You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2012.

You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy!

Annie and Nick went to great lengths to create a Halloween costume for me last weekend; they LOVE being creative!  Saturday afternoon, just as I was preparing to paint my face, I was overcome with light-headedness, then mild nausea.  C’est la vie!  Sandy and Linda did my face painting today.  I’m so grateful for fun people to work with!!!  What do you think of my evolution?

You show us everything you’ve got, you keep on dancin’ and the room gets hot, you drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy!

What a fun day at work!  I’m excited to go back now!  ( :

2012 tour…..

Collage of several of Gray's muscle pictures, ...

Collage of several of Gray’s muscle pictures, by Mikael Häggström (User:Mikael Häggström) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There should have been a warning!  Yesterday’s “drop sets” nearly dropped me on my ass!  I suspected progress when my legs quivered uncontrollably as I layered up to leave the gym.  This morning, it’s more about soreness, in many places.  Annie suggested to do drop sets for a couple of different exercises, at the end of a workout.  Yesterday, in a “more is better” spirit, I did them for 1.2 hours.  Today, I’m dreaming about my upcoming bath!  Nick’s birthday cake is in the oven; if it wasn’t, I’d be typing this from warm, soothing waters.

I’ve learned a little about drop sets.  Some people claim they’re great for building muscle bulk quickly, but not necessarily the best for adding strength.  Others suggest them as yet another option for stimulating muscle confusion, which arguably aids progress by avoiding the plateaus experienced when our muscles become accustomed to routines.  I’ve found this strategy of mixing up routines, activities, pace and exercises to be very effective.  It’s easy for me to slip into routines though.  Thank God for people like Annie who keep suggesting new ideas!

My version of drop sets, which I’ve tried twice recently, involved starting with medium-heavy weights and doing enough repetitions to approach failure.  Then, as quickly as possible, I dropped a little weight and approached failure again, with as little rest as possible between switches.  I continued this until the weights were very light, totaling a lot of repetitions.  Theory suggests that this approach engages many more of our deep muscle fibers, as the mounting repetitions at near failure need their help.  My deep-down soreness seems to confirm the theory!  ( :

Wow!  Even the act of writing is taking me out of living in the moment, so should this be my last post?  Perhaps not, but I learn more from reading than writing.  Zen Golf clarified that we live in sensory perception or in thought.  That is, one is often exclusive of the other.  Perhaps they’re opposed to each other.  Deep thinking is living in the past or the future, while being acutely aware of our senses demands living in the now.  Now is very real.  Reminiscing or planning have less relation to reality.

Some of my best living in the moment occurs when I really need a shower, and then get one.  After a stay in the wilderness, a long sweaty workout, or a hard day of manual labor, I deeply appreciate a good shower.  Warm, soothing water caresses my skin, washing away the filth, and relaxing my muscles.  I luxuriate in the moments.  Still, my mind wanders to thought.  Perhaps with more practice, I’ll get better and better at living in the now.  I’ve accepted in my mind that this is best, yet that same mind still wanders!  ( :

Excellence or settling?  Being my best or getting by?  Learning or posturing?  Refining or repeating?  Aha or arghhh?  Does personal growth come down to honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, faith and dedication?  Can I practice gratitude without setting false limits on my potential?  Can I see my liabilities without sacrificing confidence that I am loving, intelligent, funny, devoted, kind, helpful, generous and open-minded?

I’m a bit like a high school senior.  What shall I do with my life?  I say this because my son is a high school senior.  He faces a world of opportunity.  We have different perspectives, based on experience and longevity.  Will my life blossom more fully with a touch of his life view?  What should I do with my time?  It seems more precious now.  Work or play?  New activities?  New places?  New people?  Train harder?  Take chances?  More variety or more specialized focus?  Live more consciously and less reactively?  Shelve assumptions?  Be proactive? 

I tell my kids they can do anything and be anyone they wish in this life, and I believe it fully.  Do I have the same faith in myself?  Who do I want to be, now that I’ve grown up?

A few weeks ago I golfed this course for the first time.  It is awesome!  The rolling hills offer many challenges, and they lead to lovely views.  Today, my daughter Annie and I ran around a small part of the course and much of the practice facility.  What a wonderful way to rejuvenate, invigorate and work up an appetite for her amazing cinnamon rolls.  They’re both the best I’ve ever tasted and the healthiest, by far!  How I love WIN-WIN solutions!  How lucky am I to get to eat her ever-expanding array of creative, tasty and healthy recipes!

Wow!  I think we’ve had around a hundred beautiful days in a row!  I admit to loving sunshine, warmth and bountiful harvests.  It’s been another stimulating round of one of my favorite times of year.

Can I find that all times of year are greatly prized?  What will I do and believe to treasure the dark, gray, damp and cooler days ahead?  At my age, and any age really, it seems silly to waste any of this gift of life.  So, what to do?  Care to help me out here?  My first thoughts:

  1. Writing.
  2. Reading.
  3. Hang out with fun people.
  4. Gym workouts.
  5. Movies.
  6. Nordic skiing.
  7. Alpine skiing.
  8. Head south!  I mean vacation, rather than moving.  Golf, swimming, snorkeling?
  9. Prayer.
  10. Meditation.
  11. Culinary refinement.
  12. Running.
  13. Call old friends/make new friends.
  14. Take dance lessons.
  15. Go to plays.
  16. Shopping.
  17. Snowshoeing.
  18. Photography.
  19. Refine processes at work; build a better budget.
  20. Volunteer.
  21. Go to church.
  22. Clean my house.
  23. Give away extra stuff.
  24. Ab exercises.
  25. Test out the 4Runner in the snow.
  26. Smile at everyone.
  27. Tell people what I like about them.
  28. Model self-restraint.
  29. Exude goodness.
  30. Plan new activities for next spring & summer.

Hmmm.  I guess hibernating is out of the plan again this year.  ( :

An old song just ran through my head and became the title of this post.  Who knows what triggers our recall of memories?  It seems to be a complex thing.

Even when we’re in a good mental state, shaking out of it may be the path to greater enlightenment.  How can we expand our view?  Traveling opens our minds.  Varying activities stimulates excitement.  Talking with new people boosts our creativity.  Emptying our minds and really listening to them can expand our thinking.  Reading provocative works can do likewise. 

How do we let go of our preconceptions, biases and ill-founded beliefs?  We can start by recognizing that there are smarter people out there.  Also, we can admit to ourselves the many mistakes we’ve made.  We can let go of any remorse and hold on to the lessons.  We really do get to choose who we are.  Will we choose well? 

I choose to be strong and healthy, so I’ll commit to regular exercise, healthy eating and proper rest.  I want to have fun, so I’ll make exercise choices  that are fun for me, and I’ll be open to meeting new people, trying new activities and experiencing more of the world.  I want to be kind, so I’ll practice kindness.  I want to have an open mind, so I’ll read new things, travel to new places and take on new challenges.  I want to be a good golfer, so I’ll practice putting, chipping, ball striking and mental focus.  I want to be a productive, uplifting and creative worker.  So I’ll practice optimism, encouragement, experimentation, focus and dedication at work.  I want to be a good father, so I’ll practice helping my kids learn the skills they’ll use to better their lives.

Who do you choose to be?

Do you enjoy analogies and parables?  It seems like seemingly unrelated parts of life teach about many other parts.  Perhaps when we watch carefully, we see more common threads.  Maybe we can learn important lessons!

I just returned from another glorious bicycle ride in the sunshine.  I rode the same route as yesterday, as it’s scenic, hilly, fun and relatively safe.  I love sun-tanning in October!  The succeeding months might be even better for sun-tanning, but I think an airplane will be needed.  ( :  As I pedaled shirtless, early in my ride, I met a small herd of deer racing towards me on the asphalt.  They were seemingly being chased by a car headed towards me.  When the deer saw me, the two large females leaped a fence on my side of the road.  Their two youngsters tried to do likewise.  Wham!  Seemingly in denial, or perhaps panic, they tried it again.  Wham!  It almost made my head hurt to watch, having stopped to take it all in.  The Bambis may have suffered brain damage, as they whirled and raced back towards the car, which had also stopped.  Now I know how intimidating I am!  Did I just see a replay of my life in fast-forward?

Today’s ride really made my day.  I’d spent five hours at work budgeting, responding to other people’s procrastination (and a little of my own too!).  Afterwards, I stopped by the YMCA to lift some weights, which was okay, but I had the old deep-down unsettled feeling.  It was time for some cardiovascular exercise!  Time for some fresh air!  Time to re-charge, rejuvenate and re-evaluate.  I’m so glad I did!  ( :

Today’s the first anniversary of my new-found freedom.  Sometimes life gives me beautiful gifts when I think it’s just giving me pain.  As some brilliant person may have said, it isn’t what happens to you that’s important, it’s how you respond to it!  Another one probably said something like: you made your own bed, and now you get to sleep in it!  Maybe they had a friend whose motto was something like:  the hell with what other people think; live the way you believe is best!

I’m so happy to be me!  ( :

Themed potlucks are gaining traction at work.  Today I’m taking a crock pot of butternut squash chili.  I didn’t choose squash, but I’m choosing to embrace it.  This attitude makes my life more fun.  I sure hope the chili is good, because there’s a lot of it!  If not: free dog food anyone?

Life is filled with growth opportunities!  Building a 2013 budget has been fraught with continual overhaul and bureaucratic delays, pushing me to laugh out loud throughout last evening’s run.  My interpretation?  Wonderful spiritual growth!

It felt great to run!  I wore quasi-minimalist shoes, without orthotics, and felt a natural flow.  I relaxed my right ankle, so the soreness I felt early slipped away.  Often, it gets worse as I go.  Yesterday I ran at least six miles, with no throbbing at the end.  Some of my other bonuses were a re-charged spirit, renewed energy, toxin removal, boosted confidence and improved endurance.  Yay!

Dr. Dean Ornish’s book “The Spectrum” is awesome!  If everyone read it, I’m betting our health care dilemma would be largely solved.  He lays wellness facts out clearly and offers beautiful descriptions of the joyous fun that better health delivers.  Better sex!  Ability to do incredibly fun things!  More energy!  A positive view on life!  No guilt or shame.  Rather, opportunity to feel great about ourselves!  I’m stoked!


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

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