If You Can Look Up, You Can Get Up

Failure is best described in this manner:

Failure 1

I’ve gone back over the past several years of my blog entries, and I’ve seen just how many times I’v begun to challenge myself, and how many times I’ve failed to produce the results I was looking for.  Each time I’ve failed, I’ve learned something.  Each time I’ve failed, there’s been a take-away…a nugget of information that I hadn’t previously taken into consideration in the planning and / or execution of my efforts to achieve a given result.  Well this time, I failed to stay focused on my intermittent fasting plan simply because I began feeling sorry for myself.

Now don’t get me wrong – this past month has been an emotional roller coaster.  I’ve swung and missed entirely with people that are important to me, with work, and even with my kiddo.  I’m better than this, and I know it.  And I need to find myself yet again.  You think that, at the age of 48, I’d at least be on the path from where I am to where I want to be; however, my internal Google Maps has been getting ZERO bars and I feel lost. This has happened to me before – but this time it has cost me dearly.  Looking back, I now have learned that I should have been more firm with regard standing up for myself, because the result of allowing myself to be pushed around cost me in ways I cannot even describe here.  But I’ve learned two valuable lessons:

LESSON LEARNED:  Don’t be like me.  If you have a plan, act on it.  Words are hollow.  Don’t just allow the days to go by while you throw your life into “Survive and Advance” mode (meaning just Survive today, and Advance to tomorrow).  Procrastination is a killer of dreams, and it can rob you of happiness.

LESSON LEARNED:  When someone throws a massive monkey wrench into plans that are truly important to you without regard for how bad that monkey wrench will hurt you, don’t allow that tool to lodge itself into your agenda.  Fight like hell to yank that damn thing out before it causes some serious damage, and carry on with your plan.  Why?  Because it’s YOURS.  No one else’s.  If it’s important to you, you FIGHT FOR IT.  

Rather significant personal items screwed up my eating patterns.  I broke my daily fast and I couldn’t find my focus to get things back into a the rhythm that I needed.  So I failed in this dietary change as well (by far, the least of my issues).  I’ve taken several HUGE losses lately.  But its times like these that I think of one of my favorite motivational speakers – Les Brown:

Get Up 1 So my plan is simple: to first be the change that I want to see in myself, and then, in the words of Gandhi, be the change I want to see in the world.

Step One: stop feeling sorry for myself.  I’ve made mistakes.  I’ve lost, HUGE.  I fell into a deep depression and I felt like I was circling the drain, questioning the very value of my life to society.  But damn it, this was just Game 1 as far as my life and goals are concerned.  It’s a 7 game series and I’ve got my aces warming up in the bullpen.  Bounce back and win the damn series.

Step Two:  How do I rebound from a game 1 loss this rough?  I gotta be like Stella, and get my damn groove back.  Kick it off with the physical aspect.  Train harder.  Go to bed earlier.  Demand more of myself physically and, by default, my body will demand higher quality fuel to keep me going.  Demand more of myself physically, and the weight will begin to say adios. And, most importantly, demand more of myself physically and the endorphins will kick in and keep the fire lit everywhere else.  Demand more of myself physically, and I’ll begin to demand more of myself in other aspects of my life.  Motion creates emotion.

Step Three:  List out everything I need to address, and don’t just stare at it on paper….TAKE ACTION.  In my personal life, in my professional life, and as a father: STEP IT UP.  This means making some tough calls – but tough calls are part of the game.

Step Four: Stick to the calendar.  I need to take the time to plan out all of the goals I have for myself in every aspect of my life, develop a plan to achieve each one, and stick to the rather strict time budget that this will require.  Some of my goals are physical (races, weight, speed, yada yada yada), some are professional, some are very personal, and all require time and dedication to achieve.  So sacrifice the easy and work toward the great.

As a side note: if you are feeling depressed, don’t ignore it.  Address it.  Talk to someone.  Anyone.  But TALK.  Don’t hold it in.  Life is going to hurt.  Life is not going to go exactly the way you want, 100% of the time.  But it’s like that old saying says: life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.  I didn’t react well.  I didn’t fight for what I wanted.  I allowed my plans to be materially altered without doing everything I possibly could to not permit it.  I haven’t been the consistent positive influence my kiddo deserves.  I know how it feels to fail, and fail HARD.  I know how it feels to come up short with someone.  All of these things absolutely suck.  But just mistakes don’t need to be permanent.

I allowed myself to feel sorry for myself.  I didn’t talk out my issues – I didn’t address them the way I should have.  Depression makes you feel like you are worth more dead than alive.  I know this, because that’s how I felt.  Well that’s horseshit and each of you know it.  Each of us are fracking special.  Each of us are unique.  Each of us have a purpose in life and its our responsibility as individuals to work our asses off to find out what your purposes are and strive to attain them.   So you’ll screw up royally – that’s a given.  But – in sticking with the baseball metaphors – if you have an out left, you can still win the game.

Now batter the hell up.

Failure 2



March 16th 2018

Today was a rest day for me.  Plain and simple.  It was one of those days where everything simply hurt.  You ever have one of those mornings where you wake up, slowly attempt to get out of bed, you place your foot on the floor, gently place a little weight on it, and all at once your hamstring, quadricep, and calf muscles collectively begin to curse at you like a bunch of drunken Irish sailors on a three day pass in some seedy bar in Singapore (and I’m not talking about the financial district here, I’m talking about those bars near the airport where the taxi drivers demand extra to take you there)?  (Wow – I just went back and re-read that last sentence, and Sr. Petrina – my third grade teacher – just mentally whacked upside the head with a ruler, yelling “that was a run-on sentence!)  That was me this morning.  My body sent me a message of “knock this pain thing off, or else I’m gonna hurt you.”

I was so sore this morning that even my kneecaps got into the act – and the kneecaps are the Wormtongue on the human body (and yes, I used a Lord of the Rings reference, simply because the moment truly called for it), because the knee is the part of the leg that always like to instigate conflict.  Think about that for a moment: it sits in between two of the largest bones in the human anatomy, acting like the DMZ between the pavement and your torso.  A few hours after a strong tempo run, while I’m sitting in my office in the middle of typing up some nastygram to someone who probably doesn’t deserve my wrath (but hey: I was hungry and the deli screwed up my breakfast order by throwing a slice cheese on my bacon & egg sandwich – and not just any cheese, mind you, but that awful no-name cheese you buy by the 10 pound block at some Cost Co in a strip mall that has a half-life like a Twinkie), my left knee sends an instant message to my brain…and the brain knows that the knee is just looking to stir up the drama:

JLK (The knee is a drama hound, so it goes with initials just to seem like a cooler part of the anatomy than it really is)  (the initials stand for Joe’s Left Knee, by the way….ok, moving on…):   “Yo.  Sup.  U up?”

Brain:  “I’m in the middle of dealing with work.  What’s the issue?”

JLK:  “U know that run we did this morning?  Well u need to chill with that.  U feelin me?”

Brain:  “If by ‘U feelin me’ you are asking whether I understand that we over-did it this morning a bit, yes I comprehend your message.  We’re going to rest for the remainder of the day.  ….and it’s “you”, not “U”.  We have a college degree – you know, because you were there.”

JLK:  “Stop hatin’ on me like that, yo.  And just for that English lesson, I’m gonna swell up a bit and tick you off.”

Stomach:  “….seriously?  cheese?  on our bacon & egg?  The chef is a neanderthal.”

Brain:  “Fine – swell up and I’ll make sure he puts in 10 miles before you wake up.  And stop leaving off letters on words – you’re not a Kardashian”.

JLK:  “OK then – consider your bluff called.  I’m swelling up as we text.  See how you like your walk home this evening.  Peace out.”

Stomach:  “ummmmmm……hello? What are we doing about this whole cheese fiasco?”

Brain:  “I’m lashing out meaninglessly in an email to one of my vendors.  You happy now?”

Stomach:  “ummmm….no….was kinda hoping for an Oreo as an apology….”

So this evening I’m heading to a charity event, and providing quality wine to my stomach to apologize for this morning’s horrid experience.  I’m also hoping that my knees will see a fine cabernet as an olive branch for over-working things this week.  And my brain….well….the wine will act like Tylenol.

I’m logging these miles and competing in these events this year in order to raise awareness and donations to fight Spinal Muscular Atrophy – the number one genetic killer of kids under the age of two in the world. If you’d like more information, or check out what our charity is all about, please go to our website at Do Away With SMA. We are also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!!!

If you want to donate to our cause and help fight SMA, you can find our event on CrowdRise:

2018 Tri to Fight SMA


My Overall Numbers Since March 12th 2018

Strength Training:  1 hour


Yards:  2400

Time: 1 hour


 Miles:  57

Time:  2:45:00


Miles:  4.43

Time:  48:54


If you’d like to follow my lunacy, here’s how you can do it:

Twitter: Twitter

Facebook:  Facebook

Instagram: JosephKolinsky

Website: Do Away With SMA

Linked In: Linked In

YouTube:  YouTube

Google +:  Google Plus

CrowdRise:  Do Away With SMA