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Nick, Jaslyn, Katie and I watched the Cougs smack Stanford around as a Halloween party!

Nick, Jaslyn, Katie and I watched the Cougs smack Stanford around as a Halloween party!

WSU went toe to toe in old style play with Stanford and I came away even more impressed. It was the best feeling loss for quite some time. We had shoulda, coulda plays throughout a near win over an elite team. It was damn good football mixed with frustration. The Cougars are big-time college footballers. Yay!

Pat loves fine desert living!

Pat loves fine desert living!

Today is a transition, sandwiching golfing utopia and high-level football. Stanford travels to Washington State University in a battle for PAC-12 north supremacy. Pat and I savored swimming and stretching in warm water and weather at his home before cruising to Sky Harbor today. The Nevada mountains below me are topped with snow as the sun shines brilliantly. It’s been a dreamy week. Lyn and Pat are such great hosts. A victory tomorrow would taste like dessert. We’ve enjoyed a resurgence of kick-ass football. Pullman boasts one of the most exciting teams in the country, with remarkable players. Rain and wind are expected to return, granting the Cougars a chance to redeem their season-opening slop-drop against Portland State.

With the looming time change, lunches on the golf range sound appropriate. I hope for rounds at Veteran’s Memorial, Canyon Lakes and perhaps Palouse Ridge/Wildhorse/Othello on the near horizon. Autumn golf in the north will beg patience and restraint. How low can I go?

I’m wondering if my exposure to warm desert golf will be a life-changing event for me. To follow masterful links with a soothing swim is a great way to live. Would it be awesome for a month or more?

I hit golf balls from small mountains and soon I will ski across bigger ones. I believe that core work, strength training and high energy cardio-vascular adventures like hiking, spinning, squatting, running and climbing offer me avenues to greater achievement, firing my body and soul. How many mountains will I summit this winter? How fully will I savor the fruits of life as I dance to the passage of time?

I sense a need to mix it up, see the world and greet new adventures with a fiery passion, recognizing the fleeting nature of life. Work has enriched me and play has treated me even better. My spirit soars and dances and blossoms in wild community. These are the greatest treats. Want to play with me soon?

Annie and Julie are tackling adventure and wellness at every turn!

Annie and Julie are tackling adventure and wellness at every turn!

The full moon seemed to smile at me as the sun set, like an inspirational shift change. Despite the bug plastered windshield, it stirred sweet adventure memories and radiated wellness. What a fitting culmination to a full weekend! I tasted the riches of family, friends, travel, physical challenge, coffee, shopping, dining and peaceful rest. All is well!

Mark and Frank keep entering in a young guys division.

Mark and Frank keep entering in a young guys division.

It was pretty tough for a while. Bloomsday is a little like a plunge into an icy lake. Many people view it as a spring-time tradition. We see who we are. I was confronted with my past selves and I wished I could stride like some of them. And I think maybe I can. Or not. The mysteries will be revealed and created!

Adventure partners forever!

Adventure partners forever!

People are so interesting. We offer much and sometimes deliver little. Our potential is incredible. Our limiting beliefs dance with our willingness to try to be truly open-minded, fighting for the precious ground of our souls. We rarely know when we’re missing out, choosing to think that our opinions and beliefs are sacred, accurate truths. How silly we can be!

I may have done one thing right, or not. Bloomsday officials have a new ploy called “time up Doomsday.”  They measure how long it takes to ascend the brutal hill between 4.3 and 5 miles into the 7.46 mile race. It may be a good idea for some people to buy into this chase. For me, walking the entire steep part yesterday may have saved my life. I was red-lining, after zooming past hundreds of people on the steep downhill before Doomsday. I’ve learned that I’m very good on downhill portions, and I simply love to run fast. The mob hindered me during an early downhill section, but it thinned a bit and the course widened by the middle of the race. So I hauled ass! Then I accepted my need to walk. No, I would not post one of my faster race times. But I would still do the best I could on this day, and live to race again. Hundreds of people passed me on the hill. Many of them faded badly after the hill, and I passed them back. My ego loved the times when I passed guys who appeared to be about my age. Yay! I passed another old guy! How silly I can be!

I cannot adequately describe to you how good water, coffee and food taste after long runs. It must be experienced first-hand. It is amazing!

This is how Annie feels about Bloomsday each year and about adventure in general:

This is how Annie feels about Bloomsday each year and about adventure in general: “Let’s do it!”

It felt too hard! Man, what a recurring theme! It’s a timeless feeling of deja vu; I’ve been here before, many times, over many years. There are easier, softer options: slow down a little, slow down a lot, walk, quit, devise excuses…

Excuses can arise from an early morning bed: a rainy day? Perhaps I’m meant to rest this morning? Or is that fear rearing its ugly head?

Today I hit an excuse jackpot. My right calf cramped less than two miles into the race. Good or bad? Just breathe in and out, sending relaxing thoughts to my muscles. Hmmm… was this a chance to run from the run? It’s not always easy living in my mind. So stay out of it if you can!

Using a watch to forecast results is easy for me. It can also be quite limiting. My GPS watch does much of what I used to do, creating opportunity for other thoughts. These can be devilish or inspirational.

Mile one passed in 7:30. Judgement commenced. Too fast! I did it again! I will only slow down from here! So mile two took 8:08. See how much I slowed down! Feel how winded I am! It’s all downhill from here!

A self-fulfilling prophecy? Mile three elapsed in 8:26. I’ll be crawling by the end! I’m out of shape from not running all week! I’ve gotten lazy. Shit!

Whoa! Finally, my free-wild-optimist fought back. I’m nearly half done and averaging 8:01 per mile. Not bad for my condition! I should do my best and see what happens.

Part of the beauty and challenge of the Balloonsday 10 kilometer course is the loneliness, especially coming on the heels of a mega-crowd road race like Bloomsday. Most Balloonsday participants choose five kilometers. The scarcity of ten kilometer racers leads to some big gaps. Mine was a lonely path today, creating a wonderful opportunity to choose between easy lagging and difficult pushing. Who am I to be today?

Lonely mile four took 8:15. Was I choosing to be all that I could be? Perhaps my fifty minute goal is too tough today. I should have trained harder! Why do I think I can push on race day without more fast-paced training? Still, I must push and do what I can!

The volunteers were so encouraging! The course was extremely well-marked. This is my favorite race of the year! But mile five took 8:16. I think I’m slowing down too much. I’ll miss my goal. I’m doomed! More waiting? Will I just keep on saying “wait ’til next year”? Wait a minute! It’s the negative thoughts that are holding me back! I can almost always push at least a bit harder. Do it now! Run free and wild! Be the spirited stallion! Go for it!

Hey, it’s true! I do have a little more to give. When I do so, I gain capacity to give a little more next time. My life gets better when my heart, mind and soul embrace faith and venture forth, fully alive!

Mile six took 7:48. I picked up the pace! Bring it home! I strode strongly to the finish, clocking 49:29. It was my best time in years and another step towards better health. Physically, mentally and spiritually, I must face the demons I meet with faith, perseverance and lots of smiles. It fills my journey with pleasure, which sometimes masquerades as pain. Namaste!

How can I describe the feelings I get while running, which range from euphoric to exhausted? I’ll go with freedom. Freedom from worry, stress, pressure, strain and fear. All is truly well. Smiles are abundant. Energy begets energy. Life keeps getting better. Work is easier. The need to judge others slides away. Even judging of myself. Bronzing skin basks in glorious sunshine. Supple muscles flow with their true calling. Belief grows, creating confidence. Positivity overwhelms negativity. Humor is abundant. Healthy people pass by, smiling broadly. This must be the path to heaven on earth!

Badger Mountain Challenge 2013. Smiling from the heart!

Badger Mountain Challenge 2013. Smiling from the heart!

Still standing, after 27 miles!

Still standing and smiling, after 27 miles!

I was 53 years old and had given up on running a marathon. It just seemed too far. But never say never! My mind is opening up. I notice people dying, some rather quickly. I want to live! I have to open my mind to help my life blossom. I hope it keeps opening! I am very grateful for the fun, adventurous, open, friendly, willing, funny, helpful and creative people who inspire me!

Preparing to run our first marathon, Coeur d’Alene 2013, Annie and I were just a little more particular.  Pick out the right gear.  Don’t forget anything.  Eat and drink well to start with a full tank.  Adjust the socks and laces just right.  Mistakes we get away with on shorter runs could really cost us on long runs. I must have been a bit too hyped, as I found my watch in the garbage, just in time.

We exited the porta-potties with three minutes to spare.  The race started several minutes late, so we timed it right. No time to get cold and not late for the start.  We went to the back of the pack, so we could pass some people.  We started strong, cruising through early miles like they were chocolate cake.  Thank God for tapers!

We finished the first half on target, feeling strong and ready. Eventually, like any long-ass run, our legs tired. Our feet hurt. Annie’s toe blistered. Gel was not as available as they said it would be. The flavors were lousy. The asphalt trail was WAY too cambered. We found some relief on dirt trails next to it. Annie hit THE WALL. Hard! The miles beyond twenty, where we’d never been before, were tough. One was extremely slow and others were pretty slow. With 3.2 miles to go, we rediscovered motivation. We’d have to pick up our pace to break five hours. It seemed illogical to me. Nearly 4.5 hours in, with heavy legs and sore joints, we’re trying to speed up? We returned to belief that it could be done and ran a decent mile 24. Mile 25 was for Annie, who gave me so much support in becoming a marathon man. We powered through it faster than any mile since the first half. Mile 26 was for me. We ran it on autopilot, pulling reserves from deep in our hearts. Faster yet! Glancing at watches, we wanted to be sure to beat five hours, so we went even faster. The segment after the mile 26 marker was more like .35 miles, so we were literally sprinting at the end, side by side, dashing to the finish! It was a storybook ending, with a splash of speed I never would have imagined after so many miles. Perhaps we had more left in our tanks than our minds could muster for several miles. But we finished with great courage and strength, emblazoning our memories with a wonderful story. I’m a marathon man now. Annie’s a marathon woman. No one will ever take that away from us. It feels good!

Marathon Annie! What will she think of next?

Marathon Annie! What will she think of next?

Marathon man!  What to do next?

Marathon man! These ARE the good old days!

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!

Parasailing Frank

That’s me!  I’m a youngster, because I feel that I am. If I’m lucky, there may be time for being old later. If not, such is life. This youthfulness is really fun!

Stretching. Massaging. Toning. Pushing. Re-fueling. Resting. Meditating. Letting go. Researching. Imagining. Believing. Embracing. Accepting. Observing. Staying the course. Helping. Loving. Feeling. Joining. Solving. Releasing.

Joy! Beauty! Love! Excitement! Passion! Challenge! Desire! Success! Freedom! Blessings!

Kindness. Compassion. Gratitude. Sharing. Being.

Life is new, fresh and full of mind-boggling possibilities! Spring has sprung again, in a place that is dear to me: my soul!

Happy new day!

Belief.  Faith.  Trust.  Confidence.  How self-limited are we?  Some of us do amazing things.  Are all of us capable of so much more?  What evidence do I have to support any claims?

Well, let’s consider physical achievement.  Obesity is a widespread health problem.  Do some of us feel that physical health is beyond us?  Other people can complete Ironman triathlons.  Were they destined to do so, or did they simply believe in health, practice healthy habits, continue to believe, and dedicate themselves to their chosen course?

Some amazing singers have jumped to the big time stage from shows like American Idol.  One day they’re a normal person with a normal life.  In a very short time, they become big stars.  They believed in their dream and found a way to make it happen.  I’m guessing many performers with even more talent have never become famous.  That’s just fine, if their path is what they wanted.

Many of us have big ideas about how to improve society.  It’s a bit tricky trying to control how others conduct themselves.  But we certainly can have faith in our own ability to live our ideas.  If they’re good, perhaps they’ll be contagious!  If I think the answer to the world’s problems lies in love, then I can practice loving!

There are thousands of impressive rags to riches stories.  Are the ones who succeeded simply the ones who never stopped believing and worked persistently?

I like to do a variety of things in life; perhaps variety really is the spice of life!  Does this lack of specialization prevent me from becoming great?  Perhaps, but should it be used as a rationalization to be less than my best?  Can I write something better than my best so far?  Can I work out just a bit harder, or in new ways?  Can I serve people better?  Can I listen more patiently?  Can I make tastier and healthier meals?  Can I seek out exciting adventures?  Can I do my best in everything I do?   Can I inspire others?  Can I find inspiration from their masterpieces?  Can we work together to do even more amazing things?  Look at what people have done so far!  They’re people like you and me.  Creative, open-minded, resourceful, inspired, dedicated, faithful, persistent, strong and loving people.  That sounds like us!

Yes it’s a word!  I’m learning who and what inspires me, getting to know myself better.  I’m defining my dreams and optimizing my health, striving to be the best possible version of myself.  Endorphins fit nicely into this plan.  They help me feel optimistic, content, grateful, peaceful and successful.  So I feel best when I push myself.  Yesterday, after sleeping in and sipping coffee, I went for a run in the sun.  It was past 10 AM, so it was already quite warm.  I went without expectations of how far I would run.  My right ankle has been a weak link.  Heat makes running hard.  I was pampering myself to celebrate my birthday.  After walking two minutes, I felt the need to start running, before it got even hotter.  I focused on keeping my column straight, leaning the column forward and landing on the middle of my feet.  I hoped these Chi Running tips would help my body hold up.  I also focused on relaxing my ankle muscles, so I wouldn’t be fighting myself.  When I relax well, I can run farther.  I found some big trees that offered shade, so I fit them into my route multiple times, avoiding cooking my brain and sapping my energy.  Then, as I ran, I became mentally tough.  I found determination to make progress.  I remembered past running highs.  I recalled basking in the joy of being fully alive.  I felt the refreshing, almost cool, breeze in the shade.  I kept on plodding, left, right, left, right……

I diverted my attention from the heat, sweat, tiring muscles and sore ankle with mind games.  I strived to balance the benefits of achievement with the risk of lasting injuries.  So I targeted four miles, after feeling good to start.  Then I kept ratcheting my target up, checking in with my ankle, and relaxing it.  I ran for sixty-two minutes, or about 6.5 miles.  When I was done I felt so good!  I felt great!  I knew in my heart that my attitude would be good for the rest of the day.  I knew I’d made progress on my physical and mental health.  I knew that whatever came the rest of the day, my cup would be running over.  I had faith.  My kids chose to spend time with me, so it was a great day.  Today I’ll find ways to have another great day.  Perhaps a long bicycle ride?

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!

frankoshanko

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

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