Life Filter Challenge Final Week

Here’s a recap of the final week of the challenge! Round two is just around the corner! A great way to get in a good place heading into the holidays!

Comments from Challenge Participants (I included a few more than usual since it’s the last week)

“Happy to say my goolash was two alcoholic drinks….celebrating with a friend.”

“text:first 17 days of bliss +629 -34”

“Best day yet!! I think because I jumped up and did a 3 mile walk/ run. It cleared the brain fog put me in a place of peace and joy. Early mornings and nature make me happy! HELLO this 52 year old ran😳.”

“Is one square of dark chocolate really goolosh😜?”

“Did not have a super healthy dinner because it was such a busy day. Had to deal with difficult people at work but tried to keep it as positive as possible!”

“Woke up grumpy for some reason and drug myself out for my walk. Walking and listening to P!nk changed my day.”

“Finally goolosh free! Yay! 🎉”

“I had a great day mentally… but extra goolash bc i had a diet soda while getting a pedicure which was better than wine or regular soda, a few chips but not all of them, and a small slice of pizza…and a little candy while watching a movie…but I felt positive all day and know I made hard decisions! Keep grinding!”
“Exhausting day ….ended it with late night goolosh of cereal, ice cream 🍦 and cookies 🍪 😳”

“Thanks for the challenge. Definitely had me thinking before posting/commenting!”

“We got up and decided to help our son move and got so busy I realized I didn’t drink enough water. We were pleasantly tired but didn’t want to cook dinner 😳, frozen pizza night. It was all enjoyable but not how I plannned to end the challenge. I really enjoyed this one!”

“text:final four days of bliss +112 -8”

JP’s Daily Thoughts

Day 15. How important is hydration? What do you think? I think it’s kind of a big deal and affects my appetite. This weekend was a good example. I got behind on my water, stayed hungry, and consumed more goolosh than I would have liked. On the flip side, this is my third year building a trebuchet with the kiddos school STEAM club and we are getting better!

Day 16. So I walk into the locker room at the gym and two guys are having a conversation about something on TV and the first thing I hear is… “We are all racists. You. Me. That guy over there (meaning me)…”. There are lots of ways this could have played out. Immediately I wanted to say how much I disagree but after thinking about it, I didn’t feel that to be the time or the place so I shook it off and went on about my business. I didn’t let it affect my workout or the rest of my day. The only things that linger are a curiosity about why he feels that way and hope that things will happen in his life to change his mind.

Day 17. Is it getting easier to filter out some of the distractions and noise? Are you becoming aware of how you are getting down at life… figuring out what things you want to change? Change is constant. That means either you are improving or slipping. It’s easy to slip. Some work and intention are required just to keep from slipping and maintain. Progress happens when that work and intention are steady and constant.

Day 18. Only 4 days to go! Isn’t it really all about being able to focus our motivations and make subtle distinctions? Are we trying to be right or get it right? One of the two requires a desire to understand and appreciate the other is usually backed by a desire for self gratification. For most of us, one is more instinctive than the other. That doesn’t make it right… it makes it a habit.

Day 19. Friday 13th!!! A reminder to think things through but don’t hold things in. Think things through to figure out what you need to say and then deliver it to the right people. Now that pertains to the business of your life. If it’s not about your life then the fight becomes to stay out as much as you can. When you do chime in, it’s just your opinion. They will do with it what they please… even when it seems completely obvious to you.

Stay hydrated. Keep it the diet proper. Live hype with a little more discretion, filtering, and focus in ya life!

Day 20! Don’t forget to enter your points plus share the good, the bad, the ugly, and your plans after the challenge. Also any comments, suggestions, or feedback are much appreciated. Today I found out one person has lost 7 pounds… even though it wasn’t me, that’s music to my ears! Keep it proper and hype fam!

Day 21. Yesterday I spent the afternoon fixing the seat in my mom’s car. It had gotten stuck in the forward position. I ended up taking the seat out. I was able to use a ratchet for the rear bolts. I was able to use an adjustable wrench for one of the front bolts. I tried using the adjustable wrench for the other bolt but was worried it would strip it. I had every wrench in the old toolbox except the 9/16, which was what was required. I asked my mom’s neighbor, he said he didn’t have one. After that I gave the adjustable one more try but it didn’t feel right. So I slid to the store and grabbed the 9/16. Once I got the wrench that was required, the last bolt came out easily and I was able to eventually fix the seat. So what’s the point to all this… First we have to be able discern what is required and then we have to make sure we get what we need. Sometimes you can get away with what we can find and other times we have to go out of our way to get exactly what we need. Thanks for rockin’ with us for another challenge! Will announce winners and let you know about shirts on Wednesday.

Life Filter Challenge Week 2

Here’s a recap of week two of the challenge! One week to go!

Comments from Challenge Participants (typos and all)

Not my best food day…but football and friends made it worth it!

Thankful for time to catch up on my sleep!

As I walked around Target picking up a ton of different sweet items, I thought about how good they would taste and then thought about how bad it would make me feel. I was feeling in a slump and just wanted to eat junk but thanks to you guys I thought about how many things I have to be thankful about. So I walked away from the bad choices…..had a tiny piece of candy and called it a night!

Whoop whoop, didn’t realize I had a goolosh free day. Turned on P!nk and danced the house clean. The day would have been stellar until a family member was venting about their spouse and my filter turned off. Good news is I realized it and am more aware. Mom’s can’t fix everything.

JP’s Daily Thoughts

Day 8. What do you do on days like this? When the first thing you hear when you get in the car are reports about a shooting killing at least 50 people. I think you give it it’s due time, thought, and prayer. Then you start figuring out what you can draw from it as you empathize with those dealing with the hurt, pain, and loss. For me, it’s a reminder to keep the little things in perspective. Having a place to live, food to eat, healthy family/friends, and opportunities to make a difference… that’s plenty to be joyful about and thankful for… not only in word but in how I get down at life.

Day 9. Tolerate the bad days. Make the good days great. Appreciate the great days and draw from them during the bad ones.

Day 10. The halfway-ish point. Usually when you know if you are getting stronger in your commitment or giving yourself a pass to revert back to normal. Remember that change is not an all or nothing proposition and how you contend with challenges often sets the example for someone else. Your words usually matter more to those who know of you while actions matter more to those who know you best and look to you for inspiration.

Day 11. On the other side of halfway! Today’s thought… rebound and dunk well! Translation…. On the days where things get off to a rough start, make sure you rebound well. On days when you get off to a great start, make sure you finish the day with a slam dunk. Make bad better and good great!

Day 12. The second weekend! When you are out and about this weekend, take some time to listen to how life is happening around you. What types of things are people saying? Especially listen out for what I like to call the “qualifier cover”. It goes a little something like this… “I know I shouldn’t complain but…” or “I usually don’t talk about other people but…” THEN think about the verbal wordplay that you put on display and see where you fall… where you can improve. Words do matter ladies & gents. Perhaps more now than ever. Focus up. Speak with discretion. Keep that filter on proper!

Day 13. (A little late. Poor planning perhaps.) We have to be hungry for higher standards of joy and thankfulness and then we gotsta eat…at exactly that in which we are developing a stronger taste for. We are working to become picky eaters… focused on a diet built on hype fuel!

Day 14. What do things do you care about most? If we look at how you spend your time, would it match? A little food for thought going into the last week of the challenge… and no this is not goolosh! 

Life Filter Challenge Week 1

I have come to believe Hype4Life challenges are a lot like…

a) A good pair of new shoes. You can get by with the shoes you have but once you rock a new pair, you quickly realize how big a difference they make!

b) Some great fitting Spanx. They most definitely get the job done but can be a little uncomfortable and involve too much work getting off and on.

c) A trip to the dentist. You never want to go but when you finally do, you are glad you did because you feel so much better afterwards.

I have to go with “a) A good pair of new shoes.” because I don’t have any personal experience with Spanx and dentist appointments are never fun!

I thought it would be a good idea to provide weekly recaps of the current Life Filter Plus challenge. This way those unfamiliar with our challenges can get an idea of how we get down! Check out the participant comments and my daily thoughts from week 1!

Comments from Challenge Participants

“We turned off the tv. Built a fire in the chiminia on the dock and watched the stars. It was a beautiful peaceful evening.”

“Tough day of moving with lots of unexpected setbacks…I tried hard to keep things positive.”

“I almost spoke negative about someone but rethought it and said nothing, kept it moving…have to remind myself that I don’t know what battles people are going through and being negative is only affecting my joy!”

“I was happy with my water intake and being attentive to my words and aware of my thought before I speak. I wasn’t drawn into conversations that where not positive.”

“Very positive day. We accomplished a lot! Girl power!!!”

JP’s Daily Thoughts

DAY 1 – Today our challenge begins. A challenge to really focus on how we get down at life and how we intend to influence those close to us. A challenge to filter out the constant noise around us. A challenge to perhaps bite our tongues and don’t hit send as often. All the while, working on our diet, sleep, and fitness with the ultimate goal of thriving in our daily pursuits. Start today with your main goals for the challenge. Define your higher standard. Share them with someone to give them life. -jp

DAY 2 – To me the key is intention. Life has a way of just happening if we don’t live with intention. Take an average day. Is it spent giving time and energy to improving, helping, inspiriting, uplifting or just doing what we do? Simple changes can be meaningful. For example, instead of just sharing a post like this, send it to someone specifically. Just that little bit of discretion can make your intentions more meaningful. -jp

DAY 3 – Is the challenge making a difference for you? When it comes to the big three (focus/discretion/filtering)… the goal isn’t to sit back and never say a word. It’s to think it through, make sure it’s worth saying, and deliver it to the right audience. What we think is right is almost always relative and very often mistakenly applied as truth in someone else’s life. Oh snap… maybe little deeper than usual today. Must be the allergy meds! Keep it proper and hype fam! -jp

DAY 4 – When it comes to opinions, most everyone has one and it’s usually the result of their life experiences. I have found that personal growth is a result of trying to understand others opinions. The counter to that is trying to convince others to see it my way, usually not as productive. The intent and delivery are often more important than what is being delivered. This is not revolutionary thinking by any means. The revolution begins when we commit to putting it into practice.

DAY 5 – “That’s what evil needs… good people to be quiet.” This quote struck a cord when I heard it on NPR this morning so I wanted to share with hopes that you will absorb it. Really absorb it into how you get down at life and keep the focus there. My hope is that we can fight the urges to shift the narrative to how other entities are failing and focus on how we can make good a little louder in our life experiences. Sometimes that’s smelling the roses and other times that’s not being pulled into the… -jp

DAY 6 – Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for your progress, evaluate your week, and plan for the week ahead. That doesn’t mean meal prep by default. Its meant to try to get ahead of whats coming so you can make the most of your time and circumstances.

DAY 7 – One week practically in the books! Hope it’s going well! Keep the comments coming when you enter points! I always enjoy reading them! Piggy back rides for the kids at church this morning! Much more exhausting than I expected! How creative have you gotten for some of your points?

I am really enjoying this challenge, so much so that I think I am going to run it again in November! It will be a great way to get prepared for the holiday season! Check out the take the challenge page to learn more and signup to join us!

Life Filter

The social media world is constantly talking. Your most powerful skills are those of discretion, focus, and filtering. Everything that moves you and entertains you doesn’t benefit you. Hyperbole is rampant. Words and images are in a constant battle to grab your attention. Discretion. Focus. Filtering. These are paramount. Don’t get distracted. Fight the urge to comment on everyone else’s life so freely, frivolously, and carelessly. There are so many wormholes to distract you. So many slants to make you FEEL better but leave you standing still when you try to LIVE better. You don’t need to read an entire book collection to get started. Start by turning on your life filter! Constantly refine it and start creating your own book. Be creative. Stay thankful for what you have. Stay connected to people and opportunities that help you grow. Decide and go. Decide and go. Decide and go. It’s OK to choose wrong. It’s process. It’s a skill. The next decision gets a little easier. Then the next. Then the next. You figure it out. Don’t get pulled down. You don’t have to desire to make a million dollars. You can start with a desire to manage your 10 dollars better. To manage your 60 minutes of free time better. To find time fuel your mind. To build your body. Decide what matters most and go. Handle your business and find out how good it feels. Feed off that energy. Be discrete. Focus. Seek out opportunities that you decide are appropriate and have value. You are building you. Refining you. When others notice, give them something of value. Share with purpose and good intention. -jp

Family Music Bonding with Prince

By: Nicole Benson
100% Cosigned by Danielle Benson

My father, Erick Benson, LOVES Prince. I can remember listening to Prince my entire life. As a small child I used to confuse Michael Jackson and Prince because they are both two light skinned artists that sang with a high voice. I’m pretty sure to this day this still frustrates and bewilders our father. Not that Michael Jackson isn’t talented but just isn’t, well…. Prince. When Prince died, we had to do a watch on our dad, to make sure he didn’t take off to Minnesota to mourn the Purple Badness. We even bought him an “Our Condolences” card to help him through this tough musical loss.

From cleaning the house, to road trips, to sitting doing work on his mid -1990s IBM desktop, Prince was always in the background.

Dad always involved us in anything he was doing so if he was jamming out to Prince, his two girls were too. Fun Fact, he can sing in a high falsetto when he sings the chorus to “Adore.” I can remember being in the back seat of the car with my sister sucking on lollipops, eating snacks, (snacks and candy? Yeah, we are his kids) and listening to Prince on our various family road trips. Prince’s funky beats kept Dad alert and entertained, while he enjoyed watching me and my sister sing and bob our heads along to the music. In fact, I don’t think much has changed from that young high schooler driving around Spartanburg listening to his Prince- well perhaps he slowed down…I imagine having a family in the car makes one do that.

Before the turn of the millennium I can remember sitting on the bed, with Prince playing in the background, Dad was busy doing something, when he stopped to explain to us the lyrics “They say two thousand zero, zero, party over, Oops, out of time! So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999! Not that an explanation was anything major, just a little moment where he stopped what he was doing to explain something new to us. Every time I hear this song I still, at 24, reminisce on him telling us the lyrics are a reference to the unknown of Y2K.

When we hear Prince, we think of our Dad, and all the wonderful bonding moments we’ve had involving him. How Dad shared his love of Prince’s music with us.

Hype4life is about creating that family bond. Whether that is through listening to the same type of music, joining challenges, or sharing a new recipe or workout. It is about getting hype and working through the grind, together.

Dad, your girls “Adore you.”

-Nicole and Danielle aka “The Most Beautiful Girls in the World”

Run and Let Run – Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad

One thing to know about me.  I don’t listen to music when I run.  Not even for the marathon.  I don’t listen to it when I drive the 12 hours back to my boyhood hometown.  Both for the same reason:  I have a lot of mind-clearing to do.  For me running is a conversation between personal aims and physical limits.  I think those two adversaries should have the floor rather than Lil John, JZ, Katy Perry or Beyonce.  But I know it isn’t that way for many, and for others, running is intolerable altogether without tunes.  Different strokes for different folks; live and let live; run and let run.  This is just my own eccentric view, one no doubt in the minority.  Make no mistake, though, I do love music.  Anyone who truly knows me, knows this to be true.  Even if you don’t know me well, I think it soon becomes self-evident.  I like this song EZ chose.  The rock-n-roll instrumentation is light-hearted and playful in spite of its plaintive lyrics.  Ironically, I think it would be a great running song (if I ran with music), especially coming on during the last half-mile of the run.


I guess with me running has led to a reversal in the so-called “the traditional roles.”  Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?  Why, huh?  “That’s alright,” I say to the notion of running…”I can *change* you.”  Well, it’s no surprise that, as in most other cases when those words are uttered, it’s soon proven untrue.  You don’t have to flip to the back of the book to figure out it was *me* that got changed.  Laugh if you want.


After the most recent Bull City run I completed, I said, “This atmosphere is awesome!” as I took part in some rather juvenile humor with my buddy Wayne on that brisk fall morning (let’s just say all those rolling hills of Durham move more than a runner’s spirit.)  The atmosphere, the weather and being done were awesome.  But those hills…ooooh-wee, man.  Oooh-wee!  Don’t get me wrong:  I think I ran a solid race.  Aww, but Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?  There were giggles at the end, for sure.  But wouldn’t it be great if there were some in the middle, too.  If I could literally, not figuratively (that’s  no fun) shut out the pain and tap into comedy gold at 6 minutes per mile.  Giggles, man.  And guffaws.  In reality, eeking out that last 10 percent of effort in sports and in life endeavors is more like the lyrics here…what’s wrong with my broken heart, Baby?  I can do it no better…  As for me, that’s what I tell myself anyway.  Until the next time.  “I can *change* you.”


Truth is, sometimes like many other folks I know, I’m a bit modest about how hard it actually is to achieve my fitness goals.  I never go with the hard-sell, and prefer the light  touch and light-hearted approach.  I’ve never been one to tell people what to do.  I can only tell what I’ve been through.  Like or no like, reciprocity, no reciprocity.  I put in that work(out) to get  those dividends.  I put in that sweat to get those results.  On and on.  So you know next time you hear me kidding, and saying I ran this past weekend, if I say I took a beating, just know that however it actually went down, I did push through.  Jokesters gonna joke… I Play the Fool When We’re Together.   I Cry When We’re Apart.  Putting in that work.  BUT if I ever break character and come off sounding as if attaining that runner’s spirit is easy, just know that in that last half-mile I surely and many times have thought, Why You Wanna Do This to Me?  I’m trying to love ya.


Stay Hype



Running – Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad

We all have our favorites. Favorite foods, favorite book, favorite television show, favorite exercise. At one time, running was my long -time love. Turns out, Running did not love me. It was a destructive relationship. “Why you want to Treat me so bad ?”

I loved Running in Umstead Park.  Or heading to the track and running 400 after 400 at what felt like Carl Lewis speed. In reality, it was more Jerry Lewis than Carl. Just grab music and GPS watch and go. We had such a good and comfortable thing!

Playing on the headphones Nate Dogg “Regulate”, Rocky, or any Prince song. Little did I know, that the mind clearing, calorie burning runs would now leave the knees and hips stiff and sore” I even gave you my body“. Running, you know I love you, ” how can you do this to me?”

I gave it my all – 5Ks, half-marathons, a full marathon in the heat and hills of Raleigh. “You know I care“. Running was always a good thing. Now I am left to wonder if Running has moved on without me. “Why you wanna treat me so bad when you know I love you?”

There’s some talk going ’round town That you really don’t give a damn“. After all I’ve given, Running has the nerve to say, I’m too much for you. Why don’t you try the elliptical machine, the recumbent bike… or a little low-impact walk in the park. I mean “ain’t that enough?”

The message from running has become clear to me. It’s over. Running, “Why you wanna treat me so bad?” 

Stay Hype.






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