I stopped and took a long look in front of the mirror the other day and realized that I had allowed myself to slip much further than I had ever intended. So, out with the running clothes, shoes and “couch to whatever K” app my inflated estimation of current fitness level will allow me to undertake.

The next morning at 4 a.m. the alarm sounded, and I hit the road. It was all of five seconds into this that I realized, “This is not going to be easy.”

I stopped and took a long hard look at our country the other day and I realized that we have allowed it to slip much further than we ever intended. An alarm went off inside of me as I realized that this needs to change…but it is not going to be easy.

Freedom isn’t free, and it isn’t cheap or easy. It is hard. In the words of Coach Jimmy Dugan, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.”

We celebrate champions. We don’t celebrate them because what they do is easy. We celebrate them because what they do is hard. It takes time, dedication, energy, heartache, passion, drive, and just plain ole’ stubbornness to be great at anything that is worthy of being called greatness.

It is time for us to be “Champions of Freedom;” it is time for us to begin to find our fire. To find within us the passion to pass on to our children and grandchildren a better nation, state, and city, than we were handed. It will not be easy. It will be hard.

Little by little this great nation has begun to resemble, too closely, some of the other not so great nations of the world. Make no mistake. This is still the best country in the world. I am not contemplating a move, here, I am looking in the mirror. We have allowed the leaders of our nation to run off in directions that we never intended. They have taken liberties for which we never gave them leave.

We have become a nation of people who love to complain about the problem to our friends, family and Facebook. Yet when it comes time to actually use the methods given us to protect this great nation of ours we choose silence. That is like me complaining about my weight and washing it down with a half-gallon of ice cream. As my dad always said, “You always vote with your feet.”  When the image that we see becomes more painful than what it takes to fix it; then we will begin to act.

It will require us to be informed, to show up and to vote. We need to elect people who will, according to their oath of office, “…to the best of their ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

God Bless America.

Chance Erwin is a Christian husband, father, Marine, patriot, citizen and Renaissance Redneck. He can be reached at 5erwins2011@gmail.com.