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Released!

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Needless to say, after this post, I’ve been waiting for this day.

WEDNESDAY

MARCH 1

1:20 P.M.

After having the 22 staples removed, a series of x-rays to check on healing, a chat with the doctor, a visit to the therapist (physical smarty pants), I was released to go my own way! I will check back in at the end of the month, but for the most part I am free and clear. The only restrictions are physical pain and movement. I’m allowed to return to the Y (but I have to be smart obviously). No incline bench presses. No shrugs. No…no…no.  I have to be smart he says and I hear the peanut gallery (composed of my wife) saying, “No. No. No.”  🙂

It felt good to be released. To be able to drive my Frontier to the office without being chauffeured. To experience that sense of well-being which comes from something new.

There have been several “something news” which have come as a result of this accident. I’d like to share some of them with you in a future post or two. But time has run out for me on this one. I have a bike to ride.

OOOPS JUST KIDDING.  🙂

And here, for your viewing pleasure, is the xray of the repair. I think it is safe to say no airport security line will be safe for me.

Swallowing

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

I’m having an affair.

Now…before you get your undies all in a bunch or gasp and say, “Not another one,” please hear me out. I have this love affair with food…certain kinds of food especially. One rhymes with pizza. The other rhymes with ice cream. I have slowed down on the pizza eating. Rumor has it my age has something to do with that. 🙂 I can remember in day’s long past when I ate pizza every day for a week. I can also remember when I would eat a whole large pizza at a Pizza Hut buffet. Yeah…those days are l-o-o-o-o-ng gone. Ice cream is a different story. My philosophy is “there’s always room for ice cream.” I confess to liking at least a small bowl in the evening (emphasis on “small”).

I also get up around 3:15 each morning and ride my bike indoors for at least 45 minutes in order to enjoy that bowl of ice cream. I suspect it is really not doing me much good, but try to convince my taste buds that!

They say “you are what you eat.” Well then I’m a ice cream-loving-Italian and don’t regret it. Except, of course, when I don’t ride and step on a scale or a doctor tells me like one did several years ago: “your cholesterol is high and you need meds.” When I said, “No” he said, “Okay then. Lose 15 pounds and lower your cholesterol.”

I was what I ate alright. I immediately changed my eating habits.

I am what I eat spiritually as well. So are you. Feed ourselves “light junk” and we will be a lightweight. Feed ourselves “heavy junk” and we will find ourselves out of touch. I go back to this quote from the previous post:

Faith is to the soul what swallowing is to the body-and the health of the body is largely dependent on what is swallowed.  “Moorings in a World Adrift” by Clayton Bell-p.3

I don’t eat pizza and ice cream like I used to. Least not the quantities. (I do still like my chocolate). My 63 year old body can’t absorb what it used to. So I had to change my eating habits.

My reading and study habits have also changed over time. I want my faith to be firm, vibrant and alive. I need to feed that desire. What about you?

 

CrossCountry

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

I’m a little behind with this post. When I thought I would have time to write I was waylaid. I was waylaid by a trip to the eye doctor and then a Cross Country meet. Going to the eye doc is always an effort in futility for me. I already know they are going to tell me my eyes are bad. I am reminded each year by my girls after their check-ups that they inherited my eyes. I feel bad for them. Anyway, I had my eyes dilated and this is one time I can look like a drugged out freak and not get into trouble. (Not that I’ve ever been a drugged out freak before).

My mistake was going straight from the doctor to the CC meet. Fortunately, I had those stylish sunglasses they give you to block the sunlight. I stood in the shade at the meet but had to look into the sun-drenched field to watch the last part of the race. I watched a wonderful young lady, Kelci, run a good race, wind up second, all while suffering from a cold. Pretty remarkable if you ask me. Oh, I watched her younger sister, Katie, run in her Middle school CC race last week. She ran a good race as well…coming in first for her school, third overall. Mom and dad have two wonderful young ladies on their hands.

You know the lesson. Training. Sweat. Tears. Long days and short nights. Boring tiring training. But they both ran good races. Check out I Corinthians 9: 24-27.

Okay…I’m tired just writing about this. Think I’ll go take a nap. 🙂

Medicine

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Meals on WheelsTITLE: MEALS ON WHEELS

So I have strange friends who decide to give me a chuckle. Obviously photo-shopped but who cares? It is still hilarious. First, you would never catch me riding with snow on the ground in my bib shorts and short sleeve jersey with no knee or arm warmers or jacket. Second, it is going up hill. I. WOULD. BE. HIS. MEAL.  At my age (62) and my weight (204) I don’t climb as fast as those young bucks who only weigh 130 pounds. So I am bear food. Third, some people have a weird sense of humor…and I LOVE IT!

My buddy, Jim, sent this to me. We used to ride together until health issues have taken him out of the cycling picture for several years. However, I love Jim’s comedic relief. I also tell him I don’t have to beat the bear. I only have to climb faster than him. 🙂

Hope your day shapes up to be a good one. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this post unless I made you laugh. Then it can be said, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Pr.17:22

NOPE

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

I was visiting a couple last night after my “66” class (Route 66 where I take them through the books of the Bible. It is a two year series of lessons).

My daughter texted me. “No blog post?”

“Nope.”

“Everything okay?”

“Yep. Just busy.”

Crazy busy, actually.  We have been hosting Systems of Care (a group consisting of multiple organizations directly involved in getting youth help) until their new building is finished. I’m involved. That happened yesterday. After that I needed to go home and cut grass before the rain hits for several days in a row. Otherwise, I would need a farmer to bale it. (I even passed up a ride!). I had several other things to do and before I knew it, it was time for Prayer meeting and then 66. And the visit afterwards at their house.

I’m not complaining, even though the past few weeks have been like that. I’d rather be busy than bored.

However, there comes a time we all need to slow down from the busyness. I know I do. Every time I walk into my ManCave my bike is crying and calls out my name. I get a towel, wipe it down and hold it. (Not really but you get my drift). 🙂 Tomorrow is my day off. See the smile???

We all need to slow down. We all need time off. Take it and don’t feel guilty. What about you? Are you getting your time away from the busyness?

Hydration

Monday, August 25th, 2014

I rode today. In fact, I rode 20 miles.

I know…you are saying, “Big deal.”

Well…it kinda was. I think today (Monday) was one of the hottest days of the summer. Temps in the 90s with humidity close to 100%. I ride with insulated bottles- one of water and one of Gatorade (G2). Needless to say they were both drained by the time I finished. I don’t know how many of you are athletes-cyclists, runners, team players, marathoners-but one of the essentials is hydrating. An athlete who doesn’t hydrate is asking for trouble. I can remember a Tour de France several years ago when Lance Armstrong got dehydrated during a Time Trial. He lost power. His lips and mouth had a white chalky substance around them (salt). He was in bad shape. I’ve seen guys working on roofs who fail to get out of the heat and get plenty to drink end up with heat stroke.

Once or twice I have bonked and it is a miserable state to be in. It is hard to focus on task. It takes everything within you to (in my case) keep pedaling. It takes recovery time, and depending on the severity, possibly several days. Unless…nah never mind.

I can’t help but think of this principle spiritually. As I was riding today a verse of Scripture came to mind: “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Psalm 42:1-2

A more dire strait (no not the musical group) is seen in Jeremiah 2:12-13: “Be appalled, O heavens, at this: be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

I’m going to be honest: I’ve sort of gone through a mild dry season- not a famine- just a dry season. I’ve allowed my spirit to get a bit dry.  Not parched, but edging that way.  Reckon it is time to head back to the old watering hole.

Where are you at these days? How is your spirit?

 

Recover

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

I’m going to be upfront with you from the very start. This is a review.

It is not a book review, a movie review, a 12 Step program.

It is a health review. Say what?

As a cyclist I have nothing to prove…nothing to gain…nothing to brag about when it comes to any cycling prowess. I am 61 years old and the reality of age is becoming more and more apparent to me as I ride. Some days I feel really good; the next day I feel totally wiped. One day my legs have strength and spring; the next they feel like a wet noodle.

My issue is recovery. I will admit I don’t do everything a cyclist should do. I don’t have the money or the time to get a massage regularly. I don’t have the money or the time to adequately help my muscles recover by proper stretching, self-massage, and correct eating.  I don’t even have the time to get the 8-10 hours of sleep every night they say one should get. My “real job” as pastor changes that game. It takes one dedicated cyclist to do all that is necessary to recover and be ready to ride strong the next day.

So I am always on the lookout for something to help me with recovery. Some (most) protein powder not only tastes gag-nasty (unless I mix it with chocolate milk and ice cream 🙂 ), it is also loaded with ingredients that are fake and/or are good for building muscles, i.e. bulk. I don’t want either.

I heard about VegsSport through my daughter, Tami’s blog. She did not care for their drink mix so she brought me a sample. I then contacted them (Trevor) and he graciously sent me 4 mixes and 3 protein bars.   He sent me two each of the Tropical and Apple Berry mix and 3 Chocolate Mint bars. (I specifically asked for them because I like both chocolate and mint). 🙂

First, the mix. I liked the Apple Berry better than the Tropical. Personal preference.  Also, I experimented some with the amount of water I added. I started with 15 oz and finally did the 12 oz. With a good shaker bottle, the 12 oz. was fine and mixed well.

Second, the bar. My first bite was “WOW” to my taste buds and the more I ate it the more I liked it. Some might prefer it because it is not too strong in either flavor. Me? Bring on the chocolate and the mint. But I realize it is all in personal taste buds.

Third, results. After my first ride I tried just the mix. For my next ride I had a mix and a bar. Whether it was in my head or not, I noticed a distinct difference in how I felt after the second ride compared to the first. I was able to ride the next day and felt my leg muscles were greatly improved over just drinking the mix.

I am new to VegaSport. I confess I am not Vegan (I like fish, chicken and dairy), but I did like the products I sampled. I will use them again. Want to know more? Click on the banner to my right and check it out for yourself.

Sore

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Not as “in angry.”

Sore as in “I haven’t done this for a while so now I am sore.”

No brainer: I am a cyclist. I am not a weight-lifter. Well…at least not in the summer. I generally tend to lay off weight-lifting because it means being indoors in the summer. Weight and climbing hills do not go well hand-in-hand so what weight I put on in the winter from lifting, I lose in the summer from inactivity. Except for this past winter when knee surgery confined me to an indoor trainer.

I was able to ride 25 miles on July 4th and had planned to ride the 5th, but let’s just say Jo had other plans. 🙂 I was a little antsy after we got home so I decided to brush off the Bowflex (a gift from someone…it was used) and do some lifting.

Wrong thing to do.

It has been several weeks, maybe a month since I last used it. As I write this I have some very sore pec and neck muscles. Sure am glad I have a massage scheduled for Tuesday. 😉 I have this sneaking suspicion the muscles will get more sore as the day moves on.

Unused muscle groups protest when they are stretched. How much like life that is. We settle into a routine, a rut, and move on through life. No challenges. Nothing new. Same old same old. Mundane. Routine. Blah.

My spiritual life is like that sometimes…more than I would like to admit. I settle in. I coast on past lessons. I let life happen with no real excitement. Oh…and then…I stretch. Or should I say God stretches me and man, does it hurt! I get sore.

Soon my physical muscle soreness will be gone. The spiritual? Well, it will hurt as long as I am stretching. But it is necessary.

Are you being stretched or do you sense a time of stretching coming, i.e. do you need stretched?

Privacy

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

I am an extrovert. Extreme extrovert. That was reinforced Wednesday when I attended a Youth Worker’s Cafe (they may have missed on the Youth and the Worker a tad) at the local “Y” which was sponsored by the Indiana Youth Institute. It was supposed to be on youth trauma but on Tuesday I received an email the speaker was unable to be there. Alrightee then! They filled in with a woman who talked Personalities, specifically using the Myers-Briggs Test format. I decided to go anyway since I had it on my schedule and they offered a free lunch (the real draw). Anyway, the test reinforced my extrovertism (and no that is not a word or a disease).

I like people. I like to be around people. I like to laugh. I like to talk.

So why would I write about privacy? Because even extroverts need some time to unwind and have a moment or two to themselves. I am weird when it comes to the test. I don’t relieve stress any way they suggest. They said I like to scream, yell, or cry. Cuss. Speak cutting words. Withdraw. Think negatively. No. No. No. Definitely No. No. No. No. (In that order of answer).

I like to ride. My bike is my escape, my stress reliever. Alone or with someone. Doesn’t matter. I do a lot of riding alone these days since my former riding partner has disappeared. My other one lives over an hour away. But I don’t do it to have privacy or withdraw. It is my coping mechanism.

I read a story that Sir James Barrie, the British journalist and playwright, cherished his privacy and did not appreciate the intrusiveness of reporters. A reporter once visited his home with the hope of obtaining an interview. When Barrie opened the door, the reporter smiled and said, “Sir James Barrie, I presume?” Barrie replied, “You do,” and slammed the door in the reporter’s face.

I’m not sure I could be that rude, but I can understand his frustration in guarding his time. I can understand (to some degree) the frustration of actors and athletes with paparazzi. Some can get pretty violent. Imagine if Jesus did that with the constant interruptions of his day. Religious leaders hounding Him. People following Him everywhere. They even beat Him to the other side of a lake upon occasion. Fame has its price.

However, keep in mind not all interruptions are bad ones. When we hear “we interrupt this program…” that tells us something important is coming. But sometimes it is good to interrupt our normal routine, especially if it means some privacy.

Take some time to get alone. Find the time. Jesus thought is was important. We should also. We can’t always stay “taught.” Have a good weekend.

One more thing: you can check out my sermon for Sunday on Heroes here.

Pride

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Pride is one of those words which immediately separates the sheep from the goats.

Pride can be bad. We all know that. If we know someone who is filled with pride, we associate that type of pride with arrogance. Man, what a turn off. It doesn’t matter what walk of life a person is in- sports, acting, pastors, business-we seek to avoid them. I read an article just the other day about  baseball players who are not very well liked because of their arrogance. Nothing turns people off to a pastor quicker than arrogance. (I now whereof I speak).

Pride can also be good. We should take pride in doing a job well. We should feel pride in a task accomplished, especially if it was outside of our comfort zone. A parent should take pride in their children.

And it just so happens that is what my post is about today. My pride in both my girls.

Today (Sunday) is a monumental day is Tami’s life. She is running a 1/2 marathon. I’m proud of her for the life change she has made, largely due to her health. It hasn’t been easy. She has had some setbacks, even recently. (She just found out she has to have sinus surgery April 14th). Weather and some health issues has limited her training, but I am thrilled she is trying anyway. She texted me about being nervous and I told her I am proud of her; I loved her; relax and Live the Adventure!

May 2nd my youngest daughter, Janna, will run her first 1/2 marathon. More on her closer to her marathon.

I’m not really sure where they get it. Jo doesn’t run. I don’t run. Not only do I not like it, my body couldn’t take it. But I’m proud of both of them. After all, a father is allowed to brag is he not? 🙂

What/who are you proud of?

Update: She finished!! Yeah Tami! You are my hero!