Tag: goals

Work It Out

I have written several posts in the past about exercising.  For me personally, that has included walking, hiking, running, mountain biking, and resistance training.  Despite the obvious physical health benefits, people have an on/off relationship with exercise.  Thankfully, my relationship has been more on than off and I am appreciative of that now during this pandemic and feel it puts me in a better position to deal with any added stress.

Which brings me to the mental benefits of exercise.  I’m not a medical professional nor have I done any sort of research on this subject so these are just my own opinions and observations of others.  And common sense.

Working Out To Work It Out

I’ve been part of a Facebook group for several years called the 1000 Mile Challenge.  Each year the participants, or “challengers” as we are called, set a goal to walk/run/hike 1000 miles or more and in whatever manner we choose – intentional mile or by steps.  I chose intentional miles, meaning I set out to walk or run some distance and record that number.  I haven’t hit the 1000 miles yet despite coming so close at 970 but I enjoy the accountability and camaraderie amongst the challengers. 

one of many ponds along a walking trail

The challengers come from all walks of life, all ages, some in obvious excellent shape (5K, 10K, half marathons, etc.) and some who are struggling to walk a mile or two each day.  There have been births, deaths, weight gain, weight loss, marriages, divorces, and other everyday life experiences one would expect from a large group of diverse people.  Much like life.

One challenger who had been struggling with some personal issues used to start her posts with the comment “working out to work it out” then let us know how many treadmill miles she got or time/miles on an elliptical machine. It brought her to a better place. That resonated with me and it mirrors my own thoughts on how exercise brings me to a better place mentally.

Common Ground

We have challengers in our group from all over the United States and the one common bond we have involves feet on the ground (or treadmill… which still sits on the ground so work with me here) – walking, hiking, or running. 

I would bet money that we have people with far-left beliefs, far-right beliefs, atheists, Christians, educated, not so educated, taco lovers, taco haters (it could happen), and so on.   To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought and based on posts within the group over the years, I don’t think anyone else has either. We tend to set our differences aside and focus on what we have in common and the end goal.  With that mindset we continually move forward and help each other.  It’s mentally therapeutic and refreshing.

We work it out.

Two Hundred Days


“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – George S. Patton

I think at one time or another, most people have set some sort of goal for themselves. The goal may be social related, health related, intellectual related, or any one of another few dozen subjects. The goal might be a group goal where there is a bit more accountability or it might be personal/private goal. Regardless of the type of goal or the situational circumstances for implementing the goal, I’m going to assume that most people attempt to come up with some sort of plan.

A plan. Most people can develop a plan. Does it have to be a perfect plan? No. It just needs to have an end goal. So we can develop another plan. We all experience plans both on a professional level and on a personal level. Not taking away from anyone’s planning skills but developing the plan is the easy part. Executing the plan is somewhat more difficult and what eludes many of us.

So people, with that theme in mind, this is my attempt at an inspirational and slightly motivational post. If it helps one person. Great.

I woke up Sunday morning and had my coffee with creamer. My wife and I were getting ready to go exercise down near the river. She was going to walk and I was going to run for a while then double back and walk with her. As I logged my drink into an app I use called MyFitnessPal, I was greeted with the following information:


Two hundred days in a row. I made a plan and executed it, adapting and readjusting as needed.

For whatever reason, last year I gained weight. It’s probably the 4th or 5th time that has happened in my life and each time it has, I go through a short period of losing weight to get back to where I was. It has been somewhat easy for me to do that since I have participated in athletic activity most of my life.  A few years ago that changed for a number of reasons I don’t care to get into and as a result of that, I became the heaviest I had been in years resulting in a number of medical issues, most of which were being attributed to that extra weight.

If you’ve been reading me at all, you know I quit smoking in January of this year and have been on a hiking and walking craze for a while. Two hundred days ago today, I came up with a plan and executed it. It involved changing my eating habits and exercising, which really is not rocket science. Numerous meals throughout the day, increase in metabolism, the right nutrient balance, and get off my ass and exercise like I use to. Yes, I planned on a caloric deficit to do this but I planned to do it in a safe and nutritional way, hence the food and exercise tracking app to support it.

Over that two hundred days I have lost 52 pounds. That’s 52 pounds over 28 weeks. About 1.86 pounds a week. Slow and safe weight loss.To some people that might not seem like a lot and in reality it’s not but try strapping a 50-pound bag of dogfood to your back and see what toll it can take on your body just walking.

The fact that I’m bringing up weight loss as a measure of success is only for a means of what those 52 pounds mean. Those pounds mean my blood pressure has been normal for months now. Those pounds mean clothes I had put away now fit. Those pounds mean my back isn’t hurting everyday like it was. They mean I can walk or run without putting extra stress on an older body that has seen its fair share of abuse over the years. And no I won’t discuss the eighties. They represent hours of sharing in cooking duties to avoid the easy out of getting fast food. They represent hours of lifting weights and miles walked or ran. Those 52 pounds simply mean that I executed the plan. And I was rewarded for it.

A perfect plan? Who the hell knows but I can tell you it’s worked for me and that’s exciting. More importantly, I see excitement in the eyes of my wife, or my kids, or my dogs each time we are going to go do something involving physical activity. Just as importantly, I see excitement in my own eyes when I look in the mirror.

In doing this, I owe my family many thanks for participating in this journey. My wife has her own story and I’m loving watching her write it each day. She’s also shared her Fitbit friends with me. Long story but it makes the journey that much more accountable.

I think the journey has to be unique for each person. What I can tell you though is that it is doable and there are plenty of tools, resources, and people for support. I can also tell you that it gets harder each time to lose weight. My reality is that I will always have to always exercise which really isn’t a bad thing. I will also need to eat healthy foods. I read once that that isn’t such a bad thing either.

Now on to more exciting goals like reading four books this month or get a couple thousand words written this coming weekend.



If We Were Having Coffee #14 – 8 ½ Months


If we were having coffee, I would have a number of choices to offer your today. I have a breakfast blend, a butter toffee, a house blend (somewhat dark), and a caramel pecan roll flavored coffee. For creamers, I have French Vanilla and Italian Sweet Crème. I’m going with the house blend and Italian Sweet Crème. Let’s head out to the back porch and enjoy the morning shade. It’s uncharacteristically cold out this May morning and the forecast rumor is snow but coffee will surely warm us.

I haven’t had a coffee share post in a few months, instead opting to read a few each weekend. Since my thoughts today are related to a coffee share post 8 ½ months ago, I though it only appropriate to drop by this venue for today’s post.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about how lost I felt 8 ½ months ago after saying goodbye to my oldest son when we dropped him off at college. At the time, I was bouncing back and forth between how excited I was for him and selfishly wallowing in the sad reality that is just one recurring stage of parenting; continually letting your child go.

Through this forum, I had received many kind words of support, both from people who have been there before and from those going through the same thing. It helped and I am forever grateful.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you it wasn’t all that bad. We had daily texts and were able to see him numerous times over the last 8 ½ months. There were school breaks, weekend shopping trips, and a few times we drove down just to take him out to eat. There was the occasional phone call or FaceTime. It worked. One hundred and twenty miles away was not that far. We survived. And grew. All of us.

We picked him up at school Friday May 6th. He was both excited to come home for the summer and sad to leave a new friend who would not be returning next semester. We moved him down there in our car and moved him back home in a new SUV. He asked if it was “ours” which tells me everything is the same despite being different.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you we got his grades a few days ago. I could brag. Really, I could. Suffice it to say I am proud of him along with all he accomplished and figured out his first year in college.

I suppose I should have expected nothing less. In the meantime, we are going to enjoy the next 3 ½ months.

Until next time…


IMG_1190 [20232]

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Part-Time Monster

Pictures courtesy of Pixabay and my son

Riding, Running, & Writing – Goals

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals” – Thoreau

I’ve always loved this quote and in many ways, it has grounded me in the whole goal achieving process no matter what I have attempted.

I’m a dreamer and always have been. I think dreaming can be healthy provided one keeps the dream in perspective. Like most people, I’ve dreamed about what life might be like after winning the lottery when the amounts reach those eight digit numbers. We’ve had fun with it as a family discussing how much we would give each extended family member, what dream house we would have built, how many acres of land it would sit on, and how we would stick a large portion of the money away and let it work for us. We don’t start buying lottery tickets, looking for land to build our dream house, or spend hours on the internet window shopping for all the other things we could buy with that money.

There are dreams however that I’ve acted on. These are dreams where I’ve set an action plan in place to achieve a goal, some lofty, some not so lofty. In doing so, I’ve found the journey to be just as celebratory as the destination provided I actually reach the destination. In most cases I have.  There has been a lot written about goal setting from complete books to simple six step plans and in my opinion, an individual’s approach should be whatever works.

My 2nd 5K -2010 - with free beer at the finish line

My 2nd 5K -2010 – with free beer at the finish line,and my son running with me despite the fact he could have run it 10 minutes faster by himself

I wanted to run a marathon.  I dreamed of running a marathon. After cycling for many years and having numerous century rides (100 plus miles) under my belt, I decided I would run a marathon.  My initial thoughts were that it would be no harder than training for a century.  One just needs to get the miles and time in and the distance will come.  After developing a plan, I embarked on this new adventure and discovered something. I don’t like running longer distances nor did I have the inspiration needed to push me farther.  I’d completed numerous 5Ks and even ran a 5 miler and found I enjoyed it but also found I had no desire to go farther.  I can live with that.  I just didn’t have a passion for running long distances like I did for long distances in cycling. For cycling, I had many years and countless hours of watching the Tour de France inspiring me not to mention beautiful road miles and scenery I melted into. For running, I just couldn’t get into it. I love walking, I love hiking, and I love running short distances. Long distance running just doesn’t do it for me. My runner’s high was achieved at 5K and no farther. My cycling high occurred about every ten miles and continued up to one hundred and thirty miles, the most I ever did in one day. Each grouping of ridden miles an achieved goal and another high.

When it comes to writing, I can reflect on my experience and approach to both cycling and running. I’ve done the short distance in writing short stories or lyrics and loved it. My goal is the long distance, a novel,  and it will come. The difference here is in what inspires me and in similar fashion to what inspired me while cycling: the countless hours of reading over the years, the hundreds of books we have in our house and on our ereaders, and the beautiful words I have read over a lifetime. I love writing and I love the written word.  I’ve also found my highs are very similar to what I get running a short distance or every ten miles or so on the bike.  It might happen at 1000 words or 5000 thousand words but it happens.  And with each high, I celebrate the accomplishment along with what I am becoming.

Tour de Tucson - 113 miles

Tour de Tucson – after 113 miles



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