Dressed in Overalls and Looks Like Work

Oil drillers talking with bits in front of them and drilling equipment in background, Kilgore, Texas. 1939, photographer Lee Russell

July is gone and I am full steam ahead as I march into August! The schedule is picking up, the heat and humidity is intensifying by the day it seems, and the family is busy getting ready for college, school, birthdays, and a myriad of other things. I’m missing my annual Michigan getaway and I routinely day dream of cooler weather …as I’m sure many others are doing this time of year. I deliberated, maybe even stalled a bit this week coming up with something to write about. Normally that wouldn’t be hard for a rambler like myself, but honestly I struggled. Here is why…as well as, what I have to say!

When the week first started, I was very optimistic about where things were headed. As life quickly unfolded it became evident how easy it is for people to just quit! This reinforced my theory, as well as triggering personal thoughts on opportunity vs. hard work. As the events unfolded and as I continued to ponder the situation at hand, I was reminded of  a former senior Warrant Officer email signature that read, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Made famous and often linked to the great Thomas Edison, it resonated with me throughout the week and ultimately led to a little bit of rambling about quitting, hard work, and how we overcome the challenges ahead.

Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

Personally, I cannot understand why it is so easy to quit. Is it a generational thing? Is it a personal thing? What is it? I am at a loss. The other side of this coin is the unwilling attitude to work towards something you want, mostly of which entails hard work, dedication, and drive. Is this true about everyone in society today? Absolutely not! However, as the old adage goes, “there is enough to be dangerous!”

So what’s my take on the matter? First, I think it is about those we look up to and the role model we directly or indirectly become to others. In my mind, it is those that came before me. It is the stories of my great-grandfather, the Charlie, Mack, Slick, and Herbert type figures. Men who woke up everyday, donned their overalls (synonymous with coveralls) and through example showed others what it meant to never quit, regardless of the conditions  or situation. That is where some of my motivation stems from. I firmly believe, setting the example is one of the ways we tackle, what I perceive to be a systemic problem in the future. Our ability to carry ourselves appropriately and mentor the younger generation is incredibly vital to the reversal of this trend. Of course that’s how I view it in my mind.

” I thought about quitting once but then I noticed who was watching “

Secondly, (and last I promise) it is about spirit and mental toughness! Easy for me to say. I have worked among some true warriors! In the same breath, I have also worked alongside some duds (probably more) who quickly gave up at the turn of every corner. The mind can quickly give up. I have learned that in my quest to train like a Spartan. It is a hard quality to teach and instill. How do you callous one’s mind. Repetition, repetition, and repetition. Honestly, when I reflect on the single event that led to my motivation on this topic, it was really about people giving up before they even started. How do you know you cannot handle something or you have the cerebral capacity to overcome something? Simply put, you do not know until you try. I truly believe that, which is why me must invigorate this spirit not only within, but also in those that will follow in our footsteps.

Hopefully today’s piece stimulated some thoughts about quitting or even better changed your views, beliefs, or stance on the matter. Maybe they did none of the above and I am perfectly ok with that as well. There is always room for conjecture as well as personal opinion. That is what makes the right to freedom of speech so special 🙂 As always, I welcome any thoughts, comments, or concerns. Stay the course and never quit!

What’s the Move?

Photo by Lubo Minar on Unsplash

Greetings to all from muggy South Korea! I mentioned in my previous article that I wanted to commit sometime here at Rambling with Rooster to share my experiences, as well as opinions and helpful tips that I learned pertaining to health, fitness, and nutrition. I intend on making this a multi-part thread. Over time, I hope to share micro-threads, such as healthy recipes, workouts, and good to know tips (of various sorts) that I stumbled across in my quest for a healthier me.

I acknowledge your apprehension. Another lame website or article telling you how to live healthier or get ripped in 7 days. I DO NOT  intend on making this site a Health centered website, nor do I intend on asking people to endorse or buy a particular product. In fact, the path traveled over the last 19 months has every bit of doing things my way …which I believe is natural, safe, and quite effective. I must admit though, I enjoy my chocolate protein post-workout. Simplistic, $11-13 for a month long supply and it assists in meeting my macro-nutrients. Sales pitch complete.

The foundation of success in life is good health: that is the substratum fortune; it is also the basis of happiness. A person cannot accumulate a fortune very well when he is sick.     

P. T. Barnum

So what sparked the interest in health, nutrition, and fitness you probably wonder. When I quit smoking, I literally ate everything I could get my hands on. XL Papa John’s pizza, animal crackers (in bulk), and oh by the way, I quit during crockpot season. Yes there is such a thing. It runs parallel to football season and usually involves cold weather. I embraced it; however, when January rolled around and it was time to get in the ole Army Service Uniform, it hit me! Although I took a significant step forward quitting, I actually took a few steps back by allowing my nutrition, fitness, and health deteriorate. It was then I asked myself, “What is the move and what do you aim to do about?” In my mind, I said, “You did not quit smoking to develop other bad habits, so take action and do something about it!” It was from that period forward in January of 2018 that I decided to make some moves …for the better.

So …for those still interested and reading. Step #1 – Make a conscious decision to change. I did in fact quit smoking but my motivation rested deeper than that. When I assessed this beast known as “my health,” to me it actually meant the potential of a longer, healthier life.  Notice I use the term potential. Murphy’s law is always in effect! Change is not only about doing it when you feel like it. It is very much about consistency, routine, and discipline. These are the underlying factors that help support your important decision and were tremendous in my journey.

Photo by Jordan McQueen on Unsplash

Step #1 complete and you are on your way, right? Probably not that quick, but it can be, if in fact you commit to it. Up to this point, I have failed to show you what the conscious decision to change really consists of. Of course it is saying, “I want to change …or in my case, what’s the move?” In my opinion it is more than one singular thing. Instead, it is a multitude, but not solely limited to, nutrition, fitness, activity level, sleep, and most importantly, You! These are the components or building blocks of sorts that will help you achieve your goals.

Ok, so maybe I rambled a bit and the piece was not as short as I may have mentioned in my previous work. We all have a passion for something and in the last 19 months I have developed this passion for health, that I absolutely love sharing with others. This is not the last I promise and I hope you enjoyed the introductory piece. Feel free to share your thoughts below and do not forget to encourage others who want to improve on this front. I have learned firsthand about all the resources available. I aim to share every single one of them! Thank you for reading and I hope I sparked some interest!

P.S. Please feel free to enjoy a few of the hyperlinks I included. For some, it may be a start to arming yourself with information in your quest for a healthier you!

Whew …It Has Been a Minute!

Photo by Dušan Smetana on Unsplash

Friends, family, followers, and strangers (not for long I hope), it has been a long time since my last post. 130 days to be exact, not that anyone or I is keeping track. A lot has transpired since my last post and I finally got up the courage to get back at it. It is probably more like make time more so than find courage. When I initially launched in March I had super-super high expectations for myself. Churn an article or two a week, manage the blog site, nothing for someone as experienced as myself. Or at least that’s what I thought! Boy did I ever fool myself. Life happened, family took priority, and I had to prepare for another trip across the Pacific (thanks to another individual who didn’t get a trophy …but we will save that for another rambling). Ultimately I had to cease fire on all projects that didn’t involve the four most important people in my life. I did so knowing that the war would be there when I was ready to return. So here it goes!!

The one positive aspect of waiting this long to write is the fact I have a few cool things to write about, as well as provide some insight as to what I think the future looks like for Rambling with Rooster. I assure you I have thought a whole heck of a lot over the last four months. I am happy, anxious, and hopeful, that with the right attitude and energy, I can grow this website into something fruitful.

So where did we leave off? I believe it was volunteerism. A great opportunity for individuals to give back to society. More on that later. First allow me to start with the turmoil and chaos! That is the one thing we do really well in our house. We have perfected the art of doing many things at once to see just how painful it can be. To our credit, it is usually not self-inflicted. Last December I did not think I would land in South Korea. In true Army fashion, it happened. Our family saw the graduation of our middle child coming, but it too hit us like a Peterbilt Truck! Graduation, departure, moving, college visits, affairs in order like stuff, and probably anything else you can think of, happened. We absolutely love it. I say that with every bit of sarcasm in me. I hope you can tell. Nonetheless, a lot went down and it can get very crazy …very quick. I am sure many of you reading can attest. You probably have your own stories that topple mine.

For those who routinely leave home, you understand the pain involved with saying goodbye to your loved ones. This time it was incredibly hard. You ever heard of the band Spiral Staircase? In 1969 they released a song titled, I Love You More Today than Yesterday, and buried in those lyrics they mentioned it not being more than how much they would love them tomorrow. That describes my wife and I. With over twenty years together, the tensile strength of our marriage has continually grown, unlike many you routinely hear about in social circles and society today. As for my kids, they are now grownups. We get coffee and write papers in awesome coffee shops. Together we enjoy a pleasant 160 degree sauna after a rigorous cardio or leg day workout. We watch fights and cheer on our favorites, or as a family enjoy Taco Tuesday. They all smile (not really …more like sigh) because everyone knows it is my favorite. We watch Marvel movies on release day and eat lots of Chick-fil-A afterwards. They are all awesome in their own, unique kinda way!

That is what makes it so hard to leave; however, their understanding of my obligations and support is what drives me, as well as catapults me through it. Hell, even if it is the sixth trip overseas spanning longer than 30 days.

This as I have described is what kept me away and I have no regrets. However, that is in the past and the team must forward. Resilience is one of the key ingredients to every tough situation. Adapt and overcome. Collectively we have done just that. Daily I seek ways to improve in this area and encourage those reading to internally explore the mechanisms you have in place. If you are struggling then simply seek help. Sometimes life gets to be a little too much. Do not suffer in silence. If you do not know who to ask, please feel free to email ramblingwithrooster [at] gmail [dot] com and someone will gladly provide you a resource or two. Often times, it is just a matter of talking to someone. 

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

So in the last 130 days, that is where the preponderance of my energy has been spent. Of course a few of those days have been spent here on the peninsula, diving into a new job, environment, and seeking new ways to become fit. So what is next? Where are we headed at Rambling with Rooster? As mentioned, I’ve had 130 days. The direction is simple. I still want to write about things that are meaningful. I want to share my experiences in hopes that it will spur someone’s curiosity and help them live their best life. In the next 6 months I will decide whether or not to stick with the same domain name and Title. It could possibly change. I don’t know. This I think is an important decision, because I want Rambling with Rooster to be more than generalized blogging and writing. I want to share my experiences about health, as well as expand the aperture of my content, which includes a section on health, education, and anything else I become passionate about or someone recommends.

“Education Means Inspiring Someone’s Mind, Not Just Filling Their Head”

Katie Lusk

Next week I’ll begin an after hours study program tailored to helping less fortunate individuals achieve educational, personal, and life-long goals. I want to include this on the site. Material that will help others. I want to educate myself on non-profit organizations so I can establish one and raise awareness for those less fortunate. People who want to pursue a trade or skill. There has to be more we can do and I aim to find a way! All of it is stuff I want to include on https://ramblingwithrooster.com. I just have to find a way, which sometimes can be a struggle when family and the mission comes first. That I will not default on, even if it means another 130 days (just kidding)!

It was great to sit down and write today and I look forward to more to come. Expect these to get shorter. At the recommendation of a dear friend, I think I will aim for small, quality pieces until I can get settled back into things. I’m always interested in feedback or comments. Please feel free to drop them below, email, or social media. I always value what others have to say, good …bad … or indifferent.