Extraordinary Feets

Extraordinary Feets

As you know, I am involved with a charity running group raising money for Childhood Cancer Research.  This past weekend, I directed back-to-back races on Saturday and Sunday.  This was a weekend of extraordinary feats (feets!) and inspiration.

I bring up running/walking a lot in this blog because I believe that it is a great testament to the power of the mind.  To see people push through perceived physical limitations is largely due to the strength they possess in their mind.

Here are some amazing things I saw:

  • A 9-year old boy and 14-year old girl placing 1st and 2nd in a 5K race easily beating 3rd place by 14 minutes.
  • My dad complete his first 5K, after being plagued by vertigo for the past few years, with my mom.
  • A woman with both a respiratory and sinus infection complete two 13.1 mile runs in two days.
  • 30+ volunteers staying out in the cold wind and rain, handing out water, taking picture, cheering, riding bike support, taking time and handing out medals.
  • A woman burst into tears after she sets a personal record for a half marathon twice in two days.
  • A lady running for her friend battling Leukemia.
  • A group of women who are going through Weight Watchers together
  • 6 different couples starting and finishing their races together.
  • Friends cheering on friends.

If you’ve never been a part of a race, look for one to volunteer at.  Watch people as they cross the finish line.  There is a sense of euphoria that is contagious and makes you believe that anything is possible, because….

Anything is Possible.


Double Down!!

Double Down!!

You know…sometimes inspiration just hits you twice, so a Double Post for today, you’re in LUCK!

So,  I was walking through the grocery store this evening, needing to pick up some essentials…you know, Cheerios and Milk!  Well, this particular grocery store caters to a specific crowd, usually the low-income crowd.  That means WIC and Food Stamps and all of that.

I’m sitting (okay I’m standing…I’m not THAT lazy) in line watching a mom unload her 2 carts full of groceries, whilst her three kids are running around screaming.  I offer to help, she snaps “NO, I’VE GOT IT” so I take my place behind her cart and wait while she finishes her labor.

While the check-out worker was scanning the groceries, the mom went to start bagging her groceries (yep, that’s part of the deal…great prices, U-Bag).  This time I didn’t offer to help, as I has already been told off.  The bill came in…I was astounded…I thought for a minute I had stepped into Costco, but alas….two full shopping carts = one huge bill.  Not to worry, she had her WIC checks and Food Stamps card, she was set….

Or, well….there was a problem.   I didn’t hear all of the details, but something was wrong….the balance wasn’t there, the checks weren’t good, not quite sure.  Bottom line, she couldn’t get her groceries.  As expected, she was furious, her kids started to cry, she stormed out of the place.

WOW….after that, I went ahead, fulfilled my duty as a grocery shopper and bought my groceries and went home.  I would have stepped up to buy hers….but I wasn’t prepared for the Costco X 2 prices that I saw….maybe someday I’ll have the cash flow to make someone’s day like that, but today is not that day.

I wasn’t upset with her for yelling at my assistance for help.  Obviously she is under a lot of stress.  I won’t conjecture what her full situation is or how she got there, because I have NO way of knowing and that sort of stuff has no use in this blog.  However, what I did walk away was with an infinite gratitude for what I have.

My wife and I have worked hard over the past decade to get where we are.  We’re not monetarily wealthy, but we are emotionally wealthy.  We have our son, we have each other and we BOTH have loving families that have been there and will be there for us if and when we need them.

I can only figure that this lady did NOT have that support system.

Here’s a favorite quote of mine…yes, MINE, I actually came up with this….I think 😉

“I have no control over which cards I am dealt, but I was blessed with the love and support to play them to the best possible outcome”

Double Down, Baby!  Okay, I just wanted to type that, I’m not sure it has true relevance to this article…but maybe it does.

To bring it back to the core…take a look at what you’ve got.  Use THAT to build toward what you want.  You can’t get there alone, so be grateful for the help you have around you…and if you don’t have help…find it.  No one needs to face the unknown without a little guidance.


Open up your eyes

Open up your eyes

Open up your eyes and tell me what you see.  “I see the computer screen!”  Yeah yeah yeah, smarty-pants.  Open up your life to those around you and tell me what you see.  “I see my hot co-worker!”  Jeez!  Why are you reading my blog at work?  Actually, never mind….read away, heck, send an e-mail out promoting my blog will you?

I digress….

I have found in the past few weeks that we, as a society, tend to close ourselves off to those around us and get ‘tunnel vision’.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  There are times when extreme focus needs to take place.  For example, running a marathon, cramming for an exam, reading Examine The Glass, etc, etc…

But what happens?  Well, sometimes you might be SO focused you forget about some peripheral stuff.  For example, stretching your legs, typing that report for the other class, reading Examine The Glass, etc, etc…

You get what I’m saying?

You’ve heard the old saying, “The stronger you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers…”  Well, it’s from 1978…I believe Leia Organa said it to Grand Moff Tarkin on board the Death Star.  Yep, most of my famous quotes come from Star Wars….deal with it!  🙂

Well, it can be applied to life in general as well.  The more your focus on one task, the more other tasks will be forgotten or neglected.  So, open your eyes.  Live in the moment…but don’t get LOST in the moment.  Always keep the big picture in mind when living day-to-day.

I can guarantee that if keep your eyes open to new possibilities, you will find new possibilities.  Broaden your horizon and take it all in.  Less things will ‘slip through your fingers.’  I promise.


Broken Glass

Broken GlassSo after my last post, a friend of mine on Facebook said “My glass is broken.”  Without going into too much detail, she lost her daughter to a rare and aggressive form of cancer back in June.  I know what she is saying.  Though I can’t imagine how she feels or what she’s going through, I understand what she is saying.

How does someone pick up the pieces of their life when tragedy strikes?  How do you go on, day-to-day, when there is something inherently missing from your life?  A hole in your heart that will never be filled.  These are things that people go through and face everyday.  How?

Let me turn it back around to the metaphor of this website.  What do you do with a glass that is broken?  Do you keep it around?  Do you keep drinking from it?  No.  It has become unsafe.  No matter how much you loved that glass, you throw it away and get a new one because you know it now can hurt you.  The parallels here are undeniable.

Now, don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that my friend needs to throw away the memory of her daughter.  Because THAT is not the glass.  Remember, the glass in your life is your perspective, your point of view.  If something has happened that permanently skews your perspective and you find yourself in a funk, it is as easy as changing said perspective.

Easy…yeah, I said it, but we all know that it is NOT easy.  Nothing about what I write about in this blog is easy.  Again, if it were easy, there would be no need to be reminded.

Back to the question at hand, what happens when the glass gets broken?  Throw it out, get a new glass.  Focus on all the good that is around you.  Memories may hurt, but they will only hurt as long as you let them.  Don’t push good people and good things away, bring them in close.  That simple act will start you on the course to recover from the hurt you have suffered from.  If you don’t like the results of certain actions, do what you can to incrementally change those actions.

Simply put….the action lies within you.  Others can help, but you choose how you want to face life.  Face it with clear eyes and an open heart.

Examine it…















































ChangesChanges….changes happen to everyone.  My life changed recently.  Hence the absence from Examine the Glass.  I got a new job!  Nope, not a motivational speaker yet, though I would like to thank everyone who asked if that is what I moved to….it honors me that you’ve read enough of this blog to realize that IS my dream…and it will happen, just not quite yet.

Nope, I just moved to a higher, more fortuitous position than what I was in.  This career move has been in the making for a couple of years now, but the economy, flooded job market and the addition of a baby into my life made it hard to actually make the move.  Don’t get me wrong, there was nothing wrong, in general, with my last employer.  My future was just not with them.  They recognized it and the transition was as pleasant as it could have been.

So…the point.  Well, changes happen.  If they aren’t happening, you must look inside to find out why.  If you want something, work for it.  Get yourself on the path.  I firmly believe that if someone wants something bad enough, they will make the appropriate moves to make it happen.

It starts with belief, it continues with effort, and it culminates with execution.  Stages of change.  Increments of change.  Take baby steps.  Nothing will change overnight (unless you with the lotto, which I didn’t tonight DARN!).  Don’t expect the change to take place fast.  Nothing worth having comes as easy as that.  Patience and persistence is what makes the world go around, so work it!

Examine it…the Glass that is…and see what you can change about it.  Go forward and be that change.

Infinite Possibilities

Infinite PossibilitiesAs time marches on, so does your path along the road of life.  We’ve talked a bit about fate and predetermination around this site, so let’s delve a bit deeper, shall we?

I believe that one our path, we come across many crossings or forks.  Where we have to make a decision and that then forever alters our future path.  However, I don’t believe in absolutes.  I think that a decision today can lead us in one direction and a decision tomorrow can lead us back to the direction we were normally headed.

Is this a good thing?  Well, yes.  I do believe that there is one beginning and one end.  An absolute?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  The road we travel will vary with all of our influences.  Our decisions, our friends, our families, our schooling and our jobs.  Kind of like a very windy and twisting Yellow Brick Road with a whole slew of Munchkins to lead our way.

So, what’s your Yellow Brick Road?  You don’t know, huh?  Well, that’s good.  If you did, wouldn’t life be boring?  If you knew exactly what was going to happen and when…then what is there to look forward to?  There are very few genuine surprises in life, so let’s keep those that we have.  Like what tomorrow is going to bring.

I wake up everyday with the hope that something new and wonderful will happen to me.  And you know what?  It does.  It may be that I had a traffic free route to work.  Or that my wife gave me one of her “I LOVE YOU” looks or that my son had a “smile explosion” when he saw me.

The point is that if you can look past all the drama or the negativity in life, there is certain to be one bright spot every day.  Take this bright spot and dwell on it.  Make it your focal point.  Let it light your way, light your path for the rest of the day and into tomorrow.

If you can do that, then you will see that anything is infinitely possible.

Love…the greatest Unknown

Love...the greatest UnknownLet me tell you a story.  14 years ago, my Junior year in High School, I was set up on a blind date for the Homecoming Dance.  Being the geek/nerd that I was, I searched the AmericaOnline profiles for anyone within the current High School age range, who went to my school, who was in the band.  That was all I knew.

The person I found…well, she wasn’t my blind date.  But that was okay.  We became fast friends, close friends and confidants.  We never dated and that was probably for the better.  Fast forward 14 years, on Saturday she got married to her best friend and I was honored when she asked me to perform the ceremony.  I thought I did alright.  I know I fumbled a couple of times, but only because it actually hit me that I was a part of my great friend’s happiest moment.  It was my honor and privilege to be standing up there.

Story number 2:  I met this girl, the second semester of my freshman year of college.  She was probably 1 of 6 females in the Computer Science program.  We became lab partners.  We also became close friends, she became my best friend.  We eventually did date.  That was definitely for the better, as a few years later we got married.  On Sunday, we celebrated both OUR 7 year anniversary and the 7 month birthday of our son.  Needless to say, this was a very happy weekend.

Two stories, both great, both of love’s success.  However, we all know that love is not always so fortunate.  There are people who when planning their wedding, also plan for what they will do on their 2nd wedding!!!  WHO DOES THAT?!?!  Well, it happens and it’s sad.

Love is the greatest unknown.  As the picture above dictates, it’s a gamble each and every time.  It is the greatest leap of faith one can take.  Because of love you are at your most vulnerable with the person you choose.  Only when you give yourself fully, do you give yourself the best chance at success.

Think about that.  If you go into a relationship (any relationship for that matter), and hold things back, you are not being your true self.  This CAN work out, but more times than not, whatever it is you are hiding will come out and have a good chance at ruining anything you were trying to build in the first place.

Everyone has their own views on love….on life…on faith.  But to me, they are all intertwined and necessary for success.  If you love someone or some thing, have faith that it will work out.  Do what you need to do to make it work and your life will be so much better.

Is it better to love and lose…?  I don’t know.  But if you don’t try to love, you’ve already lost.

What you don’t know

What you don't knowA smart woman once told me, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”  How simple, true and scary is that??  I don’t know what I don’t know?  What don’t I know?  I don’t know!  Oh lord, that got confusing quickly.

Here are somethings you don’t know:

  • What’s going to happen tomorrow?
  • Why “they” said or did whatever “they” said or did?
  • Will the market ever recover?
  • Will China take over the world?
  • How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

See what I mean?  That’s just a small sample.  But here’s the big secret:  You don’t NEED to know any of that stuff.  Because it is unknown to you, it should not carry as much weight as it sometimes does.  I know, the woodchuck conundrum has been baffling us since grade school, but it might be time to let it go.

If something crosses your mind and you start to worry about it, do a quick check.  Why is this worrying me so much?  Is there something I can do about it right now that will alleviate my anxiety?  Does this affect more people than just me?

If you can’t answer all three of those questions, then it’s time to push that fear away and say, “Hey, this shouldn’t bother me.  I may not be certain about its meaning, but there’s no reason for me to stop progressing fully with my life because of it.”

If there is a reason that this “unknown” is worrying you, then Examine that Glass and figure out what small steps need to be taken to get rid of that worry.  Then START TAKING THOSE STEPS.  Planning is only as good as its execution.  If this “unknown” is affecting other people, then recruit their help.  There is no reason one should stand alone when support is readily available.

So, what do you take away from this today?  You don’t know what you don’t know, so stop worrying about it.  If it is something to worry about, you will know more about it.  Easy logic, not so easy implementation.

But here’s something I know.  You can do it!  That’s a fact!