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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.

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Sometimes I fly like an eagle!

Sometimes I fly like an eagle!

Bicycling is cool cross-training. I can pedal hard for a couple of hours without feeling sore or overly tired. It’s fun, scenic, invigorating and healthy. What a win!

Weight-lifting leaves me sore, most often. It suggests a hint of masochism, mixed with egotism. Sometimes it feels great, sometimes it’s really hard. It always keeps me more fit, more youthful and better prepared.

Standup paddle boarding is a new addition to my life. It fits in beautifully with a self-propelled lifestyle, delivering great abdominal, back, arm and leg endurance training. It always feels adventurous to me.  Yay!

Nordic skiing has a very special place in my heart. I’ve skied into heaven on earth. The risk of cold, remote places is enhanced by beauty, adventure, invigoration, inspiration and wonderful endurance training. I love it!

Running is in my spirit, woven into my soul. It offers endurance or speed. Self-propulsion feeds self-confidence and a willingness to tackle new pursuits. Running opens doors to greater adventures, like awe-inspiring backcountry hikes!

Hiking with a heavy backpack, for many hours, feels like a marathon to me. I like that it makes me stronger. The process gets really tough. I learn mental discipline. I learn that “can do” trumps “can’t do” almost every time I really want it to.  The views are painted on the front page of the newspaper of my soul. Treasures!

Golf is the best game I’ve ever found. It challenges my mind in every way imaginable. It offers physical challenges in beautiful locations. It can not be mastered. I’m lured by the feeling of balls struck well. It’s been a busy couple of decades, but golf teases my spirit with a sense of impending reunion.

Volleyball is one of my favorite team games. It tests quickness, creativity, coordination and spirit. It’s fun to learn teamwork. Basketball and football are other favored team sports. The excitement makes these almost as much fun to watch as to play.

When I was a kid, riding my motorcycle was part of my daily routine. My bike gave me freedom and wild adventures. It got me high! I’m sticking with non-motorized bikes now, because I want to extend life if I can. But I still love to get high.

One way is water-skiing. Cold water slaps my face and everywhere else. Bam! The boat jerks hard, testing strength, balance and mental toughness. I rise above the fish and skim across the water, as free, wild and crazy as a teenager. Yeah! Hit it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I found my best way to prepare for a Super Bowl: a run in the sun!  As usual, I got some funny looks from the parka clad people as I ran shirtless today.  Doesn’t everyone get hot when they run?  Most folks were walking or riding horses or bicycles.  I was jump starting my tan, since summer is just around the corner! After Annie smoked me in hill climbing yesterday, I was determined to get back to training!  Today’s 7.7 mile run boosted my confidence and filled me with joy in the bountiful sunshine!  I’m even more excited about running! The Stick that Heather sold me yesterday is the best thing since shoes! It is amazingly effective at self-massage, especially for leg muscles. What a gift for a runner! I think I’m feeling young again!!!

The orthopedic surgeon told me a lot without clarifying much.  Apparently, almost all of us have been, or will be, stricken with elbow problems.  Our elbows are weak links, much like the rotator cuffs in our shoulders.  Healing is perhaps as much luck and art as it is science.  My elbow has improved over the past three months, but not completely.  The specialist gave great insights into advanced treatment options, as well as healing struggles, ending with the same message as my primary care provider:  if it hurts, don’t do it.  Otherwise, carry on!  Resting it is not the answer.  So I’m back to living a bit more fully.  I hit the weight room last evening, going very light with the weights and ramping way up on repetitions.  I’m excited to try golf, tennis and throwing a football.  I hope I keep healing.  I’m aiming to strengthen my arms, going more slowly this time.  Maybe I’ll be the tortoise; someone else can be the hare.  I hope to avoid cortisone injections, but the doctor said they seem to work well.  This feels like a big lesson for me in listening to my body, instead of trying to rule it.  Perhaps there are even bigger lessons: seeing more clearly my powerlessness, utter dependence and amazing blessings.  Even more, my complete ignorance of what’s coming next.  That’s reason for excitement!  Come on life!  Deal the next hand!  ( :

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!  ( :

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!   ( :

Well now!  The experts say we can’t get to where we want to go if we don’t know where that is.  Or do they say we can’t get what we want unless we know what it is that we want?  Or is it something like, we have to go after what we want, to get it?  Maybe they’d say my memory lapses make my repetitive “ideas” seem original?  Whatever!!!  It feels right to take a stab at a bucket list, so here goes!  Thank you to Lesley Carter for inspiring me to assemble this post, which may prove to be pivotal in making a better me!  Trying to rank order them blows my mind, so they’re numbered only for reference:

  1. Live happily ever after, deeply in love!
  2. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  3. Run a half marathon with Annie.
  4. Jump out of an airplane AND live to tell about it!  ( :
  5. Help people to smile and laugh every day.
  6. Make a hole in one.
  7. Be an inspiration to others.  Thanks Sherryl!
  8. Watch a PAC-12 football championship game in Pullman, WA.
  9. Watch the Washington State Cougars WIN a Rose Bowl.
  10. Purchase a fun, sporty vehicle.  Thanks to everyone who has tolerated Little Blue!
  11. Snorkel in Hawaii.
  12. Play with grandkids.
  13. Write a story that lives on after I’m gone.
  14. Eat great sushi.
  15. Do 12 pull ups in a row.
  16. Love those who persecute me.
  17. Dance at Nicholas’ (son) wedding.
  18. Swim with dolphins.
  19. Dance at my wedding.
  20. Live peacefully, contentedly, generously and socially connected.
  21. Write a popular blog.
  22. Help Eric solve the obesity problem, inspiring people to better their lives.
  23. Enjoy tea in England.  Thanks Bullu!
  24. See Niagara Falls.
  25. Fly in a hot air balloon.
  26. Do 50 push ups in a row.
  27. Record a great hackysack video of Nicholas & Annie & friends.
  28. See Alaska in person.
  29. Take a vacation in Italy.
  30. Take a Mediterranean cruise or vacation.
  31. Visit Australia.
  32. See Celine Dion sing live.
  33. Live a long, healthy life.
  34. Shoot great photographs.
  35. Hike more of the northern section of the Pacific Crest Trail.
  36. Write a collection of poems.
  37. Collect friends, including five-minute friends – thanks Katie!
  38. Grow fresh herbs & prepare gourmet meals.  Thanks Annie!
  39. Score three or more birdies in one round of golf.
  40. Earn a single digit handicap in golf.
  41. Catch a big fish, say 20 pounds or more.
  42. Visit each of the United States of America.
  43. Add to this bucket list………and get busier on checking things off!  ( :  I welcome any and all feedback, such as critiques and more ideas! 

frankoshanko

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

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