A Different Kind of Challenge

I divert from my typical, generally upbeat blog post style to be more candid, sharing a different kind of challenge.  Most of us have struggled through physical, personal, health and business problems. Somehow, we get through this stuff. In the real world, sadly some don’t survive whatever the battle is.

Challenges are where perseverance, character, and faith come into play.

Recently I woke up with a ringing in my ear. Assuming it was an ear infection, I opted to see a nurse practitioner. It wasn’t an ear infection, so I was referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Waiting to see the specialist was stressful. In the meantime, I went to Dr. Google who knows everything. That wasn’t helpful.

Before my doctor’s appointment was the Team Runners Lane Fun Run, which I was looking forward to. As listening to music is a part of my run, I put the earpiece in the “good” ear. But, to check out how the “bad’ ear was doing, I put the other ear piece in that ear. That made sense, but probably was a mistake. I could not hear anything through my left ear. THAT was scary!

One of my favorite accessories, when I'm active, are BANDZ headphones from my friends at Hirsch Gift. They sound great and are very comfortable, and I love that the earpieces are independently retractable. It's nice not to have one dangling earpiece when I'm riding my bike or hiking and need to hear what's going around me. But that day, unfortunately, one ear piece is stayed retracted because I just couldn’t hear.

As we started the run, I just wasn’t feeling it. Suddenly, I was scared and depressed. The mile long, gradual uphill section, we have dubbed “Buster Hill” was where all my usual pains were speaking to me. My plantar fasciitis, torn right calf, and always present back pain let me know they were there, but none of those things mattered as I was overcome with the fear of not being able to hear. I thought about how I had recently played my drums and appreciated the resonance of a Sabian brand cymbal that my son put on my classic Slingerland drum set. It was different from what I have used during my years playing drums. I noticed it and liked the way the sound reverberated. What if I couldn’t hear those sounds? I was scared.

Nevertheless, I made a choice to conquer that nights run and finish strong. At the halfway point, a powerful song came on. I took the opportunity to embrace the song's message and be thankful for my blessings. I need to be strong and walk through whatever this is.

I did finish strong on that Thursday Fun Run and had a personal record (PR) on one part of this route. That’s not saying much because I define slow, but that’s OK. I embrace slow.

My goal in this commentary is to encourage others in their challenges. As I do that, I also am encouraged. People are facing all kinds of life-threatening health, personal and business problems. This is life. Consider what encourages you during these seasons. Is it music, connecting with a friend, doing something physical, praying?

We all are at different stages in our personal and professional lives. Those like me, who have been around for a while, may have different priorities from someone younger. At this stage of the game, I’m able to think young, stay active and pursue my passions. I’ve always had a passion for making a positive impact where I can. That’s been channeled into the innovative SuccessFit4Life! program we have created.  

While there is a very powerful business component to SuccessFit4Life!, at its core this is about encouraging others on their life’s journey…wherever they want to go. The program works on many levels. Learn more about how you can benefit from SuccessFit4Life! here. If you would like to be the first to have access to this program, contact us NOW for a special limited time offer.

We invite you to join our “industry only” FPT SuccessFit4Life! Facebook Group. Feel free to post what you are doing to stay active, or relevant content tied to wellness or fitness. You can also follow SuccessFit4Life! on Twitter and Instagram.

It’s been a challenging season, not knowing what was happening with my hearing. I’m happy to report however that after some nasty steroid treatments, my hearing is coming back. There is a ringing, and my hearing is still not quite right, but I am optimistic about a positive outcome.

There are no easy answers when the storms of life come. We just need to hang on and wait until the sun comes out.

© 2017 Jeff Solomon, MAS


Hearing Loss

I had this hearing loss happen to me. Thankfully, I did get most of my hearing back. Challenges do make us stronger. Keep up the running!


Business, health and personal trials suck...but are part of life. Your emails and articles are one of the few things I read that come flying at me. It's refreshing it see your consistent e-mails addressing topics that matter. Thanks sharing about this personal issue. Your emails stand out from the friggen suppliers specials eblasts that drop into my crap folder. I always read your email and check out your video email. It's good stuff. Keep up the good work!

A deeply personal challenge and an even deeper message...

April 5 was the saddest day of my life.

My glorious, sweet, magic, talented daughter Jamie overdosed on prescription drugs and alcohol early Saturday morning, and in spite of the heroic efforts of the doctors, specialists and caregivers charged with her treatment, we learned on April 4 that her brain had lost all function and she would never recover.

My heart is broken, as is her mother's and her brother's and the scores of people who called her a friend.

When J was born she seemed to us God's perfect work. She was beautiful, brilliantly funny, athletic, full of musical gifts, sweet, unselfish and blessed with a personality that could wrap itself around anyone at the deepest DNA level and brighten their day...

She was also troubled, stubborn, infuriating, frustrating and often simply impossible to deal with.

Like I said...she was God's perfect work.

I would have had her no other way.

Yesterday we started the day faced with the decision of when to take her off life support and all the attendant consequences and next steps that would have to be taken as a result of letting her go.

Then, out of nowhere, the hospital informed us that some years ago she had registered with the state as an organ donor, and typical of J, she had one final time changed the direction and outcome of the game...

So instead of having to face the impossible task of letting her life end with so abruptly, what she had so unselfishly done so many years ago at such a young age gave us structure and context and direction on how we could honor her resolve to make a difference for others after she was gone.

Because she is so young (27) and strong, her organs will be in extremely high demand and according to the donor organization we are working with, her gifts will possibly save or dramatically touch as many as 20 lives.

She would have loved that.

Soooo, I post this in hopes that the parents who read it will maybe take a few extra seconds EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. to check on their kids with an extra hug and an extra "I love you."

And for anyone who reads this who is dealing with depression, health issues, bi-polar disorder, PTSD, etc., and as part of that struggle uses drugs...either prescription or otherwise...PLEASE be aware that how you administer them not only can be life-saving, but they can also kill you in a matter of seconds.

And if you are feeling overwhelmed by your challenges, for God's sake ask for help. There is no shame in reaching out for a boost to get you through the dark times, and please know that you HAVE to get help.

No one can beat this stuff on their own.

I know.

If it could have been done, my Jamie would have been the one to set that standard.

And she came up short.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, baby

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