8 Keys to Keeping Your Marriage Strong

8 Keys to Keeping Your Marriage Strong

On very rare and special occasions, we will see a couple celebrating their 50th anniversary. So many things have to fall into place for a couple to make it that long together that it can nearly be considered a miracle only God could have bestowed. Not only does the couple have to fight off all the sharp, poison-tipped arrows of life, but just the simple fragile nature of the human body makes it very hard for both to make it that far. It is pretty safe to say that, on their wedding day, most couples visualize being that pair that grows old so gracefully together. Statistics say that the odds are stacked against them, but it is a victory that can be won. It requires great passion from both in the marriage, and it demands a steadfast resolve to be the exception and not the rule. Here are 8 key ingredients to creating a strong, robust marriage that can go the distance. (Read the rest)

A new journey


In August 2012 I checked out Aikido of Charlotte.  Aikido is a martial art that has fascinated me for 15 years for reasons that I don’t know.  I think I saw something on TV maybe.  It has nothing to do with hitting or tournaments or belts or anything like that, it was something about the way these guys moved – they flowed.  Like water maybe – whatever it was I was attracted to the fluidity and low energy of the participants as well as the effect it had on the opponent.  I’m not a martial arts expert but it looked like this was a great form of self defense.

When I graduated college I already had a long history as a high level athlete and was starting the chapter of my life where it was time to start earning income. I ended up in Orlando, FL years later and was still focused on working and earning money – not elevating my physical game. I started to race a bike again and remembered how good it felt to be in physical motion and although I learned new stuff mostly it was muscle memory, learning what my body did at that age and my natural ability to see and do. In 2002 I started in Advocare and in 2003 Aliya was born. After about 6 or 8 months I discovered I had no desire to race a bike hard anymore and as more kids came and business grew I sort of just settled into the role of a former athlete. I still did “stuff” but nothing like swimming or racing a bike and by that I mean both of those activities were done with focus, intention and dedication. In fact I brought my athlete self into business – both Epic and Advocare with absolutely insane results.

I let go of many many things during that decade. I did learn to surf (at age 40) and shoot a compound bow but both require tons of rehearsal and since I don’t have muscle memory, only learning skills; the process is slow.

So I find myself at age 46 with my family built, pursuing finances not being the driving factor of my daily agenda and solid health (plus or minus a few issues).  Yes I’m still an Advocare distributor with MUCH left yet to do, yes I’m now a home schooling All Pro Dad and yes I still have many many many different competing responsibilities but I know that I still have more in me.

And that is the thing which drives me.

So I decided to take the plunge and went all in at Aikido of Charlotte.  I’ve attended for a week so far and know next to nothing.  Everything needs to be learned:  from etiquette, to where to stand, how to stand, where to put my feet, how to tie the belt and a million other tiny details. The only thing I do know is me.  I know how I’m programmed and I know how to learn.  And with Aikido there are people older than me participating, which means that I can have a long view and pursue a path of figuring out certain things.  The same things I would think about when I raced a bike or swam.  (I know that’s very obscure, I’m working on trying to articulate that but I’m not there yet.)

Weiner Sensei (the sensei I’ve worked with the most so far) is also a film maker, he’s made some awesome videos.

6:50 and 12:00 minutes really caught my attention. Those of you who know me (not on FB world but really know Z the human) know how I feel about relationships and culture.

Check out this video if you’re thinking about trying a martial art and want to learn more about Aikido.

If you likey likey then check out a dojo near you.

Don’t Miss Your Life

My dear friend Kerri Roberson showed this video last weekend in a leadership training. And it made me think of all the men I know who don’t see their kids as much as they desire due to work constraints. I’m most proud of my brother who over the years has made improvements in this area, I’m thankful for learning how to get out of that trap from a man named Joe Hadachek and extremely thankful for a man named Charlie Ragus who made it even possible.

But the video still makes me sad 🙁

Everything matters all the time


Interesting story: about 2 years ago my friends and I were playing in the front yard (this was back in Orlando.) We were playing near a tree that had been damaged by Hurricane Charlie in 2004 and ever since then it sort of just leaned. I remember it was a Persimmon tree. As we’re playing around near it I jumped up on it and pretended to climb it when I noticed that it was starting to bend over and creak. So I got this idea and told Asie to watch as I “tear this tree to the ground”.

I pulled and I pushed and tore the tree to the ground because the roots were rotten.

But Asie thought I really ripped the tree to the ground.

Yesterday morning (2 years after it happened) in a completely random statement Asie looked at me and said “remember when you tore that tree out of the ground?”

It’s a funny story until you pause to think about the significant of your children watching every move you make. I would much rather have Asie think I’m Superman able to pull trees up by the roots than to hero worship some pro athlete on tv. 2 years ago it was just a fun experience. Today I realized that the things that happened in the past have a lasting effect – good or bad.

Remember my friends, everything matters all the time.