Saturday, September 11, 2010
Woke up this morning and the phrase "what I do, I do by grace" was circling around in my head. At the time, it all made sense - a linear train of thought.
From "Today is 9/11" to
"Why do bad things happen?" to
"Life is too short / It's Autumn already" to
"What do we leave behind?"
from there, my brain skipped to "what I do, I do by grace".
Life is a gift from God; what I do with it is my gift to God.
Grace - the abundant outpouring of love, showering me like warm rain. A reminder that I have everything I need to be happy, but it's my obligation to appreciate that.
PS - The phrase came from "Bare to the Bone" on the album "Age of Possibilities" by Carrie Newcomer. I've been listening to her since 1980, when she was a young doe-eyed coffee shop singer in Indiana. She just keeps getting better, and her lyrics more evocative.
You took me in when I was hungry
When my spirit ached and groaned.
Laid wide open and defenseless
And bare to the bone.
So, when I rise, I rise in glory
If I do, I do by grace
Time will wash away these footprints
And we'll leave without a trace.
Between here and now and forever
Is such precious little time.
What we do in love and kindness
Is all that we leave behind.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
August was a difficult month. I was either fully on or fully off. It was either easy or impossible to make myself exercise. I made 22 of 31 days. That's more missed workouts than in the previous 4 months combined. The number of workouts was down, the number of minutes was down, the number of miles was down. My average heartrate for those workouts was higher, so I pat myself on the back for working harder when I did make it.
I try not to beat myself up when I fall short. I'm a pretty forgiving guy. That sometimes makes it hard to hold myself accountable. I remind myself that I don't want to live with the consequences, slower weight loss and more anxiety. The numbers are not a judgement of my worth as a person; they are measurements to help me reach my goals. I did manage to stay in the right calorie band, preventing weight gain.
I've noticed a positive cycle when using exercise to fight depression and anxiety. The exercise diminishes the two, which increases my desire to exercise, which further reduces both, and so on. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. When I don't make myself exercise, the symptoms don't get better, which makes it harder to make myself exercise. It doesn't help that the drug prescribed for anxiety is also all or nothing. Either I take a little, and don't notice any effect, or I take a little more, and I feel wonderful, but only have the energy to sit around for hours feeling wonderful :-). Lately, I've been taking none, and trying to channel the nervous energy to productive uses. I have the former down; the latter is a struggle.
# of Workouts: 29
Days with Workouts: 22
Minutes of Workouts: 1,556
Running Miles: 98.2
Bike Miles: 10.76
Stepper/Elliptical Miles: 7.96
Total Miles: 129.92
Ave. Workout BPM: 131
Median Peak Workout BPM: 152
Workout Heartbeats: 167,418.
Now to work on having a better September.
Saturday, September 04, 2010
In my rush to get to the fitness center, I forgot the barcoded tag I needed. You'd think that after seeing me nearly every day at the same times, they'd just wave me in. Nope. They've gotta look me up in the computer, see that my account is active, and compare the picture on file to me.
The guy manning the front desk asked my last name. I spelled it for him, since it's not a common name, but sounds like one.
"First name?" I spelled that for him as well. You wouldn't believe what some people hear when I say "Paul". "Ball?" "No, Paul, P-A-U-L".
"I'm not seeing you here."
He looks up.
"Did you used to have a beard and weigh a lot more?"
"Uh, yeah, 42 pounds since I joined in April."
"Wow, good job! You look completely different!"
Sunday, August 29, 2010
I ran the Kings Powder Keg trail run 8/28/2010. It was a blast! Folks were friendly, the weather cooperated, and I finished.
Well, it was advertised as a 5K. The final measurement showed 3.5 miles! I naively expect the 'trail run' to be like running the Little Miami Scenic River Trail, a 9 ft wide paved bike path that is essentially flat. Nope, the start and finish were paved, but the best of the rest was packed dirt - there was also loose rubble, a tree trunk to climb over, roots and sticks, and at least 3 sets of stairs.
I was talking to the family about how hilly it was, and they thought I was making excuses. Then I checked the www.usatf.org/routes/view.asp?rID=38
6844 US ATF course map. 870 ft of elevation changes! For what it's worth, I ran a 12:59 pace, so I can sound runnerish and say "a sub-13" - 45:26. My first goal was to finish, my second to finish in the 30's, and my third to finish under 48 minutes. Two out of three ain't bad.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The scale is hovering around 180-182, toying with me. Three pounds to lose, and two weeks to lose it. Time to get strict and adhere to my Spark plans more tightly.
I did have a Woo Hoo! moment today. Sorting through my closet, I found a set of suits from back when I pretended to be a responsible adult. I tried a couple of them on - and they fit!
I bought those suits in 1994, wore them for a year, then changed jobs. I had them dry cleaned, and hung them up, and they've been waiting ever since! When I started Spark Mar 2010, my dress pants were 38-40, and my jeans 38. These pants are 34's and fit fine! My jeans in 36 are started to slide into the moon region - a pair of 34's that were too small for my youngest son fit well.
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