Purple Stride Broward-Palm Beach

Last week I received an email announcing the Purple Stride Broward-Palm Beach Event.  I can’t believe it is that time of the year again.  We are less than a month away from the racing (running) season in South Florida.  Since the heat index has been in the triple digits since we got back, I’ve been training on the treadmill.   It is never too early to start training as the race will be here in a jiffy.

Today I setup our team for the purple stride event happening on November 19th at FAU (Florida Atlantic University) in Boca Raton.  We will be racing under the team Deb Force Five for the third year in a row.  My goal is to be the number one team in fundraising for the second year in a row.  We are shooting for $10,500.

As I updated the information and the team’s website, I got choked up.  It hit me like semi-truck that this year would be painfully different.   August 26th will make five months since we lost Debbie, but it still feels so fresh.  Grief is awful.  Like a thief in the night, it comes out of nowhere and steals your happiness.  It pops up unexpectedly, forcefully and with so much pain.

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After I collected myself a bit, I got on the treadmill to put in my thirty minutes.  The first five minutes were tearful, but as my run continued my hope and sense of purpose returned.  I made a promise to Debbie to continue advocating for pancreatic cancer awareness and fighting for a cure.  It is a promise I cannot and will not ever break.

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In the coming months, we hope to announce the launch of a pancreatic cancer immunotherapy clinical trial that Debbie, Melissa Nicholas and I had started working on last December.   It destroyed me that we were not able to launch the clinical trial, so Debbie could benefit.  In hindsight, I think Debbie knew this since she was a pharmacist.  As a neophyte to the industry, I had hopes that we could get it started right away.

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She was a second mom to my kids and they loved her to pieces.   Her memory is never far for anyone us.  My boys insisted on lighting a candle in Debbie’s memory at Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.  Afterwards in the gift shop, they picked out a praying angel, for her, that watches over us from our kitchen.

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You may have seen the new shirts that were posted to the site this weekend.  My boys and I have been hard at work designing shirts and a business plan for our new store.  For all of us, the creative process and the opportunity to honor Debbie’s memory has been cathartic.   The profits from our merchandise will go towards funding the clinical trial and towards a scholarship program that helps families with the expenses for travel hockey.

For more information on Purple Stride Broward-Palm Beach or to join our team click here

For more information of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network click here

Fore more information Pennies In Action click here

Fore more information on our store click here

 

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You Being You

Loved this whimsical quote from Dr. Seuss that’s all about you being you and me being me.   The picture of my favorite carousel from Paris didn’t hurt either.  I looked high and low for pictures from our first trip to Paris.   I have a fabulous picture of Jake riding the carousel near the Eiffel Tower, but that photo album has gone ghost.  I digress.

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When we travel, we’re free to be ourselves.  Being free of other people’s expectations and perceptions, if even for a week, is completely liberating.  The truth is we have to learn to accept who we are before anyone else can accept us.  Further, and far more difficult, we have to learn to accept that not everyone will like us.

Reality is when we embrace who we are and we say what we feel those that are important to us will embrace us.  Those that don’t simply don’t matter.   Sometimes one needn’t look further than Dr. Seuss for great advice and Green Eggs and Ham.

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Take Pride

What does it mean to take pride in what you do?  Perhaps renowned basketball coach Red Auerbach said it best, “Take pride in what you do. The kind of pride I’m talking about is not the arrogant puffed-up kind; it’s just the whole idea of caring – fiercely caring.”

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My kids, as you know, are home for the first summer since 2008. Each week day, I give the kids of list of chores to complete.  Each day the boys are in a mad rush right before or right as the Hubby and I are getting home from work.   Of course, the result is substandard work on most chores, which drives me crazy.

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In order, to get the chores done correctly and on time, I turn off the wi-fi device by device.  Its akin to being put in the corner without a toy.  An electronic device without steady data or wi-fi is useless to most kids.  The goal in all of this is to teach them responsibility, how to do certain chores (i.e. laundry) so they’re well prepared for life and lighten our load.

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The real lesson here is whatever you do; do it well.  Don’t settle for mediocrity and take pride in your work.  Whether it is a household chore, school, a sporting event or your career; do your best.

Tether Ball

I remember playing tether ball as a kid and being pretty awful at it.   It was a lot of fun, but if you got distracted for even a second there was a good chance you were going to get smacked in the face by that ball.  Now as an adult, we all have days like that.  Days that smack us upside the head like a tether ball.

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Thening.  Our daily routines, can set us up for how we handle the stressors of our day.  In a perfect world, I’d start each and every day with at least 20 minutes of yoga.  My snooze button – a very stubborn thing – keeps getting in the way.  Another practice that helps during the day is taking regular walks throughout the day.  If you can’t get away from your desk for multiple walks, set aside at least one fifteen minute break to take a walk outside.

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The events of our day, much like our life, don’t define us.  Rather it is our reactions to these events, both good and bad, that define who we are.  Setting yourself up each day for a calm reaction will go a long way to ending the tether ball feeling.  Being mindful about how we react to other people and to our stress is an important skill needed to be successful.  With a little practice, some breathing exercises and a few walks, one can find balance in even the craziest day.

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The Last Mooring

Shiny New Toy

What is it about human nature that when something newer comes along, we tend to abandon our older toys or belongings in favor of the newer, shinier toy?  It would be okay if this was limited to inanimate objects, but this behavior is most egregiously displayed between people.  Sophocles paints a much more eloquent picture of this phenomenon in his play Women of Trachis writing “the eyes of men love to pluck the blossoms, from the faded flowers they turn away.” How is that we’re so quick to turn on those that have been loyal in favor of people that are new to our lives or our organization?  And does it have to be this way?

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The obvious, but not so easy answer is that it doesn’t have to be this way. If we learned anything from the movie Toy Story, and I think we all did, it is that the new and old can co-exist peacefully and productively. When a new person comes into our organization or lives, we want them to feel integrated and a part of the team. In hiring a new person, it is important to hire someone that can integrate into your team as this will alleviate many potential problems.

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In the corporate world, solving this issue comes down to leadership.  Leaders can integrate new members into the team making them feel important without neglecting or negating the accomplishments of existing team members.  One easy to do this is by highlighting the special skillsets and expertise each team member brings to the table and while clearly defining each party’s role in the organization.  This will help ensure new team members can integrate into the team without causing existing team members to think their being replaced.

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In our personal lives, the onus is on us to make sure we do not neglect our friendships.  Life gets busy and relationships evolve, but we can always make time to nurture our friendships be it a call, a text, a Facebook message just to say hi.  There may be finite room in your house to store stuff, but there is no cap on many people we can have in our lives.

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It’s Friday – Time to be Amazing

While it is easy to celebrate that the end of our work week in near, bring focus to today’s work and strive to be your best as the weekend draws closer.

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Commit or Quit

I wrote last night about how a single blog post has completely upended Uber’s rocket like trajectory to the top of the business world.   Uber and Lyft provided a much needed alternative to current modes of transportation available in our cities.  Uber was a head of the game, but a lack of discipline and an abysmal, abusive corporate culture has derailed their ascent to the top.

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When you look at the core values of Uber, at least from what can be pieced together through various media and former employees’ reports, are built around winning and only winning.  Some of these are toe stepping, make magic, super pumped, and always be hustling.  While these are levels of motivation you’d want to see in your employees on the daily, they’re not the only traits or values that you’re looking for them to uphold.  Most companies’ core values reflect their goal of making a profit, but they also reflect their goal of making a profit in concert with integrity, great work environment, and responsibility.  The core values serve as a guide for all of their employees to make sure the business is run both within the letter of the law and with the utmost integrity.

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The establishment of core values for a corporation is important as it signals to employees, customers, and shareholders who you are and wants important to you as a business.  When establishing the core values, it is essential that all levels of the organization commit to living within that value set or else you’re operating within a house of cards much like Uber.

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Much like any habit, if you say you’re going to commit to running 25-30 miles a week to achieve a PR at our next race, but you only run 10-15 miles a week your PR will likely not materialize.  Likewise, if you as a business commit to core values, but do not adhere to all of them, your business practices will not align with your core values.  Moreover, as a leader you’ll have little to no credibility with your folks.  The lesson is don’t be half pregnant.  Don’t preach one things and live another; commit to your goals, your values and stick to them.

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