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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thurs, Fri, and Saturday 27,28, and 29

These last few days I have been taking in some of the history of Santa Barbara.  I visited El Presidio Fort which was built in the late 1700's and the Stow House, which was built in the late 1800's.  It is amazing that I have never taken the time to stop at either one of these places.  I have driven by them both dozens, if not 100's of times, but just have never taken the time to stop.  Perhaps I have just gotten to a time in my life where I can appreciate things like this that I couldn't when I was younger.  Whatever the case, I really find not only the history of them very interesting, but how well they are preserved with a city being built right around them.

Yesterday I as treated to perhaps my most rewarding experience to date, a conversation with a soon to be 103 year old women named Teesha.  I have included an excerpt of my conversation with Teesha on my Facebook Page under the "notes" section (Conversation with a 103 year old), I hope you check it out.  I was really looking forward to this as my friend Julie had told me that Teesha is still very alert and "with it."  I figured she must know the secrets of life, the keys to the fountain of youth.  The stories she must have, the things she must have seen, done.  Think about it... her lifetime spans through the roaring 20's, The Great Depression, and countless wars.  She has seen the world go from a world where ship and horse were the primary means of transportation to planes, trains and automobiles of the modern day.  She saw man walk on the moon, saw the stock market rise and fall countless times.  She has seen countries rises and fall, I mean when you really stop to think about it, what hasn't she seen!!!???

What I found most remarkable about the experience is as follows:

Teesha has been all over the world.  She has children, grandchildren and great grand children.  She has seen, done, and experienced a lot.  At 103 years old, Teesha, by her own declaration, said her traveling days were done, with the exception of some day trips here and there.  As I sat and talked with her and Grandma I was asking them "the big questions," favorite place to travel, greatest memory etc... What I noticed during our conversation was how much their eyes would light up about the small stuff... laying in the sun, riding a bicycle, watching my friend Julie's kids run around and play.  We all get caught in the habit of living for the "BIG" moment... a wedding day, the birth of a child, skydiving, the big promotion etc... Those moments are great and a huge part of our life, but unfortunately life is not made up entirely of big moments.  There are a lot of little moments, the day to day moments, that make up the majority of our existence. 

This is where problems arise because we build up the big moments to such epic heights that the little moments have no chance to measure up to the big ones.  We begin to resent the little moments because they do not bring the excitement, the romance, the rush that the big moments do.  As this pattern continues we find ourselves in more and more of a struggle in life.  Smile's leave our faces because every day is not as exciting as the day our child was born.  We find ourselves frustrated more frequently because our 9 to 5 does not bring us the same thrill as jumping out of an airplane does.  It can get tot he point where it feels like we are stuck in purgatory just waiting, hoping for lightening to strike and bring a little excitement into life! 

The thing is, and I could see Teesha and Grandma really get this, is that if you learn to take pleasure in all the little moments in life the little moments then become bigger, greater moments.  The littlest of things put a smile on their face.  The littlest of things made their eyes sparkle.  Teesha spoke far more fondly of riding her bike up and down the beach than she did of all the exotic places she visited.  That was the big "Wow" moment for me... that something as simple as riding a bike that you received as a gift on your 70th birthday could be more exciting than globe trotting?!?!  The littlest of things really are the biggest and most important for they make up the fabric of our lives.  The littlest of things....

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,




Jesse

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mon, Tues, Wednesday - Days 24, 25, & 26

Wednesday I woke up with butterflies in my stomach, the nervous not excited kind.  Wednesday was going to be the day I started rocking the handle bars for a week.  I was overcome with major anxiety, "what will people think of me?" "how can I go out in public?" "I am going to look so stupid!" "I could just skip this one and know one would notice." 

Lots and lots of voices, doing their best to talk me out of what was to come from my date with the razor.  I kept reminding myself that these challenges that I am scared of are some of the most important ones; these are the ones that take me out of my comfort zone, and trust me I am out of my comfort zone.

As I sit here and type this I am sitting on my porch, in the sun, spoiled, I know.  The way the sun hits, it makes a reflection on my lap top screen so I can see my handle bars glaring right back at me.  My hair is un-kept, and I have a huge pimple right in the middle of my chin that is like a big blinking light screaming out for everyone to stop and stare at my facial hair.

I believe I am a good looking guy, and as such I have enjoyed the perks that have come with it.  I have built a huge piece of my self esteem on my physical appearence: 6feet 3inches tall, I weigh 223lbs, I have a muscular build, a great tan, I am in excellent shape and, I think, an overall physcially attractive guy.  I have had many women go so far as to tell me, "I am hot."  I am not sharing this with you to brag, but rather it is important background because for me this challenge is about, what happens if I take that away?  What happens if I am not good looking, if I can't look at myself in the mirror because what I see staring back at me freaks me out?  Then what?  Me growing handle bars may not seem like a big deal to many, some people wear the look very well, but for me, for someone who has always been praised on his looks to take that away, IT IS SCARY!!!

My 8am appointment and I always walk for her pre session warm up.  As we were walking I was hanging my head lower and lower, trying to avoid eye contact with any person who came across us.  Anyone who looked at me, I just knew, that they were thinking, "what a freak," or, "what the hell was he thinking."  I saw people smile and laugh and knew I HAD to be the subject of their laughter.

We were about four blocks into our warm up, I was on round 12 of berating myself in my head, "Stupid, idiot, you look like a joke, etc...", when suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks - I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  Not more than 15 feet in front of me, ( I would have seen her sooner had I not been hanging my head in shame of myself), was a lady who I will never forget.  This lady was out walking her dog.  She was wearing a blue t-shirt, white pants and a beret style hat.  She walked with a severe limp, her right arm was missing from the elbow up, and her face was horribly disfigured, like she had been severely burned or mauled or something worse. 

I stood there for a second staring at this lady and have never felt more ashamed of myself.  Here I am beating myself up over a stupid facial hair style that I am wearing by choice!  I can shave it whenever I want, I only have to wear it for a week, this lady, she looks this way for life!  I hung my head again, not because of my new look, but because I had just been taught an amazing life lesson and it knocked the wind out of me.

My Dad used to always tell me, "You never have to look very far to see someone who is much worse off than you are."  We all think, from time to time, that whatever we are facing in life is so horrible, so challenging, that it is the end of the world as we know it.  If we were to just open our eyes a little wider during those tough times, we would not have to look very hard to see someone who has it much tougher than we do.

What if, I was that physically disfigured and handicapped?  Would I smile as much as I do?  Would I laugh?  Would I be able to offer up positive insights and words of encouragement to an international audience that I have never even met?  Would I even have the courage to go on living?  Wow, now those are some questions?  And a lot tougher ones to answer than the, "I wonder what everyone is going to think" questions I was stressing myself out over earlier that morning.

Remember, you never have to look very far to see someone whose plight, whose struggles, are greater than yours.  I hope I run into that women again.  I would like to buy her lunch, and tell her thank you for changing my life.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,

Jesse





Monday, January 24, 2011

Friday, Saturday, Sunday... Days 21, 22, & 23

When I landed in Santa Barbara last weekend, I was stoked, motivated, I felt like nothing could stop me from completing this 1000 list.  Sure, it was only the second week, but no big deal... I am doing so well already right?  What could possibly slow me down?  Well for starters tons of clients who were missing their sessions with me, in addition to several other work projects that needed my attention here in town.  Ahhhhhh life and the reality that keeping on track here in SB is going to be a little trickier than I thought.  I guess that means I now have 1001 challenges with the one being balancing (good thing I have tightrope walking and trapeze somewhere on the list to help with this).

I am not going to lie, there have been several moments where I have felt overwhelmed, I have thoughts creeping into my mind like "what the hell did I get myself into," and "why did I have to go off and tell the entire world about this?"  I have realized my list needs to be more organized for even quicker reference, I have realized my time management skills need to be refined that much more, I have realized that my dedication to myself and belief in my ability to accomplish this, along with everything else I want to do this year, needs to be that much greater.  And I realize the above equation... organization + time management + dedication to self + self belief = a recipe for success in any aspect of life.  Even more than that, that is the equation that allows us to really soak up every last second of life, to really make every single moment count and not only to make them count, but to make them great.

Coming home last night I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about in today's blog.  I looked at my odometer and realized I drove 240 miles this weekend!!!  This particular weekend had me going North for two amazing hikes and quick soak in some of the natural hot springs.  This weekend had me going south for a good friend and former client's 65th birthday/retirement party.  This weekend had me on the water for sunrise and in the mountains for sunset.  This weekend was filled with many hours of work and plenty for play.

This weekend was just what I needed to realize that I really CAN do this challenge.  I was all over the place and yet I still got so much done.  It was the perfect blend of chaos that I needed, to remind me that where there is a will there is a way.  And the best part is, I had a ton of fun doing it all. 

I have some R&R challenges on the list and more that are getting added.  I took on one of them yesterday, sneak into a pool.  I had never done this before.  This was one of those things that never came up in my teenage years, and for the last 10, I have had the beach.  And yet there is some sort of right of passage written between the lines of the simple "I snuck into a pool" phrase. 

So I did, and I took an amazing, much needed nap!  How's that for multi tasking?!?!

I begin this week still un-organzied, but confident I can get organized; I enter this week with still not the best time management skills, but an understanding of where I can do better, and thus squeeze in those extra prescious seconds of living life.  And, lastly, but most importantly, I enter this week with a strengthened dedication and belief in myself that I can do this and everything else.  I can live the life of my dreams.  We all can, we just have to want it bad enough.  We have to believe that we can accomplish/achieve/do anything and everything we want to do, and then set out to do it.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,

Jesse




Friday, January 21, 2011

Tues, Wed, and Thurs... Day's 18,19 and 20

I am beginning to realize that it is going to take a little bit more planning to get more than one challenge done at home.  Actually what it really boils down to is that i just need to set a stronger intention to seek out more unique experiences in Santa Barbara that I know I have not had.  I stopped by the tourism office yesterday and picked up a few brochures and maps.  One is titled 101 FREE things to do in Santa Barbara.  I highly recommend everyone stop by their local tourism office at some time in their life.  It gives you a chance to experience where you live through a different set of eyes.  I have lived here for 10 years, but I know there is still SO MUCH that I have yet to uncover about this special place I call home.

What has been great this week thus far is seeking out the new in SB.  Going to the top of the courthouse - nestled in the middle of downtown SB, easily the most beautiful view of the city.  Visiting the Natural History Museum - it is small, but just like everything else here in SB it is built with such an aesthetic eye, that my two friends I was with and I all agreed that we needed to come back there again soon just to hang out in the courtyard and have lunch.

Thursday's challenge was  a big one.  Sailing out to the oil rigs... approximately 2-4 miles offshore of SB.  That doesn't seem like much right? 

My whole life I have gotten virtually every type of motion sickness imaginable, with sea sickness always being the worse of them.  I can remember getting violent bouts of nausea from just floating on rafts in rivers.  Throughout my life I had been on the ocean several times in boats, each time ended with me getting sick. So ocean travel and exploration seemed to be a big impossibility for me. 

Over the last couple of years I have set out to face and conquer all my fears.  I refuse to live a self imposed limiting life, meaning that I refuse to live my life with fear based limitations that are self imposed.  It is one thing for me to be seasick, but for me to be afraid of getting sick, and thus limit my life experience... that for me is unacceptable.

After being reaffirmed from numerous websites and people that you could overcome seasickness if you really worked at it, I set off to do just that.  So, for much of the past year I have been slowly building up my "ocean tolerance."  I would spend so many minutes of every dive (scuba), floating at the surface trying to get used to the motion of the ocean.  I kayaked, I did stand up paddle surf, I jet skied, and each time I did them, I made sure to spend more and more time just floating.  Letting the rolling motion, the motion that seemed to make me sick, move me around as it wished.  There were times during this I would get ill, my face definitely turned green on more than one occasion, but despite that I just kept believing I could do this.  When I started to feel sick, I did what I have told so many others to do when confronted with a stressful situation, I focused on my breathing, and focused on the outcome I wanted.

As I got more confident I was ready to take it to the next level so I signed up for sailing lessons.  I was terrified.  Now I was going to be on the open water dealing only with that rolling motion of the ocean that had tormented me for so long.  Not only had it tormented me, it had limited me from exploring the world in a different way, it was keeping me from experiencing a part of life that I wanted to experience. 

Lesson's went on for some time and each time I started to get more and more comfortable/confident on the water.  There were definitely moments where I thought I was going to spill my guts overboard, but when those moments came I went back to the basics, breathing and focusing on what I wanted. 

I have gone out with friends and fellow classmates and "cruised" around in a boat, but never ventured very far off shore for fear of the bigger swells and thus the greater the risk of getting seasick.  Thursday January 20th 2011, it was time to put this past me once and for all. 

With my housemates as my crew we set off for the oil rigs that are approximately 2-4 miles offshore.  The below pictures and the accompanying ones that were posted to Facebook and Twitter yesterday will tell the rest of the story much better than I can.  Needless to say WE MADE IT!  And not only did we make it, we had a blast doing it.  Sure I was a little woozy when I got back to shore, but was just my land and sea legs still not being on the same page, it will come with time. 

I do not feel like I have a great deal of fears existing inside of me.  The ones that are there, I am excited to face throughout the remainder of this challenge.  There are things throughout the challenge that are born from fears that I have overcome - those as well I look to with excitement. 

Life is to short to live with self imposed limitations.  Society, the world at large, already puts more than enough limitations on us all, there is no sense for us to put any more on ourselves.  Our lives are truly what we choose to make them.  After yesterday, I am more excited than ever to see what I make this year and the rest of my life into.

Enjoy the pics,

Carpe Diem,

Jesse







Monday, January 17, 2011

Sun/Mon Day 16 & 17

Well today is my birthday.  As I was writing this blog in my head yesterday and today I was fully prepared to have it be a blog full of whit and humor... centering around my first ever nude sun bathing session at a nude beach.  I had all these funny little pun's that I was going to throw out things like: well since I came into this world naked, I figured I may as well wear my birthday suit again (not sure if that is really a pun).  Anyways, trust me, it was going to be funny.

Then, something amazing happened...

Probably between age 8 - 10 I began to hate my birthday.  My family grew up poor and we never had "enough" money.  Talk of having to borrow money to buy groceries, pay rent, etc... was as common as the weather.  As an adult I can look back at things with a different set of eyes, however, as a kid, it was devastating and as a result, I began to associate an immense amount of guilt with my date of birth to the situation my family was in.  In my adolescent mind I saw my parents struggling to get by and so when my birthday and even Christmas would come around, I felt terrible receiving gifts from them because I knew they didn't have the money to buy them.  I equated my couple of moments of happiness I got from receiving my presents to hours and days of stress and struggle for my parents (I felt selfish for receiving them).  In my mind I would punish myself, telling myself I was a mistake and the world would be better off without me.  I won't get into the extremes of mental torment I took myself too... that is another story, but the above is neccessary to paint the picture of the magic of today.

So as an adult when my birthday has drawn closer I find myself shying away from people... withdrawing into my own mini depressed state - pity party, party of 1.  Friends, family, ex-girlfriends have all tried to do nice things for me and every time I have fled.  I do whatever I can to try and spend the day as alone as possible only then to feel sorry for myself for continually feeling this way.  I'm aware of the issue, causes, triggers, etc... I just won't let myself let go (trust me I am working on that).  As I shy away and run, I leave the people who love and care about me hurt and saddened that I will not allow them to celebrate my birthday with me.

One of the challenges for this year was to experience a moment of pure, SOBER, happiness on my birthday.  Something I can never recall doing as an adult.  There have been brief moments of happiness, but always because I am forcing myself to be happy for someone else who is trying to do something nice for my birthday, or alcohol induced ones.

I believed this to be almost impossible.  I was stressed and sad yesterday, I could not sleep this am, and re-scheduled many of my appointments so I could avoid being around people.  I was off to a great start to repeat birthday's of the past.

I survived the morning and went for a run around 9:30am fighting back tears the whole time... tears that I was running away again, tears that I was being sad when I have so much to be happy for and then tears over the previous two.  I decided to take myself out to a late breakfast at my favorite breakfast spot, it's called "Shoreline Cafe."  I love this place because you can actually go sit in the sand.  I have been going there for years and the staff all knows me and greats me with a warm smile every time I come in.  And, best of all, know one there know's it is my birthday. 

I eat my meal and am sitting in the sand watching the ocean, enjoying the perfect summer day in the middle of January.  I ask the waiter for my bill and he brings it over smiling as always.  I open it up and see nothing but a blank receipt and the words "thank you" written along with a smiley face.  I turn to the waiter to tell him the receipt is blank and he is smiling and he says, "no, no my friend, it is on us today."  Then the manager, a great guy named Enrique, comes out smiling and shakes my hand and tells me they had a busy weekend because of the holiday and great weather... they just wanted to do something nice for me.  They had no idea it was my birthday or what was going through my head at that time.  I will tell them one day.

I left there over come with a mix of emotions.  In my coaching business, I work with clients about the importance of acts of kindness, simple things such as a smile to a stranger - you never know what kind of difference it can make in their day.  And yet I had never really experienced one in such a powerful way at such a significant time in my life.  I have tears in my eyes as I type this, for words cannot describe what this moment meant to me, another wonderful discovery that has been brought about because of this challenge.  On a normal birthday I would have not dared to go in public, I would have hid and sulked.  On this  birthday, (only because I promised myself to step out of my comfort zone and to no longer just settle for things being as they are), I tired.  And because I tried, I was treated to the greatest birthday gift I have ever been given - a genuine act of human kindness which lead to me experiencing what I thought was impossible, a genuine moment of SOBER happiness on my birthday.

I felt a shift in me today.  While I am still not ready to break out the pinata's and birthday hats just yet, I have found myself smiling and laughing more on this birthday than any birthday in recent memory.

Never underestimate the power a simple act of kindness can have on another human - on the world.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Carpe Diem,

Jesse





Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fri/Sat Day's 14 & 15

The majority of my last day in Hawaii was spent on this cliff with waves crashing against it and the sun shining brightly down.  It is so beautiful there and I often at times found myself at a loss of words to describe the beauty that can be found in such abundance.  I hope that my pictures at least gave you a glimpse of what I saw every day.  As I was nodding off on my red eye flight last night, I was trying to figure out just how I would describe Hawaii to a total stranger, to someone who has never been there.  I was also trying to think how I would come back to reality and resume the challenge on my home turf.

Every time I return to Santa Barbara after being away, I am never disappointed, it is so beautiful here.  I am not just saying that because I call this place home and I am biased, it really is amazing, but its' beauty is different than that of Hawaii. 

As I was hiking down San Antonia Creek Trail today (it was on the list) it suddenly dawned on me the difference between Hawaii and Santa Barbara.  Hawaii's beauty is so dramatic it almost does not seem real.  Every where you go is so lush, so green, so vibrant.  The colors of the water are these surreal green's and blue's.  The water crashes powerful against rocks, rocks that are different than rocks you will find just about anywhere else in the world.  Everywhere I went I constantly thought I was looking at a movie set.

Where as Santa Barbara's beauty is just that it is beautiful.  There is the ocean, the weaves, the waters, the greenery here, but it does not look as dramatic as that of Hawaii's.  Hawaii to me is a beautiful place that I would visit to marvel in its magnificence.  Santa Barbara, is a place I call home simply because I believe it to be one of the most beautiful places on earth in a much different way than Hawaii.  Hawaii I see the extremes in beauty, Santa Barbara, I can appreciate all the little things.

I am sitting here typing this in a coffee shop in downtown Santa Barbara (SB).  Frank Sinatra is playing in the background, I am surrounded by people chatting, reading and playing chess.  I look outside and can see the light of the sun changing on the mountains.  I find myself unable to stop smiling as I just left one of the most beautiful places in the world only to find myself sitting in another.  How lucky am I?!

It is not just luck.  What I have learned over my 10+ years of living here in SB is how to appreciate beauty in all the little things... the smiles, the music, the trees, the mountains.  The great thing about this is, we can do this really anywhere in the world if we want to.  For me, personally, I just chose to have it be SB that I call home.

Being in Hawaii taught me a lesson in how to appreciate the dramatic in nature, but even more importantly it helped remind me to pay attention to the little things, and if you look closely, you can find beauty anywhere.  Yet another great lesson learned from this challenge.  How lucky am I indeed.  Enjoy the pictures and until next time...

Carpe Diem,

Jesse






Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday Day 13

With the rain pooring almost non stop yesterday, with the ocean water chocolate mud color due to the storming, and with my poor little body tired from all the active challenges, and with a long day of work in store, yesterday was a challenge.

For the first time since I have started this, I felt a little tired.  I am not one who needs a great deal of sleep, and I have really enjoyed balancing the 1000 challenge with still working full time.  Having said that, yesterday I was a little pooped.  In fact I had to talk myself into getting out of bed to write my blog this morning - I was so sleepy, but very happy to be up and writing now :)

One of the things I really was hoping for on this trip was to see a wild boar in the wild  As much as I have hiked, I never saw one.  I was feeling disappointed as I thought this was "THE" wildlife encounter I really wanted to have here, boy was I wrong.  As I was walking around yesterday I suddenly looked up and made eye contact with a wild mongoose.  Then there were two, then three, and finally four of them running around.  I was ecstatic.  The reason being, I was immediately rushed back to a time in my childhood where the cartoon, Riki Tiki Tavi was amongst my favorites.  If you haven't seen it, check it out on youtube.  I watched it on there last night.

I began reminiscing of a time as a kid when I used to watch that cartoon with a great deal of amazement wishing I could have a mongoose for a pet.  I used to run out into my yard with my make believe mongoose friend and together we would protect other animals in the yard from the imaginary evil snakes that lurked around.  Seeing those mongoose's was amazing!!!!!!

I feel like I try to connect with my inner child on a regular basis.  I feel like I do a fairly good job with finding fun and fascination in the little things.  I try to laugh a lot and not sweat the small stuff.  Having said that, I feel like doing this challenge is connecting me with that inner child on an entirely different level.  I notice myself playing more, giggling more; my friends and I have had so many times in the week I have been in Hawaii where we have been doubled over in tears laughing.  It really is amazing to see how this is engaging me in a new level with that part of me that loves to laugh, play, and have fun.

Please keep the comments and suggestions coming.  I love reading all them.  Also, those of you who have taken the time to send me personal emails - Thank You.  I am deeply honored that you would share your personal stories with me.  I am moved that my challenge is inspiring you to take steps forward in your own lives.

Until next time...

Carpe Diem,

Jesse



Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wed Day 12

I thought when you come to "paradise" you are supposed to have postcard weather.  Clear blue skies, oodles of sunshine, and bathing suit only weather!  Boy was I wrong!!!

I know I know you are probably saying, "what is this guy talking about, it seems he's got his shirt off in every picture."  There have been a couple of postcard days here, but today is another one of the "non" postcard days.  It has been raining since last night, and yesterday it rained almost all day... what to do.

Luckily a friend of mine here in Hawaii is quite the adventurous hiker and was game to take me on two different hikes despite the 40 mph gusts of wind and the torrential down poor of rain (see below video).  We trudged off into the elements, I even had my shirt on... that's how bad the weather was.  I was in for a treat.  A step climb, a 300 foot vertical drop off a completely exposed ridge line.  And lots of thick, slippery mud (my shoes were new and white when I started and now they are old, run down, and scarcely a shade of white remains).  I am not going to lie, I was scared.  I even opted to crab walk across part of it because I feared if I stood up, I would be blown off the cliff and thus end my pursuit of 1000 before I even got out of the 30's. 

As I was on one of the hike's yesterday I stopped to think about how if I wasn't doing this challenge there is NOOOOO way I would be out on this ridge line fearing for my life.  That's they type of challenge I would happily tackle in perfect conditions (shirt off weather), but yesterday... NOOOO WAY! That is in essence what has been so great about this challenge and more of what I hope will come.  Challenges that take me out of my comfort zone.  Sure I am a great hiker in "postcard" conditions, but anything less than that?  That's a metaphor for some of the up and coming challenges... spending a day as a blind person, spending the day in a wheel chair, a night as a homeless person.

That is the essence of the challenge to get me to experience life in a different way.  Sure I want to have as much fun as possible, but I also want to experience aspects of life that I would not normally in my day to day life.  Well I am off to get started on today's challenge's, i hope you all have a great day.  Enjoy the pic's and video.

Carpe Diem,

Jesse

video



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Days 9, 10, 11 (Sun - Tues)

Aloha,

Wow, what a last few days!

I feel like I finally have some momentum built up in this challenge.  Yesterday in particular was great.  I got to so many things on my list and had an amazing time in the process.

Before I get to the adventure I wanted to address a couple of things.

I really want to offer up my deepest thanks to all of the love and support I have been getting from all of you.  The comments and emails ( I do try to read all of them), you guys have been posting and sending have meant a lot.  Also those of you who have shared personal stories with me, and stories of my challenge inspiring you to do challenges of your own... thank you.  It is what I hoped would happen as a result of me doing this.  Oh, and one other note...

  I have had a couple of people mention that they would love to do more of what I am doing, but because of financial reasons they are unable to.  Great point.  Over 500 of the things on my list are things I can do within 20 miles of where I live and almost all of them are free.  The majority of what I have done, here in Hawaii, has been free with the exception of paying admission to a couple of the preserved areas and the touristy food stuff.  Having said that, I have started keeping a running tally of the actual dollars I spend during this challenge so people can see how much you can do on a budget.  It will take me some time to get it up to date, but once it is, I will post it on my Facebook page.

Now, on to the adventures.

One of the aspects of this challenge that has been really cool for me is letting other people help chose adventures for me.  Their suggestions have made up the majority of my experience over here in Hawaii, and as a result, I have gotten to see/do/experience a ton of things I would not have other wise.

On Sunday, my friend Steve, set up an "experience route" for us to do.  We started off by taking the obligatory touristy photo in front of "the Duke Statue" on Wikiki Beach.  From there we headed up to Pali look out where I was treated to some breathtaking views of the island.  We were planning to go to Hanama Bay for a quick snorkel, but silly Steve took a wrong turn and we ended up on a 20 minute detour leaving us only with enough time to visit the Halona Blow Hole.  I am hoping to still make Hanama Bay happen, however if I don't I will be ok.  That is another thing I have been learning from this list... being open to new experiences and adventures means that you may not be able to get to all that you originally intended... often times because it just leads to something much better...

Which leads me to yesterday.  My friend Vince ran me around on the North Shore of Hawaii and I wanted to do something that was on my list and do it at 11:11 am, on 1-11-2011 (which was also on my list).  So Vince and I run over to Waimea falls, my goal, to swim to the falls (people are no longer allowed to jump due to liability reasons).  I get to the falls, jump into the water and start to swim for it, when I get called back. Apparently Alvin and the Chipmunks part ??? was being filmed in that spot at that time.  So I never made it under the falls because the Chipmunks had priority.  I thought about adding that to the list,being denied by Chipmunks (actually when I looked over it looked like it was the "Chipettes" that were on set).  At first I was bummed I didn't get to actually go under the falls, but then I started laughing at how funny it was that I was denied by Chipmunks.  I couldn't stop laughing and realized that I still got to see it, which was what I mainly wanted to do, and... the way it turned out actually make for a funnier story.

Now, I leave you with this... my lesson learned/words of wisdom for the day...

Being open to new experiences allows you to often times experience the unexpected.  The amount of fun I have had these first 11 days and the love I have felt were two things I did not anticipate.  I knew I would have fun, but I did not expect it on the level it has been.  Opening up your mind, your heart, to things you have not done before and letting other people help guide the way gives you an opportunity to experience something wonderfully new.  I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Carpe Diem,

Jesse






Sunday, January 9, 2011

Day 7/8

Aloha,

I still in Hawaii for another couple of days trying to build some momentum on my list.  Luckily my friends out here have been really supportive in helping me do some really cool things.

So far I have Hiked Diamond Head and watched the sunrise, Stand Up Paddle Surfed Wikiki Beach, Ate a Fish Head, Ate a traditional Hawaiian Meal, I sat in Pele's chair and hiked Makapu'u where I was able to swim in a beautiful tide-pool.

It has been fun being here in Hawaii and seeing how eager my friends are to support me in this endeavor.  They all have jumped at the opportunity to take pictures, suggest places to go, and get up before the sunrise to brave throngs of Japanese tourists to get to the top of Diamond Head.

What has also been really special for me is that I have had several people email me to tell me that my list is now inspiring them to make lists of their own.  This is EXACTLY what I wanted to come from this challenge.  I wanted people to challenge themselves.  To say, "Gee if he can attempt 1000, what can I do?"  That is just it, what CAN YOU DO???

It does not matter if the list is 1000, 100, 10 or even 1 the point is that you are making a list, demanding more for yourself and what you will do in your life.  We all have the same 24 hour clock to work with and thus it falls on each and everyone of us as to how we will do our best to maximize it.

I love all your feedback.  I want to apologize in advance if I cannot get back to everyone individually.  As I am getting more followers (yea!!!!!!  Remember 50,000 is the goal for FaceBook) it will be more difficult for individual responses, but I will do my best.

Thank you all for all of your support in these early days.  Seeing the love and support being thrown out is inspiring me to wake up each day, excited for the challenges and adventures to come.

Carpe Diem,

Jesse

Tide Pool Swim

Don't ask me what all of it is called, but mmmm good

:)

Diamond Head Sunrise

SUP Wikiki

Pele's Chair

Fish Head!!!!