Training Session #40- July 19: What would your future self say about you right now?

In 2013 I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder that chewed a hole in my cerebellum, atrophied various muscles, impaired my vision, balance, coordination and consequently stole my confidence and my ability to run. I have dedicated the summer of 2018 to regaining my strength, coordination, balance, and relearning how to run. I am participating in a 5k run on September 23rd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is my training journal.

This is my attempt to grow physically and mentally strong again.

Write on. Fight on.  

The previous training sessions can be found here, under “Fight on- Summer Training Log”


Time:

6:20 am- 6:55 am

Conditions:

Outdoor – 67 degrees

Training Maxim:

No hurry. No pause.

Training Performed:

35 minutes of walking- 1.5 miles

Accomplishment:

Getting out bed and training, even knowing tomorrow is a scheduled rest day.

Quote I’m Thinking About Today:

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Reflection:

When my alarm sounded at 5:45 am my first thoughts were excuses:

… but I’m tired.

… but my ankle is still tender from yesterday’s training.

… but I have a busy day today.

… but everyone in the house is still sleeping.

I turned off the alarm, stared at the ceiling fan and with my wife by my side warred with myself for almost 20 minutes

My present self wanted to sleep. He wanted the pillow and the soft sheets.

My future self wanted to lace up the sneakers and get outside and train.

I find myself divided like this a lot. The present self wants the relaxation. While the future self wants the tribulation.

With my wife still by my side and the ceiling fan still spinning,I took a deep breath and thought about climbing back into bed tonight.  Would I be the same person that woke up this morning or would I be a little stronger, a little more proud because I simply got out of bed and dedicated time to improving myself?

So I pulled myself out of bed, laced up my sneakers and stepped into the world at 6:30 this morning.

I didn’t want to.

But now, as I’m telling you this, I’m so glad I did.

Excerpt From The Previous Training Session- July 19: Are you your own worst enemy?

Do you struggle to get out you own way?

Today I did, very literally.  During training I kept kicking myself while I jogging. ‘

Below is a picture of my right ankle. (It’s not the prettiest ankle so please reserve all judgments.)

Notice on the medial malleolus (aka the bony knob that sticks out the side of your ankle) there is an open cut and the skin is irritated around the cut. This is where I kept kicking myself. Also, to the left of the cut is a four inch scar from reconstructive ankle surgery I had in 2013. And 5 years post-surgery, the skin around the scar is still sensitive which made the kicking a little more enjoyable.

So why when jogging today did my leg left foot keep kicking my right ankle?

 

 

Training Session #39- July 18: Are you your own worst enemy?

In 2013 I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder that chewed a hole in my cerebellum, atrophied various muscles, impaired my vision, balance, coordination and consequently stole my confidence and my ability to run. I have dedicated the summer of 2018 to regaining my strength, coordination, balance, and relearning how to run. I am participating in a 5k run on September 23rd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is my training journal.

This is my attempt to grow physically and mentally strong again.

Write on. Fight on.  

The previous training sessions can be found here, under “Fight on- Summer Training Log”


Time:

6:20 am- 7:05 am

Conditions:

Outdoor – 70 degrees

Training Maxim:

No hurry. No pause.

Training Performed:

45 minutes of walking/jogging intervals- 2.2 miles

Accomplishment:

Jogging the distance between 3 suburban street lights posts during the run x 3 (a new suburban street light post distance record) and finishing the run with a .25 mile jog.

Quote I’m Thinking About Today:

“In any case you mustn’t confuse a single failure with a final defeat.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night 

Reflection:

Are you your own worst enemy?

Do you struggle to get out you own way?

Today I did, very literally.  During training I kept kicking myself while I jogging. ‘

Below is a picture of my right ankle. (It’s not the prettiest ankle so please reserve all judgments.)

Notice on the medial malleolus (aka the bony knob that sticks out the side of your ankle) there is an open cut and the skin is irritated around the cut. This is where I kept kicking myself. Also, to the left of the cut is a four inch scar from reconstructive ankle surgery I had in 2013. And 5 years post-surgery, the skin around the scar is still sensitive which made the kicking a little more enjoyable.

So why when jogging today did my leg left foot keep kicking my right ankle?

I don’t know. I didn’t want this to keep happening. I didn’t repeatedly kick myself just so I would have something to write about today.

My logical explanation is that my brain damage affected the left side of my body more than my right, causing my left limbs to sometimes act infantile and do what they want.

I tried slowing down my pace. Speeding up. Pushing my left stride away from my body. Nothing worked. I couldn’t stop kicking myself.

It may sound weird but I hope you can relate.

Do you struggle to get out of your own way? Do you often beat yourself up over your actions? Over things that you can’t control? Do you destructively meddle in your own life and wound yourself physically, emotionally?

Training has taught me that the person inside is often our greatest enemy. And too easily we hand over our power to the critic stationed in our brain.

Overcoming yourself is a matter of love. Of simply loving yourself more. Not in a destructive, narcissistic way. But loving yourself the way you love your imperfect children or spouse. Despite their imperfections, their wounds and flaws, you still look at them with soft eyes and say, “I love you.”

Do you look at yourself the same way? Maybe you should. Maybe you’ll realize that kicking yourself is simply another imperfection in a life littered with imperfections.

And maybe it’s our imperfections, not our perfections, that make our story worth sharing.

Excerpt From The Previous Training Session- July 17: Breaking the “I can’t” Habit

Growing up, I remember my father saying how much he hated the phrase, “I can’t.” Mostly, because my brothers and I said it all the time.

I can’t do the dishes.

I can’t make my bed.

I can’t do my homework. 

My father would say if he had a dollar for all the times he heard someone say “I can’t” he’d be a rich man by now.

Training Session #38- July 17: Breaking the “I Can’t” Habit

In 2013 I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder that chewed a hole in my cerebellum, atrophied various muscles, impaired my vision, balance, coordination and consequently stole my confidence and my ability to run. I have dedicated the summer of 2018 to regaining my strength, coordination, balance, and relearning how to run. I am participating in a 5k run on September 23rd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is my training journal.

This is my attempt to grow physically and mentally strong again.

Write on. Fight on.  

The previous training sessions can be found here, under “Fight on- Summer Training Log”


Time:

6:25 am- 7:30 am

Conditions:

Indoor

Training Maxim:

No hurry. No pause.

Training Performed:

  • Chest press 3 reps x 10 ea.- 100 lbs
  • Shoulder press 3 reps x 10 ea.-70 lbs
  • Inverted row 3 reps x 10- 70 lbs
  • 60 Kettle Bell swings- 15 lbs
  • Leg Press 3 reps x  10 each leg- 50 lbs right, 40 lbs left
  • Leg extension 3 reps x 10 50 lbs
  • Balance exercises on a Bosu Ball including: step-ups, stand upright on the ball with my eyes closed, squats on the ball

Accomplishment:

Today I rotated between the Kettle Bell swings and balance exercises on the Bosu Ball. The Kettle Bell swings tired my legs which made the Bosu Ball exercises more demanding.

Quote I’m Thinking About Today:

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”~ Amelia Earhart

Reflection:

Growing up, I remember my father saying how much he hated the phrase, “I can’t.” Mostly, because my brothers and I said it all the time.

I can’t do the dishes.

I can’t make my bed.

I can’t do my homework. 

My father would say if he had a dollar for all the times he heard someone say “I can’t” he’d be a rich man by now.

“I can’t” is a habit. A habit about as productive as biting your nails or picking your nose.

If the first step in stopping any habit is identifying when you’re engaged in the habit, take note the next time you say, “I can’t”.

Write down what you can’t do. Make a list of all the reasons why you can’t do it. Then another list of reasons why you can do it. Throw away the list of  “I can’ts”. Pin the list of “I can’s” on the refrigerator. Start doing the thing you can’t do and send my father a dollar.

Excerpt From The Previous Training Session- July 15: Before you quit today…

How about a sentence you probably don’t hear enough: Someone, somewhere needs you.

It’s impossible to go through life without forging one positive relationship. And though today may feel like your crawling through a mile long shitfield and it’s cold and it’s raining and you lost your shoes and a pack of hungry wolves stand wide-eyed at the edge of the field– don’t give up.

Because someone, somewhere is watching, reading, and listening and they need you.

Training Session #37- July 16: Before you quit today…

In 2013 I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder that chewed a hole in my cerebellum, atrophied various muscles, impaired my vision, balance, coordination and consequently stole my confidence and my ability to run. I have dedicated the summer of 2018 to regaining my strength, coordination, balance, and relearning how to run. I am participating in a 5k run on September 23rd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is my training journal.

This is my attempt to grow physically and mentally strong again.

Write on. Fight on.  

The previous training sessions can be found here, under “Fight on- Summer Training Log”


Time:

5:59 am – 6:44 am

Conditions:

Outdoor- 77 degrees

Training Maxim:

No hurry. No pause.

Training Performed:

45 minutes of jogging /walking intervals

Accomplishment:

For the first time since I began training, I jogged up one of the hills on my training route.  Below is a picture of the hill jogged. The picture was taken during a previous training session.

Quote I’m Thinking About Today:

“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” ~ Samuel Beckett

Reflection:

Before you quit today…

How about a sentence you probably don’t hear enough: Someone, somewhere needs you.

It’s impossible to go through life without forging one positive relationship. And though today may feel like your crawling through a mile long shitfield and it’s cold and it’s raining and you lost your shoes and a pack of hungry wolves stand wide-eyed at the edge of the field– don’t give up.

Because someone, somewhere is watching, reading, and listening and they need you.

Because someone, somewhere is holding on because you’re holding on. And if you let go and quit, so will they, and if they let go and quit, so will someone else and so on, until a whole community of hopeful people let go and quit.

Keep training, keep writing, keep studying, keep praying, keep working, keep searching, keep listening, keep practicing, keep honesty, keep patience, keep calm and persevere.

Because if you quit today you’ll crush a community tomorrow. And you may realize quitting would be the most selfish thing you could do.

Excerpt From The Previous Training Session- July 15: How do you satisfy your fear?

When I was a kid I would complain to my father, “Dad, I’m hungry.”

He would look down, smile, and reply, “Hi hungry, I’m dad.”

When we declare, whether publicly or privately, that we’re hungry it’s hard to focus on anything else but food.

But for most of us finding enough food to eat until we’re full and satisfied is not a problem.

Fear works the same way as hunger. If you declare, “I’m afraid” it’s impossible to think of anything but your fear.

But how do you satisfy your fear?

 

Training Session #36- July 14: How do you satisfy your fear?

In 2013 I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder that chewed a hole in my cerebellum, atrophied various muscles, impaired my vision, balance, coordination and consequently stole my ability to run. I have dedicated the summer of 2018 to regaining my strength, coordination, balance, and relearning how to run. I am participating in a 5k run on September 23rd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is my training journal. This is my attempt to grow physically strong again.

Write on. Fight on.  

The previous training sessions can be found here, under “Fight on- Summer Training Log”


Time:

7:00 am to 8:15 am

Conditions:

Indoor

Training Maxim:

No hurry. No pause.

Training Performed:

  • Chest press 3 reps x 10 ea.- 90 lbs
  • Shoulder press 3 reps x 10 ea.-70 lbs
  • Inverted row 3 reps x 10- 70 lbs
  • 60 Kettle bell swings- 15 lbs
  • 80 abdominal crunches
  • Balance exercises on a Bosu Ball including: step-ups, stand upright on the ball with my eyes closed, squats on the ball

This is a Bosu Ball:

Accomplishment:

Training on the Bosu Ball.

I have noticed the Bosu Ball in the corner of the gym for some time now, yet I have been hesitant to train on it. What if I fall–in front of strangers?  But today I used it (and didn’t fall) which was a big accomplishment for me.

Quote I’m Thinking About Today:

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.” ~Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist 

Reflection:

When I was a kid I would complain to my father, “Dad, I’m hungry.”

He would look down, smile, and reply, “Hi hungry, I’m dad.”

When we declare, whether publicly or privately, that we’re hungry it’s hard to focus on anything else but food.

But for most of us finding enough food to eat until we’re full and satisfied is not a problem.

Fear works the same way as hunger. If you declare, “I’m afraid” it’s impossible to think of anything but your fear.

But how do you satisfy your fear?

The legend of actor Henry Fonda is this: even at 75 years old, after appearing in over 100 films, television shows, and stage productions Henry Fonda threw up every time before he went on stage. When he was finished, he would stand up, clean his face, take a drink of water and go on stage.

Despite his fear, Henry Fonda satisfied his fear by doing the thing he was afraid to do–going on stage.

Like hunger, fear will only grow stronger, more consuming the longer we ignore it.

Treat fear like hunger.

“I’m afraid.”

So eat. Satiate your appetite by taking action. Know that the only thing that will satisfy your fear is doing the thing you’re afraid to do.

Exercise, start your book, put down the bottle, have that conversation. Do the thing you’re afraid to do and over time you will find yourself full.

Excerpt From The Previous Training Session- July 14: The Thing about the Voice in Your Head

But what does your voice say when things get hard? When the distance between you and your goal is too far? When the pain is too great? When the cancer is terminal? When hope and happiness and love have left?

 

Training Session #35- July 13: The Thing about Voice in Your Head

In 2013 I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder that chewed a hole in my cerebellum, atrophied various muscles, impaired my vision, balance, coordination and consequently stole my ability to run. I have dedicated the summer of 2018 to regaining my strength, coordination, balance, and relearning how to run. I am participating in a 5k run on September 23rd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is my training journal. This is my attempt to grow physically strong again.

Write on. Fight on.  

The previous training sessions can be found here, under “Fight on- Summer Training Log”


Time:

7:00 am to 7: 45 am

Conditions:

Outdoor- 72 degrees

Training Maxim:

No hurry. No pause.

Training Performed:

45 minutes of walking/jogging (wogging…it’s a thing)- 2.2 miles

Accomplishment:

The 2.2 miles is the longest distance I walked/jogged since I started training 6 weeks ago.

Quote I’m Thinking About Today:

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more”~ William Shakespeare, Henry V

Reflection:

We all have a voice in our head.

The voice that tells us to look both ways before crossing the street. To eat all our vegetables. To be cautious around strangers. To avoid dark alleys. To rest when we get tired. And a voice that reminds us that it will always love you, even if you don’t try.

The voice loves you. Of course it does. Because if you were to die so would the voice. So the voice comforts, sympathizes with us and exists to protect and prolong our life.

But what does your voice say when things get hard? When the distance between you and your goal is too far? When the pain is too great? When the cancer is terminal? When hope and happiness and love have left?

For a long time my voice reminded me that I my brain was damaged. That my muscles were weak. That my bones were brittle. And that if I tried to do anything but take my medication I would get hurt.

My voice had good intentions. My voice sought to protect me. Yet in doing so, my voice made me believe that I was too sick to change my fortune.

So I listened. And the voice was happy. But I wasn’t. I was becoming weaker, complacent and dissatisfied. I began imaging what life would be like without the voice.

Then on June 2nd, I laced up my sneakers, jogged down to the court house and filed the paperwork to divorce my voice.

My ex-voice loved me to a fault. My ex-voice’s sympathy became toxic.

I had to endure four and a half years with my ex-voice to realize that though it wanted nothing more to be safe and comfortable, it was my ex-voice that was actually holding me back.

From The Previous Training Session- July 13: How to Deal with Anything

For my friends, two in particular, who are going through real shit today. 

How to Deal with Anything:

1.Make a Declaration

You have a Problem. A Problem that has manifested into an uncomfortable truth.

When living with an uncomfortable truth– illness, addiction, financial hardship, depression, anxiety, confusion, damaged relationships– the first step is to make a declaration that exposes your wound.

I have____________.

I am _____________.

My relationship with _________ is ___________.

2. Ask a Question

Ask yourself–“So I am wounded, now what am I going to do about it?”

The declaration inspires acceptance. The question inspires action.

 

Training Session #34- July 12: How to Deal With Anything

In 2013 I was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disorder that chewed a hole in my cerebellum, atrophied various muscles, impaired my vision, balance, coordination and consequently stole my ability to run. I have dedicated the summer of 2018 to regaining my strength, coordination, balance, and relearning how to run. I am participating in a 5k run on September 23rd in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This is my training journal. This is my attempt to grow physically strong again.

Write on. Fight on.  

The previous training sessions can be found here, under “Fight on- Summer Training Log”


Time:

7:01 am to 8:20 am

Conditions:

Indoor

Training Maxim:

No hurry. No pause.

Training Performed:

1 hour and 19 minutes of gym training. Including:

  • Chest press 3 reps x 10 ea.- 90 lbs
  • Shoulder press 3 reps x 10 ea.-70 lbs
  • Inverted row 3 reps x 10- 70 lbs
  • Leg extensions 3 reps x 10 ea. leg- 30 lbs. right leg, 20 lbs. left leg
  • Hamstring curl 3 reps x 10 ea. leg- 40 lbs. right leg, 30 lbs. left leg
  • Leg press 3 reps x 10 ea leg- 60 lbs. right leg, 50 lbs. left leg
  • 80 abdominal crunches
  • 20 minutes of hill training on a recumbent bike

Accomplishment:

20 minutes of hill training at the end of training.

Quote I’m Thinking About Today:

“In some way suffering ceases to be suffering the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of sacrifice.”~ Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning 

Reflection:

For my friends, two in particular, who are going through real shit today. 

How to Deal with Anything:

1.Make a Declaration

You have a Problem. A Problem that has manifested into an uncomfortable truth.

When living with an uncomfortable truth– illness, addiction, financial hardship, depression, anxiety, confusion, damaged relationships– the first step is to make a declaration that exposes your wound.

I have____________.

I am _____________.

My relationship with _________ is ___________.

2. Ask a Question

Ask yourself–“So I am wounded, now what am I going to do about it?”

The declaration inspires acceptance. The question inspires action.

Take your time– the declaration isn’t easy. When the time is right, it has to be declared in your private heart before it can be announced publicly. And when declaring it to yourself, you have to declare with as much conviction and volume as if you where standing on stage, behind a microphone, in front of a stadium packed with a noisy audience.

Understand, the declaration is as much for you as it is for your audience. Your audience, like you, wants the truth. And when you demonstrate the strength to announce the truth, something magical happens. Your audience feels closer to you then ever before and your audience, in a way, will be seeing you for the first time.

The question, however, is for solely for you. “So I’m wounded, now what am I going to do about it?”

You can do two things:

1.Do nothing. Which most people do. Which I have done. Complain and moan and wish things were different and better but in the end we do nothing.

And by doing nothing the Problem gets bigger and stronger, as if the Problem found some steroids and joined a gym. Before long, the Problem is the biggest guy in the gym, walking sideways through doorjambs, grunting through reps, flexing and smiling at his muscles in the mirror, and intimidating you.

2.Take action. The amount of the action we take is inconsequential. The important thing is that you take action, which is defined by the audience as “having courage”. Even if you have terminal cancer, you still have the ability to do something. Write a letter. Have a talk. Sing. Smile. Hold a hand.

The important thing is that you do something. Doing nothing drains energy. Doing something creates energy. Energy that is essential to deal with the Problem.

Your Problems will die when your body dies. But your actions will outlive your body and shape the lives of the living. Your actions are how you will be remember.

So today, I implore you–do something.

And if you do–you’ll be able to deal with anything.

From The Previous Training Session- July 11: Vanity is a Lonely Road

Vanity is a dangerous motivator. We want to stride across the eyes of others looking confident, composed, and strong.

But as a runner, writer, and struggling human being, I know vanity is a lonely road. Vanity is inauthentic and creates insecurity.  Vanity always disturbs pace, form, and progress. Vanity tricks you into that thinking that joy is easily attained.