My race against time and how you can help me cross the finish line—faster

[Updated: 2/18/17]

A new day, a new opportunity.

A new opportunity to do something you never thought you’d do in your lifetime.

While taking a spin class a few weeks back, the instructor was talking about New Year’s resolutions and how “it’s not about the size of your waist, but rather, it’s about the size of your heart!” Not going to lie, the guy had me in my zone. But then, something punched me in my gut. I sat there on my bike (peddling my ass off of course) and I thought to myself… why does it take so many people nearly an entire year to all of a sudden get inspired to take control of their life again?

I decided right then that this year is going to be different—that I’m not going to wait around anymore “to get back on the bike”.

Life’s too short to wait for your waistline to get smaller. Life’s too short to wait for the things you want in your life. And it’s definitely too short to wait around for your dreams to come true.

Because if you wait, they’ll likely never happen. And the last thing I want in my life is, well, nothing to happen.

We only get one shot and it’s why I’m going to work on treating every day I have—for the rest of my life—like a New Year.

And it’s part of the reason I’ve decided to sign up for my first major run ever—the Ojai Marathon on May 29th, 2016!

I mean, I’ve always wanted to test how much gas I got in my tank, but 26.2 miles!

Are you f’in kidding me?

Nope.

It’s real people and I’m going to give it every little ounce of Swiggum energy I got.

For context, my dad used to run a mile in 4 minutes 27 seconds. I’ve played competitive sports my entire life, and I ran my last half-marathon in 1 hour 35 minutes—so I can compete. But 26.2 miles is a whole different beast.

And now that my entry is in, my AirBnB is booked, and I’ve tricked my mind into enduring a never-ending run of torture, I’ve decided to raise the bar even higher.

To run it in under 3 hours and 30 minutes—that’s an 8 minute mile pace.

Furthermore, with a feat much taller than me, I’ve decided I need more to hold me accountable so I keep training.

That’s why I’m dedicating this run to my Uncle Jimbo (James Rack) who’s been battling Parkinson’s for nearly 20 years of his life, to my mom and dad who’ve given me the world, and to my family, friends and anyone else out there who’s fighting against a life-altering disease.

At this very moment, I’m aware of how fortunate I am and how fragile life really is. And that the kind of pain I’m going to experience during the race will never even come close to the hardship one faces when fighting for his or her life.

That’s why this race against time is going to be for them.

And for me—it’s not, as you may think, going to be a race against time. But rather, each step is going to be a constant reminder that we need to make the most of every moment we have.

That’s why I’m treating every day like a New Year.

“A puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a king.” – Sinatra

theartist

That’s my Uncle Jimbo and he’s been an integral part in painting the man I’ve become.

I grew up building things with him: bird houses, ponds, zen gardens, kit sailboats, kayaks, forts, CO2-powered pinewood derby cars, and many other creative projects.

He’s taught me how to paint (well kind of); how to love adventure and the great outdoors; how to not f*ck things up when they’re good; how to be kind to even the littlest creatures on this planet; how to keep my inner-child alive; how to let my imagination fly wild; how to laugh louder than yesterday, and arguably the most important lesson of all—to be able to see and create things when it appears to many—that there’s nothing.

He’s the ultimate spiritual warrior.

And I owe him a lot.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” – Ali

golf

Unfortunately, my Uncle Jimbo was diagnosed with Parkinson’s many years back and I’ve watched it try to knock him out over and over again. Yet—he continues to show the world he’s a champion. When I was little, he used to pick me up by his bicep and tell me that he was tough as steel.

He wasn’t lying.

Last March, I was fortunate enough to be able stay with Jim on the island of Kauai for 10 days. He went to school there some 50 years ago with his two brothers and that led to him escaping the frozen winters of Wisconsin ever since. (I don’t blame him!)

During our time together, we stayed in a little beach hut, woke up with the warmth of the sun and the songs of Kauai, started our day with some stretching and meditation, and then moved on to our favorite little cafe to keep the day rolling.

After a nice cup of hot joe, some sweets (you’ll always find some in his pocket), a little work on the interwebs, and a few casual conversations with some beautiful wahines (the ladies love him), we’d head out to explore the inspiration of the island.

We’d snorkel, kayak, beachcomb, eat Papaya off the trees, visit friends, smell the plumerias, play the Uke, paint, laugh, joke, talk life, golf, and drink beers sitting out in the Taro fields amongst one of the most beautiful backdrops my eyes have ever seen.

They are days I’ll never forget and I still dream about how I can make them happen more often.

They were just so… full of life.

One more wave.

hanalei

One day, as we were sitting on the beach in Hanalei bay, Jim says “Let’s go for a bodysurf”. I replied, “Jim, you sure?” He looked at me as if I was crazy. I was in Hawaii nearly 10 years earlier surfing waves with him and here we are at it again.

Before you know it, Jim is diving through the waves like a torpedo. We ride a few party waves together, and after about 20 minutes, I say, “Alright Jim, we should probably go take a rest”. As we start to head back to the shore, he turns around to me with a smile and says…”Just one more wave”. So we go back out for another ride. And another. And another.

I had to pretty much pull him out of the ocean that day.

It was one of those moments I’ll cherish forever.

Never give up.

keepexploring

Ever since he’s been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he’s had this intensely competitive mentality to never give up on living his life of adventure and fun—and he really hasn’t.

But the disease is starting to slow him down.

There are times you can tell he’s not really with you. His short-term memory is starting to fade away. And his legs have been burning like hell.

Yet, this last Christmas he still continued to be—the zen master, the explorer, the jokester, the laugher, the captain, the raconteur, the ladies’ man, and the artist—he’s always been.

I may never truly know what it’s like to battle against such a horrible disease. But if I do, my Uncle Jimmy has showed me the mentality I need to ride just one more wave. If he can battle Parkinson’s, beat cancer, and make it through the Vietnam War, I have no choice but to embrace the good pain my body can endure while it still can.

Like Sinatra says and Jimbo often likes to sing…

“That’s life (that’s life), I tell you I can’t deny it

I thought of quitting, baby, but my heart just ain’t gonna buy it

And if I didn’t think it was worth one single try

I’d jump right on a big bird and then I’d fly

I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king

I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing

Each time I find myself layin’ flat on my face

I just pick myself up and get back in the race

That’s life.”

I’m running this marathon for my Uncle Jimbo and anyone else out there who’s fighting against Parkinson’s or any life-altering disease.

Again, they’re the ones fighting for their life.

I’m just the one running for it.

***

How you can help me cross the finish line faster.

On top of running my first marathon ever, I’ve decided to do my first fundraising campaign to hold me even more accountable. The donations will be made in my Uncle Jimmy’s name and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the National Parkinson Foundation. The money will help the foundation continue to provide support and education to people with Parkinson’s and to further research for a potential cure.

My goal is to raise $500 and it comes with a catch. The more money raised, the faster I’m going to run on race day!

Here’s two simple ways you can help people with Parkinson’s disease and me run faster:

  • Click here to donate whatever amount you can afford (link expired)
  • Share this fundraiser link with anyone who may want to help (link expired)

Consider it your good deed for the day :).

Furthermore, I’m going to constantly update my training log below every week so you know I’m not cheating!

Thanks for all your love and support in advance, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me here.

Marathon Results.

Final Marathon Time

  • 5/29/16: 26.2 miles in 3 hrs and 36 minutes (8:15 pace)

Money Raised for the National Parkinson’s Foundation

  • $650!

Again, thanks to everyone who donated to my fundraiser! It means the world to me and to anyone who is fighting against Parkinson’s disease.

My training updates.

May

  • 5/23/16: 2.15 miles (10:00 pace)
  • 5/21/16: 9.2 miles (8:06 pace)
  • 5/14/16: 19.2 miles (8:40 pace)
  • 5/12/16: 6 miles (6:55 pace)
  • 5/10/16: 1 hr basketball
  • 5/8/16: 3 mile hike
  • 5/7/16: 12 mile hike
  • 5/3/16: 1 hr basketball

April

  • 4/30/16: 16.5 miles (9:33 pace)
  • 4/26/16: 1 hr basketball
  • 4/23/16: 15.25 miles (8:48 pace)
  • 4/21/16: 6.1 miles (7:11 pace)
  • 4/19/16: 1 hr basketball
  • 4/17/16: 3 mile hike
  • 4/16/16: 14.13 miles (9:39 pace)
  • 4/12/16: 1 hr basketball
  • 4/9/16: Skied Mammoth Mountain
  • 4/7/16: 3.3 miles (6:42 pace)
  • 4/5/16: 1 hr basketball
  • 4/3/16: 10.01 miles (7:42 pace)
  • 4/2/16: 1 hr SUP

March

  • 3/30/16: 1 hr basketball
  • 3/29/16: 2.64 miles (6:46 pace)
  • 3/26/16: 1.5 hrs basketball
  • 3/18/16: Skied Copper Mountain
  • 3/12/16: 4.5 mile hike
  • 3/10/16: 5.25 miles (8:20 pace)
  • 3/8/16: 2.62 miles (6:38 pace)
  • 3/6/16: 8.17 miles (7:34 pace)
  • 3/4/16: 4.55 mile trail run (8:58 pace)
  • 3/2/16: 4.12 miles (6:52 pace)

February

  • 2/28/16: 9.7 miles (8:00 pace)
  • 2/27/16: 1.5 hour surf sesh
  • 2/24/16: 3.2 miles (6:37 pace)
  • 2/23/16: 2.62 miles (7:04 pace)
  • 2/21/16: 3.38 miles (7:42 pace)
  • 2/18/16: 3.2 miles (7:22 pace)
  • 2/16/16: 3.03 miles (7:41 pace)
  • 2/13/16: 8.29 miles (7:25 pace)
  • 2/11/16: SaMo stairs (5 times)
  • 2/9/16: 5.08 miles (7:20 pace)
  • 2/6/16: 8.2 miles (7:20 pace)
  • 2/5/16: 3 miles (watch died)
  • 2/3/16: 2.59 miles (7:00 pace)

January

  • 1/31/16: 5.9 miles (7:44 pace)
  • 1/30/16: 3.5 miles (7:20 pace)
  • 1/26/16: 2.5 miles (6:46 pace)
  • 1/25/16: 4 miles
  • 1/24:16: 3 mile hike + 5 mile run
  • 1/23/16: Santa Monica stairs (6 times)
  • 1/22/16: 3 miles
  • 1/20/16: Santa Monica stairs (5 times)
  • 1/18/16: 2 miles
  • 1/17/16: 2 mile trail run
  • 1/16/16: 4 miles
  • 1/15/16: 3 miles
  • 1/13/16: 3 miles
  • 1/12/16: 200 situps—100 pushups
  • 1/11/16: Santa Monica stairs (5 times)
  • 1/10/16: 3 mile trail run
  • 1/9/16: 18 mile mountain bike ride
  • 1/7/16: 1 hr spin class
  • 1/5/16: 1 hr spin class
  • 1/3/16: 2 mile trail run

Help others fly higher.

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The Soul Factor: the secret that’ll help you fly in life and in business

Have purpose or sell your soul.

Ever wonder why some people are able to flourish while others flounder? Why some businesses are able to positively engrave their name into society while others vanish?

I can’t tell you every reason some are able to thrive given the many hidden variables, but I can tell you a few common characteristics I’ve observed that’ll significantly sway the odds in your favor.

I do warn you though that the four following ingredients mixed together can ignite a magical potion—a competitive advantage if you will—that can accelerate success in this world on any level. So, if implemented, please prepare yourself for the flight of your life.

Any entity that embodies these ingredients, as I like to say, has—the Soul Factor—which gives them the ability to fly wherever their heart desires.

The Soul Factor Ingredients.

1. They’re idealistic.

They experience the world as they want to see it.

Do you think Richard Branson, Yvon Chouinard, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Justin Timberlake, the Dalai Lama, Aaron Rogers (I’m from Wisconsin), Laird Hamilton, Tim Ferriss, Jim Carrey, and Jessica Goldman (she’s my sister) think about life the same way as most people? Nope and it’s why they’re able to thrive. They stand for something significant and they’re not going to let other peoples selfish judgements stop them from letting the world know what it is. They see life through their own lens and they’re going to do everything in their control to live the life they envision.

Having your own ideals about life on this planet gives you the X-ray vision needed to see through walls others can’t. As long as you keep an open mind about improving them, and are brave enough to act on them, you’re way more likely to go through life living the one you want vs. someone else’s.

They’re this way because they’re leaving it up to choice and not chance—and you can do the same.

2. They’re virtuous.

Their values depict their true focus, exploration, and actions.

Your values come from many places—your childhood, your support group, your family, your experiences, your peers, your DNA, and even your environment—just to name a few. Those who possess significantly impactful and authentic values, such as compassion, altruism, humor, candor, intelligence, fortitude, ambition, and positivity, are able to attract the right people to join their mission because all of these values have one thing in common—they’re contagious. They’re values people want to be around and they’ll eventually help lead anyone to the creation of meaningful things—whether it be their own business or their contributions within one.

3. They’re positively energized.

Their positive energy gives them the ability to soar.

Entities that are realistically optimistic energize everything they touch. This is likely the most contagious ingredient of them all and is a vital piece in creating anything worthwhile on this planet.

This energy gives them the ability to fly through the tough times. It gives them the perseverance needed to keep going when times are telling them to give up. And it ultimately reinforces the notion that they’ll come out of any life experience—stronger—faster—and smarter.

People and organizations that authentically embody the utmost positivite energy will help lift the happiness of the world, and are likely to find fulfillment wherever they decide to explore.

4. They’re craftsmen.

They constantly work on improving their craft and it eventually ignites an opportunity to share it with the world. 

Whatever it is that they do, they put in endless amounts of deliberate practice that contributes to the mastery of their craft. As that craft continues to get bended, twisted, and shaped—skills are improved, knowledge is consumed—and it can lead to the inception of something so unique that it can’t be replicated.

Craftsmen are artists constantly pursuing perfection knowing that they’ll never get there. But, yet, they push on. It’s this kind of competitor that figures out how to create something of value out of nothing.

Entities that embody the Soul Factor live on forever.

When a person possesses the ingredients listed above, you’ll know it when you meet them. You’ll know it when the room is leaning a little differently that day.

They’re the ones you can’t get enough of. They’re the ones that energize a room simply by being in it. They’re the ones who inspire others because they’re enthusiastically passionate about their life and the life of others. They’re the ones who often put others before themselves. They’re the ones out to make the most of the life they were given. They’re the ones who are making the world around them a better place. They’re the ones built with purpose and passion; and because of these reasons, they’ll be remembered long after they’re gone.

 

***

Want more soul in your life?

Here are few questions and exercises that can help! Upon completing them you’ll get closer to having a personal mission, vision, and key pillars that’ll help you navigate the open oceans—in life and business.

Why are you on this planet?

What really matters to you in life?

What do you believe in? Why do you believe in these things?

What personal values do you possess? How are you working to improve the ones that matter? Why do they matter?

How do you tend to view the outcomes of things? If you’re leaning towards the negative end of the spectrum, it doesn’t have to be that way. Positivity is learned and practiced.

How are you helping others?

After your time is up on this earth, what do you want to be remembered for?

How are you acting on the things that matter to you most?

Fill in the blanks to these statements (thanks for inspiring these Ty!):

[Your name] believes the world would be better if [fill in the blank] (keep it to one central thought).

[Your name] is on a mission to [fill in the blank(use answer from above) because I believe [fill in the blank]. I’m going to make this happen by [fill in the blank], [fill in the blank], and [fill in the blank].

If my time on earth was up tomorrow, I’d want to be remembered for [fill in the blank].

In 20 years (if I’m still here) I want to be [fill in the blank] (think destination—where do you or your business want to go).

Give these some thought and you’re already on your way to a more thoughtful, soulful life. Want this exercise in document format? Download it by clicking here.

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    Please note that I’m a believer in quality—not quantity. Plan on only hearing from me every once in a while. But when you do, expect something that’ll help you lead a happier, wiser, or more entrepreneurial life. 

Add to the conversation.

Please share your thoughts or feedback so we can heighten the conversation.