Day 756 – Thankful for a New Type of Workout Date with Becky

Special thanks to KathiJo for the idea tonight!

Tonight Becky and I went off on a different type of “workout date” than what we’re used to.  Thanks to a recommendation from Becky’s friend KathiJo we left the boys behind and headed out to try something completely outside of what we’ve done before…  a cycling class!


We headed out to Uptown Cycle for our first time and had a blast!  The was only the second class like that I’ve been to in my life, and the last one was about a decade ago.  I had no idea that riding on a bike that went absolutely nowhere could be so much fun.  The changes in pace felt great, my heart rate was absolutely pounding much of the time, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be pretty sore when I get out of bed in the morning (you know me, I’m never one to ease my way into anything!).  Long story short, I’ll definitely be doing that again in the not too distant future.

Becky and I are so fortunate to enjoy these types of crazy things together, it clearly shows me that we’ll have no shortage of things to do when we retire at some point.  Getting a great sweat on always feels good, but it feels even better when we’re going on a “workout date” together.


Day 755 – Thankful for a Motivated Monday Morning

When the alarm went off this morning all I wanted to do was turn it off and go back to sleep.  Instead I took a deep breath, stretched out, checked the weather, and got out of bed.  From there everything else just seemed to click.  Next thing I knew I was on a mission.

My day today was pretty much planned out from my run through the evening including a stretch of non-stop calls and meetings from 8:00am through 2:45pm.  With that in mind I got this weird and twisted notion that I was going to enjoy a crazy busy day…  Not just enjoy it, but crush it.  I had a plan, it was time to execute.

On my drive into work I found myself smiling at the prospect of the day in front of me.  There was much to be done and I was going to make it happen.  It was pretty wild!  Seriously, I wish I could pinpoint what specifically it was that got me this fired up this morning, I’d try to simulate it each morning.  I was pumped up, motivated and ready to kick Monday’s butt!

Now as I wind down I’ve got a couple more things to cover and then it’s off to bed for this old guy…  Tuesday’s got some big plans for me, I need to be rested and ready to kick its butt too!

Special congrats to Dominic on an excellent Cross Country season!  He did an excellent job and really found a new gear this year.  Huge kudos to him and thanks to his coaches  – including Becky 😉



Day 754 – Thankful for Experiencing Dominic’s Leadership and a Day with Gavin

When I picked up the boys from camping this morning I got there before they’d broken camp.  This provided me the opportunity to help them take down tents and bring back a bunch of old memories, but it also let me see Dominic’s leadership skills in action.  He was helping younger scouts roll tents, fold tents, and stay on task.  It was so awesome seeing how patient he was with each of them, how supportive he was, and how he was directive in a very positive way.  I’m so proud of the strong leader he’s already becoming.

Once we got home Dominic started feeling a little under the weather and stayed in his room to sleep so it was Gavin and I all morning and afternoon.  We had a great time doing basic things around the house, he was a great help today.

Once we’d gotten most of the stuff done that we had to we headed up to the workshop where he was ready to start working on his “Kiwi Closet,” the cabinet he started a while back.  He sanded everything down while I put up another wall panel to finish the nearly completed insulation of the workshop.  Once the sanding was complete the two of us worked together to put the wood conditioner on and then his first coat of stain.  He picked up on it pretty quick and it turned out great!

Throughout the day the two of us had a lot of time together and it was great having my buddy along with for almost every ride I went on (he opted out of the grocery store run with Becky and I).  It reminded me of when Dominic was in a similar stage at about the same age and we’d spend a ton of time together.  This time with Gavin was great to create new memories and reminded me of the fun Dominic and I have also had.  Kind of an awesome daily double if you will!

To be clear, this picture wasn’t from today – way too cold for just a t-shirt…  Shorts today?  Of course!

There’s been much to be thankful for today, but seeing Dominic’s growing leadership skills in action followed up with a healthy dose of Gavin was about two of the best things I could’ve hoped for today!


Day 753 – Thankful for My Last Cub Scout Spook O Ree and Gavin’s First Campout with the Boy Scouts

Very bittersweet day today. It was the end of an ear that’s gone on for the past nine years or so. Each October is Spook O Ree for Cub Scouts. This annual event consists of heading out to Camp Decorah to have fun on giant inflatables, haunted hayrides, and have a great time hanging out as a father and son(s). Today was the last day of Spook O Ree for the Gavin as a Cub Scout.

The boys and I have had many great memories over the years at this event and have started several traditions like going out to eat before we head out to camp. There were so many crazy weather patterns including snow, rain, frost and wind. Regardless, we always had an awesome time together. Knowing that this chapter is now completed leaves me feeling thankful for the experience and a little sad knowing it’s over.

Keeping that in mind, one of the best things about something coming to an end is the new beginning that it results in. Tonight Gavin is out with the Boy Scouts camping. This is the first time he’s camping solo with Boy Scouts without Dad. Similar to the feelings of the end of our Spook O Ree Cub Scout days it’s very bittersweet. Gavin is growing up so fast and then seeing Dominic in a leadership role has me seeing how quickly he’s growing up as well. It’s also pretty cool seeing them together as scouts again.

Seeing Gavin grow from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts has effectively started and I’m very thankful that it will keep going like this for the next four months or so. It will give me a chance to fully grasp the transition and appreciate the growth of the boys. In the meantime I’m so thankful for all the time we’ve already had together at Spook O Rees in the past and all the adventures for us yet to come.


Day 752 – Thankful for How Much Easier Life Is With Clearly Defined Values

Today I’m reminded of the power of clearly defined values. Decisions are just so much easier to make when run through the filter of values. Let’s not get overzealous, it’s still brutal to take difficult action when warranted, but the decision itself is so clear.

Today’s been filled with many wonderful moments including time at Spook O Ree with my bestest buddy Gavin (the term he calls me), fun growth conversations with teammates, and little moments of appreciation like the smell of pine needles on a fire and perfectly cool sleeping weather. There were also difficult moments like having to let go, having some tough conversations, realizing mistakes I made. When I think about almost all of those moments they were shaped by little decisions based on my values.

While I haven’t lived perfectly today there’ve been so many times I’ve caught myself going back to my “values playbook” to help make a decision. In one instance in particular I was reminded of the importance of living a specific value so other eyes watching me were able so see that we live our values even through difficult decisions. In so many times throughout the day I rely on those values to guide me, and today I’m thankful for how they’d made my life easier.


Day 751 – Thankful for Relentlessly Hiking Towards a Vision

Day 751 – Thankful for Relentlessly Hiking Towards a Vision

I find it interesting to see the impact my choice of my words have on my attitude and perspective.

In thinking about my post today I first started with a thought of how tired and wore out I feel. There’s much to accomplish and more is added before the equivalent has been completed.

As I thought more deeply about it I started to be thankful for grit, the ability to persevere with passion towards a dream. That four letter word has been in my mind often. I’ve got some huge dreams to turn into reality, but there’s much work to do to get there.

After some introspection I saw that I am really great fun for the dreams I have, the visions of what my teams and I can accomplish. How awesome to have such a driving force, such an inspiring goal!

Then my view changed again and I saw it differently yet again. I saw myself on an incredible hike. There were bits of Alaska, Hawaii, New Zealand, Canada, and Montana all around me. It was all of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done all rolled into one… and every one of the most difficult as well. Each of those most difficult stretches only adding to its beauty and wonder. The greater the challenge the greater the opportunity for growth and the greater opportunity to appreciate the journey. I saw myself relentlessly hiking towards my vision.

Like all hikes I have a goal, a destination. My boots are laced up and I’ve got all the equipment I need. I know I will see incredible things on the journey, and I’m also keenly aware that I will get blisters along the way. With care those wounds will heal, the pain temporary, and my body stronger as a result. The memories of beauty and grandeur will linger forever, the remembrances of pain will fade into the aether. I am relentlessly hiking towards my vision.

In using words like “tired” I felt defeated and in need of rest.

The word “grit” reminded my to keep moving, to stay disciplined.

“Vision” and “Dream” brought on a strong sense of hope.

The last phrase has me feeling confident and strong, driven and ready to get after it. There’s no tiredness, only fire and passion. That phrase helps me refocus and energize and reminds me two other great quotes…

“Your mountain is waiting so get on your way.” ~ Dr Seuss

“He won’t give up on the stuff he does” ~ Gavin Kreiling


Day 750 – Thankful for Business Lessons In Family Life

In prepping for my week I realized there was a problem headed my way.  Becky was going to be out of town on Tuesday night for work and I had to be out of the house early on Wednesday morning to get to a training for my teams.  This meant I had to be in two places at once…  in the car on my way to Chippewa Falls while simultaneously making sure the boys were getting ready for school.

Fortunately for me the lightbulb went off I and I had a plan!  Taking a cue from Extreme Ownership I remembered the concept of Decentralized Command.  The boys have pretty much been training for getting themselves ready for school for the past year and change.  I walked through the possible scenarios with Gavin and he had the contingency plans down pat.

Instead of micromanaging the boys I only got them up and moving and then let them go from there.  I was a little nervous, but I knew that everything would work out…  and they would both most likely end up at school 😉


Sure enough, everything went smooth!  No issues, no problems to anything.  They proved that they’d learned another way to take care of themselves.  I’m thankful for trusting them to get ready on their own, and really, it didn’t take much trust.  They’d been preparing for it for a while and they followed through exactly as they’d done in the past. It has me realizing that they can do this more often in the future if needed as well.

I’m so glad I had that spark of insight to take a deep breath, trust the boys, and let go.