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Thursday, June 9, 2011

6/1 - 6/8 ... Days 152 - 159

Whew, the first radio interview is done and done!  I am not going to lie, I was pretty nervous driving over to the studio.  My heart was racing and I started to have the "what if" conversation with myself ... "What if, I freeze up?  What if I talk to fast and people can't understand me?  What IF I have to BURP?!?!"  Yikes, that would have been pretty bad! :)

Speaking of "Yikes," surgery is tomorrow.  I feel like I have a really good attitude going into it.  I am more excited than anything... excited about the opportunity to heal, excited about the opportunity to continue on in life injury free.  The hospital called yesterday to tell me how much it was going to cost, how much my insurance would not cover etc...  I switched over to my "Charlie Brown" filter and just heard a lot of wa waaa wa waa waa coming from the voice on the other end.  I already know it is going to expensive, why let myself focus on that which I already know.  It is not going to help the situation.  I would rather instead focus on the positive outcome - injury free, pain free, opportunity to live my life the way I want to.

In our society, we have a very strange relationship with money.  We let money and the cost of things dictate so much in our day to day lives.  No matter how much we have, we tend to focus more on how much we don't have... why?  Stuff costs money, in some cases a lot of money.  This surgery is going to be expensive, but not as expensive as other procedures I may have to have down the road if I chose not to deal with this now.  Do I have the 1000's of dollars it is going to cost me out of pocket right now, nope.  So why focus on that?  I already know that, but if I focus solely on that it prevents me from focusing on the opportunity out there to earn the money and pay it back over time.  And I miss the opportunity to be great full that there are such things as payment plans available.  It's not like they are going to come and reverse my hernia if I do not pay all in cash tomorrow, right?  Not only that, it is just added stress that I do not need or want in my life.  No thank you!

Someone asked me the other day if I really believed in everything I say, and how in the world can focusing on little things bring about big changes... great question, let me explain.

We live in a world where the number is something like 80% of the people have jobs they are not happy with.  Which means that when the alarm goes off to signal "time to go to work," those people are getting up to go do something they do not necessarily want to be doing.  Instantly they fall into the same "everyday" routine.  Take a shower the same way, eat breakfast the same way at the same time.  Make the commute to the job they do not want to be at.  Sit in traffic, work at said job, return home in traffic, and now, when the day is finally done, they want to just "forget it all," want to just "zone out," and watch TV.  The above is a generalization as I want to use it as an illustrative point.

If we want to change our lives, if we want to improve them, we have to break our normal patterns of behavior, we have to change the above routine.  We have to give ourselves something to look forward to... something to live for.

This is where the little things come into play.  As you all have seen by now, the 1000 Challenge is made up of mostly little things.  Yes, there are some big ones in there, but overall the bulk of what has been done so far are little, everyday things.  Why?  Because it is all about the deliberate intention of going out and making my life better.  It's about focusing on doing something every single day to change my normal routine, my normal pattern of behavior, and guess what... If you replace the above routine with the new routine of trying to do something new every single day, well now your old pattern has been broken and replaced with a new more empowering pattern.

You now have something to look forward to.  That lunch break from that job you do not like that you used to spend commiserating with co-workers, becomes your opportunity to explore the world.  That country road detour you swore you were going to try one day, now becomes your salvation from traffic and your gateway to adventure.  Life takes on a new meaning because you now have new things to look forward to each and everyday

Little things... give yourself something new to look forward to everyday.  I promise you your perspective will start to change, your old pasterns of behavior will begin to fade away.

I wrote the above half on Tuesday, anticipating getting the blog up the same day before Surgery.  Life happened, things didn't work out exactly as I planned, but they ended up for the better... I spent an hour on the phone Tuesday catching up with a good friend who I hadn't talked to in awhile.  The conversation was very meaningful and I am really happy I spent the time on the phone as opposed to finishing the blog.  I think  this will actually work better now because I wanted you guys to have an insight into what my mindset was pre/post surgery. 

Wednesday morning I had to be at the surgery center by 630am ... I got up at 4 to go and work out when the gym opens at 430am.  Why?  This is a very important why.

Exercise, physical activity, physcial fitness is a HUGE part of who I am.  Much of my confidence, my energy, my motivation, my inspiration is drawn from that hour I dedicate to myself everyday.  For me when the doctor says I have to have surgery - the only thing I got bummed about was the exercise restrictions.  I had choices to make... listen to doctor's orders stop exercising for two weeks leading up to surgery then go another two weeks after, or trust myself, trust my knowledge about the human body, and trust what my own mind, heart, and body say.  I chose myself.  And I created modified routines that allowed me to do some exercise while still protecting the hernia as best as I could.  My goal was to not make hernia any worse, but more importantly, my goal was to show myself what I was capable of even with an injury like that.  And you know what?  I was capable of a lot.

Sure I wasn't breaking any power lifting records, but basic stuff was not a problem.  I called all my workouts back to basic workouts.  Running was out, but I could still do a modified elliptical, I just had to slow WAY down and rather than support my body just on my legs I shifted my body weight around so it would be distributed through my arms and hips as well.  The great thing was, is I COULD still do stuff and not make the injury worse.  This was so empowering for me!  It gave me a great deal of confidence, it re-enstilled into my mind that just because someone says "can't" doesn't mean it is true.  One of my favorite quotes goes something like this: "people always say it is impossible, until someone does it."

I planned my Wednesday morning to put myself in a confident, strong, determined mindset.  I made sure on Tuesday that my "power" song was set to come on, LOUD, as soon as I got into the car on Wednesday morning.  So when I got into the car at 423am yesterday morning, I turned on the car and "Encore" by Linkin Park and Jay-Z immediately began blaring.  I refer to this song as my "Power" song because it is a song that whenever I listen to it I get energized, I get in a confident state of mind, it makes me feel strong.

I kept this song on repeat through my entire workout which was about 40 minutes.  I sang it out loud in between my sets (there wasn't really anyone in the gym at 430 am to enjoy the sweet sounds of my voice).  Why did I do all this?  Because if my mind is constantly being filled with the words from my power song, if i am constantly feeling strong and confident, guess what... there is NO room for words of doubt, words of fear, to creep into my head.  What if scenarios have zero chance of entering into my mind because I am bombarding my mind with only thoughts of I can, I will, I am strong.  I encourage you all to try it out next time you are gearing up to face a major challenge in life, it works!

I listened to it on the way to the surgery center.  After I checked in, filled out the paper work, and joked with the nurse about how they said they would need my first born child as well as my right arm for collateral payment, I sat down and put my head phones on and went right back to my power song. 

When I finally had to take them out and get wheeled into the operating room, I just kept singing it over and over in my head, save for the times I paused to joke with the operating team.  Negative thoughts, fear, self doubt, all of those nasty thoughts and words that we so often let take control of our lives; they had zero chance to invade me, because I did not give them a chance to.  If I would have stopped working out two weeks ago when the doctor told me not to, I would have been in a far more weakend state mentally, emotionally, and physically, I can't do that to myself.  And here's the icing on the cake... when I told the nurse, and the doctor, both separately, that I had gone and worked out at 430am both responded the same way: they stopped, blinked a couple of times, looked at me and said "you got up and worked out at 430 am before surgery, that's inspiring."  I didn't get scolded or told I was stupid for doing that... there was a respect that passed between us as both saw that I was dedicated to my way of existing. 

I am sitting on my couch as I type all of this to you, almost 24 hours post surgery.  As long as I sit still I am not in to much pain, when I have to stand up, that's when it hurts the most, but it only takes me about three minutes to stand up then the pain passes.  I try to laugh at the pain every time, it doesn't help me to complain about it, complaints will only make it worse, laughter eases it.  I am not taking any pain medication.  I have read countless books and heard countless stories on our bodies power to heal with a good mindset and good attitude.  I believe 100% in this and so now I have been given the opportunity to test it out and prove it to myself.  So far, so good - I already feel better than I did yesterday, and I can almost stand up straight.  That's my goal, by the end of the day, stand up straight! :)

Thank you everyone for the countless well wishes, emails, texts, phone calls, tweets - your love and support gives me a tremendous amount of strength.  Someone asked me the other day where I draw my inspiration from - it is from all of you.  Thank you.  I will recover fast, I will be stronger than ever.

Enjoy the pics (you can tell I am hungry),

Carpe Diem,



  1. Jesse,

    As always, you seem to write exactly what I need to hear. I have been struggling with being frustrated with having the same Monday through Friday routine and not doing a damn thing about it. Lately I am just living for the weekend and that is l a m e. There are seven days in a week and I am only excited about two of them. . that equates to being excited about 29% of my week and irritated with 71%. That's. just. pathetic.

    I need to take heed to your advice and leadership. Thanks again for everything that you do.

  2. Loved your blog and it served to catch me up without bothering you :0) Keep up with the healing and positive thoughts. You're doing great! Phyllis Ruddle

  3. Jesse, another "profound" blog post! I love reading "your heart and soul". That's what makes you interesting, not your good looks, or the fact that you have a very "famous friend". It's YOU that makes us laugh and cry with you! It's REAL! You've opened your heart to your FB family and friends without asking for anything in return. I'm currently dealing with the fact people in this world WILL disappoint you, almost daily. I know that you don't know me very well, but I'm a VERY kind, sensitive, loving person, and expect just a shred of that from other people. Unfortunately, I rarely get my generosity reciprocated. It often makes me sad, but I march on, because I'm not trying to impress "people" in this world. God is the only one we should be trying to "impress". When we stand before him someday soon, he will review our life and what we've accomplished here on Earth to others learn about HIM! You don't have to "preach" to those you come in contact with. Just be a kind, loving, considerate, and "Christian-like", and it will come back to you like ten-fold, maybe not in THIS life, but the next, and that's what's most important.....eternity! This life is like a vapor, and will disappear in the "blink of an eye"! Don't be "left behind" someday people! Hopefully, you know what to do.... The way Jesse leads his life is being a Christian. He is honest, kind, makes time for people, and is involved with God's people through ROWW's "disaster relief". I'm not impressed by "big name" celebrities who sing, act, and do stupid things sometimes. I look at "the heart" to determine if I want someone to be my friend. Jesse and Paul would qualify for "friend status" with me "big time". Big Love from Portland, Jesse!

  4. Oh, so thats your "power" song you were listening to when you sent me an email : ) Great song!

    Its a generalization that doctors have to tell patients to "take it easy" with pre-surgery instructions. I'm glad you were able to tweak your routine and just go with it. With your lifestyle, I had a feeling you weren't just going to take it easy and sit around.

    Love the stylish gown and cap but don't like the way it opens in the back. I feel like I'm mooning the world when I have to wear one. At least its appropriately sized and was not shrunken accidentally like you're stylish capri's...LOL! Only kidding, just trying to make you smile :)

    I look foward to your Ustream broadcast when you're ready.

    Carpe Diem,