Is greed killing our water park?

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  I’m a 30 year-old child when it comes to certain things (sand volleyball, road trips to the beach, days at the zoo, walks to the splash pad, park activities, certain workouts, …, and a day at the water park). Meaning, I get so excited these things are coming up that I often annoy those around me with questions, lists of possible things to do, and a generally high energy level in preparation for the desired item. My family and friends use the phrase, “Calm down,” abundantly in those situations.   So, when The Cruise Director (brother-in-law #1) told me that The Groom’s (brother-in-law #2) bachelor party would start with a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo and day at the water park, anticipation spiked early and often.     Monica and I have a season pass to the zoo but that doesn’t get us backstage to interact with the animals. […]

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The loop – fitness week June ‘16

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  Hey team! Welcome to June’s outdoor fitness week where we’re taking our bodyweight and cardio infused workout to the park!   Special guest(s)   This week you’ll see not 1, but 2 ladies joining me for the workout! One happens to be the best dentist I’ve ever known and the other is dealing with the frustrations around getting new teeth… This week you’ll meet Monica (yes, my wife) and Clara (our daughter – who, by the way, makes for great resistance when in a jogging stroller you’re pushing).   This week’s workout – The loop   One thing I love about this workout (The loop) is that it’s flexible. In the video I describe the exercise moves and running distance, all of which can be modified to fit your fitness level. Monica and I complete the workout in just over 20 minutes but with a few tweaks, this workout could […]

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We Had a Huge Financial Crisis, Now What?

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  The 2007-‘09 housing market collapse sent our economy into a tail-spin. People lost jobs, companies went out of business, and many nest eggs got cracked. CNN reported that from 2007-’09 American households lost a net of $16.40 Trillion (With a ’T’), or an average of 25% of a family’s net worth.   The effects were terrible and wide-reaching. Although the stock market did make a more-than-full recovery within the next few years, many were still left behind. People were unemployed, under-employed, or just terrified to invest again. So, although the economy was ‘recovering,’ many individuals didn’t (and still don’t) see or feel those improvements.   Personally, by mid-2007 we had saved close to $30,000 for a down payment on our house. In ’09 that got cut to about $15,000. We were young and invested aggressively so the crash hit us HARD (50% hard…).   After gradually dipping a toe at-a-time […]

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Your Savings Account is Wasting you Time and Money

Your savings account is wasting you time and money

(Photo by RNM)   0.06% – According to the FDIC, this is the current national average interest rate for savings accounts. 0.06%!!!   Factoring in gas money to get to the bank, you earn approximately the same amount of money by simply putting your money under your mattress – Nothing.   As an example: If you invest $10,000 on January 1 and make no changes throughout the year, your savings account will have a balance of $10,006 on December 31. What’s the point?? Collecting loose change throughout the year could more-than-double that yield…   Why have a savings account in the first place?   There are a few good reasons to open a savings account.   1) It visually and physically distinguishes your running checking account from the money you’ve set aside for a rainy day, vacation, or down payment.   2) Your money is FDIC insured (up to $250,000 with […]

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Saving lives is a thankless job

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  Ask anyone that knows me well and they’ll tell you I don’t mind exaggerating a story here and there – “Taking the liberty,” as I call it. Not here. Not this post.   I wrote a post about people watching mid-way through our summer vacation and thought I’d seen all I needed for content… Wrong. The day after I finished the article, this happened:     I always wanted to be a lifeguard – probably why The Guardian and The Sandlot are two of my favorite movies (one deals with saving lives at sea and the other has a great lifeguard scene). I’ve lived by the water for short periods of time but was never able to pull the trigger. Nonetheless, I consider myself pretty competent in the water. SCUBA certified, I enjoy free diving, swimming for exercise, and just about any other water-related activity.     Knowing all this, the following […]

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The art of people watching, and what are they saying about me??

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  How many activities can keep you entertained for an entire day and not cost you a penny? I have no idea, but I know of one  for sure. The art of people watching is a skill Monica and I have worked toward perfecting for close to a decade now, and the beach trip we took this month ramped up activities in a major way.   To people watch is to observe our fellow humans in their natural environment and take stock of how we behave and interact… The results have been shocking.     The fact that we had a watchful eye – well 4 watchful eyes – at the beach led to us witnessing the rescue of a girl who got sucked out to sea in a rip-current, a brawl between 8 apparently wasted college buddies during our 7 am run, the tumble of a wind-tossed umbrella toward […]

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We eliminated $200.60 in normal spending this month – here’s how

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  Photo by RNM   There comes a point for most of us when you’re looking at the monthly budget, and after considering income and fixed expenses (contracts and bills), we don’t have a whole lot left over. You scratch and claw trying to cut variable expenses (groceries, fun money, unnecessary items) and consider starting a side hustle just to create some breathing room.   I’ve done all of these and after a while it becomes just as painful as you may imagine… You get run down because you’re working so much and having no fun. You start seeing the same scenery over and over again because to switch it up and drive to another part of town costs gas money. Then, inevitably, at the end of the week (or month if you’ve got some willpower) you break down, take a night off from the side hustle, and take the […]

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The ‘play date’ – how guys in their 30s make new friends

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  I look back to college and remember a time when grilling out with the fellas, having ‘a’ beer, and enjoying some game/sporting event was a regular occurrence. We didn’t need a reason to start that process at 1:00 in the afternoon… It was Saturday and that was reason enough.   Anything was on the table: philosophy, religion, politics, sports, and thoughts about why Florida was a better spring-break destination than Virginia Beach. Great times and next to zero responsibility.   Fast forward 12 years and the situation is slightly different.   We’re saving up for a few projects/purchases for around the house and although a grill is rapidly approaching the top of that list – we’re not there yet. The stove works though, so we’ve got that going for us.   There is still beer in the fridge, but thankfully Busch light (no offense to my friends still on […]

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15 Simple weight loss hacks that helped me lose 65 pounds

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 (Photo by SMW) Losing weight and trying to keep it off is tough business. It takes determination, sacrifice, and a hard-nosed attitude that can say, “No man. I’m not eating that. Not today… I know I love cake but I’m not doing it!”   If you’re able to fight the devil on your shoulder and win more often than you lose, who knows – you may just find a brand-new version of yourself you never knew existed. That’s what I did, and I’m so grateful.     I was able to lose about 65 pounds, lower my blood-pressure from the ‘let’s watch this’ range to the ‘nice work’ range, and eliminate aches and pains associated with carrying around so much extra weight. It’s gotta be one of the top 5 things I’ve ever done.   Even better is the fact that we have 4 other people in our family who […]

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Fitness week workout – 25 minutes of fun

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Hi Team!   Have you ever had trouble finding a short and focused workout that fits into your busy schedule and still gives you great results? If so, look no further! This is 25 minutes of fun.   Welcome to another Fitness Week at MikedUp Blog! This one is complete with a short – body weight centric – workout that really makes you earn some R&R when it’s all over.   I’ll explain the workout below, but when you’re checking out this week’s video you’ll get to see me and Caleb (1 of 3 brothers-in-law) going through the workout. Caleb is like me in that he’s a former/at times current athlete who played some sports in high school and college. Where he goes above and beyond is the fact that he’s currently in the Army National Guard, been deployed, served 11 years in the Army, and currently training to prepare […]

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