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Rubicon on lawn, TR-X2 hiding, like a Stealth bomber.....

Rubicon on lawn, TR-X2 hiding, like a Stealth bomber…..

Lately, I have a higher class of problems. How to transport my cool new toys? The INNO 446 standup paddle board (SUP) rack that a supplier claimed would work on my 4Runner will not fit, because the factory crossbars are too close to the truck. Luckily for me, David at REI Kennewick is helpful, knowledgable and friendly. REI in Kennewick and Spokane are two of my very favorite stores. They have a lot of cool gear. But their defining greatness lies in their people; they have great people who make our lives more fun! Thanks!

So now I have a great way to transport one board, with the potential for more. Putting multiple boards on one rig complicates matters a bit. Unless I get a trailer, which suggests a larger garage, thereby a new house. Whoa!

But I have two cool boards that look like fun! Some problems just need to be solved! Two rigs? Trailer? Move to a lake? But again, I digress.

This is like one of those confusing flashback movies. I wanted to try SUP, since I’ve heard great things about how fun it is and about the great abdominal workouts it delivers. I sense that I will really like it. I was convinced enough to want to buy a couple of boards to take to the lake this summer. Living in the north and facing the busyness of marathon training, the recommended “try before you buy” approach was ditched. So I’m risking a shaky approach, but it just may work out, if we get them to the water!

Via internet research, I decided on lake focused versions that could cut through chop nicely, tour well and deliver speed in our inevitable races. Remember how Annie and I are about competition. It even looks like my board could be a bit faster! My board appears to be slower, but I’m guessing I’ll still smoke Annie in races.

Since REI has my trust and their amazing satisfaction guarantee, as well as a large selection, I chose two boards at REI on-line, along with adjustable length paddles, personal flotation devices and leashes, if we tackle wild waters. As I continued researching, one of the boards sold out at REI.  So I ordered it from another source. Something prompted me to call them up, since their website hadn’t shown my board as shipped as soon as expected. It was because the normal shipping guy was away from work. So I talked with Jeff Morter from Paddle Surf Warehouse for a while. Why hadn’t I called around to talk with experts earlier? Anyway, Jeff sold me on a board that he was convinced was way better, more durable and considerably cheaper than the one I ordered. So I got the 12 foot 2013 Tahoe Rubicon, a board bag, an adjustable paddle, two dock/deck lock, plus a $52 refund, in the place of a Boardworks Raven 12.5 foot board.  I know there are many lessons here, so let’s hope I learned some of them.

The Tahoe showed up at my house last Friday. How exciting! Then came the “oh crap!” realization of the rack not fitting on my rig. Cool new toys that we can’t use? Just another spiritual growth opportunity! Have a little faith dude! On Saturday we picked up the Amundson 12 1/2 foot TR-X2. It’s carbon & bamboo design may be a hair faster slower than the Rubicon.  I guess we’ll see! David sold me two long Yakima straps with integrated cable and lockable padded cam buckles. They worked great, along with the Yakima tip and tail bra straps that I purchased earlier. I drove home through twenty-some mile per hour winds and the wing board rode beautifully. Later I found a website claiming that one guy transported up to five boards on one rig. So I’m searching for ideal padding to put between the boards.  I can either stagger the boards, due to the fins, or remove the fin from the bottom board. The weather is predicted to warm throughout this week, coinciding with my furlough day. What SUP?

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What a day! Yesterday was a really big day for me. I’m not sure what was most important, but growth happened.

We anticipated our twenty-mile run, the pinnacle of our training for next month’s Coeur d’Alene marathon. To fuel up, Annie made green smoothies (Kale for breakfast; move over Popeye!), followed by coffee smoothies (over the top AMAZING!!!) and peanut butter and jelly toast. These accompanied hours of more research and then final selections of toys for our next big thing: standup paddle boarding. I ordered boards, paddles, racks, leashes and personal flotation devices. I’m so excited!

Throughout the day, I learned and re-learned about myself, noting impatience, apprehension, frustration, determination, perseverance and jubilation. When I recognize my motives, they can teach me valuable lessons. It’s even possible to grow from them!  Who knew? Serve, rest, recover, fuel, release, praise, accept, observe, enjoy, admire, bask, encourage and belly up! Food never tastes better than after a long-ass run. I don’t know it there are tougher “walls” yet to come, but we tackled some tough ones yesterday!

Perhaps we needed this mental challenge to round out our preparation. The eighteen-miler seemed almost easy to me; if it wasn’t, my mind has beautifully blocked out the tough parts. The half marathon up and down Badger mountain boosted our confidence further. Yesterday boosted it again, in a new way. We started with little spunk, and our bodies became tired, sore and weakened rather early in the run. Maybe that’s “the wall”? Did something inspire us to add those big hills early on, to help our growth? As we faced trepidation, around halfway done, a cool inspiration re-surfaced: “when your legs get tired, run with your heart.”  Yes! Now we know that even when we start partially tired and weakened by our training, we can still push through a long run.  Strong or weak, high or low, we can get it done!

You never know what you’ll feel like on race day. You never know about any day! But bringing our best, enjoying the process, loving the now, seeing the beauty, slowly blossoming and keeping the faith are paths to growth, joy and peace.  Sometimes they even end with curry! Yay!

John Denver’s “Colorado Rocky Mountain High”:

But the Colorado rocky mountain high
I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye
Rocky mountain high
(Colorado)

A delirium recollection from yesterday:

On that Bennington twenty-mile high…I’ve seen a lot of country passing by…The rush of adrenaline is sweeter than chocolate pie….Bennington High…Walla Walla…

Twenty miles give a LOT of time to talk, think and trip out!  🙂

"Three times up and down this mountain? Hell yes!"

“Three times up and down this mountain? Hell yes!”

We could have named her Adventure Annie! She’s fearless about challenges. I never know what’s going to happen, but it’s always something interesting!

How about three ascents of Badger Mountain, forty mile per hour gusts, swarming bees and 13.1 miles of rocky terrain? Just another Saturday. Vivid evidence that all miles are not created equal! This jaunt was as tough as last week’s eighteen miles, which had more hills than our previous long runs. We’re getting stronger!

That’s pleasing, in an achy way. We tear ourselves down to build ourselves up. Great material for microcosm man! Will I soon be marathon man? It’s been fun to watch our confidence grow as we take this journey. It’s about so much more than running. It’s pleasing for our bodies and spirits.

I played a lot of high school golf in high wind gusts. Sometimes I was glad to hit part of the ball. Whiffs are a little less embarrassing when you’re blown over by a mid-swing gust, but they’re still hard on your score. Not as damaging as getting blown off a mountain trail while running! Embarrassment passes quickly. Injuries tend to linger. Watch your step!

After our first clockwise ascent and descent, we ran the bottom of the south side, for variety. Then we met the bees! Thousands of them! We escaped with one sting each, swinging wide around their nests. But they filled the air, like the pesky little bugs near Mill Creek at sunset.  Adrenaline powered us on.

There’s something about pushing on through long runs, finding your toughness, running on when it’s just not easy. It’s empowering. Many things that once seemed difficult now seem trivial, easy or simple. The stakes have been raised. Belief grows. Horizons widen. Doors open. Faces glow!

We got our run on! We’re becoming fully alive! How about some fairways, lakes, mountains, oceans and more trails? Why not!

Two thirds of the way there!

Two thirds of the way to 26.2!

Maybe I’ll shoot under par. Perhaps I’ll standup paddle (SUP) on lakes and rivers. I may finish a marathon! I could become awesome at hackysack. Maybe I’ll fall in love again. Watch the Cougars win at football. Mountain bike in heavenly places. Help solve the overwhelming challenges facing healthcare. Live as an example of good health myself. Play with kids to be like them!

I don’t know what’s coming, but I like the possibilities! I believe in them. I trust that good processes increase the likelihood of good outcomes. I’ve done much work to prepare for a marathon. I’m mentally prepared to do the rest. My body has held up well and prospered. Cross training has helped me avoid injuries while preparing me for more fun, such as SUP and golf. It would be silly to become complacent. The better polished my body becomes, the better equipped it is to paddle and swing, among other things!

Spring is so fun! I’d like to hold it in my heart forever. I’m feeding off the energy from positive people and trying to feed them encouragement and inspiration. I see the synergy. I love it! I’m glad that my kids are so much fun!

I try to dance some fine lines.  Finding and following these lines requires balance. Each of us defines moderation, excess and sloth in different ways.  Many of the differences in our definitions stem from how honest we’re able to be with ourselves.

There’s a fine line to physical achievement.  On one side are treacherous injuries and over-exhaustion.  On the other, wasted potential. On the line, or in the zone, we find ourselves feeling stronger, more energized and full of zest for life. Getting in touch with truth begs differentiation between laziness and a true need for rest. Betterment encompasses fatigue, exertion and minor aches and pains. It begs for stretching, fueling, massage, diverse activities and recuperation. That’s just a short journey from over-resting, so awareness is paramount. Our minds must be in touch with where our bodies are now, not where they once were, or where we wish they were. Physical health is built over the long haul, dependent on regular practice of an artful balance of sleep, nutrition, hydration, spiritual re-charging and exercise.

Many of us have worked too much at our jobs! Many of us have also worked too little, or gone to work tired, hung over, distracted or un-motivated. I love the correlation between healthy living and job performance. My brain simply works better when my body gets what it wants. It must like blood flow! Rather than pop pills, I prescribe myself exercise! This is one of the best choices I’ve ever made! I love it when I get more done in less time!

The line between serving others and taking care of myself also requires moderation.  If I feel disconnected, I may be focusing too much on myself. If I feel disgruntled, I may be neglecting myself. To best serve, I must be in the spirit of the servant.

I sense that we have so much more potential. How to get there? Am I on the path? Where does it lead? Am I missing a key part? How can I fuel better? What can I do to rest more effectively? How to recover quicker? How to open my mind more fully? Who can inspire me? Who should I serve? Where can I best serve? What is the best job for me? Where should I travel? How young can I feel? Can I really dance the line? Turn up the music!

Frank Badger finish closeup

Am I like other smack talkers? Why do it? Mostly to: (1) increase the likelihood that I’ll follow through with the actions and (2) motivate some of you, including my long-run training partner, Annie. I believe it’s a potential win-win-win scenario. Those are my favorites!

Sometimes, I’m a legend in my own mind. I start thinking I’m the most important person I know. Mom, I hope you’re chuckling a little here. I’m working on bettering me to become more capable of serving others. If I’m on the wrong path, someone should tell me.

So Annie, I’m coming for you! I’ll be faster, better fed, tapered and energized! I’ll do intervals, hills, long-ass runs and stairs.  I’ll even do the leg weights! If this makes you work even harder, I win!

Has anyone  out there lost the belief, desire and/or habits of being the best possible version of themselves? If you get anything at all out of this post, I win again! I could really be on a roll here!

If all you learn is that I’m an egotistical, unashamed self-promoter, well, I win again! Because you’ll know exactly who you don’t want to be.  It’s starting to look like I can’t lose on this deal…..

frankoshanko

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

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