Early this Sunday morning, Mickey and I were up to join a group for bike ride from Oviedo Aquatic Center out to Fort Christmas and back. Full disclosure, I do not yet keep up or ever make it to the full length as these guys can easily knock out 50 miles in the time it takes me to do half that. I do, however, love being up and out. I secretly hope to make a “brick” of it. A brick is the combination of two sports. I have never been able to transition from the bike to a run as my legs come off the bike feeling like concrete or bricks. I can only assume that’s where the name came from, but I will have to check into that. I hope to add a mile run after a 10 mile bike this morning.

As the group took off and headed East along 419, I jumped into the middle of the pack and enjoyed the first mile or two with the group as they stretched their legs and added speed. I am fine with the consistent building of speed. Where they lose me is when we slow for a stop sign or for some debris in the road and then they take back off with serious acceleration and I am dropped. By mile three, I am off the back. Before mile 4, I can no longer even see them ahead.

After mile 5, I decide that if I have any chance of pulling off this brick, I had better turn back. I make a casual u-turn. Enter wind.

The first 5 miles had some false flats with slight climbs and a couple of long sloping downhills where I was able to pour speed into the bike. I was completely unaware of any breeze at all. After making my turn to head back, I became bluntly aware of what I would later learn was a 14 mph wind that had been at my back all along. I don’t know if you are all aware of what a 14 mph headwind does to the pace of an overweight bicyclist, but take my word that it took longer to get back than it did to go out.

Simultaneous to the wind hitting me in the chest was the epiphany of this metaphor in my brain. I had many thoughts as I lumbered my bike into the wind for the 5 mile slog to the car to transition into my running shoes.

I was unaware of the wind when it was supporting and pushing me in the direction that I wanted to go. I took all the credit for my athleticism and strength as I rode along the highway. I did not consider the wind at all. I certainly was not thankful to have it. I was blissfully ignorant. The birds were singing. The sun was shining. The trees were green. The cars were happy to pass me leaving plenty of room.

When the wind literally hit me in the face, my bike slowed. I immediately felt as though I was much too far from my car. Where had this wind come from? Why is it just appearing now? The smallest uphill became mountainous. The birds fell quiet. The sun was beating down on me. The trees were swaying. The cars were impatient and dangerously close.

The ride back was harder, but I enjoyed it for what it was. The resistance of the wind made me work harder. I became immediately grateful for the tailwind I had received for the first 5 miles. Now here is the part, you need to get your head around. I was also grateful for the headwind on the way back as a chance to grow. The resistance would reward my efforts with added strength in the future. I was not the victim of some evil force. I was the benefactor of an empowering force. I had an opportunity to face the wind with grace or to quit and curse it.

I can’t see wind, but I can surely feel it. I can’t see wind, but I can surely see the impact it has on people and the world. I don’t know the word for wind in every language, but I am sure that they are describing the same thing. I can’t see wind, but I know that whether everyone believes in it or not, it’s there.

Remember that I said it was a metaphor?

Categories: Family, Sports, Writing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

What Happened?

Last night’s events did not make the news anywhere.  I assume that every scholastic athletic team has a similar event every year.  This event, however, marked an emotional and impactful inevitability for me.  Oviedo High School Water Polo had its “Senior Night” last night. My baby girl is a senior in high school nearing the end of her high school career.  She is just weeks from graduating and turning 18 years old.  I did not cry, although it was touch and go for a bit.  She knows when and where she will be heading to college in the fall.  I know that it must happen this way for everyone.  Image

The last 18 years are a blur of activity, growth, milestones, challenges and love.  I knew the heartbreak of dropping a little girl at preschool and watching her run off into the classroom without a look back.  Then seemingly five minutes later she was heading into the mall to watch a movie with a boy without us.  What happened?

I had a cute little 6 year old girl promise to stay 6 forever.  Then, with a wry smile, she kept right on growing and became a beautiful woman.  What happened?

I knew the magic of being woke on a Saturday morning by being pounced on.  Seconds later, I was teaching her to drive and when I woke on Saturday mornings she was gone to practice before I was awake.  What happened?

Each day is a microcosm of our lives.  Today is the only Saturday, March 29, 2014, that any of us will ever get.  I had a time when they needed to be carried. I had a time when I could teach the alphabet.  I had a time when we could sit on the floor and play legos.  I had a time when I could drive them to and from school.  I had a time when we could talk about their friends and classwork.  I had a time where they thought I knew everything.  This high school senior year is the only one that I can share with her.  Next year we will be relating to her as a freshman in college.  It is a constantly changing dynamic.

I have recognized for some time that I must live in and enjoy the present.  I also know that life prepares you for what lies ahead.  If I had never dropped her at preschool or the mall or woke on a Saturday to her being gone to an activity, I would never be able to let her go to college.  Thousands of small heartbreaks and emotional opportunities to grow will make taking her to college this fall just one more heartbreak in a long line of them giving us all another chance to grow and expand our relationships.

I have loved every minute of it and look forward to all the pure potential of the future.  

Below is the picture of that cute little 6 year old.  What happened?


Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Lifeguard vs Swim Instructor

Last night, Ana and I went out to our first Winter Springs Wednesday Night Mixer.  It happens every Wednesday night.  We should have been before but life keeps us busy.  We would not have made it to this one either if it had not been that Mark McCoy was going to be there.  We even got our kids to go and listen.  We had seen and shared many of Mark’s videos.  You can see them on Tomorrow’s Champion website.  I learned so much that I should have known.  So much of what we think we know about health and fitness is wrong.

Before Mark got up to talk, Ted Jones shared his story of body and financial transformation that is so powerful.  He then called on Ana to come up and share her product, body transformation and opportunity story.  If you have not talked to or heard my wife talk in the last 6 months, you may not know how accomplished she has become at sharing and inspiring and helping others.  If you have only just met her in the last 6 months, you may not appreciate how much of a change she has made in the last 6 months in giving of her time and energy to help so many others achieve their goals.  She is truly an inspiration.

Then Mark McCoy was onstage.  One of the very first things that he shared that I cannot get out of my head over 24 hours later is:

Feed the body you want. Hydrate the body you have.”

Mark gave me a new goal.  I can be as efficient as an 18 year old regardless of age.

We all know that our metabolism slows with age. What we don’t do is take that to its logical conclusion. Our metabolism slows. Our body is less efficient.  So we give the body less food, or “diet” and the body shuts down our metabolism even further to store more fat because it thinks that we are starving.  Diet = accelerated aging.  Everyone says “weight loss” and what is meant is “fat loss”.

Health and Fitness requires three steps in a process in order to reach your potential.  Health has step 1 “Balance” and step 2 “Feed”.  While Fitness is step 3 “Move”.

Homework assignment: Google and gain understanding of the history of USDA Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA).

Balance starts with oxygen and moving it through your body.  This requires vitamin B.  Next, is water.  Drink half your body weight in ounces every day and increase twenty percent based on activity and/or weather conditions. Finally, balance includes micronutrients.  This means enzymes, vitamins and minerals. In 90 days, you can have the metabolism of an 18 year old.

Food includes proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  There are good and bad of each.  Learn more about the food that you put in your body.  Eat within one hour of waking and until one hour of going to bed.  Feed the body that you want.  Mark has created some sample plans for various goals from strength to endurance or just fat loss.

Move. You know that you need to do more.  Let’s go.

Mark opened a lot of eyes and left us with a bit of wisdom.  He said that doctors were serving as lifeguards at the pool, ready to help in an emergency.  With the knowledge of balance, food and move, we can serve as swim coaches and stop the emergency from ever happening.

He shared that 71% of every healthcare dollar in the US is spent to treat a preventable issue while only 3% is spent on prevention.

Mark hung around and answered lots of specific questions.  It changed the way that I ate today.  It changed the way that I packed lunches and snacks for the kids.  I ordered some more supplements to achieve our various goals.  Let me share with you what we are doing.


Screenshot 2014-03-27 23.37.08

Categories: Food, Products, Sports | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Key Largo Mixer (or No Arms Were Twisted)

Let’s go change some lives in Key Largo!


Hold up. Key Largo? You want us to spend a few of our precious Spring Break days on a small sliver of land between the Atlantic and Florida Bay as Winter turns into Spring? Okay. Nobody had to have their arm twisted for this trip. Team Make It Happen went to Key Largo this weekend.

Well over a month ago invitations were sent out and phone calls were made. Our friends, Ted and Meghan Jones, and their wonderful kids we’re going to join us and come talk to our friends and family and their guests in Key Largo. We were so excited to see what was going on in Key Largo, where people wanted to go and how we could help them get there.

We shared and connected with so many locals. We sat on the back dock on the canal that looked right out to the Bay. Pam and Sarah made so many healthy snacks and had quite a spread. It was amazing to hear some of the results that many have already had and heart wrenching to hear what so many have tried and how desperate many are for results. There were some that needed energy and others that wanted to lose weight. There were some that wanted to achieve fitness goals and a few that wanted a plan b income opportunity.

It was inspiring to see the passion and community in Key Largo. Also, I will never tire of hearing Meghan share her story or seeing her empathy for others. We are pairing up some current champions with some future champions to coach them along the way.

We spent a lot of time in the ocean or very near it. We went to state parks, marinas and some local haunts. We went to Bahia Honda State Park and Anne’s Beach. We ate some great seafood and kept hydrated. We visited Islamorada Fish Company for a beautiful sunset and Chad’s for the Keys best sandwiches. Island Grill at Mandalay delivered their famous tuna nachos. There was fishing and snorkeling and the property value on the hammock skyrocketed. All kinds of bait were tried and a few fish were caught.

We will be coming to a city near you soon. Make it happen sooner by reaching out to us at our site.

There may not have been any twisted arms but there was some twisted tea.

In an unrelated story, stay tuned for the tale of Caleb Jones and the Magical Sea Urchin.


Categories: Family, Products, Travel | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Mike Kennedy shared an Instagram photo with you

Hi there,

Mike Kennedy just shared an Instagram photo with you:

view full image

“Check out @shaken96 vs the lobster”
(taken at Bonefish Willy’s)

The Instagram Team

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mike Kennedy shared an Instagram photo with you

Hi there,

Mike Kennedy just shared an Instagram photo with you:

view full image

“It’s lobster boil time. Love Bonefish Willy’s in Melbourne, FL”
(taken at Bonefish Willy’s)

The Instagram Team

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mike Kennedy shared an Instagram photo with you

Hi there,

Mike Kennedy just shared an Instagram photo with you:

view full image

“My baby girl, @shaken96 , is 17 today. Happy Birthday!”

The Instagram Team

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Let’s Get It Started

Where have you been?  I have not written anything in some time.  If you look at my last post, you will see, like I just did, that it was posted on September 1, 2012.  What happened back in the first week of September?  I changed my life.  I lost 30 pounds in a little more than 30 days.  I made money while losing the weight and changing my life.

Let me explain.  And I will continue to explain in the coming weeks and months and may invite some guest bloggers to share their stories.

For more than a year, my beautiful and patient wife, Ana, had been telling me stories of all the success that a few of her peers had been having with weight loss.  In all that time, I steadfastly poopooed her stories of weight loss as I was quite confident that if I enjoyed fewer beers and burgers that I too could lose weight.  As I am sure that you are an avid reader of my “Lose 100 Pounds in One Year” blog, you know that I have spent the last 15 years floating between 50 and 100 pounds overweight.  I have lost nearly 50 pounds in a weight bet among friends and then gained 70 in the next year.  I have lost 20 pounds before the holidays, just to make room to gain them back over that very same holiday season.  Need I say more than that I started the blog “Lose 100 Pounds in One Year” about three years ago?  

Got it? So, what happened in September?  Well, I heard a conversation between my beautiful and  patient wife, Ana, and one Meghan Kelly Jones.  I was driving while Ana had Meghan on the phone via bluetooth in her car allowing me to hear the whole conversation.  Meghan was telling her story and had my attention.  I may tell her story to you someday, if I can’t get her to do it, but not today.  She got my attention with a compelling and moving story of her family and their last couple years.  Meghan is the wife of one of Ana’s former peers at work.

Meghan’s story hit so close to home that I got excited.  While excited, I wanted to get through what must be a candy coating and see what was in the middle.  I hit the internet to find the naysayers and get the other side of the story.  I searched like a skeptic seeking any signs of scam or fraud.  I watched You Tube videos taken from every perspective and sought out competitors.  I reviewed the corporate material and small print.  I weighed my options and considered the risks and rewards.  Then I started talking to my friends and family to see if they had heard anything like this.  When the dust cleared and my reviews were complete, I took decisive action.

Meghan’s story involved AdvoCare.  I had heard the word and vaguely thought that it either had to do with with Health Care or First Aid, and as wrong as I was, I wasn’t too far off.  While AdvoCare is an industry leading health and wellness company with products that support energy, weigh-loss, nutrition and sports performance, they can also be just the “first aid” and/or “health care” that so many neglect to give themselves.

The first week of September 2012, Ana and I joined AdvoCare as distributors and took the 24-Day Challenge together.  We bought in completely to the products and followed the cleanse, supplement and meal plan completely.  We supported each other and got immediate results.  We scoured the web for more information on how others were using the products.  Our energy level was great.  Our clothes were fitting better.  We felt really good.

As we have a million times before with the newest restaurants, movies or television shows, we started telling everybody about what we had found.

Before starting the Challenge last summer, I weighed 310 pounds.  After the Challenge, I got under 280.  I lost over 22 total inches in body measurements including 4 inches in my waist alone.      I have not been given permission to tell my Ana’s stats, but I can say that she had similar results and was just as excited as I am about them.  I know that I just lost some of you reading this, because you don’t believe me. But, if you don’t believe that, you are never going to believe this.  We finished our Challenge over 3 months ago.  Since then, Ana has eaten very well and only “cheated” for a couple meals at special events or holidays.  She still uses a few of her favorite supplements, has continued to lose weight and is wearing clothes smaller than she ever remembers wearing.  I know the jeans she just bought are a size smaller than what she was buying when we were dating 20 years ago and she was 18!  I have “cheated” a lot and binged on holiday food like the world was really going to end.  I drank beer and ate cookies.  I used a few of the supplements that Ana was using and my weight moved a pound or two up and down.  I continued drinking a lot of water and as I sit here writing this, I weigh 280.

Did I spend money on these products? Yes, but no more than we were already spending on so many self-defeating products like lattes and fast food.  So, take note.  We saved more money on items that we eliminated than we spent to add the new.  That alone would be enough, but by sharing our results and excitement, we made money that paid bills, reduced debt and bought refills of supplements or other products we tried.  Again, that really should be enough for anyone, but we also got to truly help people.  We inspired friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances to make a change and feel better.  See the attached comparison photo of my father-in-law, Sergio Padron, that lost a lot of weight and total inches. The numbers that I want to share is what he did to his blood sugar with daily measurements over 150 before the Challenge and now an average of 80.  He changed his life and may have fought off adult onset, Type II Diabetes.  That gets me excited.  Now my mother-in-law and sister-in-law are ready to get started.

AdvoCare has launched new products and limited time price savings for the New Year’s Resolution crowd that end on January 15th.  There’s the Can You 24 DVD and a bundle of the 24-Day Challenge and Beyond that will get you through 72 days of becoming a Champion.  I weighed in today because I am excited to be starting my second 24-Day Challenge and may go Beyond and use my DVD to see what exercise will do to affect my results.  Did you think that we were working out to get our results?  Last fall, Ana and I worked out 2 or 3 times during the challenge and my father-in-law incorporated a daily walking routine to his plan.

What’s it going to be for you?  Change your life?  I’ll keep you updated on mine.  Are you competitive?  There is a Transformation Contest with $40,000 in prizes.  I signed up for that today.  Deadline is January 15.  I am confident that whether or not I can impress the judges, I will feel great and look better another 30 or more pounds lighter.

Left photo taken Thanksgiving Day and right photo just a couple days before Christmas (27 days).

Left photo taken Thanksgiving Day and right photo just a couple days before Christmas (27 days).

Categories: Family, Food, Products, Sports | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Football Football Football

Summer does not really end for another three weeks at the solstice, but, for most, Labor Day weekend, returning to school and/or the beginning of football are more than enough to begin pulling out of the Summer spirit and transition toward Fall.

Kids back to school? Fine. Three day weekend? Sign me up.  Football? Yes, please and keep it coming.  Football means Fall is here as much as leaves turning, temperatures dropping and gourds being harvested.  Do not get me started on pumpkins.  I will save that for another time.

The NFL preseason has wrapped up and the regular season kicks off next week. Last night, high school football was in full swing with some of them playing their second game. This morning I saw the local high school stadium playing host to the youngest Pop Warner youth football teams in full pads and game gear. This Labor Day weekend has the first Saturday of college football in full swing after kicking off Thursday night.  Football is all around.  As I have discussed at length before, not all football is American football. But, unlike the USA and our Major League Soccer, most of the world begins playing football at the end of August or first of September just when our American football is getting underway.  Football can be seen in nearly every corner of the world.  The excitement, community pride and money spent is nearly boundless.  This is true whether you are in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or Manchester, England.  College or NCAA football is the closest thing we have in America to the passion that is international football or soccer, but they are still so very different.

Football in America, whether NCAA or NFL, is much more than a game.  There is game planning and strategy.  Offense and defense.  Scoring and turnovers. Rivalries and rebuilding. Plays and schemes. Mascots and cheerleaders. Cheering and jeering. Alumni and fanatics. Marching bands and halftime shows. Stats and awards. Fantasy and collectibles. Camaraderie and trash talking.  Genius and stupidity. History and face painting. Hope and desperation. Money and more money. Tradition and coaching combine these things and more to try to put together a winning combination.

As a fan, my winning game plan always includes the “tailgate”. This means that you arrive many hours before kickoff and have a meal plan that includes grilling and ice cold beverages at the very minimum.  There can be tents and comfortable seating.  You can have a television and a satellite dish.  If you have an RV, bring it.  I don’t care whether it’s football or soccer, that is not a bad way to spend an afternoon before watching your team.  I like having craft beer and brats if left to my own means.  When traveling to games, I like to walk through the parking/tailgating area and meet people and see the cuisine in all its many flavors that is being cooked and served.  In Green Bay, this can include some squeaky cheese or a brat sharing grill space with a pheasant.  In Barcelona, you might have some fire roasted corn or a paella.  South Florida raises the bar on fresh seafood you may have caught yourself, while from the Deep South to Central Texas barbecue battles are waged daily.  Food and Football Flavor Fall.  Say that five times fast.

Sorry about the alliteration, but it was either that or metaphor, so consider yourself lucky.

Let me hear about your game and what it means to you.  If you have a recipe, share it with me. If you have an extra ticket and want to show me how it’s done, I may have a weekend or two open this fall.  Until then, I have to go fire up the grill and grab a drink from the cooler.

See ya, bye.

Living room setup for football.

Dialed in.

Categories: Beer, Food, Sports | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Florida Pancake Combo



I don’t often write out of obligation, but felt that I needed to reset this post from this morning as I tried to post via email from a new app that did not work as expected.  This would not ordinarily be a big deal but since so many of you came to look at it, I felt the need to replace the post upon deletion with what you should have seen.

Ana and I had breakfast this morning at keke’s breakfast cafe here in Central Florida.  She had the banana nut pancake combo and I had the Florida pancake combo.  The kids were off doing there own thing with friends.  

See ya, bye.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at The Adventure Journal Theme.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 443 other followers