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I believe that’s what we need, from time to time.  Or always!

I shot my best golf score of the year on Saturday, hitting ten greens and missing nine of the birdie putts, including about four from a ten to twelve foot range and a four footer. The ten footer that dropped felt sweet. I hit about five fairways, but stayed between the trees much of the time.  It was a day to savor, for reuniting with Gary, sunshine, fresh air, a nice walk, and improvement. I made another stride towards scoring like I did decades ago. I think it’s because I was simply enjoying the sheer delights of golf. I must admit that the Cougars whipping Oregon on the gridiron was delicious dessert!

Change your lens, change your life.  What a great message! I’ve used this reminder for two group talks lately, both of which seemed appreciated by the audiences.  I used it at the Portland marathon, massaging my personal worst time into a pleasurable interaction with many motivated souls.  What a wonderful chance for great fun with Annie and Remington! Our diverse adventures in Portland made the marathon a chapter, rather than a narrow focus.  It feels like evolution.

Now I get to take a southerly adventure with Pat, after another visit with Nick and Jaslyn in Pullman for some exercise, great food and hopefully more awesome Cougar football! Adventure is back in full swing in my life and in my soul. Yeah!

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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!

 I used to despise the word “whatever.”  Often used by disrespectful teenagers, hearing it seemed to grant me permission to lose my cool.  Now it’s like a mantra to me, with a very different meaning.  Being ready for whatever might happen is good for me.  It frees me from pain that results from unfulfilled expectancy.   It leaves me ready to change plans, on the fly, without losing time or energy to disappointment, dismay or despair.  It makes now a good time to be fully alive, enjoying whatever is happening much more, while forgetting about what is not.  This feels really good to me, and blesses my days with more satisfaction.  I believe it blesses others with less pressure from me and the company of a better version of me.  They need not worry about whether I’ll be disappointed by their choices or not.  Their choices are totally up to them.  I get to choose for me.  I choose optimism, fun, adventure, learning, laughing, dancing, playing and growing.  I’m a very lucky man!  ( :

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 believe that adaptability is an excellent trait.  Things happen.  How do we respond?  Do seemingly negative events cause tailspins?  Or creative solutions to find the best use of our time and opportunities?  Are we mortals qualified to judge “good” and “bad” events in our lives?  Are most “bad” events really just “opportunities” mislabeled?  I’ve judged events to be “bad” that turned out, in retrospect, to be some of my best lessons.  I may not have been able to learn these important lessons in any other way.  Can I live fully in today, without wondering too much about what’s coming tomorrow?  I hope so! 

Nick didn’t want to go bicycling with me this evening.  So I went with God.  The sun warmed my skin as I prayer pedaled.  I could smell the wheat growing as I toured the scenic country roads.  My legs were tired from weight lifting yesterday, which was just fine.  More time to meditate! 

I did leg weights yesterday because my elbow is hurting.  Should I whine, get lazy or learn how to rehabilitate it and cross-train with other activities?  Perhaps the answer is obvious, but it wasn’t always clear to me.  It’s really good for me to see the answered prayers in my life!

I have now avoided compulsive, emotional eating for nine days in a row.  For me, it’s a big deal.  I’m excited to see where my life will go, as I surrender all of my compulsions and open myself to growth and discovery.  It seems it’s helping my confidence and contentment.  Yay God!  ( :

Blessings to you!

frankoshanko

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

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