Today brought a few tears to my eyes, because for those of you who know me personally or have heard me speak, know how important the memory of my loved ones are in the grand view of life. I tie in their memory via the ‘Third Boat’ – the boat that follows me which is invisible to everyone else, but motivates me the most when I am beaten down and feel like I cannot move another inch.
My mother had a mass said in memory of my grandparents today at St. Barbara’s at 8AM. Normally, I go later in the morning, or in the evening. While I remember my mother reminding me of this, I will be honest that it slipped my mind. Something told me to get up (Sunday is the one day of the week I TRY to sleep in) and get to church. Luckily, this was a great day to do so since when they made the morning announcement, and mentioned their names, it felt strange. When Father Matthew went into his homily, he spoke about today’s Gospel, and how we are reminded we need to take up the yoke and work hard to follow the words of Jesus, through his example, in our lives:
28 ‘Come to me, all you who labor and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’
It blew me away that on the day my mother chose to honor her parents, the Gospel reading was about shouldering the burden, and working hard in life to follow His example. And than, Father spoke about ‘learning to persevere’ through life’s challenges in his homily. The same concepts I speak about, and how my grandmother’s life was an example I try and follow every day. If you are a praying person, than you can understand how this took me back this morning. Rest assured, it gave me even more courage to continue to persevere because I know they were watching over me again today, and reminding me of a few things this morning. Love you both.
Life has been keeping me quite busy with working at PNC Bank, speaking on the side and a few other business opportunities in the pipeline. Outside of work, I have been meticulous about working out and eathing healthy. I am down to 202lbs as of today – 32lbs lighter than where I was a year ago before Ireland! I have been doing Crossfit workouts 3-4x week with Tantrum Crossfit in Murrysville (Mandy and Chris are AMAZING!) and upwards of 50 miles/week in trail running. I joined Fox Chapel Killer Whales swim team, and get crushed by kids half my age 3-4x week in the AM from 5:55-7:30 (sometimes until 8AM if I can stay). I love the tough 50m pool workouts, as it has been probably over a decade since I have been pushing this hard! Upping my open water swimming mileage more and more each week outside the pool in Keystone Lake…
My diet has been fairly strict, as my secret has been vegatables (fresh, dark greens/tomatoes/zuccini) grilled up Sunday night along with chicken/steak/tuna on the grill which I eat throughout the week for breakfast lunch and dinner. Two eggs, two whites with the protein and veggies for breakfast – broken into 2 portions, the other being ate at lunch. Protein shakes 2x/day, and all (trying) cabohydrates coming from fruit. Eating nuts and avocado for healthy fats, and limiting my alcohol intake. No room for bread, pasta and fast food! The results speak for themselves – it works! Any questions on diet or exerise, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I LOVE speaking about it!
A few upcoming events I am very excited about. If you’re interested in crewing along, LET ME KNOW!!
(August 1-2) 36-miles of the Rachel Carson in honor of Matt Mauclair’s birthday (this is how endurance athletes CELEBRATE!)
(August 3) 15-miles of Pymatuning Lake in north-west Pennsylvania (Point to Point)
(August 10) 24-miles of the Allegheny Reservoir from New York state down to the Kinzua Dam in north-central Pennsylvania
(August 29-September 7) Northern Ireland to crew for Kimberley Chambers’ North Channel attempt (#7 on the OCEANS SEVEN!)
(September 20) North Coast 24-Hour Endurance Run (Cleveland, Ohio – Edgewater Park)
WAKE UP AND SMILE – YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN A GIFT. NOW USE IT.
With love and respect,