Sunday, June 26, 2016

Men's 4.0 USTA State Champions

The battle in Waterloo for the state championships is over.  We won.  Final score, 3-2.  My team carried me.  My partner and I played number one doubles and lost in a super tiebreaker after splitting the first two sets 6-3, 5-7.  There were four super tiebreakers out of five matches.  Now we're headed to the regional playoffs in Oklahoma City, August 5-7.  The second place team was offered a wild card spot so we may see them again should we advance out of pool play.  This makes me extra happy because I may get to take a mulligan on yesterday's thriller.  It's an opportunity to raise my game.  The difference between winning and losing at this level is razor thin and I'm thankful my teammates pulled out an amazing win against an undefeated team.

We are one of eight teams headed to Oklahoma City in six weeks.  The teams will be divided into two groups.  The weather will be a scorcher and the competition red hot.  That's the way I like it.  I grew up in the Valley of the Sun and moved to a small town outside of San Diego also nicknamed, the Valley of the Sun.  My time in the heat shaped me and my caveman food experiment chiseled away all my body fat.   My inflammation challenges from eating the wrong foods are no longer an issue.  It's been nearly ten months since I discarded processed foods and anything with a label.  As the oldest member of the championship team, I need all the help I can get to keep up in the 18+ division.  Maybe someday I will act my age.  Not today.  I need to prepare for the next chapter in our fairy tale lives.  Will the final chapter of the season end in Rancho Mirage, California in September, about a hundred miles from my hometown of twenty-two years?  My team has a one word answer – practice.  That's the story of my life – practice, practice, practice.  Have a great day.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

It's Game Day

I've been preparing for this moment all year long.  The workouts have been super intense.  Our local pro pushed us to our limits.  Now it's time.  We're one team victory away from a Men's 4.0 state championship and a berth in the regional championships in August.  It won't be easy.  Our opponents are undefeated.  I'm showing up an hour early to stretch and get ready.  Win or lose, it will be a day I never forget.  My date with destiny is here.  Have a great day.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Last Day of Preparation for the Championships

It's the last day of preparation for our playoff match in Waterloo tomorrow.  One of my tennis buddies is with me today and we're headed to the courts for a fun workout.  Life doesn't get much better than this.  I'm thankful my community leaders stepped up and repaired our dilapidated tennis courts near my home.  The courts are amazing.  I'm hoping for good weather on the 4th of July so I can get my family on the courts for more fun in the sun.  Have a great day.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Does Your Life Look Like a Movie Script?

It's been sixteen years since Tom Hanks and his buddy, Wilson, were castaways on a remote island.  His transformation from overweight workaholic executive to ultra-fit tropical island Tarzan look-alike almost looks to good to be true for most couch potato Americans.  This movie script is no fairy tale for me – it's my life.  I even have a sidekick named Wilson.

Tom Hanks spent four years living in a remote place far away from the life he once knew to transform himself.  That's how long I've been living in Iowa, a place similar to where the script ended for Tom Hank's character in the movie Castaway.  I may not have long scraggly hair or a beard but I do have a new body thirty-five pounds lighter that comes from eating like our caveman ancestors.  Tom Hanks worked out two hours a day and ate mostly vegetables in order to earn millions of dollars for his role but my motivation is profound – survival.  I needed to rid my body of dangerous inflammation caused by eating processed foods.  My old eating habits would have sunk me if I didn't follow the script prescribed by a doctor who believed he could help me find my inner caveman.  I'm glad I answered the casting call.  Now it's time to bring Wilson with me to our championship playoff match on Saturday.  Mrs. Caveman will be in the spectator section.  I'm living happily ever after.  Tom Hanks can have his millions for playing a caveman.  I'm content to live like one with Wilson and Mrs. Caveman at my side.  That's my own personal movie script.  What's yours?  Have a great day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Physical Challenges Ahead

I'm three days away from the next physical challenge for our men's tennis team.  It's the second step in our quest for a national championship.  I'm ready.  The food program I'm experimenting with is keeping me lean and mean.  I need all the help I can get because I'm the oldest member of the team and we're competing in the 18+ division.  The difference between winning and losing may come down to diet and training.  I'd like to thank all the people responsible for inspiring me to do this and my team captain for believing in me when he first met me.  I was a happy guy socializing on the tennis courts with men much older than me, some in their 70's and 80's.  It was the first time I was eligible to play in the senior group and four bucks for an hour and a half of indoor tennis was a deal.  I guess senior tennis will have to be on hold for a while until our team completes our mission.  Stay tuned.  There are some amazing challenges ahead.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Paper or Plastic?

Yesterday we introduced a new credit card at my day job and the reviews are coming in.  I understand the tight rope others walk choosing paper or plastic.  Those free offers flood the mail box with all kinds of smoking deals but they can be dangerous carcinogens for the undisciplined.  If credit card debt  is a disease, I'm a stage IV survivor.  The smell of plastic turns me off.  But I'm also a frugalite and I enjoy using my creativity to save a buck.  My wife and I committed to using our rewards card to buy gas, groceries and other purchases for twelve months.  We promised each other to pay all balances in full.  One dollar of interest means it's time to go back to paper.  This is a challenge.  If we stay disciplined, we can trade in our rewards certificate for a couple of Ben Franklin's.   I'll let you know how the challenge goes.  Have a great day.

Monday, June 20, 2016

My Favorite Kind of People

There seems to be one common denominator in the people I tend to get along with the most – they have a desire to be better today than they were yesterday.  It doesn't matter where they're from, how far away they are from their goals, or how challenging their situations may be.  If the desire is there to improve and they're willing to pay the price, I want to be a part of their pursuit.  Maybe you're one of "those people" who want to lose weight, get fit or become financially independent.  I find it sad how the "naysayers" gang up on the ones who like to dream big.  What are they afraid of?  I haven't spent enough time with the naysayers to figure out why they want to be dream killers.  Instead, I invest my time helping others reach for the stars.  Maybe that's why I love being a dad and a husband.  The whole world may believe I'm a loser but they don't see the value in the lessons I learned from the school of hard knocks.  It's all about continuous improvement.  It's about not giving up no matter how dire the circumstances.

Thanks for stopping by today.  If you have a goal you're working on, I hope you keep in touch.  Let me know if I can help.  Have a great day.