Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 recap

Last year i did a recap blog about 2008, I described 2008 as the best year of my life. It truly was... and it was the best year of my life by a lot! What is amazing to me though is that 2009 could be so much better then 2008 - and also by a lot! I wonder if i can keep this going for 2010 and for every year there after? Although i think the only way to top 2009 would be to die and go to heaven - or maybe I just need to go back to Africa.

In the spring of 2008 I started working on what I thought would be my first film, a documentary about my effort to lose 200 pounds in less then a year. No surgery. No drugs. No fat camps. Just diet and exercise. It's called down 200. But it's not going to be my first film.

The most beautiful thing in all of filmmaking is something that occasionally happens in live event documentaries, like Down 200. You start out with a vision for a film and something happens and the film heads in an unexpected direction. You start out shooting in your own back yard, thinking it a wise choice for your first film (low lying fruit) then magically or more likely via divine intervention you find yourself shooting in Casino, a slum in Molo Kenya... This is the power of filmmaking, it's the power of art and the power of love.

My first film will now be "The Road to Punda Milia" it's about the concept of international volunteering. I spent a month in Molo Kenya this last summer and met some incredible people. My role (as a volunteer) was with respect to fund raising for the Chazon Children's Cenrtre. I was originally trying to get into Watoto Wa Baraka in Makuyu, Kenya, where my friend Jarka Bedranova was serving. I mentioned Jarka in my recap from 2008 - her influence in my life was even bigger in 2009 - it's too complicated and I don't have time to explain it - but thanks Jarks :) - 2009 was amazing!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

i got my blog back!

many thanks to the tech staff at - i'm going to start blogging again regular (i know i have said that many times) but i will try. my wieght has gone up since my return from molo kenya - i'm getting a handle on that...

amazingy while i thought down 2oo would be my first film - it will not be - instead the first film will be the road to punda milia. it's a doc film about international volunteering.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I went to Molo

I’ve got to start blogging regularly again – I have been asked by many people to sum up the experience and initially that was quite difficult. I think it was the jet lag and I was so busy it was just too hard to process initially. After all it was a complicated trip and also I was there for a month, the purpose/s for going were complex and many events occurred. Anyway I thought I’d start with few bullet points.

I went to Molo, Kenya to volunteer at the Chazon Children’s Centre here’s what happened:

I met some incredible people whom I now love deeply.

I met 72 kids who loved nothing more then to be close to me.

I met and interviewed a brilliant man running for the Kenyan parliament – very courageously opposing the massive corruption that grips Kenya.

I was kidnapped on the first day Kenya.

I went into Casino and filmed Molo’s slum.

I saw kids whose hair was reddish brown for lack of nutrition.

I saw many kids walking around the debris and rubbish with no shoes.

I saw men drinking a locally brewed illicit drink meant to intoxicate in a matter of minutes.

I saw the shallow roadside ditches where these same men sometimes pass out in only to drown in a few inches of rainwater.

I met a couple (the directors of Chazon) who have sold their own profitable businesses, sold much of their own property and sacrificed themselves to try to get kids off the street.

I preached at a local black Pentecostal church.

I was approached by a prostitute offering sex for the remainder of a half eaten bag of popcorn – she was 9 -10 years old

I met other IVs from the UK, Spain, Canada and the US.

We hauled hundreds of gallons of water up two flights of stairs every two to three days.

We lost electricity regularly.

I ate like African royalty, we had meat often (mostly lamb) and I was introduced to African tea. It’s amazing stuff and an important cultural activity.

I introduced my African hosts to American Tea and made sure we always had some on hand – they loved it! Coca-Cola

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Almost over the jet lag

It's been pretty bad with the jet lag but I'm nearly back to normal. Today I spent the whole day working on logos for the Chazon group and also organizing the shots from the film - it's quite time consuming. Tomorrow will be much the same routine. The space that the film takes up (measured in GB's is quite taxing. I will need to invest in some more storage quite soon. The footage shot at Melon is less then adequate, this is quite disappointing. I was hoping that maybe if that footage was good I might be able to get the film done all the quicker (i.e. avoid the trips to Peru and Jamaica). The need for the potential funding in Molo, Kakaru is so great that I didn't want to add additional delay. Not going to Watoto Wa Baraka is weighing heavy.

I just watched the footage of the cement work being done in one of the classrooms I paid for a good deal of this - it was great to see the contribution being put into such good use. I wasn't able to get back up to the classroom to see the final results but I'm sure it was great. Alicia was helping with the application of cement to the walls. The men working there were quite impressed. I've been told that white men don't usually get involved with manual labor, so a white woman doing such heavy work was quite out of the norm.

My weight was down quite a bit in Africa - lost 20 plus pounds but I have gained back nearly 15, tomorrow I'l start back into the low calorie routine again :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

back to the modern world

I got home late on Wednesday - everything made it back safely (including me) and I got through all the security check points, but with a good deal of scrutiny. It's almost 2:00 am and I will be getting up at 4:45 am to go and do my first run in about 30 days. I got to get back into the routine again.

I'm not sure where I stand now with the down200 film. I feel if I don't (or can't) get the surgery to remove the skin I can't complete the film. I will press again in that regard with docs here at Mayo. Honestly though, I'm already starting to think I want to get the International Volunteer film done first, it's just far more important. I'll be back to work tomorrow also... this will of course consume the majority of my time. When you add the exercise time to the mix there isn't much time left over. I'm so rusty with Final Cut I think I will attempt to get a friend from the DVXuser group to give me a refresher course one of these weekends. I trained and used it many years ago and the program is quite a bit different.

I never made it to Watoto Wa Baraka - but I did play a role in resolving the conflict. Geoffrey (Director of Watoto) did the right thing and the volunteers there should be proud for the stance they took. More details on this and what happened as I learn more (if it becomes appropriate to share). For my part it only required one e-mail from someone who was looking very objectively at a tragedy that was about to unfold. I hope that over time the volunteers there will not feel too bitter about the experience. It wasn't what any of them signed up for and I'm sure it made things quite difficult but in the long run they have made a very valuable contribution. Not just at WWB but likely all over Kenya, as Geoffrey has been a mentor and role model for many of these operations in the area and his change of heart seems quite sincere.

It's 2:30 am and I think I'm really jet lagged - oh well,,, the real life will kick back in a couple of hours... Molo is now a big part of my real life. So is Ruth. August 7th was pretty amazing actually - I ended up adopting a little girl. I wasn’t planning to - it just worked out that way. At Chazon the call it adoption but really it is a sponsorship opportunity. Her name is Ruth and she doesn’t live far from the Chazon School. Her gardian approched me on the road as I was walking back from the Chazon on Wedseday (August 5th). She shared a very sad story about all the orphans in her care. I suggested that she approach Lucy at the Chazon and I gave her 1,000 Khs. She showed up two days later and they were going to turn her away. She had three kids with her for testing. Ruth was the youngest. All tested fairly poorly but since I was willing to sponsor they are going to give her a chance. It’s imposible to describe how this made the family feel.

Ruth lost both her father and mother to HIV/AIDS. Her Aunt is the primary care giver and the grandmother was the one who approached me. They have three of there own two from other families and 2 others who are Ruth’s brothers. It’s a joy to see the entire family there three women and two older gentlemen and you would have thought they just won the lotterry. Keep in mind what the whole family was celebrating and what they will surley gave thanks to God for is that one of there children has now been accepted into elementary school.

This is something that we in the US take for granted. It’s just a given that your child can go to school in the US. Just like electricity and running water I guess. We just take so much for granted. The grandmother was on the road waiting for me - looking for help. It’s a great felling to be involved on this level. I highly reccomend it! Ruth looks really bad (though she is quite beautiful). She appears malnurished and Lucy suspects HIV/AIDS. She also has a stick stuck in her ear (FOR MORE THEN A YEAR NOW). The family could not afford to take her to the doctor for that. Her skin looks so whether worn - there’s something wrong. She’s going to the doctors tomorrow. I will pay for this (on going) and also for her schooling/school uniform and some miscallenous. It’s a good feeling and given that losing weight wasn't enough - that what could I do to really "live big" was an issue for me - I must say this qualifies.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A blog from me? Hard to believe.

It’s almost 3:00 am and I have given up on sleeping. I’m sicker then a dog. And at night, in Molo, they never stop barking. Last Saturday night it turned quite cold and breathing in the air got me quite sick. Tonight I can only hope it has reached it’s peak. I have had such a bad cough that I can’t sleep and it’s beyond a cough at this point - it seems as though my throat is constricting. I have no meds and there are none available. Elizabeth brewed an African cold remedy for me - and I am heartily drinking it down but so far it’s not helping much. I get some relief by standing up - so here I am blogging - kind of - I’m at my own laptop and I hope I can transfer this in the morning. Oh - I guess it’s already morning.

We are all working so hard. I’m working from the moment I wake up between 4-6 am until I get the last of the days shooting down loaded to a portable hard drive and all the needed electronics and batteries recharged typically past 11:00 PM. So far despite numerous power outages and limited access to outlets I have managed to keep all the tech stuff alive (charged) and working.

Yesterday I told Lucy (she’s pure salt of the earth) that she would not be able to execute the vision that’s forming - and manage the coming change using the deadly slow internet connection at the cyber cafe. So I have purchased her a Safaricom modem and put 500 shillings of air time on it. I have commited to ongoing support of this too. Tomorrow I will teach her about social networking and she’s already loving having e-mail anywhere she goes and just can’t stop thanking me enough. It is by far the best 4,499 Kenya shillings I have ever spent. It will also enable me to post this blog. And maybe a few photos too. It even works at the school, the school is in the country side where the tribal clashes were at there worst earlier this year.

So much to talk about. Can’t cover it all - I have been journaling daily about the experience and that’s been fairly thorough. First the kids are great - so incredibly well behaved and so eager to learn. I don’t get to spend much time with them though it’s one of the more difficult things to deal with. Two days ago the saddest hardest part of the trip hit me. I passed through one of the classrooms to set up for Jordi’s interview and one of the little girls said “teacher why don’t you spend more time with us?” - I almost cried. I did my best to explain that my role here was a little different and that I hoped to spend more time with them soon. Then they asked would I be back after the break (they take off 4 weeks every trimester). I could not say no - for two reasons - I didn’t want to break their hearts and also even though they were closing down the school yesterday I thought I heard that the kids and a few teachers would be brought back next week... I now know this is true.

My time has been spent filming the other volunteers spending time with the kids, a lot of time with the two directors, learning about Molo, Chazon, doing interviews, and constantly shooting and hauling my equipment (very heavy) - without the weight loss and all the conditioning this would have been completely impossible to do. I have walked back and forth to the school carrying the equipment a few times - that’s not easy, I tried using the Matatu’s but they are so crowded getting on and off is difficult and mostly now I get rides on the back of motor cycles. It’s just seems to be the easiest way to get out to the school. These guys are a little crazy and they supposedly get in a lot of accidents and the roads are in such horrible condition, but for now I have no other choice. I have convinced all the other volunteers to give them a try - the Katies (UK) also loved it - and the two of them ride together - three on a bike.

I’m beginning to allow myself to think that this might just work - the site for attracting international visitors will be quite good it’s not that hard to do and I have good folks back in the US who have already committed to help. The real prize would be for the film to bring in significant funding. The reason why I’m allowing myself to entertain this thought - is because the footage I’m shooting is really looking incredible. I have great sound. The story is GREAT - and the people involved are great. I’m thinking now that all that may be left is to edit it and add music. After our hard work today Lucy and I reflected upon this. She is also sensing that it is within grasp. This kind of money would not only provide all that they can imagine for the Chazon school but also it could change Molo.

I told her that this is really what I want more then anything to see Molo great again. What an honor it would be to play such a key role in the transformation of even one small part of the world. It now feels possible.

Molo is hard to fathom without being here. The poverty is so great. Unemployment is above 50%. Children live in the streets because both parents were killed in the clashes or due to HIV/AIDS. Sometimes they are forced into prostitution to survive and many have turned to glue. Once into the glue they become unreachable. The adults at risk tend to favor a local brew that not only gets you drunk for less then 10 shillings - as Samuel tells me, but it also puts them flat on there backs in a few minutes. During the rainy season many pass out in the ditches only to drowned when the rains come.

Last Sunday I interviewed the tribal chief of Molo and a local politician running for Parliament. Both were impressive men - both quite brave and both fighting the corruption that makes political solutions to the problems here quite difficult. Both were so taken by Samuel and Lucy and they both said that they represent real hope for Molo.

Today I acquired video footage of what people here call the “inferno” or the “tragedy”. It truly symbolizes the desperate level of poverty that exists in Molo and how tragic the results can be. Earlier this year a large tanker truck containing jet fuel went of the road and rolled. This was just outside Molo. Soon many people showed up attempting to recover free fuel to try to sell in town. The police stepped in and started charging people to take the fuel away. Someone who was angry about the charging let a match and the whole thing exploded burning to death more then 500. I’m going to buy rights to use the footage in my film - 500 shillings (about $18 US). More tomorrow.

I finally got to go into Casino. It’s the poorest region here in Molo. It’s very sad. Some of the children there had the brown/reddish hair that is the result of malnutrition. I’ve seen this many times in documentaries or in news stories - in places like Ethiopia or the Sudan, it’s pretty heart breaking to see it in person. There was a lot of trash piled up every where - it was hard to shoot emotionally but also physically. When you watch what you are shooting you can’t be watching where you are walking so well. Alicia Bruce arrived from Canada yesterday, she was expected to meet with Lucy for orientation but when she heard that Samuel and I were going to Casino she wanted to join us. It was probably even more risky then I thought. Jordi also came along and we gathered a large crowd (mostly small children following us) but the longer we stayed the more uneasy it became. Samuel was a very good guide and we had someone with us who lives in Casino and is from Elizabeth’s church Elizabeth is one of our hosts (she was also there). Some men became aggressive towards Alicia and Samuel pushed her to the left and blocked them. She moved towards me and I almost put my arm around her to send the message to these men that she was with me. It was a bad situation because we had only met an hour earlier. Samuel later said he feared we were about to be mobbed.

The children seemed very happy though. God bless them. We visited several homes and Jordi commented that he wanted to adopt one and take them out (very difficult to do in Kenya) Instead he will sponsor ones education and Samuel very discretely found and talked to three parents as we were going through and asked them to have the children at Chazon on Tuesday of next week. They will interview them and one will be picked. Jordi will pay for his or hers education going forward and one kids life will take a dramatic turn for the better.

I’m now devastated. Lucy called Geoffrey at Watoto Wa Baraka only to find out that he doesn’t want me to come now. They are having problems (a problem?) and don’t want me there at this time. It’s now or never I’m afraid and it really throws a twist into the film that I’m not sure I can recover from. Anyone following Jarka’s Live Big blog already knows the issue. I can’t began to tell you the roller coaster ride it has been trying to get to Watoto Wa Baraka. To the point where I don’t think I even have the strength to e-mail him to convince him otherwise. I think the problem he is having can be resolved and that he needs to comment on it - let others talk about it - don’t run from it - otherwise his side of the story may not get out. I’m not defending him either - I don’t know the details - I don’t know what exactly happened but it can’t be good to hide it - and you will not be able to. The volunteers are already blogging.

Here are a few pics - the horizontal one is a clip from a shoot in a classroom.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

my last blog for awhile

There is so much to do right now in preparing to leave for Africa that I'm fairly confident I will not get it all done but hopefully all the bigger more important things will be completed. I will pack today - for the most part at least I intend to have all my carry-on stuff packed. This is such a challenge because I need to get all the necessary equipment for shooting an entire full-length documentary into one small carry-on size back pack and a laptop bag. I will also wear a photographers vest on to the plane and it will be packed full as will most of my pockets! (thanks for the loan of the vest Brian - and all the other items!).

I'm also bringing to stowed bags as Dick Blick sent some art supplies for the Kids and I will need to bring that along. I will also try to get out and pick them up some stuff myself. Not sure what yet but something fun - it's a challenge because there are over 70 kids.

So this is the last of my blogs for awhile - a month or more (unless I can get internet there). Actually I'll be so thankful just to get electricity to keep the equipment charged and working. Soon I will start a blog about the new documentary film I'm starting and also much about my experience in Kenya.

I weighed 215.2 toady.

Friday, July 3, 2009

11 Days till I leave for Africa

Today my backpack arrived, it appeared too big for carry-on and yet when I started packing it it seemed too small for my needs. It's not to big for carry on I checked the specs in advance. It may well be too small for my needs I will adjust my needs accordingly. I will also pack a laptop bag for carry-on and it will be holding more then just a laptop also my friend is sending a 12 pocket vest - I'll fill that too. I'll keep an eye on the total weight limits as well.

I also received my 3rd P2 Card today It's a 64 Gig card - I'll be able to shoot about 60 minutes of video at 24 fps wide screen Hi-Def. It's as good as it gets. I have two other P2 Cards each at 16 GIGs each. This gives me about an hour and half of shooting. I think I need one more 64 GIG card - they're expensive. If I get that then the cost of the media will have superseded the cost of the camera. Oh well...

My friend Jarka is already in Kenya. She arrived about a week ago - her luggage was lost in Cairo. Please pray that it will be found and returned soon. Not only is this a tremendous inconvenience but her anti Malaria meds were in the bag.

I weighed 218 today.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

good run + i'm going to Africa

Finally had all the little pains gone - it's been awhile for that. I really enjoyed the run for a change :)

In just 13 days I leave for Molo, Kenya. I'm volunteering at the Chazen Children's Centre orphanage. It's a fairly new organization in an area that has seen a fair share of tribal warfare recently. My role as volunteer is rather complex. I will be meeting with the directors (Lucy and Samuel) to gather information about their vision for CCC and to assist them in developing a brand/website/presence with the goal of attracting International Volunteers to help establish a sustainable and growing operation. This is in conjunction with a second documentary film I'm currently making about the concept of 'International Volunteering". It's a beautiful concept. The idea is for people who have a heart for volunteering to join these organizations for typically 2-3 months, while paying a small room and board fee - typically between $70-$90 a week. This money goes so far in Africa and can often be the main means of support for these organizations. The volunteers benefit by being completely immersed in the culture and in the lives of these children. The living is hard for most and the experience typically has a profound effect on the volunteers. Many have said Africa changes you.

I will also be afforded the opportunity to teach the kids art. I requested a donation of art supplies from Dick Blick, they will be shipping me a box of supplies this week. I really appreciate this generosity - I'm running up so much debt and was already planing to try to buy art supplies for 75+ kids in Nairobi. Hallmark/Crayola are currently also considering making a donation. I hope I can get some serious quantities of crayons :) according to a volunteer currently at Chasen, the crayons available in Kenya are not very good!

More to come on Africa - that's for sure!

I weighed 218.4 today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pain and weight gain

While i was running today I thought about blogging about pain. I can honestly say that since I started running I have never been without one pain or another. The shins splints early on were practically unbearable and the muscle pull of a few weeks ago pretty much stopped that run. But outside of those two somewhat debilitating injuries it's been one nagging little soreness after another. It's daily pain, every single day and it reminds me of my more athletic high school and college days when i was really into the wrestling. A friend of mine and I trained together quite seriously year round. We were in constant pain then too - nothing ever too serious - but i think anyone training hard always has something hurting or sore.

So as I'm thinking this (while running on the treadmill this morning) three things happen. First, and as quick as i stated to run, my butt is hurting! This started in Florida for the first time and seems as though it will be an issue for awhile - then half way through my right knee buckles and hurts - and finally with 15 minutes left the muscle pull comes back slightly. With 15 minutes to go i decide i really need to finish - but at the same time twice now I've pushed past the minor muscle pull only to have it really go bad. With 8 minutes to go - it went really bad! - I had to quit. I think there is a perception that because someone works out a lot and may even appear to be quite fit that they are "feeling great" too. I really believe they are more then likely hurting one way or another.

The second part of this lengthy blog is that I gained 18 pounds! This was no surprise to me at all. The last time I ran while on my trip to Florida was Wednesday evening. On Thursday and Friday I drove for a total of about 22 hours. I slept over at my brothers on Friday and drove another 16 hours on Saturday. I was so exhausted that I slept a good deal Sunday and skipped running that day too. So I had 4 days of no running. When I weighed in on Monday (first day back to the running I weighed 232.4 pounds! This is why I will be running everyday of my life till I die! It's just what I have to do. I know that from time to time circumstances will interrupt my routine though. And I also realize that this sort of gain goes away as quickly as it came. Yesterday I weighed 232.4 and today I was down to 224.4 an eight pound drop in one day. So the gain will be short lived.

Oh - one more pain - my new shoes are creating blisters on my big toes - ugh!

Today I weighed 224.4 pounds.

Pain and weight gain

While i was running today I thought about blogging about pain. I can honestly say that since I started running I have never been without one pain or another. The shin splints early on were practically unbearable and the muscle pull of a few weeks ago pretty much stopped that run. But outside of those two somewhat debilitating injuries it's been one nagging little soreness after another. It's daily pain, every single day and it reminds me of my more athletic high school and college days when i was really into the wrestling. A friend of mine and I trained together quite seriously year round. We were in constant pain then too - nothing ever too serious - but i think anyone training hard always has something hurting or sore.

So as I'm thinking this (while running on the treadmill this morning) three things happen. First, and as quick as i stated to run, my butt is hurting! This started in Florida for the first time and seems as though it will be an issue for awhile - then half way through my right knee buckles and hurts - and finally with 15 minutes left the muscle pull comes back slightly. With 15 minutes to go i decide i really need to finish - but at the same time twice now I've pushed past the minor muscle pull only to have it really go bad. With 8 minutes to go - it went really bad! - I had to quit. I think there is a perception that because someone works out a lot and may even appear to be quite fit that they are "feeling great" too. I really believe they are more then likely hurting one way or another.

The second part of this lengthy blog is that I gained 18 pounds! This was no surprise to me at all. The last time I ran while on my trip to Florida was Wednesday evening. On Thursday and Friday I drove for a total of about 22 hours. I slept over at my brothers on Friday and drove another 16 hours on Saturday. I was so exhausted that I slept a good deal Sunday and skipped running that day too. So I had 4 days of no running. When I weighed in on Monday (first day back to the running) I weighed 232.4 pounds! This is why I will be running everyday of my life till I die! It's just what I have to do. I know that from time to time circumstances will interrupt my routine though. And I also realize that this sort of gain goes away as quickly as it came. Yesterday I weighed 232.4 and today I was down to 224.4 an eight pound drop in one day. So the gain will be short lived.

Oh - one more pain - my new shoes are creating blisters on my big toes - ugh!

Today I weighed 224.4 pounds.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

two runs down

I did one of my two runs at 6:30AM 4 miles and the 2nd at 11:30AM - the first was cool and comfortable - the 2nd was like running in a sauna! but both felt great. i told my mom i was glad to have both done so early and she asked why don't i do a third later? i'm actually thinking about it!

I weighed 215.8 today.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

blah blah blah

Ran again - still HOT! Will run again here shortly. Enjoying the tie off.

I weighed 213.4 today

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My first Florida run

I ran this morning (as planed) - four miles. My knees were hurting just a bit - i did it in 45 minutes which is what it's been taking me to do 3 miles in Minnesota. There are no hills here at all and no wind - but it was chilly this morning. I'm at a Panera right now - free wi-fi :) - i'll do another 4 this afternoon when it's 90+ - that'll be great.

Also I will be working very hard this afternoon - on my tan. Since I will be going to Africa this summer it's best to get this going early - and with the weather in Minnesota it's likely i won't be getting tan there before I leave. Laying around sunning myself in this beautiful pool will not be easy but...I need to do it to keep my skin healthy while in Africa.

The flight was great and I my older brother joined us last night for crab legs!

I weighed 213 today.

Friday, June 12, 2009

off to florida

tomorrow i leave for florida and won't be back for awhile. i'm flying one way and driving back - not sure whether i'll have internet connections or not - so i may actually have an excuse for not blogging. figured that i need to get at least a quick blog before i go. i'm planning to do two 4 miles runs a day while there - it's real hot though - we'll see.

i'm going to africa this summer to help a relatively new orphanage get it's international volunteer program off the ground. the whole international volunteer system is so amazing, i'll also be shooting for a documentary film about it and the people who volunteer.

I weighed 213.4 today.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

another poem?

Ok it's been a while since I shared any of my poems.

Yesterday I didn't take my own advice and slow down a bit and ended up pulling my leg muscle again - not to the same extent because I knew to stop right away. Good thing is though it happened at the very end of the run. Today I actually did slow it down quite bit and that helped. Just a little pain. Will run at home and box tonight.

I weighed 215.2 today.

Here's the poem:

fierce love

fierce love fierce love
scrub your hands sterile slip on a glove
rib spreaders pierce your side
and let out the love

fierce love fierce love
your pillows made of rock, dream of
something precious, so precious
tugs on pant legs and gentle shoves

offer up, offer up
flesh, who cares? shoot it up!
love’s a drug fierce love’s heroin
and the highest high is from on high

barbed wire barbed wire
tightly bind our hearts together
let our blood flow as one
true love, fierce love, red blood

bleed you, bleed me
embrace the insecurity
each recklessly overcompensating
we'll strive to be worthy one to the other

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

new pb

I have been blogging less and less- it's just that lately the only thing I can really discuss is the exercise routine (that's got to be boring). I can at least say, quite happily, that I have fully recovered from the muscle pull. in fact I have had a personal best time now for several days in a row. Just before the injury I had moved into the 7.07-7.08. Then Friday I pushed a little harder and got a 7.11, Sunday 7.14 - day off on Memorial Day (Monday) and then this morning 7.37 miles in an hour. I'll likely drop the pace a little tomorrow as I don't want another injury - but I feel I'm solidly in the 7's going forward.

I've alluded to big plans for the summer - and blogged that they fell through - well they are on again! I'm so happy. Again I will likely go into more detail about this when I get back. Mean while I'm now inline for guitar lessons which is great - I'm going to start electric.

Also I met with my good friend Daniel again today - he's a homeless man (by choice) and is writing his first novel. I have immense respect for him actually and confidence he will succeed. He shared with me today that if his book is a success he plans to invest money in Micro loans to third world countries. Didn't surprise me to hear that at all - His spirit shines through! Also Daniel now has access to a plane and will teach me to fly this summer. It's an ultra light, lesson will begin as soon as the plane has been re skinned. Sometime this summer.

I weighed 215.9 today.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

pulled a muscle

It happened yesterday - Saturday. After running 7 + miles (in less then an hour) for two days in a row, I went ahead and tried for three in a row. Recently, as I have continued to increase my MPH's as soon as I reached a new plateau I would immediately back off and take a week or so to slowly work up again to the new level - not this time though (that was a big mistake). After just a couple of minutes of running my left leg started to hurt behind the knee - I noticed it and thought OK it's not too bad I can handle that. After about ten minutes I increased the speed and it hurt all the worse so I jumped off the treadmill (to the sides) and massaged the leg and that seemed to help. I then pushed the speed to 7.9 - (keep in mind that 8.1 has been my last 40 second sprint speed) with just a little more then 20 minutes into the run I felt a terribly sharp pain shoot through the same area. I jumped off again and tried to massage it again but it didn't work.

Thought maybe if I slowed the belt down I might be able to keep running (no that was crazy thinking) as soon as I started running again it was killing me again... so I had to quit - this is the shortest run yet - a little over 22 minutes. I could barely walk after. I thought for sure I'd not be able to run today - but I did. The leg was still hurting, but not nearly so bad and I only ran 5 miles in the hour - that was a really slow pace. But I got through it just fine. I am now and will continue to ice my leg - it's feeling a lot better already.

I weighed 214.8 today.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

going in for a run soon

I'm at home right now - using the dial-up connection to do my blog. I will go in for my run soon and then back home to cut the grass. Yesterday's run was another 7.08 miles. It was great to do it again and it really wasn't so hard. I've been in the 6.4-6.6 miles for so long and then I just pushed it - for no real reason.

It really struck me that we're all probably capable of far more then we realize all we need to do is push ourselves beyond what we are comfortable with. Not just exercise either.

I weighed 210.2 today.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

up early this morning

No excuse not to blog this morning as my daughter couldn't sleep and since my alarm was going to go off in an hour anyway I decided I might as well head in early so my alarm wouldn't wake her (if she should fall asleep). I had my best run yet - I actually broke the 7 mile mark (11.39 KM) in an hour. I ran 7.08 mies - it felt great. I have also been running at home in the evenings and that has been going pretty well. And I've been keeping up with the boxing routine.

I'm going to be moving my website onto my laptop for updates. I'm hoping this will result in an improved updating habit for my blog! I've been terrible as of late. Really there has not been too much to report - my big plans for the film and a second doc. fell through a couple days ago - and I'm hoping to change that. We'll see what happens in the next day or two.

I weighed 209.4 today.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

shooting today

I'm in the studio today - it'll be my first studio shooting for my film (I've done lots of this for Mayo) - it'll be fun - I need to establish the look and feel for all the interviews - I'm hoping to have a lot of white - I'l test the limits of this little camera for sure. I had a great run yesterday and a bad one this morning - did the whole crash and burn thing again. Just go completely weak. I thought I had this figured out - that it might relate to having too much sugar right before the run - but I had none this morning at all. It hit about 15 minutes into an hour run. I stopped and took about 5 minutes rest and came back walking for about ten minutes and then recovered to finish the run. That was a good thing.

I weighed 209.2 today.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I have been quite remiss in getting myself shot running on the treadmill at the DAHLC. I was just hesitant to even ask and it took a little bit of an approval process - but today I finally got it done. It was a really good run and Jay Koski shot and a public retaliations official stood nearby (to help if folks had questions about what was going on) she was quite helpful.

I'm glad this is out of the way (at least for now) if I get the excess skin surgery I hope to shoot maybe one more time at the DAHLC. As of February 25th I have basically been in a maintenance mode. I was down to 207.4 then - today I weighed in at 208 even. I'm thinking of dropping into the 190's - I guess I'm getting a little bored with the maintenance phase.

I weighed 208 today.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

into the new routine

It's been a challange with the new boxing routine under way but it's starting to work out OK. The boxing part is great, I can already feel big improvements in my upper body, muscle and conditioning. The tougher part of this is the 3 mile run. I have traded the evening's 6.3 mile treadmill run for a real 3 mile on the gravel road run by my home. At the end of the 2nd attempt I had fairly severe pain in both knees (didn't last long). That carried over to the mornings treadmill and by the 4th run I could hardly walk for the pain in my left ankle. I took off two days of the real run (3 mile evening) and that seems to have resolved all "pain" issues...

So I'm now running 9.3 miles a day + the boxing routine.

One of my good friends (and relatives) suggested I might need new shoes. I think she's right. The New Balance pair I have now is less then a year old but already have thousands of miles on them and they are ripping open in the toes and sides. This is pretty normal for me (wide feet) but now that I'm back on the gravel roads I'm being forced to stop several times to pull stones out of my shoes as I'm running (that's not good!) - so a new pair of running shoes seems necessary now!

I weighed 208.8 today.

Monday, April 20, 2009

sore today

i started the boxing routine a little last night and I'm feeling sore! i ran outside again too - hope that becomes the routine going forward. the first three miles (saturday) took 39 minutes - last night was 33 minutes.

anyway i've come to realize that there is a way to "live big" i'm now considering, actually i've decided already. i'm going to make a live liver donation. i'm doing some research on it now - and it seems doable - not as crazy as it sounds.

i weighed 209.2 today.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

boxing starts

yesterday I finally started with the training for the boxing routine. at least i did the running. that may sound a little odd given how much i have already been running on the treadmill, but i have been pretty apprehensive about returning to what i call "real running". it went really well, last time i ran on the hills near my home I was a good 125 lb. heavier. everything from the uphill climbs to the pounding was no problem. i did 3 miles in 39 minutes. that's much slower then the pace on the treadmill - but i have a feeling i will really see that time drop quickly as this becomes more of my routine.

i weighed 209.4 today

Friday, April 17, 2009

Live Big

as my body fell to the ground
illusions of limitations fell as well
so in an effort to see more clearly
i removed the logs from my eyes
and wrote a list of some things I now realize,
that we all need to realize

1. the worlds a mess and you know it
2. you can and should do something to make it better
3. what you do will make a difference
4. what's stopping you? do something

live big

i weighed 208.4 today.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gone for awhile there

I'm back - it's been quite a busy week - I just haven't had time to blog or do little else. I'm putting some real hours into an upcoming art show (new art) and also something big for the summer. Both have taken a high priority for me these last couple weeks. I continue with the running and my weight has pretty much stayed steady. I've been in the maintenance phase now for better then a month. I did finally get a letter off to my doc again in an effort to get a couple of surgeries done prior to the "big event" of the summer!

I weighed 207.3 today.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

got the editing process started

Finally got a good deal of my clips processed and organized (to some degree). Also, had two of the best runs yet (both today). Pressing hard with that - not much time tonight - got to get home and get some art done for the upcoming show.

I weighed 210 today.

Monday, March 30, 2009

one more thing

OK - how could i (in the previous blog) have left out the very important concept of blogging about your weight loss effort. I highly recommend that you if you need to lose weight and you're planning to start a diet and exercise program - blog about it daily. It brings a higher level of accountability and you may just meet some really great people who will give you advice or inspire or encourage you along the way!

I weighed 212.2 pounds today.

Friday, March 27, 2009

back to running / + 3 things

had a great run - very little pain - best run yet. i normally hold the sides of the treadmill - maybe for as much as 15-20 minutes of the run. i use to kinda beat myself up for this, but figured what i was doing was working... tonight i ran the entire run and maybe held the sides for less then a minute. that was actually quite a surprise. i ran hard too - i was listening to Blue October a band i heard play live at a late night party for a movie called "my Suicide". they were handing out discs at the party (i took two).

i had an interview with the Pioneer Press Thursday. i shared three things that i have learned - but not sure that i have blogged about yet. on a PBS program i heard a doc say that to lose weight and keep it off requires a "super human effort" i agree with that and have been inspired by the comment through out my effort. they mentioned that 97% of all diet attempts fail. my own experience confirms this. so here's my take on that - three things to keep in mind if you want to beat the odds.

1. Sticking to a diet requires a super human effort and executing an effective exercise program also requires a super human effort. Don't start out by trying to do both at once. I really believe this is why the percentage of failed attempts is SO HIGH. I highly recommend that you start your exercise effort first - no diet. Eat what you normally do. Focus on the exercise first. I started by running for 2 miles 3-4 days a week. I did this for six months before I started dieting. I lost less then 5 pounds during that 6 months. But I improved my conditioning and I was totally and comfortably into a routine - one super human effort was behind me - one super human effort at a time is enough. Once I got going on the diet the weight dropped like magic. And once i reached my first plateau I was prepared to increase my exercise effort to counter this.

2. Everyone is good at something. Everyone is successful in something. Take the principles and practices that you never fail in and apply them to you diet and exercise effort. For me making my weight loss effort into a creative project made all the difference this time. The focus is on deadlines and meeting expectations that have little to do with the weight loss itself force and drive a successful project over-all (it just happens to include getting into shape again and losing weight).

3. Be incredibly selfish. It sounds terrible - but almost everything in my life that hasn't contributed to the process or success has been set-aside. It's not mean spirited - I have just found that helping out by making meals makes me fail. The current exercise routine requires 4 hours a day. There's a good 9-10 hours on the full-time JOB, and with the blogging and website and filmmaking - the entire day is spent. If you want to lose weight it has to become your #1 priority.

I weighed 210.4 today.

Monday, March 23, 2009

sxsw withdrawal

i crashed and burned during my run Sunday - only got in about 1.5 miles. i think it might be withdrawal from the food there in Texas both the great quality and quantity. also i have had some pain in my upper inner thighs ever since i increased my workout to 13 + miles. i'm skipping my running for the next three days - hope this helps with the leg pain. also will be going back to 600 calories and a liquid only diet to counter the lack of exercise. my weight was up considerably this morning but that's because i didn't run today.

here's the band from the documentary "the Promised Land" i'm hopping to maybe use some of there music in my film.

i weighed 223.6 today.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

great workouts

got in two great workouts today - though each was cut a little short - focused on upper body during the run - felt great.

getting my taxes done - got a nice return coming might even be able to purchase some of the missing parts and pieces I need!

i weighed 218.8 today.

Friday, March 20, 2009

I'm back

Much to talk about regarding SXSW. First I'm pleased to say that I didn't gain a lot of weight. When I left on the March 13th I weighed 217.4. I was a little fearful I might gain as much as 25 lbs. Instead I gained a little over a pound. I'm very happy with that. I weighed 218.8 today. I'm still up from where I had been but I got through the challenge of last week pretty well. I was quite lucky because not only did the hotel have a first class workout facility but they also had Precore 966i treadmills all set for a manual 1 hour long. This is always my preference when at Mayo.

I got in 13 miles on the treadmills there at SXSW all but three of the 7 days. On two of those days I did 6.5 miles and on the other I did 9.5 miles. We all did a great deal of walking from venue to venue also. This certainly helped.

I've come back fairly inspired and anxious to get to the editing process of my film. There were many good films and documentaries I'm sure I'll be commenting on them all in the weeks to come. At this point it's just good to be back and I look forward to dropping my weight back into the single digits - perhaps by the end of next week.

I weighed 218.8 today.

For fun here's a pic of me and George Hardy, star of the 1988 nmovie Troll 2. The worst film ever made (according to one documentary we saw).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SXSW 2 days away

I'll be leaving for SXSW in a couple days - I'm going to need to finally buy some new clothes. For work I have one pair of dress pants (they're actually far to big) and I have just one pair of blue jeans that fit. Since I'm running so much I just wash and re-wear the same clothes everyday. This isn't going to work at SXSW. I'll be gone for 6 days straight with no washing facilities. That would mean that I need to buy and bring 13 shirts, 13 pairs of socks, 13 pairs of underwear,13 pairs of shorts, 6 pairs of blue jeans (this is crazy) today I will check into Mayo's policy on using the hotels laundry service for sure!

I weighed 214.6 today.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

another art show coming

I'm going to be a part of another Art Show in Stewartville, MN in April. More details on that soon. I just wish I had more time would be nice to have a few more pieces painted.

I weighed 210.2 today.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

SXSW is coming soon

I've had some up and down days here - with the eating and the weight. I'm back down to 211.2 tonight. I'm getting ready to head back to SXSW - really looking forward to it at this point. Also just a bit apprehensive. I'll be gone for almost a full week and I will be eating out for every meal. I could easily gain 25 lbs. I don't want to. I originally told myself when I started on this diet that if I was successful I'd allow myself to eat all I wanted when I made my way back to Texas. Now that I've done it - I just can't allow myself to gain a lot of weight. It won't be easy though. I'm hoping there will be a treadmill there and I will simply have to find a way to it every day if not twice a day. I think I read somewhere on the Mayo Clinic travel policy that Mayo now covers laundry service for those who are maintaining an exercise routine while at the conference events. I'll need to double check on that.

I bloged about a movie, a documentary, called Man on Wire. Congratulations!

I weighed 211.2 today.

Monday, March 2, 2009

brief again

just a note to say:

I weighed 211.2 today.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

good day ahead

got my run in - just doing one - need to blog fast.

I'm attaching a pic of me in my blue jeans coat circa 1977-78. It's one of the few articles of clothing from my youth. Since I was in HS in the 70's this is a good thing. The clothes were a little ODD as I look back on some old photos of myself in that era.

it has been a long time goal to get back into this jacket!

get to paint today! can't wait

weighed 210.8 0n the 28th

weighed 210 today

Friday, February 27, 2009

Brief update!

Yesterday I stayed very late working on some personal stuff and was just to tired to blog! So last night I weighed 207.8. Tonight I couldn't quite finish 6 miles during the 2nd run did maybe just 11 total for the day - oh well. I really need to figure out the right amount of calories to give me the energy for two runs and also not gain weight. I'm really in the maintenance phase at this point.

I weighed 208.4 today.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I've reached the goal

Kind of - tonight I dropped a good amount again. I've really done well the last few days with restricting the calories and the running. I weighed 207.4 - which - if you minus the 40 lbs of excess skin = 167.4. Going into this of course I had no idea about the excess skin (at least not how much weight would be involved).

The surgery will be the only way the last 40 will be coming off. I'm going to stick with the same program - I may drop more weight yet - but for now I've made the goal (for what I control) just hope to hear from the doc soon re: surgery.

I weighed 207.4 today!!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

great day!

just one of those great days where I'm really inspired and it all comes together. Not much time to blog - weight took a nice drop again.

I weighed 212.8 today.

Monday, February 23, 2009

tough day - tough run

Didn't get enough sleep last night - had to take a friend to the emergency room. My morning run was great, but just felt so weak after getting about 3.5 miles into the second run. Only a ten mile day - better luck tomorrow. Feeling a little weak over all right now - hope I didn't pick up what my friend had

I weighed 218.4 today.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

emergency room - again

I'm back at the emergency room again - not for myself this time I needed to be here to drop off a friend. I'm waiting to take him home also. I was just getting ready to go do my second run when he called. I skipped the second run yesterday and I gained 5 lbs. since yesterday. I figured the second run would help me to get a little more of that off - not going to happen now! Oh well...

I did get in a good first run and tomorrow I'll be back on track.

I weighed 217.4 today.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Boring day

Did just one run today - not feeling entirely well. The run seemed to make it worse. Busy all day with variety of mundane tasks. Sorry for the incredibly lacking effort on this blog tomorrow will be better I hope!

I weighed 212.4

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thanks Rochester Post Bulletin!

Special thanks to the PB and Laura Gossman for the excellent article about me and the project. I really appreciate it. Here’s a link to the online version.

I feel obligated to point out that there are three stories on the cover of the paper. The story about my weight loss and two separate stories about President Obama (I’m referring to the printed version of the paper). If you add up the space occupied by both of the President’s stories – I still got more press. I think this is the first time I've had a story on the cover of a newspaper in which the two opposing stories were about a sitting President and my story was occupying more real-estate.

I had the pleasure of seeing a Masque Theater Performance of Alice in Wonderland last night – this is why I failed (again) to blog last night. Since the article just ran in the paper and since I may see a spike in traffic to my site and the blog, I’ll use this opportunity to shamelessly support the play. PLEASE go see the play! It’s really great and the costumes alone make it worth the price of admission (which isn’t cheap - $15 for adults and $10 for children). The costumes were all hand made by members of the Masque Theater group.

Call for show times
14 - 4th Street SW
Rochester, MN 55902

I weighed 212.2 yesterday.
I weighed 211.4 toay.

Here are some pictures I shot last night. This is just a few of the wonderful costumes.

my daughter Paige played the Chesire Cat, the cook and Alice's sister.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm terrible

I really need to get focused on this blog again. Intended to stay late last night to do many things but it was so cold again last night just couldn't do it. It snowed again too. I think that's enough for the year. But I know it's pretty common to have snow will into April here. This blog is really for yesterday. I hope to blog again tonight.

I weighed 211.8.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

two posts in one

Missed blogging again last night - oh well. I weighed 216.8 yesterday and tonight I weighed 212.8. I'm just 4 pounds away from my goal. I haven't heard from my doctor yet about a mtg. with the surgeon. I will need to get in touch with him again.

I'm feeling great. I weighed a little less then this a week or so ago but was feeling terribly depleted. I feel very strong right now. I think I will slip into the goal weight real soon here (next few days maybe). Hard to believe actually.

I weighed 212.8 today.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

my conversation with Jarka

I have been very busy of late - so many things going on. I didn't have a chance to blog last night and I have missed several days this month. There are some things that are far more important than blogging.

I have immense respect for Jarka, for her art (both the paintings/drawings and the poetry) and for the person she is. Today we had a private conversation touching on the transforming power of art - how it can change an individual (me actually). But art can potentially have such a positive effect on groups of peoples or opinions. Art for me could be a painting, a movie, a song, a poem, a performance.

It can also change the person - the artist - doing the art. This has happened for me with this project for sure. My weight loss wouldn't have happened but for the desire to create the film. I'm putting so much time and effort at this point into my filmmaking - which today included the mundane task of clearing files from an old hard drive to be able to transport digital clips to and fro for my film. In the process of doing this I came across this very old Cingular Wireless commercial that I found quite inspiring/transforming for me personally many years ago. Seeing it again today made me realize how "unbelievably lucky" I am.

I'm unbelievably lucky to have a friend like Jarka, I'm unbelievably lucky to leave this blog to go and run a second 6.5 miles for the day, I'm unbelievably lucky to be an artist and to have the freedom to pursue my passion and most of all I'm unbelievably lucky to know God.

I hoped to upload the movie clip but it wouldn't allow that but I did find it posted on youtube. I'm sure you have all seen this before but it surely warrants repeat viewings.

I weighed 216.4 today.

Friday, February 13, 2009

weight just isn't dropping

I have surprised myself by maintaining these 12 mile a day runs. I actually ran 13 miles today and 12.5 for the last couple days. Yet the weight has been fairly consistent. I weighed 217.8 today. Still have not heard from my doctor about meeting with the surgeon. I sure hope these blogs began to be more about the film and less about the exercise :)

I weighed 217.8 today.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

missed a couple days

I even considered heading home without blogging today just couldn't go three days in a row. On Monday I did both runs and ended the day weighing 220. Yesterday I did 12 miles also - ended the day weighing 217.2. I tried to blog last night but the electricity in the building was down again. I ran twice today (I'm leaving early today) and weighed 214.8 today. Did both runs. For the second run I pushed the MPH up to 6.5 instead of 6. This makes for a much better run.

Yesterday I learned that the skin removal surgery is one of the most painful you can experience. Also it costs about $150,000. I don't know if this info applies to me exactly or not yet. Waiting to hear from my doc about a meeting with a surgeon. I know I don't have that kind of money. I doubt my insurance covers it - likely an elective surgery. Hopefully I will know more soon.

I did the interview with the PB yesterday - that's the second one, I think it'll be a three part story.

I weighed 214.8 today.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Up but feeling good

My weight is up - I weighed 217.8 after my run. But this was the best run yet. I decided to start and keep the pace of the treadmill at 6.5 mph instead of 6.0 mph. This to make up for only doing 6 miles and also for a little over-eating. I made it through the run - and in fact with about 6 minutes left I increased the pace to 7.0 mph and then to 7.5 mph for a sprint for the last minute. Running this hard just felt GREAT!

I heard back from Progresso (actually I heard back from General Mills the parent company) it was a form letter rejection. That was a little discouraging. My friend Nick said don't give up - call Progresso directly and stay on it (he's right) not going to stop yet.

Monday they are going to announce the top 5 finalist of the SXSW interactive design competition, it's very competitive - and it'll be a miracle if my site is in the top 5.

I'll be meeting with a reporter from the Post Bulletin on Tuesday of next week. They want to do a follow up article to the one that ran in the PB in August of last year. The article was published on the web last time (in addition to the newspaper) I'll post the link in my blog when this one comes out.

I weighed 217.8 today.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Much to do today

I just finished my run - I weighed 214.6. In theory I have about maybe just 200 calories left to eat for the day. I'll try to stick to that - even if I can I will not be coming back for another run - so much to do. That's what hurts most on weekends. Only 6 miles a day. But I got to start editing and I have a lot to learn in that regard.

I weighed 214.6 today.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Weekend is nearly here

My weight dropped again - it'd be so nice to even maintain it throughout the weekend - but that's not likely (just know from experience it never works out like that) - but I'm going to try. I know it's hard to get 2 runs in right of the bat, anyway we'll see.

I weighed 212.2 today.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

another 12

I seem to have recovered from the bad day on Monday and feel I'm back in the grove. ran another 12 and the weights dropping again. Tomorrow I've got to get in touch with my Doc about the next steps.

I weighed 217.4 today.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

boxing is back

I blogged earlier that the Silver Lake Gym had closed down (this is where I was hoping to complete one aspect of my exercise routine). It was a little bit devastating - as it had been part of my plan since day one. Today I found an outstanding coach who is willing to participate in the project fully. Lots of work to get this off the ground - but this whole thing has been lots of work - so just par for the course I guess. Off to run back shortly.

Had a great run. What a relief after the crash an burn yesterday - went the full 12 miles today - I think the mtg. with my new coach helped.

I weighed 221.2 today.

Monday, February 2, 2009

rough night

i had a great 6 mile run this morning - felt great all day - was about to get on the treadmill for a 2nd 6 miles after work and I felt my whole body go weak all at once. I got on anyway and decided there was no way I could do another 6 - figured I just get in a quick three. I had to quit before I got to even 1 mile. This has happened twice before. I described it as "crash and burn". Not sure what causes this, just glad it happens so rarely.

I was really counting on 12 tonight because my calories were way up this weekend. Oh well - better luck tomorrow I guess.

I weighed 221.3 today.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Sunday

Don't know if I'll even watch the game today - far more interested in jumping into the movie stuff I need to get completed. Now that I have my system set up at home I'm also very anxious to get started with editing the film. Want to see the commercials though I can see that on youtube.

Hope to see Bruce tonight during the half-time show. I was really inspired during my run today - I came across this outstanding version of "The Ghost Of Tom Joad" He sings this with Tom Morrello - what an incredible performance of a great song.

feel free - to play it loud

I weighed 218.8 today.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's Saturday!

Just finished my run (I usually only do one run on the weekends). I'm thinking about doing a second run today. I weighed in at 215 even - which is quite good for the first run. I would think I may drop to 213+ if I were to do a 2nd run. It's tempting! My friend is stopping by to work on that ongoing project, I need to update much on my website. We'll see. Lots to do at home too.

My iPod quit at 28 minutes into the hour run. I knew it was likely needing to be charged - planed to charge it when I got home last night, just forgot. This is usually a disaster. The song Sister by Dave Matthews had just started (it's recently become one of my favorites). I took off the the iPod, my hat (holds my iPod ear plugs in) and my sweat coat. All with the hope that I'd still be able to finish the run. That's how dependent I am on the music. I made it through. I may update this blog latter should I do a second run.

I weighed 215 today.

Friday, January 30, 2009

01/09 is almost over

I was hoping to be in the teens by the end of January. Assuming I don't go up too much tonight I should be there by tomorrow. I was hoping to be "well into the teens" also. I'm already there too. I ran another 12 miles (19.3 km) today - 5 days in a row of that! Such fun.

I weighed 214.6 today

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Progresso soup 3 for $5

I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few Progresso soups for this final phase of my diet and was happy to find them at 3 for $5. I stocked up. That has to be really exciting to read about.

I ran 12 miles (19.3 km) again today - that's 4 days in a row. It's been working and I'm just 7.6 pounds away from my final goal.

I weighed 215.4 today.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Busy day ahead

I'm taking today off at work - my new editing system arrived yesterday and I hope to get it all set up. One of our old cars (all our cars are old!) really bit it hard yesterday. The dreaded timing belt breaking. I ran 6 miles this morning and I hope to come back into town for a second run (we'll see). To that end I may add to this blog later and/or update the weigh in amount as I usually go with the second weigh in.

I weighed 217.8 today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

good visit with the surgeon

I had a good visit with my surgeon (for the hernia). He is totally in agreement with doing both the skin removal and hernia repair surgeries at the same time. It will be two teams of surgeons also, he will work with the plastic surgeons. Also he has no problem with waiting until I get the rest of the weight off (assuming the the hernia causes no further problems). Couldn't have gone better.

As to getting the rest of the weight off. I'm on the 2nd day of liquids only and feeling great! I had about 700 calories yesterday and so far just 70 today. I'll have some soup tonight and head into day 3 of the liquids only. After that it'll get easier. I ran 12 miles (19.3 km) yesterday and 12 miles again today. I'm burning over 2200 calories from the runs each day. If I stick with this it'll drop quickly.

I weighed 218.1 today.

Monday, January 26, 2009

going liquids only

It's down to the wire now - and I got a good start today with going liquids only. It's how I started the diet and I guess it'll be a good way to finish. I have about 6-7 weeks left. I want to at least be down to the point where I can consider the surgery for the excess skin. Every indication from my doctor puts that at or around 207.8. I weighed 221.2 after the second run, so just over 13 pounds to go. With liquids only and cutting back on the calories I ought to be able to make that pretty easily.

Then surgery - then the maintenance phase begins. Maintenance is really code for the start of the rest of my life. I watched a couple of clips of experts discussing weight loss and how most fail to maintain what they lose, in fact most gain back everything they lose. That's just hard to even imagine at this point. NO WAY!

I weighed 221.2 today.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

got through the run

My stomach has been bothering me a little ever since the hernia, it actually hurt pretty bad during the run. I wasn't happy about that. I meet with the surgeon on Tuesday to discuss next steps. I think I still hope to convince them to hold off on this until after the weight drops a bit further. Still hope to get both surgeries at once.

Still got through the run - thanks in large part to Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. I have three songs in a row on my iPod - Lie in Our Graves / Crash into Me / and Cornbread. The three songs (all live versions) run a total of about 20 minutes and have saved me countless times from quitting early.

My weight has gone up a bit as I have aloud myself a few more calories this weekend. This is because I'm planing / hoping to go back to where I first started - liquids only, tomorrow hopefully till I leave for Texas in March. I think I'm posed to actually make the goal (notwithstanding the excess skin surgery issue). The excess skin issue is completely out of my control. Hopefully that will work out fine.

I weighed 222.2 today.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

went through more clothes

I boxed up a lot of clothes this morning - nothing fits anymore - almost every bit of clothes got put away. I think I have two old boxes of clothes from the 70's in my basement. Some of that may fit or it maybe too small yet. We'll see. I ran 6 miles today, actually 6.3 - I kept the MPH up high through out the entire run.

I weighed 219.3 today.

Friday, January 23, 2009

bad run

As I was getting ready to go for my run I got a very disruptive phone call. This delayed me 1/2 an hour getting to the Abraham Center - and by then the treadmills were all taken, I waited 50 minutes and finally took one that wasn't what I normally use. It didn't go to a full hour - and so the start stop killed the run. I was hoping for a 12 mile run but had to settle for 9. Had I gone the whole 12 I'd probably be in the mid teens - oh well.

I weighed 217.4 today.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

12 miles today

Well - the party was ruled out, the jump in the freezing water too, I'll do the art but not sure when but for the celebration it was a private affair - just me by myself on the treadmill. So to celebrate being down 150 I did 12 miles today.

It was a great celebration.

I weighed 218.2 today.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

another quick blog

I'm happy that I finally got my editing system ordered for the film - maybe in a week or so I'll be able to post some of the video - who knows. That's a whole new phase of putting the film together and will be a real challenge. I thought I was going to run 12 miles today (19.3 km) but only did 9 miles (14.5 km) oh well - i really got tried, just got weak again. It's happened before.

I weighed 217.2 today.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Down 150+!

Well I made it tonight – past what I guess is the 2nd big threshold. I weighed 217.2. I’m now down 150.3 pounds. I blogged a few days ago that I thought I needed to mark the occasion by throwing a party. I’ve given that idea some thought and I realized that really wasn’t me. First I don’t drink and 2nd I’m barely eating. Some how a party isn’t right. Also I realized that the kind of party I wanted was like the one they threw Rob when he was going away to Japan in the movie Cloverfield. Here’s a clip from the party.

This presents a number of problems. First I’m not as cool as Rob, 2nd I don’t have enough really cool friends like Rob and third I don’t have a really cool place to hold the party – like Rob did. So the party is off.

My second thought was to do a polar plunge this Saturday. Basically some folks in my small town are going to be cutting a whole in the ice and we get to jump in with nothing but our swim suits on. I heard that the temperature for Saturday was going to be -2 F (-18.88° C), but that’s now been revised to -10 F (-23.33° C). That’s without a wind chill factor. I’m having second thoughts though. I have not talked to a doctor yet but someone told me that since my hernia has not been repaired yet I might be taking a big risk. The jump in (and the first step out) is a pretty big shock, I’m still thinking about this but swaying away a little now. Also I’m very concerned about my equipment not working or getting damaged in that extreme cold.

One final idea is create a piece of art to commemorate this occasion. When the local newspaper did an article on what I was doing (weight loss and film) it was published in both print and on their website. On the site was an option to leave comments. I had already lost 100 pounds at that time and yet someone left a rather negative comment saying I was going to fail. I kept a copy by my desk for sometime. Perhaps I’ll do a painting of that negative comment.

Anyway – I’m open to suggestions!

I weighed 217.2 today – down150.3!

Monday, January 19, 2009

till we meet again (in the blink of an eye)

I lost a great friend and mentor last Sunday (just found out last night). I blogged about Craig King back in early October of 2008. He had called to say goodbye because the doctors had only given him three days to live. He'd been struggling with a rare lung condition. He told me then he desperately wanted 3 more weeks. He got better then 3 months. His wife Pat commented on how thankful he was for that additional time. He was only 61 years old.

Craig was my Art Director almost 20 years ago when I worked at SBF, upon leaving SBF I hired Craig as free-lancer first at LDA and then here at Mayo Clinic. Craig was a well respected Designer/Contractor here at Mayo and had made many friendships here beyond my own. The hardest thing to do today was to simply let the others here know.

There's a thousand wonderful things I could say about Craig King - but I'll just say this to my GREAT friend - CRAIG you believed you had just 72 hours left - and you called to spend one of them with me - if the shoe's were swapped I'd a done the same.

They say you can't take it with you, but I think that they're wrong
'Cause all I know is I woke up this morning, and something big was gone
- bruce springsteen (Terry's song)

Goodbye, dear friend, I love you - and I'll see you again in the blink of an eye.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

short blog

Quick blog tonight. I did the 6 mile run. Going to be pushing hard this week - both on the exercising and the diet. Up just a bit from yesterday but that seems to be the pattern. Proposal is done - just need to get it proofed and out.

I weighed 221.6 today.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

made it into the teens!

Well I finally dropped into the teens. I weighed 219.6. I ran 6 miles + (9.7 km) today and thought I might need a second run to meet that threshold but looks like I don't. I may still do another run - but perhaps there are wiser uses of my time. Just so much to do! I will now get back unto the proposal for Progresso (still not sent yet).

I weighed 219.6 today.

Friday, January 16, 2009

a little disappointed

I didn't quite make it into the teens - I hope to tomorrow! It's late I worked at SEMVA tonight, that's partially why I didn't get into the teens - I couldn't do an entire run. I had to stop a short to get to the gallery on time.

I weighed 220.2 today.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Audacious dream / scheme!

Today I watched Man o a Wire, a documentary film about Petit Philippe. He's the man who in the early 70's strung a wire between the Twin Towers and did his tight rope act 1/4 mile of the ground. If you are up against a real challenge in your life or if your are working against impossible odds you'll definitely draw some inspiration from this great doc.

Here's a quote from Philippe that I found inspiring!

“to me it’s really so simple that life should be lived on the edge of life, you have to exercise rebellion. To refuse to taper yourself to rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year as a true challenge and then you are going to live your life on the tight rope.

I've run 9 miles each day for the last three in a row - I reached a new low but didn't quite make it into the teens yet.

I weighed 220.6 today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Got to shoot again soon!

This weekend I've got to shoot some more video - not sure what yet but will come up with something. Got lots to do tonight (need to clean up my office). Home late again tonight.

I weighed 223.6 today.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

coming up to down150

I'm going to be reaching the down150 point by the end of this month. when I reached the down100 point I went out into the middle of our horse pasture to announce it. It was a lot work to get all the equipment set up for one quick shot (that was kind of the point). I'm thinking about having a party to celebrate reaching the down150 point. The idea would be to film the party for the movie. Get some comments from friends and family, etc. All for potential use in the movie.

I'm not sure of the date of this party yet but you are all invited.

Anyone who wants to send me a video/audio congrats to mark the occasion that would be cool!. Any format of video I'll find a way to make it work. You might be in the film or on the extras for sure. Credit in the film, etc. No rush as I will be editing over the next 5-6 months.

Tonight I ran 6 miles plus 3.4 this morning. The Abraham Center scale wasn't working (ugh!) - so I had to walk al the way back through the subway (shorts and a shirt only to weigh in on an antique penny scale. It was kind of fun to walk barefoot in the Ghonda building. This building is fairly opulent. Marble floors and pillars. Wonder if I'm the first to walk through barefoot?

I weighed 226.7 today.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ultra Sound today

The event of Saturday night with the hernia was followed with a call from the ER today regarding something they missed on the cat scan. A potential problem with my gall bladder. I had to get an ultra sound done today - which turned out to be negative. That's good. It was funny because I just ran 6 miles and they told me I wasn't aloud to walk :) ... they pushed me around on a stretcher bed. It took 4 different people to push me back and forth and between floors. Pretty silly. The last test proved negative so I'm all fine.

I weighed 231.2 today.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Everything seemingly fragile (my trip to the Emergency Room)

At the start of this endeavor to lose weight the weight dropped incredibly fast and most important - consistently. This generated a good deal of success and as I blogged numerous times success breeds success. NOW the gains I make are seemingly quite fragile. I feel like it's a real struggle to hold unto them. On Tuesday I weighed just 222.4, Wed 222.6, Thurs 224.4, Fri 226.8, yesterday 227.2. I over-ate just a little yesterday and today I weighed in at 233.2. Up six pounds since yesterday and almost 11 since Tuesday.

I'm working on a design project with a friend - worked all day yesterday after my run and at about 9:00 PM my stomach started hurting. I had been feeling a little tightening in my stomach over the last couple of weeks (I thought it might have been the increased running). I went to use the bathroom and found a pretty hard bulge in my abdomen. I drove home (about a 40 minute drive) I should have gone straight to the emergency room. The bulge became larger and more painful and I had to return to the Hospital. I had a hernia. It lasted for a couple of hours as I waited to be seen by a doctor and as he walked in the room the bulge returned to normal. Pretty good timing. They did a Cat Scan to see if there had been any tissue damage or not and thankfully there was none. They contemplated operating last night but since it went down and no real damage evident I was aloud to wait. I will schedule a meeting with a surgeon on Monday.

I want to put this off until I have some more weight off. I'd like to get both operations, the one to repair the abdomen wall (the hernia) and the one to remove the excess skin - at the same time.

I didn't get home from the ER until almost 6:00 am this morning. I slept till 9:00 am and got ready and came in to do my run. I ran 6 miles today. Despite a fairly rough night (last night) the run this morning was pretty good!

I've been feeling so strong physically lately because of all the running. Last night showed me how fragile the body can really be.

I weighed 233 today.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Got the run done again

Did 6 miles this morning - no 2nd run today. Lot's to do at work - for the site, shoot some photos, blog etc. I don't have much time to blog and that's good since I don't have much to say!

I weighed 227.2 today.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Chances of the World Changing

Today I watched the documentary "The Chances of the World Changing". It's a wonderful movie about a man (Richard Ogust) who becomes obsessed and passionate about saving endangered species of turtles. The movie itself was quite wonderful, very well made, - the story told even better, though a little sad.

For many of the endangered species the habitats that support them no longer exist, at this point they can not be released back into the wild. Groups of individual turtle keepers are trying to keep the gene pool viable with an array of "assurance colonies". What is most inspiring is that there are GREAT people out there willing to sacrifice time and treasure to keep something incredible alive and around, all with the hope that the world will change and someday they can be released back where they were meant to be.

I weighed 226.8 today.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

toughest part here and now

I find myself laughing and shaking my head (not a happy laugh) - I think this has to be the hardest part. I ran 9 miles today, 6 this morning and 3 more an hour ago. I really wanted to run 12 today. It's been so crowded there I couldn't get one of the hour pre-set Pro-cores. Got the 1/2 hour version and just couldn't get myself to keep going after it stopped. Had I kept it up I think I'd likely be a little lighter.

I weighed 224.4 today.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

life is pretty amazing

for some reason the movie Cast Away has been on my mind today. i'm pretty sure i can relate to the situation Chuck Noland was in and the last few weeks he was on that island. he made a determined conscience decision that he was getting off. i feel similarly about the weight here as I'm down to the last few weeks (i hope). it's just going to come off. I did another 9 miles today - that just keeps getting easier and it's making a difference. i ate during the day (before the run) so no food tonight. I'm working late with my friend again so i'll be late home and that makes not eating easier.

i guess the movie is pretty inspiring to me on a number of levels. first Tom Hanks performance was spectacular, the script and concept were spectacular and the lesions conveyed were spectacular.

Here's just three I love:

Don't take anyone for granted.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Live each day like it's your last.

I weighed 222.6 today.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

quick blog

Couldn't quite do 9 tonight got 8 miles. Dropped weight again. Down to 222.2. If the doctor is right about the 40lbs of excess skin that means I have just 14.8 pounds to lose. That may be the case. I'm almost there I guess.

I weighed 222.2 today.

Monday, January 5, 2009

getting aggressive

Feels good to be doing a little more exercise then where the routine has been. The weight is dropping a little faster as a result also, that's the real pay off. I ran 9 miles today - it was hard to get a treadmill tonight. Not just the ones I want but any. The place was so crowded I had to wait for one to open up. It's the first day back to work for many and I'm sure getting more exercise or losing weight was a new years resolution for many. I hope it stays this crowded. I hope people stick with it.

If you do you'll be glad you did! :)

I weighed 223.2 today.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Devil Came on Horseback

I saw this documentary at SXSW 2 years ago. Now that Netflix has "play instant" available on a Mac I think I've played it 5x in the last few days. It's one of the best documentary's ever made. I highly recommend it. Warning - it isn't easy to watch.

It's going to be a brief blog tonight - I need to head home and help my daughter with an art project.

I ran 6 miles this morning - came back and really put some effort into the site and some shooting of more stills. Decided that I really needed a second run, ended up trying to go for another 12 - made it to 10.7, feels great though. It's crunch time, the deadline of one year is fast approaching and I'd really like to make the goal.

I weighed 226 today.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

it's saturday

It's Saturday and I'm here again! Got my run in - 1 hour 6 mile version - felt great. It's getting easier every time now. I'm not putting any pressure on myself to increase the routine at this point though. Do want to drop well into the teens by the end of January though. Really need to make that happen. Dropped a little weight - it is the weekend and I'm glad to be at work right now because it will keep from eating! Just trying to catch up on some work for my website.

I weighed 227.4 today.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Ran 12 miles today

I couldn't run over the new year holiday - and I did over-eat, I did gain too much, so this morning with the pre-run weigh in being so high - I thought MAYBE - I should try to do two 6 mile runs. I did and it really helped and was not too hard to do.

I made the even bigger mistake of not thanking the folks at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center in my last blog! Don't know how I could have left them out - after all they have been such a great group of trainers and staff members, all of them - constantly being so encouraging and helpful! Thanks to all of you - you do Mayo Clinic SO PROUD! Thanks for your role in my great year of 2008!

Of course a big thank you to Daniel Abraham who's generosity makes the center not only possible but first class!

I weighed 228.4 today.