Tuesday, January 26, 2010
As I drifted off to sleep thoughts of my dad occupied my waning consciousness. I had marveled at the beauty of the seemingly endless expanse of clouds out the airplane window. I marveled at how the jet I was on could fly so high to simply be on top of the storms and wind below. It really got me thinking about my life, the world around me, and my dad.
My dad is dying. The truth though is that so am I. The truth is that so are you. We are all dying. At some point in the future the sun will come up. Planes will fly. Everyone will have jobs. Kids will be born. Presidents will serve. Rain will fall. It will be too hot or too cold. You won’t be here to see it. I won’t be here to see it and my dad won’t be here to see it.
You see the world keeps moving. The world doesn’t need us. While we all fit into the world in our own way with our own destiny we have to acknowledge that it will go on without us.
When I flew north 4 days ago I missed my connecting flight in Baltimore. As I walked up the concourse to my gate I could see “Gate C3” with an AirTran plane pulling out. My plane was leaving without me. There was another plane is an hour but that one just went on without me because I wasn’t there.
This life is like a big clock. No matter how much it seems like clocks slow down when we’re in the dentist chair, it does not. Time just keeps moving. The world keeps moving. There are no replays.
Dave Ramsey used to say “Don’t let life happen to you. You need to happen to it.” That is the message that keeps playing though my head as MY big clock winds down. Our time is limited so why not make the most of it.
Usually we get the “life is short” message when we experience the death or a loved one or the near death of yourself or a loved one. For most they just use the words and don’t apply the lesson. I’m trying to tell you now to apply the lesson. Our life clocks are ticking. Hear it? Tick tock.
Take your life TODAY and happen to it. Don’t accept things that you shouldn’t accept. You know what those things are. Stop putting things off this tomorrow. Dig out that bucket list and do number one THIS WEEK. Make a bucket list. Call your mom. Quit your job. Do something, but do it now.
Fill your days with passion, joy, enrichment, excitement and worth. What is your purpose? Fulfill that purpose.
I am a truly blessed person because I get all this. I try to fill my days with value but I’m often off target with how I spend my time. I, however, understand this and it’s ok. I’m constantly trying to make this better. I’m putting the effort in and that’s important.
Take your life and make it the life that YOU want it to be. Life like you were dying. Make each day one that you can be proud of. Build your legacy starting TODAY.
The words I have for you are these. You are dying. When the end comes what are people going to say about you? What are you going to say about yourself? Are you going to be someone who, like Trevor Shipley, fills a church so much so that people that come late to your service have to stand against the back wall because there are no seats left?
I hope to be like my dad as the sun sets on his life. I hope that your son or daughter says this to you: “I am proud and honored to have you as a dad. I love you with all my heart and I am the amazing person, husband and father I am today because of the example that you have set for me. Thank you so very much for being you and shining your light on this world. You are a great man and a true inspiration.”
If someone says that about you then you have truly lived.
Now just go out and happen to life.
I was coming to the end of a long run. A quick loss of concentration and I hit the deck like a sack of potatoes. I was in the woods off West Yarmouth Road in Yarmouthport, Massachusetts. I may have been only a mile from my borrowed car, a half mile from the main road but I was a million miles away from my life.
A quick assessment told me I wasn’t hurt. I rolled over onto my back and started laughing. I was a little annoyed at first that I had fallen but then I was happy to be there and now truly living in the moment.
I’m in my home town visiting my ailing father. He’s dying from cancer.
In an instant I had gone from simply running to run to lying on the ground staring up at the trees LIVING IN THE MOMENT.
I took my time getting up. I noticed the deep blue sky. I noticed the upper branches of the trees swaying in the breeze. I could feel the biting 25 degree cold but I didn’t mind it. I noticed it and it made me feel good.
After a minute or two I popped up and finished my run with 5 minutes on hard running on the blacktop after running in the woods for an hour.
Seeing my strong and proud father stricken and dying from a dreaded disease is absolutely horrible. It’s so very sad. Having just amazing runs in the mornings made me feel a little weird. I felt a bit selfish. I’m 1200 miles from my wife and son and here I am out running instead of being with my father. It made me think a little.
I actually thought about it as I lay on the ground.
My dad wants me to be out running. He wants me to live. We have visited plenty and will more in the next few days. Today I spend my afternoon replacing windows and now I’m watching him sleep peacefully. Sadly his body is ravaged by the cancer but he is still my dad and that’s how I see him.
I try to learn from everything. I like to use little moments in my life to enrich me and those around me. From this experience I am going to take the positive because that is how I roll.
My dad is a great man and an amazing role model as a father and as a person. He has always worked hard and been committed to his 4 children. I am going to continue to try to be like my dad. It’s the least I can do.
At the end of this beautiful winter’s day on Cape Cod I am going to reaffirm to myself something very important. I am going to reaffirm that I will live life to the fullest and find joy and enrichment is every day and every experience. These experiences include hitting the cold hard ground like a sack of potatoes. Life is short. When we are living out our last days like my dad is what are we going to say about our lives? I want to spend the rest of my years on this wonderful earth living in the moment, appreciating my surroundings and living the best possible life that I can.
I’ll do this for my dad. I owe him that much.
Monday, January 18, 2010
What about now?
So often we all have dreams and goals that go unfulfilled simply because there never is a “now”. There never is a time when we finally just pull the trigger and tell ourselves that we are no longer going to accept not trying.
There is a country song that I’ve always loved. It’s been around about 10 years so it certainly is a classic. Ironically enough it’s called “What About Now” and it’s by Lonestar.
The theme of the song should be a powerful one to you and me. What ABOUT now? Why not now?
Of better yet: If not now then WHEN?
So often we go through life with a vague idea of what would be nice. Or what we’d “like” to do or “should” do. But when do we do those things? When?
I once heard a story of a man who learned he had 6 months to live. He called his daughter up and asked her to lunch. Over lunch he professed to his daughter his disappointments of what he didn’t do. Things that he meant to do but just didn’t. That story, when I heard it, made my heart ache.
I don’t want to be that guy.
You should want the same for yourself and for your family.
What about now? Maybe it’s time to sit down and plan that vacation you always said you’d take. Maybe it’s time that you called that family member you’ve been meaning to call. Maybe you should be signing up for that marathon you always said you would run.
Maybe this is the year you finally quit smoking or drinking or gambling. Maybe this is the year you lose the weight and get the body that you have always dreamed about.
Sometimes your tomorrow doesn’t ever come. Sometimes you need to start living your tomorrows today. Sometimes your goals and dreams are right outside. Sometimes you just need to turn the handle and open the door.
I’ve led and amazing and fulfilling life. I’ve done so because I have constantly said “What about now”. There have been times in my life when I simply didn’t accept the status quo anymore and got after something better. What about you? What about now?
Stop. Get a pen. What have you been putting off that you just need to do or at least start? Write down 5 things. Now make a plan for each one. Yeah, it will take an hour of your life. Do you think that your life will improve if you do these 5 things in the next 6 months? That’s a dumb question. Of course it will!
See how easy that is!
Was one of the things you need to do “get in shape”, “lose weight”, or “do some sort of race”? If so then you need to do my “Max Results Boot Camp”. This class is going to be absolutely amazing. Not only are the workouts going to be intense and results driven, but also the educational aspect of this class is going to be out of this world. If you take this class your fabulous results are guaranteed. It starts on Tuesday (TOMORROW) January 19th! Class will be held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings 6-7am and runs for 12 weeks.
I also offer “Fitness Coaching”. This is a program where I design a plan and create workouts for you every day. It’s an affordable and convenient way to have me as you coach and inspirational leader. Email me for more information.
I hope today that I’ve given you some good nuggets of information and motivation that you can use. Good luck. All your dreams are waiting for you.
What about now?
Till next time,
p.s. The “Boot Camp” class format or the 6am time slot not for you? I also offer one-on-one personal training and small group training classes by appointment.
p.p.s. Do you know someone that would be interested in receiving my weekly newsletter? Please forward me their email address and I can add them to my list.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
We all know that it important to set goals. You’ve heard that, right? Funny thing is that very people actually set reasonable goals and go through the steps that are needed to achieve said goals. I think this is insane.
Most people set goals around the first of the year. They say to their spouse or friends “I’m going to lose weight this year.” That’s it. No plan. Nothing specific. Just a general wish. How do these types of goals usually work out? Yeah, failure.
This year I’m going to cut down on the junk food. This year I’m going to join the gym. This year I’m going to lose weight. It’s all pointless if you are not serious and specific about your goals.
OK, I’m not going to write just about goal setting today. Nope. I’m going to grab my soap box and march right up onto it. Ha! I’m going to stand there and talk about ME.
“I wanna talk about ME, I wanna talk about I
Wanna talk about number 1 oh my, me, my,
What I think, What I like, What I know, What I want, What I see.
I like talkin' about you, you, you, you usually, but occasionally
I wanna talk about ME! (me, me, me,) I wanna talk about ME-E-E. (me, me, me)”
I’m going to try to hold myself accountable to my goals. Maybe seeing this will help YOU. I hope so.
The changing of the years is a good time to set goals. The holidays are over and you’ve had a break from work. I don’t know. It’s just a logical time. Another logical time is at your birthday. That’s what I did in 2009. I set some birthday goals.
Let me take a step back and tell you where I got the idea my 36th birthday goals. My friend and client Amy was about to turn 40 when I met her. At the time she was out doing all kinds of crazy stuff. Turns out she had a list of “40 Things to do Before I Turn 40”. I thought, “Oh that’s cool” so I stole her idea and made my own list of 40 things. Heck I have 4 years. I made a crazy list.
• #1 – Run 10 miles in each state. (37 down, 13 to go)
• #3 – Jump out of an airplane.
• #4 – Run 4 miles every day for a year. COMPLETE!!
• #8 – Compete in the Leadville 100 Mountain bike Race.
• #13 – Compete in the Ironman in Hawaii.
• #15 – Bike 100 miles in a day with my wife.
• #17 - Learn to play the guitar.
• #21 – Bike the Slick Rock trail with Charlene and Colby.
• #23 – Canoe the Rock Springs Run. COMPLETE!!
• #28 – Ski Telluride in Colorado.
• #30 - Visit the Baseball Hall of Fame.
• #35 – Visit Yellowstone National Park.
• #36 – Visit Las Vegas.
• #40 – Reach the High Point in 25 of the 50 states.
Now those are some pretty lofty goals. Most of these are long term goals. Did you notice that I finished a couple of them? When you see my goal list for 2010 you’ll see more of the “40 Things to do…” list pop up. Oh, by the way, I keep my 40 goals in a big orange binder and each goal has a picture, an affirmation, and a place to check off when I complete the goal. Pretty slick, huh?
Besides creating the 40 goals I did have specific goals for 2009 that I wanted to accomplish. I only had 6 specific goals. I reached 3 of them. 50%. That sucks. I have more goals in 2010 and a greater desire to succeed.
Let’s review the 6 goals from 2009.
1. Qualify for Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater. FAILED.
2. Qualify for XTerra World Championships in Maui. COMPLETE!!!!!
3. Qualify for Duathlon World Championships in Concord, NC. COMPLETE!!!!!
4. Finish on the podium at a World Championship race. FAILED. (25th place in Maui)
5. Find 1000 Geocaches. FAILED (reached 992 and would have finished but….)
6. Run/walk 4 miles per day for a year. COMPLETE!!!!
Lack of focus was a huge problem in 2009. 2010 is going to be much different. OK, let’s look at the 14 goals that I have for this year.
1. Qualify for Kona, Maui and Clearwater.
2. Finish on the podium at Kona, Maui and Clearwater.
3. Take a minimum of 4 weeks vacation AND have 4 weekends alone with my wife.
4. PRIVATE. Sorry.
5. Learn to play a pop or country song on the guitar.
6. Bring my Geocache total to at least 2000.
7. Go skydiving.
8. PRIVATE. Sorry.
9. Go to a high school, college and professional baseball game with my son Colby.
10. Go to Busch Gardens theme park.
11. Win the Hawaiian Airlines Double. (top combined time for Kona/Maui)
12. Do 10,000 burpees.
13. Publish my book. “Ultimate Fitness: A Journey NOT a destination)
14. PRIVATE. Sorry.
How am I going to accomplish these goals and do better than the 50% that I did last year? Well, first of all I’ve print them out and I have several copies. One copy is next to my bed. I plan on reading them every night. By reading them every night I’ll get them ingrained on my soul. Reading them everyday will also remind me that several of these goals require me to do something everyday to reach them.
I’m not doing 9900 burpees on December 31st. It’s just not happening.
I have made my goals very public. I say there is a little accountability there!
I am going to commit my heart and soul to these goals. I believe each and every goal is important and valid to me. Your goals should be no different. They should be vitally important to YOU.
The goals I’ve chosen are specific to me and my long term dream. Some are real Bucket List type stuff. I figured out a while ago that any goal worth having is a goal worth reaching towards. I’ve also learned that a life worth having is a life worth living.
These goals are challenging. These goals will stretch me. If I achieve all 14 of these goals then this will show that I’m living the life that I am supposed to be living; a life of meaning, substance and worth. I am going to bust my butt to reach these goals.
There you have my 14 goals and sub-goals. It’s all out there for the world to see.
What are your goals and how are you going to reach them? I have a specific plan or am in the process of coming up with a specific plan for each goal that I have. Are you doing the same?
Does my plan involve getting help from others? You bet id does. How about you? If your plan is to run a marathon or to lose weight then have you hired a coach or trainer? Why not?
OK, only one more thing to do.
Make your list and start taking MASSIVE action today! I’m going to go do 10 burpees right now, then…
Saturday, January 2, 2010
In March of 2005 Matt Hoover was a fat piece of crap.
Matt wrestled at the University of Iowa and weighted in around 180 pounds. After college Matt developed “eating and drinking” problems. He stopped wrestling and most exercise altogether. Eventually he ballooned to an appalling 340 pounds.
A fat piece of crap.
This is when Matt made the decision that was to save his life and inspire many other people to do the same. He tried out for, and was cast on, Season 2 of “The Biggest Loser.” Matt went on to lose 157 pounds on the show and win the $250,000 grand prize.
Great. Good job dude. That’s not what I want to write about today. I missed that season so I didn’t even remember him. I came across the name Matt Hoover just a few weeks ago while I was sitting in bed trying to recover from a measly marathon by watching the 2009 Ironman World Championships. Towards the end of the show Matt Hoover “from the Biggest Loser” popped on the screen for a few seconds.
The commentators simply said that Matt didn’t make the 17 hour cut off time. I knew there was more to this story. A few weeks later I got more details on a Biggest Loser “where are they now” special.
This is the show that sent tears down my face.
Apparently Matt had gained back 50+ pounds after the finale of the show. Once the weight gain starts it’s often hard to stop and most people that lose a lot of weight gain a lot of it back. Matt Hoover didn’t want that to happen so he decided to start doing triathlons. In June of 2009 Matt tried his first Olympic Distance triathlon and barely finished.
“About a hundred yards into the less than 1 mile swim I freaked out and took my wetsuit off in the water and handed it to a life boater. I wanted to quit but I didn’t. I finished my first Olympic distance race. At the end I thought “How am I ever going to do a 1/2 Ironman in August?”
He lined up for the Ironman 4 months after struggling to finish an Olympic Distance race. That, my friends, takes some balls.
An Ironman distance triathlon is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. That’s a long damn way. Matt Hoover got himself to that starting line and gave it his all.
He finished the swim under the time limit. Now Matt had to bike 112 miles.
Let me stop here for a moment. Have you ever biked 112 miles? It’s hard to even describe. So hard to describe.
Just imagine for a moment what it must feel like to swim 2.4 miles in the ocean and then bike 112 miles. Just imagine. You can’t do it can you? Neither can I.
Matt barely got off the bike. His legs almost didn’t bend enough the get over the top tube. The pain must have been extraordinary. As he hobbled out for the run all I could do was cringe. He was in agony.
And he now had to do a marathon.
Let me say that again to let it sink in. HE HAD TO RUN A MARATHON!
It took Matt Hoover over 2 hours to do the first 5 miles. He was on pace to be pulled off the course well before the finish line. He needed to finish in less than 17 hours or his race wouldn’t count.
What was going through his mind at this moment in his life? In his own words: “I can only do what I can do and that’s give it my best.”
He didn’t quit. He didn’t search for an excuse to give up or give it. He was better that that. He kept pushing. He never gave up.
Here is what he said about attempting this race: “a lot of people lay around and think of all the things they could be doing but they don’t actually get off the couch and go.”
What could you be doing? Personally this thought hit me a few weeks ago. What did I do? I paid my money and signed up for an Ironman.
Matt Hoover kept pushing. He kept walking and running. He met the race sweeper a couple of times. He was in danger of being pulled off the course but he had the fortitude and desire to just keep on going. He just kept fighting.
With one mile to go Matt Hoover saw the clock. He needed to run a 6 minute mile to realize his dream and to finish the Ironman within the time limit. He’s been running 20-25 minutes per mile for 25 miles and needed to run 6 minutes for the last mile. I guess his race is over….
On this day the odds didn’t matter to Matt Hoover. He tried. Matt Hoover couldn’t run a 6 minute mile having not done a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 25 mile run in the previous 16 hours and 5 minutes.
How hard is this race on your body? Watch this famous video:
Matt Hoover left it our there. He gave it his all. Did he come up with the super human strength to run a 6 minute mile? No. He ran 8:40. In the end he did cross the finish line but since he did not make the time limit he was not official. So what. He’s still a winner to me.
Not bad for a guy who was at one time a 340 pound fat piece of crap.
See the video that I have been describing here on Youtube:
What lessons can we learn from Matt Hoover? Oh God, where to begin. How about this one from Matt Hoover himself: “I crossed the finish line. I never quit.”
Here is another gem: “It’s not about what we’ve done. It’s about what we’re doing.”
What are you doing? What are you truly capable of that you aren’t trying because you just don’t know what you ARE capable of?
We are all made to be great. We have the potential to be so much more and so much better than we are.
What’s stopping you?
I encourage you to find out. I encourage you to set a mammoth goal that involves a lot of courage and heart and then simply start.
With enough desire all you need to do is simply start. The rest with take care of it’s self.
I want to leave you today with 2 things. First is another Youtube video. It’s about an ordinary guy doing an extraordinary thing. It’s a guy whose will to succeed became greater than the obstacles he faced:
Lastly, I recommend that you get help. Hire a coach or a personal trainer. Join a health club. Enroll in a Boot Camp. Start building your accountability team now. If you don’t know how to start please contact me. You can email or call me on my cell phone (352-989-6795). This is a not a shameless plug. Of course I coach and personal train and teach Boot Camps. I don’t care if it’s me that helps you or someone else. What I care about is YOU and your success.
Just imagine for a moment achieving your biggest goal or being that ideal weight. Just imagine. Now watch the Matt Hoover video again and realize that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can hold you back.
Happy New Year!