January 28, 2014


First thing, first - THANK YOU!

For as boring as my story is (guy gets fat, guy gets fit), it seems to resonate with many.  The number of folks that have contacted me in search of assistance and motivation makes it worth it.  (And being in decent shape isn't bad either)

Also, I've added another race to the calendar.  Thanks to Dr. and Mrs. Schoonover for allowing Indiana Vein Specialist to once again sponsor my entry into the Carmel 8k on April 12.  After doing the Carmel marathon last year, I've become a fan of this event, and just wanted to be a part of the weekend again this year.  By doing the 8k, I'll be eligible for an additional medal as part of the Triple Crown Series when I compete in the Hoosier Park 8k on May 24.

Sadly, I have opted to decline my entry to the RnR USA half in Washington DC on March 15.  It just hit to close to Spring Break to try and pull off that much travel away from the kids.  No worries here though, this allows me to keep working on my base work as we're just about a month away from the serious training schedule.  The back is feeling decent, but I will once again have to be careful this year.  Thanks as always to my sponsors Got Chocolate Milk/Team Refuel and Team X-1 Audio for the ongoing support.

Finally, thanks to my readers.  I will hit 12,000 lifetime views with this post today (my 141st post)  Pretty cool.  My blog has really taken off this last year with 8,000 of these 12,000 views in 2013. Here are some more interesting stats:
*Only 9500 of these views were in the US - Apparently I'm also popular in Russia, Latvia, Germany, UK, France, Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, and Romania!
*The most popular post was "What is the Price of Being Healthy/Molly's Story" with almost 1000 views
*The second most popular was my Ironman Louisville race recap with barely 500 views (puts things into perspective - perhaps an update on Molly should be in the works)
*August 2013 was the biggest month with over 1500 views

Again, I'm so thankful to stay healthy enough to share my story, and I appreciate you all taking an interest in my life.  I welcome your comments and suggestions for improving this blog.  While it is my "public diary", there are surely ways to make it better.  Currently the kids and I are home on a "snow day" with a forecast high of 0 degrees today while Molly is "working" in Tempe, Arizona.  Looking forward to getting back to routines and seeing what we can all accomplish in 2014!

Cheers to making this a great year!

January 26, 2014

New Sponsorship

Sometimes, it's as simple as asking!

I am so excited to announce my newest sponsorship with X-1 Audio!  X-1 is a company I became familiar with last year when they offered Team REFUEL a free sample of their sweatproof and weatherproof in-ear momentum headphones.  A year later, I fill out a short application, and BOOM, I'm on Team X-1

X-1 is becoming very well known for the WATERPROOF headphones.  Yes, that's right, completely waterproof.  I know what you're thinking..."what's the point in water proof headphones if my music playing device is not waterproof?"  Guess what...they make a WATERPROOF case for that too!

Water proof case + water proof headphones = MUSIC WHILE I SWIM!  Seriously!  How awesome is this!  Check out the X-1 Interval 4g Waterproof headphone system for swimmers!  And yes, I get one of these with my sponsorship!!

Stay tuned for updates and product review of my favorite X-1 products!

January 11, 2014

What is Luck?

For Colts fans gearing up for the big game today, you probably think I'm referring to Andrew Luck!  And while I type this with my #12 jersey on, that's not what's on my mind.  In fact, the rest of this post will have nothing to do with sports, running, biking, or swimming (I know, right?)

Seneca once said, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity".  I couldn't agree more. 

I've said for years, "I'm one of the lucky ones".  But as luck would have it, I spend more time stressing over things that are out of my control than I do counting my blessings for the things I'm lucky enough to have.

So how lucky am I?  Well, have you seen my wife?!!  But aside from that, I've never won the lottery.  Oprah never gave me a car.  I never spun the big wheel or placed a bid in the showcase showdown.  F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "Nothing is as obnoxious as other people's luck".  I don't fully agree with that given that I've never survived a near death experience or escaped a burning building in the nick of time.  Those that have had that kind of luck need to look to a higher power instead of counting their lucky stars.

Perhaps my luck is what some would call "dumb luck", and I choose to believe as Douglas MacArthur said, "The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself".

So I share all of that to reveal this.

For the last 6 months I've been in ongoing talks with leaders in my firm to "go home".  Literally, I was born and raised in Connersville, Indiana.  An Edward Jones office has been in that town for my entire life, and this year, the long time financial advisor in that office will retire.  The office itself has played host to a legend in our firm, our own Managing Partner, James Weddle.  Jim was my grandfather's advisor and when he left, the current advisor came in and has been there nearly 30 years since!  I'm flattered to have this opportunity!

It's been over 20 years since I've lived in Connersville and it's not the same community it once was.  A declining manufacturing town with high unemployment and low socioeconomic undertones.  Yet, I'm proud.  Proud to be from Connersville, and proud to be a Spartan.  So when the opportunity came along to follow in the footsteps of many great advisors, I was more than tempted, I was ready to go!

Molly and I began our debate of pros and cons and she quickly informed me that she had no interest in living in Connersville, and I agreed.  The only way I could do this would be to commute...65 minutes one way...every day!  Ugh!  But for the right opportunity I would still consider it. 

Molly and I have lived here in Yorktown for 11 years now.  We are both deeply rooted in this community.  It is quickly becoming what we may forever call "home".   Ever had that conversation with your spouse about "when we die, where will be buried?"  yeah, me either, but when we do, I've got to believe that it could very well be right here in Yorktown.   I was a Spartan.  She was a Golden Bear.  3 children in 3 different school buildings, all on their way to graduating as Tigers.  How do we pick them up and walk away?  Away from our friends, their friends, and this community?

At the end of the day, every one has a price and, after 6 months of negotiations, I've decided my price is pretty high.  If they want me to move and take responsibility for this branch, I need a significant step up from my current situation.  I have an amazing job.  2.4 miles from my front door.  I can come and go as I please.  I can help my wife with unexpected mid day problems because I'm right here.  I can attend my children's school functions during the school day and after school.  I can take the day off and play golf or I can burn the midnight oil working late...and get compensated for the extra work I put in.  It's not an amazing job...it's an amazing CAREER!  And you can't put a price on the freedoms that come with the position. 

Those freedoms didn't come easy.  I worked hard to get to this point in my career.  What I've built here in the last 12 years is not something I'm willing to walk away from easily.  It goes far beyond money.  It runs much deeper.  The relationships that I've built with clients.  The trust that they've put in me to help them.  I've watched clients move from a stage of loyalty to a point of dependency when they look to me for advice.  That's an amazing feeling.  A huge responsibility, and not one that I take lightly.  It didn't happen by accident, and it certainly wasn't luck.  It was hard work.  Dedication.  Discipline. Commitment. 

So at the end of the day, yesterday, I've made the decision to officially remove my name from consideration for the branch office in Connersville.  I've made the decision to stay in Yorktown.  Indefinitely.  This is where I belong.  And I'm thankful to have gone through this decision making process to realize that I'm right where I'm supposed to be.  Doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. 

Garrison Keillor said "Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which, once you have got it, you may be smart enough to see it's what you would have wanted had you known."

Yep, I'm still one of the lucky ones!