It Was Definitely On … Definitely Exhausting … But Definitely Guatacular

15 Apr

I needed a minute.

I actually needed a minute, when it was over. And that’s never really happened.

You know the minute right after your Rocky Balboa moment when you raise your hands in the air victoriously, right after step 1,393, right after your picture gets taken, right after the you-can-do-it adrenaline wears off and the volunteer guy hands you a bottle of water that you so desperately require and it feels so heavy, reminding you that your superpowers to climb stairs in claustrophobic spaces was only temporary.

Yeah … I needed a minute.

1,393 steps.

I needed a couple, actually.

And the reason why?

The 58th floor … followed by the 59th.

They seemed so close to 60, which seemed even closer to 63, and that seemed to fuel the fire. I began pushing even though my gas tank was clearly on empty and my calves were burning up. They were on fire and suffering from I’m-getting-close-to-40 syndrome, but all I could see was the finish line.

Then I hit the deadly 61st floor, and I thought I was about to pass out and just crawl my way up the stairs, because at that point you’re thinking there’s no shame in crawling really.

But no … I decided to do it the badass way … the Gatorade-Commerical worthy way. I raised the volume on the iPod, and I thought of my Dad and said you can do it!

The deadly 61st floor ignited something in me, something that should have just stayed dormant that late in the race, something that would eventually take out the ice packs from the freezer and empty out the BenGay jar later that evening. The I’m-almost-done-I’m-almost-there feeling bubbled inside, the-I’m-doing-this-for-my-Dad feeling kicked in, and then it was on.

There was no stopping me or my weary broken-down knees.

It was on.

The 73-year-old IronMan Champion looking dude, whose name I later found out to be Aaron Asher, was pushing his way up the stairs and gaining on me like some kind of Terminator.

I thought Holy Crap … it’s definitely on.

I pushed my way to the top and raised my arms to the sky …

And then I took my minute, several of them. Something that hadn’t happened in previous races. But something quite necessary and I didn’t want to be the only one to pass out on the rooftop, so I slowly drank my water and appreciated the view of Downtown L.A.

I thought … even Superman needed a minute.

I clocked in at 16:54.

63 stories in less than 17 minutes to honor my father, the man who thought I’d be somebody, the man who supported me and my dreams, the man who was a good grandfather, the man who had untold adventures, the man who struggled with depression but still managed to fight his way through and find the lightness in being, the man who enjoyed laughing, the man who was my friend, the man who was my family, the man who had a big heart and who passed away too early.

I made my way toward the helicopter landing pad, thinking of this man, thinking of my dad, and I did my best Hulk Hogan-Randy-Macho-Man-Savage victory pose. I had stormed the Fight For Air Climb and it was a Guatacular moment.

Exhausting, but Guatacular.

Special thanks to Peter, Erdmann, Gisela, Estela, Alissa, Karina, and Sandra for their generous support.

My Dad

My Dad

.

.

Yes …

13 Apr

There was just one member on Team Guat this weekend for my big race … me … I barely survived …

Inspirational

Yes.

I could have used him on Saturday.

Tune in on Wednesday for the play by play.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blur

8 Apr
Blurring Beauty

Blurring Beauty

Trying to catch the magic and awesomeness of her performance but her moves were too fast.

Weekly Photo Challenge courtesy of Daily Post

Coming Off The Bench

6 Apr

I forgot … I had completely forgot … but the Duke Freshmen made me remember.

After watching the intensity of the Duke Blue Devils and Wisconsin Badgers battle it out during the Championship Game I was reminded of something. I was reminded of The Madness!

Yes the Blue Devils were crowned kings of The Big Dance, yes they earned it, yes Coach K — a basketball genius — won his fifth title, yes that all happened. Yes. But there was something else.

The Blue Devils were in trouble, down by nine, their big man on the bench,the loss of momentum continuing to go down the drain, I had no idea if my team would make it. Didn’t know how it would turn out. Felt it slipping.

And then that’s when it happened.

Freshmen Allen and Jones, came off the bench and had Gatorade-Commercial worthy moments.

They didn’t come in just to fill time.

They came in to make a difference. They came in with hustle. They came in with heart. They came with guts. They came in  fearless. They came in to contribute and make things better. They came in with 100%.

And that’s what you do when you come off the bench.

And it hit me.

Dude I need to have some come-off-the-bench moments.

Sometimes during the month I let things get to me. I forget about my Deepak-Chopra-Zen-like status. I let the distance of my quest bog me down a bit. I let pint-size people affect my gallon-size heart. I let time escape me. I forget about the importance of it. I forget my place.

Sometimes I forget that I need to come off the bench.

So watching Duke’s Allen and Jones reminded me of that. March Madness gave me something a little extra this year.

Come off the bench people … the rewards are worth it.

I Wonder How It Ends …

4 Apr
:)

:)

Are you going to tune in?

40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindess Before 40 … No. 9

1 Apr

People dream of having something like this in their neck of the woods. Some people never even get a chance to see it, which is hard to believe. But it happens.

I do feel lucky having it within driving distance.

Nothing like the beach to set you right.

Peace always seems to find me here. It’s a place of refuge and I enjoy it whenever I can. Every weekend during the summer, and some weekends in The Spring you’ll find The Guat family spraying on the Coppertone 75 and putting on their board shorts, bucket hats, and flip-flops.

We’re beach people. Most definitely.

So it occurred to me that I could spread a little more sunshine down here on the coast. Yup, this was the next stop on my 40 Before 40 Tour and some unsuspecting dude or chick would love going to the beach even more because of me.

:)

:)

Because no matter how amazing the sun, sand, and waves can be, fighting traffic to get there and then battling over a parking spot can totally burn you out. It makes you think twice about going there. Luckily for me The Guats leave at the break of dawn to avoid that disastrous Southern California traffic and we always find a spot within walking distance from the waves.

But there are those people who get a late start or for some reason just operate on a different clock where they sleep too long and end up sitting in traffic and going from parking lot to parking lot trying to find a space.

Regardless of the reason I thought I’d cut these people some slack, and brighten their day. So when they found spot #270, pulled on in, set her in park, and unloaded all the plastic buckets, shovels, blankets, and Tommy Bahama beach equipment purchased from Costco and walked on over to the parking kiosk … they found some Guat magic written with a Sharpie marker on the back of an envelope, at the foot of the machine.

FREEEEEE PARKING! YES! FREE!

Duuuuuuuude! Today is your lucky day. If you parked in space #270 parking is on me. All day parking.

Take the ticket and enjoy your day at the beach :)

:) 40 Random Acts of Kindness Before 40

As we drove away I saw her approach the machine, pick up the note, look around confused, and then smile.

Yeah … that felt pretty good.

Netlix Is My New HBO

30 Mar

I can’t even …

Most people who say that don’t understand the depth and awesomeness that create a phrase like that, they just say it. There’s no substance behind it.

But with me.

Dude.

Plenty of depth.

And I can’t even tell you about the most amazing discovery that I’ve uncovered. It just happened, while you were sleeping.

Netflix became my new HBO.

Now before you start hollering at me let me be clear. I’m a huge HBO fan.

HUGE.

They put The Wire, the best drama on Earth on the air (although Sons of Anarchy comes a really close second). They allowed me to meet Tony and Carmela Soprano, forget about it. And then they decided to introduce me to Deadwood, Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sex In The City, Bored To Death, Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Veep, Newsroom, Game of Thrones, and True Detective.

These are all DVR worthy, watch live-and-in-person-don’t-answer-the-phone worthy shows and mini-series. I’ve been a fan for a while. But I’ve got to say, Netflix is rising fast, with intense and dramatic shows that make you turn off your phone. And here’s the amazing part … I don’t have to wait until next week to watch the next episode.

I know.

The Holy-Crap-I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened-what-the-hell-is-going-to-happen-next feeling gets eased just by pressing play. They reeled me in with House of Cards and the amazing Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Underwood for President! Then they decided to bring back Jason Bateman and the entire Arrested Development crew. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to see the banana stand back in business.

But they didn’t stop there.

They introduced Orange is the New Black and Derek, two dramadies that captured my attention for sure and made me fall in love with and care for inmates at a prison and the quirky staff and residents of a nursing home.

Then Agent Scully came back to TV as another pretty intelligent detective on the hunt for a serial killer who happens to be the 50 Shades of Grey guy, before he took up the whips and stuff.

But the show that put me over the edge … the one that inspired this post, the one that had me binge watching until two in the morning, the one I sacrificed sleep for because I couldn’t wait to see what happened, and the one that pushed me into letting you know that Netflix is moving on up … to the East Side … to a deluxe apartment in the skyyyyyyyy … yeah they’re moving on up … they finally got a piece of the pie.

The show?

The one?

Bloodline.

With Coach Eric Taylor himself.

Yup.

Kyle Chandler has come back from Friday Night Lights to star in this amazingly awesome thriller-drama as detective John Rayburn and that has me saying I can’t even

I know, right?

And you know sometimes you get worried that one of your favorites is going to come back and it’s not going to be as great as their original show. And you worry.

Yeah, this is not one of those situations.

This is a binge-worthy situation.

I don’t want to put out any spoilers or ruin the surprises, the build up, the character reveals, or the Holy-Crap moments. I want to give you a chance to experience the great writing on your own. So I thought I’d just give you a head’s up.

Netflix is finally getting a piece of the pie and I want you to get your piece.

Watch out now … It’s my new HBO.

40 Accidentally On Purpose Random Acts of Kindness Before 40 … No. 8

26 Mar

I think the best part of it is leaving the notes and imagining their expressions.

It would be nice to see their reactions, I’ll give you that. Confusion. Disbelief. And then a pause. A moment when they realize it’s a good surprise and that’s when the smile appears. Something good has happened to them, but they don’t know why. And it just makes things good … for a moment it makes things good.

But for them to see me? Nah I like to keep things under cover when I can.

I hope they feel something when it happens. Although sometimes people don’t really appreciate the little things and it’s sad when that happens. But kids … they get happy when anything happens. So this time I thought I’d pay it forward to a future dreamer, who enjoys surprises and can do cartwheels when moments of awesome happen to them … dreamers with a bat and glove …

It’s always the bottom of the ninth, and you’re losing, with two outs, full count, and bases loaded.

That’s how it always happens when you’re practicing in the batting cages. You got your helmet, your Big League Chew gum, and your Babe Ruth confidence. It’s gonna happen. You walk up, bring the that around, and swing.

Smack!

You win the game and you round the bases like a champion.

That’s what’s going on in the cage.

My son is still young so I don’t know if he has that vision yet, all I know is that he’s happy when he sends that yellow ball flying. It puts a big smile on his face.That little connection gives him a boost of confidence, and he does the happy dance.

So when we finished a couple of rounds in the cage it hit me … this is it. This is where it’s gonna happen. I want to give someone a moment of happy. I want a kid to feel like Derek Jeter.

:)

                                      :)

So I bought a couple of tokens, borrowed some tape, and wrote my note.

I left the tokens on top of a couple of machines with a message …

Everything is Awesome!

Here’s 30 balls on us. Hope you hit a homer.

:) 40 Random Acts of Kindness

My son looked a little confused and didn’t understand why I had left the tokens on the machines. When he asked me why I had done that, I said it’s always good to be kind to people. It’s always nice to find moments when you can be kind, when you find a chance to do that, make sure you do. It gives you a good feeling.

He smiled and gave me a thumbs up.

I Knew There Was A Reason She Won All Those Oscars …

23 Mar

 

Merryl Streep rocks.

Meryl Streep rocks.

 

Dude.

Me too!

I no longer.

 

 

When BenGay Isn’t Gonna Be Strong Enough … But You Do It Anyway

21 Mar

I’m confessing something big tonight.

HUGE.

Duuuuuuude

There is fear living in the Guat Household.

My knees are freaking out.

Now normally I’m not afraid of much. Neither are they.

I’m fearless.

I’m a badass, not afraid to fly my freak flag. Not afraid to chase Bucket List Adventure Challenges. Scared of what? Bungy Jumping. No. Skydiving. No. Triathlons. No. Warrior Dash Mud Run Obstacles that make you jump through fire. No. The Mommy-and-Me-Mafia-PTA-Looking group of ladies that take over the park. No. Gaining weight. Hell no bring it on.

But there is one thing that makes my close-to-40-year-old-worn-out-and weary knees tremble.

Wobble.

63 floors.

Close to 1,400 steps.

Ain’t no BenGay strong enough, no ice pack cold enough …

But there is one man that’s inspirational enough …

My Dad.

14

My Dad and me sporting our awesome bell-bottoms.

He lost the 12-Round-Heavyweight Championship Bout against Interstitial Lung Disease at 62 years young. It was an all out battle and he fought hard, but in the end he lost his fight against the disease, and I lost my father.

So this is it.

Time for me to cowboy up.

On April 11th, I’m taking on The Fight For Air Climb again in what seems to be the ultimate battle of strength and will for my bones and cartilage. It’s become a tradition now. Exhausting and claustrophobic, but worth it.

Honoring family is worth it, and that’s what I aim to do.

Hanging with Dad.

Hanging with Dad.

So I’m going to take my Hulk Hogan-Randy-Macho-Man-Savage-Tina-Turner-looking quads and run down knees through the ultimate test of the year.

I’m gonna do it for my Dad.

My Dad ... just being Dad

My Dad … just being Dad

He’s still with me, sometimes on my shoulders whispering in my ear while I’m chasing dreams, and sometimes in my heart when I’m raising my kids and I’m trying to be awesome at something. He’s the champion for my life. He’s the spirit behind my drive. My Dad is there in one of his many baseball caps and smile, being my friend, my TV buddy, my support group, and the TV remote control ruler of the house.

I’ll be taking this on next month and if you’re feeling generous with the need to donate to a good cause, feel free to click the link on the bottom and it will guide you to my personal fundraising page.

Buen Camino Everyone!

Fight For Air Climb Fundraising Page

… Siganme Los Buenos!

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