Archive for the ‘tattoo’ Category

Run Anyway update/tattoo

Posted: December 13, 2012 in Running, tattoo
Tags: , ,

For those of you unfamiliar with what “Run Anyway” event was/is, take a look at the banner pic  that exists currently on Facebook,and copied below. On top of the epic  and awesome vibe that went along with this, you have to recognize what a group of people put together in literally hours, no CEO, no operating budget. None of the usual things you would expect to make a running event that had thousands of runners participating in. Volunteer, charity or for profit, this was a huge success. The power of social media via facebook, twitter, etc shined on that day, and is an example of what good came come from it.


Running NYC marathon was on my bucket list of things I want to do in my lifetime, as I write this, I am still conflicted, not sure that I will ever revisit doing this race. In the world view, the humanity view, it’s just a huge marathon, and any significance beyond that is primarily an emotional response. 5 weeks have past, NYRR is still flailing about with no resolve, exceptionally poor PR and even worse communications. Marathoners do not appreciate how poorly they have handled this. People in the affected storm areas still having many difficult problems, and will feel the effects for some time.  The haters, and the threats have either gone off to some other subject or quieted down to a whisper. They do leave behind a bad impression of the big apple, and of NY’ers, which is a shame. I know many folks from down state, and have great friends from the city. Unfortunately a black eye for many of the good people there. In time the city will bounce back, it’s what they do and are known for.

On to my third topic.

The collection of artwork expressed in skin otherwise known as tattoos, that I currently have, have significant meaning in one way or another. My artwork celebrates family,  my wife, and great marriage pushing on 13 years, hunting passions, and my love of endurance sports and personal milestones that I have conquered. If you do not sport ink, or dislike tattoos, my comments won’t do much in helping you understand the significance or why some us chose to get them. I am fortunate to have talented artist Josh Payne and my other go to guy, Scot Clark (Pinpoint Tattoo) in the same county.

I originally wanted to get ink’d after finishing NYC marathon, for many personal reasons. Needless to say, that idea fell apart. As I described in earlier posts, the Run Anyway event transpire into a epic, and awesome day. It is fair to say that it uplifted those who chose to participate. Given all that, it was a life event experience that is a wonderful memory, and worthy of committing to skin. Originally I had picked Josh Payne of Ascend Gallery in Cortland , NY to do the original NYC marathon idea. I have several tattoos done by him, and wanted to go with his big graphic, new school color that he is known for. Typically I have a good idea how it will come together, I had important elements I thought should be there, but no idea how it would come together. It’s good thing to trust your artist.  We had discussed this a few times prior,and Josh was very familiar with the race and the NYC area. An initial pencil sketch gave the project a green light. Josh gave it a refinement to better fit above the ankle,and it came together literally in minutes. The elements I gave him to work with : event name, big apple, central park, storm Sandy, and a beautiful sunshiny event day. The initial drawing had a cobble stone bridge coming out of the apple as a tunnel, but did not fit the targeted body space. Josh incorporated some old school feel into this with the wrought iron gate, lettering, and busted out the surreal color on the apple. Super stoked with the tattoo, hope you enjoy.






Here’s an updated pic after a few days of healing:


Syracuse Half Ironman 70.3 Tattoo

Tattoo is done! So stoked with how it turned out.

This one was done by Josh Payne @ Ascend Gallery in Cortland, NY. First time having one created from another artist as all the other work I have up to now has been done by Scot Clark @ Sacred Art also in Cortland.  We have some very talented artists in such a small town.

The main element is the skull. Skull tattoos in some representations symbolize death, but they also can, and do in my case, represent the fleetingness of life. “Memento mori” (latin for “remember your mortality,”) translates that it is important to know and understand  your own mortality so that you may live life to the fullest. “Carpe-Diem”  in modern translation “Seize the day” is a similar concept. M-dot (forehead) and 70.3 (under the left eye socket) are elements incorporated in the skull. Ironman is a mental as well as physical game/duel with one’s self, whether it be the 70.3 or even more epic 140.6 distance.

Wind and water  elements that merges and frames the lower skull are a part of the ironman experience, with fire representing the drive and desire to finish. The balloons (3) tie the piece back to Ironman Syracuse with is part of the race’s theme. The park the race is held at also host’s the balloon fest each year. He made that work with the overall design. The gold tooth is a signature item that Josh does in his skull designs.

I’ll update pics once the tattoo heals and settles down.  Big thank you to Josh  for putting this together.

Syracuse Half Ironman 70.3 Tattoo

30 days have past since crossing the finish line at Ironman Syracuse. Sometimes when you plan a big goal, and get there, or complete it, it becomes anti-climatic, or so-so-what’s next. Not the case with completing Ironman Syracuse. It was as epic, inspiring, and as humbling as I thought it would be. It was a day that culminated all the planning, training , and emotional highs and lows that I will treasure as a life event.

I had been thinking on commemorating the day with a calf tattoo. I held back running off in a hurry to get it done to see if my perspective would change, or shift after the endorphins finally wore off. Signing up for Ironman Lake Placid has not changed my view. I would say that completing Syracuse is a huge stepping stone to the big dance. Had I not complete it, or had a bad experience, I would not likely step up to the 140.6 mile distance. Most certainly I will commemorate that event if it is anything at all like what I experienced at Ironman Syracuse. Most likely yes, and all the more epic. At least twice, right? For all the reasons that I have captured in prior blog posts, it represents much more than a race or single event. It not only marks a return to something that I love, it also represents a pivotal point in my life that I choose to change the outcome, health, and well-being for the 3rd quarter of my life as I head towards retirement years.

Tonight will start the tattoo project, and I’ll post pics soon enough. I won’t reveal what it will be as of yet, but it will have many elements in it that I hope will come together to make for a great skin art piece. More yet to come.

While nursing a sore calf, and in wind down mode of race week, I get to think about other things that interest me other than training. Obviously from the title, this would be about tattoos. More specifically: triathlon or ironman themed tattoos. After completing Ironaman Syracuse (it is the goal), I may commemorate it with one. Been thinking about it. All said and done it’s just a race, although a great one in my opinion. For me, it signifies a large body of work, commitment, a return to the sport, and on my home stomping grounds. The significance is an emotional one.

Generally speaking there seems to be two camps. Those that either have tattoos or admire them, and those that really dislike or look down at them. Very polarizing subject, not a lot of neutral or middle ground from what I see.

I most certainly fall into the first camp. I have a love of many forms of art, including skin art. In my younger days I sidelined as a freelance photographer. Although I liked tattoos, I waited until after I turned 50 to get my first one. That one is dedicated to my wife and our marriage. I got that on our 10 year wedding anniversary. We recently celebrated 15 years since we first met. Being the best 15 years of my time on the planet, I am very happy with what some would think is a risky subject to get inked.

By most standards I am heavily inked. I have an entire back piece dedicated to family and my grandchildren. Both upper arms, left rib cage, and a triathlon kokopelli 70.3 ankle band. I posted those pics in an earlier blog. The 70.3 piece commemorates having done the Firmman 70.3 in 1994. The kokopellis signify growth and joy. I certainly have gotten that from being a triathlete. Each of the tattoos I have were thought out over a significant period of time, and not spur of the moment or impulse decisions. No regretful choices made in a drunken stupor.

While researching ideas for artwork to possibly commemorate the milestone event, I came across quite a few discussions about triathlon tattoos and a derivative topic of M-Dot tattoos. There are very stark and divided opinions even among fellow triathletes. I find it a little odd, as the genre of triathlons has it ‘s roots from the big island, a cutting edge, techie sort of way of thinking. From the big island there is a long and rich history of Polynesian art & culture. Like the general public. Many hate them or like them. I do understand that. It is a personal choice and form of expression. There are some that cling to the old stereotypes. I do laugh at that, as when dressed in business casual attire you would not know I was inked. My decision to maintain that is based on being pragmatic. As an engineer, I work in a very conservative environment. Being that my skin art is very personal, I am ok with that. There are religious objections, most are related to interpretations of Leviticus 19:28. Scholarly insights focus more on the practice during that period of markings that worship the dead, and false gods.Very strong opinions on both sides of that.

Given my perspective, my discussion here is on the divide of the commemoration of a big “bucket list” item, whether it be a full or half ironman. On the side topic, there are very strong opinions that one should not get an M-Dot tattoo unless you have gone the 140.6 distance. Even if there is a 70.3 or some other way that distinguishes it as being 70.3. In my book, 4 to 8 hours of finishing something like an half ironman is not something to turn your nose up on. Have we gotten to the point that completing a 70.3 event is much the same as doing a 1 mile or 5K fun run? I think not. An observation of these forum discussions reveals in many cases that full ironman athletes exhibit a snobbery among some of them. This would be aside from whether or not they are cool with tattoos in general.

As much as I happen to like the skin art, I would separate the distinction between full and half distances. Not to diminish 70.3, but to somehow make the full ironman art work to be a more significant piece to represent the epic quality of it. Should I ever step up to a 140.6, that would be my perspective. As to go with the WTC M-Dot logo? Personal choice, as I think it is beyond just a corporate logo. It is so recognizable and synonymous with Kona, and the ironman triathlon race itself. Ironman Syracuse is a M-Dot branded event. Not sure if I would incorporate it or not.

Like I mentioned before, not everyone likes tattoos or wishes to commemorate in that way. I get that. Some folks are very private, others like myself want to have others enjoy it as we do, and are very social about it.

Last parting thought: Should you choose to commemorate your big day with a tattoo, go big, and get a great artist.

For those that like and or appreciate body art: This is a kokopelli rendition of a triathlon tattoo, commemorating the three disciplines, and the half ironman distance. This commemorated having completed the distance as well as the transformation years later while pursuing it again. The tattoo was done by Scot Clark @ Sacred Art in Cortland, NY.  After Syracuse, who knows, I do have a few ideas 🙂