The Sun Burns Hot Down Here
On Tuesday of this week we boarded a plane in Philadelphia and headed down to sunny Florida. Marisa's brother is getting married and both the bride and the grooms family are spending time together at a beautiful resort. At the current moment, Marisa and Emilia are getting their hair done and I am sitting in our room wondering what to do with some solitude. I did not intend on writing a newsletter this week but here we are...
When vacations are approaching, I have the intent of working like a madman (on the property, for the business, with my workouts) so when you finally reach your destination, your hard work can be rewarded with nothingness. I have no expectations. I have no plans. All I want to do is spend time with my family, rest, relax, and read if the opportunity presents itself.
What I've Been Thinking About...
"Every Marine knows the story of Lewis "Chesty" Puller but not every Marine knows the story of Lewis Puller Jr." -- Jocko Willink
I was listening to a podcast this week and came across the story of heralded Marine Lewis "Chesty" Puller. This was a man who served his country with honor. from 1918 to 1955 receiving the second-highest U.S. military award six times, five Navy Crosses and one U.S. Army Distinguished Service Cross, among others. To say he was a legend would be huge understatement. His service is so revered that the mascot of the Marine Corps, a male English Bulldog, is named in his honor. So, like Jocko stated in the quote above, every Marine knows about Chesty Puller.
Moving on to his son, he had big shoes to fill. Born in Camp LeJeune while his father serving, Lewis Jr. followed in his fathers footsteps and joined the Marine Corps. While serving in Vietnam, Puller was wounded when he tripped a booby-trapped howitzer round, losing his right leg at the hip, his left leg above the knee, his left hand and most of his fingers on his right hand in the explosion. The doctor that worked on him thought there was no way this man would survive, but survive he did. He became a father, a lawyer, ran for political office, and won the Pulitzer Prize for his autobiography Fortunate Son. He was an impressive man but he was also a troubled man. He struggled with alcoholism, painkiller addiction, depression and eventually took his own life as a result of the darkness he felt he could not escape.
Both of these men are heroes. One of these stories gets told often, the other, not so much. Lewis Puller Jr. struggled for 16 years in civilian life. No matter what he did, no matter what he accomplished, he could not escape the darkness. It is a harrowing tale, one in which we shouldn't forget, enlisted person or not.
Fitness Tip of the Week
“Once you start viewing sunlight in the morning on a regular basis, you not only start to sleep better, you also feel more alert and focused at regular times of day. We all have a hard wired “sunlight hunger’ we need to feed.” Dr Samer Hattar chief and senior investigator for the NIH
After listening to Stanford University Neurobiologist Andrew Huberman discuss the importance of early morning sun exposure, it opened my eyes to an additional benefit of getting outside in the morning for a walk. In his words, as you expose your eyes to sunlight upon waking, you will have "increased day time alertness, better focus, better sleep, and improved immune health." In my opinion, taking a 30 minute walk within the first two hours upon waking sets the tone for the day. Focus, energy, alertness, and overall well-being are all greatly improved by getting outside for some early morning physical activity.
What I've Been Reading
The Storied Church: A Strategy for Congregational Renewal by Matthew Gorkos
The author of this book is an old childhood friend of mine who is now a pastor. I came across his book somewhat recently and decided to reach out and check in. To me, the main focus of this book addresses the problem most churches face with dwindling attendance. This downward trend was occurring for decades prior to the lockdowns and since, has seen an even sharped decrease. There is some great stuff in this book with a few ideas that are applicable across many professions. If you work with people, there is something for you here.
I am glad I bought this and look forward to discussing it with him very soon on the podcast!
Quote of the Week
“Shame is the deepest of the “negative emotions,” a feeling we will do almost anything to avoid. Unfortunately, our abiding fear of shame impairs our ability to see reality.” -- Gabor Mate
I hope you all have an awesome week!