A few years ago I had something happen that changed many things in my life. My family and I were in the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina and went to look at a property that sounded incredible, five acres, twenty-five-foot waterfall, trout-filled stream and a perfect not a cloud in the sky day.

Are you getting the picture? Absolutely pristine nature at its best.

Well, I never saw it! We got to the property and my 5-year-old son (now 15 geeze time flies) and the person we were with started walking down a path to the stream and we accidentally stirred up a yellow jacket nest.

The first challenge is I am over fifty miles from a hospital and I am severely allergic to venomous insects. The allergy started a few years ago out of nowhere.

The second challenge I do not have my epi-pen I forgot it back at the cabin because I at that point only went into full anaphylactic shock from fire ants. I did not think I was allergic to every venomous insect.

I was stung on the head first thinking what was that?… then multiple times 13 to be exact and hearing my son screaming and not being able to pick him up as I knew I had only about 60 seconds to get up the hill. The woman in front of us grabbed him and got us back up to the car. Yellowjackets, by the way, keep stinging, unlike regular bees which the only sting once and those things followed us into the car still stinging, nasty!

That is on my questions for God list 

I was starting to go into shock by the time I got in the car. Fortunately, my father was with me and started driving. I remember them screaming stay with me.

I could not talk, gasping for breath and vision turning white seeing my wife in the back with our 5-month-old thinking this cannot be it. I did not give up but I can tell you I really thought at one point there is no way I can make it to the hospital being 52 miles away.

What happened next was nothing short of a miracle, as we were on the road to meet 911, we passed a fire station and a few firefighters just happened to stop there and one of them had one epi-pen. I remember hearing them saying we are going to count to three before he stuck me in the thigh with the needle and he was counting 1…

Then, I hear my dad just stab him already… just like my dad!

Now I had a chance to stabilize and a shot at getting to the hospital. The next thing I heard has haunted me since that day…

We have another one over here… It was Vicki the woman who was walking in from of me. She was stung one time and did not realize it and her heart stopped and she passed away.

I remember being in the hospital asking how she was and speaking with her husband when he came in my room to tell me she was on life support and was not going to make it. It was awful, one of the worst feelings in the world.

I struggled many questions like why her and not me and what I could have done differently.

I am blessed to be alive and have an amazing wife and kids. The driving force for me has been to be the dad that is going to be there for my kids.

So I ask you today are you living ALL IN with what is most important to you and the way you choose to live daily or are you settling?

I heard a guy the other day in Costco that was working there giving out samples. Someone asked, “How are you?”

He replied “I woke up this morning, I can’t ask for anything better than that at my age”

Each day is a gift and what you do with it is up to you. We have all wasted many days and we can never get them back but we can make each new day better!

STOP complaining, blaming others or whatever else is holding you back from going out and creating what you want and making a difference in the world.

Do not let a day go by without giving it your best and living it to the fullest!

Go ALL IN, do something right now that will move you forward to live your dreams.

Dan Giordano