June 30, 2010

Rachel Hallmark was getting ready to bring her four children to Six Flags in Arlington, Texas. She just had to take care of one quick thing first. Her eldest child, Ethan, had a nagging ache in his stomach recently. Medicine didn’t really help. So she packed up all four kids and brought them to the doctor so Ethan could get a CT scan.

It wouldn’t take long, she thought. At least not long enough to derail her plans for a fun day with the kids, whom she had already lathered up with sunscreen.

She couldn’t have been more wrong.

When the pediatrician made her sit down, she realized it. Ethan had a massive tumor in his abdomen. Later tests would reveal it was neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer that was routinely fatal.

The baseball-loving 9-year-old was about to have anything but a normal childhood.

Pictures of Ethan line the home of the Hallmarks in Midlothian, Texas. (Source: I Am Second)

Pictures of Ethan line the home of the Hallmarks in Midlothian, Texas. (Source: I Am Second)


July 16, 2010

We started our clinic visits this week. He goes two to three times a week in between chemo to the oncology clinic. I was dreading our first visit as I didn’t know what to expect. I was afraid to be honest. As we turn the corner to enter the parking garage, a song came on the Christian radio station. It goes, ‘This is where the healing begins.” God couldn’t have spoken much clearer to me. Our family has definitely been turned upside down and all focus is on healing our son. I don’t know how we could do this without our faith in Jesus Christ. Because of Him, we can continue on day to day. 


That’s part of the first post Rachel ever wrote on CaringBridge, a place where people going through medical difficulty can update friends, family, and supporters. There are 93 pages worth of updates on Ethan’s site.

Ninety-three pages of raw honesty. Hurt. Pain. Fight. Love. Faith.

If you’ve been to that site or this one before, you know how Ethan’s story ends. He battled the disease for four years as it ravaged his body, going into remission once but then spreading to his bone marrow and colonizing in his arm, leg, knee, and behind his heart. All the while he had an attitude that’s almost unfathomable.

“Obviously I want to beat this disease, but I’m not going to be that sad if I don’t,” he said in a film made about his life. “Of course I want to live a long life, who doesn’t? I want to watch my sister and brothers go to middle school with me, go to high school, watch them graduate. Even I want to graduate. It’s not really my plan though.”

On September 26, 2014, he died at age 13.

But while you may know how Ethan’s story ends, his family is part of a larger one that’s just beginning.

Continue Reading…

Tim Shaw is dying. That’s not hyperbole. That’s not a prediction. That’s fact.

But while that’s important for you to know, here’s what’s more important: While dying, he’s living. Like, really living.

Shaw is a former NFL linebacker. That means he was once one of the most finely-tuned human specimens there is, playing in a league filled with elite athletes. Now it takes him five minutes to put his socks on.

He has ALS. And unless you lived in a hole last year, you know what that is from the hundreds of videos showing people dumping cold water on themselves to raise awareness. It worked.

But now that everyone has dried off, the reality is there are people still suffering from the degenerative disease. They’re dying. Like Tim Shaw.

Shaw is normal. He struggles with anger, sadness, and fear. How could he not? But struggling with those things is different than letting them consume him.

“I believe people are made for a purpose,” Shaw told The Tennesseean recently. “Sometimes specifically, God says, ‘This is what I made you for.’ In my situation, I believe He will make good out of every situation. He didn’t have ALS planned for me. But He prepared for me for the tough time He knew I’d be going through.

“It doesn’t make things easier and it doesn’t take (ALS) away. But it gives me peace. There’s also sadness in there. There’s fear. There’s anger. But above all, there’s peace.”

As I write this, a song plays on my computer. It couldn’t be more appropriate:

You make me brave. 

You make me brave. 

You call me out beyond the shore into the waves. 

You make me brave. 

You make me brave.

No fear can hinder now the promises you made.

Shaw has traveled to Brazil to dig wells and Haiti to serve in orphanages since he was diagnosed with the disease. That’s incredible. The man who’s dying is spending some of his last days helping others.

“I know myself from experience that when I do things selfishly, I don’t feel nearly as good or nearly as fulfilled as doing things for others,” he told the paper. “It’s kind of a lesson I’ve learned throughout my life and a lesson I would love everyone to test. Go ahead and do something for someone and don’t tell anyone about it. You’ll have this overwhelmingly joyful and peaceful and fulfilling feeling.”

See what I mean? He doesn’t just wear a bracelet that says he’s Second, he embodies it. That challenges me. I hope it challenges you.

Tim Shaw, wearing an I Am Second wristband. (Source:

Tim Shaw, wearing an I Am Second wristband. (Source:

It reminds me of someone else’s story I heard while working in the news business. Ethan Hallmark. Ethan was 13 years old when he died almost a year ago on September 13. But like Shaw, that means nothing compared to how he lived.

Ethan was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, neuroblastoma, when he was 9. Nine years old. Seventy-three days before his death he sat in a white chair and uttered some of the most striking words I’ve ever heard from a teenager:

Obviously I want to beat this disease, but I’m not going to be that sad if I don’t. … Of course I want to live a long life, who doesn’t? I want to watch my sister and brothers go to middle school with me, go to high school, watch them graduate. Even I want to graduate. It’s not really my plan though.

And he touched lives.

My eyes are wet. And I’ve seen those videos several times.

Ethan Hallmark. Tim Shaw. One truly lived. The other is truly living.

Are we?

Jeff Fisher (Source: I Am Second)

Jeff Fisher (Source: I Am Second)


March 10, 2015.

It was a Tuesday. If you cared about sports, you were gearing up for the NCAA tournament. But in St. Louis, Missouri, Rams coach Jeff Fisher was making sure you couldn’t ignore the NFL.

There, the 20-year head coach was taking part in a blockbuster move that would send his quarterback to the Philadelphia Eagles. The teams would trade starting signal-callers in a surprising move. He was hailed as a genius for getting the better end of the deal.

Two teams, with millions of dollars on the line, swapping players like a playground game of Old Maid.



“The answers weren’t there. They just were not there,” Fisher says about that time.

At some point he found himself sitting in a vehicle with a friend. As they drove around Fisher’s property, they decided to pull off. It just happened to be on a bridge. That detail has stayed with Fisher for some reason.

That’s where his friend asked him a very pointed question about his life: “Do you really, honestly believe that Jesus Christ is your lord and your savior?”

Fisher said he did. But his friend pushed: “What does that mean?”

“And I paused, and I couldn’t answer that,” he says.

They kept talking. Eventually, he found the answer.


The Jeff Fisher film isn’t long. It probably takes less time to watch it than it does to go through a car wash. It’s not overly profound. It’s not complicated or jaw-dropping. But there’s something that I really like about it.*

Here it is: The most important day of Fisher’s story involved the front seat of a parked car on a bridge.

Just picture that for a moment.

The man who’s desire to finish first has him swapping quarterbacks on a Tuesday and coaching in front of hundreds of thousands on a Sunday, became second on the side the road. It’s rugged. Raw. Real. It’s what Hollywood tries to capture in a movie to make it feel like we know the characters.

I feel like Fisher’s story is a lot of people’s story. How many of us have been disillusioned by the church or life, but finally found meaning when we decided to stop driving away and just pull the car over?

Jeff Fisher the man, not Jeff Fisher the untouchable NFL coach, did.

I can only imagine he was wearing a flannel shirt when it happened. Just like in one of those life-imitating movies.

*One other thing that’s a close second: He sat down and made the film the day before the 2015 draft. When you think about the incredible dedication this man has to his job, that’s amazing.

Monday morning. 10 o’clock a.m. on the East Coast. You were probably at work. Maybe grumbling about the “Mondays.” Or maybe you slept in, called in, or cashed in. It was, after all, Monday morning. While you were doing whatever it is you were doing, a 62-year-old woman was fighting back tears telling one of the most beautiful stories of a life I’ve heard in a while. A life lived second.

Source: 'TODAY' show screen shot.

Source: ‘TODAY’ show screen shot.

The woman is someone you might recognize. Kathie Lee Gifford. She spent years alongside Regis on the show named after them. For the last eight years she’s been hosting the fourth hour of the “TODAY” show. Last Sunday, August 9, her husband died unexpectedly. You may recognize his name, too. Frank Gifford. He was a legendary Giants football player and host of “Monday Night Football.” Chances are you or someone you know grew up listening to his voice.

I say all that so that you understand better the magnitude of what Kathie Lee did on Monday morning, her first day back on TV after Frank’s passing. She could have said anything, asked for anything, screamed anything. She could have retired right then and there with a bitter goodbye and we all would have understood.

But she didn’t. She decided to do something else. She told Frank’s story. For eight minutes she told his story.

“As a young child, Frank asked Jesus into his heart,” she said, explaining that the Hall of Famer grew up with nothing during the Depression. “And that remained with him for the rest of his life. He strayed from his faith on occasion but his faith never left him.”

“His world got smaller as his God got bigger and he’d want you to know that, that he died in complete peace,” she added. “He knew every sin he’d ever committed was forgiven. He had the hope that he would be with the Lord, and that we would some day be with him as well. That is the foundation of the Christian faith, is forgiveness, grace, and hope.”

“And those of you who are hurting today or feel hopeless, it might be the answer for you.”

She stopped herself.

“In fact, I know it’s the answer for you.”

Pause for a moment and think about that. A grieving wife on national TV so convinced about what her husband had she couldn’t help but share it.

Angry? I know it’s the answer for you.

Discontent? I know it’s the answer for you.

Struggling to find purpose? I know it’s the answer for you.

Hurting? I know it’s the answer for you.

Facing a divorce? I know it’s the answer for you.

Let that sink in.

Then there’s the story about the stone. One small stone.

See, Kathie Lee and Frank took a trip to Israel a few years back. There, their friend took them down to a stream. It’s said to be the same stream that the historical king, David, went down to and picked up five stones from as he prepared to take on a seemingly impossible task: the giant Goliath.

“The miracle wasn’t that the shepherd boy was able to kill the giant,” she explained. “The miracle was that the shepherd boy, who had all the skills he would ever need in life, trusted in a living God. Not a religion, but a living God.”

Frank grabbed a stone.

That moment left a lasting impression on him. In fact, it changed him so much that when people came over to his house he wouldn’t take them to his Hall of Fame bust or his Emmy awards, but rather the small stone he plucked out of the stream.

That started a tradition in the family. The couple’s kids, Cassidy and Cody, both got stones when they graduated high school and college shortly after.

“And we said to her, ‘Cass, where you going to throw your stone for the kingdom of God? What is your stone and where are you going to throw it?’ A week later, Cody graduated from college … he got a stone.”

She had a challenge.

“If you ever leave a legacy for your children, let it be that you’ve taught them friendship with God, and that you’ve taught them to find their stone. And show it, show it. Throw it hard and well and transform this hurting world that needs God’s love so much.”

“Frank would want you to do this today: If you see a stone somewhere, pick it up and ask yourself that question, ‘What is my stone? What is the gift that only I can do in this world to make it a better place? And then spend the rest of your life trying to throw it well.”

That got me thinking.

At the front entrance of my office building, there just happens to be some stones. I walk by them all the time without giving them a second thought. In fact, as I wrote this, I had to pause, walk down to the entrance, and make sure I wasn’t making that up. I grabbed a stone and decided to write out what Frank stood for: a life of being second.

The author with his #secondstone. (Source: I Am Second)

The author with his stone #mysecondstone. (Source: I Am Second)

If we feel the same way, I think we should all take her advice. Find a stone today. Then, “Spend the rest of your life trying to throw it well.”

Desde el comienzo, se han preguntando una cosa: ¿Cómo podemos tener una carrera en nuestra ciudad? Bueno, ¿adivinen qué? ¡Es fácil!

Se llama la opción “Run Anywhere.”  Es una manera sencilla de compartir en la experiencia de Yo Soy Segundo y correr con amigos y compañeros. Los pasos son fáciles.

1. Saca tu teléfono.

2. Envía un texto, correo electrónico o dale una  llamada a tus amigos. 

3. Escoge una fecha y un lugar.

4. Selecciona un nombre para tu equipo. ¡Con creatividad!. Registra tu equipo aquí y tendrás tu propia página de equipo personalizada donde puedes invitar a otras personas. También te mandaran una camisa y pulsera en el correo con tu registración.

¡Eso es todo! Asegúrate de tomar una cuantas fotos y de  publicarlas en los medios sociales utilizando hashtags # ia2runanywhere y #secondrunselfie.

El año pasado, los corredores como Janel, Andy, y Heidi se divirtieron con la opción de Run Anywhere.

“¡La carrera, I am Second Run Anywhere en Boston fue mi primera carrera! Lo vi como un reto personal, igual como una gran manera de compartir el mensaje de Yo Soy Segundo con mi ciudad. Mi mejor amigo corrió a mi lado y me animó a cada paso del camino. Corrimos juntos a lo largo del Charles River Esplanade, a través del hermoso follaje de otoño, todos ataviados con nuestra ropa y pulseras de Yo Soy Segundo.  No sólo nos divertimos juntos, pero también hemos demostrado nuestra solidaridad con otros  Segundos por todo el país. Estámos orgullosos de decir que hemos terminado segundo. “- Janel de Boston, MA

“Soy un teniente del Departamento de Policía de Ohio Lima. Con mi tiempo tan limitado, no pude correr con mi esposa y su amiga que corrieron la Run Anywhere 5K. Tenía muchas ganas de correr, así que decidí correr por mi mismo en el trabajo. Tomé un tiempito durante  el almuerzo y fui a la máquina de correr. . Corrí un 10K muy rápido y me inspire escuchando musica de alabanzas.  Con la opción Run Anywhere me sentí como si  fuera parte del evento, a pesar  que no podía correr con todos los demás. Sin duda lo haré de nuevo este año, pero espero poder correr al aire libre por lo menos! “–Andy de Lima, Ohio

“Descubrí que las carreras virtuales son una manera divertida de mantenerse motivado después que otras carerra hayan terminado.  ¡Así que cuando vi la opción de Run Anywhere en Facebook, me apunte!   ¡La carrera era interesante! El día anterior, nos despertamos con una mini tormenta de nieve. Nieve durante la época de Halloween es raro aquí, pero esto era 4.6 pulgadas de nieve, viento y temperatura de 10 grados! En la mañana de la carrera, hacía frío y todo estaba lento debido al hielo. Desde entonces, he entrenado para mi primer carrera de 10k, y ahora estoy entrenando para mi primera maratón. Ha sido una experiencia increíble. Estoy realmente esperando con interés la próxima carrera virtual de Yo soy Segundo. Será divertido  mirar hacia atrás este año pasado y ver lo lejos que he llegado. “–Heidi de Palmer, MI

Si es tu primera carrera como Janel o solo una de muchas como Heidi, la opción de Run Anywhere es una gran manera de unirte a tus compañeros Segundos,y llevar estas historias al resto del mundo. Así que llama a tus amigos (o hazlo durante el almuerzo,  como Andy) y participa dondequiera que estés, cuando TU puedas!

Ponte tus zapatos de correr y lleva el mensaje de Yo Soy Segundo a tu ciudad!

GPFL Logo-AppEn su libro, Salvaje de Corazón, John Eldredge escribe: “Un hombre debe saber que es poderoso; él debe saber que tiene dentro de él lo que es necesario. Un hombre tiene que saber de dónde viene y de lo que es hecho“.

Desde su carrera en la NFL, el entrenador Joe Gibbs ha inspirado a muchos hombres a conocer su verdadera identidad. [insert Spanish Joe Gibbs page]. Hoy en día, Joe Gibbs ayuda a muchos más por todo el país con su organización Game Plan for Life , y la serie, Average Joes. Pero su dedicación a los  jóvenes comenzó muy temprano en su carrera. Derrick Crawford, ex-director de operaciones de los Washington Redskins, recuerda la actitud del ex-entrenado.

“Uno siempre ve el tirano que intenta entrenar inclinado por temor. Pero él [Gibbs]  nunca entrenó usando el temor. Entrenó usando el respeto.”

Derrick conoció a Gibbs en el 2004, cuando el entrenador se unió al equipo en una segunda etapa como entrenador de los Washington Redskins. Pero Gibbs no fue el  típico entrenador de fútbol americano y Derrick admiraba eso de él. Mientras que otros entrenadores gritaban a sus jugadores durante horas y horas, Gibbs hacía entrega de premios cada semana, reconociendo a los que dieron su mejor esfuerzo en el campo. Él creía en el empoderamiento de sus jugadores, en vez de enfocarse en lo negativo. El respeto que él les demostró, dio a luz una amistad entre el equipo que no se podía romper.

“Cuando respetas a tu entrenador haces hasta lo imposible para él”, comentó Derrick.

Después de su retiro con los Red Skins en 2008, Gibbs escribió el libro Game Plan for Life  y puso en marcha una nueva organización con el mismo nombre. Tanto el libro como la organización ahondan en diferentes áreas de éxito y buscan empoderar a los hombres con la inspiración y comunidad. Gibbs y su equipo logran esto a través de desayunos de hombres, eventos, y asambleas en las escuelas. Todas estas iniciativas construyen relaciones de tutoría donde los jóvenes pueden encontrar apoyo y aliento.

La oportunidad de participar en Game Plan For life llegó en un momento muy crítico para Derrick.  Después de meses de desempleo, apenas podía mantener la cabeza fuera del agua. Fue un tiempo muy difícil para él y su familia.

“Yo estaba recibiendo cupones de alimentos del gobierno, ayudando a un compañero a vender casas, y a otro compañero a organizar su vida. Hice todo lo que pude para poder sobrevivir durante ese tiempo “.

Fue entonces cuando recibió una llamada crucial de Gibbs invitando lo a convertirse en su nuevo Director Ejecutivo. La misión de Game Plan For Life  cambia miles de vidas de hombres por todo el país. Y la vida de Derrick tambien cambio.

“Me ayudó a tener fe y en saber que Dios está en control”, compartió Derrick.

Actualmente, Gibbs y Derrick han puesto en marcha una nueva serie, Average Joes, que cuenta las historias de hombres que han tenido éxito a pesar de terribles circunstancias y fracasos.

Ayudando a los hombres a realizarse por sí mismos a sido la pasión de Joe Gibbs desde el principio. Desde el entrenamiento en el campo de fútbol a la creación de Game Plan for Life , él y su equipo continúan inspirar a hombres por todo el país. Haga clic aquí para obtener más información sobre Game Plan para la Vida y su nueva serie Average Joes.

Since the very first I am Second Run you have been asking for one thing: How can we have a run in our city? Well, guess what. It’s easy!

It’s called the “Run Anywhere” option. It’s a simple way to share in the I Am Second run experience with friends and fellow Seconds. The steps are easy.

1. Take out your phone.

2. Text, email, or call your friends.

3.Pick a date and a location.

4. Select a team name. Make sure you get creative. Register your team here and get your custom team page where you can invite others. You’ll also get a shirt and wristband in the mail.

5. Meet up and run.

That’s it! Be sure to snap a few pics and post them to social media using hashtags #ia2runanywhere and #secondrunselfie.

Last year, runners such as Janel, Andy, and Heidi had a blast with the Run Anywhere option.

“The I am Second Run Anywhere in Boston was my first run ever! I saw it as a personal fitness challenge as well as a great way to share I am Second with my city. My best friend ran at my side and encouraged me every step of the way.  We ran together along the Charles River Esplanade, through the beautiful Fall foliage, all decked out in our I am Second gear. Not only did we have great fun together, but we showed our solidarity with Seconds all across the country. We were proud to say that we finished Second.” — Janel from Boston, MA

“I’m a Lieutenant at the Lima Ohio Police Department. With my busy schedule, I wasn’t able to run with my wife and her friend who did the Run Anywhere 5K. I really wanted to run still, so I decided that it would have to be the treadmill for me. I took a lunch break at work and changed into my running gear. I ran a quick 10K on the treadmill and rocked out to some worship music. With the Run Anywhere option I still felt like I was part of the event, even though I couldn’t run with everyone else. I’ll certainly be doing it again this year, but hope to run outside at least!”  –Andy from Lima, Ohio

“I discovered virtual runs were a fun way to stay motivated after the other races were over. So when I saw the I am Second virtual run posted on Facebook, I signed right up! The run was interesting! The day before, we woke up to a mini blizzard. Snow for Halloween isn’t uncommon up here, but this was 4-6 inches of snow, windy, and 10 degrees! On the morning of the run, it was cold and slow because of the ice. Since then, I spent the winter training for my first 10k, and now I’m training for my first half marathon. It’s been an amazing experience. I’m really looking forward to the next I am Second virtual run. It’ll be fun to look back to last year and see how far I’ve come.” —Heidi, Palmer, MI

Whether it’s your first run like Janel or one of many like Heidi, the I am Second’s Run Anywhere is a great way to join your fellow Seconds as they make their stories known to rest of the world. So grab your friends (or go it alone during a lunch break like Andy) and take part wherever you are, whenever you can!

Lace up your running shoes and bring the I am Second Run to your city!

GPFL Logo-AppIn his book, Wild at Heart, John Eldredge writes, “A man must know he is powerful; he must know he has what it takes.  A man has to know where he comes from and what he’s made of.“

Since his years in the NFL, showing men their true identity has been a central part of Joe Gibbs’ life.  But his investment in younger guys started long before his retirement.  Derrick Crawford, former Director of Team Administration for the Washington Redskins, remembers the former coach’s demeanor well.

“You always see the tyrant who tries to coach out of fear. But he didn’t coach out of fear. He coached out of respect.”

Derrick met Gibbs in 2004 when the coach joined the team in a second stint as head coach of the Washington Redskins. But Gibbs wasn’t your typical football coach and Derrick admired that about him. While other coaches yelled at their players for hours on end, Gibbs gave out awards every week, acknowledging those who gave their best on the field. He believed in empowering his players, not beating them down. The respect he showed them birthed a team bond that could not be broken.

“When you respect your coach that much you will run through a brick wall for him,” Derrick remarked.

After his retirement from the Redskins in 2008, Gibbs wrote Game Plan for Life and launched a new organization by the same name.  Both the book and the organization delve into different areas of success and seek to empower men with inspiration coaching and community.  Gibbs and his team do this through men’s breakfasts, outreach events, and assemblies in schools.  All of these initiatives build mentoring relationships with men where they can find support and encouragement.

“We are trying to get men off the sidelines and into the game,” Derrick commented.

Derrick’s involvement with Game Plan for Life came at a critical time.  After months of unemployment, he could barely keep his head above water.  It was a taxing time for him and his family.

“I was getting food stamps, helping a buddy flip houses, and helping another buddy organize his life. I did whatever I could so I could pay the bills every month.”

That’s when he received a crucial call from Gibbs inviting him to become his new Executive Director. The mission of Game Plan for Life changes thousands of men’s lives around the country. And now Derrick’s life has changed too.

“It helped me to have faith and know that God is in control,” Derrick shared.

Currently, Gibbs and Derrick have launched a new online series, Average Joes, that tells the stories of men who have experienced success despite terrible circumstances and failures.

Helping men know what they are made of has been Joe Gibbs’ passion from the beginning.  From coaching on the football field to creating Game Plan for Life, he and his team continue to empower men all across the country. Click here to learn more about Game Plan for Life and their new Average Joes series.

07Aug, 2015

This weekend, an adult entertainment expo, Exxxotica, is coming to the Dallas area. It’s caused quite a debate in the city, with your typical critics, such as pastors, speaking out against it. That’s to be expected. But here’s what I found interesting: It’s not just pastors or the “religious” types who have a problem with it. Last week, a women’s rights group sent a letter to the Dallas mayor, and begged the city to understand that there are deeper issues at play than just porn.

“There is a huge correlation between pornography, sex trade, violence against women, and trafficking,” Roslyn Dawson Thompson, the head of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, says. “How can you not reconcile that, and realize that this is not a good thing for our city to be doing?”

And that group isn’t some stuffy, Bible Belt coffee clutch. Their annual fall luncheon will feature actress Eva Langoria, who led efforts to have Barack Obama elected.

Thompson isn’t the only one that thinks porn can lead to a lot of other issues. “Pornography documents and facilitates trafficking,” writes Melissa Farley.

And just consider another group that’s concerned about the weekend’s events — a group that has a unique perspective: former prostitutes.

When you get down to it, they say the expos are fronts for and gateways to prostitution and human trafficking.

“It opens doors for women to be degraded,” one tells Dallas TV station WFAA.

“I lost myself in this world of sex, to be used as a sex toy as an object,” says another.

Listen to them in their own words:

Annie Lobert knows exactly what these women are talking about. She was an escort for high rollers, working for a pimp and fulfilling the fantasies of men who couldn’t get enough but were willing to pay a lot of money to try. She charged $10,000 for a full night. It started as a way to buy nice things but quickly turned into beatings and addiction. It even involved turning tricks as she battled cancer.

Watch her tell her story of what she thought was going to be a glamorous lifestyle that left her empty, and the one night that led her to finally find something more:

You can read Lobert’s blog post from earlier this year, too, or read her book, Fallen.

Jon Seidl (Source: Jon Seidl)

Jon Seidl (Source: Jon Seidl)

Well — hello there.

I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. I’m Jon, your new (and first) editor-in-chief at I Am Second. More on what that means in a bit.

It’s incredible when I think about how I found my way to you. Have you ever done that? You know, stop and think about all the twists and turns, bad decisions, good luck, and hard work that has brought you to this exact place in time. I’ve been doing that over the last couple days since I announced I was leaving my job in the news business to join you. I’ve lived in Wisconsin, New York City, Colorado and Texas. My goal at one point was to be the White House press secretary. That was before I found writing. I still remember the first article I ever got published, what that felt like, and then realizing I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.

Now, here I am.

So what does this mean? What is “editor-in-chief” anyway? Let me put it this way: I’m here to make sure you have relevant, fun, and thoughtful things to read. Sometimes, you’ll read something that’s all three of those. Sometimes you’ll read something that’s just one of those. And if you read something that is none of those, I hope you’ll let me know about it.

In short: Soon you’ll be seeing more written content from I Am Second. We love making the films, and will continue to do so, but we wanted to give you more. This isn’t anything radical, but it is something that required us to bring someone in to lead those efforts. Enter me.

Jon with his wife, Brett. (Source: Jon Seidl)

Jon with his wife, Brett. (Source: Jon Seidl)

My passion is story-telling. I want to tell stories that make a difference; stories that make you think; stories that you disagree with; stories that make you want to change, to be different, to be better; stories that are bigger than you and me; stories that take us on a journey; stories that stay with us. That’s why I came here.

I’m really picking up where others have left off, though. People such as Nathan Sheets, Adam Leydig, Mike Jorgensen, Oscar Castillo and, of course, Doug Bender have laid the foundation. I’m just building on it. And with the team we have in place here I can’t wait to get started.

Now this is the point in this little post that I tell you a little bit about me:

• My birthday is in January

• I’ve been married for six years*

• I have a 3-month-old little girl

• I’m originally from Wisconsin

• I went to college in New York City, where I lived for six years

• I can cook a mean brat

•Don’t try talking to me during a Packers game

• I ride a Harley

• My wife is taller than I am

• I lost 50 pounds two summers ago and I’m trying to get back to that

But the most important thing you need to know about me: I am second.

Message me anytime and let me know what you want to see, tell me your story, or just say hey:; @jonseidl on Twitter; and Jonathon M. Seidl on Facebook.

We’re going to have a great time together.

*I originally said five years. Folks, that’s wrong. It’s six. And, well, that was an embarrassing reminder from my lovely wife.