that I could peak my many years of fitness with a chance of delivering big time on race day.  The only way to guarantee the spot was to win.

1-Swim IMPR

First out of the water

This day was going to start out full blast from the cannon.  Laser focused, I went to the lead on the swim and was able to hold position through the swim exit.  With a transition close to one‑third of a mile long, I knew that a smooth fast transition would gain a little time.

1-Bike IMPR Good

All alone at the front

The wind, heat, and humidity made itself known on the bike.  The conditions were rough, but I also knew that it was an opportunity to widen the gap by a few more precious minutes.  The pedal was to the metal for the full 56 miles.  A second smooth and fast transition allowed me to gain a few more precious seconds heading out onto the run.

1-Run IMPR

Hanging on in the run

The run course in Puerto Rico may be among the most difficult on the circuit including short and very steep climbs, historic cobblestones, and the legendary “microwave” on the back side of the fort wall with no aid stations.  This was going to hurt!  Hanging on by a thread it was exciting to cross the finish line, cameras in my face, believing that I had taken the race wire to wire for the win.  My beliefs were later confirmed by friends on computers that I had for the first time come in first place in my age group amongst an international field at an Ironman™  branded race.

1-Finish IMPR

Yes!  The finish!

Races, like any achievements in life, are not one‑day wonders.  They are the cumulative effect of efforts over time.  Keep the faith, and the faith is that consistent execution over time always produces favorable results.

Keeping the faith,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | November 8, 2016

Trickle-Down Acrimony

Trickle-Down Acrimony

            Leadership behavior always trickles down through organizations and constituencies.  The behavior is reflected in our businesses, religious organizations, schools, families, and communities.  Good or bad, behavior usually reflects leadership.


Today is Election Day and after I stood in line and cast my vote I was brought to tears.  Some of our choices were no-win situations.  The level of ongoing acrimony, and the predictions of that behavior continuing, saddens me.  Research shows that this acrimony trickles down through society and is even reflected in school-aged youngsters and toddlers.  Further, as we go down the socio-economic and educational ladder, the acrimony that is modeled is carried out in an increasingly rude and rough manner . . . sometimes even through violent behavior.  The sad part is it is all reflective of leadership.

TV news networks can’t even put members of the opposing parties in the same room.  The result is not news, but childish banter and talking over each other.  They even call each other names!  The networks should be ashamed for perpetuating an environment where this behavior fosters.

We all deserve better.  Our children deserve better.  Our future deserves better.  Unfortunately, it appears that our political acrimony will continue.  Until we all demand better it is bound to continue.

Decency and respect are timeless principles.  In today’s world it is refreshing when we stumble across environments that reflect these values.  Although trickle-down is usually more influential and powerful than trickle-up, perhaps the only way we can influence and change our political structure is if each of us, one at a time, business by business, school by school, religious organization by religious organization, and so on, adopt, instill, and demand environments of decency and respect.

My sadness with the realization of the poor choices for leadership in our election process was lifted by the optimism of the young people I encountered throughout the morning, including my own children.  They understand and value decency and respect.  They can, will, and must change the world; and they need our support and leadership.

Let’s join together and begin a movement of trickle-up decency and respect.  Together we can make that voice louder and stronger than the acrimonious lies, name calling, and bashing of this past political season.  We deserve better.

Trickling up,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | October 4, 2016


Ironman World Championship 2016

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***Facebook photos here***


             The steeple of Mokuaikaua Church stands proudly over Kailua Bay.  Mokuaikaua is the first Christian church in the State of Hawaii and Kailua Bay is where the legendary and world-famous Hawaii Ironman World Championship begins.


This past Sunday it was fun to visit Mokuaikaua Church, and see Kahu (Pastor) David who saw me and exclaimed “David, you’re back!”  Kahu David’s special welcome really set the tone for my return to the Big Island.


Kahu David started with a story of hope to assurance led by faith featuring Noah and references from Genesis and Hebrews.  He continued that it all starts with a belief, then a vision, and ultimately takes action.  Those of us with Faith, or even those of us searching for Faith, see the metaphor to and from Ironman racing very clearly.

In religion, as in life, as in Ironman racing, you have to believe in the journey and the path that you are on.  The belief is the first step in any transformation toward a goal.  You have to believe and have faith in that belief.

Out of the belief you have to create a vision.  “Can you see the vision,” Kahu David asked.  “You must actually see it and follow it.”  For Noah it was seeing what God had in store for him.  For competitors on race day it’s actually seeing the swimming, biking, running and getting to the finish line.  Believe it, and then really see it in your mind’s eye.

We’ve discussed it here many times before.  Action is the key limiter for most people.  You have to believe it, see it, and then you must take action to do it or it is all good for nothing.  Belief and vision frames it and is the guide, but action will carry you to obtain the goal and win the day.

We are less than a week away from the Ironman World Championship.  We have to believe, then have the vision to actually see it, and we all know that on race day it is the action that will carry us to the finish line.

Hope to assurance through faith with belief, vision, and action,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | August 3, 2016

The Dilemma

The Dilemma

            How do we do it all?  How do we make sense of everything?  It seems that this is a crazy world that we live in.  And, I’m not just talking about politics which seems to repeat itself every 4 (or even 2) years, but everything around us.  We are all busy, busy, busy.  In fact, many of us are so busy that we forget what we are even doing.  It can make your head spin.

The Dilemma

Then, we have to deal with all of this never ending technology.  Interestingly, with all of the “benefits” and “efficiencies” of technology it seems that we work harder, the 8‑hour day has blurred into 24/7, while at the same time real wages have not increased and it is documented that we all deal with more stress.         What do we do next, and how do we keep up?

On top of all of that we have family and social pressures that are a constant challenge for all of us.  Then, we have our spiritual life and pursuing our faith these days seems more complicated too.  All of the above seems to be get woven into our professional life, which dials up the stress even more.  Fitness should be important to all of us, but with everything else going on how in the world do we incorporate a healthy fitness lifestyle?

It was my struggle with all of these aspects of life, particularly after getting married and having our first child, which caused me to reflect and start developing The Four Anchors.

The finding, reviewing, and pursuing life through the filter of The Four Anchors makes everything fit together better, gives us a system to organize our lives, and helps to give our lives much more meaning.  Using the anchors as a template for goals and decision making simplifies our daily actions and makes life easier and more meaningful to handle.

Using and applying The Four Anchors on a consistent, daily basis provides a foundational structure for everything we do.  Suddenly, time begins to expand, we perform at higher levels, are happier, and are well on the road to a lifetime of fulfillment and satisfaction.

This system has been very helpful to me and I hope it is useful for you.  The principles contained in The Four Anchors are the reason I started this blog almost a decade ago.  Remember, most writers are writing to themselves first.  That is certainly true for me.  Now, more than 300 articles later, the goals and path remains the same, although the pursuit continues.  Thank you for joining me along the way.

Staying anchored,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | July 28, 2016

Plan and Execution

Plan and Execution

            It seems to happen in every aspect of life.  We see bright, talented people underperform.  It happens in business, marriages, athletically, and even spiritually.  What is the cause of this?  Perhaps it boils down to not having a system to make outcomes a matter of choice rather than chance.  In other words the failure to plan and execute.


Plan and Execution (then smile!)

The perfect example of this is an Ironman competitor on race day.  Do you ever shake your head and wonder when you see a well-trained athlete really blow it on race day?  I’m not talking about having good days or bad days which happens to all of us in competition.  Rather, I’m referring to the failure to plan and execute when you should know better.  For example, nutrition and hydration.  This is easily practiced and then executed on race day.  Of course athletics is just a metaphor for us for all aspects of life.

One of my favorite authors and lecturers is Harvard business professor Clayton Christianson.  He says, in business, and also in life, you can either take a crap shoot or follow tested reliable theories.  Why leave it to chance – tested reliable theories don’t lie,  they work.  Learn the theory and execute it for predicted and reliable results.

            The Four Anchors is a system to plan and execute the important aspects of your life.  It is a strategic formula and path to a life of satisfaction and fulfillment.  This isn’t hard . . . in fact it makes it easier.  When we follow a tried and true system based on reliable theories, the positive outcome is then very predictable.

And as we have repeated a number of times, consistent execution over time of a solid plan toward worthy goals always yields positive results.  And, as we say, we have to do it “every day, every day, every day!”

Always executing the plan,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | July 12, 2016

Epic Challenge

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Epic Challenge

            Challenge Roth is an epic event.  It is the largest, long-distance race in the world.  The small village in Northern Bavaria hosts 5,000 athletes and attracts approximately 250,000 spectators.  One of the highlights of the course, in the entire triathlon world, is the hill at Solar, which is legendary for its tens of thousands of spectators packing the narrow road to encourage the athletes biking on the clock.  It is epic!

Solarer Berg -002

Epic challenges are exciting and keep us motivated.  They challenge us, stretch us, and help us to grow.  Of course, the challenge does not have to be an iron distance triathlon, just something a little beyond our typical comfort zone, or an event we look forward to with great anticipation.

Occasional epic challenges keep us motivated as we go through our daily responsibilities and activities.  It gives us something to look forward to with great anticipation and excitement.  It gets our blood flowing, and our mind focused.

Epic challenges allow us to build on our passions and focus on our ordinary pursuits with increased focus and determination.  Further, they allow us to reset our goals and our commitment to strive even higher.  Post challenge we tend to make a higher level of performance our new normal.

I have a personal theory of relativity, which basically asserts that an epic challenge makes other challenges in front of us relatively easier and more manageable to handle.  It helps keep things in perspective and makes life’s bumps in the road easier to handle.


Lotte and Deiter Reinel

Even my homestay host are “epic!”  This will be my seventh time with his German speaking homestay family whom I first met at the race in 1989.  The Family Reinel were the town bakers, and although now retired, Lotte and Dieter warmly welcome their American “son.”  It has been an amazing friendship for more than 25 years.  Although we speak little of each other’s language it doesn’t seem to be a barrier.  We communicate through love and smiles! It’s epic!

Seek out an epic challenge to lift you, build you, and make you better.  I can’t wait for Challenge Roth next week … it will be epic!

It will epic,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | July 5, 2016

The Greatest Virtue

The Greatest Virtue

            “It’s the greatest virtue,” she explained at her last public presentation.  “Nothing else matters if you can’t hang in there when the going gets tough.”  It was a pleasure to hear the great Maya Angelou giving her very last public speech just prior to her death several years ago.  “Never Give Up” applies to all aspects of life and it was a great honor and pleasure to hear Maya Angelou eloquently and poetically describe just how valuable that trait is.

Life is a continuing series of challenges.  Everything we do, everywhere we go, and every task we undertake has challenges.  The question is how do we react when presented with challenges and particularly when it gets very difficult. It’s easy to keep going when things are easy, but when it gets tough most people avoid the suffering.


Every aspect of our life is a challenge, and the only thing that separates us is how we deal with those challenges.  We have challenges in our personal life, our spiritual life, our professional life, and certainly physically.  Of course endurance racing is the perfect metaphor for “never give up!”

Of course challenges are tough … they are supposed to be!  It is the meeting and surviving challenges that ultimately provides us with fulfillment and satisfaction.  The very basics of our own self-worth and self-esteem are based on the fact that it must be earned.  We earn it by facing and overcoming challenges.  By “hanging in there when the going gets tough” we earn an internal gratification and satisfaction that strengthens our own self-worth and self-esteem.

All great accomplishments are challenges.     As Maya Angelou implored us, “The courage to just keep going” is what separates the individuals who achieve from those who simply drift along.

Steve Jobs, the founder and president of Apple, was once asked for the greatest piece of advice in building a successful company.  He answered in part, you have to have passion because it is so hard that any rational person would give up.  Further, working hard over a sustained period of time beats most people because they give up.  Persevering when it is really tough is what separates those who achieve and excel.

Recognize that the greatest virtue is to have the courage to keep going when things get tough.  Like an Ironman on race day, never give up, never give up, never give up!

Just keeping going,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | April 27, 2016



            Do you have it or not?  If not, you better figure out how to get it.  If you do, you must continue to nurture it and develop it.  Willpower reveals the strength of your character.  Whether you call it willpower, or persistence, determination, tenacity, drive, or a host of other descriptors, it is probably the most important trait to develop on the road to success of satisfaction and fulfillment.

FullSizeRender (2)

Willpower – Solo interval work

           Photo Credit – Herbert Krabel

Willpower is just like a muscle.  The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.  Willpower isn’t some glamorous one‑time accomplishment, but rather the daily discipline that leads to long term accomplishment.

Resisting temptation is a main ingredient to developing willpower.  It may be foregoing a dessert, or resisting to hit the snooze button on the alarm.  Don’t sacrifice the glory of the future for the pleasure of the moment.  In fact, turn it around and relish the success and pleasure of the future as opposed to the temporal passing momentary sacrifice.

The ability to exercise self-control on an ongoing basis over the long term is what separates those who succeed and those who utter the worst of words “what might have been…”  Self-control is a building block of willpower that always pays dividends.

Choosing worthwhile goals can help keep us on track with our willpower.  In fact, success in life in large part is determined by the pursuit of worthwhile goals.  Or course, this spills over into all areas of our lives including fitness, profession, family, and spiritual aspects.

One of my favorite quotes is from Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

The good news is that the discipline of willpower is a habit that can be developed and that becomes self-perpetuating.  Once we set our worthy goals, just like an Ironman on race day, we just keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter how difficult or how tough with our eyes focused on the goal.

Make it worthy of willpower,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | April 5, 2016

Winning, Coaching, (Tough) Love

Winning, Coaching, (Tough) Love

            Our Daggett Shuler team had the treat of a return appearance by Coach Maurice Atwood, wrestling coach at West Forsyth High School.  Coach Atwood’s accolades are way too long to be given proper justice in this short article.  He at one time had a winning streak of 396 matches which is the longest in the history of any sport in North Carolina, and was the longest current winning streak of any team at any level in the United States.  He also won nine of the last ten dual team state championships.  The only gap in his record is one loss in his first year when he moved to a new high school (the reasons and details of that move are for another time and another place).


Coach Atwood spoke to our group on winning, coaching, and love.  The interesting part about his successes is there is no “secret”, no “magic”, and it really is not very complicated.  Further, his lessons apply to all other sports, triathlon training, and to all aspects of life.

Winning is a mindset.  It is a mindset that takes a lot of work and a lot of repetition.  Coach emphasized that if we are not working, someone else is . . .  and he quickly added that he is not going to get out worked.  He emphasized that on the “grunt level” is where winning really comes from.  It is all about merit – you have to earn it.

Coaching, as well as any form of leadership, requires model behavior.  Others need something to follow.  The one intangible is that they have to know you care, and they all know it when you do care.  He emphasized that is part of coaching.  A team is either getting better or getting worse.  You never stay the same.  He further emphasized that winning is more attitude than intellect.  An attitude of continual improvement and commitment is tough to beat.  The continual pursuit of excellence is what makes you be the best you can be.

Lastly, it is obvious that Coach Atwood loves each and every individual that he coaches.  He gives them respect, and he demands respect in return.  This is a mutual accountability group that provides the foundation for the continuously improving team.  And, while they have to know you have got their back, you’ve also got to hold them to a standard.  Sometimes the love is tough, but there is always love.

Our team once again took away simple and basic principles that will help us individually and collectively continue to obtain and improve our results.  As we say here, every day, every day, every day…

Winning, coaching, and loving,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | March 29, 2016

Making Deposits

Making Deposits

“It applies to all aspects of life,” instructed Coach Rimron. “The harder you work now, the greater the reward in the future. It’s just like making deposits in the bank.” This was one of the daily life lessons he gave his group of youngsters at daily practice.

It was my privilege to serve as an assistant wrestling coach under Coach Pat Rimron for the first Summit Eagles wrestling team. As an accomplished athlete and experienced coach, Coach Rimron was new to this school and was starting a wrestling team with a group of new to-the-sport middle school young athletes. It was a bit like teaching a foreign language where no one else knew how to speak it. It also provided a fresh opportunity to instill values and life lessons, which Coach Rimron took advantage of daily.


Keep “Making Deposits!”

The themes of hard work, determination, perseverance, and always getting back up are clearly evident in the sport of wrestling. Coach Rimron is well attuned to connect those lessons to success in life.

Of course, the same lessons and characteristics apply to the sport of triathlon and Ironman racing in particular. Hope and wishful thinking doesn’t get you to the finish line. To perform well or conquer the distance in the future you need to “make deposits” today in order to achieve those goals.


Achieve Those Goals

Many of the young wrestlers need to be stronger next year if they are going to improve their results. But they can’t wait until next year, rather they need to start “making deposits” today, tomorrow, and every day. A simple start is to roll out of bed first thing every (every!) morning and do as many pushups as they can. Simply doing this everyday will ensure that next year physical strength is not a limiter.

This repeats the same theme that we have discussed many times – consistent execution over time always produces better results in the future. The only question is whether we are willing to “make deposits” now and on a continual basis. For those who do, the realized satisfaction and fulfillment from the cumulative “account” is always worth it.


Fulfillment and Satisfaction

In one short season it was exciting to see the joy and satisfaction these young wrestlers achieved. Moreover, they developed an understanding of the value of “making deposits” now, and every day, in order to have a larger accomplishment “account” in the future.

As we mature, one of the lessons we continually see is that those who continue to “make deposits” also continue to make accomplishments. They never have to ask, with regret, “what might have been…?”

Keep making deposits,

Posted by: David D. Daggett | February 10, 2016

It’s Tricky

  It’s Tricky 

  “It’s tricky,” marathon legend Bill Rodgers repeated a number of times during his presentation to our track club at our annual dinner this past weekend.  It was a pleasure to meet “Boston Billy,” as he was dubbed by the press after winning the Boston Marathon four times, and having him speak to our group.


Bill described how very tricky and very challenging it is to be an elite runner.  Combining mileage, distance, strength, speed along with the tricky and challenging aspects of being expected to perform well.  On top of that, he added, it is also very tricky and challenging to hold a job, have a family, raise kids, and continue competing.

Continuing with the same theme, Bill said that due to the tricky and challenging nature of competing it is important to remember that running is about friends.  Reflecting back while listening it dawned on me that a large majority of my friends are runners (and swimmers and cyclists) and that the “friend thing,” as he described it, is key in sport and in life.

Running, and particularly long-distance running, is a “quest” and everyone on the quest is looking for the “golden fleece.”  Bill then circled back to the “friend thing” and talked about how friends make running fun “in a weird way.”

Lastly, Bill implored us to remember that every time we are out there someone sees you.  Just seeing you out running motivates them, encourages them, and perhaps influences them to be better too.  Then, he circled that back to the human emotions of a finish line which for many is the accomplishment of a lifetime.

It may be “very tricky and very challenging” but if we focus on the basics of friendship, fitness, and finding the quest for yourself it is very rewarding!

Maybe it’s not so tricky,



Posted by: David D. Daggett | January 4, 2016

Daybreak Every Day

Daybreak Every Day 

            How did you start the New Year?  How do you start every day?  For more than 30 years now I have started each New Year’s morning with a daybreak ride on my mountain bike.  Heading out to Salem Lake to catch the first sunrise of the year always gets the year started on an optimistic and positive note.


This year was particularly special.  For the first time I did not do my New Year’s ritual alone.  Our 12‑year‑old son, Riley, joined me for what I will remember as a very special daybreak ride.  I didn’t even have to wake him up.  Riley was up and ready to roll, literally, in the 30 degree New Year’s morning.

We sat on the little bluff on the west side of Salem Lake to start the year together with a prayer, meditation, goal setting, and fitness.  Although it was cloudy and we did not have a brilliant sunrise, this daybreak ritual was very powerful and meaningful.  Perhaps we should begin each daybreak, every day, all year with a similar ritual.

This goes back to one of our most basic principles in Ironman for Life – consistent execution overtime always wins.  In athletics, and in life, success isn’t determined by how fast or far you run today, rather it’s how many days you train to run fast and far.  Likewise, big goals are important, but it is more important to pursue those goals every day, every day, every day!

Do you want your life to be more rewarding and more fulfilling on an ongoing basis?  Make it a daily ritual to begin each day just like we begin a new year, and then keep it going.  It doesn’t have to be fancy and it’s not complicated, but it must be continual.  Beginning each day, every day, with a prayer, meditation, goal setting, and fitness is a sure fire way to keep us moving forward on the road to success.

The gyms and my swimming pool were very crowded this morning.  Everyone is looking for the New Year, daybreak advantage.  But one day, or a few, doesn’t do it.  Statistically it will drop off seventy-five percent in the next couple of weeks and by February everything will be back to the same old, same old . . . will you?

It’s a new day, every day,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | October 7, 2015

Pavement to Podium

Pavement to Podium

            “Ouch!”  I screamed as I lay on the pavement, “I can’t believe this just happened with my next Ironman race on the horizon.”  As I was out on my weekly early morning ride with my Garmin reading 23.8 miles per hour when a pack of raccoons came out of a stand of trees directly in front of me with no time to react.  These animals are not soft and cuddly but rather hard like large boulders.  I hit them and was immediately on the ground.  Later I learned that I suffered cracked ribs and a separated shoulder.

Long story short, when folks told me that my upcoming Ironman would be “impossible” I thought they said “inevitable!”  Age-weighted, I ended up having one of my best races ever, including first out of the water, on the podium, and qualifying for the eighth time to complete in the Hawaii Ironman World Triathlon Championships.  Perhaps there are some lessons to be learned.


First, a dear friend who is a long time professional cyclist immediately called me with encouragement and simply said “don’t gain weight” . . . “you will be just fine with your incredible base of fitness.”  During my recovery period I actually lost 5 pounds so that I could resume training leaner than I have been since high school. Lean is faster.

Although the first few weeks with the injuries were beyond painful, including having to sleep sitting up in a chair since just my body weight was too much for the ribs, it actually did give me a break from hard training and perhaps some well needed physical rest.  We all tend to over train, and that particularly exposes itself heading into big races.  We all know people who get sick, injured, or stale right before a big race. The lesson is that we all over train at times and we need to know when we should rest.  Further, and perhaps we’ll explore this further in a future article, perhaps we need to ask ourselves where we over train in other aspects of our lives.


The expectations of me were not high.  Accordingly, it was one of the few times that I felt very relaxed with no pressure going into an event.  Of course, most of the time pressure is self-generated and if we can let ourselves off the hook we are then free to explore and extend our capabilities.  So, it helps to take a “chill pill” and relax.  When we take the pressure off ourselves we may be surprised as what we are fully capable of becoming.

As I recovered from the injuries I had a renewed psychological freshness.  I was eager and excited to train.  In fact, I was thankful and grateful for the opportunities that my fitness provided.  Come race day, I was psychologically like a tiger ready to get out of a cage instead of being weary from month after month of hard physical labor.

My FOTW, First Out of The Water, award was quite a surprise.  Reflecting back, my focus during the swim was much more intense than it had ever been before.  I was completely focused and had my mind in the game for every second of the 54 minute 15 second swim including each and every single stroke along the way.  Intense focus helps us perform better.


Being a positive example is important to me.  My kids, family, friends, and coworkers were all watching to see how I would respond to my setback.  I responded the only way I know how — always move forward and never, never give up.  As long as you don’t allow your heart and soul to be defeated you will always come out a winner.


There is an internal gratification that comes from overcoming adversity.  After the strong swim, the day continued to crescendo as the miles went by.  Confidence continued to build and there was the realization that it would be a successful day.  When adversity hits, there are no hills . . . only climbers.  Always be a climber!

Many thanks for all the encouragement and support.

On the podium,


Posted by: David D. Daggett | September 24, 2015

Why I Run

Why I Run

            Why do you run?  Of course the answers include fitness and competition, but why do you really run?  We run for our mental and psychological health.  Perhaps we all run to escape . . . we run to freedom!

Cindy and I with Uta Pippig

Cindy and I with Uta Pippig

Our track club had the pleasure of hosting Uta Pippig.  Uta is a bright and impressive lady who is extremely friendly.  Her running resume includes the Olympics and multiple Boston Marathon victories.  She has had world-class success at 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, the half-marathon, and the marathon.  Further, she is on the Board of Advisors of the MIT AgeLab.

However, the focus of her presentation to our track club was on “Running to Freedom.” Being raised in the former Communist East Germany Uta literally ran for freedom.  She now uses her experiences as a metaphor in incorporating inspiration, fitness, and life lessons to promote individual wellbeing and longevity.

Her message is very consistent with my experience running.  Running opens up my creativity and allows me to think, plan and strategize.  It makes each day better and more productive.  This helps make me a better professional, father, and spouse.

Running is also a stress relief.  A daily run, no matter how short or long, always tends to let a little pressure out of the steam valve to make each day more positive and better for it.  It is my own personal therapy session . . . and it is free!

Lastly, as Uta reminded us, when we are running we are all children.  We are happy, hopeful, filled with joy, and run to freedom.  Remember when we all enjoyed just being free…we can experience that every day with our daily run.

That’s why I run,


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