What is Your Crazy?

Posted on Jun 24, 2014 under Uncategorized | No Comment

How do you define crazy? We all define crazy a little differently.  I say Ironman and ultra-marathons are crazy. But some people say I’m crazy for running at all. We were discussing crossfit tonight and I called my younger sister crazy for her daily workout routine.

So how do you define it?

Google says it is someone who is mentally deranged or wildly enthusiastic. For many of the above examples you could go either way…

Summer Reading

Posted on Jun 23, 2014 under Uncategorized | No Comment

What are you reading this summer? My Kindle and my bookshelves have a ton of good books that I need to read. My Amazon wishlist also has quite the collection.  That doesn’t count the free book a month I’m eligible for and the new Kindle First program, where you can keep a book from their editors choice of books before they are released.

Being eligible for 2 free books a month it is hard to read anything else. Using the Kindle Lending Library, the book you borrow has to be read on an actual Kindle device.  You can borrow a new book on the 1st of each month after you return your previous book. The Kindle device policy is a little annoying, especially since I’m not a fan of their Fire products. The OS seems to clunky, I prefer the traditional Android operating system. I’m pretty sure I’ve borrowed a book every month that I’ve been eligible to do so, which is probably 2 years or so. The Kindle Lending Library has a ton of books of all genres and styles. Some are pretty short too. I’ve found some new authors and read at least 2 series of books this way!

The Kindle First program is newer and you get an email with 4 editors picks that you can choose from. I’ve read several this way and downloaded a couple of other to read. This program actually let’s you keep the book, no strings attached.

So, what am I reading? Over the weekend I finished Superior Death by Matthew Williams . It was a relatively short legal thriller based in Michigan on Lake Superior.  It came from the Kindle Lending Library. I returned it and borrowed First to Kill by Andrew Peterson. I haven’t started reading it yet. I did stumble upon Supreme Justice which sounded interesting and happened to be a Kindle First book, haven’t started it either.

I’m almost 80% done with Plaster City by Johnny Shaw, which I’m pretty sure was a Kindle First book. It started slow but has improved if you can handle harsh language and some violence!  I’m almonst halfway through My Country ‘Tis of Thee an autobiography of Keith Ellison,  our Congressman. I paid full price for this and it has been an interesting perspective into his life. The other book that is currently part of my thoughts is The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou, which I purchased shortly after her death. I used it to finish last month’s 30 day challenge of poetry reading.

I have a lot more books that I started and got bored with. What about you? What are you reading?

Starfish, Drinking Water, & You!

Posted on Jun 22, 2014 under World Vision | No Comment

We are often confronted with overwhelming circumstances.  We got lost in the facts or data points about a story.  We struggle to not only feel connected to the problem but have no idea how to help.  Or maybe we do know how to help, but think our little bit of help won’t have an impact. Have you ever heard the story about the young man throwing starfish back into the water?

Trust me it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the billions of people who are suffering around the world. What can I sitting in Minneapolis, Frankfort, etc do about a problem in Congo, Somalia, Iraq?  Let me make it a little easier for you.  You can support me and my endurance efforts and change someone’s life.  Every dollar raised through my efforts for Team World Vision will directly impact a person in Congo.

Did you know that people are dying from waterborne diseases? Illnesses that might not you and me off our feet for 24-48 hours are literally killing people.  A person dehydrated from diarrhea – drink water that only makes them  sicker.  That’s shameful.  $50 can provide that person access to clean water for life.  See it is simple.  You give any amount and someone’s life gets better.  $50 is a nice round number – but any amount, $5, $10, $100, $1,000 they all change people’s lives.  Even a dollar would have an impact.

Today you can be the man in the Starfish story, ” it made a difference for that one.”  Click here to donate, then come back and read the story.


While walking along a beach, an elderly gentleman saw someone in the distance leaning down, picking something up and throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, picking up starfish one by one and tossing each one gently back into the water.

He came closer still and called out, “Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young man paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

The old man smiled, and said, “I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

To this, the young man replied, “The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

Upon hearing this, the elderly observer commented, “But, young man, do you not realise that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely. Then he bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the back into the ocean past the breaking waves and said, “It made a difference for that one.

If you donate today and write Starfish in the message box I’ll send you a special starfish story card and pin! Please take 5 minutes to provide clean water and make a difference for “that one”.

Starting Crossfit

Posted on Jun 20, 2014 under Cross-Training, CrossFit | 1 Comment

Today I delved into the world of CrossFit.  If you don’t know CrossFit is a regimen of constantly varied (CV), functional movements (FM) performed at high intensity (@HI) in a communal environment leads to health and fitness.  It is a little crazy and very intense.  I’ve read about CrossFit, talked with my Uncle, read CrossFit Endurance, researched boxes (CrossFit gyms) but never found a place that was conveniently located AND had a class schedule that worked.  Technically you don’t need to go to a box, you could do most of the workouts at any gym or at home.  I’ve always felt that I needed to get a good foundation, with someone watching my form, before trying it on my own.  Plus having a coach and others encouraging you is always helpful!

CAM05039 On June 1 a new CrossFit box opened up just over a mile from our house.  I was pretty excited to see that it was coming in and had talked with Christy about it.  She arranged for me to get a one month trial membership as a Father’s Day present!!  The new place is called Solcana CrossFit -

Solcana CrossFit takes its name from early 20th-century strongwomen – with names like Vulcana, Minerva, Athleta and Sandwina – who performed feats of physical prowess in circus sideshows around the world. These iron ladies drew eager crowds and challenged the notion that women could not be exceptional athletes. Solcana Crossfit aims to embody the spirit of these strongwomen by encouraging growth in all of our athletes, pushing our personal limits and celebrating unexpected strength.

I had my initial meeting/workout with owner/head coach Hannah tonight. A class was just finishing up and the space is great. Barebones like you’d expect, but a nice area of cubbys for gear, couch to relax on, shower, loud music, white board, tv, timer, and all the workout gear!! We talked about basics of the gym and I was pleased to find out that they tend to be a little more holistic than some CrossFit boxes including some mobility work into their workouts. Hannah was super nice, even when she was encouraging me to complete the initial workout!

The initial workout was 500m row, 40 squats, 30 situps, 20 pushups, and 10 pullups. We walked through them backwards and she demonstrated how she wanted me to do them and then I had to do a rep or two. I struggled to make it to the top of my test pullup and she demonstrated a modification using rings that would help me complete the workout. Pushups had to be chest to the floor. I must have looked a little wobbly as she had me demonstrate the modification with my hands wresting on a box – this also could have been from our discussion about my torn rotator cuff from last year. The situps were pretty easy, they have back support and you get to use your arms to help swing you up! Squats are something that I need and struggle with doing consistently with good form so we went over those a little bit. Lastly the rowing machine always looks so easy, but it does take some coordination. The goal for the initial workout (and most CrossFit workouts) is to complete it as fast as possible, she said it should take about 10 minutes.

She wanted me to be rowing at about a 2:00/500m pace and I think I finished just under that. I pushed through the squats and situps without too much trouble. The pushups were where I started to hurt. I did them in two sets of 5,then 3-3-2-2. They really hurt. Then the modified rings/pullups which weren’t easy, but I was able to bang them out – which means I probably should have been at a different angle on them. My finishing time was 7:35!! Then I laid on the floor for a few minutes to catch my breath.
I was pleased with the workout, though I know I have a lot of room for growth. This workout is a foundation that we can go back to and check-in on over time to see improvement. After relaxing for a bit and talking about the workout I headed out on my bike. I could feel my arms were wobbly and my legs weren’t as springy for the ride home. Then Caleb wanted to be held…. :)

It was a great workout and I’m excited to finally be doing CrossFit!

Spring (?) Flooding

Posted on Jun 19, 2014 under Random Thoughts | No Comment

It is a little past time for spring flooding, but with rain almost every day this week our ground is super saturated and many places can’t take any more water!  Today was at least the 3rd day in a row of storms and rain.  Today is actually the highest ever recorded rainfall in June for MN at just under 4 inches.  The storms caused major damage in some towns and closed streets in the Twin Cities. The storm also caused the Minnehaha Creek to reach its highest ever recorded flood stage.

While many levels of government were encouraging citizens to be careful, an extreme kayaker took the plunge over Minnehaha Falls.

From MPR:

Hunt Jennings Goes Over Falls

Ben Garvin at the Pioneer Press took this picture of the statue of Hiawatha and Minnehaha:


Ben takes great pictures for the Pioneer Press, check out his Twitter feed.

Here is a picture I took after work at Matthews Park of their playground:


A Thoughtful Prayer

Posted on Jun 18, 2014 under Random Thoughts | No Comment

Prayer of Saint Ignatius of Loyola:

Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve You as You deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing I am doing Your Will.


Posted on Jun 17, 2014 under Uncategorized | No Comment

Time is an interesting word. In some respects it is just an artificial construct that we’ve created to add order to our day. We can waste time, that is easy. We can be productive and task oriented or less productive. You thought I was going to stick my foot in my mouth and say people oriented.

Where does time go?? We all have the same amount of it, but yet we accomplish different amounts of things with our 24 hours. Where does it go? I’ve found with kids it is hard to control your time, especially your productive time. My body wakes up at 5:30 and I’m wide awake and hit a midafternoon slump and then feel awake again in the evening.  What do I do with my most productive times? What do you do? I can’t really do my work since I’m hourly and have to be on site. I do probably squander a fair amount of time…

I have found that I have less mental energy at the end of the day and that I’d rather watch a tv show than read a book. Am I squandering my future? What about the rabbit trail of Facebook or other social media…

All things in moderation correct?

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