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What’s your mantra?

There was a dark time, back in May, when everything I knew, built, or dreamed of was taken out from under me. I had a meeting with my Oncologist that told me I had cancer. Me! At age 51! Me?

I’m too healthy! I feel too good to have cancer? How could this be?

I didn’t know what it meant at the time but when the doctor tells you you have the C-word it stops you in your tracks.

What would I do? What does it mean? What will happen to my family and those two precious little girls God entrusted to us?

It was probably the darkest two weeks of my life. I had some tests done to find out the extent of the cancer growth.

The day the doctor read me the results of those tests had to be in my Top 5 best days of all-time! I walked out a saved man, to some extent, with the promise of living a good long time.

And as I climbed in my car and turned it on and let the good news marinate in my head a little bit an unexpected song came on the radio that brought me to knees, “Its Not My Time”.

The song was an old familiar one. The lyrics brought sobbing and praising God.


Looking back at the beginning of this
And how life was
Just you and me and loving all of our friends
Living life like an ocean
Now the current’s only pulling me down
It’s getting harder to breathe
It won’t be too long and I’ll be going under
Can you save me from this

‘Cause it’s not my time
I’m not going
There’s a fear in me
And it’s not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
Ooo but I won’t go

I look ahead to all the plans that we made
And the dreams that we had
I’m in a world that tries to take ‘em away
Oh but I’m taking ‘em back
Cause all this time I’ve just been too blind to understand
What should matter to me
My friend this life we live
It’s not what we have
It’s what we believe in

And it’s not my time I’m not going
There’s a fear in me
And it’s not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know

But it’s not my time
I’m not going
There’s a will in me
And now I know that
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
Ooo but I won’t go
I won’t go

There might be more than you believe
There might be more than you and me
There might be more than you can see

And I lived and breathed that song all summer long, right up to and through an invasive outpatient cancer treatment last September.

The results of the cancer procedure? Well they are about as good as anyone could ask for!  Thank YOU for all your prayers!

So last month a few people that are closest to me urged and encouraged me to start running again. I had fallen off the bus pretty good for the last 2+ years.

Not getting enough reaction from me they dared me to do a 1/2 marathon in February!

What? 13.1 miles…. in the cold! Are you crazy? I am not in any kind of shape to do that! And so one of them led by example and did one for me, showing it can be done.

OK why not? It worked! After all…I do have 4 long weeks to prepare and get up to 13+ miles. Geez!

Well that 1/2 marathon is this coming Saturday at 8:30am (pray for sun and some warm weather!)

hangar_lighthouse_withmedalsmallYou know what? I feel ready to do some damage to it!

I have been running, training, dropping a few pounds and I have my good running form back. And, afraid it will take me all day to run 13 miles, I have put in some time that says I won’t do too bad.

This afternoon I ran a good pace on a treadmill for over 70 minutes, burned nearly 900 calories and ran with that good form the entire run, not dropping to a tired shuffling of feet.

Here are some stats after the first 59 minutes:


So all things being normal I may be able to run this half marathon in under 2 hours. I would be soo happy with that! I may not crack the code and run it in 105 minutes like I did the race in several years ago. But that’s OK. That’s Not My Time…

Just the idea of running a race again, let alone one of great distance, was a distant memory back in May. Especially since I haven’t run a race this long since 2010.

So thanks everyone for your prayers and encouragement along this mind-numbing period. A very special thanks to my closest of close friends that duped me and encouraged me into this challenge. You know who you are! Some very Special Mates (SSM)! Thanks for kicking my butt and daring me to put this C-thing in the rearview mirror.

The song Its Not My Time will continue to be one of my mantras as I go through life. It goes right beside my other one, Hold On Tight. Two songs, two phrases I will never forget and hope to hold on to for a very, very long time.

These two mantras mirror the final words of the famous North Carolina State basketball coach, Jimmy Valvano as he bid farewell at ESPN’s ESPY awards in 1993 after it was found he could not beat his form of cancer. Jimmy started his V Cancer Foundation with the words and the drive and now trademark phrase, “Don’t give up . . . Don’t ever give up.”®

Never give up my friends!

If you have the time take a look at this by Jimmy V.

It can be very motivating!

So do you have a mantra you try to live by?

Care to share it?

Hold On Tight

In contrast to the past two weeks in my Shrek series, where I had to ‘Boo Hoo’ a little, we had a GREAT weekend this past week!

We had our house deep cleaned top to bottom. It looks great! We had a pressure washing crew come out and give our house, driveway, sidewalks, and curbs a bath on Sunday. Now, the driveway is white, the bricks look like new and our siding is back to its original color. I was giddy!  Then my wife and I put some mulch over all the tree and shrubbery beds.

From the street, our house ‘Pops’ for all the potential new homebuyers that go driving by. We are finally ready to put our house on the market! The time has finally come!

That is what we are going to be doing as you read this. I set up Wednesday as the day we sign the papers. Thursday we take all the home photos for the listing. Then Friday the sign goes in the ground and we are holding on tight to our dream of a grand new house.

What a great feeling! 

Adding to this new found euphoria was the warm temperatures. The flowers are beginning to undress and flash some of their colors. The pollen is in the air….and all over my car!  Cats and dogs are getting along! Our dream of buying a great new house is coming to life!

Do you know the feeling I am talking about? ….when you are realizing one of your dreams coming to fruition?

Yes? No? Humor me with a click on the video and read on….

This song came on yesterday and reminded me back to our last trip to Jamaica.

I had just flopped down in a lounge chair in the sun facing the clear blue waters off the beach. Our precious girls were being entertained by a nanny at the resort. I had a tall Tanqueray and Tonic by my side. Relaxing, I shut my eyes and slipped in my Ipod earbuds and this song came on…..Hold on tight to your dreams. I made it!

After a tough year of changing jobs, being unemployed, learning new jobs, wondering how we were going to make it….we DID make it….made it back to the tropics.  And that lounge chair in the sun, where the rest of the world didn’t exist, was my validation.

A view from my lounge chair in our hidden sanctuary

A view from my lounge chair in our hidden sanctuary

And so I wanted just to remind you…..

Hold On Tight…to your dreams!

Whether your dream is to build your new house or parent the best kids in the world…..hold on tight!

Or a dream of graduating…with honors or get that perfect job…

or simply to understand or be understood….hold on to your dreams!


If your goal is to run a 7 minute mile or deadlift 150lbs. or simply be in the best shape or your life….hold on!

If your dream is to marry John or get a Law degree….hold on!

If your dream is to write a book or sell a book…

If you want to finish first in your category, class, or age group…hold on tight to that dream!

Prizes for winning my age group

Prizes for winning my age group

“ And when you feel so tired that you can’t stand up or you keep trying and trying but you’re all out of luck”…..Hold on tight!

Because nothing worthwhile is easy. Nothing valuable comes cheap. Nothing anybody has ever attained came without sacrifice.

“So when you feel down hearted and misunderstood..

Just keep telling yourself over and over and over and over to….Hold on Tight to Your Dreams”

If you want to travel and travel and travel…or take that dream vacation…

or cross off those very important items on your Bucket List….Hold On!

Or be the best leader you can be, whether at work or home or helping others…Hold on…

Hold on tight if your dream is to learn to fly or learn to sail the seas.

Or finding the perfect sunset….


Hold in tight to the dream of finding your perfect soul mate…..

or finding the perfect sunset with your perfect soul mate..


Or that perfect pair of shoes.

..that perfect look..

Or catching the perfect wave…

Sabrina 002

Or whatever else is most important for you to attain…Hold on Tight!

Hold on to those dreams of finding the perfect house….

or padding that home nest for days without an employer (anymore)

Dreams of putting four strangers together to become a family…. 

Or finally finding our most precious little girl…. 


And then one more… 


Or having a family when the odds are against you.

Watching George

Hold on very Tight to your dreams! 

Dreams can come true.

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