10 accomplishments I am proud of
In the newest edition of the Pascal bangs his own drum section of my blog I’ll write about 10 accomplishments that I am proud of.
These posts are prompted by the wordsmith and Edison deck from best self to explore mind a little more and hopefully make the blog a little more interesting and personal aside from all the fitness stuff.
Hope you enjoy the read and let me know which accomplishments are you proud of in your life.
Getting married to the woman I love
In 2017, actually ten years after my mother passed away, I married the woman I love in Malta. It was a dream wedding on a sunny day with our closest friends. By coincidence we also found out that my parents got married on the same date. It was probably meant to be.
It wasn’t always easy and we had already lived together with the kids for 5 or 6 years. She will probably kill me for the inaccuracies. A while at least :). When we got to know each other she did not want to get married to anyone ever and I also stood her up on our first or second date. Again, she knows best. By the way, that is a great attitude to have to become a better husband and stepdad.
My first stepdad card on Father’s Day from my stepdaughter
As a stepparent you are not always popular. This is understandable as you are taking up quite some airtime from mom that before was directed to the kids. It is no coincidence that most Disney stories have some kind of evil step relationship in the mix.
From day one I said that my wife’s children are my children. I never thought of them as my stepchildren and it always made me cringe to say “my stepdaughter” or “my stepson”. The usual routine for introductions is
“I have two children”
“O great how old are they”
“In their twenties”
“You are a bit young to have children that old”
“Well I didn’t start at twelve, technically they are my stepchildren, but I don’t like to think that way”
When I am around them I always say that they are my stepchildren, but mainly to not make them feel awkward.
My stepdaughter was definitely the harder not to crack. I was very happy when I got a Father’s Day card addressed only to me from the UK for the first time from her. I keep that one on my bedside table and it makes me feel like I have done something right in my life.
She just finished with a first and is very independent and doing well.
My stepson calling me dad on our wedding day
I think it is fair to say that it was a bit easier it get on my stepsons good side. Even though there shouldn’t be sides when you are a parent it is nice if you get acknowledged from time to time. Especially when you feel like you are making sacrifices which some other means are probably not willing to make. At least that is how my selfish mind thinks about it.
Our son/ stepson have a beautiful speech at our wedding which made everyone laugh. In that public scenario he called me dad in front of everyone. That made me very proud. He is very good to his current girlfriend and I know he will do well in life.
Running 3 marathons
All of this fitness madness started in 2014 when we had a rocky patch in our relationship. What I remember is that after a fight my wife to be said
“You have grown fat and unattractive if you don’t do anything about this I don’t want to be with you anymore”
Well this sounds harsh, it was true. I was 185cm tall and 99kg heavy. But that was the wrong 99kg which made me look like a blob and not like a gladiator. My blood pressure was high and I got regular nose bleeds when I was stressed at work.
So I took a bet with my friend (which I lost) to run a marathon faster than him in 3.30 and turn my life around. To be honest I think this kick up the rear did. I started running and lost 15kg in half a year. I drank almost no alcohol and run my first marathon in 3:58 in Dublin. To date that is my fastest one. I also did the Frankfurt and Vienna marathons.
Bench pressing 140KG
To some this seems little but I was quite chuffed when I finally managed to bench press three plates on each site of the bar. I am currently working on making it to four plates each side. Will take another two years I think.
Supporting the family
My father chose to opt out of his responsibilities very early by overdosing on heroine. I have also at least three other examples in my inner circle of relationships where I think that the dads are not pulling their own weight, never mind pulling some extra weight for others.
I don’t deserve a medal for this, even though that would be nice. I think this is just the job as a dad. I personally am Leius that I have a high standard and I am generally able to uphold it. Still, i do a lot of things wrong too and i know that, but at least I don’t suck on other people’s time, money and emotions.
Getting a scholarship from IBM
Back in the day I didn’t fully comprehend how much this would change my life. My mother cried tears of joy when I told her on the phone from Herrenberg in Germany that I made it into the scholarship program of IBM.
I was doing my military service at that time and I missed the application window for most scholarship programs as I was disorganized as most teenage boys seem to be. I took the train in my “pretty” airman uniform and had a gutem not far from the interview place. I was told that there were 3000 applicants and in the end about 180 were taken for three different scholarships. Don’t pin me down on the exact numbers.
We did a whole day of assessment center and somehow I must have impressed at least some people. Three year later I would graduate as the worst out of my class who was the first to have signed an employment contract out of the entire year. My mother died during that time and I had a tough time psychologically in Stuttgart. However, I always got my priorities straight and ended up in Ireland in a Telesales job.
Looking back now I can only start to understand what a game changer this was for our family. Getting the stamp of approval of one of the biggest companies in the world and them paying for your studies as far reaching consequences which I only start to fully understand in my thirties. If there is one thing you can nudge your children to when they are teenager it is this. I failed to do this and they still turned out alright.
Running an event with 700% ROI with HubSpot
Working in corporate environments for more than a decade now I have seen my fair share of bullshit to look good on an excel spreadsheet. That is part of the game. In my twenties it frustrated me, now I just get it done as complaining doesn't get you far. Either do it or don’t and live with the consequences. I complain too much at home though...
My proudest moment at HubSpot was when we went for the first time to DMexco. The HubSpot climate was very anti event marketing as it was deemed to be expensive and ineffective. To be honest if you don’t get activity at your booth, that is certainly true. 30.000 Euro or more against no closed business is definitely a lot of money wasted for some sales reps having coffee in a big hall next to another couple of booths where more sales people do the same.
The connection between marketing and sales was Good back then and we maxed to get the booth buzzing And I closed 5 deals on the booth that day. That was one of the best days in my sales career so far as I think we managed to tip the perception of event marketing in the business.
But, to be fair, maybe this was already a foregone conclusion on higher levels anyway and I am just imagining things. Version 1 feels a lot better and less cynical so I stick with that.
Living abroad successfully
As a German I now live in Ireland for ten years in 2019 with a one year break in between. I managed to blend in with a foreign culture, even though the cultural leap from Germany to Ireland is not as big as the one from Germany to a rain forest tribe.
I’ve spent considerable time perfecting the language and integrating with others. It also great to see that Ireland has become a lot more open minded in the years I have been here. The perceptions of the gay community and views and abortion have shifted. The catholic past is being addressed and the patriarchy is on the back foot, which I personally welcome a lot being a stepdad and having a single mother. I know the struggles of strong women first hand.
I have made Ireland my home successfully and everyone is able to make that shift from their home country to somewhere else. I am grateful to my mother and the people around me that they make me the man I am.
1.000 Blog Posts
I have managed to write 1.000 blog posts for this platform right here. Who would have thought that I would become some kind of writer in the end?