Brandon Dillon's Blog

A place for discussion on all areas of life.

Ironman 70.3 Honu 2017

Posted by Brandon Dillon on June 13, 2017

On June 3rd 2017 I would attempt my 4th Ironman 70.3 The first being this race in 2015 which took me about 9 and a half hours to complete due to some massive blisters on the balls of my feet which made even walking the 9 miles feel like it was bare feet on pins and nails the entire way. I didn’t walk right for 3 days after till the blisters went away lol. 

The next race I did was Silverman, I got very nautious and had no energy on the bike and didn’t make it half way. Never did really figure out what it was but it was not to be my race that’s for sure!

The next event was Galveston Tx in April of 2016, you can read about that race below but I felt great but had 2 mechanical issues, broken rear spoke and my seat dropped on me because the fitter didn’t tighten things back up properly. I missed that cut off by about 11 min just not being able to run any faster.

So my cousin Bill back in Michigan said last year if I sign up for Honu will you? I said of course! =) this was in August of 2016, so I started training again. In November I started officially working with Michellie Jones and she knew this was going to be a big race for me as well as IMAZ in November of 2017.

My biggest issue is weight, after 2 years of training and listening to people and suggesting and trying to figure out this whole nutrition thing for long rides and how to “fuel” properly I was disappointed that I was still 310 lbs. I was much fitter and stronger but I was 175-180 in high school and after when I used to lift weights, so yea the number isn’t everything but when you are that much over weight doing anything is tuff. So even though everyone kept telling me you cant lose weight training for Ironman’s and I mean virtually everyone told me you cant do it I did what I normally do, decided to prove them wrong =)

Not going to lie you would think working out 20 hours a week would make it easy to lose weight but its really not and no matter what you are doing from not working out to training for Ironman or just doing things to stay active its 90% what, when and how much you eat. As the saying goes you cant out work a bad diet. Just look at line backers and sumo wrestlers they are big dudes! They eat extremely healthy they are all obese. So it matters a lot about eating and if you are going to focus on something and you want to lose weight focus on your nutrition first vs going to the gym or running biking, hiking what ever more, you will see far more results that way, and that’s what I started doing.

In December I focused on eating and after talking to my other cousin about becoming more fat adapt I started following his advice. My Goal was to keep my carb intake total at 50 grams or less for the day. That was hard so I decided to keep it under 100 g per day. I looked at everything I was eating and found ways to remove empty carbs get rid of sugar up the fat and protein intake. I also cut out using sports nutrition on long rides and runs and stuck to water and propel which is a electrolyte water. I think doing this was one of the biggest things to help me drop weight as before I was bringing a lot of calories in bottles and bars on long 3-4 hour rides, and I finally realized you just don’t need it if you are training at a zone 2-3 pace. I wont go on but I can about all the nutritional stuff I did to lose weight if you want hit me up and I can tell you more about what I did and still doing to get down to under 200 but I ended up being about 271 at Race day for this race down from 310 which is what I was at my previous races.


The swim for this race is just amazing, the water is a nice warm 80ish degrees and its crystal clear and there are so many things to see it is just an amazing part of the race. They changed the course this year to do a modified rolling start. I was happy to be in the first wave!! so sucks waiting an hour + for your wave to start I would rather it be mass start then wait for wave 25 to go which is what happened in Galveston lol

But they still did AG wave starts and inside each age group they had us line up in based on our projected swim time. There was 25 and under and 25-35 then 36-45 and 46+ I got in the 36-45 because I was shooting for about 45 min. Swimming in Hawaii even though you cant use wet suits the salinity of the water is the highest here then anywhere else in the world short of the dead sea so you are far more buoyant then you are anywhere else so PR swims are common due to that.

I came out of the water in about 52 min, it was a run in beach start and as we lined up there were rows of 4 people and every 4 seconds those 4 could go, I didn’t like it as much as the pure swim finish time and single rolling start but it did smooth things out and only think I bumped in to 2 or 3 people the whole time.

The transition from the beach is across some sand, some pretty deep and up hill to a changing tent because yea I cant ride 56 miles in tri shorts yet =(

So I jumped in to my cycling bibs and got on the bike. I took a Efuel watermelon gel about 30 min before the swim start and I had another on my bike to take as I started the bike ride. for some reason I had a knot in my stomach after a couple of miles and in my head I was like WTF…..

So I pedaled on and decided to sip my water and Efuel drinks I had in my back two bottles and just pedal on hoping it would go away. I also had planned and took 1 salt pill every hour on the bike, which I did. My plan was to drink a bottle of water and bottle of calories between every aide station, I think I fell short on the nutrition side a little bit drinking hot efuel and Gatorade is just not appealing or taste good lol I did pick up a few cliff bar shot blocks and had about 7 of those on the bike after the turn around at Havvi.

There was a brutal, and I mean brutal head wind heading up to Havvi, it was forecasted to be 30-35 mph…. it was every bit of 20-25 while going up hill. I was trying to be somewhat conservative so I would have a good run and this bike course having about 2500 feet of climbing and being completely rolling hills at a minimum, I didn’t want to go too hard but felt like I was going too hard at times and tried to keep aware of that and manage my time.

I loved the down hills because I hit 50 mph a few times and its fun flying by people =) Even with a tail wind there were some cross winds and were a few pucker moments for sure. I kind of knew I may have gone too hard or I should have taken more calories on when the last big climb up which is about 8 miles left I was feeling it.

Still had a knot in my stomach it never went away but kept drinking and pedaling. Even with that wind I finished the bike in 3 hours and 35 min which was about 45 min faster then my 2015 time and there was almost no wind on that day.

So I was rather pleased with the results of that considering the course and conditions it was good I think I can get 30 or so min faster and going to work on that and by working on that dropping more weight =)

This being a split transition I had to check a run bag the night before along with my bike. I put in some running shorts, shirt some Pjur anti chafe, shoes, socks, bib and hat. I had another gel as well but didn’t use it and just got some Gatorade and water on the way out.


Both transitions used these box framed wheel holding racks which are 10X better then the bar which holds the bike by the seat. I hope all races switch to these as they just work so much better.

My guess is they use these because of the wind which is first reason why they are better is that they hold the bike in place.

Second there is no issues trying to get your bike especially for those of us who do not ride Small bikes under the bar with your bottles on back.

So ya just better all around.

I got changed put some Pjur on my feet, (this stuff feels amazing while running and was hoping it would keep the water off my feet so I wouldn’t get blisters)

and got on my run. Like I mentioned on the way out I got some water some Gatorade and some ice for my hat.

started off semi ok still had this knot in my stomach and after a mile I had to dive in to a porta john for a few. then the knot was gone =) and could run better.

My goal was to run the whole thing and avg like 12:30 min miles with walking the aide stations, that ended up being 15 min miles.


The run course is nice, its two loops an aide station every mile, lots of great volunteers and its through the golf course and half of it on the fairway.  Now you might think that sounds nice, running on grass… well its a double edged sword.

They water the grass in the morning so you got his steamy head coming off the grass. some of the fairway is really nice and low cut and that is ok to run on aside from the steaming heat coming up.

But then you get this stuff that’s longer and it just takes a lot more work to run on and its got that steamy heat coming up off it lol.

So ya its interesting running on grass. There are some hills and I planned on walking those but on the run I just kept getting hot even though I was drinking every station but trying not to drink too much where I had a bunch of fluid sloshing around in me.

after like mile 4 instead of putting ice just in my hat I would take a cup of ice with me to just let them melt in my mouth, this was a huge thing as it kept my mouth from getting dry and wanting to guzzle everything in sight.


On the run I caught up to a guy who was doing the same, run walk as me, and we decided to

run walk together. There is a big lesson to be learned here not just in racing but in life in general.

We talked and kept each other motivated and it was good to have a running buddy. this was his 9th 70.3 and first time in Hawaii. He started about 45 min behind me so he had more time then I did to meat the cut off of 8 hours and 30 min.

while it was comfortable doing this together I had a choice to make looking at the clock. I knew how much time I had and how far I had to go, my original goal was under 8 hours and it was looking close when I started the run, the heat and walking due to the heat made that harder on me. But I had to look at him and tell him I gota go faster, to reach my goals and my cut off time.

it wasn’t because he was bad or anything it was just comfortable having someone moving forward but we were in two difference places and if I had stayed comfortable then I wouldn’t have finished.

I thought I would see him at the turn around but not sure if I just missed him or what but after I took off running with 4 miles left to go I never did see him after that.

In life its easy to get comfortable, complacent and go with the flow and you have a decision to make, go after your dreams and goals or let others hold you back.

My Run was 3 hours and 28 min and I crossed the finish line with a total time of 8 hours and 15 min

After 3 years of training, and 3 previously failed attempts at the 70.3 distance I finally did it! These events are really just a very long conversation with yourself about how bad do you want to hurt and how bad to you want it. It truly is a mental game so much more then physical, while it does take great physical stamina to do this, getting through it takes mental tuffness.

I get that tuffness from my leadership and personal development I have been doing for about a decade now. Its the constant input of audios, books association with like minded people and the cutting out of TV and radio some 15 years ago that have made all the difference.

As they say garbage in garbage out, you just cant put in all that negative and not helpful stuff on a daily basis from the TV and radio and expect to have a positive and strong mental faculty you just cant.

Its like expecting to eat garbage everyday and expect to be healthy and in good shape, and the mind is so much more important than the body because the mind controls the body. I know I wouldn’t be mentally where I am without the constant input of improving and learning I get from books and CDs and association and I strive to be better today then I was yesterday.

So many people helped me in this journey and I wont get to name everyone so if I miss someone I am sorry, two people that have helped me a ton are Jondi Bernardo and Michellie Jones.

Jondi helped me start training for this and triathlons in general back in 2014 when I first started this crazy stuff =) and still helps me a lot as we look at my training peaks data and so on, of course Michellie Jones for putting up with me and giving me great workouts and answering all my questions =)

To people that have said kind and encouraging things along the way there are so many thank you for all the support I don’t want to list because I know I will forget and its quite a lot of people cuz I have awesome friends but you know who you are =)

To all the haters out there who were mean and negative towards me,  try and be more positive =)

Now its on Ironman Arizona coming up November 19th, just have to double what I did and try to shave off an hour or 2 =)

The same goes for 70.3 distance, sub 6 and close to 5 hours is the goal =)

Till next time!



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Galveston Texas Ironman 70.3 April 10th 2016

Posted by Brandon Dillon on April 13, 2016

This was to be my first race of the year, taking what I learned from Honu 70.3 last May 30th I was hoping the next 9 months of training and weight loss and learning would take me to finish before the cut off.

I got to Texas Friday afternoon and checked in to my hotel about 3pm travel was good and Houston is kinda crazy with all its toll roads and the ones that you cant pay cash for or even online like you can here in California, you must have the EZ Tag thing ahead of time, or you rent the EZ tag from the rental car people, well Dollar rental car only does it by day you have the car not by day you will be driving so it was going to be 50 bucks for that so I opted out of that idea and took the cash toll roads. But be warned lol.

My Cousin Todd who has done many 70.3s and his first Full in Houston last year and was supposed to be going this with me but he had to get knee surgery so he was volunteering, and my mom were enroute. so I went over to the expo, picked up my packet and listened to the briefing. I must stop here and say it don’t matter how many of these that you do even if you do the same one every year, go to a briefing!!! I do not get how people can say they didn’t know there was mandatory bike check in the day before the race (Saturday) when it was in the briefing like 3 times and in the guide and on a separate piece of paper in the packet too… (rant over)

please go to the meetings and read the guides people put a lot of time and work in to them and stuff changes so do your self a favor and don’t throw away money and a trip by not looking at them and have a good fun race =)

steps off soap box..

The Expo was good of course not as big or glorious as the full Ironman ones but it was nice and laid out well I did love my numbers because its my Birthday! 2411. if you go by Day/month connotation so that was kewl =) the transition bag is nice so the swag was good. Its all about the swag! =)

WP_20160408_21_49_50_Rich (2)


Then I went back to the hotel and after getting the Raptor built, just had to put on the wheels and tilt my bars back up and put on the bottle cages and I discovered that I was missing my battery for my DI2, I had taken it off because of the lithium ion battery deal and unpressurized cargo space and so on. I called around franticly the next day while doing bike check in and finally found a great bike shop called Webster Bikes and the owner Russ was coming down to watch the Ironman and staying at the RV park down the street and would bring me a battery. So that was awesome! I went and got some food. I went to Mario’s, I stuck to Italian, spaghetti with marinara sauce and chicken and bread for dinner, took half of it home, wanted to keep it simple and actually at that for lunch and dinner the next day too.


That combo made me feel good, I didn’t go overboard on portion size had salad with it as well with balsamic vinaigrette dressing at both dinners.

Saturday morning due to my being up early and wanting to find a battery we decided to head to the expo right at 9 when it opened, even though bike check in was not till 2-6.

As I mentioned Webster bikes came through and that afternoon at 4 I got my battery from him. My cousin Todd was working Bike check in so mom and I went to get lunch =) I got ready for bike check in and sorted everything picked up my batter and dropped my bike off and here she was! Ready to go and I felt great about everything.


Went to dinner… Pasta…. to the hotel to prep and re-prep and check again I had everything in the bags I needed and what I was going to do and went to sleep. Tried to anyway.

Plan was to get up at 4 even though my wave was not till 8:04 and get there and be ready. I really wish we didn’t have wait so long lol


So Race day.. got up at 3 am, couldn’t sleep was ready to go! lol ate whole wheat bagel with PB on it got ready put on my tats jumped in the car and got there at 4:50, 10 min before transitioned opened. setup my stuff stood around a bit talking to ppl planning my transition stop as I have not figured out yet how to make it through a 56 mile bike in Tri shorts I have to change or else I will be in pain, maybe when I am 100 lbs lighter that will be different lol.

I talked with the guys next to me it was mainly first timers or first race of the year so it was all a just finish mind set around me which was good, that’s all I was there to do was finish in under 8:30.

we had to walk a bit over to where the swim start was and we swam back to the transition area so at 620 I headed over there with my morning bag and wet suit and tri slide and such. I sipped on some Efuel about 10 oz over the next hour then I got my suit on around 730 and took my Efuel Gel ( that watermelon is good!) and was in line working my way to the start. You have to jump off the dock in to the water and its a floating start.

The Swim went well I just kept trying to keep my stroke long and consistent. the water was choppy due to the high winds we were having probably around 20mph so I caught water in the face 2-3 times don’t think I swallowed much lol, that resulted in a Swim PR of 10 min from honu that was 58:35 this was 48:37 It may have been the difference in the wet suit but I will take it =)

I get to transition, quickly wrapped my towel and changed in to cycling shorts the 8 min transition time is why. I just cant make it 56 miles on tri shorts yet. maybe once I get weight down.

bike started out good I had 2 bottles of Efuel, 2 honey stinger wafers and a Efuel Gel and water in my speed fill. I was shooting to maintain 170 power for the duration. After about 3 miles I hit a bump and my seat dropped about a inch or so, I was like wth was that!?!? So I pedaled on not wanting to stop and would see how it went, my knees were hurting bad so around mile 15 I stopped and fixed the seat as best and close as I could and got back under way. Still feeling good I ate a honey stinger and was sipping water and efuel. then a few more miles in on a smooth flat straight piece of road I heard a noise from my rear end. it wasn’t a fart so I knew something was wrong. I stopped because I could feel something was not right and sure enough I broke a drive side spoke at the hub.

I was pissed cuz I felt so good at that point and to have a mechanical issues and the wheel had just been fully respoked only a few months back and been mainly riding my road bike a lot so I was ready to give up. I didn’t think the wheel would make it 40 more miles especially with my weight and it was not warped and rubbing on the brakes. Then a guy pulled up next to me, not even in the race and asked me what I was doing and if I was ok, I paused and looked at him, where did he come from? why was he just out here with all of us and why did he stop and come over to say hey what are you doing lol he said just keep going you will know when others break and it will be one at a time. So I was like alright I will push on. I loosened up my brake as beast I could so the rubbing was minimal and went on. I was cautious as I didn’t want to do more damage and wanted to make the bike cut off. feeling good I knew I could run what I needed even with a longer bike ride then I wanted.

about 10 miles after that just before the turnaround I started to feel a pain in my side I ignored it. kept eating and drinking I took a salt tab at hour 1 and hour 3 then got to mile 46 and was not feeling right at all. stopped and got water as I felt like I had little energy and my side and stomach was hurting. The medic thought it could have been from sea water, I guess that’s possible I felt very similar at Silverman and I caught a ton of water to the face and got very sick on the bike and had no energy or power. I decided to take my Gel and push on I kinda felt better for a few so wasn’t sure what I was feeling was lack of calories or too many or sea water or what. I kept going wind and all.

My bike split with all that was 4:08 I was hoping for 315-330 and my split in Honu with hills was 4:16 but didn’t have the issues there I did here. so even thought not what I wanted it was better so yay! =)

My transition time went fast about 3 min I got out of my gear grabbed my gel I had waiting put on socks and shoes and hat and ran out. I started out for the first half mile or so feeling decent looked at my pace and it was 13:30 I knew I had to maintain a max of 15 min mile for every mile, my original goas was to start out at 14 min miles and bring it down 10-15 sec per mile and hold at 12 min miles till the end. Well plans are great till you have contact with the enemy…. my side issues and stomach were back after that half mile I ran on but ultimately had to stop and walk. I tried to keep up a fast walk and was planning on the issues subsiding with some food or drink or time and I would keep moving as fast as I could and run walk and hope towards the end I could run more.

It didn’t work out that way, on the run I ate some pretzels that seemed to help drank water took ice and after the first loop sipped on some Red bull and cola I felt like I got better for a bit and ran some more and it would come back, had to dive in to a porta john so I guess I knew I wasn’t dehydrated lol

Over all my time was 8:42, which was 35 min faster then Honu. still a DNF but improvement. as I look back I could have found 12 min some where but its easy to do that in hindsight not as easy in the middle of it. But a PR all around so making progress just need to figure out how to train and drop 100 lbs and I will be all set so that’s the focus now. Was a great race and the people and spectators were awesome I definitely want to go back and do it so I can earn my medal and same with Honu.

The Garmin Data is here

A big thanks first and foremost to God as he gets all the glory, I honestly think that guy who said what are you doing and keep going on the bike was some kind of messenger because it was just a really interesting situation I was probably supposed to push harder and just make it but I didn’t.

Also a big thanks to Jondi helping me get this far as well as tons of other people who have giving me advice, tips, help, encouragement and so on. Craig, Julie, Tu, Morgon, Zak, Jean, Larry, Chris, Justin, Alex, Kenny, Cristeen, Elaine, Todd, Bill and so many others I am sorry if I didn’t name everyone there was so many.

Pro tip when you goto the sun screen appliers make sure you tell them to do everywhere that’s exposed lol I have some interesting tan lines and mild burn from only saying do the shoulders and arms lol.

till the next race =)


Posted in Ironman, Triathlon | Leave a Comment »

Toys for Tots

Posted by Brandon Dillon on December 11, 2014

My local Tri shop Endurance house is doing a Christmas toy drive for Toys for Tots and I always remembered the commercial of the boy going up the Marine standing guard asking if hes Santa Clause but I didnt know the story behind what they were about and how they started so this is what I found and I think its pretty amazing.

Toys for Tots is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. The program was founded in 1947 by reservist Major Bill Hendricks.

Toys for Tots began as a Los Angeles charitable effort in 1947. Major Bill Hendricks, USMCR, was inspired by his wife Diane when she tried to donate a homemade Raggedy Ann doll to a needy child but could find no organization to do so. At her suggestion, he gathered a group of local Marine reservists, including Lieutenant Colonel John Hampton,[3] who coordinated and collected some 5,000 toys for local children that year from collection bins placed outside of Warner Bros. movie theaters.[3] Their efforts were so successful that, in 1948, Toys for Tots was launched as a national campaign. Hendricks used his position as director of Public Relations for Warner Brothers Studio to enlist celebrity support, as well as have Walt Disney Studios design the red toy train logo.[2]

Until 1979, Marine reservists (frequently in their dress blue uniforms) and volunteers would collect and refurbish used toys. In 1980, only new toys were accepted, as reservists were no longer able to dedicate drill hours to refurbish toys, as well as legal concerns and the mixed message of giving hand-me-downs as a message of hope.[2]

In 1991, the Secretary of Defense authorized the creation and affiliation with the non-profit charity foundation. In 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved Toys for Tots as an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve.[4]

Noting in 1996 that many communities did not have a Marine reservist presence, the commander of the Marine Forces Reserve authorized Marine Corps League detachments and other local organizations to fill the gaps in toy collection and distribution.[4]

In 2009, the program received support from First Lady Michelle Obama, who placed the first collection box at the White House.[5] In December 2011, she took part in a Toys for Tots activity at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.[6][7]

As of 2013, the Toys for Tots Program and Foundation have collected and distributed more than 469 million toys.[8]

The Mission –

The mission of the program “is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.”

The stated goal is to “deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.”


Notable achievements[edit]

  • 2003 Outstanding Nonprofit Organization of the Year (DMA NPF)[8]
  • Reader’s Digest Best Children’s Charity of 2003[8]
  • One of the top 10 charities of 2003 on the Forbes “Gold Star” list.[8]
  • Charity Navigator four star ratings in both 2005 and 2006.


Reference Wiki Pedia.


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Colin Powell, The Power of association

Posted by Brandon Dillon on March 20, 2014

I was listening to some of my new Life Leadership CDs the other day and Dan Hawkins was talking about this story and its so powerful I had to write it all down mainly because it helps me understand again how important association is for me and should be for you and your family. See what Mr. Powell has to say.

The Power of Association is too real: “The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people. As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.

Consider this: Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don’t follow anyone who is not going anywhere. With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl, but if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.

“A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.” The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate – for the good and the bad. Note: Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends”.

Posted in Brandon Dillon, Freedom, Leadership, The Life Business | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Brandon Dillon on November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving at Plymouth

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—an assortment of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could freely practice their faith and other individuals lured by the promise of prosperity and land ownership in the New World. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring. In March, the remaining settlers moved ashore, where they received an astonishing visit from an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American, Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery before escaping to London and returning to his homeland on an exploratory expedition. Squanto taught the Pilgrims, weakened by malnutrition and illness, how to cultivate corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped the settlers forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which would endure for more than 50 years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

In November 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as American’s “first Thanksgiving”—although the Pilgrims themselves may not have used the term at the time—the festival lasted for three days. While no record exists of the historic banquet’s exact menu, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow wrote in his journal that Governor Bradford sent four men on a “fowling” mission in preparation for the event, and that the Wampanoag guests arrived bearing five deer. Historians have suggested that many of the dishes were likely prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods. Because the Pilgrims had no oven and the Mayflower’s sugar supply had dwindled by the fall of 1621, the meal did not feature pies, cakes or other desserts, which have become a hallmark of contemporary celebrations.


Thanksgiving Becomes an Official Holiday

Pilgrims held their second Thanksgiving celebration in 1623 to mark the end of a long drought that had threatened the year’s harvest and prompted Governor Bradford to call for a religious fast. Days of fasting and thanksgiving on an annual or occasional basis became common practice in other New England settlements as well. During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress designated one or more days of thanksgiving a year, and in 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. His successors John Adams and James Madison also designated days of thanks during their presidencies.
In 1817, New York became the first of several states to officially adopt an annual Thanksgiving holiday; each celebrated it on a different day, however, and the American South remained largely unfamiliar with the tradition. In 1827, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale—author, among countless other things, of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”—launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. For 36 years, she published numerous editorials and sent scores of letters to governors, senators, presidents and other politicians. Abraham Lincoln finally heeded her request in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, in a proclamation entreating all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” He scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November, and it was celebrated on that day every year until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the Great Depression. Roosevelt’s plan, known derisively as Franksgiving, was met with passionate opposition, and in 1941 the president reluctantly signed a bill making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November.

Thanksgiving Traditions

In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.
Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters.
Beginning in the mid-20th century and perhaps even earlier, the president of the United States has “pardoned” one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year, sparing the birds from slaughter and sending them to a farm for retirement. A number of U.S. governors also perform the annual turkey pardoning ritual.

Thanksgiving Controversies

For some scholars, the jury is still out on whether the feast at Plymouth really constituted the first Thanksgiving in the United States. Indeed, historians have recorded other ceremonies of thanks among European settlers in North America that predate the Pilgrims’ celebration. In 1565, for instance, the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilé invited members of the local Timucua tribe to a dinner in St. Augustine, Florida, after holding a mass to thank God for his crew’s safe arrival. On December 4, 1619, when 38 British settlers reached a site known as Berkeley Hundred on the banks of Virginia’s James River, they read a proclamation designating the date as “a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”
Some Native Americans and others take issue with how the Thanksgiving story is presented to the American public, and especially to schoolchildren. In their view, the traditional narrative paints a deceptively sunny portrait of relations between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, masking the long and bloody history of conflict between Native Americans and European settlers that resulted in the deaths of millions. Since 1970, protesters have gathered on the day designated as Thanksgiving at the top of Cole’s Hill, which overlooks Plymouth Rock, to commemorate a “National Day of Mourning.” Similar events are held in other parts of the country.

Thanksgiving’s Ancient Origins

Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.
As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores.

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There are good people out there.

Posted by Brandon Dillon on September 15, 2013

Two weeks ago I was feeling better from all the sick people around me bombarding my immune system from the cold, flue, pneumonia that I was feeling up for one of my usual weekend rides along the cost from Oceanside CA down past Carlsbad. Friday night I noticed my tire off my bike was flat, from sitting in the house for a week, I thought that was odd but I went to this great bike shop in Oceanside called Omega Bikes (they are closed on Sundays for Church! how awesome is that! They list that on the open sign)

So I went in first thing Saturday morning at 10 am and got a new tube, I was up at 7 so I Was ready to go for a ride immediately,  So I parked at the free public parking at the Oceanside Pier (yes free parking at a beach!)  and got on the bike and started riding south. Well after about 7.5 miles and about 3 miles from anything but houses and open area along the coast highway I got a flat on the front tire I just got replaced. So I was like well it happens, lets get back and get it fixed. I wanted to chill on the beach and do some swimming in the ocean too that day.

So I thought it would be an awesome idea since I wear cycling shoes to take those off and just walk barefoot, cuz it wont be that far and I Can get it fixed in down town Carlsbad, ya that’s 3 miles away. So after a mile barefoot walking on cement I decided to put my cycling shoes on lol. Then after another mile my feet started to burn and hurt, the next mile I thought I was going to die. So I took the bike path down to the Carlsbad coaster train to see if I can get on the train to ride home but the next one was in 3 hours!

so I called a bike shop that I found on my Windows 8 phone that was like a mile away to see if they had pick up service and could do a tube for me, and they couldn’t even change a tube for me today let alone pick me up =(

So I walked from the Station up the road a block to the Surf Shack

I asked the guy behind the counter if he had a tube which he did for beach cruisers but not my road bike, so we filled up the tire to see if it would hold air at all so I Could ride the 3 more miles to my car but it wasn’t holding air. So this girl who was in the shop looking around who’s named I found out later to be Chrystal said.

“I’ll give you a ride back I live right by there.”

I declined at first, not sure why but she said it a few times so I accepted her offer. We went to put my bike in her Escape and I met her 4 year old daughter Dainica and her boy friend Kevin who;s family owns the Carlsbad Alkaline water artesian mineral well which was across the street from the surf shop

it was really amazing to meet some great people that helped me out in a big way, the next day my feet were blistered up good, had I walked another 3 miles I Can only imagine how bad they would have been. It took a few days of careful walking but by Thursday I was back to normal and rode the following weekend and saw Chrystal and Kevin running along the path I bike on.

And the water is great!

Carlsbad WellWP_20130831_002

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The American Diabeties Association – Tour De Cure

Posted by Brandon Dillon on April 8, 2013

Please support and donate to the American Diabetes Association, I am doing this ride and raising money for it, if you have a dollar please donate a dollar if you have more, more is always welcome, my personal Goal is $1000.00 dollars between now and June 15th I have started off by donating $52 Dollars. Its very easy just go to my page below and click the donate button, I don’t even have to know who you are it can be anonymous and it is a valid tax write off as well. If you would like to join the ride there is info on my page as well to ride with me on various lengths of cycles and mountain bikes. Any questions please feel free to contact me. Thank you for your support

Click the link below for info on how to ride and to donate and other great information.

My Great Uncle William McGrath lived with Diabetes for about half his life, until he died last December, I saw how his life was early on and the major issues he had because of Diabetes late in life with his health leading up to losing part of his leg to it and many other issues, Now I have a Uncle that recently was diagnosed with it but through diet, exercise and weight loss we hope he will beat it. I know some are not as lucky and are born with it and no possibility yet of not being diabetic. I hope though more research and advancement and most of all knowledge and action something more will be able to be done for people.

I am riding because the American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure is so much
more than a cycling event to me. It is my opportunity to change the future and
make a positive impact in the lives of those who are affected by

I am committed to ride and raise money in this inspirational
event not because 26 million people in the United States have diabetes, but
because I personally know some of them, and I want to do something about it.
Won’t you help me start a chain reaction?

Chances are, you also know
someone who has been affected by diabetes and you already know how important it
is to stop this disease. By making a donation on my behalf or by joining my
team, you will be helping the Association provide community-based education
programs, protect the rights of people with diabetes and fund critical research
for a cure.

With your help, we will fight for a future where a parent
does not have to hear that their child has diabetes. A future where an adult
does not have to face the uncertain times ahead after receiving a diabetes
diagnosis. A future where you and I will know that we had a part in making this

I truly appreciate your support. Together we can Stop Diabetes

Click the link below for info on how to ride and to donate and other great information.


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Socrates & the Test of Three

Posted by Brandon Dillon on February 13, 2013

I was recently at a Life seminar and they were talking about Socrates and his test of three. Socrates was considered the greatest mind in his time and was even told that he was the smartest man in all of Greece. The reason for that is because he always asked questions instead of just telling everyone all the things he knew. With that little part alone how many of us could work on that? Do you know some one that is always ready to tell you everything or even if they are not called upon in circle of people they are the first to give a answer even when something is directed to another person?

They can seem very rude right? if you don’t know some one like this, it might be you! =) hopefully not =)

So this man approaches Socrates and says. Socrates I have something to tell you I just heard about one of your students. Socrates pauses for a moment then says to the gentlemen ok you may tell me but first let me ask you three questions about what it is you want to tell me. The man says ok.

First question, is what you want to tell me something good? The man thought for a minuet, no its actually not good. Ok Socrates says that’s fine lets try question two.

Is what you want to tell me the Truth? The man said no I am not sure if its true or not I just heard it. ok that’s fine Socrates says lets see about the last question.

Is what you want to tell me useful? No the man said I guess its not useful.

Socrates says so if I understand this right, you were about to tell me something that is not good, not true and not useful? Why tell me at all?

The man was defeated and ashamed and said no more.

That story ends in some situations with the phrase. And that’s why Socrates never found out about Plato and his wife’s affair. But if you take that situation yes it may not have been good information but it was sure True, and useful to Socrates. But what this man wanted to tell Socrates was just Gossip, how many of you would be happen with a world with out gossip?

Then use this the next time your going to tell a story a information to a friend or someone at work about so and so. Even if what someone is doing may not be right unless you can correct it or at best warn someone about a potential issue they might fall in to because of that person don’t talk about it.

Dale Carnegie talks about this in his all time great best selling book how to Win friends and influence people. He starts off with 3 principles to always do the three as he calls them. Accept, Approve and appreciate. The reason he starts with everyone needs to accept approve and appreciate others for what ever small item they do is because most everyone is ignoring it and doing what he says next on a daily basis.

The next principle he follows with is a don’t do statement, because most people take this to be their job or personal hobby most times and that’s do not criticize, condemn or complain.

Think about when you heard more accepting, approving and appreciating of someone vs criticizing condemning or complaining? its very rare to find the three As used its almost always the three Cs that are in place in our world today, and it doesn’t get us very far at all.

The next time you hear someone start talking about someone or something ask your self these questions and also go out of your way to find something to accept and approve and appreciate of someone everyday, you will see some amazing things with that, and lets everyone stop criticizing, condemning and complaining. The world will be a much quieter place if we take Socrates principles and Dale Carnegies and use them and share them with others.

I highly recommend you read Dale Carnegies book How to win friends and influence people, its one I read several times a year to remind my self not to fall in to the gossip and rumor trap and to think of how I can accept, approve and appreciate someone that day.

Success is yours if your willing to work for it.


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Rejection & Finding great people

Posted by Brandon Dillon on January 7, 2013

This last Saturday we had a Leadership Seminar here in Michigan with The Team and Mark Militello was speaking and he talked about a guy named Jia Jiang  and that he was trying to get 100 no’s to help with his fear of rejection. So he devised ways to come up with such crazy request that he would get told no and it would help him not take it so hard and get used to it in becoming a great entrepreneur.  While this is a great endeavor he is undertaking he has met some amazing people and I wanted to highlight one.

This girl Jessica that works for Krispy Kreme he asked for her to get him some doughnuts that looked like the Olympic Rings connected and the right colors and to do it in 15 minutes! He was just hoping for a rejection and to be on his way but she bent over backwards to help him get what he wanted. Jessica was pretty amazing in the effort and problem solving she went on to help him accomplish his request ( which she didn’t know that he really just wanted her to say no we cant do it, probably like most people would)

I think this is amazing because in his journey of trying to build his self esteem against rejection to better him self he’s found some very great people in his journey and Jessica is one of them.

Below are two videos and a link to Jia Jiangs blog and youtube page. What do you think?

The Return Video where he explains to Jessica what he was doing and thanks her because so many people loved her for what she tried to do and how big her heart was in helping him.

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2012 in review

Posted by Brandon Dillon on January 1, 2013

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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