30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE (DAY #15)

Welcome back to our celebration of 30 days of gratitude. Each day we will focus on one area of our life to be grateful for. If this is your first day doing this I invite you to go back and do the days before this. You can do them in your head, write them down and home, but it is my hope you decide to share what you are grateful for with our community here on Secret2anamazinglife.com. There are no rules. Do one day or do all 30. Let us now look at today’s area of gratitude.

Right away my brain screams, “Summer!!!” when I see this question. No doubt as I sit here writing slowly losing feeling in my toes from the cold (I am inside a coffee shop mind you) I am grateful for weather that does not feature such temperatures. It is the holiday season here in the United States. It features a little more kindness than usual, that is reason to be grateful. There are seasons of life. I suppose I would fall in the middle of mine. I am grateful for that. I am old enough to realize what I should not do. Occasionally, I am still young and foolish enough to try things I shouldn’t. I recall a moment of sustaining a concussion at the last Warrior Dash race I ran.

What season are you grateful for? How did you interpret this question? Seasons of life? Seasons of mother nature? Holiday seasons? I would love to hear your answers. 

CHANGE A CHILD’S LIFE!

Working in the tavern industry becomes less and less of an appeal to me with what at sometimes seems to be a daily pace. One of the great things about working in this industry though is on occasion you meet really amazing people. Some of them have been featured in my past blogs. Yesterday’s in fact! If you wish to read that one you can check it out here IT WORKS! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Today I wish to discuss another amazing individual my lovely lady and I have the pleasure of seeing as we do our shows. His name is Jerry Musolf, but he goes by Sonny. He is a really great friend by all standards. Friendly, helpful, always willing to lend a hand or a smile whichever is needed. Sonny also rides a motorcycle when the weather in this state allows. As such, you will often see him wearing a vest with patches of different sorts on it. One such patch on his vest looks like the one above. During one show Sonny had asked me to read a fundraiser announcement for a charity he belongs to. Always happy to help people doing good I did. Fast forward to a few weeks ago and another friend of ours was wearing a sweatshirt from the same organization. That prompted me to inquire as to the what the group was all about. I was told to ask Sonny for all the details. What he shared with me is what I am about to share with you.

What influence I have in the world as an author, speaker and the use of this website I try to use for good. One of the causes that always is near and dear to my heart is children. They are innocent victims and often there is not enough support when they need it. If you read my post earlier this month about doing the Warrior Dash to help St. Jude children’s hospital that offers care to sick children and their families.

Another area where children suffer, and often alone is child abuse. Especially if the person doing the abusing is a family member or an adult the child trusts. In addition to the terrible physical aspects of child abuse the emotional and psychological effects can be just as or even worse and last a lifetime. What children need is a sense to feel safe. They need a group of adults they can trust.

This is where Guardians of the Children come in. Let me begin by sharing their mission statement with you. “The mission of Guardians of the Children (GOC) is to recognize and react to child abuse and educate the public to do the same; to serve as advocates to provide strength and stability to families in crisis; and be the answer to the prayer of an abused child or teen for courage, support and protection.” That all sounds good, but what does it actually translate to?

I am going to share both items available in the group’s literature as well as personal stories Sonny has told me. The group partners with other child abuse agencies to raise awareness of the prevalence of child abuse. The use donations they receive for birthdays, basic needs such as clothing and hygiene supplies, literature to promote child abuse awareness as well as activities for the kids. The strive to give these children the same opportunities that your own children have, a normal life and a family that loves and cares for their needs.

The last line is what really impresses me. This group often becomes the family these children so desperately need. The go to court with the children so they are less afraid. They often supply the children with a teddy bear (one that has been hugged by all the members of the group) to hold when they are alone and feeling scared. Each child also receives their own little vest with a patch that says “Little guardian”. The group also provides safe and fun activities for these children such as Easter egg hunts, fishing trips, roller skating and so much more.

In a world where there are far too many innocent child victims it does my soul good to know that such a group exists. On a personal note, I am proud to be the friend of a gentleman who is part of such a community. Below I will share both the national 24-hour child abuse hotline as well as links to both the national and local chapters of this amazing group. It is my sincere desire and hope that many of you will not only share this post, but chose to become a part of this group either through joining or donating. Together we can make this a better world for all of the children

24-hour child abuse hotline 1-800-252-5400

local chapter of Guardians of the Children

Guardians of the children Hawg city chapter

National website for Guardians of the Children

WHAT I GAINED BY BEING A WARRIOR 

Recently I completed the warrior dash race.  (That’s me in the middle, Siraya to the right and Deanna to the left) The warrior dash is a 3.2 mile run that is filled with 12 obstacles including, but not limited to, swimming across a small lake, running through fire and climbing through the mud under barbed wire. If you notice our fabulous appearance that is the result.

So why, on a perfectly fine spring day, would three normally fairly sane people do such a thing? The reasons vary and the best I can do is to give you some of mine.

When I first heard of the Warrior dash it hinted at adventure. The kind one cannot find by simply strolling through the park on a sunny day. The inner child in me was jumping up and down raising both hands screaming “pick me! Pick me!” It was that same voice that got me scolded for coming in with muddy and ripped clothes from some ill-planned adventure. As an adult there are very few opportunities to pursue such experiences. Although if my mother saw me I am sure she would not be happy about my clothes. So, allowing the adventure craving inner child to have some fun was one reason to do this.

Then there was the test of physical endurance. In our typical 9 to 5 world there exists very few opportunities to use the body for what it was designed for, and that is to move and utilize our muscles. Being able to see where I stand as a 41 year old man certainly was it’s own adventure. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with how my body reacted.

Knowing I was about to test my physical stamina brought us to the next reason for signing up for this adventure. When the day finally came I wanted to not be disappointed in myself for the way I performed. Keeping this in mind got my sleepy butt out of my warm bed and to the gym on more cold days than not. When I felt like I could not do one more rep or run one more step I thought about looking old and out of shape on the course and managed to push on. Knowing if I skipped a day at the gym that would be one less chance to prepare that I could never get back. Having this end goal in mind helped motivate me on a daily basis.

Another important reason for me doing this is to be a good example. Telling folks they can chase a goal and achieve it is one thing. Doing the same yourself and setting the example is quite another. I employed many of the tools I teach on this very sight to stay focused and motivated. ‘Walking the walk’ in my opinion, is part of being a true warrior.

All of the above reasons were very good and did keep me motivated to continue, but all of these reasons combined were not as powerful as this last one. All the proceeds of this test of endurance benefit St. Jude children’s hospital. Knowing there are so many children born without the basic abilities you and I take for granted made me put my heart into doing this. Knowing all the funds from myself and all my fellow warriors would benefit children and their families facing challenges I can barely appreciate made me feel like a winner before I even began. One finds it very difficult to complain when running through ankle deep mud, when you know it benefits children who may not even have legs to walk on. Using our strength, our endurance and of course our entrance fee to benefit these disadvantaged children and their families that share the struggle with them is what made me truly feel like a warrior.

Each step tested our mental, emotional and physical endurance, but knowing each step helped children and their families pushed us further than we could normally go. In this spirit, everyone we met on the course was so friendly and so helpful. To see such a large group of people pushing themselves so hard for such a great cause gives a warmth and fire to the heart. With that thought in mind I tip my fuzzy hat with horns on it to not only my two fellow warriors who stuck with me the whole way, but to each and every warrior who fought their own physical limits to help children who face far to many. Next year will I not only do this again, but I plan on raising even more money for St. Jude. I hope to see even more of you on the course!