My goals with myself and with MindSetGo are to Give Back, Inspire, and Promote a Positive Mindset. If I’m going to promote these things, I must try my hardest to be an example of these things. I will make mistakes, I will be wrong along the way, I will continue to be challenged in ways I never imagined. Some may support my efforts while others may not…No love lost either way. I understand this. After all, let’s face it, It’s tough to win em all.
In each of the challenging journeys I’ve been on, there has been so much support shown that it’s truly remarkable to think back on. I’ve been motivated by others to try things I would have never seen myself attempting on my own. I believe there’s something special, something that drives us as individuals, when we do things for/with other people.
With that said, I am dedicating each portion of this IRONMAN 70.3 to Support and Represent 3 different causes.
1.2 Mile Swim
The swim portion is dedicated to everyone who has lent a hand and continues to contribute to MindSetGo in one way or another. This is my message to those who wish to explore life on the positive side. Those who want better, those who see more for themselves through future endeavors, myself included.
Coming into this whole MindSetGo deal, I have to continually remind myself of something:
As I grow as an individual, and as those around myself grow, so will MindSetGo. Drastic change in this matter happens over an extended period of time. Over the past couple years MindSetGo has continually shown growth by Giving Back, Inspiring others, and constantly promoting the “Think Positive” motto in life. Without those who have joined along and contributed, we would have very little.
I’m still learning. I’m still growing. I promise, each day that goes by, I’m thinking how to make MindSetGo better. How can I continually involve others in this effort? What can I do to better relay my vision? Where can I improve?
The more I contemplate these things, the more clear I am beginning to find the direction of MindSetGo. It’s a matter of taking these thoughts and arranging them so others can benefit from what MindSetGo represents. Thank you again for the support and patience throughout this journey.
As for the swim, this year, I am doing something a little different. I’m attempting the swim with no wetsuit. I’ll be in my regular swim suit, like a regular person, because that’s what I am. There is nothing different about me.
I’ll keep my mind clear of negative and focus on keeping my thoughts positive. I’m not quite sure how it will turn out, but I am going to do my best to keep breathing and keep swimming for the entire 1.2 Miles…
I do this to be that example and show one way in which I define what it means to Think Positive. I understand we all have our own thoughts and opinions. We can all look at Thinking Positive however we like, defining it however we like. There is more than one way to define this motto, and that is one of my personal goals as well as a goal with MindSetGo; To define what it means to Think Positive through the life stories of others.
This is part of who I am, part of my story, and I have been given the opportunity to share it with others in hope that it will inspire others to view life through a positive perspective. It’s challenging, yet worth it.
At times I will make mistakes. At times, I will fail. I also know I will learn from my experience. I will try my hardest to stay focused and to be the best I can be.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement along the way.
56 Mile Bike
The biking portion will be dedicated to Kenner Discovery Health Sciences Academy. This is my message to everyone at KDHSA:
Allow me to look back for a moment:
Well, since becoming a part of KDHSA through Playworks, I have been welcomed and strongly supported by all of you with my efforts to become a part of the KDHSA Community. Since walking through the doors on Day 1, you all have truly helped to make this experience one that I will always be thankful for. From the Teachers, to the Staff, to the students, to the parents, I can honestly say I enjoy showing up everyday at KDHSA, and that’s mainly because of the people I get to see daily.
You all Go the Extra Mile, or as Dr. Watson would put it, “You’ve gone above and beyond.” I’ve learned that the “KDHSA Way” is one that is open, one that is supportive, and one that generates growth by taking those extra steps to be of assistance to others. It’s about Honor, Endurance, Academic Achievement, Responsibility, and Tolerance, better known as our H.E.A.R.T. tenants.
When I take time to reflect, I realize I was unaware of the positive impact the kids and staff are able to have not only on myself, but on those around them. And quite frankly, I was extremely nervous about taking a step outside my Comfort Zone, as I had previously never worked with children and only stumbled upon this opportunity through a friend.
Fast Forward 9 months to now…all I can say is Thank You. Thank you for Inspiring me and for Motivating me to give my best. Thank you for being so welcoming and so supporting. It has definitely helped for me to grow as a person. I’m sure plenty others can say the same about their experiences here at KDHSA.
As a way to show my appreciation, I asked if I could represent KDHSA and dedicate a portion of the IRONMAN to the School Community. I am extremely proud and grateful for the opportunity to represent Kenner Discovery.
With that said, I am dedicating the bike portion (56 Miles) to the KDHSA Community. I’ll be riding these 56 Miles in my KDHSA Spirit Shirt! You all will be on my mind as each mile passes by, and you will only help to push me to the Finish Line. If only there was a way you could physically come pedal some miles for me, that would be excellent! 🙂
Also, Ms. Lauren Randazza (Prek/K Teacher) is taking on the swim portion. Huge Shout Out to her for taking a step outside her comfort zone and giving this a go! You’ve got this Lauren!
So, come Sunday, just know there are a couple Swamp Owls out there doing as us Swamp Owls are taught to do, “Endure through easy and rigorous tasks” (this one, a little more rigorous), and it’s because of each of you.
Thank you again. We hope to have your support throughout this journey!
Lauren and I would be happy to see any Swamp Owls before, during, or after the race!
13.1 Mile Run
The run portion will be dedicated to Steve Gleason, Team Gleason, and all others battling ALS, including Mr. Jay Rink, who has also been a great source of inspiration and motivation for myself.
This is my message to Steve, Team Gleason, Jay Rink, and all others battling or supporting someone living with ALS:
This will be the last leg, which will most likely bring me the most pain, as my body will be physically worn down at this point. Although I will be physically worn down, I am going to be focusing my mind on staying positive, embracing the pain, and continue to move forward to Cross the Line.
We, as individuals, are defined less by our physical presence and more so of how we think and feel as people. Those with ALS slowly get stripped of their physical ability, leaving their mind to help them push on each day. In essence, I will still maintain my physical ability, but it will be my mind pushing me through these 13.1 Miles.
Steve, Thank you for the opportunity to work alongside of you. The strength you demonstrate on a daily basis gives me a new, overwhelming perspective on how to approach life. You are an innovator, not just for what you do in regards to ALS, but also in this game we call Life.
I’ve learned from you that we all will face different forms of adversity and tragedy and need to have outside sources of motivation and inspiration to Keep Rolling.
I’ve learned to Explore myself and who I am through acknowledging and identifying my weaknesses, which only help to further define this Life Experience.
I’ve learned there is always a way, no matter the circumstance, to be of assistance and help make the lives of others better. You have to be driven and you have to stay focused.
Side Note: I’ve found a new appreciation for the Cockroach, although they are a creepy creature. (Thanks Steve)
Seeing first hand how Steve handles his situation has given me a such a strong appreciation for who he is as a person. Although the circumstances may seem to be against Steve, he is constantly pushing on, inspiring others and being a positive influence along the way. Steve is caring, he gives each person who wishes to speak with him the time of day, and he is constantly working with others to improve the lives of People with ALS, better known as PALS.
Just as he was on the football field, as he is to the city of New Orleans, and as he has become to people across the world, Steve is a Difference Maker. Thanks for making a difference Steve. You are Awesome, and as you say, “Awesome Ain’t Easy.”
So, to close it out, next time you may be faced with something that may seem a little beyond your reach, allow the actions of others to motivate you. Keep Rolling through the Game of Life, Keep Exploring who you are, and why you do what it is you do. Challenge yourself to focus on things outside of your own self. Allow these thoughts to motivate and inspire you to further positive action.
Thank you for taking the time to give this a read. It’s truly appreciated.
Have a Great Day!