Saturday, December 19, 2009
Screen capture: The Weather Channel's Main Page
|Weight: 175. The Blizzard of 2009
has been underway for 24 hours now. The snow is expected to
taper off overnight, leaving two feet of snow on the ground
in its wake. Most activity has come to a halt, including the
2009 Christmas shopping season, and my school system has cancelled
classes until after the winter break. That means basketball
is out of commission until January 4, 2010. From here,
that seems like an eternity. Gabe and I shoveled the driveway
today in the driving snow. He kept my mind off the cold with
laughter by reciting lines from "Lord of the Rings"
and "Braveheart." I counted that effort as my cardio
for the day, staying cognizant to how many people die in snowstorms
shoveling snow. It is evident that we'll have to do it all
again tomorrow since another foot is expected before it all
over on Sunday morning.
The Blizzard of 2009.
The driveway was the workout today.
|I am about to begin my 29th notebook
for what I have entitled "The Journal of Spiritual Renewal."
Keeping a journal of the multidimensional nature of daily living
has helped me tackle some of my greatest challenges: the loss
of divorce, managing weight, improving as an athlete, and becoming
a better father, brother, and teacher. I don't know if I will
ever stop writing in my journal now that it has become such
an integral part of my internal discussion. For now, it acts
as the scrapbook of my life with its narrative, images, and
documents, ones that recount the major events and minutia of
this life that God has given me.
At left, you can see the first cover I ever made for these
journals. The title was even a little different back then,
way back in 2002, when I started tracking calories, activity
levels, and finally, the events and impressions that were
the driving factors in my eating habits and social relationships.
Dealing with anger, filling the emptiness in my life, finding
out what God had in store for me as I started over in my life
-- these were the themes of these early journals, and they
recur today. The journals are a record of a journey, one that
I make with His footsteps beside mine.
2008 New Year's entry for George's Fitness Journal was pretty
upbeat, with its optimism about making progress in the area of weight
lifting and positive outlook about relationships. I have mentioned
before how life seems to have a cyclic nature, and so as I enter a
new year and a new decade, I find myself emerging from troubles and
difficulties, but still with hope and a positive outlook towards the
future. In spite of any feelings of loss or grief, I still count my
many blessings. Even as I write, the song that came onto the iPod
is from the show Godspell, "O Bless the Lord my Soul."
The song reminds me that God provides many blessings even in the face
Last year, I sounded skeptical about making New Year's
resolutions. But this year, I am up for a few. It's been about a month
since I have lifted weights. It's time to get back into the weight
room. My cardio regimen has helped keep my weight stable, but I have
stagnated in the area of adding muscle mass and in reducing calories.
It's time to generate some discipline in this area. I have the physical
equipment to keep up with the task of lifting every other day or at
least three times per week. It's time to tackle that bull by the horns.
I have done it before, and I intend to do it again. Since I will be
out of school until January of 2010, I am making the resolution right
here publicly to use the morning hours to kick start my metabolism
by lifting for 45 minutes every other day. Getting back into shape
in terms of physique will have a positive impact on self-image, self-esteem,
and ultimately, on social interaction in general.
Getting good cardio during the winter is always difficult.
But there's no reason I can't get on the treadmill at the local gym
and put in a total of 60 minutes during these winter vacation days.
Putting something in my journal every day in the area of exercise
will help combat the negative effects of winter hibernation. Getting
into the gym also opens the opportunity to meet other like-minded
people with whom I can share successes and fitness goals.
|It is also important that "spiritual
renewal" take place to maintain a healthy mental outlook
and relate positively to people. Like the character of Tevye
in the musical "Fiddler On the Roof," I tend to
have an inner dialogue with God. Sometimes I ask him why a
certain fate might befall me. Other times, I might ask him
for a certain material reward or for a relationship to blossom
in a certain way. I must learn to accept His outcomes for
me rather than attempting to control the Universe. Acceptance
is the greatest challenge, but once achieved, there is nothing
that cannot be overcome. I have faith that the Universe, by
whatever name you call it, in its infinite wisdom, knows what
is right for me. That includes coming to the understanding
that out of being alone comes growth.
Staying fit calls for self-discipline. During this winter
break, my goal is to do some introspection and some dialoging with
the Almighty. In that process, I will find the physical and emotional
strength to get back into the fight and achieve the personal goals
that I have set for myself. I may ask my friends and family for their
help, love, and support, but in the end it's up to me. Putting it
out here for all of you is step number one.
Until next time, stay healthy!