Monday, February 9, 2015

Life, the exponent

It’s been 2.5 years since I moved from the midwest for two dreams:  to serve the poor and to figure out what I’m supposed to do with an engineering degree.

For 1 year I served the poor and because of that, it threw everything off. It gave me new perspective on life. It helped me understand how cruel the world is and at the same time, how loving it is.  It also helped me understand that culture is merely a concept that defined by dreams, relationships, religion, and personal drive. When I was growing up I also considered culture something you are born into and will always have with you, boy was I wrong. Now I’m not saying that the small town midwest boy a grew up as isn’t still apart of my culture, it is. But that part of me is what makes me unique and not similar as culture would suggest. At one point in my life I was told that I was lucky. How? I was told I grew up in a small town in the midwest of the United States. That alone made me lucky.

The students and families I worked with in my volunteer year, truly showed me how lucky I was and still am today. I owe that to my parents. But luck always has side effects. Because of my “luckiness” I feel like it made me ignorant to the world. Not ignorant to the problems of the world, rather ignorant to the people who suffer because of those problems. My volunteer position “humanized” the world. It showed me behind every extremely complex decision both political and moral, there are people suffering because of the outcome, or lack of outcome..

After my volunteer year, I set off for my second dream, which seemed selfish, but something that has always been apart of me: to work for a large tech company and impact the world. To be a valued and needed member of something. Now I have always held leadership positions, been on committees, been apart of decision making, and make logical decisions that would greatly impact organizations I was apart of. But I was always looking higher. Why? Probably because it always seemed like “I can’t” would always creep into my mind and then it was a challenge. “I can’t continue the legacy of good trumpet players”, “I can’t focus to become an Eagle Scout”, “I can’t make it through the core engineering classes”, “I can never  lose the weight”, “I can’t run a marathon”, and “I’m never going to be smart enough to get into a big tech company”. EVERY single one of these “can’t”s I accomplished above and beyond what I ever expected. 

Being “smart” enough to join the tech world as an engineer would always eluded me, until I had the opportunity to live in California. I guess if you dream hard enough and never give up, even if it is subconscious, things will work out. I think I the biggest thing about not giving up is taking everopportunity  that presents itself. Because of that persistence, I’m now a technical trainer teaching a framework to fortune 500 companies.

To say the least, I have reached the other end of the tunnel of my mission in California. So now what? I don’t know. I really don’t. For the first time in my life, I don’t know. Every goal I have ever had as a boy I have achieved in some fashion. Most at this point in their life have set new goals of buying a home, fixing a home, getting married, having children. For me though? Not yet.

I have arrived at the other end of the tunnel with no where to go. I should really figure that out.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

This will be the "Year of firsts... again"

Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Life is not a dress rehearsal.

Life is NOT a dress rehearsal.

Jon Blais was the only man to complete the Kona Ironman world championships while diagnosed with ALS

This quote has been said by a lot of different people throughout history. But the first time I heard it, it was from the mouth a Jon Blais, also known as the "Blazeman". Jon Blais was the only man to complete the Kona Ironman world championships while diagnosed with ALS. He completed the course in 2005, but then ALS took over most of muscle control in 2006 and Jon was forced to cheer from the sidelines while another man completed the course in Jon's name. To see his complete story you can go to:

Now Jon was a person of passion and drive. Never wanting to give up and continued to fight on awareness and research for ALS. In 2007 Jon passed away, but left a legacy with the war on ALS and my inspiration of this blog, "Life is not a dress rehearsal".

With change comes "out with the old, in with the new", for better or for worse

To most, when you get inspired you want to do something new and exciting. For me (at least now) that means "to do again". Since my move to California, my life has changed considerably. But with change comes "out with the old, in with the new", for better or for worse. For those that knew me in college, endurance sports was all I knew. Testing the limits. Challenging myself to do something crazy. Attempting the "impossible". Moving out to California, for many reasons, this is something that had to be put on the sidelines to allow for the "new" to take hold in my life.

This year will be the "Year of firsts...again"

I'm happy to announce, after 2.5 years of volunteering, carrying 3 jobs, attempting the startup life, trying to be a developer, and acclimating to the "California" way of life, it is time to take endurance off the sidelines. Now that I'm settling down with my career path, I can finally focus again. SO, this year will be the "Year of firsts...again"

In order to break new ground, I need dig out where I have filled in, which is why this will not be a year of "new",  rather, this year will be a year of "first time since", which I'm really excited about. In spirit on this new montra, I have started a twitter account called @YearOf1stsSince. Each time I do something momentous.... again,  I'll post it there to keep record of it all. So here's my lists of firsts...again for this year:

have a training schedule
cross train for running
push myself in a 5k
push myself in a 10k
run further than a half marathon
run longer than 2 hours
compete in a Tough Mudder
ride in Ragbrai
the scale shows below 215
run over 25 miles in a week
bike in the rain
run in the rain
collect a lot of crap (aka SWAG) form races
train in the dark
beat my brother-in-law in miles for a week's training
eat delicious gu, hammer, or even heed
train on distance rather than time
buy new running shoes
stop at a random house for water
travel for a race (besides Iowa)
confuse my friends on why I do it

...and the list could continue.....

Here's hopin' this "year of firsts since" turns into another crazy adventure.