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Putting It All Down On Paper

     Words can’t express how excited I am…

     Why, you may ask?

     Well, I just wrote my first book ever. And I can’t wait for you to read it…

     A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into my first book writing effort…and just like everything in life… I learned some very important lessons along the way that you may find useful in your own life.

     I had never written more than a few pages before this… so there was a lot I didn’t know…  and I really had to learn as I went.

     It was hard work… and it was tough at times… but it was rewarding all the same.

     I learned a lot… especially about “writer’s block” and margins and structure and syntax… and I could go on and on…

     But the hard work was worth it and I’m very proud of how this book turned out… and I can only hope my message gets through on paper…

     I’ve learned so many things on my journey of health… I just knew I had to put them down on paper… And I committed to writing my book…

     How hard could it be, I thought…

     Boy, were those some famous last words…

     Now… let me tell you… I’ve competed in grappling tournaments as well as triathlons, and I have to say… writing this book was harder than I thought.

     Just getting started was a process all on its own…

     And some of the best advice I received early on about writing helped tremendously…

     First things first… I had to check my ego at the office door.

     What I mean by this is I didn’t sit down and expect to write A Tale of Two Cities… I had to know my limitations.

     I was an average student in school… I would say about a C average… as I wasn’t particularly interested in school so I didn’t apply myself the way I should have.

     I knew that I wasn’t going to be Charles Dickens my first time out…

    So I put the whole process into terms I know… instead of looking at it like a task… I looked at it like a triathlon.

     I just kept my eyes on the horizon and didn’t stop…

     I knew where I was going… I just had to keep it in sight.

     But sometimes… it gets dark… and you can’t really see the path too clearly…

     Which brought me to the realization that… if I wanted to achieve this goal… I would have to get help.

     But where do you go to for help in writing a book about your life? And especially a book that will change so many other lives?

     I knew it would take a lot of time relating my story to somebody that didn’t know me… so I went to the people who I always go to first… my family.

     As luck would have it that wonderful lady I’m married to comes from a family of teachers… as both Rosemary’s mother and aunt were teachers.

     And throughout the process… it seemed no matter where I was… one of them was within ear shot and willing to help.

     And although Rosemary is not a teacher… she too was right there too (as she’s always been)… she’s got an eye for grammar and I welcomed the help.

     Let me just tell you… firefighters and police officers may be tough guys… but there’s nobody tougher than ex-teachers!

     But any rate… I now had my story down on paper…which was easier than I thought.

     But what wasn’t easy was making it make sense… so I turned to another valuable resource… my friends.

     I remember at the age of 60 I started up at a new jiu jitsu academy where I met Kyle and Jude Hodgens, the two instructors of the school.

     I think these two guys became interested in me because I would not accept special allowances because of my age.

     I never made excuses for or whined about losing a match.

     I took my bruises and losses (and wins) in stride and continued on.

     And it didn’t take long before we became friends both in and out of the dojo.

     I later learned that both of them were college graduates and Jude, in particular, was a school teacher.

     During our time together… Kyle learned about my past and my desires to make videos and write a book which would help change lives.

     When I told him what I wanted to do… he immediately said he wanted to help.

     We met a lot whenever we could …we emailed back and forth too many times to count… until one day, we had a finished product.

     Which is why you’ll see Kyle’s name on the front cover and Jude’s in the dedication… because without their involvement… this book would not have happened.

     So with the help of my wife and wonderful friends, I’m able to tell my story and hopefully inspire others.

     From deaths door to triathlons… I’m living proof that with desire, drive, and determination… anybody can achieve the goals they’ve never thought possible.

     This book is confirmation that you should never say “I’m too old” or “I can’t”… because you’re not and you can.

     How do I know this?

     Just look at me!



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