After a long absence from this blog (sorry, my ropes course blog has stolen some of my writing time), I’m back!
Today marks the 17th year I’ve been at Timber-lee for summer camp… over the years as a rock wall belayer, program assistant, coordinator, and currently director of their challenge course program. In just a few short hours, my seasonal instructors will be arriving, along with about 100 others as we begin preparation for serving thousands of youth in the coming 3 months.
Ok, my dedication to my personal blog has been, putting it politely… waning? I had to grin a bit as I titled this post. Little bit of “Dave Trivia”… While in 3rd grade, I came in 3rd place in the Oconomowoc School District spelling bee. The word that nixed my aspirations to be a true brainiac? Apologize (I spelled it with two p’s.)
Life has just been busy. I’ve been sinking more time into my professional blog, www.theropesguy.com, so if I’m absent from here, check out my alter-site.
Spring is here… for a few days, at least. Gonna be almost 70 degrees tomorrow, so I have to take the motorcycle out before the temps drop later this week. I rode it up and down our street a few times before returning it to the garage.
Hiring staff for my summer team is going well. Out of twelve possible spots, only two openings remain. Every year, God assembles a great group of people to serve with me, and this year is shaping up to be no exception.
Alright, time for bed. Just spent the last couple hours finishing my Red Cross instructor recertification online. Nice to get that done and off my rather long list of spring/summer to do’s.
I'm still here, still plugging away at home, at camp, enjoying my family, doing wild stuff. I recently read a tech article titled, “2013 – The Year Blogs Died” or something along those lines. I laughed as I read it, knowing my blog's been sitting like a turd for several months. Now it all makes sense. 🙂
Well, now that I'm back, where to start? Enjoying our winterXtreme weekends at camp. Had over 200 campers do our Zipline while the snow fell. Picture a Zipline in a snow globe and you'll have an idea of last Saturday was like.
Built my first major wood project last week. The workbench that came with the house was really beat up & woefully small. Took the better part of a day, but almost doubled the workspace, put in a lower shelf for power tools & cases. Now if I can just keep it from getting cluttered…
Consumed by the craziness of life, I remembered the other day that (1) I have a blog, and (2) it's been a LONG time since I've posted.
It's not that there's not a lot to write about. To the contrary, I've had plenty of potential topics pass through my noggin over the past several months, but none of them have made it to the site.
Maybe that's a good thing? A bit healthy?
As I think about it, I think I'm ok with the fact that I don't feel compelled to share every significant experience or deep thought that gives me pause. In September, I walked Olivia to school for her first day of first grade. No pictures, no penning my thoughts. Just me & my princess sharing 30 minutes together. Sometimes it's ok to say, “it's mine.”
But… I also recognize the value in having this blog as a personal outlet, not to mention the privilege it is to have you the reader give of your time to read my posts.
Here's to balance 🙂
Good thing I don't rely on writing this blog for a living! Boy, how time flies 🙂
Will try to post more in the coming weeks, but in a nutshell…
– Bought a motorcycle
– Olivia's finishing kindergarten
– Building a 900' zip line at camp
– and much more!
Just realized that two milestones coincide with this post… the first being that this is my two hundredth blog post.
[brief fanfare, golf clapping]
Second, all those weeks of training paid off & I completed my first 5k race on Sunday. I wasn’t first – evidently my young daughters were upset when the first runner crossed the finish line & it wasn’t me – but I wasn’t last, either. To celebrate, I bought one of those 5k oval stickers you see on car windows. Hey, I earned it! 🙂
Made a rookie mistake by starting too fast. In training, my running pace was around 10:45 – 11:00mi. Not so on Sunday. Jen & I ran together at the start… yeah, my wife the marathon runner. Suffice it to say I kept up with her for the first mile at a 9:30 pace – set a personal record for the mile, but beat myself up for the remaining 2/3rds of the race. UGH!
As I approached the finish line, with volunteers & spectators cheering us on, I have to admit that I got a little teary. All that time, hard work, runs in the dark, in the rain, etc…
…or maybe the watery eyes were due to the 25mph southerly winds. All I do know is that I dug in for the last 50 yards & sprinted faster than I thought possible. May have even growled a little. 🙂
35 minutes 44 seconds
Jen asked how I felt when we reconnected near the finish line. I smiled & said it didn’t feel real, so I’m gonna have to do it again.
Next 5k: November 25th
Forty-eight hours from now, I'll be about halfway through the Lake Country Classic ride. Going for a new personal best distance of 45 miles. A couple rides remain this summer that will sweep that record to the side, replaced by even longer distances.
An accident? Did I suddenly, mysteriously find myself straddling a road bike, traveling distances most would consider a normal commute to the office?
Nope. It's a choice.
Actually, for me, it's a series of choices…
Set alarm for an early ride, continue pushing when your body wants to stop, turning down that extra slice of pizza (or buffet at Chen's Kitchen. Mmm, Chen's), enjoying retirement with my wife (on our motorcycles, of course), being around to hold my grandchildren…
Choosing to believe I can do this…
The list is practically endless.
On a day where many of us are off from work, stuck in holiday traffic, preparing for family visits, cookouts, etc., I started out a little differently this morning…
I read as much as I could find about Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis Levy Youngblood. Travis was a medic in the Iraqi town of Hit when he was wounded July 15, 2005 by shrapnel from an IED. He died 6 days later in Baghdad. He left behind his wife, Laura, and a young son named Hunter. Laura was 8 months pregnant at the time with the beautiful girl seen in the picture, Emma. Travis was scheduled to come home before Emma’s birth.
The freedom we enjoy, flipping burgers or splashing in the pool came with a price. A heartfelt thank you to all those who serve or have served in our armed forces, and my sincerest condolences to those who’ve lost a loved one.
Thank you, Travis.
I was recently introduced to klout.com, a website that measures your influence of others based on what you post to various social networking sites, write on your blog, and how that gets passed along, commented on, etc.
Evidently a klout score of 20 is average, so a score of 44 ain’t bad, right? According to my klout analysis, I directly reach 268 people through my immediate & extended networks. I especially got a kick out of the fact that I’m rated as an “Influencer” in the areas of health and fitness. If they only knew. 🙂
Should I care? Of course, I appreciate the fact that anyone enjoys my blog, takes time to comment on one of my tweets or Facebook updates, but to boil it down to a score, something to compare yourself to others seems a bit shallow. Look at me! Like my comment! Ka-chink, just got a +K!
Going deeper, what would the world be like if we were concerned with truly, lastingly influencing one or two people, our family & closest friends.
I know I’d be satisfied with a “True Reach” score of 3.
“Have you posted that you’re running?”, my wife asked recently. To be honest, I’ve avoided making this public… kinda like announcing a pregnancy too early. If I let the world know & for some reason it doesn’t “take,” everybody knows I failed.
Well, I think it’s taken root. I still hate running, but I’m invested now, halfway through Week #2 of an eight week training program in preparation for running my first 5K event. I’m sure I’ll run one sooner, but it’s my goal to run all 5 events in the Winter Run Series this year. Stay tuned…
Oh, I’ll probably be posting over the next several months regarding my road biking. Got my eye on a handful of upcoming tours, with my goal riding the Cream City Century 100 mile ride in August.