3 things to tell you “about”, to best understand the perspective and intent of this site.

1st, about Mike.

From a professional standpoint, my linked-in profile highlights my 25+ years of experience in Silicon Valley as a sales & marketing professional for 5 different companies: ROLM, IBM, Siemens, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle Corporation. I have a beautiful wife of 28 years and two grown children. Here’s my resume.

My blog provides an overview of what I have learned over the years in the area of work/life integration through many varied experiences with each individual company culture (a book/memoir is in the works!). While growing up on the beach in Southern California has definitely influenced my views on life here in Silicon Valley (see Corona del Mar and Growing Up and San Onofre Surfing Club), it is the hard-earned experience of 25 years in high technology marketing and sales that has transformed my thinking on how best to balance it all in this valley of non-stop work and endless opportunity (see Begin with the End in Mind).

My overall purpose with this site is to offer help, encouragement, and coaching to those who struggle to keep it all afloat in this valley of constant demands on our time. My passion for helping people in the work/life integration challenge has led me to a coaching profession, where I am a New Ventures West certified Integral Coach® (see Integral Life Coaching). I also do professional development coaching across a wide range of topics.

2nd, about surfing and my Christian faith.

I was 35 years into my life before I stepped into a Christian lifestyle and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. My walk with Christ has been a walk of growth and understanding of the plan God has for my life. He has not changed who I am as much as He has changed who I want to become. Through the years of raising our family in Silicon Valley while struggling to maintain my career and stay healthy, God has led me on a path of finding rest through my faith.

As for surfing, let’s just say I’m at my very best when I am in the water on a surfboard!

Part of my personal growth since accepting Jesus into my life is the great joy of being able to fulfill His plan for my life. For reasons He will surely make clearer to me in the life after, surfing has been a large part of that plan for as far back as I can remember. It is ingrained into my soul and provides me the best escape I know of when life just gets to be too much (which it often does!). Surfing is a way for me to escape the high-stress environment of work and constant demands on my time, while also drawing me closer to God and his magnificent creation.

3rd, about dad (Jack B Mulkey)

The picture on the cover of this web site is the only picture I have of my dad surfing! It was taken at Malibu circa 1949 by Doc Ball, who was later labeled as “surfing’s first dedicated photographer” (original photo). Like so many of his generation, dad was not too big on taking photographs. He was much more intent on enjoying what you were doing at the time. Dad hung around with a very small crowd of post-World War II generation young adults who were experiencing freedom on the beach at Malibu way beyond what any of them could have dreamed just a few years earlier while entrenched in the war with Germany and Japan.  In this picture, dad is riding a 10’9″ Bob Simmons Plywood Foam surfboard (called a “Foam Sandwich”). This surfboard was a major breakthrough from the Redwood Planks they had been riding, which could weigh in over 100 pounds.  This exact surfboard sold for $40,000 at the Hawaiian Islands Vintage Surf Action in 2009.  Dad did not even know this picture was taken but ran across it in a photo album at a party at Doc Ball’s house (a friend yelled out to him, “Hey Mulkey, your picture is in here!”).

Dad was living out his dream at 89 years young in Kailua-Kona on the big island of Hawaii, when he passed away peacefully in his sleep, after spending a delightful Father’s Day with his daughter Terry (see Kona Jack). This blog is dedicated to dad, for all the wonderful lessons in life I learned from him through the sport of surfing.  They have served me well.

Dad and grandson Matthew in front of a Douglas SBD Dauntless aircraft at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in 2014.

Dad and grandson Matthew in front of a Douglas SBD Dauntless aircraft at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor in 2014 (Dad flew in the gunner position off the USS Saratoga in WWII).

6 thoughts on “About

  1. Mike, What a wonderful blog, you are so blessed and thank you so much for sharing this great story/adventure in lifes journey ….God Bless. Bill Purcell class of 1973

  2. Hi Mike,

    Good talking with you a bit after Road Crew at PBC Palo Alto this morning. After we talked, I opened the Psalms and for some reason began reading Psalm 39, which contains the following verses. I thought they connected well with what you had to say about having an eternal perspective.

    “Show me, Lord, my life’s end
    and the number of my days;
    let me know how fleeting my life is.
    5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
    the span of my years is as nothing before you.
    Everyone is but a breath,
    even those who seem secure. (Psalm 39:4-5)

  3. Hi Mike,

    Fantastic blog… I’m kinda surprise that I don’t think I know you, although you’re about 3 years older than me. I grew up at SanO’ too. My parents, Bob and Babs Fitzgerald, were among the founding members of the club, as well as my Dad being a ski instructor at Mt. Waterman! Charlie French gave me my final lesson at Waterman, when I was 12. His son Scott is one of my best friends (along with Pete Watson, also from Sun Valley, who passed away a few years ago…:( I grew up in Huntington (vs. you in CDM), but the stories are pretty much the same. SanO in the summer and winter weekends skiing at Waterman, with fellow SanO kids: Scott, Kirk Milette, Karen and Traci Peterson, Sam and Shauna Lockett.

    Shawn Fitzgerald

    • Thanks Shawn for your note — GREAT to make the connection!!
      if you don’t mind — send me your email ID. I remember the name “Fitzgerald”, probably from the SanO surfing contest, but don’t think we ever crossed. I was always too focused on Eric Hops, wondering if I could ever surf as good as him on that red of his (and of course, I now ride a red board in his memory… my email: m1mulkey@gmail.com

Leave a Reply to douglaswestfall Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s