André the Giant has been dead for 23 years. Here’s why I’ll never forget him…

Andre Giant

I went to a small school and we didn’t have a lot of resources. That meant the junior high basketball team had to wear uniforms from the mid-80s. If you know anything about pre-1988 basketball uniforms you know that they were…(how to put this?)…ball huggers.

Thankfully, wearing spandex beneath basketball shorts had become all of the rage. Thanks, MJ.

So picture a Junior High basketball team in a huddle wearing those shorts with Spandex sticking out a foot beneath the shorts.

I’m not sure why I’m writing about our shorts. Maybe it’s a sort of therapy trying to recover from a season of public humiliation. What I really want to write about is André the Giant.

If you were a boy in the 80s, you probably…

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Finding Joy in the Success of Others

When Chris stood on the long board, the Pacific Ocean carrying him towards the beach, I couldn’t have been more proud. I think I was more excited for him than I would’ve been for myself surfing for the first time. I was his trip leader and his SCUBA instructor for a three-week trip in Baja, Mexico.

When my daughter Harper nailed (semi-nailed let’s be honest) her dance recital routine, I damn near exploded with joy.

When my wife Annie was competing in a CrossFit competition, and I was at home watching the kids, I followed the social media reports every second. I could’ve done a happy dance when I saw that she won, but I was putting Harper to bed.

When my son Griffin spelled his first word…

When a friend publishes a…

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Mobile phones giving 500K garment workers & famers a voice

The common questions asked when we talk about how to have a fair supply chain include: What laws can governments pass to protect workers? What kind of inspections should brands do?  What are the responsibilities of factories, retailers, and consumers?

But one very important question is left out: How do all of the stakeholders work to empower the laborers themselves to have a voice?

One of the most positive answer to that solution is LaborLink. LaborLink was started by Good World Solutions, “a non-profit social enterprise with a vision that every worker should have a free and anonymous channel to report directly to decision-makers about their working conditions, opinions and needs.” That channel is something most farmers and factory workers have already, they’re mobile phone.

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The lottery is an unanswered prayer against poverty

lottery litter


Luck is false hope.

That’s why I hate the lottery. The lottery preys upon those most in need of hope, those who can least afford the $2 ticket. It dangles millions of dollars like a carrot on the end of an unreachable stick of hope.

Hope is good. When I write and when I live an experience regardless of how tough or how full of despair the story or situation, I always look for the hope. But false hope is exhausting. Too much of it can make you cold and callous.

“People spent more money playing the lottery last year than on books, video games, and tickets for movies and sporting events combined,” writes Derek Thomspon in Lotteries: America’s $70 Billion Shame

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Harper the adventurer at 7

Harper Woods

A few months after Harper was born I wrote a piece for WorldHum titled Adventure Dad. Here’s an excerpt:

I can’t remember where I read it (if you know, please tell me), but one of my favorite travel stories was written by a father who takes his 3-year-old canoeing down the creek that runs through their backyard. There are no rapids, no danger other than a bee or two, no foreign culture to be explored, no site that most of us don’t ignore each day. Things like squirrels, trash on the bank, and a praying mantis were grand discoveries. Both father and child had a blast.

I like this story because it challenged what I previously thought about adventure. Adventure isn’t an…

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Why you need to swear an oath before watching my son with autism

Chasing Griffin.001

Every night, I turn off the TV, get off the couch, wake up my wife, and shut off the lights. I find that it’s easier to see if the deadbolts are in place by shining my phone’s light at them in a dark room. I check the door to the garage, front door, and porch. All locked.

This might seem like a normal routine of a man ensuring the security of his family from unwanted visitors in the night. But I don’t make sure the doors are locked to keep people out; I make sure they are locked to keep one person in . . . my son Griffin.

Griffin, 4, has autism and a deep curiosity to explore places where he shouldn’t…

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Life finds energy

Each month I chat with folks I work out with at my CrossFit gym and share our chat on the gym’s blog. I always love having an excuse just to sit and listen to someone and to learn from their journey.

It’s important to be reminded that every single person has a story. This month I talked with Libby Hobson who just became a mom and who showed me that balloon twisting is an art. Her story made me reflect on randomness of our lives and the importance of connecting with people no matter where we end up.

Here’s how I ended her story:

Libby’s story reminded me of a quote that gets thrown around a lot by basketball coaches and players. Here’s IU coach Tom Crean with a recent version:


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