Apr 13, 2014

August 2013 - November 2013 Man On A Mission

November 2013
I haven't posted in almost a year, but that doesn't mean I haven't been doing tons of stuff.

Most noteworthy for me was a determination to get back on a path to a healthy lifestyle. At 53 (when I started) I was determined to be in the best shape of my life by 55. To that end on August 12, 2013 I started doing the 7 minute workout on Tuesday and Thursday (days I was working from home). I did that through a September 7-14 trip to Tampa with my parents to their condo. While at Tampa, every other day I ran/walked on the beach and did my 7 minute workout after.

My path to better health included more than just exercise. The first several weeks I drastically cut what I ate. In fact, until I could get my metabolism kicked back in I completely cut out breakfast (I know... those of you who are health experts don't need to lecture me about breakfast being the most important meal of the day... for me it was the most important meal of the day to eliminate completely). Overall, I eliminated breads and potatoes almost completely, and reduced the portions at all meals drastically while cutting sweets to almost nothing. I also tried not to eat after 7pm.

Upon my return from the Tampa trip I had built up enough "in-motion" momentum to transition to the workout room at my workplace (and began eating a bowl of oatmeal from breakfast on workout days). Since I'm in the office three days a week it was perfect, and thus my lunches became workout time (mind you I didn't skip lunch, I just ate a small, healthy lunch at my desk after my workout). I began this new phase of re-vitalization by spending 25 minutes on the elliptical machine followed by 30 minutes or so of lifting on the universal machine they have available.

In addition to the exercise and much better eating habits, I also adjusted to intentionally include eating some super foods that burn fat. I had eliminated caffeine a few months before but now added in some green teas as well as increased my cinnamon intake. I was pleased to find out peanut butter was a super food (and other guys who are getting up there in age will be pleased as I was to learn peanut butter is supposed to help replenish testosterone more naturally) and began enjoying it, apples, and raisins as afternoon snacks.

I believe it was mid-October when I began transitioning off the universal machine at our work gym and onto free dumbbell weights. My workouts were spread out between three different sets of weight lifting designed to work specific muscle groups. So Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I would spend 25 minutes on the elliptical and then 30 minutes of lifting. Typically I'd do a set of three specific dumbbell exercises for 10 - 15 repetitions (and if I started out on a certain weight at 10 I've increased up to 15 over time before jumping up to the next dumbbell set), then another set of three dumbbell exercises for same repetitions. Each day was two different sets of three exercises for 10 - 15 reps. Then I'd cap it off with what began as three sets of 15 sit ups on the bench and has transitioned to a set of 25, a set of 20, and a set of 15 sit-ups on a fancy sit-up device at the office gym and added three sets of 10 leg raises in between each sit up set.

While I didn't have a specific weight goal in mind, in the back of my mind I knew I was about 178 lbs when I graduated high school so that was floating around in my mind, however, I truly had no weight goal I was working towards. This was all about getting my lifestyle back "in-motion" and being healthier. That said, I began this regimen weighing in at the heaviest I have been in my life... 205 - 207. In mid-November I was pleased to get on the scales and see my weight was staying around 175 - 177. Yep, 30lbs lighter in 3 months. I was really shocked that I did it. I was even more shocked that it was doable. I honestly expected the transition to take a couple of years.

So that was five months ago, and it's been eight months and one day today since I began the whole journey. I'm pleased to say I'm still seeing 175's, 176's, and 177's on the scales. This is a good sign as I know, since I'm continuing to workout and eat better, that the little residual fat pockets across my body that had built up for 30+ years are slowly (much more slowly) being replaced by heavier, stronger muscle tissue.

Oh, side note. In August I was wearing pants size 38 waist and shirts were between large and extra-large. I know I'd been wearing 38's since the mid-2000's and X-Large shirts since about the same. Mid-November 2013 I replaced the 38 waist pants with 34's. I do not remember the last time I was wearing 34 waist pants. Also, I am wearing between a medium and large in shirts. More large than mediums now that my muscle is beginning to build, but grateful for the better fit! Oh, and the 34 pants are a little big now. In fact, I bought a couple of pairs of 33 waist Levis' the other day.

Last piece of catching up on this journey. I felt good enough to get signed up for and start playing in city league volleyball for the first time in at least 10 years. I'm playing twice a week and it feels great! This body and life that had grown heavy and sedentary has returned to a more healthy weight and is becoming more "in-motion" again. It's great. So happy for the motivation to do it.

Jun 17, 2013

Father's Day Hike 2013 - Roxborough Park CO

Our fourth annual Father's Day hike destination this year was at Roxborough State Park in South West Denver. It was a delightful day, even though we had to rush due to an unexpected rain shower.
I really like Father's Day to be low key so, as usual, we all stopped and picked up our choice of "picnic food" before meeting at the park. And we set off on a short journey to enjoy each other and a new, beautiful location in the state where we live.

I had heard about Roxborough Park a couple of years ago, but we'd never made it out there. In fact, based on the description from a friend about where it was, I was not that excited about what it sounded like it had to offer. I was SO wrong. The park is GORGEOUS!

I recently learned that the state name "Colorado" was inspired by the Colorado River, Rio Colorado for the red color and Colorado means something like, "the color red". Another story about the name of the state said the "color red" influence comes from the abundance of red rock formations that are found throughout the state. Well, Roxborough Park is a great representation of this feature that inspired the name of our wonderful, and gorgeous state.

The park has several hiking trails offering a variety of difficulty and distance. I chose the Fountain Valley Trail which features a 2.3 mile loop around the North end of the park at 6,100 ft above sea level. We followed the dirt trail, taking pictures along the way, and enjoying reminiscing about the years and experiences we've all shared. An offshoot lookout trail took us to the top of a small hill in the middle of the park with some great vistas. This is where we paused to eat our lunch. That's when the lightning started in the near distance so we quickly finished our lunch and got off the high point in our journey.
As a gentle sprinkle began to fall, we happened to be at the North end of the trail where there are some preserved historic homes. We enjoyed a wonderful summer rain shower under the covered porch (and of course all checked our phones for email and other interactions since this spot had wireless connectivity).

As the rain subsided we set out and finished the other side of the trail going South. It was an awesome day with my wonderful kiddos! Now, where to go next year?

May 15, 2013

Funny Lizard vs Kitten

Those of you who know me know I seldom laugh boisterously. One occasion was when I saw this video on a friend's Facebook timeline.

Jul 8, 2012

Almost a year... lots going on!

Wow, just realized I had not posted in almost a full year. Then, reflecting on all that's been going on I realized why I had not stopped to post.

In the last post we visited Buena Vista CO on a long motorcycle trek. We actually were visiting because I was anticipating an interview and perhaps moving to Buena Vista. This was all transpiring time-wise about a week before I was due to commit to a full semester of teaching at Front Range Community College again. Long story short, two days before I had to commit to Front Range I turned down the job offer and we stayed in Longmont and I taught and continued to work freelance web and video projects. August to December was crazy busy with three classes as well as a couple of independent study students.

Christmas was obviously busy and January kicked back off with another full semester of teaching and freelancing. Toward the middle of January Julie and I reconnected with an old friend from when we had lived in Colorado before. Other than a great dinner and reconnecting with friends that dinner resulted in an interview for contract work with a startup with which our friend was working. The contract began on Feb 14 and was for three months and required me to be in the Denver Technical Center (DTC) five days a week when I was not engaged teaching. For those of you not familiar with the Denver area geography that was about an hour to an hour and a half from our home in Longmont.

So for the next three months I was teaching part time, working for a startup full time, and doing what I could for freelance clients.

As the semester ended and the contract with the startup was coming to a close, I was offered a permanent full time job as UI/UX Lead Developer with the startup beginning my last day of teaching for the semester. I accepted. Obviously a relocation made sense. Julie resigned at the consignment boutique she had been working at for over 2 years and began getting us ready to move.

May 26th we left Longmont and moved (this is so trite a statement compared to the grueling weekend it really was, but that may be another post) into a townhouse in Castle Rock. My 1 - 1 1/2 hour commute is now just 15-20 minutes. Love the house... love Castle Rock!

The startup is WaveCloud - a web-based e-book focused business working to bring together several facets of the e-book universe into one single site. It's a very robust and ambitious vision. We launched in beta in early June and following an ambitious release schedule to enhance and expand what WaveCloud offers for readers, authors, as well as agents and publishers.

For now, Julie continues to help get us settled into Castle Rock and is slowly, patiently watching for where she'll be working.

That's the cliff notes for the year. Maybe I can fill in the pieces as well as keep up to date going forward.

Jul 23, 2011

331 Miles

our trek to Buena Vista, Parker, and back to Longmont

Julie and I slowly working our way up to an overnight ride to Durango CO. It's about 370 miles from Longmont to Durango and Julie's motorcycle has a range of about 120 miles per tank so we have to break that up into several smaller segments. We don't like to push it, so we usually only do 60 - 80 miles per stop.

Our first "big" trip was to Sidney NE. It was 168 miles. This last Friday, after a crazy and difficult week, I gave myself the day off and Julie and decided to ride up into the mountains where it would be a little cooler. We chose Buena Vista CO since we'd never been there before and had heard it was an amazing place.

Our first stop was in Conifer CO for gas. Then we made our way to Fairplay CO. The next stop was Buena Vista. What a quaint little place. Had no idea it was one of the hottest (not temperature wise) whitewater rafting destinations in the country. We had ice cream at Punky's and while sitting there decided to see if Jes and Paul wanted to have dinner at a Cheddars they had found in Aurora/Parker. So after tooling around Buena Vista for about 45 minutes we headed to Cheddars.

Then after a great dinner we headed home. 331 miles total. That was almost Durango distance. We were really exhausted when we got home though so we have some riding stamina to build up still.

Oh, the chicken nachos at Cheddars... WOW! Still the same and LOVED them.

Jun 20, 2011

Father's Day Hikes

Father's Day Hike 2011

Yesterday was our second annual Father's Day hike for the extended Kendall family. Two years ago, contemplating what I wanted to do with the family for Father's Day I realized I wanted to depart from the normal let's have a meal somewhere and watch a movie. I wanted something simple and something that afforded us the opportunity to take advantage of the gorgeous Colorado we moved back to in 2007. The idea for a short family hike was conceived.

Last year, our first we went to Chautauqua near Boulder. It was a great trip. The day began with us meeting at a local grocery store to purchase simple meal items and throw them into a backpack. Then a short drive to Boulder and off we went. It was a great experience.

Yesterday we all hit the grocery store or made our lunches before we met at our place in Longmont, CO. Then we took off through Lyons, CO on our way to the Sleepy Lion Trail in the mountains just West of Lyons. The drive was less than 30 minutes and then we ventured on foot into the gorgeous mountains. The Sleepy Lion Trail is moderate beginning hike for anyone who has not been hiking much. It's got some great inclines as well as a really nice meadow of grass and flowers you hike through. Vistas include the view of Ralph Pierce Reservoir along much of the trail. The spot pictured above is a huge outcropping of rocks/boulders where we stopped to takes some fun photos.


It was a great time. Can't wait for next year!

Apr 4, 2011

Temple Grandin

Me and Temple Grandin at lunch Occasionally you see a movie, read a book, or hear a story about someone inspiring and hope to meet the person. Then there are the once in a lifetime opportunities you have to not only meet that person, but to get to work with her (or him). Late last year I found out there was a project on which I might be working with my friend Dan (of Vendor Hippo). The project was amazing in and of itself. But then came the part about the "talent" for the video project.

I had never heard of Temple Grandin till that day. About a month ago, as part of preparing the shoot I viewed the Made for HBO movie about her life and was moved to tears by -- well, many things in the movie. Today I got the rare privilege to direct a shoot with Temple explaining the ins and outs of handling sheep. What an amazing morning.

It was awesome to hear her explain the things the movie depicts but related to sheep. Her passion for helping people understand livestock so the handling of the sheep is less stressful on the animals and the humans was evident.

Claire Danes... I'm impressed. What a great job of portraying this special person. You definitely deserved the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini-series or Movie Oscar you won for the portrayal of this bigger than life lady.

Those of you who even think you have a tough life and need a leg up to move forward in this life... see the movie!