Another Day

Today is a day to embrace life and express gratitude.
  • Another day to smile and have fun.
  • Another day to be positive, creative and explore your curiosity.
  • Another day to love, hug or kiss those you love.
Today is a day to be inspired by those close to you or no longer with us. 
  • Another day to count your blessings.
  • Another day to relax, get a massage or take a nap.
  • Another day to listen to the waves, smell the roses or marvel at nature’s beauty.
Today is a day to be proactive.
  • Another day to stop “sweating the small stuff”.
  • Another day to step outside of your comfort zone.
  • Another day to call or reach out to a friend.
Today is a day to “Make Power Moves” and avoid powerless ones.
  • Another day to make yourself a priority.
  • Another day to “Master Your Me Time”.
  • Another day to avoid negative forces or people.
Today is a day to give (time or money) to those less fortunate. 
  • Another day to make a difference in someone’s life.
  • Another day to mentor our youth, a colleague or family member.
  • Another day to comfort a friend in need.
Today is a day to ask the question, “What is the Benefit?" 
  • Another day to not eat shamelessly.
  • Another day to be active, take a walk or exercise.
  • Another day to maintain balance, be mindful and keep stress low.
Today is a day to CYA (Control Your Agenda). 
  • Another day to stop living someone else’s dream.
  • Another day to move to or explore another country.
  • Another day to stop complaining or criticizing.
Maybe most importantly, today is another day to choose happiness, despite your circumstances.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

Another Day to Enjoy the September Beauty of Southern Sweden

What Half Marathons Have Done For Me

One of the reasons I’ve done 5 half marathons (21K or 13 miles) in Stockholm, Sweden, is to break away from my normal routine and get out of my comfort zone. In addition, it gives me a challenge to train for and look forward to. During each race, the thrill has always been there and finishing is a beautiful reward.

Despite not having enough 'long run" training for my recent one (September 13), I was ready. I trained very well for a 10K (ran that part in 1:04), and thought maybe I could get away with it and still do a 2:15 or better. I was wrong.

It doesn’t matter what speed you run, a half marathon is a challenge and preparation is crucial if you want a good time. If I had done several 15-18k runs, the race would have been much easier. Thankfully, I ran with friend John Viner, but couldn't keep up with him the last 6k. It was a luxury to have him by my side.

While I was slightly disappointed with my 2:28, I was happy that I felt strong and finishing was never in doubt. I simply ran out of energy, which prevented me from crossing the line with John at 2:20. I felt great the day after though!

If nothing else, maybe my words can serve as inspiration to embrace a new challenge or take a risk away from your comfort.

What would give you a thrill?

Is there a challenge you desire yet never find the time to make happen?

When was that last time you have done something out of the ordinary?

It need not be exercise but can be anything that takes you away from the "sameness" of everyday life. In my opinion, it's one way to keep life bubbling with sizzle and excitement.

I plan to do the same race next year. In 2015, my goal is to get closer to a time of 2:10. As long as I do the proper training, I will hit my target.  I’m looking forward to it.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

At the Finish Line with John Viner

A “Donald Sterling” Under the Radar

Former Los Angels Clippers owner Donald Sterling, (2 links below) was finally exposed for his racist ways and banned for life from the NBA earlier this year, although we should be more concerned about the “Sterling's” under the radar.

I met one such man over 20 years ago.

During my single years and in the early stages of dating a woman, I had little interest in meeting her parents; preferring to get to know her without the impact (good or bad) of meeting family members. When I agreed to meet the father of a lovely young lady I had been dating for only two weeks, something in the back of my mind quickly told me it was a bad idea. I brushed the thought away.

She was excited yet had no idea what was to come. I walked in the door and there was a calm and slightly eerie silence when her dad saw me.  He obviously had no idea that I was black as his face spoke volumes. He made some small talk and did shake my hand but it was clear that I wouldn’t be in the house for long. He wasn’t mean or disrespectful, so being the optimist, I thought maybe he was just shy or reserved.

Things were never the same with us after that inauspicious introduction.

We met at a park several days later and she explained that she couldn’t date me anymore. After some prying on my part, she came clean with the truth and told me that her dad threatened to disown her if she continued to see me. I wasn’t surprised by her dad's feelings although the “disown” part was shocking. The sad look in her eyes left no doubt about her dad’s sincerity. She lost a bit of her soul that day.

I felt bad for her as it was clear that she had no idea her dad was a racist. I told her that it was okay and she was in a no-win situation. She was on the verge of tears. We hugged and I knew that I would never see her again.

Her father lived in a nice neighborhood and was upper middle class. I can only imagine the negative influence his feelings had in other areas of his life. It was the first time racism was thrown so loudly and boldly in my face.

In addition, it was one of the few times in my life where my feelings and those of the woman I was dating, were sincere, passionate and mutual; particular considering it was only a few weeks. What a disappointment for both of us to have that taken away so harshly.

As a mentor said, to me recently, “There are millions of people around the world who think just like Sterling, whether it is based on color, culture, race, religion or beliefs.”

Sadly, he’s right.

On the bright side, there are millions more who are kind, decent, loving and open-minded people. I prefer to think of them.

Happy Gswede Sunday!

Only Love Can Conquer Hate