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Category Archives for "Rant/Random Thoughts"

Hulk Gets Angry and You Should Too.


Have you ever watched the Incredible Hulk?

The other day I was watching the cartoon with my son. I realized how purposeful he was as the Hulk.

As the mild mannered Bruce Banner he is a push over. But when you anger him, watch out. The Incredible Hulk comes out and rips sh*t up. There is nothing getting in his way.


Make it hurt so bad…

What if you operated in a similar manner about your goals. Not necessarily destroying things but destroying the bad habits. Contrarian speaker, Larry Winget calls himself an “irritational” speaker instead of motivational speaker. I thought that was funny the first time I heard it. He feels that motivation comes and goes quick but if he can irritate and make you so uncomfortable with where you are, that you have no choice but to make a change. While I don’t agree with all he says or all his approaches, I do believe he is right on this.

Think about when you were at your worst, when you hit rock bottom, when you were so fed up with your situation that you made a change. I can guarantee the changes were drastic but they needed to be.

I believe that in order to make a change you must get uncomfortable with where you are at. If it is not that important and pressing for you, why would you do it? As humans we will naturally choose the easier path. You must have a big enough why or change is not a possible.


Being comfortable is the step before death.

I know that is a pretty intense sentence but one that I wholeheartedly believe. Death here doesn’t necessarily mean physical death but the lack of growth, progress.

Think about a patient in hospice. What are they trying to do…make them comfortable.  Think about an athlete that rests on his laurels and doesn’t keep pushing himself to be better daily. Younger more hungry to make it athletes take their spot.

Comfortable in my view equals lack of movement, stagnation, lack of progress. Life is about movement not stagnation.

Get uncomfortable, get mad, and attack your goals with the same fierceness as the Hulk. Let nothing get in your way. Decide what you want and don’t stop until you get it. It may take a few hours, a few days or a few years. Regardless, you have the ability to create the life you desire.

Make it productive, purposeful, and don’t let anything get in your way.







2 You’ll Never Forget The Way They Made You Feel

This morning I was having a great conversation with my friend Mark, a UM professor who helps college students become relevant to potential employers. We were talking about how vivid our memories are in recalling our experiences. That got me thinking about 2 things.

1st – If experiences have a greater impact on our memories, then how can we create more amazing experiences?

2nd – Are the details of exactly what happened as important as the feeling you felt at that moment?


Before I continue on this you may be wondering what does this have to do with living healthier, losing weight, eating better, etc…

This is actually directly related because the relationship you have with yourself, the relationship you have with food, and the stories you tell yourself are driven by how you feel. That brings me back to the 2 questions above.


Question #1: How can we create more amazing experiences?

The more proactive you are, the more experiences you will have. The question wasn’t how to have more experiences but how to have more AMAZING experiences.

I have a friend Johann, that I had the privilege of going on our famous Western Exploration. After graduating from college, Johann and I took 3 months and lived out of a tent and my little blue Hyundai Accent hatchback running the national parks and cities in Florida, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Texas. We shared so many experiences yet when he would share a story about our  journey to others, I almost didn’t recognize them. In fact I remember thinking, “that was so amazing where was I when that happened?”

Our friends joke that Johann exaggerates stories but I have come to realize that these are truly the experiences that are recorded in his mind. While my experience may not have been so dramatic, I can still  feel the amazing experiences of running 10 miles at 6:35 pace on the legendary track at the University of Oregon, Hayward Field. I remember the liberating yet scary feeling of running through the trails in the Rocky Mountain National Park and getting lost for an hour or two with no water or idea where we were. How about meeting the president of Merrill-Lynch in Boulder, CO in a bar and having him be jealous of us, two broke kids enjoying life in its simplest form, running. I remember him telling us, “I have more than enough money to do this trip but I don’t have the time. Enjoy it guys. You will never forget it.” He was right. 🙂

Posing with Legendary Coach Bill Bowerman, founder of Nike after my 10 Miler on Hayward Field.

Posing with Legendary Coach Bill Bowerman, founder of Nike after my 10 Miler on Hayward Field.


Question #2: Are the details of exactly what happened as important as the feeling you felt at that moment?

Maya Angelou said,

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

My good friend Alex recently got married. When Christian and I entered the church waiting for the ceremony to begin I was talking to her about who each of Alex’s friends were. There was a guy named Kirk, Alex’s friend that called me when I was at the hospital (that is how I remember him). He is one of Alex’s fraternity brothers (PIKE). I was not in a frat but every time Alex would invite me to one of their parties, I remember Kirk always treated me and made me feel like I had known him for years. On my sophomore year in college something happened that my brain stem swelled up and I was in the hospital for a few days. Low and behold I received a call from Kirk. I have never forgotten that. I am forever grateful for this simple act of compassion.

I don’t remember what I did yesterday but I lucidly remember the way I felt that day I received a call from Kirk. I don’t remember what exactly he said, I don’t remember what I was wearing, what day or time it was but that didn’t matter because the essence of an experiences is sown with the seeds of feeling, nurtured with environment, and appreciated by awareness and story.

Are the details of exactly what happened as important as the feeling you felt at that moment?

No. I don’t believe they are.

Create those amazing experiences one feeling at a time.







BE Time: Your Time For A Better, Happier YOU.


I want to set the stage with this one question:

Do you practice BE time?

This morning I read a quote from the book “The Power of Full Engagement” by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz.


“Sounds become music in the spaces between notes, just as words are created by the spaces between letters. It’s in the spaces between work that love, friendship, depth, and dimension are nurtured. Without time for recovery, our lives become a blur of doing unbalanced by much opportunity for being.”


This statement is so important that it could literally change your life if you apply it. Below are some differences between the two.


BEing : DOing

patient : hectic
listening : talking
stillness : chaos
present : distracted
heart focused : task focused


Why is it easier to DO?

It is easier to quantify doing than it is being. In a society that is so fast paced where working is worshiped and confused with productive we don’t often make time for ourselves and reflecting. I am not one to talk considering my sleep or lack of sleep schedule. I can share from experience when I have me time life is more productive and more enjoyable.

I’ve shared in the past how working out more specifically running is my ME time or BE time. It gives me an opportunity to empty my mind’s cup to allow more space to absorb all the riches the day has to offer.  I make sure that I do my workouts first thing in the morning so that it sets my day just right. But…


What is plan Plan B?

Invariably I am going to wake up too exhausted and can’t work out (it happens more than I’d like to admit). 🙁

What do I do then? Plan B

Yes having a back up as success and fulfillment are important. I journal or meditate for 5-7 minutes. I know that 5 minutes doesn’t seem like much but when you are quiet and listen, without judging your thoughts and yourself, you start improving your relationship with yourself. At first you may not feel it. Like anything worth doing well, it needs to be practiced. We are so use to doing/talking/being distracted from our true self that initially it is difficult. In fact for me it was scary. I had been running away from ME that I didn’t know how to act around myself.

The greatest relationship you must first master is with yourself. If you cannot love, talk, communicate congruently with yourself then how can you genuinely do it with others. You can’t. You can’t because you are not truly giving yourself to your other relationships. Like with any relationship listening is the keystone to success. As the old saying goes, “God gave you 2 ears and 1 mouth, use them proportionally.”


Now What?

Set some BE time. Rekindle that love for your true and beautiful self.  Set time for you, where you are not doing but listening, being, accepting of yourself without judgement. Put away the infamous “To Do” Lists and take time to listen.


Ladies Only…

My wife and I have been talking about this lately and she decided she wanted to do something specific for the ladies (no pressure for me huh).  😉

Women try to balance work life, home life, and societies expectations of what a woman should do. This is sometimes threatening and exhausting. In fact talking to my wife she explains it’s like feeling trapped, even hopeless as thing mount up. There never seems like there is enough time to do it all, let alone have time for herself.
She wanted to do something special and specific for women so she created the Look, Feel, Be Great Movement for women, an event that takes place Saturday, September 21, 2013.

Here is an event for Women to take time for themselves, to RECHARGE, to get to know and CONNECT with like-minded women, and leave EMPOWERED to Look, Feel, and Be Great!
If you are interested please click here for more information –> www.cruzcountry.com/lfbg-seminar




PS – Gentlemen if you have a girl friend, a spouse, or female friend that would benefit from this please share this link with them www.cruzcountry.com/lfbg-seminar. Thanks.




Drowning with the Weight of the World

Ever felt completely undeserving?
Ever felt unable to grow as a person?
Ever felt exhausted and lacking of energy?
Ever felt like you were drowning with the weight of the world pulling you down?

For the past few months I have been fighting these feelings. This is very difficult for me to admit but by sharing my experience I hope to gain more clarity and serve to help you on your journey should you ever feel this way.

A very common misconception is that I don’t fall off the wagon so to speak. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact I fail much more than I succeed. To think that anyone lives a problem free life is B.S.!

“Sh*t happens to everyone, no one is immune. How we deal with it, is really the crux of what happens next.”

The past few months I have made myself physically sick with some personal obstacles and demons I have been facing. The biggest reason I have been feeling this way is because of the stories I’ve been telling myself of what I should BE or should be doing. With long “To Do” lists and expectations I know without fail what I “should” be doing but for whatever reason I haven’t.

“Should ” is the language of willpower.
Willpower is unsustainable.
Stop “shoulding” all over yourself.
Eliminate “should” and come from a place of want, a place of inspiration.
I’ve dropped the ball on several things in my personal life and in the business lately. Until recently I have been able to slowly emerge.

Here is what happen… Survive vs. thrive.

When your cup is full of water and you attempt to add coffee what happens? It over flows and you get a really watered down coffee.

When you are in survival mode you can’t add more to your life and when you do, all you get is a watered down version that often adds more of a burden. You cannot create new things in this state. You can only do what you’ve done or just freeze, which is what happened with me.

When we are thriving it is the exact opposite of surviving. We have an empty cup ready to accept, create, and grow.

If you are in survival mode what do you do? Get help.

The most valuable way to combat this effectively is to hire a good coach. A good coach will help you ask the right questions which will help give you more clarity. A good coach will help you untie the knots, help you overcome the obstacles, help you release you foot off the brakes so you can advance, and help empower you to put down the bag of rocks you are carrying around that are burdening your progress.

Disney World, the nightmare!

I am a visual learner so pardon my examples but imagine you go to Disney World. Only before you go in, at the ticket counter they give you a 100 lbs backpack filled with rocks.

How would you feel after walking in the hot sun for an hour in the happiest place on earth carrying the 100 lbs bag? How about 5 hours into it? I know, I’d feel exhausted, beaten up, and pretty miserable.

What coaching helps you do is get rid of some of the rocks to lighten your load. On the big coaching breakthroughs you give yourself permission to put the bag down and enjoy. You see at the beginning of this story I said they gave you the bag. You never had to accept it, you never had to carry it. It was your decision. Often in life this is the case. We carry loads that weren’t meant for us.

There are always rocks to carry and obstacles to overcome. After writing about this experience I can say this.

First, I gained more clarity with the obstacles I have been facing just by writing this letter to you. Thank you for listening.

Second, I did the same thing I encouraged you to do. I got a coach. Coaching does so much for you. You don’t need to have something wrong to need a coach. In fact if you look at really successful people you will notice they have coaches. Does Miami Heat MVP Lebron James need coach Erik Spoelstra to teach him how to play basketball, to tell him how to shoot or dribble?



Coach Spoelstra is there to provide perspective and leadership. Lebron can’t see everything happening on and off the court. The coach has ample distance from the game to provide both.

My coach helped give me perspective and clarity. He didn’t tell me what I had to do but helped open doors in the form of questions so that I could decide the way that was most congruent to me to take. Now I want to do the same for you.

Become Unstuck!

If you are feeling stuck,
If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the thing in your life,
If you are feeling exhausted because it feels like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders,
I want you to (click here) to set up an Exploratory Session.

[What is an exploratory session? It is a FREE integrative coaching session to help you gain clarity and give you back the freedom, fulfillment, and fun back in your life. If you have not done so click here to schedule your session today.]


PS – You have nothing to lose by scheduling your FREE exploratory session. I have seen amazing transformation happen in this one session over the past 5 months with different clients and I want the same for you.

If you are tired of carrying all those rocks, if you are tired of baring the burden of the world then give yourself permission to move beyond the chains holding you back. Schedule your exploratory session here. 🙂

1 Vacation Improves Your Health And Wealth

After a week of living the beach life, I must admit it was tough coming back. Hence that is why you are getting this email today and not my usual Monday.

First let me proudly share that I’m not lobstery red. I actually got some great colour. Yes I spelled colour in the Queens English on purpose. It feels more prestigious.

What an experience to be able to wake up and walk outside right on to the beach. It was truly invigorating to smell the salty aroma of the sea and bathe in the percussive sounds of the waves crashing on the beach daily. Christian and I are determined to one day purchase a house on the beach.


Are vacations necessary?

Today I want to share how imperative it is to take vacations as part of your healthy lifestyle. Taking vacations will enable you to become more prosperous, happier, and healthier.

Before we get into that here is a great picture of the kids. All 8…for now. 😉

My kiddos Mandy is #3 and Amelie is #6 on the picture. My sister Kika has the twins Adrian and Danny #1 & 2, plus Gaby #5. My other sister Kara has Audrey #4 and Lisette #7. And the newest family member belongs to my brother and trainer Javo. Baby Jayden is seated in #8.



Vacation – The Key To A Healthier and Wealthier Life.

I want to make a bold statement: 

If you are not taking vacations throughout the year you will not be as healthy and as wealthy as you could be.


It is counter-intuitive that not working will help you be more successful. The truth is that if you don’t allow for restorative periods in your body, mind, and spirit you will not function optimally.


I want to talk specifically about extended vacations of 1 to 2 weeks. I believe that 7-14 days off is the sweet spot for ultimate rejuvenation without getting rusty at what you do.


5 Rules of Vacationing for Optimal Results:

1.  No work.

This was the first time in a long time that I completely disconnected from work, with the exception of the email I sent on Tuesday. The benefit of this approach is creating distance, perspective, and rest. It allows you to come back energized and with improved clarity.


2.  Pursue other interests.

This vacation I tried Stand-up Paddle Board Surfing. As the name implies you are doing stand up paddleboarding but in the waves surfing them in. I would not say that I rocked it but I definitely got the hang of it. What great fun and boy was it challenging. We also exercised, did some slacklining, boogie boarding, built sand castles, and collected shells. Your interests don’t have to be active like mine but pick something other than work that you love to learn more about or do.


3.  Exercise daily.

Most people think vacation is the time to rest from workouts. My view is that when you are on vacation it is perfect time to exercise. You have the most amount of time for yourself and actually have time to recover. I woke almost every day between 5:30 to 6:30am and ran. For me running helps me think better as well as make better decisions throughout the day. While you don’t have to wake up so early get your regimented exercise in. I always prefer first thing in the morning so that it is out of the way and you don’t have to worry about it any more.


4.  Read a good book.

Reading is a lost practice. Most people don’t read a book in a year because life has become so hectic and our attention has decreased. Reading allows you to think, use your imagination, and paint the world as a you see it or want to see it. The reading could be motivational or personal development in nature, or just a good ol’ novel. Whatever you decide to read, it will help you to be mentally active.


5.  Fuel for success.

Without fail everyone knows that fruits, veggies, and lean meats are healthy and junk food is not. My wife wanted to make sure we had good food so she contacted Annie’s Organic Buying Club which delivers fresh organic produce at our studio on Monday’s and got them to deliver to the house that we rented on the beach. It’s not like we didn’t eat some junk food, like chips, ice cream, cookies, even pizza, but the majority was fruits and veggies. We were 19 people with 8 of us being kids under the age of 5 so we didn’t go out to eat because of logistics and we didn’t want to leave the beach but if you like going out most restaurants have healthier options. The key is making that choice. Food should be life giving and energy cultivators not energy extractors.


This is my experience for an enjoyable, prosperous, and healthy vacation. Follow these rules and you will find as I did that vacations are an asset to living a healthier more productive life. Hopefully some of these rules speak to you and connect you to a happier, healthier vacation.



PS – Invariably someone is going to say that they can’t take lots of vacations because of work and/or finances. Know that when you make time (vacation) to rejuvinate your finances will improve.

If you can’t go away for a week or more take a day or weekend vacation. As you know Friday’s are Cruz Family beach day. It is the day Christian and I unwind and enjoy with the kids to help us recharge for the up-coming week.  It works miracles to disconnect in order to be better connected when you return. It is worth it.



11 Lessons My Father Taught Me

With Father’s Day being yesterday I wanted to share some great lessons my father taught me.

I have mentioned it before but my father is my best friend and I love him with all me heart. He has taught me so much and continues to push the boundaries of what is possible. He is always coming up with new challenges, projects, and perspectives. There is always something he teaches me. The interesting thing is that I get more by what he does and the processes he goes through then him actually instructing me formally. I hope my kids get to learn a lot from him also.

As a father I hope to be able to share with my kids some of these core values my father shared with me.


11 Lessons My Father Taught Me:

(I feel blessed to have such great parents. I know not everyone is as fortunate.)

1.     Be yourself

2.     Be a gentleman (say please and thank you, open the door for a lady, smile…)

3.     Be honest

4.     A situation is neither good nor bad it is what you make it. (Why not make the best of it?)

5.     A life well lived is determined by the experiences and relationships you create. (An investment here yields great returns)

6.     When you treat life like an adventure you wake up excited to see what the day brings. Go explore and have fun.

7.     Do what you love and love what you do.

8.     Talk is cheap. Show me don’t tell me.

9.     Family first. Love and serve your family.

10.   Excellence is not a suggestion. This is not about being the best but being and putting the best effort you have on that day.

11.    Don’t miss out on life because you trying to live it. Said differently, take a step back and enjoy life. Often we corner ourselves into things we are doing and can’t see past that. Get altitude with your perspective to appreciate all that is around you.


I have found these lessons to be very instrumental in my life. They provide a compass to help guide me to contribute, innovate, and enjoy a fulfilled life.


PS – Throwback picture of my family growing up. I am the “husky” kid on the left.  🙂




If at first you don’t succeed

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Going Further Than Before

She takes a step and falls.
But don’t tell her because she applauds.
She get’s up again and with a loud war cry, attempts another.

She falls again.
This continues until she decides to do a mini victory lap crawling,

Something she is an expert in.

After a few more shrills of joy she get’s up and walk’s several steps before falling.

Here is the thing, she went further than before.

Every time she gets up she has gone further than before.

She is explores her balance, each time a little bit different.

Going further than before.

How about you?

*Note: I’m no Whitman or Shakespeare but this is what was in my heart.

What if we went through life like my niece that is 1 year old?

What if we didn’t see each stumble, obstacle, and fall as a FAIL.

The words you use become the lens in which you view the world.

When I say you FAILED, how does it make you feel?

When I hear those words they conjure images of embarrassment, low self-esteem, failure, and rejection.

Now instead of failure what if we did a switch-er-roo and in it’s place we used experience.

Now how does the word EXPERIENCE make you feel?

It gives me a sense of pride, maturity, growth, strength, and a foundation on which to build.

Now we may have different feelings about these two words but I can bet failure has a less empowering feeling than does experience.

Don’t be afraid, I am not psychic. I am not spying in your brain. The reason I know this is because I have studied and and continue to study the power of words and their effects on our psyche, our motivation, and our perspective. By knowing these things I can coach my clients more effectively.

Before I go on let me clarify that I am not suggesting fooling yourself and saying everything is perfect. Be real. I am not saying that if your doctor say you have cancer you ignore it and say nothing is wrong. You could ask, how do I want to feel about cancer? What can I start doing right now that will help strengthen my immune system to help me overcome this challenge?

What has changed in the scenario above?

Nothing really. You didn’t achieve something. You still have cancer.

Scenario is the same but the way you feel about is different. Simply by changing the words you use, you can empower yourself to make more effective choices.

Let’s say you are trying to lose weight and decide you want to eat clean. But after 1 week into the program you are taking a road trip. You don’t prepare any food and on the way you get hungry. The only thing available is fast food. Eventually you stop and give in to the temptation. You eat a burger with fries and a coke.

What lens, what perspective, what words would best serve you?

Do you say, “I am a failure. I do this every time and that is why I can’t lose weight”?


Do you say, “When I get to my destination I am going to go to the grocery store and prepare the foods I want to be eating so I don’t have to make this decision again.”?

I ask again, which perspective will serve you better, will empower you to achieve the results you want?


*    Your words are the lens in which we view your experiences. Are you using words that empower you and help serve your purpose?

*    Experience vs Failure, what are you going to choose?  Thomas Edison said it best, “I didn’t fail, I just found 10,000 variation on how not to make a light bulb. I only needed to find one way to make it work”

*    Finally, embrace life with the joy and excitement of a 1 year old. Take it one step at a time – even with the bumps and bruises. Oh and occasionally letting out a scream or yell can be soothing and uplifting. Try it, I am pretty certain it will make you smile.


Your Thoughts:

What have you learned or realized about the words you are using?

Leave your comment below.

2 Viktor Frankl – Expect More from Others

This weekend I had the privilege of speaking at a seminar on fatherhood. It was a great seminar that helped the 50 fathers that attended, myself included. I picked up lots of great things that will enhance my relationship with my kids.

Each man was there for different reasons yet they all wanted something similar. To be better…

To be better…

Not better than the man next to them but better than himself. It was to be better for their children and for some better than their dad’s did for them.

This reminds me of this powerful quote by Goethe.

“If you take man as he is, we make him worse. But if we take a man as he should be, then we make him capable of becoming what he can be.”

This statement by Goethe was really eye opening to me. And as a father I think is imperative to help give your children that vision of what is possible, of what could be.

In fact the famed Viktor Frankl goes into more in detail in the video below.

*Side Note: He reminds me of a crazy professor, yet has the warmth conjured by a grandfather. Listen to this great presentation.


Watch this brilliant video by neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl.

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How do you think you can relate this in your life?



Who Am I Being?

I recently watched an inspiring TED talk given by Benjamin Zander the conductor for the Boston Philharmonic. He said something that was very profound.

“The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful. My job is to awaken possibility in other people.

You know you are doing it by looking in their eyes; they have shiny eyes. If their eyes are not shiny then you get to ask yourself a question.

Who am I being to my player that their eyes are not shiny?”


Who am I being to…

I want you to think about this question because it could be pivotal in your life. Mr. Zander’s question applies to all your relationships in your life.

I will be speaking at a seminar on fatherhood this weekend so this came at just the right time for me. It made me think about my son and daughter.

Who am I not being to my son or daughter that their eyes are not shiny?

My kids are so precious to me. In my opinion, kids are one of life’s greatest treasures. Nothing saddens me more than looking into the eyes of a child and not seeing that spark. Not seeing that vitality, that joy, that curiosity. As a father one of the most important things I can do is make sure that my kids’ eyes stay shiny.

This doesn’t mean that I give them everything they want. In fact that is the surest path that they will not have shiny eyes. Just giving them everything does not allow their character to grow. As a parent, as a father, my job is to awaken possibility in my children. Want and need are very different. Want is a short term urge, whereas need is a component of enhancement in your life.


Frozen in time.

The other day I took this picture.

Look at my son’s eyes.

Moments before this picture we were running up and down the house laughing and playing tag.

Yes, a simple game of tag.

Before that we were building planes, cars, and fortresses with Lego’s.

I share this with you so you can see that it doesn’t have to be something complicated. Actually one of the most valuable things you can give your child is your loving attention. Undivided time that you share with them, stepping into their world.




A Guarantee.

I have a bold guarantee for you.

How would you like your relationships to be an asset in your life? An asset that allows you to live more abundantly?

I can guarantee that if you focused on this one question: “Who am I being to _______, that their eyes are not shiny,”  you would transform all your relationships so that they are energizing, loving, nourishing, and allow you to live abundantly.


After reading this post, 3 possible things could happen.

1st – You will read it and think that it is a good idea but do nothing. As a result, your life and your relationships will remain the same.

2nd – You will read this and not agree. You won’t do anything and nothing will happen.

3rd – You will read this and try it out. In which case your relationships will be enhanced and give you greater abundance.

But what if what I am saying doesn’t work?

Well put it into perspective for a moment. What is the worst that could happen? Now, think to yourself, what are all the possible benefits that could come from this?

So now it is up to you.


It is time to make a choice.

What are you going to do?

If you chose option 3 and want to take action, ask…

Who is one person in your life that doesn’t have shiny eyes?

What could you BE to that person that will bring back the brilliance in that person’s eyes?





PS – I talked about my relationship with my kids but if you have a spouse or a significant other, How do you think living this out daily for him or her would transform your relationship?



3 Memorial Day Honors to Fels

Today is Memorial Day.

Today is a day set apart to honor our brave men and women who have served our great nation. They have served and paid the greatest price of all – their life.

I remember the feeling when I got the call that my friend, teammate, and “adopted” brother 2nd LT. Paul Michael Felsberg died in Ar Ramadi on October 13th, 2004. I thought it was a joke. I hadn’t seen him in a few months and now they were telling me that I would never see him again. I had so many questions. One of the biggest questions I had was why? Why, did he want to go back into the Marines after coming out?


From the beginning

Fels and I met my sophomore year at Florida International University (FIU). He was always different. First he was older than all of us because he had gone into the Marines right out of high school. After serving in the Marines for 4 years he enrolled into FIU as a criminal justice major. He was my cross country and track teammate. We both loved to run the long distance, we both were very disciplined, and we both were very focused on what we wanted.

For him it was to become an officer in the Marines and serve his country. During college he was going through the officer training school for the Marines. Upon graduating FIU and officer training school Fels got word that one of the platoon leaders Iraq was killed in action (KIA). He immediately called his superiors and said he wanted to lead his men.

Fels informed us of his decision, packed, and was off to Iraq.

I know that many people would look at these acts as bravery. While I know he is brave I believe this was his calling. I am conflicted by that term.  I think referring to it as bravery doesn’t do it justice. He was so much more but I guess it is a good starting point.


Remember I asked “why”?

He found his “why” in life. He found his purpose. He found that thing he wanted to do, that thing that was congruently him – to be a leader. Few find this and live it as Fels did. I have no doubt that this was not a decision he had to make but one that was made for him. It was made for him be his actions, by his desires, by his passion, by his commitment to his country and to those he loved. Fels was the greatest and grandest version of himself daily as a friend, as a teammate, and finally as a platoon leader which ended his life but ensured that others lived.

What can we learn from Fels?

When you are congruent with who you are, what you want,  who you want to serve, and why that is important to you,  you will find that life will be most fulfilling. Fels was an amazing friend, a great leader, a man of integrity, and man do I miss him. I take solace in knowing that he did what he loved. He died in the presence of his real self, serving his country.

Whether you knew Fels or not I want you to take his example and live life to the fullest. Live life doing what you love. Live it doing what you were meant to be doing on this earth.  Do it to the best of your ability and smile.


Happy Memorial Day!

Sending our love to all the great men and women who have fought and lost their lives to serve our nation. Thank you to the true heroes that stand on the front line and risk everything so that we may have everything. Thank you for all the great parents that have raised such men and women of valor, dedication, and love. You are forever in our prayers and honored with each success we take.




*PS – RIP Fels, your legacy lives on not by how you gave your life for your country but how you lived your life and made everyone’s life better. You are missed. What I would give for you to meet my kids. Noche buena is still not the same without you (we definitely have lots more left overs, LOL). I love you man.