My Message to The Military

quote-some-are-born-great-some-achieve-greatness-and-some-have-greatness-thrust-upon-them-william-shakespeare-168100I recently had the honor of speaking to some of the amazing sailors and civilians that serve at Naval Base Kitsap. The audio is attached, and I hope you can do your best to tune out the poor quality of my iPhone recording, and hear the message I attempted to deliver from my heart. To all of you who have served our country, you have achieved greatness!

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Posted in Midlife, Military, Southern Living, spirituality, The Next Half Podcast | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What People Think when They Hear Me Speak

My friend Jerry was born and raised in Mississippi, and I was born and raised in West Virginia. So we recorded this very brief podcast explaining what it is like to speak outside the southern borders!

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Posted in Country Music, Midlife, Southern Living, The Next Half Podcast | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How much is your time worth?

the-value-of-time-buy-timekeeping-softwareWhen my father was in his forties he did something that took balls. I’m talking about King Kong size wrecking balls. He gave up his position as a bank president to open a real estate company. Now, this was back when being the president of a local bank was ranked right up there with being a doctor. He was admired by everyone in town. We never went anywhere without people stopping him to say hello. I can’t even count the number of times people would ask me if Bill Russell was my father. Once I said yes they would proceed to tell me what a great man he was and how he had helped them buy their first home, start their business, or put their kids through college.

He quit his job at the bank to pursue his dream of opening a real estate company. Yes indeed, he gave up the corner office and the title of President to…open a real estate company in the back of a plus size women’s dress shop located in an alley. I kid you not! The good news for he and my mother (and my inheritance) is that it eventually grew to multiple locations and was hugely successful. He also moved out of the alley and the back of Shelba’s Dress Shop!

My father eventually explained to me that during his forties he stopped to evaluate his life. He asked himself, “What is my time worth?” And what he was actually asking himself was, “What is my life worth?” You need to understand that he wasn’t just looking at it from a financial perspective. He wasn’t just saying, “Time is money.” No, my father was counting the cost of working for people that quite frankly over estimated their self-worth while simultaneously underestimating his. He once told me that life was too short to work for assholes. If you know my father…then you know that is not like him. He would rarely curse, and always took the “high road”, but he grew weary of working for people that managed by evoking fear and insecurity to maintain control. He grew tired of building wealth for other others, and putting his dreams on hold while he helped theirs come true.

My father is lying in a nursing home as I write this blog tonight, and I have thought about him often over the last few weeks as I began to evaluate my own life. He is 80 years-old and suffered a stroke just over a year ago and has never fully recovered. Join me as we go back to the decision he made almost 40 years ago. He will tell you that those 40 years have gone by in what seems like an instant. He would share with you that his only regret is that he didn’t make the move faster, because he now fully understands what his time was worth. It was priceless.

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Posted in Career, Caring for Elderly Parents, faith, family, Health, Midlife, Money, Psychology, relationships, religion, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

My Secret to Gaining 40 Pounds, Increasing Inflammation, & Feeling Like Crap


Before & After

I was in the best shape of my adult life almost 2 years ago. I was back down under 180 lbs, running almost 50 miles a week, and had even run a half-marathon right around 7:30 per mile pace.

And while my lovely wife thought I was getting too thin she supported me as I began to dream (once again) about qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I was basically a vegetarian, and honestly felt amazing. So what happened?

Gaining weight and becoming unhealthy doesn’t happen overnight although it sure as hell feels that way. Right? Losing weight is like watching paint dry, and gaining it back seems to happen in a day. But for me it started with allowing bad habits to creep back into my life…to name just a few:

  • Light Beer in moderation vs. an IPA like they are getting ready to reenact prohibition
  • Salad with with light dressing & salmon vs Sandwich with cheese and mayo
  • Gluten Free Organic Quinoa Pasta vs Pizza or Regular Pasta
  • Eating at Home vs. Restaurants
  • Skipping Chips & Salsa vs. “Could you bring a block of cheese and bucket of chips?”

Now, let me say before I go on…please don’t send me diet recommendations. I do appreciate your concerns, but I’m almost 50 years-old and this isn’t my first fat-ass rodeo. I know how to lose weight and eat right…I’ve just chosen not to do so. I know there are a million great options to choose from out there.

Another thing that really helped me go from lean and mean to rollie and pollie were injuries. If I had to take a few days off from running it devastated me. I should have learned from the injuries, and started cross training. There are apparently these things out there called bicycles…I’m looking into it. Overtime I just gave up. I’ve never done that before…I seriously gave up and went months without exercising or eating right! And this week while standing on the scales I saw a number that I’ve never seen before. I even turned around to see if one of my kids had joined me on the blasted thing!

So I share this in hopes it will help me feel accountable to change. I’ve at least started to exercise again, and my next step is ditching the bad habits I’ve allowed to creep back into my life. Wish me luck, and remember…I only need your support not your diet tips. :)

To be continued.


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Posted in Craft Beer, Diet & Excercise | 2 Comments

3 Things You Need to Know Before Getting A D-I-V-O-R-C-E

Jacqueline Newman

Jacqueline Newman

Many of us have been through a divorce, and know that they are never easy. Today I spoke with high-powered divorce attorney Jacqueline Newman in New York City. I asked her the questions I felt like some of you may ask if given the opportunity, and some of her answers will surprise you. And yes, I couldn’t help, but ask about Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert.

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Posted in Divorce, Midlife, relationships, Ten Minutes with Tony, The Next Half Podcast | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment