I Never Heal Fast Enough


I did this to myself over 9 months ago. My poor, poor pinkie toe. 

It’s surprising how long it takes to come back from an injury. In June of last year (which is almost 9 months ago) I was training for a marathon and ramping up the distance of my runs to the point to where I was running for 18+ miles without any problems. Those long runs were tiring but I guess that’s expected when running for 2.5 hours straight.

So Much For Running A Marathon

Just a few days after going for one of those long runs I broke my pinkie toe in probably the most ridiculous way possible. This not only killed any hopes of running my first marathon but it also stopped me from moving any faster than a really slow walk (limp) for the next month or so.

I can remember how long it used to take me to limp over to the train station from my apartment ever morning. When I’m healthy I can give myself 8-10 minutes to walk there but after breaking my toe it took me over 25 minutes and every step hurt more than the last. I looked pitiful and there was nothing I could do about it.

No More Running For A While

I went from running 117 miles in May and over 80 miles in only half of June to not running over a mile again until the middle of July. In July I only ran a total of 17 miles and it took me many months after that to find the consistency I had before breaking my toe.

The end of running as we know it.
So that happened. 

It was hard during those months of getting back into the swing of things. Getting to the point to where I was waking up early to run again was tough but even after failing over and over I kept trying and eventually it stuck.

I’m Running A Half Marathon In Two Weeks

I didn’t really start getting into my groove again until last month (January 2013) and now that it’s February I’m feeling great about where I’m at and I’ll be running my first half marathon in about two weeks. It’s a trail run in Woodside, CA which means I’m going to be running up and down hills in the mud while looking at some amazing scenery. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Me and a friend usually take on the same trails for our Saturday morning runs so I know what I’m in for and I’m pretty excited to see how it goes. I haven’t run this far in a long time but I feel like I’m ready for it.

It Takes Time To Get To Where You Want To Be

I guess the one thing I would say about this whole experience of getting hurt, healing and finally being back to where I want to be is that it never happens as fast as I’d like. Going through something like this took patience and more time than I wanted to give — it’s been nearly 9 months since I broke my toe. Si yeah, I would have loved to bounce back faster that I did but going through the struggles, slowing down and dealing with the reality of the situation has made me a stronger person along the way and I’m thankful for that.

It’s not always easy to understand this while I’m going through it but having this type of perspective once it’s over only prepares me for more struggles that are bound to happen sooner or later in life.

 

Breaking Down The Harlem Shake Internet Meme

The Harlem Shake

There have been a lot of amazing Internet memes over the years and I tend to love them more than most. Some that come to mind are planking, Sad Keanu, Shit People Say and the way over played but still entertaining Call Me Maybe phenomenon. These memes all start in different ways but for me the amazing thing is how fast they can spread and how many people can get involved so quickly.

A new meme that I’ve really been enjoying lately is the Harlem Shake and even though it’s getting to the point of not being cool anymore I’m still having a lot of fun watching the videos that are still being created for it. There are a few reasons why I’m still hooked on them and for me the fun part isn’t just watching them but it’s also figuring out why it became so popular to begin with.

The Harlem Shake meme in particular has a few things about it that makes it more meme-tastic than some of the other ones that have popped up in the past. Here are a few reasons why it’s blown up like it has.

Follow The Taste Maker: There was one guy who started this whole thing and then soon after there was one more that followed. That’s all it took to spark the fire that has now created tens of thousands videos and more than 75 million views.

Fresh Sound: The Harlem Shake is a fresh sound that people love to listen to. The part of the song that’s in the videos is addictive and the lion roar at the end of it is amazing.

Clear Instructions: The instructions were simple for what to do in the video. One person (preferably wearing a mask) dances while other people around them don’t pay attention. Once the song gets to the hight of the progression it quickly changes to lots of people (preferably dressed in costume) dancing like crazy.

Low Commitment: The Harlem Shake videos are around thirty seconds long and only require one simple edit. So easy that anyone can create and upload their own version without having to do a lot of work.

Anyone Can Do It: Whether it’s you and your son, you and your college team or you and your co-workers you’re all able to join in on the fun. Also, once it officially hits meme status being part of it becomes a way to promote yourself or your organization which incentivizes lots of new groups to throw their hat in the ring.

Yep, the Harlem Shake is what I would call the perfect storm for an Internet meme. But don’t take my word for it, here are a few of my favorite videos that will show you just how awesome it is.

SeaWorld

Matt and Kim

The Norwegian Army

University of Georgia Swim and Dive Team

Using A Foam Roller To Stretch Out Your IT Band

Rolling out the IT band
Feel the pain of rolling out your IT band. Aw, yeah. 

A month or so ago I was having some issues with my hip. It didn’t hurt when I was running but it felt really weird for a little while after I was done. I wasn’t really sure what was causing it but thanks to having awesome medical insurance at Kaiser I never wait too long to find out. I love having a co-pay of $20 and believe me, I take full advantage of it. If anything feels a little off I set an appointment online, drive less than 5 miles to the hospital within thirty minutes I usually have an answer.

So I made an appointment with my doctor and he gave me a referral to the Sports Med department. When I met up with the doctor I was relieved to find out that she was an active runner who also happened to be tall (we’re not exactly built to be runners).

After chatting with the doc and having her examine my flexibility (awful), running technique (not too bad) and my hip for a few minutes and she told me something that has completely changed the way I feel before, during and after running. The amazing yet simple thing she told me about was the foam roller and if you’re a runner and don’t know anything about it, listen up.

The foam roller is that longer tube-looking hard foam thing that’s usually sitting in the corner of where people stretch in a gym. I had seen one a million times but I never knew what it was used for. I also had never seen anyone else using it either so I guess I wasn’t the only one who didn’t have a clue. Now I know just how awesome the foam roller is and what we’ve all been missing out on.

A foam roller can be used on all different parts of your body but the main thing it does is use your own body weight to roll out tension and other stuff that’s built up in your muscles and tendons. The main thing that the doctor told me to work on was my IT band (iliotibial band) which is a thick and strong tendon that connects your hip to your knee that provides your leg with stability.

IT band
Meet your IT band. 

Apparently over time runners who are increasing their distances put a real beating on the IT band and sometimes it gets a little angry and becomes injured. This is not something that you want to happen as a runner. Not only can the IT band itself become sore but pushing it too far without taking care of it can also cause other injuries to your knees and yep, you guessed it — your hips. (One other thing is that sitting down all day keeps your IT band tight, too so I am basically giving mine a double-whammy).

Your IT band is nearly impossible to stretch so really the only way to work on it is to use your body weight and a foam roller to loosen it up. The first few times I used one of these foam rollers I felt really awkward and rolling it up and down my legs was pretty painful. But, like with anything else, I figured out how to best roll myself on top of it and I now welcome the temporary pain in exchange for knowing it’s keeping me healthy long-term.

I use my foam roller almost every day now — both after running and after my Muay Thai/boxing classes. It’s done wonders for keeping me running pain-free and I haven’t felt anything from my hip in weeks. If you run or if you’re active I highly recommend getting yourself a foam roller, too. It’s the best $30 bucks you’ll ever spend.

If you’re wondering now to use one of these foam rollers head over to YouTube, there are a ton of videos like this one that will help you future it out in no time.

photo credit: RunningRules.com

 

Love vs. Happiness

Love Vs. Happiness

When I care about someone I want to love them and make them happy. These are both very important parts of any long-lasting friendship or intimate relationship but they’re not the same thing. There are some major differences between the two and understanding these differences is really important.

We all want to be happy and happiness a lot of times is the main thing people are seeking in their lives. Just take a look at all of the self-help-how-can-I-be-happy books that are out in the market and it should give you an idea of how much we all want to feel that way. Keeping someone happy is easy and it means you’re doing what you can to make sure they’re pleased or content. If you please them then they will be happy but pleasing someone isn’t loving them.

I see loving someone as being much different than keeping them happy and pleasing them. Love can mean a couple of things. Initially, love is a strong affection for someone else due to attraction or common interest. This is how most relationships (both intimate and not) start out. You feel an attraction, the more you see the more you like and you want more of it. This stage of love usually involves trying to keep the other person as happy as possible. You’ll change your plans for them, buy them dinner and do whatever you need to do in order to spend time with them. It’s a fun type of love and it feels amazing.

But eventually if you stick with it this first stage love turns into the real deal love. This real deal love is an unselfish, loyal and true concern for the good of another person and this is much more than simply being attracted to someone and keeping them happy. This is when love turns into something much more. This type of love is awesome but it’s really, really hard.

This type of love involves strong communication of things that are easy to talk about and things that are hard. This type of love involves confronting things when you have that feeling in the pit of your stomach, even if you know it will upset the other person. This type of love involves understanding your own weaknesses and being willing to work on them for the sake of your relationship. This type of love involves keeping the love alive even when it seems like there’s nothing left. This type of love involves fighting for each other when you have to. This type of love is a crazy commitment. This type of love isn’t convenient.

So for this Valentine’s day be sure to keep the person you love happy but don’t forget to love them, too.

photo credit: Byways.org

 

An Expensive Lesson In Putting Things Off Until Tomorrow

20130210_214806
Me, Frank and the most expensive piece of cardboard I’ve ever bought.

On Friday night I pulled into a parking spot in front of my apartment building and noticed there was a bright orange and white temporary no parking sign staring me in the face. It was telling me that I would need to move from the parking space I was in before 7am the next morning or I would be towed. Since I’m now an early riser I didn’t think it was a big deal so I parked, got out of my car and didn’t worry too much about it.

That night I stayed up a little later than I usually do (I blame Breaking Bad on Netflix) and thought about going out to move my car before crashing but I didn’t feel like doing it. I was well aware of the consequences but after a long week of work and a few episodes of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman doing their thing I didn’t want to go back outside.

Even though I decided not to change parking spots before I went to sleep I was sure to set my alarm for 6:45am so I didn’t miss out on moving my car in the morning. I’m used to waking up a lot earlier than 6:45am so I figured it would be easy to get up, move it and carry on with the rest of my day.

Before I knew it the alarm was going off and since I don’t use the snooze anymore I shut it off and didn’t even think about why I had set it for the time I did. For some reason I didn’t remember my car that was sitting outside in a parking spot that was pretty much guaranteeing me a trip to the San Francisco tow lot. I completely forgot that I had fifteen minutes to get up and move my car before it would be pulled up on a flatbed and rolled away to a very, very bad place. A very bad and expensive place. I fell back asleep and didn’t even think about it. Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

Who knows how long later I woke up and with a feeling of panic I reached over to my phone and with one eye squinted open I took a look at what time it was. It was a little past eight o’clock and with the realization of what was going on a feeling of sickness shot all the way down to my stomach.

I hopped out of bed and while I was throwing on my clothes I could have swore I heard the beeping noise that commercial trucks make when backing up. This was probably also the very same noise that tow trucks make when they’re backing up to take away a car. The noise that a tow truck makes when it’s towing away my car. Not good.

As I was jetting down the hall and running down the stairs to get out of my apartment building I started thinking about what I would do if the tow truck was just about to tow my car or if it was already up on the back of the truck. Would I try to talk the driver out of taking it away? Would I hop in the car and refuse to move? Maybe I would have just enough time to move my car before they towed it away. Maybe there was a chance, just maybe?

Once I was outside all of those thoughts disappeared as I saw a car that wasn’t mine already up on the back of the tow truck. My car was nowhere to be found and even though I knew it was gone I kept staring at the spot where I last left it like there was no possible way it could have just disappeared. Cars just don’t move on their own, right? It was clear my car was towed and that there was nothing I could do about it at this point except go pick it up.

I wanted to get mad about it but how could I? It was completely my fault and there was no one else to blame. I felt like an idiot for not moving it the night before when I had plenty of time to do so and it made me wonder why I put it off. I had traded a few minutes of inconvenience for a much larger problem and it didn’t feel very good. Not my finest moment.

An hour or so later I paid to get my car out of the tow lot and it wasn’t cheap. Even though it cost me a lot of money to get it out there were some bright spots around this situation that I’ll hopefully get to tell you about some other day but the one thing I learned (even though I knew better already) was to never put off something until tomorrow if I can do it today. I know I sound like I’m reciting a page from a quote-of-the-day calendar but it’s true. If you can do something now, even if you don’t feel like it, do it and save the potential downside of letting it drag on longer than it should. You’ll be happy that you did.

 

Conditioning, Strategy and Understanding My Love For Muay Thai

Muay Thai

I’ve only been taking Muay Thai and boxing classes for a couple of weeks now and it’s incredible how much I look forward to them. Last week was my first full week of running, Muay Thai and boxing and even though I was exhausted by Friday night I felt amazing.

There’s no doubt that training at a gym like Fight and Fitness gives me a good workout. It’s an hour of non-stop moving around on your toes while punching, kicking kneeing and elbowing stuff so there’s no denying the cardio I’m getting. But even beyond that there’s something about what I’m doing for the hour I’m in that gym that’s different than most workouts I’ve done before.

While still trying to catch my breath last night after a workout I was unraveling my wrist wraps and I introduced myself to one of the few women I’ve seen at the gym consistently. Her name is Wendy and from what I’ve seen of her in action I should probably stay on her good side.

“How long have you been fighting Muay Thai?”, I asked her.

“It’s been about ten years on and off.”, she said. “I just moved to California not too long ago and I always end up at a gym like this. I don’t really have a choice at this point, I really love it.”

I started digging into why Wendy, a fairly unassuming and petite middle-aged woman was so into a full contact workout like Muay Thai. What she told me was really interesting and explains why I feel so drawn to it.

“I can go out for a run and all I really have to think about is right-left-right-left and how I’m going to get back home. It’s a great workout but there’s no real challenge beyond how far can I go without getting too tired. It’s a nice workout but I need more than that.”

I thought this made a lot of sense and wanted to hear more.

She continued, “With Muay Thai I’m always learning and thinking about what I’m going to do next. It’s a great workout but that’s a distant second to the technique, discipline and thought process I go through every time I put on the gloves and train or spar with another fighter.”

This was just the answer I was looking for. There’s something about not only working out but thinking, learning and getting yourself into shape all at the same time. When I used to play basketball there was a lot of this going on. I was running up and down the court, jumping around and getting a fantastic workout in while I was playing the sport. But the conditioning I got from the sport was just a prerequisite for the strategy and thinking that’s required to play the game.

This makes a lot of sense to me. Learning and using my head while doing my best to punch or elbow someone else’s has become my ultimate workout. I didn’t know I’d feel this way about Muay Thai and boxing but I’m really glad I gave it a shot. If you’re looking for a similar type of workout I suggest you try it, too. If you have any questions I’m far from being an expert but I’ll help you out any way I can.

image credit: alliancegym.com

 

Intentional Time, Attention, Effort (and Some Help) Creates Change

Oleg the fashion coach
Oleg the fashion coach, although optimistic, has his work cut out for him.

File this under “thoughts on the way to the train” and pay attention, I think I might just be onto something here. This morning at Starbucks when me and my friend-turned-fashion-coach Oleg (I think I have a few now thanks to this post last week) were going through how we’re going to give my wardrobe an upgrade I felt something. I felt what it’s like to not only recognize something I care about and need to work on but also the feeling of doing something about it. I recognized a need, thought about it, expressed it and now I’ve brought in some people who are willing to help me out. It’s a great feeling and one that doesn’t just happen naturally. It’s planned, it’s intentional and it’s incredibly powerful.

One thing I’ve realized about myself is that most of the time I know what I need to do to make certain situations better but for some reason I just don’t do it. Take this fashion thing for example. All I needed was to get my thoughts together about what I wanted, communicate them in the right way and then ask for help. It’s not that I don’t have the ability to go buy clothes for myself. It’s more about feeling overwhelmed by the process and getting stuck and not making any forward progress.

Another important thing I’ve recognized is now that I’ve got the process started there are people who are holding me accountable and who I don’t want to let down. For me this is strong motivation for keeping up with what’s being asked of me. It’s a powerful way to get something done and just how I’m using it to give my fashion a facelift it can also be used to make any other type of change in my life.

How strong was the motivation for me this morning? Usually I’m struggling to make it to me and Oleg’s weekly meeting on time at 7:30am. This morning, knowing that I still had some fashion homework to do I showed up just before 6:30am. Now that’s creating some change. I’ll be sure to continue to write about the process and I’m excited to see how this all ends up. There’s no stopping me now.

 

When To Accept, When To Be Patient, and When To Confront

Stop Overthinking

When it comes to having good communication in a relationship there are so many things to think about it can become a little overwhelming. When to say something, what to say and deciding whether it was the right thing to say once you’ve said it. Like I said, there’s a lot to think about. There’s a fine line between being aware of how you’re communicating and overthinking it but more times than not it’s good to know how you’re coming across to others.

Something I’ve been thinking through along these lines is when to accept, when to be patient and when to confront. I feel like this is one of the hardest decisions to make when you’re building a relationship with someone you really care about. We all have our own preconceptions about how things should be done and I know it doesn’t take much to annoy me if I’m around someone who isn’t aligning with my thoughts and feelings.

Dealing with this type of conflict, both big and small, is something I need to get much better at which is why I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it. I guess thinking through it is the first step to figuring it out and it’s something that I’ll get a better handle on as time goes on.

To make this thought process a little more clear, here’s what I mean when I say when to accept, when to be patient and when to confront.

When To Accept

When in relationship there are going to be things that annoy you or that you don’t necessarily agree with or see the same way as the other person. Some of these things need to change and some of these don’t, it’s just the way the other the person is and it’s up to you to accept them.

If your husband is an insane football fan and you don’t even know what a first down is then you’re most likely not going to feel the same way. Instead of pushing against the harmless things that he really enjoys you should choose to accept it ever though you’re never going to feel the same way he does. You might not ever want to get tickets to a playoff game, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hook him up with some if you have the opportunity.

When To Be Patient

There are other things that either you or the person you’re in a relationship will need to change eventually. These are what I would bucket into things that are worth being patient for. Most of the time these tend be smaller issues or habits that have been learned over time due to the environment someone has been a part of in the past.

Usually these types of things aren’t causing major immediate problems and wouldn’t be considered a deal-breaker but they need to change in order for you to have a healthy, loving and long-lasting connection to each other. Think of these as the annoying things that just aren’t going to be acceptable for the long term.

A good example of this is having a bad temper or not being willing to help with responsibilities that need to be taken care of in the relationship. With enough time they have the chance to be a big problem, but with a little patience and some open communication about them they can be taken care of before they become unbearable.

When To Confront

The last and most aggressive option is to confront something that needs to be talked about and openly addressed in a relationship. This is by far the hardest one for me and something I’ve been focusing on in my life. It’s not easy to confront the people you care about but it’s important to do it when the situation calls for it. This could be a one-off situation that you’re very uncomfortable with or something you’ve been patient about in the past that’s not going to change without confronting it.

Confrontation doesn’t mean you have to be mean or aggressive. Confronting something is more about getting something out into the open so it can be talked about instead of ignoring it for an unhealthy amount of time.

When it comes to confronting someone just be sure to take some time to think through what you’re feeling and what you want to communicate before you say it. Don’t bring in sarcasm and belittle the other person just to make them feel bad. Just tell them how what they’re doing makes you feel and how you would like them to change in order to make you feel more comfortable. It sounds kind of cheesy and isn’t as exciting as a full-out argument, but if done the right way inviting confrontation into your relationship can be a healthy way to communicate the things that are most important to you.

With the right mix of accepting, being patient and confronting relationships can move in the right direction and grow in all the right ways. It’s not easy but one thing I’ve learned is that it’s worth figuring out, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you. If you’re like me, it’s going to take a while to get the hang of it but I feel like just keeping these in mind helps a lot. Good luck and if you have any thoughts on this for me, I’d love to hear them (I could always use the help).

image credit: dailypositivequotes.com

 

Progress Over Perfection

It's all about progress

Now that I’m into a few weeks of following my early running schedule I wanted to share a little somethin’ somethin’ that has kept me on track. By no means has it been a smooth process. There are times I have overslept and times I’ve gone to bed way too late. There have been times when I didn’t have enough time to run in the morning before catching the train. There have been ups and downs and that’s all ok.

When you’re teaching yourself something new or when you’re getting into a new habit there’s usually a feeling that you need to be perfect. I used to feel the same way all the time and it’s very counterproductive to think like that. This need to be perfect is natural and comes from the observations of those around you who seem to be so much farther along. You see where people are at and how far of a gap there seems to be between where they are and where you want to be and it seems nearly impossible to get there.

Even though this is a very natural feeling to have you need to get it out of your head and don’t ever let it creep back in. It’s only going to cause a sense of frustration and envy and will kill your motivation. Once you set the expectation that you’re not going to get to where you need to be overnight you can then start focusing on what will actually help you get there.

Instead of focusing on perfection what you need to focus on is progression. This means you’re not going to spend your time and energy wondering why you’re not as far along as this guy or that girl. You’re going to shift your thinking into focusing on how you (not anyone else) are doing and how you (yes, only you) are progressing toward your goal. This way you don’t beat yourself up when you don’t follow your plans exactly how you’re supposed to and you focus on the fact that you’re consistently moving in the right direction.

When I got back from my trip to Indiana over the holidays I was way off my game. I skipped runs, I slept in and I was in a major funk. I felt terrible and hopeless but I kept getting better little by little every week and about a month later I’m now back in the habit of the running schedule I want to be on. After the first couple weeks I felt frustrated that I wasn’t following what I had planned. But instead of focusing on my unrealistic expectation of perfection I shifted my thoughts to how I had ran more the second week than the first and that it was only getting easier to wake up earlier.

By only allowing myself to think in terms of progression I now find myself at the end of a week where I’m not only back on my running schedule but I’ve also been able to throw a little Muay Thai in there for good measure. I know I talk a lot about things in terms of working out but these ways of thinking also translate well into other parts of my life. Work, relationships and other things will also benefit from this progression mindset. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.

 

image credit: KK.org

The Big 3-3 And What This Last Year Has Meant To Me

Happy 33!

First question, when did I hit 30? Second question, am I really 33 already? According to my Facebook wall, random texts from Congo and future phone calls from friends and family it’s true so who’s to say otherwise? Ok, I’ll admit it — I’m creeping into my mid-30s. I guess the only thing that’s good about this whole “getting older” thing is that this past year was most likely one of the most positively transitional times of my life. Meaning, even though there was plenty of struggle for me in the past 365 days (you have no idea), last year was amazing to experience and I feel more blessed now than ever. In other words, I’m pretty sure I’m in my prime.

So what are some of the thing that have made my last year so valuable to me? I’m sure I could write a million things and go page after page but none of us really want that. We’re all busy people with limited time, which is why I’m happy to give you a Cliff Notes version instead.

To all of my friends and family who have been there for me over the past year, you’ll never have any idea what your love and support has meant to me. I love you and I hope you already knew that without me having to tell you in a blog. Moving on…

Learning what loving someone really means. There are plenty of ways to show that you love someone but the most powerful way is by doing what you know is right and fighting for what you believe. Always keeping someone happy isn’t loving them. Being honest, sacrifice and never letting go is love to the fullest.

Studying the Bible. I’m a strong believer that if I’m going to put my faith in Jesus Christ then I had better know what I’m signing up for. The Bible is the center of following Christ and although I feel a strong spiritual connection I didn’t feel like I knew enough about the word. To learn more about it I’ve been going to Bible Study Fellowship in SF for the past few months and it’s been a great way to dig deeper into my faith.

Becoming a morning person, for real. I’ve never been a morning person but as I got older and had more responsibility I felt like getting up early was the only option for squeezing in everything into one day. It’s been tough and I don’t always stick with it (like when I was in Indiana for the holidays) but I’m not well aware of the amazing benefits getting up at the crack of dawn and it’s becoming more of a habit every day.

Meeting Mo. Wow, what can I say about Mo other than the fact that he’s been one of the biggest blessing’s I’ve ever had in my life. If you would have told me that becoming friends with someone who’s homeless would end up shaping me into a man more than everything else in my life combined I would have called you crazy. The work that God is doing on Mo is nothing short of a miracle and how the relationship has challenged me personally isn’t too far behind. Of course, the fact that our story went viral all over the world was pretty crazy, too. That’s still hard to believe.

Realizing the value of real relationships. My entire life it’s been really easy for me to become friends with lots of people. What hasn’t always been easy for me is creating strong, personal and meaningful relationships with the people in my life who really matter most. This past year of my life I’ve focused on taking the time and making the effort to show those who mean the most to me how much I love them and all I hope is that they’ve noticed.

My connection to Congo. I’m really not sure how it happened but somehow, someway I’ve developed an amazing connection to Congo and the amazingly beautiful people who live there. Traveling there for the second time last year was an incredible experience for me and the time I was able to spend with my Congolese brothers and sisters is something I hold very dear to my heart. If you haven’t seen me dancing while in Congo I suggest you take a look, it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. I have a feeling my story with Congo isn’t close to being over and I can’t wait to see where God takes it next.

Seeing isocket grow into a real company. A little over three years ago I was the first employee at a small, unknown online advertising startup called isocket. I had no idea what I was doing and I knew nothing about the online advertising world but for some reason I felt like what we were doing was important and that our fearless leader, John Ramey knew exactly what he was doing. A couple rounds of funding and about fifteen more employees later we’re building a business that’s leading what’s predicted to be a multi-billion dollar market.

Killing caffeine. I’ve tried to kick the habit of downing Big Gulps full of Dew, brewing K-cups and heading to Starbucks but I always came back. A month or so I ago I decided for the last time that I’m done with caffeine and this time I’m sticking with it. When I’m in shape I don’t need it, I don’t like feeling dependent on it and it only makes me more anxious and over-energized anyway. If you know me you already know I’ve got plenty of energy to burn so cutting out caffeine was really the only option for me.

Dedicating time to writing. I guess this is becoming more apparent as I write more posts like this one you’re reading right now but I’ve been writing more than ever over the past year (and especially over the past couple of months). It’s a great way for me to get my thoughts together and I’m a believer in the power of sharing experiences with others as a way to help them with the things they’re dealing with in their lives. We were never meant to go through things along and getting my thoughts and experiences out to the world can only help.

I’m sure I missed some stuff but these are the handful of things that immediately came to mind when thinking back at all of the awesome things that have happened to me during my thirty-second year on this crazy planet of ours. I’m feeling great going into my thirty-third and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

If you have anything you would like to share with me on my birthday, I’d love to hear from you. I really appreciate you taking the time to stop in and spend time in my little corner of the internet and I can only hope that your past year was as fun and fulfilling as mine. Happy birthday to me and we’ll catch up soon.

 

photo credit: heartfish.com