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Here is a video of my son, Jesse Marunde.  Just thought my readers might enjoy this video insight into my life and my son’s life.

Strongman Jesse Marunde

Jesse Marunde became an internationally famous strongman.  In fact, the strongman sport is more popular in Europe than it is in the U.S.  Jesse told me the story once about a contest he was in in Europe where he signed autographs for two straight hours.

Jesse Marunde Changed Strongman

Jesse actually changed the strongman sport around the world with his innovations.  He came to the sport from Olympic lifting, and he applied the techniques of Olympic lifting, using strength combined with speed and leverage, to beat many of his stronger competitors early on.  Soon others in the sport all over the world began to use Jesse’s Olympic lifting techniques.

Jesse Marunde My Son

Jesse was a strong willed child from birth.  No surprise about that, right?  His thirst for athletics began early when I began to take him out with me when I would run 10 miles in Spokane, Washington.  He was too young to run and had just learned to ride a bicycle, but he still couldn’t keep up on the bicycle, so I tied a rope around my waist to his handle bars, and so began our father-son athletic adventures.

Later I built a gym for Jesse and equipped it with $3,000 worth of weights and equipment I purchased from a gym that went out of business in Sequim.  It was in that gym, which was our garage on Griffith Farm Road in Sequim, where Jesse and I weightlifted together, and it was in that gym where we talked about his future and his dreams and hopes.  One day while we were working out he told me he knew what he wanted to do with his life, and it was to become the strongest man in the world.  I recall as clear as day looking him in the eyes and saying, “Jesse I believe you can do it.”

He nearly did.  He came in second in the World’s Strongman Contest in Chengdu, China, but he died of a heart attack in the gym in Sequim after an intense and extremely exhausting squat routine.  We could not revive him.

Jesse left a huge legacy for a 27 year old.  An old man about 85 years old told me that Jesse saved his grandson’s life.  Jesse had taken in a teenager who was involved in drugs and had no direction.  Jesse was a pretty demanding coach, but he was also compassionate.  He told this young man that working out was about much more than strength.  It was also about discipline and a lifestyle.  He encouraged him and demanded that he live a clean lifestyle while Jesse coached him.  With emotion in his voice the grandfather told me how deeply grateful he would always be for the influence Jesse was in his grandson’s life.

I just got back from the gym in Sequim, working out intensely and enjoying every minute of it, because for me, this is a part of who I am, and a big part of the legacy my son left.  Discipline.  Hard work.  Loyalty.  Commitment.  Intensity in work and play.

I’m proud to share this story about my son Jesse Marunde.

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  • When my oldest son was growing up as a young athlete and later as a world-class professional strongman, one of our mottos was “Bigger, Faster, Stronger.”  It’s not something we said all the time, or put on the walls as a motivational cliche, but it was a core philosophy for my family.  I taught my sons to work hard, to push themselves every day to do their absolute best, to grow personally and professionally, to live out the values of integrity and loyalty, and to leave a legacy that would live on long after they left this world.

    I’m proud to see that my three sons have been living their lives with honor and with these values as foundations to all they do.  My oldest son, Jesse Marunde, became a world class Professional Strongman, and came in second in the World’s Strongman Contest in Chengdu, China about 4 years ago.  He became very popular in Europe, and would often sign autographs for one or two hours at events.  I remember so clearly as he and I were working out in the gym I built for him in our garage when he was young:  He said to me, “Dad, I know what I want to be in life.”  I asked him what that was, because we had been talking since the day he was a teenager about what he would do with his life.  He said, “I want to be the strongest man in the world.”  Without a doubt in my own heart, I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “I believe you can do it Jesse.”

    jesse_marunde_photo_by_chuck_marunde

    Jesse went on to nearly accomplish that goal before he suddenly died of a heart attack while working out in the gym in Sequim.  He lived life “Bigger, Faster, and Stronger” in all he did.  He was passionate and intensely focused.  He also left a legacy.  At Jesse’s funeral an elderly man in his 80’s told me that Jesse saved his grandson’s life.  His grandson had been involved in drugs and was at a very confused place in his life, and Jesse had taken him under his wing and began training him in the gym.  As a strength trainer, Jesse was a dictator, but what came through to his students was a heart that cared.  He challenged this young man to not just get stronger in the gym, but to create a whole new lifestyle of success based on values and hard work.  As the old man shared this with me, it was hard not to be emotional.

    My other two sons are living out the same values and integrity in their lives, and I can say I’m a proud father.

    Meanwhile I continue to build out my real estate business and the incredible relationships I have with my clients and friends, and my personal motto is “Bigger, Faster, Stronger.”  I apply this to my business, but I also exercise regularly.  As I run down the road jogging and measuring my distance and speed with my GPS enabled cell phone, I often reflect on the good memories I have of my son and how I helped him behind the scenes become a great young man.  I was his “mind” and motivational coach in his early years.  I was the first influence in his life to live out a passion for athletics in my own early workouts where I took him along, even on my jogs pulling his bicycle with a rope so he could keep up.  I helped him negotiate and get his contract with MetRX.  I coached him on how to talk into a microphone at strongman events with short pithy humor.  And I was his marketing guru as he built his reputation and business around the world.  Few people know about any of this, but I thought it might be an interesting diversion for my readers and perhaps a peek into what makes me tick.   I hope you don’t mind me sharing these fond memories of my son.  I’m working hard to leave a legacy in my small world, and I’m working diligently to be “Bigger, Faster, and Stronger.”

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  • Legacy or Currency

    Jesse MarundeIn challenging times like these, many are questioning their investments in real estate and in the stock market.   We’re all concerned about our currency, our investments, our retirement funds, and our futures.   These are legitimate concerns, but may I suggest we keep our portfolios in perspective.

    What is life?   Is it all about currency or legacy?   When you and I are gone, what will they say?   How will you be remembered?   Will you be remembered for your real estate investments, for your participation in the equities market, or will you leave a more precious and eternal legacy?

    My son, Jesse Marunde, was a professional strongman who came in second at the world’s strongman contest in Chengdu, China about four years ago.   Last year he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 27 in the gym here in Sequim.   Jesse was 6’5″ and 320 pounds of muscle.   I’m only 5’9″, and while I didn’t coach him on how to become the second strongest man in the world, I did get him started in weightlifting and athletics as a youngster.   But my contribution, if I may share, to Jesse’s life was not so much to help him with his extraordinary physical accomplishments that made him famous around the world, especially in Europe.   My focus with Jesse from the early years was helping him learn how to think clearly, how to develop a passion for life with a focus on being successful in ways that were personally fulfilling.   Jesse and I talked about everything, about what makes us tick, what successful people do and don’t do, about emotions, psychology, spiritual issues, and this life and the legacy we will leave when we are gone.   He was once asked by a college professor what made him believe he could be the strongest man in the world, and Jesse’s answer will live in my heart forever.   He replied, “Because my dad always told me I could.”

    Jesse left a huge legacy.   Thousands mourned his death and thousands around the world still talk about the impact he had on their lives.   A man in his 80’s told me with tears in his eyes that Jesse saved his grandson’s life.   Jesse took the young man into his gym and began training him, but not just for physcial health.   While they trained on the weights, Jesse told him that working out and becoming strong isn’t going to change anything in his life, won’t get him off drugs, isn’t going to make him happy . . . unless he changes his lifestyle.   Jesse could be so tender and gentle when he wanted, but he also had the ability to flat out hold someone responsible for their conduct and their future in the most direct language.   Having a massive 6’5″ frame of muscle looking down into your eyes while demanding a straight answer can have an affect on a person.

    Many stories have been shared about Jesse’s example and how he loved to help people.   He had a gift for breaking through to get people to take action, and many did.   Their lives will never be the same having met and worked with Jesse.   Jesse left a legacy that makes his worldly fame and success as a professional strongman pale in comparison.   Jesse was one of the world’s greatest athletes, but that is not how he will be most fondly rememberd.   That is not his legacy.   That was his currency.   His legacy is much greater and eternal.

    As you and I struggle with financial concerns in these challenging times, consider what your legacy will be after you’re gone.   What will they say about you?   Are you focused on legacy or currency?

    [Photo taken by Chuck Marunde at the 2003 St. Louis National Strongman Contest with Jesse in the middle.]

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  • Jesse Memorial Strongman Contest

    Sequim had a big event this weekend – the Jesse Marunde Memorial Strongman Contest with Strongmen coming from around the world, including:

    Karl Gillingham, Magnus Samuelsson (who traveled from Sweden to Sequim), Dave Ostlund, Odd Haugen, Marshall White, Matt Parkes, Phil Pfister (who holds the World’s Strongest Man title), Breck Gault, Grant Higa, and Corey St Clair. This is a list of Who’s Who among the world’s strongest men, and they came to Sequim!

    Pictured here is first place winner and local strongman Marshall White with Jesse’s son (and my grandson), Dawson, and Jesse’s wife, Callie Marunde.

    It was a great day as friends from all around gathered to remember Jesse and enjoy a good time in an informal strongman contest. Kevin Nee did a great job MC’ing the event with Callie Marunde. It was good for me, too, as Jesse’s father, because I’ve been taking photographs of these guys at contests around the country since Jesse started competing.

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    Jesse Marunde

    While I post almost daily on this Blog, I will be taking a break for several days because of the death of my beloved son, Jesse Marunde. He was a great man, father, and son. Jesse was Internationally famous as a Strongman. A short statement has been posted on IronMind.

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    Chuck E. Marunde, J.D.

    Sequim Buyer's Agent (Atty Ret.)
    Founder and Broker of
    Sequim & Port Angeles Real Estate dba iRealty Virtual Brokers
    125 Olympic Ranch Ln, Sequim, WA
    (360) 775-5424
    ChuckMarunde@gmail.com

    From Los Angeles

    It's rare, but once in awhile life provides the perfect collaborator for an important endeavor such as buying your new home. For me that person was Chuck Marunde. His two decade background as a Real Estate Attorney, his prolific career as an author of articles and books on Real Estate and his forthright and moral character made choosing Chuck a no-brainer. Chuck is dedicated, thorough, incredible at the negotiating table, knowledgeable about all local laws & regs but, most importantly, Chuck loves what he does. And what he does is find his client the perfect property. Chuck isn't about making the sale, he's about making the sale that is OPTIMUM for his CLIENT and this makes Chuck a rare bird indeed. I love my new home in Sequim and I am indebted to Chuck for making it happen. Kevin E.

    From Seattle

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Chuck over the past three years in selling my parent's estate. It was a tough time to sell during the housing recession, but Chuck always kept things on the positive side. With his real estate law background, he offers sound, practical advice. He helps you along with the process using discussions and reason, rather than opinions and speculations. If Chuck doesn’t know the answers, he will get them for you. In several instances, Chuck took the initiative to meet with county officials to get up-to-date facts about zoning and regulations. I was always impressed with his company’s tech savvy communi-cations and internet presence: weekly email updates, blogs, videos, links, Linked-in networking, etc. He is truly pioneering the future of buying & selling real estate. Brian M.

    From Florida

    We do our homework for the task at hand and we look for and expect to enlist partners that do the same. It was our good fortune to select Chuck Marunde of Sequim and Port Angeles Real Estate to represent us as a buyer's broker in our search for a home in the Sequim/Port Angeles area. Chuck's site is all encompassing and super fast compared to many others, he knows the market at every conceivable level and his guidance through the process of selecting and purchasing a home is priceless - above and beyond that of anyone with whom we have ever worked. Add to all this his 20 year background in real estate law and you have discovered a superb asset in the adventure of purchasing a home. Greg and Marilyn

    From Gilroy California

    As an out of state buyer unfamiliar with the area, it was important to me not only to have a real estate agent who knew the area well, but also one who knew the value of the properties. I chose Chuck because he is also a real estate lawyer and it is reassuring to have that extra degree working for you. I selected the houses I was interested in on line before taking a two day trip to Sequim to look at them in person. I sent my list to Chuck, who gave me feedback, then organized our tour so we could see 16 properties in a short time. He was very accommodating, driving me all over Sequim, and rescheduling appointments when we fell behind on our time. On day two, I found my home and we drafted an offer on it that evening. By the time I arrived back home on the plane the next evening, my offer had been accepted. Chuck was honest about what it would take to get me into my new home, while having my back the entire transaction. Since I was unable to relocate immediately after closing, he and his assistant Ade, have been taking care of many additional responsibilities for me. He was a pleasure to work with. Chris D.

    From Corona California

    The best decision I made, once I settled on Sequim as the ideal place to spend the rest of my days, was to hook up with Chuck Marunde as my broker/go-to guy. He happily took on the entire complicated merry-go-round associated with a long distance move that involved selling in Southern California (with a different agent) and buying in Sequim – all in the span of just over a month. The unexpectedly quick sale of my previous home was already a week into a 30 day escrow when I got to Sequim for my house hunt. We had two days to find my slice of heaven. And day one was less than stellar, each home having at least one major issue. The killer was the dream home that turned out to be an unmitigated disaster once we got inside. I was crushed. Chuck had his work cut out for him that night. And he worked his magic. On day two there was one beautiful possibility, but not quite right. Suffice to say, in the early afternoon we pulled into a driveway and the first words out of my mouth were “That’s my house.” 29 days later I took possession of my new home. Every sale has its issues, but throwing in the complications of a short escrow on top of 1200 miles of separation from all documentation, etc. gives new meaning to “challenging”. Thanks to his encyclopedic knowledge coupled with a great sense of humor, Chuck was able to keep me on an even keel when things got dicey. He knows when to step in and when to let it evolve. I cannot imagine making this move without him. Rebecca B.
    Sequim Real Estate

    From Bakersfield California

    "During the months of February and March 2012, Chuck showed my wife and I over two dozen homes from Port Angeles to Port Townsend. We found Chuck to be very helpful, friendly and courteous. With Chuck there is no pressure; It is all about finding the best home for the buyer. As a Buyer's Agent, Chuck will give you his honest opinion of a property, including a fair market price. In one instance Chuck wrote up an offer for us which was accepted. Chuck was very helpful arranging for home and well inspections which involved multiple trips to the property. Unfortunately, escrow failed to close when, during the home inspection process, it was determined that a septic system repair was needed which the seller was unwilling/unable to make. We will continue to work with Chuck as there is no better Buyer's Agent on the North Olympic" Bert and Sally

    From Los Alamos New Mexico

    "Over a year ago, during a visit to the Olympic Game Farm, we developed what we eventually called the “Sequim Syndrome.” We live in New Mexico and decided Sequim was where we wanted to live in retirement. On our second visit to Sequim, we met with Chuck and asked him to help us. Chuck's web site provides such amazing search capabilities. Chuck's site also contains a 1000 blog postings and a real estate video series detailing buying real estate in Sequim. We bought Chuck's book about Sequim real estate and set out to follow his advice carrying on an ongoing email and phone conversation with Chuck. Doing our due diligence “Marunde style” and using his MLS search site, we came up with about 50 homes that met our needs. We narrowed the list down to 15 properties that best met our needs. We came back to Sequim a third time with our list in hand, and Chuck spent two days with us showing us all the homes on our list. Not only did Chuck help us find that dream home, he spent time to educate us about the quality of construction, fair market values of various properties, home layouts, and the joys of Sequim living. We had a great time as we traveled from house to house. By mid afternoon of the second day, my wife said we had found “the house.” Chuck helped us draft our offer and sent our offer to the seller's agent. It turned out there was a second offer made on the property at the same time. Chuck's help to make a clean offer paid off. At breakfast two days later, we got a call from Chuck saying our offer had been accepted by the sellers. We are now back home in New Mexico. Chuck attends every inspection on our behalf, updating us at every turn by email and phone. Our dream home is becoming a reality because of Chuck and because we were smart enough to follow his advice. We absolutely would NOT have been able to do this without Chuck Marunde's expertise and enthusiasm. We recommend Chuck to everyone planning a move to Sequim, Port Angeles, or anywhere on the Olympic Peninsula. Chuck is a gold mine of information and expertise for home buyers everywhere, not just on the Olympic" Larry and Shirley
    Sequim Real Estate Bookstore

    From Sun Lakes Arizona

    "We are ex-Washington residents who currently live in Arizona. We had been searching the Puget Sound area four years for a waterfront property to build a retirement home when we first contacted Chuck Marunde through his website. We had made multiple trips to various areas but most of the Realtors we contacted simply sent us an email, provided no follow up and did next to nothing to help us locate a property. On our first trip to Port Angeles, after connecting with Chuck, we purchased our dream property. We now own a high bank waterfront lot overlooking the Straight of Jaun de Fuca, and are excited to become part of the Peninsula community." Paul and Linda

    From California

    "Andy Romano is a successful motion picture character actor with over 40 years in 'the Biz.' Mr. Romano has a home in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, but he chooses to live most of the time in Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula in the great Pacific Northwest. Why? In his own words, 'Because it's even more beautiful and surrounded by more beauty in this incredibly peaceful and quiet place. With respect to real estate agents or brokers, well my friend Chuck Marunde, owner of Sequim and Port Angeles Real Estate, is hands down the best there" Andy R.

    From Sequim

    I’ve known Chuck Marunde for several years. My wife and I bought and sold one house through his services, and now have another listed through him for sale. Whether Chuck was representing us as the buyer or seller, I am confident he always had our best interests at heart. He helped us set or negotiate a reasonable price, and made sure there was a clear and open line of communication. He responded rapidly to email and phone calls and always knew the best person to contact for the various services involved in a transaction. I have worked with quite a few real estate agents and Chuck is right at the top of my list of good ones. Actually, Chuck is first and foremost just a good person, and he carries his personal honesty and integrity over into his profession. He has the greatest depth of experience in real estate of any agent or broker I have known. His years of practicing real estate law prior to becoming a broker are evident in the meticulous care he takes with the process and documentation. I am impressed by the way Chuck has integrated internet services into his real estate business. He probably knows more about this process than any other realtor in the country. In this tight market it is important to use every possible means to spread the word about available properties…to reach the few people who might be interested in a particular property. Steve L.

    From The Netherlands

    "We contacted Chuck about six months ago to help find a retirement property in Sequim. We had visited Sequim several weeks before and decided that this was the place for us to retire. We liked the friendly people and the natural beauty of the area. We had been looking for some time in other parts of the country - California, Oregon, North Carolina, and Vermont. In most of these other areas, we found real estate agents that were knowledgeable but did not follow up with us to continue narrowing down real estate possibilities. Once we were out of earshot, communications would stop. That is one of the reasons we were interested in working with Chuck. Besides having great knowledge of both the local real estate market and of law, his testimonials on the internet indicated a willingness to actively communicate with his clients. Chuck demonstrated this immediately. Even before we met, he responded very quickly and helpfully to any email question. After arriving for a second visit to Sequim in September, we finally met Chuck face to face. He was friendly, encouraging, and readily shared good practical information. We worked with him on a number of candidate properties - including an offer on a property while visiting that week. Although we could not come to terms with the owners on the final property price, we look forward to continuing to work closely with Chuck. He is an invaluable resource to help us identify and purchase the retirement property that's right for us." Paul and Virginia

    From Fremont California

    We can't say enough about working with Chuck Marunde. Luck would have it that we discovered his web site, spoke with him on the phone and had an instant feeling that we had found our realtor. And we were right. With Chucks help and expertise, our longtime dream to retire to the Pacific Northwest came to fruition with Chuck assisting us in finding the perfect home for us. Buying a home is always a big decision and these days can be complex with unexpected delays etc. In fact, our whole experience from offer day to closing, was very smooth. Chuck took all the time we needed to explain processes and made us feel at ease, even though we lived 800 miles away, tying up loose ends and getting ready for the big move to our new home in Sequim. We were impressed with Chuck's ability to listen to our needs and understand our concerns in buying from a distance. Chuck kept us informed all along the way, during the process and was so good at getting right back to us if we had another question. All went so well and Chuck really went above and beyond for us, taking time out from his busy schedule to assist us with some details regarding our beautiful property, even after the closing, because we were not yet arrived there. Without hesitation, our son and his wife will be contacting Chuck this summer, as they plan to follow us to paradise in this lovely town. Thanks again Chuck, for everything! Mary and Jerry

    From Fontana California

    My husband and I went to Sequim intending to interview several realtors to find one to help us locate and buy a home in Sequim. We knew we wanted someone we could trust and who would have our best interests in mind. Since we would be handling the transaction from S. California this was very important to us. We met Chuck and looked no further. We felt a connection right away and spent some time looking at homes together so Chuck could get a feel for what we wanted. Well, we left Sequim having made an offer on a home which the owner accepted. Chuck has helped us through the purchase process. We are positive it would not have gone so smoothly without his help. We give him 4 thumbs up. Wally & Cathy

    From Tacoma

    Chuck Marunde’s level of expertise in real estate investment is amazing. His knowledge, experience and legal training have given me a dramatic advantage in real estate investing. He works hard to stay on the cutting edge of real estate marketing, sound advice and value-added service for his clients. Kirk Wald, Financial Planner

    From Wendell Idaho

    My wife and I moved to Sequim six weeks ago, and prior to our move here I contacted Chuck Marunde and enlisted his help as our buyer's agent. Once we got here, it took us about two weeks looking at houses, and Chuck did a superb job of showing us places and letting us make our own decisions and guide us through the purchase of our home. We now completed our transaction and are very happy. We would recommend Chuck to anybody. Don & Marilyn

    From Sequim

    "Buying property either commercial or residential can sometimes be a tricky proposition. That’s why I would recommend Chuck to help you with purchasing or selling property. His background as a real-estate lawyer and his no nonsense to the point advice will help you make the right decisions. Experience and Integrity, what you need when you can’t afford to make a mistake. Dail Hurdlow, CEO, Hurdlow Enterprises

    From Seattle

    I am an experienced real estate buyer, but I am not from the Sequim area. I am somewhat flexible, realistic, but also particular. So the question was, “how do you choose the RIGHT real estate agent?”

    I made my appointment with Chuck on a Sunday morning in March, 2013. He showed me 5 houses. Every house he showed me was within my parameters! I was amazed: a real estate who listened, did his research, and didn't waste my time showing me houses I would never buy! I made an offer a few days later. That was the easy part…

    Buying a house is always a stressful time in life. Advice to Buyers: choose an agent who is competent, communicates well, and has exceptional follow-up and follow-through! You will spend a lot of time with your agent during the process. Choose someone likable. Go with your gut. I got to know Chuck during the process, and he's a great guy!

    You need an agent who is competent to handle and help you negotiate the issues that come up during disclosure, home inspection, appraisal, etc. Chuck's competence is superb! I got truly professional, sound, straightforward advice.

    Chuck's communication skills are exceptional: phone, email, fax. He has a wonderful ability to stay "on-point" with what is actually important and doesn't lead you astray on issues that aren't so important.

    Chuck's turn-around time on questions, issue resolution, etc. was virtually always within 24 hours. He follows-up, follows-through. He does what he says he will do timely. This relieves a lot of Buyer stress!

    Having a difficult time finding the right agent? Simplify your life! Choose Chuck Marunde. I did. [Name withheld by request]

    Intro by Chuck Marunde

    From Sequim to California

    "In our Sequim real estate broker Chuck Marunde we found a Realtor who knew not only how to list a property, but most importantly, he knew how to sell a property. Chuck is very skilled in current technology and uses that skill to advertise your property nationally. We were very pleased with Chuck, his honesty and integrity." Jerry Levitan and Donna "Teva" Tetiva

    Who is Chuck Marunde?

    Chuck Marunde is the #1 Sequim Buyer's Agent, having sold more homes (by volume) to buyers than any other agent or any "team" of agents for the past seven years. He is the author of thousands of articles for buyers on this real estate blog, and he is the author of several real estate books for buyers and one for sellers. He is the creator of many free tools that buyers use and love every day. He is recognized as a national expert on real estate transactions, marketing, and negotiating. Please schedule your appointment to view homes with Chuck well in advance of arriving in Sequim.
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