The 2014 Polar Bear Plunge

I can’t believe it’s been a year since my post on the 2013 Polar Bear Plunge. As always, we had a great time this year. Unfortunately, we were short two people; my brother who has a newborn and my cousin who got sick the night before we were scheduled to leave. The trip wasn’t the same without them but we had a great time.

Before hitting the highway to Geneva (about a 3.5 hour drive from Springfield), I made everyone wait in the parking lot of a Shell station while I figured out a way to mount my camera to my cousin’s dash for the time lapse of the trip up. About 7 minutes later we were on our way and at some point I accidentally stopped the intervalmeter  and missed a good part of the drive which worked out because no one would want to watch a 12 minute time lapse of highway driving. The plunge was shot with a couple of GoPro Hero’s (special thanks to GATV Springfield5 for letting me use the cameras).

Every year we experience some pretty memorable moments. Even with two less people this year we still had our fair share of these: We helped a couple free their car that was stuck in a thick mixture snow, water and ice, meeting some great people in the process. My inebriated cousin (we call him Brian Down Jr. when he’s been drinking), looking for a way to quickly dry his wet shoes put them in the microwave for 3 minutes, which surprisingly dried them without causing a fire. I confessed my strange addiction to watching ear wax extraction videos…

Thank you to everyone who sponsored me and who supported this and other Polar Bear Plunges throughout Ohio. The Special Olympics touches the lives of so many people and I’m honored to have the opportunity to help raise money so that they can continue their mission. If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved, visit


Now Might Be A Good Time To Get Angry…

Being a lifelong Superman fanatic, one of my priorities as a father (right next to safety and care) was to make sure my son was a Superman fan also. One glance around his room and closet, I can proudly say that I succeeded. As expected, his love of Superman has lead him to the discovery and adoration of other comic book superheroes (though Superman will always be his absolute favorite).

He was introduced to The Avengers on the show, Marvel Super Hero Squad, which is aimed towards young kinds and is actually very funny. Since he enjoyed this cartoon so much, I took a chance and let him watch The Avengers movie. He LOVED it. I was a little concerned that the action and aliens would scare him (he’s very young) but he was very into it. The following day while we were playing he wanted us to pretend to be the avengers. He was pretending to be the Hulk and was playing out the scenes in the move. Since then he asks to watch scenes from the movie so we can act them out. His favorite scene to act out is the one above where Bruce Banner is suddenly able to control his anger and changes to the Hulk before punching the giant space-dragon creature. It cracks me up to watch him think about what comes next in the scene.


2013 Polar Bear Plunge

2013 Polar Bear Plungw

We had another successful Polar Bear Plunge! I want to thank everyone who sponsored me by donating to this great cause.

The lake was frozen solid this year. Last year it didn’t get cold enough for the lake shore to freeze and the waves were a problem so we welcome a frozen shoreline. I took the GoPro along this time and got some great video.

Thank you again for your support!


The Grace of Interruption

In Dan Miller’s book 48 Days to the Work You Love, He describes the grace of interruption as a “refreshing pause [that] helps you become newly focused and energized.” Dan Miller is referring to the loss of an unsatisfying job as the interruption, and though I didn’t lose my job, I’ve been graced with a much needed pause. A couple of weeks ago I started experiencing very sharp abdominal pains that I shrugged off as indigestion. After about 3 days of dealing with the pain, I decided to go to the ER as I had about all that I could bear. A CAT Scan revealed that I had appendicitis and withing a few hours I was under the knife for the first time. The procedure went fine and the incision was much less painful than the inflamed appendix. The surgeon ordered me on medical time off for recovery which I initially wasn’t that happy about due to my workload at the office. Turns out a little interruption was exactly what I needed.

For the first time in a very long time I was left with a great deal of free time. I caught an episode of Saved by the Bell, a show I haven’t seen in probably 10 years (and after watching it, I decided that I want to be the Zack Morris of the office). I read some articles that I saved to Instapaper and have been too busy to read. I even started some books that I’ve been meaning to pick up for quite some time. One of the books I started reading was Dan Miller’s book that I mentioned earlier, 48 Days to the Work You Love. I read this book about a year ago and I found it very insightful but I didn’t take the time to do the exercises that Dan laid out and decided this time I would. In one of the chapters, Dan goes over the difference between vocation, career and job. Of the 3, I found vocation to be the most interesting. Dan says that vocation incorporates one’s calling, purpose, mission and destiny. He goes on to say that “vocation is not so much pursuing a goal as it is listening to a voice.” A voice, huh? I can honestly say that my education and career decisions were not made based on a voice, but rather on the comfort of  knowing that I would have job security. After reading that chapter, I decided to really listen for that voice. I started reflecting on the things I find myself constantly drawn to and even began asking those who know me best for their opinion. I think I’m on the right track to finding my calling. So it turns out that the unexpected surgery might have actually been a blessing.