What does it mean to be mentally strong?  It all comes down to grit:

Take 6 minutes today to listen to this TED talk by Angela Duckworth about grit as a predictor of success.  Life is a marathon; focus on your future.  Kids with the most grit are significantly more likely to succeed, no matter where they come from or what their background is.  How do you become “gritty”?  Follow through on your commitments, know that the ability to learn is not fixed, persevere when you fail, have a growth mindset (praise the effort, not the child).  It can be done!

Here’s a great summary article from Dr. Travis Bradburry on mental toughness.  A few key points:

  • Fight when you are already defeated
  • Delay gratification
  • Move on from your mistakes and setbacks
  • Keep your emotions in check, don’t use them to make decisions
  • Make the tough calls
  • Trust your gut
  • Lead, even if no one else follows
  • Be kind, even when others are rude
  • Be accountable, even when it sucks

Honoring Mike Lawrence today on what would have been his 58th birthday. Gone, but never forgotten! “Bring the salt” today for the Filthy 50 in Mike’s honor!

…I remember going to Mike’s house to celebrate his birthday very shortly after his diagnosis.  Nobody dared to say it out loud, but there was a feeling that it might be his last here on earth.  Mike, always the fighter, fought for several years before passing away.  During those years, he got to spend more time with his wife Laurie, see his kids and grandson grow older, and spent all the quality time he could with those he loved.  Please keep Mike and his family in your thoughts, especially today.  Love ya, Mike!!

“The Task Before Us is Never as Strong as the Force Within Us!!”
– Mike Lawrence

There are a lot of great pics and references in the following links!

Three Years Ago…

The Story Behind the Shirt


Saturday’s event was so much more than who came in first, second and third place. It was an event to showcase our local first responders and to give a shout out to them for all they do as a part of their jobs. For all you do, we thank you!

4 person teams starting off at Corps Fitness with a cumulative 100 pull-ups, 200 pushups & 300 squats there out the door to cover 5 1/2 miles ending at the Law Enforcement Memorial at Grings Mill with mental, physical & tactical challenges of a total of 13!

Emergency personnel deal with unanticipated challenges daily so these challenges were meant to task competitors to feel the pressure along with the physical to accomplish the tasks at hand.

So many thank you’s are due to so many. To our business sponsors (see facebook links below): you ROCK, and we are so very grateful! To our many volunteers: you are some FANTASTIC people who know how to get the job done! And to our competitors: what would we do without YOU???? You were motivating, inspiring, hard-working and gracious.  And another HUGE thank you goes out to Melissa, Sandy, Aimee, Chris, and everyone who organized this outstanding event!!

Finishing times are posted at the bottom of this post, for those who are curious.

If any one has pictures, feel free to share. Many are available on the event facebook page, and we’ll be posting the link to view pictures taken by our photographer, Jason Hugg, of Hugg Media Group, soon!

At the afterparty we had numerous emergency vehicles on hand for kids to explore as well as great food from our sponsor Mission BBQ Wyomissing!! Thank you to all those in uniform who joined us and provided equipment and all of our sponsors who made this 1st year event a success to benefit the Deputy Kyle Pagerly Memorial, Kyle Pagerly MemorialEsterbrook PharmacyAll About Women, Wyomissing Borough Police Department, PAPA Dutch Farmers Market of WyomissingWest Reading Fire Department, Wyomissing Fire Department, Life Lion Critical Care TransportA Running Start – West Reading, inov-8 All Terrain Running

Team Nawata: 1:58:30
Organized Chaos: 1:37:00
Rock Solid X 2: 1:39:53
We Aren’t That Creative: 1:48:55
Algeos/Stichter/Gonzalez: 2:07:32
Slow & Steady: 1:41:18
Fitness Pizza In My Mouth: 1:52:17
Vision 911: 2:11:55
Vicious and Delicious 4.0: 1:38:46
Jacked Unicorns: 1:57:53
Hit Squad: 1:34:00
Queen Bee +3: 1:46:27

14753856_1223861811008294_1688811048347915767_o14713014_1223861654341643_6495190507737081409_o14715716_1223857654342043_6679897699942147936_o14556715_1223861181008357_667375543961623996_o14753239_1223860861008389_1467971037570820619_o14753736_1223860094341799_4560000260633263518_o14590045_1223860857675056_8481100029329030884_o14615675_1223860537675088_8515510626057853280_o 14853250_1223854274342381_7980711747434254148_o 14855949_1223855671008908_1093824429567889144_o 14633199_1223856457675496_5700902810599269783_o 14590020_1223856941008781_7409912480352048547_o


Looking for a great run to round out your October calendar?  We encourage all CFers to check out Fitzy’s run and learn more about Lauren’s Foundation!  This is an outstanding event right here in Wyomissing, taking place October 30th.  There will be a costume contest, local music, and even a supervised kids area from 9-11:30 AM!  Also, you’re supporting an incredible local foundation in memory of CFer Mike Fitzgerald’s daughter Lauren, who lost her life at age 20 as the result of a brain tumor.

“Throughout her 14 month ordeal, Lauren maintained her dignity, her love of life, and her high spirits. She refused to let her diagnosis interfere with her life, choosing instead to live by a favorite quote from American poet Maya Angelou: “I may not be able to change what happens to me. I refuse to be reduced by it.”

Even death could not diminish her love of life. Five people received organs that Lauren chose to donate – her heart, lungs, liver and kidneys were used to serve those in need. Her legacy, love and generosity will live forever.”
-Lauren’s Foundation

Registration will be available on race day at the Stone House in Wyomissing.  Paper registration forms are available at the links above and need to be turned in by October 22nd.  Online registration is open through October 26th.

Fitzys Run 2015
Photo credit: Reading Eagle


And let it go… brave parents raise brave kids!  Check out this article from Outside Magazine for more, and do your best to quell the anxiety and be a great role model for our next generation!

“Sheltering our kids isn’t the solution. “You’re building their grit when you let them out in the world,” says Krissy Pozatek, author of Brave Parenting:A Buddhist-Inspired Guide to Raising Emotionally Resilient Children. ‘They’re growing in the world. If you keep them contained and safe, they’re more vulnerable because they don’t have the necessary skill development.’”
-K. Arnold



Sign up today!!

A HUGE thank you to All About Women and Dr. Chris DeAngelis for their sponsorship of our event! They are an official Challenge Sponsor, and you will see their challenge along the course! We greatly appreciate their support of our First Responders and for their tax-deductible donation that allows us to give back as much as possible to the Kyle D. Pagerly Memorial Fund 501c3!


1st Annual Call To Action – Badge 27 Edition Challenge


On October 12th, Chris will be rapelling off of the 525 student apartments on Lancaster Ave as part of a fundraiser for Bethany Children’s Home!  We are looking for volunteers to come out and help support the rapelling efforts on October 12th.  Additionally, if you would like to contribute towards the Children’s Home fundraising effort and push Chris or others “Over the Edge,” please check out https://www.givegab.com/p2p/ote4bethany/chris-kaag!  Learn more about the event here, and more about Bethany Children’s Home here.

Chris Kaag Flyer-3 (1)