Six years ago tomorrow I had one of the most rewarding and funnest days of my life, as I welcomed into the world my baby girl, Jennifer. She was over a week overdue and I honestly think was hanging on so that she could arrive as a Halloween Trick or Treat!
We had an induction appointment scheduled for November 1st but it would turn out unneeded. That morning started off the same as any other with my wife complaining about still being pregnant, but then again who wouldn’t being her fourth time and a week overdue. I took all the kids to school that morning, and while Danielle was having shower the water broke and it was time to have ourselves child number five (at the time…) To say it was a quick delivery would be an understatement, as i believe from water breaking to baby in arms was about three hours in total.
Once Jennifer was born I headed home to make dinner for our other four children and then went out trick or treating with them. Afterwards it was right back to hospital and to Mom and Jennifer. It was such a magical day from top to bottom!
I had the fortunate pleasure of having my birthday on July 1st, so to have a daughter with a holiday birthday was just one more way that we would be able to bond. Every year the running joke is that all the fireworks were just for me, and while October 31st will forever be a busy day for most people, having her birthday to celebrate as well just makes it extra special.
Happy Birthday Jennifer! Happy Halloween everyone.
A quick Google search revealed an endless number of dating sites, where on Earth is one to start with? That is a very good question.
Ten years ago, when I was last involved in the world of online dating, the site of choice was eHarmony or Lava Life. And I tried them both, the first was eHarmony. This was a site that asked lots and lots of questions, with the ideal of matching you up based on a complex personality profile. In theory a great idea, however after 45 minutes of answering these questions I was disqualified as I wasn’t officially divorced and this site only took single people. It in fact may have changed in recent years…
Then it was onto Lava Life, where I did actually meet and was able to date a few ladies. My second wife, Danielle was one of those ladies, in fact two long term relationships came from that period of my life, with both ladies met on that site.
In the summer of 2017, I signed up for Lava Life and Match again and honestly didn’t have any good experiences, basically I knew I was ready and a result the only thing I seemed to be able to attract where con artists, and people trying to steal my money… It was really ugly, and honestly turned me off the world of online dating for almost an entire year…
This past summer a co-worker and I were having a conversation about Tinder, and he was sharing his experiences with me. And kind of a social experiment I signed up for an account as well. So basically if you are unfamiliar with the site or app, it shows you a picture(s) of the opposite sex, and you have the option to swipe right if you like, or left if your not interested.
You do have the option of creating a small profile under the pictures, and I would argue that most people don’t read much of the profile and are swiping based on that initial picture they see. Originally I was not getting much interest on Tinder, and I’d be very interested to know what the man vs woman ratio is on that site…
I switched my main profile picture to a triathlon/bike riding shot and the interest picked up immediately. Imagine that…
The other site I decided to use was Match, and most likely because of a combination of already having a profile created there, and being just a bit on the lazy side. I did update some of the pictures, and re-wrote the profile. Match is more of a traditional online dating site, with a combination of pictures and words, and interests that have to help “match” you up with other people.
And once I ironed out the wrinkles, and learned a bit about how these sites actually worked, I was officially back in the game.
Now with regards to Tinder, you cannot actually send a message or “talk” with the other person until a mutual swiping has occurred. With Match feel free to send off as many messages to ladies as you would like.
Your introduction (what sets yourself apart…) I’ve found might be the most important thing on Match. Having gone out on a few dates, I have asked about some of the ladies experiences they have had with the men that they met. And let’s just say there are lots of interesting men out there indeed. Some ladies are getting hundreds of messages a day from different men, and this whole process can be completely overwhelming.
So how do you set yourself apart from every other Tom, Dick and Harry?
I can’t state that one enough, you have to just be yourself.
This is one thing I’ve learned from a couple of failed marriages is that you just need to be yourself, the person you ultimately want to be with needs to be attracted to you. Not the image of the man you are trying to project. honestly, that just isn’t going to work if your goal is a long term relationship.
Being yourself, takes off so much pressure as to how to act, what to say, even what to dress. The lady is going to like you are or not. And I would much, much rather have them like ME not the man I am trying to project. It’s a simple concept, that I believe often gets overlooked.
I have yet to give any of the other dating sites a try, and I suspect that I never will. These two are more than enough, and I’ve honestly seen the same ladies on both sites over the last few months.
I look forward to the day I get to delete these applications forever!
When I got from St. Louis in the beginning of June, I knew that it was going to be project move the family for the next six to eight weeks until all was finished. I had just come back from an amazing life changing experience and felt I was ready to start dating again. I did feel like I needed one more sign to push me over the edge if you will…
That same week Larry Hagner, the founder of the Good Dad Project opened himself for some free time to chat with any Dad’s Edge Alliance member that week and I took him up on his offer a few days later. Basically I wanted to talk with Larry about the amazing time I had the week before, and basically thank him for creating such a wonderful place for men.
We talked for a few minutes about the Summit, and some of the topics that we covered and he stopped out conversation, and opted to record the talk for a future podcast. I honestly wasn’t really nervous about talking, and it wasn’t until the end of the month the podcast was published and I was able to actually listen back to this conversation for the first time.
i was driving to play golf with my buddy Ryan, as I listened to it for the first time. I was actually quite impressed with this conversation, and one answer in particular that went on for over nine minutes was particularly enlightening.
The link is below, and I invite you all to give it a listen.
One of the things that I knew I would have to do is completely change my mindset about first off being single, and being happy all on my own. Needed someone in my life to be happy was not the key to being successful, it would only lead to further issues as any relationship progressed. Being happy as a single man raising 4 kids was key to the success of any future relationship!
That process took almost two full years before I knew I was ready, and I needed lot’s of signs along the way to help convince me. Truthfully in the beginning I wasn’t even interested in even looking at another lady, when I would go to the gym I would keep to myself despite many opportunity to just talk with another person. Wasn’t interested… My friends kept telling me that it would happen when I least expected it, and there was some truth to that…
At the start of 2018, I actually met someone and had a few month relationship that was great but unfortunately due to the timing of life was destined to fail from the beginning. What I did learn that I wasn’t quite ready yet, I was getting closer but not there. I embarked on a journey to make me happy, and as much as I enjoyed the summer of 2017 even calling it the Summer of George, in 2018 I needed to change my mindset. I need to learn how to be successful, to be happy, to be open and vulnerable.
Being a member of the Dad’s Edge Alliance, I joined a weekly mastermind where I went on a weekly journey with a fantastic group of men that completely changed my life. Each month this group of men would dive into a different topic, and discuss it over a series of weekly calls. In the month of February for example, we reviewed the Five Love Languages, a concept to that point that I had no previous knowledge of… Reading that book, and then the book No More Mr Nice Guy, and then The Miracle Morning… each one of these books has introduced ideas and concepts into my life that I really knew nothing about before. And each one helped me grow just a bit more as a man and father.
It was a trip that I took in the beginning of June that truly changed my world and showed just how powerful a life full of authenticity and openness can truly be. Spending three days with 70 other fathers and men with the purpose of becoming better husbands and fathers was well, mere words will ever be able to describe the experience. From about three pm on Saturday through to 4 am on Monday morning when I finally got home I was alone with my thoughts. Sitting around the campfire outside of St. Louis and writing in my journal about my experience, and then what I wanted next in life.
The first thing I wrote about was dating… was about meeting someone special… was about sharing my life with someone again. Waking up in the morning and sharing some coffee, right through to falling asleep at the end of the day in each others arms after an active, fun day. The 20 hour drive on the way home was just perfect for reflecting and thinking about what’s next?
I knew I was ready. And so while the first task after getting home from St. Louis was to move my family to the next town over, and when that oh so fun task was completed 6 weeks later, I fired up the Tinder and Match accounts on a bright and sunny Monday morning…
So how do you know your even ready to start dating again? And I have realized that as I’ve met ladies in various states of readiness themselves. Even sitting here now I am thinking to myself, am I even ready? Ha ha..
A year ago not a chance, not even close to being ready. I hadn’t learned enough about myself, and what I was going through to be able to open up to another person. Taking a step back from life if you will, and learning about being a great father and husband. I needed to learn how to listen, and talk openly and to be present. I needed to learn what a love language was I could better recognize and speak them. I needed to gain a level of self confidence so I could successfully navigate the highs and lows of a relationship in a positive and healthy way. And I had to clear out all my baggage from my previous relationships, I’d been carrying that shit around for far too long.
So began a journey at the start of 2018 that has continued to this day, the men that I’ve met, the life lessons that I continue to learn, the way I’ve seen my relationships change over the past year, how much more at peace with everything I am. The Dad’s Edge Alliance has changed my life, and sent it in the most wonderful direction. I had the fortunate pleasure of going on a retreat in St. Louis this past June that was life changing. And my 20 hour drive home from that trip I was able to think about my life and what I wanted moving forward.
I wanted to find her. And I was ready.
A couple of days later I was talking with Larry Hagner, the man that runs the D.E.A. and we end up recording a podcast about the subject of relationships and what I have learned about not only why I had been unsuccessful in the past, more importantly how to be success moving forward. How to be open and vulnerable and present in each and every moment, as much as possible. I moved my family in June and July and when that was finished, and I was looking at a kid free week at the end of July I knew the timing was right.
I’d been a single man for almost two years at this point, I had moved out and moved on. Things had settled down in all other areas of my life, my job, my children, the move… I wrote a lot about the subject in my journal and one fine morning I woke up bright and early stood there and looked at myself in the mirror and I just knew.
Let’s do this.
My next post will be about how this change of mindset came about for me, and some of the things that I’ve done or read that has helped reshape the way that I think.
So it’s definitely been awhile since I’ve sat down to write a blog post for my little site here. I honestly was upset for the ripple effect I saw in my personal life from a simple blog post(s) from earlier this year, and I’ve been busy! Going back to work full time and head first dove into the world of dating once again.
And that experience is what I want to write about again. My goal is to simple share my experiences, both good and bad and hopefully someone can learn something and apply it to their own life. That would be aces.
As of this writing, it’s been about five weeks since I made the decision to date again. And is that really a decision you make? I just woke up one day and said to myself, today is the day to get back out there. What was it about that particular day versus every other day, I couldn’t tell you. I just knew that I finally, after almost two years felt ready to give it a serious try. Now when I do something, it’s 100% and then a little more, as I believe that you only get back what you are willing to put in…
Two months ago, a co-worker and I were talking about Tinder, the “dating” app where you can swipe right (I like), or left (no thanks) based on a few pictures, and maybe a paragraph or two… So as much as an experiment as anything else, I created a Tinder profile and started swiping away. It felt very underwhelming to be looking for love on my cell phone, swiping left or right. This site is also geographically based, meaning you can only see certain woman based on your search radius and where you are actually located.
Let’s just say in that first few weeks I learned all the single ladies in and around Barrie and Angus… I’ve yet to meet someone in person that I’ve seen online, and I often find myself wondering if someone out there recognizes me?
“Hey, I saw you on Tinder but I didn’t swipe right…”
Is that really a conversation anyone wants to ever have?
I honestly wasn’t getting much action on Tinder until I changed my profile picture. Once I loaded this picture, Tinder blew up for me. I would argue I saw 1000% more interest based on this picture.
I had a few ladies ask if that was really me in the picture, and yes it is! Perhaps my all time favorite photo of me, cause in all honesty I look fantastic. I would sleep with me…
I’d just finished a 1.5 km swim after jumping off the side of a steamship, flew out of the transition area on my bike and finished the first climb of the day. The photographer, Mike Cheliak was sitting in the middle of the road at the top of the hill snapping away. My arms, chest and shoulders were still all pumped up from a 40 minute swim, and start of the bike.
I also dusted off my old profile on Match which I had set up the previous summer without much success, truthfully I wasn’t ready for that whole world just yet. I believe I went on one date, and uncovered at least three scams to get money from me. It was not a good experience because I just didn’t have the right mindset, and any relationship that I may have started would have been doomed to failure.
The whole online dating process is a lot like answering want ads or applying for a job might be an even more accurate statement. Your searching through all the listings, looking for the “lady” that might just be the one, that right combination of interesting words and a eye catching picture of two. With so many different people out there, all looking for something slightly different you never know the responses you might get, and from whom…
From the research that I did, there seemed to be lots of ideas of what to include in your profile to draw interest. And from talking with people about their experience(s) in the world of online dating, and from my own experience so far I can honestly say you are never going to know, nor should you be surprised by anything that may happen.
So over the next few months I will be sharing my experiences to date, pun intended. And truthfully I’ve already met someone pretty special, things are going very well and it was the most unexpected person I would ever have guessed.
Getting up and being productive has never been my thing. The time in the restaurant industry molded me into a night Hawk, and then by default a late sleeper and not one of those early morning people that perk up before they open there eyes in the morning.
Not me, ugh where’s my coffee and snooze button.
Being in a tribe of men, I see a lot of success from those that have adapted some form of morning routine to start there day. Coming from all walks of life, I’ve been exposed many awesome examples and ideas to try. There of course is no one blue print that you can follow, each of us is an individual and the routine will differ from person to person.
The biggest thing that I have learned from these awesome examples is that it’s about creating the mindset for a successful day. To mentally prepare for the day ahead, and plan for what you would like to get done for the day. Everything from how I will interact with my children, to what I want to accomplish for the day.
This process (so far this week) has allowed me to be more productive, and effective as a father and man. By investing a few hours into myself in the morning, has paid huge dividends to those around me. This routine will continue to evolve over the next few weeks as I try different things into this routine until I find what truly works for me.
It’s now a routine that I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon, as it’s the perfect way to start the day.
Is a children’s book, where you need to find this tiny dude hidden somewhere in a giant two page drawing with many similar looking patterns and designs.
Followers of my little blog here, might be wondering the same thing. Where’s Waldo? It’s been a while since you’ve written anything and/or updated the site. I’d like to take the chance to explain why, and where I’ve been!
When I first got the idea last year to create a blog, the idea behind it was to share and express some of things that I wrote in my journal, perhaps with the intention that if one person could take something away from my experience with life, some of the lessons I may have learned and were able to better their own life, improve their relationship with a child, make themselves a bit healthier… all of these would be considered wins by me.
More importantly to me, was the ability to record my thoughts and feelings in a litle bit more of a creative way. By adding music, and pictures, and comments to my posts, it is like creating a living and breathing journal, as opposed to mere words on a page. Add on the fact that typing on a keyboard is slightly less painful to fingers after a lengthy period of writing, painful believe me. I have the divot in my fingers to prove it.
Then something happened that I didn’t think of, or expect. Things that i was writing started to come back and affect my personal life.
People from my past and present started to comment on the things I wrote, and often times in a very negative way.
It became very painful, to even share my own life as it was literally being thrown back into my face. Really? Yes, really.
I am very fearful to write about issues my children may be having, or solutions to those problems. I fear to write about personal issues I struggle with not knowing if this information could be used against me in the future.
It’s actually kind of fucked.
What it did do was take all the love and joy out of writing this blog, and replaced it with a head shaking dis-belief that people had nothing better to do than comment on my life, which isn’t really all that interesting is it?
This blog was meant for me, and it was hi-jacked but people whom I sure had the best intentions behind there words. I have been recently reminded that no one can tell you how to run your life. Everyone is different, everyone looks at the world through a different set of us, and what works for me may not be the best thing for you.
With that in mind, and remembering why I got into this in the first place shouldn’t really have affecting me in the way that it has. I am better than that. My wonderful followers (that’s you) deserve better than that. This is supposed to be fun. This is suppose to be for me…
Found Waldo yet? I’m right here!!
It takes a special kind of crazy to want to run 100 straight days. It takes a special kind of crazy to willingly take 10,000 volts to the chest, but I’ve done that too. Thanks Tough Mudder!
Yesterday I did not run, it was the first time in 2018 and while I thought I might miss it, I really didn’t at all! I enjoyed kicking back with my feet up and for the most part relaxing all day. After the 16km run to finish things off the legs were quite sore to say the least, my foam roller has been my best friend and things, while still sore, are feeling much better today.
So Ed, what did you learn over the last 100 days? Excellent question good sir…
So what’s next? While I will maintain my strength training program for the rest of the week, there will be no cardio until my leg is 100% healed up and then we will start a specific run training program that will include hills, interval training and long distance runs. On Monday I will embark upon a 100 day cycling challenge which while physically a bit less taxing but equally challenging and rewarding in it’s own unique way.
When it’s all said and done I will have created a cardio base that will propel me towards the finish line of Ironman Muskoka 70.3 this coming July!!
In a few hours I will be heading out for run number 100 in a row, in a challenge I started on back on January 1st. Talk about the ultimate New Years Resolution!!
There are going to be a lot of emotions and feelings floating through my head while I am out there and I am actually very interested to see where my thoughts take me. I remember vividly during the final few kilometers of my first Ironman 70.3 race, I started to reflect on my journey that led to this race. I had tears rolling down my face during the final two kilometers with each step filling my heart and soul a little bit more with a sense of accomplishment.
This challenge was not easy for me, and almost didn’t see it’s conclusion. I had (and needed) help along the way to see it through, and while I may have been the one doing all the running it was a group effort to get me across the finish line. Being a single Dad of four kids it takes a lot of planning, juggling and lots of help to manage and organize your time to get these runs in. Body maintenance, proper rest, nutrition and the right frame of mind are also big factors involved as well.
With that in mind I would like to thank so many people for their help with this journey. I honestly could not, and would not have done it without your help!
It still amazes me a bit as to one can accomplish with the right frame of mind, and this journey has certainly helped build a mental toughness that is going to come in very handy during my Ironman 70.3 race this summer. Very handy indeed.
Up next for this guy is going to be a 100 day bike challenge, that will be equally challenging to me, although not quite as taxing on the quads, and other leg muscles. It will help build an excellent cycling base to go on top of the excellent run base I have established.
There will be lot’s of running in the days ahead, and I am looking forward to switching things up to a more diverse training plan with regards to running. Hill work, interval training, recovery/base runs and long run Sundays are going to be part of the plan moving forward. Goals? I have a few… I really want to break a 4 minute kilometer, and hit a 21 minute 5km as well. With proper rest, the correct warmup and the desire to just bring it, I believe all of these things can happen and more.
Amazing, just amazing…
Unbelievably I only have 3 more runs left to complete in my 100 day running challenge, and the question now shifts from IF I will finish, to HOW I will finish and I’ve thought of a few different scenarios over the past two weeks… it’s a great shame that mother nature just isn’t co-operating with me at this point. We have had snow all week, and even this morning I’ve woken up to another foot that had fallen overnight.
I don’t mind running in the snow, or the cold but hey, I’ve been running outside for three plus months now, sometimes in extreme and crazy conditions. Heck, I ran in January when it was minus 26 degrees. That my friends is dedication! I guess I just really wanted to end on a nice warm spring day, where I could just have shorts and a t-shirt on and just enjoy the beauty as I finish with a nice long run down to the lake and back. I still may do this run, it’s just that it will be cold and rainy on Tuesday.
I have a group call every Tuesday night with an amazing group of men that know of this challenge, and I am going to start that call while out running so they can all have a good laugh but I will already have completed the 100th earlier in the day, I guess that will be run 101. Seriously, I’ve had so much enjoyment with this challenge and I never thought that I would see it through. I figured injury, or my own head would get in the way of me finishing and it almost did.
i was at a pretty low point in March, in fact the whole month was a real struggle for me. I found myself withdrawing inside my own head, slid back (rather easily) into some bad habits and almost gave up this challenge completely. My body was tired and sore, my energy level started to decrease on a daily basis, some days I just didn’t even want to get out of bed. I hadn’t felt that low since last September when I had to walk away from my job at Keg because I was a grumpy, miserable fuck.
That all changed a few weeks ago with a phone call.
A mentor and friend of mine, Jason talked me through what was going on and the why of it all. He told me something that I have not heard enough of in my life…
YOU ARE WORTH IT. I BELIEVE IN YOU.
Very powerful words when one does not believe in themselves. I have these limiting beliefs, check that, I HAD these limiting beliefs that have held me in place my entire life. The journey that I have been on the last six months has been to smash through those beliefs and do some crazy and amazing things with my life, and my family. I have made some progress but always seemed to take a few steps forward then a few steps back.
NO MORE I SAY!! NO MORE!!
Having someone believe in me, having someone blow wind into my sails is all I have even wanted out of life, and in a relationship. I had just that for awhile and when it was taken away from me I collapsed like a house of cards. That’s life, right?
The foundation that I have worked to build the last six months remained strong, Jason helped shuffle those cards back up and I took them back and started to rebuild. I have had a few comments from various sources about being on fire recently, and boy I sure am. The introvert Ed Dillon, he gone just like a baseball player whiffing at strike three. Gone.
In it’s place stands a strong, confident compassionate man on a journey of personal growth and increased wisdom. I love that statement, it gives me goosebumps. But it’s true, it’s damn true.
This past week I have had meaningful and intense conversations with men from all over the planet, we truly like in a global age. Thursday past I spoke to guys from Australia, Missouri, Minnesota, Toronto and Texas all with intent and meaning. A year ago you couldn’t put me into a room with strangers, I would shy away and be a wall flower and feel totally uncomfortable. Today, I welcome these challenges, it pushes me out of my comfort zone and forces me to grow, and grow and grow.
I am very grateful for being on this path. My relationships with everyone has improved, my children most of all. Emily… i don’t even need to put it into words. Tears to my eyes… life is going to get very interesting, heck it already is.
Have a fantastic Sunday everyone, this guy is smiling ear to ear!
Today was run number 93 in a row and once again surprised me.
My little one caught the flu over Easter weekend and we both were up a lot last night change blankets, and her barf bowl. She is feeling better today but we both were very tired today with lot’s of just laying around, especially on her part. The two day exercise hangover was in full effect with my legs as I could really feel the 12 km I did on Sunday.
Lack of sleep affects both my mood and my energy level and when I do not get enough I always feel off the next day. Even tried to take a nap this afternoon but that did nothing to improve either…
I had a conversation with a friend of mine about putting together a triathlon based training plan for me over the next three months as I feel I have plateaued in the gym and want to continue to push myself further, and be held accountable to get these workouts in. It was a great conversation and one that left me filled with a bit more energy so out I went for today’s run.
And what should have been a nice easy 1 km recovery run turned into 3 (just like yesterday) and while I went out at a nice warm up pace, something inside of me decided to go for it at the 1 km mark and I sure did. I elongated my stride, increased my tempo and tested out the hamstring to see if it would hold up with a sprint run stride and it sure did.
By the 2 km mark I had set a personal best for a kilometer ay 4 minutes and 17 seconds and I couldn’t be happier, it was a great accomplishment and I know that there is still more time to shave off that mark. I backed right off the pace for the last part, allowing my heart and breathing to return to normal as I headed on home.
It will be very interesting to see how everything feels when I get up in the morning as it will be run 94 on deck!