Yes I quoted Mike Tyson… (Mexican Beaches, Cuban Cigars and Hemingway)

I am sitting on a beach in Costa Maya, Mexico under a thatch umbrella. I am having a Del Sol beer (the Miller High Life of Mexico). I am smoking a Cohiba cigar from Cuba. This is my first cigar since the accident. I used to enjoy one a month or so before the accident, but have had no desire to have one since… until now. I think it’s the environment. I feel like Hemingway sitting here writing. I have spent the last hour working on my book. Tonia’s sitting on a lounge chair sun bathing and the kids are kayaking in the crystal clear Caribbean water. This is the last stop on our seven day cruise. We have had some great excursions, but today we decided to not schedule anything. We just got off the boat and started looking around and talking to the locals. We found this great little beach club run by an older Mexican man dressed in all white, wearing gold chains, and dark sun glasses. He looks like the kind of guy who wears dark glasses even at night and refers to Americans as “gringos”. We just bought a Red Snapper right off a boat that they are now grilling. Did I mention it is 11:30 AM? I think I may have finally relaxed…

My family’s little taste of paradise was not planned. It happened when we were not looking for it but when we needed it most. Like I wrote in my New Years Day post, we can’t control every aspect of our lives. When we accept this fact, we are most open to what God puts in front of us. Having a plan is a good thing, but to quote Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until someone punches you in the mouth.” Our car accident was a big “punch in the mouth”. It certainly was’t in our plans. Everyone gets “punched” sometime. It doesn’t mean you are knocked out. It does mean you may need to change strategies. Just getting through the “round” so you can keep fighting can be a huge accomplishment. (Sorry for all the boxing metaphors. Still channeling Hemingway. I could have used bull fighting.)

So much of my recovery relies on my ability to roll with the punches. To evaluate the next challenge and then move on. Time spent feeling bad about my latest “issue” is time wasted. Whether you have health issues like me or are in perfect health, your life here on earth can be over in a instant. To not appreciate every moment, good or bad, is to take life for granted. True peace comes from living life to the fullest and accepting God’s gifts as they come to you.

Our fish just arrived. Time to get another beer…

Exciting News

James is really excited about the news...

I have been holding back some exciting news that I am now ready to reveal….

Next month the March issue of Men’s Fitness will come out and I will be featured in it.  It is their “motivation” issue.  I have been working with them for that past few months.  I was interviewed by a freelance writer from New York City named Tim Stuby.  Tim has done articles for a lot of fitness/sports magazines including ESPN the Magazine.  I really enjoyed working and talking with Tim and am looking forward to reading the story he wrote.  (Most journalist don’t want you to preview their stories before they are published.  A “fact checker” called to verify details, but I have not seem it.)  I then worked with Ben Lowy, an incredible photographer, who has done a lot of freelance work in Iraq, Afghanistan and post-earthquake Haiti.  He  has had vehicles that he was traveling in blown up by bombs 3 or 4 times.  He is almost as beat-up as me.  He was a very interesting guy and has seen both amazing and horrific things in his travels.  I really enjoyed my day with him. It was very humbling to work with someone who is often putting himself  in harm’s way in order to get that one photo that will tell the whole story.  Shooting photos of me was significantly below his normal level of excitement and danger.  Plus, I think it was pretty awkward for both of us.   I have included links to both his website and a great article that was written about him.

This is a great opportunity for me to share my family’s story with their 800,000+ monthly readers.  Everyone that I have dealt with at Men’s Fitness has been very supportive and kind.  However,  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.  That’s a lot of people who will be reading something about me that I didn’t write.  But, if my goal is to try to reach out to as many people as I can, than this a great opportunity.

There will also be an article about my recovery in the February issue of Harrisburg Magazine.  February is their fitness issue and Anne Greenawalt, the author who has been helping me with my book,  wrote the story.  I don’t know many off the details of the article, but again, it is great regional outlet to tell our story and help to bring more attention to this blog.

One the local Carlisle scene, I just finished a photo shoot and interview with the Carlisle Sentinel.  I believe the story will appear in the paper this Friday (January 7, 2011).  Jason Malmont came to the YMCA yesterday and shot photos of me working out.  It was a little weird having someone with a big camera hiding behind equipment shooting photos of me in a crowded gym.  Luckily, most of the people there know me, but there were a lot of college kids who are home for the holidays working out who were probably wondering why someone was taking photos of the middle-aged guy.  That afternoon, I met with Rebecca Gregg (Becca) from the paper for the interview.  I enjoyed the interview because I got to talk a lot about why I do this blog.

As you can see, things have been a little bit of a whirlwind lately, but I have to believe this is all part of God’s plan.  I will let you know when the magazines hit the stands.  If you are on Facebook and/or Twitter and haven’t “friended” or “followed” me yet, please do.  Also, if you enjoy reading my posts, sign up on my home screen to receive them via email.  I especially want to thank all of you who have shared my blog with others.  To date over I have had over 2000 views.  I have many more posts in the works and have gotten some great suggestions from all of you. Look for a post on alternative forms of pain management coming soon.