Last week, for the first time in my life, I had the opportunity to watch the promotion ceremony of a very good friend of mine. Major Chris Richelderfer was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army. When he first told me about his promotion, I was impressed. As someone who has not served in the military, it was difficult to understand how HUGE this accomplishment was. Let me put this into perspective for you. It has been estimated that approximately 6% of US Army soldiers reach the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  This is kind of a big deal!

Even more impressive than his new rank, is the fact that he is also a great dad, great coach, great Olympic lifter, and all-around great dude. He is currently working at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where they are diligently studying prevention, detection, and treatment of COVID-19.

During these promotion ceremonies, a distinguished guest (selected by the soldier being promoted) is invited to speak about the soldier and often share stories from the times that they served together.

On this particular day, in the middle of the distinguished guest's speech, the building's fire alarm began blaring.  Everyone was surprised by the alarm but calmly followed the automated directions to exit. They were forced to stop the ceremony and clear the building. After the alarm stopped, they were allowed re-entry and picked up right where they left off. Like nothing happened...

The events of this memorable ceremony and my friend's reaction reminded me of a quote that I remembered hearing a long time ago - "Calm is contagious." which is credited to Rorke Denver, a former Navy Seal.

At this time in our country, "calm" seems to be in short supply. We need to remember that remaining calm and working together is the best way to get back on track! We need to remember that it seems that ALL politicians and television news channels are actively trying to divide our country in two. BUT... if we remain calm and engage in a dialogue (NOT a monologue) with our neighbors, friends, and family (even, and especially, if they have a differing political opinion) we will see that our country is not as divided as they would like us to believe that it is.

Those conversations will likely provide you with a sense of calm. And that sense of calm is contagious!

Movement is my medicine,


Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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