Reasons I Like Living in Florida Over Living in Illinois

I have lived in Central Illinois my entire life. Was born and raised in Manito, Illinois then went off to college up north in Elmhurst, IL. After I got married, we moved back to Manito and spent a few years there. Then we lived in Pekin, IL and finally Morton, Illinois.

So Illinois is all that I have known. Until late 2015 when we decided to pack up and move to Orlando, Florida. What a change and adventure that has been — already!

But obviously, the #1 question I get all the time from family and friends is, “What do you like about Florida better?” So I have put together a list of reason why Florida is better than Illinois (keep in mind — these are all opinions of mine — not fact).

  1. sunny-florida-weatherThe Weather – the clear #1 answer and winner is the weather. The weather in Orlando, Florida is heads and shoulders better than the weather in Illinois. But Knup — you haven’t experienced a Florida summer yet. I don’t care! Let’s revisit the Illinois weather situation again. October through March it’s just cold and not sunny. December, January and February have the potential to be unbearable. Some days you can’t even feel your face it’s so cold. You can get feet of snow. Then you may have a good month or two in April and May. But typically it rains the entire time during those months. Then June, July and August it’s hot as heck. Nearly Florida hot. September is usually ok. But all in all, you just rarely see the sun for like 6 months out of the year. In Orlando, it’s been nothing but sunny days. The clouds are different here. It’s not gloomy — it’s bright, clear and downright awesome weather in Florida.
  2. Things to Do – the #2 reason is “things to do” in Florida are way more than in Illinois. In Central Illinois, if you want to do something on a weekend, you can either a) go to a movie. b) go out to eat. c) go bowling.  That’s it. Nothing else! In Orlando, you literally have thousands of things to choose from. Universal Studios, Disney Parks, visit a museum, plus going out to eat and seeing a movie are still here. There are tons of nature trails and swamps and parks to visit. Just a lot of attractions within an hour of us here in Orlando. We have found much more family things to experience living in Florida.
  3. big-cities-floridaMore Big Cities – In Illinois, if we wanted to go on an extended weekend trip we either went to Chicago (3.5 hours) or St. Louis (3 hours). Those were the only places. Here in Orlando, we can visit Tampa (1 hour), Daytona (1 hour), Jacksonville (2 hours), Miami (4 hours) and on and on and on.
  4. Beaches – you don’t get beaches in Illinois. Here in Orlando, we are 45 minutes from Cocoa beach and 1.5 hours from the Gulf beaches. We are just 1 hour from Daytona Beach as well. It’s a plus to just jump in the car and visit the beach for a day. In Illinois, you have to travel 15 hours or so to hit a beach.

So those are the four main things that I enjoy about Florida over Illinois. Obviously, there are things I miss about Illinois too. But that’s not what this blog is about. Maybe I’ll hit that in an upcoming piece. If I think of some other things I love about Florida I’ll be sure to add them to this blog entry. In the meantime, maybe my Illinois friends should consider joining me here in Florida. It’s pretty darn nice!

If you want to learn more about Ryan Knuppel — go check out my central hub website and join Knup’s Troops email list!

Three Ways to Show Compassion in Life

Three Ways to Show Compassion in Life

The following article on compassion was written by 12 year old Drew Knuppel for his 6th grade class project at Faith Christian Academy. Enjoy!

Compassion is a huge quality being a Christian. Everyone needs to have compassion towards people they meet. The definition of compassion is a feeling of great sympathy for someone else who is going through something hard in their life. So, if someone is ever having a rough day, as a Christian, you should do what Jesus would do and help them in their time of need. You can show compassion through helping others in financial need, by encouraging others who are struggling emotionally, and by helping people with medical problems.

Showing compassion financially is a great way to help others who are going through poverty, or loss of a job. It’s more than giving money away to charity. It means to help people that really need the money for food, water, or shelter in your own way. The next time you see someone that is homeless on the side of the road, maybe see if they need any help or give them some money- even a bag of food would be awesome to give. Take the opportunities God gives you and don’t take them for granted. You can help people with financial issues by doing fundraisers like a lemonade stand or a car wash, if you don’t have the money right out of your pocket. Another way is to pray for it through Jesus. Praying to Jesus for someone else in need is showing compassion also. He will somehow find a way to help get the money to whoever needs it.

People who struggle emotionally need encouragement. This would be a great way to show compassion. If someone is having a rough day at school, and they are maybe being bullied, you could offer to help them and talk to whoever the bully is. You could also offer to pray with them, and maybe that would cheer them up. Another situation would be if someone has had a loved one pass away lately. You could offer to cook dinner for them and then maybe give them a “We’re sorry for your loss card.” Also, if someone has been persevering through something, you can give them encouragement with helpful suggestions and prayer. Emotional struggles can be helped with compassion from others.

People who are terminally ill can really feel special when people show compassion towards them. For example, if a person has lost any of their body parts in a tragedy, you could offer to help raise money towards buying them a mechanical body part of some kind to help them recover. Another would be trying to take part in any opportunities you have to help the cure of cancer. You could start by participating in a St. Jude event. Cancer is a big issue in our world today, and showing compassion to that cause would be terrific. People that have been hospitalized for a while definitely need encouragement. Maybe after school once in awhile you could visit the young hospital patients and give them “Get well” cards, and pray for them. Jesus will take care of them, and you have to make sure the patients know that. Encourage them that they should live each day as if it is their last if it is a life-threatening case.

Being compassionate, isn’t all about giving money and things to people. It’s more! It’s sometimes the little things that give the most compassion to one another. Just a pat on the back or even a “You got this” to whoever needs it is the best way to show compassion. As a Christian, I know that Jesus would give compassion to everyone, and therefore that’s what we should do.

August 2015 Personal Goals for Knup

Well, better late than never right? I’m only a few weeks late getting my July recap and August goals outlined.

July started out great but then… I GOT LAZY! My running started suffering and I started eating and drinking worse. I’ll blame the weekend baseball trips we made with my oldest son. Those hurt! They hurt bad 🙂

July “Goal” Recap

HEALTH / FITNESS

  • Run 90+ miles in July
    • FAIL: Only got 67.5 miles in for July.
  • Do Sprint Workout once per week
    • FAIL: Did about one the entire month.
  • Bike 60+ miles in July
    • FAIL: Didn’t bike once.
  • Do 30 burpees every day
    • FAIL: Successful for the first 20 days, then got lazy and failed.
  • Do 30 pushups every day
    • FAIL: Successful for the first 20 days, then got lazy and failed.
  • Do 30 situps every day
    • FAIL: Successful for the first 20 days, then got lazy and failed.
  • failedDo 30 dips every day
    • FAIL: Successful for the first 20 days, then got lazy and failed.
  • Drink NO caffeine
    • FAIL: Didn’t drink any for the first 20 days, then got lazy, staying up later and started back on the caffeine.
  • Drink minimal sugar filled drinks
    • FAIL: Sugar in soda doesn’t help…
  • Eat minimal sweets
    • FAIL: Didn’t watch what I ate at all the last 10 days.
  • Get weight down from 207 to 200 by August 1st
    • FAIL: Weight was 210 at the end of July. Failed goals means gain a little weight.
  • Workout at Gold’s over lunch 2+ times per week
    • FAIL: Didn’t do this the last 2 weeks of July.

TRAVEL

  • Enjoy baseball tournament trips with Drew and family!
    • PASS: Finally one I passed for the month. Enjoyed these a little “too” much which added to my missing of the health goals.
  • Relax in the Ozarks but not slack on working out.
    • PASS: Had a great Ozarks trip and worked out nicely during that trip.

LIFE

  • Get back on track with Budget numbers
    • FAIL: Pushing this back to August
  • Blog once per week here at knup.net
    • FAIL: None

So can we just say July was a “FAIL” month? The last 10 days were for sure. But what can I learn from that? Goals are just goals. The good thing about it is that the next month I can reset and do better. There are a few goals that I just don’t think are practical for my lifestyle these days. So I’ll modify the goals to make them more attainable. At the end of the day I need to see a lot more green.

August 2015 Personal Goals

HEALTH / FITNESS

  • Run 70+ miles in August
  • Eat minimal sweets
  • Maintain weight at 210
  • Cut back on alcohol drinking

TRAVEL

  • None

LIFE

  • Get back on track with Budget numbers
  • Blog once per month on knup.net

Long Term Goals

HEALTH / FITNESS

  • Run a Spartan Race in 2015
    • 7/1 update — still need to find the right race!
    • 8/19 update — I think I’m done with Spartan race. Can’t find anyone to go with me and lost my desire to do it.
  • Run a half marathon in 2015
    • 7/1 update — unsure I want to commit to this now
    • 8/19 update — still possibility in October.
  • Bike a “Century” in 2015
    • 7/1 update — I better get training!
    • 8/19 update — Not going to happen it looks like. Maybe 2016?
  • Lower weight to 200 by August 1st
    • 7/1 update — On pace, lets go!
    • 8/19 update — Maybe more realistic is 205?

TRAVEL

  • Visit (Texas Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, etc) with the family
    • 7/1 update — possible around Xmas?
    • 8/19 update — now thinking 2016.
  • Visit New York with Sarah
  • Visit Miami with Sarah
    • 8/19 update — possibly a Christmas trip with the family this year.
  • Bring Sarah to Hawaii
  • Bring boys to Milwaukee baseball game vs. Cardinals
  • Bring kids to all inclusive family vacation in Mexico
  • Bring boys to St. Louis to see Cardinals game that includes batting practice
    • 7/1 update — have an upcoming Rockies game at end of July that we may hit!
    • 8/19 — haven’t made one yet. Need to still.

LIFE

  • Attend a second DFS Live Final
    • 7/1 update — doesn’t have to be this year, but some day!
    • 8/19 — not chasing another in 2015, but maybe 2016
  • Play in the World Series of Poker MAIN EVENT
  • Move somewhere warm
    • 8/19 update — Sarah is driving this. She wants to move to Florida and teach while I work on Knup Solutions.
  • Work on Knup Solutions LLC full time
    • 8/19 — been making great strides with the business to bring on as much revenue as possible to make this happen at some point.

FINANCIAL

  • Eliminate all Credit Card debt
  • Pay off Escape debt
  • Pay off mortgage
  • Get rid of the IAA liability

July 2015 Personal Goals for Knup

Hey hey hey! It’s July first and this is the 3rd month in a row of my goals! I’ve found that having this post and laying out my goals each month really helps me throughout the month.

June was an awesome month. It may look like a lot of “failed goals” but it wasn’t that bad. I really underestimated a few things.

  1. Injury can happen — I had a severely painful neck injury early in the month. I could barely move it hurt so bad. Had to take 2-3 full days off from training all together.
  2. Race week means rest — I didn’t account for the rest I’d want to have leading up to the Steamboat race. It made me work even harder later on to catch up and get my 80 miles!
  3. Weekend Trips with friends hurt — May as well just count those weekends out for exercise. I have good intentions on keeping up but that just doesn’t happen.

Steamboat Race

SC-Full-Logo-Black-e1425831481405The Steamboat race went awesome. Sarah ran with me and it was her first race — ever. She loved it and finished without walking. We both did the 4 mile race. Sarah finished with a 42:42 (10:41 mile) and I finished with a 31:03 (7:46 mile).

My unwritten goal was 30:00 minutes so I failed by a minute. Mile 3 absolutely crushed me pace wise.

But after the race Sarah and I had a blast. We hung with friends, enjoyed the music, had a few drinks and food! Great morning to run.

All in all, June was a great month. Let’s take a look at the specifics and recap the monthly goal results.

June “Goal” Recap

HEALTH / FITNESS

  • Run 80+ miles in June
    • PASS: 80.02 to be exact. It took a big last two days but made it happen.
  • Bike 80+ miles in June
    • FAIL: Didn’t bike ride a single mile in June. Hmmm, gotta break out of this and just start.
  • Do 20 burpees every day I run
    • PASS: Definitely did this and I can tell burpees are becoming easier to do.
  • Do 20 pushups every day
    • PASS’ISH: Every day may be a bit of a stretch as I missed the STL trip and a couple days when by neck hurt terribly. But it wasn’t due to laziness so I can count it.
  • Do 20 situps every day
    • PASS’ISH: Every day may be a bit of a stretch as I missed the STL trip and a couple days when by neck hurt terribly. But it wasn’t due to laziness so I can count it.
  • Do 20 dips every day
    • PASS’ISH: Every day may be a bit of a stretch as I missed the STL trip and a couple days when by neck hurt terribly. But it wasn’t due to laziness so I can count it.
  • Drink NO soda
    • FAIL: What is soda? I should have been more specific. Did great with caffeine (minus STL weekend) but had Root Beer and Sierra Mist on occasion.
  • Drink minimal sugar filled drinks
    • FAIL: I can do better here. Had water every day for lunch but still hit some sugary drinks for dinner. Not terrible but can do better.
  • Eat ice cream / sweets just once a week (4 times in the month)
    • BIG FAIL: Wasn’t even close here. Probably why my weight didn’t quite hit either.
  • Get weight down from 214.8 to 204.8 by July 1st
    • FAIL: Not bad here. I was 207.0 which is a nice drop in June.
  • Workout at Gold’s over lunch 2+ times per week
    • PASS: Definitely made this happen.

TRAVEL

  • Enjoy our Cubs/Cards trip with friends
    • PASS: Such a fun weekend!

LIFE

  • Stick by the June budget
    • FAIL: Didn’t even look at budget in June — ugh!

July 2015 Personal Goals

HEALTH / FITNESS

  • Run 90+ miles in July
  • Do Sprint Workout once per week
  • Bike 60+ miles in July
  • Do 30 burpees every day
  • Do 30 pushups every day
  • Do 30 situps every day
  • Do 30 dips every day
  • Drink NO caffeine
  • Drink minimal sugar filled drinks
  • Eat minimal sweets
  • Get weight down from 207 to 200 by August 1st
  • Workout at Gold’s over lunch 2+ times per week

TRAVEL

  • Enjoy baseball tournament trips with Drew and family!
  • Relax in the Ozarks but not slack on working out.

LIFE

  • Get back on track with Budget numbers
  • Blog once per week here at knup.net

Long Term Goals

HEALTH / FITNESS

  • Run a Spartan Race in 2015
    • 7/1 update — still need to find the right race!
  • Run a half marathon in 2015
    • 7/1 update — unsure I want to commit to this now
  • Bike a “Century” in 2015
    • 7/1 update — I better get training!
  • Lower weight to 200 by August 1st
    • On pace, lets go!

TRAVEL

  • Visit (Texas Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, etc) with the family
    • 7/1 update — possible around Xmas?
  • Visit New York with Sarah
  • Visit Miami with Sarah
  • Bring Sarah to Hawaii
  • Bring boys to Milwaukee baseball game vs. Cardinals
  • Bring kids to all inclusive family vacation in Mexico
  • Bring boys to St. Louis to see Cardinals game that includes batting practice
    • 7/1 update — have an upcoming Rockies game at end of July that we may hit!

LIFE

  • Attend a second DFS Live Final
    • 7/1 update — doesn’t have to be this year, but some day!
  • Play in the World Series of Poker MAIN EVENT

FINANCIAL

  • Eliminate all Credit Card debt
  • Pay off Escape debt
  • Pay off mortgage

June 2015 Personal Goals for Knup

Wow, what do you know… 2 months in a row I’m going to have a “Goals” post for you!!! I seem to have things in fairly good order right now. Simple life right? Makes it a little easier to blog and spend time on some hobbies when life is simple and not cluttered.

So let’s get right to this months goals.

May “Goal” Recap

HEALTH / FITNESS

  • Run 60+ miles in May
    • PASS: BOOM — ran 70.16 miles in May.
  • Do 30 burpees every day for the last 10 days of May (when I wrote these goals)
    • FAIL: I missed two days of burpees. Got them in the other 8.
  • Do 20 pushups every day for the last 10 days of May (when I wrote these goals)
    • PASS: Got the pushups in!
  • Do 20 situps every day for the last 10 days of May (when I wrote these goals)
    • PASS: Got the situps in!
  • Drink NO more soda over the last 10 days of May
    • PASS: Can you believe it? I did it! No soda for last 10 days!!! No headaches either!!!
  • Make better choices eating (less fast food and more fruits and vegetables)
    • PASS: I’d say I did this. Can still improve and maybe be more specific on this goal going forward.
  • Get weight down from 217 to 210 by June 1st
    • FAIL: 214.8 as of the morning of June 1st. Got some work to do here.

TRAVEL

  • None in May

LIFE

  • Set up a strict budget for June
    • PASS: Have a pretty good budget in place. Let’s see if I can stick to it.

June 2015 Personal Goals

HEALTH / FITNESS

  • Run 80+ miles in June
  • Bike 80+ miles in June
  • Do 20 burpees every day I run
  • Do 20 pushups every day
  • Do 20 situps every day
  • Do 20 dips every day
  • Drink NO soda
  • Drink minimal sugar filled drinks
  • Eat ice cream / sweets just once a week (4 times in the month)
  • Get weight down from 214.8 to 204.8 by July 1st
  • Workout at Gold’s over lunch 2+ times per week

TRAVEL

  • Enjoy our Cubs/Cards trip with friends

LIFE

  • Stick by the June budget

Long Term Goals

HEALTH / FITNESS

  • Run 100+ miles in July
  • Run a Spartan Race in 2015
  • Run a half marathon in 2015
  • Bike a “Century” in 2015
  • Lower weight to 200 by August 1st

TRAVEL

  • Visit (Texas Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, etc) with the family
  • Visit New York with Sarah
  • Visit Miami with Sarah
  • Bring Sarah to Hawaii
  • Bring boys to Milwaukee baseball game vs. Cardinals
  • Bring kids to all inclusive family vacation in Mexico
  • Bring boys to St. Louis to see Cardinals game that includes batting practice

LIFE

  • Attend a second DFS Live Final
  • Play in the World Series of Poker MAIN EVENT

FINANCIAL

  • Eliminate all Credit Card debt
  • Pay off Escape debt
  • Pay off mortgage