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Annie Rem MazamaThis is such an amazing life!

Our spirits take to skiing like eagles ride the wind. We find excitement and an amazing recharge of our zestful lives, as we climb hills, then zoom down them. Fully alive, sealed in the moment, oblivious of past or future. Now is just so good!

Annie and Remington and I loved Sun Mountain yesterday, savoring amazing glide and enlivening exertion. The trails were awesome and the company was even better. When rain presented, a world class warming hut appeared. As we finished our refreshments, the rain stopped and we eagerly tackled more of the abundant trails. This is heaven on earth!

A Mazama trail narrative suggested easier terrain and fewer of the hills we love so much. So what might appear? A side trail, out and back, with the tracks of a lone skier before us. In mid-afternoon? Was this our special destiny? My smile continued to widen as we meandered ever higher, pushing our bodies while earning an amazing descent. Wow! I feel like we just got promoted! Can life really just keep getting better and better?

Rem Frank Mazama

FullSizeRenderFirst on the awesome Mill Creek – Bennington Lake loop last Friday. Glorious sunshine, crisp air, blood rushing, Annie’s healthy glow and mile eight passing much faster than the rest. Yeah! Fully alive! So sweet.

Then on the weights at The Rec on Saturday, alongside Nick, Jaslyn and Annie. Muscles pumping, adrenaline flowing, smiles growing. This is how we live, feeling the strength building, knowing it’ll serve us well in many ways. Like skiing and snowboarding! Embrace the cold!

In Martin Stadium, ass kicking is the new norm. Cougar power is exciting, encouraging and really fun! We too are crimson warriors, like our favored team. We play the next play to the best of our ability. We focus, train hard, eat well and get good rest. It is so pleasing to enjoy the results!

On Sunday Annie and I savored more sunshine during a ten kilometer run around Pullman. The cold wind reinforced our appreciation for modern amenities, like indoor plumbing with hot water!

Today, I have so much to be thankful for: great family,  friends, food, environment, co-workers, and opportunity! Today’s bonus was an eight mile run around east Walla Walla in sweet sunshine. It was a winery tour without stops. After inversions, clear days make my smiles full. Thank God!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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…

I hate to run and then I love to run. It is so hard to go running. It is deeply rewarding to keep running. I love the high I get when I reach autopilot. It’s a zone where I can just keep running. All is well. No fears, burdens or anxieties. Great blood flow to all of my body, including my brain. Breathe in, breathe out. Absorb the sights, the sounds, the fresh air, the exhilarating power of trained muscles.  Ahhhhhhhh. This is good!

My ego wants to beat somebody. But just getting out is what’s truly important. Moving is rejuvenating, enlightening, inspiring and invigorating. It makes me better. I am so grateful I can still do it. What a rich blessing!

I found new trails on my run on Sunday and my walk on Monday. Adventure is good for my soul. It helps my mind open up a little. Maybe I’ll be more receptive to new ways of thinking. Won’t that be good?

After my run on Tuesday I showered quickly to rejoin the retreat team for dinner. On the walk there, it felt like all I had to do was lift my legs and they would automatically spring forward. It was kind of freaky after my autopilot thoughts. My muscles have listened and obeyed.  They just want to run! My refreshed attitude and energy boost were bonuses.

I think I’ll plan a trip somewhere new, play some new golf courses, try new activities, and meet some new people. Yes! Maybe I’ll even take a run…

I arrived at the airport today around 1 PM for my 8:15 flight home, after listening to some atypical whining at our leadership training. Early arrival avoided another day’s charge for the rental car and helped out my associates who needed rides. There was plenty of time to eat, read, manage e-mail and eat some more. Ultimately, our flight was canceled by fog in Walla Walla. Tim, one of our physician leaders, was also awaiting this flight, and he’d played this game before. We were first in line to re-schedule, betting on an 11:10 flight to Pasco, an hour from home, as well as the kindness of his wife who would pick us up. The thing is, this was a good day!

Maybe the “bad” days are vital for perspective. I remember enjoying Christmas and a nice long run the day after. Then I slipped into flu-like symptoms, followed by a sinus infection. Soon afterwards, I faced debilitating lower back spasms, accompanied by sciatic nerve pain. What had happened? Was I getting a little taste of what it’s like to be old and dying?

I tried rest and heating pads, muscle relaxants and OTC pain killers, movies and sleep. Two courses of antibiotics killed the sinus infection, but the back problem lingered. Then it got worse; I couldn’t even bear to go to work. Sitting in my desk chair after the arduous challenge of getting there seemed like too much. Would I get better or worse?

Small acts of compassionate kindness can be pretty big. My co-worker Sue mentioned to our Director of Rehabilitation that I was in a rough place, and gave him my phone number. Tom called me promptly that Friday and carved time out of his busy schedule to see me that day, a week sooner than my scheduled visit. What a gift! He manipulated my lower spine with twists and bends. The pain relief was significant. I was on the road back to life! I was able to take long walks on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as do the backlog of chores and my assigned rehabilitation exercises and stretching.

I’ve had several follow-up sessions of physical therapy, as well as deep tissue massages, and my condition continues to improve, especially when I have the time to walk, stretch my back and legs and tone my abdominal and lateral movement muscles as prescribed. My new masseuse is the best I’ve ever had, so I’m back to regular treatments. I am moving towards life balance that I didn’t realize I was losing.  Running and lifting were good, but not a complete health solution. I am reminded of the need for balance in my life: yoga, stretching, massage and diet are integral parts of my wellness, in addition to strength and endurance training. Will this recent wake up call help me remember to do all these things, consistently, that make me well? I surely hope so!

What might the future bring? Will I run and golf again soon? Will I be able to to do whatever I want?

I think it’s time to dream again. Yay!

What if I know of real solutions for affordable health care, but nobody listens? What if I know of a simple cure for some types of depression, but no one hears me? Stress reduction? Better health? Peace of mind? Contentment? Freedom?

Maybe we all have to figure them out on our own, in our own time. It’s cool that the answers are real and widely available! They’re almost free, yet priceless. I hope you agree, in the most real sense of all, via actions. Live well!

Race her? I think the blue house really fires her up!

Race her? I think the blue house really fires her up!

How hard can we push? How hard should we push? Claiming to be old and not pushing at all seems wrong for me. Pushing to premature death sounds lousy. How do you know how hard to push?

We missed out on cardiovascular exercise on Tuesday, so Annie and I did sixty minutes on Stairmasters at level ten on Wednesday evening, climbing 280 floors. That’d be a tall building!

Early Thursday, we ran three miles in the American Red Cross’ Turkey Trot along Mill Creek in Walla Walla. It’s uphill on the first half and downhill on the way back. It was around thirty degrees Fahrenheit, so oxygen was plentiful, as were clothes! It was tough to warm up, so the first mile served this role. 8:06 was a decent mile for me, especially uphill. I misinterpreted the voice on the Nike running app and thought I’d slowed down on the second mile, but I’d really sped up to 7:48, aided by half of it being downhill. I remember wishing I could go faster but staying determined to do the best I could, for comparison for next year. It seemed like I might be slowing down a bit, but I had no kick left when a guy I’d just passed sped up to pass me near the end. At least I’d finally post a short race baseline for 2013. The supposed 5k measured three miles on my device. My last mile took 7:12. I was pleasantly surprised. 23:06 for three miles, averaging 7:42 per mile, was slower than my 2006 three-mile best of 20:40, but better than my 2013 St. Patrick’s 10k average pace of 8:31 per mile. The Thanksgiving day race was only half as long, but I sense that I’m faster now than I was at the start of the year. Happier and more free as well. Yay!

I continued my winning streak against Annie. She whipped me by a long ways at both the Tri-City half marathon and the Badger Mountain Challenge 15k. I managed to best her at the St. Patrick’s 10k, Bloomsday 12k, Portland Marathon, Poplar 13k, Columbia River Classic 10 mile and Turkey Trot 3 mile. Mostly I beat her by small margins. It’s been a good year for the grey haired dude! I expect this reminder to motivate Annie, which could in turn lead us both to even better health. Wouldn’t that be cool?

So my running goal for 2014 is to go faster still.  I’d like to break 49 minutes in a 10k and 23 minutes in a 5k. Since we’re goal-setting, how about 1:55 for a half marathon and 4:16 for a full marathon? That should keep me busy. Throw in a round of golf with a score under 80 and snorkeling in Hawaii. That’d be a good year!

2013 is not gone, however. Maybe I can rock the Cable Bridge Run! Perhaps some skiing is in my future! We cranked another hour on the Stairmasters today, targeting level 11. Annie sustained it, totaling 300 floors. I eased off after 45 minutes and finished at 280 floors again. Is that a sign? Is Annie back on top? Yikes! I’d better get my buns moving! Or ease off, to be safe. I’m just not sure. But I’m digging the endorphins!

"Be all that you can be" is a habitual thing. Always do your best and regret will not visit!

“Be all that you can be” is an habitual thing. Always do your best and regret will not visit!

Smiles create smiles!

Smiles create smiles!

Once again, I choose happiness! My mind is still blown by the reality that it’s simply been a choice all along. No luck, no waiting for it to come. Just choose it now. Now! “Later” is just more talk. I love that many people keep reminding me of this free choice, because sometimes I forget, and happiness is way more fun!

Sure it takes practice. A pattern of negativity, whining and pouting doesn’t morph into refreshingly optimistic gratitude in an instant. Good things come to those who persevere!

I can’t deny that there are always beautiful, impressive, awe-inspiring things, thoughts, people, places and events wherever I am. The stark reality is that whether I appreciate and richly experience them is limited or enabled by my mind. My attitude, my openness, my closed-mindedness, my willingness and my awareness levels are key. Living fully is an option for all of us.

It’s not their fault or credit that you’re the way you are. Whatever, whomever and whenever. They can define you. Or not.

It’s a great opportunity!

What a bunch of blessings!

 

"A Very Poplar Run" 2013. Sometimes we ran through ridiculously treacherous bumpy fields.....15k was about 13k......hot dogs offered at finish.....but the scenery was nice!!!

“A Very Poplar Run” 2013. Sometimes we ran through ridiculously treacherous, bumpy fields…..”15k” was really about 13k……hot dogs offered at finish…..but the scenery was nice!!!

She woke me right up! I wasn’t sleeping, but I wasn’t really into it. I mean, things had started slow and messy, with disappointing developments. Then, there she was. My sparker! Now I had a mission! Follow Miss Superbuns!

Well, to be truthful, I’ve always fancied nice buns. Like at Thanksgiving dinner! And on many of the women who have caught my attention.

At foot races, there are some amazing buns! Today, around a mile or so into the race, she passed me. Wow! Ooh la la! I could follow those for a while! So I did. My pace quickened nicely. I really felt like I was racing! I felt fully alive! Should I chase her all day?

I don’t know if I made the right decision, but I let her go. Down the trail, faster than me. Off to inspire someone else. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sustain her pace for another seven or eight miles. But she got me moving! I ran a good pace while we were on decent surfaces. I fought through some energy lulls. And I found even deeper resolve.

I didn’t sustain her pace today, but maybe sometime soon? I feel doubly inspired to run intervals, lift leg weights, attack the stair-stepper and race faster. I have a mission! Healthily attractive, happy and athletic people are so inspiring to me! They help me want to be a better me. I like it!

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!

Beautiful Annie savors God's incredible art!

Beautiful Annie savours God’s incredible art!

Can you train for a marathon by bicycling? Well it’s surely fun to try! I believe riding can be a key part of a wellness program. My heart desires variety, so I won’t be changing into a bikeaholic. But it’s fun!

That's me, enjoying incredible blessings!

That’s me, enjoying incredible blessings!

Annie’s husband Zach joined us for a ride in our favorite playground, around Bennington Lake. We pedaled our bikes from home to get there.  We are so lucky!

Zach refreshes with iced lemonade.  Yummy!

Zach refreshes with iced lemonade. Yummy!

I haven’t run for over two weeks, since the Coeur d’Alene marathon. Annie and I are trying to heal our foot injuries, before embarking on more running in preparation for the Portland marathon on October 6, 2013. It’s reputed to be an incredible experience. We have not been lying around getting lazy. Lots of biking, paddling, weight-lifting and other activities have kept us busy.  We’re loving bicycle season!

Technical riding is fun!

Technical riding is fun!

We tend to mix in single track riding, where we don’t prefer to race, with fast gravel road riding. It gives us a nice blended experience and chances to work on technical skills and cardio-vascular training. Neither of us prefer too much speed on the single track and the gravel roads allow side by side talking while riding.

Lost in time, in the zone...

Lost in time, in the zone…

Annie’s plotting her first ever open-water swim race this weekend. I think I’ll dust off the golf clubs, if I’m not too busy biking or standup paddling or ???? Life is so fun!

Wild thing!

Wild thing!

Thank you Lord for these amazing days! They just fill our hearts with joy and blood flow! Yay!

Biker chick. She loves it!

Biker chick. She loves it!

Bennington Lake

Bennington Lake on my second SUP outing.  Fun!

I love activities that blend fun people, natural beauty and enjoyable exercise together!

Little Miss Instigator! What will she think of next?

Little Miss Instigator! What will she think of next?

With my desk job, exercise is imperative for my health. Life is busy, so multi-tasking is naturally good for my soul. How else to get enough rest? The exercise gets me high and improves my chances for more time for more fun.

Mind expansion with core, balance, leg and arm work. Wellness adventure!

Mind expansion with core, balance, leg and arm work. Wellness adventure!

Mom, you were an amazing teacher of love, kindness, compassion, service and gratitude. I am lucky to have had you in my life for so many years. I hope to live your legacy and I believe that engaging in fun with my own kids is one good way to do so. I know you agree! Happy Mother’s Day! We love you!

It’s my choice!

I loved running the St. Patrick’s Day 10k footrace in Kennewick yesterday, for many reasons. It was fun to start strong and fast. My ego enjoyed passing some people along the way. My pride loved watching Annie finish with the best kick I saw, to beat out a woman who sprinted in her attempt to hold Annie off. I fed off the energy of hundreds of healthy people, assembled to celebrate the spirit of competition. I was inspired by the finely tuned bodies of the fast runners. I realized that the harder I work at it, the stronger I get, the faster I run, and the better I feel. This applies to so much more than running!

I choose to be strong, healthy, optimistic, adventurous, playful and fun. I choose effort, mental toughness, dedication, persistence and faith. I embrace challenge and resistance, just as I accept wind and rain. My spirit will soar like a sail on the sea, an eagle in flight, or a racer engaged. I will use healthy fuels to run faster, think more clearly and explore more widely.

I will enjoy this amazing gift of life, in the fullest way I can muster. I hope I always stay open to better and better ways to live!

St Pat's 10k 2013

You are what you eat! The truth of this resonates in various ways.

Eat more fruits and vegetables! This is intuitively sound and consistent advice across the field of “experts.”

So? Yesterday was a classic day, including blackberries with breakfast cereal and a pre-workout treat of mango. The day climaxed at dinner, starting with green smoothies, following a long workout on elliptical machines, weights and StairMasters. Then we enjoyed Indian butter masala stir-fry:

Indian butter masala stir fry

 

Having eaten the smoothie, which was laden with kale, spinach and banana, the broccoli and red pepper in the stir fry made for a nice balance of health. The next course took us to a new level: roasted vegetables! Brussels sprouts, asparagus, butternut squash and sweet potato fries filled our bellies the rest of the way.  I slept well and now I’m charging into a new day! Thank you Annie for feeding me so well!

Since we are what we eat, what are we?

  1. Vegetables?
  2. Nutrient-replenished athletes, ready to charge into a tempo run?

Given my work schedule, and the resultant need for stress relief, I’m voting for option number two! Knowing Annie, I believe the run is more mandatory than optional!

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…..

These legs are made for running!  Lips? Must be for kissing! Arms? Hugging, holding, lifting, swinging, etc. Eyes? Beholding beauty, seeing the way. Nose? Smelling delightful foods, flowers, etc. Hands? A wide gamut, including massaging, cooking, recording, feeling. Tongue? Well, you get the idea…

Living fully is a broad topic. Perhaps encompassing all of our time and all of our being. It may be described by the intensity of the feelings it conveys. Born of faith, raised by curiosity, fueled by intrigue and married to love, fullness suggests discovery, adventure, challenge, risk, dedication, accountability, honesty, forgiveness, appreciation and flexibility.

We’re left to find our own ways. The clues are everywhere. How does it make me feel? When do I feel truly ALIVE? Not just short-term feelings, but long-term healthy vigor. Wellness of spirit, mind and body. What steps lead to a path of fulfillment? Which sacrifices pay us back in overwhelming abundance of energy, strength, vitality, endurance and passion? Which roads lead to the person we’re truly meant to be? Who am I? When I find me, will I then find my truest and deepest joys? I am convinced the answer is yes, as the joy along the way has been tremendous!

Where does this path lead? I don’t know, but the view is amazing!

DSCN4884

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.   🙂

Annie's 21st birthday celebration!

Annie’s 21st birthday celebration!  Her husband Zach & I

My daughter Annie grew from the baby in the picture on the wall to the spunky, sparkly woman above.  She brings joy, adventure, curiosity, nutrition, exercise, humor and flavor with her every visit.  This weekend’s flavors have included kale, spinach, chocolate and coffee.  Her new Vita-mix blender churned up wonderful smoothies, frozen yogurt and frappes.  I’m feeling hydrated, energized and happy!  Do I need a super blender of my own?

Annie just started nursing school, so we got blood pressure testing and heart and lung checkups.  I got a clean bill of health, as expected, so we did a lot of weight-lifting and cardiovascular exercise at the gym.  Last night we even danced a little after a tasty dinner. How sweet it is!  🙂

Emotions can be like a roller coaster.  What if someone asks “how are you doing?”  Do you give them an automatic answer, or an honest assessment?  If you’re honest, do you give an emotional answer?  Or use a thoughtful awareness of the overall trends in your life, such as focus, open-mindedness, wellness, compassion, integrity and achievement?

I sense that things are going very well in my life.  I’m single, so I don’t enjoy the emotional highs of being in love.  I’m sober, so I don’t have the intense highs of drugs.  My kids are leaving the nest, so my focus is changing.  Yet I sense that I’m wiser, better conditioned, calmer, more centered and more accepting of who I am.  I have nostalgic moments, but I’m not losing myself in them.  I aim to do the next right things, striving to be the best possible version of myself.  I have faith that whatever else happens will thereby be good.

I went to a Christmas party this evening.  It was fun to enjoy the camaraderie, good-natured kidding, great food and friendly people.  Will my fire burn brightly?  Perhaps it depends on how well I prepare the fuel!

I’m a red-liner.  Not on a tachometer.  Rather, on my main muscle.  It frees me from stress, monotony, grumpiness and lethargy.  If I settle for aerobic training, I feel guilty and lazy.  I need my endorphins!  I like the blood flow!  I like feeling fully alive!  I like the peaceful feelings that wellness brings!  I dream of wellness for everyone!  Now you see my vision of heaven…

 

…will surely help you save your mind!  I’m engaging in more cleaning and more exercise, with a few plays of football watching, laundry, cooking and organizing.  Sound simple and boring?  Maybe, but it feels so good!  I love taking steps, however small or large, towards enhanced wellness.  It feels so good to have a cleaner home!  I love savoring endorphins in the sunshine!  I’ll cook a healthy dinner, do some more cleaning and de-cluttering and watch a fun movie!  🙂

Wellness is desirable.  It also involves big challenges.  An early challenge is recognizing what wellness is.  Physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and social components suggest a need for balance.  Opposing forces include rationalization, addiction, compulsion, pessimism, unbelief, laziness, selfishness, denial, fear, lust, greed and mental imbalance, among others.

I’m embracing new exercise strategies, and my physical health has pleased me.  I’ve practiced complete sobriety, and I feel better than I ever have!  I’ve adopted healthier eating habits, and my energy level is steadily good.  I’ve faced my fears and looked into my soul.  I make mistakes, but I learn from them.  A clear, honest mind with willingness opens wonderful doors.

Wellness illuminates the interconnectedness of all aspects of our lives.  If I wish to become more well, I must look at all aspects of my life.  Today it was the despicable condition of my home!  Our carpet was filthy!  I’d rationalized that it’d get dirty again right away, and that it was more important to exercise, read, etc.  I’d given myself permission to live in a mess, thereby blocking the path to freedom.  Today, I decided to break that mold.  I’ve learned through repetition about many ways to NOT get help from Nicholas.  Today, I was not pushy.  I just gave him opportunity to choose to do the right thing.  Surprise!  He did!  The famously messy team of Nick and Frank evolved into cleaning machines.  We swept, vacuumed, steam-cleaned, dusted, washed, folded, cleaned, recycled, replaced, donated, scrubbed, disposed, organized, put away, deodorized, wiped and re-stocked.  We embraced a new facet of wellness.  It was much-needed, and perhaps opened a path to greater wellness.  I believe it to be so.  Removing blocks opens paths to new perspectives, opportunities, growth and belief.  What other false beliefs are holding me back?

Muscles!  We want them!  We love what they do!

They lift us, they love us, they carry us through!

All kinds of adventures come streaming our way

when strong supple muscles prepare us for play!

Run faster!  Jump higher!  It’s all in the script,

lift heavy, pump often, come on, let’s get ripped!

Live better, live longer, enjoy your stay!

Trip out on endorphins and savor your days!

  1. Mind altering substances aren’t solutions.  Mind altering choices and activities are!
  2. No one ever became less sloppy, more coordinated, less promiscuous or more intelligent from drinking alcohol.  In this case, less is better.
  3. Laziness never helps a person or a society.  Entitlements are laziness defined.
  4. Integrity, cooperation, humility, persistence and creativity are often found in successful people.
  5. Nobody owes me anything, unless I’ve loaned them money.
  6. I am responsible for how my life is going.  Blame is denial, or a stifling, futile avoidance of the truth.  People do whatever they choose to do.  They have no control over my responses, unless I’m silly enough to grant it to them.
  7. I have no idea what’s happening next.  I have opportunity to respond well!
  8. I face continual choices that decide who I am.  Opportunity NEVER stops knocking!
  9. New trucks, bikes, golf clubs, televisions, clothes and other material things are rewarding.  They’re nice rewards for working hard.  They’re also like dust in the wind compared to relationships.
  10. The most fun days at work are dressing up in wild outfits for Halloween.  Someone suggested that I wish every day was Halloween! 
  11. Exercise is like breathing – don’t stop!
  12. My health is directly related to what I eat, drink, breathe, do and believe.  “Do” is a short word with a lot of impact!

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!  ( :

I feel so lucky to be enjoying good health and good weather in a lovely place.  Many things have spurred my gratitude lately, like driving to work with the windows down, sun roof open, sun shining and streaming XM music.  Driving a new rig has been very nice.  The cab is quieter.  The steering is better.  The stereo sounds better.  I am safer.  The seats are more comfortable.  It’s all good.  I appreciate the blessing.

Feeling the progress in my muscles has always been good.  I’m grateful that I’m able to do some weight lifting again now.  Chi running techniques have really opened up my running opportunities, so I’m able to run farther and more often, without pain.  Thank you Lord!  Riding my bicycle in the glorious sunshine feels like heaven to me.  Getting a tan, unloading stress and endorphin trips are nicely packaged in scenic jaunts.  Yay!

I like the recovery of my spirit, feeling faithful and optimistic, knowing in my heart that all is and will be well.  I enjoy bantering with funny people at work and at home.  It’s ironic that these are the same people who have really bothered me at times.  Is this great evidence that our happiness is derived from our spiritual well-being?  Are most of our troubles created by our own struggles with attitude?

I’m looking for ways to better my body, my job performance, my parenting, my treatment of others, my home, my office and my enjoyment of life.  I like finding ways to serve others, including sharing my bounty, opening doors, and gifting smiles.  I often recognize my egocentricity and my self-protective denials, so I can pray to keep them at bay.  As we live better, becoming more well, we shine our lights, offering example and encouragement.  It this the way of enlightenment?  The path to self actualization?  It is being all that we can be?  Is it is the way to solutions?  Does it beget creativity?  Can it foster cooperation?  Is this road to wellness?  ( :

I just remembered an inspiration I had to write about inspirations.  This blog may be the closest I get to writing a book, or my memoirs, and that’s okay.  Writing is writing!  After decades of procrastination, I can’t believe I’ve written this much.  It feels rewarding.  I recently thought that I should cut back on writing to do more reading.  Nonetheless, I want to get this idea started on the path to fruition. 

In the book of my life, many of the most important chapters are about the people who have inspired me along the way.  In various ways, they’ve helped me become a better version of myself.  My life has been blessed with many inspiring people, so there is a huge risk that I will overlook some of the most important ones.  I might take them for granted.  My life path offers chances to open up my tunnel thinking, so I’m willing to take this risk.  I’ll rectify these mistakes if I see them.  I won’t be able to talk about all the important interactions of my life.  I don’t know how many of them I even remember.  I do believe I am a reflection of where I’ve been, and the people who’ve formed me, so there may be therapeutic value in this review.  If not, then perhaps there will be pleasant memories and a resolve to take care in whom I spend my time with!

I don’t know yet whether to discuss the people who seemed to pull me down.  My fourth and fifth step of recovery dealt much with them and really, about me.  They could have been anyone. 

What about the exciting prospects of the unknown future?  I’m praying that I’m open enough to let great chapters unfold as they can!

After lifting weights for 45 minutes today, mostly with my legs, I went for a ride on my bike.  At first, my legs felt sluggish, presumably from the weight lifting.  The more I rode, the better I felt.  I actually felt my mind and legs shift into a higher gear at one point.  From then on, I engaged my abs, pulled on the handlebars and stroked the pedals with consistent power.  It was the most powerful pedaling I’ve felt from my legs in some time.  It felt so good!  ( :

A cool stream meandered through my brain just now.  Now I feel the shocking cold of an alpine lake plunge.  Ahhh….  One relaxed me, the other invigorated me.  Both offered summer delights to my imagination, as I feel the heat coming on.  Perhaps the warm, overcast night was a trigger.  No cold, relaxing air to sleep with.  Such is life! 

I just remembered an amazing dream excerpt from last night.  I walked past a yard with amazing blossoms everywhere.  All of the plants were in bloom at the same time!  Many seemed to be five foot high versions of flowers that typically grow to a foot or so.  It was surreal, yet magnificent!  Was this my spirit’s way of acknowledging the grandeur of life?  I loved that yard!  It gave me an incredible urge to meet the people who lived there.  I think I wanted to tap into their blossoming abilities!

It seems to me that all of life oozes with blessings, just waiting to be appreciated.  What do we get to learn today?  How to best spend this irrefutably lovely day?  What activities will leave us glowing at day’s end?  Which are wheel spinners?  Which detract from our wellness?  Are we well enough to consciously choose what is best?  Do we have the faith and willingness to stick to those good choices?  Perhaps spiritual wellness is somewhat complicated, yet simple.  Maybe it costs us dedication, yet is free for the taking.  Is it not true that we all have access, despite different crosses?

I hope your day is filled with smiles and blossoms!

 

Brother Dick slices North Twin Lake!

Far from the equator, we come to see

sweet summer days, as long as can be.

Just starved by winter, from needed sunlight,

so sleep in summer can be a fight

between restoration we really need

and diverse fun for which we  plead!

Pent up desires flow free and wild,

we dance and play just like a child!

 That’s if we’re open enough to be

aware of life’s blessed majesty!

Being fully alive, like a love affair,

finding contentment everywhere!

I used to see things looking bad,

but now to see, makes my heart glad!

To waste this gift, or live it well?

Easy choice?  It’s a rose I smell!

Nephew Tim sails over North Twin Lake!

 

 

frankoshanko

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

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