Monday, March 23, 2015

M-Cubed for 3.23.2015

M-Cubed (Monday Morning Musings) for March Twenty-Third, Two-Thousand Fifteen...a random smattering of thoughts that end up here on Monday morning.

- Snow is gone, potholes are either eating cars or getting filled one at a time by workers working as fast as possible, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Eggs are at the entry to every retail store on the must be Spring! In case you missed it, Spring officially arrived Friday night. Welcome!

- If you happen to have missed my latest musings on my CrossFit journey, I wrote a Week 20 post a few days back. You can catch up here. Today: Week 20 wraps up and 21 starts tomorrow. The word on the street is that our coach/trainer who is writing all of the workouts this month is celebrating his birthday this week and he has some fun in store for us. "Fun" can be defined in so many ways by a kaleidoscope of people.

- With Spring comes Easter and some tradition around our home. I'm sure the Easter eggs will get colored but first, the bare pear tree in our front yard gets decorated with plastic eggs on thread. My wife and girls did the honors last night.

- Speaking of my girls...they are sure growing up. On one side, my oldest applied for her first job this weekend and high school orientation was at the end of last week (gulp!). The other helped my dad make over 210 gallons of homemade ice cream on Saturday. (They own an ice cream shop.) Talk of Fall 2016 schedules in high school and how many hours to work in a week now fill conversation. They say they grow up fast. 'Tis true...'tis true!

- Bull Run Run 50 Miler looms. T-19 days and counting now and I have been running much more regularly lately. With my oldest daughter turning 14 last week, I ran a brisk 14 miler for her and while it's nowhere near 50 miles, it felt really good and easy. Within the next week or so, I plan on getting out to the trails for a long trail run to make sure I still have my "trail legs" and get my head screwed on straight to accomplish the mission at hand. The race is remote and takes place in northern Virginia. (As I typed that, I paused to pull up Google Maps for the drive time....hmmmmm, I don't think I quite thought about my end game. "That's 50 miles, not 50K. You're going to finish much later in the day and then you want to drive home from VA...and stay awake to do it? Alone?") Anyway, I am so ready to run with the bluebells. (pictured here) I love Virginia!

- Regarding running and how the passion can be lost: I have some friends who have dove head first into the CrossFit world, leaving a life of ultra running behind them. Now at nearly 5 months in to heading to CrossFit 5 days a week and dropping my mileage drastically, I can see how the "love affair" with running can dwindle and even cease to exist. If I never in no more than a few times a month for a few miles, it would be easy. My mind and soul would be getting filled by the challenge, rush, and adrenaline produced at the box and running would get shoved out. I have found, though, that occasionally running home from the box (11-13 miles, depending on the route), getting sunrise Sunday morning runs in, and throwing in some pre-dinner runs during the week keeps my mind centered and open to the benefits of both "worlds." There are certainly physical benefits to both worlds that the other can't replicate but do compliment each other. Then there is the mental side...and spiritual side. In a one hour class with others, throwing weight around, taking my heart rate through the roof, and pushing myself like never before...there isn't a lot of mental time for decompressing, praying, breathing in fresh air out in the country, watching a sunrise, or hearing the birds sing. Only the run provides that and I greatly treasure that and the ability to still do it. The aches and "pains" are different in both sports and are as different as the "benefits" received but both are valuable to me. I really do hope that this upcoming race is confirmation that I still "have it" and the two can co-exist as they do now. I value both but for very different reasons and the run can't ever be truly replaced. Pictured here is my late sunrise photo from yesterday's Sunday morning pre-church run. For mid-March, it was a chilly 22F (14F windchill) but amazingly beautiful out there.

- A few weeks back, my wife and I led a marriage retreat for 22 other couples. It was a great weekend! One point made that weekend was about treating our marriages like a mission...together. Whether it's raising our children, financial independence/security, or our faith, we should go at it on a mission in lock-step with each other. We need to foster open communication and model forgiveness and humility daily. Yesterday, I stumbled across a tweet from Dr. Tony Evans and thought it fitting from that weekend: "A good marriage shares a mission, not just an emotion." It's true. Emotions are fleeting and are all over the place. Ground yourself/yourselves on a mission and stay the course!

- I love a great inspirational video/life story to watch. I have a few to share this morning. The first is of Ernestine Shepherd. She is 77 years young and a bodybuilder! I have heard "I'm too old" too many times to count so after watching this, it's proof that age is largely a state of mind and not something to hang your hat on and "blame" for inactivity or whatever. Watch Ernestine's story here. The second story is about Austin. Austin is a young man with Down Syndrome whose brother owns a CrossFit gym where they have a CrossFit Kids program. Absolutely inspiring! I loved watching this. It also represents the kind of community I envision in the CrossFit that I hope I can be a part of someday. So much intangible potential out there to impact others for good! Watch Austin's story here.

- Today as I close, I want to share a longer quote than normal and it centers around what I spoke of above with regards to running. Have a GREAT week, everyone!

"Once you start running, never stop. Keep after it. Keep going. If the enthusiasm drains out of you and you grow road-weary, go back to what attracted you to running in the first place. Rekindle that feeling, and your spirit will be restored.

Running is about being fit and keeping your heart pumping and staying healthy. But it's also about feeling that feeling, that anything-is-possible feeling of youth and adventure and challenge.

People who run do it because they love it. They're running for that feeling as much as for the physical benefits. Having the feeling helps them receive the physical benefits, which in turn makes the feeling even more pronounced. It's a lovely cycle to be caught up in. You can stop for a while. You don't have to run and run and run and run and do nothing else. It doesn't have to be an obsession.

In fact it's better if it isn't. Running is not a form of slavery. You choose to run. The fact that you choose to run increases the pleasure and the benefits derived from it. Think not about tomorrow or next month or next year. Just think about having a good run and a good time today. Do that, and you will never stop running."

– Kevin Nelson, The Runner's Book of Daily Inspiration: A Year of Motivation, Revelation, and Instruction

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