Chasing a Dream: One Wave at a Time

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Clarification: My goal is to race from VA to NJ on a Waverunner (jetski) to raise awareness and money for a anti-bullying campaign.

Chasing a Dream: One Wave at a Time

I am fortunate to have enjoyed observing the advancements in personal water crafts over the past three decades; my fascination with jet skis began at the age of fifteen, leading to a role as a jet ski instructor in New Jersey in my late teens and early twenties. Growing up in a water-loving family created a lifelong love of the water, and jet skis served a dual purpose: fueling my teenage interest in speed, to be perfectly frank, and providing an opportunity to travel from Points A to B with the benefit of observing nature along the way. In recent years, I have searched for ways to share this enthusiasm with others, and more importantly, combine that love of jet skis and the water with a philanthropic component. My career has predominantly involved the security sector, which has afforded me the opportunity to assist others on multiple occasions, and made me increasingly aware of the necessity of support for those in need. Philanthropic campaigns to assist at-risk youth and “stomp out” bullying have always drawn my support, and social responsibility themes, particularly in terms of respecting human rights, are appealing to me.

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It has been stated, “No one person can change the world, but we can each do our part.”

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I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I began the process of planning this endeavor two decades ago, but when life became very busy at the turn of the century, I put this goal on hold, hoping to reach a point in life where I could resume a dream of combining my passion for jet skis and philanthropic causes. I do not want to regret anything in life, as that is not how I want to leave this planet, nor do I want to be false when telling others to go for their dreams when I have not finished fulfilling mine.

I want my son to look at his dad and say, feel, and/or think I am proud or tell his friends, “That’s my dad!”. I never want him to feel ashamed or bullied for fighting for a positive cause in which he believes. I would like for my son to know that he can overcome and reach his star in the sky regardless of obstacles in his path.

I genuinely believe in people’s ability to change the world into something better. I believe each one of us has the ability to create a canvas unique to each of us to share with the world and guide someone who has yet to find their unique way of letting their canvas to be expressed.

Too many young adults leave our planet before they even start living; many never have the opportunity to attain their goals and dreams. Bullying needs to stop across the board and our youth’s self-esteem needs to grow. If just one thing can spark a child’s dream, then why not give them something for which to strive other than the correctional facility or worse, a life ended before even starting?

So, what is this dream that I intend to fulfill? My goal is to navigate a personal water craft (jet ski) from Virginia Beach to Brick, New Jersey to show to our youth that no matter how much someone or something holds one back, or how degraded one feels, that it is possible to leave the darkness behind. It is possible to stand up for themselves, and there are people on this planet who do understand, and want them to pursue their goals, reach for the stars, and persevere no matter how many times they are knocked down.

So, what is the purpose of this funding campaign? Funds received will go towards the jet ski trip from Virginia Beach to Brick, NJ. During this campaign, I will also be actively seeking support from anti-bullying organizations as I attempt to fulfill my dream, and raise funds for anti-bullying efforts in the process. Thank you for the support and donations towards not only fulfilling my dream, but supporting a vital cause.

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The breakdown of costs will be going towards the following:

·         A large percentage is going to the anti-bullying campaign and stomp out bullying initiative $5000.00+

·         Technical Advisors:  i.e. mechanics, ”Paid Licensed Captains” stationed vessels  along the route for refuel, safety checkpoints, support, and EMT’s, possible medical doctor  $3000.00+

·         Partial amount will go towards the Personal Water Craft for this undertaking for safety reasons.

·         Go-Pro cameras for documenting the trip $500+

·         Music and video support- media consultant for website, maintaining, creating, editing, and producing multiple short clip videos, picture collages, a documentary video, YouTube Channel, and publications related to this campaign.  3000.00+

·         Personal safety equipment that is not already available: i.e.- Emergency locator, helmet, more flares, smoke,  extra VHF long range two way radio $1500.00+

·         Everyone who contributes towards this endeavor will receive something regardless of how small or large of a donation. $2000.00+ in give a ways.

·         Your names, organizations, or businesses will be added to the overall documentary: If permission is granted.

·         All donors will be mentioned if permission is granted

·         Paper supplies

·         Ink

·         Card Stock

·         Envelopes

·         Thank You Cards for everyone who is involved

https://www.gofundme.com/chasing-a-dream-one-wave-at-time

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Clarification: My goal is to race from VA to NJ on a Waverunner (jetski) to raise awareness and money for a anti-bullying campaign.

To Think or Not to Think

20161221_160829-animationHello readers, I sit here looking at my screen deciding on the topic for today’s post. I recently returned from a great kayaking workout on December 31, 2016 and my creative juices are flowing. It’s a tradition I stick to every year regardless of weather. One thing I will continue to state is if you are going to venture out onto the water during winter months, be safe, be prepared, and be smart.  Just the other day another kayaker lost his life and this type of loss is always disheartening to hear. My sympathies go to the family of this man.  20161214_082557020161214_08280220161214_111941So, what do I write about? Money, social media, my son and his priceless expressions I get to enjoy watching, my thoughts on socially controversial topics, my future book in the editing phase, boats, planes, trains, automobiles, etc.?  Scientific innovations?  The 7 wonders of the world?  Entrepreneurship? I would like to talk about anything that may motivate someone to do something that he or she enjoys. I can sit here, yell and scream, but let’s face it.  Although I do not mind being assertive, because some need that tough love shit to get motivated, I would prefer to keep this post positive, a tint of humor, with a dash of entertainment. I guess my near death experiences could be a topic of interest? (There have been multiple experiences, and it is scary thinking about it.)  For example, think about a soft cover jeep rocketing into the exosphere only to come back down to the troposphere, with the tail slapping a tree, igniting on fire like spaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and landing into a creek at the bottom of a cliff. That one was a mouthful. I walked away from that experience with a different perspective. We can talk about water accidents, too – i.e., hypothermia, heat exhaustion, crashes, deaths, blacking out, and my, oh my, the list goes on.  So, where does one begin to write when there are so many topics from which to choose? Just what do writers decide to write about when there are so many potential options?    What drives the writer?20161214_15192820161214_152038A thought came to mind and one of which I am confident a few readers may have experienced.  How many of you may have had at least one person tell you one of the following:  Don’t think too much; You’re overthinking it; You are thinking too much; or my favorite, Your brain must be on fire.    What the osmosis is that?   I would like to hear from the readers and their thoughts on why people might say such things. Please add them to comment box below.

I am just free writing and trying to show my sense of humor. It’s a new year and new possibilities.

I would like to think that there are plenty of individuals on this planet that think about everything or whatever factor that piques their interest, and especially if it benefits not just oneself, but others as well?  Consider the term “think tank”.  People get paid for thinking and who wouldn’t want to be paid for thinking on multiple levels? Now, the likelihood that each of these individuals has a degree (or multiple degrees) is high, but what about those without a degree who are paid for using a skill that think tanks love? If someone has a talent, or capability to brainstorm with certain given subject matters for which companies or entities pay, should these individuals be allowed to use their gift even without paper credentials?  What do you think?   I’m curious to hear your thoughts.20161214_16130020161216_120024Here is another question. Do our memories become opportunities for reflection during certain times? Do we as humans continuously think about some topic regardless of anything we might try to do not to think? I kayak to do just that and sometimes kayak for longer durations than other kayaking workouts, but I know I am still thinking, using my brain, my frontal lobe working together with the motor and sensory cortexes, shaking hands with the broca’s area so I can write this post with some humor. I want to think. I enjoy thinking. I want to use my brain. I want to learn. I want to continue growing and utilizing that muscle. I would like to think that others would as well. We are all students in this life; in my opinion we all continue learning daily.20161219_17061520161231_083241I guess I found something to write about after all, because I just keep on typing. The brain. I love it. Just the term, “brain,” is intriguing.  What an unbelievable organ we each possess and yet so many people take for granted how vulnerable we really are when it comes to our brains.  The following example made me scratch my head, however.  One day, while hanging out with a few individuals, the subject of due process in the court of law, particularly, the topic of torture, whether sanctioned or not, became the topic of conversation, particularly where we each stood on this subject.  The person who initiated this subject matter opened a can of worms with this topic, because no one wanted to talk about it and when he asked what my position on this matter was he almost started a fist fight with me when he heard my response, simply because my response was not what he wanted to hear.  He immediately became confrontational.  How ironic considering the question he posed!  The good vibes in the area completely vanished as he, the originator of the question, became agitated from the logical responses I provided – prior to being interrupted by his temper. Have you ever watched a minnow swimming in a small cup? The minnow is in a small cup bouncing and flopping around.  Interestingly enough, we barely spoke after that day – purely over a difference in perspective for a question he posed to the group.  The others in the group were reticent on the topic, but I firmly believe in speaking my mind, particularly if someone opens the door on a topic which interests me.new-jersey-december-2016-530tripWe should cherish our freedom of speech, my readers.  If you ask a question, particularly one that is on a complex and highly-emotional topic, you better be prepared for an answer. Did I think too deeply on this post? About what shall I write next? After today we have another 363 days of learning to go for this year.

See you in the next post.

May your 2017 be a good year.new-jersey-december-2016-508tripnew-jersey-december-2016-264trip

Inspire

Encourage

Talk

Show

Participate

Lightning Through the Heart

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There are many important measures in place today that benefit communities; to me health and safety and law enforcement entities such as EMS/Fire/Police/Game Wardens and Park Rangers are a major component of community development.  Each carries a vital life-saving piece of equipment (an AED), one which everyone should know how to operate – let alone how to perform CPR effectively.

My experiences over the last decade or so have increased my personal appreciation for understanding how to perform CPR/First Aid and how to operate a device known as the automated external defibrillator, or (AED) for short.  More importantly, through practice I have gained the confidence within myself to focus and how to effectively try to assist someone during a life threatening situation, should such a situation occur.

As a CPR/AED/First Aid First Responder instructor, I was able to contribute to society the significance of life-saving tools.  While some take CPR classes purely to fulfill a job requirement, others do so out of a genuine desire to be able to provide assistance when necessary.  It is a privilege to instruct CPR / First Aid courses; there is nothing better than knowing that you have taught others how to potentially save a life. The American Red Cross and the American Heart Association are two of the top organizations for offering anyone life-saving skills.  Both organizations have their own methodologies, but the rewards are far greater than the costs.

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One of those rewards is the life-saving benefit of an AED.  With our technology today a child could operate an AED.  AEDs will tell you what to do and when to do it. It does not get any more straightforward. That is excellent for those who have never seen, operated, or even heard of an AED. An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a device that will send a current of electricity through your body, specifically, the heart, to reset the electrical current to a normal rhythm.  Your heart is a pump that is pushing blood and oxygen throughout your body so you can live. Your heart as well as your entire body is run off of electrical impulses which tell your body what to do.  During a heart attack the muscles in your heart stop working as they should be.  This is called Myocardial Infarction or MI. This is because the electrical impulses synchronizing your hearts tempo has stopped the oxygenated blood from performing its main function which is keeping you alive.

Heart attacks are not a joke and will kill you if you do not take them serious. (You may die!) There are two types of issues transpiring when the electrical impulses of your heart are malfunctioning. One is called Ventricular Tachycardia (V-tach), when electrical impulses are firing so rapidly it is causing your heart valves not to function. The second is called Ventricular Fibrillation (V-fib), when electrical impulses are firing so unpredictably it is causing total electrical chaos and your heart is like an engine revving it’s rpms, but nothing is happening. This again is causing your heart valves not to function properly which are needed for pumping your oxygenated blood effectivity in a steady rhythm.

A heart attack is a loss of O2 circulating through your heart muscles causing your heart to work harder to pump the O2 throughout your body, in order to keep your brain and vital organs functioning properly.  This is similar to an engine; the pistons need to run smoothly in the chambers to work.  A cardiac arrest is when you are in real trouble, because your heart just stopped beating and or is too weak to pump anything and now you may be as close as 10 minutes away from death.  That’s right, I said 10 minutes. The pistons have stopped moving; therefore the engine is inoperable.

Think about this. Put yourself in your dream location anywhere you want to place yourself.   You are in your dream location, perhaps visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Vatican in Rome, KilKenny in Ireland, or simply in your kitchen at home, and you are suddenly unconscious, not breathing, without a pulse, and you are about to never see your loved ones again. You are lifeless, have no control, and helpless.    It is not like you can start CPR on yourself or slap those pads on yourself. So, you are dead and every single time that tic on the clock tocks away you lose a 10% chance of surviving every single minute that passes.

I know I would want to have someone around who would jump in to perform CPR and or use an AED on me. One of the most basic human instincts is survival and a desire to live. If my chances are within surviving a 10-minute window, from the time my heart stops until an AED is zapping me in the hopes that my heart would rectify its rhythm, I would want every minute.

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Having the knowledge and ability to save a life is an invaluable asset, although that knowledge can be a burden, too, when all life-saving efforts fail.  I applaud those who work in this capacity on a daily basis – i.e., EMS, fire, police, military personnel, etc.   I appreciate the reality that I have the knowledge and ability to perform life-saving measures when, and / or if, necessary.  For those who have never taken a CPR course, think about how this is not necessarily a large investment of your time or money initially (to take the course), but can be invaluable in the long run if and / or when you may have the opportunity to save a life. Would you rather know a little bit about how to perform CPR or use an AED, or would you prefer to think, “Well’s that will never happen to me”? Personally – I would prefer to have the necessary tools and knowledge rather than operate purely on hope that someone else will.

Take the time and believe me you will be happier knowing that if a situation arises and if you are called upon the assist, then you will know the basics of human survival. Staying alive…In one of my previous posts I discuss a singular moment when I had to use this priceless knowledge and knowing what to do rather than not helped in keeping my wits in the situation.  It was a tragic day nonetheless, but knowing how to at least help someone settles my nerves just that much more. I call that piece of mind.

See you in the next post.

Teardrops Of Salt

OH’ Teary eyes

Please watch my soul

Please watch my families souls

Should our sky fill with ashes and this is the end

Please do not pretend Oh father

There I wait upon the horizon

Oceans Smells, Swells upon swells, watching the seagull flocks from the docks

Set me adrift with the pitch of the winds

Spin and spin the turbine begins

 

See you in the next post.

Fire within

My head is pounding as if someone slammed a door into my face, a red hot needle pushing its way underneath my eyeballs and looping back around to just go through the center of my pupil for fun. So, as my eyes are bleeding with fire, my head is pulsating around like a baseball pitch machine that just keeps on shooting and hitting the wall, because the bat already broke over my skull. Shall we continue and consider the amplified sounds?  Take something simple as water running out of the faucet or someone typing on a keyboard; well those two things just became a concert in full swing roaring in your ears, on top of the aforementioned minor irritations.

Let’s move on to the lights and how everything seems to GLARE like a spotlight in your face. Hello, hell. The good stuff is next; everything spins like a bad hangover.  However, this is not a hangover, but a pulsating nightmare, one in which you want to just have someone knock you the hell out. I guess one could be creative and say everything is a 10x rule as Grant Cardone’s book expresses – i.e., give it your all and go big 10 times more than you would normally. Well, my readers, migraines are no picnic; these are lovely experiences I get to have at least three times a week; however, through all the loveliness, I still go through my day as any other.  After all, migraines are a common element in my life.

Does this sound like a fun ride? Did I mention how irritable one gets with these head pulsating, kill-me-now beams of fire shooting through my skull like a particle collider trying to locate dark matter or the spark of life? The throwing up, nauseating dry heaves where your stomach is coming out of your throat and ears is a constant in my life.  Anyway, those who have had migraines will understand; to those who never had the privilege of this experience even once, be grateful. The song from one of my all-time favorite singers, Bruce Springsteen, comes to mind when I have a migraine and it sometimes helps (Bruce Springsteen-I’m on Fire). Oh, one last detail about migraines (besides the fact that they suck) is the hot and cold sweats and even better the skin is so sensitive to touch that if you take a shower in cold water it feels like you’re boiling like a god damn lobster. There are a few more beautiful things that are associated with having a migraine, but I think you get the gist of it. So, if you are ever around individuals who have a migraine try to understand they are in a world of hurt.   I deal with that crap regularly and still maintain a basically normal life.

See you in the next post!

The principle of the matter:

You’re young and lost, but there are certain principles that you have ingrained into your soul from witnessing nonsense; as a result, you create your own set of rules for survival and stick by them. One of those seems relatively “common sense” to me:  never lay your hands on a woman – other than via the (positive) bonds of intimacy.  There are a few things that really piss me off and a grown man hitting a woman out of frustration is something that just shouldn’t happen. Walk away if you are that angry. This single act of walking away takes very little effort. Rocky, this one is for you!

I recall an event prior to my 21st birthday; it was a day like any other – dealing with inebriated patrons at the bar.  I finally have a chance to take a break to catch a bite, and what do I see?  A 200+ pound grown man handling a woman in a manner that is just unacceptable. Now one would figure with the 30+ other people sitting in this bar watching this scene unfold at least someone would say something. Not a damn one.  That attitude is not uncommon; it’s not their business, so why get involved as another person is being abused in such a manner. I remember standing up when the woman walks outside, only to be followed by her abuser; the woman was visibly upset.  Without hesitating, I followed the “couple” outside and, speaking only to the woman, asked if she were okay, knowing the answer I would receive would be in the affirmative even though that clearly was not the case.   I also knew full well there was going to be one of two outcomes from this situation: harm to me or potential death. Redirecting the abuser’s anger towards me instead of her was the goal and I succeeded.

So I start walking towards this man, one who easily outweighed me; the only advantage I had on him was I was sober, smaller, and faster, so Mohammed Ali’s theme was ringing in my head, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” As we approach one another, it was clear this was a man on a mission; I was focused, but also scared shitless.  Just before we met here comes Rocky (retired Vietnam veteran mentioned in previous blogs) flying out of the door; he intervenes, tells me, “I got you,” and orders me to leave the scene. This was a man with the biggest heart one could ever have; I still miss him. I never did find out what happened to the abuser, but knowing someone had my back when I least expected meant more to me than any amount of money.

Well, after that day I never saw that guy again; at least the story had a positive outcome in that the woman left her abuser.  To this day I still think about that single moment, and I still see her smile every so often.  Every time I see a news story about abuse, I remember this event.  No one and I mean no one, male or female, should be abused – and especially in such a way that they feel like they are nothing. So, for those individuals who feel it is their prerogative to abuse their partner, walk away. Go for a run or something.

See you in the next post!

Unpredictability

Unpredictability

The amount of trust, integrity, and privilege of being in a position of authority is like a category 4 hurricane in full meltdown. A hurricane is a force of nature that is both inspiring and powerful; it has the potential to leave a path of destruction in its wake; at the same time, it is an inspiring sight when it doesn’t cause damage or loss of life. For law enforcement professionals, the same principle applies. There is an oath one takes to protect, serve and uphold justice when there is a need for it. These individuals in such roles have a lot to deal with on a daily basis and are willing to put themselves in positions that the average individual is unwilling to do.

Keeping the public safe often provides an adrenaline rush similar to racing a wave runner at 70+mph, downhill mountain bike racing at 30+mph, or getting slammed by that wave you just caught while surfing or body boarding. Now there are a lot of times some situations spiral out of control; after all, nothing in life is certain; everything is a risk, and law enforcement professionals often acquire a “bad rap”. Not everyone in these positions deserves this type of negative stigma. It doesn’t take much just to say thank you. Sometimes that’s all’s it takes to make someone’s day. This goes for anyone, regardless of profession.

Regardless of the role, critical thinking is a necessity and has to be done quickly without bias. For example: Let’s say your role is a supervisory one, which may entail releasing a colleague and / or subordinate from her or his position due to inappropriate conduct. When that employee is armed, as are you, the situation could easily turn hostile, and it does. Unpredictability reigns.

So, what is the point of this blog post? In any situation in life, while you may be able to measure outcomes in some situations, in many it is challenging to anticipate exactly how a fellow human being will respond. (Sound similar to the hurricane analogy from the first paragraph?) So, the next time you are pulled over in your vehicle, or encounter a member of law enforcement, keep in mind he or she is not there to purposely make your life hell or out to get you. That officer pulling you over might just be letting you that you have an open gas cap. That security officer just might be saying hello, or that Park Ranger might just want to make sure everyone is ok.

See you in the next post!