Category Archives: Nerd Fitness

Marine Corps Historic Half 2017

One of my goals this year was to run the Marine Corps Historic Half, on May 21st, 2017, with two of my three kids this year (my youngest has no interest in running 13.1 miles, understandably…).  The last time I ran with my oldest two kids was in 2011 when we ran the Marine Corps Irish 10k.  Here are some pictures from our 10k run on March 26th, 2011:

We have not run together since 2011, so I wanted all of us to get back out there to tackle bigger and better challenges.  We had a great time yesterday at the Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon (13.1 miles) in Fredricksburg, Virginia.  My kids and I have come a long way since the last 10k run we did together!  My girlfriend joined us on the run.

Our next big goal is to run the Marine Corps Marathon together this October.  Oohrah!

I Command You To Grow!!

Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

I love synchronicity – the Jungian idea that events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related. This Spring, I started reading Mike Michalowicz’s book ‘The Pumpkin Plan’. The central idea of his book is that business people should be more inclined to trim away customers to focus solely on their best customers in order to grow them, and their company, to the biggest size possible. Mike likens this business focus on the best customers to a farmer who tries to trim away all pumpkins on a vine to a select one or two in order to grow the biggest pumpkins possible. This Rhode Island farmer’s pumpkin grew to 2,261.5 pounds!! What?!?

Speaking of books, I currently have two books for sale on Amazon if you’re interested: ‘The Lean Startup’ and ‘Sprint’.

Growing is what Spring is all about. For some reason, this Spring in particular has had me focusing inordinately on growth: growing my own vegetables, growing my income, growing my net worth, growing my muscles, growing my cardiovascular strength, growing my family bonds, helping my employer grow. Every day I think about GROWTH. How can I grow more? How can I get bigger? How can I 10x my life??!?! I’m done shrinking!!! I look at the earth – not the World as a whole, but dirt – and biological organisms and how life literally springs forth from it every Spring. No matter what man does to the planet, seemingly, life still springs forth every year. The life force is so strong on earth. Life wants to grow! Life must grow! It can’t be stopped. That’s what this planet does – springs forth life and growth – and humans are no different.

My girlfriend and I started a garden in our back yard a few weeks ago. It was back-breaking work. We got covered in dirt and mud. It rained as we worked. Our backs and hands hurt. I could barely stand upright the next day. It felt awesome. We now have spinach, beans, herbs, bee-balm, tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers growing. We also have planters of grape vines, black berries and blue berries growing. Despite our lack of farming skills and knowledge, the earth continues to spring forth life. The energy to give life, emerge and grow is unstoppable and everywhere. It’s awesome to think that we humans are products of this energy.

We didn’t stop at a garden in the back yard though. I bought some land down in Southern Virginia this Spring so I could grow even more life! My family and I were down there last weekend (West of the Richmond area) planting Apple, Plum, Cherry and Oak Trees.  We also seeded Sun Flowers, Wild Flowers, and some other seeds.  If we let the land sit for long enough without intervention, trees and weeds of all sorts would eventually take over the land. I am trying to impose my own growth plan and will on the land instead by determining what life I say will grow there.  Why must we grow Fruit and White Oak trees and Sun Flowers, JC? Because I said so, that’s why.  I command it to grow!!

Also in the last few weeks, I discovered this guy, CT Fletcher, and how he uses the phrase, ‘I command you to grow!’, to grow his muscles as he lifts weights. He commands his muscles to grow! Why? Because he said so! It’s his ‘Magnificent Obsession’! This is genius! CT has learned to envision the change he wants to affect in his life, and to impose his will over it to make it so. Can I do that too? Can you?

My new mantra when I look at my Bank Account, my Gardens, my Trees, my Relationships, AND my muscles is: ‘I command you to grow!’ Why JC? Because I said so, that’s why!

Commitment to the Cloud

I made the decision to attend the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this year in November.   I’ve thrown my hat in the ring for Monday’s Hackathon at re:Invent, and am hoping to come away with new insights into ways to employ AWS infrastructure for faster and more cost-effective software deployments.  There is also 5k run on Wednesday morning that I signed up for.  I figured it was a good way to get in some exercise after sitting all week, and I’m working on some solid fitness goals for next year…

I also made a commitment to myself to study for, and take, the Amazon Certified Solutions Associate Architect Exam while I’m at re:Invent.  My primary study guide is the ‘AWS Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide’, AWS Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide.

While at the conference, I am particularly interested in hearing anecdotes from startups in how they are using Cloud-based infrastructure to start, grow and scale a technology/software businesses.  It would seem that Cloud Technologies could be a great leveler in this regard.  And of course, hearing from Werner Vogels about what new technologies are on the horizon for the AWS Platform should be very interesting as well.


The Morning Row

This is my eight this morning rowing out on the Potomac River with Alexandria Community Rowing.  I am the stroke – the guy in the front setting the pace and rhythm of the boat.  I like being the stroke.  It’s kind of like being the lead drummer in a band…sometimes the band follows you, and sometimes they play a completely different song.

It takes concentration to row.  You either have to set a pace that others in the boat can follow, or you have to have precision in following the stroke of people in front of you.  It takes concentration, anticipation and a sense of rhythm.  You have to feel, and anticipate, the rhythm and swing of the boat in order to be of one accord with her.  It’s hard work.  The pay-off can be thrilling.  Mostly it’s just frustrating.  But when she hums, you know she’s happy; and when our boat is happy, we are happy.

Follow me and my partner as we row across the North Atlantic Ocean next June…

ACR Athlete Has Too Much Schwag

Her goal was to help Team ‘Viking Atlantic Row’ (who is affiliated with Alexandria Community Rowing (ACR)), erg across the Atlantic Ocean, virtually, as part of the Concept2 World Erg Challenge, which takes place every year from March 15th to April 15th. Instead, however, Cindy Way and one other teammate, Stephanie Holmes, won accolades from Concept2 for their participation in the event.

On May 29th, ‘Viking Atlantic Row’ Team Captain, James Caple, presented Cindy Way with the schwag received from Concept2 for her stellar performance as a member of the team and for participating in the Concept2 World Erg Challenge.

Cindy Way and James Caple at Dee Campbell Rowing Center
Cindy Way and James Caple at Dee Campbell Rowing Center

While Team ‘Viking Atlantic Row’ ( did not erg enough meters to cross the entire Atlantic Ocean, they did manage to assemble a worthy team of stalwart rowers who were able to log over 2,789,698 meters during the month of competition and ended up finishing in 5th Place overall among teams with between 6 and 20 team members. 192 teams participated this year ( Please consider joining Team Viking Atlantic for the World Erg Challenge in March of 2016 to help us row across the entire Atlantic Ocean this time!

In addition to virtual Atlantic Rowing, follow James and Cindy as they attempt to become the first American Pairs Boat to row across the North Atlantic for real in 2016 (

Certified Indoor Rowing Instructor

Get On Your Butt…And Row!

I just received my Indoor Rowing Trainer Certification from UCanRow2.  I can now instruct people on proper rowing technique and in how to put together an indoor rowing training regimen.  The irony about rowing, and indoor rowing in particular, is that after sitting all day in front of your computer at work, you can actually get a great workout sitting on a Concept2 Indoor Rowing Machine.  Check it out.  Let me know if you need help.

(202) 813-9017 | james AT jamescaple DOT com