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I had talked about accountability and community earlier today, two of the keys to help with success in any endeavor. Below is the accountability schedule to share with the community!

Feb. 13 — Mercedes Full marathon–Birmingham, AL

March 12– Tom King Half marathon–Nashville, TN

May 15– Rev 3 Olympic distance–Knoxville, TN

June 11– Harpeth Century Ride– Franklin, TN

July 10– ??–Chattanooga Olympic–Chattanooga, TN

July 17– Cardinal Half Ironman– Louiville, KY

Sept. 11– Ironman WI—Madison, WI.

More than likely add St. Jude in December or Disney Marathon in Jan/12

Wishing you all a tremendous race season, and asking you to be a part of the community that holds me accountable!

john navin and associates, ironman, triathlon

Perhaps the new tat at years end?

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Random Homecoming picture happening all across America


Last night was Homecoming for Franklin High School and Christ Presbyterian Academy.  Both Kailey and Julia went to the dance.  Kailey went to CPA’s and Julia to Franklin’s.  I got a phone call during the week asking if I could help out at Franklin’s, I replied of course, and was given the task of watching the doors as kids entered and left.

Sitting outside watching as the kids arrived took me right back to freshman year in high school.  The feelings of excitement, possibility of a slow dance, meeting friends and acting goofy.  Felt like I was 15 again.  Then the analyzing dad came back into focus and started to really watch these kids interact, who they were hanging out with, what they wore, some of the conversations, were they having a good time or forced to come?

Throughout the evening a couple of insights emerged:

1.  Boys did not get dressed up / Girls primped.  A couple of guys had a tie, maybe one in a sport coat.  The majority wore a casual shirt, jeans, baseball hat, shorts, and a polo.  The girls were all looking well put together.  The dresses were nice (some a little revealing, more on that in a minute), hair was done, make up was on, and the perfume bottles were flowing.

2.  There were no flowers.  Julia was sent with a nice wrist corsage.  Before she arrived I texted her and said to leave the flowers in the car because it wasn’t happening here.  She came up to me before going in, with corsage in hand (feeling like she was supposed to wear it, but really didn’t want to) and I said put it in the garbage, not one other corsage or boutinniere was seen.

Did not see a single one of these

3.  The dancing has changed.  Saw a lot of slam dancing, bump and grinding, but mostly real close dancing.  I know kids are kids and hormones are racing, just seemed close to me–perhaps because I have two daughters and was a teenage boy.

The thought led me to think about what society (we) are teaching our kids.  WE may not be teaching them, but certainly are allowing them to be taught by others—MTV, magazines, tv shows, friends, etc. Our society is showing too many wrong examples for the kids to follow.  I am not opposed to dancing and having a good time, but what happens as this goes further down the path of acceptable.  If we allow young adults to be laxed on self-respect, dignity, pride and values what are they going to turn into as adults? 

How do we show these kids that what they are seeing isn’t reality—tv shows, mtv, magazines, easy sex, doing what feels right, all have consequences?  Real life is about values, relationships, self-respect and helping each other, not about what you can get for your self!

As I type I wonder if this has happened in every generation before us, is it something that comes with age?

These kids are good kids, living in great communities with affluent parents.  The kids were kind, exuded manners, and were well-behaved.  I was expecting to see alcohol in the parking lot, happy to report, none to be seen. Certainly it is not this tame in other parts of the country. The concern really hits me because this is Franklin, TN. If it is happening in our “Mayberry” community, it is surely happening to greater degree somewhere else.

This Homecoming allowed me to go back in time and remember some great times.  Homecoming is a neat tradition and happy to report my girls had fun.  Glad they got to experience the excitement.  It was also nice to see kids come as groups, date or no date, come on and have fun!

Homecoming  shed some light into the direction we are heading, and these kids are going to be leading the way, good or bad.  The values we instill are going to be passed down from generation to generation.  Watch our thoughts, they become actions; watch are actions, they become habits; watch our  habits, they become our character.

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You have the answer, you always have

Carve out an hour without distraction, sit and let your mind go free. Put the kids to bed, give your spouse a kiss, leave the TV and radio off and get comfortable. Just sit for an hour.

After about 15 minutes your thoughts will change from “Gosh, this is stupid I have this to do this and that to do; why am I sitting here?” You will slowly begin to look beyond the mental chatter, and look deeper into what really is happening. Experts say we have over 60,000 thoughts per day. Unfortunately, most of these thoughts are the same.

At the end of the hour, jot down your thoughts and add the date. You are starting to discover what makes you — YOU!

You can also seek the answer to a question, guaranteed you will have the answer at the end of the hour.

What are some of the questions you want answers too?

I am trying to work through the best ways to launch a new business idea, fit in training, invest, and be a good dad!

Invest in Balance–BALC– Believe, Advise, Lead, Capitalize.

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I recently had the pleasure of visiting Banff, Canada.  What beautiful country and what a blessing it was to visit.

View of Fairmont from hiking trail below

Every year some of the carriers provide incentive trips to exotic locations, this years trip was Banff.  The trips are typically all decked out, and this one was no exception.  The hotel accommodations were the Fairmont just outside downtown Banff.  An old (1800’s) castle, that was renovated into a hotel. 

 The first day was spent traveling, and upon arrival a walk around the hotel, topped off with a well needed strength workout.  Once the workout was complete, a little nap and a nice dinner reception.  Great to get caught up with friends from around the country, and great to spend time with my good friend, Pat Strubbe.

Lake Louise with Glacier in the background, one of areas most photographed spots

The trip included several neat excursions.  The first day we did a bus trip to Lake Louise.  An hour and half ride into the mountains seeing deer, elk and lots of other wildlife along the way.  Once at the Fairmont in lake Louise we had lunch, and took pictures around the lake.  Pat and I also ventured the trek to Lookout mountain, about 30 minute hike straight up, but well worth the views!

Pat and I atop the Lookout over Lake Louise, still huffing and puffing from the hike!

The following day we headed to the golf course.  Another refreshingly chilly morning, about 58 degrees, creeping up to 70 that day, but real cold in the morning.  The course was challenging and fun, I spent a good deal of time in the bunkers and really got to work on the sand game.  One of the high lites, naturally, the beauty of the course.

One of the holes with the hotel in background

The round of golf was complete with an Elk burger, sweet potato fries, and a nice glass of water!

Hiking in and around Banff is also extraordinary.  Pat and I embarked on an 13k hike the following day.  Great conversation, deep insight, and a pondering of meaning of life and how to proceed through it.  We did conclude that the best way to proceed is by trusting in God,  surrender, do your best, treat people with love and kindness, give more than you take, and live each day….day by day!

Fly fishing was a brand new experience for me.  I have fished for lots of different fish, in many different ways, but mastering that fly rod was a whole new experience.  There is definitely an art to mastering the cast on a fly rod, I am thankful for the guide having extreme patience.  Fly fishing was great, I still prefer the old rod and reel.

Fly fishing, look close, by the end of the fish, I went back to rod and reel!

The trip was filled with many great memories, stories, and events.  It was the trip that I will remember forever.  I am thankful for Advisors Excel in providing such a great experience!  Great to see and reconnect with friends from around the country, looking forward to next time!  Cheers!

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As in most volunteer activities the person who is giving really reaps the reward.  The same holds true for Triathlon volunteering, and held true for me today!

The Music City Triathlon event was today.  I debated back and forth to volunteer or not.  Not because I don’t like to volunteer, but because I wasn’t sure where I fit in the whole mix of triathlons this year.  Debating if I really had time or energy to commit to the sport.  This year has been a stressful one personally, business wise, and physically too.  Zapping energy and leaving me in unknown territory and unchartered water.  When I am committed to something I feel great, when I wander around, not sure of next race or where I stand, it causes me to drift and messes with my head, causing that “this is one more thing I have to deal with” feeling.  This state of indecision and stress sometime causes people (me included) to pull away from the areas and people you need the most.  This was my grand discovery in the volunteering process today.

The people involved in triathlons are amazing.  Watching all age groups, fitness levels, amateurs, pro’s, you name it, they are all there to do their best, have fun, and stay fit.  The energy level is what anyone who is in a state of quandary needs to be around.  People who are excited to be alive and shooting for their next goal.  The number of people who came up and said “thanks for being here today, I appreciate you” was more than I can remember.  The atmosphere caused me to reflect why I got involved and why I want to stay active:

1.  Triathletes remember where they started and are happy to help those who are just starting out.

2.  It is a great way to stay fit, release energy, get competitive juices flowing, and have fun.

3.  The people are great.  From meeting for a ride, running in the park, Excel aquatics swim practice, nutrition groups, the list goes on and the friends you meet are amazing!

The people and the atmosphere gave more to me today than I could have ever given them.  The experience made me realize what is truly important, people, fun, fitness, and giving back.  I look forward to the next opportunity to help and am truly impressed by all those who competed today.  It was HOT! 

 Thank you athletes and fellow volunteers for reminding me why I got involved!

See you at the next event!  I am even now considering my first marathon….Memphis in December for St. Jude or Disney in Jan.  Hope to see you there!

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Questions on how to use the form?  Please let  me know.  Uploaded a visual to help guide you to a debt free life.  What a joy it will be to be debt free!

Consumer Debt Manager

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Jim Day and me after the race, feeling hot and tired

This past weekend was the Team Magic triathlon in Chattanooga, TN.  It has since become one of my favorite races for many reasons, this being only the second time in competing, for some reason has me hooked forever.

The reasons that go through my head for enjoying so much are probably because it is close (only 2 hours away), well-organized, lots of good places to eat, good camaraderie among fellow athletes, and the course is challenging.  This year was no exception to providing the stated enjoyment.

Jim Day, Lisa Patton and I drove down on Saturday and arrived without any big exciting events.  We went right to the check in for the race, saw some folks we knew, and got our goody bags.  On the way down Lisa had set up a dinner for us at the Blue Grille Seafood restaurant, and started to plan a good-sized party.  The dinner included Lisa’s mom, friend, husband and child, Jim and myself.  Once settled into the hotel we grabbed the shuttle downtown.

Downtown Chattanooga has certainly evolved over the years.  I recall as a young man driving from Chicago to Florida that I would not want to stop in Chattanooga overnight, now the city is certainly a great place to visit and stay.  Our entourage met downtown, got acquainted and meandered to the Blue Grille.  We had a nice dinner, with a little too much wine considering we were racing the next day, great conversation and a good time.  Out of there before 8 we headed back to the hotel.

Race day came with all the excitement and anticipation as always.  I woke up around 3:30 and couldn’t go back asleep, impatiently waiting for my 5:00 a.m. alarm to go off.  Eventually I got up and got ready.  Biking down to the start in the dark is neat too, meeting other racers along the way, scurrying to get there and get the transition area established.  In Chattanooga you also have to take the bus to the start of the swim, our bus left at 6:25.  Being the system and process driven person I am, wanted to make sure I was on time and ready to go.  Very much a hurry up and wait situation.

Eventually we all get in line to slide into the water and the race begins.  For me I have not considered it a race yet, but more of an event to complete.  A few Highlights of the Day and Race:

1.  Typically about 200 yds into the swim I have a panic attack and freak out for about 20 seconds–having to pause, pray, mental vision and tell myself to relax.  Didn’t happen this time, so that was good, must be getting more equipped to handle.

2.  Swim went well, about 28 minutes. Onto the bike.  The start of the bike is always hilly in the beginning, have to remember to pace myself!  Did pace myself but wasn’t feeling as strong on the bike.  Like to watch others pass me too.  Like is not a good word, but do appreciate there speed. 

3.  Bike allowed me a nice conversation with a diabetic young lady.  She passed me and had her site taped up on her side.  I said to her “Diabetic”?  “I see your insulin pump site, my daughter is diabetic”.  We proceeded to have a nice conversation about the insulin pump, triathlon, exercise and pushing on.  It is amazing how much you can say in about 30 seconds on a bike.

4.  Run was good, hot, and struggle a bit with dehydration.  You should not over do your alcohol, it dehydrate you.  Lesson learned, one glass of wine is good, 3 is too many!  Finished well, sometime around 3 hours.

5.  One more highlight, Jim crossing the finish line without his shoes on.  He had not worn socks the day of the race, in transition the ground is sand and grass, making a nice little sandpaper type rub for a person with no socks.  A mile left to go in the run, Jim took off his shoes and ran barefoot because the blisters and pain were so bad.  Way to stick with it and endure the pain!

I think it is the time when you are on the bike and see the beautiful mountains that makes this race so special.  Or, it could be during the swim and seeing nice boats, or running along the river on a nice path.  Not sure what it is exactly, but it sure was a nice day and good event!

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