Five steps for new runners from a new runner

Five steps for new runners from a new runner

One of the first lessons I learned when beginning to work out on a regular basis is that there is a wealth of information on exercise and diet online; Most of it from experts or experienced runners (or whatever your exercise of choice is). Most of the information, however, is geared toward experienced runners, or people who are already in fair physical condition.

Finding information on getting started, staying motivated, and being disciplined with the adventure of a new lifestyle can be a bit more challenging.

So as a new runner, I felt inspired to write my advice to others looking to take the path I’ve recently embarked on – a lifestyle change to better health. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Diet, Exercise


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Lying – What they think vs. what we know

As parents, we know.They may not know it, but we do.

We know exactly when our kids aren’t being honest or forthcoming with information, and they think they are being sneaky only to be surprised when they discover we truly know.

M, like me as a kid, has a problem with telling my wife and me when he’s done something he ought not to have. A trait, I have to admit he inherited from me. It’s funny how your perception on a situation changes as a parent.

The Parents’ View:

I worked late last night, and got home after midnight (4 hours after my son’s bedtime) to discover my wife working away on the bed with M sleeping next to her. Upon asking my wife how the evening went, I learned that M went to bed on time, but stayed up watching the flat screen built into his bed until 11:30! It is important to note that my wife had caught him around 9:15, turned off the television and confiscated the remotes.

Being the savvy parent I am I don’t want my son to struggle with honesty the way I did growing up. So, I decided long ago that I would give him ample opportunities to be forthcoming with me. This was no exception. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 18, 2012 in Family, Parenting


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Dietary Changes

Have you ever seen a dog’s facial expression after it runs into a screen door?

You know, the one where they’re not quite as scared as if you just caught them digging in the garbage, but more confused that when they’re attempted to escape a balloon tied to their tail. Yup, you got it now.

I have the feeling my wife is going to give me that look when she comes home to see what I brought home from the grocery store. If you don’t know me well, the asparagus, broccoli, green beans, sweet potatoes, celery, and other typical fruits and vegetables would not seem out of place. For my wife, however, she’ll be dubious about the purchased produce.

Why?  I think Lois Lane explained it perfect in the pilot episode of Lois and Clark – The New Adventures of Superman when she told Clark Kent “Let me get this straight, you eat like an eight-year-old, but you look like Mr. Hardbody.” Only replace hardbody with doughboy and you’ve got it.

My typical grocery trip consists of bring home a few boxes of crackers or chips, a minimum two packages of cookies, ice cream, and various other snacks favorite by your typical elementary student. I have to admit I’ve gradually been getting better about the food selections, but still not what I would consider healthy eating, especially for someone who is closer to 40 than when he began driving. This week’s delivery of consumables is more in-line to what my wife would bring home.

This grocery trip was long overdue after deciding four months ago that I would begin living a healthier lifestyle. After eliminating soda from my daily diet a month ago, I’m taking the next step: replacing carbohydrate laden snacks and side dishes for fresh fruits and vegetables.

 This first week will be the toughest.

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Posted by on April 9, 2012 in Diet


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Obligatory Valentine’s Day Post

I don’t get Valentine’s Day to the extent that I downright dislike the holiday (which is important to keep in mind when reading the memory below I posted of Valentine’s Day).

Most holiday’s make sense why we celebrate them – Christmas and Easter are religious holidays, Fourth of July, President’s Day, and Labor Day (amongst others) are national holidays, New Year’s is linked to fresh starts, and Halloween is meant to be a celebration of heritage.

What about Valentine’s day? We’re celebrating the memory of a Catholic “saint” who was imprisoned and ultimately beheaded on February 14th because he wouldn’t stray from Catholicism. That sounds like a romantic night on the town!

So the guy was the patron saint of love, but he was also the patron saint of epilepsy, fainting, and the plague. Last time I checked we didn’t have a holiday for fainting (though New Year’s Eve might be close) or the plague, so why do we celebrate this guy just because he was dubbed a patron saint of something by the church?

So, as I said. This is one holiday I don’t get. That doesn’t mean I don’t spoil my wife with flowers, chocolates, gifts, dinners or whatever else I go for on a given year. Besides, as many cards state, you don’t need a hallmark holiday to celebrate your love for someone – besides, doesn’t each couple have their own special day not sanctioned by a card company?

The Memory:

Several years ago during my single days, using the iron-on transfer sheets me and a few buddies made t-shirts for Valentine’s Day. They were plain white shirts with red block lettering that simply stated “I’m celebrating singles’ awareness day” on the front, and “Care to change that?” on the back. We thought it was clever, and perhaps some single hot girl would share the same sentiment.

So that night, when a group of our friends all got together for coffee at the local Charbucks this guy walks up to me and starts laughing at my shirt. Thinking nothing of it, I thank the guy. Say that me and a few buddies thought it would be a good way to turn our noses at the holiday.

The guy starts asking me about the group I was with (it was a church group of about 15-20 people). After telling him as such, without my noticing they were all staring at me, he starts asking questions about the church. I’m completely oblivious as to what is going on at this point. So I start telling him about the group and the church.

He asks how “liberal” the church is. I was a little taken back by the question as I began understanding what was going on. At the same time, I’m thinking something has to be a set up, but I’m not going to take the risk and just tell the dude “who put you up to this?” nor was I so convinced that was what the situation was and didn’t want to offend someone after talking about church to say, “dude, leave me alone, I’m not into guys.”

I was in a very awkward situation. As the guy continues to outright ask me out, and the whole group just erupts in laughter, I knew without a doubt it was a set up, and immediately knew who was responsible.

I turned around in the group, located my wife (who was just a friend at the time), walked over and shook her hand. Very red in the face, I walked back over to the guy, shook his hand as he explained to me the set up.

So I guess a single, hot girl found my shirt clever afterall- unfortunately it was found to be a clever way to pull a practical joke on me.

In the end, it was that spunk that made me fall in love with my wife. Within several months of this incident we were dating (for the second time) and engaged shortly after that.

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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Life


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The Scooter

Do you remember the scene in Dumb & Dumber where Harry Dunn & Lloyd Christmas are on a scooter making their way into the Rockies? It’s classic American Cinema right down to the snot wings Lloyd is sporting.

I am officially one step closer to being able to reenact that scene – though I’ll skip the snot wings as I had my fair share of those as a kid and fear that if I exceed my quota of snot wings something very bad will happen – now that my red SUNL SNL150-12B motor scooter is up and running!

The scooter is a few years old and despite being the third owner, it only has 18 miles on it. My sister, who gave me the scooter, had received it from my dad, but never had the privilege of puttering around the Verde Valley with it.

It then sat in my garage untouched all winter. I was leery, you see, to dive into the project as I feared it possessed more challenges than just an absent battery or my complete and utter lack of knowledge about the inner workings of scooters. Did I mention I’ve never driven a scooter or motorcycle?

Yesterday I ventured out and purchased a new battery from a local auto parts store. The guy at the register must have thought I was an idiot because of the look I gave him when he told me I had to put the acid into the battery before I could charge it. Thankfully the instructions were not only in multiple languages, but they also had pictures.

After letting the battery charge overnight, I ventured out and bought a gallon of gas and luckily happened upon the gas cap underneath the seat. This must be destiny, right? At this point I reviewed what I knew of the scooter…

Step One: Charge and install new battery? Check.
Step Two: Fill up gas tank? Check.
Step Three: Check oil levels? Check.
Step Four: Start scooter? …
Step Four: Start scooter? … Shoot!

After consulting those wiser in the ways of mechanics than myself, I was able to spray some gasoline into the carburetor and start the scooter. It started but sputtered out the moment I released the throttle. Figuring it was just that it hadn’t been run for a while and with the information as to why I gave the carburetor extra gas, I was able to figure out I just needed to throttle up for a few minutes.

So now I have a working scooter.

Next step: Learn to ride a scooter. It can’t be much different from a bicycle, can it?

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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Life


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Me and my mutant genes

In high school science I learned that the dominant and recessive genes I inherited from my parents affect the color of my eyes and hair. They determined if I was a boy or a girl. That was just the beginning.

It was my son’s (who I will refer to as “M” from here out) genetic code that provided the diagnosis of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. These genetic deletions are effectively what prevent the body from producing dystrophin resulting in a gradual weakening.

A few days ago M had a check-up to see how he was doing. After the nurse checked his weight, height, pulse, and blood pressure we met with a neurologist. This was our first visit with the new doc, and we were quite pleased with his knowledge of the subject (we learned he is one of the leading researchers and minds of DMD) and his bed-side manner was fantastic.

After ruling out that we weren’t there to test M for DMD, the doc began running a few physical tests. He rubbed arms and legs to check the level of atrophy in his muscles, stretched his legs and arms to check for range of motion and flexibility. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on January 30, 2012 in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Family


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Kleenex and Faith

My son makes me laugh on a daily basis. He always has insights that amaze me, and makes connections that many kids twice his age don’t. When he learns things, it goes beyond memorizing facts – he must know why and how things work. He studies things, analyzes them before he is ready to practice them – and he’s always been that way. He has the strength and confidence my wife and I have encouraged and prayed for.

By all accounts my son is a typical kindergartener: He loves to run, play tag, make farting noises, and prefers recess over math. There is something different about my son that you can’t tell when you meet him: he has a degenerative muscle disease called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Family, Parenting


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