Push Yourself

This is the last of 3 videos I shot while were at Camp Akita earlier this month. (I promise) I have to confess that I really didn't know how, or in what context I would use this until Sunday night. Even I sometimes think I'm beating a dead horse with my wheel spinning. (How 'bout that for two cliches in one sentence?)

Looking at my schedule for this week I discovered that I have no deadlines. As we've discussed previously, I need deadlines to get work done. But, I do still have that to-do list and I don't want to just waste a whole week, (plenty of stuff due next week). So - as the popular commercial slogan goes. It's time to just do it. I need to push myself. I need to be the turtle.  This will work. Right?

Eh, if nothing else it is really pretty scenery.

If you can't see the video click here.

The truth is for the most part this has been working for me this week. Just have to keep it going. Keep on keeping on as they say...

Mulligan Update - Want to See Something Cool?

When Mulligan first got sick at the end of February and we realized the full magnitude of his illness I had two immediate thoughts.

1. He's not even 5 years old.

2. I want to take him back to Camp Akita so he can run in the field to his hearts content.

We've taken Mulligan to Akita ever since he was a puppy. We let him run, and swim and walk him through the woods and over the river and through the woods, but I never really had a full appreciation for how much that meant to me, and to Mulligan I think until I thought we wouldn't get to do it again. While we do get to walk him and play with him at home, the reality is we live in the suburbs and well, that's just not the same.

Thankfully, Mulligan turned 5 on March 8.


Today, I want to share a short video of our boy enjoying his time at Camp Akita this year. It's only 38 seconds long, and I wanted to edit it even more for reasons of vanity. (I look fatter than usual, and my voice breaks and makes me sound kinda silly I think.) But, I've never been very good at editing myself, and Netter told me I should leave the video alone, that the emotion is genuine.

Once again, we have the Note to Self about the microphone. In this shot I'm afraid it's not so easy to hear everything I'm saying so I'm including the short transcript, if you will below.

If you can't see the video click here.

Here's the transcript.

"Hi it's Jimmer, and this is Mulligan. Want to see something cool? Obviously, he feels better. This is what happens when you have perseverance. This is what happens when you have hope. This is what happens when you have the support of your friends. We really appreciate everybody for supporting Mulligan. Thanks!"


Beginning in May each year our family gets busier and busier up until Golf for Joy at the end of June. This year, May seems busier than ever. Fortunately we were able to take a little break and get away for a couple days to rest and recharge. I wrote last year about the peace I find at Camp Akita. I think it's very important to have a place like that, to get away and keep things in perspective.

Last summer I bought Netter a Flip Video camera, so while we were at Camp Akita this year, I thought I'd take a minute to share our trip visually.

*In the Note to self category, we might want to add a microphone to shoot video outdoors. It's a little windy. Still, I think you can hear most of the video fairly clearly. In any case:

Hello from Camp Akita.

If you can't see the video click here.

The Wisdom of the Turtle

When is the last time you saw a turtle?
Okay, everybody except you outdoors types, the city kids if you will.

Think about it...

Annette and I saw several turtles on our camping and fishing trip last weekend.  

One fella was kind enough to let Netter take several pics, some from as close as 3 or 4 feet away. He was almost posing.
(photo credit to Netter)

Because we were so close, it is odd that he would stay still for so long for us to take his picture, but not so odd to see a turtle on a lake.

But wait...

On Monday, I saw a turtle trying to cross one of the main roads on my way to work. A 4 lane highway and this turtle was far enough into my lane that I had to swerve to avoid him. The car behind me swerved too. I don't know what happened after that. I thought about going back and moving the turtle off the road, but ultimately I didn't think that would dissuade him from going where he thought he needed to go. If anything, my pushing him back would be nothing more than a delay in his trip.

(Care to join me for a little side trip here.)

On Tuesday, legendary Detroit Tiger radio announcer Ernie Harwell passed away.

Ernie was an integral part of my young life. For a variety of reasons my family moved a lot when I was a kid. I went to 3 different kindergartens, 2 different second grades, switched to Catholic schools after 3rd grade, moved from Redford, Michigan to Lima, Ohio after 5th grade and to Grove City, Ohio after my freshman year in high school. For those of you who are counting that's 9 different schools. I had to make new friends a lot, which as we all know is not always the easiest thing to do.

Ernie Harwell was my constant companion. In those days not all the games were on television. Heck, we only had 4 channels for most of my young life. If we were lucky we got one Tiger game, (when we lived in Michigan) and one NBC Game of the Week each week.

But Tiger games were always on the radio on Superstation WJR 760 out of Detroit in those days and Ernie was always there to be my friend, to make me feel at ease. I felt like I was at home.

I met Ernie once before a ball game at Tiger Stadium. He was walking across the infield grass during batting practice and I was sitting in the stands directly in his view. "Ernie, Ernie, um - Mr. Harwell, Mr. Harwell." I shouted, remembering my manners at the very last minute. "Alright Son, I'm coming," he said, and that's all I remember. I was in shock. Ernie Harwell had talked directly to me. He signed my program, which I still treasure to this day, and went on his way up to the press box. A brief moment with a legend I feel privileged to have and to treasure.

(Back on track)

Before the beginning of every baseball season Ernie Harwell would recite "The Song of The Turtle" passage from Song of Solomon.

"For, lo, the winter is past,the rain is over and gone;
the flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land."

I had heard this in passing, but as I didn't listen to a lot of spring training ball games I had never actually heard Mr. Harwell in his recitation until I found this video on YouTube today.

Still, as I read about Ernie and studied his history as I am wont to do when someone famous dies I kept running across this passage, and Ernie's history with it all day Wednesday and Thursday.

Today I watched the library's Summer Reading Club promo video. And... you guessed it, another turtle.

"What the heck is with all the turtles?" I wondered.

Finally, today when I ran across this post from Seth Godin on Quieting the Lizard Brain, or that part of us that makes it so difficult to do what we say we are going to do...a lightbulb went off.

I thought about that turtle last weekend who let us take his picture, even posed for us because he wanted to be in the sun. We didn't phase him. I thought about that turtle on Monday who was going to cross that street because he needed to, he wanted to, 2000 pound vehicles be damned. I thought about the turtle and his song that he sings every spring without fail because it is a part of who he is, and I considered that the turtle in the clip I saw today was there to smack me in the head and make me think about the wisdom of the turtle.

Unwavering, steadfast in his determination, and committed to the task at hand. There are no doubts. There are no second thoughts. The turtle just moves forward and keeps on going.

Quite a contrast to the lizard brain. I've had plenty of lizard brain moments in my life. Too many to count, and the more I thought about this I realized that I have found most of my success when I have been the turtle moving forward without hesitation.

Slow and steady wins the race.

What do you think?