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.

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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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5 Helpful Hints for a Good Grade – Part 1

Hey everyone! This is my buddy Josh, Big Josh to his friends! Say hi to Big Josh! Thanks!

talesfromthedrainpipe

Greetings & salutations! Big Josh back from the drainpipe once again, with a little bit of advice for college students who struggle with Literary classes. I’ve been asked a thousand times how I managed to ace all of my Lit classes back when I was a college student. I’m seriously not trying to toot my own horn or anything like that. Yes I got straight A’s in college, and 1 B in painting that I don’t like to discuss. Though I didn’t score aces on every essay I turned in, and I turned in every essay, I took the criticism and my professor’s advice from each effort, applied in to my next and became better.  Over time I realized a few things that I was doing that seemed to help not only in my Lit classes, but ever other class as well. Those special few who I tutored know these…

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Well, its been awhile, I know, sorry!

Its been near a year since I’ve posted, time has just gotten away from me I guess. Anyhow, no excuses, just a busy year, one of which I will be catching up on for everyone.

Its still been a year without socks for the majority, that’ll never change. But for now, here’s the highlights…

Got back from our epic trip to Alaska which happened to fall in the middle of a church merge for us. Last June we joined up with friends from Faith Community to better serve our small valley. July was the start of that chapter and I have been serving as campus pastor being able to get a better perspective on ministry and just what God is doing in my life.

Along with that change, I started back to school to finish off my full degree. I’m going for my AA in Christian ministry, may go for my BA but not committed to that just yet.

I’ve been spending a lot of time volunteering at the local middle school (where I serve on the board) with the seventh grade class. We had a student complete suicide back in November and I’ve been there for support for the kids. Just got a bunch of thank you letters from them! They have dubbed me Mr Skittles, the room mom! I love these kids!

Besides the usual family stuff…kids, grandkids (number six is due in September!), dogs (we added a female Staffordshire last august), and getting by through life…I have been liscened through Foursquare and will have some new adventures coming very soon…I’ll keep you posted very soon, I promise.

Here’s to life! Life without socks and new adventures!

Remembering Alaska

In actuality, it is hard to forget a place of such grandeur.

Coming into the land of the midnight sun

Anchorage Coming into the land of the midnight sun

This was how we were greeted as we landed in Anchorage, it was ten o’clock  at night. We thought we would have a hard time with it being so light, not when you realize where you are.

There had been a fire burning on the Kenai peninsula for a few days and our cab driver was quick to tell us that the smoke in the air was not normal. He assured us that we would be able to see things and that Alaska is generally clear all the time.

It did clear out for us as we got some rain which also helped the fire situation.

After checking into our hostel we had to go get some provisions at the local super Wall-mart, the only place open that time of day.

We spent the first few days taking in the museums and zoo, riding bikes and meeting people from all over.

One guy that made a great impression due to his enthusiasm for life was Rene from Austria.

IMG_0721That’s him prepping his motorbike for his journey from the northern most point of Alaska to Argentina. We ran across him at a turn out on the road to Seward as he had stopped to take a picture. He was breaking the bike in on some short jaunts before heading north and had spent the night camping in Seward. He had gotten rained on and was chilled but still very happy for his adventure (and to see us again). I gave him my contact information and am looking forward to hearing from him sometime. When he found out I was a pastor he hoped that he would not need my services in that capacity.

Our time in Seward was good. The Sea Life Museum is amazing, a must see. Our kayak adventure couldn’t have been better. Even though we had light rain, the water was pristine and I did get to see a bald eagle in flight. I just didn’t have my camera out as I was paddling.

100_1001100_0998Me and my Honey at Bridal Falls, its a bit fuzzy due to rain on the lens, but this was a beautiful place to just chill for a while.

Our hostel in Seward was a bit…let’s just say…aged. It was a place to lay our heads at night and served its purpose, but if we return to Seward, we will try the other hostel available.

100_1005It’s been two weeks since we returned from Alaska, but the memories of our time there will last for years to come. It is a place I will return to, God willing. I have to experience more of it…and yes, without socks!

Shalom!

Looking down 3rd street to Ressurection Bay, Seward Alaska

Time for another check mark on the Bucket List!

Last Fall my Honey and I went to Belize for my birthday trip. When we sold our coffee house last year, we had decided that we would take some of the proceeds and take two once in a life time style trips. Or as a friend of mine put it, “Vaca like the rich people do!”

Well, now is the time for my Honey’s trip. Bucket List check mark; ALASKA!

Deena and I have always dreamed of going to the last frontier, and now we are. The trip to Belize was great. Tropical beaches, lazy days, sun, ocean, hammocks, great food and good rum. We were there for eight days and commented that it was just the right length of time to be away.

Somehow the trip to Alaska is twice the length of the trip to Belize! I have scratched my bald head about this one a few times! Why exactly is the trip for her birthday twice as long as mine was?

Two reasons…

First; SHE DESERVES IT! And not just for putting up with me and my BS for 26+ years either!

Second; She is a bargain shopping queen! This trip for 16 days is roughly the same price as the 8 day trip cost. Plus on the Belize trip we ended up with airline vouchers which saved on the tickets.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!! (picture my cheesiest late night infomercial flashy smile here)

She went online and found an Alaskan Travelers Super Saver Coupon Book that allows us to do several adventures at half the price, plus benefits the Special Olympics. She has found restaurant coupons online for some places we will be visiting. We will be staying in hostels to lower our cost. (No we have not seen the movie by the same name and probably wont)

Plus I got a great deal on the rental car…$15 a day!

We’re calling this our backpacking in a car around Alaska trip!

The airline did bump our flights around a bit. I was only supposed to miss two Sundays at church but we leave tomorrow midday so my Armor Bearer will be handling three Sunday’s for me. (And when we get back we will be hitting the ground at Mach speed, more on that in a couple weeks)

Looking forward to this Bucket List adventure with my best friend, its gonna be GRAND!!! I can’t wait to ride a bike in Alaska and ingest the beauty there!

I’ll check in along the way, but don’t expect much!

Time to go finish my packing…my Honey has been packed for a week or more!

Oh, and by the way…

YES, I will be doing as much of Alaska as I can while NOT wearing socks…Life’s too short not too!

Shalom!