Holy Clavicle, I’m having shoulder surgery today!

Oh. My. Goodness. The time has come. The time to get patched up by a sugeon that I’ve only met once (I mean, he seems cool). It’s time to make right what went wrong just a couple of months ago when I somehow shoved my foot into the spokes of my roommates bike and flipping me over it’s handlebars all while riding the last block and a half to my spankin’ new San Francisco apartment. What a great way to welcome yourself into the big city, eh? Nothing says ‘this feels like home’ like a few torn ligaments in my shoulder. :)

Read all of the details of my accidental dare devil dive onto the streets on San Francisco over here in this post.

So, tomorrow at 7am I’ll be on the operating table with the goal being to fix my shoulder by drilling two holes through it and reattaching it with a cadaver’s (a dead dude’s) tendon. Yep, I’m going to have a dead man’s (or woman’s?) tendon in my shoulder from here on out, which really only makes me think about how I hope he or she had some great karma. I mean the well-being of my shoulder practically depends on it.

Ok, who am I kidding? This thing has Hanna Montana horror movie written all over it. My shoulder is going to turn into Jamie Lee Curtis and make me eat Activia yogurt so that my digestive system doesn’t act up (see video embed below).

All I really need is some sympathy, people. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so.

Tomorrow I’ll be a whole new man. Well, a whole new man who’s going to be on some really strong pain killers. Wish me and my nurse Stephanie good luck and be sure to keep us in your prayers. May the force be with my clavicle.

More soon…

Some surgery fun: Hup fixes his AC Joint separation

Over 3 months ago I wrecked my bike like an idiot (only a block and a half away from my apartment) and jacked up my shoulder something fierce. I don’t get injured a whole lot, but whenever I do it usually happens at the most unexpected times like it did this time. It never happens when I’m do something really stupid like ramping something, dodging a car or racing a scooter down a major city street — it happens when I’m simply riding my bike home from work, just wanting to get home to see Stephanie. Since I wasn’t wearing a helmet (like a real idiot), I’m just happy that I got away with just an AC Joint separation and not some type of head injury. Even though I had the worst possible case of AC Joint separation, it’s still much, much better than landing on my noggin’ and doing some serious damage to that big brain of mine.

Well, like I said, it’s been nearly 3 months ago since my wacky accident happened and about 3 weeks ago I had surgery to fix the AC Joint separation that I unexpectedly gave myself during the first week that we lived up here in San Francisco. The surgery went great and I’m finally healed up enough to sit at a computer for longer than 20 minutes, which means that I can thankfully start making some videos again (they take a little bit o’ time to put together).

To celebrate the fact that I’m finally healing up and that I can start playing seriously on the interwebs again, I thought that it was only necessary to put together a video of my fun surgery experience that Stephanie snagged some clips of before and after I went under the knife.  Check out the video of my surgery fun below or over here on YouTube and be expecting more and more videos from us again now that my shoulder is officially on the mend (and now that we have Frank!).

The story behind Hup’s unexpected dislocated shoulder and why he loves Steph even more because of it

I Guess You Can Call Me An Optimist
If you knew me for any period of time, you would quickly realize that I am an optimist. Actually, just calling me an optimist is probably a radical understatement as I have always lived my life with a ‘the glass is definitely half-full‘ mentality and the rose-colored lenses that I tend to see the world through don’t come of too often. Some people in my family say that I’m a little too optimistic sometimes and that I tend to trust people a little too much, too soon. To this I say that on a few occasions they’re totally right — I’ve been taken advantage of and I’ve been used a few times thanks to the fact that I’ll give pretty much anyone the shirt off of my back if they’d  simply ask. But, as I tell the naysayers — the benefits that I have been blessed with and the people that I have gotten to meet due to my high level of trust and optimistic view of the world greatly outweigh the minuscule level of times that I have been taken advantage of. In other words, the good has always outweighed the bad about 10,000,000,000 t0 1.

I tell all of you this because over the past few days I have been put into an unexpected situation that I could have easily dealt with in a negative manner, which would have only made a seemingly bad thing turn into something much, much worse. But, instead of viewing my unexpected accident as something that I don’t deserve and something that’s going to practically ruin my life and plans that I’ve made for the near future, I saw it as something that was unavoidable at the time and something that can potentially make my life even better (if dealt with in the right way).

I Fought The Street (And The Street Won)
Monday morning was such an awesome way to start the week. I had just moved into my new place the weekend before and had woken up, worked out with my buddy Redg, had a productive day at work and was heading home to hang out with the love of my life, Stephanie, who had just gotten home from work about 30 minutes ago. As I was peddling home (literally a block and a half away from my apartment) I was picking up speed and in a few split seconds something really, really bad happened that left me laying upside-down on my (dislocated)shoulder with the bike somehow still attached to my foot. As I came to my senses, pulled my foot out of my shoe that was stuck in the bike’s front spokes and dragged the bike out of the street I began to feel a big, throbbing pain in my shoulder. Honestly, it didn’t feel any worse than any other time that I had fallen off my bike, but this is the only time that surprised me with a bone that was definitely not in the right place as I took off my backpack and ran my hand over my back and shoulder. Something wasn’t right here and at this moment I started to freak out a bit.

“Hey man, are you OK??”, a young woman said to me as I tried to gather my thoughts on what had just happened. I told her that I was OK and that I hadn’t hit my head, which she didn’t really believe. “I’m just trying to evaluate your state of mind right now and make sure that you don’t need my help.” she said as I pulled out my Blackberry so that I could call Stephanie to come pick me up. “I’m alright” I told her again, “I live right down the road and my fiancee will come and get me”. She must have felt like this was a good enough answer because with that she took off down the sidewalk and I called Stephanie so that she could come rescue me from this crazy situation that I had literally thrown myself in.

The Calls For Help
At this point I called 2 different people. First I called Stephanie and told her that I was in a bike wreck and that I thought that I had really hurt my shoulder pretty bad. She freaked out a bit and asked me what had happened and I told her that I wasn’t really sure yet, but that I was in some serious pain and that it was only getting worse. Despite the fact that I completely lied to her and told her that I got hit by a car less than a month ago, she said that she would be over as soon as humanly possible. The second person that I called was my homie Redg (who I had worked out with that morning) who’s girlfriend Liz is a nurse and who I hoped could tell us the best (and closest) emergency room to go to around our apartment. This phone call was pretty funny now that I think about it — I wish that I had recorded somehow. It went something like this:

Redg: Wudddup Hup? What’s shakin’?
Hup: Hey Redg (grunt in pain), how’s it going? I have a random question for you.
Redg: Sure man, what’s up?
Hup: Well, I’m sitting about a block away from my apartment and I just wrecked my bike and I think that I have broken my shoulder. So, I was wanting to ask you what ER you would go to around here if you were in my situation?
Redg: Oh man — are you serious? I’ll ask Liz where you should go and get right back to you.
Hup: Cool, thanks man — talk to you soon.

After this I sat there and while I waited for Stephanie to come pick me up I came up with what exactly had just happened and why I was sitting there with a dislocated shoulder and a wrecked bike. After clearing my head a bit, thinking about it and looking at all of the damage that had been done to me and the bike I finally figured it all out.

The Explanation Of The Wreck
So, what had happened was pretty simple, but oddly accidental. As I was peddling faster and faster my left foot slipped off of the pedal and as it slipped, the force of the missed peddling shoved my foot directly into the front spokes of the bike, which stopped the bike immediately. As all of you out there who took physics class know, even though the bike stops, that energy is still traveling through my body, which kept on going right on over the handlebars and onto the street. As I flew over the handlebars my foot was still stuck in the front spokes of the bike, which meant that I was actually dragging the bike behind me as I hit the ground. Luckily, all of the impact went directly to my right shoulder and not to my head, which would have probably resulted a much, much uglier and serious injury that I have now.

Just minutes after the wreck Stephanie came and picked me up, she threw the bike in the trunk, dropped it off at our apartment and rushed me to the California Pacific Medical Center emergency room (which Redg directed us to).  It was kind of funny how just a day before Stephanie was driving really timid around San Francisco and now that she was in ’emergency momma’ mode, she wasn’t taking any prisoners and was weaving in and out of traffic like a freakin’ champ. I mean, she had to get her baby to the emergency room, people SO GET OUT OF THE WAY!!

The Diagnosis
After getting a few X-Rays, meeting a couple of really cool nurses/doctors and hanging out at the hospital for a couple hours I was finally given a diagnosis that wasn’t too bad I guess. I had basically torn a ligament that holds my clavicle in place and it’s going to require surgery to get it all fixed up like I need it to be. It’s called an AC Joint Shoulder Separation and it seems like I have the wreck has somehow cause me to have the most severe case of  it. Awesome. Here are a few pics that can help explain exactly what I’ve done:

Yeah, not good.

What Good Has Come Out Of This?
So now the question is, what good could have possible come out of this, Hup? Your shoulder is all tore up, you’re in pain and now you have walk around with a stupid-looking sling on. I have a feeling that I’ll have more good than just these few points, but these are the ones that have stood out to me so far. More to come, for sure.

  1. I got some killer pain meds. You know, it’s not often that you can get high legally, but when they gave me some Oxycodone for my pain I knew that I was in for some dizzy times ahead. Those things do NOT mess around and I haven’t even taken any today because of the crazy effects that they have had on me. You take one and you’re practically knocked out. KO, goodnight.
  2. I realized just how much I love Stephanie and how much she really, truly loves me. It’s always great to know that your partner-in-crime has got your back and throughout this whole ordeal I could not have imagined Stephanie dealing with it any better. She is truly the love of my life and I have no idea how I could have gone through this without her.
  3. We might have found a Honeymoon spot in Australia? As we were waiting to get my prescriptions on Monday night, we met a guy named Ken Howard from Australia who has made tons of money developing board games and consulting for board game developers and inventors. Well, we got to chatting and before you know it he had offered us to use his mansion in Australia for our honeymoon and I’ve even emailed him since to confirm it. We’ll see if this turns out to be true, but if it does, it would be pretty sweet.
  4. Nic, my new roomie, had no problem helping me put my shirt on while I was in my underwear. I’m pretty sure this is a good thing?
  5. It made me feel good knowing that I had enough friends around SF that if I had an emergency that I could get it taken care of. It’s definitely a good feeling to have.

So that’s all I have for you right now — sorry for the long explanation, but I didn’t want to leave anything out. I’ll keep you all updated on my progress as time goes on, but everything is getting better as time goes on and today is the first day that I can type AND put on my clothes by myself. Sweet! :)

Hup and Steph’s 50 Goals For 2009

It’s mid-February and that means its time to check in on the ol’ New Year’s resolutions. Now, I’m not one for making resolutions but instead I prefer New Year’s “goals”. I think its more of an optimistic way of looking towards the new year, don’t you? So on the plane ride home from Indianapolis after our Christmas vacation, Ryan and I created a list of 50 goals that we hoped to strive for in the upcoming year. Below is our list complete with short description of what exactly each goal entails and as we reach these goals we will update the list with appropriate check marks or strike through.

Ryan and Stephanie’s Awesome Goals to Rock out 2009!!

1. Special Olympics
– back in Indy we coached special olympics basketball. see video here or watch it below. We’d like to get involved in some way out here as well.

2. Get involved in something in church
– merely than just going to church every Sunday we want to get involved in some kind of group Bible study or young adults group. The church that we currently go to is Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City.

UPDATE: Went to an awesome couple’s session at our church and met some new couples afterward.

UPDATE (1/4/10): We are now much more involved in our church and have also enjoyed getting to know other young couples who call PCC their home, too. More specifically, some of the things that we are doing include:

3. Figure out Stephanie’s next move
– find a new career path or back to school for nursing? just some options

UPDATE on (3/7/09): It looks like Stephanie might be a runway model?

4. Plan wedding
– duh we’re getting married on August 29th. better plan something
– figure out creative methods <- we of course want to make our wedding unique… how can we do that?

UPDATE: Wedding Wednesday is in full effect each week — decided final bridal party on 2/18/09
UPDATE: We got our engagement photos back from Henry on 2/27/09.

UPDATE (1/4/10): We were married on 8/29/09 and headed off to Mexico for an AMAZING honeymoon (where I lost my wedding ring after 3 days). Our wedding photos can all be seen over here on Holly and Ryan Gauper’s website if you’d like to check out just how much fun we really had (you’ll be asked to enter in your email before you can view).

5. Marathon
– we both want to train for and run a marathon within this year

UPDATE (1/4/09): Stephanie ended up running the San Francisco marathon, but unfortunately due to my shoulder surgery (I wrecked my bike), I didn’t end up running it with her. However, that didn’t stop me (and Frank) from helping her train. Check out the breakdown of her marathon times below (yeah, she rocked it):

6. Visit Megan
– my best friend, Megan (see pic below) moved to South Carolina last year and I still haven’t made it out for a visit… something must be done about that.

UPDATE: Megan is coming to visit in May for Bay To Breakers (here’s last year)!!!

Megan and Stephanie — 2 peas in a pod.

7. work on keeping in contact
– It’s so hard with a busy schedule to keep in contact with friends and family, we need to do better
– List of friends to contact
-Family on Facebook (an idea that Ryan has about getting our family on Facebook)
-More cards (we want to send more cards, like the paper kind)
-one post a day on blog (we’re doing better at this)
8. Extra source of Income ( something enjoyable)
– it’s nice to have extra money to play with.. and we also have other ambitions for our life, that we would LOVE to make a career of, we just don’t know how yet.

9. Cheer for Smitty in Hawaii
– one of our good friends, Jason Smith (see pic below) will hopefully be competing in the Iron Man Triathlon in Hawaii this year in November. We live close enough, we should definitely make it over there to see him.

Smitty is a bike-ridin machine…

10. Travel outside of the U.S.
– We have a few friends all over the world, it shouldn’t be hard to find a place to stay
-Andrea (Paris)
-Roger (Costa Rica)

11. Ryan start speaking
– He already talks, yes, a lot. We’d like for Ryan to become more involved though in what he truly enjoys doing, speaking at conferences, panels, etc.

UPDATE: Ryan spoke at the UGCX conference in San Jose in early February — check out his speaker page here.

12. Start some type of fitness training
– still not sure how we’re going to do this, but we have some ideas… it’s definitely a passion of ours

13. License and License plate
– finally we got Ryan’s license, next is the license plate

14. Get to know Homer House Better ( and Palo Alto people)
– we’ve been blessed with a great group of friends that live in a house just right down the street. We’d like to hang out with them more. Read more about the Homer House homies over here and check out the video below to see how they roll.

15. Actually see the Golden Gate Bridge
-yep, still haven’t seen it up close and personal

16. Visit Wine Country
– I’ve been dying to go since we moved here

17. Explore more of S.F.
– It’s an amazing city and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what all it holds

UPDATE: We got to check out a lot of SF while we were getting our engagement pics taken — what an awesome day.

18. Something different with blog and/or video
– Always looking for different ways to keep things fresh with our blog and videos

19. Couples’ blog group
-It would be cool to set up some sort of group of couples’ blogs

20. One Year Celebration
– we’ve been here for almost one year.. amazing let’s celebrate!

21. Get to know Kelty’s, Greg, Jocelyn better
– It’s amazing how you can live next door to people and still never see them…. busy schedules.

22. Still get out even when we’re tired ( don’t become boring!)
– our biggest fear is boredom… we want to fight it all that we can

23. Continue/get better communication ( accountability/relationship with God)
– communication is key in any relationship… continuing our growth and development of that is a very important goal

UPDATE: Both Ryan and I are dedicated to reading the Bible every day, which is definitely a step in the right direction.

24. Make sure Steph doesn’t turn into a bridezilla
– hey what can I say… it’s easy to get caught up in all of that stuff :)

25. Skydive
– no explanation necessary.. we’ve both done it in the past (see pics of us both below) and we’re ready to do it again

My hair after 160 mph.

Ryan after his wild ride in the sky

26. Ryan build relationship with TechCrunch and Arrington
– obviously a relationship with one of the biggest tech bloggers could be important. Ryan has been in TechCrunch twice already — check ’em out here and here. We also got invited to TechCrunch’s annual Crunchies awards, which is where we met MC Hammer (see pic below). Hammer don’t hurt ’em.

Ryan, Hammer, Me.

27. Continue to be consistent with workouts
– it’s hard to make time to workout, but obviously it’s more than beneficial

UPDATE: Ryan has been consistently working out in the mornings now and I’ve been hitting the gym after work — boo yah!

28. Get Frank
– another goal that holds no explanation… I. MUST. GET. A. DOG. See what Frank will look like below.

Yep, Frank’s a Pug…duh.

UPDATE: We got Frank!!!!

29. hiking/mountain climbing
– we live within one hour of any form of outdoor activity you could imagine.. we need to take advantage of it. We have checked out Big Basin Redwoods State Park, which was cool, but we want to do more!

30. Learn to surf
– see previous goal

31. learn Spanish
– living around this area you see what the rest of the world will be like in a few years.. learn Spanish now

32. Ryan work on Anxiety stuff and Steph too
– It’s hard not to let yourself get worked up when you lead such hectic lives. Ryan has been dealing with some crazy anxiety issues since leaving Indy — I guess that’s what going 24/7 with no sleep does to you. He’s definitely getting better though, which is awesome. I just need to not let all of those preschoolers get to me!

33. Make a budget (for life and wedding)
– it would probably be good to try to stick to a budget rather than live frivolously

UPDATE: Both Ryan and I have both made budgets and have started to spend less money on things like eating out, etc. so that we can get everything paid off as quickly as possible. It’s been great for us and hopefully something that we apply to everything else in our lives.

34. Random acts of kindness
– one of my greatest joys is doing something for someone.

UPDATE: Ryan just made a video for our buddy Bobby, which is pretty cool.

35. run road races
– they’re a great way to increase your level of fitness all while having fun

UPDATE (2/17/09): Looks like we’re running an 8k!.

UPDATE (3/1/09): We ran the Juana Run 8k and we killed it!

Kids, don’t try this at home — we’re professionals

36. Be on time and planning
– it’s a struggle but very important

37. Keeping our house neat
– again, it’s a struggle, and living in such a small place can make this even more difficult. As of now, out place it spotless!

38. Getting the most out of our weekends
– it’s our time to shine… we need to experience all that CA has to offer whenever we get the chance

39. Bubblezzzzz
– ummm i like bubble baths.. i wish i had a jacuzzi tub… maybe when we move

40. Meet more non-tech people
– somewhat of a struggle to do so out here in Silicon Valley, but I need to meet some more people that don’t understand what HTML and SEO stand for

UPDATE on 3/7/09: We met Matt and Christen at church and had an awesome dinner with them — they rule!

Matt and Christen are not techy, but they’re definitely awesome /p>

41. Stephanie more planning for events
– Ryan does a lot of the planning of what we do, it’d be good for me to think of some things as well

42. Go to sporting event
– there are a lot of great professional teams in or area.. we should go to some games

43. Paint the cottage
– I hate white walls

– it’s impossible for two people to relax comfortably on our current couch

45. Steph learn to make videos
– It would be fun to put a piece of my own flare into our videos

46. Get all doctor/dentist/eyedoctor appt. taken care of (glasses, contacts)
– we’ve waited too long to get all of this stuff done and out of the way

UPDATE: Ryan got contacts and I finally got some new ones!

47. Ryan attend more tech conferences
– He needs to fulfill his need for tech

48. Start fun fund
– my idea of a savings account.. put away money for fun random stuff

49. Bring people out for Bay to Breakers
– the single most amazing day in San Francisco every year.. people must come to see this. This was one of the first things that we did when we first arrived in California and it was amazing.

50. Visit San Diego
– several of my really good friends now live in San Diego.. it’s a shame I don’t go down there more often

Wow, that’s quite a list! It’s great though to write them out to keep them fresh on your mind, and it’s funny how after just a month and a half of writing out these goals, I could easily think of 50 more that we could work on. We should probably stick to accomplishing these first. :)

Figuring out that ‘finding myself’ isn’t the point

Unfortunately I never ended up writing up last week’s post, but with the message that we heard this morning at church this week should more than make up for it. This week’s message was all about how Jesus died to make us righteous, which is actually a subject that Stephanie and I just talked about last night while having dinner at one of our favorite places in San Francisco, Miss Saigon (tasty Vietnamese deliciousness).

The conversation that we had and that I actually started was all about how in just the past couple of years I have had a strong sense of finding who I really am as I have made what I would consider to be several major life changes. Just to give you an example of these life changes, here are just a few things that I have personally experienced in just the past 24 months:

  1. Met Stephanie and she became my first official girlfriend since my junior year of high school
  2. Moved to California with Stephanie, which was also the first time that I have ever lived with a significant other (yeah, that’s quite a change)
  3. Changed jobs once I moved out to California
  4. Was saved and became a true follower of Jesus Christ in December of 2008 (a whole other story altogether)
  5. Became engaged to Stephanie on Christmas of 2008 (awesome)
  6. Moved from Palo Alto to San Francisco in April of 2009
  7. Had my first major surgery in May of 2008
  8. Got my first dog in June of 2009 (Frank is the best dog, ever)
  9. Got married in August of 2009 (should we now change it to HupandHup.com?)

So, as you can see, there have been some major things going in both mine and Stephanie’s lives and I think once all of the these things happened I started to wonder what God had in store for me and what I should be doing with my life. This is naturally something that many of us think about (especially once we turn 30 years old), but today’s message reminded me that I need to not worry so much about what I’m supposed to be doing or who I’m supposed to be, but instead trust that God will continue to point me in the right direction and enjoy the ride.

I say all of this because today’s message focused around how Jesus died to make us righteous and only through this gift can I truly become what God has intended me to be. I know that this sounds a little heavy and hard to understand, but that’s where having faith comes in. The idea of receiving the gift that God gave us with the death of His son isn’t something that just clicks and makes sense in an instant. It’s something that is a life long journey of learning and actively living out what God has built us to do — serve, love and spread the word about how Jesus gave up his life so that our sins could be forgiven.

I hope that all makes sense, but for some of you it’s probably sounds like I’m speaking another language. For those of you I encourage you to reach out to Stephanie and I through the comments below or our email/Facebook links to the right. We’d both love to chat with you all about it.

A Jam-Packed Saturday… just the way we like it.

logo_bed_bath_and_beyondTypically Ryan and I end up feeling more tired after a weekend is over than when we go into it.  We don’t like to keep things normal by utilizing the extra weekend time to catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation.  Instead I think we  see the extra two days off from work as a challenge to see how many activities we can pack into 48 hours.  We usually do a pretty good job.  Today can easily serve as example of how we like to spend our weekends.

This morning we woke up and ran 15 miles.  That’s right, 15 miles.  I don’t like to brag or anything but this time I think I will.  That’s a pretty long run and in fact, it’s the longest that Ryan and I have ever run in our entire life!  If you remember, I’m training for the San Francisco Marathon in July.  I’m following a special 18 week training program that, so far I highly recommend.  We’ll see after the race if I still recommend it, haha.  I just finished up week ten, so as you can see the weekend mileage continues to increase as the training goes on.  Ryan was supposed to run the marathon with me, but unfortunately due to his shoulder situation, he won’t be able to run :(  So far, he has been able to do most of the training with me, but that will all end on Wednesday after he has his surgery.  It’s going to be painfully hard to train on my own, so I might have to start looking for some new running partners in the city.  Out here I’m sure that wont be too hard considering the amount of runners that I’ve seen in San Francisco.  Below is a map of our run this morning, note that we basically ran all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. Talk about an amazing view!


Following our crazy long run and a major chow down fest at one of our favorite, nearby restaurants The Brickhouse, Ryan and I headed over to Bed Bath and Beyond to register for all of the super awesome wedding gifts that we hope to receive.   We had an amazing consultant lead us around the store and give us the low-down on every single item that he thought we would need after we’re married.  From pots and pans to toaster ovens and bedspreads we had a fabulous time zappin every item that we just had to have!  If you’d like to go ahead and buy us a gift ( come on, you know you’re just dying to) you can click right here and type in Stephanie Marnitz or Ryan Hupfer and our registery will pop up.  We selected a few items so take your pick… we’ll be happy with any of it!  Yay… bring on the presents, haha.

Being responsible or just being lame? You decide. A tough GumBall 3000 decision.

gumball_logoMy life has truly been blessed with some of the most random and amazing opportunities. I’ve traveled to Europe with friends of friends, I’ve taken a 50-foot tour bus filled with 6 of my friends and 2 bus drivers across the entire country in 2 weeks, I’ve had the chance to be on live TV with Indianapolis’ most watched station, I’ve written a book that’s available around the world, I moved to California with the love of my life and many, many other things that I could go on and on about if I had more time before I had to go into the office.

I’m not trying to brag here, but the point I’m trying to get across is that I have somehow been able to do some truly awesome and amazing things that just seem to happen because I either meet the right people or I’m simply at the right places at the right times. These experiences have all helped me become the person that I am today and if I hadn’t been open to giving them a shot (by not freaking out), I probably wouldn’t be where I am and who I am today. They’ve somehow, someway helped shaped my personality and my outlook on life each and every time I’ve been able to do them.

With all of this in mind I wanted to ask you a question about something that happened yesterday while I was in the office. Around 11:30am or so an instant message popped up from my friend Alex, whom I have seen and chatted with here and there since I’ve lived out here on the West Coast. Alex is a tech-geek just like me and he’s an excitement junky just like me as well. He loves car racing and once I started chatting with him I realized just how much he actually did like the life of the fast and furious.

After we got through the normal hellos and what-not Alex wasted no time in getting to the point. I could tell that he was all excited and in a hurry about something. One of the first questions he asked me was “Hey man, you know about the GumBall 3000?“. To which I quickly answered “Of course!”. You see, the GumBall 3000 is one of the craziest, high-profile, out-of-control car rallys there is in the entire world. It’s basically a bunch of millionaires, entertainers and race car crazies who pay a ton of money to drive 3,000 miles in 8 days in their super-expensive Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Jags, Bentleys and just about any other type of 6-figured, exotic sports car that your pretty, little head can imagine. Here’s a quick video of the start of 2007s GumBall 3000 to help you get a feel for what I’m talking about:

Yeah, that’s the GumBall 3000. Pretty sweet, eh?

Well, Alex continued to chat with me about how we worked on the crew for one of the drivers last year and that he actually has a chance to get a seat in one of the cars this year for the rally of all rallys. I was pretty amazed at this point, as I have been watching the GumBall 3000 ever since I saw the Jackass crew take part in it a few years ago. He then continues to tell me how he can only ride for half of the rally due to some work stuff that he has to be back in town for and he wanted to know if I could hop in the care for the other half (and pay for half of the seat). Whoa.

Honestly, this was one of those times that I get the chills even at the thought of being part of something like the GumBall 3000, but the price was just enough to make me question whether or not this opportunity was worth jumping on. It wasn’t so much money that it would completely break the bank, but enough to probably put Stephanie and I in a situation where we’d really have to watch what we spend for the next several months. But, it is a once in a lifetime type of thing so I still considered it and I told a super-excited and somewhat desperate Alex that I would call Stephanie and ask her about it.

Well, I called Stephanie and she was all about me going and thought that it sounded like an amazing opportunity, so I officially had her stamp of approval (and you wonder why I love this woman?). After getting Stephanie’s OK I asked my boss about taking the crazy trip and he was totally cool with it, too (I just wouldn’t get paid for my time off work). At this point I called Alex and I told him that I was good to go and that I could do this thing. It was crazy and probably not the best decision, but hey — it was an amazing opportunity that I might never have the chance to do again. I was going to be riding in the GumBall 3000 and that was that.

After I called Alex (and made his year), I went and grabbed something to eat, which allowed me to gather some thoughts about the decision that I just made. As I ate my delicious Toaster Over sandwich a million different thoughts started running through my head about some of the possible issues that could arise now that I’ve said I would shell out the cash needed to snag a seat for half of the GumBall 3000. Thoughts such as: my shoulder needing surgery, Stephanie and I getting married this summer, living in one of the most expensive places in the world, the awesome weekends that Stephanie and I love to have, the dog (Frank) that we want to get, the new furniture that we would like to buy and other things that we would probably be all stressed about if I decided to make the somewhat expensive investment that I just agreed to go in on with Alex.

With all of this in mind I started feeling like I made the wrong decision and that I didn’t think the whole thing through, which could be best described as a really weird grinding feeling in the bottom of my guts each time I realized that I had probably made the wrong decision. It’s a feeling that we’ve all had before and every single time it doesn’t feel good.

After I finished up eating I had officially decided that I made the wrong decision and that I didn’t think the whole thing through (which I normally don’t do) and that I needed to call Alex back and turn my best news into my worst news by telling him that I changed my mind and that I can’t do the GumBall 3000 with him, even though I know that it’s going to be A-MA-ZING.

I made the tough call back, explained what I had decided and told him that I wasn’t going to be able to go on the trip of a lifetime. It wasn’t easy, but I felt like it was the right decision to make and I was completely honest with him when I told him why I had made the decision. Needless to say, he was a little upset, but he understood my situation and he appreciated that I called him back when I did and told him the truth.

It wasn’t easy to do, but I decided to ditch the potential trip of a lifetime. Now I’m wondering if this is just a sign of becoming more responsible or simply just a sign of becoming lame. What do you think? Did I make the right decision?

Love and relationships in the world of social media

picture-48The past couple of weeks have been a little out of control, which is nothing new for Stephanie and I and for some of these reasons we’ve been slacking a bit here in our digital home way from home. Some of the highlights have been moving into our new place here in San Francisco (and not having Internet connected until yesterday), me wrecking yet another bike and tearing up my shoulder (yes, I’m having surgery in May), exploring all kinds of new places here in the city, getting a new couch and getting a ton of bedroom furniture from our homie Ben, who is going to be traveling to Thailand and is chillin’ (working) there for the next couple months. People out here in SF do that type of stuff and it’s actually considered to be normal. For real.

So, yeah — there’s been a lot going on and although that’s not an excuse from me, it is an explanation. I have to keep my peeps in the loop, you know? I’m glad that you’re stopping back by and if you have any other news to tell us about, please do so in the comments below.

I’m going to shift gears here really quick and talk about the topic that I titled this blog post with — love and relationships in the world of social media. This is a very familiar topic to Stephanie and I as we’ve documented most of our relationship together over the past year or so (our first post) and have broadcast it out on the web for all (who care) to consume and view for themselves. We’ve kept up this blog for over a year, we’ve put together tons of videos and we’ve practically talked about all different aspects of our relationship together. I’m not really sure why we started doing this, but I’m really glad that we have as it has helped us do things and meet people that we would have never been able to connect to if we hadn’t been so out there and findable.

Putting our relationship out there has been a great way to let friends, family and complete strangers know about who we both are, what we’re about, our beliefs, our faults, our ups & downs and all things in between. Oh, and we’ve had a TON of fun doing it.

I bring all of this up because as I logged into the blog a few minute ago for the first time in a week or so, I saw that a blog post was linking back to us. The blog post was written by a woman her in SF named Stephanie Gerson (her Facebook) and it’s titled Love and relationships in the era of social media and as I read through it I saw that she referenced our Hup and Steph blog towards the end. The blog post is interesting and it talks about a relationship that she had with a guy that lives across the US, whom she kept in touch with via Skype and then blogged (most of) the details for the world to see. The blog is still live on the web — it’s aptly titled this might be a love story and as you start scrolling and clicking it becomes awful addicting.

As word of her long-distance social media relationship got around the web, CurrentTV showed some interest in producing a piece called Video Chat Love Story on Stephanie’s story and the video below is what they ended up with. Hopefully I can get to know Stephanie a little better now that I’ve learned a little bit more about her. I can’t wait to talk more all about this stuff. I think it’s all so interesting, especially since Stephanie and I are right in the middle of it.