Day 191 – A Little More Info

2013.08.31 SaturdayI posted earlier today about falling behind and now I want to add some more info about my day.

This day was amazing.  We spent the day doing our usual Saturday stuff and decided going to church in the afternoon would be a good idea.

But before we left for the service, out of the blue, I strapped on my tennis shoes and my headphones and went for a run.  I haven’t hit the pavements for quite a while.  In fact, it was before we went to Colorado.  But while we were there, my friend Dan taught me about the Zen of running.

So, I decided to give it a try.  I didn’t break any land-speed-records but I did run 3.58 miles on one of the hottest days of the summer.  It felt great!

After a cool shower, we loaded the car and made our way to church where, as usual, we were touched by the content, moved by the music and challenged by the message.

Now that we are empty-nesting, we don’t have any more obligations at home so we went from church to the movie theater where we watched “The Butler”.  WOW.  I’ll say it again, WOW!  This movie is so deep with talent and the story line is so rich.  Think, FOREST GUMP meets THE HELP…only better on both counts.

It was a great day.  I ate well (not meaning that I stuffed myself but that I made good choices) and increasing my Niacin and Fish Oil.  Combine that with my running and I’ll have my cholesterol under control within a week or two!

Day 126 – Keep It Rollin’

2013.06.27It’s Thursday. This week I’ve run two times, hit the pool once and mowed once.  I’ve worked my butt off in the office, completed one sleep study and three home visits.  I even drove to Winchester twice.

I’ve left early each day and returned home late each night.

It’s Thursday and I still have a smile on my face.  It’s been quite a week.

I’m still down to 205 lbs and can see a bright future of good eating, lots of moving and more weight loss.

1/3rd of the way through my year and I’m chugging right along!

Day 117 – SkyFall

2013.06.1713 hours of work.  That’s what I did today.  I put in 13 stinking hours of work.  Granted, my work isn’t as hard as, say, a ditch digger or a Registered Nurse.  My job is mostly pushing papers and driving to patient homes to talk to them about their CPAP needs.  But it’s still a long time to spend doing something other than what I want to do.

What do I want to do?  Anything other than work.

But I will say that my mobile office (my car) does provide some amazing views.  For instance, tonight’s sky was breath-taking.

I will miss that view when I have to move to a more permanent office space. So I’ll enjoy it for now and stop complaining about the long days.

Day 112 – How Does Your Garden Grow?

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The garden is looking good. Lettuce, carrots, peppers and tomatoes are growing very well.

I am happy to report that today was a EXCELLENT day.  It started when I stepped on the scales and they shouted out that I’m down to 206 lbs!  And this was after breakfast!  I am very excited about this as I am ready to start seeing a change.  I’ve worked hard on so many areas of my life and am determined that this will be one of them.

I laced up my shoes and went for a run.  I covered 2 miles in 25 minutes.  Not exactly record-breaking but it felt pretty good.  However, I now believe my problem with my left knee is not my hamstring but my ACL.  Even though I took my time with the jog, it is still a little tender this evening.  I think I’ll have to give it a little rest and try something not as strenuous.  Perhaps I’ll just ride the stationary bike for a few days and do some other exercising.

I puttered with our garden this morning, trimming the tomatoes, arranging our potted vegetables and pulling the two or three weeds that are growing in the square foot garden we’ve created.  Everything looks very good.  Even though its early June, we’ve harvested a few peas, there are tomatoes on the vine, the cucumbers have flowers, and the lettuce has been feeding us for more than a month.  The onions look fantastic and I believe we’ll have full sized as well as little green onions grace our table this year.

The garden is an amazing thing.  With a little work, we see beautiful results.  We plant the seeds and with some water and warmth, they sprout into living plants that grow and produce fruit all season long.

That’s the idea behind this Journey to 50.  I’m planting seeds of health and wellness in my heart and mind.  I’m tending the soil of my body and soul.  I’m starting to see a healthier attitude spring up and am excited about the end result; not because I’m there, but because the possibility is so obvious.  The fruits of my labor are just around the corner.  Each day I see progress:  A little growth here, a little pruning there, a little weed pulling, a little watering…And soon, very soon, it will be something to be proud of.

How does your garden (body, mind and soul) grow?

Day 102 – Hard Work, Easy Rest

My feet are up and I'm trying to enjoy a rough and tumble game 7.
My feet are up and I’m trying to enjoy a rough and tumble game 7.

After a week off work, it was tough to go back this morning.  I didn’t realize how tired I was until I hit the floor and tried to be productive.  I gave that up pretty early.

When I arrived home, my wife and I went for a run.  I covered 1.65 miles in 20 minutes.  It isn’t anything stellar, but I’m making progress and was able to run more than I walked and drove down my time by a minute or two.

We decided to watch the Pacers play Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals and even before half-time we knew the game was over.

I’m heading to bed and there’s no stopping me.

Day 87 – Walk A Mile in My Shoes

2013.05.19This was a very good weekend for work-outs and physical activity.  Friday offered the opportunity to mow my yard and get another 3+ miles in.  Saturday was the start of my Couch to 5K program with 1.5 miles of walking and jogging.  Sunday meant extremely sore thighs and the desire to mow my yard again (I swear I can see it growing) and another 3.25 miles of push mowing.

We ate well (I mean we made good choices) and worked until I was too pooped to move.

All-in-all, it was a fantastic few days and so, as I sit on my patio, watching the sunset, I can say with pride that I worked hard and deserve these 10 minutes of rest.  But while I’m here, I think I’ll brush up on my newest language; Spanish.

That’s right, Sports Fans, I’m starting to learn Spanish.  I think by this time next year I should be fluent enough to order a glass of water and a loaf of bread.

Day 75 – Weird Day But Good

2013.05.08There is no other way to say it:  Today was weird but good.

I started my morning, not with a walk but with a drive.  I made a trip to Muncie to visit a family member in the hospital.  Together we talked about doctors, medicine, this hospital stay and what future health might look like.  It was a good visit.

From there, I drove to pick up equipment from a patient’s home.

By the time I landed back at my own house, it was early afternoon and I hadn’t even started on anything productive or restful…the two hallmarks of a day off.

After changing into my shorts and grubby shoes, I hit the yard with a vengeance.  I trimmed edges, I mowed thick grass, I shoveled and wheeled mulch.  I glued my side-view mirror back on my car.  I planted Azaleas and my wife’s Mother’s Day gift; a new Lilac bush.

In short, I worked by butt off for seven solid hours.  So, it felt good to finally land on the back porch amidst the fruits of my labor.  I sipped on some Honey Mead and enjoyed the quiet neighborhood and the slowly setting sun.

It was a weird day:  A little family time, a little work drive, and a lot of yard work.  In the end, it turned out just fine, even without the walk to get it started.

Day 60 – Monday, Monday, Monday

2013.04.22Some days are very productive.

This wasn’t one of those days.  But that doesn’t mean the day was bad.  It just wasn’t perfect.  In fact, when I think about it, the day was better than good.  The day was GREAT!

It started slow with our monthly meeting with our financial adviser who helped us learn about all the money we don’t have.  Next, I went to my first home visit where the patient decided he didn’t want a visit after all.  I suspected my day might be one of THOSE Mondays.

Thankfully, the day got better.  I had a great lunch with my friends/co-workers, got some good file work done and completed another home visit later in the evening.

At 7:30 I was on my way north and enjoying the fantastic weather.

Now I’m ready for bed.  But first, being true to my Journey, I willl drink three glasses of water, do 10 sit ups, 10 push ups and get in a good 15 minutes of meditation before I hit the hay.  That’s a good way to end a great day!

Day 56 – A Lost Soul

2013.04.18The hospital where I work is making some changes to the halls.  There is a new coat of paint and fresh colors in every direction.  They are also updating many of the signs.  As such, new directional signs and safety warnings are posted about.

But the signs aren’t all complete.  For example, this picture to the left.

Despite this sign’s intent, I am unaware of where I am and I have no idea where I’m going.  I do not feel reassured about my odds of surviving an emergency.

In the first 56 days of my Journey to 50, I’ve felt like this from time to time.  I’ve wanted to know where I am and where I’m going.  I need to know how to navigate my way out of the fat and fatigue that endangers my life.  I want to move from the emergency and into safe territory.

You can’t get to a better place if you don’t truly know from where you are starting.  And so, today I will re-evaluate my “starting place”.  I’m not going to look back to February because things have changed since then.  The landscape is different.  The Journey has taken me to a different place.  Instead, I’ll look at where I am today and where I need to go to be in the best mental, physical and spiritual place I can be.

Day 47 – Time Change Crazy

2013.04.09Let’s face it…I am pooped.

Having survived the Daylight Savings Shift just a few weeks ago, I just lived in Central time for 9 days and now have to shift back again!

My internal clock doesn’t know if I should wake up late or go to bed late.

In reality, I shouldn’t do either.  I’m an early morning riser by nature.  I hit the sack early and rise before the robins begin their song.

But this week is dragging by.  My body doesn’t like it.  My head is confused.  My eyes can barely stay open!

I really think it’s just time for a nap.

Day 45 – Starting….NOW!

2013.04.07Okay, I’ll be honest.  My Journey to 50 has fallen off the track just a bit.  I’m eight weeks into this process of changing my life and I’m just as fat as I was 45 days ago.  In fact, I’m actually one pound heavier.  Weighing in after vacation, I’m now at 211 pounds.

Oh, sure, I’ve grown as a person.  I’ve learned more about art and positivity.  I’ve read books and taken nature walks.  I’ve experienced life and all its many wonderful colors and flavors.

But vacation ended yesterday.  TODAY it is back to the real world.  NOW…and I mean NOW!  everything changes.  NOW I start moving.  NOW I start exercising.  NOW I start eating like a rabbit six days a week and enjoying life’s bounty on the seventh.  NOW I’m on my complete journey.  Mind, Spirit, Soul AND Body.  I’m going to move until I sweat.  I’m going to do Yoga, Power 90 and Kickboxing (well, maybe not all three at the same time).  NOW is the time to start.

NOW.

Day 41 – A Walk in Space

Two thumbs up for this wonderful trip and the Space Center.
Two thumbs up for this wonderful trip and the Space Center.

Today’s travels gave us the opportunity to visit the Space Center of Houston and it was well received by all!

From the time I was a boy, space travel was one of those dreams that longed to be fulfill.  Not enough, of course to actually pursue a career in engineering or military.  I didn’t want to do the work, I just wanted to enjoy the ride.

A visit to the Space Center didn’t diminish my desire to experience the deep darkness of space.  It did help me understand better the amazing talents and skills of the men and women who have made space exploration possible for all humanity.

Through their courage and sacrifice, astronauts have pushed the envelop and entered a new frontier.  Through their brilliance and never-say-die attitude, engineers and scientists have opened new horizons through amazing technical advancements.

I accept the fact that I may never rocket off into space.  I might not be lucky enough change the course of history through my critical thinking.  I’m okay with this reality.  But I would like to think that my life, my words, my actions will make a difference to a small group of men and women – those who orbit my life on a daily basis.  I like to think that a kind word, a gentle touch, a warm smile can alter the trajectory of the lives close to me.

I know I don’t burn hot, like a Saturn V rocket but my goal is to last as long as the Voyager I, and perhaps make the same long-lasting impression.

Day 36 – Ready to Travel

2013.03.29
The bags are packed.

We’re heading out the door for a Spring Break journey.  I love to travel because it provides new experiences and discoveries and this trip promises to offer so much and more!

But traveling poses a difficult problem: I can’t take everything I might need for my journey.

I’ve made my list and checked it twice but believe there are at least 30 more items that need to come along.  Unfortunately, I can’t fit them all into my bags and they must stay home.

Sure, I have my camera.  Of course I have my laptop.  But I would benefit from a walking stick and my seven seasons of West Wing.  I would love to bring a bottle opener and family pictures.  No meal is complete without my home-made tomato jelly.  We buy only the best toilet paper…but sadly these things must stay home.

It give new meaning to the phrase, you can’t take it with you.

And so I ask, if you could only pack one bag, what would YOU bring along?  What are the items that you have to have and can’t live without?  What are the things that must be on your packing list?

The answer, of course, is that some things matter.  Some things don’t.  Some things we must have and others are desirable but not required.

Life is a journey and it’s time to surround ourselves with the things that matter and let go of the things that simply slow down our travel.

Day 35 – We’re All A Little Different

2013.03.28This morning we started a little test at work.  Someone wrote an “8” on the white board in the kitchen.  And based on the opinion of everyone in the room, they did it wrong.  They started on the right and pulled their pen down and around.

The next person picked up the pen to show how they drew the “8”.  It was started the other direction and wrapped around itself.

The third person drew two circles.

The fourth had an entirely different angle and path to their numeral.

Before we were done, seven employees drew their “8’s” and each and every one, without exception, was different from the one before.

It’s the reality of life, isn’t it?  A favorite diet book suggests that every person eat the same thing and they will benefit from the plan.  We drive similar cars.  We wear similar clothes.  We use similar toothpaste.  But in the end, we all do things differently.  Our food is cooked with more or less oil, salt or flavor.  Our driving pattern is faster, slower, safer or more dangerous.  Our shirts are wrinkled or ironed, tucked in or hanging out.

Each one of us is unique.  And that’s a good thing.  The secret is not to worry about confirming to an expected norm.  The secret is to be who we are created to be and be the best possible person within our power.

Your eight might not fit the standard numeral system…but then again, there might not even be a standard system.

That idea could change everything.

Day 34 – Getting Ready for Taste

2013.03.27Our garden, though frozen solid, is doing quite well in the windows of our home.

My wife is planning ahead. She is taking the time to plant seeds, water the plants, and prepare for a bountiful harvest later this summer.

Do we have tilled soil now?  No.

Do we have red, ripe tomatoes now?  Of course not.

Do we enjoy fresh produce on our table in March?  I wish.

The point isn’t that we have it now.  The point is that we are preparing for the future.

I’m working on losing 1/2 pound a week to prepare for my future.  I want to be fit, not because it serves me right this minute but because I will reap the benefits for years to come.

My body will enjoy the benefits of the change but it will take time.  What I eat today prepares me for what I will be later.

How I move this morning will result in a change down the road.

We do things today and sometimes we enjoy the benefits immediately.  But more often than not, our actions today are preparing us for the future.

Some day this summer I’ll pick a red, ripe tomato from the vine.  But that day will never come if we don’t tend the garden today.

Day 29 – Smart People

2013.03.22I’ve had a great privilege of working with really smart people.  It makes going to work every day a joy.

Today was a great opportunity to set around the table with a dozen brilliant scientists, statisticians, and researchers.  We discussed a new research study, the details of the science, and the action that will need to take place to make it a reality.

The meeting only lasted 55 minutes but it set a fantastic tone for the next two-and-a-half years of research.

I’ve never been known as a bright man.  It’s true.

Funny? Yes.  Sincere?  Usually.  Loving and honest?  Always.  A man of science?  Never.  But surrounded by these men and women of studies and science, these amazing people of knowledge and training, gives me a sense of pride.

The journey through this next year will require diet changes, increased activity, renewed spirit and energy and an effort to surround myself with brilliant people.  Perhaps a little of their smartness will rub off on me.

Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?