Thursday, May 1, 2014

Liebster Awards Nomination (Part 2): Answering Axel’s Questions

As I posted yesterday, this blog was nominated for a Liebster Award earlier in the week.  The Liebsters are a pay-it-forward kind of blogging award designed to help others find new and interesting small-readership blogs in the vast, unexplored reaches of the Internet.  

The good thing about the Liebsters is that being nominated means that someone’s reading your blog, and that they like your work.  By participating in the process, you can pass that love along and help others find readership, too.  
Bloggers participate by:
2. Answering ten questions from the blog that nominated them.
3. Nominating ten new blogs of their own, preferably with 200 members or less.
4. Posing ten new questions to the new nominees.
Dan and Sally’s Digital Domain was nominated by Axel from Iron Rogue.  His ten questions are below.

10 Questions from Iron Rogue:

1.  There are two kinds of people in the world: _______ and ________.  Fill in the blanks.
“Doers” and “People who make excuses”.
Doers do.  They get up early, they practice, they make it happen.  Whatever it is, they figure it out.  Doers never say, “I wish I could change my life.”  They don’t doubt or second-guess themselves, and they don’t wonder if they have enough talent or ability.  They work.  They try.  They improve.
I firmly believe that anyone can, but unfortunately, a lot of people either won’t or won’t keep trying once things get difficult.  These are people who make excuses, who wonder why they’re stuck in a rut, who can’t see why their lives are off course.  Maybe they don’t believe they can, or maybe they don’t have the courage to risk failure.  
But here’s the thing.  Everybody fails.
You don’t ask yourself, “What happens if I can’t do this?”  You ask, “How many times am I going to have to try before I finally succeed?”
2.  If you could add an event onto a race (i.e. something besides swim, bike run for triathlon, something besides running for running) to make it More Multi-sport, what would that be?
The Symbol for Triathlon
at the Olympics
It depends on who I’m competing against.  If I’m racing Michael Phelps, I’d add an electric load flow and an oral exam on European History.  If I’m racing Meb Keflezighi, I’d be content to add a two-mile open water swim.
In a more general sense, I’d like to do some kind of Navy SEAL camping competition.  Helocast from a mile off-shore with my gear in a waterproof ruck, change on the beach and then either run or hike up to another staging area, where we’d pitch camp and spend three days drinking beer on top of a mountain in Maine.  If I was a contestant on The Bachelor, that’s definitely how I’d arrange my group dates.
Failing that, I’d just like to do a triathlon in reverse order some time.  Run/bike/swim would play to my particular strengths beautifully.
3.  What’s your best quality/strong suit when it comes to getting the most out of your workouts? i.e. What's your super-power?
I like doing intervals.  I don’t know that I have interval super-powers, but mid-tempo intervals—like halves on a track or 200s in a pool—are definitely my thing.  I specialized in the 200 butterfly in college, so that kind of training was my bread-and-butter for years and years.
4.  Why do you blog?
I like to write, and I find that blogging helps me stay in practice.  Writing is like any other kind of exercise.  If you want to be good at it, you have to work.  Blogging is how I “practice”.  
Writing is also the best way I know to clarify my thoughts and feels about things.  I mostly review stuff on the blog—movies, books, comics, beer, whatever—because I either really liked them or really hated them, and I’m trying to figure out why.
Finally, I’m writing a novel, and when it’s done, I want people to buy it.  The blog is a platform to promote that, to give people a taste of who I am and why they ought to consider checking out my work.  I don’t think that my book is gonna be a best-seller by any means, but I still want to make it available and accessible to whomever is interested.
5.  What invention are you waiting for to make your life complete (or at least easier)?
A teleportation machine.  I’d like to live in Maine but continue working in Manhattan.
My second choice is a pair of cheap, easy-to-use waterproof headphones, so that I can listen to music while I swim.  I know that there are already some options out there, but I’ve never seen anyone use them, and anyway, I don’t want a whole system that involves waterproofing some widget, wearing a swim cap, and wires.  I want to stick earbuds in my ears and then not think about them again until I get out of the water.
6.  What's your number 1 workout/running song? If not music, what do you use to pump yourself up?
I have two.  “Cult of Personality” by Living Color and the live version of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” on S&M, the live album that Metallica cut with the San Francisco Symphony in 1999.

7.  Besides health and fitness, what has your sport brought to your life?
Being a good swimmer really helped when I was looking at colleges.  To get into an elite school in America, you have to have good grades, good SATs, and “something extra”.  If you have those three things, you can do anything you want.  For me, “something extra” was a successful high school swimming career.
More recently, I’ve gotten a lot out of coaching, especially coaching new swimmers.  I’ve taught several adults to swim in the last few years, including my own wife, and several of them have gone on to finish open water triathlons.  The look of accomplishment on the face of any new triathlete is awesome, but when you see it from somebody who didn’t think they could swim, it’s so much better.  One woman I know had run four marathons but was afraid of the water.  Well, now she’s a triathlete.  And we’re friends for life.

Finally, I paid for Christmas one year by writing freelance for  That was cool.  I’d love to do more freelance writing work, but unfortunately, those jobs are few and far between.
8.  If you could debunk one (fitness) myth to the whole world, what would that be?
“No pain, no gain.”
Wrong.  There is a difference between exertion and pain.  Exertion is what happens when you exercise.  Pain is what happens when you’re putting too much pressure on your joints and tendons.  One of these things is good; the other is going to give you an overuse injury.
Bottom line: you are much better off to be consistent but work at a lower level of intensity than you are to get out there and make it hurt and then either injure yourself or else get so broken down that you need massive rest to recover afterwards.  Under no circumstances are you going to accomplish your fitness goals in one day.  Or one week.  Or even one month.  No one workout, no matter how hard, is going to make you fit.  Instead, it is the steady application of disciplined exercise over time that makes you fit.  Therefore, you need to work at a level that lets you work again and again in order to be successful.  
I can’t say it enough.  Don’t overtrain!  Train and rest and train again.  That’s the key to success.
To put it another way, triathlon is a journey not a destination.  You don’t sort of accomplish triathlon, and then you’re finished.  You live a healthy lifestyle, you workout when you can, and you build fitness over time.  You compete if you’re so inclined, or you just do your own thing for your own reasons.  It doesn’t matter.  The goal is to live a life that makes you feel good physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  To look good for yourself and your spouse.  To set a good example for your kids.  Yes, exercise is a critically important part of that, but it’s a part that must be kept in balance with the rest of your life if you want to be successful over time.
9.  For your favorite blogs/bloggers, do you have a "type"?
There are quite a few good gaming blogs out there.  I like gaming blogs because although they tend to focus on roleplaying games, the bloggers rarely stay on topic, and it’s the divergences that I find the most enjoyable.  Dyvers ( is probably my favorite, but there are several other good ones.
There are many excellent veterans’ organizations out there, but my favorite is Team RWB (  

“Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.”
That is a cause worth supporting.


  1. Totally awesome Dan! You forgot to mention that you are awesome father and wonderful husband. What a great way to start my day.

    1. But you mentioned it, Sally. And you are AWESOME!

  2. #8... TESTIFY. Though I have a bigger hate for its variant: "Pain is weakness leaving the body".

  3. They used to scream that one, that "pain is weakness leaving the body," at the Academy. Argh. That saying and Lee Greenwood are my two least favorite things in the entire world.

  4. I love your choices for #6. XD The whole article/answers was something I enjoyed and it resonated with me.

    1. Thanks Alan. My nominations are coming tomorrow!