Friday, February 22, 2008

Time to get back on track...

Ok, I admit... I've been a bit of a "slacker" when it comes to posting and am just a little embarrassed that the last time I posted anything was back in July! Oops. It's funny, but when I'm speaking with customers about the advantages of blogging I note that it's important that you commit to doing it on a regular basis. If not, people won't come back since they'll quickly realize that you're offering stale information. Guess this is a perfect case of "do as I say, not as I do".

To catch up with what's happened since July 2007 (has it really been that long), here's a summary in an effort to at least try to catch up with what's happened and bring this blog current.
  • New Career: On August 1, 2007 I awoke for the first time since 1992 and was no longer employed at the bank. I decided to pursue my passion of the Internet and technology and purchased a national franchise with WSI (We Simplify the Internet). As the world's largest network of Internet Consultants (1,500 in 87 countries across the globe), I've been loving the opportunities this move has created for me (and my customers). Excellent training, a super network of ICs always willing to share information and a vast array of solutions for businesses and organizations from industry-leading partners and production centers. I'm sure I'll be chatting more about WSI in future posts, but for now let's just say that I'm really enjoying my new life (and that's the most important part).
  • Family Christmas: In December over the holidays we headed south to spend Christmas with the entire side of my mom's family in Florida. While traveling during the holidays can sometimes be a challenge, I'm pleased to say that we had an absolutely wonderful trip. The best part was that we had the entire family together, which I don't think has happened for years. Every aunt, uncle and cousin was there, even the two "outlaws" (as Alicia refers to herself and my brother's wife since Bret and I are the only two grandkids that are married). However, that will soon change as our cousin TJ will be getting married in June and is taking the plunge. Congrats TJ!
  • Team Active Racing: Last year was the first year for Team Active Racing and we had roughly 15 riders participate in events all across Michigan. In addition to the few races that I participated in (Fisk Knob Time Trail, Fort Custer Stampede, Lumberjack 100 and 12 hours of Ithaca), several riders raced just about every weekend and we had great weekly group rides out of the shop on Wednesday nights. For our 2008 season I have been "anointed" as the Team Manager - but I'm still trying to figure out if that's a good thing (ha ha). We are in the final stages of securing our sponsors for this season and things are looking great thus far. We've added some new people to the team and have almost 30 riders for the 2008 season. My hope is to help promote the sport of cycling in and around our community through the accomplishments of the Team and give some of our riders opportunity to get some exposure at the state (and maybe even regional/national) level. To learn more, check out the TAR Blog which is lovingly cared for by a fellow endurance mountain biker Dan. Be sure to put February 29th on your calendar for Team Active's "famous" End of Winter Party. Deals galore and a good time had by all.
  • Community Involvement: In 2007 I had the honor to serve as the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce's Chair and at our annual dinner received a very nice plaque and recognition from my peers. Those of you who know me know that I'm somewhat of a "volunteer junkie" and have a hard time saying no, especially when it means that my efforts will help to benefit the community. I'm now enjoying being the "Past Chair" and have moved into the Governmental Affairs Chair, which means I'll likely be even busier this year with 2008 being an election year and several local races beginning to pick up steam. However, it's important that we work towards identifying "pro-Chamber" candidates and educating the public to get out and VOTE - a privilege that all too many Americans take for granted (unfortunately).
  • Pedaling With A Purpose: While I haven't started "asking for donations" yet, I plan on competing in this year's Lumberjack 100 again, making it the third annual PWAP-driven charity race. Many of you reading this likely have supported me in the past (thanks) and over the past two years I'm proud to say over $20,000 has been raised to benefit the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation. I'll soon update my donation page for 2008 and send out another round of messages to call the troops in again and look forward to your support. I've got some other rather "interesting" fundraising ideas up my sleeve, so stay tuned... If you're interested in joining me in raising money while cycling stop by my site and let me know. Pick your cause, pick your event and then start collecting donations. It's a good feeling to know when you cross the finish line you've been able to do so much more for a worthy cause.
Well, I'm sure there's a lot more but that's it for now. I'm going to do a better job keeping this updated and am continually amazed by the dedication Angela (Thomas) continues to show for Christi's blog site. The entire Thomas Team remains one of the primary inspirations in my life (and countless others across the globe). So, until next time (which won't be another six months from now - I promise), thanks for visiting.

Eric

Title (take your pick)
a. Internet Consultant
b. Team Manager
c. Fundraiser
d. Volunteer
e. All of the Above
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