About Steve Mitzel

By trade Steve is a consultant that helps business optimize their performance. Steve resides in Connecticut with his four wonderful children in the teens or tweens and is always looking for the next adventure. He is an avid marathoner who raises money for research to prevent cancer. As a two time grad from the University of Michigan he bleeds maize and blue and also likes to dabble with writing.

I Just Wanted A Chance

  I walked into the local restaurant to order a grinder recently and saw a stack of business cards next to the register. After I ordered my food, I mindlessly flipped through them and saw the names of local businesses:   electricians, accountants, cleaners. I looked up at the owner and she said “don’t you have a card Steve?” “No,” I lied. I paused. Then I changed my answer. “Yes, but no one will call me if I leave it.” The waitress eating her food on break didn’t even look up and responded, “No one will call you if you don’t leave it”. She was right.  So simple and so profound. I’ve been starting my own consulting business and I have been running into brick walls and obstacles lately. Networking is so much harder than I anticipated. People’s loyalties are different than I had anticipated. I am stood up for… Read More…

The Consolidated States of America

This past summer the kids and I took our annual trip to the beach in North Carolina from Connecticut.  We decided to play the old license plate game along the way.  Of course, the kids added a new media twist to it using an app.  As we ventured down the east coast and tracked our states we started to question why there were so many states.  Why was Rhode Island an actual state?  No offense the Dakotas, you are awfully small. 3 teenagers and a preteen quickly reeducated me in the history of the United States, the colonies and how we came to be.  The capitalist and cost optimizer in me then challenged them with new thinking.  What if you had to start over today in 2014?  Would you have this many states and if so, why, and if not, what would you do.  As we checked the list of… Read More…

Meet Your 2015 Detroit Tigers

As a displaced Detroit Tiger fan in New England and more specifically right on the Mason Dixon line of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, I need the Tigers to desperately win a World Series championship. The Red Sox have won three championships in ten years and the Yankees won in 2009 and have won 27 of them. I’m starting to need Marty McFly’s time machine to get me back to even remembering 1984. There’s been much angst with fans about our new manager, Brad Ausmus, and how he managed the worst bullpen in baseball. And there’s been the same angst towards Dave Dombrowski, our General Manager, who failed to solve the bullpen problem that prevented the 2013 Tigers from advancing (and causing me much pain and suffering in New England losing to the Red Sox). Some of the criticism is correct and some is displaced. This is a Tigers’ team that… Read More…

Taking Back Boston

I made a commitment immediately after I experienced the terrorist attacks in Boston last year that I would be back this year.  It was so important for me to take back Boston after running 4 marathons for Dana Farber.  In addition, it was the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge’s 25th anniversary and my 5th consecutive Boston Marathon.  Hell yes I was going back! For those of you who know me, I don’t run for me. I run because I can and I run for the greater cause of eradicating cancer.  Ok…maybe selfishly I run so I can have the occasional beer or Oreo and not feel so bad about it. Every year the day before the marathon, DFMC has a pasta dinner for its runners, families and friends.  This year was an especially emotional event due to the 25th anniversary and the bombings in Boston.  Darby Stott who ran in the… Read More…

I Knew It Was a Bomb: The Boston Marathon a Year Later

A year ago I was 1,000 feet from a terrorist attack.  I wrote this at 3AM that night and when I read it, I still get chills.  Join me in remembering the 3 killed and hundreds injured in this senseless crime.  Next Monday, I return to Boston to run again.   ————————————————————- I knew it was a bomb…. Riding the bus to Hopkinton we were all smiles, as it was the beginning of our celebration. 27,000 of us with our own stories and our own individual ways of getting there. Some were running their first Boston – the pinnacle of their running success and a dream come true. Others were running their 19th, 20th. And yet others, like me, were in wave 3, running for charities like Dana Farber. Much like 9/11, it was a beautiful crisp sunny New England day. You could feel the electricity in the air in… Read More…

The Quarter Million Dollar Student Athlete

College is fun.   It’s a time of liberation and discovery.  It’s a time to develop self-awareness, accountability, empowerment.  What any of us wouldn’t give to go back to college? Watching March Madness always reminds me of that liberation, joy and jubilation.  It propels me back twenty plus years to a time when we were students and the Fab Five were rocking at Michigan. We jammed into Crisler Arena bouncing up and down, partying at our friends’ houses and storming South U at our victories or near victories.  What pride we had in watching our fellow students represent our great University in the hunt for a title. The debate as to whether or not to pay college athletes has been ongoing for years.  At its core it’s a simple argument.  Student athletes bring so much revenue from the two big sports of basketball and football and they deserve to share in… Read More…

Fighting the Fight: Running for Seven with Cancer

I can’t pretend to know what it’s like to live my life thinking that the cancer I once had and fought might come back. Or what it feels like to panic when you feel a lump in your throat, or breast or somewhere else and think that it might be the worst. I can’t even fathom what it’s like to lose a spouse, a loved one, a father, a mother to this dreaded disease. I can imagine the relief for those who successfully fight cancer to hear the words “you are officially in remission”. I often think of those people that get sick and their worst fears are confirmed when they hear the doctor utter those miserable words – “you have cancer”. This week, I received an email from a friend: “Amazingly, I feel great even though I know I have cancer. I am calm and optimistic, walking the walk… Read More…

The Great American Ballpark Tour – Any Man’s Dream

It all started four weeks ago as I watched it pour rain here in Connecticut and track the storms on the radar. I had a Friday night without the kids and desperately wanted to go to Yankee Stadium to see my Tigers take on the Yankees. It’s a trek down to the city, especially Friday rush hour. But some great tickets came through and I realized that I was on the brink of man greatness – four ballparks in four weeks! When I told some of my married friends they claimed that married men across America were building statues of me.   2:30 rolled around that Friday and I looked at my friend, Jason, at work and told him “you have 10 minutes to decide whether or not you want to go to Yankee Stadium with me or not”. He jumped at the opportunity and off we went on week… Read More…

DWM – 41 Seeking Normal Woman for Normal Life

My married friends all make it seem so simple. Sitting over beers, they say “just sign up for eHarmony or Match and it will happen.” Just magically. Like that? Like dating in your 40’s in 2013 with the technology available to us is going to create a date as simple as downloading an app making reservations on Open Table. God, don’t I wish it was that easy. For those of you who are blessed with being single in your “later” stages of life, whether it’s because a divorce, or not finding the right person yet, or some tragedy, I’ll sum it up for everyone else – IT SUCKS! It absolutely sucks. I sometimes think that the married crowd has this envy like the grass is greener for them. They look at my alone time and crave for it. But they don’t realize that it’s not just a few hours away… Read More…

Ma Kai

I have been trying to find the right words to express what it felt like sitting on the beach last week in North Carolina last week on vacation.  It was a feeling on insignificance, but yet peace.  I was going to try to put my words around a blog, but decided to try my hand in poetry. Indulge me!  Ma Kai Your waves crash on the beach Your breeze blows across my face The sun beats on me, just me Decisions to be had, Deadlines to be made, Not today as I hide my feet in your sand The enormity of your being makes me feel insignificant… ….but strangely at peace The things you have seen, The years you have thrived make my years pale in comparison Is there someone just like me on your other side feeling the same way? Watching your waves? Feeling your breeze? Problems to be… Read More…

Boston Strong

On April 15, 2013 I scrambled out of Boston in the biggest hurry and the most confused I’d ever been in my life.  At 2:35PM I had just finished my 4th Boston Marathon and was basking in the glory of not only my 3 hours 51 minute finish, but the $16k I had raised for the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge.  No matter how many times I do it, crossing the finish line at a marathon is about the biggest natural high one can get in life. It was a pristine, beautiful day and I had not a care in the world as I tweeted and took pictures throughout the course. While I battled a blister and some fatigue, I had finished again!  I stopped and talked to the members of the DFMC team. I had my picture taken about 100 yards away from the finish line at 2:45 and then… Read More…

Year 6: Outlasting the 100 Year Old Tree

I was out working in the yard today and looked at the massive maple tree that sits in my front yard that must be 100 years old. The poor fella..it’s rotting and falling apart. And since the Main Street in front of me is a state highway, I’m at the mercy of waiting for the State of CT to come cut it down. Later in the day, a massive branch fell and nearly hit someone walking. I sent my swat team of boys out to clean up the mess. But that damn tree…I wasn’t supposed to see it die and rot. I was supposed to be out here in Connecticut 3 years and then back to Detroit. That was the plan. That was 2007. As we all know life often throws curve balls at us. Fast and furious sometimes. On June 29, 2009 I had a huge curveball thrown at… Read More…