This week’s interviewee has been with PeKu since the very beginning with a little time off in the middle of his tenure. Joe Lawrence started writing for PeKu in July 2008. He wrote for us on a number of topics, including politics and parenting, until January 2011. At that point, he took a two and a half year hiatus to focus on his family and career. We were delighted when he returned in September 2013. Since that time he’s been writing about fitness, and next month he will return to writing about parenting. I’ll stop the intro here and let Joe share some insights.
MPK: You wrote for us from July 2008 through January 2011 and returned in September 2013. Did you write on your own during your hiatus?
JL: I did write quite a bit during this time away; however, most of it was academic. I took this time to pursue my Master’s in leadership and management and that consumed my creative juices. Although, writing is a passion of mine and I was able to draft many articles on leadership, faith, and aircraft production principles that I have not posted anywhere.
MPK: n 2008 you wrote “MMA Is Boring” on Buzzer Eagle, which received many comments. Do you still participate in or watch MMA?
JL: Martial arts was my first true love. I have been studying many differing styles since I was four years old. I still follow MMA and just about anything else involving martial artists. I do not practice MMA at a club, but I used to train with a team to help them with their stand-up before my daughter was born. Once my children are big enough to get involved in martial arts, I want to join a school once again.
MPK: You have mentioned that you are a member of the US military. How do you find time to do that, be a father and husband, and write?
JL: Good question. I am still trying to figure this one out! When I am at home, I try to give my undivided attention to my family and refuse to talk about things going on at the base. My wife and I still share a few events from our day, but just the highlights. We try our best not to let work stresses bleed over into our time together. Being a member of the profession of arms is quite demanding and I have spent almost two years of my five-year old daughter’s life in varying deserts or military schools. I know at anytime I may have to leave again and want to make sure my family knows how much I care about them. As far as finding time to write, when you really love something you can make it work. I actually do a lot of writing on the note app of my phone while I am waiting on a meeting to start or when standing in line, etc and then add the finishing touches later. It is amazing how much you can do during these little breaks. I have written about five chapters of a fiction book this way, numerous Bible study articles, and I am working on a manual to consolidate the wisdom of my military mentors for my team.
MPK: Your current assignments include My Fitness Tunes and Your Parenting Info. Do you like one more than the other?
JL: No. I have always been a huge fan of the whole person concept and rarely pick favorites. My Fitness Tunes forces me to remember all the unorthodox routines I have been privy to over the years thanks to the military and 30 years of martial arts. It is fun to re-live those times and dust off these routines to keep my fitness regimen fresh. Your Parenting Info allows me to share my experiences as a parent of a five- and almost two-year old. This is the one area of my life where I still feel very inexperienced myself, and it is fun to learn from others and share what worked for me with someone who may be facing the same challenges.
MPK: What fun fact would our readers be surprised to learn about you?
JL: I am not sure if this is a “fun” fact, but many people are surprised to learn that my wife, Brie, and I have been together since high school and actually were able to make a long distance relationship work while she was in college and I was traipsing the globe as a flying crew chief on my cargo aircraft. We have gone through a lot together, and I am still madly in love her!