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March 2008
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Archive for March, 2008

Jogging Day 13 of 18

Well, my compliance to the “jog every day” idea isn’t doing too well (72% right now) but I still feel like I’m accomplishing a lot. Yesterday I was supposed to have a practice with my canoe team (a story for another day) so I intended to skip jogging. No one came to the practice (apparently the middle of an afternoon on a day everyone has off is an inconvenient time — next time I’ll pick 3am on a Tuesday) but I was too bummed out to go jogging. Lame, huh?

Today I increased my distance to approximately 2 miles. I’m stoked about that. I did the 1.6 mile circuit in about 15:32 and then kept going. By the end of the 2.0 miles I’d been jogging for 21:35. This is finally a worthwhile cardio exercise in my book, although I still want to go longer. I’m still on 2 minutes jogging then 1 minute walking….

Add comment Exercise Journal 03/16/2008 at 18:37 ET

Jogging Day 10 of 14

Ya’ll may have noticed my brief jogging hiatus. Well, it seems that, in addition to the shin pain, I’ve been having another medical “symptoms of concern.” It’s been going on since day 5 or so… You can tell I took it a little seriously since I didn’t write about it. Well, I made a doctor’s appointment (it’s not for a little bit) and called my mom. Then I got with my friend Frank, the best runner I know. Frank suggested that my symptom is probably just my body getting used to jogging again and that perhaps starting a little more slowly with some intervals would be a good idea. At first I thought it sounded a bit wimpy, but I did ask for his advice and after a few seconds to get over myself it sounded like a good idea.

Today I bought a new watch with an interval timer and set out to do 2 minutes jogging and 1 minute walking. I need to learn more about interval programs and get myself on a good track, but I think it helped. I’ll also have to see, over the next 24 hours, how my symptoms are. Overall I really liked it though. Since all that walking was built in I decided to go on the 1.6 mile loop (my first time on that one) and it took 15:58. It went pretty well — my shins didn’t hurt so much at least. I did cramp up a bit but after not jogging for 3 days that should be expected. Tomorrow I’ll try again.

Add comment Exercise Journal 03/12/2008 at 16:48 ET

This I Believe

There is a series on NPR called This I Believe that I like. I’ve wanted to contribute but have never found the right words. This Sunday I feel like I should have something positive to say. It’s not that I’m feeling down, exactly, just more introspective. Hopefully there is a way to turn my contemplative thoughts into something both interesting and useful?

I think people who don’t know me well would find it curious that the thing I believe in most is spiritual in nature. Sure, I like to break the rules and talk about politics and religion in mixed company as often as I can get away with it, but I think even people that only know me casually understand that I usually take on taboo topics just because they’re taboo. In those conversations I’m almost always the Devil’s advocate, despite my true views and feelings. I know for a fact that, because I’m always playing the flip-side, some of my acquaintances don’t have the faintest clue what I really believe.

Most of the time I think God, too, would find it curious that the thing I believe in most is spiritual in nature. I’m far from the epitome of the stereotypical American Christian. I don’t actually go to church (little c), I don’t read the bible often (with a little b, although it is admittedly one of the many books sitting on a stack for me to read), and I’m a progressive liberal (yes, actually lots of progressive liberals are also Christian.)

I believe, with all of my heart and all of my mind, that there is a reason. I know this is a pretty common thing to think, but not believe, and I know from experience that there are a lot of people who don’t agree and might even say I’m deluding myself. Yet, this is my most important belief and it is at the core of what makes me a religious person despite the fact that I don’t go to church, I don’t read the bible often, and I’m a progressive liberal.

Some days it’s easier than others to believe that there is a reason — we all have good and bad days, I suppose. Some days I see a blue sky, filled with clouds during a sunset that paints the heavens orange and red and pink and purple. Some days I’m surrounded by the love of my friends or my family and we know how wonderful it is to be with each other just by a look across the dinner table. Other days I feel lonely, spending an evening at home. Those days occasionally make me think about sadder times.

Either way, I have a policy I learned from my friend the turtle: slow but steady wins the race. The important part of that moral is “steady.” We have to be steadfast in our journey and remember that the road thus far has brought us to where we are. We must move steadily forward or we are surely doomed to fail in our quest. My friend the turtle didn’t slow, he didn’t falter, and he didn’t look back. I’ve had many a grand daydream imagining what I might do with a time machine, knowing all along that should one be made available I would walk away. The journey is the point — the path behind us is only important in that it brought us here and presented us with the choices we have today. The things on that path had a purpose and are all sacred.

The nay-sayers will tell you that “believing” there is a reason is simply the rationalization of a mythological system to explain those parts of the universe that are either random or that science hasn’t seen fit to explain (yet). I even understand where they were coming from. I think they’re wrong. I actually think that it’s a rationalization to call it a mythological system. Some of the people who don’t believe as I do say this because they think that believing is a choice. I’m a scientist, but that’s the big lie of science, the assertion that it’s a choice to believe; it’s not.

I believe because I have to. I believe because each and every day, the universe conspires to tell me that there is a reason. Sunsets, friends, family, loneliness — the path is set and there’s no going back. The only choice is not to believe. That’s not a choice furnished by science, it’s the one that God gives us and I believe there’s an important reason for that, too.

Add comment Spirituality and Faith 03/09/2008 at 20:46 ET

Jogging Day 9 of 11

Today was not so good. I only made it about 2/3 or 3/4 of my 1.4 mile route and then had to stop. The biggest problem was that my shins started hurting something awful. I’ve been feeling them since I started this whole project, but today was way above the rest of the days. I then had to walk home, which may have felt even worse, and had to stop a few times. I’ve found some resources I’m going to use today after I write this and tomorrow to try to stretch these suckers out.

Add comment Exercise Journal 03/09/2008 at 12:11 ET

Who Would Jesus Bomb?

…my new favorite bumper sticker.

I don’t have many favorites — no favorite movie and no favorite candy bar. Yet, I have, from time to time, had a favorite bumper sticker. Most of you probably don’t know about my old favorite bumper sticker, “Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing their idiot.” That one still gets me if I see it, although it’s been a while. It’s also been a while since I designated it as my favorite bumper sticker, so now seems like a good time to update my choice. “Who would Jesus bomb?” definitely takes the cake.

Honestly, in the current political and social climate, I was a little shocked by the bumper sticker at first. I couldn’t believe that someone would be so audacious to suggest that there is an answer to that question. People wearing W.W.J.D. bracelets who spout hatred against gays and talk about the necessity for capital punishment are the all-too-common popular stereotype of an American Christian. (Seriously, are they concerned that in a wold without capital punishment there wouldn’t have been a vehicle for salvation?) Crazy Christians who are too concerned with the ways and dogma of the church to spend any time understanding Jesus are one thing — the half-second I thought that someone would invoke the persona of Jesus to justify war boiled my blood.

After I took another half-second to calm down and realized the question was rhetorical, I did a little searching on the internet and confirmed the message the driver was trying to convey was likely more enlightened. There are some people who have taken up this slogan and I’m very proud of them. Here’s a good one: David Rovics Sings “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”

Add comment Political,Spirituality and Faith 03/07/2008 at 17:39 ET

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