How I Wasted 15,336,000 heart beats Commuting

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Iback road country

t was a year ago that I looked down at my odometer in my truck today while I was driving today and stared at an unbelievable number – 177, 529.  That is how many miles I have driven in only five years.  I racked up 222,439 miles on my previous truck before selling it to my daughter’s boyfriend.  Last I heard he had put another 6,000 miles on it before selling it to one of his buddies.  I drive trucks because they tend to hold their value they’re dependable and they have a lot of room to stretch out when my body starts getting fatigued by too much driving. 

I drive a lot of miles.  I wish I could say I accumulated those miles for something worthwhile such as driving cross country to see all fifty states, to see a baseball game in every stadium in the U.S. or to visit family members that I’hearve never met or tracking down lost loves that I let get away earlier in my life.   Unfortunately, I drove all of those miles for nothing more than a nine to five job. 

It’s not the miles though.  If I assume I drove an average of 50 miles an hour over the course of those miles, it means that I spent 3,550 hours in my truck in five years.  I had a total allotment of 43,800 hours of life given unto me these past five years. Assuming I got an average of eight hours of sleep every night, I spent 14,600 hours in bed in a restful state.  That leaves 29,200 hours to dole out as I saw fit, meaning that I spent 12% of my time spent in a confined compartment traveling the same boring routes to get to my employment.

And why did I drive so far to get to work?  Well to get to a better paying job of course, or actually more like jobs since I always seem to have more than just one.  Why did I need to make extra money above what I could have made just working locally where I live?  Well for one thing I needed extra money to pay for all of the gas I used driving those 177,529 miles and I needed to the money to purchase new vehicles at an accelerated rate as I drove every vehicle I owned for the past 22 years into the ground with all of the miles I put on them.

Ten years ago I spent six months driving two hours and twenty minutes each way to work twice a week.  That is four hours and forty minutes round trip.  I only worked three hours and twenty minutes more than I spent commuting to my job.  How insane is that?  I have another instance ten years ago where I drove six hours’ round trip to teach an eight-hour course at a technical college located on the other side of the state I lived in. 

We only get so much time on this earth, and the reason is because we only get so many heartbeats.  Once we use up our allocated number of heartbeats, our time is up.  Assuming my heart beats at an average of 72 beats per minute, I used up 25,920 of my precious heart beats, strapped into a chair in which I couldn’t freely move every day I drove to and from that school.  Looking at an even bigger picture, I expended 15,336,000 heart beats driving my current vehicle over the course of those 177,529 miles.

And it was that day a year ago, that I began to change my life.  Last month, I put roughly 1,500 miles on my vehicle.  Less miles, less fuel costs, less future maintenance, less fatigue, less back strain, and more importantly. . .

back road countrymore heartbeats for the things I truly love.

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I Lost 10 Pushups

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Six years ago I started working out three times a week.  I started out following the guidance of Tony Horton and his P90x workouts on my flat screen TV.  Then I turned up the intensity and joined a local gym and worked out with a trainer twice a week.  I could do twenty pushups without much effort back then and muster up another five with heavy breathing and will power.  I was da man!

I felt strong, vibrant and there wasn’t a pair of pants in my closet I couldn’t fit into.  I almost talked myself into purchasing a couple more belts as I had to even wear them with shorts. 

And then. . . life changed.  I had to move away from the area and thus cancelled my gym membership.  I lost my P90X video collection as well as my resistance bands as a result of that move.  You know how the script follows.  I failed to join another gym and I never replenished that video collection.

A couple weeks ago, I started getting serious about my health and working out again.  I thought I would start with the basics, pushups, sit-ups, some yoga stretches and then move on from there.  Within minutes, I realized I had lost something more than just my former equipment.

I lost ten pushups. 

The first ten wasn’t bad, but the 11th one was strained.  By the 12th one my arms were shaking and by the 15th one I knew I was defeated and collapsed to the floor.

I had gained ten pounds and lost ten pushups.  Though I knew I wasn’t getting stronger by deferring to work out, I deluded myself into thinking I would retain my twenty easy pushups and my five effort driven ones despite my lackadaisical attitude (lackadaisical is a fancy word for laziness) .  Not only had I not grown stronger, I had become weaker. 

This is true about everything in life.  If you bury your money in the back yard rather than put it to work, it devalues year by year at the hands of inflation.  If you fail to put forth the effort into a relationship, the tie that binds the two of you together becomes feeble.  By not cultivating the talents within you, they become stale.  Steering off course from your goals makes the journey even longer if you even get back on the road.  In choosing to not devote time to enjoy yourself some, you forget how to laugh.

Everything that means something to us requires our energy, our focus and our commitment.  By the law of nature, we either bloom or wither.  Procrastination doesn’t allow us to keep what we have.   Procrastination is a swindler, a con artist, who baits us with the illusion of comfort, and then confiscates our dreams and our aspirations.

In the movie, Moonstruck, Ronny Cammareri shouts in masochistic frustration, “I lost my hand! I lost my bride!”

For now, I lost ten pushups, and I don’t want to lose anything more than that.

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Movement is Life

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I have been writing a lot about the Software Defined Datacenter or SDDC. The primary reason for software defining your network infrastructure is to gain elasticity, flexibility and addictiveness. Hardware is rigid, anchored and unmoving. Software is fluid and shifting.

Technology has followed the flow of mobility. The mainframe gave way to the client/server model which gave way to the cloud. The desktop gave way to the laptop which gave way to the tablet and smartphone.

This isn’t just a new approach to technology however within the datacenter however.

In the blockbuster zombie movie, World War Z, Brad Pitt’s character is pleading with a family to leave the delusional safety of their apartment and join his roaming coalition as they try to escape the zombies. As he makes an emotional plea to the father, he makes a profound statement that defines the theme of the movie, “Movement is life.” Unfortunately, the father chooses the deceptive comfort of remaining stationary and staying behind. Shortly after Pitt and his colleagues leave the apartment, the zombies overwhelm the building.

Movement is indeed life and my favorite analogy of it is the story of the gazelle and the lion which goes like this:

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

Just after World War I, the French designed and built the Magenot Line to protect themselves against any future German attack. They though it to be impenetrable.   In World War II the Germans made the Magenot Line totally irrelevant by a new type of fast moving offensive military strategy called the Blitzkrieg which outflanked and overwhelmed the line in a matter of days.

Never get too comfortable while remaining stationary. This philosophy even exists in the practice of yoga. Yoga is about moving into the next pose up to the point of being challenged, and at that point, the yoga practitioner breathes and pushes forward just a little bit more into the stretch. Over time, this dedication to moving beyond the point of being challenged brings about a state of elasticity, flexibility and vigor to the human body, as well as the mind.

In today’s world, just as it always has, movement is life.

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Two VERY Deadly Words You Should Stop Using Now

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You may remember from your high school chemistry course that the ordinary table salt you use every day to improve the taste of your food is made up of two deadly poisons; sodium and chlorine. Imagine that, two lethal elements come together to form a compound that not only doesn’t kill us, it actually adds aesthetic value to our lives. It makes our food taste better, and since food is such a primary part of our lives, these two toxic elements actually improve our lives when used in conjunction with one another.

In the English language there are two words that when used singularly or isolated from one another, are useful wonderful words. But when they are used in conjunction with one another they form a deadly phrasing compound.

I’m sure you’ve uttered these two words in succession. They seem innocent enough. It seems perfectly logical to use these two words as a pair. And once I point out the dangerous oxymoron that these two words make up, you will realize that you’ve probably used them more times than you will care to admit.

These two words are an evasion that help ensure that Someday never comes. Are you ready for these two words?

Here they are: “I should.”

And after today, you need to wipe these two words from your vocabulary!

So what is so terrible about this phrase? It’s because like an iceberg, you don’t see the entire object. It’s not the visible part of the iceberg that sinks ships. It’s the part that lies hidden underneath the ocean that rips a tear in the hull, sending the ship to its watery grave, and sometimes the crew as well.

“I should,” has an invisible element as well. “I should” is actually the visible part of a five word phrase and it’s the hidden aspect of it that is holding you back from seeing your Someday through.

You see, “I should” is invisibly followed by “but I won’t”

When you utter the words “I should,” you are really saying “I should, but I won’t.”

When you use that phrase with someone in a conversation, what you are saying is, “I agree with you, but I’m not going to do that.”

Maybe a friend of yours at one time suggested that you scale down your life and decrease the size of your overhead because the financial pressure of having to meet all those payments prevents you from enjoying life and you said, “I should (but I won’t).”

And now five years has passed and the bills are still mounting to support your overly large home, your two new cars and the store size selection of clothes in your master bedroom closet. You find yourself working all the time, which keeps you away from your family or simply relaxing on a lazy weekend.

Maybe you’ve reiterated the news to your family that your doctor gave you that you need to start losing weight before it starts impacting your health down the road, and when your family asks you if you will indeed follow the doctor’s advice, you answered, “I should (but I won’t).” And now ten years later, you are even more overweight and your back aches every morning and your feet hurt at the end of every day as they are forced to support your ever increasing weight.

So what are the two words you can use instead?  I will tell you next week in my blog.

Brad Rudisail
Author of the book, “Someday I’m Going To…” (on Amazon)

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Attaining a State of Zen in the Mud

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A good friend of mine is a motorcycle enthusiast.  He goes riding at least one weekend a month and sets out on a week long ride twice a year.  He says that one of the reasons he loves to ride is that you have to empty your mind while doing so.  Unlike driving a car in which you can daydream and ponder life’s problems as you set your cruise control on the Interstate, you always have to be alert and pay complete attention to your surroundings when biking.  In other words, you have to release all the junk and clutter out of your mind.  You can’t think about how your new boss doesn’t like you, you can’t think about how your kids are driving you nuts, you can’t think about how you are going to pay all the bills next month.  You can’t think about what you are making for dinner.  You have to let it all go and focus on the road in front of you and your environment all around.

I recently experienced this when I went mudding this past weekend.  I’ve always wanted to challenge myself driving 4X4 through the mud and mire in the back country.  As soon as I hit the trail and attained some sense of speed, I immediately recognized that this challenge would consume my complete focus and attention to the task at hand.  That day, for the first time in a long while, I attained a state of zen, as well as a state of blanketing mud.  I am dying to do it again.

mud on the tires

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Believing Yourself Should be Easy

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Believe in yourself always

Just imagine, you once believed in Santa Clause, maybe the tooth fairy.  At one point you believed that your team could make the play offs or win the Super Bowl or World Series when the performance of the team obviously said it wasn’t likely.  If you can believe in the impossible, than it should be easy to believe in yourself.

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When is Someday Ever Going to Come?

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“Someday. That’s a dangerous word. It’s really just a code for never”

  • Tom Cruise as Roy Miller in “Knight and Day


When is Someday ever going to come?

No, not Sunday, Someday.

You know that day. You’ve dreamt and talked about it all these years. You think about that day as you’re driving to work. You think about that day when you fall into bed after a hard day on the job, or after another infuriating foray with your spouse. You talk about it over a glass of wine or a couple of drinks at the bar on a Friday night. It’s an aspiration, it’s a dream, and it’s an escape. It’s a day that has great importance to you.

It’s the opening statement of a mantra, a mantra that you have said to yourself over and over again all these years. I’m not sure of the exact wording of this mantra, but I imagine it is something like:

“Someday, I’m going to go to Europe and see the Eifel Tower, or walk the streets of Italy or share a pint with the locals in Ireland.”

“Someday, I’m going to write a book or learn a musical instrument.”

“Someday, I’m going to quit this job that brings me little satisfaction and pursue something on my own that I’m passionate about.”

“Someday I’m going to get out of debt.”

“Someday I’m going to get out of this dead end relationship and find someone who is crazy about me and will love me emphatically.”

“Someday I’m going to have the body I’ve always wanted.”

“Someday I’m going to _____________________________________.”

Sound familiar?

Someday you’re going to “blank.”

Your friends and family know all about your Someday. They’ve tirelessly heard you talk about it all these years over and over again.

They’ve heard you talk about your dreams of starting your own business one day every Friday at those after work get-togethers when you all have a few drinks to kick off the weekend. Every week they’ve heard you complain about the job where both you and your efforts are underappreciated and every week they hear you proclaim yet again how you are going to walk into your obnoxious boss’s office and quit your job Someday.

They’ve heard you complain about your spouse time and time again. They always sympathize with you about how your spouse shows you no respect anymore and displays little or no romantic interest in you now. They’ve heard you reiterate the continual stories of how he or she came home drunk last night again, or how they continue to verbally cut down your ideas and dreams. They hear you yet again proclaim that you are going to leave your spouse Someday and find someone who truly loves, adores and respects you.

They’ve heard your ideas for a book you want to write, the invention you have conceived in your mind or the secret opportunity you know about that is going to make you a mint “Someday.”

Yes, they’ve heard all about Someday. They’ve heard you audibly declare your mantra more times than they’d care to. The fact is that your friends are waiting for Someday to come as well, so that you’ll move on with your life and they can stop hearing about it. They are weary of you affirming your Someday verbally. They are ready to see your actions affirm it.

What are you waiting on?

Do you want to be talking about Someday a year from now? Five years from now? Ten?

Or do you want to be walking the streets of Europe?

Do you want to be working for yourself doing something you truly love?

Be wrapped up in the arms of someone who is completely in love with you?

Be putting the last finishing touches on that book?

Or feeling the power of that bike beneath you as you experience the invigoration of the wind in your face as you navigate those mountain roads on your bike.

Here is the cold hard truth. Until you actually DO SOMETHING, Someday is never going to come.

At some point, and maybe that point is now, no one is going to take your Someday seriously anymore, not even yourself.

Nothing is going to magically make things happen for you.

Only you can do it!

That is what this book is about. It’s about Someday, and how to make it happen for you, instead of merely talking about it. Talking about something is easy, which is why so many people just talk about it.

Doing something about it requires commitment and dedication to see it through. It sometimes requires a tough decision to be made and uncomfortable steps to be taken. It requires that you constantly move forward to seeing it through. In the blockbuster zombie movie, World War Z, Brad Pitt’s character makes a profound statement that defines the theme of the movie, “Movement is life.”

Movement is indeed life. Talking about it is what old men do at the senior center as they regretfully admit the opportunities they failed to act on earlier in life.

Stop talking, start doing, and get on with your life!

You’ve got a Someday to live soon.


This article is from my book, Someday I am Going To, which is available on Amazon in Kindle or Paperback editions..

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