Jogging -Day #1

My jogging path and a selfie
My jogging path and me

My first day jogging in more than five years. Once upon a time, half my lifetime ago, I was a jogger, a real jogger, at least an hour, often two hours seven days a week. That was just for three years until I moved from Wisconsin to Maryland and my surroundings and routine changed and I stopped. Through the years I tried picking it up a number of times, but it never lasted more than a few weeks. Maybe I needed better scenery or greater familiarity with my surroundings or a form of accountability.

The last time I made a grand effort to jog everything seemed to be right. I was recently retired, so there was no reason I couldn’t fit it in. The scenery was beautiful, the foothills of the Los Padres National Forest in South Central California. The problem turned out to be the fat that I wanted to burn off. I was more than 50 pounds overweight and it was too much for my knees. Because it had been more than ten years since the last time I tried jogging I decided to take it easy and jog every other day. Everything was fine the first week, although I noticed my knees and a number of muscles that hadn’t been used in awhile where sore, that was to be expected. Then it hit me. The morning after the fourth time I jogged I could hardly walk my knees didn’t just hurt, they throbbed. They screamed, ‘Do Not Move Me!’ I waited two weeks and tried again, but the next morning the knee pain was back in full force. 

Since then I’ve tried little bits and pieces of running a few times, just to do it, just to see what it felt like. I’ve lost quite a bit of the weight and am less than 20 pounds overweight now. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that my legs feel heavy and it’s hard to move them very far, not because they hurt as much as because I just don’t have the lung capacity to push them very far. In the last couple years the best I’ve been able to do is a couple blocks non-stop, but usually, half a block and I’m winded. Still, I did it before, if my knees don’t rebel, it seems I should be able to do it again. 

Today I jogged a little more than a mile incrementally: jog a 10th of a mile then walk a 10th, then jog at 10th and so on until I finished.

It was painful, to say the least.

Just before stretching and starting my cool down I took a selfie. I plan to do that every time I finished jogging. My goal is to have 250 selfie’s by the end of the year that means I jog roughly 5 times a week.

 

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Beth Dunn Inspired Me

I found this quite inspirational and the reason that I started jogging again. Yesterday I watched a video by HubSpot’s Beth Dunn about persistence. These are four pictures of Beth. She tried losing weight many times a number of different ways but wasn’t successful till she found a way to hold herself accountable. 

At the end of every jog, she took a selfie. Taking that selfie every day gave her an additional reason to continue jogging every day. 

As you can see from the pictures below it worked. The first picture was her before she started jogging in 2012. The next is about a year later on stage at the Inbound event where she is 75 lbs lighter. Next is a picture at the event the following year, then this past November.

We usually want change such as weight loss to be quick, but as you can see Beth’s weight loss wasn’t immediate, but with persistence, it became drastic, life-changing.

If I jog just about every day and take a selfie every day I see no reason the process shouldn’t work for me, too.

Beth’s video about persistence: ( https://youtu.be/S8Q3vnPM6kk )

Full Text of “I Am a Nasty Woman” Speech by Ashley Judd

Below is the full text of Ashley Judd’s version of Nina Donavan’ spoken poem, “I Am a Nasty Woman.”

“I am a nasty woman.

I’m not as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheeto dust. A man whose words are a distract to America; Electoral College-sanctioned hate speech contaminating this national anthem.

I am not as nasty as Confederate flags being tattooed across my city. Maybe the South actually is gonna rise again; maybe for some it never really fell. Blacks are still in shackles and graves just for being Black. Slavery has been reinterpreted as the prison system in front of people who see melanin as animal skin.

I am not as nasty as a swastika painted on a pride flag. And I didn’t know devils could be resurrected, but I feel Hitler in these streets—a moustache traded for a toupee; Nazis renamed the cabinet; electro-conversion therapy the new gas chambers, shaming the gay out of America turning rainbows into suicide notes.

I am not as nasty as racism, fraud, conflict of interest, homophobia, sexual assault, transphobia, white supremacy, misogyny, ignorance, white privilege.

I’m not as nasty as using little girls like Pokémon before their bodies have even developed.

I am not as nasty as your own daughter being your favourite sex symbol—like your wet dreams infused with your own genes.

But yah, I am a nasty woman?!

A loud vulgar, proud woman.

I’m not nasty like the combo of Trump and Pence being served up to me in my voting booth.

I’m nasty like the battles my grandmothers fought to get me into that voting booth.

I’m nasty like the fight for wage equality. Scarlett Johansson: Why were the famous actors paid less than half of what the male actors earned last year?

See, even when we do go into higher paying jobs our wages are still cut with blades, sharpened by testosterone. Why is the work of a Black woman and a Hispanic woman worth only 63 and 54 cents of a white man’s privileged daughter?

This is not a feminist myth. This is inequality.

So we are not here to be debunked. We are here to be respected. We are here to be nasty.

I am nasty like the blood stains on my bed sheets. We don’t actually choose if and when to have our periods. Believe me, if we could, some of us would. We don’t like throwing away our favourite pairs of underpants. Tell me, why are tampons and pads still taxed when Viagra and Rogaine are not? Is your erection really more than protecting the sacred messy part of my womanhood? Is the blood stain on my jeans more embarrassing than the thinning of your hair?

I know it is hard to look at your own entitlement and privilege. You may be afraid of the truth. I am unafraid to be honest. It may sound petty bringing up a few extra cents. It adds up to the pile of change I have yet to see in my country.

I can’t see. My eyes are too busy praying to my feet hoping you don’t mistake eye contact for wanting physical contact. Half my life I have been zipping up my smile hoping you don’t think I wanna unzip your jeans.

I am unafraid to be nasty because I am nasty like Susan, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Amelia, Rosa, Gloria, Condoleezza, Sonia, Malala, Michelle, Hillary.

And our pussies ain’t for grabbin’. Therefore, reminding you that are balls are stronger than America’s ever will be. Our pussies are for our pleasure. They are for birthing new generations of filthy, vulgar, nasty, proud, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Sheikh—you name it—for new generations of nasty women. So if you [are] a nasty woman or love one who is, let me hear you say, hell yeah!”

Related Story: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/nina-donovan-is-the-19yearold-poet-who-wrote-ashley-judds-viral-i-am-a-nasty-woman-speech/news-story/d40dc60b10853ef21423b247e598ebd0

Memoir: After All, How Big Could a Sinkhole Be?

Just heard a story about a couple sinkholes not too far from where I live that opened up overnight. One of them in a road I’ve driven on a few times, Foothill Road near Hwy 154 in Santa Barbara. Now, I’m thinking about the first time I thought about sinkholes.

So now, I’m picturing holes with cars and houses in them and remembering the first time I ever heard about sinkholes.

I was about nine. The radio newsman was talking about a sinkhole in Florida that swallowed a house and he was making no sense to me. After all, the holes in the sinks I was most familiar witha bathroom sink were pretty small, I’d dropped a toothpaste cap into the hole in the bathroom sink once, but even the kind of house people used for their model trains would be too big to get swallowed by a bathroom sink hole or even the hole in a kitchen sink. You’d have to break it up into little pieces to wash it into such a tiny hole, but a regular, full-sized house, even a tiny one like the one next door would never fit into the kind of sink holes I was familiar with.

So the next thing I wondered was what kind of sinks they had in Florida. I knew some people had swimming pools in their back yards, but would a swimming pool have a hole big enough to swallow a house and if it did, did people in Florida have sinks the size of swimming pools?

My mind was spinning trying to come to terms with this. For a moment I was pretty sure I didn’t ever want to go to Florida. Usually, my mom had the answers to things like this, but not this time.

“Mom, could a sink hole swallow a house?” I asked.

She thought a moment, probably wondering why I was asking a question that for an adult, had an obvious answer. “I suppose they could, but not very often.”

On the one hand, that was a relief. It didn’t happen very often, so I’d probably safe on a trip to Florida. On the other hand, that didn’t explain how it could happen in the first place, but it wasn’t an impossibility as far as she was concerned. Since I wouldn’t be seeing any of my teachers for a while, there was only one thing left to do.

I headed over to the library and to the encyclopedias. Of course, I found the answer, but it took a little while to understand the relationship between a big hole in the ground and the hole at the bottom of a sink.

Now, I’m sitting here, amused by my childish innocence and perception of the world around me.

Memoir: Running Over My Cousin

My cousin was jogging alongside me. I had to pedal slower to keep pace with him. He was ten years old, I was eleven. We hadn’t been friends very long. I’d known him when I was three, so I hadn’t really known him. Then my family moved to Illinois, a little town outside Chicago. Time passed. We saw each other again when we were old enough to remember the visit.

Every year for the first five years after we moved to Illinois my father took the family back east to visit relatives. We always visited my mom’s family and someone from my dad’s family: one of his aunt’s one year, his mother another, another aunt, then when I was eight after a few days in New York he took us to Massachusettes to visit his sister and I got to see my Johnson cousins again. Not that I’d ever missed seeing them, but until then I hardly knew they existed.

I don’t remember what we did. My uncle had a target behind his house and he invited me to shoot an arrow at it. I have no idea where the thing went, but it didn’t hit the target. He helped me pull the string back, told me to look down the arrow at the target and when I could see a straight line from my eye, down the arrow, and to the target, I should let it go. My cousins told me I was really lucky because he never let them touch his bow and arrows, much less shoot them.

We all slept in a room on the second floor overlooking the street. I loved watching the cars go by in the street below. All I could see from my bedroom window at home was the mobile home across the way.

Less than two years later my cousins and I were roommates again. By then my family had moved into a house. My brother and I had an upstairs room overlooking the street, but the house was at the end of a dead-end street, so there wasn’t much to see. Four of us shared one small room. We were small, though, and it was fun, so the room didn’t feel crowded. 

So my cousin, Kenny, and I were becoming friends. I don’t remember what we were talking about, but without warning, he ran faster. In an instant, he was ten steps ahead of me. I was pushing hard on the pedals to catch up. He looked back at me, stumbled and fell. I pushed back hard on the pedals to stop. I couldn’t swerve because there was a ditch on the left and a busy street on the right. I think he’d run ahead because there was a bridge where the road crossed a creek. The space at the edge of the road narrowed to about two feet. Normally, I would have been able to stop in time, but this time my foot slipped off the pedal and as I fought to gain control the bike rolled over my cousin!

Somehow I managed to keep from falling over. Somehow he wasn’t hurt, at least not much from the bicycle. He was a little scraped up from falling on the gravel, but he jumped up and started screaming at me as if I’d run him over on purpose. Before I could say anything he stomped home, taking the shortcut I couldn’t take, through the yards.

It was two days before he talked to me again. We were watching TV and he started laughing. Then he said, “You should have seen the look on your face after you ran me over. You looked so scared, I thought you were afraid your bike was broke. I got so mad at you, ’cause I was the one who was hurt, not your stupid bike.”

“I did think you were hurt!”

“I know, but I think I was in shock or something and I was mad at you for running me over and not even falling down. Next time you run me over you better fall down, even if you don’t have to.”

“My cousins moved out a few weeks after that. The trips out east stopped about that time and were replaced by trips to visit the Johnson’s. Ken and I stayed friends until we were in our twenties. Then we both moved further away and grew apart. Still, whenever I see two kids, one on a bicycle, the other running alongside or on a skateboard I remember the feeling of bouncing on my bicycle over my cousin.

Strategically Placed Chewing Gum

TV remoteJimmy woke with a start. He checked his watch. Just in time, the game wasn’t starting for another ten minutes. He could make himself a sandwich, open a bag of chips, grab a beer and be all ready when the game started.

As he opened the refrigerator he remembered he’d been chewing a wad of bubble gum when he fell asleep. He hadn’t planned to fall asleep, but it was the rhythm of chewing the gum that lulled him to sleep. He didn’t know why that happened, but for as long as he could remember chewing any kind of gum, in fact chewing anything sticky like caramel or taffy, always made him drowsy.

He wondered what he’d done with the gum. It wasn’t in his mouth. He checked back in the living room. Not on the table. Not on the floor. Not stuck anywhere on the sofa. Jimmy felt his hair, face, and clothing. No sign of the gum anywhere. He must have swallowed it.

Back in the kitchen he peeled off a couple leafs of lettuce, spread some mustard on the bread, added four slices of ham, two slices of cheese, and just a dab of horseradish. He was ready for the game. Packers – Cardinals, should be a good game. It was in Green Bay, so the Packers had the edge, but he was expecting Arizona to win. In the pool at work, he’d picked the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl.

By the time he sat down and had everything arranged it was just two minutes to game time. He pressed the remote, but nothing happened. He made sure it was pointed straight at the TV, pressed, saw the little red light go on, but nothing happened.

“Damn, wrong time for the TV to go out,” he thought. “One way the tube TVs were better, they always started flickering when they were about to die.”

Jimmie opened the small door over the controls on the TV and pressed ‘on.’ The TV sprang to life. “Must be the batteries,” he said to himself.

First, he turned the game on, then went back into the kitchen and got a couple batteries. He pried open the remote, pulled out the old batteries, put in the new, and as he was sliding the remote battery cover back into place he found the chewing gum. Somehow he’d stuck it over the remote’s infrared LED.

Back in the living room he put the gum back over the LED and pressed off. The TV stayed on. He removed the gum, pressed off, and the TV went off.

He chuckled, not just because it was funny, but because he was already picturing his brother’s face next time Jimmy visited.

Sometime Awhile Ago, Maybe

Bradley parked the car, then walked down the driveway to the mailbox. The latest issue of the New Yorker magazine, the usual weekly collection of local advertising, a couple letters from AARP, and a letter from someone named Mitch Hedberg. Bradley studied the envelope to be sure it was addressed to him, which it was. It was handwritten, the Forever stamp was placed at an angle to the corner, and the letter was postmarked two days ago in . It didn’t look at all like a mass mailing.

Once inside Bradley poured himself a scotch on the rocks, rifled through the local advertising and recycled everything except the letter from Mitch. He opened it, expecting to see a sales pitch of some kind, maybe a pyramid scheme. Inside was a carefully written letter.

Dear Brad,

          I’m expecting you will remember me. I found you on Facebook. I signed on to it last month. Giannini is on it too. Drew told me Jerry was in Texas I thought — still in the food business. Drew’s running a golf course. Turns out I probably drove right by him last year when we were visiting my wife’s cousins in CA.

          As to what I’ve been doing. As you remember, I was in prep school (Phillips Academy, Andover, MA), only because my folks could afford it, not because that’s where I wanted to go. I did okay there and could have gone to Harvard or almost anyplace after that. Lord knows dad wanted that, but I joined the Navy and stayed in for 6 years. Then dad got his wish, but it was Dartmouth for me. Planned to be a doctor, but instead of going right into med school after getting my BS, I took a job as a Patient Service Representative at St. Lukes in New Bedford. Figured it would give me a better idea of what I was getting into before I got into it. After two years I knew I didn’t want to be a doctor, much less a neurologist. I know a couple doctors here Utica, but that’s about as close as I am to being one.

          How did I get to Utica? I have spent most of the last 30 plus years in the health field. Fourteen years as a chemical dependency counselor/administrator, and the last 13 as a behavioral treatment unit manager at a long-term care facility in here.

          Been married to Maggie (Margaret) for 29 years and nine weeks. Have one son, Allen, who is 19. Been living in Utica since 1974. Can’t tell you how many times we’ve been up and down hwy. 49 between here and Rome, Vienna, Jewel and points north. I just remember it’s not four lanes like 90. My best man at our wedding, Tom Tolbert’s folks used to have a place on Oneida Lake north of Sylvan Beach just off Hwy. 13. I remember a sporting goods store in town that had a freezer case out front that held a trophy size fish. His folks sold the place about 10 years ago.

          What got me to look you up was your daughter’s art show. I noticed the name in the local paper and remembered Drew mentioning you had a daughter who was an artist. Brilliant as I am, I put two and two together, went to the show and asked her. She is indeed talented! You must be awful proud.

          I had no idea you were so close. Last I heard you were working in Jersey. Maybe we can get together sometime, maybe golf or lunch. I don’t get over there as often as I used to, but I could make the trip.

          Anyhow, that’s a brief history of me since we last met — which must’ve been in 1964, because that’s when I left for Phillips.

Be well,

Mitch

Bradley wrote back,

Mitch,

I’d love to get together for lunch sometime, anytime at your convenience.

A few corrections: I’ve never worked in Jersey, have lived here at least twenty years. I do not have a daughter who is an artist unless you consider accounting an art, but you’re right I am very proud of her. I also have two sons. One, Karl, is the News Director at a radio station in Oneida. The other, Dustin, teaches math at Oneida High School. I was a fifth grader in 1964. You sound like a person I would like to know, however. Lunch sounds good. we could meet half way. I know two or three good places in Rome unless you’ve got a favorite there. You mentioned a trophy size fish. Do you do any fishing? Maybe we could go out on my boat sometime. It’s an 18 footer, plenty of room for both of us.

Brad

I was thinking of something…