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.
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…
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 will mark my 89th run in a row, and it almost didn’t happen. About two weeks ago I started to doubt my ability to finish this challenge. I was not in a good mental space and was struggling with just getting by with the day to day grind of life. It took considerable effort just to get out the door and run during runs 76 through the early 80’s as some of those runs were actually run/walks. I literally didn’t have the stamina to finish a 3km easy pace loop around my neighbourhood. My legs felt dead, the hamstring in the left leg had been sore the entire challenge and has flared up in recent days, and I was considering quitting.
I actually had my computer open and had started writing a blog post about my stopping this challenge when my daughter Megan came down and asked what I was doing. When I mentioned I was writing a post about not running anymore, she immediately responded with a loud NO, you can’t quit now your so close to finishing. She suggested I go for a very short run to keep my streak going, and that I would be very disappointed if I didn’t finish.
I knew she was right, and immediately closed the lid on my computer and went for that easy slow 1km run around the block. In fact I did that very run for the next six days in a row and I was amazed that over the course of a week th hamstring started to feel much better, and the dead feeling in my legs started to go away. Once I figured out how to properly maintain my legs by alternating a short 1km run between longer runs has made all the difference.
So now as I sit here I have my daughter Megan to sincerely thank for helping keep this streak and dream alive. Shows that you can always learn something when your open to receiving a lesson, and from an unlikely source. So I’m about to head out on long run Friday, run # 89 in a row and we shall take it nice and easy and enjoy this Good Friday!
Life is an ever evolving journey that will keep me on my toes right up until the day that I die, which I hope to be many years from now but in all reality who really knows?
I have been doing a lot of soul searching, reflection and subconscious thinking about my future over the past several weeks. At times in my life I have been caught in the cycle of the nothing, but this period of time was completely different… when I am in the grip of the nothing, nothing happens, I don’t do much (usually zero exercise) and I feel sorry for myself, a little depressed, just generally not a good mental place.
Again this was different, I know BIG changes are coming and my mind has been planning things out getting ready for today. Today is the first day of the next evolution of my life as things seem to be falling into place, perhaps not the way I originally planned or intended but that is life isn’t it?
It’s kind of funny to me when I sit here and think about things, rolling with things, being a bit of a free spirit has never been my strong suit and something I have really struggled with in the past. I would fight against what I had planned, and what life was presenting to me, it was a struggle and it would usually end up sucking the joy and excitement of whatever it was I may be doing. A very small change in my own mental perception of things has helped tremendously when approaching life.
Using my oldest daughter as a perfect example, as I have struggled with her or more correctly my own mental perception of what I thought her teenage years should be, and as time went by and I struggled with my vision of my daughter’s life, the way I thought it should be, and what ultimately it turned out to be were two completely different things. The more I would fight against what was reality, and what my vision of that reality the further apart we seemed to grow. Having accepted the situation for what it is, for accepting the way my life has turned out now I can build from here.
The next four months are going to see a lot of HUGE changes coming in this guys life, and I am very excited to see where I can end up come the end of this summer. It’s going to be awesome!!
I didn’t quite understand just how much my actions would influence my children’s behaviour until very recently when I had a numerous of life hard truths that I had to first face, and then overcome. The last few months I have had the absolute pleasure of seeing the results of a positive, action lifestyle. A few weeks ago during one of my MasterMind group calls, the topic of doing things in front of your children. One in our group is learning to play the guitar, and it was suggested to practice while the kids were around so they could see Dad practice… Interesting concept.
This has now translated into working out with Austin each day as opposed to lifting weights at the gym, I have the ability to do this at home. Each day he gets very excited to join Daddy in building muscle downstairs in my home gym. Today will be no different as Austin and I will soon be crushing chest day.
The opposite effect of something like even writing this blog post is that Austin is lying here beside me watching his Ipad, or his cartoons on the TV. If I am not actively engaging him he can get lost in the electronic world, and I’d much rather have him based in the real world. With most of the snow now melted up here, Austin has also started asking to go the park, as this is when my “training” will get to be really a lot of fun. As beneficial as lifting weights has been to my overall strength it does get rather repetitive and boring for me. Perhaps lacking a true workout partner to push me harder and further… who knows… but what I really enjoy is jumping on my bike with the boy in tow, and then stopping at parks for him to play and me to get some working out in on the playground equipment.
It’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of weight based movements with lot’s of pushing and pulling involved, I challenge you to try to the kids monkey bars the next time you find yourself passing a playground. It’s tough.
While Star Wars A New Hope, which was released when I was five years old has been my favorite movie of all time, it is only recently that I discovered many of the truly important lessons in life can be drawn directly from the films over the last 40 years. And while I am sure there are many more lessons you can draw from these wonderful films, here are some of my favorite…
“Do or do not… there is no try.”~ Master Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
Perhaps my favorite life lesson, and a long time source of inspiration for me as there is a framed plaque of this quote right on my recreation room wall. In life you can either do something or not doing, there is no middle ground. It is a mentality I try to take into everything that I do, I am not going half ass anything. I am going to run 100 days in a row, I am certainly not going to just try to do…
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”~ Darth Vader, A New Hope
You need to surround yourself with people that believe in you, and will blow wind into your sails. Life is far too short to listen to the haters, the doubters, the people that just want to drag you down to their level. Surround yourself with amazing people that inspire you to be the best version of yourself.
C-3PO “Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is 3,720 to 1.”
“Never tell me the odds.”~ Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back
If you had told me ten years ago that I would have completed an Ironman triathlon, I would never have believed you. At the time I was 234 pounds and completely out of shape, but with the proper training plan, and the motivation from deep within myself I crossed the finish line on Aug. 29th, 2009 and will forever be an Ironman finisher. I have the medal to prove it!! From this experience I learned that there is nothing that you cannot do in life when you put our mind to it. It’s a belief in yourself, a belief that you can accomplish anything. Believe and your will find a way.
“Strike me down and I will be become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”~ Obi Wan Kenobi, A New Hope
Success in life can often be attributed to failure, or several failures in life. It’s about getting back up after you have been knocked down, it’s about getting back on that horse after you’ve been bucked off. Life is hard and at times cruel, it will test you, it will push you to your limits, it will knock you down. From each failure you can learn from you will evolve into a much more powerful version of yourself.
“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”~ Yoda, The Phantom Menace
Even the worst movie of the Star Wars franchise can teach us something, Don’t let fear guide your life, don’t let fear control your decisions. Fear of the unknown, fear of the future can cripply you into inaction and nothing. You know what happens when your afraid and do nothing? Nothing happens. I sometimes call this the Negative cycle and it has had it’s powerful grip on me for too long at some points in my life. I now longer fear the unknown, I embrace it. I wake up and look forward to each and everyday and what it may bring. With this changed mindset, I’ve seen my own anger slowly fade away…
“One thing for sure, we’re all going to be a lot thinner!”~ Han Solo, A New Hope
Humor in life can go a long way, and can make a stressful situation for tolerable. This would be one lesson that I would want to incorporate more of into my own life, and not get stressed out at things beyond my control. Laugh about, make jokes and make the best of whatever situation you may find yourself in.
“All his life he looked away. To the future. To the horizon. Never his mind on where he was, what he was doing.”~ Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
Being mindful, being present in the moment can go such a long way. Imagine you are spending quality time with that special person and you continually picked up your phone to check your social media feed, only giving that other person some of your attention. Now imagine that same interaction with your phone turned off, and the other getting 100% of your attention, your body language, and where your mind is at. Being mindful, being present can go such a long way in a relationship and can make that special person truly feel special.
“Let go of your hate.”~ Luke Skywalker, Return of the Jedi
There is a time and place to put the past in the past and let go of ill feelings that you may have been holding onto and taking away from other areas of your life. By embracing the hate, it prevents you from growing in the other direction. It forces you to focus on the negative as opposed to embracing the positive aspects of life. Letting go of the hate and anger doesn’t mean forgetting, it means focusing on the bright future ahead that (if you let it) can be filled with love and happiness.
I personally believe in the power of the force, and while I may not be able to levitate boulders with my mind, despite how hard I tried when I was a child I certainly believe that there is an energy that as described by Obi Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, “…an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.” This energy you can tap into, you can use to power yourself to great and amazing things, there is also a dark side energy that can, when you start down it’s path will forever dominate your destiny.
The light side, the positive energy in life is such a powerful thing. It is powering me to run 100 days in a row, it is powering me to change my life in such a positive way. I have such a strong personal connection to Darth Vader, as my life was filled with anger and hate until one day I was able to come back to the light side of the force and embrace all that is good in life.
The hands on the clock are always in motion, even sitting here today totally unmotivated to do much of anything I still am very aware of the passage of time. You see there is still time to salvage this day and get a few things done as opposed to laying on the couch and watching yet another episode of Mantracker. It’s been an emotionally tough week on several fronts…
I was future endeavoured on Feb. 15th, the day after Valentine’s Day and I couldn’t help but think about the timing of life rearing its ugly head which has been a constant theme throughout my entire life. For example you meet a fabulous person, and they are happily married kind of idea… On the flip side I have seen this principle actually save my life, one example in particular comes to mind when my boss a few years ago gave me the day off work due to the crazy weather we were having. If I had gone in that day I would have been right in the middle of a 100 car pileup that happened later that day on the exact route and time I normally would have driven to work…
Definitely gives you a moment of pause and reflection…
While I had an amazingly productive day yesterday, I just don’t feel the love from my body today. When the spirit is low, the energy level is also low as well. I lack motivation, I lack inspiration and it is going to be a tough weekend for me. A couple of kid free days, a couple of days of work, and then Family Day with for the first time since its inception as a Statutory Holiday I will not be working, and I will be home kid free.
I just may have to pile my hiking shoes, mountain bike into the back of my Jeep and make an adventure of the day.
So as a single guy a day like yesterday kind of sucks. Everywhere you turn love and happiness is being thrown in your face, to make matters worse I was also trying to capitalize on this day by pimping my sugar cookie business to anyone that was interested. To spend the day before (all day) baking, icing and decorating, then packaging up all these tasty treats was a lot of fun but just drove the point home even more.
It was a perfect storm of life events as well, both little kids went back to their mom’s house as it was Wednesday. The eldest two wanted to spend time with their friend and boyfriend so I had an empty house.
Honestly sitting home alone was not so much fun, and it allowed my mind to wander into some rather dark places. I didn’t like where it was going, and I was questioning a lot of the decisions that I have made over the last few months. I immediately recognized this as the beginning a what could have been a very nasty negative cycle. These patterns of thinking have been very self destructive for me in the past, and it is so easy to fall back into them and let the nothing just carry you away.
Good thing for me I have learned a few things these last few months about myself and how to handle this negative energy. As it was February 14th most of my support circle was busy last night having the most wonderful time (I hope), so I had to look at the man in the mirror for some guidance and help. I fired up Titanic on the big screen, grabbed my trusty journal and wrote a bunch of pages to purge my mind of the evil thoughts stirring around in there.
Those thoughts are now out of my head and will be translated directly into actions today which is a great thing. These intermittent thoughts that I would argue we all have from time to time can be self destructive when allowed to take hold, its comforting knowing that I can now recognize the onset and not allow myself to get trapped, but even more so be a source of energy and inspiration to drive me forward.
Today we have 80 sugar cookies to bake this morning for a client tomorrow afternoon, and some for my daughter and her class tomorrow as she is star of the day, then it will be some quality kid time tonight with swim lessons and some family fun at the YMCA followed my Marvel movie night!
Interesting question? And one I was forced myself to ask this past Sunday. I woke up around 6am to get ready for work, and as usual I pick up my phone to see if there is anything important that may need my attention. I see a message from FaceBook messenger from an old girlfriend from about 10 years ago, definitely not the normal notification I would get on my phone so I gave it a read.
Not the way that anyone would want to start the day. While I believe the underlying reason for sending this message was concern the wording and overall tone of the message was just plain wrong. I don’t even care to cut and paste it here as it basically was calling me out, my actions, this blog in particular were all BAD THINGS for me. That I was in serious denial about my anger, mental health issues and depression and if I continued down this path I would be broke, homeless and unemployable.
She of course then blocked me so I couldn’t send any sort of reply. Since I know that she is stalking me online, and will eventually read this this reply will have to do.
I am living my own life, and the choices that I make (while you may not agree with) are mine to make. Spending this time now with my son is my driving force in life, the day to day interaction that I get with him (and my other children), I wouldn’t trade for the world. I was a miserable nasty who hated his job, and hated the person THAT I WAS. I walked away from all that life to save the future of my children, had I continued on that path I would have been broke, homeless and unemployable.
I have spent considerable time resolving the issues that I had been dragging around with me, I have sought out help and found it in the most incredible and unexpected places. The friends that I have met and made are of such quality they won’t let me fail, they hold me accountable and I have such a network now that I can lean into when times get tough, to bounce thoughts and ideas off of, to lift me up when I am feeling down. The MasterMind course that I am doing had taught me how to be a better man, father and one day again husband. The community of support in these “FaceBook groups”, which I understand are closed for a reason.
And lastly exercise and triathlon are a bad thing? Seriously? I have learned more from the sport of triathlon about myself, self confidence, a healthy lifestyle and showing my children a way of life that they will learn from watching their father participate in. A lifestyle that will allow me to stay active and keep up with them as they grow into their own lives.
So thank you again for your concern, I’ve taken away the underlying message and adjusted my course with a few things, so thank you for that. The rest I am going to leave in the past, with you and the memories of our relationship. I will continue to focus on the positive things that are in my life and that I can control, you , your thoughts and feelings I cannot and I will not your fears and concerns become my own.
I have three coaching calls to look forward to today, each with a slight different area of focus, a bike/run brick workout to get in, a cookie order to bake decorate and ship, some website updates to do while the boy naps, and then an afternoon of fun and games with my children when they get home from school.
The only person I need concern myself with is the man that I see in the glass. Have a great day everyone.
PS – this is why I blog, to clear my mind, to set my focus for the day and then crush it.