My Incredible Morning Run

IMG_8755In my on going efforts for fitness, health, and continued youth I woke this morning, dressed in my sweat suite, grabbed my cell phone and ear plug headphones and embarked on a morning run. After I was done I realized what an extraordinary start to my day I experienced.

It was a cold March morning with temperatures in the upper 30s. As I left my Renton home through my garage I zipped up my jacket all the way to my neck. I plugged my headphone buds into my ears, plugged the cord into my phone, and turned on the music. I like up-beat music as I run, and classic rock is my up-beat music of choice. Journey was the first band I enjoyed.

At 51 years of age with arthritis in my hips and a slightly torn right labrum loosening up for anything physical takes a little more time than it used to. The darkness of pre-6am enveloped me as I awkwardly began running out of my driveway. The first few hundred yards of my runs see me looking quite geeky as I shake off the cobwebs of a nights sleep and free-up my muscles and joints. I’m flapping around like a fish out of water, and my legs are rotating as a wheel with no lug nuts.

After the first song had played Led Zeppelin was in my ears and head. Good Times, Bad Times. I wasn’t feeling great. My hips were growling at me and the cold was nipping at my ungloved fingertips.

I then looked up from the sometimes dangerous cracked sidewalk and saw a beautiful full moon through the Douglas Firs setting in the west. It shown through the trees and was hallowed by a cloudy mist. It was my beacon lighting my dark path on my journey. It inspired me. Between looking down to watch for missteps on the uneven sidewalk I would look up at the glowing orb. Sometimes I had to search for it as it ducked behind a tree or apartment building. Cars whizzed by at 40 mph when I finally grunted my way to a main road with a smooth level sidewalk, the moon still glowing in the west, descending over the Olympic Mountains.

I run a route that’s about 3.5 miles. It takes me about 30-35 minutes. I’m not fast, just steady. As I rounded the Fairwood shopping center I began the journey home. That would take me east. No longer fighting to keep running or feeling stiff from old age and a thorough nights sleep I am quickening my pace. And a funny thing happened. Dawn had broken.

Rush, Seal, and Pink Floyd sang in my ears as the sidewalk became more easily visible in the growing light. As more hills, and the start of a side-ache begin to challenge me I begin reciting the Hail Mary, over, and over, and over again asking the Mother of Jesus to bless me in my efforts and carry me through.

The final 2-300 yards to my home is the steepest hill on my route and a real struggle as I’ve already run over 3-miles. But not this morning. My eastward trajectory and up hill slant had me peering into a glorious sunrise. Pink skies and some blue clouds inspired me to sprint. It was a beautiful morning.

Sunday, daylight savings time begins. So my next run will be in what is now the 5am hour. It’ll be dark, and I won’t see a darkness and a full moon followed by a beautiful sunrise in the east. I realized and asked myself how often, in the Pacific Northwest, will I run on a clear sky morning, with a full moon, and clear starlit skies followed by sunlit blue, and biting and exhilarating cold all during the same 30 minute run.

Is it pessimistic to say I may never experience this glorious combination again? There are only 12 full moons each year, the number of clear skies in Seattle are notably few, I only run 2-3 days per week and because of my age and my arthritis that amount is going to decrease as time moves on.

My morning run was extraordinary, special, inspiring, fun, and possibly one-of-a-kind.

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Robin Williams’ Death Scared Me

The Dark Tunnel

Depression is insidious. It’s a dark tunnel from which seeing the light is difficult. And when depression grabs you and holds you in its clutches its very hard to escape. When you’re a victim of depression you may find time and again reasons to carry on. But usually you’re only saved by the end of the day, or by a phone call from a friend. Getting through the day becomes the top priority, and a considerable challenge for those with depression. But time and again you do it. Time and again you overcome. And then…the next day comes.

Robin Williams couldn’t get through the day, yesterday. The end of the day or that phone call from a friend never came. He was trapped in his despair as he apparently had been many times in his life. But this time he failed to make it out alive. From what we know about this brilliantly talented man he successfully overcame his demons time and time again. But they kept returning. It’s like he gave us all so much; so much of his energy and his joy that when left to himself he had none left, he had no reservoir from which we all tap into in our souls, our minds, our hearts, our faith. From wherever Robin Williams achieved the self-preservation instinct to check himself into substance abuse rehab repeatedly, including last month, he couldn’t find it yesterday.

Darkness Comes with DepressionFor those like myself who had stared the blackness of depression in the face it represents a particularly scary event. I found myself asking “If this universally loved man can be taken by depression what’s to happen to me if my despair returns?”. And I asked,”If this man feels unloved, insignificant, or in some way a failure…what about me?”

Prior to eight months ago I didn’t know depression or understand it. I thought it was equivalent to sadness, which like everybody else I have experienced many times in my life. I thought depression might just be sadness x 2. It’s not. It’s sadness x 1000. It’s sadness on steroids with a jet rocket pack strapped to its back. It’s not what I thought. It’s so much worse.

When first depression hits many friends and acquaintances are curious and perhaps caring enough to lend an ear. But usually that’s about it. It’s an ear. After the depression lingers even close friends drift away. They don’t understand and they don’t want to be dragged down by the depressed person’s mood, darkness, troubles. It takes the truly compassionate with a degree of understanding to provide assistance. And it takes professional help. Friends too often think a kick in the butt, or a pep talk should be sufficient to help the victim of depression. And when that proves insufficient they move on. A professional has the education and understanding and hopefully the compassion from which help can be supplied.

As I emerge from the darkest period of my life I can thank some truly helpful people. They include a family counselor from my parish, supplied to me and other church members at no cost. She has been a God send for me. I hired a business coach to keep me on-task with my company knowing my personal troubles might make the business falter or even fail. He has been tremendously effective in exactly what I needed from him. A single individual long time friend who has experienced that which I experienced has never failed to be there for me. Unlike so many others…he never faded away. Lastly, my son. He has seemed to sense my challenges, though I never revealed them to him and did my best to protect him from my shadows. His love and compassion, his hugs, and smiles have been beyond what I would have expected from such a young man. I miss him, since he’s out on his own building his own life, tackling his own challenges. But he pops in and never fails to lift my spirits.

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Total Broadcasting’s Picture/Quote Service is great at improving interactivity between businesses and their customers.

I know Robin Williams felt unloved, unsuccessful, insignificant, and as he grew older perhaps he had a fear of his future, of aging. I don’t know specifically. But I know these are the issues that trouble the depressed. Even someone who is as loved and successful as the comedian and actor who blessed our lives for 40 years. But I have turned away from my initial fear. I can’t accept that his fate is my fate. I’m a different person. Unlike him I don’t have a substance abuse problem. I will overcome and live in the moment, for my future is scary. It’s scary because its unknown. But I will climb on that roller coaster and forgo the merry go round.

You can help those who face depression by making them feel significant, accomplished and loved. That’s what they need. And if they need it more than others…so be it. Give it to them. You are never diminished by holding someone up. Know that you are enhanced. And you too are significant and loved.

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Half of All Americans Take Supplements- Why don’t You?

According to Harvard University’s Men’s Health Watch Newsletter roughly half of all Americans take at least one health or vitamin supplement on a regular basis. So…for the half of you doing so…ask yourself are you sure of what you’re putting into your body? Or could you do better with better products from more reputable suppliers?

For the other half not taking any health supplement to improve your nutritional intake, why are you? You realize you probably don’t get the best health benefits from your diet, right? You realize that even if you are very conscientious about your diet you still aren’t getting all that you need, because food no longer contains as many nutrients as they used too.

In its 2012 report Harvard reports that over $28-billion dollars were spent on supplements in 2010. The figure is considerably higher now.

Since 1993, AdvoCare has been a world-class nutrition company specializing in health and wellness, weight management, vibrant energy and sports performance. AdvoCare submits more of its products to independent testing than any supplement company in the world. AdvoCare also has more professional and Olympic athletes endorsing the products than any other company. And NONE of these athletes is paid by AdvoCare for their endorsement (the lone exception being our national spokesperson Drew Brees). And AdvoCare offers a money back guarantee. How many nutrition and/or supplement companies can say that?

Remember these fact when you buy your health supplements. You could be doing a lot better for yourself, and for your wallet.

This author has been a regular user of AdvoCare products since June 2012. Since beginning their regular use I’ve lost 45-50 pounds of fat and gained 5-10 pounds of muscle. My cholesterol count has dropped below 180. I’d never measured below 210. My pre-diabetic blood sugar levels have collapsed back down to safe levels. And I’m wearing a pant size I’ve not been able to wear for nearly 30 years. I simply feel and look better than at any time in my 50 years of life.

Products my family uses includes the following (just click on the pictures to be taken to a link in which you can order and try the products):

24 Day Challenge

Meal Replacement Shakes

Snack Bar

Spark Challenge

 

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Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won't regret it.

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Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids? | Mickey Goodman

Little League baseball on a Saturday afternoon...

My answer would be NO, but the rest of society is. Yes, I’m pointing the accusatory finger at YOU, and YOU, and YOU. I coached Little League Baseball, softball, Youth soccer, football, and Park and Rec league basketball. I was Mr. Involved parent. And I always tried to discourage the Team Moms from buying the insipid trophies for EVERY player for the end of the year. It serves as a metaphor for all that this article speak toward.

I still remember this one Mom, a co-worker, asking me (but not realy. Really, she was just making a statement of her own plight and could care less what I said or did with my kids), “What do you do when you kid is screaming at you to stop at McDonalds. I say no, but they keep whining that they want McDonalds. So naturally I give in and we stop.” I was incredulous. I said, the fact that you do stop every time (or most times) is exactly why they scream and whine. My kids don’t and NEVER have whined. I’m proud they learned that lesson.

Click on the link below and read this article, and then help you kids by implementing that which is recommended at its end.

Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids? | Mickey Goodman.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won't regret it.

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Total Broadcasting Service. When you want marketing help that you can understand and afford.

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20 Things the Rich Do Every Day – daveramsey.com

It has always amazed me that so few look to duplicate the actions of the successful. As I wrote in The Swings of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb I believe that emulating those who are successful will do far more for your well-being than any thing else. This piece tells you what you ought to be doing. So…do it.

20 Things the Rich Do Every Day – daveramsey.com.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won't regret it.

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People with no kids dont know – YouTube

Years ago I worked under the dictatorial rulings of a Sales Manager who thought she knew everything about kids and the raising of them because she had gone to college and earned a degree in Early Childhood Education. Using Deborah’s name here would be indiscreet, so I won’t. Oops!

But this 50+ year old women never hesitated to share her views on what would be best for my kids to both my wife and I. She also never wasted a moment to share those views with anyone else who was a parent and would listen. Since she occupied an authority position within the company I worked her subordinates, who she referred to as “her children” (I shit you not), were more or less required to listen to her views.

This woman had no children. Ever. And I always resented the arrogance she demonstrated to offer ANY advice on child rearing.

Fortunately, in this video, Michael McIntyre finds a much more humorous way to convey what the parents of this world know.

People with no kids dont know – YouTube.

So if you don’t have kids and never went through the challenge of leaving your house…with kids…kindly do the rest of us a favor who know the truth; please…and I say this with all love, kindness, and humility…SHUT THE HELL UP! YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.

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NFL Can Solve Concussion Problem But Isn’t

The new NFL logo went into use at the 2008 draft.

Now that the NFL concussion problem has gotten the attention of PBS’ Frontline tv news documentary program newsletterplease

its time for this multi-billion-dollar per year business to do the simple and necessary steps required to reduce dangerous head injuries to its players. They need to do so now before their neglect on this subject becomes a financial and legal liability that will eventually lead to the elimination of the game we love.

In “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis” Frontline showed that the biggest sports league in the world has knowingly sent too many players into retirement with what appear to be permanent brain injuries.

//www.youtube.com/embed/

As I wrote in a June 2012 blog “NFL Concussion Problem is Solvable” one of the steps the NFL could take right now, this year is to put padding on the outside of the hard-shell helmets their players wear. It’s been done before by at least two players in the 1990s.

Buffalo Bill Mark Kelso padded his helmet.

Buffalo Bill Mark Kelso padded his helmet.

Buffalo’s Mark Kelso was no bench-warming back-up player. He wore his padded helmet while forging a 7 year NFL career and playing in four Super Bowls.

Steve Wallace in his "Cone helmet"

Steve Wallace in his “Cone helmet”

San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Steve Wallace wore a foam cap. He was good enough to play in a Pro Bowl. Why don’t players protect themselves by wearing these easily manufactured foam caps on their hard-shell helmets? Because they can. Players can choose to do this on their own without the league stepping in. They don’t because too many of them think they make you look bad, or geeky, nerdy, or uncool. It’s such a sad statement in our society the clothing appearance is more important than the risk of life long medical disability.

The next question is why doesn’t the NFL require the foam padding on the outside of the helmets? It’s a mystery. Though you can guess it has something to do with style, appearance, aesthetics.

There is still more they can do. During the last off-season the NFL announced that it would require its players to start wearing padding in the football pants, in particular, over their knees. This is a huge step. Just think of how many times we’ve seen a player knocked senseless while blocking or tackling and inadvertently being kicked in the head by another players knee. It happens all the time. Common sense would presume that a pad on the knee and a thin pad on the players helmet would do a lot less neurological damage than a hard knee smashing into a head covered by a hard-shell helmet. The problem is the NFL delayed this change, the mandatory padding, until 2014. It’s hard to imagine why; especially when at the time of the announced change more than 2000 thousand former players had joined in a class action lawsuit against the NFL claiming damages from head trauma during their playing years continued to plague them into retirement.  The lawsuit was settled in August 2013 for $765-million and a guarantee of lifetime medical insurance coverage.

NFL Referees have increasingly thrown flags for helmet hits. The league has also increased the frequency and amount of fines it assesses players every week for those same helmet hits. And I applaud such action.

I am not among the foolish whiners who claim their taking away what we love best about this vicious game, the big hard hits. For the past 20-30 years players have not tackled properly. They fly at the ball carriers, usually with their head down, and essentially “push” them as hard as they can hoping the guy with the ball falls down. (I know I’m simplifying…bear with me) But watch the old, I mean 1960s-old NFL Films highlight reels of Tommy Nobis, Dick Butkis, Chuck Bednarick, Ray Nitschke, Deacon Jones. These Hall of Famers and all others at that time didn’t lower their heads and run into the ball carrier. They kept their heads up to see. They collided with the runner and they wrapped their arms around, and lifted and drove backwards with their legs. This is how I was taught how to tackle at Bellevue, Washington’s Olde Jr High, and then Sammamish High School in 1976-1982. In watching those old highlight films I challenge you to tell me they didn’t hit and tackle hard, and that those hits were exciting. They were savage and brutal. They were great. A perfectly executed hit-wrap-lift-and drive tackle is still more exciting to me then some head collision.

Teaching how to tackle properly again and added padding on the outside of helmets and over the players knees can only help. And it better. Because in our litigious society increasing evidence of repeated concussion trauma and its life time effects on the players will only lead to the inevitable legislative control and eventual loss of the great game of football.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won't regret it.

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