Archive for July, 2009

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John – what a story!

July 23, 2009

Well, I can say the Factor Team had a great time at the Chick Fil A event on Tuesday.  Certainly fun was had by all, and we were able to get our exclusive line of Inspirational Apparel in front of several hundred event attendees.  We sold some shirts, put on many tattoos, and took several great pictures.

However, as I let my mind wander about many details of the event, I just cannot stop thinking about one particular individual that is just really inspiring.  If you met him, you would never know what he had been through.  In fact, if you would not say hello to him, you just might not get the chance to meet him and hear his story.  It really makes me wonder how many times I am just going about my day and getting all the stuff on my “to do list” completed in the few hours I have allotted, and I miss a simple hello that leads into a meaningful and inspiring discussion that is much more significant than crossing an item off the list.

His name is John, and as I was talking to a group of people about what Challenge Factor is and why we are so excited to be bringing this lifestyle brand to the marketplace, I was tapped on the shoulder by a middle-aged, pettite woman with a very unassuming smile.  I could tell right away that she was just happy to be at the event.  Her name was Patti.  I instantly jumped into my Challenge Factor spiel telling her about the brand and that is designed to inspire, motivate, and encourage people to take on life’s challenges and factor the difference.  She replied with a smile and proceeded to tell me about her son, John.

She told me John had just turned 20 years old and recently underwent a major operation; he had a liver transplant.  I can only imagine the circumstances involved and the challenges that surfaced for this family.  After doing some quick research I found out over 17,000 people presently have their names on a list just waiting for a liver.  I immediately asked Patti where John was, and she pointed to the opposite corner of the parking lot where I could see one person sitting on curb near a small oak tree.  I asked Patti what he was doing over there and told her that she needed to go grab him and bring him over.  She informed that although John has many dreams and aspirations, he is just a little reserved and not very outgoing, and she also told me this was the first time he had really been out of the house since April when he had the operation because they had to be extremly cautious about John being exposed to any potential infections.  She told me that she would talk to John and get him to come by during the event.  To which I replied and told her that would be great.

The event went on, and I must have put on at least 50 temporary Challenge Factor tattoos.  I kept looking over at the other corner of the lot though to see if John was making his way over to our tent.  I later told Koach Karl about John, who was on hand for the Touched By Cancer Foundation and Athlon Endurance, and he instantly said that we have to go talk to him.  So, we made our way over there with a Challenge Factor ABC Triangle shirt in hand.  We sat down next to John, me on his right and Karl on his left, and told him hello.  He replied hello, I’m sure wondering what are these two guys doing surrounding me.  I told him that his mom had talked to us and told us about the recent operation you have gone through, and we just wanted to give you this shirt, because Patti mentioned to me you have many dreams and aspirations, and we just want to encourage you to live it out.  John really didn’t say much, but we could tell that it meant a lot that we came over and talked to him.  After a few short, silent moments and a brief smile from John, I told him to take care and Karl and I headed back to the Factor tent.

I think we are all similar to John in that we have dreams and aspirations, and yes, we want to go after and climb those mountains, but there always seem to be other issues that surface and turn into very arduous challenges that we didn’t ask for or want to endure, but we must in order to climb those mountains and conquer the challenges that lead to realizing our dreams.  John has already conquered a very difficult challenge and that experience of overcoming such a difficulty will no doubt propel him to conquer many, many more challenges.  Let’s all be like John, and even though we may be confronted by a difficult situation, let’s keep our dreams and aspirations in front of us and live them out.

A very special thank you to Patti and John.

Sheldon

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Note from Koach Karl about Okoboji Marathon

July 20, 2009

The trip started Friday morning as the Challenge Factor boys (CF Boys), Matt Mabe and Sheldon Nadeau, arrived at my house.   It was a nice drive to Okoboji IA. We arrived about 3pm at The Three Sons for packet pick up.  What an interesting place!  From the outside it looks like a small rundown building that should be condemned; the inside is a huge multi-level sporting goods extravaganza.  Every name brand you can think of and some you have never heard of were featured.  The most interesting part is the story of Okoboji University and The Three Sons.  It seems of the three sons only one had attended college and only for two years, so no degree.  They all yearned for degrees but did not like college, so they created their own university, thus Okoboji University.  They made a few shirts for themselves then others wanted them. From there it exploded, it is now a part of the Okoboji culture.  Even the local business magazine has people wearing Okoboji apparel on the back cover.  Now that is my kind of college!

Onto the marathon… Over the years I have heard numerous horror stories of the Okoboji Marathon.  Hot and hilly along with bad water stops and a course on open roads with traffic and bikes from the triathlon that is also going on at the same time.  I had heard these stories from veteran marathoners so I was concerned about the event.  We picked this event because it fit into the training schedule of the CF Boys.  I am training them for the Show Me Challenge www.challengefactor.com, so we didn’t have a lot of options.  I regaled to them the horror stories and told them not to expect too much and just enjoy the day.

We started at 6am in a lake resort area with about one hundred other marathoners.  I love small marathons!  The area was beautiful with rolling hills and incredible houses along the lake.  The first eight miles were lakeside with breathtaking views.  I had told the CF Boys to run the first half with me and then take off for the second half on their own.  They are both great athletes but we had a short time to prepare them for this event, and it was Matt’s first marathon.  We had a great first half together, talking about the course and listening to them talk about CF.  They are a non-stop positive force in everything they do.  They are a pleasure to spend time with, as they are never negative and always looking for a challenge.  I have never met anyone so young and so successful.  They are an inspiration.  That’s enough PR for them.

We were on the highway around mile nine or so and yes, there was traffic and bikes.  We never got honked at and the bicyclists yelled words of encouragement as they passed by.  I failed to see the downside.  We split up at the halfway point as they pushed on at a much faster pace than I could hold.  Why is it that everyone I train is faster than me?  J  If I’m not careful this could have an affect on my self-esteem.  Then maybe I could get some sort of government grant to go to a self awareness class so I can feel good about ME.  Then again, maybe I should just deal with it and have confidence in my abilities and move on.  UMM, self reliance, what a concept, sorry about the rant.

The second half was just as nice as the first, more views and houses as well as nice locals with encouraging words.  Personally, it was one of my better days, as it has been a rough year.  So it was great to just cruise through 26.2 miles without any problems and enjoy the course and the day, as well as the company of the other runners.  The finish was at an old fashioned amusement park and we were bused back to the start.  The CF Boys had a great day as well and will be more than ready for The Show Me Challenge.

I thought this was one of the better marathons I have participated in and do not really understand the complaints and whining.  But my definition of fun tends to be different than most, though the CF Boys loved it as well.  So if you are looking for a summer marathon, I would highly recommend Okoboji.

A bit about The Show Me Challenge:  September 8th the boys will bike and run from KC to St Louis.  Day one they will bike 100 miles, day two they will complete a 35-mile run.  This will be followed by a day of rest, and they will repeat the first two days for a total of 270 miles.  This is to kick off their new business, The Challenge Factor, as well as raise money for The Touched By Cancer Foundation.  You are going to see big things from these guys in the future, so stay tuned.

Choose to Succeed
Koach Karl

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Show Me Challenge Training Update

July 14, 2009

Matt is on the left and I am on the right.  We have been training for a little over 2 months and have posted well over 250 miles via our bikes and running shoes.  Since the training began, we have both been checked into the hospital, Matt had a baby boy, and we are pounding out mileage like we never thought possible.  I recall back to my high school team sports days when it always seemed like the practice was more difficult than the game.  Well, I am certainly hoping that the journey to just get prepared for September 8th will be more arduous than the event itself, but for some reason I think I might be thinking positively.  I guess there is nothing wrong with that.

I am excited to report that we will both be participating in a marathon this weekend at the University of Okoboji in upstate Iowa.  Koach Karl, Matt, and I will be running it together, so it should hopefully be a good precursor to what we can expect during the Show Me Challenge.

That’s all for now.  Stay tuned for more.

SheldonMatt and Sheldon - bike training photo

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Show Me Challenge LOGO

July 11, 2009

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Presenting the CF CRUISER

July 11, 2009

CF CruiserCheck out the graphics on our the Show Me Challenge support vehicle we are calling the CF Cruiser.  Thanks to Sign Connection (www.signconnection.com) of Olathe, KS, Matt’s 2007 Chevy Tahoe has been turned into this moving billboard for Challenge Factor.  Please let us know what you think.

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Hello. Welcome to the Show Me Challenge Blog

July 8, 2009

On September 8th, Matt Mabe and myself, Sheldon Nadeau, will embark on a journey to Run and Ride across the great state of Missouri (270 miles) in 4 days via running and riding in The 1st Annual Show Me Challenge.  This event will consist of 2-35 mile runs and 2-100 mile rides beginning in the City of Fountains and concluding in the shadows of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.  Matt and I are the founders of Challengefactor.com, which is a website we are launching to encourage people to take on life’s challenges and go after your dreams, because we sincerely believe that we are all capable of more than what we think is possible.  Be sure to check it out at www.challengefactor.com.  The site should be going live in the next few weeks.

As the Factor Founders, we have teamed up with Koach Karl of Athlon Endurance (www.koachkarl.com) to be sure we are adequately prepared and equipped to take on such a difficult challenge.  The reason for taking on this challenge is to raise awareness and money for a great Cancer Foundation called the Touched By Cancer Foundation.  To find out more about this great foundation, please visit www.touchedbycancerfoundation.org.  The goal we have set is to raise $10,000 in the next 60 days and although this goal is agressive, we believe it  is very achievable because of the supporters that both Matt and I have.  The many friends, family, colleagues, business associates that have meant so much to our past endeavors, and we will be calling on all of our supporters who have in some way been Touched By Cancer, or believe in, and want to, in some way support our efforts to make a difference.  We could not do it without your support consequently we will be relying on your contributions as we prepare to put forth the training necessary to conquer this great challenge.  If you feel compelled to give to this cause, please click on the “Show Me Challenge Donation Site” link to the right of this post.