Friday, October 5, 2018

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission vs. B.O.B. Strollers

I have pushed the same 2006 BOB Ironman Sport Utility Stroller thousands of miles on my solo running adventures across America, Germany, Alaska, the Mojave Desert, and elsewhere. The stroller hauled my gear, food and water (sometimes as much as 100 pounds) and has endured the most punishing of conditions. Today, it sits in my garage. I recently learned that earlier this year the company that makes the BOB jogging stroller had a complaint filed against it by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), after it refused to order a recall over what the government’s product safety regulator considers a "substantial product hazard."

According to the CPSC, the issue is that the front wheel can detach as the stroller is being pushed -- something I have NEVER experienced with my BOB stroller. The commission says that when the wheel detaches, the front fork on the stroller frame can dig into the terrain, stopping the stroller abruptly and potentially causing serious injury to a child and/or an adult pushing the stroller. The CPSC’s complaint says that almost 500,000 BOB strollers were made from December 2011 through September 2015, plus an unknown number were manufactured between 1997 and 2011. The lawsuit does not cover strollers made after September 2015.

The CPSC suit seeks to force Britax, which owns the BOB brand, to recall the strollers. In its press release, the agency didn’t advise consumers to stop using BOB jogging strollers built through September 2015, but the complaint does seek an order to stop the company from distributing affected models, and also requests that Britax alert the public and produce a remedy for what the agency deems a defect in design.

Britax does not believe there is any defect with the BOB strollers it manufactures.

In a press release, the CPSC says that approximately 200 complaints have been filed by consumers since January 2012 and that it has received at least 97 reports of injuries to children and adults. In response, Britax has said that with more than half a million products in the market for 20 years, the number of reported injuries is very low. Britax also said that front wheel detachments are not due to any defect in the product design; they involve an improperly secured quick release mechanism and/or jogging with the swivel wheel unlocked.

Britax states that detailed instructions and videos on securing the quick release and locking the front wheel are available on the BOB gear website and in the User Guide.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

"Don't Work Too Hard!" -- Words That I've Been Pondering

Recently, I was out mowing my property on a very hot Indiana summer day and a pastor I met not long ago happened to be walking by. When I was somewhat close to him he yelled over the noise of the lawnmower, "Don't work too hard!" -- and kept striding along. For the rest of the time that I pushed my mower over the 20,000 square feet of lawn, I kept thinking about his words... "Don't work too hard!" The question that kept going through my mind was, what is considered "too hard" when it comes to work?

The suggestion, "Don't work too hard!" is one that I've heard countless times in my life... although I don't recall an employer ever saying those words to me! I've had friends and family tell me on occasion not to work too hard, and there have been moments -- like that with the pastor -- when someone passing by has said those words. In fact, I'm sure that I've even said those words to some people in my lifetime.

I was mowing my lawn again a couple of days ago and the thought came back into my mind. What does the average person think is "too hard" when it comes to work? Personally, I have a strong work ethic and am not afraid of putting in hard work. In March 2017, I wrote a blog entry titled, "Do You Think You Have A Strong Work Ethic?" I believe a solid work ethic is essential to success. However, the statement/advice/warning of "Don't Work Too Hard!" isn't focused on one's work ethic. It's focused on the intensity, magnitude and/or duration of the work being performed.

Some people may say, "Don't work too hard!" because the work that they see being done is beyond the effort that they would personally do. Or, perhaps they see the sweat, strain and/or fatigue and believe that the person should take a break or pace themselves better at the task being undertaken. Or, perhaps they feel that the person should have more balance in his or her life between work and rest. Or, perhaps they're concerned that the person's level of work may put them into an early grave! There are many reasons as to why someone may say the words, "Don't work too hard!" Personally, when I hear those words I interpret them as a kind suggestion. The pastor that saw me sweating in the heat as I mowed my lawn was expressing a kind thought based on the work he perceived me doing and the conditions I was doing that work in. However, I know that he uses a riding lawnmower and perhaps he can't relate very well with my pushing a lawnmower on a hot day.

While I agree that a person shouldn't work to the point of putting their health/life in jeopardy, I certainly don't subscribe to the line of thought that a person shouldn't work hard at a task. For me, there is a fine line between "hard" and "too hard." Have I ever crossed the line and entered into the "too hard" category? Yes, I have. I recall a 100-degree day on my run across America in 2006 when I was pushing through a 35-mile segment and became somewhat dehydrated and weak. I was all alone and knew that I was running "too hard" -- so, I stopped, hydrated my body, and adjusted my pace thereafter. It's important to know when you're doing something that is "too hard" for you at the moment.

Don't be afraid of hard work. Some of the greatest successes and joys in life are experienced through hard work. Some aspects of my life that have taken considerable effort, and have been hard at times, include: obtaining my university degrees; my career; being a father; running long distances; and, some relationships. It's important to know yourself well enough to understand what level of work is "too hard" so that you don't foolishly risk your well being. Finally, keep in mind that some hard work never goes away. Yep... my lawn needs to be mowed again!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Friday, September 28, 2018

2019 Film About Fred Rogers of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood"

I recently realized that 2018 marks 50 years since "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" first premiered on television. It launched in 1968 -- when I was only 3 years of age -- and is the TV show that I watched the most as a very young boy. The show aired for multiple decades, coming to an end in 2001. It was aimed primarily at preschool children, ages 2 to 5, but it was labelled by PBS as "appropriate for all ages." Today, I was happy to learn that actor Tom Hanks is going to be portraying the life of Fred Rogers in a movie slated to be released in October 2019. Earlier this year, a documentary film by Morgan Neville titled "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" was released and focused on the life of Mr. Rogers.

As a young boy I always enjoyed learning from Mr. Rogers. He would sing the little intro song ("Won't You Be My Neighbor") as he walked onto the set, put on a sweater, and changed his shoes. Did you know that all of the sweaters that Mr. Rogers wore on show were hand-sewed by his mother? In the book Life's Journeys According to Mr. Rogers: Things to Remember Along the Way, Mr. Rogers wrote:
"I've recently learned that in an average lifetime, a person walks about 65,000 miles. That's two and a half times around the world. I wonder where your steps will take you. I wonder how you'll use the rest of the miles you're given."
I'm 53 years old now and due to my long-distance running background I've logged far more than 65,000 miles so far in life. However, I appreciate Mr. Rogers' words about how far the average person walks in a lifetime... and his thought-provoking words of wondering where future steps will take you, and how you'll use the rest of the miles given... the remaining time on earth.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood is a timeless program that teaches some valuable lessons to young children. During each half-hour segment, Mr. Rogers would speak directly to the viewer about various issues, taking them on tours of factories, demonstrating experiments, crafts, and music, and interacting with his friends. Mr. Rogers also made a point to simply behave naturally on camera rather than acting out a character, stating that "One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self." The half-hour episodes included a puppet segment chronicling occurrences in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Another segment of the show consisted of Mr. Rogers going to different places around the neighborhood, where he interviews people to talk about their work and other community contributions.

I really like how the company, Fred Rogers Productions, describes Mister Rogers' Neighborhood -- which aired 886 episodes between 1968 and 2001: "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was a "television visit" between Mister Rogers and his young viewers. With his caring and trusting ways, Mister Rogers created a calm, safe place for children to learn about themselves, about others, and about the world around them. Mister Rogers brought them a one-to-one affirmation of their self-worth."

A few months before his death in 2003 from stomach cancer, Fred Rogers recorded a video message for those who grew up watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”



Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Thursday, September 27, 2018

It Has Been 12 Years Since I Ran Into The Atlantic Ocean

In just a few weeks -- on October 20, 2018 -- it will be 12 years since I ran into the Atlantic Ocean and completed my solo run across America. In the past, I've written about that adventure, and I've expressed some of the feelings and emotions that I experienced when I finally reached the ocean. Most people who know me, or are familiar with the journey, are aware that I completed the run on the Delaware coast. However, most people don't know exactly where I finished. I actually completed the coast-to-coast adventure after running down a boardwalk extending off of the Cape Henlopen State Park Bathhouse, and here's an aerial photograph of that boardwalk:


On the day that I finished the 3,260-mile run, the beach looked very similar to this photo. It was 11 o'clock in the morning and there was no one on the beach. There had been some light rain that morning, although it wasn't raining when I finished. There was a relatively gray sky which eventually gave way to sun shortly after I arrived at the beach. There were no more than about 15 people who watched me run into the ocean that day -- most standing on the boardwalk. It had taken 108 days of striding 30 miles per day, on average, to cross the 15 states to reach that beach. I didn't actually see the ocean until I started down the boardwalk. Here's what it looks like:



To see that massive ocean after running through the second hottest summer ever recorded in the United States was such a wonderful feeling. I knew that I was going to run right into it!

Yes, it has been 12 years since that experience and my life is far different now than it was back then. That run across America changed me in many ways and will always be a part of my personal history. However, today my eyes and heart are set on the future and with each step I take I'm counting my blessings... daily.

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Thursday, September 6, 2018

It Has Been a Busy (and hot) Summer in Indiana!

It has been a busy summer of new home ownership! If you read this blog in May of this year, you learned that I purchased a new home in Indiana and was spending the summer doing some home improvement -- which included painting the entire interior. Juggling the home projects, my work at the law firm, and wedding preparations has kept summer's pace quite brisk! However, all of it has been a blessing beyond measure!

The greatest blessing is Kelley, and finding this home with her... and marrying her... are gifts that I will treasure every day of my life. She did a wonderful job at choosing new interior colors for our home and definitely has a better eye for that than I do. Sure, there is more yet to do, but I'm pleased to say that the summer home projects that I wanted to get accomplished have indeed been checked off of my list.

It has certainly been a hot summer, and as I write this during the first week of September the thermometer is reading 92 degrees! We've been hot in Indiana since May. The National Weather Service reported that May 2018 was the hottest May on record in Indiana. That's pretty impressive when considering that the weather records go all the way back to 1871.

One winter project will be a home office renovation, which I will tackle after the new year is underway. I also have a few outdoor projects in mind for next summer, but all of that will be off my radar as we go through holidays. I'm truly looking forward to our first Thanksgiving and Christmas in the new house... as a married couple.

Between us, Kelley and I have eight children -- six of whom are adults. Kelley's two youngest daughters are ages 10 and 13. Both of them love the new house and their bedrooms, which have been put together just the way they wanted. We're looking forward to building many wonderful family memories in our home.

The house is actually the kind of home I've always wanted. It's a four-bedroom, two and a half bath home with hardwood floors, formal dining room, fireplace, and more. I love the mature trees, the large lot size, and the well-manicured lawns in the neighborhood. There is minimal residential traffic and the neighborhood is perfect for taking evening strolls. The home is also in easy driving distance to the offices where Kelley and I work, and the girls' schools.

Yes, life in Indiana is wonderful and I thank God daily for all that He has done to uplift and bless me on life's path.



Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Monday, July 30, 2018

Enjoy The Rest of Your Summer!

On June 15, I wrote a post about taking the summer off from blogging to do some work on my new house before my upcoming wedding. Last week I made a few posts about some items that I felt were important to share and was told by a friend that it's good to see that I'm blogging again. Well, I'm diving back into working on my new house (interior painting and some other items) and will be away from this blog for the next couple of months. Enjoy the rest of your summer!



Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com

Friday, July 27, 2018

Running from Kenai, Alaska to Key West, Florida -- All Alone!

On October 24, 2016, I wrote a blog post about Pete Kostelnick setting a new world record for a crew-supported run across America (averaging 73 miles per day), surpassing a record that had stood for 36 years! Well, he has rested up and is about to embark on his next big running adventure. On August 1, 2018, Pete is going to begin a 5,300-mile run from Kenai, Alaska to Key West, Florida... aiming to average about 50 miles per day SOLO!

Pete is going to push a jogging stroller of gear, as I did when I ran across America in 2006, and will not have a crew this time to support him. He's quoted as saying, “In 1999, my family and I drove most of this route from Kenai to Iowa. I’ve wanted to go back since, this time to run another transcontinental route, this time in a self-supported manner. I came up with this idea about a year ago. I’ve done a lot of research to see if it’s feasible. I won’t really know until I start, but I am confident it is.” The run should take just slightly more than 100 days.

I grew up in Alaska and did a 500-mile solo run in Alaska back in 2009. I know the geography of Alaska and the Yukon/British Columbia territories of Canada very well and this is a massive undertaking that Pete is about to embark on. A few years ago, a guy in Florida planned to run from that state to Juneau, Alaska -- but the adventure never got to the starting line. If Pete can pull off this run, it will be a first!

You can learn more about Pete at his website, and you can track his progress on social media at his Facebook page and his Instagram page -- and you definitely don't want to miss Pete's live tracking map! Good luck, Pete!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso
www.paulstaso.com