Friday, October 4

⌚️ Competing in an olympic-distance triathlon with an Apple Watch Series 4

Yesterday I mentioned that this last Sunday I competed in an olympic-distance triathlon with an Apple Watch. Thanks to the advice by Ian of "Apple Watch Triathlete" blog blog I downloaded the app Tri Tracker for my watch and it worked perfectly. Here's the full story:

Competing in an olympic-distance triathlon with an Apple Watch Series 4

Thursday, October 3

😎 My 11th Olympic-distance triathlon - why I keep loving these 3 sports and why I keep sucking at them?

Last Sunday I ran my 11th Olympic distance triathlon. Can’t believe it’s been so many. It all started after my first sprint-distance race - back in October 2014 and in 5 years I’ve done 11 events! Here’s what I learned so far and why I keep doing triathlons:

My 11th Olympic-distance triathlon - why I keep loving these 3 sports and why I keep sucking at them?

Tuesday, August 13

😎 Undertrained

After this last Sunday's Ironman fiasco I got many reassuring messages from friends and this helped me deal with my utter failure and embarrassment... thanks everyone for kind words! It really means a lot! Apart from messages reassuring me that "this stuff happens to everyone", I also got some constructive feedback. One of my buddies from my triathlon group who knows me pretty well and has been following my training sessions, wrote to me that probably this was for the best, because he feels I wasn't prepared enough. He believed I was "undertrained".

Undertrained

When I received his comment I was first taken aback. I really appreciated his frankness (that's what friends are for!) but I wasn't sure he was right... So right after writing the blog post as a part of my dealing process I went for a 10km run and was thinking about all this... and came to the conclusion that he was right. Yes, I am in a good shape. I'm really feeling great... but...

Sunday, August 11

✔️ No Ironman - how I blew my dream because I was... late

Yesterday evening at 9:30pm I was rushing in my car loaded with an amazing triathlon bike and all the gear ready to put everything in the transition area before my first ever Ironman race... It was my dream come true - I was about to become an Ironman in my home town of Gdynia, right when I turned 40. It was going to be great!... I was driving fast as they’d close the area at 10 pm. “I’ll make it! I always do!” I thought. Yet again I was doing stuff at the last minute, but as a person who always gets away with this, I was fine. There was still time, right? Wrong. When I got there I realized I was too late. Yes, they were closing the transition area at 10pm and I arrived just before that... but I failed to pick up my starting number and this had to be done before 8pm. And there was nothing to be done. Without a starting number I couldn’t participate in the race. I couldn’t leave my bike in the transition area...

This time I didn’t make it. This time I was really late. This time I really blew it.

I was standing there with the bike and the gear, completely ashamed and disappointed... and was replaying the events of this day over and over in my head trying to realize what just happened. I couldn’t understand how I got to this point where the race will take place and I won’t be in it. And it all looked so promising...

No Ironman - how I blew my dream because I was... late

Today is Sunday, August 11 and it’s exactly 8 am. The race is about to start and instead of being at the starting line I’m in front of my iPad trying to figure out what I just did. And what I could have done to prevent it. Hope you’ll also learn a thing or two from my very stupid mistake.

It’s all my fault!

Just to be clear - the fact that the race is taking place without me is completely my fault. The fact that I was about to make my dream come true and blew it at the last minute - is on me. This post is not to search for someone or something to blame. The search is simple - it’s me.

Thanks for all your support!

Friends, colleagues and people who know me, listen to my podcast or read what I write were supporting me in this quest to become an Ironman and I’d like to thank you all for your encouragement. I am feeling so ashamed right now that I screwed this one up (and I will continue to feel this way for quite a long while!).

I thank you and I’m so sorry.

And yes, you can laugh. I’m laughing at myself right now for blowing it so bad... in between the moments when I feel so ashamed I wanna disappear.

Now that we’ve got this all out of the way, let’s see what happened:

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

😎 So in the end I want to become an Ironman...

I really like doing sports. 4 years ago I started doing triathlons to stay in shape. After 10 Olympic-distance triathlons I decided to get out of my comfort zone and celebrate being fit by doing an Ironman 70.3 next year. Here’s why:

So in the end I want to become an Ironman...

Forty and fabulous - I’m going to turn 40 next year so I want to celebrate it big time! By being in ultimate shape at this milestone age :-)

Yes, I’m going to turn 40 next year. Time flies so fast. But the cool thing is that in the last 4 years I managed to get into the best shape of my life and I want to keep it that way... and celebrate my supposedly upcoming “mid-life crisis” with a bang!

I want to become an Ironman by completing an Ironman 70.3 race in my home town of Gdynia.

Yes, the venue is critical here - I will be swimming in my favorite Baltic Sea in Gdanska Bay. I will be riding the bike in Kaszuby which I know so well and love so much... and I will finish it up in the center of my city, running a half-marathon on Swietojanska street and on the seashore boulevard.

Now it’s all about getting in an even better shape!

The swimming part shouldn’t be that hard. I’m not a fast swimmer, but I’ve been steadily improving and in the Olympic-distance triathlon I get to swim 1500 meters and here it’s just 400 meters more... so not really a big deal.

Biking will be harder. It’s 90km after all and it’s pretty flat with occasional hills... in total 750m elevation gain... and while training I’m doing a lot more - today I just did a 55km bike ride with 850m elevation gain, so I should be able to make it pretty OK.... but unlike in the Olympic distance triathlon, here there’s no “drafting” - so I won’t be able to just join a group and follow them along - you have to bike on your own and maintain distance from the person in front of you - or overtake them. I’m hoping to do it in around 3 hours...

Running will be the hardest. After both swimming and biking I’ll be pretty tired and I’m about to run a half-marathon. I’m not used to running so much. I’ve been running 10km races and training sessions, but very rarely more than that. This will be a new thing for me - and I have to be able to run it well, because it’s only then where I’ll see my family and friends supporting me. They’ll all be there and I will have to run with grace :-)

So I’ll run relatively slowly and hopefully do it in around 2 hours...

Which gives us a total of around 6 hours for this adventure. Now that’s what I call a true birthday celebration!

The race will take place on August 11, 2019

So until then I have to train... and also I’ve got two races lined up before - a half-marathon in January and another olympic-distance triathlon in May... and then I’ll do the Ironman in August. Sounds like a plan, right?

Yes, it’s exciting... but definitely out of my comfort zone. Right where it should be.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

💡 Polish football - no heart, no passion... and a big disappointment

In my home country of Poland, football (in USA: soccer) is our national sports. We love it, we play it, we cheer it. And we used to be good at it... like 40+ years ago... but we’ve never been good at that until now... or so I thought.

Polish football - no heart, no passion... and a big disappointment

Our national team qualified as number 1 seed in their group to the FIFA World Cup 2018. Watching them play together made me hope that for the first time in my life I’ll be able to see a Polish football team fight in an international tournament with their heads up high.

I had some concerns... but I didn’t expect such an utter disaster.

They say you can achieve up to 80% of success by just showing up. Well, Polish team didn’t really show up. I mean they were there physically, but not mentally. They didn’t play. They didn’t fight. They just didn’t do a thing...

On the other hand, watching teams like Marocco, Senegal, Japan or Iran play is amazing. These teams aren’t technically very good, but they’ve got so much passion, so much heart, so much will... which just shows this stark contrast with the Polish team, which technically is a number 8 team in the world according to FIFA ranking... but simply doesn’t have what it takes to play in a tournament like this.

The upside of this situation is that instead of cheering any particular team now, I’m just watching each game and enjoying it every time I see a team really “show up” and “step up” for the occasion. I’m just deeply disappointed that my national team decided not to...

Question: Who do you think will win World Cup 2018?

Friday, June 17, 2016

☑️ A triathlon-packing checklist I created for me and you [Nozbe.HOW]

As you know from this blog, I started my triathlon adventure when I lost weight thanks to the "Slow-carb diet" two years ago. This year I've already done one Olympic-distance triathlon in April, I'm doing my next one this Sunday and I'm planning to do a third one in September. Each race lasts a little less than 3 hours and as I'm doing three sports one after another, a good checklist is necessary to make sure I don't forget a thing. Thanks to Nozbe.how templates I created a checklist that you also can use, even if you don't have a Nozbe account:

ImageOptional on Nozbe.how

Triathlon checklist at Nozbe.how

I wrote more about it on the Nozbe blog, but basically it's all about having everything for each of the sports (swimming, biking and running) and having a good routine right before the race.

If you've never tried a triathlon but you're already getting in shape, I encourage you to give it a try. In September a friend of mine will race his first triathlon - he'll go with the "Sprint" distance which is half of what I'm doing (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run) and it's exactly what I did when I was getting started.

Doing triathlons forces you to do three sports every week instead of just running, so I totally recommend it! And here's what it takes to pack for a race like the one I have on Sunday (wish me luck!)

Triathlon checklist at Nozbe.how

Question: Have you ever tried racing a triathlon? Which of the sports is your best (swimming, biking or running)?

Powered by Nozbe.how

Monday, October 12, 2015

★ It takes a team to win. How Poland got to Euro 2016 finals

Ever since I was interested in football (soccer) I've been reminded of our Polish national team from the 70s. How great of a team it was. How we almost won the World Cup in '74. Unfortunately I couldn't relate to that because all my life our national team was really bad. Until now. And it's been amazing to see them in action and qualifying to the finals of Euro Cup 2016 with most scored goals (33) out of all participating countries. And now that we're in, the press is giving all the credit to two guys for this: the coach and our main striker. And they're right. But not entirely:

It takes a team to win.

We finally have a coach who has a plan and a mission.

When they chose Adam Nawałka for the head coach of our national team I really didn't know who he was. Now I know.

He gets stuff done. He builds teams. He doesn't care about the press criticizing him. About internal politics of the Football Association. He just assembles the team out of the players he chooses and builds the team that scores goals and wins a lot more that it loses. So yes. He deserves lots of credit for his work.

We finally have a world class striker. Robert Lewandowski.

Seriously. He's the guy who scored 5 goals in 9 minutes for Bayern Munich. He scored 13 goals in 10 matches in Euro qualifying. He is the man. But if you look at the stats one more time, you'll see he scored only 13 out of 33 goals Polish team scored in these 10 matches. He let others score a lot more than he did. He orchestrated the game. He's a true leader of our team now. A player who inspires others to play at their very best. Not just a star striker others think of him. He lets the team shine more than he shines. And that's good.

We finally have a team that proudly wins in our national uniforms.

Yes, we have a great coach and a great striker but they wouldn't achieve so much without the other 10 players on the field. It's really about the teamwork. It's about showing each other we can be more. It's about inspiring each other to really push for more and perform at their best.

Watching the last 10 games was a pleasure. Looking at the team play at this level was incredible. Now we really have a great team that deserved to be among the best teams in Europe.

What can I learn from all this?

Now that I have a team of 24 people at Nozbe I need to remember this and every day motivate and inspire my team to perform at their best. Thanks to them we're making this world more organized - and I'm proud of them as much as I'm now proud of our national football (soccer) team. Wow. Great times are coming!

Question: What do you do to make your team perform at its best?

Sent from my iPhone 6 Plus

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

To keep on winning, you need to keep on pushing it. In business, life... and football (soccer)

In Europe we call it football. In the USA they call it soccer. Well, I am a football fan and I'm always anxious about each new tournament like European Cup (two years ago - Spain won it) and World Cup which takes place in South Africa this year. But it's boring this year. Everyone is defending and nobody is shooting goals.
Http_soccertv
After first 16 matches we've seen 25 goals so far... that's lousy 1.56 goals per game

I mean, come on! You're playing 90 minutes and you're supposed to be the best football teams in the world and that's all you've got?! Seriously. Not even 2 goals per game?

Everyone's is defending... and when they lose, they don't put the blame on the lack of offense

It seams like every team travelled to South Africa to defend themselves. Believe me, like in basketball or any other team sport for that matter, defense is not what inspires people. Defense is not what "makes the crowds go wild". Defense is boring... and in the long run, it's not effective. To win, you need to score goals.

Don't get me wrong, you should know how to defend and do it really well, but it's on the offense where you win games and offense is what the game is really about.

England tied 1:1 with the USA and they blamed the goal-keeper.

Yes, the goal-keeper made a mistake. That's true. Everyone saw it. But how many goals did England score? Just one... and they wanted to get away with it. They thought it was enough. Had they scored 2-3 goals, the goal-keepers mistake wouldn't matter. Yet they didn't. The only one they should blame now is their lack of effectiveness in scoring goals. Not the goal-keeper. It's just one man... and they have 11 Englishmen playing on the field.

Spain just lost 0:1 to Switzerland... and they say they didn't deserve it.

Well they did. They just scored 6 goals against my country and now they couldn't handle Swiss guys? Really? They just didn't push enough. They wanted to get away with a lousy goal and move on... yet they over-calculated and lost it. They should have pushed harder.

As in sports, as in life or business you need to push... and not look for someone to lay the blame

With my Nozbe web app I have competitors emerging every month. There is new productivity app being created all of the time... and yet I'm more than three years in business and enjoying a very healthy growth, even with a significant market recession in between... because me and my team, we're pushing it. Each month I know how much I pushed it and how much I didn't. And I can only blame myself if I don't push hard enough. This is why i'm enjoying this time in my business right now. After a successful iPhone app we're waiting for the iPad app for approval, we'll be rolling out international versions of Nozbe this summer... we're getting the new Productive Magazine out the door soon, new apps, new sites ...and there is more in the pipeline.

I'm pushing it, because I love what I do. I love improving people's productivity every day. And this is what inspires my, my team and my customers.

Someone once said: If you're not doing a step forward, you're actually doing two steps backwards.

Are you pushing it? Are you in the offense, or in the defense, blaming the other guy for the failures?

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of Nozbe.com - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sebastian Vettel of F1 - sport fails to inspire when talent is mixed with no integrity

Yesterday, as every other Sunday afternoon I spent watching Formula 1 GP race admiring the fastest vehicles on earth racing for the GP of Turkey and of course cheering for some of my favorite drivers, among them the only Polish driver - Robert Kubica - who finished 6th. However the race was all about two drivers of the leading Red Bull Racing Team: Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
Youtube_-_vettel_-_weber_crash
Racing incidents do happen all of the time in Formula 1

These guys are driving at speeds close to 200 mph and drive ~60 laps (~2 hours) with adrenaline at the highest level possible, so accidents and incidents do happen. Cars fail, people fail and things do go wrong. But it's not about not making mistakes. It's all about dealing with mistakes and showing true sports spirit and real integrity.

Ramming into Teammate and later saying that "it wasn't my fault" is not cool

Sebastian Vettel was following his teammate and at one of the corners achieved a higher speed and decided to overtake M.Webber. He was faster, but not fast enough and when they were approaching next corner at full speed, Vettel, noticing he's not going to make the full overtake, instead of slowing down, rammed into his teammate trying to force him to make him place. Well, they collided and Mr Vettel didn't finish his race and both leading drivers lost their chance at winning the race.

Later, after the race, Mark Webber, although very annoyed, just said Vettel turned too quickly and this happens... and Vettel said it wasn't his fault and that Mark Webber was supposed to make place for him.

Are you serious Mr Vettel? Do you really want people to believe that? Why would Mark have to make place for you? Weren't you both guys racing? If you're overtaking it's your responsibility to find place to overtake... and Webber didn't change his route - he was just driving forward.

Not the first time - last year's GP Australia Vettel rammed into Robert Kubica with vengeance

Last year Sebastian Vettel did a very similar thing. This time he was being overtaken by a lot faster Robert Kubica during the finishing laps of GP Australia. Robert was faster and was overtaking and was driving his lane and Vettel knew he was too slow to defend his place and what did he do? He rammed into Kubica and both didn't finish the race. Not nice. Not cool. Definitely not fair play.

Later he said - "I'm sorry team, but it wasn't my fault". He wasn't to blame for him crashing at his opponent. Luckily the stewards (refrees in F1) noticed that it really was his fault and he got a penalty.

Being a F1 driver makes you a role model for many. What example do you want to give?

The problem I'm having with such a behavior is the fact that Mr Vettel is currently the most promising and definitely most talented German driver. They even call him "little Schumi" (as of Michael Schumacher junior). There are many boys watching him race, listening to his interviews and following his footsteps. He's a role model to many.

Sport is supposed to inspire people. Is supposed to show we can be great athletes and achieve great success. With real spirit of competition and integrity. Sebastian Vettel is young and is very talented. Sadly his talent doesn't come bundled with integrity. He's showing that he wants to win no matter what. No matter ethics, no matter integrity. Win is all that counts and if takes casualties, it's OK.

Is this an example we should be showing to our children? Winning no matter what?

Great we still have examples like Adam Malysz, sportsmen with true integrity and spirit.

Shame on you Mr Vettel - hope young German drivers will still learn fair play from bad examples like yourself.

--> me I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of Nozbe.com - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.