First Call

This evening I jumped on the first call with Jennifer Deese who is laying out my upcoming self-improvement book: WHEN THE STORM RUNS OUT OF RAIN, due out in September!

We discussed the acknowledgement page, author bio page, possible photos inside, steps for the cover attachment and shot around ideas for the format and flow if the material itself. We should be seeing the first sets of PDF proofs within two weeks and I am pumped!

I have given Jennifer free reign to allow her creative professionalism to run crazy while she has vowed to connect with me often as we bounce ideas and positives as well as negatives to hammer out a beautiful package that will impact lives around the world!

Stay tuned as we close in on September and WHEN THE STORM RUNS OUT OF RAIN drops for readers everywhere!!WIN_20180621_20_00_18_Pro

First Meeting!

 

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So with tomorrow (Wednesday) approaching, I am super excited to be climbing on my first call with my interior designer for my new book, WHEN THE STORM RUNS OUT OF RAIN. Mrs. Jennifer Deese did an amazing job on my friend, Dr. Coyte G. Cooper’s bestselling, MAKE YOUR MARK and I could not be any more pumped to watch as she works her extraordinary magic on my book which has a release date set for Sept. 1st!

I admit I have no idea what we will cover in our first call but I am positive that it will be nothing less than epic talking points that will help move the needle of this earth! I will be back on tomorrow to let you know exactly how our call shapes up. Until then, have a great middle of the week and make your dreams happen!

 

Make A ‘Run’ For It!!

So here is the story…

For over a year and a half, I have been running around a lake (suburbanites will call it a pond) in effort to improve my health, lose weight and work towards a goal of competing in a 5K. I remember the first time I ran (more like walked) it for the first time. I huffed and puffed and while I didn’t blow any house in, I almost did myself in!

 

Over time, things began to change. I began to walk faster, building up steam and soon began to run sections of the lake. Earlier this year, I extended the distances I ran considerably and felt the pain for pushing myself further than ‘normal’. For several months, I pushed through this resistance and found myself getting stronger and more durable.

With this durability, I ran my first 5K this past Spring and had passed yet another milestone that I set for myself. I also had the blessing of doing this with my oldest son, Lynden, which made the icing on my cake!

With my first 5K complete, I continued to run and growth myself. It was always my goal to get my physical stamina to the level that one day I would be able to run, not just parts of the lake, but ALL OF IT!!!

Well…..

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Last Wednesday was upon me and I was gearing up for my second 5K. I drove out to Red Hill State Park and began my distance walk to warm up before my run. I took off like normal, planning nothing out the ordinary. But as I came to the point on my coarse that I would stop and walk, something impacted me to push forward! I just kept going!!!

I reached the top of the first steep incline and it was here that my mind began working to make me stop. It began saying things like, “You can’t run all of this!” “Your not strong enough!” I began to see images in my head of catching my breath, walking and pushing myself too hard. I even, for one second began to slow down to stop.

Then I thought of running the entire lake and how great it would feel to reach my car after I was finished! I saw how good it would feel and that was all I needed to keep going. You know what? My mind began saying things like, “Well, you can go halfway but that’s all you can handle!” Would you believe me when I tell you that I blew right past the halfway marker and just kept going? Because that is exactly what I did!

Before I knew it, I realized that I was feeling overworked, I was feeling inspired. The truth is, I realized that I was enjoying this and while my body felt the resistance, it felt NO pain! Now I was back to the first steep incline and coming down it with joy. I continued across the straightaway that covered the damn and it was here that my mind made one last ditch effort to stop me, saying I had gone far enough to be happy. Ha! Far from it!

Then I saw my SUV, BOOM, I was driving to the finish (no pun intended)! I reached my car and the moment I touched the fender I jumped for joy with excitement. The reward felt just like I imaged it would and I notched off a achievement months before I thought I could have done it, proving we all have more inside us then we realize and it is only upon pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone that we actually discover what we are made of.

Now two days later, I was at the lake again. A day before my second 5K, I thought of an old saying that says, “You did it once, not let’s see you do it again!” Challenge excepted! I not only ran the entire lake again but in a minute faster than two days earlier! I was ready for this 5K!

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The following day Lynden and I woke up and drove down to Mt. Carmel, Illinois. We parked just down the street from the library where the race began and signed in. We pinned our numbers and awaited the time to begin. Soon we lined up and as the shot fired, our second 5K was underway!

With the first 5K I walked a short distance twice so I could catch my breath and came in ahead of my son. This time we both improved as I ran the entire coarse and Lynden finished two minutes ahead of me! That’s growth and improvement in its truest form!

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I could not be more excited with this achievement and want you to know that there is no difference between my possibilities and yours! Get out there today and make a run for it! You’ll be glad you did!

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One Of The Greatest Moments!!!!

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So there is this wonderful lake a couple of miles from my house, Red Hills Lake inside Red Hills State Park. This lake is almost two miles around and I navigate this lake three times a week and have done so since March of 2017.

When I first began I huffed and puffed, I mean I was really dying out there. I was over fifty pounds heavier and could only run in spurts and walked a lot of it. Then I built up my resistance to the point were I was running a could portion of it and began running this routine every time.

I often run with my oldest son, Lynden and he mentioned to me once many months ago that one day I would be able to run the entire lake without stopping to walk. That became my long-term goal and one I looked to achieve before the end of 2018. What I did though was get comfortable, I got really good at running this distance and last night while running, realized I had run farther than I normally do and I allowed my mind to stop me and walk.

With my second 5K coming up in three days, I decided to run everyday until then to make sure I was giving my body all I could until then. So tonight I took off like normal, listening to the incredible Lisa Nichols on my cell and began my normal routine. Then came the moment to stop for my first walk, but I just kept going!

Then came the first steep incline which I always ran up but never from this long of a run before. Up it I went and kept going! Then when I almost reached the parks main entrance, my mind kicked in and almost stopped me. Visions of quitting entered my mind and my body began to respond almost stopping! Then I saw myself running the entire lake and feeling how great it would feel to do this. I kept going, thinking I could make it half way before stopping. I figured I would run halfway, the longest distance for me at the park and could be proud of myself. Yet, at the halfway point, I didn’t want to just be proud of myself, I wanted the vision! So at halfway, I KEPT GOING!

Before I knew it, I had navigated the valleys, steep grades and down hill jogs and was back at the first incline I had ran up. I came down the hill and began the long trek across the road that rested on top of the earthen dam. It was here that my mind made one last plea for me to stop, saying I had done so well that it was alright to stop and enjoy the moment. Tired, I kept going! My feet began to feel numb and my lower back was tingling some from the run but before I realized it, my car was in view and I was going full steam ahead. I reached my car, tagging the driver side taillight like I always do and jumped for joy. I RAN THE ENTIRE LAKE WITHOUT STOPPING!

I want to tell you that I had no plan to do this when I began but the reality was that it was within me all the time and it is withing you right now if your willing to push the marker and move the needle. My wish for you is that you will push as I did and reward yourself with a well earned victory. You’ve got this!! Hit me up if you need encouragement!

 

Ending The School Year With A Bang!

With the school year now to an end, I could not have had a better finish to the month of May than I did this year!

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I returned to St. Joseph Catholic School in Olney, Illinois and delivered every copy of Barney & Lexi: Lost In Lawrenceville to the students who did not get their’s at my presentation. We actually ran out, a first for me!!

I was surprised with a handmade card that looked just like the cover of Barney & Lexi and I always say this but it means the world to me, these gifts are priceless! I handed out the books to the students and fulfilled my promise. I always make a promise to myself before leaving a school that I keep my word, give value and inspire as many as possible. For the students of St. Joseph, I know I did just that!!

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I left Olney, Illinois and headed south for Mt. Carmel, Illinois where I was returning to one of my first schools! Formerly known as N.I.C.E, now known as Mt. Carmel Elementary School has so much character within its walls and still holds a dear place in my heart!

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The students packed in and away we went. I always feel incredible as I watch the kids laugh and excited over Barney & Lexi! They follow every word I say and at times become so silent you could hear a pin drop. I love the participation we share with one another and feel a great sense of pride in knowing that I help make a child’s life for creative by showing them that an adult does not have to settle for a boring life!

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I signed over thirty copies of B&L after the presentation and made the students day by making sure that every one of them got a bookmark regardless if they purchased a book. Sells are great and in the end we have to make income from our efforts but when you can give value to someone, you will always find things to come back around!

I said farewell to Mt.  Carmel Middle School and was asked to return for a third year! Boom! I LOVE IT!! And so I end an extraordinary school year schedule, pushing my comfort zone and impacting lives! If I died right now, I would die knowing I was making a difference! Wishing you a great day ahead.       Levi 🙂

Going Where You’ve Never Gone Before!

The year was 1996 and I was in high school. A former pro football player (now, as to what his name was, I can not remember) came to out school and spoke to us all about making good choices in life. It was during his speech that I began to think about what he was doing and thought to myself,

“There is NO way I could ever come into my school and do what he is doing!”

And for over two decades that would follow, I thought about how it must have felt to stand before my peers and deliver an impacting speech. I often pretended in the privacy of my own home, that I was giving that speech and that others applauded it.

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Speaking however, was something that for years I believed I could never physically do. It was a long and difficult road to overcome 36 years of shyness and even when I first began speaking just over a year ago, I often became nervous to return to my old school and deliver the same type of speech to the students that I was doing very well at everywhere else.

The reality is that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change, and boy did they! This last two years has changed my life forever and because of that, this year I not only reached for the highest bar in my life, but I reached it, took a hold of it and now it is behind me!

On May 14th, I took the stage of Lawrenceville High School and delivered a 20 minute speech that  my son Lynden, (who was out of school and helping me) said was my best ever! I spoke with the graduates about not allowing your past to hinder you and knowing the entire world was open and ready for their determination and drive. In the end, the weight of 20 years fell off of my shoulders and onto the stage floor. The feeling left behind is one of joy that I can yet begin to explain. I finished right on time and had a handful of students approach me for my card, which was my personal reward for my work.

I walked out of the school that day more certain of my future and felt my life go to the next level. Always remember that no bar is too high if you keep working day after day to achieve it, once you do, there is not limit to what you will discover!

 

 

Passing The Bar…

As Mother’s Day entered into the afternoon, my youngest son, Rylen and I entered the senior hall of Lawrenceville High School to give the gift of advice and knowledge.

With a northern Indiana news station coming in to cover my brand of giving, Rylen and I got a jump on the project ahead of time by hanging quotes and pictures.

When the amazing Taylor Williams from WTWO arrived, we kicked things into high gear! With the film rolling, the Senior Hall became a ‘Field of Dreams’ in many ways. It was such an honor to have an out of state station help shine the light on what will be the final days of this class together.

As the interview wrapped and Rylen had worked himself pretty hard. We heading back to the office to print some quotes I had run short on. Rylen went home to his mother’s to rest, (that boy earned it) and I returned for another hour to finish the project.

As the sun began to set at 8:30p.m., I reflected on just how I had done my absolute best to give my all to the students of LHS. Any job worth doing is worth doing right.

The end result that night was seeing what Taylor put together to help spread the positivity and I have to say thank you to her for her time and hard work and to WTWO of Terre Haute, Indiana for taking interest in this endeavor!

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