Breaking Records

The Importance of crossing lines, breaking old records and doing things that you’ve never done before.



Yesterday I did something that I have never done before. I actually swam one mile in the pool that I train at each week. The pool is 25 meters long so one mile is 33 laps or 66 lengths in the pool. The most that I had ever done before Saturday was 18 laps or just over a ½ mile.


Saturday morning I was training with my good friend Jayson Keener when he said that he was going to try and swim a mile. I thought “Man you are crazy” “There is no way that I could do a mile in the pool” “That would take at least an hour”. I am sure that there are some of you that have swam a mile before and it might not seem like such a big deal, but I can still remember the first time I got in the pool and only after 4 laps I was out of breath.


I started by saying “I will just do 18 laps” ‘That’s a good workout”. Then at 18 laps I thought why not 20 laps. Once I did 20, I thought lets do 23 and then I will only be 10 laps away from a mile. Well after swimming for 55 minutes straight, I had not only finished my first mile long swim but I had also done something that seemed way past my ability.


In my 356to50 challenge I have to accept and embrace that there are going to be things that I will do that I have never done before. You may have heard the saying that “If you want to keep getting what you’re getting; then keep doing what you’ve been doing”. In other words if we are going to get different results then we have gotten in the past then we are going to have to cross some lines, break some old records and do things that we’ve never done before.

Believe Again!

Believe Again!

I am just two weeks into a 52-week journey to change my life. I feel like I am really learning a lot, and I think that is because I am living intentionally. Living intentionally is simply living life “on purpose”, or the type of lifestyle which I like to call “Planning to Live”. We plan trips, we plan for our retirement, and we plan what we are going to watch by setting up the DVR. (Right now, I am setting mine up to watch Florida State play Clemson on Saturday night!) No doubt about it, we usually plan the important stuff in life. Truly living on purpose, and-taking it one step further-living to win, is pretty important.
During week two, I faced and overcame the struggle to “Believe Again”. In the past, I have tried to lose weight and I have tried to write a book, but since I have failed in the past in both of these areas, there was a small reluctance to fully charge that mountain once again. In essence, there is a reluctance to experience failure again.
The first time you charge the mountain, you bring out the band and the fanfare, and off you ride to defeat all of your enemies. If you failed the first time, and you’re trying to conquer that same mountain again, chances are that you’re probably not bringing out the band again. In fact, you might decide to sneak out to the mountain at night when no one is watching! I’m not saying that we should just go for our goals and never talk about them or make a big deal about them.

My point is this: if we are going to succeed in charging and overcoming our mountains, then our resolve and belief on the second, third, or even the fourth attempt has to be stronger than the initial resolve and belief which we possessed the very first time we tried.

You can’t go all the way with a halfway commitment. My very good friend Jason Keener likes to describe it this way: “All In”. Just as in poker, sometimes you must be all in.

In life, we are going to experience failure and defeat. What we must decide is whether the mountain is worth the effort. Ask yourself today: do you still want to conquer that same mountain? Do you still have that desire? Despite your feelings of frustration, do you know that deep down inside of you, you still want it? If that is still true, then you are going to have to be “all in” to get it done. Some things are just worth believing in more than once!

Progress Report:
I have lost three pounds!
I swam my best time in the 1/4 mile at the pool on Thursday. Only three weeks until my next triathlon. 
I have written more down—just  writing this blog—than I have written in last several years. In past two weeks, I have learned that I can not only write, but I can make progress in my writing. Having the goal and the deadline to get this blog of my journey together each week has taught me that I can write.

Let’s Get Specific!

It’s the first week of my 365to50 challenge, and I have already had to battle some challenges and setbacks. When I examine the obstacles which keep me from pursuing my goals, I usually don’t see Mt. Everest-sized giants blocking my vision and making my goal impossible. Instead, I see the normal, and sometimes necessary, day-to-day distractions and obligations which tend to my drain my inspiration and sap my energy. Things like my commitments at work and at home. Little things, like having to wait on hold for an hour to get a billing error corrected. It’s not the inconvenience of the call which keeps me from working out, or from working on my manuscript, it’s just that somehow obstacles like these derail you and bring you back to that place of decision again.

This is why setting goals is so important…

A goal is a target toward which you can direct your efforts.

Without a goal, we all are liable to start moving in the wrong direction and lose focus, thus wasting time and effort.  One of the most important elements of a goal is that it is specific. Many times when we make goals, we make them too general; at times they can even be vague or unclear.

The Important Stuff:

1. Be Specific.

2. Write Them Down.

3. Create Start Dates and Deadlines.

4. Make Your Goals Achievable but Also Challenging.

5. Measure and Track Your Progress.

6. Reward Yourself Along the Way.

So that you can follow my progress, I will be sharing my starting goals with you today, as well as my results each week during this process. I will continue to unveil my step-by-step plan over the next weeks and months, but I do know two specific things about my journey right now: where I am starting, and where I want to end.

When you consider your own goals, where are you starting? Where do you want to end up? In the popular board game “Monopoly”, everyone starts at GO. It’s your time to GO! It’s your time to move forward and make changes. God gives us the ability to be the captains of our destiny. We can’t do it without His wind, His guidance, and His protection, but we have to choose to raise our sails when the wind is blowing and we have to chart a course.

 My Starting Place.

 I am 49 years old.

I am currently 276lbs and overweight.

I currently have two book ideas which I have harbored for years, but I have never written more than a page or two.

I have a very good relationship with God, but there is more, much more.

I have a great career that I enjoy as the manager of a sales department for a growing, successful company, and as a pastor. I know that I can become better at both.


My Ending Place.

I will be 50 years old

I will weigh a healthy 205lbs. I will have competed in several triathlons and bike races.

I will have one manuscript complete, ready to be published and available for Christmas.

I will have developed a deeper and more satisfying friendship and relationship with God.

I will have completed some form of intensive and professional training to become a better manager, coach, and leader.

I will be walking and living out the call of God on my life as a pastor and His servant.

The 365to50 Story

As my 49th birthday quickly approached, it hit me that I had many goals for my life which I had done nothing with—other than to talk a lot about them. The more I thought about reaching 50 and only having a handful of rhetoric to show for myself, the more it bothered me. I had to do something to change now or I would soon find myself at 60 or 70 years old, laden with the regrets of things I should or could have done when I was younger. A friend, Chad Nykamp, had challenged me to run a marathon or even a half marathon. He mentioned how cool it would be for my grandchildren to know that their grandfather had completed a marathon before his 50th birthday. While I was enticed by the thrill of the challenge, I was not so enticed by the thought of running. Being 75 pounds overweight and—in case you missed it—almost 50, I didn’t see that happening.

But it hit home with two things that are very important to me: leaving a legacy and inspiring others. I live to inspire others. And when I’m not living my best life, or I feel defeated, I am unable to encourage or inspire anyone. I don’t want to live that way. I want to win so I can help others win!

My daughter Brittnee suggested that we both enter a triathlon instead. I like biking, I like swimming, and the running part, well, that was do-able. 3.1 compared to 26.2? Thank God. Chad had already informed me that the biggest key was to pay the entry fee, so I pulled out my debit card and we both signed up. Now there was no turning back…

We worked out almost every day for nine long weeks. I lost 20 pounds and all of my old excuses. On August 4, 2012, we competed in our first sprint triathlon. A quarter mile swim, a 16 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run later, I had finished what I’d started. And what a feeling that was!

But it still wasn’t enough. I wanted to feel that same feeling in other areas of my life.  I wanted to finish other goals. Thus, the 365to50 plan came about. Starting on September 5th, 2012, I would use the next 365 days to:

  1. Lose weight. Complete two more triathlons and a 30-mile bike race.
  2. Write a book.
  3. Deepen my friendship with God.

Pray. Train. Write. 365 days to go.

Follow me on this blog, and start your own journey alongside me. I’ll be updating weekly as I push myself past the limits of what I’m comfortable with. Past the limits of what I think is possible. I’m going to spend the next 365 days living my life as if it were on purpose. Let’s do it together!