Going Back to 19/21

Wait- what? A year isn’t supposed to have a slash in it. Ah, that’s the point, though! I’m not talking about a date in time… although I am in a way. Let me explain. Though I am sure the Roaring Twenties would be the bee’s knees, I’m not trying to pull a Gatsby. My reference goes along with meals: 19/21= 19 out of 21 meals in a week. See, not so cryptic after all, is it?

Except wait- what is the significance of the 19? Well, I’m going to eat a vegetarian diet (specifically a “lacto/ovo”- where I can eat dairy and eggs) for at least 19 out of the 21 meals that a week offers. I actually did a pretty much total vegetarian diet for six months in 2014. It had some good effects, too. Instead of having to take 2 medicines to barely control my blood sugar, my doctor dropped one since I was bottoming out with two!

Oh yeah, I lost a bunch of weight pretty much with diet alone, since my knee wasn’t up to par. And since I was *maybe* babying it too much and didn’t run… at all. Blood pressure? That was down, too. First normal blood pressure reading since probably 2008 or 2009. So, this was like the perfect diet, right? Any normal person would stay on this and take it to the bank!

Well, I got lazy. It took about 3 months to get most of the pounds, blood pressure, and sugar back to the starting point. Boo! I started on this venture thinking that with 19/21 (which is pretty much 90%) I could stick with it, not have to stress with a meal or two where I can reward/ skip/ make up for bad planning/ eat what my family’s eating/ etc. (Btw- meal planning is important. Jenn + the kids went to Cookout which, for example, has almost nothing “non-meat” on its menu! Fries ain’t a meal, people!)

So along with this, I’m running again. I’m taking it sssslllloooooowwwww. Painfully slow. But I do have a goal of finishing two 5Ks this year- hopefully! One in April and the other as a birthday present to myself in August. Actually, the August one is the last 5K I ran… back in 2011!!

So we’ll see where this goes. So far, I’m a couple of weeks into the dieting and running. It’s feeling good. The diabetes is back under control and I’m doing the one med for it, so that’s a win already! The belt is getting a little tighter, so I like that. Running? Well, I’m doing treadmill workouts because I’m a wimp and hate the cold. But I’m getting a good base for later on when I’ll have to build up the road mileage a little bit to finish strong for 3.1 miles.

Read the Fine Print

I ran across a website with some tips on blogging/writing the other day- www.jonacuff.com  He is the blogger of “Stuff Christians Like”, a very funny parody/satire of modern Christianity.  His tips were interesting, and I’ve been thinking about them and how to implement them into this blog.  One thought in particular was that there is an unwritten contract between the blogger and reader. 

To take it a little further (and paraphrased a bit) he mentions that in randomly blogging about whatever on whichever days, the blogger breaks the contract that the reader understands, which is “this is what I expect from your blog”.  If that’s the case, then I’m in for some major lawsuits!  I’ve been in a state of wondering lately about exactly what my blog should be.  I’ve noticed that I have my own little style of devotionals, quirky and weird sometimes, but still applicable for Scripture guiding our lives.  I am going to call them “Dave-otionals”.  Not to bring any focus towards myself, mind you.  I just think the name works.  If you can come up with a better one, I welcome your suggestions!  The next idea I have is the whole running/diabetes/dieting thing.  I am seeing in my life that I am becoming passionate about fighting this thing for real.  I really do need some help with a name for that one, though. 

I guess, then, here’s the official (but not legally binding in a court of law) contract for my blog:  I will post an aforementioned “Dave-otional” each week.  I will post an entry into the not-yet-named running/diabetes/dieting category each week as well.  If, by some chance, there is a random thing that just has to be shared it will be done… most likely by Twitter or Facebook, but it could be blogged.  Maybe.

So there it is.  Did you read the fine print?  Made sure that you knew what you were getting into?  I did… I think.  Better get cracking on the next post soon!

My Views

As you read this title, I’m sure you were thinking, “Oh, great… here comes another political viewpoint/ rant!”  Maybe you thought I was going to give a theological dissertation of some sort.  How silly of you- I haven’t even finished the master’s degree yet (and no plans for the doctorate, by the way).  No, the point of this post is quite simple: I am trying to learn how to upload pictures to the old blog.  So I figured I would make a few people jealous with some scenery from my running.  These are all taken from my phone, and the location is pretty much just on my street… not bad, huh?  I am a mountains geek, much more so than a beach lover.  These were taken (I think) in October, if it happens to look a bit unseasonal.  Hope you enjoy (and that it works- it would make this paragraph a whole lot better!)

 

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Until next time!

Slaying the Dragon

I’m trying to determine what my blog is, exactly.  I want to do something to make a difference. I’m trying to do that in some of my more devotional-ish posts.  My post today is different, but still meaningful to me, and I hope to someone else out there as well.  This post came to me as a result of fixing my breakfast of natural peanut butter and sugar free cherry preserves on bread.  Honest!

I’m sure someone else out there knows of this phenomenon, but I got the one knife that’s actually different than the others in the drawer and far surpasses them in quality… at least as much as any butter knife can do this.  It was early, pre-coffee, so without really thinking I used my movie-voice (you know, the one that’s whispery with imaginary reverb and echo, and done with a terrible English accent) and touted this blade as “Excalibur!!” 

Now that in itself is, quite honestly, pretty sad.  It also merits WordPress emailing me to inform me I’ve been stripped of all blogging privileges.  But it doesn’t end there… thank goodness!  I’m sure some of you who know me may know that I am a type 2 diabetic.  Yesterday, and for the past two weeks now, I’ve been on a mission.  After running away from the truth and letting my training, weight, and consequently my blood sugar get away from me, I have gotten back into running (a sport I enjoy even though I’m pretty slow) and I’m starting to really care about the things I eat.  I’ve seen the ugly beast that this disease of diabetes is.  I’ve seen what it has done to my dad and it scares me.  I’ve had to realize that this is not the road I want to go down.  I’ve seen what it can do to me, falling asleep behind the wheel after indulging on some sugary stuff… with my wife and kids in the car.  I’ve been making some changes. That brings us to this post. I ran yesterday. 2.5 miles.  It’s just a short run for most people but a long one at this stage in the game for myself.  During the run, I laughed at myself for the “Excalibur” incident, but then I realized something:

Diabetes (and the host of things that go along with it, are exacerbated by it, etc) is like a dragon that I’m trying to slay.  I can’t kill the whole beast at one time, especially not with a butter knife- even a good one.  It’s scales are thick and it’s skin is tough.  The diabetes dragon is a formidable and stubborn foe.  It will take all the determination, will-power, tenacity, support, and stubborness of my own to keep it at bay.  With each needle prick, I hope to subdue the dragon and keep it from breathing its deadly fire. 

This morning the dragon cried out for a change… my blood sugar was down!

Until next time!

Renaissance Man

I have to admit something.  I actually spelled ‘renaissance’ without the aid of spell check, a dictionary, or the help of any art/ music professors.  The title of the post is actually an inside joke of sorts.  It refers to what the athletic director of Morehead High School said about me in my last year of teaching.  He was giving introductions to all of the coaching staff, and when he got to me, the band directing youth pastor turned rookie assistant cross country coach it seemed appropriate.

In all honesty, I’ve always liked the idea of being skilled at many things.  I remember in college as a trumpet player the idea of focusing only on one aspect of the instrument never appealed to me.  I wanted to do equally well on the classical side of the horn as well as the jazz side.  Of course, this is highly unlikely unless your last name happens to be Marsalis.  But it was a goal.  In my trumpeting career (if that’s what one can call it) I did do a variety of things.  I got the chance to play with a civic orchestra for part of their season, for example.  Big whoop, you might say.  I’d rather say that I got to play Dvorak 9, Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait”, Beethoven 5, and a few other really neat things.  It was the time when my piccolo paid for itself by the plethora of “Messiah” side performances I got!  Swing bands, brass quintets, jam sessions (including one blues jam where I was the weird trumpet guy), a demo that I made with some folks, all kinds of crazy gigs.  I guess I did a few interesting things as a musician.

I think that in doing this blog, in seminary, in my interests in things like running, and in a new career and new family life this renaissance man mentality has pushed through.  Of course, I’m still holding firm to my quasi- Lenten vow, but I feel that if I were to look at the different categories of people I follow on Twitter it would run quite a large gambit.  Jazz/ jazz musicians, writing topics, a couple of celebs, friends, running things, youth ministers/ ministry, Christian “celebs”, Christian bands, and more.  I don’t know, but I think sometimes that focusing too narrowly puts on blinders.  There’s a big world out there.  If we are obedient to Jesus’ Great Commission we can allow our lives (even something as trivial as a blog) to reach more people than in one narrow aspect.  I hope that my Renaissancyness will be able to do that.

Until next week!

From Veggies to Vibrams

The end to the week was interesting, indeed.  Jenn and I had the chance to take Mackenzie to Lynchburg, VA to see Veggietales Live at Thomas Road Baptist Church.  If you’re familiar at all with Liberty University, you’ll know that TRBC is the ginormous church there.  And we saw the Veggietales characters… they, too were ginormous.  Jenn teaches at a Christian school, which took a field trip, and we went with a few other parents.  The trip there was peachy!  Hey, did you want me to say cucumber-y, or asparagus-y?  Ol’ Kenzie didn’t quite know what to make of everything, but she did dance and smile for the songs she knew… and there were a lot.  I’d say overall there was a “I get it” factor of 85%… the “I dig it” factor was somewhere in that ballpark.  At least until after intermission.  The Veggietales approval rating plummeted to about 49.74857% at that point.  The ride home?  We won’t go there.  But it was a cool experience to see a bunch of toddlers and kids (and some big kids that brought them) jamming out! 

Friday’s incident was less cool.  I was way closer to being attacked by three dogs mid-run than I wanted to be!  Not that I could have outrun the mutts anyway, but I’d just run up a fairly decent-sized hill and they came out of a driveway (of a group of trailers) to meet me.  They were not happy.  It was definitely not a good situation, and I can only thank the Lord that the “alpha” of the pack, a more than 50% rottweiller, didn’t help me further with my weight loss (if you know what I mean!)  I tried running, they ran.  I tried walking away, they walked.  I tried yelling, they stopped barking for a second and then got right back at it.  It was only when I got enough distance for their taste that they backed off.  The good news is that I finished my first 3 mile run since jumping back into the training.

Today I had a dog-free run, as well as a shoe-free one…sort of.  For my birthday this year, I got a pair of the Vibram FiveFinger KSO’s.  Not to do product placement, but those things are cool!  They are what’s called a “minimalist shoe” and only have a thin layer of rubber on the sole.  It is pretty close to barefoot running, which I think I’m going to try and embrace.  And, no matter if I do get teased by my otherwise supportive wife, I’m still going to train and run with them.  She calls them my “gorilla feet”.  We had lunch at our favorite restaurant in Rocky Mount, The Hub, too!  We got all Hubbed up, and then it was off to a 6 year old’s birthday party, and home with a worn out toddler (again)! 

Whew!  They say time flies when you’re having fun.  I guess there’s some truth to that, because these last few days (with the obvious exception of my canine buddies) have been great and have gone by fast.  I’m glad to have a chance to share them, and hopefully show a few once I learn how to do the picture thing on this blog.