Character Building

You  cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself.   -James A. Froude

I have been blessed with the health and ability to complete workouts in honor of our Country’s finest people and fallen heroes.  I am one that is still here with the ability to drive on using the gift of movement and the strength of mind to appreciate the moment.  I am bathed in humility by the character of heroes that have given their lives in service to others, and I am sensitive to the lasting impact it makes on their families.  I revere them and I’m forever grateful.

Lt. Michael Murphy is one of those heroes. When Michael Murphy completed the workout that was eventually named after him he called it “Body Armor”. I think the workout not only makes your body stronger, it makes your spirit more resilient. It’s a character builder. The grind we go through in this particular workout is universal yet so simple. You learn to drive on through the doubt and pain while encouraging your teammates around you.  That is beautiful pain.

This year I wore some old body armor and carried the Sisu Hammer for the entire workout. I carried it on the run, held it on top of my feet while doing strict pull ups, and held it in my hands during the squats and push-ups. The hammer simulated a protection weapon that men better than me aren’t here to carry anymore. It represented a weight that I felt honored to carry, and no matter how heavy it was, it was a gift of burden that shows I am alive and can feel pain.  How lucky am I? Continue reading

For Dad

This is a letter I gave to my father while he was battling cancer while my wife was pregnant with our first son, my dads first grandchild. The year was 2012.

Dad,

Today I am going to start writing documents like this one to give to my son (your grandson) some day when he is of age.  I am going to save copies in the computer and print out hard copies for a book of some sort.  I really like reading the stuff you and mom  put in my baby book, so I want to pass those special type of moments on.  I figured I would write you first and include it in our book. 

There are a lot of things I want to share with you but sometimes have a hard time articulating them.  I am hoping this helps and you have the strength to read this stuff at your leisure.  I know what you are going through is painful, frustrating, and scary and it will get worse before it gets better.  One of my goals is to help you maintain a strong spirit and ferociously powerful will!  Your flesh is going through hell but you don’t have to sacrifice your spirit.  You are not merely your body.  The will is stronger.  I love you, we all love you.  So keep fighting with your head up.


I want to share a Father’s Prayer with you by General Douglas MacArthur.  With our pregnancy and the growth of our son this prayer has been very important to me.  I have read it many many times wishing it to come true for Amanda and I. 

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