Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 232: Becoming Greater Than Through Love and Support: The Cape Fear Heart Walk Journey with Adam Freeman

perfect start to the day..up and at em and off to the gym. Course, we are doing the "big boy" exercises...but it feels good. Maybe if the two of us weren't like two Yenta's talking so much on Monday morning, we would have gotten through the whole routine! LOL! but, I got my butt kicked regardless! It is so funny, I have been hyper critical of folks who stand around and talk and not work out..frankly as I have said, I just don't want to sit in their and smell it all day...but as I continue, it really is easy to really enjoy it. But, staying focused...staying focused! LOL!

I have been batching it for a few days and willl be this week as Michael is at a conference. It is funny that after all these years, I miss him more now when he is gone! But, I was really having a good morning because yesterday I took a day just for me with the house to myself. I stayed in bed till noon, then got up, cooked for me, went to the grocery store, did somethings I enjoy and even got some cleaning done I have not been able to get to lately. It was heavenly. I did not think I would ride my bike or anything this being a "day off'..but abouty 7pm I got to thinking about how much I really enjoy riding my bike..LOL! funny, it is not a chore to do cardio when you live in a place like this and there are such great placed to ride. So, having a day "off" does not mean not doing something just means that I get to do what I love! :)

I was also thinking about what a "a day off" meant less than a year to bojangles for two..not one..but two chicken biscuits with cheese and a large order of their hash rounds..back to bed and watch tv. Then convince myself and Michael that since it was a "day off" we really should not we would go to Casey's BBQ or head out to a steak place...the latter meant an 18 ounce steak, stuffed potato and salad with blue cheese and 4 or 5 hot rolls. then back home..drag myself to do something..and then get back to watching tv..then, becuase of indigestion or just to much (cause i would have had at least 4 diet cokes)...I would snack or even order a pizza that evening. This is NO exaggeration...and it was NO way to live. I am stilled amazed I made it this far...I went at it so hard and so stressed that when I had a day "off" I literally wallowed in anything that would give "comfort"..the only problem was that "comfort" created HUGE discomfort and I was never really satifsfied or at ease.

I am just so thankful and the more I sit on our meditation cushions, enjoy our den, read in our library space, go out with Michael to places, do things that are engaging, but create so much serentity, the more I want moer of this life that I have today! I have been so amazingly fortunate over the last 21 years..but now, now I get to live even more and do it in such a healthier manner.

A day off is a Day ON...a day of living and connecting!

Thanks be!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 230: Becoming Greater Than Through Love and Support: The Cape Fear Heart Walk Journey with Adam Freeman

these days I blink and a week goes by! I cannot let that happen without blogging for two reasons: 1.) because sharing this story one day at a time or at least as many as possible is part of what I said I would do to hopefully share the amazing gift that I have been given to others and keep the gift giving..2.) because i want to have record of the blessings in my life! Things move at such a pace, sometimes it is hard to take it all in and really appreciate how amaznig this life can be, even in the hard times. sitting down and writing this way really helps me absorb what is going and truly see what permeates each day in such rich and meaningful ways!

This past week with Adam has been extraordinary..I am doing exercises that i never in my wildest dreams would have imagined, and I know that it is the start of even something more! I got to thinking though that if someone came to the blog just now they might get worried or try to attempt things that are far along. I needed to remind myself and to reflect on how much has happened because of doing things in a correct manner this time. By gradually building up my small muscles, and then beginning to work on larger muscles, while doing cardio in between the training, I have been taught how to get this far. I am so glad that Adam has started an Online training program and folks can access that from his site if they cannot do personal training in person. It really is the only way I could have this success and be this health today. Every attempt I made before failed because I tried to do exercises that were way too advanced. I would either hurt myself or give up because it was just too hard. I know I have said this before, but it bares repeating because I think many of us have that "all or nothing" attitude and we don't know what limits we have or what heights we can reach. Having a guide to move me through this has been essential for it to be successful and I am beyond grateful it has been someone that I can truly depend on and trust, but someone has become such a good friend.

This week I was allowed to volunteer and be a part of the Harlem Globtrotters All Star event and was around my hero, Meadowlark Lemon. Dr. Lemon is originally from Wilmington and while I had met him a couple of times volunteering for a tournament, I had never had the opportunity to sit and spend time with him. His story is one of the most inspiring around..16,000 basketball games, in the hall of fame three times, and is one of the most spiritual people I have ever encountered. Someone at one of the events this week asked him if he remembered the milk delievery company here in Wilmington. Meadowlark smiled and shook his head and said. "man, we didn't have no milk..only mile we had was in  a can and you added water to it". This was just one of the ways that he shared how he came up. Poor in material goods. But he talked about seeing the Harlem Globtrotters on a movie reel on weekend and it was at that show that he knew what he was going to do. He said that his first basket ball was a carnation milk can and the basket was an old flour sack on a wire. He developed his famous hook shot working on that. It took him eight years after he saw that film, but he had his try out in raleigh and he made the team...six decades later, he is still going strong at 77 years old.

He talked about having a "vision" board. Literally writing down what it is that you want and want to be and seeing it each day....and believing that it will become a reality. As i listened to him talk about this I thought about Andy, Woody, Connie, those who had changed their lives physically before me and how I made that a goal in a similar way...and it is coming true. But I am going to make a vision board in a more phyiscal way. I like that as a tool! It has been awesome listening to him and learning from him this week.

today was beach sweep with the Honors Students and while i was not able to do cardio, when I went out on the beach to take pics of the students, I jogged..yes jogged back to where we were providing lunch for them! I think I did a little over a mile..maybe two..but what was pretty cool was how I was able to keep at it!

this has been a great week! thanks be!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 225: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

It has been a roller coaster today of amazing highs and intense emotions..I guess that is just the nature of the beast these days...
I got up this morning around 5:30 am after having been in bed for about 16 hours..yep, you heard me..16 hours. I crawled into bed after making sure michael's fever was down and he was fed Sunday and literally went was one of the hardest sleeps with lots of dreaming that I have had in a while and I have to admit it felt VERY good!
I got up and went in to the gym early and got on the elliptical. Instead of the usual 10 minutes to warm up, I did 20 at level 15 at 7.5 plus miles and hour...I really got going. It was exactly 7am when I stepped off and Adam-the-bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed one was there and ready to go. He had great things in store for me and started by telling me to grab the 25 pound weights and follow him. I did and he had me doing squats, curl, over head presses with them...20 of them! followed by a new joy....where you get down like you are doing a push up and then move one foot forward and then back like running in place with one's butt in the air! now, that felt good...and this one was at 30. then repeat. then I was to do 2 sets of push ups with alternating lifts into the air with each, I did a push up..then while on one arm, I pointed the other arm into the air while turning my body that way! I was astounded that i could do them...and i did! he then had me do squats, but this time, as I came back up, I was to jump in the air as high as I could! Now mind you, had I tried this when I began, I would have broken my knees! again, it was astounding. He then had me do more and get the picture. Somewhere along the way, he had the temerity to say "now, you are doing "big boy" exercises" to which i looked at him and said "well, what the ......have I been doing!" LOL! but he was right and was proud...cause this was a new level and a whole new work out for me....and all kidding aside it was stunning to be able to do this! If you had said to me back when we began that i would be able to do this, I just would not have believed it!

It was really humbling.

That was just the start of the day...the rest..well, work..which was productive and filled with all the energy you would expect of a new year with students and the end of summer...and good things coming, then off to our commissioners meeting where we were, for the first time in a while, really bonded together on several issues, and while I got emotional, I was so proud of our advocacy for one of our neighborhoods in particular. I get so...well, disgusted by the racism, the classism, the stigma that is enjoyed by many...but it was clear tonight that we...we stood in opposition that mess and it was so good to feel a part of something that values the dignity of every person and worth! It was...well, it was good.

I left there and we opened the new softball complex that i have been on the joint committee with. It is such a celebration for working together, but more importantly, it is a celebration for so many possibilities for health and wellness and good things for our community!

then I came home to a solid hug and love and support...Jesus, how much more could I want in life.
But i had a complete breakdown when i was trying on a new shirt we bought last week. It is a size 17 1/2. I have not worn that size shirt since 1998. I put on the shirt and when i buttoned the neck without a struggle and sat down and the shirt did not strain, I literally just lost it for...literally. The whole months of work just came rushing at me and I was just so overcome for a moment of how very very....well, you get it..right? It was a moment...and I am just so grateful! I pray for that moment for any and all who want it!
thanks be!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 222: Becoming Greater Than Through Love and Support: The Cape Fear Heart Walk Journey with Adam Freeman

So here is a topic that is not usual for this blog and may seem off topic...but it is not as what this whole journey is about is about our health and our health is three fold: Mind, Body and Spirit. But today, I have suicide heavily on my mind.

A dear member of my family by marriage took her own life a few days ago. It was a shock to me, but apparently was not a shock to those closest to her. This family member could not have had a better husband or support mechanism in her life. Someone, who throughout the years has been a personal hero to me. She, from what I understand got all the care, treatment and love that anyone with a disease could need, but in the end it was too much and it consumed her. She was manic depressive.

While I listen to the anger in the voices of those who grieve and those who are concerned for their dear, sweet daughter left behind and for my dear cousin who was such an amazing husband, I pray that the anger goes towards the disease and not towards her. She was a woman with a disease and to come to a moment of this action, well..I have learned over the years, it cannot be something we can ever truly understand.

In my experience I have been witness to a lot of chronic illness in alcoholism, depression, manic depression and the like. I know it to be a physiological disorder, and while yes, there are treatments and we do have is none the less a chronic disease. If someone is overcome by it, I can no more be unsympathetic with them as I would be a heart patient or a cancer patient.

21 years ago, I went through a major change in my own life. At the end of the first year, I began helping others (as it was a new practice I discovered that giving back was a great way of life..your given blessings..and to give them back is a reward in and of itself!) and I met Pete. Pete was 16 and his older brother who was 19 had been in and out of rehab and could not get it together. Pete's brother was chronically addicted and one night took a shot gun and with his toe, shot himself in the face. It was devastating. I walked through that with Pete and through my first Catholic Mass. The priest did something unpresedented in that village in the area, he actually held a mass for someone who had committed suicide, which for this parish and this family was not normally done (as this act was considered "unforgiveable"), and then he did the entire mass in white and with over 400 young people present in that parish that day, he talked about Pete's brother as a power of example in a positive way, of one who had stuggled with a disease, about how Pete's brother's life had a purpose and he had lived out his life and tried to do right. Here, Pete's brother's life..having passed was changing a church that typically would not have honored a service for a "suicide" a message about drugs and disease to over 400 in such a small place and helping to heal a brother who was struggling with the disease himself. Pete's brother left this world and passed from the disease..but his life had purpose and meaning and while I cannot know for sure if his death had an impact on all those folks..he has, for the last 20 years been in my heart, my mind, and at times, my need to get through some very tough times and has in effect helped to "save" me!

It was at that time that I really came to believe that we are not capable of taking our own lives. I don't have to agree with me here...but this is my belief based on my experience now. I am sorry, I just don't believe in the notion of folks being "selfish" or "wanton" in "quitting". For me, seeing what I have seen, until we are meant to leave, we ain't going no where. I have seen and experienced already so many who had tried...and I mean HARD to take their own lives and lived..some who ended up in wheel chairs or had to suffer some damage..but it was not their time. They had something else to do. For others..theirs was to go on..and it was for us to understand, to give compassion, to find some meaning. I truly believe that we are sought to find the best in each other in disease, in hurt, in what can appear to be the worst of circumstances. We are called on in tragedy to heal each facilitate love and to make the best and see the best in us. I have seen it happend in hurricanes, in house fires, in times or tragedy...well, it is right that in times of chronic illness, we find that compassion too. The problem is that often with mental illness and drug and alcoholism we see a "sin" or a problem that is in behavior and we think that it should be fixed with meds or just "getting straight". Somehow, when someone does not get better or goes off the wagon, or commits suicide, they are selfish, wanton, or just lack the resolve. They are "sinners". We forget the very physicality of this disease. The issues that underpin the realities that lie in the body of a person who lives out their days..and while they indeed have respobsilibity..there are still realities the live with. Why then do we not have compassion for thier illness? Love? That has been my experiences.

I have not been close to my cousin's wife over the years..but the last two nights I see her face as though she is sitting next to me. I pray for her the peace of our Lord that surpasses all understandning. But for my cousin, my cousin's daughter, I am so proud of both of them for loving her..for being there for her during her illness, and her times of wellness. I know it cannot have been easy for them. They both have done so much. But out of so much love came a life lived well for over 20 years that would not have happened otherwise and, perhaps, after grieving, what is learned can help in the future as Pete's brother did for me. For being loving members of a family that struggles like all families to understand and be understood and I pray that her life helps others to understand and be understood.

We are all imperfect, fragile, but magnifcent creations of God. But not simple. I hope that anyone reading this that struggles with addictions and or depression gets the help they need. I serve on the board of one of the greatest organizations in our region that aids ALL who need help, Coastal Horizons. Don't let it become unsolvable..don't let it get to the end. Our health is Three fold..mind, body, and spirtual!

I thank God today for her Life.....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 221: Becoming Greater Than Through Love and Support: The Cape Fear Heart Walk Journey with Adam Freeman

This week is off to a bang with school back in full gear! Adam was awesome to train me earlier that usual on Monday (at 6am) so that i would be able to start off on the right track for the week! It really helped me and I was able to face and enjoy the training and orientation for my new staff for the fall that morning and get ready for the semester and even make it to the final session for a retreat for the housing authority that evening..but i was POPPED by the end of the day for sure!

Adam had me doing drop sets again on Monday and I am doing better with them, but they are a complete work out to say the least! Tuesday morning I woke up and was from the get go feeling queasy and had a BAD stomach all day. I got dehydrated very quickly from the stomach issues (details not needed). The day was intense to say the least and towards the end, I I was nauseaus and just did not feel like i could do anymore. I had been to rotary, been to a training at work, been to something for heart walk..I was T I R E D..but i had to do cardio and since I still had a pulse, I decided that I would push through. It is amazing to me that, while I certainly felt the ill at ease in my drinking water, moderating my pace, and paying attention to my distnace, I was able to do my ride and actually do well on it..I actually thinkt that it helped me becuase while I felt worn did feel..well, different, when I got home and climbed into that epsom salt bath and soaked for a short while. I swear to you, if I ever thought I would "push through" anyting in my life, i would have told you all that you were big ol liars...but here I was..doing it!

Michael and I had a short time together and he got us a sandwich for dinner and then..well, I hit the sack..had great dreams..and while I am not 100% today..I am better and was able to get through training this morning and show up for the day! VERY cool if I may say and not something that I can readily take for granted. It is such a great feeling to not wallow or use the slightest feeling of being "off" to not take care of myself or treat myself to health.

They have posted the video of all of us on the Show on Sunday! It was so great to have this so that others might get insprired and get involved in this Heart Walk and changing their lives! It is amazing!
Heart Walk Interview with ByLine Wilmington 4
Heart Walk Interviews with By Line Wilmington
Hear Walk Interview with By Line Wilmington 2
Heart Walk Interview with ByLine Wilmington 3

A recent article in the Starnews makes us one of the fattest states in the country...well, we can do somethign about that! JOIN ME! :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 218: Becoming Greater Than Through Love and Support: The Cape Fear Heart Walk Journey with Adam Freeman

Saturday as an amazing day and very different than the last eight years. See, at UNCW, we have a "move in" day unlike any other in the country. when the first year students move-in, faculty, staff, students, and community volunteers come out and move the students in..yep, 1700 of them come out, unload the cars of the incoming first year students and haul their things into the residence halls. Having been at Carolina where move in day was one of the most tense adn depressing days of the years..everyone fighting for a place to park, trying not to get towed, arguing, fighting over the elevators, and dying from the heat, you can imagine what the parents think when a swarm of volunteers descend on their cars and within 5 minutes ahve all of their child's belongings in the room and are back on the street to the next car! It is astounding! We also clap and yell and scream "welcome to Honors" as they arrive! It is really special!

Well, I ahve been doing this for the last eight years..I was a skeptic at first..but once I saw how this worked, I was hooked. But over those years, i was always embarassed becuase I generally could not find a move-n shirt that would fit me. And if I was always to tight. I felt like the good year blimp out there and always felt like I was going to pass out half way through. This time..I was in my was an fit...and I was awake..and full of energy and it was WONDERFUL!

The only bad part came towards the end when I drank, back to back, three VITAMIN waters..I thought these were like the sobe vitamin waters that I have been drinking since I quit soft drinks. OH NO!! turns out, that these so called VITAMIN waters are made by our friends at coca cola and they have..wait for it..33 grams of sugar PER bottle! OH yeah! someone who does not eat anything except natural sugars in apples or vegetables, standing all day in 90 plus degree heat..guess what happened? Yep..left there feeling as though I was drunk and I had a MASSIVE sugar crash. I laid down at around 3:30 of 4. Michael could not get me up at around 7...and was out till 3 in the morning! I missed a very special event..and worse..I felt like an complete idiot for not reading the label....LESSON LEARNED1
It did not take away the whole day..but I really have to be vigilant about these things.

But, Sunday, I had to work to take care of things for this week and went in for 6 hours and then did a bike ride for 12 miles. it was great!

I am so glad I am learning and can share what I am learning. I know it makes a difference in my life. I pray it is making a difference to others! Life is definitely good and getting better everyday!
thanks be1

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 215: Becoming Greater Than through Love and Support: The Cape Fear Heart Walk Journey with Adam Freeman

Not loving Wednesday because
it means that the week is almost half over and i still have so much to do! Loving wed because the week is half over and I have gotten so much done! lol! yesterday was a marathon day for service and work, but it was a good day because I started out by getting my butt to the gym to do my cardio first thing. I actually think I may need to go up a level on the elliptical because I got to 30 minutes ok and it felt great! I am still practicing the breathing meditation that helps me not get to bored on the machine and I love it! I close my eyes when I get on the machine, start the music, make sure I am over 7 miles and hour and then I count my breath. Every time I get to 100, I begin again. When I get to around 300, I have done at least 10 to 15 minutes. It is pretty amazing. My mind fills with sounds and sights and I drift away. It is grreat. I don't focus as much on my muscles or the work and am somewhat seperated from my body. It is nice...I get a great work out this way and I am at peace. I am also not as focused on the clock.

I went to work, then a retreat for a board, then another board meeting and then a retreat/social for another board on a boat from one of our board members. That was an amazing way to end a very long and at times contentious day. Being out on the ocean with people who care deeply about others and the world around them is pretty amazing. Actually, I spent the whole day with folks like this, but this was an especially loving crowd. It was also a chance to focus on a sunset and to feel that peace of focus that comes from, again, just paying attention to the blessing around us. Thanks be.  

Thursday Adam, Louise, Ashley, and I were interviewed on Donn Ansell's show, By-Line Wilmington that will air this Sunday on CBS 10 at 8:30 am and 11am.  It was amazing that Donn would do this, but very special for all of us because this really gave a chance to promote the heart walk. The interviews were done in three segments: the first with Louise as the chair of the walk, the second with Adam and I, and the last with Ashley and Louise. We all sat with tears running down our faces as Louise told the story of the loss of her husband, Hal McColl. She does not talk about it much, but you could hear it for her, that it was as if it was yesterday and not 21 years ago. It was so moving...and for all of us who love her so much, it was especially poignant. Her story is so indicative of stories of loss for so many men and women who loose someone to stroke or heart attack...maybe and hopefully what we are doing will make a difference!

When Adam and I got interviewed I was caught off guard to say the least. Adam had told Donn his surprise, but they got me on camera for sure. See, Adam has said he would train me for free until I reached my goal. Well, on the show, he said that he wanted to train me for life! It was so powerful! My brother and indicative of who he is and how much he and I have experienced over this journey and I have few if any words to describe what that meant to me. I have gained a new lease on life and a gift I am so very grateful for, but I have gained a true friend that  I never expected and is a blessing I cannot even describe! 

Thursday afternoon we all went for a bike ride to support the Mayor's "get fit" initiative. Bill lead the pack down the bike trail with councilman sparks, Josh Mello from transportation and planning, Chris O'keefe from the county planning department, and others. It was great and what was really fun was to not be all that tired after the run we did and want to do more! Unfortunately there was a storm brewing and I had to get my butt home. 
Thursday night though I just could not stop eating. I did not have anything "bad'..I was just eating alot. I had to drive at a quarter of 6 in the morning to Raleigh to be with a family member for a medical procedure and in hindsight, i was just stressed and anxious. that is a real big one for me. I reach for things that will fill me...carbs: crackers, pretzels, bread..anything that will shut down the anxiety and help me to feel...or not to feel...and while I am concious of what I am doing, I am not either! It is a weird state of "self will run riot" or so I have read. No, I am not beating up on myself. 9 months ago this would have been a pizza, fast food AND a pound bag of m and m's with 6 diet cokes. But there is still progress to be made...there is still spiritual growth where the substances don't fill in the need...and that is filled by awareness, connection, sharing, asking for help. Each time I do this, it is..well, nice. 

Today, as I said, I went to raleigh..and while the news was not was not devastating in that there is still time and we have that time to share still..and the quality of life can be good. I even stood up for myself a little. 
When I got home I did 17 miles on my bike at an average speed of 14 miles an hour...I kicked butt and it felt great. tomorrow is move in for the new students...another cycle begins...

Got a lot to be grateful for!
thanks be to God!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Day 213: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

An astoundingly wonderful weekend and so much gratitude I can hardly explain or say how much!

After the little crash on thursday, I was very nervous about what was going to happen this weekend with my work out. I did take Friday off, but on Saturday, my birthday, I got up and did some errands and just felt like it was not right not to celebrate without a ride and doing my cardio. I got on michael's bike and went to it! I had such an amazing ride...actually did the full 17 miles and felt amazing! My wrist was in the holder, and I was careful not to hold the handle bars to tightly and just went to town. What an amazing way to celebrate my 44th birthday!

I got ready and headed over to Julia and Chrystal's to set up the party! I had asked a ton of people to come over and just celebrate our lives..but that they contribute to the heart walk instead of giving to my birthday! I was blown away at the turn fact, I was just grateful that julia and chrystal were not freaked out at the turn out! LOL! about 72 friends! LOL! but it was amazing and everyone had such an amazing time! It was so awesome to feel so good..have a great time together an just be!

I decided I was going to have a heart health party too....gone are the days of sausage balls and heavy cream cheese and baked brie. Sorry, I jsut don't need and ain't servin it up. The the menu was exactly what I wanted! :veggie straws, fresh cherries, strawberries, grapes, tapenade, olives, marinated mozzarella, carrots, sugar snap peas, french green beans, mini turkey wraps, marinated shrimp and two kinds of hummus with toasted points and yes, for those that wanted them, black and white cookies and madelines with atlanta bread company brownie bites...but overall,it was good for you and good to eat! and of course..after eighth months...I got to have CAKE! and lord, yes..I had cake and am grateful for it! (can I get an amen! LOL!). and everyone seemed to love the food too! :)

and at the party, we reveled this:

the amazing Art that Donnie Wrights did for me that captures not only this journey to day...but hell, my whole life. It really got folks talking and sharing about how true this is for ALL of us! He is inspired! :)  In fact, this journey has been renamed through this: from "see less of Bo" to "becoming greater than through love and support". Because we become greater through the love and support of those around us...and my journey is living proof and witness that Donnie so perfectly captured here! 

We are seriously making t-shirts with this on them. Write me and let me know if you want one made. I will be putting the order in in the next few weeks. Having the light come through this was so awesome!

The generosity of folks for the heart walk was awesome and it was so great! I have enough crap and trust me, I am doing this one again! :) after the party, my mom and step dad took us to dinner and what was so cool, was even with having cake finally, I did not over do..I just don't need to anymore! We went to dinner and it was my birthday. I had to the excuse. I could have had anything..stuffed myself. Done some really awful eating..and the worst of it was having some pasta with my grilled chicken when we went to dinner! :) It really just is not "celebrating' anymore if I am hurting myself! 

On sunday, I went to visit my dad and he had gone and gotten NC BBQ for me. Again, it was very sweet for him to do this, but I had such a good lunch eating fresh green beans, fresh corn, fresh picked tomatoes and cucumbers in vinegar, and a taste of the BBQ and two hushpuppies. Daddy was so funny cause he just could not figure why I was not putting butter on my corn..but it did not need it! Hell, i bet it was pulled less than 12 hours before I was eating it! It was great...and here again, I had every opportunity to just do what I wanted and my choice was to enjoy within the life I am leading today! I was great!  In fact, I on the way home, I called michael and told him that if he wanted the left over cake, that was fine, but I did not want to be tempted by it, so put it somewhere I don't know about! LOL!

When I got home, I hopped on Michael's bike and did 20 miles! It was such a great ride and I felt so good!

Thankfully, Adam came back today (monday) was like a family reunion this morning! LOL! I had a great work-out with drop sets (remember start at the highest level with eight reps..drop to the next 10 reps..then drop to the next level and do 12 and try and do it without taking a break to keep heart rate up. We did leg press, chest press, and pull down..then back stretch and cruncher. Now the cool thing was I got up to 300 lbs on the sitting leg press...not bad! :) 

off to work and it has been a great day! like I said..thanks be! right? 

Friday, August 06, 2010

My Birthday Wish! :)

My Birthday Wish!!!!!

On Saturday, I will be 44 as you know. This will be the first birthday in many years that my waist size is smaller than my age! LOL. In fact, I am now 80 pounds ligther than I was in January! It is amazing and things have happened and continue to happen that astound me everyday!

Many of you know the story of what has happened through, but suffice to say that because of my friends Ashley Miller, Kristi Tomey and my new brother and trainer, Adam Freeman, I have been granted a new lease on life of heart health and wellness that I have never had before. All of this came from being involved with and learning from the American Heart Association.

So, for this birthday (and frankly for all birthday's to come), I want to celebrate by having a party where all the gifts from others go to this gift, the American Heart keep on giving the gift of life to so many in the community around me and us!

I want you to help me celebrate by making a donation to this amazing organiztion to help erradicate heart disease and bring about health and wellness that I have been granted in my own life!

Do so for this, or honor someone that you know or have know with Heart Disease or stroke. Every dollar makes a differnece and helps so much!

You can help me raise funds and protect those you love by making a donation online. Click on the link below to visit my personal donation page where you can make a secure online credit card donation. The American Heart Association's online fundraising website has a minimum donation amount of $25.00. If you prefer a smaller amount, you can do so by sending a check directly to me.

Your donation will make a difference in the fight against our nation's No. 1 and No. 3 killers-heart disease and stroke. Thank you for your support.

Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support American Heart Association - Wilmington, NC


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love, light, and life!

Bo Dean

Day 210: See Less of Bo: The Cape Fear Heart Walk Journey with Adam Freeman!

well...typing is an adventure as I am in a wrist holder this morning! I have my first badge of honor from all this physical, don't worry..i am ok, but it was a lot of fun to go flying off my bike! I was coming down the street where I live and there was a mini van (and I have really bad mini van karma to begin with as I see those things as the 1st sign of the end of civilization) following behind me. I went to turn on the street in our development and I took the turn to wide and BAM..went to curb and flew straight off onto the sidewalk.

I think the worst part of it was when i hit the ground, i looked up and saw the two women in the mini van look right at me and they just stared and kept on going. So much for the good samaritan in Wilmington on a thursday!

Oh well..I was scrapped up and got what I have now been told is "road rash" (I feel so butch!)..and I am bruised..but after dinner last left wrist felt like it was gonna jump off the bone and is still sore. So, my friend Bill brought me a wrist compressor thingy and I am doing alleve and will hopefully figure out how to work out with this thing like this.

But, I got up..hobbled to the house with the my bike, cause the chain came off, and got showered and went to dinner. While I had band-aided my elbow, it was a little embarrassing that I was "leaking" onto the table..oh butch is that! LOL! But dinner was amazing. One person I care a great deal about has met someone that makes him very happy and it turns out he is a north carolina bred just like me and an absolute delight..with a heart to match. It was just nice to see them together and to see some happiness. For my friend who invited me, it is another living example that through what can appear to be the worst situations in life, there can be some really wonderful things that come out of it. We go through what we put oursleves through, mostly, becuase of our resistance to the truth, or our inability to accept who and what we are. In the end, if we are able to accept, to see our truth, to acknowledge our gifts, some really great things can and do occur. It is not unlike the working out and the vigor of this weightloss as it takes willingness, work, effort, faith, and a love of self. But willingness is the key.

I have marveled at these last 21 years that just by being "willing"..not much has happened. I have been "willing" to go back to school..and it happened. I have been "willing" to enter into marriage..and here I am 14 years later. I have been "willing" to get out there and be a part of things..and so much opened up. I have been "willing" to change..and change happens. What followed after the willingness was the footwork...the one foot in front of the other stuff. No rocket science. I pray that what I saw last night..there be a willingness to weather the good and the bad..willingness to be grateful...willingness to truly appreciate how very special it is to be loved and to be allowed to love someone.

Anyway..I am looking forward to the weekend and celebrating being 44! I love that for the first time in a long time, my waist size is less than my age!!!! now that is something to celebrate!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Day 209: See Less of Bo: Journey with Adam Freeman and the Cape Fear Heart Walk

got up..put one foot in front of the other..and not only here am I, but had a good day(this is wed). Actually today had some milestones in it. So, I am glad I showed up.

I did hit snooze a couple of times (ok...8 times!) my plan to bike to the gym this morni
ng went out the window. But I did go to the gym. Even though Adam is out this week, I did my work out. I did 10 minutes at level 14 on the elliptical to warm up, then got busy on the bozo ball with 2 sets of 20 squats with curl and over head at 17.5 weights in hand, 2 sets of 20 push ups (and today seemed a little off for both push ups and chest presses in that I had to rest to get through the sets..but I got through!), 2 sets of chest presses at 90lbs x 20, 2 sets of pull downs at 110 lbs at 20, 2 sets of sitting squats at 210 lbs x 20, 2 sets of crunch machine at 20 at 110 lbs, and 2 sets of the back stretchers thing at 150lbs at 20. I felt good about my work out and then went home and got ready for work.

It was good to get back to the office after a few days off and with the emotional ups and downs, it was nice to have the focus. I had a visit from one of my former students from 2004 that I ADORE and she just became a PA and has a young man in her life. It was such a gift to sit with her and her soon to be fiance and just share their joy. What a blessing and so much love! It reminded me of why and how lucky I am to have the job that i have. Then another very special student we have had came in to share that she got hired in wake county and will be teaching this coming year. Just such good news and such an abundance of life to balance some of the issues around going on..progressing and happening. God is good. Life happens.

Then I checked my inbox and there were two messages from two of my oldest from a spiritual mentor/friend/ someone I see and feel when it is the time I need to hear my soul, the other, my brother and someone I know as well as he knows me no matter how long it has been since we have seen each other. In both emails, there was empathy, sharing, and wisdom that touched me so much! One line from one of the email resonates so much with me "How can I be so happy and content, and so existentially sorrowful at the same time?" In this was what i feel sometimes....and I get it...and through this journey..not just the weight loss, but the last 21 years, I have come to hear and understand that there is this paradox....there are just some things to resolve...what is so amazing is that while there are things to be resolved, I am given the ability to truly embrace  my life and feel gratitude.

I shared back that I remembered years ago a very simple, but wonderful thing I was taught when overwhelemed with my own emotions or problems. To pray that my higher power take those problems just far enough away that I could be To visual a hand holding all that I could not handle..the burden that seemed to much, and hand it back to me as I was capable. See, I developed a true faith that I was NEVER given more than I could handle in a single trusting that that hand would be there was possible for me. I had forgotten that image lately..and yesterday when she shared that..I thought about it and prayed that he (I have that relationship with my God, but don't impose the gender on others..btw) take this..not away..cause it is not going away..I have to walk through this and these changes..but pray that I can walk through it, as she said with "grace and dignity" and with some peace..and as I saw that hand, as I have so often, I felt relief...or at least room to feel more and have a good day! What a blessing!

During work, I found out that the City Council had passed a resolution to name the Cross City Trail for my dear freind, Gary Shell. A truly visionary man, whom I owe so much too. An amazing person. Even though I had worked out in the morning, I needed to go ride the trail as a celebration and did just that. I cannot remember a time I have riden that fast and it felt so great! I broke down in tears of gratitude that I can have this opporunity in my life. I literally had to stop as "farther along" was playing on my IPOD. It is amazing how much can actually transpire in a day!

So, by the time I got home, I had a great salad, ate too many pretzels..but in the end, had one hell of a great day! Thanks be!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Day 208: See Less of Bo: Journey with Adam Freeman and the Cape Fear Heart Walk

I would say "it's that time of year", but I know that is only part of it. See, every Fall since I can remember I go through this seasonal is just something I deal with and always have. But this year I am not sure if it is the seasonal stuff as much as some emotional things as well as stress from things around me. What i do know is that today and for a couple of days it has been "putting one foot in front of the other" and that is about as much as I can do.

What's really different? Well, I am exercising and eating differently than I have for the last decade or more, and while it has only been about 7 months or so, it is something that I am committed to. That means that this voracious appetite, this need to curl up and just sleep and watch tv...this desire to run to anything and everything that brings "comfort" is a choice still...but NOT an option for me this time around. So far today, I have over done it with sugar free ice cream and pretzels with low fat ranch...and yes, that does sound minimal...but it is the act, not what I am doing that I don't like. I don't need to eat or to feed my down with substances. By knowing what I am feeling and really addressing it, I can walk though it and maybe even do something differently this time.

On Monday I got up at quarter of 5 and headed out to Raleigh for a pretty stressful day. I was anticipating the stress..the drive and the effect on my back, the tension with a family member, and the concern I had for another family member and what was ahead at the appointments we were all going to. As we thought, the appointments were difficult and the end results were not good and told a story that held not an immediate end, but one that would have an ending soon..with a potential for pain and deterioration. I think it was the later that was the worst part. There is enough suffering...or so I think. It is frustrating not to be able to take suffering and pain away from others. I watch it with my own family and it is so...well, I feel my powerlessness. I truly know my own limits through this and have learned what I can and cannot do. Others' pain is not in my control. I know that. It, however, does not make it any less difficult nor does it make me less angry at times.  I despise those who are so simple as to say "God's plan" without so much as a look at how we cause pain and those who are so hateful as to say "we get what we create" without a look at the compassion that we can give to each other and our world because of God. No, there is no contradiction there. Faith and responsibility. Inseparable. What lightens it is the love I feel from my God.

I have said often, suffering will be among the big questions I want answered in the next life. For now, I do have faith in free will and I have faith in the compassion and love that comes through us from Him. I do know is that there is nothing to be gained in taking on someone else's pain and making it my own..that is false and does not help those in fact it can exacerbate it by not being well and whole for them and making their pain a self-serving thing. There is also nothing to be glorified in being the martyr for "suffering" the loss of another. However,  I can be there, show up, and take it like everything day at a time with love always as the first thing in action and deed. off on a tangent...

After we were done with the appointments, I went to Whole Foods and got good things to eat...too much of it...but I got things that would be healthful. I started back on the road and made a call to Michael and then my mom and then just spent the drive back thinking. I decided when I got back that I needed to do my work out like a regular monday. I was on my own on this since Adam was not here on monday, but when I pulled in I went inside, dressed out and got on my bike and headed to the gym.
I got in and was proud of myself...I did 2 sets of bozo ball squats with curl and over heads with 17.5 weights x20, I did two sets of 20 push ups, 1 set of 12 planks on 17.5 weights with the pull ups (pulling each weight up once on each side while in the position of a push up), 2 sets of 20 sitting legs squats at 210 pounds, 2 sets of 20 chest presses at 90lbs, 2 sets 20 of pull downs at 110 lbs, 2 sets of 20 crunches on the machine at 110 lbs, 2 sets of 20 back stretchy things...and then I bikes back home.

I felt pretty good about doing this and it helped me mentally and emotionally. I wrote some really close folks and told them I needed a day to myself and took today to just be in the house and take the day completely off.

While it is still emotional and like I said, the eating thing was a little difficult to contend with, the day was relaxing..I just feel a little off.

Tomorrow I go back to work and I am aiming to start my day with my regular workout. I need to get through right now with what is normal for me NOW..and what is normal for me now is to eat three meals...healthy meals that have veggies and low fat chicken or lean meat....very little snacks, but snacks that are fruit or low carb/fat when I have them, no diet drinks...exercise...and pray and talk and feel what I need to feel. That is what is normal right now for me...and I pray that if I am granted another day...that day will have those things!

I am so grateful for this life.

Good night!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Day 206: See less of Bo: Journey with Adam Freeman and the Cape Fear Heart Walk

Well, there is a name change to this journey coming...yep! A dear friend of mine has created something for me that is more special than I ever could dream of. In that creation, he also was very thoughtful about the whole "see less" thing and came up with an idea that envisioned being "greater than" is a beautiful sentiment from a beautiful person and on August the 7th, I will reveal it! It will be very cool and another thing to be very grateful for.

This week has flown by. Last weekend was very emotional and filled with some things that are out of my control dealing with a family member. What was in my control, however, was finding time to be together, taking care of myself, and doing the things I am learning in this journey...and it has made the difference. The years of having the most stressful periods in my life be coupled with the worst of my eating not to mention the worst of how I treat myself in terms of exercise and activity may be gone..well, at least for today. Even with having some time off work this week, I did my training, I showed up for my cardio, and I was good to me in my eating. As a result..I am feeling awesome, rested and ready! ARR!!! my new pirate mantra! :)

Now, if you are not sure who that is me!!! Yep, it is me without a shirt walking into the water. It is the first time in 10 years i have been without a shirt on at the beach! I know the pic is a little far away..I like it that way! I am not ready for the full on yet..but it feels so great to be a little more confident and frankly not repulsed by my own body. Michael snapped this and I am grateful for it...I actually have a little V action going on! LOL!
But what was really amazing about this beach excursion for us was while we were there I knew that i had to do my cardio yesterday. I have watched folks for years jog on the beach and did so with envy. I decided that since Adam has had me doing sprints on the Treadmill, why not do them here. I got up and started. Instead of counting seconds, I counted breaths..and did 60 breaths running (which is a lot more than a minute!!!)  on and 30 breaths walking..before i knew it, I had gone from the sunspree to shell island  and was ready for I did the same on the return..a mile at least! It was AWESOME! I felt so free and alive..out there under the sun..waves was so great and a new thing that I am looking forward to doing regularly!

This has been a week with a weekend of celebration as well. It was a year ago this week that we were legally married in Massachusetts. After waiting for 13 years, we were finally able to have that and it was amazing. So, to celebrate we went to Raleigh and Chapel hill for the day. It is amazing to share a life with someone who loves me regardless of what size I am, first and foremost. I have to tell you that no matter what has transpired over the years, I have never felt less loved. Believe you me, I know how much that means and I am grateful for it everyday. It is a gift that is so special and one that I pray I give back in equal measure. But on top of that, it is a relationship where celebrating is not about the lavish or the drunken..we had a wonderful trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art together. Sharing this remodeled wonder and all it had in store and then going to some of our favorite places..some of his, some of mine that we don't get to very often. We even had the chance to meet with one of my/our favorite people in the world in Chapel Hill elin and David, whom we had not seen since their wedding in Portand. It was if we had just finished a converstation with them at that wonderful place on Lake Sebago and picked up where we had left off. It was wonderful and soulful.

But what it was not was full of stuffing myself with food and things that made the day labored and heavy. But we ate things that added to the day and really enjoyed ourselves and celebrated how fortunate we are to have to each other. What a blessing. 

The rest of the weekend has been good, with cardio done and eating pretty in line. and while I am anxious about the week ahead, I am in the moment right now and very focused on how very fortunate I am. Thanks be!

You can register for the Heart Walk on October 16th by You can be on my team if you like! Look on the left hand navigation for “find a team” Then go to “UNCW- Bo Dean’s Team” and register! or you can go to my fundraising page and GIVE! don't mind that either! LOL! :) Go to then Donate..then look me up Bo Dean..then donate there! :) easy peasey..but never greasey! :)