Do It Anyway!

A funny thing happened in the middle of my walk.

Yes, my walk. Since August 12, I have taken a few. That is the day on which I began yet another journey toward better health and fitness. Only this time, I did it with much less fanfare than in times past. On a few occasions I’ve stood up like the publican praying in the temple and shouted from the mountaintops that I was dieting and exercising. I’m over that now.

After my most recent chat with my physician, I decided to take a multi-faceted approach to my lifestyle change:

  1. Cleaner eating (thanks to meddling women at church… and my lovely wife)
  2. Daily multi-vitamin regimen (thanks Vitacost.com)
  3. Counting calories (thanks MyFitnessPal.com and app)
  4. Wearing a FitBit Ultra (pedometer on steroids)
  5. Utilizing Endomondo GPS app w/ Polar heart rate monitor (to track and maintain my cardio work history)

I will give more detailed reports on each one of these later. I am trying to get to my point.

So last night I was walking in my parent’s neighborhood. Ten minutes into my walk I realized that I had left my FitBit (the pedometer on ‘roids…keep up) on its charger back at my house. “Great! How many precious steps have I now taken that I will not get credit for,” I thought to myself. Not to worry. I had my heart rate monitor on and I was tracking my every movement with the GPS app on my phone.

Fifteen more minutes passed by and I was worked up into a pretty good lather. All of the sudden my headphones go silent and my increasingly less trusty Droid Thunderbolt suddenly and without warning powers down. DRATS! Now what was I to do? I lost GPS tracking AND my heart rate monitoring. I felt like I was on the Apollo 13 mission. What else could go wrong? There I am, flattening the hills and straightening the curves in beast mode without any technological wonder to capture the sweat-filled moments for posterity. It takes my phone a good three minutes to cycle on. “How far might I travel in that amount of time without GPS,” I ponder. The questions were overwhelming me.

At least my watch was still working and it told me that I had another ten minutes before I had to stop and go pick up Ellie from dance. I could knock out one more hill… but I wouldn’t get “credit” for it I idiotically told myself.

Then I came to my senses.

Of course I’m getting credit for this. My body is the beneficiary of this endeavor whether or not some gadget records my progress. How silly of me to think otherwise.

Isn’t this the way it is with us sometimes in our faith walk? Do you opine the fact that no one was around to pat you on the back when you helped that lady carry in her groceries? When you gave back the extra $5 that the cashier mistakenly gave you at Wal-mart, did it knock the shine off to discover no one was in line behind you to see and be in awe of your honesty? It’s not necessary to “report in” to people that you, indeed, got in your twenty-minute quiet time this morning before work.

God sees. God knows. God is keeping tabs. On top of that, in much the same way that your body benefits from physical exercise, your body/soul/spirit all benefit from the exercise of your faith, whether any mere mortal man sees or not. You are building spiritual habits on top of being obedient to what God calls all of His children to do. Both of these have massive benefit for you in the long run.

So go ahead, even though you only have an audience of One, do it anyway!

After all, who else matters.

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Perhaps a bit TOO ambitious…

Tonight around 140 people began a journey together. It was the first night of Fleet Feet’s “No Boundaries” Couch to 5K program. They divided us into three groups: turtles, gliders and the “more ambitious.” Since I had been working on running for 7 weeks already, I figured I would challenge myself and step up to the “more ambitious” group with my friend, Julie. Our dance card for the evening consisted of 6 intervals alternating 2 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking.

When the groups shook out, I quickly realized that, size-wise, I would make two of every other person in my group. Then the running commenced and I drifted to the rear fairly quickly. Bless Julie’s heart for hanging back with me. However, two things became clear to me. First, the faster pace was something I needed because I am WAY too slow. Second, I was able to do the run.

There were friends I had not seen in a long time as well as many new faces I look forward to getting to know. Encouragement abounded. I can already tell that this journey will be very fulfilling and I eagerly anticipate sharing the successes with my new friends.

Tracking Tiger

If this is your first time visiting my blog, welcome! If you have “tracked” my blog before you may know that it has been a coon’s age since it was last updated. You may also notice a brand new design. Think of this as tigerbrooks.com 2.0. I was not satisfied with the first generation and I will say that this one may evolve even more, but we are getting there. I appreciate you taking the time to visit.

The title of this post, however, does not just relate to tracking my blog. In June of 2009, my wife Paige and I began a journey toward better health and wellness.  Over the course of time, after developing better eating habits, walking, hiking and some weight training, I lost 55 lbs.  In the Spring of 2010, I slacked off and coasted until Christmas, gaining back about 15 lbs.

Paige made the transition from walking to running in January of 2010 and it has revolutionized her overall health. I scoffed at the thought of starting a running regimen at age 40, throwing up all kinds of excuses from being a big guy to protecting my knees. But as I have observed Paige and her dramatic physiological strides, not to mention, the enjoyment and confidence she has gained from running, I have been won over. Last month, I started a “couch-to-5K” program by downloading an app to my Droid phone. I am currently in week 5 and I can tell with each passing week that I can run greater distances without stopping or… well… keeling over.

Next month, I will be joining a number of folks for the “No Boundaries” program through Fleet Feet in Kingsport. The goal will be working up to running in First Baptist Church’s AmazinGrace 5K in May. So the deeper meaning behind the “Tracking Tiger” title is the opportunity to follow my progress and cheer me on, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, the challenge to join me in this effort. If I can motivate someone to begin the transition from sedentary and unhealthy to “moving” in the right direction, I would be ecstatic! There is something to be said for accountability and camaraderie. If I can do it anyone can. When I started in June 2009, I was 6′ 5″ and 317 lbs. Now, I am still the same height, but I am many strides south of 317! It has been a rocky road with many potholes and detours, but I am keeping on keeping on so that I can be fit for the work to which God has called me. You are not too old. You are not too out of shape. You are not too late.

There will be an informational meeting about the No Boundaries program Tuesday, February 22 at Fleet Feet in Kingsport. Click the link to find out more. Go by the store and they can get you information and fully outfitted. It doesn’t hurt that you can listen to 88.3fm WCQR while you are there!

Here’s to your health! God bless!