JMERLAU   68,115
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Thought for the day...

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Don't quit until you have NOTHING left

in life
in family
in relationships
in business
in work
in health
in fitness
in school

Don't quit until you have NOTHING left

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FAITH__IN__ME 11/24/2012 3:40PM

    heck yeah!

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LEANNROCKS 11/12/2012 3:02AM


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NANHBH 11/12/2012 1:22AM

    Well all right then! Sounds like a good plan...

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K-GETTING-FIT 11/9/2012 3:21PM

    I am keeping on, keeping on! No quitting here:)

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 11/8/2012 10:54PM


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NEWANDHEALTHY13 11/8/2012 10:14PM

  Like this.Thank you

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JANETRIS 11/8/2012 8:19PM

    Great words to live by! emoticon

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DIANER2014 11/8/2012 8:16PM

    Good advise! emoticon

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ANNESYLVIA 11/8/2012 5:58PM

    Great advice!

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LAINYC 11/8/2012 4:03PM


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ANDREA0301 11/8/2012 2:46PM

    Unless you're giving blood... lol

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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

As I'm working to avoid the "negative" today, I'm listening to positive video's on YouTube.

Art Williams and his 'Just Do It' speech is a favorite for me, I listen to it often and it fires me up! Below is a small portion of the speech that I listened to over and over this morning and I wanted to share.

Almost everybody in America "almost" does enough to win
they "almost" get there
they "almost" over the hump
they "almost" have it going
they "almost" in everything they do
"almost" is a way of life to almost everybody in America.....
.....but the winners do it
they do whatever it takes to get the job done
they do it and do it and do it and do it until the job gets done

Friends.....I challenge all of us to DO IT and DO IT and DO IT and DO IT......whatever IT is DO IT until the job gets done! NEVER GIVE UP

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FAITH__IN__ME 11/19/2012 12:35PM

    seems simple in theory! :)

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MSANITAL 11/10/2012 9:01AM

    You my friend are one person that does do it.. and that inspires others and my self to keep doing it.. thank you because I don't want to settle for all most..

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K-GETTING-FIT 11/9/2012 3:21PM

    emoticon Needed this kick in the attitudes butt:)

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MANIKLODE 11/8/2012 9:01AM

    YESSSS! My sentiments exactly!

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WONDERFUL2BME 11/8/2012 1:56AM

    Yes i agree! No whining or excuses. Just do it!

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JANETRIS 11/7/2012 5:26PM

    WOO HOO! emoticon emoticon emoticon Thanks for that!

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NANHBH 11/7/2012 5:19PM


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NEWANDHEALTHY13 11/7/2012 5:06PM

  Thank you for sharing. Its very good

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LUCKYDOGFARM 11/7/2012 4:51PM

    AMEN Brother!

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ANDREA0301 11/7/2012 3:49PM

    Great words!

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COOP9002 11/7/2012 2:31PM

    Nice attitude.

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TAYGRL 11/7/2012 11:13AM

    yep, going for it today despite being tired and sore from my workout two days ago.

gonna bring it anyway!


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TUBLADY 11/7/2012 9:57AM

    Thanks it helps to hear and feel the positive attitude from you today.
Kinda low in spirits, need all the encouragement I can .
I'm off to the gym, fire up the body.
Take care,
Be strong, stay positive.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Capital to Coast Relay - 223 miles, 2 vans, 12 runners = GREAT TIME

Friday, October 12, 2012

Originally posted on my personal blog:

Capital to Coast relay - the longest relay in Texas

I’m not even sure where to begin this blog to be honest. It all started around February 2012. I think it was Lynette who brought up the idea, then we brought John Hulsey into the mix and made him Team Captain. Before we knew it, we had more than enough ready to run the Capitol to Coast relay, the longest relay in Texas. The Facebook group was created and the team started taking shape. Some of these folks I knew from sparkpeople, others I only knew there were friends of John, that can’t be a bad thing, right? Texas Toast was decided as a team name because we figured we would be TOAST by the time we ran 223 miles across Texas. John Parkers daughter designed our team logo.

October 4th, 2012 – Nicholas drove from Little Rock to my place where Nancy picked us up to begin the journey of a lifetime. This was great because I knew both Nancy and Nicholas in person, but this was their first meeting, LOVE that! Here we are in the car as we drove to Austin.

WE arrived at our ‘headquarters’ in Austin, better known as Tim and Sue’s home. They were very gracious to open their home to 12 strangers (some stranger than others, HA), fed us, wined us and made us feel completely at home. This is the first time I met some of our team mates, which was very cool. We had all kinds of heroes on our team, we had SparkPeople, Police officers, Firemen and even a few Marines. Of course we sort of knew each other from the Facebook group, but it was great to meet in person.

Pre Race Team photo – minus Laura who wasn’t there yet.

Soon enough we were decorating the vans. We had our team name on it, our names, our nicknames, our mileage, etc.

Yep, that’s where I sat and I’m not sure how I got the nickname of WhiteBread, but I did. We had a HoneyBuns, Dark Rye, Monkey Bread, Better than sliced bread, Pumper Nickles, Wonder Bread, Berger Bunz and more. (did I mention this was a crazy group?)

After an awesome meal, we started off to bed, Van1 was due to start at 7am Friday morning!

October 5th, 2012 – Republic Park, Downtown Austin, TX. IT BEGINS!

7am Friday morning, runner1 was all set to take off. Nancy got us off to a very solid pace and set the tone for the party. Speaking of party, when we stopped at the park, the music blasting from the van told everybody there that the party had arrived. Every stop there after was the same, the doors opened, the music blasting and the dancing started. What a great time. About half way through Nancy’s first leg, we made a bridge for her to run under, what an awesome memory as she ran toward us, then beyond as we cheered the entire time! Load it up, and drive to next stopping point.

Before I knew it, it was my turn for my first leg. I started warming up and stretching the legs out as we waited for Brian(Runner2) to finish, Thanks Nicholas for this picture:

I look so serious, but I really wasn’t. This was one of Nicholas’ MANY tweets during the entire race. I’m not sure how many people we had following us on Twitter or Facebook, but Nicholas was the tweetmaster who kept all posted!

My first run took me through some small town south of Austin and this is where I did nearly get hit. Some redneck in his oversized truck wasn’t about to give an inch of the road and nearly clipped my shoulder with his mirrors. I couldn’t get over any further due to the guard rail on my left. I dodged the mirror then waved at him as he drove off. J I remember how humid it was, which surprised me. We hadn’t had any humidity recently so that made the run much tougher than I expected. Still a great time though!

We proceeded through our runners and met van2 in the middle of nowhere, literally, I have no clue where we were. All I know is that we were having fun being there. By now the other teams were also decorating their cars/vans/trucks following our lead. We also started ‘tagging’ their vans with TTT to let them know that Texas Toast Team was around, HA. I think we were in Lockhart Texas for lunch. We stopped at a very cool little placed called Harry’s and had a great meal(grilled chicken), changed clothes and drove to the next exchange point to rest. Again, no clue where we were, but we got to rest under the shade trees for several hours and that was nice.

My next run started around 8:30pm so it was getting dark. Our driver, Bruce(better than sliced bread) had brought the coolest toys for Van1. Neon LED lights that ran throughout the van, finger lights that we had on our shoes, in our hair, on our hats, etc to ensure we would be seen at night. It was fun getting ready for the night-time runs. I’ll admit it was spooky running alone in the pitch black night with cars speeding towards me at 75-80 mph. I had my reflector vest, headlamp and lights on my hat, so I felt like I was seen, but ya never know. The first time Van1 passed me, I laughed out loud, the neon lights were AWESOME to see. Run number two was a good run for me averaging 8:40 per miles, I’ll take that! We finished our night runs around 12:30am or so. We then drove to the next major exchange to attempt to get a little rest. No place to rest outside the van, so we made the best of it inside the van and I managed about 1.5 hours rest or so.

Saturday October 6th, 2012 5:00am is when I learned that a lady can go poop in the woods and still come out a lady. (one of the ladies in the van said that obviously) J No port a pots around so ya do what ya gotta do, right? Runner2(Brian) had given me about a ¼ lead over the team closest to us. I remember telling the kid who would be running the leg with me, “you are going to pass me, I’m worn out, and please don’t scare me as you run past me.” I took off and I felt pretty good, surprisingly good. I started pushing, the competitive juices started flowing. DO NOT let that kid pass you I thought. He was half my age and I was on a mission. I not only kept him behind me, I opened a larger gap and that felt great! My team supported me very well as we did the entire way on this run, I needed two drinks during this leg, AND despite them getting lost, they were there when I needed them. DONE – I am DONE with my portion of the Capital to Coast relay! I felt amazing. Tired, sweaty, smelly but I felt amazing. Actually I wasn’t done. We stopped nearly every two miles to support each other with wet towels, water, juice, whatever the runner needed. Would you believe we grew closer with each stop?! Supporting each other was as much or more fun than than actual running.

Van1 finished around 12:30pm and our portion was done….or was it? Our intention was to have a meal and head to Corpus. We got a call from Van2 and we decided to stay and finish this relay as a team. It was an amazing discussion at Dairy Queen (Texas Stop Sign). We bought more water, got more ice and set out to assist our friends finish this thing. Lynette was the runner at the time. We stopped, I asked if she needed anything, she said no and kept running. I yelled, ‘Hey Berger, pick it up’. She yelled back “I miss my running buddy”, O MAN! I was standing there in my flip-flops. I quickly got in the van and put on my finger socks and shoes and joined her for the last 1.5 miles of her leg. We train together a lot and it was really cool to run this portion and chat with her for a while.

We continued to support each other, even mixing up the van drivers and passengers a little, that was cool. By this time, all the teams were honestly supporting each other. We gave water and Gatorade to several runners who needed it. I asked John Parker, our final runner if I could run across the causeway and to the finish line with him. We’ve known each other a while on SparkPeople but never ran together. I told him I didn’t want to slow him down and he said not to worry about it. I joined John with 5 miles left and ran the causeway to the finish line. I really enjoyed the view of the city as we ran into it, not to mention the water was amazing. The entire team ran across the finish line in 35 hours and 48 minutes and we were literally on the beach! AMAZING time.

Self pic moments after the finish

Group Photo – finished in 35hours 48 minutes. Second place in the Heros Division.

When we left the beach we went straight to Blackbeard's for dinner and drinks. I don’t drink much, but I did drink the two free beers offered at the finish line. J We sang, we clapped, we laughed and had a great dinner, then I began to beg John to check us into the hotel, I was sick of smelling myself! Hot shower never felt so good. We got up to a 30 degree drop in temps overnight and headed home. We retraced our tracks part of the trip home, that was fun to see the portions we ran overnight.

I learned so much about myself and my body during this run. The challenge of running three times, averaging nearly a 10K per run, in 24ish hours was amazing. I had to dig deep and push myself. My body has met a new standard of training and now that I feel fully recovered, I will continue marathon training with that in mind. Speaking of marathon training, the relay was so much harder!

Things I heard on this trip:
“I’d have passed her sooner, but I had to stop and poop” – runner who ran a leg right before me
“a Lady can poop in the woods and still come out a lady”
“these mosquitos are huge”
“are these mosquitos always around?”
“I’ve never been bite by a fire ant till now”
“That’ll be a tweet”
“pretty boy Floyd”
“want some gum”
“Hi, I’m bitter, follow me” – noted about somebody and their own personal version of twitter
“Did somebody call me”
“oh that laugh”
“I’d love to run with you, but I MUST work today”
“No Drama van” – from the van that had all the drama
“are you going to tweet that on your tweetbook page”
“can I follow twitter without a twitter account”
“I stink”
“dude, you stink”

I could go on and on, but I’ll close instead.

This truly was a trip of a lifetime and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

I want to close with a challenge for all of you. Find SOMETHING that challenges you and DO IT, you might be surprised what you learn about yourself in the process!

Awesome Bling

Personal miles totalled 24.25 since I ran with Lynette and John.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHUBRUB3 10/16/2012 11:54AM

    So proud of you all and your accomplishments!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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NANHBH 10/14/2012 11:33PM


ats on a great race!. What a cool experience. This sounds like a blast. Not saying that I'd like to do it, but what a blast! I'd just like to be in the van for all the fun! Great blog.
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/14/2012 11:34:13 PM

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K-GETTING-FIT 10/14/2012 6:41PM

    This was an awesome post!!! Love everything about it. Simply accomplishing something like that is amazing and having such an incredible time is well, perfection! Where that "bling" with incredible pride:) You rock!!! Thanks for sharing:)

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JANETRIS 10/14/2012 2:14PM

    Oh...what a great read that was! So glad you found success with the "toast" team! emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 10/13/2012 6:12PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BTRTHANEVA 10/13/2012 6:53AM

    Awesome bling...

even more AWESOME BLOG!!!

Congrats, JMAN! Your blog is testiment to self growth and the importance of a great support network!

Here's to many more coast-to-coasts for the Texas Toast!

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DANA564 10/12/2012 8:59PM

    What an amazing adventure! Thanks for sharing!

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 10/12/2012 5:00PM

    Fun to hear about it from another...Nicholas filled me in. Sounds like you guys are a team for life!

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TUBLADY 10/12/2012 4:01PM

    Great blog and details. Felt like I was there with you.
i agree, challenge yourself, you never know what you are capable of doing until you try.
take care,
Be strong, stay positive.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHIFANG130 10/12/2012 2:34PM

    So amazing!! You guys ROCKS!!!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 10/12/2012 2:25PM

    that sounds like a lot of fun Jerome! You ARE the Fearless Leader for sure! MIH Dude!

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WONDERFUL2BME 10/12/2012 1:48PM

    It sounds like an amazing experience. I will experience something this wonderful too! I am so glad the redneck driver did not hit you with the mirror. Take Care.

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Capital to Coast Journey Begins

Thursday, October 04, 2012

I originally posted this on my personal Blog site: but wanted to share with my SparkPeeps!

October 4th, 2012

Ever felt like a 7 year old child on the night before Christmas?? Of course you have at least once in your life, right?! The excitement, anticipation, the build up, the 'unknown', all wound up in one little package that is about to burst.

THAT is exactly how I feel today!!

Today begins the journey that really started some 8 months ago, I can't even remember when we started this adventure to be honest. The Capital to Coast relay is THIS WEEKEND!! Team Texas Toast is made up of 12 friends, 2 vans, 223 miles and loads of fun.

I say 12 friends, I know some of the team very well, people like Nancy, Lynette, John and Nicholas. I've met and had coffee with JoPa. The others I've never met in person, but oddly enough, I feel that I already know them. We have Marines, retirees and former school classmates from California to PA and many points in between. I am looking forward to forging stronger relationships and building new ones all at the same time.

Team Texas Toast is ready to run! Let's DO THIS!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCKYDOGFARM 10/7/2012 11:27PM

    I know you have already finished the race, but yes, it is so good to be excited about this. its a big deal! i know you gave it your all and i know you guys had a blast. looking forward to your blog!

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OLDERDANDRT 10/5/2012 11:45AM

    emoticon emoticon Hve a great time!! emoticon

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JANETRIS 10/4/2012 11:09PM

    Sounds like a BLAST! I can't wait to read about it. What an adventure...MIH Texas Toast! emoticon

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BE-THE-CHANGE 10/4/2012 9:54PM

    Can't wait to hear all about it!

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WONDERFUL2BME 10/4/2012 9:39PM

    What a fun experience. I am looking forward to hearing about it!

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NANHBH 10/4/2012 1:07PM

    I'll be "toasting" Team Texas Toast!! Go ROCK that race!

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PURPLE180 10/4/2012 9:35AM

    Awesome, Jerome. Have are such an inspiration. You are one of the one who inspired me to start running. I hope that I am able to do races like this in the near future. I am still building up my endurance. It's funny, I have dream about running now (I so love it). Thank you for inspiring me and so many others. When I do my first race I will let you know. emoticon

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STARLIGHT615 10/4/2012 9:24AM

    Have lots of fun!!!

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hey there Friends....I made a video that I can't post here for some reason?!?! I mean, I could but I would be sideways and that's just silly! HA

Check out the message at the following location:

This is on my newly created youtube channel.

I hope you enjoy this message.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PURPLE180 9/30/2012 7:25PM

    Loved it!

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MABTE52 9/30/2012 11:01AM

    Thank you for sharing

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DARINGR8LY 9/27/2012 11:07PM

    So awake! emoticon

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GINGER_BEAR 9/27/2012 8:29PM

    Wonderful blog!!! emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 9/25/2012 12:28PM

    I'm awake! I'm awake!
Thanks for the cool blog post : )
emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLE1908 9/25/2012 10:29AM

    Ok, Ok, Ok....I'm WAKING UP!!!! I needed this message from someone that I know and respect.... emoticon

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WONDERFUL2BME 9/24/2012 11:14AM

    I am awake! I think it is wonderful that you started a youtube channel to get the message out there. It is interesting that those people who have been there when it comes to being obese are the most helpful to those that need to "wake up". Since i got serious about this 28 days ago, I have lost 9 lbs and it is just coming off with the right calorie calculatons and activity. It is wonderful to never have to diet again, because I am eating better than ever. I just have to due what I have done this far 14 more times and I will be there!

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NANHBH 9/23/2012 11:24PM

Thanks for the challenge. I'm awake! I'm ready to set the example for others.

Comment edited on: 9/23/2012 11:25:18 PM

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MPLSKEN 9/23/2012 9:29PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MYLAUREN2 9/23/2012 6:22PM


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COOP9002 9/23/2012 5:08PM


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LAINYC 9/23/2012 3:17PM


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OLDERDANDRT 9/23/2012 2:31PM

    What a fantastic message! Wish I'd heard it 25 years ago! Tho, I really did already know it, but knowing and doing , well, you know how it goes! Thanks for a wonderful, heart-felt message! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/23/2012 2:31:31 PM

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JANETRIS 9/23/2012 2:14PM

    Thanks for that one! emoticon

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MSGO72 9/23/2012 12:03PM


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MANDYLOVE_76 9/23/2012 10:27AM

    great message!

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