Friday, February 26, 2016

run in circles

tallahassee trail, florida

"We travel the world over in search of what we need and return home to find it." George Moore

The phenomenon.

I've gone so far, yet am right back where I started. A small part of me says, "pointless," but the majority wants to go back out again.

And so begins

my first 50 mile run.

The moment I received notice that registration opened 7/11/15, 11:00 PM EST, I signed up for The North Face Endurance Challenge (TNFEC) 50 Mile Race in Sterling, VA, start time 4/9/16, 05:00 AM. 

Since then, I've set focus on winning it.

Training for this endurance challenge (rightly named) confirms that I was made for this. I got a coach, refine my diet/fuel, sleep more, reset my mind/meditate/pray, simplify life. Each step in getting to Goal-A has been a pleasurable, life-giving adventure (amidst the cramps, blisters, chafage, "boring lifestyle choice" to slow things down).

Writer, producer, comedian genius, tv host Stephen Colbert speaks on:
Having intentionality at all times... the process of process is process.
The final goal of crossing a finish line is besides the point. The formula for getting there, I love figuring this out, experimenting on my body & mind, and seeking help of friends, family and community. It's been a gracious honor to receive extreme love from tremendous support offered from others. I am forever grateful -- I would not be in forward motion without them*.

This particular journey is a paradox.

Gone many miles, ended up on the same couch as several months prior before this endeavor began.

It's the rich lessons and relationships I've gained along the way that gives soul growth. The conversations, listening, understanding, encouragement, favors, meals, hosting, coaching, sound-boards, cheering, thinking, reflecting, soul-searching, writing, not to mention the privilege of seeing alluring scenery, trails, and wildlife... 

Find what process you love.
"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." -- T.S. Eliot

sunrise cross training on the chesapeake bay
*Them: I'd like to acknowledge you, who've brought support through the miles, listened, given advice or a much needed push -- thank you:
Andrew Simpson, Anna Baker, Anna Murphy, Beth Johnson, Carmel Rogers, Casey Glassy, Chelsey Palmer, CJ Junge, Coeur Sports, Elizabeth Fahrner, Erica Weitz, Fred Parker, Hillary Essington, Jackson Goss, Jayme & Ryan Dorsett, Jesse Carrington, Kristin Swift, Lauren Morris, Macon Lowman, Mason Cathey, Nancy Palmer, November Project, Pax Velo, Rodney Palmer, Rory Rowan, Sammy Palmer, Thursday Terror, Tim McMichael.

Wish I could list everyone who's supported me along this ultra running journey, I apologize if I unintentionally missed you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

sugar-free energy gel

Launching the first-of-hopefully-many experiments in "real food for fuel" recipes. This time: energy gels / goo. By real, I mean edible materials that people would normally not turn to a consistency of a soft, pulpy mass unless directed for specific dietary means.

For a while now, I've been convicted to minimalize sugar intake. Thus, ingredients I use will try their best to be sweet by way of either honey, brown rice malt syrup and fruits. Read-along and determine for yourself if you'd like to join me in food-processing adventures.

Servings: makes 2 cups

• 1/2 cup water
• 2 T chia seeds
• 6 dates (get the pit out)
• 1/4 cup brown rice malt syrup
• 2 tsps salt
• 1/2 banana (I felt like eating the other 1/2)
• optional: almond or peanut butter, dried or fresh fruits (We're in experimental mode. Next time, I'm goin cray & adding frozen berries)

1. Soak chia seeds in the water for about 5-10 minutes (I was too excited & could only wait 5).
2. Pour mix into food processor. Add everything else; blend until you get a saucy substance.
3. Place into some sort of container (I used Goob Toobs) & refrigerate until use. Hoping to use one of these on my next long run.

Post how this works out for you and ideas you have to modify these gooey treats.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

new year, 2015

(photo credit: Jesse W. Carrington)

To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.
- Margaret F. Barber

Let's pause for a moment and reflect on 2014... 

Ups & downs? Successes & failures? Easy or hard lessons learned? Growth in areas of physicality, mentality, spirituality, relational? Goals met? Dreams realized? Life milestones? Beliefs solidified or shaken? Bucket-list items checked or created/added?

2014, looking back for me, without first replaying it, seemed like a quiet year. But I stopped to think about it. 

Lessons learned on my 2014:

Physicality: shoulder surgery; new right shoulder; 6 months sedentary lifestyle; back on cycling, running, swimming, backpacking; qualified for Boston marathon '16; got a personal trainer; remembering my ol' love for running

Mentality: battling winter & post-surgery depression; working toward letting go of what people think about me, focusing more on doing the right thing; inspired by book "Packing Light" by Ally Vesterfelt; realizing dreams of passion for the outdoors; certified Wilderness 1st Responder & organized a trip to the Pac NW

Spirituality: feeling back-peddled because of decreased frequency of prayers, religious-involvement, & solitary time with God; developing honest standards for what I'm convicted of and what is right, thus not worshipping my idol of people-pleasing and saving-face by being pretentious

Relational: was an emotional roller-coaster upon discovering my trend of seeking friendships on basis of sucking attention from them; reestablishing friendships on sincere grounds of loving them for who they are (good, bad, everything -- LOVE), not what they give me; my dear brother Sammy and his beloved wife Chelsey got married in May; Jesse and I begin dating in July -- learning invaluable, rich lessons of love, respect, community, family, fun, & communication

My most treasured lessons of last year: Be present. Slow down. Live in the moment. Forgiveness is freeing (grudges enslave).

May your reflection of 2014 happen, enlighten, encourage, inspire.

Here's to a great year and life to the fullest in your year to come. 

Happy new year, your 2015!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

le purpose du b'log

I have no idea what I’m doing.

Blogging. What purpose for this blog, I have not yet decided. Honestly, I’m afraid to share thoughts out in public. Fears of being wrong, criticized, or “too honest” and offending someone; making mistakes; failing at whatever keeps me from typing. Communicating ideas, valid theories, accurate stories, and correct grammurr, I will certainly botch.

Why are being right and liked so important to me? This is an ongoing struggle stemmed from my pride that prevents me from many things, particularly right now, from releasing these thoughts.

Being right is overrated.

My dad taped a quote to my bathroom mirror once when I was in high school – it feels related to my mood:

While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.

Plan on finding many mistakes in this blog, as well as possibly offensive content (grammatically and literally), as I intend on keeping entries respectful, positive, honest, bold, contradicting, inspiring, succinct, confusing, artistic, boring, raw, thoughtful, beautiful, human. the heck do you rotate images in blogger?? bah...

Modification suggestions welcome. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

something so beautiful it hurts (a series)

"Have you ever experienced something so beautiful that it hurts?"

A friend asked me once as we were gazing out at a sunset panorama, the sky dome above us changing from brilliant reds to yellows to deep indigo hues. I felt the answer within that stunning moment. I didn’t want the scene to end – it did. Time imprisons sweet disposition.

A year later, the question continues to intrigue conversation with others. The answers people give are unique and endless…

What would you say is something you’ve experience so beautiful that it tastes bittersweet?