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About darronmeares

I get paid to have fun... well, actually I am a professional fundraising auctioneer, asset appraiser and public speaker. However, I believe in the mantra "love what you do and you'll never work again!" I have fun writing about things I see in the world - I'm an avid CrossFitter, OCR racer and book reader. All in all, I am me. They shattered the mold when I was born and I've loved every minute of it!

No one died…

No one died…

Yesterday, I chose to go for a bike ride inside of take a lunch break.  For reference, I am starting my training for a half Ironman race later this year – so this wasn’t a leasurely stroll on my Beachcomber…  I drove over to the bike shop where my bike is stored, changed into my biking clothes, clipped in and away I went.  

Why is this ‘blog post worthy’?  Well, normally I would sit at my table at home and eat lunch while checking emails, taking conference calls or working on some type of project.  If I was not at my home office, I was in the main office doing the same thing.  I never disconnected… I never flipped the OFF switch.

My dad has always told me to take up golf, go to the shooting range or something… anything to get out and around people DURING the work day.  He started our company in 1972 and worked to make it what it is today.  I feel, over time, he realized what he missed by never taking his foot off the gas pedal.  Honestly, I am the same way – I am half owner of our auction company, a broker with our real estate division and a full-time professional fundraising auctioneer (in my spare time!).

I totally believe in a strong work ethic… start a project and follow it to fruition… even if you finish the task at 1:30 am and have to get back up at 6:00 am to start all over again.  You. Get. The. Job. Done.

So, yesterday, I wanted to try my dad’s theory… get out and do something.  Now, as I was riding an average of 13.5 miles-per-hour, there wasn’t much interaction with others except to greet them with “on your left”.  BUT – I flipped the off switch.  I left my phone at the bike shop.  I did not have any music with me (part of the Ironman training – major faux pas in the real race).  All I had with me was the bike, helmet, sunglasses, gloves and bike clothes… 

No one died.

I missed three phone calls… one left a voice mail, one left a text and the other, well, who knows?  

No one died.

The ride was great… I am getting used to riding ‘clipped-in’.  The learning curve added to my disconnection with the work world.  I was so focused on “road crossing coming up, get ready to unclip right foot while applying right brake handle, look for traffic” that I completely forgot about work for the hour and fourteen minutes of the ride.

No one died.

So, since the Ironman is swimming, biking and running, my plate will be full of opportunities to flip the OFF switch.

Give it a try… and let me know the results.

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Business, Motivation

 

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What in the world is #ownit?

What in the world is #ownit?

Those of you that already follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are familiar with the hashtag #ownit that I have been using since late last year.  This began as a trial run to see if it would stick and evolve into something I could take into the new year of 2017… for those that do not know, I don’t do resolutions each year.  In most cases these are empty promises that will fade away after a few weeks but seem to make people feel good between January 1 and February 1 each year.

My resolution is to motivate you to be a better person in 2017… I want to be the push you need to make the change you have been talking about for years… I want you to stop wishing and start doing!

#ownit

So where did this come from?  Let’s start with the full word ownership… the state, relation or fact of being an owner.  To own something means you have possession – of an object or an action.  #ownit deals with actions!

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius

I want you to do everything to the level of ownership.  I don’t want you borrowing or renting, I want you to #ownit.  If you are making a lifestyle change or business change, go through with it and make it yours!  Don’t sit back and talk about it, take action.  Make it happen!

When you borrow or rent something it belongs to someone else… you simply use it for the time being and give it back.  Is that how you are going to change your life or business model?  There is no way to make a change or move in a different course by borrowing someone else’s dream or sitting on the sidelines watching.

#ownit… people talk WAY too much about what they are going to do… NOTHING will happen without you actually taking the first step TOWARD the goal.  You cannot score in soccer, hockey or football without moving toward the goal – it does not happen otherwise.

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” – Confucius

Another way to look at this is how my dad always put it, “Prior preparation prevents pisspoor performance.”  You HAVE to plan the course to some degree – you need to know the roadmap to get from end zone to goal line.  But you cannot sit there and plan and plan and plan without some type of action.

If you continue to plan, you will never execute!  (that is my quote, by the way)

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

The lizard brain makes it complicated.  Some call it the monkey brain.  Some call it the Resistance.  Take a second and read Seth Godin’s take on quieting the Lizard Brain.  It is in all of us – but you have to take ownership of that part of your brain and control or ignore it.

“What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” – Socrates

There are people all over the world looking back saying ‘I wish I had done that’ or ‘I wish I had taken the chance’.  Believe me when I say this – you’ll never get anywhere in life by building regret.  Life gives second chances… if you take a chance and fail, at least you can say you didn’t let it slip by.

You can always make more money… you can never make more time.  Whatever IT is, make a plan, take the necessary steps and #ownit.

If you don’t, someone else will.

Stop the negativity and make it happen!

Carpe freakin’ diem.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2017 in Business, Just Me, Motivation

 

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I Can’t Get No Satisfaction

This was a hard blog post to write… but was necessary for me.  Over Thursday and Friday, December 8 and 9, I attended a course on Interpersonal Communications in Las Vegas.  The course is designed for auction professionals to become more effective communicators by breaking bad habits, learning new methods of communication and finding personal pitfalls.  Through discussion in the course and interaction with classmates I discovered some of the things I already knew and discovered a few others than need addressing.

Outside of what I already knew before the class, I learned that internal struggle can be the catalyst for outward appearance and communication with others… meaning (from a general level), what is going on inside is going to show on your face.  One of my issues is I am constantly competing with myself… never being content with who I am, what I am and what I have.  I am not speaking from a material standpoint because that has never really been a motivating factor with me. I am speaking from a success standpoint – I have never allowed myself to accept a level of success – I keep moving the measuring stick.  You read that right… I keep moving my own measuring stick.  Let that hang out for a moment…

This morning, our message in church was another in series of messages leading up to Christmas.  It was focused on the materialism of Christmas – STUFF, if you will.  My toes were stepped on as I thought through this from my point-of-view.  It spoke to me and I feverously typed notes to construct this blog post… some of which I have included here.

Contentment:

We can’t really appreciate what we DO have until we stop focusing on what we DON’T have. Contentment is hard for people in the United States because we are constantly bombarded by new, better, faster… there are magazines, TV shows, books that constantly show what others have – materialism is an antagonist in the story of contentment.

Contentment doesn’t just deal with materialism… it also affects our level of perceived success. We constantly compare ourselves to our peers and this skews our vision of WHO we really are. We lose focus of what we have and what we have achieved. This skewed vision does not allow us to see what we HAVE attained in our lives… this leads to missing deadlines, putting things off, not following through or not performing 100% in the present.

For example, Mick Jagger is the front man for The Rolling Stones and has always been remembered for their hit song, I can’t get no satisfaction. Few people know that he also led a solo career that ran parallel to the tours and album releases of The Stones and none of his individual hits were ever as successful as those of The Stones.  His net worth is over $300 million and he still felt that he needed to prove something else.

Peer Pressure:

“Peer pressure” has been the catchphrase of parents and teachers for years… from a fear standpoint, it has led children to the ‘dark side’. It is the perennial excuse when a boy or girl goes astray – “they succumbed to peer pressure”.

So… peer pressure goes away when you hit a certain age?

Oh, that’s a joke!  It feeds itself, lives and breathes into a larger monster… shadow… cloud over us… it is right there in front of us, but so transparent that we see right through it.

Adult peer pressure is as evident as the air we breathe. It pushes us into situations that pull us off our chosen path… adults have the mechanism to reject peer pressure because the adult brain is fully developed with an arsenal of thinking skills, rationalization skills and need/want-based analysis… but yet, when someone lands a big deal, achieves a new position, pulls in a huge bonus peer pressure kicks in and takes our eyes off of OUR prize. OUR prize is the finish line we have established for ourselves – that goal we have set to let us know we have accomplished something.

The Finish Line:

A finish line is established with clear-cut goals.  “I am going to do XXX by XXXX”.  You know in your heart the goal is not complete until you cross the finish line… whether this is a date, a success point or some other measurable item you establish when you set the goal.  Point-of-reference:  I said ‘clear-cut’ for a reason – if you are setting a goal, you need to establish some type of measure to make yourself accountable to complete the goal.  This is essential for both short-term and long-term goals.

The finish line is important because it gives you something to look forward to… not just ‘look forward to accomplishing’ but also to actually MAKE you look forward… this keeps you from backsliding and getting off track.

Until, of course, WE move our own finish line… WE get in our own way and decide to dangle a larger carrot further from our reach because WE cannot be happy with any measure of success.  WE don’t believe it when others congratulate us, tell us how awesome we are… or tell us they want to be where WE are.  (There are many of US out there with this same issue – which is why I highlighted we in those sentences).

That last paragraph is what I have been analyzing since Friday.  I know I have to get out of my own way… and it is going to take baby steps to make it happen.  I have to fight the resistance.

The Lizard Brain/Monkey Brain/Resistance:

You’re not good enough. You can’t do that. Why do you think you can do that?

You’ve heard every one of these… and the other iterations.  Adults have a fully developed brain – capable of multiple thoughts at once, capable of huge computations, capable of beautiful feelings, capable of rationalization… until the resistance kicks in!  The resistance has also been labeled Lizard Brain or Monkey Brain.  Whichever name you use, it is still the same deal… it is there to make you second-guess yourself.  It holds you back.  It makes you backslide.  It keeps you from being the most you can be.

The resistance causes you to say one thing and do another… We want to be successful then we sabotage the process… The resistance is the voice in the back of your head that tells us to go slow, back off, be careful, compromise.  It is in all of us – the amygdala isn’t going away – it is the prehistoric lump on your brain stem responsible for fear and rage and reproduction.

The only way to be your true self is to learn to quiet the lizard brain… ignore the resistance!

So… now you know a little of my personal struggles.  Hopefully you have seen some of your own internal issues in this post. From the time we discussed my issues in class this week, I have come to realize I have so much to offer – RIGHT NOW.  Beginning with throwing the business hat to the side, ripping off the armor and discussing these issues in the open… so I can help others become their better self.

You have seen my hashtag #GSD (get shit done) on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts for years… now you are going to see a new one:  #ownit.  Too many people DON’T own what they do or say.  If I write it, I’m going to own it… good or bad.

FYI:  I am posting this without edits… I am kicking the resistance in the ass and, as Seth Godin says, SHIPPING this to you!

Feel free to post your comments below!

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2016 in Just Me, Motivation, Writing

 

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I’m a dancer… or will be!

I’m a dancer… or will be!

For those that do not know, I am a professional fundraising auctioneer.  I raise money for private schools, companies, nonprofits and other organizations… using the auction method of marketing assets.  Believe me – I love what I do.  I make a difference for the client I am working for because they have ONE chance to raise money… and they rely on me.

With that being said, occasionally I donate my time to other causes.  I’ve emceed races for the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia, run several Susan G Komen Race for the Cure events and run half-marathons for Team in Training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Now I am stepping COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone by becoming a dancer in Dancing with the Carolina Stars!

Yep, I said it… a DANCER!

Friends and acquaintances, get up off the floor… I don’t want to hear comments about my dancing technique (or upright seizure, as some of you call it).  I have now officially been through eleven practices and been through the dance multiple times.  Today, we added more “flair”… (friends, that is your cue for comment).

So… here comes the pitch… I am raising money!  Dancing with the Carolina Stars is the Upstate’s premier charity event and ballroom dance competition that pairs leaders from the community with professional dancers in order to create an unforgettable event. This event engages the entirety of the Upstate, from the dancers to the audience in attendance, to those at home who are voting online.

So I need your votes… they are $10 each… you can buy as many votes as you want!  When the page switches to the donate page, just add the quantity of votes and Senior Action will add the number of votes to my total.  It is that easy!  Easier than me becoming a dancer!

Click here to learn more and to vote for me…

Thank you in advance – for the top donors I will send a copy of the dance for your viewing pleasure – or humor… whichever fits!

I want to give a HUGE thank you to Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Greenville for giving me the time to make this a reality and pair me with a professional (Maryna Ferris) that can whip me into shape!

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2016 in Business, Fundraising, Just Me

 

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Woodmont High School Commencement Keynote 2015

Woodmont High School Commencement Keynote 2015

June 2015 – I was chosen by Woodmont High School‘s Student Government to deliver the graduation commencement speech to the 2015 graduating class.  I am a public speaker and auctioneer, so I am usually calm when speaking in front on audiences… I am paid to be the calmest person in the room.  This was a little different because I was speaking to a graduating class and their parents and relatives.  I had to make each word count.

Here is the speech – in it’s entirety.  There are points in the speech for my reference… places to pause, point, laugh, etcetera.  I made sure to put these in so I could break my normal serious tone.  Enjoy…

The Journey Begins with You…

Mr Imperati, Dr Peake, members of the faculty, family, friends and most importantly…

Congratulations on your achievement!

This is your night and we are all here to celebrate you!

Before I begin… you have parents and guardians that have coddled you, fed you, wiped your nose, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, coached you, held you, encouraged you… sacrificed time and again to get you here…

Keep your seats, but take a moment to give them a round of applause…

Parents and guardians…

Feel free to take as many selfies with me in the background as you want because it’s all about them for the next 20-30 minutes!

(Point to graduates and laugh)

I’m kidding… I’ll be brief… But, with the selfies – make sure I am in focus and tagged correctly online!

(HUGE GRIN) “Follow me and I’ll follow back!”

Each year, the Student Council chooses an alumnus to speak to the graduating class… someone who graduated from Woodmont and has gone on to do great things… lead armies… cure diseases… win major awards…

Well, he wasn’t available… so you’ve got me!

(pause)

You’ve heard magna cum laude and summa cum laude…

When I graduated in 1990, all you heard was ‘Oh Lawdy’

(pause)

It’s been almost 25 years to the day since I graduated from Woodmont High School. That was back in the olden days of the school… in the old building… with teachers like Abrams, Candler, Snipes, McCuen and some guy named Alan Russell.

(pause)

I remember a lot of things about that day.

I remember sitting in the Memorial Auditorium sweating my tail off making sure I didn’t get the line out of alphabetical order…

I remember that I was stoked because I was leaving for Senior Week the next day…

I was heading to college in the fall… and my future was set!

(PAUSE)

But times changed… the future did not roll on as planned and my college life was “one and done”. Fraternity life and the grading policy of Francis Marion College didn’t gel and we parted ways after only one year.

I failed.

I took a job after college to make ends meet and moved back home to live with my dad.

I failed.

I was floundering around blaming the world… I had failed myself… I had failed my family…

I had failed my so-called friends – not that they cared… because they were right there with me!

Here’s a hint: Everybody that’s riding with you isn’t riding FOR you. Let the gas run out and see who helps you push!

After a few years of being sick and tired of being sick and tired, I realized that the potential was inside of me but I was too busy blaming everyone else for my shortcomings…

I want you to know that you have people all around you that are truly pulling for you…

I am one of them.

I would not have accepted this opportunity to speak to you if I was not rallying right behind each and every one of you!

BUT WE CANNOT DO IT FOR YOU… THAT JOURNEY BEGINS WITH YOU!

In the short amount of time I have tonight I’d like to share a few points of success… these points have never failed me… I just had to find them and begin using them!

These are points to think about, quickly forget but years from now kick yourself for not having listened to!

Before I begin, I want to tell you the core secret of my success – small prayers throughout the day to God. He and I have small 3-4 sentence conversations at various times throughout the day…

All of my success I owe to God.

Today, I hold three college degrees…

Even though I have shared the stage with celebrities and raised money for lots of important causes, I feel tonight’s opportunity to speak to you is one of my highest honors… and I thank you for that!

On to the points…

Parents… I’ll warn you… go ahead and tune out – you may not like some of what I am going to say!

Graduates… Point #1… TRUST YOURSELF

You are getting so much advice from parents, teachers and friends…

Even old guys like me…

There is way too much distortion to filter through…

You have to dig down deep and decide WHO you want to be – not WHAT – but WHO.

Figure out what makes YOU happy… not your parents or friends… listen to your heart…

And do not let other people cloud the process.

One of my favorite authors, Seth Godin, talks about this notion called The Resistance – The resistance is the voice in the back of our heads telling us to back off… to be careful… to go slow… to compromise.

We spend so much time letting The Resistance take over that we lose sight about WHO we want to be.

I’ve heard the Resistance… It sounds like this…

“No, I am not good enough”. (pause)

“No… they won’t like me”. (pause)

“They would never hire me.” (pause)

“I am too young.” (pause)

Even when I was about to make a decision… prepared and ready… the naysayers joined The Resistance and helped beat down the idea.

These naysayers are never happy…

…they are the ones Bob Marley talked about when he said,

“some people feel the rain… others just get wet.”

DON’T LISTEN TO THE NAYSAYERS… that’s my 2nd point

I found a quote on Instagram that fits them…

I used to care what people thought about me, until one day, I tried to pay my bills with their opinions

(PAUSE)

You have to turn away from the people that say, “it can’t be done” or “no, I don’t think it will work” or “why are THEY doing THAT?”

They are wasting your time because they are afraid to make a move.

What if Steve Jobs had stopped when they told him the Macintosh was not feasible? What if he stopped designing the iPod when the world was hooked on CDs?

Your generation has SO many advantages mine didn’t… Millennials make up the second largest population group in the United States and you literally have the world at your fingertips.

(show typing thumbs)

But you are going to run into people who are afraid to make the next move… the ones that are afraid of making the wrong choice… the ones who are afraid of stepping outside the box…

I’m telling you now… step outside of that box and stomp it to pieces!

(PAUSE)

That leads to the next point…

Don’t. Be. Afraid. To. Fail.

People are so cautious because they never experience life… they never experience life because they are afraid to fail. Fear creeps in.

Get this… fear is normal… it keeps you alive. But it should not rule your life!

Go back to my first point… dig down deep and figure out who YOU want to be. You can’t let friends and family dictate your every move…

If I was afraid to fail, do you think I would be standing up here tonight?

Public speaking is the #1 fear in America… right in front of death (most people don’t like either)

I do this for a living and I have stressed more over this talk than any other I have put together… that’s life… suck it up and make it happen!

See if you recognize these famous failures…

  1. A guy was fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination” and “having no original ideas”. (Walt Disney)
  2. A man was a high school dropout whose personal struggles with drugs and poverty led to an unsuccessful suicide attempt. (Eminem)

These two didn’t let life keep them down… they took the punch, got up, dusted off and made it happen!

I have a poster in my office that says:

Experiment. Fail. Learn. Repeat.

You cannot let fear of failure paralyze your decision-making. In this world, the ones that can make decisions are the ones that are rewarded the most.

So… the next point…

BREAK SOME RULES… not laws, mind you… rules.

Take some chances and live your life!

I love Steve Jobs’ quote: Here’s to the crazy ones… the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones that see things differently. THEY ARE NOT FOND OF RULES… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is IGNORE them. Because they change things.

What is the point to being here if all you want to do is be liked by everybody and avoid trouble? You cannot be an original if you are afraid to break a rule or two.

Do you REALLY think the faculty sitting here tonight never broke rules?

(PAUSE)

I remember when I was starting my fundraising company… The naysayers constantly told me that I couldn’t get paid for fundraising and consulting. It was not the norm… people didn’t do it.

Those were their rules… not mine.

I was convinced that if I put my heart and soul into it and learned everything I could about the business, the rules could be rewritten.

And they were…

Which leads me to my last point…

You have to WORK YOUR A… (sorry, I got carried away)

You have to work your butt off.

Edison said – opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

Don’t be afraid of hard work… while you are out partying, sleeping late, messing around and wasting time someone else is hard at work and PASSING YOU BY.

I cannot stress this point enough!

Leave no stone unturned and when you feel you have done enough… THAT is your starting point. That is the point where the sweat beads on your forehead…

That is the point where your muscles ache and your head starts to throb.

So… why am I telling you this?

The world has already labeled your generation…

Yep – the NINJA generation… no income, no jobs, no assets.

You’re the hands-off generation because you are dependent on technology to make things happen for you.

People say you are being dumbed down by not having to lift a finger for anything.

Is this WHAT you want to be remembered for?

Is this WHO you want to be?

Absolutely not… you have just finished 12 years of education to get you here tonight.

But guess what…

YOUR LEARNING STARTS TOMORROW.

Like it or not, life starts over tomorrow when you step foot outside as a graduate of Woodmont High School.

Whether you go to work, college, military or whatever… you are starting at zero.

Remember when your parents used to tell you you were one in a million… well, today that means there are 319 like you in the United States, 1252 in India and 1357 in China.

You are NOT special… your one in a million in the US could fill about the same number of seats your class is using tonight. Think about it… 319 YOUs

I think I just heard a parent feint in the stands!

That means that you have to fight for everything!

That means it is time to chart your own path…

That means tomorrow you take charge and find a way out of this NINJA definition and represent your school, your community, your family and YOURSELF!

FINALLY:

I leave you tonight with a note that has been a driving force for me… it is from a poem by Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

(PAUSE)

Woodmont High School class of 2015…

I leave you with this final point:

Carpe freakin’ diem… Go out and make it happen!

 

Thank you for reading… Feel free to leave comments by clicking the ‘Leave a comment’ link!

Darron Meares, MBA, CAI, MPPA, BAS
Founder – Meares and Associates, LLC
Speaker/Appraiser/Auctioneer/Fundraiser

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Motivation, Writing

 

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The Spartan Season is in full swing… with a race discount!

The Spartan Season is in full swing… with a race discount!

Now is the perfect time to get out and SPARTAN UP!  Yep… it’s me again.  It’s been awhile since I wrote on this blog about the Spartan racing series, but the time is here.  I hear it all the time, “when are you doing another mud run?”.  Well, the truth of the matter is a mud run is a warmup to this type of event, or OCR (obstacle course race).  A mud run is usually put together by people that want to raise money for a charity (which is awesome) or a dirty Saturday run instead of the traditional road race.

Spartan is one of the most demanding and rewarding experiences most people will ever face in their lifetime.. and those that do usually come back for more.  Sure, there are other races out there where you can “experience” obstacles put in front of you to test your ability in cold, wet or ‘electrical’ situations.  Spartan races are geared for you to test YOUR limits and push yourself forward as you have never done before.

Log3

That’s me… carrying a log up the ski slopes of Wintergreen resort in Virginia. This was about 2/3 of the way through the Super

I’ve always looked at ways to “get better” at something.  Right now it is Olympic Lifting.  The snatch is my GOAT – it kills me to get my mind around it but I am working at it… including spending a weekend with Coach Mike Burgener to help me see it from another perspective.  Yep, the perspective of a World-Class coach!

I don’t skydive because it’s not something you can get better at… of course, you can accrue jumps and become a master at the drop, but in reality if you make it to the ground in one piece you have won!

Back to Spartan… not only can you experience the race by dipping your foot in the water with a Sprint level race (3-4 miles) but you can go further with the Super (8-10 miles) and then the Beast (13+ miles).  There is something for everyone… even the kids!  My son ran the Spartan Kids race in Atlanta and loved it.  He was under age for the full mile race but chose to ‘scale up’ and run with the older kids.  Again, he decided to push himself past where he thought he could go.

For those that have run a Spartan race there is a sense of accomplishment.  Sure, I could sit in an ice bath or shock myself… but how am I going to get better at something?  How am I going to push myself to the limit to make myself ready for the world?

You make it on your own in this world.  You will never know what you can accomplish until you break yourself down in an unknown environment and push yourself through it.  And just like life, there are penalties… Spartan has them – make it through the best you can to avoid these penalties (30 burpees for each failed obstacle, in case you were wondering).

And if you make it through all three levels in a 12-month period you will become a member of the exclusive Trifecta Tribe!  You get to wear the medal, the shirt and have your name etched in Spartan lore…

Run all three and you can be a part of the Trifecta Tribe

Run all three and you can be a part of the Trifecta Tribe

Spartan is gearing up races all across the US and into parts of Europe and Mexico.  Check out the Spartan Race Finder page to see what is coming up in your area!  And if you are ready to jump in and test the waters… here is a code for 10% off any race (open heat) in the US:  SPARTANBLOGGER

Check through my other posts where I break down the different Spartan races and obstacles…

If you want a little more motivation, either before or after getting dirty in a Spartan race, check out founder Joe De Sena’s book Spartan Up!

And no… I am not a paid endorser of Spartan or any of it’s races.  I believe in it and have written about it on several occasions on this blog and elsewhere!

… now – SPARTAN UP and make it happen!

Ask me questions in the comments section or leave your Spartan race thoughts.

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Motivation, Running

 

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You’re NOT in Control

Why do we let things bother us when God is in control? Of course, there are things that we feel are out of all control… like the flight I am on this morning. (I’m typing on the iPhone as we fly)

There is a line of thunderstorms moving across the country and they are meeting my flight near the Atlanta airport. Air Traffic Control (ATC) still has the skies open, so there has to be some not-so-rough air around. Hopefully the pilots, their navigation and their skills can find it.

Nervous? Yes. I am. I travel a lot and it never gets easier. You have the smooth flights but they don’t make up for the ones where weather is not on your side. I trust the system that they would not put planes in the air if it were an unsafe situation. However, that doesn’t help my heart and breathing rates!

My life is about short prayers. My longest prayers are right before bedtime and they are not that long. Those are the ones where I thank God for the day and everything He provided. Most of my other prayers are quick thank-yous.

These thank yous are for the things God has given me (or got me out of in some cases!). They are thank yous for blessings he has bestowed upon me and my family. They are, at times, personal. I believe in short prayers because I am not a professional at this, by any means. Add to that a good dose of ADD where my mind starts to wander… eh, you get the picture!

Right about now my legs are glued to the floor and my CrossFit squatting muscles are pushing against the seatbelt and I try to counteract the forces of nature and a multi-ton MD88 aircraft. This must be the line of storms the pilot said we had to cross!

I can honestly say that I have been through some harrowing situations… another flight that was 10x worse when we hit a snowstorm at 30,000 feet… emergency landings due to fires in the cockpit… gear lights not indicating if we have landing gear. But through it all I knew that God was in control.

He gives us these instances to knock us back down so we will realize it’s not about us. He also gives us these instances to kick me in the behind for not writing blog posts as often as I should! (I write on airplanes to pass the time and to alleviate stress from the unknown).

Funny… literally, as I wrap this up, the lights of western Atlanta appear below.

No one said you had to be a pastor, reverend or preacher… say short prayers for what you have been given! If nothing else it will keep the lines of communication open with the Man upstairs!

Post your thoughts below…

Darron Meares, MBA, CAI, MPPA, BAS
Asset Appraiser/Auctioneer/Speaker

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Just Me, Motivation, Travel, Writing

 

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Labor Day is always surreal to me…

Labor Day is always surreal to me…

Living close to the coast gives me the ability to go whenever I have the time.  I actually should go more than I do, but sometimes life gets in the way.  You never can get enough of the coastal air, the sand, the waves, the water… it’s a cleansing for the soul.

Labor Day always feels surreal to me… you know it is the official end of summer.  You stand on the beach and watch the crowds begin to thin out as they pack up and start their travel back to reality.  They’ll have to wait in eager anticipation for school to end and vacation time to being anew.

It’s always given me a sad feeling, like it’s hard to breathe when you think about the scene unfolding.  Not sure why. It’s like you don’t even want to see it happen… It’s funny, I get the same feeling in the pit of my stomach when I hear Don Henley’s Boys of Summer. I guess I am one of those that wishes summer would never end.  Nostalgic even.

Jimmy Buffett sums it up quite well here:

When The Coast Is Clear

Lyrics to When The Coast Is Clear :They’re closin’ down the hangout
The air is turnin’ cool
They’er shuttin’ off the superslide
The kids are back in school

The tourist traps are empty
Vacancy abounds
Almost like it used to be
Before the circus came to town

That’s when it always happens
Same time every year
I come down to talk to me
When the coast is clear

Hello mister other me
It’s been a long time
We hardly get to have these chats
That in itself’s a crime

So tell me all your troubles
I’ll surely tell you mine
We’ll laugh and smoke and cuss and joke
And have a glass of wine

That’s where it always happens
Same place every year
I come down and talk to me
When the coast is clear

It’s the only place he knows
Where it always happens
Same place every year
I come down and talk to me
When the coast is clear
They’re closin’ down the hangout
The air is turnin’ cool
They’er shuttin’ off the superslide”
The kids are back in school

The tourist traps are empty
Vacancy abounds
Almost like it used to be
Before the circus came to town

That’s when it always happens
Same time every year
I come down to talk to me
When the coast is clear

Hello mister other me
It’s been a long time
We hardly get to have these chats
That in itself’s a crime

So tell me all your troubles
I’ll surely tell you mine
We’ll laugh and smoke and cuss and joke
And have a glass of wine

That’s where it always happens
Same place every year
I come down and talk to me
When the coast is clear

It’s the only place he knows
Where it always happens
Same place every year
I come down and talk to me
When the coast is clear

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Just Me, Travel, Writing

 

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I ate breakfast off of a Christmas plate… on Memorial Day

I ate breakfast off of a Christmas plate… on Memorial Day

Yeah, weird title for a blog post, but I’ll get to that… first off, happy Memorial Day and a HUGE thank you to our veterans and active-duty military across the world!

This morning I looked down at my plate and realized I’d been given the green Christmas plate adorned with snowflakes.  This, like most random things, got me thinking… why didn’t this plate get stored away in the attic with the rest of the Christmas decorations and what kind of Mrs Manners rule are we breaking by not climbing the steps and shoving it into a box with it’s kin folk?

Actually, I could care less.  From reading my other posts I’m sure most of you realize I am a free spirit.  Yes, I’ve had the $300 dinners served with precision and enough utensils surrounding the plate for a small family… I’ve also had the meals on cheap Styrofoam plates with matching paper cups.  Does any of it matter?  Not really.

If you looked above the microwave in our kitchen you’d find our fine china.  I’d estimate there is around $3500 worth of it just sitting in two sections of cabinet… why?  Because someone, somewhere said that you had to register for fine china when you got married.  Probably the same person that said, “hmmm, I know they want this awesome grill, but I’m going to buy them a plate.  They’ll love it!”

Why is this reality?  We have used the ‘fine’ china with the platinum rim exactly FOUR times in 14 years.  On the flip side, the Christmas plate is constantly in rotation when, in reality, it should only be used between December 21-25 each year.  I think it had a price tag of $2.99.

Fine china is a leftover virus of a bygone era.  Like herpes and luggage, you keep it forever…

Walk through any store that sells china and you’ll see less and less of it on display.  This is because younger generations are not buying it – that is, unless their parents tell them, “register for it.   You know grandma Johnson will want to buy you a piece of your pattern.”  Seriously?!?  Why not have grandma Johnson buy something on the wedding registry the couple really wants?

From an auctioneer standpoint (which is my occupation) china does not sell well on the resale market.  Some patterns do hold their value, but most do not.  You can always check with Replacements Ltd in Greensboro, NC to see if they will buy your china, but their stock is usually full.  Why?  Because fewer and fewer families are buying/replacing/selling china.

We use Fiesta dinnerware for everyday use.  Very colorful dinnerware that matches my personality… which is probably how the green Christmas plate got mixed in unnoticed.

Thoughts?

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Just Me, Writing

 

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So you’re running a mud run? Not exactly…

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Yes, there is a mud in the photo above… lots of it, in fact.  When I tell people that I am running a Spartan Race or, in this case, the Warrior Dash, a lot of them say it’s a mud run.  There are a lot of misconceptions between mud runs and OCR (obstacle course racing).  I will do my best to define the two and maybe help some of you differentiate them.

A mud run is typically set up by a group as a fundraiser or another type of run instead of the traditional 5k or 10k road race.  Mud runs may or may not contain obstacles, because the events tend to focus more on muddiness. These events also tend to be less competitive. It’s more of the ‘weekend warrior’ type event where the participants are having a good time getting dirty – usually taking a clean before and a dirty after picture to commemorate the run.  Many times, OCR competitors use mud runs as a training run for more competitive events as the mud runs are closer to home in many cases.

Obstacle course races are different because they are usually set up as timed events with a strict performance standard for the obstacles. In addition, at some races there are penalties when an obstacle is skipped or not completed to standard.  Obstacle races will have tougher obstacles than a typical mud run, such as rope climbs, stone carries or water traverses.  These obstacles require more physically fit competitors.

Mud runs and obstacle course races are fun for those that are tired of the one foot in front of the other road races that have been around for ages.  These runs take participants off the beaten path (literally) and out of the person’s normal comfort zone.

For more information about these races, click one of the links below or Google the terms ‘mud run’ or ‘obstacle course race’ with your state or area to see what is available for you.

Spartan Race – several levels of competition.  Some courses have a Biggest Loser heat…

Tough Mudder – check out the Arctic Enema.  Not for the feint of heart.

Warrior Dash – good entry level racing.  Climbing and mud obstacles on the courses.

Zombie Run – you can run as the survivor or the zombie.  Includes night racing opportunities.

Ultimate Challenge Mud Run – a South Carolina run that has grown from a mud run to a full-fledged OCR event.

GoRuck Challenge – one of the ultimate tests of your fitness… you never know what you’ll get!

There are tons more of these races popping up around the country.  A quick Google search will give you a list of them in your area, state or other parts of the world.  My biggest piece of advice – TRAIN.  Many of the series have emailed workouts where you can get yourself into race-ready shape.  Advice part #2 – eat right.  Nutrition is key to completing the race – you are using your entire body instead of just the movements involved with road racing.  Advice part #3 – hydrate.  Water is your friend and you will see a lot of racers using hydration packs (Geigerrig or Camelbak) on the longer runs.

Enjoy the races… get out of your comfort zone and enjoy the world around you.  Even if you have to get dirty to do it!

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Writing

 

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