FIT@50: Forgot the Powder

FIT@50: Forgot the Powder

This week was what we like to refer to as Crazy Week. Not because life got out of control, but sometimes things get out of order. Purposeful prioritization is a key to maintaining balance in life.

What had me thinking about it was this morning as I prepped my breakfast shake. I added the fruits, almond butter, egg whites, ice, almond milk and slammed the lid shut to stick it on the blender.


I’d gotten so caught up in the “extras,” that I neglected the sole purpose for making the shake – the protein powder. Leah wasn’t around, so I laughed and whispered, “Crazy Week.”

There are so many things that enjoy screaming in your face to look at them because they say they’re critical. But, in the big scheme of life, they really aren’t much more than another distraction from what actually is important. That goes for schedules, people and requests.

Chasing Shiny

Have you ever asked for rain and gotten a hurricane? That was this week. So it was vital that we keep our lines of communications open. Those demanding time gremlins are everywhere. Sometimes they disguise themselves as opportunities, while others times as emergencies.

Most of the time we invite them into our lives by not maintaining the boundaries around our family and ourselves. Sometimes, we even step beyond what we know are established boundaries and find ourselves in the midst of manufactured crisis. In reality, they are time wasters and priority stealers.

The Key

The key is, time is precious. Yours, mine, ours. We can either waste it swatting at gnats, or enjoy it focusing on what truly matters in life. Of course, what matters is how you define it.

For me, it was a healthy breakfast protein shake. But in reality, my mind was feasting on Crazy Week instead of improving my health. What’s important to you?

Do Good,



FIT@50: The Devil’s Whisper


After a few visits to the gym, I’ve finally started to feel like I’m actually working out as opposed to struggling to get by. But oh that old devil that resides besides each encouraging thought.

No sooner had I set the dumbells into the rack did I drop onto the padded bench to take a breather. I felt good about the effort. Then my eyes scanned over to the “dark side” of the weight rack. You know, the lower rack where the big, heavy dumbbells sit.

I heard the whisper, “Look how weak you’ve become over the years.”
Then I was reminded of the promise, and I replied, “But I am here.”

Gaining freedom from our past can be tough, but once unshackled, our lives become free to soar.
Do Good,

FIT@50: The Devil’s Whisper

FIT@50: Let’s Do This


Several years ago I began to journal my journey toward turning 50. It was intended to encourage a move for getting back into top shape. Instead, it became a reflection of maturing into the next 50 years.

So here we are almost 3 years since my 50th birthday, and although life has been a blessing, I’ve done nothing to restore my health other than relying on great genetics.

As the body would soon tell, living a sedentary work-from-home lifestyle eventually overcame DNA. Especially with a daily diet of ice cream and bags of Oreo cookies.

Like any reluctant 50+ year old guy, I delayed “that” physical for as long as I could. As anyone could guess, the visit didn’t go well, but was a long way from good.

Now I’ll spare you the results, except to say things have got to change, unless this heart wants an attack in a few short years. While there’s not much we can actually control, this is one thing I can definitely influence.

Leah & I have always been transparent in an effort to encourage people to be decent to others in all aspects of life. I feel moved to restart my FIT@50 in hopes of:

– Holding myself accountable
– Encouraging men to take their health serious at this stage
– Combining faith, marriage & life with a healthy balance
– Getting others to see the long-term effects of poor habits
– Returning to the joy of sharing my thoughts on anything from exercise to couch pillows (I said balance, remember?)

I promise, this isn’t a “gym rat” adventure. But I did return to that place I once loved. Except it was different because someone had made what used to be light weights, feel heavy and immovable.

Do Good,

FIT@50: Let’s Do This

FIT@50 / Week 92: Ugly’s Last Stand


FIT@50 / Week 92: Ugly’s Last Stand:
August 23, 2005 ushered in one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history. I was there. Right, square in what was forecasted to be the epicenter of it.
It was by the grace of God that our jurisdiction was spared the horrific levels of damage suffered by our neighboring parishes. With over 1,830 deaths attributed to the storm it was simply catastrophic and unforgettable.
Although our parish was hit, we stabilized necessities within days. Other parishes and cities were not that fortunate. I led our 20-man SWAT unit into the New Orleans metro area to assist other law enforcement agencies.
As a result of meandering around in an environmental toxic sludge, all of our tactical gear had to be discarded. As part of the process, I received a pair of boots to replace the personal pair that were destroyed.
I never really wore them after that because they served as a reminder of the cesspool created by Katrina.
This week, Leah and I escaped to Dunton Hot Springs, Colorado for a winter vacation. A beautiful, isolated facility covered in snow, I packed appropriately. Except I had no all-weather boots.
I dug them out from storage and off they went into a stuffed suitcase.That first morning I struggled lacing them up, and tucking the insulated pants around the boots.
All that day they were uncomfortable and I really regretted bringing them as opposed to having tossed them out years ago. We returned to the cabin that evening and as I peeled off layers upon layers of cold, wet clothing, the boots got kicked across the room. I was overcome with a feeling of the loss suffered in 2005.
They looked different tumbling across the heated tile floor. The entire sole had fallen from the left boot. I dropped it atop the other one lying there beneath chair.
I immediately thought about how horrible Hurricane Katrina was and the memory of dealing with such widespread death and destruction. I was glad the boot had fallen apart after 11 years.
I also thought it was appropriately symbolic that those boots would have their final wear in one of the most beautiful and alive places I’ve ever visited.
Then I realized, they had probably just dry-rotted. Either way, the ugly was gone.
Do Good,

FIT@50 / Week 91: I See You

FIT@50 / Week 91: I See You
Our kids are well, kids. They rattle on when they should just hush and shut down when they should shine. But alas, they are kids. I’d say for the most part they are pretty socially capable. Relatively speaking of course. After all, the boys are 7, 9, and 10.
They’ve all noticed I enjoy talking with people. The 13-year-old calls me mister sociable, and then the 7-year-old stumbles over the pronunciation of “sociable” to ask what it means. She smacks of early teenage condescension, “It means he talks a lot.”
Ahhhh, 13.
I’m happy they take notice.
What Leah and I teach the kids is to see people. I’m sure you understand what I mean, but to children, they are working to understand the difference between, “Watch out for that person,” and “Watch that person.”
I don’t talk to people just to fill space or hear myself pontificate over the weather or current state of affairs. I enjoy seeing them. It may be just a smile and hello, or a chat about travelling circuses. The subject matter doesn’t matter. It’s about making a human contact.
What does matter is making a human connection. It starts because my head is always up and my eyes are always looking forward. First is the cop in me. I visually scan everything. The second part is the benefit of making eye contact. It never fails to connect with someone else.
Once that visual connection is made, words naturally flow after a smile. And that is the simple art of being mister sociable.
There are folks who’ve not been seen their entire lives. Others who feel the weight of no longer being seen. Either side of the coin, it’s a horrible feeling to traverse this life invisible to everyone around you.
Since I retired from a very public position, and moved to an entirely different state, I could easily see how becoming one in a sea of anonymous anybodies could negatively affect you.
Going from instantly recognized, to one of the crowd in a big city was odd for me. I was used to the uniform serving as an instant ticket to enter into any conversation. Now, no one had a clue who I was or what I once did.
What I discovered was the most critical point of being social. It wasn’t the uniform, or the job, or the familiar locale. It was having my head up, eyes open and being receptive. I’ve always looked to see others. I cherish making the connection and the follow-up with a few encouraging words.
I’m glad our kids see this. We want them to understand the value of being seen, but more importantly, seeing others. Everyone has value. Their exterior may be presented in faded jeans and a flannel shirt, or an expensive business suit, but it’s what in and behind the eyes that matter most.
Every holiday season is a challenge for me to minimize the seasonal depression that has plagued me since my teens. This year is no different, but without the facade of a uniform and shield, I’ve enjoyed more than ever being wide-eyed and sociable as me, and not the police chief.
Another wonderful benefit of seeing is also being seen. Give it a try. Don’t just look at someone. Look into someone. Each has a story to share. Maybe they’ll bless you with it if you hang around just a bit.
I See You.
Do Good,

FIT@50 / Week 90: Did You Cry?

FIT@50 / Week 90 – Did You Cry?

Leah asked, “What did we do this week?” I drew a blank. Then she said, “It was a blur.”

She was right. This week, like so many weeks go by so fast that we fail to recall not as much about what we did, but what did it mean. Did we enjoy time with each other, with our kids, with friends?

It’s easy to look back at a document and measure written word productivity, social media posts, or campaign promotions started on Facebook.

Then as I sat in silence racking my brain to recall what did happen during the week. And just like that, the crazy-paced week slammed into me. The wild day of flying, driving, returning, and flying again. The 22 hours straight work to meet deadlines and promises. The caring for a sick kid even after covering you in their supper, and the long, drawn out 7 and 9 year old’s Christmas choir presentation. To name a few.

Whether it’s taxiing the crew to sports, band, ballet, or the airport, it’s about not controlling the speed at which you enter tight turns. Just hanging on and blindly leaning into the curves might be thrilling, but it’s not the best way to maneuver life’s demands.

Leah and I focus on maximizing our time. If it means paying someone to cut the yard so we can reallocate that time for working or family, then we do it. But that often means pushing ourselves and kids to a point where hitting the apex of the curve gets a bit fuzzy. In those cases, we usually don’t bother looking for the brakes. We like to power through it.

Tonight, we had to hit the brakes. It was the boys Christmas pageant. I was a little concerned once I saw their soft-sole white shoes, white sweat pants, white sweat shirts, white robe, white wings, and oh yes, their white halo.

I asked, “Are y’all really wearing that?”
Both cheered. It was their school play after all.

We sat there. I was anxious to get back to something with a bit less off-pitch singing, young kids on stage crying and dance choreography led by teachers down front. I kept quiet, and even smiled as the flock of photographing parents blocked our view for a shot of their little darlings forgetting the words to everything.

Once we finally returned home, the kids had to hustle to prep for bed. I was anxious for them to get to sleep so I could get back to the endless things I had to get done. I was way too far behind to waste any more time.

The 7 year old walks up and asked, “Did you cry?”

“What are you talking about?” I bellowed.

“The music was so beautiful. Did it make you cry?” he asked with even more sincerity.


“Me too.” And he scooted off to bed.

And then, I recalled the most important thing that had happened all week. I had sat in a school auditorium and listened to music so beautiful that it made our kid cry. And then, later that night, it was my turn.

Do Good,

FIT@50 / Week 89: Thanks, Thanksgiving

FIT@50 / Week 89: Thanks, Thanksgiving
Earlier this week I’d posted a question about fried or baked. I received plenty of comments that not only left me hungry, but realizing there are many more ways for preparing a turkey.
The next day I asked if you could have anyone – past, present or future join you for Thanksgiving, who would it be. I first expected to get answers like George Washington, Jesus, and Tom Brady.
Instead, the outpouring was so emotional, I once considered removing the question from my feed. Then I considered that everyone was only expressing what they felt most deeply in their hearts.
Deceased and estranged parents, siblings, spouses, children, in-laws, grandparents, friends and loved ones lost way too early or who had grown way too old.
It first felt like a punch in the chest as I read every one of the responses. I thought about my mom who I would’ve loved to have met Leah and Max. Next I thought about my dad who passed in September, who had it not been for the ravages of dementia, would’ve loved knowing Leah better and enjoying a little more time with Max.
Then the wrenching of my feelings turned to empathy for all of us who’ve lost uniquely special people in their lives. People who enriched us if by only their mere presence, and not by their bold actions.
I was reminded by so many answers that a deeper lost was felt for those unknown, never known or passed without passing paths. The spouses who never met their in-law, or the adult whose grandparent died long before they were conceived.
Greater still were the wishes of spending a day of thanks with angels miscarried, aborted or taken back into the merciful arms of Christ before reaching an age of accountability.
It was a humbling day of thankfulness, but for so many like myself, it’s also a day of re-mourning, regret, wishful wishes and realizations of never will be’s. But, by the grace of God, it is well with my soul, as I trust it is with yours.
I don’t regret asking that simple question, and I do rejoice in the responses, who instead of harboring the sadness of loss or missing, chose to share not only their replies, but their memories with everyone else. Isn’t that one of the most wonderful ways of ensuring they actually did spend the day with you?
This Thanksgiving was a bit different for Leah & I, but what looked like a doomed day inside a cross-country airplane ride, ended with leftovers at family and one excited Max. For that, I am also thankful. So here’s to getting through the day with a grin to end the night.
Thanks, Thanksgiving.
Do Good,

FIT@50 / Week 88 – The Lost Weeks

I was going back through my posts and realized the last FIT@50 was on October 7, 2016. Prior to that, I’d journalled consecutively for 82 weeks. I wish that had been 82 steady weeks of diet and exercise, but alas, it was good for my soul.

I started the FIT@50 prior to turning 50 years old in March, 2015. The original intent was to set goals and publicly “shame” myself into getting back in physical shape.

Prior to 2011 at the first time taking the oath of office as a chief of police AND my last year in the PhD program of my doctoral studies, I weighed in at a super ripped 180lbs with the ability to swim, bike and run for hours on end. By the end of that first year I’d packed on 45 lbs, and another 25 by the time I retired in 2015.

Turning 50 would be my physical victory lap. I wanted to ramp up to a superhuman endurance feat to celebrate the big 5-0. It didn’t materialize.

During the course of approaching 50 my priorities shifted from getting physically fit to becoming humanly fit. Life was changing, and I felt the difference in the desires of my heart. Unintentionally, my weekly journal moved from push-ups and miles biked to about faith, fatherhood and family.

After the half-century milestone, I continued reflecting my thoughts about the last many years and the people, experiences and prayers that filled those days. Writing your thoughts really helps channel focus and helps you articulate experiences.

September saw my dad pass away. I didn’t avoid the grieving process, but also didn’t hang around waiting for it to overwhelm me. My faith comforted me, and was the foundation Leah and I leaned upon.

I think it was the weeks following his funeral that began to press upon me when I watched the fallout of more than losing my last parent. Once again it was faith, Leah and our family that helped to sight in what is really important in this life.

I’d skipped week 83, and felt a little bad about it. The next week I understood that I’d begun journalling because I enjoyed memorializing and sharing my thoughts. It wasn’t about giving advice or taking a position on anything – it was just my perspective on this life.

After week 87 passed and I hadn’t noticed it, I figured it had been a good run, but obviously it was time to focus my energies elsewhere. This week while travelling, we had a family non-emergency, but it was best handled with in-person TLC.

A quick detour from our travel showed me just how fortunate I am. Yes, I lost my dad, but I’m blessed to be surrounded with a wife and kids who depend on family to get through everything heart to head aches.

I think it was this mini non-emergency that got my groove back.

Do Good,