Guest Blog by Jeff Goad: What Makes a True Hero?

Posted March 25, 2014 by davidgoad
Categories: Motivation

brothers_in_arms2(EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m not really comfortable with the label, but Jeff asked me to publish this as is.)

At least once a week we see a news story featuring someone who has pulled a stranger from a wrecked car or helped a neighbor escape his smoldering house. In other stories we see first responders saving citizens in their chosen line of duty. The reporters are eager to use the “hero” tag, and sometimes it is deserved. However, sometimes our heroes are family or friends who are right in front of us.  In my world, what makes a true hero is someone willing to act selflessly without really knowing the outcome. Someone whose focus and commitment is so genuine that they frequently will admit afterward that they really can’t believe their actions. Some heroes are motivated purely by love and a determination to beat the odds. My brother Dave is a true hero!

He has undoubtedly touched many of you in various ways with his blog stories, and perhaps inspired you to overcome an obstacle in your life. Just days after I told him of my cancer diagnosis, he signed up for a marathon to raise money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. His act inspired me and helped me to recover more quickly by launching my own marathon campaign. Dave’s perpetual motivation and timely calls kept my spirits up during dark periods of rehab and training. He always said yes to requests for help and put his sizable positive energy force to work in every imaginable facet I could think of. He verbally tugged and nudged and encouraged me to exceed my own expectations about what life could be surviving and thriving with cancer. We have run side by side in the Chicago and New York City marathons and raised meaningful money for the MMRF. Many of you have been a big part of helping us reach those goals.

However, things really launched into an Everest-like realm when Dave decided to register for the Lake Placid Ironman triathlon.  An Ironman? To me, that was running into the burning building. “What were you thinking?” I asked him. “This is not a marathon. Do you realize how much training and time it will take to do this?”

He wasn’t thinking about that, he was thinking about what he could do to save me, his big brother. Dave is a true hero. His sacrifices are quite substantial in this pursuit of the most demanding multi-sport individual challenge in the world. His friends are his running shoes, his bike and his wet suit. I will be with him in Lake Placid at the end of July as his crew chief, to make sure his equipment is ready and in the right place. I will also be at the finish line waiting with open arms to congratulate him on this truly amazing feat.

Please help Dave achieve his fundraising goal while he pursues the greatest athletic challenge of his life. You can donate here.

My brother Dave is “my” true hero!

- Jeffery M. Goad

P.S. For those who have asked how I’m doing now, I am considered in “maintenance remission,” not that there really is a true remission. My last blood test had my KFL at 5.03, a new low number for me! (Normal is .3 to 1.7.) When I was diagnosed, it was 1400. So I am 99.64%, almost 100%! I am grateful for the new drugs and treatments developed by MMRF. Your donations make a difference!

Doing the work now

Posted March 15, 2014 by davidgoad
Categories: General, Motivation

swim“1 – 2 – 3 – 4 breathe. And 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 breathe. My shoulders can’t take this! Remember to kick or my legs will sink. Chin down, don’t look up. Rotate to breathe. Why is my foot cramping and how will I rub it in the middle of a lake?” This was the talk track in my brain as I reached a new milestone in the indoor pool last night. 3900 yards in 1 hour 45 minutes! Just 300 yards shy of what I need to do for the Ironman in July.

I’ve got four more months to train. Why push myself so hard now?

Marathon? Done it. Century ride? Done it. Swim 2.4 miles? Never done it. Before I jump into Lake Placid I need to know that I am capable, not just believe that I am capable. The concept is simple… do the work now and it will pay off later.

I learned this from my brother Jeff, who coached me through my first marathon over 4 years ago. He taught me that there is no substitute for doing the work. He also taught me about the run/walk method and incremental improvement; about making adjustments and varying my stride to use different muscles; about the importance of breathing and relaxation. And most importantly, by watching him go through treatment for Multiple Myeloma and kick it’s ass, he taught me about perseverance.

This Ironman is a huge step up from anything I’ve done before. I’m asking so much more of myself because I’m asking more of my friends to give to the MMRF. Many of you have already given to support the research that has saved my brother’s life. If you can afford to give more, please do. If you can’t, please share this story with your friends. Either way I am grateful.

If we do the work now, it will pay off later for so many. Click here to give, and write in any amount you choose. Thank you… it will be good to have you on our team!

Take it like a man

Posted February 28, 2014 by davidgoad
Categories: Motivation

punchKnocked down, dragged out and left by the curb

And they say “Take it like a man!”

You’re mocked in commercials as an idiot

But that’s OK, you’re a man.

If you complain you’re a whiner, so just shut up

You’re privileged because you’re a man.

Your heart gets broken but don’t dare cry

No one wants that from a man.

But once in a while someone asks for help

And you raise your voice with “I can!”

That’s an opportunity that I hope you take…

And take it like a man.

Sitting here with a dog

Posted January 14, 2014 by davidgoad
Categories: General

cozy2I’m sitting here with a dog. Taking my time to pet her behind the ear and tuck in the blanket around her. You could call her just a pet, but she’s really part of the family. Anyone who stays with you for more than 10 years is not just a visitor, right?

We named her Cosette, as it was the Frenchiest name we could think of for a Bichon Frise (that, and we are big Les Miserables fans.) The name quickly shortened to Cozy, because it was easier to say and because that’s who she was… always wanting to curl up next to where you sit, always willing to receive love when you give it.

She’s lived a full and happy life in a house of loving humans and now she’s tired. There have been a few different medical issues over the years, but now she’s stopped eating for over a week. She’s telling us it’s time to go.

I’ve heard that these family members never truly leave. They just scamper on up to the next playground and wait for you there.

I’m sitting here with a dog. And I love her.

I’m talking to you

Posted December 8, 2013 by davidgoad
Categories: Motivation

steps2You’re enjoying the social and sensory splendor of the holiday season. Your family and friends have experienced triumph and tragedy, and you’re wondering how you can help. You’ve lived through some high highs and low lows, and survived. You’re trying your best to do the right thing and not always succeeding. You treasure the people who have come into your life just when you needed them to.

You’re finishing strong in your job and getting those last few projects done before your vacation. You’re proud of what you accomplished personally in 2013, but kicking yourself a little for not achieving everything you wanted to. You’re gearing up for a new level of fitness in 2014. You have a new book in you.

You have amazing potential that you will finally realize if you can focus, do the work and stop thinking small.

Yes, I’m talking to you.

And you are me.

2014 Goals: Go Big

Posted November 29, 2013 by davidgoad
Categories: General, Motivation

???????????????????????????????????????????????????Make a decision. Make it public. Make it happen. This formula has worked well for me the last 6 years. I completed all but one goal for 2013, which was “write my second book.” No excuses… I just didn’t get it done. I did, however, take on 5 stand-up comedy performances and several motivational speeches for non-profits which I hadn’t planned on. I also skated up a mountain. Hey… they’re my goals and I reserve the right to substitute.

Now I continue my momentum into 2014 with these 3 “Go Big” goals:

  1. Complete the Lake Placid Ironman in 15 hours and raise $5000 for MMRF. I have a date (July 27), a worthy cause, and 8 months to train. 140.6 miles total = 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 run. This will be the most intense athletic challenge I have ever attempted, but I have already visualized crossing the finish line and high fiving my brother Jeff there. I also visualize taking a very long nap afterwards.
  2. Write and publish my second book. I have to transfer this goal forward from the 2013 list and git ‘er done. Writing for me is usually not a chore, it is a release. The trick is narrowing the spray nozzle down into a coherent stream. I plan to self-publish, but remain open to publishing/marketing partnerships. And there will be book-signing parties with really yummy appetizers.
  3. Develop one speech worth hearing. This goal sounds subjective and it is. I enter the annual Toastmasters International speech contest not with a goal of winning, but to push myself to deliver an important message. The contest offers some measurement of my effectiveness as I will be judged by experienced speakers. I’ll post the video after I have gone as far as I can go. And if you want to book me as a speaker, speak to me.

There you have it… 3 challenging but achievable goals that are above and beyond my regular day job. There are many little things that will go into making these big things a reality. I invite you to follow me, coach me and cheer me on, as I have not accomplished a single goal on my own… going big is always a team effort.

Your Chain Reaction

Posted November 23, 2013 by davidgoad
Categories: General, Motivation

TriStrongBraceletI grew up reading Iron Man comic books. I always admired his invincibility, and his self-made suit of armor not only made him strong on the outside, it literally kept his heart beating on the inside. As a boy, I fantasized about having an iron exoskeleton like that to protect me and my heart from harm.

Here I am 40 years later, putting my heart into a different kind of iron. I am attempting something far beyond what I ever thought possible, a full 140.6 mile Ironman Triathlon. I’m making a 70.3 mile leap from the last endurance event I finished, and it will require a significant amount of work, and heart, to finish.

Like the comic book heroes of my youth, I do not do this to glorify myself. I do it to draw attention to a cause I support, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. I do it to honor my heroic brother Jeff, cancer survivor for three and a half years and still running marathons!

I have so many generous friends who have given cash to this cause already, and so I start the 2014 campaign with something a little different… a symbol of solidarity. I purchased several boxes of these unique, recycled bike chain bracelets, and now I’m offering them for sale to start raising money toward the Ironman campaign.

You can purchase these great stocking stuffers for only $15 each! $10 of each purchase goes to the MMRF (where 93% of every dollar goes directly to research.) It’s a unique, environmentally-conscious gift for anyone on your list!

And when you wear this “tri-strong” bracelet, you become a strong link in a chain of giving. You and hundreds of other friends will be supporting me at the Lake Placid Ironman on July 27, and letting my brother Jeff know that you care about a cure. Wear it proudly, take a photo and post it online. It means you are officially on our team, and we appreciate your support!

  • Send me an email and I’ll send you a Paypal invoice, or pay by cash or check.
  • Specify Small 7″ or Large 8.5″ long and how many you want
  • Local friends get personal delivery. Out-of-towners add $2.50 shipping for up to 5 bracelets

Thank you!


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