The Sea Bag: January 2018

What’s in the Sea Bag?

I’ve written a handful of race reviews, wellness and nutrition posts over the last couple years. They all fit neatly into specific categories in the main menu and don’t stray too far outside their scope. But what about all the smaller, more random stuff?

They get thrown into the sea bag.

Sometimes they just seem like the random stuff jammed into my sea bag on deployment. Not on the packing list, but jammed in there between your poncho liner and extra canteen. You might not have thought too much about it at the time and you mostly find them when you’re looking for something else.

Marines Carrying the sea bag January 2018

Each month I’ll unpack some of the things I’ve stumbled upon. One form of media I regularly consume is podcasts. Mostly free and covering the most fringe of topics, I am still surprised when I meet someone who doesn’t know what a podcast is. Maybe the name throws people off. Either way, I have found great information and entertainment. For January, I took stock of 5 podcasts that keep me company during my commute or washing the dishes.


1. Yogi Triathlete Podcast

Yogi triathlete podcast- the sea bag

I found out about Yogi Triathlete via Instagram. Cohosts Jess and BJ Gumkowski bring two of my worlds together: Meditation and Triathlon. BJ finished Ironman Santa Rosa and had probably already showered and napped by the time I crossed the finish line. I remember seeing Jess along the run course with their dog, Clark, both cheering him on.

Based out of Carlsbad, California, the two have backgrounds in both wellness and endurance sports. What I love about the show is the deep discussions about how their guests have overcome the darkness in their own lives and connected with endurance sports. It was through the Yogi Triathlete Podcast that I learned about the M21 Mindfulness Challenge. Enjoy the #HighVibeLiving.

A great show to start with is Podcast 79: Tawnee Gibson, Holistic Endurance Coach on Mindshifts and Transformations

2. Daniel Vitalis Presents: Rewild Yourself

Rewild Yourself - The Sea Bag

Don’t let autocorrect fool you, it is in fact “RE-WILD” not “RE-WIND.” Daniel Vitalis is modern day hunter/gatherer in Maine who has documented his journey from Raw Vegan and self-described “New-Age Health Nut” to a different understanding of what it means to be a conscious participant in the world. Daniel’s show has opened me to trying my own hand at foraging, collecting my own spring water,  and even reconsidering the idea of sustainable agriculture and whether such a thing really exists.

The show that has had the most impact on my life recently is #143 The Hidden Cost of Veganism – Lierre Keith. This one sent me into a complete funk. I was seriously considering going vegan and had started abstaining from meats to lessen the impact of factory farming and animal cruelty. I still do not agree with the cruel practices within industrial farming, but Lierre Keith presented a convincing argument on how a strictly plants diet can be even worse for the planet.

A controversial topic if there ever was one.

Listen to Episode #143: The Hidden Cost of Veganism – Lierre Keith

3. Your Mom’s House

Your Mom's House - the sea bag

There’s only so many serious things I can do or listen to in a given day. Sometimes I need comedic relief. I learned about stand-up comedians and co-hosts Tom Segura and Christina P. from the Joe Rogan Experience (a podcast that needs no introduction). They tackle the difficult issues like “How do blind people pick up dog poo?” and things dads get way too excited about.

It’s definitely safe for work. In fact, play it full volume in front of old people and those easily offended.

Come on over for some Moose Soup in Episode #403

4. Waking Up – Sam Harris

Sam Harris - the sea bag

Sam Harris is arguably the most rational man alive today. Sam has degrees from Stanford in Neuroscience and is passionate about the idea of consciousness. He’s published several books about religion and faith. Sam argues that many values ascribed to deities in formal religions are shared human values and accessible to everyone. What makes this show intriguing is Sam’s ability to talk with people he does not agree with.  He provides a calm and rational format that allows his guest to build their case with logic. Sam’s show has forced me to reevaluate what I believe and why I believe it. This introspection can bring up some fear or even anger, but ultimately if one is seeking truth then there is nothing to fear.

A great show to start with is Episode #31: Evolving Minds: A Conversation With Jonathan Haidt.

5. Flip TurnsFlip turns - the sea bag

Flip Turns is a brand new show put on by fellow Walnut Creek Masters swimmer, Chris Conner. Chris strays from the typical question-and-answer interview format and produces a show, not unlike NPR’s Radio Lab or This American Life. The show is a great blend of narrative, music, and sound effects that connect people to stories of how swimming has changed the lives of his guests. Whether you currently swim, used to swim, or have never taken up the sport- this show is for you!

Listen to Chris’s his first episode: Patti Zuppan-Hood: 5 Gold Medals at the World Transplant Games

What podcasts do you listen to?



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5 Lessons I learned in 2017

Ironman World Championship swim start 2 lessons

It is no surprise was my most productive year yet. There were many firsts. My first full Ironman( which was also my first marathon and first century ride), first 4-mile swim, first triathlon relay, first time at Kona, first podcast appearance, first appendectomy, and first red carpet event. Lots of highs and a few lows. But the big lessons were learned in between these big events. It’s easy to train when a race is around the corner. It’s much harder on a cold, winter morning when the sun won’t be up for another hour. Below is a list of my biggest takeaways from last year.

1. Find the way

To finish an Ironman, one needs to put in the training. That training takes time. To set Continue reading

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The Biggest Race of My Life

Until Chaps connected with the right hook, I thought I was well-prepared for the interview.


Lindsey Schmidt from Ironman’s PR firm reached out a few months ago to say they heard my story. Ironman wanted to get me on a cool, new veteran podcast to talk about why I race. It would be a chance to talk about the Marines on my jersey that keep me moving towards the finish line. I agreed to do the interview.  I wrote an eBook  about the Mind, Body, and Spirit. Finally, a chance to talk to a larger audience about a great way to deal with PTSD!

zeroblogthirty logo

The interview started out great (listen to it here). We talked about how I went into the Marine Corps, ditched the band and joined the infantry, and shipped out to Iraq. He asked me what house-to-house fighting was like in Fallujah. Chaps was there in 2007 and has walked the streets of the former Baath Party hub. And of course, we chatted about how triathlon has helped me deal with the demons of PTSD and turn it into something positive. So Chaps throws the verbal jab and I take the bait.

Continue reading

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The June 2017 Playlist

The Soundtrack of Hard Work


Training is ratcheting up. I’m banging out a lot of long rides and runs this time of year training for Ironman Santa Rosa. Here are the top 10 songs I’m listening to:

  1. Star Spangled Banger – The Marine Rapper
  2. 10 Laws – East Forest
  3. Doin’ It Again – The Roots
  4. Farrah Fawcett Hair – Capital Cities
  5. Aloha – Møme
  6. Say it – Flume
  7. Nothing Else Matters – Metallica
  8. Come Home Now -Day Wave
  9. Litty – Meek Mill
  10. Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers


Be sure to take a look at The Marine Rapper aka TMR aka Raymond Lott. Spending 10 years active duty Marine Corps and deploying a handful of times, he’s stepped onto the music scene in a major way.

TMR on stage

Raymond grew up in Oceanside, son of a Marine Artilleryman, and enlisted as a combat correspondent. He deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan during his time on active duty.

TMR on deployment



Equally as cool – Raymond took Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor from Terminator) to the Marine Corps Ball.

TMR with Linda Hamilton at the Marine Corps Ball

She asked him. True Story.




Raymond is a perfect example of someone who has transitioned from war. Stay tuned for the full interview….



What’s on your playlist?





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