Color Me Rosy

give your attitude a high-five


BW: So you’re not in your 20’s anymore, how do you feel about that?

Me: Like I’ve been on the earth long enough for it to make 30 trips around the sun.

BW: …Ok, what does that mean?

Me: . . .

BW: We’re off to a good start aren’t we?  Really though, how do you feel?

Me: The same as I did yesterday, I’m healthy and my knees work. My hair is getting thin but not so thin I have to buzz it all off.

BW: You are taking it pretty well; some people have a hard time with turning 30, do you wish you could be 20 again?

Me: Yeah I can understand that. Sometimes I see younger guys out partying, staying up late, eating junk, spending all their money on video games or nice cars and I think, Wow those guys are…nope, I hope I never was like that. So no, I don’t want to be 20 again.

BW: What is your biggest accomplishment so far then?

Me: My family. I can’t take credit for everything they are, and how ridiculously good looking my children are, but since I’m here right now if you want to give credit to someone, I’ll take it.

BW: What is one thing you are looking forward to this decade?

Me: There are lots of things, some material things like getting a bigger house but I also want to finish my Master’s Degree soon so I can move on to learning other things. Maybe move somewhere that isn’t a desert, closer to family. I would like to get back into triathlons, it has been over a year since I competed and becoming more competitive is an important goal for me. Stay healthy.

BW: Staying healthy is a pretty big one for you right? You kind of had an experience last year.

Me: Yes, being diagnosed with cancer was scary. I have great family, friends and faith that made it go a lot better than it could have. I have been blessed lot this year too. Very few side effects from the medication, I was back on my bicycle within a couple months.

BW: What would you say to anyone who is feeling bad about getting older?

Me: There are lots of people who had their big break in their 30’s so there is no reason for anyone to feel bad about it. I bet everyone 40 and over is laughing at me right now. Anyway, think about people like Adam Levine, Jenna Fischer, Zooey Deschannel, Peyton Manning, David Ortiz, they are all in their 30’s. Tina Fey started writing for SNL in her 30’s, Will Ferrell was 36 when he did Elf and 37 when he did Anchorman, J.K. Rowling published the first Harry Potter book in her 30’s, Sylvester Stallone was 30 when Rocky was released and Harrison Ford was 35 when he played Han Solo. And there is one other person to feel good about, me.

BW: Did you ever see that movie, “13 Going on 30”?

Me: I have no idea what you are talking about.

OK, what do you want.

"You are being really, really nice to me for no apparent reason... what do you want?" - I thought to myself. Upon arriving to the 'Western Hotel' in Gunsan, Korea I waited at the check-in counter for several minutes. Eventually a small Korean woman entered the lobby saying, "no no, dinner not until 5 o'clock." I replied that I just needed to check in, I had just arrived. "You write name here, take key." was her response. "No credit card?" I asked. "No, I get later." she replied and hurried of with a basket of laundry. I found my way to the room and started to get settled, turned on the TV to break up the silence. Several minutes later the same woman knocked on the door and when I opened it she said, "you very tall, need bigger bed" and handed me a key to a different room. I collected my things and she showed me to a bigger room with a bed that would allow my head and feet to be on it at the same time. I was wasted, 20 hours of traveling and even though I hadn't eaten in a while I laid down and fell asleep. The next morning, downstairs by the front desk the woman walked by again with another load of laundry, she paused and I asked if she could call a taxi to take me to the airforce base nearby, "no I drive you, just minute" she replied and hurried off again. This will be interesting, I thought. She came back with some car keys, showed me to her car and took me to the back gate of the base herself. It turns out that this woman, one of the hotel's owners, does the laundry of her guests and cooks breakfast and dinner for them every day. That evening I hid my laundry deep in my bag, but at dinner there was no hiding the huge pile of anchovies she placed on my plate. Standing over me she waited until I ventured to try it, somehow I managed to keep it down and return a smile. "Why are you being so nice" I kept thinking.

Downtown Gunsan

There is a Korean proverb that says, "A great river does not refuse any small streams." Its meaning was pretty clear to me, there was no way to deny the generosity of this old hotel keeper. Do we live our lives graciously allowing others to serve us? Or do we keep thinking to ourselves, "OK, what do you want." 

Sunrise in Incheon








The Juicer

It was not just a sense of old timey nostalgia that held my attention when I first saw a Jack Lalanne video on YouTube. I looked him up after hearing about his death in 2011. I never really thought much about him, other than the Power Juicer infomercials I had no idea who he was. Turns out Jack Lalanne had some things pretty well figured out, one of which was being motivated. So just what level of awesome was Jack Lalanne?

1956 Age 42: Set a world record of 1,033 pushups in 23 minutes on “You Asked for It, a TV Show with Art Baker.
1959 Age 45: Completed 1,000 pushups and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hours and 22 minutes.
1984 Age 70: Handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 boats with 70 people from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 ½ miles.
Okay so he was really fit... I get that. But he was fit way before Jillian and Bob, Cross Fit, Tony Horton, Les Mills etc. fit before fit was cool. At age 54 he even beat then 21 year old Arnold Schwarzenegger at a bodybuilding competition. He invented the 'jumping jack'. So it turns out Jack Lalanne did way more than just Power Juicing. It wasn't his strength that impressed me the most, it was his take on life. Jack used to have a TV show where he would teach exercises and share some of his advice. They are worth watching, at least for a good laugh at how our society has changed in the last 50 years. I have a collection of clips that help get me out of a rut sometimes. Enjoy.

I'm still looking for a place that sells those jumpsuits. Just wait 'till I show up in the gym with that, settle down ladies.

A Culture of Gratitude

My job gives me the opportunity to travel frequently, exciting at times, but always tough to leave my family for weeks at a time. For the past few weeks I have been in Japan, my first time visiting the land of the rising sun. It has been a great experience. It's humid, foggy at times, even though I'm staying right at the base of Mt. Fuji for two weeks the fog has only cleared enough for the ominous silhouette to appear twice and only for a few hours at a time. A stark contrast to the mojave desert that I begrudingly call home. Tokyo seems like a city that never ends, tightly packed with buildings, woven together with highways and canals, narrow streets lit up with neon lights like the Las Vegas strip and dark alleys that never see sunlight. But beyond all that one thing has impressed me most -  from the time I left the Narita airport just outside Tokyo I have been impressed by the amount of time a person tells me "thank you" and bows; buying a bus ticket, boarding the bus, giving them my bags to put on the bus, getting off the bus, getting my bags from under the bus, getting in a taxi, when the taxi reached my destination, paying the taxi driver, getting my bags out of the trunk to name a few. What is it about the Japanese that causes them to offer so much sincere gratitude for common acts. I sometimes pride myself on my ability to articulate sarcasm, but here even after the 5th thank you for buying some bananas I never felt a hint of it from the store clerk. Even the Japanese phrase for thank you sounds more sincere to me than my own, maybe its just because its new, foreign, exoteric but I don't think so. Such a trait could only exist as a remnant passed down from respected ancestors, as it is so engrained in this society. It feels good to give thanks, I felt good being thanked so many times. Try it out, see how you can build others up by offering sincere gratitude. Next time you see me don't be surprised if you get a bow - arigatōgozaimasu.