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Is Anything Reliable These Days?

Is Anything Reliable These Days?

I’m bummed.  Today is day 1 of a six-month challenge — our 2nd Annual Wellness 101 50-State Challenge.  Last year’s challenge involved me golfing in all 50 states in 101 days.  I made it and also got people in every state to commit to welness.  There were no sick days, no auto accidents, nothing that kept me from reaching my goal.  It was miraculous.  Today we had to postpone an event — our kickoff event — due to weather conditions.  This event was previously postponed one other time due to weather conditions.  It’s winter in Maryland, and a rough one at that, so it’s not terribly surprising.  What is surprising to me is that I find myself here at all right now, given how much I hate Maryland in the wintertime.  I’m much more suited to California yearround, but especially between the months of November and May.  This second postponement has caused me to reflect a bit on other things in life that are as unreliable as the weather in Maryland.  For example, craftsmanship.  It seems like craftsmanship has gone downhill, so that things you purchase are designed to break rather than last.  People have also become much more unreliable in recent years.  Some say it’s because of technology overload, others think there’s just a general decline in societal values.  Companies once took pride in treating customers right, but now it seems that companies do as little as possible to make as much as possible — customers be damned.  Just last night two relatives went to Ruth’s Chris and had a subpar experience with both the food and the service.  A bad experience at a freaking Ruth’s Chris!?  What’s the world coming to?  Is the answer just to lower expectations to the “new normal?”

Like many things in life, reliability seems to have become a utopian ideal — nice to think about but unreasonable to expect.  Utopia is omething nice, but not likely to happen any time soon.  Heck, even my achilles — my good achilles — blew out on me last week.  My left one ruptured in 2002 and now my right one in 2015.  I’m just hoping that this one takes less time to heal and heals better than the first so that I can once again rely on my legs to get me where I need to go.  With all that about my leg, I’m still grateful that for 51 years, that achilles worked great, and I have a leg to heal, which leads me to think about a few things that are reliable.

Three reliable things are faith, love and family.

I believe in God and when God says that He will never leave me nor forsake me, I believe that.  I rely on that when things are really bad.  He also says he’ll never put anything more on my shoulders than I can handle.  I believe and rely on that too.

I believe in love, that thing that is more than emotion, that drives us to do things beyond our natural capabilities or understanding.  Love is the most valuable thing on the planet.  Much more valuable than gold, or diamonds.  I believe that true love is truly reliable.  That’s why hate will never, ever take over the world.  It’s weak in comparison to the reliable power of love.

I believe that we can still rely on family — and friends that are like family.  When the chips are down, and I’ve seen up and down, family is what you are left with in your midst.  Those are the people who say, hey, you’re still ok with me even if you are kinda messed up.

This piece started out on a depressing note.  And believe me, I could have gone on and on about all the things that are unreliable these days. Frankly, I’m in that kind of a mood, with pain shooting through my leg and stuck indoors on a dismal day that was supposed to be a “Night of Transformation.”  But, just writing those three short paragraphs about faith, love and family brightened my day a bit, and, well, transformed my night.  So, I think I’ll end with those thoughts and rely on them to keep me going another day.  Especially since one day, I’m relying on enjoying another beautiful, pain-free day on the beach in Hawaii like the one I experienced on my birthday last September at the end of our first 50-State Challenge.  Hmm, maybe I should turn that into a tradition.  Those beautiful Hawaian views and Aloha spirit are definitely things I can rely on!  This is Day 1 of a 6-month challenge, a challenge that ends August 31st.  A week into an injury that mirrors one that sent me into a 12-year physical downward spiral in 2002, I challenge myself to wind up on August 31st in better physical, mental and spiritual shape than on the day of my recent injury.  And so it begins.  I’ll rely on you to help me get there.

A.J. Ali

A.J. Ali, "The Wellness Motivator!" is an award-winning writer, producer, actor, host, voice over artist, emcee and creative visionary. He is the Founder and Executive Producer of EclipseVSC since 1999. A.J. is currently producing and hosting the multimedia wellness entity "Wellness 101" with a vision of helping to change the focus of healthcare in America from sickness to wellness ( To launch the Wellness 101 brand, A.J. did the impossible. Starting with only $500, he traveled through all 50 states in 101 days June 16 through September 24, 2014 -- starting in Melbourne Beach, FL and ending up on a sun soaked beach in Hawaii after changing lives in all 50 states. His "True Champion's 30-Day Challenge" book is transforming lives nationwide ( Now, Wellness 101 is taking human transformation to another level through holistic wellness. A.J. has more than 30 years experience in sports and entertainment as an athlete, artist and social entrepreneur. He has founded and owned two pro soccer teams and has spearheaded hundreds of successful projects. A.J. created and starred in the TV show "Good Fellas of Baltimore" on Fox in 2011, which raised more than $250,000 for charities in Baltimore and inspired fans to join the cast to help people in need. As an on-air talent and voice over artist, his enthusiastic love of people makes him believable and inspirational. As a wellness speaker and emcee, he is inspiring. An accomplished writer with a conversational style, his work is transformative. His 2007 song "Through the Darkness, Into the Light," compilation music CD "Survivor Celebration" and Survivor Celebration campaign helping cancer survivors won the coveted Hollywood FAME Award for National Community Service. As a philanthropist and entrepreneur, A.J. has raised more than $25 million for charities. He teaches his charity event success methods through a workshop called "MAKE IT RAIN." He is proud to be a U.S. Air Force Veteran (83-87). His mantra is "LOVE is the answer." He is an avid golfer.

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