Saturday, December 25, 2010

O! Holy night! The stars, their gleams prolonging
Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Adolphe Adam

Merry Christmas!!!
As always when I wake up Christmas morn I am eternally grateful for all the blessings that I have, all the joy the previous year has brought me, and all the excitement that lies ahead. 2010 was a magically wonderful year, full of joy, accomplishments, and most importantly fabulous new friends that have impacted forever my life.

Winter has begun in earnest here in Madison and in the spirit of Christmas I am going to say some nice things about it. First off winter brings Christmas and Christmas music and I do love both of them. It brings Christmas shoppers into Sunshine Daydream and I always feel nice knowing that some happy little hippie is opening up a peace sign tie dye and smiling Christmas morning. I like that when I leave my water bottle in my car it is really cold in the morning. I like that the start of winter means spring isn't too far off and that means March Madness in Vegas with my best friends. And this winter means FLORIDA for me. I booked a flight to the Sunshine state to see my parents in mid-January and I can't wait.

I talked a little about not making this a winter that tacked on additional shake to my bowl
full of jelly. So I signed up to do an ironman triathlon. 2.4 miles of swimming, 110 miles on the bike and 26.2 miles on the ground. Now before you fall over laughing let me say that I have 30 days to finish it :) I have elicited the help of two of my favorite ridgers in this challenge Lisa and Betsey and I am happy to report we have all made great strides at knocking this thing out. I actually did a full sprint triathlon on Wednesday
of this week 3 miles on the treadmill, followed by 10 miles on the stationary bike, and a 1/2 mile in the pool. There was 6 miles of driving between the bike and pool but I'm not counting that :) So as we trudge forward towards the January 10th deadline I am confident we will all get this full "tri" done, but let me say for the record whomever can do this full ironman in one day is not really human.
I miss a lot of things in winter time. I really miss my toes in the sand and my eyes watching a volleyball coming over the net. I miss my family, as I can not remember the last time we spent a Christmas together. I really miss waking up Christmas morning with the ones I love. I miss the feeling of climbing in the hot tub and the joy it brings me. I miss being able to go see my terps live. I miss my extended ridge family. I miss daylight after 4:30 in the afternoon. I miss not worrying about the road conditions. I miss walking outside, headphones blaring Sara, and climbing that damn mountain in snow canyon with my friends and getting my picture taken at the stop sign.
I am excited for 2011. Each year gets better than the one before it. I try not to spend much time blogging about my political beliefs because I believe people can have heartfelt beliefs that are the polar opposite of mine and in fact I used to have beliefs that are completely opposite of mine now. But I thought now would be a really good time to talk about one area that I firmly believe is lacking in this country. Health care is something that every society should guarantee its citizens. If people are sick they should be cared for. If people are injured they should be fixed. People should never have to face decisions where they have to choose remedies based on their ability to pay. If a society does not treat all of it's members equally when it comes to the basic welfare of of their health they are failing its citizens. Why the rant? Beginning January 1st I will have something I haven't had since I graduated Law School in 1992. And it's not because I didn't want it, not because I wasn't willing to pay a fair amount for it, not because I didn't think it was a necessary. It simply was unavailable to me. I will have a basic health insurance plan. I shouldn't have had to wait 18 years for it. And I am sorry some people are still waiting.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas day, Christmas week, and New Year. I can't say it enough but I am so thankful for all of you. Thinking about the impact on my life that started when I started this blog makes me as happy as I can be. Peace to All and all my Christmas Love to you, Jim

Friday, December 3, 2010

December Baby

Merry Christmas darling
We're apart that's true
But I can dream and in my dreams
I'm Christmas-ing with you
The Carpenters

I thought I would kickoff this Christmas season with my all-time favorite Christmas carol. I have been writing this for now 3 Christmas seasons so I am certain I have written about Merry Christmas Darling by the Carpenters before, but just like the radio stations this time of year; it's always nice to get reacquainted with some old friends.

I will not lie from Thanksgiving through the thaw has always been my most difficult time of the year, especially since moving to Madison. My activity level decreases, my tv watching increases, my time outside dwindles down, stupid stuff that I wouldn't eat the rest of the year happily and repeatedly goes down my gullet in the name of Christmas. I swear this year I am not gaining weight through the holidays. I will go back to the ridge weighing less than when I left. I struggled through September and October this year, got some renewed energy in early November and hopefully can change some of theses winter habits.

So how do I make this more than lip service, and another failed promise to myself? I go back to some of the things that have helped in the past. I called my workout partner and made sure we could get serious again at her gym, and made that happen this week. I called my gym and extended my membership thru mid-February. I walked in the mall this week. I signed up again for weight watchers, where they have an entirely new program. Not that I actually follow the program that much but something about getting on the scale in front of that blue-haired lady who weighs 1/3 of what I do scares me. And I shipped my wife to Cancun for 5 days so that at least for those five days I know I wont smell Christmas cookies and pumpkin cake emanating from my kitchen :)

My knee has felt better. Not perfect by any stretch but it doesn't hurt when I walk. The jumping and running is on temporary hiatus, but everything else is a go. I spent Thanksgiving morning walking the course of the 5K here in town. I'm tempted to play some indoor volleyball but haven't given in yet. But I will. It feels good on the treadmill, I am using incline more than speed to get the heart rate up. I'm the first to admit that I have failed many more times than I have succeeded, but I never give up hope or stop trying.

It's December 3rd here in Madison and we have not had more than a few flurries of snow and the temperatures have made it impossible for me to shake my head at the silly ice fisherman, sitting on buckets in the middle of a frozen lake. That all ends tonite :( First significant snowfall of the year is headed my way. I would love to tell you that I will be curled up in front of a fire with my Christmas list checking things off it, but more likely I will be watching football and college basketball. I have moved my weight bench into the living room and my goal is 100 sit-ups during each halftime for every game.

I'd love to say that I have lots of exciting things planned for the next couple months but as of now it's really just the same old routine. In fact, I don't even have a ticket in hand for any future concert nor do my beloved Terps make any trip to the midwest this year so that's not on the schedule either. I do have a trip planned for February to... wait for may shock you.....Utah/Vegas!!! but that's it. But you know what. That's still awfully exciting for me.
I will leave you this week with something fun and new that happened for me last night. My crazy waffles trivia team went 23 for 23 last night in our answers, The first time ever for us. I'll give you some of the questions to see how you do. Music....Adam Sandler in his 2nd Hanukkah song said my mom thinks this singer is Jewish? Science True or False water is H2O but Ice is H3o? This player in 2006 was the fastest player ever to 100 touchdowns in the NFL? This recording duo was originally called Tom and Jerry? This country's southern most point is Indira Point? What is a kapok? What city did the show 30 something take place in? And after the Yankees this franchise has won the most world Series? Have at 'em!! I hope everyone has a great first week of December. I hope it's warmer where you are :) Be that Utah, Vegas, Auburn, TCU, Oregon, Maryland, or Cancun..... Peace and Love, Jim