Archive for Personal

Casey Stoner Is My Favorite Rider And What Riding A Motorcycle Has Taught Me About Life

By · August 14, 2017 · Filed in Personal · No Comments »

Casey Stoner is my favorite rider of all-time! Now I know I only started following MotoGP in 2014 and unfortunately missed his career, however, from the awesome documentaries Fastest and Hitting the Apex I learned a great deal about this champ who has been one both on the grid and off the grid.

He retired at the top of his game at the young age of 26 with 2 World Championships in the premier class under his belt. He also succeeded where other all-time greats have failed and “tamed the beast” by being the only rider to win a world GP title on a Ducati.

The question has been asked “why would you retire so young?” and while only he will truly know for sure the following reasons have either been stated publicly or discussed:

-The death of Marco Simoncelli at the 2011 Malaysian GP

-The birth of his daughter Alessandra in 2012

-The constant media pressure of being a MotoGP personality. He once stated regarding the history of MotoGP:  “Back in those days, it was just racing – Doohan, Rainey, Schwantz, Gardner, Lawson – not half as much bullshit as now. That was the life.”

While he quit the grid, he didn’t quit the sport. Today he is a factory test rider for Ducati. He still does what he loves, but now it’s on his terms and he figured out what’s most important – freedom and family. On the grid he played poker with death and won. Now he lives based on what’s important to him.

I’m also convinced that as someone who rode for and won a championship for both manufacturers that he must’ve loved yesterday’s duel between current leader and reigning champ Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and contender Andrea Dovizioso(Factory Ducati)(especially since his current employer Ducati won the race).

Both riders are individuals I root for not only as I have been a fan of Marquez from the day I started following MotoGP, but as you see here the first MotoGP bike I ever saw in person was Dovi’s factory Ducati while touring the factory in Borgo Panigale(back in Sep 2014).

 

 

Life Is About Taking The Red Pill or Blue Pill

In the movie trilogy “The Matrix” the concept is taking 2 paths in life symbolized by a red pill and blue pill.

Now before we go off on a discussion of these films I’d like to preface that I hadn’t watched the first one until my 32nd birthday in January 2016. I own all 3 films now, but still have difficulty sitting through the entire first film. Most importantly I understand the concept and how it’s a metaphor for life. Essentially taking the Blue Pill is the “safe” route that is the road you’re already on and doesn’t involve any risk. The Red Pill, however, is like in Alice In Wonderland and as Morpheus says “you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” This is a metaphor for taking a risk and seeing it through.

I interpret this as the meaning of life is “take risks”. When it comes to these risks you NEED to take them, but take calculated ones. The kind where you ask yourself what’s the WORST that can happen? To me the worst is “get hurt or get arrested”. Like the old samurai code of “death before dishonor” I don’t see death as the worst case and I see losing my freedom as a much worse outcome than living a life of servitude. When it comes to risk I remind myself of the quote from Ron Howard’s awesome F1 biopic Rush where F1 World Champ Niki Lauda played by Daniel Brühl states “I accept every time I get in my car there is a 20% chance I could die, and I can live with it, but not 1% more.”

This leads me to my favorite exercise in “calculated risk”: riding a motorcycle.

Motorcycling As A Way Of Life

I am someone who took a crazy risk in selling off all my valuables before moving across the country to start a business with my family. I am also someone who got comfortable in a career in transportation management. On the surface it seems my job runs counter to what I do in my personal life: at the job it is all about safety and compliance while outside of work you would think I would be the opposite. Ironically, I’m not, down to the type of bike I ride(a sport-touring adventure bike – Ducati Multistrada 1200S), the tires I run(Michelin Pilot Road 4 – tires made more for long life and wet weather safety than extreme cornering) to my choice of riding gear(ATGATT – a term we riders use which stands for All The Gear All The Time).

Just this past weekend while trying to push the limits on one of the most technical roads in the country, Mingus Mountain Pass, I kept telling myself “don’t go beyond your ability”. While doing so I did exceed what I had done before. I hit a max lean angle of 46 degrees. Now I know it pales in comparison to the 68 degrees that Marquez can hit or what Stoner hit in his prime, it’s still an accomplishment for a squid like me.

I was also greeted on both the beginning and end of the ride with a nice downpour of rain(glad I wore my waterproof Alpinestars touring gear and put the bike in Enduro mode for less power and better traction control).

In another upcoming example I will be riding at Inde Motorsports Ranch this coming weekend and while I will be surrounded by A+ riders I have to remind myself I’m still a C to B level rider.

From just 2 examples of rides I realize that risks can be taken, but also mitigated. I learned this from motorcycles. I also learned from the vast network I have built of fellow bike fanatics that no matter what you have, there’s always a thirst for something more.

This leads to the final aspect being the question “what are some of our irrational fears that we have where the risk is ridiculous(starting a business, starting a family, spending time with friends) vs. fears we don’t have where the risk is real(i.e. drinking/smoking, speeding, emotional outbursts)?

I know people in my life outside of riding who seem to have debilitating fears of failure, success or getting hurt in a relationship. At the same time these people do things like drink, eat junk food, drive way beyond the speed limit or have emotional outbursts that all could either lead to major health issues or legal issues. At the same time I realize that most of the people I surround myself with in the riding community are also the type who take risks on 2-wheels but don’t see those irrational ones above as such: they own businesses, they have children and they don’t mind sharing their time with friends or making new ones.

In closing, as I said, Casey Stoner is my favorite rider. The guy took risks. Cheated death. Now he lives life on his terms. I would have never known who he was if it was not for motorcycles and while I’ll probably never match what he could do on a racetrack it is lessons I’ve learned from being on 2-wheels that make me believe I can achieve what he has done in life.

Dear Dad, I Love You! Your Son

By · August 11, 2017 · Filed in Entertainment, Personal · 1 Comment »

With apologies to mom(I’m gonna write one for you as well) I felt inclined to write this open letter thanking my dad for everything he’s done. I want to let the world know that I love him. It’s funny because I have a memory of watching the following Chris Rock bit with he and my brother Jeff. In it he discussed how mama got all the songs, praise and love while all daddy got was “the big piece of Chicken(warning graphic language):

 

I don’t even know where to start, but I have so much to thank my dad for starting with quitting the corporate world to be home more to help raise my brother and I and teach us to be independent from a young age. I liken it to Jim Carrey’s commencement speech from 2014. Thankfully he quit instead of “being let go” like Jim’s dad.

My dad also taught me as Jim’s dad did that “you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love”. Sadly I feel I let him down for all the things I loved that I quit before giving a full effort… first it was baseball, then it was acting/modeling, then it was the dream to be an engineer for Porsche. All of these childish decisions to quit at the first sign of adversity were moments of failure that led me to where I am now. I am glad to say that I failed at all those ventures because now I got to start a business with my dad and moved across the country to do so.

On the road of life – behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 C2S with dad

It was actually a combination of the struggle he was going through coupled with my frustration working an “Office Space” type of job shortly after college when I finally made a decision to quit and come down to AZ. Shortly after I quit and before I was ready to move I got a call that he was in the hospital and had a medical emergency. It was partly due to being overworked at the business he was at and I dropped everything to come down here.

I once told myself I’d NEVER sell this car

 

 

A few months later I sold off all my most prized possessions including my Honda CBR and my Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4(a car I once told myself I’d NEVER sell and also a car I worked on for months on end with the toolset he got me for my 16th birthday which I still have). Our goal was to start a business and as they say “keep it in the family”.

I was disillusioned with working for someone else and felt that I was devoting too much time to people who only saw me as a number vs. devoting myself to those most important to me. The past 7yrs have been rough and I have still fallen into the trap of going back to work for employers including building a career in logistics management the past 5yrs to help supplement our small business.

Dad and my adorable niece Avery in late 2015

In my most recent job I had another experience like the one in April 2010. It was December 2015, I came home from work like any other day and had got the crushing news from my wife that my dad was in the hospital again. Instead of dropping everything to help I lost myself in work. I felt it was the best way to help support and not be a burden during his rough time. It was the wrong decision. I even broke down and cried in a management meeting because I had enough of all the pressure from work while daily wondering if my dad was ever gonna get better.

Thankfully he did, but it’s still a long road to a full recovery. I am now at a point where at age 33 I need to be the rock for this family. Ironically it’s the same age my dad was when I was born. Before we got to today though I had one other life-changing experience that should’ve been the tipping point.

Little League – thanks to dad

 

 

 

 

My dad raised me to be a baseball fan, namely a Chicago baseball fan. Since my mom was from the South Side and he was from the North Side he never gave me that ridiculous “you have to be a Cubs fan or else” edict. In fact, he took me to as many Sox games as Cubs games as a kid despite him growing up 1mi from Wrigley Field. Here’s a picture from a trip to Vegas when I was 14 that shows how little he cared who I rooted for:

Confused kid – but dad didn’t care. He just wanted me to love baseball

 

 

 

Yes back in 1996 I was a Cubs fan, Sox fan(I liked Albert Belle) and Braves fan(solely b/c of Greg Maddux) so he didn’t care that I could rock a Braves hat with a Cubs shirt one day and that same Braves had with my prized Albert Belle jersey the next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shortly after that he took me to my first playoff game, Cubs vs. Braves in the 1998 NLDS. While it was a loss(and a sweep) I’ll always remember “Good Riddance, Time Of Your Life” by Green Day blasting on the speakers, picking up free Oh! Henry Bars(it was a custom when Henry Rodriguez got a hit for fans to throw these on the field), but most of all being there with dad. Ironically the matchup was Maddux v. Wood and earlier that same year he took my niece Julia to her first game which just happened to be Kerry Wood’s 20K game.

He also became a season ticket holder in 2003. The biggest year of heartbreak. We went to Game 2 of the NLCS together, the one blow-out, the Cubs won 12-3 and we saw both a monstrous Sammy Sosa HR and the most freak blooper ever where the Marlins pitcher had the ball slip out of his hand and fly into their dugout. We thought this a was sign that it was finally “the year”. We all know how that turned out 🙁

The now infamous “hop” after the biggest HR he would ever hit in his career

PS- I never did and never will blame that poor fan BTW… it was a combo of bad coaching by Dusty Baker and a botched play by “sure handed” Alex Gonzalez that lost that game, not to mention, they still had Game 7. I was there on Waveland and remember how they held a 5-3 lead as late as the 5th inning before the bad bullpen and not using Matt Clement.

 

Remember Giants fan and Bay Area Native Steve Perry celebrating with the Sox to their rallying cry “Don’t Stop Believin”?

Sadly 2yrs later the White Sox won in 2005. It was then that I let peer pressure get the best of me and say “I’m a Cubs fan, I can’t enjoy this”. In reality the only opinion that mattered was my own and the only person whose validation I needed was his.

Thankfully 11yrs later was finally THE YEAR. Sadly, I was stuck at work in Arizona and my dad was in Chicago when Bryant to Rizzo sealed 108yrs of waiting. I will always remember this moment that I shared with one of my drivers but deep down I was hurt that I couldn’t be there with dad. Even worse is I was stuck at work and in the warehouse away from a TV for the only time in my 2yrs at the current employer. It was only when I said “seeing this moment was more important than getting yelled at or even fired” that compelled me to go to the drivers lounge(where I spend 99.9% of my time at work) to catch the final inning.

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

In closing I’d like to share my favorite lasting memory of the fateful 2016 World Series Champs and a song dedicated to dad. I know we have plenty more adventures to come. I can’t watch this without getting goosebumps when they cut in Joe Buck’s final out call. In fact whenever I listen to this song I add it myself… even if I’m in public on my Ducati. Probably because dad taught me not to care what others think if you’re having a good time.

The lyrics say it best:

One day my father—he told me,
“Son, don’t let it slip away”
He took me in his arms, I heard him say,
“When you get older
Your wild life will live for younger days
Think of me if ever you’re afraid.”
He said, “One day you’ll leave this world behind
So live a life you will remember.”
My father told me when I was just a child
These are the nights that never die
My father told me

Symphony – Finding Beauty and Meaning After A Painful Loss

By · August 4, 2017 · Filed in Entertainment, Personal · No Comments »

After a restless night I had to lose myself in some music and ironically there’s a line in this song that goes “and now your song is on repeat and I’m dancing on to your heartbeat”. These past few months I have had several songs on repeat(this one included) to deal with the loss of a member of my extended family who I never got a chance to meet to suicide as well as several celebrity deaths that have hit me hard and reminded me of past losses/pain and heartache I’ve dealt with in my own life.

One of which was the loss of Nicky Hayden. While I had met him for a moment last year at the WSBK races at Laguna Seca I admit I never got a chance to truly know him. How his death really affected me is it had happened just as I started riding my bicycle to work as a way to both save gas and try to get an elusive workout in. After hearing that Nicky had been in a severe bicycle accident I gave up riding on the street. It was hard to take that someone who had spent their life “living on the edge” and even winning a world championship riding motorcycles at speeds over 200mph could lose their life while training and traveling at speeds a fraction of what he was doing on the racetrack.

The muse for the composer in this video loses his life in a bicycle accident as well. The pain and heartache that the composer goes through can be seen in both his moments of reflection while also finding meaning in writing his greatest symphony as a result.

Back to trying to find beauty and meaning through personal loss, ironically, I have yet to lose a friend who rides despite all the horror stories people tell me. I did however lose my grandpa in a traffic accident when I was too young to even understand loss(it was the first death I actually remembered and can still place myself in the spot/location I was when I first heard the news at age 7). The lasting memory of my grandpa was his stern warning prior to a moment around age 5 when I was riding my bicycle in the rain shortly before I crashed into a mailbox, split my chin open and needed to go to the ER for stitches.

Another death that has touched me was that of Chester Bennington. Here again was someone I never knew personally, however, his work with Linkin Park was and still remains an “anti-drug” in my life. Ironically, the raw emotion and pain in his voice and lyrics were fueled through a lifetime of pain and even drug and alcohol abuse. At the same time it was this ability to share such raw emotion and pain that I felt I could relate to that drove me back from the edge when I could have easily gone down the path of drug use/abuse or worse, suicidal thoughts/actions. Whenever something in life got me down enough all I had to do was throw on “Crawling”, “Pushing Me Away” or one of the many other phenomenal LP tracks, scream along with Chester and suddenly realize the pain was NOT too much to bear.

This includes the most painful event of my life, losing my best friend months before his 21st birthday. It was at that moment as well as the moment that I heard of Chester’s suicide that I really started asking a lot of questions about the meaning of life. Even before Chester was the news that my brother’s nephew(his wife’s sister’s son) had taken his own life. Much like Chester and even my best friend he was someone who seemed to have everything and so much to live for, but for one reason or another the stress/pressure of life was too much to handle.

In a video of one of Chester’s last interviews he starts with “I don’t know if anyone can relate but I have a hard time with life, sometimes” and goes on to explain the inspiration for the latest LP hit “Heavy”. He also states “a lot of people think if you’re successful you get a card in the mail saying you’re gonna be totally happy and satisfied”. This is scary to know that even after reaching an amazing level of success in both the music industry as well as building a legacy through his own family that he could still have these thoughts. It’s a thought process that can be applied any one of the 100’s of famous people who took their lives from as far back as Van Gogh to Hemingway to more recently Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington.

Back to the video that inspired this post there’s another line “when you’re gone I feel incomplete so if you want the truth. I just wanna be part of your symphony.” This is evident in LP’s response to Chester’s death by changing their logo to an “incomplete” hexagon to signify that the band would be incomplete without Chester. My hope is that the living members including Mike Shinoda(an amazing writer/lyricist himself) who has done great things with his side project Fort Minor  can write their own symphony to honor Chester’s memory.

In conclusion, I don’t know if I’m just rambling now or if any of this makes any sense to anyone but myself. I’ve also said in the past nobody really reads these anyways, however I figured I needed to get some things off my chest and figured writing would be a good way to release all this stress and anxiety I have been holding in.

Until next time, try to find the inspiration for your own life’s Symphony and thank you Clean Bandit and the lovely Zara Larsson for your work of inspiration. Also thank you to everyone who has been an inspiration who is no longer with us.

Everything To Everyone – Not Just A Great Song, A Life Lesson!

By · July 31, 2017 · Filed in Entertainment, Personal · No Comments »

When I was a teenager I instantly fell in love with this “new” offering by Everclear(follow up to their first major hit “Santa Monica”). Granted at the time I was focused on the hot blondes in the school girl outfits I have since grown up and this song/video is more relevant 20yrs later. Man, this song is 20yrs old! Yes, a sign that I myself am getting old.

I know I could probably write a Master’s thesis just analyzing the lyrics or even the visuals, but I figured I would just focus on a couple things and see what you all think:

  1. The video starts with the “spinning room” as a metaphor to going ’round and round trying to find the right social circles. It’s highlighted by all the different people trying to climb the social ladders, whether it’s the above mentioned “hot” girls or the guy and girl in the suit trying to climb the corporate ladder.
  2. The lyric “you said they taught you how to read and write, yea they taught you how to count, I say they taught you how to buy and sell your own body by the pound” is a very powerful metaphor for the education system and how it this all starts early in life. Whether it’s public or private school trying to find the right social circle and falling into order(i.e. trying to get good grades in English, Reading, Math, etc) is the beginning of trying to be “Everything To Everyone”.
  3. The overall song and the band’s performance/antics in the song take something so serious/meaningful and make light of it. It’s a great daily reminder for us to maybe not take things so seriously.

Where I’d like to go with this(aside from writing a Master’s Thesis or book) is an idea I’ve had for a little while about a post called “Be Too Important To Ignore”. In my own quest of trying to be “Everything To Everyone” I’ve found that to some I’m just not good enough and it’s more a result of not having what that particular person wants/needs. At the same time it’s a reminder that to some you won’t have/be anything so you need to focus on who’s most important. Ah, focus, there’s one of the most difficult things to master in this society of instant gratification. If only the guys of Everclear knew what type of technology/trends would come to control our lives after the innocent days of 1997.

Hope you liked this post. Even if not, please drop a line in the comments below and let me know what you think. If it’s blatantly offensive or spam it will be filtered out, however, I do invite constructive criticism or even the feather in my cap of some praise for my writing. Thanks in advance!

Why I Ride A Ducati and Why I Want An Arch

By · July 29, 2017 · Filed in Personal, Travel, Vehicles · No Comments »

I once asked a college buddy of mine who owned a sportbike and whose opinion I valued on the subject “Are the European brands any better than their Japanese counterparts?” His response was “No”. From that moment I went through a few Japanese bikes: 1995 Yamaha YZF600R, 2004 Honda CBR600F4i and finally a 2009 Honda CBR600RR before I finally got my first Ducati.

My last bike before the Ducati did everything I needed it to and unlike the “stigma” of European brands being “difficult to work on”, “too expensive to maintain” or worst of all “broke down all the time and spent more time in the garage than on the road” it was reliable and cheap to maintain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my Honda(pictured above)  I felt like I was 3x World Champ Marc Marquez(or even 9x World Champ Valentino Rossi who started winning championships on a Honda):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even if my lil’ 600 was far from MM93’s RC213V or even the “available to the public” RC213VS(both pictured below) I was on a bike of champions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, even the president(Mark) and VP(Dave) of the local Ducati Club(Arizona Ducati) still welcomed me with open arms although I didn’t actually own a Ducati.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So did I even need a Ducati? I even tried out these beasts, a Panigale 1299 and Diavel, the latter being the one which I thought would be my 1st Duc, however, being a “sportbike” guy I figured the Diavel would be a great 2nd bike when I had the money for such:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I even got so close to pulling the trigger on this 2016 BMW S1000RR that I posed with the crew from Go AZ West with the key to show “I’m getting this!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After all that how did I “settle” on this, a 2013 Ducati Multistrada 1200S Touring?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was far from the typical “crotch rocket” I was used to and wasn’t even the right color(Red). Simple – I NEEDED it! The second of my now annual trip to WSBK Laguna Seca was just 2 weeks away and there was no way the “green hornet” would hold up for the long 700mi trip there and 700mi back not to mention there was no way I’d be able to pack all I needed in my Ogio No-Drag Mach 1 backpack. In addition, the original plan of “catch a ride to LA on a trailer and ride up” was not set in stone so I went with the Do Everything of Bikes!

Now at just over 12,000 (s)miles of riding including the 2 Laguna Seca trips that each ended up being over 1900mi of riding I flat out LOVE this bike! I don’t even regret not sticking with a crotch rocket as this thing literally does everything:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether it’s ripping through the CA-33 with full luggage, dragging knee or just a nice day trip in the rain to Jerome, AZ this bike is freakin’ awesome! Not to mention while I’m sure a Honda Africa Twin or Yamaha Tenere would do just the same neither elicits the feeling or emotion that having a Ducati does. To top it off after all this riding the only issue I’ve had was a bolt that came out of the center stand and a nail in my rear tire.

The ownership of a Ducati has basically been a “backstage pass” to meeting and hanging out with some of the coolest people in the world of motorcycling. With it I have created life long bonds with other Ducati Owner Clubs like Ventura County, Foothills and Desmo Silicon Valley. Not to mention being on Ducati Island at Laguna Seca is one hell of an experience!

After all of this I get to my final point, why do I want to get an Arch?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I mean the Diavel from above does most of what this bike can do, but it goes back to that feeling that the right bike elicits! When I met the Arch team which of course includes my favorite actor I saw the passion they put into it and it brought me back to when I had dreams of being an automotive engineer for Porsche. Yes meeting that movie star was cool, but even better was talking shop with the engineers behind this labor of love and work of art on wheels, Ryan and Gard. It was also seeing the passion that Heath from Sales & Marketing(who came from Alpinestars) that convinced me this is the next bike for me:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The love of motorcycles can be somewhat irrational and us riders always want to stand out from the crowd. Not to mention having the means to purchase/own an Arch also means that I have succeeded in business so it’s a “dream board” item that I plan to own very soon.

I hope you enjoyed this and please leave a comment to let me know what you think(NOTE: if it’s something blatantly negative, unrelated to this post or spam it will be filtered out).

Great Day Today and A New Sport(VIDEOS)

By · March 28, 2012 · Filed in Personal, Sports · No Comments »

This’ll be a short one. First off, here’s the greatest encounter I could have in Spring Training:

Yes, that’s 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton, who was also on his way to another MVP in 2011 until he got hurt. Granted, Verlander probably still would’ve won it, it would’ve been a much closer race. Here’s to him winning another in 2012 and the Rangers finally winning the World Series!(unless of course it means beating the White Sox in the playoffs).

In addition, I “invented” a new sport today, should I call it BOLF or Baseball Driving Range?

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Shinedown: Proof That Rock Music Is Not Dead!(Video)

By · March 13, 2012 · Filed in Entertainment, Personal · No Comments »

True story… back in 2004 I was HUGE fan of Tantric and had the opportunity to see them live. There were 3 opening acts. One was a local band. The second was Silvertide, led by an eccentric lead-singer named Sebastian who was compared to Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes. The third was Shinedown. I didn’t know who they were beforehand and instantly recognized them when they played the following hit song:

45 by Shinedown

Before the show, which was at Pop’s, a small bar in Sauget, IL(across the river from St. Louis, MO), I ran into a group of guys standing by a tour bus. I had Meet N’ Greet passes for Tantric and did not know if it was before the show, between sets or after the show. I even called the venue and they didn’t know. Finally, I decided to ask the guys standing by the bus for more info on the Meet N’ Greet as they looked like “roadies”. By this I meant they looked like musicians, however, I knew they weren’t in Tantric and I didn’t recognize them. The response I got was “Sorry man, we don’t know.” Those “roadies” ended up being the members of Shinedown! They put on an AWESOME show which included a call to “pull out your lighters” when they played “45” and I got to meet Tantric between sets which was a great experience in and of itself.

Since then Tantric has changed lead-singers and haven’t quite achieved the commercial success they deserve while Shinedown has gone on to be one of the biggest names in modern rock.

Here’s my favorite Shinedown song:

 

Proof That There Is A “Before”

By · March 5, 2012 · Filed in Business Education, Fitness, Personal, Sports · 1 Comment »

“Goals are nothing more than dreams with a deadline.” – Anthony Robbins, Awaken The Giant Within

Oftentimes you hear stories of great success and they usually try to make them sound more impressive by saying “well this is where they started”. Many of these “before” stories are exaggerations and I’m here to prove that this is the “BEFORE” that will be followed with an amazing AFTER.

It’s been too long since I posted here and for good reason: I’ve been busy!

I just want to make it known that in addition to being a better husband, son, brother and friend I have THREE big goals that I am setting TODAY. I will be doing a video journal on here(and YouTube as well) to keep up with my progress for at least one and possibly even ALL three of these goals.

As of today, March 5th 2012 I am 28yrs old. By January 6th 2017(I will be 33yrs old) I intend to accomplish the following:

1) Build a net-worth of at least $1m

Today: I’m far from it with student loan and credit card debts and only a little amount of money in savings. However, our business is growing day by day and I have a full-time job in addition to the business to help take care of paying down the debt.

Tomorrow: Jefferson Franklin Tax Services(JFTS) is my baby! Thankfully I am blessed to be partners with the two most important people in my life, my father and my wife. Each day is another day closer to making JFTS a household name. The goal has been set now it’s time to “fill in the blanks.” I have plenty of ideas for the direction of JFTS that will get us there, but bottom line is it will be more about what the MARKET tells us to do than what I tell us to do.

2) Run a Boston Qualifying(BQ) Marathon Time

Today: The current requirement for my age group(M18-34) is a 3:05 or less finishing time which equates to about a 7:05/mi pace. Currently I am running around an 8:30-9:00/mi pace for long-runs, however, when I reached my all-time worst of 274lbs I was running 3mi in about a 10:30/mi pace and in less than 3mos I ran a 1:43:16 1/2 marathon which was 13.1mi at approximately 7:52/mi.

Tomorrow: Not saying that I’ll run the BQ in my next marathon(Rock N’ Roll San Diego on 6/3), however, I am realistically shooting for 3:45(~8:35/mi). From there it’ll be a gradual improvement(don’t want to get hurt) until I can meet whatever the BQ requirement is by 2017. Keep in mind for 2011 it was 3:10 and thanks to the popularity of marathon running it has become 3:05 and who knows it might be 2:55 by the time I’m ready to qualify.

3) Tryout For and Make an MLB Roster

Today: File this under the “unfinished business” or “prove the doubters wrong” category. I reached the peak of my baseball career soph yr of HS, however, my decision to pursue acting and modeling as well as not really fitting in with the other “jocks”(I was a social butterfly in HS) led to losing my passion for baseball. Quitting baseball half-way through my soph year is a decision I regret to this day. Another decision is that I never took full advantage of my natural advantage of being left-handed and as such never really worked on pitching. After a 4yr hiatus I got back in and was rustier than the hull of the Titanic. Since then I have played on and off. A bad taste in my mouth that I need to rinse was the sickness of making the University of Illinois Club Baseball team only to “ride the pine” for most of the season. Despite working on my “fundamental flaws” I could still never make the cut and at least the team itself was successful, but if I would’ve played to my potential we could’ve won it all. Instead we got 2nd place at the NCBA World Series. As far as my pitching goes I was clocked last year at 75mph and have a splitter/change-up… bottom line is I need to add about 10mph to my fastball while developing precision control and perfecting

Tomorrow: I will have to keep a laser-focus and realize that declaring this publicly is going to set me up for plenty of scrutiny and ridicule, especially from some of my old teammates who will just laugh at this idea. I even got a vote of no-confidence by a current MLB manager who I asked during last year’s Spring Training, “I’m 27yrs old, what do I need to do to get on THIS field?” and his response was “well that 27yrs old part is gonna hurt and I can’t lie, it’s gonna be a 1/1million chance.” Personally, I like those odds! Like Jim Carrey’s character Lloyd Christmas said in Dumb and Dumber “so you’re saying there’s a chance?”

For those of you who don’t like YouTube, here’s another link to the video Declaration of these goals.

Enjoy! And please leave comments(and keep it cool, any negative comments will be filtered, deleted and ignored).

Protected: The Turning Point – Why I Finally Made The Move!

By · February 16, 2011 · Filed in Business Education, Entertainment, Personal · Enter your password to view comments.

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