Sunday, April 26, 2009

$2100 In 21 Days

"Impossible is nothing."
- Muhammad Ali

Can it be done? You have to decide...



I am raising money for the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) by running the Cleveland Marathon on May 17. Recent statistics tell us that autism strikes 1 in 150 children born these days. Four years ago it was 1 in 166. Fifteen years ago it was 1 in 500. Twenty-four years ago it was 1 in 5,000. The situation is worsening, which is why research needs to match the pace at which this brain disorder's diagnoses are increasing. We need your help - and that's no lie.

OAR is an organization that allows runners to help their cause by obtaining friends' and family members' financial support through online donations. You can see mine at www.firstgiving.com/jeffhirz (or click on the widget in the right sidebar).

Things to watch out for on this blog in the coming week(s):
  • An update on how I will cut my hair for race day based on how much money is raised
  • An update on calling out Twitter celebrities to match the amount of money raised at the end (a long shot, but it can't hurt the cause - only embarrass me, which I can handle)
  • Weekly updates on my "training" and how well it's going...similar to what you just watched
Follow me on Twitter @JHirz for more updates as the weeks progress leading up to the Cleveland Marathon.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Great Expectations

"Our lives are shaped not as much by our experience, as by our expectations."
-George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, socialist



Consider...

...your life up until this point. How old are you? 22? 35? 57? When you were younger did you picture yourself at where you are at this moment? Did you see yourself sitting in front of your computer, reading some nobody's blog post only because you're excruciatingly bored? Probably not.

Consider...

...your situation. Are you married? Are you in a bachelor pad? Are you in college? Are you employed? Do you have a friend you could call right now if you really needed to talk to someone? Now ask - is this where you saw your life taking you when you were younger? What did you expect? I know I didn't expect to be back living with my parents at the ripe old age of 22, sitting at the same desk I sat at when I was 10, listening to David Cook and writing a blog post I think maybe six people will read (sucks for you, I know, realizing you're one of six people who read this crap).

Consider...

...the last movie you saw. What were your expectations going in to the theater (or turning on Hulu)? Were you really excited? Did it live up to your expectations and then fall just short, thereby making it a lesser experience? Or did you not expect anything and realized at the end that you were pleasantly surprised?

I prefer to be one of the latter. I go through life trying to limit my expectations. Not out of fear. Not out of cowardice. Out of a realization that you should go into everything with an open mind, and also that life rarely lives up to expectations. And when it does, most times it's just for a few seconds (a kiss) or minutes (a song) or hours (sex...if you have the stamina) or days (weekend vacation) or months (a new job) and then you're back to square one of your emotional rubik's cube. This sounds pessimistic, it sounds depressing, but it's true.

You graduate college. You come off the high of finishing the ride, having lived your college experience to the fullest. You have a job. You go into this job high on life - your life is beginning!! This is it!! I can't wait to see where I go and what I do and how successful I am and who I marry and..........WTF? I'm 30 already? Son of a bitch!

Did the past eight or nine years of your life live up to what you saw as you crossed the stage at graduation, taking the diploma from a man in a luxurious robe whom you've probably never met? Was your 9-5 your dream job? Was it what you wanted to do at the time? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe you had good days and maybe you had bad days. I don't know - but you do.

I would like to share some truths with you that may depress you, but should ultimately make you happier once you come to accept them for the reality they represent:
  • Life is not one continuous stream of happiness - get used to it
  • Life is disjointed - you'll be happy one minute, sad the next, then feel nothing. why?
  • Your mind is your enemy - you must learn to control it or you will lose control of your own thoughts, of your own actions
  • Your thoughts shackle your heart - free your mind and let your heart be the bellwether of your life
You want to achieve greatness. We all do. But in order to achieve greatness, you have to be working toward it in the present. Each moment of your life is irreplaceable, so be present for it as much as possible.

By telling you to expect less I'm not saying to not chase your dreams and reach for the stars and all that mumbo jumbo. Start small with this, clear your mind of preconceived notions and expectations, and see where it gets you - I have a feeling you'll be pleasantly surprised.