Mazel tov, bro

A speech for the best man

At first I wasn’t sure I’d give a best man speech at my brother’s wedding.

Nobody had mentioned anything to me, and Hermano’s style doesn’t lend itself to the spotlight or ceremony. So I figured they might just not be doing toasts, and I was fine with that – one less thing on the plate as work and school ramped back up for the new year.

But my feelings changed as the big day got closer. I realized this was going to be one of the most memorable days for him, her, and our families, and I wanted to give them all something special to show how much they mean to me. Considering that they live out of state and we don’t talk that much, the best man speech was my best shot.

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Writing inspiration from Neil Strauss, Tim Ferris and the HBR IdeaCast

“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” – John Wooden

These days, the vast amount of content and information at the ready on the Internet gives us access to many smart people, from all industries and walks of life.

Personally, I really enjoy listening to quality interviews either on the radio, online or via podcasts. Not only do they usually feature smart people with interesting stories to tell, but the conversation allows multiple viewpoints, debate and an organic flow of ideas.

Today I’m going to share two inspiring interviews with you, and hope you find them as educational and thought-provoking as I did.

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Tri for Les: Catching up

Rain, road, map

Six months ago, when I laid out the goals for my Awesome Bucket v2013, Ironman Arizona – and completing that triathlon race in 12 hours – was clearly defined as my one thing.

So it’ll come as no surprise that most of my free time lately has been spent cooking, eating, breathing, training, running, riding, swimming, planning and soaking up all things triathlon. My mind is almost always toiling about the race, and how I can best prepare myself so that come race day (November 17), I’ll be ready to go.

However, even though that one thing is all that matters, I incorporated writing into this journey to improve my writing skills, share the experience and help other triathletes dominate their own goals.

So, I’ve been doing my best to blog at least once a week on either Fuller Creative (this blog) or at Tri for Les (the triathlon blog that my sister and I run).

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Book Review: Outliers

Outliers

One of the best parts of my new schedule is the Coffee-and-Reading Hour I carve out before work a few days every week.

On these days, I wake up at 4:45 a.m. and go to the gym for a swim from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. After that I hustle to a nearby coffee shop at 7 a.m., which gives me a solid, uninterrupted hour with my book, before I head off for work at 8 a.m.

Aside from helping me avoid most of rush-hour traffic, this head start on the day gets my mind moving early. By the time I get to my desk I’m usually awake, inspired and ready to get stuff done.

Book selection plays an important role in creating this refreshing jumpstart. I try to keep the subject matter varied, thought-provoking, inspiring and ideally, not related to triathlon, social media or other stuff that consumes most of my waking hours.

It’s a built-in escape of sorts, and a great way I’ve found to incorporate regular creative breaks into my routine.

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Missing Millie

It’s hard not to smile at a Golden Retriever.

Whether they’re out on a walk, chasing a tennis ball in the park, maniacally plunging into a pool or even just lying around, joy is written all over their faces and sheer bliss radiates from their furry coats.

I’m clearly a dog-lover, from a dog-loving family, but I think there’s something special about the spirit of a Golden that would warm up anyone’s heart.

And if you were lucky enough to have grown up with a Golden, like I was, you know their goofy grins and joyous antics aren’t just for show. They’re a lifestyle; a window to the dog’s soul – a soul soaked in pervasive, absolute happiness.

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