So each day when I wake up and get the day started I walk out of my bedroom and am greeted by this picture of President Abraham Lincoln.  My wife got it for me several years ago for Christmas after I commented how much I liked the theme of the print and the saying.  I generally am a bit cynical when it comes to these success oriented blurbs with catchy themes like “vision”, “inspiration”, and so on.  In fact, its enough sometimes to make you think you are locked in an old episode of “The Office”, walking into another great day at Dunder Mifflin. 

“Office” comments aside, I really enjoyed this particular piece and its a great saying to wake up to each day.  This past year has been a real meat grinder on several fronts.  Business, life, etc.   Some has been exciting and inspirational, other moments have been stressed and lonely.  I was one of the unfortunate many that got caught flat footed in the real estate bubble.  What started off as a fun hobby with a few rental houses ballooned into quite a business with lots of houses and other side ventures (on top of my regular day gig by the way).  That was all great on the upswing but the new market reality has created quite a “shit” storm to be perfectly blunt. 

That being said, life is there to be lived, experienced, chances taken, rewards and penalties received.  I’m not happy about some of the current economic realities but the alternative to all of this is never trying, never putting yourself out there, never dreaming, achieving or pushing yourself.  I know that I’ll get through this and be stronger, better and more experienced for it… but some days the struggle is taxing to say the least. 

So each day when I wake up I am greeted by this view of Honest Abe and the wonderful saying below.  For all of those out there enduring your own challenges in life, love and business – here is something to brighten your day.   To me, the quote is priceless and so true.  


He FAILED in business in ’31.
He was DEFEATED for state legislature in ’32.
He tried another business in ’33. It FAILED.
His fiancee died in ’35.
He had a nervous BREAKDOWN in ’36.
In ’43 he ran for Congress and was DEFEATED.
He tried again in ’48 and was DEFEATED again.
He tried running for the Senate in ’55. He LOST.
The next year he ran for Vice President and LOST.
In ’59 he ran for the Senate again and was DEFEATED.
In 1860, the man who signed his name A. Lincoln,
was elected the 16th President of the United States.

“The difference between history’s boldest accomplishments, 
and its most staggering failures is often, simply, 
the diligent will to persevere.”

Posted via email from douglasingram’s posterous

I Run Because…

So at midnight I got one of my every so often urges to hit the pavement.  With an incredulous stare from my wife and the obligatory “wear you’re reflective vest” – I hit the pavement.  Tonight was one of those unique nights where the steam seems to hover ever so slightly above your feet and the moonlight blends with the street lamps and moist air to create a hazy, mysterious glow around otherwise dull objects.  I felt particularly good tonight and could have ran forever it seemed but have to be up and at em’ in, uh… 4.5 hours now for an early morning meeting in Alpharetta.  The vacant streets and the black painted veil of silence conspired to set my mind spinning.  So, I do what I do best when I run, I had a conversation with myself (I love those).  The conversation was centered around a seemingly innocuous question, “why do I run?”.  Here is what I came up with.

I Run Because...
I Run Because...

I Run Because…

I like it

I also like beer

there are those that can’t

it makes me feel alive

you never know when it might be your last

I like to commune with myself

it helps me escape

I like to test my limits

I like to get lost

I fancy myself as a counter-culturalist

I always have

I like to get high 🙂

I want to be better

it makes me better

a man I most admire does

it doesn’t require a membership

its natural

its stretches you

it makes me better for those I care about most (see video)

… I could go on but these were a few that flowed freely on a really cool night for a run.

Also here is a great article from the NY Times on running – enjoy.

Exercising with the Family

Tri-Training with Kirsten

Quick post for me today. Recently my wife signed up for her first triathlon in June 2010. Like most things, she is highly disciplined and committed once she sets her mind to something. She got a little help during the weekdays so she could run, bike, swim, etc. and get ready for the big day. This has been going on for almost 3 months and she is doing great.

I’ve done a few triathlons of my own over the years and have been a runner / biker for more years than I care to count. In the past, this was kind of my thing. I had to steal time away during the evenings, weekends, etc. to get in a few miles. My older daughter has kind of gotta in to the routine as well and likes to do a 1/2 or 3/4 mile with me before I head out on my own route. As the kids get older this is increasingly harder to do but one of those things that I have to do. I, and my wife, have discovered I’m generally a much more agreeable and fun person when I exercise 🙂

Within the last few weeks my wife asked for my help in learning the fine “art” of clip-on pedals and gear changing. Anyone who has ever road-biked or mountain-biked can appreciate the complexities of trying to find the right gear as your losing momentum and heading up a gargantuan hill. I was happy to help and over the last few weekends have headed out to local parks with her and the kids to get in mileage and help get her ready. This included a pull-along cart for the kids that I termed the “roller-coaster” to help make the 1hr+ long ride more bearable in their minds. I, of course, got to carry the kids which made for an interesting bike ride. The closest parallel is running normally and then putting on a speed chute (running parachute) and trying to run. Basic ideas is it slows you down a bit. This actually helped me in that it made the ride more difficult and allowed all of us to get in a good workout.

Through these last few weekends I’ve increasingly gotten more and more excited about the possibilities of exercising as a family. What an awesome experience. What was once my “guilty” pleasure is now something that the whole family can get on board with.  More importantly, I look forward to the day when my little girls can start running, biking and maybe competing on their own.

I guess in short, over the last month or so my opinion on exercising with the family has changed dramatically. With some changes in equipment and schedules we have an activity that the whole family can enjoy now.

…and, oh by the way – today Kirsten (along with her motivational coach (me)) finished the full length sprint distance bike and run (pic included above).  I’m so proud of her!  She didn’t stop, not even once, and burned up the running portion averaging right around a 9 minute to 8:50 minute mile.  I’m most excited that my wife and I have now found a passion that we can enjoy together for many years to come.