Monday, May 18, 2015

M-Cubed for 5.18.2015

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

- There was a moment about a week ago where I was going to draft and post a commencement address if I were to give one today. Well, as many things in my head are in "draft mode" to write here, time never did avail itself to write such a post but then I stumbled upon this gem of a speech by none other than famed actor, Denzel Washington. He gave the address to the graduates of Dillard University a week ago and I was really blown away by the humility, selflessness, and non-materialistic nature of his speech. Really, REALLY good and worth the watch/listen. Here is one quote I grabbed that I had to pause the video for: "Dreams without goals are just dreams and they ultimately fuel disappointment...so have dreams, but have goals...life goals, yearly goals, monthly goals, daily goals..." You can watch it here.

Top is immediately after the workout.
- Last week was a really challenge at the CrossFit box. Two days of the five that I went to class, I was dead last...but finished. One day was pure endurance with no weights at all and was four 500m rows plus an all-out 800m run. That day, I took the lowest combined time in my class and the fastest 800m run at 2:49. Then, we had 2 Hero WODs as well. On Monday, we did "Klepto" that was in honor of an Air Force pilot who was killed in Afghanistan when I was over there, actually. Klepto was his call-sign. It was 4 rounds of 27 box jumps, 20 burpees, and 11 squat cleans. He was killed on  4-27-2011...thus the reason for those numbers. It was a long haul of a workout! On Friday, we did another one called Bradshaw. 1LT Bradshaw, U.S. Army was killed by an IED in 2009 in Afghanistan. "Bradshaw" tore me up. I've been working on pull-ups and this one had 120 of them! It was 10 rounds of 4 hand stand push ups (I did pike push ups instead), 6 dead lifts at 225lbs, 12 pull ups, and 24 DUBs (I did 48 single jump ropes). Well, since no one has ever told me to shave down my callouses on my hands, my hands tore...in 6 places. Since then, I've been trimming skin, using lots of neosporin, and NOT shaking hands. Bradshaw was one of the WODs where I was dead last, entirely because my hands hurt so dang bad and I could only do 2 or 3 pull ups at a time. I actually did all 60 dead lifts at the prescribed weight...very happy about that! The WOD ended up taking me 34min, 31sec..but I finished. (That's a LONG workout, by the way) I know some have their opinion about being so slow, but I tried my hardest and didn't quit from the pain. Luckily, I Googled Bradshaw prior to the workout to know who I was working in honor of...that definitely helped. A little bit of pain was worth it. Leaning forward, I'm really looking forward to the Hero WOD "Murph"...coming up one week from today on Memorial Day along with working hard every day no matter what the challenge.

- My wife and I had the pleasure and honor of attending a friend's wedding over the weekend. It was a rainy evening so the lakeside vows were moved inside. It was a perfect wedding. Instead of two massive bridal parties, there was his brother and her sister by their sides and two young nieces bringing the "cute factor" down the aisle. Purple and peacocks were clearly a theme and it was more of a fun atmosphere and interactive. Congratulations, Shawn and Abby!!! And Abby...you were beautiful!!!

- Proud dad right here! I have a few very talented daughters. One loves to sing and rightfully so...such a beautiful voice. She also plays the guitar. The other plays piano and the flute. Yesterday, the annual music awards ceremony was held in our local high school and as my oldest gets ready to enter the high school, she received a few really awesome awards. First, she was voted on by her peers for the Leadership Award for the year. I told her how awesome that is because it's her fellow classmates who picked her as a leader...that says a lot! The second award and one she was really hoping for: "The Fred Waring Director's Award for Chorus® recognizes the talent and enthusiasm of outstanding choral members." It's "the" award to get as one leaves middle school. Well, she got it as well! Super proud to be her dad!

- It's time to start mixing things up a bit and getting myself back on the roads I love to run and hills I love to conquer. Usually after I pen this post, I head to CrossFit where in years past I was on the roads to run. Today and for many scattered days coming up, I'm back on the roads and will be going to some afternoon CrossFit classes. While the workouts are the same, different box members and a different coach leads those classes. I'm looking forward to the change! I'm very much a morning person so those afternoon/early evening classes should be interesting...but a refreshing change. I'm definitely looking forward to watching some sunrises from the run again. Yesterday, in fact, I got in a very sweaty/balmy/moist 7 miler on my favorite country route. Color, birds singing, and even some cows having breakfast. Of course, I grabbed a running selfie. I'd hate to disappoint the haters! :)

- Surely, you've heard of beer, brew, tap handles and kegs. Whether you enjoy some bland Bud Light or quality craft brew or don't drink at all, these terms are familiar. What probably ISN'T familiar is using terms like brew, keg and tap when referring to coffee. Well, my favorite coffee shop in Kent, OH (Bent Tree Coffee Roasters) where I stop en route to work every day for my daily French Press recently debuted their nitro cold brew. It's brewed and kept fresh in an ice cold keg with a blanket of nitrogen. On Saturday, I took a solo stroll through Kent along the Cuyahoga River and walked in the shop to finally try it. What I expected was a bland iced coffee taste. What I got was a very rich and creamy, full of complex flavor cup of ice cold coffee brew. INCREDIBLE is the only word I could use. It was so good! Like I told the owners, Mike and Ryan, that's what you get when you take craft beer lovers and they open a coffee shop! Well done, gentlemen...WELL DONE!


- Before I leave you today, I just want to say a hearty thanks to those of you who have served our country and to those of you who might be serving today. Saturday was Armed Forces Day and while most didn't know that, I did and just wanted to say thanks...just in case no one did!!! THANK YOU!!!

- This week's quote speaks straight to my inner being because lately, I have felt beat down and one person stands out in particular...maybe even two! I just have to remember to shrug those things off and get my head screwed back on straight and keep charging forward. I definitely take on challenges and dig deep...I just need help believing in myself more and stopping others from bringing me down. That just doesn't come easy to me! Have a GREAT week, everyone!

"Believe in yourself, take on your challenges, dig deep within yourself to conquer fears. Never let anyone bring you down. You got to keep going." ~ Chantal Sutherland

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