Monday, October 03, 2011
I agreed to be a mentor for a friend's son who is attending a challenge program run by the National Guard. He's had some run ins with the law with pot, theft, car theft (from family members) and school. With a couple of strikes against him, it was back to juvenile detention or this program.
There was no doubt this program was going to be tough as anything for him. 22.5 weeks. But when he finishes, he'll have his GED, and with 15 hours of college classes, he'll be able to get into the Navy at 17.
So, I agreed to this. The mentor had to be a non family member who cares about the kid. I've known him since right after he was born. His mom and I used to work together years ago, and have remained friends since. She had been married to his dad, but he was abusive, they divorced and she has since remarried and has two younger kids.
Unfortunately, I think he learned some bad habits from his dad - specifically the pot smoking and abuse. Recently, he actually assaulted his mom, the police were called, and he almost did not make it to the program.
The current husband has made it clear that he is no longer welcome in the house with the two small kids. I can't blame him based upon the assault.
But, you know how there are two sides to every story. Since I took on this role in July, I am seeing a fuller picture. I'm feeling like it's not just the ex-husband/father.
There's a family day coming up in four weeks. It will be the first opportunity to see him since the program officially started (last week). My friend and her current husband have season college football tickets, so are planning to go early and leave before lunch to make the game. There's a similar plan for Thanksgiving Saturday.
And, yesterday, I spent a half an hour with him and his counselor on the phone as he plead his case to leave the program. It was gut wrenching. But, it was me on the phone because the current husband will not let her talk to him because of the abuse. And, they have told him point blank that he is no longer welcome in their house. The counselor was trying to get the father, but he would not pick up the phone.
I agreed to be a mentor. And, I am trying my best. I've written him a few times, I spent a day away from my own family for training. Hell, I have even looked like the geek by sending him the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling. But, I was expecting to be backup to the two families. Not the primary point of contact.
And, I really don't know what to do if he does ultimately leave. While I want desperately to see him succeed, I, selfishly, do not want to impact my own family dynamic more than I already have. I cannot have him living with me.
I am at a loss. I am trying to prepare myself and prepare options for him. But, I feel like it is the family who should be doing this. But, it's almost as if they have washed their hands of the situation.
I would appreciate any thoughts you might have. If you don't have thoughts, prayers for the kids and his family would be good too.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Hopefully, there is a picture showing here.
I am just getting over plantar fasciitis, so I could not run yesterday. But my 13 year old son was running yesterday, so I volunteered. I was a course monitor for the Atlanta Track Club's Cartersville 10k. I was positioned right before mile 2 and a bit after mile 4. The winner had a time just over 32 minutes. My son's time was 1:06 (his prior PR was 1:22). I was so proud of him, and what was even better was that he was so proud of himself!
But, the man in the picture above was the second to the last to finish. I couldn't get the same picture of the last man because the pick up wagon was right behind him. The guy above is 80 years old and finished in 1:41. The last guy is 85! 85! With slightly bowed legs! And he finished just over 1:43.
For all of us on Sparkpeople trying to get healthy - these two guys should be our posterchildren (children - that's funny!) for inspiration.
I WANT TO BE THEM SOME DAY!!!!!!!!
Monday, September 19, 2011
I'm not recently overweight. It's been my entire life with a few, fleeting periods of being closer to normal, but still overweight. I have never been a healthy weight. I am working on getting there and plan to stay there once I do.
This blog was triggered by me adding a sparkfriend. Like me, he is 46, wants to lose 80-ish pounds, and has low self-esteem. And, it made me wonder is he's been overweight as long as I have, which made me think back to when I was much younger. I wrote about "High School Skinny" before, which I never was. But, much of my self image was shaped back in high school, and honestly, it was shaped by one song.
The Leader by The Clash - and it's one line in the song that did it -
"Now the girl let the fat man touch her, vodka fumes and the feel of a vulture."
How pathetic is it that one line in a Clash song from 1980 that was never really popular here in the United States could have such an impact on me? But, that's what did it. I have been the fat man all my life.
I am going to have to break out of that - first physically, then mentally.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Tomorrow, it will be a month since my "Come to Jesus" talk with the doctor who basically said change your diet, lower your cholesterol or you are in deep s$%t.
I have been completely committed on the diet side and still have to find the time to step up the exercise (because I am only getting in about 100-120 minutes a week). But, I have been committed. And, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, I think it was a real turning point for me. Get healthy or die. Is there really a choice?
I haven't entered my weight in a month because I want to be consistent with the doctor's scale. And, while I haven't seen Biggest Loser type numbers, I am down a good bit.
So I am looking forward to getting my cholesterol tested - to see if the oatmeal and almonds and soy and psyllium caplets and beans and blueberries and all of the other little changes that I have made are starting to pay off.
I am telling you - I will be off the cholesterol drug. I will be off the high blood pressure drug. I will continue to improve my health. I will get to a healthy weight. I will wear a "Large" shirt. I will at least make it nearly 30 years to my 75th birthday will I will be a healthy old man walking the Bermuda Walking Marathon with my wife, my kids and my kids families (if they choose to have them).
I guess I am psyched!
Thursday, September 01, 2011
The "winning" is in quotes because of the temptation/struggle brewing in me right now.
You drop the business card and win a free continental breakfast from Costco and lo and behold, I did. It's really just their angle at getting leads for corporate accounts, but all the same, I love Costco, and they were bringing free breakfast.
So, their are dozens of muffins (some looking like apple fritters, all looking delicious) and croissants and cinnabon type goodies. And, if you know Costco, they are Costco sized - huge. And, there are a few gallons of OJ, and a case or two of Yoplaits and a few bunches of bananas.
I knew it was coming. I ate my oatmeal with dried blueberries to try to avoid temptation. And, so far, I have. To participate, I did have a Yoplait (which was not the reduced fat kind but the 170 calorie kind which, as it turns out, tastes so much better than the 100 calorie low fat kind) and I grabbed a banana for later. But, I tell you, as I grabbed that banana, the icing oozing off the cinnabons and the smell of the muffins were completely intoxicating.
I am in a battle of wills right now. But it is me vs. me. One of us is going to win out.
I want it but don't need it. If it weren't there, I wouldn't want it. I am fairly confident the "want to be healthy" me will win this battle. But, I know one thing, I am keeping my business card out of those fishbowls in the future unless it is for some non-food item. I want to avoid the temptation.
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