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I love Cougar country, with powerful lions trekking our highlands and our gridiron.

Our seven mile run on Sunday was hard, after the post-marathon layoff and Saturday’s leg workout with Nick, Annie and Jaslyn. After the run, we saw Gabe Marks. Cool!

Equally hard was the first quarter of football. Whoa! I apologized to Annie for the worst game of the year. Like I was playing? Down 14-0 with 21-0 forthcoming, our Cougars drew a definitive line in the sand. A dreamy game changed nightmare into fantasy. The upbeat game of the year! Wow! Thanks Cougs! Thanks Mike for the taste of Club level life. It is amazing!

The rain pounded me on the drive home and then soaked my beautiful Redwood.

It’s the season to run and spin and lift and step my way to awe-inspiring mountains. Yeah! That’s it! That’s what I’ll do!

And a little more golf…

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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?

Beaver Beatdown!

Beaver Beatdown!

PREGAME:

It’s another great day! It’s early, in Pullman, Washington. To me, this is the home of college football. There’s no place I’d rather be today, and I know some very cool places.

It’s the excitement! Muscle toned studs in their prime doing battle on the great American battlefield. So awesome! My competitive juices are already flowing, and I haven’t even had coffee yet. I’ve showered and shaved and trimmed and flushed, so I am primed. But, about that coffee…..

After a tough season, the Wazzu Cougars opened with what many called their worst game in years, losing to a lower tier team from Portland State. Doomsayers called for the coach’s head, projecting a dismal season. I only laughed. Though also disheartened by the sub-par effort, I knew a season is not about one game. I knew the Cougars were better than they showed. But how much better?

Well, last-minute victories over Rutgers and Oregon and a giveaway to Cal showed that these Cougars can play. How much more will they improve as the schedule toughens? That’s an exciting question whose answer will develop over seven weeks. Perhaps even weeks after that!

Family/friendly tailgates are special treats. I loved hanging with Nick and Jaslyn and visiting with so many cool people at Jim’s superb bash.

POST GAME:

Wow! We were treated to a half of Cougar offense that was near perfection. Luke Falk spirited the Cougar offense to six touchdown passes in seven possessions, plus a field goal. They moved the ball at will, executing beautifully on varietal passes and runs. Falk avoided sacks and found open teammates. The Cougars are so exciting!

Sometimes. They stumbled in the second half, after 45 – 17 at the break. They lost their edge, when they no longer needed it to win. The defense gave up a lot of yards, yet made great hits and plays. Special teams had success, like a fifty yard kickoff return, stopping a fake punt, and holding some kickoff returns in check. They also allowed a one-hundred yard kickoff return, a blocked punt and a muffed onside kick. But this win feeds momentum, excitement and imagined possibilities. Still, the Cougars must practice hard and play each play. Next Saturday’s game in Tucson is again pivotal.  GO COUGS!!!

About that being anywhere else thing.  Here’s a cool place I’ve been at least close to. Thank you great and powerful adventurers!

Is that Colchuck from Aasgard? Photo courtesy of Northwest Wildass Adventurers, Ltd.

Is that Colchuck from Aasgard? Photo courtesy of Northwest Wildass Adventurers, Ltd.

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!”

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!

TC half shirts

Running fourteen miles yesterday was growth for Annie and I. It was a faith builder. We really didn’t feel like running the last two or three miles, but we did. Those last few miles were a growth frontier, a persistence test. Do we have what it takes to push to the goal? The run sharpened our mental toughness and extended our physical frontier, so that in a couple of weeks, we’ll likely be able to run sixteen miles. Will we feel the same after that run? I don’t know, but I’m guessing so. We’ve done four runs of eleven or more miles in the past month, and they’ve all been tough. Yesterday, it was hard to finish a short cool-down walk. We should have walked farther, but we could not.

Since that was so hard, what makes me think I’ll be able to run twice that far in a couple of months? The people who inspired me! All the people I’ve known who have run marathons before. You made it! You’re tough, mentally and physically. That’s the new me as well. I want to join your club! Without this commitment and the resulting accountability, it would be way too easy to give up. I want to see how it feels to climb this mountain!

It’s a little shocking to me, because I had limited myself to half marathons. Until last month, I hadn’t run one of those for over five years. I thought ten kilometers was far enough. Then I decided to move past self-limiting thoughts. I was cornered. How to escape? RUN!!!

r-STRESS-FREE-MARATHON-large570

Is running a marathon right for you? Can you really know before you’ve done it?

Some of us decide “no!” quickly, for a myriad of reasons. It takes too much time. “That’s insane!” It hurts to run (usually due to technique issues, which often can be corrected). The list goes on and on, sometimes driven by shortages of motivation, belief, openness, curiosity, awareness or desire.

Potential rewards? Empowerment, achievement, cardiovascular health, endorphin highs, cholesterol reduction and increased blood flow to our brains and other important body parts! Yay!

Since I embrace my running time as therapeutic meditation, I’m left with physical questions. Can I prepare my body without suffering life degrading injuries? How to really know? Am I truly in tune with my body’s signals? Is there more to learn and practice about awareness, refueling, recovering and stretching?

If I don’t try, will I fly as high? Is this a defining moment in my spiritual evolution? Are the forks in the road as pivotal as they’ve always been? Should I shrink or expand?

To run or not to run. THAT is the question! Where did I put those shoes…..

I had a good day at work. It came with some stress. I had a GREAT evening at the gym. It yielded a wonderful endorphin high! That’s only after pushing through five tough miles on the treadmill, with a progressively faster pace and an incline. The best things in life are not easy, but they are so very worth the effort!  🙂

Belief.  Spiritual centering via faith.

Acceptance.  Honesty, letting it be, without spiritual disruption.

Love.  Emotional maturity, embracing the beauty in others.

Adaptation.  Accepting powerlessness, optimizing our power.

Nurturing. Ourselves first, via diet, rest, inspiration.

Commitment.  Intellectually, spiritually, physically, emotionally.

Exercise.  Today = 70 minutes level 9 intervals = 305 floors.   🙂

It’s autumn, so there is talk of football, holidays, soups and stews, sunny retreats, hunting trips and visits to the gym.  Today, it’s also “fall back” morning.  I’m magically up an hour earlier than I thought I was!  What to do with this bonus hour?  How about a nice, invigorating run?

I’ve run fairly often for the past fourteen years; never every day, but sometimes every other day.  In recent years, perhaps more like twice a week, as I love to mix in bicycling, weight-lifting, skiing, hiking, rowing, stair-stepping, etc.  But running is different from most activities for me.  Sometimes, it seems more daunting, perhaps almost dreadful.  Occasionally I start out on a run and feel tired, sore, weak, breathless or injured.  I’ve even bailed quickly a few times, reasoning that the time just wasn’t right.  More typically, I’ve pressed on, warmed up and flowed into a rhythm.  Nearly always, I’ve enjoyed inspired thoughts.  Quite often, I’ve welcomed a surge of endorphins.  The inevitable increase in blood flow is therapeutic for all parts of my body, mind and spirit.  I get high on running!  ( :

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!

Wow!  I am so inspired!  I’ve always advised my kids to chase their dreams.  Do what you love and your life will end up well.  I took a safe path in my education and career and it’s been a good life.  But what if I had chased a passion?  Who knows what would have happened?  Hey!  Life’s not over!  One of my current passions is building my physical body into the best temple of God that I can.  It’s fun, exciting, hard, painful, exhilarating, invigorating, challenging, social, confidence-building and really good for me.  I’m not obsessed, but I’m more dedicated than I’ve ever been.  Sometimes I feel sore, injured or discouraged.  But when I work out, I don’t get depressed.  So I work out almost every day!  Exercise is one of the best medicines for me.  I want the best for me!  I want the best for you too, but your choices are totally up to you.  I don’t have time to think too much about how life might have gone differently if I’d made better choices earlier.  I’m too busy making up for lost time!  ( :

frankoshanko

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

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