Sunday, April 12, 2015

Turning 30

I'm gonna be 30?
On Thursday I enter a new decade. A decade that a lot of people think means "you're old". I have to be honest, I'm excited. Life has gotten better every year since 1985. I'm not sure if that's actually true or I just choose to think it, but I have enjoyed life more and more. Here's why.

When you're young it is a fun time full of adventure, but you're not settled. Sure, college was a great time, but I had no idea what I wanted with my life career or love wise. At 30 I know exactly what I want for one of those two. Hey, 50 percent isn't bad. I'm 100 percent confident in myself and what I want. Yes, I haven't accomplished everything, but have a direction. I like getting older because you know more about yourself.

You know what you're good at and what you're bad at. What you want and what you don't want. What you can change and what you can't change. If you like your Dunkin coffee with almond milk or just a little cream. It's fun getting older and more mature. It's scary too though. I see all these people my age getting married and having kids and sometimes I wonder if I've had "too much fun" and not been serious enough in my 20's. But then I think about my life overall. Do you want to wonder "what if" or do you want to experience everything first.

That's the main question.  All I know is I love life. I love my friends, I love my job(most of the time), I love and appreciate everything. Sometimes I think we just think about getting older in the negative, but its a positive thing, We grow as people and we understand ourselves better. Here's to the next decade being even better than my 20's. Keep living the dream.

For the next 30

-Become a certified career coach and open up my own practice
-Be an awesome dad and raise awesome kids and find a woman that loves me for the idiot I am
-Get over my fear of sharks
-Invent a cure for really bad sunburns
-Be the Director of Recruitment for a major hospital system
-Figure out a way to have 2pac and Phil Collins perform together at the Potomac River

Sunday, March 1, 2015

How My Health Coach changed my life

August 6th, 2014. The day my life changed forever. Seems dramatic, but it's true. This was the day I committed to changing my eating and exercise habits in hopes of living a healthier life. My whole life I have had no real concept of what good and bad food was. I just ate it and never thought about what I was putting into my body.  I thought, "well I play basketball everyday so I can eat that pizza and it will all even out." That is how I gained 30 pounds after college and more importantly felt unhealthy. But then my health coach and also my dear friend(she will go unnamed) took me under her wing and pushed me to become a healthier and better Karl.

She showed me the importance of meal prep. Now, I prepare all my meals on Sunday's so I don't have to make that decision about whether to get a 700 calorie sandwich down the street or bring my lunch. It's already prepped. She introduced me to the power of veggies. In that first month I ate more veggies than in my previous 29 years on this earth and realized I actually kind of liked them.

I started eating oatmeal in the morning instead of bagels, I stopped eating pasta and kept cereal out of the apartment.  Exercise wise, instead of just basketball and tennis I started doing more strength training and working on my legs and abs.  I started tracking my calorie intake daily on Fitness Pal and joining apps like Weilos to check in.

While their have been bumps along the way and I am still a work in progress(especially my weekend habits) my health coach has helped me develop healthy habits I am hoping will last a lifetime. She's done this by first and foremost holding me accountable. Oh, you want that slice of pizza, Karl, be prepared to do 50 burpees to work it off." Ya, she's tough but she cares and she wants to see me succeed. I'm not sure what I did to deserve her help, but I appreciate her as much as anyone in the world.

I really believe for people like me that struggle with eating it is impossible to do alone.  You need someone, whether it be hiring someone or having a friend help out that holds you accountable, that gives you that support, that checks in with you.  I could not have been where I am today without the help of "Coach L".  She has changed my life and I am forever grateful for her.

5 Keys to health success

1. Accountability: Plug everything you eat into MyFitness Pal or a related app. Check in with someone about what your eating and how much you are eating.  Make sure you hold yourself accountable for that bagel if you eat it.

2. Prep your meals: I have all my meals packed in tupperware as we speak and am ready for the week.  Like everything else in life preparation is the key to success

3. Don't get down on yourself for failing: I've failed a lot in this process. I could have had the whole 30 pounds off, but fell of the wagon for a month or two during football season and the holiday's. I could have said screw it, but now I am back and more determined than ever to get that last 15 down

4. Have a goal: Determine where you want to be eventually then set short term goals to hold yourself accountable

5. Get a coach. IF you are like me and love cheetos and pizza it will be impossible to do without help. Reach out to someone. Join fitness groups on Facebook.  Don't be afraid to reach out for support.

If I can do it you can do it.  Let's get after it.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Top 10 Love Songs of all time

Rewriting this blog after a couple years. Most of the songs are the same. Valentines Day should be everyday. Let's embrace Love. It's  a great thing. Enjoy.

1. Stand By Me-Ben E. King: Who knows if I'll ever settle down or better yet find a girl crazy enough to marry me, but if I do have a wedding this will my "first dance" song or whatever they call it. I've liked this song since I was a kid and it has gotten even better with age.

"If the sky that we look upon should tumble and fall and the moon is the only light you'll see, no I won't be afraid, no I won't shed a tear, just as long, as you Stand By Me." Is that the greatest line in the history of music. Ya, probably. The background music is amazing as well. A great love song embodies what it means to truly be in love and this is a perfect example.

2. This Magic Moment: The Drifters: This was actually my first love song experience. Heard it when I was like 10 for the first time and to this day it's one of my favorites. I think oldies are the best love songs. Things were more innocent back then." Sweeter than wine, softer than the summer night, everything I want I have whenever I hold you tight. " This Magic Moment, when your lips are close to mine, will love forever, forever till the end of time." The music in this is just incredible. I've had one magic moment before but at the end of the day it didn't work out. It'd be awesome to find someone to have a lot of "Magic Moments" with.

3. Unchained Melody. The Righteous Brothers: I know I should've been born in 1950. I listen to this on the Metro and smile.  The chorus on this song is so powerful it makes me tear up. If you don't like this song what is wrong with you? I hope everyone has seen Ghost. If not, see this and not just cause Demi Moore is smokin hot.

4. Mandolin Rain-Bruce Hornsby: What a powerful song. You know it's funny, there isn't one meaning for this song. but I feel like it means different things to everyone. In fact, I don't even know what Mandolin Rain is. What I do know is every time the chorus comes on I get chills. "Listen to the Mandolin Rain!"

5. We've Got Tonight-Bob Seger: I love Bob Seger. Most know him for "Old Time Rock N' Roll" or the Chevy commercial song, but this is his best and most powerful ballad. " We've Got Tonight" talks about having one final night with the person you love. It doesn't matter about tomorrow. It is about enjoying that moment with that special person.  I tear up a bit every time the chorus comes on because I've thought back and had moments like that in my life. " We've Got Tonight, who needs tomorrow?"

6.  Wind Beneath My Wings: Bette Midler: Right now this may be my favorite song period. If the chorus doesn't make you shed a tear you have no soul. This was my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary song. Besides my own parents there is no stronger love I've ever seen. I want to love someone like that someday. Every spouse should be the other person's hero. " Did you ever know that you're my hero, and everything I would like to be, I can fly higher than an eagle, you are the wind beneath my wings". Wow, think about that line for a second and tell me this isn't one of the greatest songs of all time. When she sings the last part I get chills. Incredible.

7/8. End of Innocence/ Heart of the Matter- Don Henley

I'm trying not to put more than one song for each artist on this, but both of these songs are too good to leave off. Don Henley is just incredible. Next to Phil Collins he's probably my favorite singer of all time as he was also lead singer of my favorite rock band of all time, the Eagles. Yes, I love rating things and I'm not going to apologize for it.  End of Innocence is something we can all relate to. It's not necessarily about romance with another person,  it's about the romance of life. It's about getting older and reflecting on the days of your youth. If I had to listen to one song for the rest of my life this would probably be it. When is the End of the Innocence though? I guess it depends on the person, but life will never be the same as when you were a kid.

Heart of the Matter is actually a really sad song in theory. It's about dealing with divorce or a breakup. It is about being able to forgive and be happy for those that you're no longer with.   "But I think it's about forgiveness forgiveness,  even if, even if you don't love me anymore."

It takes a big person to forgive people that broke your heart but part of love is heartbreak and this is what this song is about. Unless you married the first person you loved or at least liked a lot we've all felt this. I can honestly say I cherish all the times I spent with all my ex's even though it didn't necessarily work out. There is no point in being bitter or not wanting someone who once made you smile to be happy. 

9. Can't Fight This Feeling-REO Speedwagon: This will always hold a special place in my heart because it's my first girlfriend and I's song. I was an idiot back then in terms of relationships but I did still love sentimental jams. " It's time to bring this ship into the shore and throw away the oars forever." Amazing line. This is another song that's so easy to relate to anyone who has liked someone but isn't sure how to act on it. It's about loving someone so much they are the only one for you. It's about stopping fighting the feeling and acting. It's awesome.

10. When a Man Loves a Woman: Are you still reading? probably not. In the Twitter age a paragraph is too long.This is another song I'll play at my wedding if that ever happens. This is a pretty obvious message. When you love someone you'll do anything for them. Never felt this but my parents have this type of love I feel like and maybe someday it'll happen for me. If not, at least I have this awesome jam to listen to.

11. Yup, needed to have an 11. Phil Collins would hold about 5 of the 10-20. He's my second favorite music artist behind 2pac, and basically all of his songs relate to certain aspects of my life and all humans lives. My top 2 are probably Find a Way To My Heart and   True Colors but there are just so many. 

That's my list. Whether you agree or disagree the important thing is to always open up your heart and listen to sentimental jams. Happy Valentines day all!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

First world problems

"FML, I stepped in a puddle without my rain boots." I love most everything in life, but one thing I hate is negative people complaining about things that they shouldn't be complaining about.  Seriously, get some perspective people. You missing your metro ride or missing a hair appointment is not an FML type of problem. You not being able to go out because you are studying means you are more fortunate than 90 percent of the world and can afford an education.

Look, we have all complained about something at one point. It is human nature and bad stuff happens. It can be healthy to vent. At the same time it seems, especially with Facebook and Social Media, that the chronic whiners are out in full force. I don't really understand it to be honest. How does a person not realize how ridiculous it sounds when they complain about such minuscule things.  Is it a cry for attention and help? Or are we just that nieve.

Look at what kind of horrendous stuff is being done to people all over the world from Syria, to Iraq, to starving people in Africa. They would love the opportunity to miss a hair appointment or get the wrong type of coffee at Starbucks.

The one thing I always do when I complain is look at myself first.  I hold myself accountable. I think that is what we lack in the modern age, accountability. We complain and blame, but never hold ourselves accountable for the situation we are whining about.  Prime example are relationships.

I always hear both guys and girls complaining they keep ending up with the wrong guy or girl. Maybe that is a pattern you should recognize and change? Is that really coincidence? Maybe you have the worst luck in the world, but chances are it just means you aren't doing anything to change the situation.

Let's all be thankful for what we have instead of complaining about what we don't. Look, I am a very fortunate person and have had my share of luck in my life but I've worked hard and made my own luck too and nothing is perfect. Let's all stop complaining and saying FML. Perspective people, perspective.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Top 7 Movies of all time

Hyperbole is what I do best even if it is over the top(which it is). I truly believe that life without passion isn't really life. Don't like things, love them. This applies to movies especially. This was an impossible list to put together, though the top 3 were easy.

Please note that I know Ace Ventura is probably not a better movie than "Citizen Kane" or whatever boring movie critics like, but I liked it more. Please also note that if a movie doesn't have a romance angle to it in someway I probably won't like it. When I leave a movie I want to feel impacted and/or happy.  Movies are entertainment and supposed to impact your life in a positive way and make you feel happy. At least that's what I think.

I think being a great actor is probably the best job in the world.  Movies are awesome. No one will agree with this list but please comment on what you think because anyone who blogs loves comments(or why would we write?). Enjoy.

7. Ace Ventura-Pet Detective

The scene in the dolphin tank when he starts speaking with a german accent is one of the greatest comedic sequences of all time. Jim Carrey is a genius and one of the top 4 people I'd like to have a beer with.  I basically quoted this movie everyday for most of my childhood years.  By the way, Dumb and Dumber is probably #8 as it is the second most quotable movie of all time.

6. Good Will Hunting

Of course I need a Boston movie in here and there is no better Boston movie(and there are tons of great ones) than this incredible love story.  Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck(his best acting role ever) are amazing.  If you don't like Matt Damon chances are you don't like Santa Clause or sunsets and should probably take a happy pill.  The script in this movie is impeccable. "How about them apples" is probably the 8th greatest movie quote of all time. Just an amazing flick all around.

5.  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade/the entire trilogy

Harrison Ford is my #1 man crush of all time. Last Crusade is my favorite of the trilogy because of the relationship between Connery and Ford, two of the best actors ever. Also, when the hot blond Nazi turns out to be a Nazi and terrible person it was one of the most traumatic times of my childhood. Indiana Jones is the greatest hero of all time and it really isn't close. No super powers, no crazy ninja stuff. Just a bad ass archeologist that fights the worst people on earth(Nazis). The Holy Grail final scene is probably my favorite movie scene ever.

4.  The Fugitive:

Can you tell I have a man crush on Harrison Ford. This movie is the best revenge movie of all time and revenge movies are the best genre in the wide world.  Tommy Lee Jones is spectacular in this movie as well. The best actor duo of all time? Yup.  This was my favorite movie of all time for about 10 years and it is really hard for me to put it at #4.

3. Office Space:

This movie gets better and better as I get older because it is part autobiography part fiction.  Don't get me wrong all in all I like work more than school for the most part. I like my job, but some parts of it are really like this.  We all have known a Lumberg or four in our lives. You know what though, you have to find hobbies outside of work. Most of us can't be what we want to be. I want to be a professional kayak blogger but recruiting is awesome so I am making the most of it. What a movie.

2. Love Actually

I love rom com's and this is the king/queen. So many different complex relationships going on. Not all end up happy but its all realistic. What it says at the end is that Love happens in all different types. Never give up on it.Why isn't there an American version that I star in?

1. Forrest Gump:

The most rewatchable movie of all time. Why is this the greatest movie of all time? Easy. Combines action, romance, comedy, fantasy, and life all in one.  We all wish we could be Forrest Gump and just go running without a care in the world. Go dreaming. We all sympathize with him as well. Plus, the quotes are amazing. The quote about seeing Jenny for the first time on the school bus is the greatest quote of all time.

I could write 9 paragraphs on each of these movies but the fact is all of these movies will always have a special place in my heart and have all changed my life for the better. I am going to watch all 7 of these movies in a row this Sunday.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Life gets better as you get older

Life keeps getting better as I have entered my last year in my 20's. It just keeps getting more fun. I don't know if I have just have a better, or rather more optimistic perspective on what is good and bad or what it is. For me, as a 29 year old I am more established and know more about what I want than I did at 22. Every day for me is pretty awesome. I think we equate getting older as life getting worse  because we hear that is what is supposed to happen. Sure, there are things I wish I could do now that I can't. I can't play 6 games of basketball in a row anymore without feeling that I'm going to have a heart attack. I can't eat 6 bagels without knowing I'll have to work out for 17 hours the next day to work it off. I can't wake up after a bender and run 5 miles.

Notice, what I said before were all physical symptoms.  Mental is more important in life, and as you get older most of us get mentally stronger. We start figuring stuff out. I know what I want to do for the rest of my life, but more importantly what I DON't want to do.  I'm as confident and comfortable in my own skin as I have ever been. I know what people I want and don't want in my life. I'm done with school and understand and accept  what I want for a career. It is all coming together.

It's funny, I remember 5 years ago or so my Dad and I were kayaking and he said to me, "Life is better now, better than ever." My dad is my idol and someone I try to strive to be everyday even though I can never be as great a man as him.  Anyway, when I heard that I chuckled to myself thinking this was just something a Dad would say. Could that actually be true? But youth is gone? Now, as I reflect on that I can see why he said that and why it is true. He has done everything he's wanted to do. He is fulfilled, which I think is basically what we all want as humans. We all want to be fulfilled. What a cool place to be.

Let's not think of getting older as a bad thing. Let's reverse that thought and realize that we are older, wiser ,stronger, and able to build more lasting relationships(I know I sound like Dr. Phil). We get to become experts in our field of choice. We don't have to choose between getting food and beer. We realize who we are. I don't know about you, but bring on 30,40 and 50. Life keeps getting better and the dream lives on.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013-What a Year it was

I can't believe it has been 6 months since I wrote in this blog. Unacceptable! 2013 was truly one of the best and most interesting of my 28 years on this earth. Like any year it had a few downs(getting laid off), but even that turned out for the best.

Simply put, a ton of life events happened. I got let go from the only job I had ever known since college, then jumped into a completely new field all within 2 months. I graduated with my Masters during all of this all the while learning the ropes in my NOVA SHRM Volunteer role. There were few dull moments, but that is how life should be. We only get one of these so we might as well do stuff.

What I am most happy about is not the actual events, parties, kayak trips, Dunkin Donuts Ice Coffee's,etc I had. Rather, it is what I learned about myself. I've always been a person that is extremely open and relatively confident in who I am, but this year I think I reached the pinnacle of accepting who I am and who I am not and not feeling bad about it. That is not to say there aren't things I still want to change or rather improve on, but I am okay with knowing I will always have my faults.

I've always been hard on myself, but I realize now that I can't change who I am and frankly I wouldn't want to.  I am an incredibly forward, honest person who has little to no shame. Does it frighten off some people? Probably, but they aren't worth it anyway. 2013 was the year I completely 100% realized who I am and what I value in life. This is something I don't take for granted as I realize many people never figure it out. I am one of the lucky ones.

Life keeps getting better with age. I always hear people say they hate getting older, but I am having as much or more fun now than I ever had. I also feel more stable than ever knowing what I want to do in my career, finishing school, and realizing what is most important to me both in my personal and professional life.  I always tell people when they ask me how I am, that I am "livin the dream" because I am totally free and at peace everyday. Nothing is holding me back from what I want to do and if that isn't living the dream I don't know what is.

2014 is going to be a great year where I will keep improving and keep realizing things about myself. I look forward to new friendships, maybe even a love interest if I can find a girl that can handle my ridiculousness, and new career opportunities. Life is unpredictable and shit happens, but if you stay positive and put yourself in the position to succeed things usually turn out alright. Here's to hoping for another epic year.

Favorite Moments

Day long kayak trip with my Dad
Receiving Academic Excellence Award for my Grad Program
Karl on the Kayak video sessions with my best friend Dan
Representing NOVA SHRM at the State Conference
The May Kentucky Derby Party in New York
Sunday Funday in Boston in September with 3 of my best friends and basically every Boston trip
Sunset Kayaking on the Potomac
Red Sox and Patriots Meetups and the people I met

Goals for 2014:

Lose 25 pounds
Eat healthier and be healthier
Handle my money better(See Mom I listen)
Learn to say "No" more often
Take more career chances