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Hikers in September, runners in November. Have they heard of cars?

Hikers in September, runners in November. Have they heard of cars?

A week ago, I sought refreshment via a four-day break from work. Today, if felt like I was dying from self-inflicted trauma! These days “off” can be so hard!

I was disappointed in Washington State’s loss on the gridiron on Halloween night. Arizona State’s senior laden team was too strong for WSU. C’est la vie! It reminded me to appreciate ASU’s magnificence instead of dwelling on WSU’s inferiority. It was a perfect opportunity to detach from outcomes.

The following day, Nick and I lifted weights before attending Improvised Shakespeare, a taste of Chicago. The actors delivered vivid reminders of the cultural wonders of university life. Their quick wit, dramatic delivery and flowing humor were impressive, especially since it was all improvisation. After someone from the audience suggested “Naked in the forest” as the play’s title, Nick and I had our minds expanded and our souls enriched. I am grateful to Nick for offering me “one last chance” to attend the play with him, as I had planned to attend the men’s basketball game instead. I benefit greatly from diversity in my life. We found treasure in a place where he merely sought extra credit for his Shakespeare class. My heart smiled broadly!

I spent last Saturday watching more football and the first season of “House of Cards.” It’s a well done show and a great example of how not to be. It seemed a bit too lazy of a day. I recalled lethargic slumps in my early life. Hmmm. I’ve run a fair amount, but it still called to me. I knew it’d bring me peace and satisfaction. As always, it did! I went ten miles since that was the length of today’s race. Last Sunday, I spent over ten minutes on the first mile and nearly twenty minutes for the first two. Having warmed up, I ran some miles between 8.5 and 9 minutes per mile. Then I finished with my best mile of 8:15. That surprised me a little, because I was feeling pretty tired after six or eight miles. Ten miles took 1:29:50. 8:59 per mile average, on a slightly hilly course.

Today’s Columbia River Classic was a different story. Annie took it out pretty fast, so I followed her. After all, the first half was downstream, so a likely time to post some good miles! And so we did: 7:55, 8:20, 8:27, 8:32. “Hey!”, said my ego. 8:18 average per mile for the first four. On an out and back course, the leaders didn’t pass me until after I was over 4 miles in. It was fun to watch them run! Maybe I could hit my 85 minute dream time? Well, not today. 8:51, 8:50, 8:54. The beauty of those miles were the beauties that passed me!

Early on, it felt like I was truly racing, striding with ease, passing people, glowing in the sun. Now I was trudging. My body couldn’t quite deliver what my mind dreamed up. 9:15, 9:12. Looking over my shoulder. Were Mark and Annie about to pass me? Mental games. Walking sounds really good. Go! GO! Look, some people are walking. When your legs get tired, run with your heart! Maybe just a short walk, like the woman I’m playing leapfrog with. No wimping out! Well, I’ve slowed down so much, I won’t hit my goal time, so it’d probably be okay to walk. Get your lazy ass moving! Is it really worth it? Do you want remorse all winter? Well, maybe that’d be good for keeping my ego in check. Ready to eat crow?

The nine mile mark. Only one mile to go. Those perverts! Who puts the biggest hill at the END of a race? Sick bastards…… Someone’s gaining on me….. NO! This is a fricking race! So I gave it all I had. I think I sped up a bit. I guess that beats slowing down some more! 8:52….finish…..water…..my feet really hurt…..Yay! I survived another day. I kicked my ass! 1:27:07 or so. 8:43 average per mile. Nearly three minutes faster than last week. This speeding up plan is going to be some HARD work! But it’s worth it. Because I got to sit and talk with Mark and Annie, drinking coffee that Mark treated us to. It was so fun! Those two are really funny! And it wasn’t the last race of the year. We challenged each other to the Cable Bridge Run in December. Another motivator! Let’s get our run on!  🙂

Re-match!

Re-match!

My life is sometimes a bit scary!  See what I mean? That’s me between Annie’s legs.

Jurassic Park 4 - it's a good thing she's nice. Maybe she'll carry me and my board back to the car.  But then crush it.....

Jurassic Park 4 – it’s a good thing she’s nice. Maybe she’ll carry me and my board back to the car. But then crush it…..

We tried the Go Pro Hero 3 surf mount today.  We also tried paddling while kneeling, sit-down paddling, lying down paddling and crossing over logs.  We saw two beavers, various large birds and a whitetail doe, very close by. We played in windy rough water, refining our skills, interspersed with calm water. It was more fun than ever!

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!  🙂

It was a microcosmically enlightening weekend.  Anticipation of our long-ass run, aptly named by Annie, reflected some fear, and much excitement. Finding Annie a bit ill was deflating, somewhat relieving, then disappointing. A fleeting fear of losing the dream passed by. Go with the flow leapt to mind. Who knows why things happen? It’s always important how we respond. I’ve had enough bad responses for this lifetime! We enjoyed a movie and retired early, sleeping long and hard.

Saturday brought our first experience with Recreational Equipment Incorporated’s periodic used equipment sale. We trailed so many people that I started wondering what the fire code limit was! We found the sale in the back parking lot, accessed by a parade through the store. So much stuff! There were great bargains on lightly used goods that weren’t quite right for the original buyers. REI’s ultimate money back guarantee also gave freeloaders a way to return heavily used items. Some folks will take advantage of anyone they can! It was fun to talk with the friendly and adventurous staff members and patrons. One dude told me of his trail running exploits in Vibram Five Finger shoes. Beware the pokes from rocks and thorns! I got a second pair of them for 70% off retail. Annie scored amazing deals on two pairs of running shoes, a wet-suit, a large backpack and wind pants. The check-out line was long, so we had time to shop for more cool stuff. I got another pair of Thorlo  Experia running socks (best!), a thin headband, a nice hydration belt and more gels. After hours of shopping, I felt tired! Maybe it wasn’t a good day for a long-ass run anyway? After some tasty curry, we retired to Annie’s apartment for rest.

Just as I was preparing to doze off…..”Daddy, it’s time to run!”  WHAT? Well, maybe we’ll get in a few miles, perhaps up to eight, but at least it won’t be a long, grueling run. “Just let me take a little power nap.” “How long?” “Five minutes.” Just long enough to prepare mentally. When my mind opts in, my body can follow. I mean that in the most extreme sense.

Because Annie’s a frickin’ maniac! We’re both stubborn enough to take on whatever the other one’s dishing out. You aren’t beating me! If you can do it, I can do it! This is seriously effective accountability partnering. Perhaps my only real hope to reach this goal?

Heather said the canal banks in Kennewick are great for running. She is right, but we started with a TERRIBLE guess on where to get access, on the wrong side of the canal.  After a mile or so of bushwhacking, bridge seeking and bark sparking, we limped back to the truck to try again. We discovered the Tagaris winery (owned by Taggares, but who’s really spelling anymore), causing hometown french fry factory flashbacks. We parked and tried again.  WORSE!  But hey, we stumbled another quarter-mile or so.  At this rate, we could be accused of stalling. The third time really is the charm! We got smarter, parked better and ran for a couple of hours. It was fun to feel our motors eat up the miles, building confidence while testing our growth.  We reached 11.6 miles when the sun was spent. So we trucked to the Columbia Center mall, prompting more flashbacks. I was a youngster when it was brand new. That Bon Marche’ was fancy! We learned that you can run 4.4 miles in three laps of the parking perimeter, which was especially rewarding with a mix of endorphins and sugar deprived bewilderment; EVERYTHING was so funny! Plus our spirits were soaring. We can run for three hours! We now believe we can run for five!

A day in the life of the Shankster

I tackle the challenges that keep streaming in

to an electronic in-box that measures my wins,

since our mission is worthy: we help people heal.

Addressing co-workers, I try hard to peel

back the layers of pessimism, contempt and dismay

while laughing and joking and mixing in play.

Extra stress builds up, so I head to the Y,

Striding and lifting and stepping to highs!

I’m inspired by soreness, I feel that it’s good.

It promises muscles that work as they should.

Depleted, yet smiling I seek out some chow

Delicious re-charging that sweetens the now.

I spar some with Nicko, in words or in play,

his spirit’s a bright spot in almost every day!

I move off to blog world to see what you’ve found

blissfully noticing my feet on the ground!

What a great way to celebrate the winter solstice: building muscles and watching a classic movie.  The common theme is ass whippings!  After work, I stopped by the gym to do leg weights and spinning.  I’m either building muscles or becoming a sadist. I hope it’s the first option!  Who does Bulgarian split squats for entertainment?  Leg presses for pleasure?  Why should dead lifts bring smiles to my face?  Why am I grinning after adduction and abduction?  Joyful lunges?  Is this perversion?  Or is there a wonderful secret hidden here?

Captain America was very fun to watch again!  The good guy wins!  It’s sad that he slept through his dream date, but the beauty of the romance before the preempted dance painted a masterpiece.  The joy of the chase!  Captain Steve was a great guy who won the heart of the soulful woman by being the best that he could be.  I LOVE happy stories!  Who needs more depressing examples of how not to live?  I love sagas that show good morals, positive living and faith!  It pleases me to see that sometimes, good movies are still made.  The Avengers is another one.  Maybe I should watch it again now!

It’s winter time finally, a wacky time to fly.  Yesterday’s Gonzaga @ Washington State basketball game treated us to a wildly thrilling finish.  Crimson clad fans waved the flag in style!  Sometimes, WordPress is truly fulfilling.  Women trigger fantasies.  Why treat friends?  Because wonderful true friends are worth the frustrations.  WTF else did you think I’d be talking about?

Sometimes, you just need to do the dishes.  Well, when Annie’s around, you ALWAYS need to do the dishes!  She loves to cook.  How many people are having ten course meals for a group of 3-5?  We may be the only ones.  I think mental health services are in order.  For Annie’s addictive cooking?  For my support of her grandiose spreads?

The good news is that we should be able to burn off the food she’s preparing for us in time to face Christmas and New Year’s celebrations!

I’ve recovered from recent exercise, spending today on chores, massage, hair cut, etc.  My muscles are ready to go!  It feels a bit unusual to not be too sore.  If Annie reads this, I may regret saying that!  More jumping lunges!  More killer weight sets!  More Stairmaster!  More!  More!  More!  Fricken moreaholic!  Have I created a monster? 

Check out our menu here.  I wonder how many hours I should work out tomorrow morning…

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…..

Wow!  It’s so amazing to me how life/God deals me what I need when I need it.  Or maybe I see what I need exactly when I’m ready to see it.  In any case, there are many lessons for me to learn along the path to a better version of myself.

Annie is so fun!  We went to our second concert in as many days on Friday, and it was incredibly inspiring!  Jo Dee Messina had more life perspective than when we saw her at the Pendleton Roundup concert about five years ago.  Marriage and giving birth to and caring for two kids changed her world quite a bit.  But she has not lost her love of the stage, nor has she lost her powerful voice, or her passionate delivery.  Asked if marriage had dampened her tendency towards man bashing, she suggested that it had only given her more material!  Jo Dee delivered humor, songs about bouncing back from life’s hardships, and commitment to her dream when others thought her career was winding down She was better than ever.  Richer in the ways that matter.  She was real and she was in her element.   The crowd was not huge, but we were passionate, and she felt the love.  Her encore lasted half an hour!  We all left richer, inspired and full of treats for our souls!

Annie and I treated our bodies to her amazing culinary creations:  whole wheat pizza, zesty pesto, protein cinnamon bread, red pepper humus and quinoa with vegetables.  My taste buds and my health are loving them!  We also organized my kitchen and rode our bicycles for 95 minutes yesterday on the Bennington Lake/Mill Creek trails.  I was excited to keep finding ways to better my life, so I went to “The Dark Knight Rises” last evening and ran five miles this morning.  I plan to continue the re-organization and purging of my possessions today.  It feels good!  ( :

Annie inspires me often.  Her zest for life fires me up!  She makes me laugh.  She doesn’t let me take life’s ups and downs too seriously.  She loves me so much that she’ll suffer through my pity parties.  Luckily for her, I’m planning to be done with those! 

Annie thrives on life!  She lives as fully as possible.  We’ve enjoyed many adventures, competitions, shopping marathons, parties, games and gatherings together.  We LOVE to get high on exercise!  I mean REALLY HIGH!  Who could be as much fun as her?  How would I feel if I met someone who was just as much fun?  That sounds exciting!

Annie is the best cook in our little family.  The rest of us may not be world-class competition though.  Ha!  Annie really is a superb chef.  Her whole wheat three-cheese supreme pizza outclasses the New York pizzerias I’ve visited.  That’s saying a lot!  Her chicken quinoa was the rave of our huge extended family gathering.  My lucky co-workers, who enjoyed leftovers, were impressed.  It’s tasty, healthy, spicy and energizing!  Annie’s roasted vegetables are also awesome!  Her chocolate-banana protein milkshakes have become a staple of my wellness diet.  They may be even better when we add peanut butter!  Yay Annie!

Annie strives to be the best she can be at everything she does.  So she’s a stellar student and a ray of sunshine to the retired folks she serves at her job.  Who wouldn’t appreciate expressions of joy, compassion and encouragement?  Annie even tries to keep her home clean now.  That is a recent change for the better!

Annie’s now busy plotting more adventures for us to enjoy: river kayaking, camping, WSU football games, bicycling, running, nordic skiing, etc.  The more variety, the better!  That goes for activities, locations and participants! 

Live well!  ( :

My dad is amazing!  Like my mother, he passed from this world in recent years, but he lives on in our memories and in our characters.  Dad personified one of my most important, ongoing lessons:  actions speak louder than words!  His actions spoke beautiful tales, while it seemed to me that his tongue rarely did.  When we got him talking, he had wonderful stories to share about his life, tales of hunting and fishing adventures, getting stranded solo in a schoolhouse during a snow storm, growing up during the Great Depression, and a simple life in a large family.  The television show about “The Waltons” is believable to me.  Dad was not a persistent talker like me, and many of my siblings, however.  Maybe it was his humility, or his preference, but he spent a lot of time being quiet.  Maybe that’s how he learned so much.  Dad was a handyman, a mechanic, a farmer, an equipment operator, and whatever he needed to be.  So he was an electrician, plumber, appliance repairman, groundskeeper, painter, framer, concrete worker, welder, carpenter, bean counter and planner as well.  Dad was not afraid to take on new occupations.  He saw needs and filled them.

Dad loved science so much.  The Apollo space program was riveting for him.  Now that was some low definition television!  At least we only had three channels to surf.  This left much more time for important things.  Our virtual lives were based on imagination, without the computers.  I imagined being a professional quarterback and rivaling Jack Nicklaus on the links.  In retrospect, golfing with wounded body parts would have been tough! 

It was fun to see Dad in a relaxed state, because he was busy so much of the time, providing for our large family.  We got to help provide, by irrigating the farm, burning sage brush to clear the “back forty” acres, picking rock from the fields, weeding the garden, picking strawberries and raspberries, collecting the dreaded crab apples from the lawn, etc.  Who was the idiot who sold crab apple trees?  Must have been a make-work project after the Depression?  I think I still have a resentment against that tree!  Dad was most relaxed while fishing.  If you were lucky enough to be roused by him at 5 AM for fishing, you got his best, along with nature’s best.  Whitetail deer, bald eagles, loons, beavers, osprey, bears, bass and trout would fill your senses!  Now that’s a good life! 

Golfing was another of Dad’s passions that revealed his fun-loving nature.  He loved competition as much as I do.  His swing became consistent and he scored well, around the age that I am now.  I was a young whippersnapper with a penchant for overswinging.  My balls visited strange places, while his usually enjoyed the manicured grass of the fairways.  If you saw Bubba Watson’s incredible recovery from the woods to win the 2012 Master’s golf tournament, you can relate to some of the places I found myself.  My lessons were many, eventually leading me to a shortened, more consistent swing, that helped me to some excellent rounds of golf.  And to a better life.

Pinochle games were high on Dad’s list of fun too.  Except when someone took too damn long to play.  Make a decision and move on!  Are we going to waste our whole life waiting for overanalysis?  Rumor has it that I was one of the worst offenders.  I believe that I’ve grown a bit in this regard, so the rumors about me have morphed into tales of wild, outrageous bidding.  I don’t know how to confirm or dispute such claims, except via my mind’s reassurance that I’ve taken in more quarters than I’ve paid out.  This may be a dispute that is never settled, but continually researched?  I wonder sometimes if I’ve made bigger life decisions like a fast-moving pinochle game, when I should have tried a bit more analysis?  And the opposite as well!

Dad lives on in many beloved family members.  He is an awesome patriarch, even after death.  He died with dignity, setting right everything he could think of, and passing without fear.  Without fear!  Did he save our greatest lesson for last?

Thank you Priscilla for nominating me!  My favorite posts of hers are mentioned here.

Award rules:

Thank the person/people who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself.
Nominate fifteen or so bloggers you admire.
Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know and link back to them.

Things about me:

  1. I love brussels sprouts, especially grilled with olive oil and garlic.
  2. I get high on such things as hackysack, running, bicycling, skiing, competition, socializing, loving and making love.
  3. I was petrified of speaking in high school speech class, but now I’m quite extroverted.  As John Denver said, “thank God I’m a country boy!”
  4. My bicycle is worth far more than my car.  Well, so are my golf clubs.  And my television.  Maybe my bed too….
  5. My car runs great!  Rolls, actually.  I run pretty well.
  6. I like over 98% of the foods I can think of.  That’s a wild ass guess, but I’m a bean counter, so I fancy myself to be a pretty good guesser.
  7. Seattle is the biggest city I’ve lived in.  It is far too wet and crowded for me.  But it’s fun to visit in the summer!  New York City is called “The City” for good reasons.  It was the most fun city I’ve been to for culture.  Orlando was incredibly fun!

I always nominate fewer bloggers than directed by “rules.”  I think it’s a lesser offense, one that I should be forgiven for.  I’ve cut back on speeding, so I feel the need to do something naughty.  ( :

jazfagan – jaz sparked me with “A Common Bond.”

petpisces – she expanded my thinking on the first post I read, “Emotions of a Hunter.”

Blessed with a star on the forehead – Blessed gives honesty and insight on many great posts.  One favorite is “Allowing my brown eyes to scream.

J. Michel Fleury – I love inspiration!  Check out her poems in “Love grows in you …

Thank you to these lovely bloggers who inspire me in spine tingling ways!  ( :

Fore!  Watch out duffers, here I come!  Today is the annual golf scramble associated with my employer.  I helped run it for years, and later played on the winning team for two years in a row.  The ego-feeding parts of those stories were the clutch putts I hit in the tie-breaking “putt-offs” to win the title for my teams.  If you’ve golfed, you know that the game is effective at keeping big egos in check! 

I had dreams of magnificent shots last night, including a hole-in-one.  So far, I’ve yet to stroke a real-life hole-in-one, though I almost flew one into the hole in my youth.  I’ve had a few aces at virtual golf.  Back to real life:  I haven’t even seen someone else ace a hole, other than on television.  I’m excited that my doctor gave me the go-ahead to play,  just two days ago.  I didn’t sign up with a team, thinking I had to rest my elbow and finger.  Rumor has it that there is a team I can slip in with.  Is this a chance to build new friendships?  What can I learn from my new teammates?  What can I share with them?  Will I play within myself, fostering a consistent and controlled swing, with good tempo?  Will I find an effective level of muscle relaxation, focus, clarity and touch?  Will I be less attached to outcomes, to let it all happen as it might?  Will I help my ball on its journey to its home, the hole?  If I do the things to play well, will it “rub off” on my teammates?  I can’t wait to find out!

If the title of this post had you thinking about things other than golf, try calling 1-888-GET-HELP.  ( :

I’m learning to listen to my body.  Here’s to hoping it’ll soon have more encouraging things to talk about!  Just kidding, sort of.  I have little trials, but I’ve been blessed with a lot of health and a body that’s allowed me to do so much.  Yay God!  ( :

ChiRunning talks about focusing on our form, starting with basics that make a lot of sense.  For instance, spending energy efficiently allows us to go farther.  Good postural alignment lets our spine handle our body weight, instead of our muscles.  Good alignment while running avoids the multitude of problems that people face, which often turn them away from running.  This is a tragedy if it makes them less active.  Moving leads to grooving!  In running, we make the same moves so many times over that it’s particularly important to do them with good mechanics. 

The tendonitis in my right elbow is blessing me with a chance to appreciate the challenges that others go through in life.  It’s also granting me opportunity to think positively, switching quickly away from what I cannot do and honing in on what I can do.  This is a chance to run again!  I did sixty minutes, or 281 floors, on the stair-stepper machine Tuesday evening.  I’ll be ready if I ever need to climb a skyscraper!  I ran for 45 minutes after mowing the lawn and fertilizing the plants on Wednesday evening.  If I have to rest my arm, I can still move my legs!

Snake River Canyon half marathon in 2007; my second best time so far……

I’m recovering from wanting more.  Often I just try for too much of a good thing, thinking that more is better.  I was reminded of this last evening.  When I discovered that I’d left the lap-top computer at work, I considered returning for it, so I could blog.  That felt addictive, so I read a book, meditated and watched part of a movie instead.  It was good!  I’ve been a bit of a blogaholic.  I’m striving for a balanced life, and I suspect it will be a perpetual juggling act.  Bring on the circus!  ( :

Trivia question of the day:  Can you pick out me, Frank, in this photo?  First correct answer wins a guest posting on my blog!  hahahahahaha

Thank you Sherry

Thank you Shantelle

Any day that I can bring sunshine into someone’s life is a great day!  It warms my heart and soothes my soul if I feel like I’m a positive impact on the lives of others, as well as myself!  Actually, starting with myself

  • My favorite Color~  Blue, though they’re all nice!
  • Favorite Animal~ Many, maybe humans at the top.
  • Favorite number~ ???  I work with numbers a lot, and they’re all just okay.
  • Favorite Non-alcoholic drink~ Chocolate-banana protein milkshakes.
  • Facebook or Twitter~ Is there a “none of the above” choice?
  • My Passion~ my passion is having passion about many things – living life fully!
  • Prefer getting or giving presents~ All of the above.
  • Favorite pattern~  a life patterned on wellness.
  • Favorite Day of the Week~  Today.
  • Favorite Flower~ extra fragrant roses.

Here are some cool blogs I appreciate and nominate:

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!

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!

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?  ( :

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!

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!

 

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!

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!  ( :

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!  ( :

Well, do you?  I do!  Not on drugs though.  Drug highs, including alcohol, were short-lived phenomenons.  Early highs on some drugs were fun, carefree and seemingly mind-opening escapes from fears, pressures, depression or boredom.  I’m here to tell you emphatically, the fun fades!  Then escape turns into addiction, an ugly world of dullness, oppression, hopelessness, anger, depression and fears.  Yuck!

I love natural highs!  Sex, running, back-country hiking/skiing/bicycling, kayaking, listening to music, writing, meditating, loving, talking and serving are some of the ways I like to get high now.  It’s fun!

I love the physical, mental and emotional benefits that activities like these bring to me.  Sometimes music engulfs me and inspires me, hopefully even helping to transform me into a better version of me.  It can be psychotherapeutic, helping me to understand and recover from emotional traumas.  Open up, country music bashers!  ( :  I listen to a lot of faith-based music now, because its spiritual focus lifts me up, inspiring me to become a better servant.  I love to dance!  Dance music offers inspiration and fun exercise.  How’s that for a win-win solution?

Sex is God’s way of bonding couples in a magical way.  My best shot at describing it is indescribably delicious!  Life has taught and re-taught me a lesson I hope to take to heart:  sex bonds people like nothing else, so be careful with whom you bond!

Escaping the busyness and noise of modern life is essential for my health.  Meditation is like taking a healthy trip without leaving home!  Back-country excursions can be extended meditation retreats.  Pouring refreshment into our souls fills us up enough to return to our modern lives.  Much of what we call progress might be better spelled regress.  ( :

Some adventures join several of our favorite things, so we appreciate them immensely.  Will Bloomsday 2012 be like that for me?  Will the energy of the crowd, the music of the bands,  encouraging fellow runners and extreme physical exertion lead to memorable highs?  We’ll find out soon!  Yay!

Annie & Frank. Bloomsday buddies!

Frank’s been getting high again….. ( :

After galloping down the beach!   ( :

Spring is so beautiful; there are so many flowers to admire!  My Bloomsday anticipation is like life in general:  I don’t know what will happen, but it’s likely to be quite an adventure!  Interesting people, high energy, sensory overload and physical challenge should make Sunday exciting.  Challenging ourselves to grow in one area of life often promotes growth in other areas.  So far the Bloomsday challenge has grown my belly with Annie’s “best of my life” pizza!  Yay!  Now she’s pulling fresh bread out of the oven.  This may take carbohydrate loading to an unprecedented level!  Ice cream anyone?

I don’t rhyme all the time.  Were it true, I’d be screwed!  Massage felt great, so I made a date.  Grabbed my shoes, set out to cruise.  Wondered how far I should go?  Soon enough, I would know.  Absent pains at the start; could this be the best part?  Energy levels rose up high, majestic birds were in the sky.  Striding long felt so good, like I always thought it should!  No nagging pain, no threat of rain.  Second wind lifted me up high; I almost felt like I could fly!  Natural highs feel so sweet!  God, this life is such a treat!

PS – The ice bath afterwards was SO COLD!!!  I let my body cool down too much first, doing chores and such, so I was shivering in the bath.  Now THOSE were fervent prayers!!!  Now I may start to taper off for Bloomsday on Sunday…..

frankoshanko

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

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