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Written by Pat Curran

Posted on 17 January 2018

Last Updated 17 January 2018



“Summer, summer, summertime

Time to sit back and unwind




Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince singing “Summertime”

To watch music video, click here



Do you have a favorite month of the year? If so, what makes it special? With several birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate, July happens to be my month. In past years, I take this week off from training as way to recharge. However, I have too much “fire” burning from within to let go. Instead, I’ve decided to reflect on an important lesson from the past that will help me achieve my goal.


It’s the summertime before 8th grade. Most of my friends on the block are in high school now and believe they are too old to hang out with me. So, early one day, I decide to take my basketball and walk 3 miles down to Haverstraw Middle School to find other kids to play with.


From a distance I see a group playing basketball while others are sitting on a hill of asphalt cheering them on. Over loud music playing you can hear the sound of the ball hitting the rim, the “swoosh” from the steel net with each score, and the perpetual trash talking from each person playing. As I get closer, one of the older kids on the court notices me. The game stops. Darting in my direction, he says, “Hey, Cracker?!! What are you doing on my court?” A few seconds later, we are nearly nose-to-nose. My eyes squint as I clinch my fist ready to strike.


Before I can get a word out, two other kids playing recognize me from school and run to my side. “Yo man, he’s cool! His Mom’s is from the DR (Dominican Republic), bro…” Then silence, as me and the older kid stare each other down. I know what he’s thinking because I’ve been through this dozens of times. I break the silence by saying with a slightly bitter tone, “I’m half Irish...” The older boy looks dumbfounded. Speaking loud enough for all to hear, he says, “OK, my white ‘Mick – Spick’ friend, you can play here. But you’re not on my team until you can prove you got game! Get me?” I immediately smile.


This starts one of the best summers of my life! Playing with other kids more talented than me builds my confidence. They “got game,” but I “got hustle.” More importantly, I make life long friends with people who accept me for whom I am. Clearly, I’m different but for some reason they’re cool with that.


Lesson Learned: Never be afraid to “play’ on someone else’s turf. Expect to be challenged and uncomfortable. If you know your growing, stay with it no matter how tough. Have faith that it will lead you somewhere better than you were before.


For those on their “journey” with me, go back and find a lesson from your past to help you. Be sure to carry it forward over the next several weeks.


Until next week...


God Bless,





Did this week’s message help you? If yes, here’s an opportunity to help other Great Americans, starting at just $25.

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Letters From Your Father –

Belief # 5: Life Is Our Greatest Life’s Work



“And on the 8th day…

God looked down on his planned paradise and said,

I need a caretaker!


So, God made a farmer…”


“So, God Made a Farmer” by Paul Harvey

To view video, click here


Dear Girls:


Why do I ask us to say a prayer of thanks before we eat? I’m sure your first reaction is probably because we should thank God. Well, that’s true, but we also need to take a moment to remind ourselves that something had to die in order for us to live. Sad, I know… But, remembering this should make us feel a little more grounded about the world we live in and remind us of our responsibility to cultivate far more than we consume.


To fully appreciate our role as “caretakers,” we should recognize that life is nothing short of a miracle. Although abundant all around us, life seems to be nearly void in other parts of our unknown universe. The interdependencies we have with all other living things on earth seem inconceivable. The number of activities that must occur in the right time and sequence within our own bodies just to wake up in the morning cannot be easily comprehended. And, this gift called life is given to us freely by our Creator to do whatever we choose with it.


Here’s my call to action for you to consider. Don’t just be consumers of life, only to return ashes to the next generation. Make life your greatest life’s work. Let it guide your priorities! Dream big, have fun, and make the most of each second. However, do it in a way that respects life and builds something new, exciting, and real.


Accept this kind of life and there will be early mornings and late nights ahead. To live life to the fullest and be exceptional takes great dedication and a commitment to not cut corners. Like a farmer, you are going to have to plow deep and straight while depending on a little bit of luck to grow a good harvest. Don’t be scared of this. The mind places boundaries on our capabilities but our spirit finds ways to make it all happen with the time we have.


I’ve told each of you how special women are. They hold the keys of civilization because women are the ones who bring life into this world and instinctively understand the value of creation. My concern is that there are an increasing number of influences that can steal time, suppress creativity, and minimize human value. Be exceptional. Reject these influences and rely on what you already intuitively know: There is nothing more real, more important, more precious than the gift of life.


Love You Forever,





This Week in Training:


To be successful, sometimes you have to take some calculated risks. Last week, I decided to introduce hills into the program. Simultaneously, I surged to close the gap in my long distance run which was short by 15 minutes before I had to walk to complete the time.


I am starting this week cautiously optimistic. The good news is that I accomplished both goals with various hill workouts and running 80 minutes straight early Saturday morning. High muscle soreness rather than joint pain has me believing I am on the right track. The tradeoff is that I am biking and running a lot slower than in previous weeks.


Instincts tell me the loss of speed is just a mirage. Better to experience this effect on Week 5 than on race day. Last year, I was not ready for the bike hills and aggravated my back and siatic nerve during the 56-mile course. It caused me to limp through the 13.1 mile run and spend 6 months doing physical therapy with light workouts.


Not this year. I’m introducing hills into the program early enough so my body has time to adapt. Here’s this week’s workout schedule:


Monday: Swim 10 x 100m; Hills 6 x 800m

Tuesday: Brick Workout – Bike 75 min, Run 60 min, 10 Chin-ups/50 Pushups

Wednesday: Swim 10 x 200m; Bike 90 min

Thursday: Core Strength Training; Long Stretch

Friday: Bike 3 hours – Bear Mountain

Saturday: Run 90 minutes – Hilly Terrain

Sunday: ToughKids Training: 8 x 100m Intervals on Track with Girls



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