G.O.A.L.S.

Isn’t the internet something else? Sometimes it scares the hell out of me. I mean, Google has darn near mapped the entire planet. We knew what the street view of our hotel in Mexico would look like weeks before we arrived because we could “walk” down the street and get a 360 degree view on Google. Creepy! But then you take something like Facebook, which does have it’s own creep factor to be sure, and the next thing you know you’re connecting with people you haven’t seen, or maybe even thought about, in years and it enriches you in ways you never thought possible.

Case in point – Kristen Albrecht (now Hochmuth). We knew each other in junior high and high school, but we weren’t big buds. I came across her a few years ago on FB and have really enjoyed watching her beautiful daughters grow through the amazing photos her husband takes. I’ve never met her husband, Brett, but I just finished learning all about his new gig, G.O.A.L.S. (which stands for Get Outside and Learn Something) and now I feel like I have a good understand of what drives this man. See, amazing thing, that internet.

Brett Hochmuth is a middle school teacher, a photographer, and an avid kayaker. He’s combined his love of teaching the little people and being on a river into G.O.A.L.S., an organization whose mission is to “provide opportunities for unique learning experiences and inspire exploration on multi-day wilderness river trips.” These trips are part funded by the kids and their families and part funded by G.O.A.L.S. through donations and sponsorships. What I really like about this is that G.O.A.L.S. expects the kids to foot a 1/3 of the cost. The belief is that if the kids have to raise the money themselves (and the program coordinator will help them create a plan to do so) they will be more motivated to participate and engage with the experience. What a novel concept! Get kids outside and get them to understand the value of the experience by having to pay for some of it themselves. Brilliant! That aside, the reason the program kicks in for 1/3 the cost as well is in an effort to make the program affordable and open to participation.

I’ll admit that I’ve known about GOALS for a while and that it wasn’t until just recently that I took a closer look. What really peaked my interest were two blogs posts at The GOALS Blog. In one, Brett discusses the importance of programs like this and how fitness requirements for children have declined over the years. What really struck me was the fact that adults in Colorado are ranked #1 in fitness in the U.S. while Colorado children came in at 29th. Surely we can do better than that! Another post that caught my attention was a letter to Brett from one of G.O.A.L.S. participants. His eloquent words prove that G.O.A.L.S. is making a difference.

Whether you stop by the G.O.A.L.S. site to learn more, or to get your kids involved, or to make a donation, at least do yourself a favor and stop by to check out the amazing photos. I even watched the 15 minute slide show and I don’t watch 15 minutes of nothin’ online except for The Hills and The City. Yeah, I said it. I own it. So there.

Ultimately, this has all struck a chord with me. I’ll admit that I’ve been inclined to plop my nephew down in front of the TV to watch The Incredible Hulk when he’s over just so I can get a breather. Man, that kid sure does love him some old skool Lou Ferrigno. But now I’ll pay more attention to getting him outside learning something.

And so here’s my question for Brett: when are you going to start and adult program? Because I want to go!

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A Karmic Kickback

If you look at this and think, “Is she crazy? I’m not reading all this. Get to the point!” then here’s the point: if you’re looking to buy/sell/lease a car and want to do it in the easiest, most pain-free way possible then contact Adam Banman (303-667-7827 or abanman@comcast.net). He’s a car broker and he’ll do an amazing job for you.

There are three important things my father has taught me:
1. Enjoying what you do for a living is paramount. My father is an architect and designs schools for a living. He get’s a real kick out of designing cool places for kids to go and learn. I don’t think I’ve ever heard my dad complain about his job and I know that on his deathbed, he won’t be lamenting the years he spent working, because he loves what he does.

2. Actions speak louder than words. Yes, hearing things like “I love you” and “I’m sorry” or “I appreciate you” are important, but anyone can say those things and not really mean them. Showing that you love someone, are sorry, or are appreciative are more powerful gestures.

3. To always live my life by the Golden Rule – to always treat others the way I want to be treated.

Now, I’m not going to get all self-righteous on you and say that I always treat others the way I want to be treated, but I really do try to make that the norm in my life. My ex never understood it (I guess that’s part of the reason why he’s my ex). He would watch me put myself out there, or treat someone well just to have the reverse done to me and it would infuriate him that I continued to live by the Golden Rule regardless. I think he thought I was childish and naive. I chose believe that my actions are my own and that, at the end of the day, I want to look back and be proud of the way I behaved no matter what. Because I know that at some point, my choices will come back around – for better or for worse.

A couple of weeks ago, I had the Golden Rule come back to work in my favor in a big way. I purchased a new (as in new to me, but not brand-spanking new) car using a car broker. I will NEVER buy a car again without using a broker, and as long as he’s in business, I will never buy a car again without Adam Banman’s help.

I basically told Adam exactly what I wanted, how much I was willing to pay, and then turned him loose. He found me what I wanted and then some for less than I wanted to pay. The bottom line is that he worked a sweet deal for me and I’m extremely grateful!

I’m not kidding when I say that my participation in this whole thing was to call him with specs, wait for him to get back to me, drive to his location, sign papers, take the keys to my new car, and drive off. Well, after Adam filled ‘er up for me. Re-read that. Seriously. I’ll wait.

The point I’m trying to make is that I didn’t have to haggle with a dealer, or deal with someone trying to sell me an over-priced peice of shit. I didn’t have to try to find decent financing or spend my free-time messing with all of this. Adam did. It’s his job. And he did a damn fine job at that. He’s trustworthy, kindhearted, knowledgeable, accessible, and very good at what he does. I fully endorse him. Tell him I sent you. Oh and the picture, it’s a lovely Google image of exactly what my new car looks like. Purty, huh?

Again, that contact info is 303-667-7827 or abanman@comcast.net

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