Just get out and move!

Just get out and move!

That was my motivation some four and one half years ago when I bought my first adult mountain bike at a Goodwill store for 16 bucks. It was a small frame Specialized brand, obviously built for someone of a much smaller frame than I am, but I was on a budget and made it work.

I still remember the look on my Honey’s face as she was looking through clothes and such when I walked up to her with the bike in tow. She had given me this look many times before. It was one I am familiar with, being the dreamer in the family and all. Plus, being one who has had a higher than average amount of hobbies in our 28 years of marriage, I wasn’t surprised by her reaction.

I had needed to get out, move, and get healthier. I’m not a runner, never have been, so bike riding seemed a great alternative for me to try out. Turns out, I really missed riding a bike. I began riding in the large fields on motorcycle trails between our house and the church building about a mile away. I could ride different routes and get some decent miles in. I even rigged up some lights for heading home in the dark.

After a few months of riding, I downloaded an app to track my progress. I recently received my ‘happy anniversary’ email from them with my lifetime stats. I’ve ridden over 2600 miles and burned over 245 thousand calories since 2012. I’ve not always been faithful and consistent though, with injuries or illness, the occasional vacation, or just life in general getting in the way. Let’s not forget inclement weather too! Riding in the bitter cold or gusty wind is just not fun!

I have switched over to road cycling and now that I live in a more road cycling friendly community with many bike lanes and routes, I am being more determined to get out and put some mileage in. Today is a down day. I’ve put in about 80 miles this week in three rides. That may be a drop in the bucket for some of the extreme cyclists’, but for me, I used to think that a 12-mile ride was a killer. Now I feel like I’m just warming up around 10-12 miles.

On my ride yesterday, I was thinking about why I share my stats on social media. It’s not about, ‘Hey, look what I’m doing and you’re not!’ but rather more for the hope that it motivates others to get out and move. I feel better getting out there. Sure, I hurt and am tired when I get back from a ride – it’s supposed to be that way! The results though are far more beneficial than the temporary discomfort.

Latest Iphone photos 297

 

 

Cycling may not be your choice, I ride by many people who are out there walking around the block, or running/jogging. I saw one older lady out with her walker! Way to go Granny!

Just get out and move, you’ll be glad you did.

Oh, and try it without socks!

 

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Cycling can be Spiritual

Cycling is a Spiritual experience for me. Not in the generic term of spiritual, that is so often times abused in our culture today. I am talking about how this is my time with God, not some ‘Koo-koo-ka-choo, I am the walrus’ thing where I am trying to transcend into a higher plane. If that is your thing then have fun with it.

For me, it is my time to clear my head of the garbage and focus on what God is doing around me and in my life. Just the fact that He has given me the strength to make the bike move is part of the experience. I put on some praise music and just go. Sometimes it is a quick ride, other times it is more of a challenge. Today I challenged myself.

I am located in the desert where it is relatively flat. However, there is one road headed out of town that is, from my house anyway, the most grueling incline on the routes I choose to ride. As I was riding it today, I experienced a Spiritual lesson from God. Not a new lesson, but one that I needed reminding of and now I share it with you.

On this route, I have about two miles of flat to warm up and then the grade begins. Once the grade kicks in, there is really not any recovery point until the top of the grade, four to five miles away, a stretch that generally cuts my average speed in half. If you are going this route, you are committed to it. Well, I guess you could turn around and choose another route, but where is the building up going to happen if turning around is an option. You just have to gear down and keep going.

Once at the top of the grade there is still no turning back, if you are committed to the journey. The rest of the route is a two-lane road with no shortcuts or turnoffs. You are committed to go the distance to the first road, a twenty-mile loop back to my starting point, or the second road, a twenty-six mile loop. I chose the twenty-mile loop today.

As I was trudging up the grade, God began to impress on me that this ride is like my Spiritual journey with Him. It is not going to be easy. There are parts of it that just slow me down. Battles and struggles that cut my forward progress in half, much like the grade slows my average speed. Nevertheless, I keep going! Spiritually, this is when I grow my faith in my Lord. I need to rely on Him to keep me moving forward and not turning around.

Sure, when I get to the top of the grade, there is a downhill section, but it is not an opportunity to just coast through, I still have to pedal because there is usually some form of wind pushing against me. This is where the Spiritual growth happens in our lives, after the hard work, in the consistency of moving along the route God has mapped out.

Then even when things are going smooth and you are feeling good with yourself, some form of discouragement can creep in. For my riding, and me this happens when an ‘old guy’ passes me. I am talking guys fifteen to twenty years older than me (I am fifty). However, I quickly realize that these guys have been doing this a lot longer than I have. They have been on the road more than I have. So I choose to watch them and try to learn something in their cadence and style. Just as we should with those who have been walking a Spiritual life longer than we have.

There are times when I tell myself, “If only I had an actual road bike instead of my Franken-Bike!” Side note – the bike I ride is one I built out of three or four other bikes. It works! One day I will graduate to an actual road bike and probably still complain when the old-guys pass me. One day I will be one of those old guys passing others! For now, my Franken-Bike and I will persevere.

That is what our Spiritual journey with God is about – persevering through the route. Not stopping; not being discouraged. Moving forward under the power He gives you at the time. Not looking for a short cut or thinking about turning around. Growing stronger and more consistent with each rotation of the sprocket or step.

Be encouraged today in your own Spiritual journey. No matter what you are facing, you are getting stronger in Him. Let God be your strength today and every day.

Oh, and if you can do it without wearing socks, go for it!

Thanks for stopping by. Blessings to you.

One BIG change this year…

So along with some of the other things that have happened over the past several months began back in January of this year. We had some friends over for dinner and games just before the beginning of the year and one of the young men was talking about a weight loss challenge he and his girlfriend were going to be in.
My Honey and I had already decided we were going to be eating better and improve our health in the coming year – not just another New Years resolution – but seriously staying healthier for ourselves and our family. Plus the fact we both turn 50 this year was an added motivation.
So my friend Ronnie began to taunt me about joining in the challenge. He’s a 19 year old kid getting cocky about being able to kick my butt in this thing so yes, I took the bait and we jumped in.
Two days later we went by the office to officially weigh in and pay our entry fees. I was at my heaviest ever even though I bike ride on a regular basis, I wasn’t really living and eating healthy.
My Honey and I had already had a plan on doing a shake cleanse to boost our start but then she found the “program” that has really worked well.
Thanks to Beyond Diet we both have lost significant weight, and yes, guys always seem to lose more but that’s not the point! We are both doing very well as we continue our journey to our goals.
I share this with you all so that it can be an encouragement and motivation for others to make the step and begin a healthier lifestyle.
You don’t have to go crazy and starve yourself or anything. Find what works for you, check out Beyond Diet , it could work for you too.

Four months and 40+ lbs down! All with little exercise just cleaner eating!

Four months and 40+ lbs down! All with little exercise just cleaner eating!


Whatever you do…try it without wearing socks! Life is just too short!

Men, there is a problem…cajones…got any!

Guys, yes, this is mainly for you today. Ladies, if you know a man, please share this with him.

There is an old saying…”The first step is admitting you have a problem.” It comes from the twelve step program.

For a person with thoughts of suicide or one who struggles with depression and anxiety, I believe (again, this is just my two cents here) the first step is getting the cajones (ie; nerve, ba**s) to ask for help in admitting there is a problem!

You may think this too harsh, especially coming from a pastor’s point of view. I’m supposed to be a loving, gentle and caring individual who sits with you and tells you stories of puppy dogs and butterflies and how everything will be alright, right?

WRONG!!!

Let’s look at it this way…

Your house is on fire…I’m standing in the street…you are unaware that there is imminent danger…do you want me to quietly and gently tell you from the street in my best “counseling” voice that you are in trouble? Or would you rather I jump to action, scream my butt off to get your attention and get you and those you love out safe?

Well, there is another imminent danger for men…

The largest percentage of completed suicides in our country right now are men ages 45-85!!!

Let me repeat that…

MEN AGES 45-85 ARE COMPLETING MORE SUICIDES THAN ANY OTHER AGE GROUP!!!

Anyone ready to admit there is a problem? Anyone ready to join in with jumping to action and getting others to safety?

I wasn’t…not just a few months ago. Then I did because my world was coming apart.

WHAT? A pastor with problems? Say it ain’t so!

SORRY…the problems and struggles that those in the pastorate have are causing between 1400-1700 servants to leave the ministry every month!

Most of those in ministry leadership are men. Men are fixers. Men don’t ask for help. I didn’t want to, but I did. (Check out my journey starting here.)

Seriously, we men don’t even like to ask for directions, the GPS has been the best invention in recent history!

Men, if you are struggling with depression, anxiety, frustration, anger, loneliness, or anything else like that, admit it and ask for help. Talk to your doctor or health care provider.

And don’t just think that a little pill for E.D. will help. That will only give you a temporary “fix” to a deeper issue! That’s not being a true man. Life is NOT like the commercials!

So guys…MAN UP…admit there is a problem…get help…get some cojones…you’ll be glad you did.

Thanks for coming by and hanging with this shepherd’s stance today and letting me rant!