What is this blog about? Laugh, Think, and Cry...

My blog is for you and for me. I hope you find some inspiration here. I follow a "laugh, think, and cry" pattern based upon the following quote from Jimmy V (Jim Valvano, former N.C. St. basketball coach) during his final days of battling cancer in 1993. Btw, It it is quite OK for you to cry in the laugh section, think in the cry section, and laugh in the think section... :) Click here if you want to view the entire Jimmy V speech.

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week; you're going to have something special.”


A lot has happened since I began this blog last fall. When I selected Jimmy Valvano’s “Laugh, Think, and Cry” speech to use as model of inspiration for my theme I had no idea that cancer would strike my family like it has in the last year. My older sister Susan recently buried her husband Glenn E. Hall (49) after an incredibly grueling and difficult battle versus a very rare and aggressive cancer called alveolar rhabdomyosacrcoma. It began attacking his brain last fall in what initially appeared to be a sinus infection. There was no indication to think it was anything else. By the time it was detected it had left a trail of destruction of irreparable damage.

My younger sister DeAnn currently battles ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed on October 5th, 2010. Her fight continues.

On September 13th, 2011 my beautiful queen Stephanie picked me up from the gym after a long workout. Moments later I learned that my wife of 25 years, my best friend, the mother of our four amazing children, confirmed one of our worst fears. Stephanie has breast cancer. We held each other tight and the tears flowed. Our world has been rocked yet we are certain we can and will still be standing after it is all said and done.

Stephanie and I have decided to share her battle. We have been preaching and living the word “challenge” over the past few years. Our lifestyle has changed and we have been blessed to meet so many wonderful people through our running adventures. This is something that would be impossible to keep hidden so we choose to open up and invite others to come along for this “run” with us.

Stephanie and our family now face something much more daunting than a mountain marathon or an Ironman triathlon. We understand that many are confused as to why this has happened. We get it that some people don’t know what to say or how to react to the news. It’s ok. We have accepted it for what it is. Cancer is here, it is real, and it is us. Stephanie has it and so our family has it. We are a team. One for all and all for one. We are fighting to save our Mommy, our friend, and my wife. Early detection and current medical technology coupled with faith, love, and hope give us a fighting chance, a chance that not all cancer patients receive. We are grateful for this. Stephanie is young, strong, and tougher than nails. Our family and the doctors are doggedly determined that we are going to defeat this foe.

We plan to use this opportunity to become stronger, better people. As the storm clouds gather and the rain comes pouring down as it most assuredly will, we hope you can find the rays of sunlight with us and in some way become a stronger person yourself. The goal of my blog was to inspire and be inspired. Stephanie shares that same wish as she tells her story... stephsfight.blogspot.com

Tick tock...

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Goal:  Finish the  Florida Ironman Triathlon, November 5, 2011, Panama City, FL
Current Weight: 196
Ironman Goal Weight: A lean, strong, healthy 189
Current Injury Status: None. Hallelujah.
Current Training: Temps are starting to heat up and so am I—the swim, bike, and run continue to improve. Most importantly, a 3- year weight plateau has been shattered and wow, does it feel great! I am never hungry, my energy levels are high, and I’m not on a diet. I’m semi-primal. More on this next time…

LAUGH: Treadmill Tomfoolery
Let’s face it, even someone who loves to run eventually struggles with a long winter and treadmill runs at home or the gym. During the school year my runs must be early, early morning and so yes, I become married to the treadmill for climate and safety reasons. Well, here's what I may start doing to liven things up a bit...click below. 

THINK: Keep on Hammerin’!          

You’ve heard the Jacob Riis (writer, journalist 1849-1914) quote about the stone cutter...

“Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”

Photo Credit: Matthew Maguire
Many of you no doubt are trying to break through some kind of plateau or get out of some rut. You’ve been trying, but the results aren’t matching the desired time frame associated with our get-it-now, instant gratification society! You feel like you are spinning your wheels in the mud and may want to quit. If your plan is based upon solid, time-tested principles then regroup, refocus, take a swig of DetermiPatience and see this thing through. Most people give up after a tiresome number of strikes with the hammer because they are frustrated with the seemingly lack of progress. Stay with it, you’re just a few more strikes away from success…

CRY: MMM        
My mind has wandered often in recent days to those who are struggling with life’s trials and also to those whose lives, in my opinion, are taken too soon. It is difficult to watch our loved ones suffer. We mourn, we grieve, and of course, we miss those who pass on. We can all write a list of names and the older we get the longer the list becomes…

We owe it to ourselves, our families, and our friends to not waste our opportunity here. My time on earth is limited and I’m making a renewed pledge to MMM: Maximize My Minutes.