One Million Thank Yous!

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Hi everyone!

I had an amazing reminder of the experience myself and over 1,000 other runners from Team Kensington had last weekend during the Detroit Free Press Marathon. You have to watch the video the Kensington Arts team created to celebrate the work God is doing here in Michigan and in Kenya.

As I watched that (4 times already) I couldn’t help but get emotional (I may or may not have cried). That truly was an amazing experience that I will never forget. What resonated with me most were the faces that I saw along the 26.2 miles that were there to encourage me to finish. I truly believe each of them were placed there at certain points when I began to doubt myself and whether or not I would finish. What was even more amazing was the injury that prevented me from running the 18+ days leading up to the race didn’t bother me at all during the run.

Most importantly, the money keeps coming in. To date, we are at $963,000. I do have one more ask of all of you…would you consider helping me spread the word about Team Kensington and Hope Water Project to your friends and family? I raised my goal to $3,000 and am looking to raise just $285 more dollars. Who knows, maybe your friends and family know someone that ran but didn’t realize they were part of Team Kensington. Below are a couple of links. The first is directly to my donation page. The second is to the search function to see if you know any runners that ran for Kensington.

My Donation Page: http://www.hopewaterproject.org/fundraisers/39

Main Donation Page: http://www.hopewaterproject.org/fundraisers?campaign_id=10

Please consider helping me one last time by spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. November 3rd is the goal. I’m confident with your help, we can hit $1,000,000 and make a difference in the lives of the Pokot for GENERATIONS to come.

Thank you again!

In Him,

Patrick

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You’re Not As Healthy As You Think

I’ve always considered myself “athletic” but never “healthy”.  Often times, many people think the 2 are interchangeable but I’m here to tell you they aren’t.  Sure, I’ve been able to play soccer but there were times that I jumped into a game only to feel the painful effects the following day or the next few days for that matter.  When I actually played a season, it would take me at least 3-4 games to get into game shape.

I mention all of this to you for a couple of reasons.  First, many of you might be aware of the lifestyle change I’ve been going through since September.  I’ve been participating in a competition at Oakland Christian set up similarly to NBC’s Biggest Loser.  In that time, I’ve lost weight, stepped up my exercise, and made lifelong changes to how I look at food and how I eat.  Second, as a country the trend is going in the wrong direction.  According to the CDC, over one-third (35.7%) of Americans were obese in 2009-2010.  If you look at the trend since the late 1990s, you will be even more alarmed.

I never really paid attention to these statistics before.  I assumed I was somewhat healthy and healthier than the rest of the U.S.  Boy was I wrong.  It wasn’t until I stepped on that scale in early September that I realized I needed to get serious.  I’ve done the up and down with my weight but was never able to maintain it for an extended period of time and when the scale registered 201.1, it was time to get to work but I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it.  Fast forward to November 9 with a weigh in of 176.3 and a total weight loss of 24.8 pounds.  In just over 2 months, I’ve been become the healthiest I’ve been a long time, I’m able to post good run times for me, and now I play soccer without worrying about “saving my energy” in games.  So how did I do it?

My Weight Loss Progress since September

WHAT?
You have to have a goal.  For me, when I stepped on the scale and saw a weight that disappointed me, the goal was to lose the weight.  In my head, I wanted to drop at least 20 pounds but as I got into the program, I increased the weight loss goal to 32 pounds for a goal weight of 169.  With anything you do, have a purpose or goal.  You have to know WHAT you want to accomplish and for me, I had data to back up the need for me to start shedding some pounds.

HOW?
Once you know why you want to lose weight, you can focus on the how but before I share with you the tools I’ve been using, I also wanted to mention that if you do a program like this, do it with other people.  Being in community with people holds you accountable.  It motivates you and if you’re in a contest, who doesn’t want to compete?  This has been one of the biggest motivators for me as I want to encourage but I also want to win!  Now on to the tools.

Nike Fuel Band

Nike released their Fuel Band earlier this year and I was hooked.  Not only was it a cool piece of technology but it tracks my activity with steps, calories and Nike’s own metric, Fuel points.  Each day, you set a goal for Fuel points and your activity earns points to achieve that goal.  On top of that, you can see how you rank with friends that also have the Nike Fuel Band with a fully integrated iPhone app and badges you earn for achieving goals and milestones.

My Fitness Pal iPad App

The My Fitness Pal iPhone app has truly become my best friend.  With this app, I was able to document the food AND portions I was eating to make sure I was achieving my calorie goal each day to support my weight loss targets.  Throughout this entire competition, I’ve learned that what you eat and how much of it contributes to the success you’ll have in getting healthy.

WHY?
I have 5 great reasons as to why I did this.  Their names are Julianne, Gina, Joshua, Jessica and Luke.  Since turning 40 this past March, you begin to notice the subtle aches and pains.  You notice it takes a little longer to recover from any activity.  You also realize, your kids are getting older and they want you to play with them and that means being able to keep up with their energy and participate in their activities.  I could do this before but I just couldn’t do it well.  What this also has done is given Julianne and I a “project” to do together!  We now can encourage each other by eating well, going on runs or bike rides, and enjoying the progress we are making by losing weight.

Finally, this experience will also be a good teaching opportunity for my kids to value their health and what they eat. If we as parents are modeling a healthy lifestyle to our kids, they then have an example to follow (hopefully) that will give them the tools they need to live and eat healthy and hopefully pass that on to their kids and future generations.

THE TAKEAWAY
I’ve learned a lot about myself in these 2 months.  Yes, exercise and diet are the main focus but you also need to be motivated and don’t give up easily.  It’s not a quick process and as they say, “results very”.  Since I’m all about sharing my experiences with you, this is what I’d like for you to take away from this rather long blog post about my health kick.  It’s pretty simple.

  1. Have a goal
  2. Track your goals
  3. Be in community with people to hold you accountable and encourage
  4. Don’t give up
  5. Pray and give thanks to Him for your success.  I wouldn’t have been able to do this without God’s help and the people He put in my life to encourage me.

This is serious business everyone.  The health of our country is going in the wrong direction.  If you live in Michigan, you will be happy to know that we are the 5th most obese state in the country.  My hope is that you will think about what I’ve shared with you and not be accepting of these trends.  You can still eat what you want but you also need to balance it with exercise and how much you eat.  Once you’re able to get past this being a “diet” but rather a “lifestyle” you’ll succeed.

As we approach the end of 2012, why not consider making a drastic and healthy change for 2013?

Yes I Like Minivans

If you were to ask me a few years ago if I liked minivans, I would have looked at you like you were crazy.  There was no way you’d catch me in the stereotypical family vehicle of choice.  That was until I had 4 kids of my own and a wife that extolled the benefits of said minivan.

As luck would have it, my good friends Charlie and Elena Wollborg suggested The Suburban Collection and I connect for another one of their test drives.  Charlie and Elena drove a Cadillac SRX earlier this summer through this program and they were kind enough suggest me to Dan Boismier, head of all things digital at Suburban Collection.  I picked up the keys on Friday to a 2012 Chrysler Town and Country and had the van for our weekend trip to northern Michigan.

First things first.
The van completely suits our family’s needs.  I posted on Facebook that I liked it.  I had a friend tell me that there are other vehicles that seat 8 comfortably.  True, but what makes a van desirable for us are automatic sliding doors so the kids can easily get in and out and easily putting my 3 year old in his car seat.  The sliding doors ease the worry of my  7 year old throwing doors open without a care for the car that happens to be right next to me.  The other basic need…CARGO ROOM.  Chrysler has always had fold flat seats which also allows for more cargo room than most vans.  A family of 6 (plus a dog) is no small task to pack for and when you do, you end up bringing everything!  Being able to pack everything in the back and leave the passenger area free and clear was fantastic.

It’s the simple things.
Chrysler thought of everything.  The pull up shades on the sliding doors and rear windows.  How great it would have been to have those this summer when the sun was shining right on my kids faces on our many drives up north.  The power windows on the sliding doors!  When we went to the dancing light show near our house, it was great to be able to put down the rear windows so the kids could check it out!  And the dual DVDs.  My how those came in handy on the drive home!  Instead of all 4 kids trying to watch a single small screen, each row had a 9″ screen to watch Mary Poppins!  Even Buddy, pulled up a chair in the back and caught some of the show.

Gadgets Galore.
I like gadgets.  I like technology.  The van had both.  It’s UConnect system, synced my iPhone contacts quickly and made hands free driving easy.  I could also play the music from my phone and stream through the speakers.  Included on this vehicle was its blind zone warning system integrated into the outside rearview mirrors, a common safety function offered on many vehicles but new to me.  It made passing other cars a breeze.  We also had a navigation system to play with and SiriusXM satellite radio.  So many things to make this Town and Country a wonderful ride for 5 days.

What I think I appreciated the most was the program that Dan has started at The Suburban Collection.  This is a great social media platform for dealers to engage in the community and for those participating, a great way for them to meet local dealers in their area.  Dan Wiebelhaus and his team at Suburban Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Troy were fantastic.  They made sure I understood the vehicle before taking it for the weekend and were very welcoming when I returned it this morning.  Kudos to them and their social media test drive platform.

As for Julianne and I, Town and Country will certainly be on our consideration list when we are in market.  We had one before and loved it and I know we’d love it again.  Thanks to Dan, Dan and The Suburban Collection.  Merry Christmas!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post.  The Suburban Collection did provide me use of the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country you see above for a 5 day test drive.  The opinions expressed here are mine and do not represent the opinions of my employer.

Look What Happened In 7 Days

You have to love what the social networks put in front of you.  I found this little gem from my friend Prem Mukherjee today.  By the way, go check him out at Arising Images.  He’s a great photographer!

As I watched this, I couldn’t help but be amazed at God’s creation.  No wonder on the 7th day God rested…this is awesome.

Want 2 Tickets to @TEDxDetroit?

TEDx Detroit is a week away!  Can you believe it?  I certainly am excited to gather the biggest and brightest minds our community has to offer for this day of community and idea generation!  I really want to encourage all of you to take this day to attend and I’m giving away 2 tickets to next week’s TEDx Detroit so you can.  All you need to do is tell me why you deserve the 2 tickets in the comments below.  I’ll pick the best answer and let the winner know tomorrow.  Make sure you leave your twitter handle in the comments too!

If you don’t win, there is still time to get your tickets.  Go to tedxdetroit.com and apply today!

To get your creative juices flowing today, I wanted to share with you last year’s talk from DJ Prime Minister.  If you are turntable kind of person, you’ll love this.  Remember, get your responses in by end of day today!

A Camping We Will Go

Our family is about ready to head to our yearly visit to Portage Lake Covenant Bible Camp in Onekama, MI.  Our kids just finished a week at Spring Hill Day Camp.  I mention this to you because, as a parent, there is a huge value in sending kids and family to a summer camp.  What’s even better (in my opinion) is if you can send them to a Christian camp.  Take a look at the following video.  I’m amazed at the statistics!  If you’re a parent, consider sending your kids to camp!

Source: www.kidsneedcamp.com

Opening Day Is Here!

Since Bryan Willmert decided to reminisce about Harry Carey over at Soul Excursion, I might as well give you all a peak into my team…the Detroit Tigers!  If you were in Detroit in 1984, you witnessed a remarkable season that saw our boys of summer start off an incredible 35-5 and go on to win the World Series over the San Diego Padres.  So in honor of opening day and my annual hope that the Tigers can beat the Twins for a Central Division pennant, I say, “Bless You Boys!  This is the year!”