When asked why I choose to run, my standard response is, “I don’t want to be fat and bald.” And that’s a large part of the truth.
Fact is, before I started running, I was out of balance. Even though I’d lost 35 pounds, I still had 35 more to go in order to get where I needed to be. I was drinking 150 ounces of Diet Coke a day. To me, at that time, God should have made water taste as good as Diet Coke. I was happy, or so I thought.
On a Saturday afternoon we went to lunch, and afterward, to Walmart. While my wife and daughter shopped nearby aisles for hairspray and deodorant, I sat down at the blood pressure machine with my son, just to pass the time.
The machine told me “pre-hypertension.” My habits had put me on a path toward high blood pressure and possibly diabetes, all before the age of 40.
First thing, I decided the Diet Coke had to go. I’d tried to tapper down before but was never able to. After a few months, I’d go right back to drinking as much as before. This time, I quit completely.
I was sick and in bed for 3 days. Quitting Diet Coke wiped me out. But within a few days, I’d never felt better. I had no idea what it was like to sleep so soundly at night without the remnants of the day’s caffeine running though my veins.
I began running a month later. Since then, I’ve lost 20 pounds. Now I fluctuate a bit, but I still have 15 pounds I’d like to lose. Even so, I’m a lot better off than I was then.
Over the last few years, I watched my grandmother decline in health and die. Then neighbors of ours, Bruce and Blanche, died. In both cases, as soon as they stopped exercising, their bodies started shutting down.
As you get older, strength is everything. Being strong enough to walk around is critical to maintaining your health. My theory is my exercise is helping me stay strong. That way, as I age, it’ll be easier to stay healthy because of my fitness.
In 1999, the year my son, Robert William, was born, I was Chairman’s Preferred on U.S. Airways, flying more than 100 flight segments within the year. My resolution was to fly less, and in 2001, I received a letter saying that I was no longer “preferred.” I’d flown less than 20 times.
That year, I made a decision. I knew that in 10 years, the clients and the business opportunities would still be there. But my kids would be grown up. I wanted to seize the opportunity to build a strong relationship with my children while they were young and still wanted to hang out with their dad.
Today, my son is 16 years old and is driving himself all over the county. My daughter is at Florida State University, where she has joined the circus program.
Both kids had/have straight A’s in high school. Samantha almost has straight A’s in college. They are doing really well.
And, you know what? Although it turned out to be 16 years rather than 10 years, the time was well-invested. In addition to the healthy relationship I have with my children, I’m in a position to help a lot more people now than I was when I was 28 years old.
Today, no one understands how to build engaged, vibrant, and strong membership organizations better than I do. It’s like I’ve got some version of x-ray vision that allows me to instantly see the missing pieces that are repelling members, causing drop-outs, and suppressing community engagement.
I’ve never been better equipped to help people with their membership programs. I’ve got my health, a great family life, and I’ve built dozens of programs for non-profit associations and for-profit businesses alike. The time is now.
Do you have all the pieces in place that will enable you to succeed at the highest level? If not, why don’t you make the decision today to get that taken care of? You know what to do. If it’ll be helpful, I welcome you to tell me about it. My email address is on the front of this newsletter. Send me a note; let me know what you are going to change and how.