Friday, April 27, 2012

I Want It Now!

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I got thinking today why I fail so often when I set out to do something for myself.  Very often, as I've said before, it's just plain old fear.  Sometimes, though, I'm really in to what I'm doing.  I'm so excited I can barely sleep at night.  Then, eventually, my excitement dwindles, my drive shifts into low gear, and my new project just sort of peters out.

I don't often think about it, I put in the clutch, change gears, and head off into some other project I can be excited about.  But lately I've been more and more frustrated with my inability to finish.  The only way I can describe my feelings as I lose interest is "Impatience."

I start exercising and I plateau but I want to hurry up and get fit enough to run a marathon.  I start on Weight Watchers and do great for a few weeks but then I want to have to buy new clothes and get out of the couch more easily (yes, I know the couch is probably part of the problem).  I already have cold sweats waiting for my excitement about this blog to fade.

I'm hoping now that I've recognized what I'm doing I can stop, think about the long haul, and make the journey be the goal.  I'm not going to be triathlon fit next week, but every day I get up and walk a little farther or do one more push-up is hitting my goal.

I'm not sure if what I described is really impatience.  Anyone else have a name for it?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Help a Brother Out

Mark Remy over at RW Daily has a great post about a Benedictine monk trying to get to Kona.  All the info is there.  If you feel moved, give Brother Elias a vote.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

First Step Taken

Thanks to some encouragement from Swim Bike Mom and fear of the humiliation that comes with publicly proclaiming the desire to do something, I've started back into my workouts.

Over the weekend I started back into P90X.  I have to start gingerly at my size and I only do as much as I can without the bad kind of pain.  I already feel better, though.  It's hard to beat feeling your muscles all day, even if no one can actually see them.

Last night I got a great night's sleep, up without the alarm clock at 4:45 and heading out the door with the dog at 5:15.  Got to the end of the street where the dog dropped into potty emergency posture.  Only one freaking cleanup bag left in the dispenser.  Walk Phail.  I'm hoping I've at least turned around the sleep schedule for a while.

Tomorrow is Kenpo and hopefully a nice long walk.  I can't wait!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Buddha Bringin' It

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.
-- Buddha 

When I show people that picture at the top of the page of me with Buddha I always ask, "Can you tell which one's the Buddha?"  Today I made about five cracks about my weight.  I'm always trying to beat someone to the punch.

I spend way too much time worrying what other people think of me.  What a waste of time and effort.  Either people will support you for trying and being who you are or they aren't worth worrying about.

The part of me that likes easy solutions (which is most of me) wants to complain about low self-esteem and depression and fairness as if I were born with some impossible to overcome affliction.  But the tiny little part of me that wants more out of life wants to learn a new way to think.  To trust people to not hurt me.  To pity and forgive those that do.  Pretty touchy-feely, huh?  Well, touchy-feel beats the hell out of spending my life being mad at people for not thinking or acting the way I do.  That's a very sad way to go through life.  I'm starting to realize that the more advanced and stronger human shouldn't need to think that way.  Nothing anyone says or thinks about me can truly hurt me.

I am not a religious person but I have a believe that somewhere deep inside be lies the ability to be Buddha-like.  The only problem is that when I read about loving people and accepting their faults I ask myself, "Even the morons and swindlers and cheats and all the inconsiderate self-absorbed jerks and even... *GASP*... POLITICIANS??!?!?!"  I think I do.  Because my wanting them to change doesn't make them any closer to my ideal.  It only detracts from my happiness.

When I was in Taiwan I saw ancient sculptures of Buddha.  Guess what?  He was thin, not the fat and sassy, jolly old elf you tend to see nowadays.  I mean, he walked everywhere and lived on food offerings.  So I can try and be like Buddha in all ways (except the begging for food; feeding myself is a flaw I'm willing to live with).  Being willing to accept people as they are and try and see the beauty in each and every one is my next fearless, if tentative, step on my new path.

Friday, April 20, 2012


The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.
-- Buddha 

My whole life has been about trying to make that first move; that first step.  It hasn't mattered if I've been going for a run, writing a paper or cleaning house.  Pretty much everything I do.  Maybe I'm missing a gene that lets me just do the things I want or need to do.  Maybe it's some ridiculous mental block because I was forced to use a potty too soon.

Whatever it is, I just need to get past it one more time.  This time I want to take that first step to never hesitating again.  I know in my head that if I can fight it some finite number of times more I can overcome a lifetime of inertia for good.

I do have some real barriers in my life.  For one, I suffer from insomnia.  I can go weeks without a compete night's sleep.  Between work, a very active daughter and a desire to spend some time with my family every night, a poor night's sleep can make getting up early for a work out nearly impossible.  It makes everything I do harder; especially eating right.  I crave the worst food when I'm that tired.

I'm embarrassed to admit I've only had one workout since my first post.  Some of that was insomnia but what I really worry is holding me back is my all time biggest barrier: Fear.  Fear of doing poorly has prevented me from trying so many things I would have loved to try.  Acting, singing, writing, working at a company like Google.  It keeps me from my dreams at every turn.

This next week I am concentrating on not being afraid to fail.  I'm going to keep working on this blog and not worry that people won't read it.  I'm going to exercise and not worry about getting every thing perfect or even finishing.  I'm going to eat the best I can, track it the best I can and live with it.  I'm going to start starting and I know once I do that, I can't be stopped.

No More Excuses

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
 -- Buddha

Driving home from vacation last week I realized it was Easter Sunday and I started thinking about rebirth.  I am in desperate need of a rebirth.  Most of my first 20 years were spent as an athlete, culminating in a short college soccer career.  As an athlete I had always gotten away with a huge appetite.  Even playing soccer nearly every day I was probably still carrying an extra 15-20 lbs.  I was lucky enough to be able to carry it well and I kind of liked being the "Big Guy" at 6'2" and 210 lbs.

This was followed by a decade working on horse farms.  By the end of that decade I had a degree in Software Engineering and an extra 60 lbs. on my frame.  I also had a repaired torn ACL and a knee that hurt like hell when I did pretty much anything.  A few years into my new career and I was where I am now: over 100 lbs. overweight.  Now I'm on cholesterol and blood pressure medicine and, frankly, pretty damned miserable.

I have recently joined Weight Watchers and before vacation I'd lost 10 lbs, was exercising pretty regularly and was feeling good.  On vacation I got sick and used that and the whole 'being on vacation' thing as an excuse to eat poorly and gain back 5 of those hard-won pounds.

I sit here writing this having just finished a "W" combo and single cheeseburger from Wendy's.  Those of you who have been where I am now know the horrible feelings that accompany finishing a meal like that.  You know what to do, you know how to do it, but something in your head gives you sanction to ignore that and satisfy some need you can't even identify by filling yourself with crappy food.  Somehow, I've also let a large part of my personality become being the guy with the big appetite who can really pack it away.  People seem to enjoy watching me do this to myself.

Wow, I re-read that last sentence and it hit me that they probably don't like watching me eat.  What are they going to do, tell me to stop killing myself?  I can play that scenario in my head and know how I'd lash out and the excuses I would make if they tried.

Well, I'm done making excuses.  I have wanted to compete in a triathlon since I quit playing soccer.  I want to be an athlete again.  I want to run and play basketball with my daughter.  I want to go on fun, adventurous vacations with my wife.  My knee?  I started doing P90x as much as I could and my knee feels better than it has in almost 20 years.  Depression?  I feel like I could conquer the world after a good workout and even at the end of a day when I've eaten nothing but whole, quality foods.  My busy life?  My family probably wants this more for me than I do although I would imagine they're afraid to tell me that.

Hopefully, someone out there will read this and I can fulfill the dream of being a writer as well.  I hope to entertain and maybe even teach and all the payment I want in return is knowing I'm being held accountable.