My Bucket List –

know that inviting people to read my Bucket List is sort of like asking friends to come over and to look at vacation slides. So, you are not invited to read my Bucket List unless you want to. But . . . you may want to read this because I hope to entertain, educate, and just encourage you. Actually, I am hoping that you might encourage and educate me.

It is important that you know that I am writing my Bucket List but would rather call it my Life To Do List. I am not old enough to be worried about not doing the things that I want to do. Well, I am soon to be a grandpa (NoPa) so maybe I am old enough. Also, I am not sick . . . but I am just a little unwell. (Anthony James was born 12/8/2011 – I just did not change the draft)

I actually started writing my Life To Do List back in my senior year of high school. The first thing that I put on my LTDL was to not just sky dive, but to “sky dive naked from an aeroplane” . . .  Motley Crue was big back then:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kickstart_My_Heart

skydiving naked from an aeroplane isn’t a voyeuristic fantasy or anything of that sort – I was just prompted by the song and figured that I should just do it that way. (The real truth is – I would rather do it Keanu Reeves in Point Break style)

The next item on my LTDL has been prompted by Forrest Gump and Chris McCandless. I just feel like running . . . ummmm Walking/Hitchhiking my way across the USA. I am not like Holly from Miami F … L … A … so I will not be plucking my eyebrows or shaving my legs on this trip. I just think the idea of loading up a backpack and hitting the road seems interesting. I figure if I do it McCandless style I will meet some awesome people and find myself  in some real adventures!

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Chris McCandless

The next 2 items on my LTDL come from some internal passion to help others. The first way that I would like to do that is in a way that is so grand that I know that I have saved someone’s life. Have you seen 7 pounds? Yeah, I would like get that call from Gift of Life saying that they found a Bone Marrow match and need mine. I am not so sure how I would react if someone needed a kidney or other organ that I can live without but I just may cross that road one day.

This next one is certainly one that can be done – logistically speaking – with lots of effort and with the help of some really good people like you. I would like to see the #50People process repeat itself in #50States. I think I will start working on my next state – Would you like to help #50People50States take off?

A couple of years back I started messing around with the idea of writing a book. I have put together a few short stories and have written a few excerpts for an internet writing page. I enjoy it. I might just keep at it one day.

And for now the last item on my LTDL. I want to complete one of those life tasks that people look at and say – WOW, how could he do that. But listen . . . those sort of tasks are relative. You see, some of my friends cannot / do not run at all so if I did a 10K road race they would say – YEAH! Others might think I need to do an Ultra Marathon before they will really say YEAH! See  . . . there is a dilemma built into this item. But – I think that I have found my next event – One that most people will say YEAH – HOW DID HE DO THAT! – I want to climb to the top of Mount Rainier.

Ok – For now that is the short and simple version of my LTDL. I will keep you posted my efforts.

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Look What #50People Did –

If this is your first time to visit my blog then you may want to read my previous post before reading on. That post will explain why it is that I am now telling you what #50People were able to accomplish.

Before I go on, let me say ‘Thank You’ to everyone that commented, posted, shared the link, offered encouragement, and/or made a financial or physical contribution to the #50People effort. My words cannot say thank you enough so allow this picture to say it as well – (A picture is supposed to be worth 1000 words, right?)

(This picture is of a precious little girl who is currently on a cancer treatment plan)

Now let me tell you guys what happened from the time of my previous post until this past Friday.

Almost a minute or two after my post was published I started getting emails from folks saying that they would be part of the #50People process. The response throughout that day was very encouraging. My BLOG hit an all time visitor high that first day. The word was out, but over the next few days the response started to slow a little and there were just about 25 or so folks committed to the process.

One of the first several people to join in had this to say:

“Count me in – sounds like a great idea!  I’m a childhood cancer survivor myself – diagnosed at 16 with thyroid cancer.  I had 3 surgeries in 2 different states over 3 years.  Been cancer free since 1999 now.”

Another participant had this to say:

“I am in for the donation, as well as the time to donate for these families. My youngest was born with cancer, aggressive skin cancer and had surgery on her head to remove it, including removing a piece of the top of her skull. She is my angel. The surgery was 3 years ago, and she has been cancer free ever since. She is tested every 4 months. And so far so good.”

The weeks passed by and it seemed that we were not going to reach the goal of having #50People take part in the giving. But I was still very encouraged. Many of the 30 or so people had already sent in their individual contributions and some were $100 – I knew that we would reach the “monetary goal” but this was always about getting more people involved.

Well, despite not having the #50People lined up Kappy and I discussed a plan – This is what we hoped to do with the money. We were going to have a day of catered food brought to the cancer ward so that the kids and their parents could eat something other than hospital food. We were also going to provide some Halloween Costumes so that the kids could have some sort of All Hallows Eve fun.

Those plans were published and then it happened . . . We got an email that just blew our minds. A department head at AT&T heard about our efforts and the timing was just . . . perfect. He mentioned that his team was currently looking for a chance to serve together and he thought that the #50People plan might be of interest to them.

We started discussing ways for his team to get involved and we started to talk with the folks at the AFLAC cancer ward at CHOA. Kappy has some great contacts over there.

It turns out that our original plan was well intended but just not that good. You see, kids that are going through chemo have some major changes happening in their bodies and they do not always want to eat – and when they do, their taste buds are so out of whack that they simply cannot tolerate what might have been their favorite food before the process started. So the catered food idea wasnt that great – We scratched it.

It also turns out that the idea to bring in lots of Costumes was well intended but . . . yeah, this is a repeat. These kids start to get skin irritations and so there are certain fabrics that just would not work that well. Not to mention the potential that some of the clothing could be contaminated with even the simplest of a cold virus – not good for immunosuppressed kids.

We planned better and here is what we came up with – We would just get gift certificates to a local restaurant and to local grocery stores. This would allow the parents to coordinate with the their kids and get exactly what they wanted to eat – any day that they wanted it. When all was said and done we were able to give $800 worth of gift cards from Moe’s, Publix, and Kroger.

 Back to those good folks at AT&T – With the help of an entire department, and that department making a challenge to other departments here is what AT&T had to say:

Thank you for extending the opportunity to be a part of such a display of genuine caring for the community in which we live.

The AT&T team is definitely interested in joining forces with your team to provide “Christmas in October”  gifts and memorable moments for the children suffering with Cancer at The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Here’s what our team is prepared to do:
Create Activity Baskets – The baskets will be filled with items such as:  Coloring books and Crayons, handheld games, baseball cards, drawing materials, markers  (washable), jacks, action figures and much more.  The Activity baskets will give the children activity options while receiving medical treatment during their stay at the hospital.

Thanks again for the opportunity to Give Back!

“To whom much is given, much is required”

I just love the quote that concluded the email –

The gift cards and the baskets were delivered last Friday. Rumor has it (and I believe it knowing his heart) that Kappy was on the verge of tears as the AT&T folks were unloading the car full of gifts – (Go back to that picture above and look at their efforts.)

Here is an example of what you all were able to do:

That pretty much concludes this update – I hope provide you with some more details as time passes but just know this – #50People did some great work.

Oh yeah – Just one more thing. A little birdie told me that there is a chance AT&T would like to do this again in about 6 months – Maybe / maybe not but I know this – WE can do this again and together we can make sure that Peter Cottontail goes hoppin’ down the AFLAC trail.

Are you in? What about a department at your office?

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#50People – Let’s Do This!

Before I launch into my big presentation I need to ask that each of you take the 5 minutes to read through this entire posting. I am even going to tell you up front that I will be asking that some of you depart with a few green backs and I will be asking some of you to lend a hand to make a difference for someone (or many someones) that deals with Childhood Cancer.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month. If you are like me, this isn’t a topic that you really want to discuss, think about, or really consider. I mean – we are talking about children getting cancer and that just wounds the heart. I wish that we could avoid the topic but the facts would still be present. “Each year in the U.S. there are approximately 12,400 children between the ages of birth and 19 years who are diagnosed with cancer . . . “

Most of you know that I tend to be a very active person – my kids, training, the Braves, etc … … … I feel like I do my fair share of volunteer work at my kid’s school and with the PTA so it is hard for me to add anything else to my plate. But . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . Every time that Chris Kappy opens his mouth and reminds me about Childhood Cancer I just want to jump into the fight. And that is what I am doing today. And that is what I am going to ask each of you to do today!

“September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month… Please take the time to do just one thing for a child with cancer this month. Albeit a monetary donation, dropping off dinner at your local children’s hospital cancer unit, maybe buying a coloring book and puzzles for the kids, or offering a family a helping hand. I ask you, no matter your situation, take this month to do one deed for a child battling cancer. Thank you, (Kappy) AKA . . . THE Warrior Of Cancer!

If you are the type of person that needs a little more info please check out who Kappy is:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/WarriorOfCancer

http://www.warriorofcancer.com/

If you are a Braves fan you may recall that Peter Moylan gave Kappy his Pink Bat:

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-braves/braves-mvt-most-valuable-960859.html

Now – Lets get down to the nitty-gritty. I read Kappy’s quote from above and felt like I needed to get involved in some way. I considered all of the things that I could do this month that helped me to become more aware while making someone else’s life just a little brighter.

  • I thought about trying to find a child suffering with cancer so that I could help make a wish of theirs come true.
  • I thought about taking lunch down to the entire staff of a children’s cancer ward.
  • I thought about finding the parents of a child suffering and sending them to a Spa for the day.
  • I thought this . . .  I thought that . . . and

. . . Finally I decided that I would find #50People that wanted to be part of something like this. I decided that I would ask those 50 People to donate at least $10 each.  Think about it – 50 X $10 is $500. Can you imagine what can be done with at least $500?

Well, I started doing just that and I came to this conclusion: Kappy is already involved in this fight. He is a godfather to a child that has cancer. He spends at least 2 weeks a year at http://www.mycampsunshine.com/ – He knows what should be done with $500 and that is how it should be – I will help raise the money and Kappy will decided what should be done with the money.

By now you might be saying (to yourself) – “DxPepper, why don’t you write a check for $500 and leave us alone” – I thought about that. I figured I could ask She Who Must Be Obeyed to move a few things around in the budget in order to do that. But then I thought about what happens next – Well, I write a check , Kappy does some magic for someone and then . . .  nothing else.

But if #50People get involved in this process and give $500 then the potential for this magic to repeat is far greater. You see, someone is going to be touched so deeply by this that they are going to try to find #75People or maybe #100People – I knew that I would make a greater contribution by getting more people involved.

So here it is – If you would like to be 1 of #50People (or more) that gives at least $10 to a fund that is going to be used by Kappy to bring some joy into the life of a person or people who are affected by Childhood Cancer then please send me an email (creech_chris@bellsouth.net)  – You will be updated often with the plans and with what your money is being used for. You will be as involved with this process as those that are making the plans.

If you want to be involved in the final outcome but are not in a financial position to donate money please let me know – We may well be taking lunch to people or delivering toys or  . . . . who knows what and your help could be used.

If you just cant help in anyway but want to know more about Childhood Cancer: http://www.candlelighters.org/Information/AboutChildhoodCancer/ChildhoodCancerStatistics.aspx

And finally – Use the comment section to encourage others to help in anyway that they can. Share the link via Facebook or RT the link on Twitter.

Thanks

 

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The Cure or The Fight ? ? ?

If this is your first time visiting my blog postings I need to give you a fair warning – If you are a return victim I also need to give you a fair warning. I woke up at 1:30 this AM after only 4 hours of sleep. A couple of things happen when I am sleep deprived:

#1 – I see little green men walking around in my kitchen.

#2 – I find things to write about while working out.

The truth is – you don’t have to worry about the little green men walking around in my kitchen because they are not in yours! But, you do have to worry about me finding things to write about because all to often my postings are going to stab you in the heart and ask that you do something that you are not really that comfortable with. Well, I rode 25 miles at 4:00AM and I found something to write about 🙂

Just know that if you read forward – I WARNED YOU!

So I will begin with the title of this posting – The Cure or The Fight ? ? ?

Maybe you would answer this question with “The Cure was an English rock band formed in Crawley, West Sussex in 1976.”

Maybe you would answer this question with “The Fight was an American heavy metal band assembled by Judas Preist frontman, Rob Halford, after his departure from that band in 1992.”

I don’t think that you could go wrong with either answer expect for the fact that I am not talking about music. I am talking about the overall concept of finding a “cure” and the overall concept of people who live for the “fight”.

For the purposes of this posting I am only going to discuss the “cure” for cancer but I am going to talk about lots of ways to live for the “fight”.

The fact is – there are many people who use their time, talents, and resources to help find a cure.  There is nothing wrong with that. But I think that many of these people overlook those that have to “fight” for their lives because they have cancer.

As a matter of fact – there are some folks that are so blinded by the “cure” that they “fight” for that word alone!

EX: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/komen-foundation-charities-cure_n_793176.html

Here is a little insight into the person behind the keyboard – I am a “Fight” person. You see, the promise that comes with  creation, evolution, and/or the “adaptive” combination is this: We are going to live with, suffer from, and die from all sorts of ailments – Including cancers.

Listen … … I mean read this carefully – I think that people should be trying to find a cure but I think that we need lots of people helping those that want to “fight”!

You may or may not know about my friend Chris Kappy (Currently know as “Pappy”). Kappy is not only a “fighter” but he is out there recruiting other “fighters”. He has even gone several steps more and is literally in the battle with many kids are that “fighting” with cancer.

I think that I live a pretty normal life and as a result have come to know a fair amount of people. I can boldly say that Chris Kappy stands head and shoulders above any of the other people who I have met when it comes to his passion for the “fight”. I dare say that 3 of us could stand on each others shoulders and we would still be looking up to Kappy –

 “Pappy”

I think that it would be good if you got to know this guy for yourself!

http://www.facebook.com/#!/WarriorOfCancer

http://www.facebook.com/#!/kappy

http://www.warriorofcancer.com/

http://twitter.com/#!/ckappy

http://twitter.com/#!/armyofhappiness

I don’t think that I am asking to much of or from you by asking this – Get into the “fight”. If not the fight for cancer – just any fight!

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A Movement (of sorts) –

My alarm was excessively loud this morning. It was set to go off at 4AM and that has been the standard for the last week. I really don’t want to waste a lot of words trying to explain why so I will be brief – I have to get up early in order to get my endurance workouts in.

Let me just say that there have been a few “sleep deprived” moments from this past week that scare me a little. There was the sighting of that little green monster running down my hall … … … there was the falling asleep at the red light at the intersection of Old Milton and Kimball Bridge … … … there were the little “snaps” at my family and kids … … … and then … … … there was this voice that called out to me this morning while running.

I was about 25 minutes into my run and Calling All Angles hit the shuffle deck. I allowed my mind to get swept up into the lyrics and then that little voice said to me:

“Chris, what if this song were collectively written by the victims of childhood cancer? What if their voices were calling out in unison?”

If you would like to take a second and try to  “frame your POV” into what mine was then listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkEEjfdxWoc

It only took me a second to remember a posting that made I while ago – I am going to link it here but please do not read it if you are starved for time as I am getting to my main point and do not want you to miss that.

Touched By An Angle: https://dxpepper.wordpress.com/2010/09/01/touched-by-an-angel/

 THE MAIN POINT –

What if just “liking” a FaceBook Page or Following a Twitter account is all it took to tell a childhood cancer victim that “things are going to look up”!

Would you be willing to do so little?

Please read this posting now and do not hesitate to do what you are moved to do!

https://dxpepper.wordpress.com/2011/06/07/a-couple-of-misfits/

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Finding Primo –

I sure hope that you did not log into my blog to make a comment about what appears to be a typo. This is not a review of Finding Nemo. I have not seen that movie so I am in no position to give it a review.

However, I did watch Laura Kate and Teddy doing their best to Find Primo.

Primo is the competitive spirit that lives within all of us; for some he’s easy to find for others you must search a little deeper. To ‘find your Primo’ is to find your inner strength, to embrace your challenges, to work hard, persevere, and believe in yourself to WIN!” – Tanya Prino-Jones http://www.insearchofprimo.com/

Last night both Teddy and Laura Kate had their first EVER swim meet. To be honest, both of my kids are below average swimmers but they don’t know that. But they both know the difference between winning and losing. They both have an understanding of competition and they were both worried that they were not going to be “succcessful”.

A picture is worth a thousand words:

 As you can see – she was worried. I took them both aside and said “you better get 1st place you little brats” … … … ok, ok, ok – I did not say anything that was even close to that statement. I pretty much told them that they were swimming against themselves and that if they finished and did the best that they could do, they would be WINNERS.

Teddy was up first and was set to swim a 1 lap FreeStyle event. He seemed to be less; nervous, concerned, scared, worried … … once he stepped unto the diving board:

The horn blew – the light flashed – and into the water they all went. Teddy was swimming from the heart. He was pushing as hard as he could. It took him well over a minute to finish his event and it took him longer than any other swimmer to finish. I met him at the end of the pool, pulled him out and said … … … I am going to make you wait to find out what I told him.

Laura Kate was up for her event. It was pretty slow going as well. It took her longer than any other swimmer to finish her event but she finished. She came out of the water smiling because she overcame her fear!

Here is Laura Kate into her 2nd event:

Notice the smiles!

What happened in Teddy’s second event is the reason that I am writing this blog post today. Teddy was in a 1 lap Back Stroke event and lets just say … well, you already know that he is a below average swimmer. His Back Stroke results would probably be thrown out of any grading curve to keep the “bell” from moving to far left.

Teddy was just about half way though his lap about the same time that all of the other swimmers were darn near close to being towel dried. Yeah – it was that bad. He was close to 3/4s of the way finished when they decided to start the next event in the other lanes. Yeah – it was that bad!

Teddy finished. I met him at the end of the pool and said – “Great job Teddy. I am so proud of you” and he said “you are just saying that, jerk” … … … ok, ok, ok – He didn’t say that. He did say (in his special way of saying things) “tankyadaddy”!

Translation – Thank you daddy!

Teddy knew one thing. That he finished. Teddy found his Primo out in that water last night.

I am soo very proud that he knows how to look deep within!

It gets better – I woke up this morning to a sign in our front yard:

Are you ready to www.findyourprimo.com ??? ??? ???

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A Running Play List –

I am far more active on Twitter than I am on FaceBook … … I bet my FB friends are wondering how that is possible but it is. And I am and that’s the way it is.

Yesterday I was posting some pretty boring stuff about … … well, that could have been cancer, wine, exercise, running, tennis, Charlie Sheen … … the list goes on and on and on and on and … you get the point. Anyway …

I got a tweet from @Chambrick4 asking me to put together an exercise play list for her. I had to clarify what type of work out. Turns out we are talking about a play list for running / cycling.

I started thinking about the songs that I would put into a running / cycling play list and honestly, I hit a blank! I have different “play lists” for running, cycling, weight lifting, etc… etc … – Well, actually, that is a lie. I do not have any playlists built as I typically set the iPod to shuffle and skip when appropriate.

So this morning I decided to track the songs that I listened to while out for my 40 minute run. I do tend to have a pattern for this particular run as I am trying to move my heart rate through all 5 of the targeted zones – In other words, I want my heart rolling up and down just like the streets that I am running on. So, I use songs to “manage” my tempo and pace.

Here is my morning run:

Feeling the need to warm up and get the blood flowing into my tired legs I started with:

#1 – Love and Happiness / Al Green (Some 5 minutes later it was time to move the heart rate up a bit)

#2 – If You’re Going to Play in Texas / Alabama  (4 and half minutes later it was time to bring it down for a while)

#3 – Perfect Blue Buildings / Counting Crows (Now I am 15 minutes into the run and need to PUSH to the top of Zone 3)

#4 – Ladies and Gentlemen / Saliva (OUCH – need to pull back)

#5 – Somewhere Only We Know / Keane (Almost back to resting rate … … …)

#6 – Wanted / Jessie James (Pushed it hard and topped out in the low Zone 4 range)

#7 When I Get Where I’m Going / Brad Paisley (and the need to maintain this pace continues)

#8 I’m Alive (with Dave Matthews / Kenney Chesney (well rested and ready to push again)

#9 Lump / The Presidents of the United States of America (going going going – unto one final push)

#10 Far Behind / Candlebox ( Close to Zone 5 … … time for a little recovery cool down and some soul-searching)

#11 Lighting Crashes / Elton John

 Run hard my friends – and find your Primo!

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