Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls Just Fail Better Instead By Doing Something


“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett, cited by a student of Tim Ferriss, in ‘The 4-Hour Work Week.’

Hi folks,

Frits Massee at Lake Placid Ironman 2012, FitOldDog,

Frits Massee, with FitOldDog, at the Lake Placid Ironman 2012, but he’s a youngster at 67 – that’ll be my excuse if he drops me in  race. Photo by Stephanie.

It is great to be back in Lake Placid for the 2012 Ironman race, having survived abdominal aortic surgery. It was in 2010 that this Ironman race saved my life from a huge aortic aneurysm, of which I was blithely unaware at the time. So I remember that race well. I came out of the water first in my age group, so I expected the better riders to come by me on the bike, and one did, his name is Frits Massee (this year’s bib# 2949). His name was written on his bike shorts, so that is why it stuck in my mind I think. He came by me about 25 miles into the first bike leg. We chatted for a while, and then on he went. I remember thinking, “That guy is going a bit too fast on the bike, I bet I see him again on the run.” I didn’t, though, he had to drop out because of stomach trouble during the marathon – he told me that today, two years later. I only met him for about two minutes, but I guess with so few people in our age group we remembered each other, and then today, three days before the 2012 race, there he was in a coffee shop in Lake Placid, with his wife.

Mist on Mirror Lake, Lake Placid NY USA, 3 days before the 2012 Ironman,

Each day is a new beginning, and this was a beauty with the mist on Mirror Lake three days before the 2012 Ironman race start gun goes off.

Just as nice and friendly as I remember from 2010 on the bike, and very enthusiastic about Ironman races, which he does all over the world. That is why, as you age, it is important to do something so you meet great people, have good experiences, and you have a life.

This is the message of one of my heroes, Tim Ferriss. Yep! I’m reading his book again, ‘The 4-Hour Work Week,’ from cover to cover, and now I’m working on my ‘dreamline.’ As Tim predicted, I drew a blank at first, when it comes to dreams. Then I thought, well a nice cup of tea in the morning would be good. I notched it up a bit, and thought, I would like do that bike touring holiday in Italy with Deb, that we talked about for ages, but never got around to. Then I thought, but I would also really like to visit the space station, and I would.

The International Space Station,

This is where FitOldDog wants to go after qualifying for the Hawaii Ironman and having a biking tour with Deb in Italy. Tim Ferriss said dream big!

Read Tim’s book, discover your dreams, don’t stay stuck in a mediocre life doing mediocre things. Follow his great training manual and reach for the stars, whilst ignoring people who say, “You can’t do that!” Just takes a little work. So I wrote a text to Deb after putting down Tim’s book this morning. Deb was working as a nurse in the emergency room until yesterday, and is following me up here in a van with six other supporters.

My text said, “It’s time to plan that biking tour.” And now we will, thanks to Tim’s encouragement. There is more to my life than ‘safe exercise for better health.’ How about the vineyards of Italy seen from a bike?

By the way, my bib# is 2953, so follow Fritx and I on Ironman Live and you can watch Frits go by me on the bike, but the run is, as ever, completely unpredictable. You get what you get in an Ironman race, doesn’t matter how old or fit you are.

Best of luck, Frits. Have a great race.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. It sounds as if you are doing a bucket list.

  2. Exactly. Death sits on you left shoulder or over it or somewhere. Did you read The Golden Compass series. The issue of death was treated in an interesting way. -k

  3. The calling card

    When Death brings you his calling card
    To tell you that it’s your turn next
    It’s not a thing you can discard
    So don’t become too over-vexed
    For it’s a common courtesy
    When you know you’re about to crock
    Not to play the silly sissy
    And drop before the mantle clock
    Why in society it’s polite
    When th’old reaper comes to call
    To drop down dead well out of sight
    And not leak fluids down the wall
    So do not leave a nasty niff
    And make sure you’re a tidy stiff

    • Hi Marian, I’m just surfacing after my first DNF (did not finish), due to unexpected heat stress. I’ll be blogging about it today, as it was really interesting, especially the post-DNF psychology. Life has challenges and we can meet them positively or negatively, and I choose the former. I’ll be telling the story and lessons learned in today’s post, after have breakfast with Nigel and my delightful grandchildren, Selia, Ella and Nolan. Thanks for following – will try to do better next year. -k

  4. Not Celia?

  5. I’m not sure. I thought it was with an ‘S.’ I’m on the road South, and fell asleep. Time to blog and sleep some more. -k

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.