Monday, October 5, 2015

M-Cubed for 10.5.2015

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

- Not gonna lie, heart is sick with the death through our country's mass shootings. While there is much to write about, I feel strongly to take a moment first to share my thoughts on the Oregon shooting from last Thursday morning at a community college. First, though...let's remember the victims, aged 18 to 67. The killer will not be pictured or named anywhere in my thoughts today. The victims...

Last night during the CBS show, 60 Minutes, they were doing a story related to the Holocaust where the Nazis went house to house, looking for Jews, and taking them to mass graves, freshly dug. My youngest daughter was busy crocheting some flowers but looked up to ask when that was, thinking it was much further in the past than World War II. I told her when it was and simply because of their faith, they were killed...massacred. So enter the most recent massacre of these 9. Accounts from survivors already quote the killer as saying:
"What religion are you? Are you a Christian?"
With a "yes" answer, he shot them in the head. While the press, politicians, gun lobbyists, etc. rage about gun control, the one thing that rings in my head is this: What would I say? That first person didn't know the penalty for his or her answer. However, for every person after, they knew they were signing their death sentence with a "yes" answer. What would YOU say? There are also accounts that no matter what "religion" was answered, the victims were shot. Either way, the question beckons and looms for each of us.

I would say "yes" and there is no gray area for me. Honestly, I don't say much about my beliefs here or on social media as I'm a firm believer that a Facebook post, a tweet, an Instagram post, etc. won't change anyone's mind about much, especially about "religion." I prefer, instead, to live my life and hopefully, others will see and will be able to tell who and what I am by my actions more so than my words or posts. If asked, I'm not ashamed and know what I believe and will gladly share it. The hashtag you see here is all over social media now as profile photos, etc. Like I said, I won't partake in this movement and instead wish those who proclaim to be a Christian would be more like one in public, in the workplace, in their families, etc. Save the rants and keyboard bravery posts and be more like the hands and feet of Christ whom you say you follow...and know what you believe. Be ready to take a stance because like these 9 victims, the day may come where you have to answer.

- So after such a somber beginning to today's post, can I give an "amen!" to some of the Fall foliage beginning to emerge out the window? While I don't look forward to what's coming in a few months, I do love the cool, crisp bedtime and the gorgeous collage of color out the window. As if in a chorus, nature puts on this show together year after year.

- It was just my girls and me this weekend and with nothing but rain on Saturday so we voted on a movie to go see. "The Martian," starring Matt Damon, won out and we grabbed our Cinemark popcorn bucket and went to see the 2hr, 22min flick set on Mars. Except for the couple f-bombs and the rear-nudity of a body double of Matt Damon (trying to show how much weight he lost being stranded on Mars), it was a great flick for us to see together. While long, it went quick and was really well done. I also wanted to see "Everest" but the true story/tragedy nature of the film knocked down its votes and I was out-voted. :) Still, a great way to spend part of the day on Saturday. I'd give it 3.5 out of a possible 4 stars.

Setting new front squat PR
- I continue to "almost" write a CrossFit post but never do. It is fitting to do one about now, too, since yesterday marked our 11 month "anniversary" since starting on November 4, 2014. Woohoo! But alas, I chose to spend the time doing other things yesterday like mowing the lawn, cleaning out the garage, washing both cars, and just tidying up the house prior to my bride coming home from a quick trip to the Big Apple. CrossFit is going great and I continue to be super proud of my partner in crime who inspires all around her. I do love it but it's not "everything" to me...meaning I don't "worship" it. I love the humility it teaches me, my increased strength, and I'd be lying if I didn't like how my clothes fit...and those non-forgiving uniforms. I enjoy sharing it together most with my bride, the daily "debrief" of the beatdown by Coach Will, and celebrating little victories together. A few years ago, we found that running together was "our thing." Well, this is it for now and for as long as it continues, I'll be thankful for it and make the best of it. There are so many facets to what we do at our new gym and no day is the same as the previous which really keeps it interesting and challenging all the same. I did learn a new stretch last week that I like to do in the morning at home as well. It is "magic" for opening up my shoulders. You lay on a foam roller, parallel with your spine and lower a PVC pipe slowly to the floor. My shoulder mobility stinks bad but within a few minutes, my hands will sink to the floor and doing things with the bar in the gym get so much easier with increased also feels AWESOME! (see photo at right before I set a new front squat personal record last week...getting those shoulders/elbows UP is a huge challenge and this stretch has really helped!) Last week, Bristol decided to get in on the action, totally unprompted, and my daughter quickly grabbed this photo. Priceless, eh?! "Strettttttttttch, Bristol!!!"

- While the Oregon shooting has dominated the news along with who is running the president in 2016, we lost 6 more service members in Afghanistan last week, just east of Bagram Air Field and near the Pakistan border. The C-130 aircraft is the workhorse over there, moving people and freight all over the country. I rode in it several times during my deployment in 2011. Well, one of them crashed on October 1st, killing all onboard. "May God comfort and protect the families of the fallen and may the rest of our service members be brought home soon."

- As I close today, I want to share the work of a friend who is a professional photographer in New Jersey. Just last year, he retired from the U.S. Coast Guard where he served as a photographer and attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer over 20 great years. I met Tom via ultra running and actually paced him to the end of one of his 100-mile races here in NE Ohio a few years back. He is now living out his passion full time taking on photo assignments and just posted this photo last week on his Facebook feed. Full credit goes to Tom for the photo and the words below. His website can be found by clicking here, as well. Amazing work over many years! Check it out!

Albert and Rose Kleuser, from Galloway, NJ, have been married for 60 years. Albert served in Korea with the U.S. Army and Rose worked as a nurse aid in a nursing home. Both have taught Sunday school and Albert drove the Sunday school bus. They started attending church in 1962. They hug each other and forgive each other for any wrong doings every night before going to bed. They have made an agreement that when one passes on the other will cry tears of joy and not tears of sorrow. “Because we know we've been called home,” said Rose. “We're just passing through right now. We don't fear death at all. Actually we don't fear anything. Fear is a terrible thing.” 

And with that, friends, I wish you a "Happy Monday!" and an awesome week. Regret nothing, love those near you, and hug the ones you love.

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