Tuesday, December 18, 2012

MORE things to give up. Stay with me!

Almost done with my #FitFluential related "10 Things you must give up to move forward". Today I share with you my take on items 8 and 3.

Number Eight: Making excuses rather than decisions.
(ring...ring..."hello, kettle? this is the pot. you're black." -Pheobe) I have done this. As recently as today, actually. Yesterday I walked to work. Fresh snow covered the roads combined with my tires that are almost as bald as Robin Tunney's head in "Empire Records" didn't add up to much safety. Before you go giving me kudos for the walk, it is only about 3/4 of a mile. Seriously. During the walk, I had enough time to say to myself that I would now walk to work everyday for the next week. On the way back, I walked nearly a mile in the other direction to get mail, then tagged on about a mile walk though the woods to get back to the house. The weather was great, and it was wonderful to be alone in the woods making fresh tracks in the disappearing daylight.
This morning I woke up with plenty of time to get ready. I sat on the edge of my daybed, stretched my core a bit, then went right back under the covers. I made excuses like, "bah. it is raining out" and "really, how is a 3/4 mile walk going to benefit me, anyway?" So I fell back to sleep. I awoke at the last mintue, rushed through getting ready, and made it to work with 10 minutes to spare. How? I DROVE.
If, instead of making excuses this morning, I had just stuck with my decision to walk every day, I would have been 15 or more minutes early, not rushed, gotten some exercise, and STILL had plenty of time to make coffee in the office.

Number Three: Being indecisive about what you want.
This one plays hand in hand with #8. (side note: anyone remember "The Postman" with K.Costner? love that movie, especially Tom Petty's cameo at the end). I've been famous for this. A running example of this is that in the past I've decided to run a race, trained for a race, then at the last minute decided that no, I'm not going to run the race. I've come up with reasons that range from the very rational (can't afford it) to the not so rational (can't afford it...). This has been very frustration for other people, as they've altered their schedules and plans to accomodate my original decision to race, only to find out a week before the event that I no longer plan to do it. Part of the frustration comes from my lack of communication about my indecisiveness, but that's a topic for another day.
I need to focus on carrying out my decisions once I've made them. No more being wishy-washy.

This new year will see a new me, being MORE decisive and making FEWER excuses. Hell, there are still almost TWO WEEKS left this year. Why wait, right? RIGHT. Starting today, starting NOW, I will be more decisive and make fewer excuses. Boom.

What about you? How do numbers 8 and 3 apply to you?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My #Wellness List, Numbers 2 and 6

Continuing with the theme I started earlier this week, I'm sitting down in a Burger King (don't judge: cheap coffee and FREE WiFi...) and cranking out this post. Lots of tragic things are happening in our corner of the world today. Some are closer to home than most of you know, but I refuse to let the jackwagons win. I have 7 more things to write about from my list, and it took me a few minutes to think about which ones I wanted to write about tonight. Kinda funny, too, that #3 on the list is "Being Indecisive About What You Want". Needless to say (errm....too late for that now...) I won't be opining on #3.  Today I will delve into 2 and 6, which are "The Shame of Past Failures" and "Your Need to be Right", respectively. Right. (I can't help it. "Who does Number Two work for???!!" ok. done. moving on. As far as past failures go, I certainly have a lot of them. Let's see...I did really poorly at my one and only )Pinewood Derby (Dad built a great car, but I kept rolling it around on the floor, which made it pick up grit that made it slower on the track. whoops), I misplaced tools as a kid, and nearly failed out of high school during my last semester. One could say that none of those things really is a failure, but in my wee little mind they all add up toward the big picture. As an adult I've made some poor decisions that have impacted not just my life but the lives of others as well. I'm getting better at that, but I am still a work in progress. Which I suppose, in its own little way, is a sign that I am doing alright with letting go of past failures. I have difficulty with the words pride and shame. As opposites, it makes sense in my brain that you can't have one without the other. Or at least you probably shouldn't (you=I). I don't feel much in the ways of pride, so I try not to feel shame, either. I feel remorse, for certain, sprinkled with a heavy dose of guilt, but not so much shame. huh... Number SIX is "Your Need to be Right". Do you? Do you need to be right? There are a few out there who would argue long and hard (believe me, i've been involved in some of those) that I (me) have a NEED to be right, and that I believe that MY opinion is the only one that matters. Naturally, I disagree. I mean, I could agree, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. Ummm wait just a tic.... Seriously, though. I don't have a need to be right as much as i have a need to be HEARD. To know that my voice and my opinion matter to someone. Know what I mean? I'm sure there are some of you who know exactly what I am talking about. When I don' think that I matter, I begin to feel (yes, FEEL) that I am invisible. My presence or absence in the room has no bearing on the outcome of events. I might as well be a piece of furniture. I've been feeling that way for far too long, and I'm taking action to help ensure that I don't feel that way much in the future. Seems like Number THREE would be a good place to start next time, no?
Food for thought: what are some things from your past that you are still clinging onto that you should probably let go? Are they anchoring you down, preventing you from reaching your true potential? If so, find a way to let them go. Some people write them down on paper and burn them. (The paper, not the things. Holy Crickey that could get messy.....)  Additionally, do you need to be right, or just heard? To have some sort of validation of your thoughts, moods, fellings? How can your online community or IRL community help you become visible? I encourage you to reach out.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Numbers 4 and 10

As part of my movement to more things #FitFluential, earlier this week I posted a new list of "10 things you must give up to move forward". I'm also all about #relentlessforwardmotion, and this posting is a continuation of the other.

Number FOUR is "Procrastinating on the goals that matter to you"
Lawdy, I've been doing this for years. Don't worry, I'm not going to go to the wayback machine. I'll use an example from 2012. Early in the year I set a goal of becoming a CPT by my birthday. Looking around the room, I can't see my framed certificate hanging on my wall. Nor is there a card in my wallet. In essense, i have NOT achieved that goal. And it mattered A LOT to me; enough so that I wrote it down in three different notebooks and created a folder in Evernote about it. I chatted online with several people about their experience, their choices about which company to use for training and certification, and their trials and tribulations along the way. I made numerous phone calls to various companies, getting tuition and time frame information. I even wrote all of THAT down and kept those sheets readily available. The one I decided to go with offers discounts to Veterans. I've written down and colored in their info, and posted it on my bulletin board at work.And that's as far as I have gotten. I have no one to 'blame' except myself. 2013 will be different, and I WILL achieve my goal. Come hell or high water.What have YOU been putting off? How would your wellness benefit by just DOING IT?

Number 10 from the list is "Not appreciating the present moment". Ooofff. This one is a toughy for me. I've been in many a 'meeting' over the past few years that centered on being "mindful". WTF does THAT mean? Seriously. I have no real idea. I mean, of COURSE I am mindful and in-the-moment. If i wasn't, i'd fall down stairs or crash my car or get into the shower with my clothes on (i've never actually done this, btw. oh, wait. that isn't true. I did it on my 21st birthday, right after I was jumped in the hall and covered with shaving cream by my Platoon mates at Fort Jackson, SC. but I digress....) I have a propensity for not being able to turn my brain off. I'll lie in bed, tossing and turning, thoughts of what to do tomorrow, next week, next month racing through my mind. Sometimes I'll zone out while watching a TV show and let my mind wander to the next thing on my to do list. More often than not I'll get up and go DO that other thing. I've been trying to work on settling down at the end of a day, but still struggle with the guilt of doing nothing (#5 on the list, btw). Several years ago started indoor rock climbing. I thought it would be a good winter-time hobby, and I was right. I loved being in the gym, watching and learning from others before I tried to send (do) a route. One thing that I noticed about it was that once I was on the wall (and later outdoors on rock)...my mind was void of ALL other things. I was able (forced?) to be in the moment. And you know what? I LOVED IT. I have found the same clarity of mind through trail running. If i need to clear my head, I go for a run in the woods. The trails around here are almost all single track, with the occasional sprinkling of either a jeep trail or snowmobile trail. On the trail, I need to focus on my footing. I need to alter my stride so I don't jar my knees or twist an ankle.And I am appreciative of not twisting an ankle or a knee. Somehow, though, I don't think that this is what is meany by Number 10. This is going to be a work in progress for a while. What does mindfulness or 'appreciating the present moment' mean to you? Do you work at it, or does it come naturally for you?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another "Top 10" List #Wellness #FitFluential

As my 44th birthday (technically my 45th; seems nobody ever counts their original birthday as 1, as it should be. even though i will be 44 years old, it is technically my 45th birthday) rapidly approaches (unlike the end off this sentence), I have decided to divulge some information about myself based on a list of "10 Things You Must Give Up to Move Forward" which I found on the interwebs that were created by someone much brighter than I am (as indicated by the fact that I cannot recall the source). <~~thought you'd never see that period, didn't you?!

10 Things You Must Give Up to Move Forward
1. Letting the opinions of others control your life
2. The shame of past failures
3. Being indecisive about what you want
4. Procrastinating on the goals that matter to you
5. Choosing to do nothing
6. Your need to be right
7. Running from problems that should be fixed
8. Making excuses rather than decisions
9. Overlooking the positive points in your life
10. Not appreciating the present moment

Worry not, intrepid reader. I will not be going through all of these in one fell blog post. Nope. For your continued reading pleasure I will drag these out for a few posts. Perhaps 3. Or maybe 5. You'll just have to tune in later to find out. Let's jump right in with number

5. Choosing to do nothing
This is, as present, nearly impossible for me to do. I am in motion most of the time, and when I seem idle, my brain is still trying to glom onto at least one or two of the ideas that are flying around in my head. This makes it difficult for me to fall asleep, or to return to sleep should I be lucky enough to awaken during the night.
This past Saturday I chose to try to do nothing of import and drove 30 minutes to go window shopping at stores that are 5 minutes away. My intent was to use the drive time and the different location as a mini-escape. Turns out that it was an impromptu lesson in doing nothing, as I had to stand around and wait 25 minutes for a nice mechanic named Mike to come along and rescue my keys that I had locked in my car for safe keeping. Good times.
In the coming year, I will, unfortunately, have plenty of time do do nothing. Which I will promptly put to use by working out more, being more creative, blogging more, and continuing to chase after that dream of inventing a perpetual motion machine (ok, maybe not that one). Does it count as "choosing to do nothing" if I schedule time to do nothing? I think it does.

As I have used up my comma quota (quotient?) for blogging today I will leave you with this: Which one of those 10 Things do you think would give you the biggest challenge? The least? Start with that one and work your way toward the biggest. I will be.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Virtual Review of Virtual Running Coach

my buddy Adam (@theboringrunner and The Boring Runner) has teamed up with some guy named Chad to create a Virtual Running Coach. No, seriously. Who knew that Adam could do this sort of thing?
Well, I had a sneaky suspicion that he is capable because he was my online running coach last winter/spring, and he's also been very quick to answer my techy questions about Access, Excel, and how to open a bottle of wine with your teeth.
I had seen a posting on The Twitter about his latest creation, but kinda ignored it because it is only available on the iOS. I don't have any of those machines, so why would i look into it? I mean, it isn't like I'm going to go drink the iKool-ade anytime soon. Since some of you already have, I thought it would be a nice gesture if I gave you a virtual review. By this i mean that I have taken the time to read through the product information enough to tell you that you would be silly NOT to download this app. I mean, it is cheaper than a Venti double de-caf half calf with a twist of lemon, and it will stay with you much longer to boot. For the low low price of $1.99 (that's right!) you, too, can own this gem of an app.
Here's what your hard earned greenbacks will get you (from their site http://www.virtualruncoachapp.com/):
App Features:
-- Customizable half and full marathon plans
-- Specify specific race date and plan will generate based on that
-- Select base miles/KM per week
-- Adjustable difficulty level / speedwork
-- iPhone reminders available to remind you when to run
-- Specific detailed description of each run
-- Running tips to help you be your best
-- Store run results inside the app
-- Share runs on Twitter
-- Analyze runs with reports on weekly, monthly, yearly basis
-- Calculate pace
-- Metric Distance Support

HEYOOO~! All that? (hmmm...i am a bit thirsty...)
What? You want screen shots? How about Jell-o shots? I can't help you with those, but here are some screen shots, again, from their site:

What more could you want from a Virtual Coach? I can't think of anything, really, and I can't wait until this comes out in Droid. I hear tell that the code isn't translatable into the Droid OS (whatever the hell THAT means), so the developer (Chad) would have to rewrite the code from scratch. So we'll just have to wait.
To sum it all up, if you are searching for a Virtual Running Coach for your i(insert product here), I strongly suggest that you go download this app NOW. Since this is the season of giving, if you know of someone on your list who is a runner and iKool-ade drinker, why not gift this to them (is 'gift' really a verb, or is that just some recent bastardization of English. like "work", as in, "He stopped by my work to give me some flowers.") In either case, GET THIS APP. you'll be glad you did.
Be Well,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A little help from my friends...

lately I have leaned on my friends quite a bit, and i imagine i will be doing more of it. Like now, for instance. But this one isn't for me, it is for my parents.
On the 16th they will celebrate 45 years of marriage. Wow. To me, that's just amazing. I have no chance at improving on that record, so kudos to them! Here's where YOU come in.
I would like you all to send them a post card from your area. You know, go to the local gas station and get one of those cheesy post cards and then send it to them, with a note like "Happy Anniversary from ......" I think it would be really cool to flood their mailbox with post cards from all over the place.
Rather than post their mailing address here, if you are interested, please send me an email to let me know you are interested, and I'll forward you their address.
Thanks! I think this could be really fun.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gene's Inferno

I really don't understand the reference there, but I DID sign out "Dante's Inferno" from the town's library today. That's right. A L-I-B-R-A-R-Y. Not a LIEBERRY. I, too, was surprised that they still exist.
To keep this post short, I'll let on that I am going through a bit of a metamorphosis. Not a mid-life crisis, that's for certain. I passed mid-life about half a decade ago. No fast cars for me! Or fast women. Or any women. Or men.Or cats, or dogs. Maybe a fish.
At any rate, I'll continue to keep everyone posted here, to some extent, as well as on "the Twitter".
Whatever it is that you do, give it 100%. Just sayin'.

Today's meditation quotation is:

When I let go of what I am,
I become what I might be. 
Lao Tzu 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I like lemonade....

well, at least i'd better. It seems that I am either being handed lemons or picking them myself. Do you ever find yourself in that kind of situation?

This past weekend was a whirlwind. Saturday was AWESOME. Bryce and I spent a great deal of the day together hiking, geocaching, indoor climbing, and exploring the area.
Sunday quickly turned to a complete pile of crap, and my life may never be the same again. Instead of focusing on the lemons, though, I am bound and determined to focus on the lemonade.
Without going into details, I'll be off of twitter and facebook for a while, perhaps a week. This is actually a fairly crappy time for that, as I usually 'crash' during the holidays and need the support that i get from my online friends in addition to the support i get from my family.
To that, if you'd like to reach out or check in with me, feel free to email me at boutdrz at gmail dot com. That'd be excellent. I promise, unless you are a spammer, I will write back.
No, I am not in prison...

Leaving on a great note, though, I'd like to announce that I have been accepted as one of the new #FitFluential Ambassadors!!!! YES!!!! I got the news on Monday, and hearing (reading) it was one of the few rays of sunshine into my day. I am VERY happy about it, and greatful to have been accepted into the #Fitfluential Family. Don't know much about us (I almost said 'them' ! :) ?? Look us up at www.fitfluential.com.

In the mean time, hit me up with some email, ok? Thanks!!!

Be Well!!!!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Dinky-do and Boobie-do

“There is a pestilence upon this land, nothing is sacred.” –Roger the Shrubber-

Warning: graphic images…

A few years ago I met a nurse who coined the phrase “dinky-do disease”. I’ve since expanded it to include boobie-do disease. Bear with me; I’ve been wanting to write this post for quite some time, and after I read a status update from Tony (the anti-jared) in which he stated that he was happy to be able to see a certain part of his body again, I became re-inspired.

Many of us guys are either currently suffering from dinky-do disease, know someone who is suffering, or have suffered ourselves and are now on the mend. I don’t want to say ‘cured’, simply because it is an ongoing process, and not just something that you are able to walk away from. Same thing applies to the ladies with boobie-do disease.

Granted, there are some who are born with a distinct….disadvantage (?), and are therefore excluded from the diagnoses. What on EARTH (the ONLY planet not named after a God, btw) am I talking about????

Ok, here are the definitions:

Dinky-do disease occurs when your belly sticks out farther (further?) than your dinky-do. (Caveat here is that the diagnosis CANNOT be made immediately after exiting a cold shower, pool, river, etc.)



Boobie-do disease is the diagnosis when your belly sticks out further (farther?) than your boobies do.




Seriously. Take a look down, next time you are in the shower. Do you suffer from either one (can’t be both, really….)? If so, are you presently, ACTIVELY, taking steps to rid yourself of the disease?

If not, WHY not? Do you need direction? Do you need motivational emails? Do you need….what? “Help me help YOU” –J. McGuire- Really. How can I help? How can WE, your online and IRL friends, help? We’re here for you. For us.

Help eradicate dinky-do and booby-do diseases. You’ll be glad you did.

Simple as that.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I try to stay away from politics. I really do. I do find it interesting, to a point, to hang out in the corner of the room and listen, though. 7 times out of 10 I end up walking away, shaking my head.

Wednesday morning was no exception. Truth be told, I am not happy with the outcome of our Presidential election. I’m not going to get into WHY.  I just won’t do it.

As I read through Twitter and FB before I went to work, I couldn’t help but notice that most comments reflected my sentiments. An idea came to me as I was walking across the parking lot at work:

Capitalism. Stimulate the economy. We need to dump money back in, and SOON, before we can’t afford to do so anymore. And I can help. I’m cool like that.

I highly encourage you to visit my newly opened/shutdownbymanagement/REOPENED cafepress store and buy a little somethin’ somthin’ for yourself. While you’re there, perhaps you’ll find something for that special someone on your Holiday shopping list.

Here’s the link: www.cafepress.com/bohica2012

Clicky click click. Tell your friends. Tell THEIR friends. Unlike most stores like this who donate monies to a charity that you may or may not support, I want to tell you that:


That’s right. Me. (unless my wife reads this, in which case that statement is null and void, Honey, and umm….yea….) (jk. she’s cool like that…)

So click on over and start stimulating. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Influence v. Concern

This is not about running, though it could be. This is not about food intake, but it could be. This isn't about my job, my family, my friends, or my enemies. But it could be all of that and more. It is about Life.
Several years ago when I was riding a train to work in Sacramento, CA, I started listening to books on tape. Yes. Tape. Not CD. Tape. One of the first books I listened to was "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by the late Stephen R. Covey. If you haven't read it yet, or haven't re-read it in a few years, I suggest that you do so. Soon. Well, AFTER you read this, of course...
I want to spend a few minutes with you today a topic that is addressed in the first chapter (Be Proactive). After explaining that being proactive "is about taking responsibility fo ryour life", he goes on to discuss the concepts of the "Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence." I shall paraphrase...
Each of us has each 'circle'. The one of Concern encompasses the things in our life which raise our awareness, but which we have little or no control. Weather, the national debt, the cost of gas, etc. The Circle of Influence is one that contains things that we DO (or CAN) have an impact on: our health, our children, problems at work, etc.
I've been thinking about this quite a bit, and how I can apply it to all of the things up there that I said this was not about (because, of course, it is about those things...). I've been looking at what I carry around in my influence sphere that really belong either in my concern sphere, or not in any sphere at all. (Weather would be a good example, but i haven't carried that one around at all for years. i just don't care about the weather).
Although I'm not quite ready to write down my lists, I am creating them in my head and working daily to stay within my Cirlce of INFLUENCE.
I leave you with this challenge: take out a piece of paper and pencil. make two big cirles (not overlapping). start to fill each one in with influences and concerns. if you find that there are more things in your Circle of Concern than there are in your Circle of Influence, you may have just found a way to reduce some of that stress in your life.
Take charge. Be in control. Move relentlessly forward.
What say you?

Monday, November 5, 2012

I’m slowly getting my groove back…

Yesterday I discussed how I managed to turn an afternoon of video games into an afternoon of video games AND a 10 mile walk. Today I tried to adhere to my schedule and do my Nooner workout from @DoBCx followed by a 5k run on the treadmill.

I took advantage of the time I had when Tracey and Bryce went to her parents’ house to see a slain deer. I’ve seen them. I’m not really interested, so I didn’t go. I vacuumed and did dishes before the workout, just to try to cover my bases. ANYWAY…

I managed to get through 3 rounds of the final part (“Happy Ending”). The title gives  a little insight into the twisted minds that  Steve and Bonnie Pfiester bring to their training. Lemme tell ya, the only happy thing about it is that the workout is ending…

By the end, I could barely do the burpees. I was struggling. I decided to slow it down and just get them done, rather than try to get them done fast, you know? I had to cut it a bit short (thank GOD!) because T and B were headed home and I needed to make dinner for B. (good excuse as any, right???)

I’ve written about the workout before, and will likely do so again. I really like how it manages to kick my butt in such a short period of time…

THEN I hopped on the treadmill to face down my 5k. I did the first mile at 7 mph (8:34 pace). Then I walked a lap at 3.5. Then ran a mile at 7.5 (8:00 pace), walked a lap, then ran 3 laps at 7.7mph (7:48 pace) finishing the last lap of the last mile at my “BQ pace” which is 8.2 mph or something around a 7:15 pace (or so). yea, lemme tell you. that was fast for me. so I walked another lap to get my HR back to normal before ending the workout. I was very happy with myself having done the scheduled workout!

I glanced at my calendar to see what is on deck for tomorrow, and was surprised to see the same thing for tomorrow. Hmmm….how could this BE??? well…..

I looked at the wrong day. I did tomorrow’s (Monday’s) workout TODAY (Sunday).

So? Nothing. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I’ll go for a nice walk in the woods, which is what I was slated to do today. No biggie!

Adapt, overcome. #relentlessforwardmotion.

Do you adapt well to changes or screw ups in your workout schedules??

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Walk this waaaayyyyy….

yYesterday we were planning on a fun-filled day of shopping for provisions in the local town, but Tracey’s belly was not being cooperative, and we decided to stay home. She settled in to watch some DVR’d shows, Bryce went downstairs to play some NHL12 on the PS3, and I tried not to be obvious with my sulking.

I’ve written up a ‘training schedule’ (mind you, I am not yet an actual trainer or coach), and yesterday called for 15 miles. It is totally doable for me, especially at slow pace, and I just wanted to do it. I needed some time alone in my head, and was really looking forward to getting these miles done.

Of course, Bryce had different ideas, and wanted me to play hockey against him. I turn him down so many times that this time I just felt like I should play. So I did. Cool thing is that the treadmill faces the TV where all of the games are played, so I hopped on, set the speed for 3.5mph, and started walking. After the first period (never mind the score!), I was already starting to sweat, so we took a break so we could change into shorts and tshirts. I grabbed a sip of water, and we went back to the game.

He creamed me. So we played another. Toast. Another. Hamburger. Then we played best 2 out of 3 shoot out tourney. He won (I did win ONE game, though)! Another hockey game, then we switched to Madden13. Yes, he won that one, too. It was his day to win.

But I won, too! I ended up walking 10.3 miles while playing games with our son. In my book, that’s a double win. It wasn’t the 15 I was shooting for, but it also wasn’t the time management struggle that I had anticipated, either.

It felt good to find a win-win (kinda) solution. Here’s to many more, B!

What do YOU do when sudden changes impact your fitness plans?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who would YOU believe?

With the world at our fingertips, it is sometimes difficult to sort through all of the BS and find real facts. I mean, I could post some bogus information on here, or even on wikipedia, and there’s nothing to stop me. Well, except morals, but that’s a whole different post. For someone ELSE’s blog.

I tend to think that when looking for information many people will stop searching when they find information to support their pre-formed beliefs. No? Here’s what sparked this for me: a TV ad for “BrandX”. It claims to be medicated, so (naturally) I wondered what the medicine was, and how did it ‘work’? TO THE INTERWEBS!

Turns out that “Trolamine salicylate 10%”is the active ingredient in “BrandX” and other similar products. (This isn’t about these products, but more about their claims, and how we perceive the information presented.) The product website lists trolamine salicylate as a ‘topical analgesic”, which means that it is a pain reliever that you rub on your skin. Ok….but if it is used for MUSCLE soreness……what the what? TO THE INTERWEBS!

Investigation of trolamine salicylate via google listed an article (?) on wikipedia.com with the following statements:

“The US Food and Drug Administration has not reviewed any of the over-the-counter products listed in the Daily Med database that contain trolamine salicylate.[1] Also, the producers of trolamine salicylate products have not provided evidence to the FDA in support of claims that this chemical is directly absorbed through the skin into underlying tissue.” (bold emphasis added by…ME!)

So now I am thinking…umm….then how can they make these claims? Reading on, I found this (next sentence):

“However, one study reported that trolamine salicylate does penetrate into, and persist within, underlying muscle tissue.”

Huh. ONE study. Worth looking into? Of course. So I did. Turns out, the experiment seemed to be conducted ‘well’ (controls, double blind, etc.), but no white papers were produced, or at least none that I could find within the time I was willing to devote to the search. Why not? well, my findings pretty much agreed with my own beliefs.

I do it myself. I’m not an alien (well….) so I tend to think that I’m not the only one who thinks the way I do (although if you ask Tracey, you might get a differing opinion). SO.

When investigating something new (workout philosophy, product claims, “new and improved!” this or that), try to see it from several angles before you make up your mind. And if the product makes some sort of MEDICAL CLAIM, do your research DILIGENTLY. You owe it to yourself not to fall for a scam or a claim of quick cures for chronic problems. (Yes, I said ‘problem’, not challenge or hurdle or some other euphemism. A spade is a spade).

Another thing that I encourage (do as I SAY, not as I DO) is to keep an open mind when looking into things. Beliefs that you may have held for a long, long time may be shattered by new research and evidence; just learn to filter out the BS.

Friday, October 19, 2012

“When you plant lettuce…”

Another Pole who understands Japanese posted the following on her FB page on Wednesday. Credit goes to Ewa for posting it and to Thich Nhat Hanh for writing it.
I invite you to take a few minutes to read it. After that, read it again. Slower, this time. Go ahead. Sip your coffee or tea while you read. Think about how it can apply to you and the way you go about your day. I’ve been ruminating on it most of the day.
Which is why I want to share it with you.
When You Plant Lettuce
Thich Nhat Hanh
"When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other ...person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change" __________________________________________________________ Have a great day!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

“Up with Upperdogs!”

While working on a project at work today, I came across a type-written script from an internal radio broadcast. It was in with some papers from the late 60’s early 70’s, so I thought I’d give it a read.

Two things struck me: 1) we used to have a radio station at our facility??? 2) this could easily have been written TODAY, as the same things apply.

Once home, I googled part of it, and was surprised to find a page from a newspaper called “The Andover News”, dated November 9th, 1967. It has a column called “For Society’s Sake: Up with Upperdogs!” Turns out it was written by the late Dr. Upton, President of Beloit University in Beloit, WI.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did:

For Society’s Sake: Up with Upperdogs!

Dr. Upton

I have just about reached the end of my tolerance for the way our society at the present time seems to have sympathetic concern only for the misfit, the pervert, the drug addict, the drifter, the ne’er-do-well, the maladjusted, the chronic criminal, the underachiever, the loser – in general, the underdog.

We have lost touch with reality and become warped – if not in fact psychotic – in our attachments.

IT IS TIME for SOMEONE to stand up and say, “I’m for the upperdog!”

I’m for the achiever.

The one who sets out to do something and does it.

The one who recognizes the problems and opportunities at hand and endeavors to deal with them.

The one who is successful at his immediate task because he is not worrying about someone else’s failings.

The one who doesn’t consider it ‘square’ to be looking for more to do, who isn’t always rationalizing why he shouldn’t be doing what he is doing.

The one, in short, who carries the work of his part of the world squarely on his shoulders.

Not necessarily the wealthy, the ones in authority, the gifted. Just the doer, the achiever – regardless of his status, his opulence, his native endowment.

WE ARE NOT  born equal; we are born unequal. And the talented are no more responsible for their talents than the underprivileged for their plight.

The measure of each should be what he does with his inherited position. No one should be damned by the environmental condition of his life – whether it be privileged or underprivileged.

It is a dying fashion to pay respect to those who achieve – who really ‘have it’, to use the vernacular. This the the day when the fashion is to be for the underdog.

The attitude is being developed that if you really want people to care for you – who doesn’t – don’t be successful. Be a misfit, a loser, a victim of one’s environment.

I’m not sure of the reason for what appears to be a general psychological aberration. But I suspect it springs from a massive social guilt.

THE ONE MOST CERTAIN point is that our problems will be solved by doers – not people with good intentions, but people with good deeds…not those who talk a good game but those who play a good game – the achievers.

We will never create a good society, much less a great one, until individual excellence and achievement are not only respected but encouraged.

That is why I am for the upperdog, the achiever, the succeeder.

I’m for building a better society. And this will only be done by those who take seriously their responsibility for achievement , for making the most of their native ability, for getting done the job at hand.


As profound now as it likely was then.

What say you????

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cheecago! (Part One)

My grandfather, for whom I am named, used to call Chicago “Cheecago”.

I was fortunate to be able to attend the 2012 Cheecago Marathon, and decided that you should know about my experience. So grab a cuppa joe, sit back, and enjoy…

I arrived at the Midway Airport early afternoon on thursday, then met up with John Williamson and Brian Fowler, both runners from North Carolina. We managed to head downtown on the Orange line, headed to meet up with another friend in town. When we got off the train at Roosevelt, we followed John’s iPhone’s directions to the meeting place. We ended up walking in the wrong direction for about 6 miles (HAHAHAHA) before we realized our mistake and turned around. We did manage to pass an inner city Target:DSCN1846

I was impressed, mostly because there are NO target stores in Vermont. Yea, we’re hill-billy like that. Anyway, we headed into town and came across some cool looking buildings and fountains. The fountains were a bit creepy…


Not quite sure what the purpose of the creepy fountains were, but it was ‘artsy’ just the same. After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the start of the Expo on Friday.

Packet pick up was pretty smooth, though their readers couldn’t read the QR code from my phone. I managed ok, then headed over to the ArcticEase booth (#826) to begin my shift. I’d volunteered to work the booth for the Expo; John and Brian were going to be there, too, so it promised to be a good ‘ol time. I had a blast working the booth; people were very interested in learning more about the product. How does it work, how do I apply it, is it REALLY reusable? These were just some of the more common questions from the weekend. Are you curious, too? Here, click over and watch this commercial. I hope it will help answer some questions. If you have more, please let me know, and I’ll do my best to answer them or get answers. I don’t work for ArcticEase, but I use the product and am happy with the results. (Spoiler: I ran a marathon on Sunday, used AE on the plane, then used it again on Monday. On TUESDAY, I did a 5k in the morning, then another 5k in the evening. My legs are feeling great!)

Met some really cool people at the expo, and was fortunate enough to run into @KatieRUNSthis (who was at the NUUN booth) and @DrSherryPagoto (co-creator of #plankaday) and a bunch of her friends. We did a quick group plank, then went our separate ways. Good times!

Saturday afternoon we dined at a…diner. Yea. But this was unlike any diner I have ever been to. This one is called Eleven City Diner. Because I am nerdy, I checked in on Foursquare, and BOOM! Free ice cream desserts for all of us at our table. Cool. SO…here’s a PROTIP: the matzo ball soup has ONE matzo ball. It is about the size of your head. Thankfully, John was the one who ordered it, not me. Good times were had by all, and we headed back to our hotels in the ‘burbs to get some sleep.

Of course, I had nightmares all night long about over sleeping. I must have woken up every 15-20 minutes all night long. I hate that. I set 3 alarms, and was awake before the first one. Up at 4:30 and got ready. I had some oatmeal and crappy coffee from the crappy machine in the room (why are they always so crappy???) and got dressed. I bought some throw away sweats (top and bottoms for $10.99) which came in VERY handy. I caught the shuttle to the airport, then hopped the orange line back into the city.

Stay tuned for the second part. In the mean time, I invite you to watch this clever commercial (yes, for ArcticEase) which involves some pro football players, magic, and ALIENS. yes, Aliens.

Friday, September 28, 2012

“I want your thighs!”

I received an email this week from a friend of mine that simply said, “I want your thighs.”

I had to laugh. really? They were referring to a cropped version of this imagepicture, taken at the finish of the only half marathon I’ve done this year. It was the first weekend in June, and was slated to be my “A” half for 2012. It turned out to be closer to my LMNOP half. Anyway, this isn’t about that.

I wrote back, “what”?

“I will do anything to have your thighs.”

Ok, I can work with that. So I replied, “Squats, lunges, running, box jumps, and more running.”

“Well, anything except that shit.”

Seriously? Well, my friend was half kidding with that response. They know well enough that those are exactly the things that I’ve been doing, and that they would likely benefit as well. It just made me laugh.

Apparently, someone else wasn’t impressed, either. image


Happy Friday, everyone. Have a great weekend!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Looking ahead to 2013

Never too early to plan ahead, right? Right. This week, even though I have a big event coming up in the near future (Chicago!), I will be thinking ahead to 2013 and beginning the preliminary stages of goal setting.

I have many areas that I want to improve in:

  • family (Dad, husband, brother, son)
  • runner
  • fitness coach (oh. wait. I have to BECOME one first….)
  • Nurse

What areas of your life do you divide yourself into, or do you? Some people I know consider themselves to be just ONE person. Same at work/home, etc. Not me. I bounce in and out of ‘roles’ many times every day.

A buncha years ago, when I worked in a cubicle in Charlestown, MA, the dude on the other side of the cardboard wall would mock my voices. He said that I had many different ones on the phone, depending on who I was speaking with. There was “Hello, this is Sgt. Soboleski” and “Oh, hi, honey” (ex-wife), or “This is Gene, how can I help you”. of course, READING the words doesn’t really do it justice, does it?

Anyway, that’s not the point. What I’m kinda wondering is if YOU have different personalities for your different roles.

Hit me up in the comments! Thanks!!!! (and Josie, I have a hunch that you do….)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My responses to #Attune chat 9/19/12

Sadly I was unable to attend one of my favourite Twitter chats today because I had to be part of a Medical Records Committee meeting. It happens once a month, so I DO get to attend #Attune 3 times per month. I really enjoy the fast pace of the half hour chat. Topics range from food to exercise and pretty much everything in between. Here are the questions from today’s chat and my responses. Not quite the same feel as the exchanges during the chat, but hey….why not, right?


Q1: Do you ever have days where it’s hard to go work out? Do you find getting back to basics helps you jump over that hurdle? A1: Lately there have been several days where it has been hard to workout. Mostly because I get trapped in my head. Getting back to basics DOES help me get back on track. Stick with what you know!

Q2: What small things motivate you to workout? A2: never wanting to be the Dad who watches his kids play instead of playing WITH them is very motivating. Knowing that other people my age are doing amazing things is also very motivating. Having a goal race or event is helpful as well.

Q3: How do you get back into being active after you’ve taken a break – from injury or just because?  A3: When I get back into it, it has to be with both feet. I can’t ease back into it; my eating needs to change, my sleep/wake cycles need to change, and my activity levels need to change. The renewed energy I feel from doing this often spills over to other areas of my life.

Q4: What would you suggest to a friend who wants to become more active? A4: I would say, “let’s go for a walk!” As our facility’s Wellness Coach, I would ask if they wanted to sit and chat about their goals, or did they just want someone to be their cheerleader? I don’t think it is my place to tell them what they should do, but I CAN be a resource…

Thanks again, @AttuneFoods, for hosting the chats every wednesday at noon Eastern.  If you are on twitter, I encourage you to follow the chat. If you are gun-shy about getting onto twitter, let me know, and perhaps I can calm your nerves…

See you there!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Need a bit of energy?

Then you need to try @EnergyBits! Seriously. I was fortunate enough to be able to try a sample of their Energy Bits (they also have Recovery, Skinny, and Vitality Bits).
Made with ONE INGREDIENT (hello, Clean Eating!), they really packed a punch. I took the recommended amount (20 bits), and sat back to wait.jekyllandhyde Kinda like Dr. Jekyll, I was excited and apprehensive at the same time…ok, not really, but can you imagine? wow. anyway…it was an interesting half hour or so before I began to feel any changes…
The first thing I noticed was that I had a bit more pep. I was at work, and typically I need an extra cup of coffee or two in the afternoon to perk me up. The bits were fantastic, and the energy lasted MUCH LONGER than coffee.
 The second time I tried them, it was before I went out for a medium distance (10k) run. I had NO belly issues, and no dip in energy levels during the run or for quite a while afterward (my wife was happy about this, as I used that energy to finish some projects around the yard!).

The sample came in a nice little tin. When you buy a full order (which I highly recommend that you do!), you will get a refillable travel tin like this one to take with you for those unplanned pick me ups.

 Curious about what you get out of these little gems? Here is the nutritional information for the EnergyBits.

As you may know, I am a big fan of companies or “brands” who engage with customers online. EnergyBits has a great Twitter presence, actively participating in weekly #runchat, #ultrachat, and my favourite, #wellnesschat.
Based in Boston, MA, they are a young, energetic, active company with a great new product that is actually useful. They are made in the USA, contain NO chemicals, additives, preservatives…just ALGAE. That’s right. I’m no scientist, so I’ll leave the technical jargon to the experts. Check out their website at www.energybits.com and see what you think~!
As a special thank you, readers can use the code BLOG when checking out to receive 10% off of your order!!!

hey, FCC…I received a sample from EnergyBits, but the opinions are my OWN. Move along…

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Safety and Grass Roots

The bus route that our kids take has been changed this year, right out from under out noses. Here is the letter that I am sending to the School Board as well as the town’s Selectmen. I’ve posted it on FB. If you know anyone who lives in the Hartford, VT, School District, please pass this along to them.

Even if you can’t make it to the meeting, please call the Superintendent’s office and voice your concerns at 802-295-8600. Thank you!

Imagine our surprise, 3 days before school started this year, to learn
that our bus route had been changed. We didn't learn this from the
school, we learned this by chance from a parent who was looking into
sending their child to my wife's daycare for after school care. If my
wife wasn't being interviewed by this potential client, we never would
have known of the changes until our 6 year old son was dropped off on
the side of the road on a major street in Hartford Village.
When my wife learned of the changes, she immediately called the bus
garage to get clarification and explanation for the change to our
route. She was told, "Well, I was told that I had to cut the budget,
so I made changes" by the manager. When my wife attempted to express
her concerns about the potential dangers involved, she was told that
"there are older kids who get dropped off there, too. They can look
after your child."
What? Since when does it become the responsibility of the neighborhood
kids to see that our child makes it home ok? Isn't that the school and
bus' responsibility? What the manager also doesn't realize is that
most of the older kids in our neighborhood are also athletes and are
typically not on the bus in the evening. Between the new drop off
point and the relative safety of our cul-de-sac, there is a blind
corner that most people cut when coming down the hill, in the
direction of the pedestrians. There is no sidewalk, and nowhere for
kids to walk except in the road.
This corner is dangerous on a July afternoon. I can't imaginedownhill
expecting my child, or any of my neighbor's children, to walk that
route in the waining light of a cold, snowy, icy February afternoon.
While I almost understand the need to cut corners with bus costs, I
don't understand why we have to do it at the risk of the kids. Ours is
not the only route changed, and I have heard that some kids now have
to walk close to half a mile to get to their old drop off locations.
This is intolerable.
At the end of my wife's conversation with the bus garage manager, she
was told to contact the Superintendent's Office to voice her concerns.
The call was made, and my wife was directed to speak Jim, the
Financing Director. My wife had to leave a voice mail message, inblind corner
which she briefly expressed our concerns and asked for a return call.
Nearly 2 weeks later, we have yet to hear back from Jim.
During the first week of school, our son was nearly hit by a car while
walking home from school. If it had been in the winter, he'd very
likely been hit.
current bus stopThe morning pick-up has remained unchanged; a group of kids get picked
up at the end of our cul-de-sac, then the bus continues up the hill to
the upper cul-de-sac, picking up those kids. Safe. Convenient. Parents
are able to watch the bus stop areas to make sure the kids are
treating each other respectfully.
If true, hard dollars are being saved by placing our kids in harms way
because of the bus changes, I would like to propose the following
solution, at least for our neighborhood:
Have the kids PICKED UP at the new location, but dropped off at the
old. Why? Supervision. In the mornings, our neighborhood has parents
who are around and willing to wait with the kids on the side of the
busy street. In the afternoons, all of the parents are at work, and no
one can help monitor their safety.
I implore you to look into this as an alternative to the existing
route, but would really rather see the town revert back to the routes
that have been travelled for at least the past 10 years. Let's work
together to find some fiscal savings without putting our children in
potential physical harm's way.
The Soboleskis.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Wellness is like a trip to the salad bar…

some days you might feel like just greens and a few crunchy things, other days you want to load your plate up so it overflows the edges. Then some days you walk right past the veggies and fruit and go straight for the pudding and whipped cream.
my point is this: I don’t believe that there is any ONE method of fitness/wellness that is right for everyone. I think that there are many ways that work for most of us. does this make sense? lemme try to explain, using myself as an example.
my life is pretty much a whirlwind. I have 2 older (15 and 19) stepsons, and we have a 6 year old son together. oldest is in college, and the two others spinning dad_1are active in sports for their ages. my wife runs a licensed daycare in our home, and I work as an RN at a local Veterans’ Hospital. There is never a dull moment around our house, nor is there ever a moment to spare. I’ve looked into and talked with many people about many different workout plans over the past 5 years that I’ve started to focus on my wellness.
at first I thought that I would just be a runner. I love running, especially on trails. But I somehow forgot about winter in Vermont. So I looked into the old standby; 110lb weight set from Sears. It is gathering rust….To get ready for spring running, I looked into BootCamp style training. Then more running. Then some yoga. And running. Peppered throughout all of these were setbacks. I’d feel very motivated for several weeks at a time, then nothing. I wouldn’t care if I didn’t workout. I would eat whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted. And then I’d find some inspiration and start working out again. Inevitably I feel better when I work out and watch what I eat.
for me, it is very important that I don’t just do ONE type of workout. Like that salad bar that I mentioned, I enjoy having choices. If I don’t feel like going for a run, I know that I can get a satisfying workout with BootCamp or tabata style exercises. If I’m not in the mood for either, then I can get my sweat on doing plyometrics. Options, baby, options.
my advice is to ask around. See what your friends are doing. Find out what they like about a program, and what they don’t. Importantly, find out WHY the like or dislike the workouts that they are doing. This will help you to know which ones to choose for yourself.
variety is KEY to a successful wellness/fitness program. What are some of your favourite workouts that you’d like to share?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Do as I say, not as I do...did

I stopped mid run yesterday to shoot a little trail safety video clip. When I watched it I was reminded of the title phrase. How often do we suggest to people what they should be doing, or perhaps worse yet, say things like, "well, if I were you, I would...."?
I find that I do that a bit more than I probably should. Especially lately. Maybe I am just being to tough on myself in this area, but I doubt it. I'm very good at self criticism...
Lately I have been in quite a fitness slump, but seem to be consistent with trying to motivate other people to get up and DO rather than just BE. That's changing. Thank you.
Here is that video, and be sure to check out the other ones that I've been posting. I call them "Morning Drive Time with Gene". OH! why does this video fall into this category? when i shot it, i had become a bit disoriented on the trails, as there are many more trails in the woods than the crappy map would suggest. my planned 10k run along next weekend's race route turned into around 7.5 miles, and at one point I popped out onto a road nowhere near where I was supposed to be...so...yea. enjoy!
Have a great day, do good things, and remember: Relentless Forward Motion!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Smoke and mirrors

Our oldest is experimenting with the idea that he may be lactose intolerant. Of course the 43 year old in me would like to say that this is an easy fix; just don’t consume products with lactose. Seems simple. I can’t recall the last time I actually had a class of milk, and I can ‘tolerate’ ice cream in small doses. When I do get an upset gut after eating ice cream, I’m ok with it, because that is the price that I am willing to pay. Two years ago I shared my thoughts on milk here.

But he loves him some milk, and isn’t ready to give it up. Fair enough. So now he’s gotta find some alternatives, or some sort of product that will allow him to continue to enjoy his milk.

He’s just started to drink coffee (he’s 19), and at first was very distraught about not being able to have coffee anymore. (I find this funny, because a year or so ago, life was perfectly fine without it. Now, though, he was actually upset about ‘not being able to have it’. Umm…black? oh, right. I’m 43….). So Tracey and I reminded him that Coffee-Mate is a NON-dairy creamer (read: chemical sh!t storm), and he was ok with that. Whew…

Next he tried some Lactaid (milk?) product. I hesitate to call it milk. Being the curious person that I am, I decided to look up the product on the web (www.lactaid.com). I poked around, trying to find out HOW they removed the lactose from milk to end up with their final products.

I couldn’t find it anywhere. All I could find were testimonials about how great the products are, etc. Nothing saying HOW IT IS MADE. Is it a chemical process? Dunno. Is it enzymatic? Dunno. But I DID find a place where I could write to customer service.

I did. I asked them to please explain their lactose liberating process. Here is the reply that I received:

“Dear Gene:
Thank you for contacting McNeil Nutritionals, LLC.  We appreciate your interest in our company.
We are very sorry, but our company policy prohibits disclosing this type of information. Most of our research, marketing and sales information is proprietary, as is information regarding our ingredient percentages and formulations of individual products.”

I call BS. If you are a company that ALTERS FOOD, the public SHOULD KNOW HOW YOU DO IT. I don’t need to know the exact ingredients in your chemical soup, but I would like to know if it is a chemical process, heat process, enzyme process, or simply smoke and mirrors. Hiding behind a corporate ‘policy’ of non disclosure should no longer be sufficient.

What say you?

Be Well, Do Great Things

Saturday, August 25, 2012


From Wikipedia…
In Bushido (1899), Inazō wrote:
...Bushidō, then, is the code of moral principles which the samurai were required or instructed to observe.... More frequently it is a code unuttered and unwritten.... It was an organic growth of decades and centuries of military career.
From the time I spent living in Japan, I have often revered the Samurai. I lived in an area (now devastated by the tsunami) that is rich in feudal history.
I am also a runner. I enjoy reading about running clubs from around the world, and when I came across the SoCalCoyotes, I was intrigued. Imagine my happy surprise when I saw that they have a video in which they describe the “Coyote Bushido, the way of the trail runner”. It is pretty short, but well worth watching. Here is the link for those of you not watching videos on your phone, etc. I’m embedding it here as well.
I really like how it starts at 0. Head over to their web site and give them some blogger love. Jimmy Dean Freeman is a pretty cool guy. Very personable. I wish I lived in SoCal so I might be able to run with these people…

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Tough to open the newspaper (remember those?) these days without finding some story about ‘illegal performance enhancement drugs’ or ‘doping’ or some other such….chemical.

While I am not in favor of illegal activity, I am not yet convinced that drugs should be disallowed.

“WHAT????”, I hear you cry out. “Gene, how can this BE???”

Hear me out.

There are MANY, MANY LEGAL performance enhancers being used every single day, in nearly every sport, at any given time. You likely either know someone who is doing it, or are doing it yourself.

“WHAT????”, I hear you cry out. “Gene, how can this BE???”

Let’s take a look at ‘performance enhancers’. I’m not referring to see-Alice or that blue pill. those are performance pro-longers, not necessarily enhancers. BAHAHAHA… Can we agree that an enhancer is something that you take or use to enhance your performance beyond what it would be if you didn’t take or use them?

Given this definition, INSULIN is an enhancer. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is an enhancer. GLASSES and CONTACTS are enhancers. See what I mean? If I step up to bat without my glasses, my performance will be LESS than it would be if I were wearing my glasses. Therefore, the glasses have ENHANCED my performance. If I were an insulin diabetic, my in-game performance would be ENHANCED if I took my shots, versus if I didn’t take my shots.

My point is this: so what if athletes dope? I understand that it is wrong if the doping is against the rules. Is it as simple as just changing the rules? Are there more far reaching implications? Is there an over-arching concern for YOUTH who might be inclined to use the drugs if their favourite athlete does? I’m not so sure it is that clear a line.

As I stated in the beginning, I am not in favour of the illegal activity. I’m just not so sure why it is still considered illegal.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fit it in where you can…


Exercise. Sheesh.

In line at the store, I like to do calf raises. When taking clothes out of the dryer, sometimes I’ll do squats. If I am lying on the floor, I’ll often do a pushup then the bottom part of a burpee before I stand. Rising from a chair? I don’t use my arms.

At work, I stand. I’ve converted my regular desk to a standing desk by flopping a book case over, shelves down, and using the back of the book case as my work surface. It has been 2 years this week.

When I can, I like to do some sort of exercise while I am on a conference call. Lately, during the #attune twitter chats (Wednesdays at NOON ET), I have been doing a dip challenge. The first week, every time someone tweeted “GF” (for Gluten Free), I did 5 dips on the radiator in my office. By the end of the half hour, I’d done 150 dips. This week I used “snack” as my keyword, and to the thanks of some enthusiastic tweeters, I knocked out 220 dips during the half hour chat. It was great! Those last 10 came fast, and I was having a bit of trouble maintaining good form, but I managed to squeeze them out.

Point here is that you CAN find creative ways to get some good exercise in, without the big machines or weights at the gym. Opportunities to get healthy are all around us.

Where do you find yours?

Monday, August 20, 2012

I’m a little tied up right now…

18 months ago (or so), I read an article about how to tie your laces to prevent them from coming undone. No double knot needed. I was intrigued, so I decided to tie my LEFT shoe with the new method, and the right one the same old way that I’ve been tying them since I was about 30 days old.

I gotta tell you, the LEFT shoe never came untied. I was amazed. I have finally converted to tying BOTH shoes (yes, I am a bit slow…) the same way, and now they both stay tied.

What is this secret method? Does it involve special incantations and rituals? Yes. I always have to plan an extra half hour to get ready so that I can be certain to tie my shoe the correct way. Lemme tell you, though, that extra half an hour saves MINUTES of retying my sneakers during a run. I mean, let’s say that I’m out for a 5 miler. I might have to tie my shoes 3 times, for a total stopped time of around 45 seconds. SEE? Half an hour well spent!!!!

Are there any arcane rituals that you use to save you time that don’t really save you time? C’mon. You can tell me. Not all that many people read my blog anyway….

Confession: the knot tying didn’t take any extra time. At first I did have to retie my LEFT shoe once I realized that I did it the ‘old’ way. That quickly ended though, and I was right on track. What is the secret?  Ummm…hang on, I gotta tie my shoes to figure out how to ‘splain it….

Ok. got it. (are you still with me? anyone, anyone?) simple knot (beginning) is unchanged. Make the first loop…NOW…here’s where it might get different for you. it did for me….

If you bring the other lace UNDER the loop, bring it OVER instead. If you already bring it OVER….do that, and then go have some chips and salsa. YUM! Yea, it is that simple. I used to go under. My laces would loosen up, and eventually come untied. Not any more. I was pleasantly amazed.

Thanks for sticking around….



Sunday, August 19, 2012

Background Check

For those who have only known me for the past 3 years or so, this might come as a bit of a surprise. I used to be about 25 pounds heavier than I am now. Yep. I think that my max weight was around 185 pounds, back around 1999 or so. Heck, it was 1999, so I really had NO choice but to party, right?

I didn’t really party much, but I did EAT. I loved to eat, and I would eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and as much as I wanted. For example, you know those logs of frozen ‘beef’ patties? I always had one on hand, and would fire up the grill when I got home from work. Then I would go inside, change my clothes, and get burger fixins. By then, the grill was hot, and I’d toss on 3-4 patties. YUM!

Then, when my (then) wife would get home in an hour or so, we’d have dinner. And of course some sort of dessert. The cafeteria where I worked cooked some really good food. I made friends with one of the chefs, andIMAG0353 always got a larger than normal serving when I went through the line. And snacks? OH, YEA, BABY! I loved snacks…

Every once in a while I would ride my mountain bike on the trails near our house, but there weren’t any real hills, and I would just cruise along, looking around, not really working hard. Just being outside…

Then some bad choices that I made turned my life on its head. During one part of this process, I stopped eating. I think the longest I went was a week. Nearly passing out during a class was the thing that made me realized that perhaps I should eat again. I started with some Ensure, and then 4 days later was able to tolerate real food. Some days, when I feel that things are getting out of control, I’ll ‘crave’ a can of Ensure…

In the past three years, though, I have been more diligent and attentive about what I shove into my pie hole. I still eat as much as I want, when I want, etc. Now, however, these things are more along the lines of apples, yogurt, granola, etc. Calorically, I don’t think that my consumption is much higher than it used to be, but the QUALITY of my current calories is far greater. It makes a big difference.

I’ve also changed what I use for energy when I need a pick me up that will get me through the day or through a workout. Let’s face it: at 43, I’m no spring chicken. By mid afternoon, I am so ready for a siesta that some days I actually take a 10 minute nap on the tile floor in my office. On days when I can’t, or especially when I know that I’ll need some sustained energy, IMAG0381I turn to GenerationUCAN. Honestly. Shown here is my favourite flavour, Lemon. Although it mixes very well in water (or soy milk, as I prefer), I do also mix it with yogurt, and sometimes in a blender with some other things. Chocolate goes well with some Peanut Butter mixed in!

One of the best things about GENUCAN is that it doesn’t upset my stomach. No cramping, no crash. Check out their website for more information. Great people over there, too. In the mean time, click this link right here to watch one of their videos.

I get nothing if you try them and like them. I like GenerationUCAN for many reasons, and just want to share.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Button, button, who’s got YOUR button?

I’m not talking the Staples “Easy” button here. Nope. I’m talking about your buttons that other people push. You know, the ones that set you off. All could be unicorns and rainbows in your world then BAM! Someone pushes a button and the unicorns run away and the little elves come out and take away the rainbow.
I hate that.
There are days when I feel like I am COVERED in buttons. No need to look around for them; they’re out there in all their glory. And quite sensitive, unlike those elevator buttons that people push over and over (as if that makes the elevator arrive quicker. really, people. do you think that the elevator is sitting around, waiting for the 12th press of the button before it actually starts moving???).
Today I was discussing this with my therapist (moving on….), and she suggested that when I feel like my buttons are getting pushed that I try imagine that I am wearing sweat pants and a t-shirt.
Why? No buttons.
My suggestion to you is that the next time you feel that your ‘warning’ buttons are being pushed, stop yourself for a minute and imagine that you are wearing sweats and a t-shirt. If you are already wearing these clothes, try saying to the other person, “do you see any buttons on my clothes?”, then disengage from the conversation.
This will allow them (and you) some time to reflect. They’ll be left trying to figure out what the heck you were talking about, and you can go back to tweeting or playing Angry Birds use that pause to reset your buttons.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Relentless Forward Motion

I’ve used #relentlessforwardmotion on twitter several times lately, and have been pleasantly surprised by positive responses. Today, I’m taking it to a higher level.

You’ll notice that my blog is no longer called “accountability”. Instead, I’ve gotten all artsy and translated my new mantra into Latin. BOOM! Is that all it takes to reinvent oneself? A new blog banner and new background photo (which, btw, was a TOTAL pia to do. I ended up opting for some stock photo that I didn’t really want. I want one of my own!) ?

No. It takes effort. It takes determination. It takes…relentless forward motion.

Join me?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Carry a Happy Tune in Your Heart

This one doesn’t apply….

music has always been a huge part of my life, and a big part of the
way that i express myself. not so much in the making of music, but in
the music that i choose to listen to.
my tastes range as widely as my moods, and often swing as quickly.
lately, however, there isn't much swing to the pendulum. (metronome?)
in my musical world, lately, all things are black.
here are the lyrics to the song that most recently defines me...

Monster, by Skillet.

The secret side of me, I never let you see
I keep it caged but I can't control it
So stay away from me, the beast is ugly
I feel the rage and I just can't hold it
It's scratching on the walls, in the closet, in the halls
It comes awake and I can't control it
Hiding under the bed, in my body, in my head
Why won't somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

My secret side I keep hid under lock and key
I keep it caged but I can't control it
'Cause if I let him out he'll tear me up, break me down
Why won't somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

It's hiding in the dark, it's teeth are razor sharp
There's no escape for me, it wants my soul, it wants my heart
No one can hear me scream, maybe it's just a dream
Maybe it's inside of me, stop this monster

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I've gotta lose control, he something radical
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

Click here to see the video…

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fan Plan

Do you have one? I don’t mean a plan to escape the paparazzi, but I mean a plan for when the excrement hits the air circulating device.

This past week, when I was home alone, I ate a TON of ice cream. And by ton, I mean that I ate it at least 3 times per day. Yep. I did. And it was FANTASTIC. I didn’t run at all, except a little during class. I rode my bike once, and did manage to still do the #SSUC from DesignerWhey. But basically I was a slug. Smothered in caramel sauce. YUM!

Now I have to come up with a fan plan. I have put running on the back burner for a long time now, and I can feel it. Mentally as well as physically. Thankfully I’ve been doing the #SSUC, and don’t feel like I’ve lost much of my base fitness. Now, though, I need to start focusing more on my running.

I will stick with #SSUC during transition, but I will be adding more running back into my daily life. My plan, starting tomorrow, is to actually get my lazy butt out of bed and run in the morning. Sometimes on the track, sometimes in the woods. I’ll be juicing up my headlamp, and likely looking for another one. I’ll be using it more and more as the days get shorter and shorter, so I am very open to suggestions! (and items to review??? hint hint, BlackDiamond).

So what is your Fan Plan? And yes, I just made that up today. Fo shizzle.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Amateur Review of a Really Good Book…

My friend and author @Pameloth (Pamela Fagan Hutchins) recently published several books. She and her husband @Trimon29 (Eric Hutchins) are a blended family living in Texas, but their roots extend from the Caribbean Islands all the way up to a remote lake in Maine. I ‘met’ them online a few years ago, and just recently was able to meet them in person. My wife, Bryce, and I met up with Pamela and Eric (along with their daughter and her beau) in NH as they were returning from some quality time in Maine. But this isn’t about that.
It is about one of Pamela’s books, “Love Gone Viral”, which I was fortunate enough to preview a few months ago. Yes, I am slow. No, it hasn’t taken me this long to read the book. In fact, I cruised through the book because it was that good. Why? Because Pamela has a way of teaching me something imagewithout making me feel like I just learned something. Her stories are personal, real, funny, honest, and thought provoking.
Woah. Did I just say that? Yes, yes I did. The book made me think.
The timing of me reading this book could not have been better: I am struggling with some things in my life now that I haven’t really faced before, and it is challenging parts of my brain and heart that I never thought I would have to investigate. While reading “Love Gone Viral”, I was able to take a step back from my own experiences and plunk myself down into the stories being told. (Mind you, I have never come across a partially submerged carcass, but…)
Pamela uses anecdotes from her own life to help explain ways that perhaps our lives could improve. One chapter is called “How Do Pukey Couples Do It”, and another is “In Which Eric Brings Me Something Back From India.” Both had me laughing and thinking about my life, my relationships, and how I can make them better. Throughout, the reader is asked to take some time to reflect on our own lives, how we do things now, and how we might do things differently to get better results.
While not quite a ‘self help’ book, I would call it a “help yourself” book (yes, I just made that up. I am a GENIUS! bit out there….). Pamela doesn’t come out and say, “in order to blah blah blah better you must do these three things while lighting a candle with your toes and blah blah flibbity flew.” Nope. If you are looking for that, this book isn’t for you. This is more of a “hey, this works for me, through trial and error, and well, perhaps it will work for you, too. if not, at least you’ve read some funny stories about my life and family.”
As you can likely tell, I don’t review books for a living. I don’t write for a living. I read perhaps 4 books per year, and all of them are non-fiction. THIS BOOK, however, was a GREAT read. I took notes, and have gone back to re-read sections a couple of times. (Especially the part where…..nah. I’m not going to tell you. You’ll have to read it yourself!).
Pamela has written several books, and all are available through Amazon. Click here to see this book, and be sure to check into her other works as well.
(yo, FCC…these opinions are my own.)
Thank you, Pamela and Eric!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

What would you do?

There is a race looming on my calendar that I have been eyeing since I crewed for Sarah Stanley last September. I met a bunch of people who have become fast ‘virtual’ friends, and we are looking forward to our paths crossing again this September 30th.

Yes, I am talking about the Vermont 50. An epic (BAHAHAHA….) race in and around the hills of south central Vermont (although not as dangerous as south central LA back in the early 90’s). The course is predominantly on unimproved roads, single track, horse trails, and some snowmobile trails. There are some miles on dirt roads, and only a handful of paved miles. I think that it is right up my alley, but I don’t really know that for sure. I hope to be able to know better by the evening of the 30th, and I’ll be certain to pass that along to you…maybe.

Here’s the glitch: one of my cousins is getting married on the Saturday of race weekend. Five hours away. In (I think) the afternoon. SO. that means we wouldn’t get home until after midnight, and then I’d have to be up again at 3:30 or so to get to the race site and be all ‘ready’ for the start. Adam and Steve, I think you know what I mean by that…(do either of them even know my blog exists?)

So I don’t know what to do. I haven’t registered for the race, but I really should do that like within the next two weeks. Unless of course we get the official invitation to the wedding and we decide to go. Then I won’t sign up. But if I sign up BEFORE we decide to go, then, well, I’ll be hard-pressed to kiss that entry fee good-bye. Know what I mean???

BAHAHAHA…but that’s a bit of dirty pool, eh? I couldn’t do that and sleep well at night (not that I do anyway). I have decided not to decide anything just yet.

Tracey and I talked about it, and I’m just going to train/run as if I WAS going to enter the race, that way I won’t be too far behind in terms of fitness. If we go to the wedding, well, at least I’ll have had good times running.

Make sense?