Monday Morning Routines

Imagine getting to the end of the year and saying that “Every Monday this year I ______.” That’s a pretty big accomplishment! You can fill in the blank with whatever you want. It can be a big thing, a small thing, an easy thing or something really challenging. The point is to establish routine and be successful.

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Will you fail? Maybe.

Will you get back up and keep going? Hopefully.

This challenge was introduced from my friend Jon. I chose to do one big thing for myself and one small thing for someone else. I know, when I say that out loud it sounds very selfish. Anyway….

My big thing is an organizational exercise. Every Sunday I put together a game plan for the upcoming week. My schedule is so busy with grad school, work, starting a business, oh and leading a family! If I don’t plan ahead, things don’t get done. Heck, even when I do plan things fall apart. But so far I’m 8-for-8! It feels so good to start the week with a plan and a visual layout of what’s going to happen in the next five days.

My little thing is that I’m going to add one person to my prayer list. I already pray for my family, but I feel the need to extend this prayer exercise. So far I’ve prayed for Steve, John, Peter, and others.


I think it’s a pretty powerful exercise to have things like these that we do every day, every week, even every month. Routines lead to habits which establish discipline. What simple routine do you need to start to make your work weeks go better?


Essential Getaway

This weekend Katie and I escaped to the Northwoods for a getaway.  We were able to leave the kids with my mom and dad while we headed three hours north to Fort Wilderness.  It was the Valentine’s banquet on Friday which was amazing food and Fort-style entertainment.  Then Saturday was filled with two cross-country ski runs, a hike through camp and out on the frozen lake, a couple trips to the coffee shop, and great conversations with Katie plus other friends and family.

It was so refreshing to get away.  It showed me how essential is it to get away from the normal life here in Madison, even away from the daily grind of taking care of two kids.  For Katie and I to get away and breathe deeply, relax and refresh ourselves was essential for our marriage.  We haven’t done that enough; we’re trying to do it more.  A healthy and disciplined lifestyle includes knowing when to get away.  As a Christian, I look to the example Jesus to lead my life.  Jesus regularly got away from his disciples, his teaching, even his family so that he could be alone.  Sometimes the disciples didn’t get it, they see the importance.  But there’s value in getting away.

It doesn’t take a 3-hour trip to get away, either.  It can be one our alone at your favorite coffee shop.  It can be a walk to and through the local park, the Arboretum, or any of our beautiful State Parks.  I suppose it could even be driving the back country roads alone.  Life gets busy.  Marriage is hard.  Time alone and time with your spouse will do wonders for your health.  Your family needs you.  So take care of you.

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Exercise is Medicine Launches in Madison

Yesterday we officially launched Exercise is Medicine in Madison.  This has been a dream of mine for years, and an active project of mine for a few months now.  The premise is that when you visit your doctor for your regular check-ups, you would be asked about your level of physical activity.  You’re used to getting blood pressure taken, the doctor pokes and prods on your body, and now we want them to ask you how much you move each week.  If you aren’t active enough, your doctor should prescribe exercise or physical activity.

Exercise is Medicine

But doctors cant’t manage that prescription and they certainly can’t handle the management after the program has started.  So the idea is to team up with local exercise specialists and personal trainers to do this work.  I have two doctors who are very interested in this campaign by the American College of Sports Medicine and they’ve agreed to be in my pilot program, which is also a project for an independent study course this semester.  As I finish my graduate degree in Kinesiology, this project will certainly by my seminal work.  I’m very excited for this to launch this week and develop over the next couple months into a real model for the health care field.


I have a few ideas about blogging this process because if it goes as planned, other doctors and trainers will get involved.  My hope is to establish it as a viable program that can be implemented at numerous hospitals or even with individual doctors.



The Message You Send Yourself

Who leaves a New Year’s Eve party at 11:45pm? Well, I’ve got this friend…

A few years ago we had a party to welcome in the new year. This was before I was married and I was living in an apartment with Scott Mottice. I couldn’t tell you anything else that happened at the party, except that Brady left at 11:45. At the time, Brady Reinke was wrestling for the Badger at the 174 spot. When he announced to me that he was leaving, I couldn’t believe it and needed an explanation. He said that he wanted to be the first person working out in the new year. Nobody would out-train him. Of course none of his competitors knew he was working out at this time. But sometimes it’s more important the message you send yourself than the message you send to others.


Monday I went for a run. I have a very familiar 3.75-mile loop around McFarland that works well for my training. The only thing was that it was the coldest day of the year. By the time I got back, it was -3 with a windchill of -14. I’m preparing now for what I want to do this summer. I’m preparing now for the health and habits I want working full strength all year. I’m preparing myself for launching a new business. And while I’m publishing this post to the world, I think you can tell that this run was more about the message I was telling myself. “On the days you don’t want to train, remember that you did it when it was so cold that it literally hurt. You can do this. Keep going.” Brady told himself that no one would be in that training room earlier than him. Oh by the way, Brady qualified for Nationals that year.

Just to make sure my coldest run of the year wasn’t a fluke, I ran the next day too. The windchill was five degrees colder. It was a little crazy, it was unnecessary, but it was absolutely beneficial to my mental training.

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What action do you need to take to send a message to yourself that you control your own destiny and that you have the ability to be successful?


[Podcast] Playoff Divisional Game (49ers) with Special Guest Kevin Black

What a game!  Yes, the Packers lost a heart-breaking game and brought their 2012 season to an end.  The loss to the 49ers was tough to watch.  But Chris and I still had a great time breaking down some of the game.  We were joined by a friend of the show, Kevin Black.

In the next couple weeks Chris and I will be recording our season finale.  Hope you’ve enjoyed the podcasts as much as we have.

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Kevin Black profile pic




Three Words (2013)

I’ve been doing 3 Words since 2009.  I saw Chris Brogan do this on his blog and I immediately thought it was a great idea.  My interpretation is that I don’t want to just pick three words that are self-explanatory.  I want them to be a little bit cryptic and a little abstract.  I want them to beg deeper meaning and contemplation.  They deserve a story.

Because that’s what I want to be about.  Donald Miller has taught me that a good life is a good story.  A great story is compelling and life-giving.

The point of this blog post is to reflect on my goals for the new year.  I have a lot going on with grad school ending right at the same time Katie and I are expecting our third child.  Of course the grad school this is meant to launch me into a new job.  Lots of stuff going on.  That haste is well-represented in my three works for 2013.


When I think of research, organization, professionals, I think of Jim Collins.  In his seminal book, Good to Great, Collins demonstrated to me how meticulous he and his lab were in researching what difference between good companies and great companies.  I had never heard such detailed analysis of companies.  Collins knows his stuff, and many would consider him an expert in the field of business and management.  That’s where I’m going.  I’ve got a huge passion for exercise as medicine, and I’m very much inspired by the work of Collins and how I would replicate his work and research philosophy to my own.

But Collins to me also is about that book I reference: Good to Great.  There’s a distinction between the two, and I need look at that every day this year.  It’s very easy for me to focus on the good things and not ever get to the great things.  The good things make you feel good, probably because they’re easier than the great things.  I need to cut the fat, I need to streamline the process, I need to focus on the great.


The main component of this word in 2013 for me is in reference to Coach Lombardi’s famous quote: “There are three things important to every man in this locker room. His God, his family, and the Green Bay Packers. In that order.”  He was obviously talking to the team, so #3 was their job, which came after faith and family.  I know in my heart this needs to be true, and in 2013 I need to make bigger strides so that it becomes a reality.  It’s very easy for me to say, “take care of business, support the family…”  But it’s entirely different to lead each day putting faith absolutely first (lucky I’m a morning first) and family right there at #2.

Coach also is about what you first thought about – coaching athletics.  I’m a personal trainer, exercise specialist, cardiac rehab specialists.  It all comes down to coaching.  And as I launch my new business this year I want the ethos of coaching and athletics to be a strong component.

Lastly, I feel I’ve been coached in a new and exciting way via someone I met on Twitter.  His name is Jon Swanson and he runs a blog called 300wordsaday.  His writing has been inspiring and introspective.  We’ve connected numerous times via email also and his coaching has made for an excellent end of 2012, and I want that to springboard into this next year.


One of my favorite books of all time is Four Pillars of a Man’s Heart.  It’s all about Christian manhood.  It’s extremely educational and motivations.  I think in this world we need much better and stronger men in homes.  Wives need us, kids need us, other members of the family need the men to step up.  Good things (great things!) happen when men are doing what they’re meant to do – lead.  I want to examine the meaning of being a pillar in my family.  The author (Stu Weber) breaks this down in the book – so there’s a lot of room for learning with Pillar.


So there you have it.  The goal for this post isn’t for everyone to know what my three words are – what are yours?  It’s still early in the year – skip the New Year’s resolutions.  Identify three goals or three words to drive how you spend your days this year.


[Podcast] Welcome to Two Guys in a Garage Podcast

Chris Pollasch and I sat down to record our first podcast.  The premise: two guys sit for beers and talk Packers, with a mic between them.  That’s it!  We both have a passion to talk sports, so we wanted to record this and see where it goes.


[Podcast] Week 4 – New Orleans Saints

Chris and I recorded week 4 – Packers vs. Saints.


[Podcast] Week 2 – Chicago Bears

Chris and I recorded our second podcast – Packers-Bears.



[Podcast] Wild Card Playoff week (special guest Tim Schiefelbein)

It’s playoff football!  The Packers lost their season finale, but they still make the playoffs.  Chris had some health issues with his family this week so my brother, Tim, filled in.  We discussed the loss to the Vikings and the rematch this week at Lambeau.


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