Tag Archives: Dreams

Taking chances

Tomorrow I’m really going to put myself out there on a level that I have actually never done before.  Josh Shipp is one of the biggest rock starts in the speaking business in the youth market.  I’ve been getting his newsletter for years.  The only job he’s ever had is the only job I’ve ever wanted…being a professional speaker.

One of the business models that speakers utilize is creating training for other speakers to learn how to do what they have done.  His version of this is called Youth Speaker University.  I’ve known a few that have gone through it and it is a remarkable program, but it’s not cheap.

There’s a scholarship available this year for his program and all I have to do is create a video and put it out there for not only Josh, but the rest of the universe, to consume.  Now I have the utmost confidence in my ability to deliver a speech, I love being on the platform in front of 10 or hundreds of people, I love the process of writing and creating a well thought out message…I’ve just never bothered to put it on YouTube.

The scholarship applications says:

We are looking for someone with heart, legitimate talent and a sincerity to help others.

I can promise that I have two of those three…the talent part of the equation will be judged by the masses.

You never know what you can do until you try to do something.  Job changes with different schedules have gotten me away from Toastmasters, so my chops are totally out of practice.  There is a chance this could be an absolute hot mess.  There is also a very high probability that I won’t win the contest.  There is no way that I lose in this process though.  I get to write, rehearse, and deliver something that I really believe in.  I get to share it with people I love and from there who knows who’ll see it. I get to have a serious professional watch three minutes of me living out my dream.  There’s no way this ends up badly.

Taking chances is almost always scary.  The devil you know is better, than the one you don’t.  I’m going to step out a little bit and see what happens.  See you guys tomorrow.




Do you remember?

I will go out on a limb and say that most, if not all, of us has a great moment we look back on where we were “in pretty good shape”.  It may have been playing sports in high school or when you completed a race in your 20s or after a biggest loser challenge at work in your 30s.  There’s some cool memory you have where you felt pretty good about who was looking at you in the mirror.

Mine was in my 20s and playing pick up basketball ALL THE TIME.  There is zero exaggeration in all the time.  I was probably on some kind of basketball court five days a week.  I played basketball instead of going out.  I wasn’t really trying to be in shape, we were just having fun and the by-product was I could run and jump and had a little bit of stamina and strength, pretty freaking awesome.

Fast forward from that happy picture you have in the full length mirror to the pictures you take now that are just of your increasingly round-ish face.  I was trying to think the other day when I got fat.  As with most things it is a slow and arduous process to reach the rotund physique that I created in my soon to be 41-year-old body.  I do recall a moment though when I was getting out of the shower and realized that my fat rolls on my back were now touching each other (sexy imagery I know).

Being sloppy was pretty fun though, aside from the aches, pains, shortness of breath, and ice packs.  I just ate and slept and ate some more.  I was lucky enough that my fat-boy was still able to be a fairly active dude.  Those good genetics allowed me to just keep on keeping on with my life because “it wasn’t that bad”.

I remember being smaller, but I really don’t remember what it felt like to be “in good shape”.

I remember the feeling of getting excited about a buffet

I remember the mouth-watering goodness of birthday cake

I remember eating a third plate in one sitting of a holiday meal

But I don’t recall what if felt like to actually be fairly fit…that’s pretty sad.

I remember someone telling me once that while recovering from alcoholism he had to create “new tapes” that would play in his head.  He had to create new responses for the situations his entire life that had previously been to take a drink.  I want some new healthy tapes too.  I’d like to know what waking up and craving green smoothies instead of chicken biscuits feels like.  Maybe I can automatically enjoy an apple the way I’ve enjoyed a Twix my entire life.




Timehop is a pretty cool app that goes back into your social media archive and shows you what you posted in previous years.  There has been tons of cool stuff but something I have also realized


and I’ve been putting it out there a long time and I’ve been fighting it a long time.

Finding that 20 something basketball kid isn’t about a resolution or a plan or a program.  That kid didn’t have any of that.  He just played and lived.  That kid didn’t eat great but that kid also knew that if he wanted to be able to not suck on the court that night I couldn’t destroy five trips back through the buffet line either.




Making new memories takes time and most of us hate that part so we’d rather just keep pulling up the mental VCR on the old memories that are comfortable and safe.  Gang you can’t find a VHS tape now to save your life, yet you won’t upgrade your mental Beta tapes for fear of losing something special.  I think it is a good day to try this fancy new HD life guys…come on, you’ve got nothing to lose.




I ran into a friend over the weekend and they had seen my Facebook posts and asked how the fast was and complimented me on my success.  Then he hit me with a question, that I really hadn’t thought about:

“So what’s your goal?”

If you know me offline, there’s a pretty good chance you know that I love goals and goal setting.  It is in my DNA but somewhere during this process I totally forgot to think about what in the world I wanted to accomplish for this to be a success.

Of course I want to lose more weight, but how much?

Of course I want to be healthier, but how do I measure that?

Of course I want to look good in a speedo, but really who actually wears a speedo?

I also need to work on some type of reward for reaching this goal.  I’m always looking for something to celebrate, so this could be yet another reason for a party, right?  I realize that my body is not like anyone’s else body so I need to use my data to see where I need to land in order to be healthy, so let’s do the word problem…

Body Fat Chart







Based off of my last measurements (231 lbs and 26.38% body fat), I am carrying around 61 lbs of fat.  No I didn’t stutter, I’m carrying around a 7 yr old boys worth of fat on a daily basis.  No wonder my blood pressure is high and I haven’t felt well.  In order for me to get into the “fitness” category I would need to lose approximately 27 lbs of fat.  That would bring my goal weight to 204 lbs and my body fat to 16.67%.  On a safe weight loss goal of one pound per week, that puts my target date as approximate March 1, 2015.  That really can’t be all the goals I have though right?

I want to complete another 7 day juice fast in November and another one in January.

I want to complete a “how to” .pdf/book/pamphlet and make it available to the masses before the November fast.

I want to complete a minimum of one 5k in 2014.

I want to complete 6 races of various lengths in 2015.

I want to keep my daily calorie intake under 2000.

I want to completely overhaul this blog and turn it into something special.

I want to get my blood pressure to a normal, healthy level.

They, whoever they is, say that putting your goals in writing increases the likelihood of them becoming reality.  I don’t have time to waste.

************This blog post has been sponsored by the sodas and candy that I no longer crave and that I hope will be dead to me forever************





G was right

I was a band nerd in high school (technically I was a band nerd in college as well).  Our band director in high school was also one of the most influential men in my life growing up.  I was friends with both of his sons, spent countless hours at his home, and I was even lucky enough to speak on his behalf the day they named the fine arts building at the school in his honor.  His middle initial was G so that was one of the numerous nicknames we had for him.

G was notorious for his sayings that band people got used to hearing over our four years in his classes.  Some were funny, some were prophetic, and some I still don’t understand to this day.  One of his constants over the years was:

Plan your work and work your plan

Simple enough right?

We could apply this simple concept to countless applications in life from your finances to raising kids.  What I didn’t realize was that it might be the most critical component to completing a juice fast.

We decided from day one that we would make three days worth of juices at a time.  Simple enough?  What I didn’t realize is that this opened up one of my greatest revelations of juicing and healthy living:

You have to make being healthy as easy and convenient as it is to be unhealthy

(Boy I’m on it today)

Eating healthy, by definition, requires a lot more work than being obese.  There are very few fast food options that aren’t a complete nutritional train wreck.  But by definition they are FAST.  Microwave meals are FAST.  Eating junk food is FAST.  Preparing a fresh green salad or selecting some lean meats for dinner and properly preparing them is not only not fast but it can be expensive.

There is no way I could have done this if I had to make the juices during the day as things went along I wouldn’t have made it out of the first day.  I also traveled with a cooler in the car constantly.  I had to have juice and water with me at all times.  As I have been going through this, my hunger patterns have totally changed and I never wanted to get caught in a situation where I didn’t have my chosen tools for battle.

Keep your eyes peeled, I’m going to give a how we did the fast tutorial and then try to put together a group for a fast later in the year.  Who knows where this is going or when it will end…regardless it is going to be a fun ride.

Thanks G!





Day 1

Sooooooo as you can see, I’m fat.  I guess technically I’m class 2 obese

Obesity Class 2 Information

That’s a freaking hard pill to swallow.  We all have an image in our heads attached to words.  I never attached my profile picture to the word obese.  But as GI Joe says, “Knowing is half the battle”.  So now what?

We started day 1 of our office 10 day juice fast with the scale and the tape measure.  This was my idea because I need to know how my body changes and I need to have a point of reference where I’m coming from.  The plan was to have eight fruit and vegetable juices during the day (8, 9, 10, 12, 2, 4, 6, & 8) and water for a ten-day period.  There are countless documentaries available and the internet will direct you to recipes and results, we clearly aren’t the first people to take on the fast.

Fasting has been a part of the human culture since the beginning of time.  It is biblical, spiritual, and healthful.  I’ve never successfully fasted, so that adds another challenge to the fact that I eat like crap, I eat of convenience, and I don’t really like a lot of fruits or vegetables.

My goals were very simple for this next ten days…FINISH THE TEN DAYS.  I’m great at starting things, but not great at finishing them.  I’d love to see my body measurements drop a noticeable amount but I don’t have a weight loss target.  I am also using this time to pray more and try to touch my inner spirit a little more as well.

The first day was a challenge.  The menu for the day (and the first 3 days):

Watermelon Fresca

Beet Zinger

Carrot Orange

Green Zinger

Chai Fresca

Orange Blush

Synergy (Fire water)

Green Zinger

To my surprise the juices didn’t taste horrible.  Some were more of a challenge to consume than others, but I was able to choke the majority of them down fairly easily.  I went through the day and was never really hungry, hungry.  There were a few times my mouth watered and my tummy growled, but I never had a point where I felt like I was starving.  I had a slight, dull headache in the afternoon, and was a little nauseous for a while; but nothing was too terrible.  It was a big deal that four of us at work are going through it together so there was zero temptation to cheat and you knew that everyone else was feeling the same things.

The biggest thing I noticed was the bathroom…I had to go pee 2-4 times an hour (I’ll actually track this on day two).  The juicing acts as a detox and works on cleaning and clearing out my system.  I had to find some willpower for after my son’s baseball practice when he had McDonald’s and I was sipping on Firewater (cayenne pepper infused and holy crap it was spicy).  I slept fairly well and woke up in a pretty good mood.  All in all, I think day one was a success.  I think I really helped my body by pre-toxing and taking myself off of caffeine, sugar, and breads the previous four days in preparation.

Let’s go tackle day 2.






My fellow graduates

I think I was 13th in my class, so I definitely didn’t get to speak at my school graduation.  But if I could give a speech to graduates, it might sound something like this:

Today is a day of accomplishment and achievement.  It is a reward for both you and your parents for the hours of work, the years of stress, the moments of weakness, and the time of your life.  The fact is this group that is here today is a smaller group than the one that started four years ago.  Bad decision, bad luck, moving, pregnancy, illness, and just being lazy has caused many of your childhood friends to not be here today.  But not you.

Rather than remind you and congratulate you for what you have done we should look at what you are about to accomplish.


Bill Gates, once graduated high school

Oprah, once graduated high school

President Obama, once graduated high school

Neal Armstong, once graduated high school


These are great Americans that all have this one moment in common with you.  A great moment, but not the one that defined their lives and their legacies.

Someone here today will do amazing things that will make you proud to be their classmate.  And someone else here today will be the person that you all wonder “What happened to him?”.

Some of you will get to college next year and make superior grades, some of you will struggle, and others of you will simply not be able to hack it.

Some of you will get a job or go into the military.  Some will stay home and help your parents.  Some of you will travel the world.  And some of you will simply end up being a stoner and never being heard from again.


Those great American’s all faced those same possibilities on this same day in their history.  So what was different?  And most importantly what will make it different for you?

There is no one magic recipe.  Hard work is a common denominator.  A little good luck is a common denominator.  I believe that a common trait with all these greats is the fact that they dream.

This is my message to you graduates today.  You must dream and dream BIG.  There will be many days that you won’t want to go to class and stay in bed.  You never sleep through your dreams.  There will be days that you fail at work or with relationships.  Your dream will still be a light in your future.  You must hold on to these dreams and chase them.

And so you understand clearly…dreams are not goals.  I believe goals are very important, but they are not the same.  Graduating high school is a goal.  Walking on the moon, now that’s a dream.  Dreams should be so big and scary that you are almost embarrassed to tell anyone your dreams.  By the sheer magnitude of those dreams you can be pulled toward greatness.

I always want you to realize that it is probably unlikely that you will ever achieve that dream, and that’s ok.  The residual effect of the years and years of dream chasing will be the fuel that powers the truly amazing impact that you will make on the people in your life.  And that, my friends, is the true secret to greatness…people.

As you go forward in life, chasing those dreams, understand that you cannot accomplish them alone; you need people and people, in turn, need you.  My challenge to you is to not make today what you are remembered for.  Dream big and dream loud.  And love the people who you encounter along the way.  That is your true legacy.  That will be your true greatness.  And that will be what you are remembered for.