Could it be? 2015?


Here’s my usual New Year’s resolution to start blogging more. It should be relatively easy since I haven’t had a non-Instagram post in the longest time.

I know it’s probably a big obvious observation but I have changed a ton since Justine has been around. I like to think I am more responsible and that I think things through a little more. Continue reading “Could it be? 2015?”


Every so often my trainer Matt from the Sweatshop sends a motivational email to all of their clients.  This week was really got to me.  I thought about it the rest of the week and how this may have just started as an email about working out, but it can also be used in life.  To make changes, you have to be willing to go outside your normal routine and push a little bit harder.  Here is part of the email he sent out:

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, blast fat, get stronger, faster, leaner, etc.
You’re going to have to WORK HARD.
You’re going to have to PUSH YOURSELF.
You’re going to have to STEP OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
Read it here-
Do you know when REAL change happens?
It’s when you can barely lift out those last few reps because your arms are on fire, and everything in you wants to give up…
It’s when you’re gasping for air out of breath, your heart is beating out of your chest, you still have 20 more burpees to go, and everything in you wants to give up…
It’s when you’re brain is telling you that you can’t possibly do that…
No one said this was going to be easy, but you know what?…
That’s why the majority of the country is out of shape, overweight, and at risk for numerous health diseases.
That next diet, that next gadget, that next workout fad, that next “magic” pill…
You DO NOT talk on your cell phone in between sets.
You DO NOT spend 90 minutes pacing yourself during a workout.
You DO NOT make excuses.
You DO NOT always choose the “easy” road because it’s “easy.”
You DO NOT simply go through the motions.
You DO NOT listen to that little voice in your head that always tells you to stop.
YOU DO demonstrate “INTENSITY.”


Suffice it to say that this week’s workouts after receiving this email were incredible.  As much as I have been working out since the New Year, I admit I have been pacing a bit through the workouts.  Time to push a little more, run a little faster, and breathe a little harder.  Once I can get into this groove I think I will be good, but until then, I will be exhausted after workouts.

A good obsession

Ever since we found out that Jaz was pregnant I have been absolutely obsessed with working out and becoming healthy. It just doesn’t seem like an option anymore. I saw how it completely effected my family when my dad died, and I just don’t want that to happen to my soon-to-be family. And when I found out that we were having a girl? I have to be around to see her grow up and be able to walk her down the aisle one day to some punk I probably won’t truly approve of, but if he makes her happy, then I just have to be happy for them. (I know that was a run on sentence) I am back to that marathon training mentality again where everyday I have to do something and over time I will see improvement.

I have started using a running program that I got off of runkeeper called – “Running to Lose Fat” aka R2LF. It forces me to run at a very slow pace (nearly fast walking) for an extended period of time. The longest so far has been 45 minutes. The training plan is 8 weeks long and it plans out for a run every other day. On the non-running days I have been either going to The Sweatshop or doing Insanity with my co-workers or just simply staying active. It is the easiest motivation knowing that my little girl is on her way and her dad needs to stick around for a long time for her. I just think of her and boom, I’m out the door! I want to say it is close to being an obsession, but a good one.


The Day I became a grown-up

October 13, 2012
So there we were…just watched “Here Comes the Boom” at iPic theater and talking about how Jaz hasn’t been feeling quite right. On the drive back home from South Barrington she mentions how she wants to take a pregnancy test. She had been complaining for the past couple weeks about how she has been feeling sick and sometimes nauseous. We stopped by the store and she got a pregnancy test. She said she would take it, and when it came back negative we would take a nap. One thing that I have learned to love in my 30s is a well-timed nap.

We get home and she goes to the bathroom to…test. I decided it was time to clean up some of the junk mail we were getting. In the past when she had taken these same tests, I was always very very hopeful. Nearly closing my eyes tight and crossing my fingers. All of those times ending in a negative result. This time, I was certain that this would end up just as the previous tests did – with no baby. Plus, I was pretty stoked about the nap.

Three minutes pass and I don’t hear anything from Jaz. “No big deal…probably just waiting on the result” I thought. Kept tearing through all of the junk mail. It’s amazing how much junk mail accumulates if you don’t watch it. I always wonder how successful these businesses are sending out…

“Guess what it says!” Jaz smiles.


Goodbye Ian

The last post I wrote in this blog was about a co-worker that retired. Sadly today I am writing about a co-worker who took his own life this past weekend.

I don’t know all of the details of that night so I will not speculate and make up anything. All I know is that Ian was 41 years old, had a girlfriend, and now is gone.

Sadly I did not know much about Ian. Since he worked in Alabama in our home office, it’s not like I could go out and have coffee with him or grab dinner or something like that. What I did know was that Ian was incredibly intelligent and knew his stuff. We didn’t cross paths often for work, but when we did, it was normally me asking him a question. He always had the answer. Like I said, he knew his stuff!

Part of me wishes I knew more about him. I now daydream that maybe I could have developed a friendship with him and possibly helped him.

I can’t pretend to imagine the pain, confusion, and anger that friends and family of Ian are experiencing right now. I have had them in my thoughts and prayers over the past few days.

The past couple of nights before I fall asleep I have thought about Ian. I think about what his last thoughts were, what he could have been feeling that last night, why he thought that THIS was the only option. No one will ever know what happened that night. No one can answer these questions. The one person that could is now gone and it just does not seem fair to the people who still are here and still care for him.

I pray that the people that were left behind can someday find peace.

If you have a moment, please pray for the soul of Ian, and for his friends and family to give them strength during this very tragic time.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please go seek help. Take a look at this website for help ->;

See ya, Jim!


Today at work was just another day for me. Got in early (for once) because Jaz and I were going to the Kristin Chenoweth concert at night. But for one of the guys I worked with, Jim, it was his last day with the company. Jim retired today after 15 years with the company and before that had many more years in the military, and behind a bar serving you your drinks, or selling you insurance.

Now if you know Jim, he’s not huge on words. He very rarely shows any type of emotion but he always got the job done. Having him around reminded me of my dad. I know my dad worked with people that were much younger than he, and I always wondered what they thought of him. I imagine it was something like how I look at Jim. I fully respect him and everything he has done, and I sincerely hope he enjoys his retirement.

The other day, Jim’s team had a retirement party for him. I asked him how it felt knowing that it was almost over. And for the first time in the 10 years I’ve worked with him, there was a deep rooted emotional answer. He told me it went faster than he expected. It was like he actually wanted it to slow down. Because of his answer I started looking at my life. Do I go too fast? Are there things that I am missing?

At noon today, he was gone. I heard he said his goodbyes and just took off in the middle of the terrible storm we had today. He must have really been ready! I think he was ready to slow down, but in order to move on he had to end this chapter of his life.

Slow down and don’t miss the moments that you could remember for life.

Thanks Jim for all your hard work..and your last lesson.

Easter Basketball Weekend

I know this is super old, but I just found this draft just sitting, not uploaded, so I had to finish it up!

About a month before Easter, my old next door neighbor Rich who currently lives in LA called me to see if I wanted to play in a family basketball tournament over Easter weekend. It sounded like a good time so of course I accepted the invitation.

Now I expected this to just be a fun little family tournament. Maybe some 3 on 3 with a bunch of teams put together with the family. How wrong was I?

A few weeks later Rich calls me asking what number and name I want to be on my jersey. Jersey? We’re gonna have jerseys? It’s about now I realize that this is going to be a little bigger than a basketball tournament. He asked if I had been working on getting my stamina up for the tournament. Lo and behold, I find out we have over 10 people on our team and will be playing a 5 team round robin tournament at a park district in Glenview.



I will spare you the play by play details of each of the games (we finished 4-1 getting second place), but I will tell you a few things.

1. We are old…and old out of shape people get injured. Let’s go over the injuries from just our team: dislocated shoulder, dislocated finger, pulled groin, sprained finger, and the worst one…dislocated knee cap. Yes, I saw that happen. Easily one of the worst injuries I have seen in person.

2. I still got it. Now I will have to define “it”. The competitive drive that pushed me as a child is still in me. I was never a high flyer or a flashy player. I just always got the job done. Not to toot my own horn, but I did hit the game winner in one of the games. Ok, I’ll toot it a little.

3. Even though we are older, we are still the same. Playing with my brothers and my neighbors from back in the day absolutely brought me to a place I hadn’t even thought of in years. With all of the business of life…grown up life, it is sometimes easy to forget where you came from. And it’s not that you forget on purpose, it is just what life does to you. More pressing matters like careers and families and future come up and take up all your time and you tend to forget, even for just a moment, how things were when you were young. I realize that it is a part of life but for 5 hours on the Saturday before Easter I was back in that mindset.

Win at all costs.

Sacrifice for the team.

Leave it all on the court.

These are the lessons that I never knew I learned from the game of basketball. And when I was out there with my family, I realized they were not just lessons on the court, but they were lessons in my life.

I look at the generation after us, my nieces, nephews, and godchildren, and I hope they can take away the lessons of life through all they do, whether it be through sports, art, or music. Hopefully it won’t take them till they are in their 30s to realize it like me…but I will do my best to make sure they see it before then.

Jordan Shoe Pickups

My last three acquisitions.  Please excuse my Instagram effects:

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Shoes: Jordan Retro Cement 3s

Date: 11/25/11

Where I got them: Serramonte Mall, South San Francisco

How I got them: Walked into Athlete’s Foot at noon the day of the release and they had one pair left…in my size


IMG 2267

Shoes: Jordan Retro Chicago 10s

Date: 1/23/12

Where I got them:

How I got them: Brute force attack.  Kept trying to buy the shoes online, with no luck for 20 minutes.  All of a sudden I got through.


Retro 4s

Shoes: Jordan Retro Cement 4s

Date: 2/17/12

Where I got them:

How I got them: After 3 hours of trying online the Nike twitter account said there were major server issues and they still had pairs left.  They rebooted their server and after a 45 minute wait, the server was back up and I walked away with a pair.

Wasn’t able to land the Concords…yet.  Hoping to get a steal sometime on ebay if I am lucky.  But I am hoping to cop the Retro 11 Breds. I would be shocked if I somehow got those.

The Sweatshop

Sweatshop In mid-January I started going to the Sweatshop in Buffalo Grove to work out. I found a LivingSocial coupon to go to this personal trainer for a consecutive 3 weeks for just $30. That seemed like a steal and especially since it was so close to him it seemed like something pretty non-risky. If I didn’t like it after a couple of times, no big deal, I only paid $30 for the coupon.

Little did I know that I would enjoy it as much as I do. Matt Kuhlman is the owner and trainer of The Sweatshop and he is a very motivating and very strong individual. The way he trains seems quite brilliant. He goes from person to person or sets up little workout groups and gives a set of exercises to work on. He watches you do a couple of reps, and then moves onto the next group. It works out perfectly for me, because I kind of like to workout without someone watching me. He just checks to make sure you are doing the exercises properly.

Bye Bye Calories!The workouts that I do there are things I never thought of doing. Like today, I did traveling burpees. For real? Who would have ever thought of doing that? Matt! That’s who!

Of course after the 3 week coupon from LivingSocial ran out, I decided to join as a member. I get to go twice a week – about an hour each session. I burn just as many calories if not more as I did when I was doing Insanity.

The last great thing about this place is the environment. The people that workout here are not be the huge steroid using beefcakes that you see at your Lifetime’s and Xsport’s of the world. They are real people with real lives that have decided to take their health into their own hands. Matt knows that too and celebrates them with some great motivational posters of the members.


I do have three 2 week passes if anyone is interested in checking out this place. You will not be disappointed!