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Life lesson

Friday, September 26, 2014

I got to the gym 15 minutes early today. I was really excited that I would get an extra 15 minutes on the treadmill. I chugging along at 38 minutes, keeping a decent (for me) average pace of 5.1 mph, happily listening to Pandora. And, then I get two texts from my son. He had just gotten to cross country practice and realized he forgot his shower stuff - towel, shampoo, soap. Is there any chance I could bring it? He would plan to "mooch" off of others.

I don't know about anyone else. But, if my kids have any reasonable request (not for material things), and it is within my control, I will do it. I may be pissed off, and mumble and grumble to myself about it, but I will do it. So, pissed off Jack shuts down the treadmill, wipes it down, drives 10 minutes home, looks for the bag of stuff, bags not there, grabs a white trash bag, put the stuff in it, wants to make sure it is identifiable (because I have to leave it outside at school), grabs a vitamin water zero and ties it to the bag, texts son that he's on his way and what the bag looks like, drives 15 minutes to school, gets out to drop off the bag, ends up having to talk to the coach for 10-15 minutes, drives 15 minutes home texting son at a red light that it is there and where it is, all the while being pissed off that my workout got screwed up (thinking that I would try to not be pissed off and tell him he owes me a 15-30 minutes walk with me), and arrives home to read the following text:

"Got it! Thank you so much dad! Love you! Best dad in the whole wide world!"

And there is my life lesson. Had I seen him dropping off the bag, I would have been pissy. And, I would not have gotten that text or that reaction. So, my life lesson (and I have known it but had no concrete evidence to support it) is to breathe before I react.

In the past, my weight loss efforts have been a race. And, if I got off track, I failed. This time, I have been trying to approach it with being satisfied with .5-1 pounds a week. If it takes me a couple of years to get where I am ultimately headed, I will get there. I wasn't applying that philosophy this morning when I was pissy about having my workout interrupted. But that text from my son - that was just proof to me that if I keep heading down the path I am now on, I will get there. And, I will appreciate the journey.

Sappy Jack now realizes that I will get that extra 15 minutes another day. But, getting a text like that is ultimately so much better for my health than the portion of the workout that I gave up this morning.

So, learn from me. Breathe before you react. You will likely be a much happier person.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEKOCHARM 9/30/2014 12:57AM

    Wow... Thanks for sharing that! I really needed to read it today. Breathe before reacting. I think I'm going to print that out in big letters and stick it on my white board! Because I'm SO GUILTY of this one. emoticon

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NETGYRL 9/28/2014 12:12AM

    This is a very good lesson to learn. I am a definitely "reactor" to little irritations. I don't hold on to them but I do "go off" for a bit, when it would be much healthier to just breathe first. :) Thanks for the reminder.

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ZAFTIGDIOSA 9/26/2014 4:56PM

    So perfectly put! We all get so fixated on our routine that the second something is thrown in the mix, like always, we get frustrated, pissy and angry. Just stepping back and taking that breath and realizing that ALL things no matter how small, are working for our good, will allow us to take things with a better attitude. Or at the least, get out of the crappy mood quicker.

Your story was a perfectly simple example of happiness, sacrifice, frustration and then to gratitude, which is the best place to end. Great job Dad!

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    So kind of our good God to orchestrate the circumstances to give you an opportunity to have a different perspective of the events! Also wonderful to have an appreciative son!!!

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ADARKARA 9/26/2014 10:38AM

    So. Dang. True. I am guilty of reacting first. Despite your plans being changed, it sounds like you still started your day off right. =)

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HADESKITTEN 9/26/2014 9:41AM


This is a great life lesson and one that I constantly try to keep reminding myself of too.

Life always seems to get in the way of our plans.. so we just need to figure out the way around it. :)

Best of luck to you!

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"He'll regret it till his dying day, if ever he lives that long."

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Quiet Man - How can you not love that movie? But, I'm feeling a bit like that line right now. Feeling a little emboldened by the progress I have been making, but like I am idiot at the same time.

I just signed up for another Half. Thanksgiving morning so I can "Earn your turkey." Both my kids wanted to do it, so when I signed them up, I signed myself up too. And, for good measure, I saw there was a 10-miler a month earlier (10/26), so I signed up for that too.

I don't know. I think I may have turned a corner - that maybe this really is becoming a lifestyle. I truly hope this is not just some temporary fluke because I am liking this urge to do more.

I am still going down at just a half pound to a pound a week. But, if I am still heading in the right direction a year from now, 26 pounds lighter still, I'll be a happy man.

"Woman of the house! Where's me tea?!?!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZAFTIGDIOSA 9/26/2014 4:37PM

    Two runs are a fluke. Signing up every chance you get to run, now that's a REAL lifestyle change from your SOUL outward. You are a runner. A marathon runner at that. I know you say you jog but that's a runner's spirit to even have the audacity to keep doing all of these runs. Every ounce you're dropping is allowing your True Self to break out of that shell called a body. KEEP LETTING HIM OUT! I'm so proud of you!
Oh, and by the way, on a previous blog you said you have only one real talent which is remembering countless lines from movies. Well, you can add marathon runner to that list! SERIOUSLY!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/26/2014 4:42:04 PM

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    Well, I've never seen the movie...never even heard of it before this...

To a recovering "couchaholic", running still seems a lifetime away...I am just glad to be walking and building up my distance a bit. I am actually discouraged that I am only up to about 1.5 miles walking. I think if I had to, I could push it to two, but I'm carrying too much weight and still dealing with a lot of low back pain and foot stress...There is a 3.9 mile "Freedom Trail walk" through my town on Saturday, and I know it is just too far to attempt yet....Gonna have to make it a goal for next September though!

Congrats on all you have accomplished...I'm looking forward to feeling like I've turned the corner on this "lifestyle" change myself!

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MICKEYMAX 9/25/2014 1:30PM

    I've long loved that movie. Family tradition. Here'sa stick to beat the lovely lady!

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WEWRTFO 9/25/2014 1:27PM

    Sounds like your progressing very well. Congratulations! I can relate to the hope of being able to physically turn the corner. As the weight comes off eating through good nutrition it takes a lot of patience for the body to catch up to what our minds want it to do. There is nothing wrong with testing the limits, finish both these marathons, great! If there is a minor setback still a little work to do, no problem. Consistency and steady progress is key and your doing a great job at that. emoticon emoticon

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    Every step toward progress counts!!! AND I'm always impressed any time anyone does a half marathon!!!

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MOONIUS 9/25/2014 11:51AM

    Fantastic attitude! Sounds like a new you!

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ADARKARA 9/25/2014 11:42AM

    While I don't love that movie (maybe I should rewatch it and fall in love), my dad did, so it holds a special place in my heart. He made a point to watch it every year on St. Patrick's Day, and even owned it on DVD.

As for your running, I think it's fantastic! Plus it gets you and the kids out of the way of the cooking! There is no way in hell I will ever run a half. I don't even want to do a 5k. I hate running so much, lol. I would do a mud run if I had a group of friends going, though!

I think you're doing fantastic!


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Tortoise and Hare Trail Half Marathon - Done!!!!!!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Last weekend, I was still registered for this Trail Half Marathon. My daughter was not, but wanted to be. I had signed up back in late April/early May with hopes of setting a goal and finishing the event. I have been running and walking, but realized that I was in no way ready to do the race. So, on August 31, I went on line to see if I could transfer my registration to my daughter. And, I found that August 31 was the last day to do that. So I searched on line, and could not find the transfer registration forms.

Since I really absolutely hate returning things to stores (I think because I anticipate conflict and don't want to deal with it), I handled this the way I would a return I didn't want to do. I kept my registration and registered my daughter. My daughter was exceptionally excited to be running it, and I caught a little of that fever. So, despite not being ready, I decided I was going to do it.

You know those days that you wake up, and you absolutely do not want to work out, but you do anyway. Then you finish and you feel so good about what you have done. Increase that exponentially.

I finished that god awful race. The winning time on a normal road half is usually 1:18-1:20. The winning time for this one was 1:53. That should give you some indication of just how bad it was. Horrendous hills. Mud everywhere (not man made). Constant ankle rolls on roots and rocks. But dang I AM PROUD OF MYSELF!!!!! I honestly could not be happier that I did it.

And the bonus - I did it with my daughter who finished in 2:40! If you have read any of my blogs, you will know I am a complete wuss of a guy about my family. I would take spending time with them over anything. In this race, tortoises (me) started at 8:00 (me) or 8:30, with hares starting at 9:00, 9:30 (my daughter) or 10:00, with the goal of finishing around noon. I ran with my Pandora station, which is mostly The Clash, Dropkick Murphy's, The Saw Dcotors, Steve Earle, John Hiatt, and a weird mix like that. Toward the end of mile 11, the song "Gracie" by Ben Folds (
5o) comes on. The song always gets to me because my daughter is Maggie Grace. And, the emotions of the race are getting to me (I am almost 4 hours into it at that point). Toward the end of the song, I feel a tap on my shoulder. It's my daughter, Maggie, passing me, and she shouts, "Great job, dad!" She kept going, finishing strong. Fortunately, I was sweating like a dog because of the effort, heat and humidity, so no one would have been able to tell my tears were not sweat.

At the end, because of the 12:00 target time, everyone was still there. The party was still going. I could not sit down for fear of not being able to get back up. But, some guy who was there for his wife asked me about it and asked if I would do another. I really surprised myself when I answered "absolutely."

Me at the start -

My daughter and I post-race

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUEANGEL2293 9/23/2014 8:55PM

    You did a really good thing. You and your daughter look great in your post race photo.


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SWEETNEEY 9/23/2014 10:13AM

    I know what you mean exactly. emoticon

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FREEDOMSEEKER83 9/11/2014 1:18PM

    way to go... I'm working my ass off to be at the place in the near future. You got this and you are amazing

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ZAFTIGDIOSA 9/10/2014 3:53PM

    You are such an inspiration! Because of you, I started looking at races going on at the end of the year in Georgia and I am determined to do my first one. I'm thinking something very simple like a 5K would be a good start since I have never done one before. I know I can do it. I love seeing your pics and reading an awesome story like this one you just shared. They inspire me to just go for it. I don't have to wait to be at a certain number, I can do it now. Challenge myself for growth.
You are the BEST!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ADARKARA 9/8/2014 4:39PM

    how awesome!!!

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    Awesome stuff! Glad for you that you followed through!

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LANINJALOCO 9/8/2014 9:15AM

    You rock! emoticon

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OCD, Fitbit and striking a balance - Anyone else have issues?

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I love numbers. On the treadmill, I can occupy my time doing the math of "if I speed up to here for x minutes, then ..." So, when I got a Fitbit, I was ecstatic. And, I love my Fitbit. But I have to say, I hate my Fitbit too.

On days that I run, I'll get 12-14,000 steps. But, I am trying to do strength training too. So, on a day like yesterday, I did 45 minutes of lower body. I ended up at 6,500 steps for the day. As a number guy, it kills me because I didn't hit 10,000, and it brings my average down.

It bothers me because I know how good strength training is for me, but I find myself thinking that I will shorten my strength training so I can get a couple of miles in.

I almost feel like I need to go cold turkey and give up the Fitbit. Is there anyone else out there as screwed up as me, and what have you done to find that balance?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I know what you mean, I hate when my numbers are low too! LOL I have started interval jogging every other day with strength training but on strength days I do walk the 10,000 steps as well...gotta get my minimum!!! Maybe try adding a cardio circuit to your strength workout like stepping or jogging in place between sets? That might help if you aren't already doing that.

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ACHIEVECHI 9/18/2014 12:21PM

    I am new to Fitbit and it is hard to swallow the numbers they assign. I lowered my goal to 8,000 and have hit that number once. But I get ooooo so close most days. Ha!

And it feels good when the darn thing zaps me that I've made goal (8,000). And on that day, I let myself off the hook. Know what happened? I hit 10,000 without realizing it.

My recco? Reduce your goal on Fitbit. That way you still have it tracking the "numbers" for you, but it won't taunt you.

I'll send a friend request via have your head on straight! I like that you have goals that are long lasting and include your family.

Have a great day!

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Couldn't bite my tongue and now I feel like s#$t

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I normally keep my mouth shut when something pisses me off on Facebook. But, today, I couldn't do it.

The post started with "Why is every high school coach I meet, except for soccer, fat?" Then the comments started - a sarcastic "because they are victims if post career slowed metabolism." "Victims of the American diet." "Not victims - they choose to eat poorly." "I'm have a gluten allergy and I am (for the most part) vegan. My options are limited, surely, but it's about self control." "They're carb addicts. Carb addicts will be carb addicts (and likely fat) until they choose otherwise."

Then this beauty "Soccer is the sport where your totally fit. All of my sons soccer coaches European, are fit. Even the soccer coaches at (Blocked to protect the b$tchy) HS are fit. From what can see. I do not respect or will ever have my son take direction or criticism from an over weight fat coach Who cannot keep up with his team conditional wise. Most of your football players are big and fat and unhealthy. Makes complete sense to me."

At the risk of losing a friend (who clearly sees me as a lesser person due to my weight), I let loose. "Pretty brutal exchange here. Commentary on fat people disguised as as a commentary on coaching. No self control. Not worthy of respect. Perhaps the side effects of a vegan, gluten free diet and a cross fit exercise routine are condescension and becoming judgmental and the ability to only view what's on the surface. But as a fat person who continues to struggle with my weight on a daily basis, I recognize my opinions will have no value in this semi public forum. If every kid who plays a sport went on to play professionally, a coach's value and contribution might be limited to the sport itself, but those "fatties," often unpaid and giving of their time, might be able to offer our young men and women other qualities in addition to the sport specific guidance they need."

Now, I feel like a complete a55hole. I am disappointed in myself for allowing myself to stoop to their level. And, honestly, I am disappointed that I feel like an a55hole for sharing my view.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUEANGEL2293 9/23/2014 9:03PM

    I had no idea when I blogged about my meltdown that you had one too. No wonder you gave me such good ideas how to fix the damage that had been done.

I appreciate you . Thanks so much.

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ZAFTIGDIOSA 9/10/2014 3:45PM

    I am so glad you spoke up and you did it so eloquently. People who have not been in this position have no idea what it's like, especially when you are actually on the path and you essentially have a much healthier lifestyle than those we who are called fit simply because they are slim. It takes a lot to jump in and speak your peace about a subject you actually are well versed in with a group of people who think they know so much and can't be told anything. I'm sooooo glad you said what you said. I wish you hadn't felt like crap afterwards because you said what needed to be said and you did it in the best way possible. People won't ever know unless they are told. Thank you for that. Keep speaking up.

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TJOHNOCONNOR 8/27/2014 11:49AM

    It can be difficult to remain decorous with crass people. As far as the A-hole thing goes I'm sure you are not. I think of all the times someone said something inappropriate to me and I called it on them. Then they call me a D-Head for feeling insulted and tell me I cant talk to them that way and they storm off never to be heard from again. Mark Twain said: Don't argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

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ADARKARA 8/27/2014 10:41AM

    Very, VERY well said! I think humans by nature are judge-y. As a FFP (Formerly Fat Person) I definitely see overweight people in a different light than someone who's never been heavy. But I am much quicker to judge people who choose to eat a restricted diet for terrible, terrible reasons. (eg, people who eat Paleo just because early man ate that way. There's nothing wrong at all with the Paleo diet, but eat it because it's a relatively healthy way to eat, not because humans ate that way a million years ago.)

I don't think you're an A55hole at all!

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