Monday, December 31, 2012

A Blog about Life and Death from Jeff Snyder Dedicated to Dave Aldridge, an Inspiration


Yes, I know, this is the holiday season and tomorrow is the start of a new year.  We’re all supposed to be festive and hopeful this time of the year or so I’m told.  Sometimes life just isn't festive but even in the deepest sorrow, there is something to learn.  Please come with me today to learn about someone who inspires me and learn about my reaction to Dave's inspiration.  This is my blog so today I choose to write about a man and a life that has been an inspiration to me.

 
Dave Aldridge as I Knew Him
Last week, I had trouble putting blogs together as one week ago, a friend passed away.  My friend was 39 years old, the husband to a beautiful wife and the father to three kids ages 3, 4 and 6.  Dave died just over a week ago while jogging before going to his job at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs where he was a physical therapist. 

The Volleyball Player
Dave was a friend who at one time was a student of mine and of two of my other closer buddies on the volleyball court. We had the pleasure of teaching Dave how to play volleyball and the pleasure of seeing Dave pick up the sport.  At 6’1 or so and with springs in his legs, it wasn’t long before the student was spiking balls on our heads!  As painful as that might sound to a non-volleyball player, having another person on our court that could play hard and play proficiently was a great thing.  We loved to play volleyball with anyone who could play the game at a high level of competition.  Dave fit right in.

The Amazing Skier

Dave was also a ski buddy to me at a time before he got married.  I’m thankful that I got to live just a little bit of my life on the slopes with Dave.  Dave had grown up in Pagosa Springs, CO, one of my favorite places.  As a child and as he grew up, Dave practically lived at the Wolf Creek ski area every winter.  Watching Dave ski was a vision of beauty.  His ability to navigate the bumps on runs that would scare most people to death with what seemed to be no effort at all was nothing short of amazing.  You develop this kind of skiing ability when you grow up 20 minutes from the ski area in Colorado that gets 400-500 or more inches of snow every season and you learn to ski as you’re learning to walk.

I was always a little bit envious of Dave’s skiing ability but hanging out with him on the slopes had to make me a better skier.  Or at least I hope that is the case.  Last week, I had a phenomenal powder day at Monarch Mountain, one of the ski areas I traveled to with Dave.  The friend I was with last week was enjoying the powder as much as I was but he didn’t know that I was quietly retracing runs that Dave and I once skied together a decade ago.


The Man

I hadn’t seen Dave in a while since he moved away from my community and established his life with Holly in Colorado Springs.  When I did see Dave, he always looked good.  He was an avid runner, skier, and mountain climber.  I didn’t know this previously but I just learned that over this past summer, Dave completed his quest to summit all 54 14,000+ foot mountains in Colorado.  An amazing accomplishment.

Dave’s Character
The last time I spent significant time with Dave, we were in a Bible Study together.  From what I heard about Dave at his memorial service on Saturday, his life, his unselfishness, his faith and his contribution to other’s lives was more extraordinary than I knew about previously.  Now I have something else to be envious about and I still have a chance to make a difference.

The Husband and Father
Just last week I ran into Holly at a celebration lunch for one of my hockey buddies.  Jim and his wife have been foster parents for many years. They have tried and tried and tried to adopt but the system that I don’t know much about is apparently a nightmare to navigate.  Jim and his wife had a double adoption hearing last Thursday morning.  At the celebration lunch, Holly, Dave’s wife walked in.  It turns out that the adoption agency that Jim and his wife used was the same adoption agency Dave and Holly used when they recently adopted a little girl from Ethiopia.  It was a beautiful sunny Colorado day when I last ran into Holly.   

Not even 24 hours later, Holly’s world changed forever. 
My Challenge

What does this story have to with security jobs or security recruiting?  Nothing whatsoever.  This story is about the life of an amazing person and how in life, he made a difference in many people’s lives and now in his death, I’m finding myself challenged to live up to what Dave accomplished.  I don’t think he would mind that I’m competing with him in this way!
Time Out, Take Inventory

There are times when it is necessary to stop and to take inventory of everything around you.  For me, this has meant taking inventory of family, friends, business acquaintances, where I’m investing my time and money and so on. 
Life is Tough

The autopsy for Dave has not come in yet but he likely died either of an aneurism or a massive heart attack.  I know more than the average person about aneurisms and heart attacks as what happened to Dave happened to me just over 2 years ago following my 75th hockey game of 2010.  For some reason, Dave died and I was given a round 2.
Following my totally unexpected heart event (just like my friend Dave), I didn’t change anything about my lifestyle.  I just vowed to do more of what I already did, work hard, play hard, be the best husband and dad I can be, be the best friend I can be to my friends and so on.

What I’ve done with Round 2 (So Far)

My Business
Since having a heart attack, I’ve stepped out into the world of public speaking with no prior experience.  I’ve filled more Security Jobs, IT Risk Management Jobs, Compliance Jobs and Privacy Jobs.  I’ve assisted many people with their security resumes and later saw my client’s resumes open doors to greater career opportunities. I’ve become a certified executive coach through two different coaching organizations. 

My Family
I’ve traveled to cool many places with my wife and girls where we’ve hiked, swam, taken pictures and lived live together.  For Christmas in 2011, my wife was kind enough to put a camera under the Christmas tree with my name on it.   I still don’t know what I’m doing with the camera but in 2012, I took over 6,000 pictures and took the most recent ones as recently as yesterday. 

New Business: Renewable Green Energy
Towards the end of 2012, I launched a new business related to green renewable energy.  In the big picture of this business, I’m doing my part to create demand for renewable energy in the United States.  So far, smart entrepreneurial people have joined my team in Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New Hampshire.  I’m just getting started!  Anyone who joins my team will receive everything I have to give in order to help them build their business (with no investment) to whatever level of success each teammate chooses. 

In 2013, you’ll no doubt hear more about my green renewable energy business and the business opportunity anyone can participate in to bring extra cash or a whole new income stream into their household.  There are many hurting people in the US today.  My renewable energy business is built in such a way that by simply letting others know what they’ve discovered, the partners who join my team can create residual income for their own household.  How many households do you know of today that couldn’t use a little extra income or in some cases, an entirely new income?  I have the solution in my hand.  Call me to learn more.
No New Year’s Resolutions For Me

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because that’s what most people do.  Therefore, I won’t be sharing my 2013 resolutions with you.  What I can tell you I’ll be doing in 2013 is more of what I’ve already been doing in 2011 and 2012.
I’ll be investing all the time I possibly can into my family and friends and those business companions and teammates and clients who have put their trust in me.  I’ll ski more powder days this year because it is actually snowing and because I can!  My friend Dave can’t at this point.

I’ll help as many security, risk, compliance and privacy professionals as I can to advance their careers through my placement and career coaching activities as possible.  I’ll even start producing videos for the YouTube SecruityRecruit channel very soon. 
I'll continue to strive to see God the way Dave did.
I’ll be attending more elementary school band concerts and geography and spelling bees.  I’ll attend more dance recitals and I’ll put on a suit and tie and continue to attend my little dancer’s formal tea celebrations even if Kentucky is playing basketball on TV or if it is a Colorado Powder Day.  I’ll have more dates with my wife this this year than I did last year.  I’ll be the best husband and dad I know how to be even know marriage and parenthood didn’t come with owner’s manuals.


 

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