Category Archives: and soul

Body, Mind, and Soul

Quote-439-300x300When I first started this blog several years ago the original title of the blog was “Body, Mind, and Soul”, so today I am going to go back to that pattern for this post. There are lessons that I am learning along this Road To Glaveston;  some new, some old with renewed strength. So with this being my first post in over a week, I feel somewhat refreshed and not nearly as over-whelmed in writing this morning. I like the tri-concept of body, mind, and soul; it seems to weave a really beautiful tapestry of life.

Body- Physically last week I was to have a recovery week in my workout routine. If recovery was the goal, I acheived that. I had two scheduled days of rest and ended up with 3 rest days. There were three workouts that were my highlights, each for different reasons. My swim workout was awesome this week, I really enjoy getting into the pool. I wouldn’t have ever thought that swimming would become so enjoyable. For me to come full-circle in swimming is a big deal! My favorite run this week was Saturday’s Fridgid Five in Edmond. We did this event with my brother in law. He wanted to do a run to celebrate his 70th birthday, so we had a nice dinner out with them on Friday and met them for the run on Saturday.  Jim has been a lifelong runner and has done the Boston Marathon a couple of times too. I know my wife felt good about doing that with him too. She feels like her mom would have been proud to see them running together. The bike ride on Sunday at the lake was really relaxing, it was to be 90 minutes of riding just for enjoyment. I put in my headphones and did lake laps. It was refreshing too, helped me to get my head clear.  Hopefully with the recovery week I will be able to hit this week  in full gear. We will cap the coming week off with a good trip to Austin for the Livestrong Marathon.

Mind-  My mind is in pretty good shape this week. Mentally I feel pretty positive about where I am with the Road To Galveston. There are times that I wonder “are you friggin nuts?” but those are usually fleeting and I don’t feed them with second thoughts. But more importantly there are times that I think “what else can we do?”, the opening up of a wide range of possibilities is so refreshing to me.  I don’t just mean what other exercise goals, not just the thought of another physical challenge like maybe a 140.6 or maybe something like a Leadville 100 bike challenge; I have some other challenges that are teasing me too. The ability to put my mind in better focus towards goals is opening up some other new possibilities that I have thought were maybe lost to my age.  So stay tuned this year, there just might be some other journeys on the horizon.

Soul- Spiritually this last week was really good. I had the opportunity to spend some time with another man listening to his life story; the good, the bad, the ugly. I love getting to do that, it is a real honor and priveledge. If you have never had the chance to sit down and tell someone your entire life story, warts and all, not withholding anything, give it some thought. Maybe it might be something you would consider for Lent this season. Richard Foster talks a little about this in his book Celebration of Discipline, and I believe that it captures the spirit of two verses in particular in the Christian faith James 5:16 ” Confess your sins one to another that ye may be healed.” and Matthew 18:20 “Wherever two or three gather in my name, I am with them.” When I get the opportunity to listen to someone like this, it reminds me of how we are all just human, trying our best and at times our ‘not so best’, and really I have never felt anything but a real sense of love and care that I know comes from our best “Spirit”. It also helps me to loosen some of that hyper-criticalness I have toward myself too. Looking forward this week towards Lent, I know that I have one commitment that I want to be diligent with, that is daily meditation. As far as something that I might sacrifice, I still am not sure what that will be. I am looking forward to this season though, it is one of my favorite times of the Christian faith.

So there you go! That’s the recap from last week. Hope you find something useful in my ramblings today.

Don’t you just LOVE THE GRAMMYs? Today’s tune is from Ed Sheeran and Elton John singing A Team. Elton John was a true ‘elderstatesman’ last night, what a great man he has become.

Have a blessed week.

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I GO TO EXTREMES

medalApply, Apply, Apply; trust the process, trust the process, trust the process; have fun, have fun, have fun; I feel really good tonight. There are a lot of workouts now that I just go do my work and enjoy ever bit of it, even when its hard or I struggle with something I am just learning. I feel invigorated; when I finish my workouts I just think of how good it is going to feel getting into that water and being a part of the Lonestar 70.3. I’m not even sure I know how to explain it.

Apply; do the work. Follow the plan. Put in the sweat. Those nights when you get home and you know that you still lack that 1 hour bike ride, but you do it because you know you are going to grow. You know you are going to gain strength. You know that somewhere down the line you are going to get to apply everything that you used in your training to accomplish something you have never done before. How can you not get charged up about that? I have lived a bland life, I know what that is like. But I have also tasted a new life the last three years too; one that has pushed me into new ventures, stretched me in ways I wouldn’t have ever thought possible, and given me the chance to be in awe of the experiences that I am getting to have! How do you not love that?

I never knew what training was about until I trained for my first 100 mile bike ride, the Hotter N Hell Hundred. When I bought that first bike and looked at that schedule to build endurance to 100 miles, I never would have dreamed of what it would be like to be among 14,000 people to do something beyond normal. The feeling of doing something for the first time, the feeling of accomplishment; frankly being a person that has all to often settled for “just enough” in life I don’t know that I had ever really experienced the benefits of a long term process that prepared me for something so big. I know that might sound mellow-dramatic for some of you who have expereinced living with that kind of purpose, but for someone who just found got my first taste of enjoying the fruits of my labor; this was awesome. So I do trust the process in my training for this triathlon. I even expect a great outcome too.

Who would do it if it wasn’t fun? Think about it, you ever see a kid in a pool swimming that isn’t having fun? You ever see a kid hauling ass down a big hill that isn’t laughing? You ever see a kid out chasing his friends running that isn’t smiling? Hell no! It just can’t get any better than that. So why did we ever stop? Who knows, but I sure am going to hang on to this life as long as I have enough health to do it. I think someone told me it was a part of being a good steward with the gift of health that God, or how ever you express that power that is bigger than us individually, has given us.

So today was a swim. I did 2000 yards today. It went pretty well, I continue to build length and get better at my technique. I am so glad that in November I made myself stop and learn how to swim right! I think back to last January and I am so thankful for the progress that I have enjoyed. There were some tough times; some times that I thought of pitching it all in but I am so glad I didn’t stop. I left the pool today with a smile, another since of accomplishment. I just feel like everytime I hammer out one more workout, I am adding another brick to the wall. I know that I am building an experience that will be amazing!

A little fired up? Damn right! And here is the kicker; if I can do this, so can you!

Can’t think of a better tune that this one tonight! Billy Joel I Go To Extremes!!!

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Awesome Swim Workout

Ignacio GonzalezToday was another day where I could feel confidence growing in the water. Actually it was there even before I got to the pool, I was genuinely looking forward to the workout. Now for those that have been following my swim workouts and issues, you know that is light years ahead of this time last year! A big part of today was mental, I was in a really good frame of mind this morning when I went to the pool. I keep coming back to good ole’ Yogi Berra’s quote “Baseball is 90 percent mental, the other half is physical.” So true in the water for me. But to actually be going to the pool and looking forward to having fun with it is an amazing jump forward, even a big just over two months ago.

Todays workout was 2000 yrds total.

8x25x10R (All Catch-Up)
8x25x10R Swim
8x50x20R Fins (Odd: 25 Kick, 25 Swim; Even: 25 Swim, 25 Kick)
8x50x20R Swim
6x75x25R Fins (25 Left Arm; 25 Right Arm; 25 Swim)
1×200 Swim
6x25x15R CD

It felt so good to be able to do the drills and the lengths and not be stressed about it. I was smiling and happy the whole workout today. The most difficult was doing the 6x75x25r (25 Left; 25 Right; 25 swim). My left is so much weaker than my right. It also reminded me of how much weaker my left side is doing single leg drills on the bike and how my left knee is the one that starts to show weakness on runs too. But back to swimming, this was a fun day! It feels good to have days like this, days where you think “if I just keep doing the work, race day will be so much fun.”

I’ve been on a Lennon kick here lately. Let’s go with Mind Games today!

Hope you all dream big and move towards it too!

memorialherman

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Be Your Own Inspiration

Fruits-Table-Lamp_2Today as I was running I was thinking it would sure be nice to meet some people that are at the same begining level that I am. I had a mentor that used to like to say “seems like just about the time I think I am leading the pack, I look up and I realize I am dead last”. Well I had to laugh at that this morning; I never “lead the pack”, that is for damn sure, but I was right there around the tail end of the group. Today I was to do a 2:05 hour run. With the weather that was coming in our way I knew I wanted to get up and get it done! So joining my wife and daughter at the Landrunner’s 8 mile run was a great way to get out there and get it done.

While I was one of the last ones to finish, that didn’t mean it was a bad run for me. I know that my starting point isn’t where most the other people’s starting point is. I also know this, there are still a bunch of people laying in bed too that are behind me! 😉 So my goal today was to follow the directions for my workout. I wanted to try to stay in my Zones when it asked me to, no matter how slow it might seem or be. It went pretty well too. I did a much better job of staying focused on my run. If it asked me to stay in Zone 2 I tried to keep in that Zone, if it asked me to step up to Zone 3 I pushed it on up. I did do the water stops as they came up. So after I finished the 8 mile run, I went on to complete the rest of my 2:05 hour run. It was kind of cool looking up when I was on the last 1/2 mile and seeing Becky, my wife running toward me. She was to do 16 miles today, so she and our daughter started an hour before the scheduled run.

“Therefore, Ananda, be a lamp unto yourself, be a refuge to yourself. Take yourself to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the Truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourself. And those, Ananda, who either now or after I am dead shall be a lamp unto themselves, who take themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, shall not look for refuge to anyone beside themselves, it is they who shall reach the highest goal.”
— Mahaparinibbana Sutta

That is the story that kept coming to mind as I was running. I was thinking, I wish I knew someone who had started out much like myself that has already achieved the same goals that I want to achieve. The thing is, I don’t think I know anyone here locally that fits “my story. As I was thinking of that, inside I knew that I had to be my own motivation and had to let my own story be what pushes me on. The just may not be another story that I will find that can match mine. Sure there are similarities, but I think probably the most important thing is “finding that lamp of my own“. Isn’t that a life truth too? So becoming my own motivation was the message of the morning.

Well after getting home we went out to eat at one of my favorite places, Charleston’s. I had my favorite, grilled salmon with carrots and a side Ceasar. We had a really relaxing meal followed by good one hour massage. Now we are going to try to stay warm and watch a little football and basketball.

Hope you all have a great afternoon too.

Let’s go with Elton John’s Tiny Dancer for tunes today!

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The Road Is Longer Than It Might Appear

sbr At the first of the year I suspect we all set goals or have ideas of where we want to try to go, not only in our fitness life but other areas too. As a person that was never very athletic and didn’t get any physical exercise for many years I have really been blown away by how it has affected me. To me, it did so much more than just improve my physical fitness, it affected every area of life, life became more vibrant. So after I had completed my first 100 mile event, I felt like I was on top of the world and could do anything! This summer will mark my 3rd year of cycling, and while I do have some real lofty goals this year, I also have had to take a little humility on the road. Below I will tell you of just a few experiences that have been some of the growing steps and some of the more humbling ways I have had to come to grips with just where my starting point actually was.

After finishing my first Hotter N Hell Hundred, one afternoon my wife who is a marathon runner was going to go out for a quick run. Feeling all pumped up about my accomplishment, I said “hey, why don’t I come with you ?” She gave me a somewhat quirky look, but I think she felt like it was kind of sweet that I was willing to go along with her. So that seemed to trump the “doubt in my ability” skeptism that she had. I had no clue that cycling ability did not translate into running abilty. After jogging out the front door and maybe 30 yards down the street, I was done! I learned real quick that I was just a beginer in this fitness thing. I had “baby steps” to endure if I was to start running and eventually swimming too.

Getting an understanding of my true fitness level was one lesson I had to learn, and then in May of 2011, we came home to a house filled with smoke. It was the most surreal experience in my life, you never think that is going to happen to you. We hustled to get all of our pets out of the house while the fire department came. We were fortunate that we caught the fire in an early stage. So what does that have to do with my 2011 fitness goals? Life happens and some things just take precedence over my own plans and family needs had to be the focus. We were living in a motel for 3 months and it was a full 6 months before all of the construction was finished. What happened was all of those New Years plans just couldn’t happen.

Having made it through a chaotic 2011, I was ready to get going! In 2012 I wanted to do a triathlon! So I set out to do it with an organization that helped you with your training; great people and an organization with a wonderful cause too. So what was the catch? Well they met for swimming on Monday nights, a night that I had a previous commitment. This particular commitment was with a group of people who absolutely have saved my life. It is something that if I didn’t have it in my life, there would be no other goals. These people gave me life and helped me find a relationship with God in a way that changed me forever. I tried to justify not going for a short period until my event was over, but in my heart of hearts I knew where my priorities needed to be. This is the place that God gave me life, and it is the place where I get to be most effective in helping others have that same experience too.

My new fitness life is amazing, it has affected my entire life from the inside emotionally and spiritually and also physically too; but it hasn’t been an overnight event. I have had to take and am still taking many baby steps along the way. While my fitness goals do have a high priority level, they are not the most important priority; God and family have to be in the proper order too. It takes time to find that balance. It is more about finding a new lifestyle that can be balanced in all areas.

Best of luck with your fitness goals in 2013!

Todays workout was a 2-1/2 hour bike ride followed by a one mile run. It was work, but good work! I even did a pretty good job of following my coaches directions for the workout today!

Tonight let’s go with a little FUN.!

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Abundance

abundance
Every now and then there are words or ideas that just seem to strike a chord, maybe even become a theme of some sort. Well the word for me lately has been abundance. To me abundance has more to do with an attitude of gratefullness than any measured quantity of anything in my life. It seems to be something that comes from inside, not something brought about by outside circumstances or stuff. I can look back at the last 15 years of my life and I can tell you that today I live in abundance, that hasn’t been always been true. Now if you look at the last 15 years you can also see that most of my relationships, life circumstances, and even stuff are all the same. I still have the same wife and step-daughter, same job and boss, many of the same friends, live in the same city, etc.; so what’s the difference? A big part of the difference is coming to appreciate all the good things in my life, as they are. And be sure to know that I understand that it hasn’t been any virtue of mine that has kept any of my relationships or life situations in tact for the last 15 years, that is much more a testement to my family, co-workers, and friends. That understanding helps me to appreciate all the blessings I have, the abundance of life that I get to experience.

Todays workout was a 2:25 hour bike ride followed by a 15 minute run. Was a great workout, much sweat! I felt really good, felt a lot of hope in where I am going. Thich Nhat Hanh tells a story in one of his books about how you can look out over the dirt field where the sunflowers grow in the planting season and many don’t see the sunflowers, but the farmers do. They see the ground where they have planted the seeds, they already see the sunflowers. I am starting to see a triathlete. It makes me smile too.

tunes today will be Elton John’s “To Many Tears”

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New Year…. Time to Kick It Into Gear

Glass-Clarity-LifeAs I mentioned the other day, December 27th is a day for new beginings and positive change. I had a “cup of that bad coffee” with some friends at lunchtime to honor the past 6 year and even had a chance to talk to a guy just trying to get it together. It’s a great journey, I am grateful for where it has taken me! So with that said, what will the changes be this year? The change that I am going to go for will be a diet change starting with dropping sweets (to exclude Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas at my mom’s house). Becky dropped sweets at lent a year or so ago and she loved deserts as much as I do. I don’t want to limit the change to just sweets, but I do think that alone will help me get some more weight off. Whats the replacement? Fruits and smoothies will help fill in some of the gap. I figure I need to get some good breakfast’s first thing in the morning too. That way I won’t be grabbing the junk food at the first quick stop I come to right off the bat. I suspect I will get some input from my new triathlon coach too. She seemed to have a pretty sensible approach, sounds like she would want to stear me to smaller changes that I can maintain for the long haul. I’m cool with that too.

Speaking of “new coach”, today was the first day of training directed by my new coach. I’m pretty excited about it too! Today was a 1 hour bike ride on the trainer. After warmup I did some sets of ‘one-leg’ drills, followed by some riding in Zones 2 and 3. I also had a couple of times where I was to really push it hard for a solid minute then back down again. I am curious to see where my power was for those minutes. I was trying to make sure I held at least 300watts. One thing I really enjoy when on the trainer is listening to music! Today I went with Pandora’s Third Eye Blind RadioWhen I ride outside I don’t use the Ipod, I like the “all natural” sound thing, plus it is just more safe when out on the roads.  I was using heart-rate zones to do the workout. I suspect will will probably shift over to using the power meter at some point. That’s still a pretty new tool for me. I’ll kind of take the cue from my coach on how we will do that as we go along.

Mentally and Spiritually, it was a pretty good day too. I was able to get an early enough start to get a good prayer and meditation time to get the day going. I always like the picture of the cloudy water swirling in the cup and how continued practice of meditation lets that whirling crap settle down and rest on the bottom so we can get a better picture of what is goin on. Even in times where my mind is more “out there”, I know it is just a matter of making that time to practice that will help it to settle down. That alone helps me keep in a ‘hopeful” state of mind. One strain of thought that keeps seeping inside is that “the more you are able to stay in the moment and present, be it in meditation or even in day to day/minute to minute life, the more the past begins to heal and fears of future subside”. I believe it, more important than believing it is that I have started to experience it too!

Tonight we are going to enjoy my favorite pork tenderloin with that ‘gunpowder’ rub (actually it is chilli powder) on the outside to give it a little bite, brocolli, corn, and a nice salad. Good stuff!

No doubt, I have ‘the good life’. And the best thing about that is I know it too.

Tonights music clip will be a Led Zeppelin tune! Did you see the Kennedy Center honors last night? I only got to see the Led Zeppelin part and it was so cool getting to watch them listen to everyone doing thier songs! I was trying to decide which song I would post, then I found a clip of the whole segment so why not just post it all! Enjoy the greatest rock n roll band ever!!!

memorialherman

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