Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thursday, September 08, 2011

New Blog Post: Be THOR3

Heavy Aircraft Carrier Ropes!

Ray, Chaplain Ken Lewis (a great training partner) and Jason

Laurel took this picture of me suffering!
The THOR Logo, its trademarked so don't get any ideas!

When I first arrived at FT Bragg over a year ago one of the first people I met was Ray Bear. I caught Ray in the halls at our headquarters carrying a giant, I mean like Aircraft Carrier big rope around. I said to him, "Hey man that looks like a rope for undulations!" I thought I was being smart and cool that I knew the term undulation. 
Ray said, "Thats exactly what that is for, you should come to my gym and try it out"
I said, "You are on brother!"
That was the beginning of a great friendship with our new strength and conditioning coach. Ray is a veteran and spent most of his career training professional baseball and hockey players, helping them get over injury, get stronger and faster. 

Now Ray does the same for soldiers!

Ray is also a believer in Jesus. I found that out in our very first conversation. You'll find that out by the way he cares for folks and by the way he pushes you to be your best. 

He added some other amazing trainers, Greg, Jason, Lance and then  Laurel came along as our nutritionist to make sure we don't eat too many chocolate chip cookies. When I wasn't training at Southern Pines Crossfit I was at the THOR gym. I'm not sure what THOR means, but it sure sounds cool, especially after seeing that movie. My wife surmised that Thor in the movie had done some functional training! I was jealous until she told me I was still hot for an old guy!

I went by the THOR gym today and did my last workout with Lance. We hit the ropes and swung the kettlebells for a long time, it felt like hours. I figured I'd go hard to the finish. It was brutal but awesome!

I honestly can't believe how blessed I am to have made such good friends. God is so good to us to allow us the privilege of friendship. I have been honored to work and serve around people who just by being with them make you feel better....I call them energy givers. 

Those guys get the worlds toughest soldiers ready for missions and back from injury. They keep old guys like me resilient and teach me new stuff all the time.

So many thanks to you Ray, Jason, Lance, Greg and Laurel. Thanks for a great year of fellowship, training, laughter!

So long for now


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

New Blog Post: Southern Pines Crossfit, more than just a gym!

I moved to the Pinehurst-Southern Pines area about a year ago to begin work at FT Bragg. I chose this area to live because its quiet and has a real small town atmosphere. I was looking for a place to workout and discovered a little place called Southern Pines Crossfit. I started doing Crossfit while in Iraq and if you are unfamiliar with this type of training, well its not your average system. There are no machines, just bumper plates, kettle bells, pull up bars, plyo boxes, big tires and lots of sweat. There's no whining, no compromise and no one left behind.

While Crossft is a great training system what has really drawn me to this gym is the people. I've been away from my family for a long time and it gets old spending time by yourself. At the gym each day I worked out with folks who became good friends. I looked forward to the end of my day, so that I could swing by the little garage gym and suffer with my buds. 

Today I did my last WOD or workout of the day. It was a crusher, not just physically but it was a crusher knowing that it was my last time there. The owner of Southern Pines Crossfit is a great guy named Dan Kennedy. He and his wife Dena both work so hard, always encouraging. They welcome everyone and there are no strangers no matter their physical ability. The gym does have a family/community feel to it. 

My thanks to everyone there, you have made my time separated from my family a little more bearable by giving me something to look forward to each day. I pray God's richest blessings on all of you and even though its tough saying bye, the Crossfit community is small and tight and we shall all cross paths again. 

So if you are in downtown Southern Pines go check out the gym, you'll get a smoker of a workout and even better you'll find a friend or two!

Thanks guys....all the best


Monday, September 05, 2011

New Blog Post- Tribute to an old dog

The picture above is of our dog Levi in his normal fashion keeping watch on the yard from his guard post. We got Levi from an adoption program 13.5 years ago just after our other dog Austin got killed by a car. Levi, part beagle and something else turned out to be an amazing little dog. He was friends with everyone. Always minded, never ran off and was just a great dog. He loved us and our kids. He barked at people in the yard, but the minute he know we liked them he did too. Just hard to put a value on that.

A week ago Levi started showing signs that something was wrong and sure enough after a trip to the vet, we found he had a bad infection. A couple days later he quit eating. He looked so sad. It was brutal. I took him back to the hospital on Friday and the doc said they'd do what they could with him...13.5 years old is getting up there for a dog.

On Saturday we found out that Levi had an infection that was causing his white blood cells to attack his red cells. He was in need of a blood transfusion. The thing was the doc said that there was no guarantee that it would help him. It was one of those moments in life that you know are coming, but you don't want to face.

After some tears and discussion we decided that we'd rather see Levi's suffering end than to prolong his life, maybe a few months, albeit quite possibly with more suffering to come.

My kids and I went to the vet, where we found our little dog resting in one of their pens. In a moment I have never experienced with my kids, we all knelt by Levi and told him we loved him. We told him he was so good, that's what we always said to him. Because he was. I told him I was going to take him home.

We cried together as a family and we let the doc ease his pain. Then we took Levi home, my friend Robbie I laid him to rest in our back yard under the trees that he loved to patrol. I hope it doesn't sound silly to you, but we grieve for our dog today.

We did our devotion time yesterday and tried to answer the question, "Are there pets in heaven?" Although the Bible is silent on pets, it is not silent on the fact that God created animals and He loves His creation. We certainly learn unconditional love from our pets, that is for sure. And who is the author of unconditional love.

Could it be that God is that involved in our lives, even in the pets we have? I believe so.
How could Heaven be Heaven without the things we love, to include our pets?

I will not be shocked if I enter into heaven and waiting patiently for me there is a little yellow beagle that answers to the name of Levi.

I really believe that God is that good!

The songs of life- Thanks to mom

My home was filled with music and people growing up. Mom loved music and can play an assortment of instruments but her favorites are th...