Perspective

I thought I had a “bad” day the other day at work. I walked to my car to go home feeling a little sorry for myself but glad the work day had ended as I tried to shake it all off. As I walked  I heard a familiar voice call out to me. “Good afternoon young man. How was your day?” The voice came from a local homeless guy who I see frequently in Wilmington. I often stop to talk with “Doc” and sometimes slip him a few bucks. My immediate internal response to his question was “well, my day kind of sucked actually!” But I realized who I was talking to so I quickly dialed that response back in. Given my delay in responding Doc assumed I hadn’t heard the question so he asked again… “Good afternoon young man. How was your day?”

Finally after another long pause I said, “Doc, tomorrow is going to be a better day. I can feel it in my bones”.

And Doc quickly responded with “Of course it is!! God bless you young man!”

You never know where life’s next lesson may come from or who may be your next teacher or therapist. Keep yours eyes and heart open.

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Homeward Bound

alefty1Many of you have been following the journey of my brother in law Lefty-David Snyder since March 4th when he suffered a brain aneurysm. We are extremely happy to let you know that this walking miracle walked his way right out of rehab and into his own home last week. While there is still a long road ahead, the miles that have already been traveled and the hurdles that have already been overcome are beyond comprehension. Thanks for everyone’s support and well wishes. Hope to see you at his benefit on 6/22.

alefty2

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Power Your Life Talk Radio Guest

More details coming as we get closer. But mark your calendars for Wednesday June 20th at 12 noon EST and try to be near your computer/phone/tablet/device of choice. I’ll be a guest on Dr. Jo Anne White’s talk radio show Power Your Life. The show is live and streamed simultaneously. The format of the show is conversational and also airs on these media outlets: iTunes, PlayerFM, Stitcher, PostcastLand, Tunein, Podcastpedia. Stay tuned!

power your life

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2018 Broad Street Run & Clean Bill!

bsr steveLast weekend I ran in my 11th or 12th Philadelphia Broad Street 10-Miler. What a fantastic race and one of my all time favorites. While my finishing time was a far cry from my 1:18 PR on that course, I ran strong and had a complete blast. There were a few things that made this year a little extra special. For one, my daughter Danielle also ran this year. That was pretty cool because both of my daughters have been at several Broad Street races to cheer me on. So having her race with me was the best.

Second, my other daughter Jennifer’s husband Phil also ran this year! And Jennifer was there to cheer us all on. So watching Broad Street evolve with the next generation is quite special.

And the last reason that this year was extra awesome was the fact that I had my oncology check up two days before the race. And my blood work, markers, and indicators were all spot on perfect. What a great day!

bsr steve phil jenniferbsr steve nellie katie

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Speaking at National Cancer Survivors Day

If you are Philly local, or want to be for a few hours, come check out what will be an amazing day of celebration. I’ll also be giving away a bunch of copies of my book Relentless Mettle; My Cancer, My Rules at this event. I’d also like to mention that the event organizers asked me if I wanted a table to sell books but I wanted Survivors Day to be a true celebration and not about anyone making money. So I opted to just give a bunch away. And in that vein, I also opted to donate my speaking fee back to the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center into their Quality of Life Fund, a fund which helps defray medical expenses of those going through treatment. So this is a 100% free day of celebration on all fronts. Come join us.

cancer survivors day at sidney kimmel pr

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RRCA Run Coaching Certification

Version 2I forgot to mention that I recently obtained an additional coaching certification. Last month I attended a two-day training and passed the 100 question exam to become a Road Runners Club of American Certified Run Coach. I can’t say that I learned anything that I hadn’t heard before but it’s always good to reinforce knowledge and bounce things off of like-minded individuals. Plus, as run coach certifications go, this is pretty much the creme de la creme so I’m excited to have it. My RRCA Coach profile can be found HERE.

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Sport Sunglass Product Review – Prowler by AMO

AMOProwlerAs a long time multisport junkie and triathlon coach who has been through my fair share of sport sunglasses over the years, I was very eager to road test a pair of Prowlers in AMO’s (Advanced Multisport Optics) Transformer series. I chose the Prowler for their versatility and adaptability for use on both the bike and run. I have a narrow face and frequent an aero riding position on my bike. So, finding the right pair of glasses that provides the coverage I need in all positions without looking like an over-sized pair of ski goggles has always been a challenge for me. I’m happy to report that the Prowlers met and exceeded my expectation. They were comfortable and light weight, they fit well, and they gave me a great unobstructed field of vision in all riding positions. I also wanted a pair of glasses that was easily adjustable and adaptable. Prowler again nailed the mark here. The multiple lens options, and multiple temple arm options can be switched out very easily and both the temple arms and the nose piece are easily adjustable to fit any face. It’s quite clear that AMO does not believe in a “one size fits all” product. All AMO sunglasses exceed American and European standards, provide 100% UV protection, have class 1 optical clarity, are durable, and adjustable to meet anyone’s unique requirements. amosteveAMO’s Trivex NXT lenses utilize the same technology as competitive brands at a much friendly price point. In short, I found a great pair of sunglasses that exceeded all of my needs, including affordability. I’m a convert and a fan. AMO is an up and coming brand with a global following that provides high quality sunglasses and is fighting hard against the mega marketed sports brands. AMO was created by athletes for athletes and are well worth a look. The Transformer Prowler retails for $138. Readers can enter discount code BLOG10 to receive a 10% discount. Visit their website for more www.amosunglasses.com

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Students of the Year Messages

Steve podiumLast week I had the honor of being the mission speaker at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year Grand Finale in Philadelphia. It was an amazing event raising over $200k in the fight against blood cancers. Fox 29 and Penn Medicine’s Dr. Mike Cirigliano was the evening’s emcee.

My talk touched on a number of personal connections, experiences, and impacts  with blood cancer and included the following key insights that I wanted the students to walk away thinking about:

PASSION – Find something that you are passionate about, give 100% to it, and savagely devour it.

HUMILITY – You can be proud but still humble if you just focus your energy on the size of your footprint and not the sound of your footsteps.

KINDNESS – Yea, it really does matter. It’s easy. It costs nothing and it can change two lives at a minimum. Yours and the recipient of your kindness. And sometimes the smallest acts can have the biggest impacts.

CHOICE – AHHHH yes. CHOICE. The one thing that every single person has that can create, define, or destroy depending on how you use it. Use it wisely.

And lastly – LIVE BOLDLY. ALWAYS sign up for tough and scary things in life because they better prepare you for the toughand scary things that WILL come your way that you DIDN’T sign up for.

Steve with Dr Mike

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Who’s Left

As some of you may be aware, on March 4th, my brother in law Lefty Snyder suffered a brain aneurysm that ruptured three times, requiring three emergency surgical procedures. He remains in Bryn Mawr hospital’s ICU. He’s in and out of pain and in and out of sedation but is miraculously making ever so small steps towards recovery. This will be a long haul but I feel optimistic that he is wired to fight the good fight. I can see it in his eyes and I can feel it in his grip.

But today, I feel the need to talk about Lefty the man, not David Snyder the patient in bed 5.

I have had the honor of calling Lefty a brother in law for almost 32 years. But from here on out, we will lose the term “in law” in describing our relationship. In reality, Lefty, and all of his siblings, have always made me feel like a blood member of the family when I married Mary Grace and not an in law connected by a marital dotted line.

Prior to becoming his brother, I was well aware of who Lefty was through our mutual baseball connections and having both grown up in Ardmore. In fact, my house on Malvern Road had a basketball court and was pretty much a magnet for the neighborhood to gather. And I have sharp recall of neighborhood friends like Paul, Woody, Reds, Gal, (and Gal) spending many hours in my driveway. Given Lefty’s friendship with all of these guys, there is little doubt that he was there as well. That means I’ve crossed paths with Lefty since about age 10 ish.

As we got a little older, our baseball paths started to cross. Lefty is two years older than I and when you’re a kid playing baseball that puts him in the “big kid” category. We never actually played on the same team. But we played on cross town rival teams Ardwood & St. Denis in cadet ball and then later both played Ardmore Manor American Legion but just missed being teammates by a season. Ardmore was a baseball mecca loaded with some amazing talent. And Lefty was right at home. He, along with his teammates were fun to watch. And there were some legendary battles between St. Denis and Ardmore Manor every 4th of July.

When I first met Lefty’s sister Mary Grace at a five star upscale fine dining & drinking establishment beautifully nestled between Orsini’s and Boulevard TV repair on Haverford Road, it took a few conversations of her referencing her brother “David” for me to realize that she was referring to LEFTY Snyder. And like many people I had my “WAIT, YOU’RE LEFTY SNYDER’S SISTER???” Moment. Which she has obviously heard her entire life.

I was actually more concerned about winning Lefty over than I was their parents. I felt pretty good about meeting the parents. I knew how to engage and carry on a respectful conversation while selling the fact that I’m a good guy who is worthy of dating their daughter. Sure we needed to get past my earring and the fact that I was raised Presbyterian and not Catholic but after that I was home free. But getting big brother approval seemed much scarier.

Big brothers look after little sisters. So when Mary Grace and I went out on our first real date, guess who accompanied us? – None other than Lefty.

But it didn’t take very long before Lefty and I formed a bond and he realized he could trust me with his little sister and stop going out with us. It also didn’t take long for us to realize how much fun we all had when he WAS around.

While baseball and the neighborhood was one of the first connections I made with Lefty, a music connection was close behind. Not to imply that I can play a note of anything on anything… but my in depth music geek factor is greater than average and Lefty shared a similar passion for wanting to know who played what on who’s album which was recorded when and where. In fact I think listening to Money for Nothing by Dire Straits while Lefty and I drove to Avalon to see Mary Grace may have been our first music connection. The album? Fittingly it was Brothers in Arms.

Every once in a while, the world blesses us with someone who is so special that there aren’t enough adjectives to describe them. – That’s Lefty.

Everyone once in a while we are blessed with someone whose heart is so full of love and compassion that he will do anything for anybody at a moment’s notice whether he knows you or not – That too is Lefty.

Don’t stop believing

Don’t stop praying

Don’t stop Living Like Lefty

#livelikelefty

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Diagnosis Anniversary

steveriver2/24/2006. It’s been 12 years since I was initially diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. That’s 4,383 days. I’ll admit there have been a few of those days where all of the emotions associated with cancer may have gotten the better of me and I felt like throwing something in the Schuylkill River. But the majority of those days have been lived positively, relentlessly, and triumphantly. I’ve been blessed with an amazingly supportive family and crew. It takes a village. A strong, positive, united village. And a little Merlot. Below are a few excerpts from my family from my book Relentless Mettle; My Cancer, My Rules.

“My dad can make any crappy situation okay, but this wasn’t just a crappy situation. News that seemed like a mountain to me, was merely a bump in the road for him. I admired him for that. The way he reacted to his cancer diagnosis was nothing short of inspirational and maybe even a little crazy.”

“This was unfamiliar territory to us, and I was just a kid trying to read my parents the best I could to help me decide how I felt about the situation. My dad was eerily calm, my mom was supportive. Maybe it was because he always promised me he would live to be 200 years old.”

steveoverhead“We next told Steve’s Sister Chris, who immediately stopped over with a bottle of Merlot. Then we talked to Steve’s mom, as well as my parents and then had a meeting with my siblings. I am the last of 7  children. My brothers and sisters decided to have a combination birthday and cancer fighting party, as Steve’s chemo was to start the next day. It was a great day of feeling united, supporting Steve and resolving to fight this together.”

I’m grateful for my village.

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