Give the Gift of Motivation and Inspiration!


Give the Gift of Motivation and Inspiration!

What could be better than passing on your enthusiasm!

The best is yet to come!

click here http://www.brucewconner.com

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Faster as a Master Your best is yet to come!

 

 

 

 

Goals Part 2 of 2: Three Essential Elements


Upcoming book signing appearance:

Where?

Road Runner Sports

20291 N Rand Rd, #105

Kildeer, IL 60047 847-719-8949

When?

Saturday 1/1/7/2015   11am-1pm

Please come by and share your stories!

Goals must have three essential elements.  Specific, measurable, and have a time frame.  Short range is a few months.  Medium range, a year or two, and long-range is 5 years or more.  The longer the time frame the greater the chance of change.  Breaking down the short range into even shorter time frames such as weekly, daily, or even, moment by moment can be done too.  Set goals through an event.  Have another goal beyond that event to transition too right away.  Savor the achievement, celebrate the event, have a continuous path forward.  This prevents any down time emotionally after the achievement.  It is important to rest.  Evaluate after the achievement so that course corrections can be made.  After the goal is achieved perspective changes in ways we cannot predict.  This is the time to set a new path with a new perspective.

Sticking to a goal regardless of the circumstances is dangerous.  When the ego takes over, we are now slaves to the goal.  Who is driving, me or the goal?

After the achievement of the goal, it is very important to recognize the milestone.  This can be done in a number of ways.  Many families have rituals about celebrating goal achievements.  Going out to dinner, having a party, etc.  Remembering very vividly after qualifying for the Olympic trials in December of 2005 at age 49, what I did.  Made some phone calls to share the achievement,  then looked myself in the mirror and proclaimed to myself  “I am good enough!”  That was a very important moment for me and I frequently remember it.  It is now part of a solid foundation of my own self esteem.

Another facet about goals is that they do not have to be linear.  Change based on the individual changing, the environment, or circumstances, are a sign of maturity and the ability to change with new conditions.  Goals evolve as we change.

Right now is a great time to review your short, medium, and long-range goals.  Taking an overview monthly helps to adjust and affirm.  Peace, serenity, progress, and change are the result when using the indispensable tool of goals.  Use it wisely and the benefits are greater than you can imagine.  Breaking down barriers, one at a time.  Courage is measured one step at a time.

Getting better and going faster is more about intention and choices than age.

Go For It!!!  You can do it!!!  Start NOW!!!

First step off the line……….

photo by Jerry Search

photo by Jerry Search

Goals: Part 1 of 2


Goals: Part 1 of 2

Upcoming book signing appearance:

Road Runner Sports

Kildeer, Il 1/17/2015  11am

At the beginning of every year and the beginning of each season, I set goals.

The importance of goal setting cannot be underestimated. Impossible dreams are accomplished when focusing on goals you can control. Many of our goals are unspoken, they are motivations just under the surface. It is important to get those goals out in the open. There is some risk with that. By telling someone about my goals, even admitting it to myself, then I am responsible and accountable for them. This can be daunting and scary. The goal can be a stretch, the risk is outside of my comfort zone, exposure is tough. By starting towards my goal, if it seems to be unrealistic, then changing my goal is necessary. It is ok to change goals and directions. Sometimes life demands it. When change is needed that I resisted, there was a lesson for me. Life threw me a curve, adapt or suffer the consequences.

Having no target or direction, I will surely hit something, exactly what I do not want. By having a goal, a direction or a target, adjustments are easy. Enjoying the forward motion of my journey as well the direction, hitting my goal because of focus. If the original goal was not where I wanted to go, at least I have made progress in determining my eventual outcome and am farther down the road. It is also important to look at the expectations of my goals and to realize they are my goals, no one but mine. They are my creation. If they become a burden then I must look deeper to the motivation behind the goals. The goal may really belong to someone else. Focusing on goals that leave me feeling recharged rather than drained.

There are a number of steps to take to set up my goals. First I must know what drives me. What I am passionate about? What are my priorities and how I can fulfill them? Joy and passion will keep me coming back to completion of a goal or a positive change for a lifetime.

I have a passion for skating, and skating well. It requires a great deal of work and I am willing to do it. A passion for flying, doing it well, it shows there too. Keeping focused on passion and joy, see where it takes me. With these principles in mind, I can set short, medium and long-term goals.

My goals must be admitted by me first. Then I must announce them out loud. Then they must be shared with others that are important to my success. This can be difficult, but in order to move forward there must not be seen and unseen roadblocks to progress. There are many conscious and unconscious barriers to progress. By recognizing them as they come up, ignoring them, going around, or over them.

Goals must be realistic, measurable, have definite time frames, reviewed from time to time, and adjusted as necessary. Goals are classified as short, medium, and long-range. If one of my goals is to build self-esteem through setting and achieving goals, then I must do esteem-able things. The direction and end are important, but ultimately it is the journey that is the most valuable.

Next weeks post will be a conclusion to my discussion about goals. Stay tuned…..

Steps to the goals

Steps to the goals

Steps to the goals

Buy my Book! Available now on Amazon!


Buy My Book! Faster as a Master, Breaking Down Barriers, Journeying Toward Wholeness. Available now on Amazon in print and kindle versions.

Happy Birthday to my wife Maripat.  Seven years ago today we met when you fell in my lap on the United company bus and I flew you from Chicago to Hong Kong.  Faster as a Master is dedicated to you and sharing this fantastic journey. Chapter 5 is the story of how we met.

Follow this link to Amazon and order the print on demand version or download the digital version.  For my international friends I would reccomend Amazon so you can get the best options and deals on shipping.

http://www.amazon.com/Faster-Master-Breaking-Journeying-Wholeness-ebook/dp/B00NMWLDRM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411310247&sr=8-2&keywords=faster+as+a+master

Description:

Bruce Conner is faster as a speed skater now, at age 57, than he was as a teenager. The commonly held belief about getting slower as we age has been blown completely out of the water by Bruce, breaking down that barrier. Getting better and going faster is more about intentions and choices than age. “We all want to be great. As I get older, I want to be great again. Happy, loved, healthy–those are the qualities I aspire to be. To be whole in body, mind, and spirit is the reward. We are more capable of attaining those things than we give ourselves credit for.” –Bruce ConnerBruce is also a United B-747 captain, even though he was told when he got his first pair of glasses at age 16 that he would never fly airplanes for a living. Bruce competed as a youngster from age 12 till 19, competing as a long track ice speed skater at the local, state, national, and international levels. He was on the U.S. national team from 1974 through 1976, barely missing making the 1976 Olympic team.

Returning after 20 plus years away from the sport, he had some unfinished business. How fast could he go if he trained as hard as a youth but was smarter about it? Making it back to the Olympic trials again at age 49 was his goal. To be in the elite group of the top skaters in this country was the prize. Was it possible? He had to find out.Bruce has now qualified for four US Olympic trials, at age 19, 49, 53, and 57. Find out how Bruce was able to compete at the elite level and, in the process, journey toward wholeness and heal old wounds. Follow Bruce to break down your barriers to an unlimited life!

I will have copies available to personalize later this week and will announce how to buy them directly from me.  I will be helping Nancy Swider-Peltz, Sr. at the Masters Long Track Clinic at the Pettit Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin later this week and will have copies for purchase (save shipping).

I will be announcing soon how to purchase on iTunes and Nook digital versions.

This has been an amazing four and a half year journey getting this book wriiten and published, thanks for your support!

Next week I will pick up the discussion about “Mental Training”.

Faster as a Master

Faster as a Master

 

 

Post Olympic Trials, Thoughts, and Future Goals


Post Olympic trials, thoughts, and future goals.

Happy New Year, everyone!  Thanks for all the encouragement and support, especially from my wife, Maripat.  I wish good luck to all the Olympians.  For all those athletes that did not make the team, good luck next time.  To the skaters that ended their careers, my best wishes for a smooth transition to the next challenge, I have been down that road many years ago.  There is no substitute for time that leads to perspective and ultimately wisdom.  Patience will reveal the answers you are looking for.

I am a climber.  When I see mountains, I climb.  Approaching the top, I start looking for the next climb.

This is the perfect time to reflect on what I have done, celebrate the achievement, then set the next course of action.

After my last race in the Olympic trials in Salt Lake my coach asked why I was cooling down on the stationary bike.  Traditionally after the last race you just walk away.  As an experienced  masters athlete I want to be able to get out of bed the next morning.  I need to do a proper cool down to facilitate recovery, like I do after any hard effort or race.  Yes, I do not plan on training at this level for the forseeable future, but that does not preclude that I will forget how to train hard and do all the recovery work necessary to keep as healthy as possible.  I will shift now to a less intense and less volume training, for a better balanced life.

I reached my goals for this season, which was to have the best showing possible in the trials.  I am very happy with my results.  I choose now to slow down, rebalance, and shift priorities.

Celebrating the achievement and the journey is very important.  Self esteem is enhanced everyday by small victories.  Milestones are important to recognize as the tangible evidence of what we are all capable of doing.  A certain peace has settled in my bones about what I have done.

The next goal is to pass on what I have learned.  I have been working on my book “Faster As A Master” for almost 5 years.  Final editing is being done now with a goal of completion and publishing in a couple of months.  I will keep you updated as the publishing gets closer.

Professionally, will be going back to the 747 next month and changing my base back to Chicago.

Maripat and I plan on traveling to see family more this year, and picking up our golf clubs and tennis racquets that have been idle for the last couple of years.

Here are three articles about my journey published last week.  Enjoy.

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bruce-conner-demonstrates-that-speed-knows-no-age-limit-b99174244z1-238195371.html

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1070143

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140102/NEWS07/131229902/a-fourth-appearance-at-olympic-trials-this-time-at-57

Meanwhile, our dog Lilly, wants to play.

Lilly my smiling off ice training partner.

Lilly my smiling off ice training partner.

First major racing of the Olympic season


Productive on all levels.  Sunday evening now, as I write this, on an airplane going home at 35,000 feet, reviewing the work done during the competition and the important validation of training, etc.

I left Chicago Wednesday morning for Salt Lake.  Skating in the afternoon, getting in some speed work.  At the altitude of 4650 feet above sea level the air is different from my usual training ground of 800 feet at Milwaukee.  The ice was fast and the aerodynamic drag is less, this means we go faster with the same effort.  Accounting for the increase in speed, turn entries are earlier, the lean in the corners is steeper and more dramatic.  Mental and physical adjustments are made, sometimes equipment too.  Not too much volume of training here, just enough intensity to continue the taper but make the changes.

Everybody in the US skating world is here.  My skating family.  Great to see old friends, coaches, officials.  This an open competition so I have some fellow masters here but mostly they are Olympic hopefuls.

Thursday is a day just to touch the ice for about 40 minutes and cement yesterdays changes, building confidence.

This is the US Single Distance Championships, Fall World Cup Qualifier, and American Cup I.  US Champions will be crowned in each distance from 500 to 5000 meters.  The top spots will also be on the Fall World Cup circuit competing in Calgary, Salt Lake and Europe.  The fall world cup events will determine how many spots are awarded to each country for the upcoming Olympic games in Sochi, Russia starting February 7th 2014.  This an Olympic year, everything gets ramped up.  In this country, our sport gets a nice bump in attention each Olympic cycle.  Important to take advantage when the attention is here.

Friday is the 500 #1, also is the ladies 3000 and the men 5000.  Saturday is the 500 #2, total time for both determines the champion, and the 1000.  Sunday is the 1500.

I am racing all but the 5000.  Friday is just the 500 #1, for me.  First race of the season.  Little bit slow to start, 11.31 for first 100 meters.  I am a little bit tentative due to a low back issue that is aggravated by starts.  Not great tempo.  First outer turn building speed well, connected to the ice.  Crossover to the inner, my pair was ahead and not a conflict.  A little hesitant coming into the last inner turn, building confidence half way through, exiting strong.  Great lap time of 28.85, fastest lap all year finishing with good technique at 40.16.  Pretty good start considering changing airplanes in May and flying a full schedule to Europe and training.  Rest is what I lack now, sleep will have to be later.  I was not sure what to expect but this is a good start and something to work on.

Saturday is the 500 #2 and 1000.  Inner lane this time to start, better opener at 11.23, but not really connecting on many strokes.  Higher turnover but less good contact.  29.05 lap, 40.28 finish.  Very consistent from friday, so I am pleased.  Outer lane start on the 1000, pretty good opener at 19.13.  Great next lap, smooth, powerful, in control, efficient.  Settled down, this is where I excel.  29.61, then the lactate builds in my legs, heart rate at max, breathing to match.  Last lap at 31.07, Nancy, my coach, shows me my spilt times on the backstretch and shouts reminders and encouragement.  Right on schedule, only dropped 1.46 on the last lap, very proud of that.  Good take aways from today, confident moving forward into Sunday.

Sunday is the race of truth.  The 1500 taxes every facet of my being.  The physical limit exertion of strength for speed and endurance to maintain self-propelled inertia.  Mental toughness, emotional fortitude, and the spiritual conclusion knowing I have nothing left at the finish line.  Based on the weekend so far, a 2:05 was realistic.  Starting on the outer, getting good pushes into the first turn, smooth around the corner with nice pop in my cadence.  Opening in 27.17, nice, better than planned but comfortable.  Next fast lap at 30.53 right on target.  Now the lactate starts to build.  Maintaining good rhythm and technique to keep the speed two laps to go.  32.28 next lap, then a 34.16.  Any drop less than 2 seconds per lap is a sign of good conditioning and validation of training.  This is what I train for, skating with lactate heavy legs.  The ability to rise up to glide after that last 100 meter strain for the finish line and know “That was all I had”, is satisfaction.  A quick look at the score board shows a 2:04.14.  Fifth fastest 1500 ever for me.  Nice start to the seasons first racing for me.

Champions crowned.  Fall World Cup Team announced.  Many new personal bests and seasons bests.  My hat is off to all those who made it possible, and to my valiant competitors that I get to share this hallowed ice.  This Olympic season will be great fun!  Eight weeks to the US Olympic Trials back here in Salt Lake.  Stay tuned for a great ride!

Photo by Jerry Search

Photo by Jerry Search

Why I Love To Speed Skate!


Why I love to Speed Skate!

To push-off from the edge of the ice and glide is one of the payoffs.  Gripping the ice with the edge of the blade is a sharp contrast to gliding on the bottom.  The push is done with the edge by creating an angle with the ice.  The turns are a great example of this principle.  Technically correct body position is essential for efficient mechanics that create speed.

The sensation of gliding is like floating, suspended in time and space.  Intense focus is necessary at 35 miles per hour for our very survival.   Playing crack the whip as a youngster is much the same sensation of a high-speed turn.  With a string of children hand in hand, one at the center, the rest strung out like the spokes of a wheel, as the group spins, the last in line builds speed exponentially.  We let go of the line at max speed, seemingly faster than our legs  can carry us.  The feeling of being shot out of a cannon is the best way to describe it.

Entering the turn I plan and spot the setup 30 meters before.  Then the commitment, lean and pressure into the ice.  Crossover strokes building to the apex, max centrifugal force trying to push me to the outside of the track.  Slight hesitation in the crossover strokes during the middle of the turn to feel the forces of nature I am in concert with.  Legs feeling the pressure required, weight training paying off here.  Perfect body position essential to the mechanics of speed.  Max speed, crack the whip, and acceleration.  Maintaining crossover strokes to get the angle, pressure, the “shot out of the cannon” feel down the straight for the next 100 meters in 7 seconds.  Payoff for the courage to cut the ice with 1.1 milimeter blades.  Risk on the edge and trusting in my abilities.

Without protective glasses my eyes would not see through the wind created tears.  Eight straight away strokes and then the next turn.  Managing energy to get the most speed for the longest time and distance.  This is the payoff for what I do.

Motivated, driven, the resulting speed and all its attendant sensations.  The Zen of being one with the ice, my skates, myself.  The self-generated wind, smell of the ice, speed, pressure, on the edge, consequences, and results, internal and external, this is what skating is to me.

Masters World Sprints, Salt Lake City, March 2013

Masters World Sprints, Salt Lake City, March 2013