Your assumptions are your windows of the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile or the light won’t come in. ~ Issac Asimov


One night, the captain of a Navy warship saw a light heading straight for him. He signalled ahead: “Change course twenty degrees.” The reply flashed back: “Advisable you change course twenty degrees.” The captain didn’t accept this response. “I’m a captain” he signalled “change course twenty degrees.” The reply “I’m a seamen second class, change course twenty degrees.” By this time the captain was furious. “I’m a battleship! Change course twenty degrees.” To which came the response “I’m a lighthouse!” The captain changed course.
So often we work or socialize with people and we make assumptions about them. This person is rude. That person is self absorbed. We make these assumptions without having any idea what is going on in that person’s life. Maybe they were up all night with a crying baby, maybe they just got news that a family member is ill, maybe they just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, maybe they are just a quiet person.
When we make assumptions we start to believe negative thoughts about the person, we start to treat them differently. We are rude to them because we think they are being rude to us. And the cycle continues. The person is probably really amazing, but because we have decided that they’re rude, we miss out on knowing this awesome person.
I have been mindful of this for a few months and the results have surprised me. First, I realized that I have been incredibly judgemental. I stop myself now when I start to form these assumptions. I think about the things that the person is doing which I am judging them on. And rather than continuing the thought process, where I am deciding what type of person they are (or that I think they are), I TALK TO THEM. And guess what, most of the time they are a really nice person who doesn’t realize that they’re taking it out on those they are interacting with. Most of the time, their mood has nothing to do with me.
We get so wrapped up in ourselves that we think everything has to do with us… guess what… it doesn’t! Don’t take things so personally, it likely has nothing to do with you.
As you intereact with people, notice how you make assumptions about them. Try reacting to them with kindness, despite their mood. Who knows, your kindness could change their demeanour altogether. Your kindness might snap them out of it.  Break the cycle! 🙂

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. ~ Mark Twain


This weekend I took my nephews to see The Peanuts Movie. I can’t say that I’ve ever been a big fan of comics… I was most excited for the popcorn, and of course, to spend time with my nephews… and the popcorn!

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Such great messages. I was cheering for Charlie Brown throughout the movie but he’s Charlie Brown and so he fails at almost everything he does and has a considerable string of bad luck. And you would think that he would just give up. Give up trying to fly a kite, trying to kick the football, but he doesn’t. Surprisingly he is an optimist who believes that maybe this time it will work for him. Life isn’t easy for Charlie Brown but he doesn’t sit around feeling sorry for himself, well he does a little bit, but can you blame him? Most of the time he just keeps pushing forward.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. ~ Thomas Edison
The little red headed girl makes an appearance in the movie. As always, Charlie Brown is very interested in her but he is too nervous to talk to her. He doesn’t think he’s good enough. He thinks he’s a failure. Every time he sets out to impress her, something goes wrong, in true Charlie Brown fashion. At one point there is a talent show.  Charlie Brown believes that if he wins the talent competition the little red headed girl will be impressed by him. He practices and practices until he perfects his magic show. But when it’s time for him to go on stage he has a decision to make. Does he help his sister Sally, who is very upset about her performance or does he perform his own act in hopes of impressing the little red headed girl? Charlie Brown puts his own interest aside and he helps his sister.
At the school dance, the male and the female winners of the dance competition get to dance with each other. So Charlie Brown teaches himself to dance and practices and practices until he is an amazing dancer. On the day of the dance the little red headed girl wins the female competition and Charlie Brown gets up to dance. He shows off his moves and impresses everyone, and then…. he sets off the sprinkler, everyone leaves and he doesn’t get to dance with the little red headed girl.
Charlie Brown was honoured at an assembly for achieving a perfect score on a test. The entire school was cheering for him. When he went on stage to receive the award he was given a copy of the test.  As he looked at the paper he realized that it wasn’t actually his, somebody else had achieved the perfect score. He could have gone along with it and pretended it was his.  Instead he admitted that the test wasn’t his, that he couldn’t accept the award.
The little red headed girl was absent the day a book report was assigned. Charlie Brown took it upon himself to do it for them both. He wanted to read the greatest book of all time (to impress her). He spent the entire weekend reading War and Peace (also the longest book of all time!) He didn’t stop reading because he wanted the little red headed girl to notice him. He wrote an amazing book report, and then…. it was shredded in the school yard by a passing airplane.  (It happens)
Every chance that Charlie Brown took to impress the little red headed girl ended in failure. It never stopped him from trying though.
** Spoiler Alert **
At the end of the movie, Charlie Brown stops the little red headed girl as she is getting on the bus for summer camp. He is feeling defeated.  He tried and tried but believed he wasn’t able to do anything to impress her. The little red headed girl tells Charlie Brown that she admires him for doing the right thing.  For putting his sister’s feelings ahead of his own and helping her at the talent competition, for being honest and admitting that it wasn’t his test, for thinking of her and doing the book report and for making an effort to learn how to dance.
Sometimes we try too hard. We think we have to go out of our way to be “special” for people to like us. In reality, people are most attracted to us when we are just ourselves and out there doing the right thing.

I do believe it’s time for another adventure!


Last year I was on a trip by myself. I don’t mind traveling alone, I dive and read during the day and go to bed early. It’s really quite lovely. But I decided on that trip that the next one was not going to be alone. And alone I was not. I just returned from a trip to St. Maarten with 21 other people. Arriving, I knew 4 of these people but spent the week getting to know the other 17. Awesome group, so much fun!
As has become the norm with me and air travel, my flight did not exactly go off without a hitch! As you might remember from an earlier post I try to stay positive and not stress about things that are out of my control. I stayed calm and read a book when we boarded and sat at the gate.  The departure time came and went and we were still sitting there. The pilot came on to let us know that we were just waiting for the baggage to be loaded, another 10 minutes he said.  20 minutes later, the pilot came back and told us that there was an “issue”.  He said that our luggage had been loaded onto a plane headed for Cuba!  What? How does that happen?!?!?! Fortunately the plane headed for Cuba had to be de-iced and wasn’t in the air yet.  It was taxiing though, so it had to turn around and come back to the gate.  Our luggage was unloaded from that plane and loaded onto our plane, and TWO HOURS later we were on our way! It’s interesting because before take off I always say a prayer asking God to get the plane safely to the destination. Based on my last flight when I landed in Albuquerque and my luggage was still in Toronto, I added to the prayer. I also asked God to ensure that my luggage arrived in St. Maarten with me.  I said this prayer 5 minutes before the pilot told us about the issue!
When people mention excursions or tours on vacation I cringe. I get very bad motion sickness. Anything that starts with “We will pick you up in a van/shuttle/bus at your hotel at 7:30 am” makes me feel ill just thinking about it. So when there was mention of all of us going on a tour, I was hesitant. It’s not that I didn’t want to go, I just didn’t want to spend the entire day feeling terrible.
The group wanted to rent a boat and go to the other islands around St. Maarten. But going to the tour desk and booking the tour (like most tourists do) just seemed too boring and mainstream. Instead we stopped a guy walking down the beach wearing a lifejacket. Seriously. We asked him if he knew where we could get a boat to rent.  He did.  He said he knew a guy (I can’t make this stuff up). In the morning, 2 vans showed up. The driver said “Are you going on the boat trip?”  The question didn’t seem very specific to me.  We’re on a Caribbean island, there are probably a lot of people going on a “boat trip”. But we said yes and got in the van.  We drove for about 15 minutes and pulled into the parking lot of an Italian restaurant with gates on the front of the building.  I thought it was a bit concerning, in addition to the gates I didn’t see any water. (This reminds me of the trip to the Polish Yacht Club, a yacht club with no water in site!) The driver took us through a door next to the restaurant.  What we walked into was a beautiful wooden bar with a marina in the back.  Who knew?
Despite the sketchiness of how the whole booking process went down, there were 2 nice boats with 2 amazing guides. It was indeed the price that the guy in the lifejacket on the beach quoted us! We had an AMAZING day! Our first stop was Tintamarre. We jumped off the boat, swam, snorkelled and saw 3 turtles! Next we headed to Pinel Island.  The island is a nature reserve but there is a restaurant, bar and lounge chairs and umbrellas to rent for the day.  This beach is picture perfect! Our next stops were Creole Rock for more snorkelling and Friars Bay Beach which, being on the French side, was topless much to the delight of the guys in our group.
Lunch was at a “local” restaurant in Grand Case. This is not the type of restaurant that I would necessarily have gone into if I had been walking down the street. BUT as we know, never judge a book by it’s cover (or a restaurant by it’s facade – more similarities to the Polish Yacht Club). The BBQ was fantastic!  Ribs or chicken with 5 side dishes on each plate!
What an incredible day! Not everyone is comfortable going off the beaten path and finding locals to take you out, but it is more often a far better and authentic experience than booking the trip through the tour desk. In fact, as we were coming back into the marina we saw an enclosed boat going out with rows of tourists looking out the windows.  I was sad for those poor tourists!
A Caribe Cargo ship went down in Hurricane Luis in 1995. This was the destination of the first of 4 dives that I did in St. Maarten. It was an amazing dive!  70 feet down, I saw turtles, many sharks (3-5 foot reef and nurse sharks), huge lobsters, a giant stingray hiding in the sand and a barracuda which I steered clear of!
An amazing trip with new friends and old, fun, relaxation and adventure! Hope they invite me back next year!
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the things you did do.  So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the wind in your sails.

Your Turn to Make a RUCKUS ~ Seth Godin


Writing this post is a huge step out of my comfort zone.  Part of me, well really most of me, doesn’t want to publish it.  But I have come to realize that, when we have that fear, is when we know that it’s exactly what we need to do.  So I am going to tell you something that I haven’t really ever shared.  It’s how I thought, what I wrongly believed for the past 42 years…

I have been living my life, quietly, waiting for other people to take the lead, happy to follow but never really thinking it was my place to lead.  Never thinking that I was smart enough to speak my mind, make a decision… when I say this out loud I realize how ridiculous it sounds.  But I just didn’t have the self confidence to believe that I had a say in things… even my own life.  I left it up to other people to decide things, including what my opinion should be on, well, everything.  I think my opinion on things changed depending on who I was talking to at the time!  It was like I thought I didn’t know enough, I thought everybody else was more knowledgeable and therefore they must have the “right” opinion.
I feel like I’ve spent my life waiting for somebody to come and tell me what to do next.  I kinda felt like that was how it was supposed to be.  I would ask other people what type of job I should have, where I should live.  And I would do what they told me, even when I knew in my heart it wasn’t what I really wanted. I was asking people smarter than me, so they must have the right answer… right?
I received a gift from one of my coaches recently. It is an amazing book and it truly has changed the way I think.  There have been many influences which have helped me to change my mindset in the past year but this book just screamed it at me.  It is a book by Seth Godin, who if you don’t know him, is a best-selling author / blogger / entrepreneur / speaker.  The name of the book is (and I love this) “What to do when it’s your turn [and it’s always your turn]
When I received the book I quickly flipped through it and on the first page it says
Your turn to:
Speak up.
Stand out.
Build a following.
Market a product.
Make a connection.
Solve an interesting problem.
Write, sing, invent, create, ask a question, launch a project, organize a protest, open the door for someone, question authority, make a short film, direct, produce, create, or adopt.
Learn a new skill.
Help someone who needs you.
Be missed if you’re gone.
and at the bottom it says “YOUR TURN TO MAKE A RUCKUS”  – I love it!
I feel like this book was written for me!  That’s exactly how I feel with all of the crazy things I’m doing now.  It’s my turn to make a ruckus!  I am no longer sitting quietly and waiting.  I may will do things that other people don’t agree with. I have no idea what the path looks like, but I’m following my vision and trying new things. One (or more) of them will be the right thing.  Did I mention the latest?  I just signed up for a Travel Writing course!  I love to travel and I love to write… sounds perfect!
It’s really quite liberating to take control of my own life.  I now make the decisions.  I get to decide that I am going to go after some pretty crazy goals and dreams. It’s like a new found freedom!
I was just reading Seth Godin’s book when it struck that I needed to tell this story.  I read the line “If you demand that everything that happens be something you are adequately prepared for, we wonder if you’ve chosen never to leap in ways that we need you to leap”.  This relates to the post from a couple of weeks ago about having courage.  I just need to do things even when I don’t have any idea how to do them. And even if the people “smarter” than me don’t think it’s a good idea. I’ll figure it out, or maybe I won’t and I’ll move onto the next thing. But living a life of boredom and safety and doing what others think I should do, is no longer an option.

If you judge a book by it’s cover, you might miss out on an amazing story

Every week I think about the fact that I need an idea, something to write about.  In the beginning it concerned me, but over the past four months I have come to realize that I will do or read or hear something and I will just know what to write.  To add to that there are now people who are reading the posts who are “challenging” me to EPIC adventures.  I think they’re hoping to become famous, as a character in one of my posts 😉
I showed up for lunch with two friends in Troy, Michigan on Friday.  I assumed we would go to a nice restaurant in the suburb of Detroit, have good conversation and that would be the end of it.  I was going for the company, I hadn’t really thought about the location.
When I arrived they asked if I was ready for an EPIC adventure.  Absolutely, I replied. Ok, but it’s a surprise they told me.  I was a little scared…
We started driving down I-75 South towards Detroit, when we got south of 8 Mile the fear increased! Then we headed east… this really isn’t the direction you want to be going…
We exited the highway and the first thing we saw were two police cruisers and a vehicle with all of the doors and the trunk open being searched…
We continued driving, deeper into what I will call the ghetto.  There are few people, there are many burned out, abandoned buildings.
We pulled up in front of a building, which at first glance you would think was abandoned.  The windows are covered with screens, it’s not very welcoming.  There is a guy out front who waves and points to a parking spot on the street.  We park and give him $10 to “watch” the car.  I am certain that this man had no ability to provide security if someone were to make an effort to steal the car, but I’m ok with helping out a local guy trying to make a living in a neighbourhood with few job opportunities.
If you don’t do a lot of crazy things when you’re young, you won’t have funny stories to tell when you’re old!
There is a small sign above the door that says “Polish Yacht Club”.  This is interesting as there isn’t a body of water anywhere near this place.
Eleven years ago when I traveled around the world, my brother said to me “nobody wants to hear stories about you sitting by the pool at the Marriott”. I still remember those words.  Stories and experiences don’t happen on the beaten path.  Taking adventures and trying new things are what life is made of. So we went in.  The restaurant was established in 1909 and really not much has changed since!  The table we sat at had a few chairs, a church pew and a plastic table cloth.  The room had so much to look at including the wall of photos of the past commodores (again, interesting due to the lack of somewhere to dock a boat) and an old grandfather clock with the bottom hollowed out, now housing bottles of hot sauce!?!?
It was worth the trip to the bathroom – I felt like I was in my great-grandmother’s house (not my grandmother, my great-grandmother!)  There was an old vanity with a large bouquet of flowers, lace doilies and other trinkets.  On the other wall there was a shelving unit with the shelves full of bottles and bottles of cream and hairspray circa 1970.  The strangest part of this was, right in the middle of this ancient room they have a motion censored paper towel dispenser… that’s what they decided to update??
The food was great, homemade Polish food.  A testament to this is the fact that the place was full of business men.  I don’t know how people know about this place but it’s busy.
I love places like this, places with character and history and stories.  Places where people have been going for over a century.  If the walls could talk…
It was a very different experience than if we had gone to a chain restaurant!
Veer off of the beaten path, try something different!
If you have a chance to seize a moment that you know will be memorable, grab it!  Always think that the next time may never be the same.
This won’t be a lunch that I soon forget!  And we’ve already planned for the next adventure to another local Detroit establishment… can’t wait!!

The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start ~ John Bingham


I recently read a book called the 4 C’s Formula by Dan Sullivan of the Strategic Coach.  It is such a simple concept but it was like an AHA moment for me.  The basis of the book is that, when achieving goals or trying to make things happen there are 4 C’s that you go through (and in this order) – Commitment, Courage, Capability and Confidence.  I think this book really struck me as I have been going through this cycle a lot lately.  The really huge message that I got out of this is that you need the Courage before you will have the Capability.  And I think this is what stops most people from reaching their goals.  People think that because they don’t have the Capability or Confidence to do something that they can’t or shouldn’t do it.  You will never have the Capability or Confidence to do something until you do it and you will never do it until you have the Courage.  Seems really simple when I say it but in reality we struggle with it.

It always seems impossible until it’s done ~ Nelson Mandela
If your goal is to run a 5K race but your excuse is that you don’t know how to run, you are lacking the Capability (running) and obviously the Confidence (believing that you can do it).  You will never know how to run until… well until you run!  So you start off running some distance less than 5K, say 1K and you just build on that.  It’s not expected that when you have a goal you will just be able to do it.  You work towards it.  Step small.  The problem is most of us forget that part and think, because we can’t accomplish the end result today, that we can’t do it ever.
I certainly went through this cycle when starting this blog.  I made the Commitment to myself that I was going to do it but I had zero Capability.  I had never written a post before, I had only ever read a handful of blogs… ever.  I had no idea how long a post was supposed to be, how often I should post, what I should write about… zero Capability (and for the record there is no right answer to any of those questions!)  But I somehow found the Courage and just started doing it.  As I write each week my Capability increases.  And this is post #15 and people are still reading it so my confidence is growing.  And this is how we grow. By constantly pushing ourselves to do things that we didn’t know how to do yesterday.  By making what seemed impossible, possible, just by doing it.  And the beauty of it is as your Confidence grows your next Commitment gets bigger!
I definitely needed Courage to start this blog.  I was definitely stepping into fear.  I was definitely stepping out of the comfort zone.
Was it scary? Yes.  Did I know what I was doing? No.  Can I imagine now, not having this outlet and not having the ability to let you know what I’m thinking? Absolutely not!  You see, if we go back to the picture in my first post, when you get out of your comfort zone, that is definitely where the magic happens!  You need to try it… it’s awesome!  Scary, but awesome!
Think about something that you’ve wanted to do but haven’t done.  Why haven’t you done it?  What’s stopping you?  Is it because you don’t know how to do it?  Is it because you don’t think you can do it?  Remember, the Courage comes before the Capability and Confidence.  Just take the first step… Just Do It!
Imagine a new story for your life and start living it ~ Paulo Coelho

It is not what we get, but who we become… what we contribute, that gives meaning to life ~ Tony Robbins

Back in January I was talking to a colleague who helps people understand their WHY.  After our conversation he told me that my WHY is “to build relationships based on trust”.  I thought a lot about this over the following months.  I agree that I build relationships based on trust.  I am successful at what I do because I establish relationships and trust, allowing people to be comfortable being open and honest with me, which in turn allows me to help them resolve their issues.  I had a hard time accepting that this was my WHY though, I just didn’t get it.  Last week I was in Albuquerque visiting this colleague and we had another conversation about it.  I explained that it just didn’t make sense to me.  As he asked further questions it was determined that my WHY is “to contribute” and my HOW is “to build relationships based on trust” – YES!  This makes sense!  I lose passion for a project when I don’t believe that I am contributing.  I know how blessed I am and always have my eyes open for opportunities to help others.

My favourite way to contribute each year is to sponsor a family at Christmas.  I get incredibly emotional while I’m shopping, as most of the things that I am buying are things that we take for granted.  Towels, pyjamas, dishes and blankets.  I probably go a bit overboard but the thought of a child not experiencing the magic of Christmas makes me want to cry.  The thought of a mother not able to afford sheets for a bed or warm winter coats for her and her kids makes me so sad.  I think I usually spend about $700 on a family.  $700 is a lot of money and there are a lot of things that I could spend that on, but I can’t think of anything more important than allowing this family to have some comforts that we consider necessities.

Tonight I watched a clip from the Ellen DeGeneres show.  It was about an elementary school teacher who goes above and beyond, contributing to the happiness and well being of her students.  (Coincidentally, or not, she is also from Albuquerque!) She spends the first hour (and her own money) every morning ensuring that her students have eaten, brushed their teeth, combed their hair and are appropriately dressed.  There was an incident where two students at her school needed to be placed in the foster system.  She stepped forward and took the children, for what was to be the weekend, but she has been taking care of them now for six months!  This woman is amazing.  Watch the clip:
Most of us will never contribute like this woman, however that shouldn’t stop us from making our own contribution.  I know that she inspires me to want to do more!
Never think that what you have to offer is insignificant.  There will always be someone out there that needs what you have to give.
A few months ago I contacted Cornerstone Family Violence and Prevention Centre to see if I could volunteer.  I had no expectations about what type of work I would be doing, I just wanted to help.  Doing dishes, driving to get groceries… it really didn’t matter to me.  What I was offered was the opportunity to facilitate Leadership Training to their management team.  I went there to help them and they ended up helping me.  My vision is “To inspire and motivate people to achieve greatness”.  I still struggle with how I will achieve this vision but then things like this happen and I realize I just need to keep doing what I am doing.
I do these things – donate, volunteer and help people because I am grateful for all that I have and want to help make someone’s life a little bit better.  What in turn happens is I get so much more out of the experience than perhaps even the person I am helping.
If you are contributing, good for you and continuing doing so.  If you’re not, start!  If you’re not sure how, let me know, I have lots of ideas!
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give ~ Winston Churchill

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams ~ Oprah Winfrey


Five months ago a picture, similar to the one above, came across my Facebook newsfeed.  I was immediately drawn to it.  As I looked closer I realized that it was a picture for a swim trip.  A swim trip?  I couldn’t believe something like this existed!  Not only is it a tour for open water swimmers but it is in one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.  I booked the trip that day!

This past week the trip that I have been looking forward to for five months finally arrived.  And it did not disappoint!  For three days I enjoyed my favourite things – open water swimming, hiking, boating and the sun!  There were five other amazing people in the group who made it that much better… not to mention our awesome guides!  We swam in the narrow and twisting canyons for an hour in the morning, had lunch, hiked the red rocks and then swam in a different canyon for another hour in the afternoon.  It was incredible swimming in this lake. The water was crystal clear and the perfect temperature – for me anyway, those who don’t swim in Lake Ontario regularly thought it was a bit chilly!
Chapter 14 of Robin Sharma’s book – The Greatness Guide is titled “How to be a Happier Human”.  He says “As we leave the wonder years of childhood, most of us stop doing the things that make our hearts sing.” While I was in Lake Powell my heart was singing!  “When you get back to doing those things that lifted your spirt and sent you soaring, you reconnect with that state of happiness that you may have lost.”
What would make your heart sing again?
This trip was truly extraordinary.  I am appreciative to the Strel family for creating this tour company.  It’s difficult to explain as most people think of open water swimming as torture rather than something they would fly thousands of miles and pay money to do.  For me though, this is one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on.  To be in the water and look up at the beautiful red canyons and the incredibly blue sky is such a unique and remarkable experience.
The pictures, while beautiful, don’t do justice to the beauty and massive size of the lake and the rocks.  Lake Powell is on the border of Arizona and Utah.  It is 186 miles long with many canyons.  We would be lost somewhere in there if I was driving the boat!  Our hike on Day 2 took us to Rainbow Bridge which is the largest natural bridge in the world.  It is only accessible by boat or a 14 mile hike.  It was spectacular!  290 feet from the base to the top, and spanning 275 feet across the river.
Next year… Montenegro, Turkey, Croatia or maybe Lake Powell again?  I can’t wait!
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.  There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we see them with our eyes open. ~ Jawaharalal Nehru

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing ~ Helen Keller

Each week I wonder if I am going to have something to write about.  When I started writing, I had a fear that I was going to run out of ideas.  And then things like this happen…
This past week I had the privilege of meeting and listening to a young man speak about his EPIC adventure and how he got to this point in his life.  I was incredibly impressed with how well he told his story and he nearly had me in tears.  I get emotional when I witness people doing amazing things.  Pushing the boundaries, reaching high and doing what the average person thinks is crazy – I love it… and I cry!
Jacob Pope is 20 years old.  He is smart, well spoken, incredibly driven and he is a hemophiliac.  After a fall at a young age the hemophilia was discovered.  A struggle for a child to be careful not to play too rough, a struggle to be different from other kids.  He attended a camp for hemophiliacs and while there understood that he wasn’t alone.  There were other kids dealing with the same issues.  He is grateful for that experience that helped him realize that he didn’t have to let his condition define him.
Some people use their circumstances as an excuse.  Others are grateful for what they have and what they can do, they don’t focus on what they can’t.  Jacob is a varsity rower at the University of Georgia, he pushes his limits, he doesn’t make excuses.
Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do ~ John R. Wooden
In June 2016 Jacob, along with his friend Chris Lee, will row unassisted in the Great Pacific Race, a race that defines itself as one of the greatest human endurance competitions in the world. 2,400 miles across the Pacific Ocean from Monterey California to Honolulu Hawaii.  Imagine being in the middle of the ocean, in an ocean rowing boat with no assistance.  Just you, your food, a water filtration system and your closest friend… for 30 to 80 days! The water will be rough, there will be storms and there will be no stopping once they start. And their goal isn’t just to finish, their goal is to be the youngest and fastest team to finish.  Additionally Jacob will be the first hemophiliac to row across any ocean.
How is that for an EPIC adventure?
Through this amazing feat, they will be raising money for Hemophilia of Georgia, an organization that has helped Jacob, who now wants to pay it forward.  If you are inclined I ask you to consider making a donation.
I am so excited to follow Jacob and Chris next June as they make their dream come true.  Incredibly inspiring and it makes me want to realize my big dream!
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have always imagined ~ Henry David Thoreau

Life gives us choices. You either grab on with both hands and just go for it, or you sit on the sidelines.


This past week I was at a conference in Scottsdale, AZ.  On the first night, dinner was around the pool. My plan was to go down, eat dinner and go back to my room, go to sleep early and get up to run in the morning.  That was my plan…

I walked into the party and didn’t know anyone.  This is an incredibly uncomfortable feeling for me but I force myself to do it and I fake it.  I walked around but everyone was talking to someone else, I always feel strange jumping in mid-conversation with people that I’ve never met, so I just kept walking around.  Aha!  A women sitting by herself, I go over and introduce myself.  We started talking and we had a great conversation, she was like a friend that I had known forever.  Some time goes by and we go to sit with her colleagues.  I’m having fun.  There was some talk of a local bar that has goldfish racing on Tuesday nights… it was Tuesday night.  I thought, this was meant to be.  I rounded up (harassed) people to join us.  The introvert (me) was organizing the social event with people I didn’t know!
There were 10 of us that ended up going to the bar.  There was in fact goldfish racing.  There are 2 thin troughs filled with water.  You get a goldfish in a glass and a water gun.  There is a starter and you race against someone else by dumping the fish in the trough and shooting it with the water gun to get it to the end.  It’s not as easy (or as cruel) as it sounds.  My fish got half way and turned around and went back to the start line!  This very interesting bar had a life size Connect 4 game (that we challenged some locals to and won), a child’s train ride (that I got in) and a picture cut-out of Gilligan and the Skipper (which I also got my picture taken in).  The highlight of this outing though was taking the golf cart taxi home, equipped with neon lights around the roof.
Needless to say I didn’t make it out for my run but I wouldn’t change this spontaneous event for anything.  Some of the people who I tried to recruit to go out said “I will go tomorrow”.  I told them that you can’t plan for a spontaneous event.  Tonight is the night that it’s happening… and also the goldfish only race on Tuesdays!
The best nights are usually unplanned, random and spontaneous. 
Plans are good, I love plans and 95% of the time I follow them. But don’t be afraid to jump at an opportunity when it appears.
Because I didn’t stick with my original plan I had one of most fun and entertaining nights I’ve had in a long time.  I got to know these new friends and I am still laughing when I think about the night.
The next time someone asks you to do something spontaneous, just do it. You can catch up on your sleep later. (I arrived home late Friday night and slept for 9 hours straight) 🙂
In the end, it is not the days or the years that we remember, but the moments ~ Kobi Yamada