Category Archives: Friends

Fruit Cake?

Oh the weather outside is frightful…and so is fruit cake!

Traditional-Fruit-Cake

I was at a Christmas party with friends over the weekend and discovered that someone who I have known for years actually likes fruit cake.  Considering I didn’t realize that anyone actually consumed the gelatinous creations, I was even more shocked that someone I consider a friend considers them a delicacy.

It is amazing what you can find out about people if you just ask questions and listen.  In the same way that a fruit cake has all kinda “stuff” that is surrounded with different types of “goo” and shaped with some type of special “filling”, most of the people in your life are similarly fruit cake-ish.  Considering I don’t know how you actually consume an actual fruit cake (I believe that it is sliced, but possibly it is pulled like pork, I’m not sure), I can’t make this metaphor preserve nearly as well as the magic of a jelly loaf.  In whatever way you gain access to your seasonal party in your mouth I would assume that it makes a sound when you cut into it.  I’ve asked people questions over the years that I clearly remember hearing a sound in the pregnant pause while they were attempting to create an answer.

Are you still seeing her?

What happened that night after the concert?

Did you mean for your hair to end up that way?

If a horse is a horse of course of course, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck?

Silence can be some of the loudest moments of your life.

FC appears to be a fairly busy taste concoction.  I’m betting that no two bites are the same (either because of the layers of fruit or the fact that the actual loaf has changed its physical properties several times since its actual preparation).  There’s a lot of challenge when you are really asking questions but one of the biggest is that each successive question can give you not only a different answer but a completely different set of questions.  If you didn’t know that someone had a certain experience until you asked, you definitely don’t know where the conversation is heading next. Listening is a skill but we don’t give asking questions any credit for being an equally important skill.

Ultimately I think the most magical thing about squishy fruit bread is the fact that not only is it a holiday spectacular but it stays, in its current state, FOREVER.  One of my bits of advice I’ve given to my female friends over the years when they were interested in boys is for them to pay attention to the amount of questions he asks about you.  When someone is genuinely interested in you, they want to know you and ask lots of questions about you and your life.  Answers don’t go away, they stay with you forever.  You may not be able to recall them all, but they are there…in the same state they were given to you.  That knowledge of the people in your life is what creates depth in relationships.  I think we all crave deep, meaningful relationships (at least we crave them more than fruit cake).

After we were done teasing our friend about fruit cakes we continued with our festivities.  There were several other moments in the evening where I learned new things about my friend’s lives.  Luckily I was not required to actually learn what fruit cake does to one’s pallet after white wine.  In the interest of full disclosure, I did sample fruit cake once in my twenties…it has now replaced a filling I lost in a tooth since it is still with me all these years later.

Ciao

SK

Advertisements

Excuses, excuses, excuses

This is the part of a blog where the writer tells you all the reasons he hasn’t been writing.

Fill in the blank _______________________________________________________________ is why I haven’t been blogging.

More than anything else, I just haven’t taken the time and sat down and wrote.  Writing is like running for me.  I love to do them both, but I have to schedule time for both activities and sometimes I just get lazy and stop.  Luckily I always come back because I love them both so.  Usually It takes a little bit of motivation for me to get on board and come back and today is no different.

Now for those of you interested in juice stuff, I have been actually writing down recipes and I will be creating a separate section on the blog for juicing and juice fast type things.  I’m not going to commit to when I’ll get it up, but hopefully before my next fast (January 5 if any of you want to start planning now).

This fitness journey for me really start with Carlos Whitaker and his #fitbyfourth initiative he started back in the summer.  That got me moving, fasting got some weight off and changed habits, and I’ve just kept at it.  Well ‘Los is back at it again with #fitbyfirst coming at us right now.  31 days to get a jump-start on a healthier me.  I’ve really done well watching what I eat, exercising, and continuing to lose weight, but everyone likes a little motivation from time to time.  One of the keys to the Journey with ‘Los is to journal.  I have terrible handwriting, so one again I’ll be bringing my journal here to share with you guys.

The first couple of days are easy…Take a before picture, make a video to yourself from yourself, and do the fitness test.  All items are complete and I’m ready to get after it.  2015 will be my year to get back into the under 200 lb club.  I also have plans for a half marathon and wait for it…muscles!!!!  I also have a pile of personal and financial things that I have been working on and improving that will continue to move forward for me.

So I’m back…again…don’t hate me because I’m wishy-washy, just love me because…well…just because I need love darnit.

 

Ciao

 

SK

That’s what friends are for

The fast is over and tomorrow I will reveal the results.  I’m seriously excited to see what the final tally will be and where I will go from there.  For today, let’s talk about your support system.

Accountability, authentic, and transparency are super-cool buzzwords that people like to throw around these days.  Ultimately it is about people being personally accountable for their actions and outcomes and not putting on a face for the world.

I AM HORRIBLE AT THIS

I really don’t think I know very many people who are good at this.  We all put on a show and let people in only on a surface level.  I don’t necessarily think that you need to tell everyone you see all of your business, but you do need people in your life that hold you accountable and push you to do more.

“I want the kind of friends that love me enough to meet me where I am but love me so much not to leave me there”

I don’t know where I hear this, but it is not my quote.  I believe we want, crave, and need these kind of relationships in our lives.  What in the world does this have to do with juicing (I told you the other day that this stuff is just like relationships)?

I don’t think there is any way that I could have done this fast without the help and support of my coworkers that undertook it with me.  The reason I know this is because I have always quit on these kind of life change/health events within the first third of the adventure.  And I have tried short, long, exercise, diet, and activity changes that were much, much easier than fasting yet I didn’t have near the success.

We went through all the mess together.
We texted each other when we struggled.
We celebrated each and every day with each other.
We could understand each other’s misery.

There was something magical about coming in each day and knowing that everyone I was looking at all day was in the same boat as I am.

I guess I need to formally thank my coworkers for doing this nonsense.  I couldn’t have made it through the third day without knowing that I would be put on the spot the next day about the waffle I consumed.  If you are even a little, itty-bitty, teensy bit interested in maybe juicing then I would say find someone who is going to do this with you.  Preferably someone who you interact with daily.  I’m sure there is someone at your office or your house or in your neighborhood that could lose a couple of LB’s and would team up with you.

Challenge extended–movement to be continued

Now for the real reason that I wrote this post:

 

Ciao

 

SK

Maybe I’ll be as fast as you

I sat and came up with a list a mile long of things I want to accomplish the rest of the year, most of them are pretty boring.  I have a a super high competitive drive and one of my goals for this next few weeks was born out of that gene.

 

I wouldn’t say I was inspired, but I was intrigued

I wouldn’t say I was scared, but I was concerned

I wouldn’t say I was motivated, but I was touched

 

Do yourself a favor and watch FSND.  It chronicles the journey of Joe Cross for 60 days of juicing, what it does to his body, and what it does to the people around him.  My coworker has been trying to get me to watch this for a year.  I finally carved out 90 minutes to check it out and was totally drawn in, yet I wasn’t ready to leave McDonald’s and Pizza Hut behind…but it did make me think.

Our office is more like a family of brothers and sisters that bicker, laugh, cry, and truly share our lives together.  A couple of days after I viewed the movie we were discussing juicing as my coworker was consuming some kind of concoction that appeared to be burnt orange and smelled like a farmer’s market.  Out of nowhere our secretary says that she’ll do a juice fast, but she didn’t think that I would be able to stick to it.

Challenge

She might as well have double-dog-dared me to put my tongue on the pole.  So with that, I agreed.

So here we go.  Starting tomorrow we are doing a 10 day juice fast.  I’ve read and researched and prepared my mind as much as possible to take this 240 hours on as best I can.  For me this process is more mental than physical.  I’ve always been a picky eater and some of my motivation is to test my palate and hopefully inspire my equally picky 11-year-old to step outside of chicken nuggets on occasion.  The more I read though, I am seeing how this can truly be a life changing event.  My friend at work has promised this will be one of the top 10 best decisions of my life.  I think that may be hyperbole (but sounds like a great idea for a blog post), but who knows where I’ll be by next weekend.

One of the things that’s recommended is to journal this process.  So that’s what I’m going to do, I’m just gonna put it out there for everyone to consume (at least most of it).

I don’t know what will happen, but I’m sure something will happen…hopefully it will be entertaining ;).

Crick in my neck

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:

Getting old SUCKS!

 

I remember being 21 and being indestructible.  I could party for a week straight on zero sleep, play basketball all day, go to class, pass tests, go to my PT job, drive across the state, hit the gym, eat anything, and still stand around looking for something else to conquer.  Now I stand at the ballpark for an afternoon watching my son play and I have to come home and ice my knees so I don’t look like Fred Sanford the next day.

The only benefit of getting old is that I’m not quite as stupid as I was back then.  Whether its “forgetting to pay” for Crab legs or getting pregnant or an overdose or simply doing daily dumb stuff with money…kids are dumb.

I’m writing all this because I have had a crick in my neck for three days.  That’s not normal.  It is getting better.  But it has been three freaking days, seriously not normal at all.  It makes sleeping difficult and driving dangerous.  I have to think when I’m on the phone and trying to multitask.  It is just a pain.

Life is kind of funny when it humbles you and makes you appreciate things.  I’ve been in a funk lately in some ways.  I’ve been spending time with friends of mine that are super successful with life, family, and careers.  I’ve got some friends that really have done well for themselves.  They haven’t abandoned me even though I’m “not on their level” anymore.  It is just depressing to roll up in my hooptie to a super nice golf course and pull out my 10-year-old golf clubs, thrift store outfit, and three weeks of budget just so I can afford to play.  And then I get a crick in my neck.

 

Simple things become hard

Hard things become excruciating

You have to think your way through a shower

Parking the car becomes a process

 

A little, bitty kink above my shoulders and below my chin totally change my perspective.  The thankful list is WAY LONGER than the cranky list.   As much as I wished I had a nice car, normal family, and money in the bank what I do have is a safe car, friends and family that love me, and the means to support myself.  That is a pretty good place to be.  The only difference between my successful buddies and me is they don’t have a kink.  My neck will work itself out as will the rest of my life.  Even with the discomfort, I can still live my life and be happy.  I just can’t look over my shoulder right now (and is that really a bad thing to not look over your shoulder all the time?).

 

Ciao

 

SK

My fellow graduates

I think I was 13th in my class, so I definitely didn’t get to speak at my school graduation.  But if I could give a speech to graduates, it might sound something like this:

Today is a day of accomplishment and achievement.  It is a reward for both you and your parents for the hours of work, the years of stress, the moments of weakness, and the time of your life.  The fact is this group that is here today is a smaller group than the one that started four years ago.  Bad decision, bad luck, moving, pregnancy, illness, and just being lazy has caused many of your childhood friends to not be here today.  But not you.

Rather than remind you and congratulate you for what you have done we should look at what you are about to accomplish.

 

Bill Gates, once graduated high school

Oprah, once graduated high school

President Obama, once graduated high school

Neal Armstong, once graduated high school

 

These are great Americans that all have this one moment in common with you.  A great moment, but not the one that defined their lives and their legacies.

Someone here today will do amazing things that will make you proud to be their classmate.  And someone else here today will be the person that you all wonder “What happened to him?”.

Some of you will get to college next year and make superior grades, some of you will struggle, and others of you will simply not be able to hack it.

Some of you will get a job or go into the military.  Some will stay home and help your parents.  Some of you will travel the world.  And some of you will simply end up being a stoner and never being heard from again.

 

Those great American’s all faced those same possibilities on this same day in their history.  So what was different?  And most importantly what will make it different for you?

There is no one magic recipe.  Hard work is a common denominator.  A little good luck is a common denominator.  I believe that a common trait with all these greats is the fact that they dream.

This is my message to you graduates today.  You must dream and dream BIG.  There will be many days that you won’t want to go to class and stay in bed.  You never sleep through your dreams.  There will be days that you fail at work or with relationships.  Your dream will still be a light in your future.  You must hold on to these dreams and chase them.

And so you understand clearly…dreams are not goals.  I believe goals are very important, but they are not the same.  Graduating high school is a goal.  Walking on the moon, now that’s a dream.  Dreams should be so big and scary that you are almost embarrassed to tell anyone your dreams.  By the sheer magnitude of those dreams you can be pulled toward greatness.

I always want you to realize that it is probably unlikely that you will ever achieve that dream, and that’s ok.  The residual effect of the years and years of dream chasing will be the fuel that powers the truly amazing impact that you will make on the people in your life.  And that, my friends, is the true secret to greatness…people.

As you go forward in life, chasing those dreams, understand that you cannot accomplish them alone; you need people and people, in turn, need you.  My challenge to you is to not make today what you are remembered for.  Dream big and dream loud.  And love the people who you encounter along the way.  That is your true legacy.  That will be your true greatness.  And that will be what you are remembered for.

 

Ciao

 

SK

Motivated or Disgusted?

I didn’t really want to go workout yesterday.  I wanted to come home, eat, and be in bed for the night.  It had been five days since I had been to the Crossfit gym.  It is taking me about two days to recover from a workout right now.  I did have to travel with my son over the weekend to a baseball tournament, but regardless it had been a while.  One thing I like about our gym is that you have to sign up for classes in advance, so there is a level of commitment and planning.  I had signed up early Monday morning to go that evening, so I had to go or lose my money.

I’ve always looked at really active folks as being hyper-motivated.  I see people running marathons and playing sports at a high level and I just think to myself “Wow”.  I’ve always been driven in my personal and professional life.  I’ve never been able to sustain that drive for a long period with my health.  That just doesn’t make any sense!????!!!!

I probably wouldn’t have taken this mission upon myself if I hadn’t been disgusted with blowing out my favorite pair of jeans.  And maybe that’s the real answer…

I’ve always taught sales people who their number one competitor is always the status quo.  People would rather do what they know and are comfortable with than try something new, even if the benefits are there to at least try it.  As the saying goes: “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t”.  It is easier to be fat.

Eating fast food is easy.  Sitting on your ass is easy.  Making excuses is easy.  Sneak eating chocolate in the car so your kids don’t know is easy (yes I’m talking to you).

All these things are easy.  And even though we know they may not be the best for us, we continue to do them because we know how to deal with them.  We feel the guilt of a Big-Mac for a second but we know that we can rationalize its consumption even faster.  The thought of actually walking into a gym with people who go every day is terrifying.  I don’t think the fear is that we can’t do it but more of what happens after we do it.

Something happens to us though when we get disgusted.  Folks generally don’t leave a job, bad relationship, or bad habit until they are truly sick and tired of where they are.  The fear of the unknown devil that might be sobriety or a shelter is no longer paralyzing them.  The fearing the gym may not have the same imminent intimidation that an abusive spouse does, they both do have a direct reflection on your quality of life.

I’ve battled my fair share of demons.  They are all a part of my story.  And they all were comfortable in their own way.  Changing those behaviors required me to be uncomfortable.  PEOPLE HATE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE.  The pregnant pause between a question and answer is the scariest thing in the world for people and they rush to fill the space rather than sitting in its silence and waiting for it to resolve itself.  Lifestyle changes are even scarier.  You get the uncomfortable silence of your own mind while its debating doing the right or wrong thing combined with the physical pull of your body to respond as you have taught it to.  Uncomfortable, paralyzing, and powerful…all rolled into one.

So is that step to run out the door every morning truly motivation in a tri-athlete?  Or is it possibly the fact that they were finally disgusted with the status quo battle they were fighting with the fat guy on the couch their whole life.  So when your cubemate is talking about their new successful part of their life laud them for their success, but take a second to think about how they got there and realize that the first step probably started from disgust and not motivation…just like yours will.

 

Ciao

 

SK