Swimming Up a Mountain

“When he took time to help the man up the mountain, lo, he scaled it himself.” – Tibetan Proverb

One of my college friends lives across the street from Jason Lezak. You may not recognize that name. My pal says he’s a great guy. However, Steve’s sons are a little less impressed with their Dad’s plastic motocross trophies since Jason let them wear his gold medals.Lezak

In the 2008 Olympics the Americans were losing a race. Then Jason swam the anchor leg of the men’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay faster than anyone ever had. Without Jason, Michael Phelps would not have won his record 8th gold medal. After the race Michael couldn’t say enough about Jason and how much he owed to his effort.

A few years later, after the Jamaicans won the men’s 4 x 100 relay (the on land version), some of Usain Bolt’s first words were “I am a legend. I am number one!” Granted, he is. And he is the fastest man alive; however, I expected some acknowledgement of the other three guys on his team. His team probably did, too.

Sometimes, we pay more attention to the mountaintop we’re standing on than the people who helped us climb it.

As you ascend peaks; stop, take a look around. Who is on the top of the mountain holding the other end of the rope? Let them know you appreciate them not letting go of it.

The Roof. The Roof. (If your brain didn’t just say “…is on fire” we can’t be friends.)

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” – John F. Kennedy

The chicken was marinated. The sun was setting. My favorite time of day. Time to light the grill. Once the thermometer hit 400 degrees I threw on enough chicken to keep me fed for the next few days. As the last piece hit the grill and started to sizzle I heard a horrible sound. Five tiny puffs as the burners went. Crud. Propane tank is empty. No worries. I’ve got plenty. I opened up the door to Grill Central (my outdoor closet) and grabbed another tank. Empty. No worries…I’ve got four tanks in here. And surely, when I took the last full one I would have gotten at least one of them re-filled. Nope. I’m the proud owner of 5 empty propane tanks. Continue reading

Choose to be Happy

“Success and happiness are not matters of chance but choice.” – Zig Ziglar

As I walked past the Customer Service Representative’s desk I heard her exclaim, “that call just wrecked my whole day.” Think about that for a minute. We’ll come back to it.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to hear motivational speaker/writer Zig Ziglar give a presentation. Zig was a firm believer that we choose our own moods. If you told him that another person or situation put you in a bad mood he wouldn’t believe it. Continue reading

Want to Change Your Life?


“Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get from the work you didn’t do.” – Joel Runyon

One of my favorite things to read is the ImpossibleHQ Blog. The writer, Joel Runyon, is one of those guys with an outstanding perspective. One of his mantras is that “if you want to change your life, you have to change your life.” Do you want to lose weight? There is no magic pill. Would you like to visit another country? There is no Star Trek transporter beam. Feel a desire to be better at your job or get promoted? There’s not a shot that will do that for you.

You and you alone have to make the decisions and sacrifices and effort to make these things happen.

Take control of your own destiny.

“If you want to change your life, you have to change your life.”

Have a great day!

Attitude Adjustment from a Loss

“We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.” – Chuck Swindoll

I remember it like it was yesterday. The Appalachian State Mountaineers had not suffered a home loss in 30 straight games. Then on October 20, 2007, six weeks after we had defeated Michigan in the Big House, the Georgia Southern Eagles came to The Rock and walked out with a 38-35 victory.Tailgate

I was mad. The trash can I kicked on the way out of the stadium had done nothing to me, but I felt it should be punished for its part in our undoing. My friends and I spent our walk back to the car loudly blaming our players, the refs, our coaches, the band, the hot dog vendors…anyone involved with the program.

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Love, Laughter, Music, and Motorcycles

I wrote this a few days after Jim passed away. It’s been a year since he left us.  I didn’t really have a title for this. Probably makes more sense just to call it “Jim.” My heart still breaks when I remember him. At some point I hope to be face to face with the guy who came up with cancer. I have a couple choice words and tough questions for him. Until then…

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – – Jackie Robinson


Jim and Sonja

When Sonja and her aunts say his name, you not just hear, you feel the reverence in their voices. He was more than a mere mortal man to them. Even though they lovingly refer to Jim as one of the girls, they’re kidding; he was anything but. He was a man’s man. He rebuilt and rode motorcycles. He smoked cigars. He fixed things. He worked hard to provide for his family.

The “one of the girls” moniker was because he would rather hang out with his beautiful wife than watch a football game. He acted as if he was forced, kicking and screaming, to the car for day long shopping trips. He jokingly complained about them afterwards. But, his mischievous grin betrayed him. He loved the time spent with the Fields women. And they doted on him.

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