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, July 17, 2011


Goal:  Finish the Ford Ironman Florida Triathlon, November 5, 2011, Panama City, FL 
Current Weight: ? I’m on a 3-week “no weigh” plan—I’ll explain later, maybe.
Ironman Goal Weight: A lean, strong, healthy 189
Current Training: I am now beginning the push to prepare for the Utah Half Ironman on August 27th & the Top of Utah Marathon on September 17th. Everything from this point on will be geared to start revving the engine in preparation for November 5th.
Current Injury Status: None.

LAFFAs some of you know, I detest misspeeeelings and cruciphy myself when I make them myself in any dokument or correspondunce. I even hate to misspell in a text message!  During my latest Ragnar Relay experience not only did I run with some outstanding runners but I shared lube and blisters with an exsellent group of spellurs! We passed some of the time expressing our disappointment in the por speling by sum of our fellow Ragnarlians on the coarse (imagine 2,400 vehicles with names, slogans, etc. decorating there windows—we didn’t see ‘em all, butt saw many).  One of the gems we viewed over and over again was a teem name displayed on a back window we trailed fer many, many miles:  “Squirl Bait”.  C’mon people, my pen is out of red ink…

THINK: Very Important Triathlete
I remember my kid-like excitement (I was 20, so I guess I was still actually a kid!) when I enjoyed the opportunity of attending the Wimbledon Championships in the mid 80’s. While I was not a tennis player, I had grown up watching the greats with my father and playing a little with him in between all of the football, basketball, and running After all, it was “sport”, and it was “competition”, so I was all in. I think tennis is a great spectator sport.

Back to London…I ate some strawberries and cream and was thrilled to watch stars like John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, and a new German kid on the block named Boris Becker, play tennis on the world’s greatest grass court stage. And, of course, I dreamed like every athlete… “Wouldn’t it be cool to play here?” Everyone’s done it. We imagine scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl or hitting a home run in the World Series (insert your own dream here). But, even if we couldn’t do that wouldn’t it be cool just to share the court or the field with the pros? Just once? Sure, you can pay thousands to participate in “fantasy camps” with pro athletes, but you aren’t sharing the same stage with the same athletes in the same event. Except in the world of triathlon. When you swim, bike, and run in an Ironman event, you are sharing the water and the road with the world’s best professional triathletes. You also get to share the same finish line with them (albeit hours later
J).  I think this is pretty cool and it makes the Ironman a very unique event in the world of sport. As a forty-something who went pro in teaching/coaching, I will participate in Florida with the some of the world’s elite triathletes. A VIT, I guess. Pretty awesome…

CRYThe Best Way to Prepare for a Race
 My mind is constantly filled with the idea of making each moment and day count.  Find something worthwhile to pursue, decide to try something impossible, or make a written plan for whatever “it” is that you’ve always wanted to do but just haven’t completed yet. And then tell someone who loves you about your goal

There are tears of joy and tears of regret.  Take your pick, the choice is yours. A genuinely sad thing happens when we procrastinate and fail to act on our desires and dreams.  The following quotes motivate me to seek the tears of the former and not the latter:

“Mr. Meant-To has a friend, his name is Didn’t-Do. Have you met them? They live together in a house called Never-Win. And I am told that it is haunted by the Ghost of Might-Have-Been.”
        -Marva Collins, educator. b. 1936.

“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘it might have been’.”
            -John Greenleaf Whittier, writer. 1807-1892.

Checklist time--think for a moment or two...

  • What race or event do you want to do? 
  • What race or event do you need to do? 
  • Now, go write it down. 
  • Next, go show someone you love and ask for their support. 
  • Ok, just one more step to get you moving. It is a great piece of advice from my friend, coach, and inspiration, Greg Peterson (2 time Ironman triathlete). He says “the best way to prepare for a race is to send in your entry fee.”

Let’s go… (and don't forget, if you like this blog you can become a Google Follower or even easier, you can subscribe by email below and a message will automatically be sent to you with each new post)