Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Eating badly, sleeping little and barely running (and writing) - Days 72-75 of running streak, Days 69-72 of Sugar Free Challenge*

Y'all, I have been terrible this week.  Last two weeks really.

I've been deep in rehearsal and soccer for about two weeks now.  I leave at 6:35 to drop off oldest son at school, then I get to work by 8.  Work until 5 or 6, straight to theater, rehearse, home by 10:30 or 11.  Eat dinner, go to bed, up at 5 the next morning.

And so it goes.

My dietary habits have been awful; I've been eating a lot from QT.  A LOT.  And they don't have a lot of heart-healthy, nutritious food at the QT.

My sleep has been between 4.5-5 hours a night on a good night.  Not enough by a long shot.

And the running...I've made myself do a mile the last 3 or 4 days, and I'm afraid I'm going to lose my endurance if I don't get back to 3+ at least 4 or 5 times a week.

Show opens Friday, but we have rehearsal every night leading up to it.  I love the show and hope you all can come see it.  But it doesn't mix well with nutrition and sleep.

So I'm chugging along, trying to survive until next Monday.  No show, no rehearsal.  Rehearsal picks back up on Wednesday after our opening weekend.  Maybe a chance to rest and eat better.

I've got to get some miles in, real miles.  That's for me.  I'm glad that I'm at least keeping the streak going.  But as I've said so many times here, do something.  Anything physical that gets your heart going.  So I'm happy that I'm doing something.

I've also said a lot that you need to make time for something that you love to do.  And I love acting and singing.  I love being in shows.  So I guess I'm sacrificing some other stuff for that, for the time being.  I look and feel a lot better than I did during Phantom last fall; I even had a doctor tell me that she thought I looked bad during that show.  Like unhealthy bad.  Three months after that show ended, I had open heart surgery.

I love writing as well, and that's been tough to do lately as well.  Please hang in there with me; I'll get back to doing this daily really soon.

Take care of yourselves.

Last four days runs:  Saturday - 1.04 miles, Sunday - 1.04 miles, Monday - 1.03 miles, Tuesday - 1.02 miles.  Verified by Nike + running app.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Don't ask why - Days 69-71 of running streak, Days 66-68 of Sugar Free Challenge*

Why do bad things happen to good people?  My friend lost her sister on Wednesday unexpectedly; she was a wonderful person who loved to help people.  She was a nurse.  She helped me after my heart surgery, telling me everything I needed to do and not to do.

She was a great person.  My friend is also pretty great.  Why?

Why do things like this happen?  It sucks.

About a month before I had my heart surgery, a friend of mine, the mom of one of my daughter's dance friends, died of a heart attack at home.  She was somewhere around my age, healthy, full of life.  Now she's gone.

I had surgery and lived.  Why?  Why does one die and one live?

Why do I get up and run every day?  Because I can.  It fills me with life; I can feel my heart pounding, the cool air on my arms and legs, and I feel alive.

I'm in a show that opens next week, 1776.  I keep thinking, "If I had died, I couldn't have had this wonderful experience."  Which is a dumb thing to think, but I can't help it.

My friends didn't want to die.  They had sisters and brothers and daughters and husbands.  They had things they wanted to do, people that they wanted to grow old with and people that they wanted to see grow up.

When is it our time?  How can we know?  We can't.  I wouldn't want to know, and neither would you.

What would you do differently?  Would you treat people differently?  Would you treat yourself differently if you knew you had a day left, or a week or a year?  Would you do things that you had always wanted to do?

Why?  My friends didn't know that they were going to die, but that didn't matter.  They loved people, people loved them.  They took care of people.  They loved their families.  They laughed, lived and loved.

Don't ask why.  Just don't.  You'll never know why.  And what good would it do you?

Live this life the way you want to.  Don't be afraid to laugh and love.  Treat yourself to a nice run or walk today.  Look around and see your world as a walker or runner.  Stop dying and start living.  Stop being sad and smile.  Think about all the great people and things in your life.


Last three runs:  Wednesday 1.03 miles, Thursday 1.06 miles, today 3.00 miles, all verified by the Nike + running app.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sometimes it all comes together - Day 68 of running streak, day 65 of Sugar Free Challenge*

Tired when I went to bed last night, got up at 4:30 am to go running.  Yeah I was tired, no I didn't get enough sleep.  Very bad; don't do what I'm doing.  Ran 2.98 miles.  3 miles tomorrow!

The stars were beautiful and the temp was about 65 degrees.  Fantastic.  Felt a little zombie-like, but I felt like a string was pulling me along.

Got back to the house, made taco meat for the wife and kids tonight.  With 1776 rehearsals going so late and soccer practice also going so late, I do dinner for them a couple nights a week.  I know, I'm great.

Got cleaned up and came to work; 5 minutes after I got here a deal closed for me!  Whoo hoo!

I'm worried about where I am on my lines for 1776, so I've been working on them during lunch and before rehearsal.  Was happy to find out on a review that I'm actually off book for about 70 pages; I still have 47 that I need to get off for, but I'm better off than I thought I was.  Happy about that!

A healthy lunch and some great coffee later, and I'm ready to get through the rest of the day.  No doubt things will go well.  Or if they don't, that's okay.  Energy is very high, things are going wonderfully.

It's truly great and amazing when things come together.  When you invite someone to see your product and they not only look, but buy it.  You came along at the right time and helped each other out.  Or when you're young, and want to ask that girl out so bad, but you're afraid to, and you finally get the courage up, and she says yes.  You almost can't believe it.  Or when you start learning your part in a show, and you work on it, and finally you realize that you KNOW it, you've learned it.

Life is incredible.  We (I) focus on the struggle and the challenges so much that we (I) tend to focus on the negatives, the problems.  But so many good things are happening all the time in your lives and you don't even know it.  You don't realize it, because you're not looking,  You're looking for the problems.  You're worried that things will go wrong.  Meanwhile, things are going incredibly right.

My sons are fantastic soccer players, and that's not just my opinion.  My older son just switched back to forward this year from defense, and has scored something like 7 or 8 goals and assisted on 5-6 others so far in 10 games.  Great, right?  What does he focus on?  The misses.  "Did you see that shot I missed??"  Yes, but I also saw that one you buried in the top left corner.  I liked that one better.

We work, we struggle, we fight, we get hurt.  But sometimes, a lot of times, it all comes together.  We just have to notice.

Today's run - 2.98 miles, verified by Nike + running app

Monday, September 12, 2016

Don't let the bastards get you down - Days 65-67 of running streak, days 62-64 of Sugar Free Challenge*

When I was in high school, I did a lot of stuff and won a lot of awards.  I made good grades; so good that I got a full scholarship to a college that I hadn't heard of before I went there.

I was in plays, I sang in the chorus, I edited the newspaper, I lettered in tennis.  But above all, I made really good grades.  So good that I graduated at the age of 16.

"You think you're so smart!",  people that I didn't even know would say to me.  I didn't show off about it, really.  But yes, I did think I was so smart.  Part of being smart is thinking that you're smart.  Like you're smart enough to realize you're smart.  And that most people are not.

At my senior year awards ceremony, I won a LOT of awards.  Like ten or so.  When I got up to get award number 9, this delinquent kid said to me quietly, "If you win one more award, I'm going to kill you."  Well, I won another award and he didn't kill me, but it was still pretty scary.

It's interesting how bullying works, and what people think about it.  That it's small kids or fat kids or gay kids or minority kids who get all the bullying.  I was a fat kid who got bullied when I was younger, I mean badly.  But I lost weight and the bullying stopped.  Then, I got bullied for being smart and winning awards.

Why do I bring this up?  Because it's happening again.  Not to me, but someone close to me.  They're being bullied because they're so good at something that it makes people jealous.  This person has had this happen to them almost their entire life, at different times.

Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous?  Like me, they didn't flaunt their talents or abilities, but they did put them on display.  And most of the reaction has been positive.  But some has been negative, angry, jealousy.  I can't be as good as you, so I'm going to tear you down.  Disgusting.

But we see this all the time, don't we?  We hate pro athletes, pop singers, movie stars because we can't be them.  How dare they get rich?  Or famous?  Or popular?  Don't they know what we need?  They don't deserve that fame, that money.  Equally disgusting.

Here's what I would tell my friend, who would be very embarrassed if I mentioned their name:  don't let the bastards get you down.  They are self-hating, miserable people who will never amount to anything.  They have no/limited talent or ability, or they don't have as much talent in a particular thing as you do.  So instead of making themselves better, they choose to tear you down, thinking that it will hurt your feelings or make you stop doing a thing that makes you great.

How do you avoid them?  You can't.  They are literally everywhere, like dust mites.

How do you combat them?  By continuing to do your great thing better and better, so much better that the bastards disappear from your view completely.  And by ignoring them; they hate to be ignored. Hurting you is really all that they have.

It's hard, especially if you're young and sensitive, like my friend.  But once you start not paying attention to them and just doing your thing for your own pleasure, you soar.  So high that no one can ever bring you down.

Last three days runs:  Saturday - 1.03 miles, Sunday - 1.02 miles, Monday - 2.96 miles, all verified by Nike + running app.

Friday, September 9, 2016

When there are other hands on your time - Day 64 of running streak, day 61 of Sugar Free Challenge*

I didn't get much sleep last night, again.  Stayed up watching the Broncos win!  YES!

I woke up at about 4:15 am with a lot of angst about the day ahead.  A LOT of things to do this morning to get ready for the day, plus running.  I tried to go back to sleep but couldn't so I got up at about 4:30 am.

I didn't put on my shoes and go running; I went to the gas station and the ATM.  At 4:30 am.

I got back and went running, but I worried that I wouldn't be able to get the other stuff done before I had to leave for work.  So I only ran 1.04 miles today.  Could have gone further, chose not to...

Isn't this the stuff I tell you all not to do?

Don't I tell you to do the thing that you want to do FIRST?  If possible I mean.  But that you prioritize it first?

I have felt bad about this all day.  And I can't get that time back, ever.

The day and night move on.  And ultimately it usually doesn't matter that you folded the towels that morning, or washed a load of clothes that could have waited until tomorrow.

Sure, if you have an emergency, or if a loved one needs you, then that is different.

But how many times do we give up that sleep or exercise or writing time or whatever because we think it's more important to do chores?  It's dumb.

Who else is doing that?  Nobody.  Just those of us who are feeling a little guilty right that minute.  How dare we go running?  Why do we have the right to pick up that book?  Things won't get done!

That's right, they won't.  And I'm not saying put yourself first all of the time; I'm saying find a thing or two that you want or need to do, preferably something that will help you in some way (running, rest, etc.) and DO IT.  Put it at the top of the list, unless there's a fire or other emergency.  Not only do you get your thing done, but it carries you into the day with happiness and satisfaction, which makes it easier to do other things that you really don't want to do.

Will I ever do this again?  Probably.  But unlikely.

Today's run - 1.04 miles, verified by Nike + running app.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Bittersweet symphony - Day 63 of running streak, day 60 of Sugar Free Challenge*

Yes, it's another meaningful song blog entry from me...

I'll give you time to exit now...hurry...okay

So it's been an up and down morning, mostly up.  Didn't get much sleep last night, but I did get up at 4:30 (!) so that I'd have time to run.  Did 2.94 miles; not too shabby especially considering my feet yesterday.  But all felt okay, it was a starry sky, cool, perfect conditions.  I pounded it out in a little under 9 minutes per mile, which was awesome.  Sweet.

"'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony this life..."

This song came on at work today.  Fitting, because the morning quickly got a little more bitter than sweet.  Not work related, a result of my being tired and not doing all of the things I needed to do.  The sweetness of the early morning was replaced by the bitterness of mid-morning, real life time.

"I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down..."

Bittersweet.  Every day, bittersweet.  Good times, bad times.  That's how it goes.

You have great moments, like this morning.  You have bad moments.  Ups and downs.

You keep moving, you keep going.

The day of my high school graduation, my dad showed up drunk.  Bittersweet.

Of all the singing that I've ever done, I had strep throat the day of MD All State Chorus auditions in high school and didn't make it.  All three of my children have already made the equivalent.  Way more sweet than bittersweet, but still a little bittersweet.

"But I'm a million different people from one day to the next, I can't change my mold"

When I was in Little League, I crushed a ball to an adjacent field that would have been a home run for anyone else.  It was a triple for me because I was so fat at the time I couldn't run the bases.  Bittersweet.

I could go on and on.  I am a happy person.  But like all of you, I have lots of bittersweet moments.

I can't fundamentally change who I am, and neither can you.  So we tweak things in our lives, we change things up to hopefully make ourselves better.  More sweet than bitter.  It is truly the best we can hope for.

When you do things that help yourself, when you do the things that you want to do, you veer more into the sweet and away from the bitter.  But never totally away.  That's life.

Enjoy your bittersweet symphony today.

Today's run:  2.94 miles, verified by Nike + running app.  Bittesweet Symphony by The Verve:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lyu1KKwC74.  Watch it; you're already singing it in your head anyway.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My feet hurt - Day 62 of running streak, day 59 of Sugar Free Challenge*

Got an extra hour of sleep last night, was very excited about that.  Still only got 6 hours, not enough, but better than what I had been getting.

Excited to get my running stuff on, I grabbed my phone, went out and stretched.  Hamstrings hurt.

And my feet hurt, specifically my toes and heels.  Heel pain = not a good thing for runners.  Heel pain + tight hammys = really super not good for runners.  Those plus toe pain = not running my normal distance today,

I think that the back to back to back 2+ mile runs are wearing me down, folks.  It has me concerned because the last time this stuff started happening I got plantar fasciitis, which kept me from running for six months.  Ever had that?  It ain't fun.  It even makes walking difficult.

So I shortened it up today.  Only went 1.02 miles.  Normally that aggravates me no end, but today I figured it would help me to go short more than hurt me.  In other words, I might be avoiding long term injury that way.

I could use some new shoes, both running shoes and dress shoes.  The dress shoes hurt my feet and have no support, but I have to wear them to work.  The running shoes are pretty important too!

Yes, it's good to push yourself.  Push yourself out the door to exercise.  Push yourself away from that plate of crappy food.  Push yourself to do what you really want to do.

But you should not push yourself if you're injured.  You should take it easy, or maybe even not exercise at all.

I'm not there yet; I'm hoping this is a temporary thing that was just today, that by cutting back miles today I'll be able to go longer tomorrow.  But right now I'm taking it day by day, especially with our show being 16 days away (yikes!).

Exercise but please don't hurt yourselves.  You know the pace you need to go at; listen to your body because it's always right.  It's your brain that you have to watch out for.

Have a great day!

Today's run - 1.02 miles, verified by Nike + running app