Tag Archives: Optimism

Ice, Ice Baby

Unless you have been under a rock the past few weeks, I’m guessing that you have either seen or actually dumped a bucket of ice water on your head as part of the ALS Ice Bucket challenge.  It has been an amazing example in what happens when the internet is good and something goes viral.  I donated, but I didn’t dump the water.

I love when people get motivated and involved, but unfortunately it is usually Haley’s comet and doesn’t become a lifestyle.  I wonder if people will match their donations and fervor next year when there are no videos and no challenges?

Most of my life has been an ALS challenge.  I get moved and motivated and I make some great change or have some outward expression of change, but unfortunately it was about as long as these videos.  Real change is progress and not viral.  There are no viral campaigns for sensible diet and exercise.  There is not a get an education video challenge anywhere that includes 90 seconds of someone reading Beowulf.  Some things just take time.

I hope this outpouring of funding directly leads to a cure.  That is something permanent.  I’m shooting for something permanent personally.  Part of the process is writing, part of it is planning, but the bulk of it is doing.

Happy Friday everyone…you can thank me later







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************





Maybe I’ll be as fast as you

I sat and came up with a list a mile long of things I want to accomplish the rest of the year, most of them are pretty boring.  I have a a super high competitive drive and one of my goals for this next few weeks was born out of that gene.


I wouldn’t say I was inspired, but I was intrigued

I wouldn’t say I was scared, but I was concerned

I wouldn’t say I was motivated, but I was touched


Do yourself a favor and watch FSND.  It chronicles the journey of Joe Cross for 60 days of juicing, what it does to his body, and what it does to the people around him.  My coworker has been trying to get me to watch this for a year.  I finally carved out 90 minutes to check it out and was totally drawn in, yet I wasn’t ready to leave McDonald’s and Pizza Hut behind…but it did make me think.

Our office is more like a family of brothers and sisters that bicker, laugh, cry, and truly share our lives together.  A couple of days after I viewed the movie we were discussing juicing as my coworker was consuming some kind of concoction that appeared to be burnt orange and smelled like a farmer’s market.  Out of nowhere our secretary says that she’ll do a juice fast, but she didn’t think that I would be able to stick to it.


She might as well have double-dog-dared me to put my tongue on the pole.  So with that, I agreed.

So here we go.  Starting tomorrow we are doing a 10 day juice fast.  I’ve read and researched and prepared my mind as much as possible to take this 240 hours on as best I can.  For me this process is more mental than physical.  I’ve always been a picky eater and some of my motivation is to test my palate and hopefully inspire my equally picky 11-year-old to step outside of chicken nuggets on occasion.  The more I read though, I am seeing how this can truly be a life changing event.  My friend at work has promised this will be one of the top 10 best decisions of my life.  I think that may be hyperbole (but sounds like a great idea for a blog post), but who knows where I’ll be by next weekend.

One of the things that’s recommended is to journal this process.  So that’s what I’m going to do, I’m just gonna put it out there for everyone to consume (at least most of it).

I don’t know what will happen, but I’m sure something will happen…hopefully it will be entertaining ;).

Crick in my neck


Getting old SUCKS!


I remember being 21 and being indestructible.  I could party for a week straight on zero sleep, play basketball all day, go to class, pass tests, go to my PT job, drive across the state, hit the gym, eat anything, and still stand around looking for something else to conquer.  Now I stand at the ballpark for an afternoon watching my son play and I have to come home and ice my knees so I don’t look like Fred Sanford the next day.

The only benefit of getting old is that I’m not quite as stupid as I was back then.  Whether its “forgetting to pay” for Crab legs or getting pregnant or an overdose or simply doing daily dumb stuff with money…kids are dumb.

I’m writing all this because I have had a crick in my neck for three days.  That’s not normal.  It is getting better.  But it has been three freaking days, seriously not normal at all.  It makes sleeping difficult and driving dangerous.  I have to think when I’m on the phone and trying to multitask.  It is just a pain.

Life is kind of funny when it humbles you and makes you appreciate things.  I’ve been in a funk lately in some ways.  I’ve been spending time with friends of mine that are super successful with life, family, and careers.  I’ve got some friends that really have done well for themselves.  They haven’t abandoned me even though I’m “not on their level” anymore.  It is just depressing to roll up in my hooptie to a super nice golf course and pull out my 10-year-old golf clubs, thrift store outfit, and three weeks of budget just so I can afford to play.  And then I get a crick in my neck.


Simple things become hard

Hard things become excruciating

You have to think your way through a shower

Parking the car becomes a process


A little, bitty kink above my shoulders and below my chin totally change my perspective.  The thankful list is WAY LONGER than the cranky list.   As much as I wished I had a nice car, normal family, and money in the bank what I do have is a safe car, friends and family that love me, and the means to support myself.  That is a pretty good place to be.  The only difference between my successful buddies and me is they don’t have a kink.  My neck will work itself out as will the rest of my life.  Even with the discomfort, I can still live my life and be happy.  I just can’t look over my shoulder right now (and is that really a bad thing to not look over your shoulder all the time?).





Week 1-Homework

There are a few things I believe to my core.  One of them is that when you really get sick of something you will do something about it.  Truly getting SICK of something requires you changing how your brain works and how you think about things.  In the #FitbyFourth challenge, ‘Los is going to challenge my way of thinking by proposing some questions to journal on.  I’m sure there are plenty of us in various stages of diet, fitness, weight-loss, or health awareness.  The ones that will be successful will not only form better habits but will also make changes to how they think about things because they are really finally sick of where they are.  So here is my homework for week 1:

1.  What are 3 things you have done in 2014 that you are PROUD OF?

  • After almost 4 years of unemployment and underemployment I finally found a job that I wanted and can build toward the future with
  • I managed to get through the spring travel baseball season without any financial stress associated with it
  • I actually am doing Carlos’ challenge and taking it seriously

2.  What did YOU DO to make those things happen?

  • I’m notorious for starting things and not finishing.  I’ve often said I’m the best starter in the world.  When I actually stay the course to anything, I typically outperform my expectations.  

3.  Who HELPED you accomplish them?

  • I was mostly helped by family and friends; specifically my son and the amazing aH78 crew as well as flashing back to my old friends from high school.  What they did is as they have always done, they stood by me, supported me, encouraged me, and ultimately congratulated me.  

4.  How can you transfer those systems to THIS CHALLENGE? 

  • “Systems allow ordinary people do extraordinary things”.  I don’t know who coined this quote but it has consistently been a rallying cry to the madness that is my career.  I am, and always will be, a system guy.  I flourish in an environment that has a proven system, but I also like the ability to adapt the system to the situation.  I also have the most amazing family (I’m including my friends in the family).  At the top of the mountain and the bottom of the hill, they have been there.  Leaning into their wisdom, their experience, and their love is ultimately the backbone of everything I do successfully.

By the way ‘Los…HOMEWORK SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Flying high!

There are few things quite as awesome as coming off the platform.  Tonight was a good night.  Preparing, practicing, and delivering a good speech is an amazing process.  Sometimes it goes well and sometimes its just ok.  There are no guarantees.  Sometimes an audience gets your humor and sometimes they don’t.  Stories that hot home with one group fall on deaf ears at another locations.  As a science it is inexact at best.

I put the work in though, with no guarantees that it will work out.  Every once in a while though I hit a home run.  So I’ll just enjoy the trip around the bases.  And I’ll try to remember this the next time it’s not too good.






I live in the south; like south of the Mason-Dixon line; like south of the north!  One of the good things about living in the south is the weather.  Even the winter is fairly moderate and there are very few days that are bone chilling and usually they are followed by 60 degree temperatures the next day.  Apparently someone forgot to tell 2011 that happy fact!  We have spent the better part of the week SNOWED IN!  Here in Athens we got a record 8.8″ of snow!  Then there was the sleet and freezing rain which laid the foundation for the ice skating rink that has covered the town for 5 days.

Snow isn’t all bad.  The first day was great! We did the best we could to bundle up and get out and enjoy the snow.  We threw snowballs, made snow angels, and created kool aide snow slushies.  The first day was fun…days two, three, and forever…not so much.

The thing with being snowed in and having a very active seven-year old boy restricted to your living room for most of the day breeds cabin fever.  It also gave a lot of time to read and think and chill (both literally and physically).  I guess it was not bad to have this happen at the beginning of a year and let me marinade on what the rest of this year has to offer.

I’ve got big plans for 2011!  I have to ask myself if 15 days into the calendar am I headed in the right direction to accomplish my goals?  Have I started laying foundations for the biggest ones, researching the ones I need help on, and acting on the smaller, short-term goals?  The reality is that I am probably about 50%.  Which I guess is better than 25% but it is still brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!   It really isn’t the weather’s fault nor is it because I’m “too busy”.  I just haven’t done the work.  No to be fair, it isn’t realistic to be 100% but it is also super slacker to only be at 50% too.

I was having coffee with some good friends a few weeks ago and they were asking me “what do you want your life to look like?”.  The fact is, I didn’t have a good answer.  I had some higher level goals (financial stability, happiness, being a good father) but the picture was really muddy.  I’m a type A, super planner by nature.  I love to create a spreadsheet and weigh the pros and cons.  I love to check things off a list and I love to make plans.  Somewhere in the last four or five years I have become pretty lame at executing the plans.  There have been a lot of 50% efforts.

Maybe a week in the deep freeze was exactly what I needed.  I got to spend a little time looking at what I really am trying to accomplish and more time getting hit in the face with the sobering news that I’m not actively trying to accomplish most of it.  That realization was much more chilling than anything the snow could have presented.  One of my list items is to write more and another is to build a new website.  So that makes for easy accountability because it is easily tracked.  So guys, kick my butt and help me be a better blogger and stay tuned for something totally different on the new website!



We didn't build it, but it was a well done snowman!

‘Tis the Season

Sleighbells ring, are you listening?

This is such an amazing time of year.  Families are getting together, presents are being exchanged, traditions are being established, and generally everyone is merry.

In my personal circles we use the term “season of life” to describe where someone is in their world.  This could be high school or college, young couple, empty nest, job transition, or anything.  It is said that seasons change:

In the same way that winter comes to an end so does the time of raising young children, starting a new job, or getting remarried.  Have you ever been in a season that felt like it was 20 winters long?  It is always the great seasons that seem to be the shortest.  When you are in adverse conditions it is so, so long and the light at the end of the tunnel is so, so faint.

I am notoriously not a huge holiday season fan.  It is just too big and too showy.  All the presents and traveling and fruit cake confuses the true meanings of this time of year.  This year I’m particularly bah humbug on the season because frankly it has been a yucky year.  Life transition has totally kicked my tail.  I don’t think I have ever been more excited to see the calendar turn.  Now this season hasn’t been all bad.  I’ve found who in the world really loves me and has my back and I’ve found my spirit.  I’ve strengthened my relationship with God and my spirit is really lifted.  As in any cold winter, there are rainy days.  As in any scalding summer, there are cool evenings sitting on the porch.  Those bright spots were great and they have gotten me through this.

OK stop crying.

So as I wind down 2010, I am looking forward to this next chapter.  I’m not getting any younger and I don’t have nearly as many seasons left as I did ten years ago.  This is not a time to preach resolutions or sweeping life change but rather to think about coming out of the dark winter.  And to appreciate that in order to have spring, I must have that winter.  So that’s what I’ll do.





25 things

Last January there was a Facebook phenomenon called “25 things”.  The basic idea was for you to write 25 random things about yourself and publish them to the Facebook world.  It was a super neat exercise.  I learned so many deep things about my friends and many random funny things.  People are fascinating.  And these are just the people in my life.  My friends have traveled the world, delivered babies, met famous people, and seen remarkable things.

So as an exercise I decided to reread my 25 things and see what I could learn about myself:

1. It took me way too long to realize what is really important in life

  • This one hurts because I’m living the results of missing the boat for so long.  I’m glad I am finally getting some perspective, but I look at all the wasted years and just shake my head.

2. I love public speaking and wish I could do it for a living.

  • This is still true.  I have recently pulled a lot of my books about “the business” of professional speaking.  I have a lot of natural talent, but that is far from enough to make a living doing it.

3. I never thought I would ever coach Seaver in a sport, but I have found that there are few things more enjoyable than being around him and his friends learning a sport.

  • If you have been around this blog at all, you know how much I love those kids.  I have also found that it is the purest form of service and entertainment for me

4. I am great at starting things, but not as good at finishing them.

  • Still an issue.  I am actively working on this.

5. I am sad I didn’t have a “normal” family when I grew up

  • I have realized over the last year and a half, how hard this really effected me.  It really messed with my wiring.  The good thing is I have really gotten closer to my brothers over the last year.  I can’t imagine what it would have been like if we had started on a good note.

6. I am so much better off than I deserve

  • Amen!  My God is a good God and has my back.

7. I didn’t think I would like FB, but it has really reminded me of how many great people I have in my life.

  • See my note on thing number 6

8. My wife makes me laugh all the time.

  • She is now my ex-wife, but she still makes me laugh a lot

9. I have an addictive personality and constantly have to work to stay on track.

  • One day at a time.  It works if you work it.

10. My two dogs are angels on earth, Thanks God

  • One of those dogs has gone to heaven to be with God.  That was a hard decision to make to put him down.  The other dog was sad but he now has a little puppy to keep him young along his side

11. I can’t remember my mom or dad ever saying they loved me.

  • I can safely say that I still don’t remember if they said it, but I have forgiven them.

12. I am a very picky eater and have rules for most things I do eat.

  • It sucks being a picky eater, but it still hasn’t kept me from being a little too heavy.

13. I wear a mouthpiece at night so I don’t snore.

  • Still true

14. In my allegiance hierarchy it is UGA then FSU

  • Glory, glory to old Georgia!

15. I wish I had played football in HS

  • Watching Seaver play and love the game is a pretty good plan b though 😉

16. Before I get to old, I want to do one more step show with my KKPsi crew

  • Come on fellas, let’s make it happen!

17. Right now my favorite artists are Sugarland and Jay-Z, I continue to confuse myself

  • Current confusion is the new Eminem and Lady A

18. It’s hard for me to really trust someone.

  • Still hard, but I think I finally realize that I WANT to trust people.

19. I still hang out with my core crew from my childhood

  • MOFO fellas!  I love you guys

20. I have 0 style

  • Nope, not smooth at all.

21. I can’t believe that my “church home” is rock and roll and video screens

22. My wife is the best thing in my life

  • She gave me the most amazing little boy ever, even in divorce she’s an amazing woman.

23. I have a fear of not being successful

  • I constantly battle feeling like I’m a failure.  I need more perspective as to what I am really doing.

24. Seaver is perfect

  • Still perfect, just smarter, taller, faster, sweeter, and funnier!

25. Since my surgery I have a new appreciation for just being able to go out and play

  • I also have an appreciation for how easy it is to get hurt (which reminds me, I need to go stretch).

Facebook people, go read yours again and see what you learn about where you were and where you are now.



The mirror

So what do you see when you look in your mirror?

Looking in the mirror is such a passive exercise.  We all do it several times a day when we brush our teeth, shave, put contacts in, wash our hands, or double-check our outfit.  We look in mirrors as we pass them in stores and some of us have them in our purses and cars to make sure there isn’t any unsightly spinach dangling from your incisors.

We are also a society that loves mirrors.  Well actually we just like watching, which kind of makes us all mirrors for each other.  People have plastic surgery to look better in the mirror.  We get new haircuts and stylish glasses to be better mirror-folk.  A lot of us get our self-image based on what that mirror says about us in contrast to what it says about your next door neighbor or your sibling.

The mirror doesn’t lie!

You may be able to put makeup on over a pimple, but that black head is still there and its staring at you in the mirror.  We live in a world of image management.  That face you have when you wake up in the morning is you, not the one that appears after a shower, shave, and cologne.  That mirror also doesn’t lie about what’s going on behind the makeup either.

Coming from a place where I have messed up more than my fair share of stuff is hard.  It is hard a lot of times to look myself in the mirror and be proud of what I see knowing all that I know.  Someone told me once that the hardest person to earn forgiveness from is yourself.  I think that’s 100% true because in my case I try so hard to put makeup on my blemishes so I don’t have to “see” them.  As they say I live on a river called denial.

So the only real alternative is to strip some of the makeup away and try to deal with the crooked teeth.  The last few months I have really been working on having an honest evaluation of me.  Now if you have never tried to do it, I found it harder than expected.  It was hard to look at all my mistakes which made it even harder to acknowledge my successes.  Taking personal responsibility for where you are is pretty easy when you aren’t really being realistic about where that is.

So here is a brief public inventory

  • I’m 36 and divorced (and I firmly believe the divorce was my fault)
  • I have roommates and have packed my life into a 12 x 15 room
  • I’m waaaaay too heavy, despite my clothes still fitting (I’m going to have health issues if I don’t do something)
  • I’m scared to death to really chase my dream because I have failed at so many other things
  • I’m lonely
  • I’m mad and bitter

Ok so now that everyone is either a) crying or b) telling me its going to be ok or c) wondering why I’m having a pity party, let me go to the rest.

As we know the mirror doesn’t lie and it will show and tell you when things get better.  You may not notice you are in better health and then one day your face will look 10 yrs younger.  It takes time and that’s always been the hard part for me.  I want it instantly and because of that I have always had a hard time seeing things through to completion.  But one thing I am is determined and I refuse to give up with those bullet points being on my headstone.  So onward ho!

Oh yeah, here’s a present: