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The Story of Our Lives

I came across the video below as i was processing some issues in my life. The video is short and simple, and looks at the story that each of us create with our lives. It finishes by asking the simple question -Did you enjoy your story? By that I take it to mean the story of our own life. It seems like there is much in life that is unenjoyable. Should our goal be to enjoy as much as possible, and what do we do with those things that keep us from enjoying, or cause pain, do we discard them and remove them from our lives? These are some of the questions I am thinking through today.

A Story of Tomorrow

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Looking for Happiness

"People spend a lifetime searching for happiness;
looking for peace.
They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions,
even other people,
hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them.
The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within."
~Ramona L. Anderson (1887-1949)American writer

As I was playing around on my IPad the other day, wasting time and trying to at least feel productive, I came across a post in Facebook from a friend of mine Mitch. I don't know if it was the great sunset in his profile picture or the fact that the post was from someone I find interesting, but I quit flicking my finger long enough to read the quote by Ramona Anderson.

I have to tell you, I hate it when a quote speaks into my life and this one definitely did. It got me thinking about my pursuits and the reasons for them. It started me questioning why I involve myself in certain things or behaviors. Is it truly a pursuit of happiness, or drilling down a little deeper, is it my attempt to make myself feel good, or, not feel bad? Why do I hangout with people, watch movies, work so hard, drink, smoke cigars, etc... Is it to try to make myself feel good, feel important, escape feeling lonely, insignificant, unloved or unlovable? Why is it that I define happiness based on external things like number of Facebook friends I have, how many nights I am out of the house, my job title, the car I drive, how many people I make laugh or smile? These aren't bad things, but if they are what I base happiness on, I will start out each morning having to score happiness point in order to define myself as happy for that day. How miserable to start each morning as unhappy, and have to work towards happiness, and who defines how many points you must score to be happy.

Ramona suggests that happiness is not externally driven, but internally based. I have to be honest, I have a hard time with this thinking. I don't always like to look inside and "cultivate the soul, or practice self care, or tend to the issues within." isn't that for introverts, not extroverts. That's the stuff of Psychologists, HR managers, etc... Those who are CEO's or oversee large groups of people, or must out perform the world everyday of the week, can't look inside. I don't know how to define happiness internally. Is it a feeling? I was told feelings aren't always reality. Is it a inner voice? I was told that could be the voices of past fear and doubt, or my elementary school teacher telling me I wasn't coordinated (thanks Mrs. Smith). But it does make more sense that happiness is a state of being rather than an endless pursuit. It is something you know instead of a destination on a map.

Obviously, I have no answers only thought, and that is what looking inward is all about for me. If you have any thoughts or input please add it to my blog or Facebook. May you experience happiness today. I am going to the Brewfest to contemplate.

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Insanity Workout Day 25 - Cardio Recovery

The alarm started to ring, it was already 5:30. How could that be? I hit the snooze and somehow hoped another 10 minutes would do the trick. It didn't! As I turned of the alarm I went through my checklist ritual. Rolling my ankles, contracting my calves, then my quads, and on up the body. As I went I kept telling myself it's recovery workout, no cardio. Throwing on my shorts I head downstairs to focus on a better me. How is it that deep breathing feels like work, deep muscle work, squats, pulses, just add to making me sweat. Yet, somehow half way through I start to feel better, looser, still tired, but my body feels good and I am once again glad that I didn't stay in bed.

Tip for the day: push yourself to get up and workout. You will be glad you did.

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Insanity Workout Day 24 - Cardio Circuit

Still hurting after this mornings workout. Legs feel tired and so do I.

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Insanity Workout Day 23 - Power Cardio

It is so nice when you see improvement from one week to the next. I am jumping higher and longer, I am pushing harder, I am smiling bigger. Still, I am not ready to star in Shaun T's next video. 23 days of Insanity Workouts and going strong. I am not seeing much weight loss, I have been stuck around 214 since my initial 5 lbs drop, but if I am in the process of trading fat for muscle, I should see some change happen soon.

I am still having fun and that is what matters most to me. I am into a daily workout routine that I want to sustain not only for the 60 days of Insanity, but for the next 360 days and ultimately the rest of my life.

Today's Tip - enjoy yourself, even if it is just listening to the music. 38 minutes goes by so fast.

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Insanity Workout Day 22 - Pure Cardio/Cardio Abs

I decided to do it a bit different today. I did the Cardio this morning, and the abs tonight. I figured why not. It looks like the guys on the video are starting fresh. So before I went to work i hit the cardio hard. I am pushing more and feeling it more. I keep wondering if these workouts will ever seem easy. All the squats, lunges and jumping is really starting to change the way my legs are looking and feeling.

Coming back tonight to do abs was tough. I had to force myself to put on the shorts and shoes and begin the warm ups. However, once I started I was glad I did. I completed much more of the workout and 20 minutes later am still feeling it in my gut.

Today's lesson- its not a bad idea to split the workouts. You'll feel stronger and able to go longer. 22 days down and getting closer to the finish line.

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Insanity Workout Day 21 - Day Off

Day 21 and a much needed day off. My knees are sore, I've felt sluggish, and while I would have pushed another day, it's nice to not have to. I am 1/3rd of the way through the Insanity Program, and I have noticed some changes. While I am not dropping pounds like I did I'm P90X last year, I am watching my gut shrink. The love handles are decreasing, I am down to the last notches on my belt, and my legs are toning up. Not to shabby for a 48 year old guy. What I am most excited with is the fact that for 21 days I have stayed with the program. I have picked a good time of day to do the workouts, I haven't been traveling, and things seem to have just nicely dropped into place.

While I wish I was seeing more than a 6 pound drop for all the hard work, my real goal is fitness. I have a goal to climb Mt. Hood with my wife when she turns 50. I also want to do the second half of life better than the first half. So far, so good. Here's to the next 21 days.

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Some Quotes you just have to think about

“People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living weren't already complicated enough.”
― Carlos Ruiz Zaf√≥n, The Shadow of the Wind

I don't know this author, and I haven't ever read his book, but this quote I came across really hit me today. Why is it that we tend to make life more complex than it is. We read into things others say, we interpret glances to mean what they don't, we strive for things we shouldn't, and we get discouraged when we don't reach goals that are unattainable. We give opinions that aren't asked for, we give advice that causes more harm than good, we fail to enjoy what is right in front of us. Should life be simple? Should each day be enjoyed? Each day starts out new, with fresh possibilities and new experiences. Why complicate it by trying to make more of it? Why drag the past forward. Today does not have to be complicated, it just needs to be lived. It will be complicated enough without help from me.

Just a deep thought to start my weekend

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Insanity Workout Day 20 - Plyometric Cardio

It's a Saturday morning, which means sleeping in until 8:30, doing some reading and easing into my insanity workout. I hit the warm ups hard, knowing this was the last workout of the week. As the circuit started I knew I was in for a tough workout. My body did not want to respond. Suicides were ok, but the power squats took everything I had. In the second circuit the basketball jumps were ok but start the level 1 core exercises and I didn't complete any of the. It was more my arms then core that needed the breaks. I smiled big when we got to the stretches at the end

Looking back I think the issue of tiredness is linked more to nutrition. I have been going light on carbs and didn't get much in the way of protein yesterday. My goal will be to focus back in on nutrition and see what impact that makes next week. If any one has a few suggestions please leave a comment. As for the rest of my day, I am excited to have completed week three of Insanity workout. Still enjoying it.

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Insanity Workout Day 19 - Cardio Power and Resistance

Wow! I started today's workout feeling tired and a bit worn. I finished wiped and whipped, in a puddle of my own sweat. If I remember it was much easier last time I did this DVD, but all week I've been trying to push harder.

I'm sitting enjoying the after burn, and getting ready to make a shake for breakfast. I truly do like the workout. Makes me feel like I'm 18 and back on the football team again. That was over 30 years ago. It's nice to know I'm getting back into shape. Today's tip "know your limits." If you push to far beyond you are sure to injure yourself and loose all that you have gained to this point. Have an awesome day.

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Feeling Stuck

I find myself in a strange spot. The sun is shining but life seems foggy. I'm working out each day but I have no energy. I'm working hard but accomplishing little.
When I get this way I start thinking about change. I don't know if it is change in location, change in job, or what the needed change is? I just know that something is off. Could be a few weeks away would do the trick. I can envision time at the beach or up in the mountains. Not sure how to make it happen, how to change my outlook.
Key for me is feeling connected in my relationships, being successful at work and moving forward in life. At the moment each of those areas feels stuck. That's what I need to focus on changing. Let me know what your thinking about. I always learn from others.
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Insanity Workout Day 18 - Cardio Recovery

Stretching, yoga, balance. Not my favorite things, but after a few intense workouts, my muscles are thanking me for getting up this morning. So far i continue to stay on schedule. I may start later some days than others, but I am staying with it. I don't know if I am seeing any results, but I can feel them. More energy, my outlook on life is more upbeat, and I feel like I can tackle the challenges that come my way each day. I'll be back at it again tomorrow. That's insane for me

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Insanity Workout Day 17 - Pure Cardio/Cardio Abs

It's hard to get up in the morning and press play on the DVD, put I'm always glad after I get going. I can't say that I rock'd it, but I felt great during the cardio portion. The abs are a bit of a challenge for me. I was much better today than last time.

A few tips. Pace yourself through the workout. Realize you are not one of the trainers on the video so don't feel bad if you can't perform at their level. Take breaks when you need to. Celebrate the small gains.

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