You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2012.

I may have tennis elbow, or golfer’s elbow, or both.  In my wish for attention and uniqueness, I’m thinking of calling it “Crazy man’s elbow.”  Presumably, it’s an overuse/misuse injury to the tendon(s) in my right elbow.  On-line sites recommend a doctor’s visit, rest, ice and careful rehabilitation under a doctor’s supervision.  So those new golf clubs may stay new for a while!  Excessive mouse use is one cause of such injuries.  I have a cat, so I’m guessing mine arose in a different way.  ( ;  Bad weight lifting technique?  Too heavy on the weights?  Easy there Ego-man!  So there are lessons here, and my job is to learn them.  Go easy when adding weight?  Stick with lighter weights?  Rest when joint soreness comes on?  Vary the activities more?  Buy a $264 home ultrasound unit, warm arm brace and cold arm brace?  Take a lesson from a woman and ask for directions?  Okay, okay; I’ll see how soon my well check appointment is. 

What do I see for opportunities?  Please tell me what I’ve missed!

  1. Gain more empathy for people with body pains.
  2. Branch out into new activities.
  3. Learn to accept slow growth; avoid trying to make too much progress too quickly.  Enjoy the process!
  4. Collect sympathy; wear an arm sling!  Just kidding…..
  5. Meditate and pray.  Trust God!  Always!!!
  6. Gain left hand skills and strength.
  7. Play hackysack.
  8. Ride a bike.
  9. Run, adding ChiRunning technique to reduce injuries.
  10. Trust the experts.  See a doctor as soon as possible. 
  11. A whole new topic for workplace jokes about myself.  I don’t want them to be bored!
  12. More massages for me!  Maybe even prescribed and covered by insurance?  Please!
  13. Greater self-awareness
  14. Another crazy blog topic.
  15. Another test of my ability to handle life as it comes.  There is no final test in this class.  They just keep coming and coming and coming……

Now I’m almost grateful for the sore elbow!  Happy Thor’s Day!

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I believe that adaptability is an excellent trait.  Things happen.  How do we respond?  Do seemingly negative events cause tailspins?  Or creative solutions to find the best use of our time and opportunities?  Are we mortals qualified to judge “good” and “bad” events in our lives?  Are most “bad” events really just “opportunities” mislabeled?  I’ve judged events to be “bad” that turned out, in retrospect, to be some of my best lessons.  I may not have been able to learn these important lessons in any other way.  Can I live fully in today, without wondering too much about what’s coming tomorrow?  I hope so! 

Nick didn’t want to go bicycling with me this evening.  So I went with God.  The sun warmed my skin as I prayer pedaled.  I could smell the wheat growing as I toured the scenic country roads.  My legs were tired from weight lifting yesterday, which was just fine.  More time to meditate! 

I did leg weights yesterday because my elbow is hurting.  Should I whine, get lazy or learn how to rehabilitate it and cross-train with other activities?  Perhaps the answer is obvious, but it wasn’t always clear to me.  It’s really good for me to see the answered prayers in my life!

I have now avoided compulsive, emotional eating for nine days in a row.  For me, it’s a big deal.  I’m excited to see where my life will go, as I surrender all of my compulsions and open myself to growth and discovery.  It seems it’s helping my confidence and contentment.  Yay God!  ( :

Blessings to you!

RAZR X Black Irons

These clubs are amazing!  I hit the seven iron way higher than I am used to, as well as farther.  Never mind that the distance gain is because of  Callaway lowering the loft by one degree.  Let’s just say I’m hitting it higher and farther!  Yay!  I tried Ping and the other major brands, but these clubs just felt better and performed better.  Perhaps they got more of my better swings, but I think they’re going to be fun!  I purchased a set of 5-iron through utility wedge so far, plus a 4 hybrid.  I hear the Cleveland loft wedges are amazing, so I’m considering adding a couple of those, plus a fairway “wood” made of metal, or two.  Maybe even a new driver and putter and bag.  I also got the first golf shoes I’ve had in over three decades:  Nike widened their toe box, so they fit nicely.  Now I’ve removed more of my excuses.  It’s time to play!  ( :

PS – If I could find a vehicle that excited me as much as these golf clubs and the Kona Hei Hei 29 Deluxe bicycle, I’d buy it!

Thank you to Blessed with a star on the forehead for nominating me for the Beautiful Blogger Award!  ( :

I am honored and humbled.  I love her writings about how falling in love can trick any of us and how to recover and prepare for a better future.  “Looking for a partner is no longer a priority. When and if he comes I will welcome him with open arms and we will have fun together, but in the meantime I am enjoying myself” is her approach to life, and I must say, I can’t find a better one!

My nominees are:

irunibreathe – Getting beyond fear of change, jealousy, the power of negative thinking, supporting our partners emotionally, self-will, creating false images of our partners.  Thought provoking!  ( :

The Taste of Travel – Ken opens the beautiful world of Asia to me.  I hope I get to visit.  I want to see the sights, taste the food and open my mind!

I’m still technochallenged; I can’t find my “followings” in either place on WordPress, so I feel a bit hamstrung.  So that’s all the nominees I have for now.  Is God pointing me towards less blogging and more of something else?  Hmmmm.  A meditation for today!  ( :

Picture

The war veterans I remember most are still alive.  One family friend came back from Vietnam with three fewer limbs.  The Vietnam war happened when I was young; I remember nightly casualty reports on television.  My cousin Tom Tesmar flew helicopters in Vietnam and survived with many wild stories.  His book gave me a clue of what war is like.  I hope I am thankful enough for my life filled with opportunities.  Today I enjoy the freedom that so many others fought for with spilled blood, dismemberment and death.  Now I’m blessed with affluence and chances to take the fight for freedom inward, rather than outward.  Thank you to all veterans!

 

Wow!  I rode this amazing bicycle yesterday.  I really like it!  Quality oozes from it; smooth shifting, twenty-nine inch wheels for an amazing ride, state of the art suspension on the front and the rear, hydraulic disc brakes.  Only two sprockets on the front and ten gears on the back, for better shifting.  The price shocked me a little, but it felt so good!  It’s a Kona Hei Hei 29 Deluxe.  Should I get one?

http://blessedwithastarontheforehead.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/relationship-smarts/ is a post with great ideas that gave me impetus to review relationship advice I’ve received from experts, which feels absolutely right in my experience and in my heart:

  1. Be careful whom you let yourself fall into love with.  If you fall in love with the first person who comes by who is attractive to you, and who shows interest in you, you’ll have little chance of long-term compatibility.  Do they have traits that will be a good match for you?  Interest in sex and eating are common to (mostly?) everyone, so they don’t count as common interests!  ( :
  2. Go slowly!  Avoid early sex.  Sex bonds us like nothing else, so it convinces us that we’re in love with someone who we’re in lust with.  After we’ve plunged into sex, we’re unable to think clearly, see warning signs or gauge compatibility.  If someone leaves you because you wish to go slowly, good riddance!  Time has a way of sorting out posers from keepers.
  3. Watch for red warning flags!  Orange and yellow too.  Anger?  Self-centeredness?  Addictions?  Emotional instability?  Blaming?  Complaining?  Insecurity?  Overspending?  Impatience?  Overly dramatic?  Plans to quit anything?  Greed?  Vanity?  Inconsiderate?  Deceptive?  Drug seeking?  Grudge holding?  Unmotivated?  Judgmental?  Resentful?  Controlling?  Cynical?  Unhealthy?  History of bailing out?
  4. Focus on being the best possible version of yourself.  Only then will you attract the best possible partner.  If one does not appear, you will still be leading your best possible life, which will inevitably be the most rewarding.
  5. Make friends who enjoy similar activities as you.  These connections may produce a friendship that evolves into your best friendship.  ( :
  6. Balance your life with spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social and physical activities that inspire you.  Bring these into each of your days, finding balance.  Try to fix your own life, not the lives of others.
  7. Find and declare gratitude for all the blessings in your life.  Gratitude creates happiness, which attracts people to you.  Refer back to #1 above!
  8. Believe in the things you want for your life:  love, passion, health, goodness, kindness, compassion, humor, adventure and servitude are some good examples for me.
  9. Be content with being single.  Only after we’re okay with singleness are we truly ready to be in a relationship.  Then we are not needy, desperate, controlling, anxious or confused.
  10. Make a list of the good traits that you have and the ones you wish to have.  Be that person.  Discipline yourself to be exactly who you want to be.  Then you’ll attract someone really good;  be ready to toss back the posers.
  11. Rather than rashly assuming they have traits you want them to have, patiently watch to see what traits they really do have.

I believe in love, and my heart has always returned to willingness to love.  I really want the next time to be a lasting love!  God help me!!!

Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks Katie!  I hope this means more than my brain is scrambled!  ( :    My most memorable experience from Katie’s blog was when she opened my mind to the concept of five-minute friends.  I absolutely love the perspective on how to treat people who may be in my life for only five minutes.  Katie reinforces the beauty of choosing to live fully in the present.  Yay!

So the award rules suggest I share some random facts about me:

  1. I love almost all foods.
  2. I exercise a LOT, partly because of number one above.
  3. I believe that love is more powerful than hate.
  4. I was once a City Councilman.
  5. I love to see and hear people laugh.
  6. I have made so many mistakes that I’ve now been blessed with some perspective on life.
  7. My hope springs eternal.

Blogs I recommend:

Candid Concourse – Shantelle notices, as many of us do, that blogging can be therapeutic and revealing, when we’re truly able to be honest.

Where’s my T-back and other stories – Eva tackles a hard subject – Alzheimer’s disease.

There are more, but I still can’t access my “following” list.  So I’m off to shopping for a new bicycle or car or something!  ( :

sunshine-blogger-award1

Here I am, delivering my acceptance speech in my birthday suit!  Please forgive me, as this hot bath feels SO good after the 6.3 mile run I just finished.  The Powerade Zero/frozen banana/frozen strawberry/vanilla whey powder shake even tastes decadent.  Ahhhhh…… the sweetness of life.  Not your idea of a perfect Friday evening?  Well, I’m glad I’m learning to go with the flow and love as much as I can of whatever comes.  ( :  If a serial pyramid blogging award is a hair lower than a Pulitzer Prize or an Academy Award, so be it.  It can be just as precious to me!  Thanks Prissy!  My favorite posts by Prissy are about her last day in one occupation, it’s followup sequel, a New York taxicab tale, today’s feature  on love and about startling medical news.  Her other posts are quite different from these!  ( :

If Prissy can nominate thirteen of us, then I can pick a number too!  Here are sites I’ve been blessed with recently that strike my fancy:

Blessed with a Star on the Forehead  – Although I plan to go back and read more, reading just this one post captivated me.  She may in fact be a female version of me, in a sense.  In any case, I see good stuff about relationships and healing.

Kerstenbeck Photographic Art – Cool pictures AND cool words!  ( :

Either WordPress has lost the list of blogs I follow or this computer is losing it!  That’s a bummer, because there are more I’ve love to recommend!  Prissy modified the award rules to ask for questions, not answer unasked questions – ????  So if you have any questions about me, fire away!

Fun is part of balance!

I search for a balanced life because I have faith that it will be the best.  Have I tasted true balance, or is intuition and/or a higher power guiding me towards an ideal?  Do the rewards in different aspects of life make me “want it all?”

When in love, it seems I’ve gone all in.  All my eggs in one basket.  The whole retirement fund bet on one investment.  Nearly singular focus.  Addiction to substances also created severe imbalance.  Overemphasis on play detracted from intellectual discovery.  Other people say that they “want it all.”  Is this a wish to target balance, managing a meaningful job, lover, play, exercise, prayer, meditation, friends, learning and emotional balance?  It seems that the healthier I get in some aspects, the more efficient I become, freeing up time.  Does this make “having it all” possible?  I’m really excited, hoping that I’ll get to find out!

Accountability.  Sounds like a bean counter’s word, doesn’t it?  I’m a bean counter, so I should know!  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Beancounterology, as well as decades of experience.  I even worked in a bean warehouse when I was very young.  Perhaps this was God’s humorous way of showing me how big some challenges are?  There were literally mountains of beans!

Enough digression!  Accountability means being responsible to someone for something, or “the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable” according to Dictionary.com.  Accountability can help keep us honest, on task and productive.  One very important priority for me is to be a better version of myself (thank you Matthew Kelly!).  This encompasses spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social and physical aspects, which are woven together to make me.  It is a fact that I can love who I am now and still continually strive to become a better version of myself.  For as long as I’m gifted with existence.  Is that forever?  How many more days do I get in this life on earth?  What will make it more rewarding for everyone involved?  What comes next? 

Finding a better me is not pressure or monotonous work.  It’s full of exciting challenges!  Yes, there are times of desperation and praying for help.  Yes to sweat, shortness of breath and muscle soreness.  Bring on the interpersonal challenges!  I can love people for their Godliness, and not resent their human limitations.  Because y’all are likely much like me.  The ones who can admit it are well on their way to serenity!

What was the original intent of this post?  Oh yeah, accountability.  Well, Annie started it, so here goes:  May 22, 2012 is a date I want to hold on to.  My first day of being clean and sober from gluttonous eating.  That’s two nights in a row for us real bean counters.  It’s as important as my other sobriety dates.  Can I hold on to it?  Well, I’m a human, but God can do anything!  ( :

PS – Hey Annie, the ab coaster gave me awesome burn!  4,580 meters in 20 minutes of rowing and 200 flights in 40 minutes on the stair-stepper.  Will Super Peach be ready for the next challenge?  ( :

There have been some innovations in golf clubs in the last thirty-five years, since I last bought a set.  How’s that for delayed gratification?  On that note, it seems that mountain bikes have also improved considerably in the past twenty-five years.  Am I due for a new one?  Likewise, vehicles have been greatly enhanced in the past twenty-two years.  I’m an outdoor enthusiast, but I’ve never owned a Goretex rain jacket.  Do I get the fanatically frugal award?  Truthfully, I’ve spent a lot on other things.  These items should be replaced, however, even though they still work pretty well.  Toyotas won’t wear out!  So, I’m planning to buy new golf clubs, a new bicycle, a Goretex jacket and a new vehicle.  I’ll do my part to stimulate the economy.  Will this new stuff make me happy?  Well, my guess is that it won’t make me less happy; it’ll be better stuff, but still just stuff.  What am I doing to make my life better? 

I’m tackling the last of my holdout obsessions, including habitual and emotional eating.  I’ve been in long-standing semi-denial, since I’m not obese.  I pack a little flab, but mostly burn it off.  So it seemed like a trivial matter for a long time.  How does gluttonous eating affect me then?  I believe it disrupts my sleep,  detracts from my open-mindedness and chips away at my confidence.  I think it holds me back from being the best possible version of myself.  What emotions am I attempting to bury under the food?  What am I afraid to face?  When I figure it out, I’ll probably tell you!  ( :

Sometimes I feel it, and sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes I’m motivated, and sometimes I’m not.  Today I felt good and strong in the weight room.  So I lifted steadily with minimal breaks between sets, alternating arm sets with leg sets and ab sets, mixing in stretches.  I kept moving for eighty minutes.  It made me feel vital, strong, and fully alive!  I pushed hard, knowing that progress comes with effort, not with comfort.  The comfort came later, in the form of a tasty chocolate banana protein milkshake, vegetable salad, Prime beef steak and Weight Watchers ice cream treat.  Now for a shower, reading, sleep and rejuvenation.  If I’m lucky, I’ll be graced with another day tomorrow.  Wouldn’t that be sweet?  ( :

If my assumptions are correct, this is a day for twos!  We can be two times as grateful as we normally are.  Any discontent will vanish.  Poof!  We can smile two times as much as normal.  Others will smile back.  This could get contagious!  I’m planning on two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners, albeit half-sized.  Thanks Annie!  I’ll even try to work two times as hard as normal.  I’ll do two workouts and tell two people how they add joy to my life.  I’ll make two posts on this blog, since I’ve slacked off.  ( ;  I will pray at least two times and set aside two meditation periods.  Hopefully I can do it all and get way more than two hours of sleep tonight!  I hope you have at least two loving experiences today!  Toodles!

Golf courses

Golf courses (Photo credit: eutrophication&hypoxia)

I went out to practice some golf shots today, for the first time in nearly seven months.  The weather was perfect: seventy degrees, lovely sunshine and gentle breezes.  Putting practice reminded me of a life lesson:  don’t think too much about the stroke.  Instead, concentrate on getting the ball rolling well on a line of your choice.  Then maybe, just maybe, it will drop into the hole!  After some success with this concept, I was about to graduate to the driving range, when I heard an old friend calling my name.  Since he was preparing to play a round, I cast aside my fear of embarrassment and joined him.  I struggled on some holes and excelled on others.  How did they differ?  Well, since golf is as complicated of a game as I’ve ever met, I hesitate to oversimplify cause and effect.  But there are truths to be shared!  When preparing for a shot, I must visualize a good shot, seeing it in my mind, while relaxing my muscles and controlling the length of my backswing, effectively playing within myself.  When I did this today, I stroked a 230 yard fairway wood to within two feet of the cup, allowing myself a simple tap in for birdie.  On the very next hole, I had missed the green by about twenty yards and faced an uphill/sidehill pitch to the pin.  I had a rough idea where to hit my next shot to get my ball close, but I chose to walk up the hill to get a better feel for the lay of the land.  I remembered that I needed to relax, visualize the perfect shot, trust my swing and do my best.  The ball flew perfectly, skipped a bit and rolled right into the hole!  I had two birdies in a row after suffering through double and quadruple bogeys earlier in the round.  Perhaps life, like golf, is about visualizing the best path, having faith that proper actions will be effective, executing as well as we can and enjoying the results, whatever they may be.  Setbacks need not be reason for dismay or pessimism.  They can rouse our willingness to believe in the possible, spur our ability to visualize awesomeness and open the door to achieving previously unimagined successes.  If I believe something is not possible, then it surely is not.  If I believe in possibilities, amazing things can happen!  ( :

Thank you for this life!  Thank you for this incredibly useful body.  Thank you for amazing love and amazing lovers.  Thank you for children, sunshine, smiles, tender words.  Thank you for nourishing food, comfortable beds, warm showers, supportive people and growth opportunities.  Thank you for automobiles, bicycles, skiis, snowshoes, boots, clothes, hackysacks, chairs, tables, medicine and second chances.  Thanks for mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans, clouds, stars and the moon.  Thank you for sleep, healing, faith, hope and trust.  Where would I be without water, dirt and nutrients?  I greatly appreciate the kisses, hugs and laughter.  Thank you for kindness, generosity, forgiveness and understanding.  Thank you for gratitude, willingness, open-mindedness and honesty.  Thank you for grace!  Thanks for policemen, firemen, teachers, doctors, nurses, waitresses, cooks, masseurs, psychotherapists, housekeepers and all other servants.  Thank you for my job.  Thanks for compassion, shelter, vacations, indoor toilets, camaraderie, unconditional love, pain, joy, struggles, challenges, intimacy, isolation, sobriety, freedom, endorphins, strength, high-definition three-dimensional television, golf clubs and everything else I’ve forgotten to mention.  THANK YOU!!!  Now I feel like smiling and skipping!  Maybe I’ll go hit some golf balls……  May your days be filled with awareness, gratitude and love!  ( :

I wonder how much we’re like our ancient ancestors?  Did they like to barbecue?  The steaks I’m cooking look and smell pretty good!  What would cave man think?  He might think the cat in my jungle is a bit mild.  Tali, the orange Tabby, doesn’t quite intimidate like a cougar.  She wouldn’t eat my steak if I offered it to her!  Could the cave clan cook figure out how to use the grill?  He/she had a smaller brain, but I’m reportedly not using all that many of my brain cells, so maybe I’d learn a thing or two.  Did they sleep on dirt or branches?  My soft bed has me pretty spoiled!  Did Mr. Cave stink badly?  Maybe Mrs. Cave smelled just as bad?  Rib or rump steaks?  Who could be picky?  The salad might have been a bit lean.  What’s for dinner?  Steak and steak?  Again?  Why can’t we have fish?

I spent over an hour lifting weights and 45 minutes running last evening, trying to counteract sitting at my desk all day.  Did cave man get to throw spears, chase game, eat barbecue, sun bathe and chase cave woman around?  Today I spent half an hour mowing the lawn and a bit more doing laundry.  Would cave man laugh out loud at me?  Would he envy my high-definition three-dimensional television?  Might I envy his high-definition three-dimensional landscape?  Would he prefer texting and blogging over watching sunsets?

Is anyones grass ever really any greener?  Is the lens we use to view the grass the real issue?  Please pass the steak!  ( :

Thank you Bullu!  This makes my day, because that is exactly my hope for my life:  to inspire others!  So to think that I have done so makes my heart smile!  Yay!  Bullu has inspired a real yearning in me to experience tea in England.  The food looks and sounds amazing!

I have found much inspiration in many of the blogs I’ve read!  Thank you to all of you!  At the risk of omission, I’ll still list a few here:

Fitnessaficionada – aka Super Peach and Annie.  Annie is my daughter and adventure mate.  Her blog inspires me to exercise, eat healthy foods, cook new recipes and experience adventures, like writing this blog.  Being a father to Annie and her brother Nicholas is the most amazing thing that’s happened to me so far.  Annie, let’s hit the adventure trail!

Cauldrons and Cupcakes – Nicole delivers a consistent stream of spiritual truths and a beautiful approach to life.  I look forward to reading her blog at every opportunity.  She absolutely helps me become a better version of myself.  Blessings to you Nicole!

Bucket List Publications – Lesley’s publication is based on living life fully, embracing and creating the amazing opportunities we have.  She lives her life that way and inspires me to add danger, variety and more adventure to my life, enriching it for me and for others.  Thanks Lesley!

sherrylcook – Sherry is wise and full of great perspective.  I always enjoy her writings.  Thanks for brightening my life Sherry!

Random facts about me:

  1. I grew up on a small farm in eastern Washington, enjoying nine siblings. 
  2. I am passionate about play.
  3. I am very competitive, but I am a good loser.  I love the challenge of competition.
  4. My day job is in finance and accounting, until I have enough money to focus on the bucket list!  ( :
  5. I believe in lasting love.  My heart is willing.
  6. My son Nicholas and I once melded a double family and a double pinochle in one hand.
  7. I was a nationally certified official for USA Swimming and observed multiple world records while serving at high level meets.

Here are the rules for the the ‘Very Inspiring Blogger’ award:

(1) thank the blogger who nominated you (2) include the links to their blogs, (3) include the award image in your post, (4) copy the award image to your site, (5) give seven random facts about yourself, (6) nominate 15 other bloggers for the award, (7)  when nominating other bloggers include the links to their sites, and (7) let those bloggers know they’ve been nominated!

No donkeys.  Not even a pickup truck!  We chose bicycles on a packed gravel path.  Ricky Bobby would have been proud; we went fast!  Do you know what it was like?  Very much like sprinting fast at the Balloonsday Run, riding my bicycle at top speed made me feel young!  Yay!  Cranking the pedals made me feel strong.  Alive!  I got high without sucking down a cocktail, firing up a cigarette or using other drugs.  This was SO MUCH BETTER!!!  ( :

It was a true pleasure to ride with my son Nicholas.  It fired me up, both for his well-being and for my own.  Before the ride, I felt a bit tired, lazy and indifferent.  Afterwards, I’m stoked, energized, motivated and inspired!  Yippee!  Exercise truly is an amazing high!  It’s fun, good for my body, re-charging for my spirit and soothing for my soul.

Super Peach and I lifted weights for two hours and walked for an hour and a half on Sunday.  Our bond is amazing!  Thank you Lord for my amazing kids!!!  ( :

 

Sometimes in life I’m flying high,

then lasting love seems to pass me by.

I can’t neglect my higher power

or the storms of life will make me cower.

A balanced life springs from many lessons,

clarified for me in therapy sessions!

The incredible gifts of loving bliss

seem to change to pain when life’s amiss.

But staying on a course of healthy ways

keeps gracing me with joyous days!

I trust I’m healing each time I find

another lesson in being kind!

So on I go, in search of me.

When I’m found, what else might be?

 

 

 

What a wonderful tradition!  Honoring women who have given of yourselves, so that we might have life.  You’ve sacrificed so much, showing amazing love.  Many of my best lessons in love blossomed from observing mothers in action.  I feel God’s love in your smiles, caresses, soothing voices, tender hearts and dedication.  You lovely women make my experience in this world a series of marvels and joys.  You bless me with hope and you soften my soul.  You help me see that in a spiritual sense, so much is well.  You challenge me to embrace your goodness; how can I learn from you to be a better me?  In essence, I believe you find the grace to put others ahead of yourselves.  God’s definition of love.  Self-actualization in the best sense I can find.  You’ve arrived!  You are wonderful teachers for me.  Thank you! 

Thank you Mom, for accepting God’s love into your heart, sharing it with us, and living it consistently.  You are God’s masterpiece!  I love you forever! 

Lucky #8 of 11

Wow!  I feel so alive!  I forgot how high I can get by running faster than I’m used to.  Somehow I ran considerably faster than I thought I could today.  The start is always easy, because there is excitement and adrenaline.  Today, at mile marker one, my mind tripped on “oh no, I’ve started out way too fast” and quickly skipped to “dang!  I’m going to run out of steam,” rehashing old experiences of defeat.  I let these thoughts pass on through, and settled on “good start; let’s see how long I can keep this pace.  Just keep running!”  That’s what runners do.  They run!  Yes, I’ve stopped and walked before.  Sometimes it was ego deflating.  Perhaps it even made walking permissible in challenging times, draining my fortitude and determination.  But all of that was in the past.  The past has no impact on the present, unless I grant that permission.  Today, as always, some people flamed out early and switched to walking.  Not me.  Not today.  I just needed to believe.  I just needed to have faith.  I only had to do the next right thing.  Lucky for me that was really easy to figure out this morning.  Left.  Right.  Left.  Right……. I was able to keep up the fast pace for the entire ten kilometers, and even sped up at the end.  In fact, when a friend snuck up and passed me near the finish, I sprinted madly to pass him back just before the line!  It reminded me of the way I test drive cars.  It felt really good to put the pedal to the metal!  ( :

Our bodies are like sexy sports cars:  they want to be pushed!  Blood flow.  Oxygen.  Clarity.  Achievement.  I remember running advisers claiming that we shouldn’t run too fast in training.  They’re probably wiser than me, but I also remember experience teaching me that we must run fast to run fast.  Deepest thought I could come up with?  I’ve had three fun and progressively faster runs in the past seven days, with two days rest between each.  Some experts say that older bodies need more recovery time.  Damn near makes me want to take a nap!  But I may be too excited about planning more adventures…..

Live well!

I feel like a kid again!  Was that a Heinz ketchup commercial that sang about anticipation?  Just testing to see how old you are.  I’m excited to do a footrace in about an hour and one-half.  Even though I’m a little slow.  Even for me!  I’ll finish in the middle of the pack, and this pack will not be 50,000 like at Bloomsday.  Maybe a few hundred, on a good day.  I’m still excited!  I guess I’m a social creature, because I love the pre-race and post-race interactions.  I hope I survive the in-race trials!  My mother promoted to heaven last year on Mother’s Day.  I will run in her honor.  I owe this amazing life to her; she gave me the gift that makes other gifts possible.  Her incredible faith molded who I am today.  Thanks Mom!!!  I am a very blessed man.  I will also run in honor of my children’s mother.  She gave me the next two most incredible gifts of my life.  Thanks Marie!!!  I will also run in honor of my psychotherapist, my AA sponsor, my children (Super Peach Annie and Hackysack Nick), my siblings, my in-laws, my nieces and nephews and all the amazing friends I’ve been honored with so far.  Holy Smokes!  It really does take a village to raise a rebel!  ( :

 

 

Son of a gun!  What?  Who’s the other parent?

Colder  than a witch’s tit!  Really?  I guess I haven’t known any witches very well…..

Dumber than  a doorknob!    Seriously?  How smart is someone who gives IQ tests to doorknobs?

Hotter than hell!  If you know this, how did you get back here?

Out of his mind.  Where, exactly, would that be?  Maybe in my mind?  Perhaps he planted the strategy I’ve “discovered” for tomorrow’s footrace:  take it out slow, then try to hold on!  Help!

Surrendering  my holdout compulsions is setting me free!  I have faith that I can become a better version of me, in so many ways!  I have avoided compulsive, emotional eating for two nights.  Last evening I ran my favorite training loop in my fastest time in nearly two years.  I started out slowly, with an ache in my right ankle, but I got stronger as I ran, peaking around the four mile mark.  The flow felt good, so I brought it home with a negative split, similar to our finish at Bloomsday.  The Balloonsday run is this Saturday; I’m excited to see if I can get even faster!  I’m also excited to see who will show up for this event.  I’m hoping to find someone a little faster than me to race!  ( :

If I wake up to Mr. Grumpypants, I get to see a version of myself, interacting with me.  Now that’s a spiritual growth opportunity!  I get to see how I can be, reflected in him, and I am granted another chance to be patient, tolerant and kind.  I can also subtly challenge him to grow!

If I encounter Ms. Negative at work, I again see a reflection of myself.  I can then see clearly how my negativity has drained others, as I experience this draining effect.  But I don’t have to be drained.  I can smile and offer optimism!  Am I spiritually up to the task?  Have I prepared, via prayer and meditation, to let God help me handle anything?

Have you met Mr. Addict?  Mrs. Whiner?  Mr. Egobuild?  Ms. Blamer?  Mr. Putchadown?  When I’ve been like these people, I’ve been a less than desirable version of myself.  I’ve been a drag on the world.  Conversely, I really can continue to grow into a better version of myself, each day.  Belief that it can happen is the cornerstone.  Actions that lead in the proper direction are essential.  Now is the only time.  Feeling overwhelmed is useless.  Simply doing the next right thing is crucial.  When I’m able to really get to know myself, with complete honesty and thorough review, I can become ready to ask God for help.  Help in changing the things about me that keep me from being whom I want to be.  Then I can be a good example for others.  When I am able to see myself as loveable, I can better love other people.  This love is without the limitations of ego:  justifications, rationalizations, put-downs, attempts to control or any other blaming or using.  Freedom in me can spur freedom in others, via example and calm demeanor, which invites no blame.  Fully facing the truth about ourselves is hard work!  It is worth it!  ( :

Well, like it or not, you are at least a bit like me.  We’re from the same species!  Damn near kinsfolk, if you will.  So how similar are we?  Will my solutions help you?  Will your solutions help me?  How do we help each other live in solutions, rather than downhill slides?

I am absolutely, unabashedly and  fully convinced that I have found solutions that have saved my life.  Inactivity, and its partner in crime, obesity, seem to be key problem areas for many people.  MANY problems stem from these!  Since I’m most intimately acquainted with myself, let’s see what inactivity does to me:

  • Lethargy:  I want to sleep, lay around, engage in mindless activities……
  • Grumpiness:  why aren’t things going my way!?!?!?!?
  • More inactivity:  laziness begets laziness. 
  • Weight gain:  if I don’t move much, I don’t burn many calories.
  • Vicious circle:  when I start down a path, it seems to perpetuate itself.
  • Depression.

What happens when I’m active?

  • More energy!  Don’t give up too early; it takes time to establish good habits and reap the benefits.
  • Excitement: I look forward to life and its wonderful opportunities!  No depression!  Yay!
  • Engagement:  I opt in to more things.
  • Clarity:  my brain works MUCH better when I feed it more blood and oxygen!
  • Inspiration:  I get more cool ideas.  Yay!
  • Optimism:  We really can do this!  God gives us all the power we need when we let him.  Really!

Is it a tough choice?  Do I need help believing that good results can happen for me?  Am I in denial of my condition?  Both were once true for me.  Now I feel incredibly lucky to be honest with myself and to have willingness to do the next right thing, right now, to make a better me.  I must act now, because now is all I have.  Yesterday is indeed gone, and tomorrow is make-believe, until it gets here as today.  Shake it baby!  ( :

I believe that unhealthy actions are manifestations of mental/emotional/spiritual challenges.  One challenge I see in my life is addressing the source of my tendency to overeat at bedtime.  This is eating when NOT hungry.  Perhaps it is eating to pass out, to avoid pain.  Maybe I’m eating to avoid facing my fears.  My life is full of blessings.  It’s just not “perfect”, according to my design for my life.  How can I become the best version of myself?  Maybe through prayer and meditation, in place of gluttony.  Prayer and meditation, instead of mindless activities.  Willingness to change.  Surrender.  Acceptance.  Gratitude.  ( :

The dynamic duo!  No mountain is too tall for this tandem!  Nothing could stop us!  On Saturday, we picked up our race packets, fancy new running shoes and shorts.  My new shoes are red and Annie’s are peach.  Our personalities don’t really lean towards blending in with the wall.  Play the cards you’re dealt!  For dinner, we enjoyed great company at Barb & Ryan’s home and loaded up on Annie’s delightful creations:  avocado pesto over whole wheat pasta, with a side of roasted vegetables dusted with parmesan and feta.  Finishing with Weight Watchers frozen confections, we were ready for rest and rejuvenation.  Bring on Bloomsday!

Sunday morning arrived.  It was race day!  Let’s get to it!  A few nervous pre-race thoughts threatened to attack, but we were very calm.  We enjoyed a perfect breakfast of bananas, Annie’s homemade whole wheat bread with almond butter and jelly, a little coffee/cola and orange juice.  We enjoyed a relaxed drive down to park the car and then jogged slowly to warm up, in the cool shade of tall buildings.  We arrived in time to wait for the porta pottys, do our business and jog to our starting spot, just a few minutes before the start!  Sweet destiny!  Just like Saturday, when we found an open parking spot very near the entrance to the parking garage, immediately in front of our destination.  God seems to enjoy teaching the beauty of going with the flow.  ( :

The flow didn’t seem to be working when the race started!  We had WAY too many people to pass, so the early downhill miles took longer than we had planned.  Our strategy was to go out fast, on the easy miles, then hold on at the end.  Oh well!  Acceptance again saved us.  Annie didn’t even see the guy hurling on the bridge; she was fully involved in running the best possible race that she could.  Exactly like she lives her life.  Yay! 

We were so focused on our path through the maze of people that we missed a lot of the distractions.  I did offer a half-dozen raised arms salutes to the up tempo bands, as well as multiple wild screams to set the mood.  Hey!  Have fun or go home!

I remembered two hills on the course, but in truth there are four.  Two of them are doozies!  The smaller two just suck a bit of energy out of you.  The last hill is called “Doomsday” hill, and it is as merciless as its name.  It’s a ratbastard of a cruel joke, punishing participants about 4.7 – 5.2 miles into the race.  Annie and I were committed to running as a team, and I let her make the call on how to approach our doom.  One of my best laughs of the day was watching Annie’s speed walk up Doomsday overtaking someone’s running pace.  Annie’s 34 inch inseam challenged my 32 inch legs, so I had to jog a bit to stay up with her.  Not fair!

The best part of the race for our egos was after we summited Doomsday.  Annie and I passed a LOT of people over the last two miles of the race, including a frenzied, climactic last quarter-mile.  We sprinted down the hill with clasped and upraised hands at the finish, relishing our successful teamwork!  ( :

After finishing, we could relax.  One of the most amazing sights was green man!  Sporting a body that rivaled Under Amour mannequins, he was completely covered with a fine green netting, plus black running shorts.   He said that trying to get a drink of water into his mouth through the netting was nearly impossible.   I can picture the entertainment!

Our return walk to the car offered soreness, gratitude, relief and accomplishment.  We were glad that we ran the race, and immediately made plans to run again next year, perhaps a bit faster and a little smarter.  We can do this!  ( :

Today’s race is about life.  Someone’s always faster, smarter, taller, stronger or better looking.  Someone else is not.  Do we mesh?  Do we cherish differences and similarities?  How well have we trained ourselves?  Will we take the evidence and use it to enhance our future?  With a smile?  Humility?  Have we done our best and graciously accepted it?  Let’s do this!

frankoshanko

I love health, humor, adventure, exercise, romance and competition. Well, I just love life! ( :

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