6.28.2016

RACE RECAP: Harold's National Doughnut Day 5k - Columbia, MO

Disclaimer: I understand that after writing a review of something that it might make some people upset and others happy.  We all claim to desire change but when challenged with change we tend to fight it with hurricane force.  My goal in reviewing the races that I participate is solely based on my experience with the race.  Each review will be honest but try to highlight the positives moreso than the negatives.

HAROLD’S NATIONAL DOUGHNUT DAY 5K RUN/WALK

BIB # 129

Date: June 4, 2016

Time: 28'53"

Actual Distance: 2.9 miles

Location:  Columbia, MO

Time of Race: 10:00am

Race Beneficiary: Central Missouri Humane Society


Registration or Check-in Process:  Easy.  Signed up online and picked up bib and shirt right away on race day.

Course Difficulty: Easy [out and back] and relatively flat.  The 5k started in a park and followed paved path for first ½-1 mile and then turned to trail path and ended back at the same park.  The race began on a sidewalk and funneled everyone through a tight path at very beginning [not good for dogs on leashes which equated into a tangle or two].  Granted, it was not a certified course but the course was not the full 3.1 miles but was marked as such.  It had the same start and finish line.  Turn around point was marked at 1.5 miles.  Interestingly enough, there was a 3 mile marker towards the end of the race despite the 5k not actually reaching 3 miles in total.   Being a dog friendly race, there were a couple times that leashes were tangled and caused a traffic jam. 

Family/Child Friendly:  Yes and No.  [Music had many F*Bombs blasting over system in downtown Columbia] I guess that’s a personal preference but not really child friendly.  Children were allowed to go with parent on the race or be pushed in a stroller which is a plus for those needing to do so.  Letting children run begins the run-bug at an early age which is a positive.  

Pet Friendly:  As stated, many dogs were there with their owners.  Very Pet Friendly.  They did hand out packets of dog food at the end of the race as well.

Race Swag:  There wasn't a lot of swag with this race.  We did not receive a Swag Big.  They did give a shirt & race bib and handed out packets of dog food at the end of the race. 

Post-Race Food:  Fresh and On-Site made doughnuts, Beer, water, coffee, Popsicles  and small cup of recovery drink [chocolate].  They did not have the typical post race food: fruit, yogurt, energy bars, Gatorade, etc.  The spread was pretty good and the doughnuts were awesome!  They did have on-site vendors so that you could buy recovery products.

Race Environment:  Music was playing.  Many dogs were there as the race was supporting the humane society.  This race was dog friendly and many runners took advantage of that and ran with their dog.  There were plenty of people cheering at the finish line as finishers crossed.  A dancing robot was at the halfway point and later at the registration tent.  Runners were encouraged to dance with the robot.

Additional Comments:  Overall, it was a functional race.  It was their inaugural race with it's own quirks.  There were no medals or official time keeping.  The Harold’s National Doughnut Day 5k has potential to be a really fun race.  I’ve run a lot of small races and this race could be one of those that could be a ‘I’m going to come back’ type of race.  There are some things that I would suggest for that to happen. 

SUGGESTIONS:

1)    The course doesn’t have to be certified.  It can simply be a Fun Run but the distance still needs to be 5k distance or advertise it as 5k[ish].  Even unofficial time keeping would be cool. Medals aren't necessary but it would gain more attention from people searching for races to compete in.

2)     Have those running with dogs start in the back.  It is not a penalty to them but makes it easier for those not running with dogs to not get tangled up in the event of a tangle.  Many runners are still training and want to compete despite it being a 'fun run'.  It was cool to see all of the dogs there and made me wish that my dog was better trained so that I could take her out and run like that. 

3)   Play family friendly, or simply edited, music.  F*bombs suck.   I get that kids will hear it at school, home, out in public or wherever.  The race was advertised as a fun environment and it’s got to be tailored to everyone for that to happen. Simple fix would be to play the radio version.

4)  Running on roads may help.  The Start and Finish Line funnelled through the vendors.  On the return, it made it very congested as runners were to run on the same sidewalk that people were standing on to visit the vendor booths. 

FAVORITES:

1)   On-Site Freshly made doughnuts.  Hands down my favorite part!

2)   Dancing Robot – I didn’t dance with it but I did give it a high-five at the turnaround.

3)   Shirts and Bib design was pretty cool.  The Doughnut had a headband of icing on it with a long john next to it.  Bib had a doughnut on it.

4)      The 10:00 am race start gave time for those driving any distance to get there with plenty of time and be able to have received plenty of sleep before.


Any time one can eat a freshly made doughnut at the end of the race -- that's  a win in my book!


2.08.2016

Get out of your head!

Loser!  

Failure!

You can't finish this!

You won't be able to lift that!

That is too high!

That is way too much weight!

You look fat!

You are fat!

She is better than you!

He is faster than you!

You can't ever look like that!

You won't be able to be successful!

You always come up short!

I can't change!

This is who I always will be!

Stop!

Just Quit!

***

Get out of your head and defy the thoughts that pull you down!






1.26.2016

Afraid of the Gym?



When I talk to others that go to the gym - it seems that there is always anxiety attached to it.

I'm sure that there is a scientific study to it but I'm going to list the reasons that people are timid or even refuse to go to the gym through conversations that I've had.

1.  INSECURITIES OR FEAR

People are genuinely afraid to go to the gym to work out.  Maybe even more afraid of just being in public while working out or any form of exercise.  The thought is frightening.  I get that.  Have you ever heard a 265 lb man run on a treadmill.  Do you think I didn't hear it too as I ran on it?  I didn't need looks.  I didn't want to weaken the bolts that are holding it together.  I especially don't like people see my fat jiggle around with each step.

But then I realized these two things:

A) It's not my equipment and if it breaks, maybe they'll buy better equipment and
B) Who cares what they think.  If I am at the gym making myself better, it's sure doing a lot more than taking up a weight bench staring at me run.

Others in the gym are just as insecure with how they look as you are with how you look.

MY ADVICE: Know that your worth, beauty, strengths and values are not in what others think of you.

Side Note:  I am afraid to run on my treadmill at home.  While I think it can handle me, it's not as solid as the one at the gym.

2.  NO KNOWLEDGE OF MACHINES OR FREE WEIGHTS

There was a time that I didn't know how to type.  There was a time that I didn't know how to drive a car.  There was even a time that I didn't know how to get dressed on my own.  And then I learned.  Some of my learning came from trial and error while some was by hands on experience.  Most though, came from instruction.

Using the machines or free weights can be intimidating.  It still is for me today.  It's intimidating to go into the weight lifting area.  I get it.  There's other people in the area and you going in with little knowledge is a brave step and one few people take.

You can prepare before you go to the gym as well.  Check YOUTUBE for instructional videos.  Take a class - Many gyms have classes that you can take part in that educate you in different exercises and how to perform them.  Hire a trainer - it's a financial commitment but even if you only do this for a little while it can pay off.  Download an app - there are a ton of apps out there that will show you the exercise; imitate it.  Keep your eyes open - most machines have instructions mounted to them in order for you to use them properly.

MY ADVICE:  Take the step.  Talk to the gym manager or trainer and have them show you the machines.  If you are worried about form, (form is key; quality over quantity), ask a trainer or a trusted peer.  Most likely, if there is someone else there in the same area - they'll help you if they see something wrong.  People look out for people more often than not.  Be brave!


3.  PEACOCKING!

(Google defines the following)
Peacock:

noun: a male peafowl, which has very long tail feathers that have eye-like markings and that can be erected and expanded in display like a fan.

verb: display oneself ostentatiously; strut like a peacock

There are those guys and girls that want to fan their feathers for all to see!  They focus more on how their triceps looks in the mirror without a weight in their hand than actually doing triceps extensions.  They strut their stuff and want all to look at them.  Those gyms are no fun to be at.  Talk about intimidating.  It's like looking at Arnold Schwarzenegger strut around the gym and then I look at myself in the mirror and see short Arnold Schwarzenegger in a fat suit.

It's tempting to do that when you do feel good about yourself and how you look outwardly but it's a tell tale sign of what is happening inwardly.  The gym is not a dating platform, or shouldn't be, and you shouldn't be afraid of the peacocks.  Eventually, the peacocks will be outdone by another and they''ll wimper back to their corner.

MY ADVICE:  You do your thing and better yourself!  Let the peacocks strut and you take care of yourself.  They won't bite you.  They might look at you but if you refuse to entertain it - they know they'll have to go somewhere else.  They might get in the way too - just brush them aside and go about your business.  If you are tempted -- it's best for you to ignore the peacocks and find your significant other somewhere else.  They might look like peacocks with pretty feathers but they're more like vultures looking to prey on others' weaknesses.  If you continue to better yourself - your hard work and determination will pay off and when you mix that with a solid inner beauty; that's something on another level!


WHATEVER THE REASON THAT YOU HAVE FOR NOT GOING TO THE GYM - THROW IT IN THE WIND AND GET BUSY!  

YOUR HEALTH IS WORTH MORE THAN YOUR FEAR AND YOUR FEAR CAN HURT YOUR HEALTH!

1.18.2016

What's on your Gym Playlist?

Are you a Daydreamer [fans of Adele]?  Are you a Belieber [fans of Justin Beiber]?  Are you a Swiftie [fans of Taylor Swift]?

Whoever you are - you probably like some sort of music!

My playlists vary.  Different places mean different playlists.  I don't usually play the same music during my office hours as I do driving or working out.

When I am writing a lesson I like to have music on in the background that requires no focus.

When I am doing work in my garage - cleaning, wood work, being creative - it's usually country [usually because that's the only station that the radio picks up in there].

When I am at work I usually tend to listen to something that isn't going to bother the offices next door; something along the lines of alternative/rockish and it's usually at a volume that they don't hear it anyways.

When I am doing yard work - I actually like to listen to podcasts.  Because the mower and the weedeater are loud anyway, turning the music up loud enough to hear it leaves my ears ringing afterwards.  I enjoy doing the yard work but sometimes there are other things that I need to do so at least the podcast makes the time pass by easier.

When I am in the car or driving it is the radio.  I don't have sirius radio or anything so I'm stuck with whatever is currently playing on Ryan Seacrest's top songs show.  That's not always ideal as a lot of it is crap - I guess I'm old enough to say that now but seriously - a lot of it's crap.

When I am in the gym though, it's usually rap and/or hip hop.  It keeps me going.  I love to work out to it.

Now, most of what I listen to is by christian artists.  This isn't some knock on "alternative music" as I still listen to non-christian music today.  I grew up on rap with the likes of Tupac, Dre, Snoop Dogg, Biggie, Bone Thugs, and such.  Eminem came soon after and I liked listening to him too.  His songs still have that catch for me.  Here's the thing though with all of these artists: while lyrically pretty genious, and even with accuracy of the times then - it doesn't do it for me anymore.  The darkness of Eminem's early stuff is just crazy to me now.  Honestly though, what was considered dark, crazy and vulgar back then is much of the norm today with any genre.

I strive to have things around me that are going to better me.  I want stuff that I am going to be challenged with. The strides that christian rap, hip hop and rock has taken - I have that now in music.

My gym playlist consists of Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Propaganda, KB, Trip Lee, Sho Baraka, Tedashii,  Family Force 5, Derek Minor, Beautiful Eulogy, Red, Manafest



1.12.2016

7 people + 3 months = Fit With a Purpose on Facebook

7 people + 3 months = Fit With a Purpose on Facebook

Fit With a Purpose has expanded onto Facebook for a more personal interaction.  The platform makes conversation easier and more accessible.  The website is a tool for many to use and continue to provide relevant content concerning Fitness, Faith, and Family.  

For the next 3 months, people are following the health and fitness journeys of 7 individuals as they embark on their personal journey to better fitness.  This is at their pace, will power, discipline, workout plans, gyms, homes, etc.  This is all up to them.  Each week, they will post a video talking about the successes and failures of the past week and share hopes for the upcoming week.  Throughout the weeks, Fit With a Purpose will provide insight into workout routines, healthy recipes, and similar areas.  

We hope that you will add Fit With a Purpose's Facebook community to your 'must follow' social media list and that you will continue to watch the website for ongoing conversation in the world of fitness, faith, and healthy family advice.



1.08.2016

2016 Goals


Here are my goals for 2016! 

As you can see, there is no magical number for me to land on or to lose in order to be happy at concerning weight. Each day that I make good decisions will reap benefits health-wise overall. Exercising the body, mind, relationships and generosity with my goals this year. 

What are your goals for 2016?

1.05.2016

5 Ways to Exercise for Free!



If you have made New Year's resolutions then you probably have said that you want to lose more weight.  You're under the same line of thinking as last year and the year before that.

How's that going for you?  If we are making the same resolution as the year before than we have gone wrong somewhere.  What is or what is not working?  For many, what isn't working is paying for a membership to a gym and not going to the gym.  If you can afford to do so, a gym membership is a great thing to have as long as you use it!

Maybe you have a membership to a gym as I do or maybe you recently acquired your membership to enhance your health and fitness for your new goal.  That is great! Many people are unable to do so though and I thought it'd be good for everyone, gym members included, to know of ways that exercise and fitness can come at no cost; health and fitness can come free.

I.  Go for a walk.

What is a walk going to do for you?  Everything!  Your goal was to become healthier right?  Breathing fresh air, moving around, and outdoor scenery can do great things for you!  Maybe it's around your block that you'll walk.  Going to the nearby park and walking around will give you a good workout as well. Many parks now have walking paths for those wanting to get outdoors. If you live near a school, chances are that there is a running track near you then - take advantage of that track and track your distance with ease and without any special technology.  Walking is free and it's benefits are priceless.

II.  Take up Hiking.

Hiking has a lot of walking in it but here is much more to hiking.  Hiking can be very challenging.  When hiking, you will find that your heart rate is going to perform at different rates rather than the consistency of walking.  This would be compared to circuit training.  Your heart rate is going to rise when hiking uphill in the woods more so than walking through a valley.  This change in heart rate is going to promote weight loss just as circuit training in the gym.  Find a nearby state park, friend's or family's property, or local park and go exploring!  Hiking can be great for the mind as well.  Any type of exercise can be rewarding but hiking and taking in the outdoors will provide you an opportunity to view the grandeur of the creation around us.  As you hike, look for wildlife, beauty and get away from the busyness of the everyday.

III.  Use Your Body for Resistance Training

Being overweight comes at a health cost.  It usually means labored breathing, higher risk of heart disease, lack of energy, sleep problems, and many, many more side effects.  One way that you can overcome this weight problem is to use the weight against your weight.  Simple exercises, in terms of difficulty to perform, like push-ups, squats, and lunges can use your current weight to build muscle - all while losing weight.  Let your inhibitor become a benefactor.

IV.  Get Creative with your No-Cost Workouts

I've carried a lot of groceries in from the car to the house for my wife.  I tell you that a gallon of milk can get heavy after a while.  Why not save your milk containers and fill them with water and use them as weights for lifting?  Do lunges while carrying the filled containers. Fill them with dirt, water or sand - all of that would work for the task.  Why not do what many gyms are doing and use a tire for a workout?  Let's face it, you won't be able to lift a tractor tire in the beginning for this workout so go with a smaller one.  Take an old tire and flip the tire over again and again. Take a sledge hammer, bat or stick and hit the tire with force.  Tie a rope around the tire and drag it.  Do you have a fire place?  Take those pieces of wood that you've cut for the fire place and throw them as far as you can again and again.  Does your child have a swing set?  Go and do pull ups on the swing set.  A quick search on the internet can give you machines or exercises that you can perform in the gym; just mimic those moves and machines with things you have around the home.

V.   Scour the Free Listings on Social Media & Craigslist

People are always getting rid of things.  Granted, at the beginning of any year it would be a little harder to find exercise equipment for free as many are now using their dusty machines or people are benefiting from selling their unused equipment.  Some though are being given away.  Find a local Facebook group and search for free items.  Put a ISO (In Search of) or WANTED post out there on those sites stating what you are looking for.  Drive around during spring cleaning and see what people have put on the curb.  It seems that exercise bikes are always available.  Check Craigslist to see what is in your area.  Ask family to see if they have something around the house that is unused.  Remember that you don't have to own the equipment personally but can borrow the equipment from friends or family until you can save up enough to get what you want!

It may not be as easy to exercise as it is to come up with excuses not to exercise but it is totally worth it when you see the results!  

7.14.2015

BEING OUTSIDE - A thing of the past?


When I look back [I'm only 31] at my childhood I can legitimately say that 'growing up' isn't like it used to be.  No I didn't walk up hill both ways to school in the snow.  No I didn't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to milk the cows or feed the chickens.  I didn't have to to plow the field while it was still cool in the morning before school.  I didn't have those chores.

Those are the things that my dad had to do when he was growing up.

But when I do look back,  I find that life was simple.  No No, not simple like you all older than me, but simple compared to what kids growing up now have [don't confuse simple with lazy].

We've all seen the movies where the future is a bunch of lazy people sitting on chairs living life through a headset of virtual reality oblivious of what is really going on around them.  I'm not saying we are at that point but we are a bunch of lazy people oblivious of what is really happening around us, or even to us.

A goal that I set this year and have stuck to most out of all the goals set is this: 

"Spend ONE hour outside each day."   

This isn't adding up the time it takes when I walk from the car to the grocery store entrance.  This isn't counting the minutes from one building on campus to another.  All of the goals that I set this year were goals that required intentional behavior.  Intentionally being outside for one hour each day.  I have not been successful every day but I find myself longing to be outside.  

I am an outdoors type of guy anyway.  I like to hunt, fish, play sports, run, garden, and all of the similar activities.  It's refreshing to be outside.  It reminds me of my childhood.

We did not have the video game systems that I have now.  We had a Playstation.  We had two games that I remember: Tony Hawk's skateboarding game and Resident Evil.  Oh yeah, we did have a Snowboarding Sample game as well.  You could run one slope and get a score.  The next person ran the same slope and try to beat the score.  And over and over it went.  That's it.

My childhood was spent outside.

Bike riding, playing 500 in the streets, playing in the snow, hunting and fishing with my dad, baseball, football, and playing basketball on crappy goals at the school playground are some of the things that I remember most.

Now that I think about it, I remember getting hurt a lot or someone else get hurt a lot from some of those things but it was worth it.  Are we that tough any more?  

I remember popping a blood vessel in my leg because I attempted to ride my bike down a rain washout made path down a rugged hill and crashed my bike.  I remember playing tag and tried to climb a fence and cut open my leg and had to let my buddy's mom fix me up.  I remember my brother falling from a tree branch only to hit another one on the way down and bust his chin up pretty bad.  Another time, my brother dove face first into a fire hydrant playing 500.  I remember bruised wrists because we lowered the basketball goals to where a 6th grader could dunk.  We were flying high. Pump up the jam!

So, this year I set out a goal to be outside more often.  As this year progresses my goals have grown as well.  I look at my son and wish for him a childhood that involves a lot of the same things that mine did.  Of course I want him to have cool things [daddy likes the cool things and gadgets too] but I want him to have more memories than, "do you remember that one time Bob the Builder did that on his show?"  

I want him to learn hands on.  

He loves being outside.  He watches from the window when I mow.  He always wants to go to the playground.  He loves to run around, ride his truck, his bike and play with other toys outside.  He likes to sit around the fire pit.  

Honestly, his love for this stuff just started this year.  

As my goals have transformed throughout the year - some of my hopes for him have become clearer.

Because of this one goal of mine, he has been one to benefit.  We have been able to have ten times more Daddy and Son time.  Our garden, which used to consist of a 10' x 5' raised bed is now a 20' x 15' garden.  We also now have four flower beds instead of just two.  We've been on a couple "jogs" together and are learning how to  keep our balance on a bike [hopefully he won't have a crash like the many I had].  

[From the first picking]
Being outside does not have to be a thing of the past.  I am not going to get a "Father of the Year" award.  I know people that are doing ten times better than I am at finishing their Goals, being a parent and all that.  

What I do know is that I am intentional.  To complete any goal you need to be intentional.  To be a good daddy you need to be intentional.  To be a good husband you need to be intentional.  To be a good anything you need to be intentional.

Don't use "intentional" interchangeably with "good intentions".  "Good intentions" is something completely different.  That is motivation behind something but intentional is the execution of those good intentions; done on purpose.

How do I think I'm doing with this goal?  Pretty good.  

Go do life on purpose!