Thursday, February 19, 2009

what's in YOU wednesday

Last week, I received an e-mail from my boss, Dave.

Dave has been my boss for the past five years. He became my boss when he transferred from his assignment in Melbourne Australia to southern California. Dave is married and has two grown boys. In his lifetime, Dave has completed over 100 triathlons. Every single day, he does something active. One day he'll run six miles before he starts work. Another day he'll swim two miles during lunch. On the weekends, he'll ride his bike 50 miles or more, up and down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Dave doesn't "train" for triathlons.

He's just always ready.

At 52-years-old, Dave is a bona fide stud. He ran a half marathon a couple weeks ago, with his Labrador Retriever Zoey, in just over an hour and a half. But to talk with him, you'd never ever guess that he was an accomplished athlete. He is one of the most unassuming and humble people I've ever met. And I'm not writing this to earn brownie points because Dave doesn't read my blog.

Dave's job consists of managing an annual budget that exceeds $40 million. I can't say exactly how many people Dave manages directly because in addition to the ten people in my group, Dave just recently picked up the supervision of a few more personnel in South America. But I would estimate that all told, more than 200 people ultimately report to Dave.

Dave travels constantly.

Every week he is going somewhere new. Virginia. Oregon. Texas. Florida. New York. Brazil.

Today he was in Los Angeles.

Tomorrow, he'll be in San Diego meeting with me.

What I really appreciate about Dave, other than the fact that he is a great boss who pushes his employees to strive for continuous improvement, is that Dave is as inspiring in his personal life as he is in his professional life. It's the way that he lives. The way that he balances everything. The way that he makes taking care of his body a top priority.

Dave makes me realize that it doesn't matter how busy you are, you can always make the time to take care of you. And when you take care of you, it's likely that everything else in your life will operate that much better.

Soon after Dave started working with our group, he sent out inivitations to join him in various athletic events. We rode our bikes with him in the Los Angeles City marathon in 2004. Then, when the triplets were a year old, Dave asked for Charlie to form a relay team with two of my co-workers in the Los Angeles triathlon. Since then, Dave has inspired almost every single person within my group and their spouses ... and several of our consultants ... to participate in his "challenges".

Last week, Dave sent out an e-mail titled, "What's in YOU?"

(What's in YOU will forever more be the title of these Wednesday posts. I like that a lot better than weigh-in, because these posts really had nothing to do with weight. At least not mine!)

From one of his worldly business trips, Dave informed all of my co-workers that the San Diego International Triathlon is coming up in June. And although he will be participating in the entire event as an individual, he wants for his employees to pull together teams to challenge our consultants. Before I even had an opportunity to digest his e-mail, Dave established two relay teams comprised of me and Charlie (and my coworkers and their spouses) and then, sent an invitation to all of our consultants, encouraging them to set up teams so that we could have a face-off.

It now seems that less than a month after we complete our marathon, Charlie and I are scheduled to participate in the San Diego International Triathlon.

On the one hand: Considering I fell OFF the treadmill this week while I was running at the YMCA, I'm a tad bit concerned over my ability to do all of these events. But on the other hand: I really need these types of goals to inspire me.

Additional inspiration comes from an e-mail that I read which was written by one of the passengers on US Air Flight 1549. The passenger had summarized his experience of surviving a plane crash and coming so close to death, he determined that there are four important lessons to live by.

1. Cherish your families as never before and go to great lengths to keep your promises.

2. Be thankful and grateful for everything you have and don't worry about the things you don't have.

3. When you fly, wear practical clothing. You never know when you'll end up in an emergency or on an icy wing in flip flops and pajamas and of absolutely no use to yourself or anyone else.

4. Keep in shape. You never know when you'll be called upon to save your own life, or help someone else save theirs.

All of these lessons are important.

But that last lesson about keeping in shape is something that I hope to always strive towards. Not just because it makes me feel good to be in shape, but because as the passenger noted, you never know when your life - or someone else's - might depend upon your physical abilities.

Now Charlie and I have been talking a lot over the past few weeks about this marathon that we are training for and we are both excited. Charlie is excited to run. I am excited to fund raise. And quite honestly, I am beyond thrilled that over the past two weeks, between the three of us, we have raised more than $2,000.00 to fuel research that ultimately will find a cure to cancer. Considering we still haven't sent our letters out (but they are stuffed and awaiting postage) I am really thankful to all of you who have made a donation to this important cause.

In case anyone is interested, Margaret received an e-mail from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society yesterday, wherein they stated that as of July 2008, no human embryonic stem cell research is currently funded by the organization. This is a huge relief for me and my predominantly Catholic family.

After my mother's beloved neighbor and very close friend of our family lost her battle to breast cancer this past weekend, Charlie and I have both decided that whatever races we participate in from this point on, we are going to do while fundraising for some type of cancer research. I can't think of any better way for us to remain inspired to continue working out, than to know that for each race we participate in, we are raising money for a cure. I plan to post at least one new contest each and every week until all three of us reach our fundraising goals. The next contest will be up this coming Friday.

Let's see. What else to discuss?

Oh yes!

The winners for the two handknit scarves, as determined by a random generation program, are Karen Moden and Stephanie A.

Congratulations and thank you so much for participating!!

I knit one scarf in black and grey and one in pink. So the first person to send me an e-mail specifying the color that they would like will get it.

And if anyone is really heartbroken that they didn't win a scarf, I'll make you one - in whatever color you would like - for a $50.00 donation to the cause. If you would like a handknit scarf > please send an e-mail to TheAmazingTrips at and specify the colors that you would like. While keeping in mind that although I will happily make a scarf in return for a donation, I cannot guarantee that I will get you that a scarf before our marathon. Between training for a marathon and now also a triathlon, it seems I'm a little delusional busy these days.

But as time permits, I will be making some substantial changes to this blog in the near future. Or hopefully by Christmas 2012. For now, at the top of my blog - in the sidebar - you will notice that the most awesome Hilary from ScrapBlogDesignsbyHilary made us our very own button. (Thank you again Hilary!!) If you are so inclined, you can grab the HTML code at the bottom of that button and add it to your own blog or website.

(In fact, I would love you a lot if you did.)

Be Amazing. Join the amazing trip to help cure cancer. You can contribute to the fund. Or, you can get yourself out there and raise money for a cure to something that is near and dear to your heart.

Why not?

What's stopping you?

What's in YOU and how are you doing with your goals?


  1. Inspiring post. :-)

    (Please feel free to do a contest w/ what I emailed you about -the custom painting-)

  2. You are so awsome, my kid isn't so bad either. It is all the good training we gave you. Hurry with the cure, we are loosing to many wonderful people including our latest one. Uncle Bill is fighting hard and wants to come out to be at the finish line in May.

  3. Jen, thanks for the inspiration!
    I think I've told you before that my ULTIMATE goal is to run in the NYC Marathon. But first, I have a little sub-goal: a 1/2 Marathon. For awhile now, I've been a little discouraged. But this week, I've run 5 miles...TWICE! Once in 45:57 and once in 45:30. WHAT?!?!?!?! I am SO now ready to start my 1/2 training for the race in May.

    Check out my blog and you'll see how the US Air flight 1549 has influenced my son...=)

    Thanks again for keeping us all challenged.


    (Oh, by the way, love the picture of the kids' shoes - did I take that one? LOL)

  5. Wanna Be More Like DAVE!!

    Good Luck w/the tri in June ~ you'll do great!

    I think my dear Mother (your Aunt Grace) is talking about me ... ;-)

    Happy Training! Marg.

    By the way, does this mean that We are or We aren't doing the triathlon in October?? ;-)

  6. The part that saddens me is that our society doesn't throw accolades upon the Daves of the world. The men and women who are humbly inspiring others through their actions die unnoticed by many. The history books taught to our children don't contain many Daves in it. How is it that a person who broke the world record in growing the longest nails deserves notice, but the Daves don't? Maybe we have only ourselves to blame for that. Our fascination with the unusual and rebellious give them more notice than deserved.

    I strive to inspire my children to notice the Daves in the world, so they may one day aspire to be like them.

  7. I applaud you for your fund raising! My heart has been overjoyed several times when I myself was walking for the National Brain Tumor foundation, (in honor of my neice), and was able to raise a good amount of money from my co-workers. My neice is thriving now, and every year, I help raise money for the Angle Adventure walk. I also recently became a partner in hope, for St. Judes, there is no better feeling then helping. You are an inspiration! Keep doing what you are doing! Cancer knows no age, and some day, there will be a cure! God Bless you and your Beautiful family!

  8. Hi Jen... Have read your blog for a long long time. You and Charlie are inspiring and I wish you both all of the best in the completion of the Marathon in honor of Deana. Your "Be Amazing" button is posted on my blog... good luck to you both.
    Oh... although I have completed a 1/2 marathon is my pre baby past, I have signed up for the Cooper River Bridge Run (Charleston, SC) in April... NO EXERCISE in a VERYYY long time. Somehow finished 3 miles today. Have a long way to go... Thanks for the inspiration!

    Leah (from NC)

  9. I have worked out twice this week and will go again tomorrow. Tonight at an after-work thing, a coworker I'm slowly getting to know better suggested I do a bike ride to Cedar Point this summer. That's about a 2.5 hour drive away! But I'm seriously considering it. Oh, and it raises money for MS. :-) Such a win-win situation, aren't these things?

    If you need help knitting scarves, I'd be happy to help as soon as (or in between) my current must-finish projects are completed. I think you can email me from my identity if you'd like assistance?

  10. Jen, not to rain on your post, but Deana could definitely use some prayers :(

  11. The Swimmer: I know. I just read the most recent Caring Bridge update and my heart is breaking for her.

  12. Hi there,

    I so love your posts / entries and your kids they are adorable.

    I added your blog on my blog links.. :)