It’s 7:00 AM on Wednesday, January 26th and I should be on a plane headed to Austin, TX but instead I’m sitting on a couch writing this blog feeling under the weather. This isn’t how I envisioned this week going but as I continue to learn, most of life doesn’t happen as I think it will. This blog is about handling those hard things that we don’t choose.

P.S. before we jump in to the serious stuff, I like to think that COVID caught me (not that I caught COVID) – it’s a semi-serious mindset where I feel bad that COVID has to deal with Joe Rinaldi! Anyway, here’s the blog!


Over the past few months I’ve been training for the first ever Go One More (half) marathon – an exclusive event hosted by Bare Performance Nutrition down in Texas. It was something that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time because it was a place where I would get to meet so many amazing people that I’ve been getting to know through social media.

Following months of anticipation and within minutes of the above Instagram post, I realized in just a few seconds that it wasn’t going to happen.

My wife tested positive for COVID earlier in the week and unlike 2020, I couldn’t escape this time. When I began to process what was happening, I felt sorry for us. However, I was able to remind myself that pity isn’t productive and when the dust settled, I was disappointed but not discouraged. To explain, here’s an excerpt from this morning’s journal entry.

I’m upset (there’s no getting around that), but part of me has internalized the truth that it’s not about what happens to us, it’s all about how we respond and this is an incredible opportunity to respond well to less than ideal circumstances. I feel an obligation to practice what I preach and to be the best version of myself during this challenging time. When I signed up for the half marathon, I was looking for something hard and life has certainly given me just that. This is the epitome of what I’m all about – there are much worse things in this world, but nonetheless, this situation is a “hard” that I didn’t choose and now I get to rise to the best of myself (as opposed to falling to the worst to myself). When bad things happen, I see the value in being upset, but that value quickly dissipates and even abruptly ends after a short period of time. I can’t change these circumstances and now, it’s all about how I respond – this is a chance to respond well. I’m looking forward to writing more about this in blog form today and I’m also looking forward to spending extra time with Michaela, whether that is in Austin, TX or Philadelphia, PA. In the end, life is hard and life is good – this is an example of exactly that. I have so much to be grateful for even when things don’t go how I planned them – I trust that they are going as God planned them. Looking down at my tattoo, I can’t help but smile. Always planted. Never buried. 

While I wish that we were going to Austin, TX and that I was able to run this race – it’s not the responsible choice for us at this time and there’s nothing that I can do to change that. It’s time to be here in this present moment and soak up all of the good that continues to exist in my life. I appreciate everyone who has reached out to check-in and I’m grateful that you read this blog. There are so many life lessons to unpack but it’s time for me to get some rest, so we’ll do that another time.


There are two kinds of hard in life; the kind we choose and the kind that chooses us. In both cases, hard is hard and we are in complete control of how we respond. Let this blog be an encouragement to respond well to the hard things in life. Rise up to the best of yourself with the understanding that how you respond will change who you become and therefore, impact everyone else around you. Life is bigger than us and with that I leave you with this…

The biggest breakthroughs in consciousness occur when things are difficult; when we have a choice to fall to the worst of ourselves or rise to the best of ourselves.

Yehuda Berg

Always planted.

Joe Rinaldi

IG: @joearinaldi

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