Category Archives: Running

Travel Day (DR2009)

So we have been traveling since 4 am this morning. Long day. Good news is that there were no problems at all. We caught up to the 5 people that met us along the way at different points of our trip. It was definitely a dramatic change in climate when we walked out of airport. Very humid but the sun was hidden most of the day. We traveled two hours after the airport to stop at a buffet for dinner and then jumped back in the bus for another hour and a half before we reached the compound. It was dusk already so no real sight seeing today beyond the sights from the bus. 

This team is really going to be a riot. They are very funny and so far in very good spirits. We’ll see how we do after a few long days out in the sun working with the children. Tomorrow we’ll have a breakfast at 8 am and then head out to church around 9. I’m looking forward to waking up and actually taking note of my surroundings. I think right now it’s easy to feel like we’re not really out of the country. Most of the interaction has been with our group and so getting out and about tomorrow for the church service will be exciting. We’ll be walking to the church tomorrow as well. So tonight is time to catch up on sleep and get ready to get up and started on our adventure tomorrow. 

P.S. Going to try to get up and run in the morning. Elliot is my roommate for the week and should help me to have a little more motivation again. Plus running in the Dominican Republic is such a drastic change in scenery.

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Life as normal.

 

It’s funny to me that i’ve been somehow trying to convince myself that I’m back to life as normal. The truth is i haven’t run, read my books, or journaled or blogged for three weeks. I’m not the same as i was. I know i don’t need to be, but i’m not totally ready to accept it. 

Three weeks ago i was really high on life. Whether it was work, sports, running, or relationships, i had something to be excited about. Having had two wonderful retreats with my students, enjoyed many visits with friends from out of town, enjoying spring campfires with great friends, and watching exciting news about all of my favorite sports teams. I was training for a half-marathon and felt like i was going to run a better race than i had previously. All these things suddenly held significantly less meaning. 

I can, in reflection, see how numb i’ve been, but still i don’t know exactly what to do about it. Some days i feel very equipped to understand and celebrate life, and other days i feel that I’m drinking the dregs of life and am not sure when a heartfelt smile will come again. 

Ups and Downs, that’s how life goes right? C.S. Lewis said that undulation (a wave pattern) is really the way of all things. From our spirituality to even our closest relationships. There are highs and lows and to take all these in, well that’s life. Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. For everything there is a season. I am in a season of loss. And I’m learning to be okay with it, asking my emotions to help me understand them and what they want from me. To not ignore them, but asking them to not overwhelm me. 

I remember hearing that Rob Dougan  was dealing with some personal loss while making his album Furious Angels. I knew that it could be felt in the music. Today i feel the music even more deeply and am reminded of traveling to Chicago Bulls games. A song called Clubbed to Death was on the CD i would play on the way to games and played it when Ben went with me to a Bulls game. The song is very intense and is played usually during time outs of the game to get people excited and bring them into the passion of the game. I never heard the pain in the song till now. 

I really hope that people that read this blog won’t feel like I’m becoming a downer. Know that my blogs won’t always be melancholy, but for today, I needed to express some of my sadness as a way to continue to grow and heal. Life will never be the same, but that doesn’t mean that life will always feel like this.

Today, I put back on my running shoes…
photo

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Spider-mac

mac_book_air3Mac Attack! I’m really enjoying my new MacBook. I just got it a few days ago and so far i haven’t killed it. I have a tendency when I’m learning something new, to do out of ignorance and mess it up. Can’t tell you how many times i’ve deleted my whole music collection trying to get it on to a new music player. Well i guess i spoke too soon. Just checked and as i was syncing my iphone to my new Mac here, i erased many of my old iphone apps. I’m a loser. 

dead spiderToday was a really funny day. I’m not usually easily frightened, but i definitely had quite the surprise today. I was getting ready to go for a little run today and decided to wear the long sleeve shirt that i wore yesterday so i wouldn’t be dirtying another shirt as i ran. I reached into the dirty clothes and found myself staring at a brown recluse sitting in my clothes basket on my dirty clothes hamper. I totally screamed like a little girl and jumped back. Heart racing and scrambling for something to kill this thing with, i had to calm my dog MJ down cause i even scared her! I was eventually able to settle down and kill the spider after assuring myself that I’d killed many a spider that dared to tango with me in the past and that i could do it again. Even after killing it, i found myself jumpy and shaking everything in my room before i would pick it up or put it on. Isn’t it always the way things go that my room currently has clothes thrown all over after being away for the weekend. After calming down and my roommate getting home i’ve been assured that it’s a wolf spider, and not a brown recluse. 

izzy

Running has been up and down lately. A few weeks back, we got snow and that caused me to miss almost 6 days of scheduled runs. This past week i’ve been working hard to stick to my schedule and making sure that I’m not getting behind. The past few weekends were tough because of retreats with students which has made me switch my long run days to Sunday from Saturday. This week will hopefully be the week that i get back to the excitement and pleasure that i had before all the snags came along. In fashion news, i tried to use something to hold my hair back as i ran today, not sure what they are called, but it worked. It’s alternately cool and annoying how long my hair is getting, really hope that i can get my plan of attack for my dreads going soon.

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Show me…

Running has been coming along pretty well. Having my friend Trent training for a half-marathon and using my new toys (Run keeper app on iPhone) to help track my training has been very effective.  This past Saturday I went to run in an addition that someone had recommended I run some of my longer runs in called Biltmore Forest.  She told me that it was a low traffic area and that it was a beautiful addition as well. I was excited to check it out and it was cool to finally run somewhere new. It was a little hillier than I had expected, but I was focusing on keeping my head up and breathing correctly so i wasn’t too distracted by the obsticles and instead enjoyed the new scenery. It turned out to be an amazing run and today was a good run was well. My time is improving and I’m seeing progress in all areas.

Today during my run I spent time reflecting on a movie that I started watching called Lord Save Us From Your Followers. It’s a documentary style film about the division that faith is having on America. Although I haven’t seen Religulous yet, I gather that it might be in the same vein except with the end point being that faith shouldn’t be given up on. Religulous is next on my Netflix cue, so I’ll be checking that out this week as well. As I ran I just kept thinking about how different this world might be if Christians were as passionate about loving others as trying to win arguments. What if we stopped trying to convince people that we are “right” and instead lived what we believe. How different might things be?

Today was Ash Wednesday. Last year I decided to participate in Lent differently than I had in the past. I decided to focus on doing more spiritual emphasis than abstaining from something. This year I plan on doing the same. Of the four New Year resolutions I have taken on, I’ve done really well with three of the four. Reading, running, and blogging have been very regular but blogging hasn’t taken off as well as I’d hoped. I really think that for me journaling is an essential spiritual discipline. It is where I can be totally honest with myself and really express myself in though and prayer. This year for lent my plan is to journal every night, reading through the gospel of Matthew, and reading Jesus wants to save Christians by Rob Bell and Don Golden. To make time for this I’ve limited myself to only two TV shows a day. Although I don’t like to admit it, TV can be a real time waster for me. I guess my computer can be as well, maybe next year I’ll reduce my computer usage.

Favorite song of the moment…Use Somebody by Kings of Leon.

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Change the world?

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world.

As I grew older and wiser I discovered the world would not change –
So I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country, but it too seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.

And now I realize as I lie on my deathbed, if I had only changed myself first, then by example I might have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement I would then have been able to better my country,

And who knows, I might have even changed the world.”

– inscription on the tomb of an Anglican Bishop in Westminster Abbey

I really like this thought, and yet tonight, for the first time, I’m realizing that my entire adult life has still been lived trying to change the world. I feel bad about it, the fact that I’ve lived trying to change everyone else instead of trying to change myself more often. It’s not like I’ve grown up never hearing this sentiment.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Ghandi

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” – Jesus

Still I find that I’m so quick to try to change the world and others instead of focusing on being who it is that I believe I’m meant to be, who I’m trying to be. The crazy part is that at this point in my life, I feel as though I really have something to say, something to contribute to the conversation of life, but realize that most of us are too wrapped up in our own lives to have the conversation anyways. So for those of you that I’ve tried to change, instead of enjoying the conversations in life that are worth having, I’m sorry. I’m working on it, and I’m learning to listen and understand before trying to be understood. This will be an ongoing process though, so please be patient. I’m learning how to live life all over again. Learn how to live as I believe is best and yet to not impose on others. Learn to live my life in a way that hopefully does inspire others and yet be ready for when no one takes notice.

On the other hand I’ve been pretty excited lately and for several good reasons.

1) My half marathon training is going well and I can already feel and see a difference with my running and weight lifting. My blisters are healing nicely now that I’m using two pairs of socks. I have changed my training program though; I’m using Runners World smart coach training now.

2) I’ve just got six new books and I’m excited to read all of them. (authors: Jim Palmer, Shane Claiborne, Rob Bell, Mark Steele and 2 by N.T. Wright.)

3) I got information on Noe Israel, the kid I’m now sponsoring in the Dominican Republic, and his family, along with a photo. (I’ll scan it soon.)

4) The next two months of my life continue to blossom with more and more fun excursions with great friends who will be coming to visit me and of course Lesley and Bruce’s wedding.

5) I found the blogs of two authors that I’ve really enjoyed reading lately: Jim Palmer and Brian D. McLaren.

The sum of these things has really kept me in pretty great spirits. That being said, here’s to being a world changer, the right way.

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The Second (oops, Third) Israel in my life.

runfatboyrun

So the half marathon training is up and going for almost a full week now and I have a blister that resembles New Hampshire on my left foot to prove it. Today I talked with my friend Trent, who is racing in the Indy Mini in May, about training regiments and I’m considering looking into a different training schedule after looking at the one that he is following. This is only my second half marathon, so I figured I’d ask for some advice from some other half marathon runners on their training regimen. So if you consider yourself a runner and have thoughts on training, do share your insights with me. I’d also love to hear some recommendations on music I could add to my run iZZy run playlist on my iPhone. Of course run iZZy run is my tribute to the Simon Pegg movie run fatboy run. The movie is pretty funny and can serve as inspiration to get you running, but still doesn’t hold a candle to my favorite Simon Pegg movie…Shawn of the Dead.
dominican-republic

Yesterday I met with the team of people who will be going down to the Dominican Republic with me in May for a service trip. It was nice to catch up to some people who went last year as well as meet a few new faces. The most exciting part for me was that I decided to start sponsoring a child that lives down in the area that we work in. The sponsorship, throught Solid Rock Missions, provides education and materials for the student for the entire year. I’ll be able to correspond with him and because of our missions’ trip, I’ll be able to meet him and see him every year that I make the trip. (Totally cool thing, his name is Noe Israel. Awesome, cause my Dad’s name is Israel and mine is as well.) This is really meaningful to me because part of my personal revolution has been to try to know people who are in poverty. The inspiration for this comes from Shane Claiborne who in The Irresistible Revolution said that many people are so far removed from poverty that it has no affect on them. Jesus said we will always have the poor among us, and many people have used that as an excuse for not doing anything about poverty. But Shane’s take on it is that we are never supposed to allow ourselves to be removed from those who are in need. This makes so much sense to me, because if I am sitting and talking with the widow Ms. Maylee or corresponding with Noe Israel, it helps me to be conscious of the difference between my wants and my needs. I’m not saying that we should do away with all our wants, but I always want to think about the fact that I, little old me, can have an effect on those around me and the world by using the gifts and resources that I’ve been given. I want to know when I die that I have not just gone through the motions, but that I have made the most of my life. For me that includes helping others and not one day realizing the difference I could have made if I had bought one less THING and instead helped to feed or clothe someone in need. I’m not out to become a saint, but to become more aware of the world I live in and to be active in making it better.

Ever heard of skype? A co-worker of mine has been using it to talk to her daughters who are out of the country as well as her father who lives across the country. So I’ve been thinking about checking it out to use to talk to my loved ones that don’t live close. Any pro’s or con’s I should know about?

Final note…Totally excited to check out Demetri Martin’s new show Wednesday night (2/11/09 10:30pm) on Comedy Central. He is comic genius in my book.

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Training has begun…

RaceFest

Charlotte RaceFest April 18th Charlotte, NC. Finally found my next half marathon and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s exactly what I need to get myself up and running, so to speak. I have such a hard time running when I don’t’ have some sort of goal to press for. I’m also happy that I’ve found out about a few different places to run when I get to my longer runs on Saturday’s when the time gets closer. This new app for iPhone I found to help track my runs is really amazing too. It’s called Run Keeper. It tracks my distance, time, speed and pace. Even better when you upload your run to the internet, it shows the altitude you ran against the speed you were running. Also it shows when you slowed down and when you ran fastest. These are all absolutely interesting to me as I try to improve my stamina and pace. So between Run Keeper and my heart rate monitor I’m totally tracking everything possible as I train this time.

Tonight I’ve been researching dreads again. I get excited when I check out dread sights and read about the process that will work best for me and the kind of stuff that I’ll use to wash and maintain my dreads. I get a little nervous though when I look at the photo galleries. There are so many people who have dreads that I think totally look disgusting. I really hope they work for me. I know they can really look great on people as well, but tonight, so many of the pics I saw were not really good looking to me.

Looking at my calendar today I realized that I’ve got an awful lot coming up! In March I’ll get my dreads and have two retreats with my students. One of the retreats I’ll have my friend Tim as a guest speaker and musician. He’s a student at Emory and I think my students will totally enjoy having him around. Then after the retreats I’ll have my amazing friend and mentor Scott coming to visit me from Indiana. It will be great to have him around just when March Madness starts. I’ll be sure to have some time off to hangout and take him hiking out here in the beautiful mountains of western NC. Then in April I’ll have the half marathon and then later that day Bruce and Lesley will be getting married! In May I’ll be headed to the Dominican Republic with a group of people to work with orphans, school children and just try to make a difference in general. There are also two to three other friends that might try to come visit soon, could be an amazing next few months!

I’ve been checking out some cool music lately. I’ll just give you a few that have been in heavy rotation for me for the past few days/weeks. Outsider by The Daylights, Consoler of the Lonely by The Raconteurs, and Getting’ Up by Q-Tip. Thanks to Trent, Justin, and Don for sending new music my way.

 

album covers

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