Archives For Exposure to Closure

About six months ago a good friend of mine, Chuck McGinnis a former US Marine, asked me to join him and several other men in the Tough Mudder cross-fit event in Amherst, MI on April 14th, 2012. When I first checked out the website, I thought to myself, “Cool, but I’m not much of a runner.” However, after realizing this was a 12-mile obstacle course, it drew me in like 10-year boy wanting to play in the mud. With still being an avid hockey player and a former bodybuilder, even at 47 I thought it would be great fun. However, after a deeper dive of the videos the course did have several claustrophobic tunnel and water obstacles that I thought might be an issue. 🙂

Tough Mudder

Team H20 – Tough Mudder

Now the interesting part of this story is that Chuck and the other men were a part of a Christian organization called H20 Adventure Ministries ran by Mike Tison, and NO not the Boxer. So being a follower of Christ really solidified my decision to do it for a better reason other than just self- gratitude. Even though the event was for a good cause “Wounded Warrior Project”, our goal was to be a light and approach the event as a Christian team with shirts that read Phil 4:13 “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.”

So right now, you might be thinking this sounds really warm and cuddly doesn’t it, a bunch of Goody-Two-Shoes Christians trying to be the light. Well anyone that knows me knows I’m not the Goody Two Shoes type and with God nothing ever goes as planned.

Actually what happened was definitely not in my plans, so please keep reading!

Tough Mudder: Saturday April 14th, 2012 10:00AM start. – Weather: Brutal 50F

If your not familiar with Tough Mudder, it is a 12-Mile Obstacle course designed by British Special Forces, so at the starting line they were flying both British and American Flags.  This quickly caught my attention, and in less than a second I thought about being born in England, moving to Canada at 10, then the USA at 30, and finally standing there at that spot at 47. It was like God was showing me how far he had already brought me. That thought combined with the energy of the other Mudders was so incredible that I was pumped to go.

The first 6 miles were fairly grueling, cold but tolerable. We had jumped off a 25-30ft platform into a freezing cold dirty gravel pit, waded through swamps, climbed walls, ran through fire, got shocked by 10,000 volts while in water, among many other things. I still felt strong and confident because I knew the upper body obstacles were coming up and I believed that was my strength. I remember coming up to the monkey bars at the 6-mile half point and thinking, “finally I going to be able to use my upper body strength.” After watching pretty much everyone go a couple rungs and slip into the water, I saw a young guy grab a hold of the wood frame on the outside where it was not slippery. In a split second I decided that would be the plan. So grabbed the wood and starting moving forward thinking to myself, “this is easy.” Then at that exact second I felt and heard a cracking noise from what I thought was the wood above. Puzzled I moved forward and then I heard a large snap and realized it wasn’t the wood making the noise it was my left arm. Knowing that something bad had happened I dropped into the water below and waded / swam to other side.

Being the first of my team to go over this obstacle I had time to analyze the damage to my arm while waiting for others to come across. I remember looking at Chuck and the others saying, “I ripped my bicep off the bone.” They wanted me to got directly to First Aid and I even remember looking over at the First Aid vehicle. Then right at that moment I started shivering, going cold and obviously into shock because of the pain combined with being soaking wet.

Stephen Sadler's Bicep Tear

Stephen Sadler’s Bicep Tear

Somehow I was reminded why I was doing the event, Phil 4:13, “I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me,” and I started to pray. Within seconds the chills seemed to subside and heard God telling me that he would carry me. With being bent over I looked up and told the guy’s “I want to finish.”  I don’t really remember much of the last 6 miles but what I do know is that God did carry me over the remaining upper body obstacles even though I could only use one arm. He also carried two of my other teammates who experienced serious knee and hip problems. We actually crossed the finish line together in the true meaning of Phil 4:13.

In retrospect, if I would have completed Tough Mudder under my own strength it would of been a shallow victory, and would have been all about me and my physical strength and conditioning. But when the creator of the Universe carries you, the victory is deep and life changing.

But the story doesn’t even end here…

After being seen in ER the following Sunday, I had an MRI which confirmed the obvious, that I needed surgery to reattach the bicep or I would never have any torsional strength in my left arm, by the way I’m left handed. So obviously, I needed a surgeon and Dr. Kyle Anderson of Michigan Orthopaedic Institute popped into my head from many years ago. Herman Moore, a good friend who played for the Detroit Lions introduced me to Dr. Anderson so I knew he was a good surgeon. However, I had no idea what type of injurys he practiced on, or even if they could get me in fast enough, for I only had a 2 week window.

Steve Sadler after Surgery at Beaumont

Steve Sadler after Surgery at Beaumont

Through the grace of God my wife Laurie called and got an appointment the next day. While in the appointment and being examined by Dr. Anderson his office received a cancelation for a surgery spot the very next day. On April 26, 2012, Dr. Kyle Anderson performed successful surgery on my arm and I am already typing 🙂

By the way, did I say the people at Michigan Orthopaedic Institute are awesome, well they are, caring and professional 🙂 I don’t want to forget Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital either, also awesome.

Conclusion:

My experiences at Tough Mudder combined with my injury are still NOTHING compared to what our troops past and present endure for our freedom. This entire experience was definitely an affirmation of my faith and I can confidently say God is always there to carry you.

The question is will you let him!

God Bless,

Steve Sadler

In March of 2005, Dan and I decided to take a nine-day trip to Coimbatore, India to present our Ignite software to five universities and a huge motorcycle parts manufacturer.

At the time we had just spent a significant amount of money building our new headquarters in Orion, MI. But with all the excitement about outsourcing, it seemed like India was the place we needed to expand.

Not only did this experience open my eyes to how other people live, it gave me a real appreciation for another culture.  I remember driving down the roads in India within a sea of motorcycles and seeing families of 4 to 5 people on a bike clipping down the dirt road at 40 miles per hour.

After being treated like royalty and presenting to the universities, we decided to travel to a resort up in the mountains for the last three days of the trip. We drove for hours through wild elephant terrain and started our ascent up the mountains to Punar. We drove another four hours through the mountains before it started to get dark and rainy. The dirt road we were on was only one lane and had a 1000-ft drop to the left. Our driver thought it best to see if we could stay somewhere for the night. After pulling up to what seemed like a small, old lodge, we were escorted inside by an older fellow with one eye. (Until seeing the movie, Slum Dog Millionaire, I did not know why he and many others only had one eye.)

The lodge turned out to be an old English tea plantation and this fellow was the keeper. I took the back bedroom and Dan took the front one. As I stepped into the bathroom, I noticed a spider, about the size of my hand, directly under my foot. After taking photos of it, I chased it under the sink. Exhausted, I tried to go to sleep on an antiquated and musty smelling bed that unpleasantly reminded me of a hockey locker room.

When I woke in the morning, I had a bite mark on my right arm and a 104-degree  Fahrenheit temperature. Our chauffeur decided to rush me down the mountain to see a doctor. After taking several types of medication, my temperature came down and Dan and I were able to fly back to the USA. As we were flying, I noticed that Dan had been bitten on his left cheek.

Upon arriving in the USA, my temperature started to spike again, this time hitting 106 degrees Fahrenheit. After a night of ice packs, Tylenol, and Motrin from Laurie, my temperature finally broke. This time, leaving me with the worst fever blisters I’ve ever had!

Nine days later, I was driving to work when I got a call from Dan’s wife. She was hysterical and yelling something about a car accident and a seizure. After she finally told me where Dan was, I drove directly to the hospital where he lay in a coma. The doctor explained that Dan had a brain tumor and they were going to operate. I told the doctor about our trip to India and the bite mark, but he didn’t seem to be listening to me. When I went back to the hospital later that night, Dan’s vitals were failing fast. After doing a quick search on my Blackberry, I found that they had him on two conflicting intravenous medications.

I rushed to tell the nurse and she asked me, “How did you know, are you a doctor?” I replied, “No, I’m just a friend with internet access.” She quickly removed the IV.

The next morning Dan was awake. I was so freaked out by the medication screw-up from the night before that I called Dan’s brother Perry, and told him to get Dan out of that hospital. Perry agreed and quickly had Dan airlifted to the Mayo Clinic where they immediately diagnosed his condition as encephalitis and operated on the left side of Dan’s head to remove an infectious mass. Though they could not prove it, I believe wholeheartedly that it was caused by the insect bite on Dan’s face.

Dan spent the next year regaining his memory and trying to pull his life back together. Even though I really liked the people, the food, and the culture in India, the time and resources might have been better spent in our own backyard.

Tip: The grass is not always greener on the other side.

Before I start I want to preface it by saying that pay-per-click can work, but if you don’t do it right you will pay BIG. Later, I will explain when and how to cost-effectively use pay-per-click advertising without taking an entire training course to figure it out!  

Get It!

When I look back over the last ten years, I remember creating many different Yahoo and Google ad campaigns. In addition, I consistently used Google’s Keyword Generator Tool to tweak and find new related keywords and keyword phrases. After struggling through my first year of the pay-per-click marketing world, I came across a website by Perry Marshall and purchased his Guide to Google AdWords. I learned a lot about AdWords from this online book and I would highly recommend it. However, being of an extremely competitive nature, I was still unhappy with the performance of pay-per-click. Luckily, we were still doing well through our corporate sales channel, but I was adamant about cracking the code for creating more web sales. I knew there must be more to it because it was obvious that many other companies were selling products through the web.  But, how could we?

There were, and still are, two main ways to come up first in a search on Google and Yahoo. The first method is to pay them through the per-click bidding process that places your ad on the side of a search page when a keyword or keyword phrase is typed into the search engine. I originally believed that the ad position on the page was determined by how much you bid against other bidders. But after trial and error, I noticed that this was not always the case. In my book you will learn why. 

The second method is to optimize your website for search engines so you organically move to the top without pyying for it. This obviously requires knowledge of how search engines work and an upfront investment that will pay dividends in the future if done correctly.

Most people start by paying for clicks because it is relatively easy to set up and they have minimal upfront cost. This is where companies make a big mistake and we were no different… at first.

Scate was spending an average of $5,000 per month on Yahoo and Google. Pay-per-click was driving clicks but definitely not at the volume required to produce profit for a product with a low price point. Where the process fell short was that these search engine providers did not (and still do not) provide you with enough information on how their system operates. So, a novice will lose a lot of money for pay-per-click exposure.

Tip: Find a great Google AdWords training site at http://www.perrymarshall.com.

Get Steve’s book here: http://www.amazon.com