Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 444: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

Really, it cannot be wednesday already! It is unreal how fast it goes!

It has been a great day! Got going early with training. Adam has changed it up a bit with wed being arms and Monday being chest, so that Friday we can do legs and the next day I don't have to worry about running as much. Doing legs on Wednesday makes for a hard run first thing on Thursday morning!

I am, however doing some cardio on training days as well because it really helps. The stepper thing I got here in the house is great and Adam showed me how to use it to my best advantage (ie..not bobbing up and down when I am on it...but keeping my upper body as still as I can and really just working my legs and staying on my heels as much as I can). It is intense and I am burning out about 300 calories on it! In fact last night I added two sets of squat, curl, and over head presses with 25 pound weights on my bozo ball that I have a home. It was great. But at the gym this morning, it was curls first, then overhead presses, then flys all the way out to the side, and then back lifts off the side of one of the benches (I know I am not calling these the right thing...but you put your feet and butt out and your arms behind you on the edge of the bench and with your back as close to the bench as possible, lower yourself up and down until you cry..I mean until you are done! LOL! (three or four sets of all those..can't remember)..then he had me try something new with "diamond" push ups, where you put your hand flat in a diamond shape right under your chest and do the push up from there. I could do a few...that actually felt amazing.

Anyway...what has been cool this week is that it has been INSANE (ok..that is not the cool part)..what has been cool is that twice this week.."no" has been a complete sentence! I don't know if you noticed, but I am not really good at the word no...but I am actually better after all these years..I still, though have to work at it. Well, the other night we had a great time practicing for a charity show. At the end there was a lot of pressure to go out afterward. It was great because I said no and I stuck to it! Yes, I would love to hang with people I like..but my prority is to have time with Michael, be good to me, get to bed, exercise...etc....and by saying no..i could have time to do things..but not over do. Sound like not a big deal? Well, it is for me because when I don't say no is when I get uber stressed and then..guess what...I am eating crap, not taking care of me, and I am all over the place with my own care. It is almost embarrassing that at 44 I am just getting some of this more regularly...ok..maybe I have understood a little..but I am doing better.

The second no was, I was hanging out and we were in rush and the suggestion was "well just pull through a drive through". For a split second I almost did.  But I have not been in a drive through since January 7th 2010. So, no, I don't care if it is for someone else...I ain't doing it. We can find something else together. See, it isn't just that it's crap food...Fast food is a trigger food. I eat it and I want more. If I get back into that routine...well, it's just not gonna happen.

Speaking of trigger foods: my rotary had a BBQ sale today and it went great. But, it was difficult. Again, it is almost embarrassing to say "i am powerless over BBQ"..but...BBQ is a trigger. I start eating it and I want more and more and more. I ate some for lunch and did not go to far..but LORD...i felt it and I wanted more and more and more! In fact a friend of mine laughingly said "do we have to have an intervention!" LOL..and that helped me actually, because it was a way for me to say I enjoyed what I had and walk away" In fact, I brought home some for us for dinner and let Michael enjoy it and I had a healthier left over for dinner. It is essential for me not to deny myself and have something that I love from time to time, but this was the best way to enjoy it without going overboard and it turned out great. I also knocked out 20 on the stepper LOL! :)

Anyway..that's my story the last couple of days! it is amazing and so filled with good stuff! Grateful as always! Grateful! Grateful! Grateful!
thanks be!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 440: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

ok...this has to slow down..too much good stuff happening and it is going too fast! LOL! ;)
But I am serious in that so much is moving foward and happening and there are moments when I just want time to fall into some thick goo and be held in suspension so that I can savor it a little more. Even the more dramatic things that happen. But, alas things move along as they do...

Friday, I sat in tears, as I oft do. But these are annual tears. Tears moved by students who thrill me, inspire me, remind me of why I love what i do and why I still believe the world is not going down the toilet. I have been honored for about 6 years to be on the Rachel Freeman Award committee. The award goes to a Senior who, through their service and commitment to social justice has demonstrated an outstanding contribution in their time at UNCW. The award is named for this amazing woman, Rachel Freeman who was a quiet storm of work for just those issues, who, while dealing with her own personal disability, NEVER let that impair her service and advocacy. (you can read more about her at ).

But, each year, I listen as these students talk about their hopes, but more importantly what they are doing and have been doing. At 21-22 years old they are engaged with their fellows, the world around them, and in touch with true service in ways that most adults never fully understand in a lifetime. Friday did not let me down this year as I heard responses to questions that were rich with servant leadership and purposed with an understanding that it is that service that counts...not much else.  What a blessing to just sit there and be in that presence...and with all that I encounter with the political and economic machinations that interfere with our ability to just serve each it was...delivered, lived, and set to live in the future by this/these students. Not bad, right?

I left work and went off to rehearsal..yep, you heard me....rehearse. Last year as this journey was in full swing, Kristi got me involved in a fundraiser for the Carousel amazing place for Abused and Neglected Children in our region. The event is amazing because it gets community members together to perform in lip sync numbers in different acts. What was really amazing for me was that I was able to dance and do the show in jeans. It was huge for me because I had not worn jeans in years and we had decided to do a cowboy thing. I was petrified because I was not sure if I was going to be able to find jeans that would was then that I realized that I could get the size I needed from a regular store, not a big man's store. Oh, they were tight all right, but I could button them and breathe in them! It was amazing. It was the first item of clothing that I bought in a regular store in years and it was amazing.

Well, this year I won't be wearing fact...well, let's just say it is gonna be very interesting and thank God I am doing this with Peter, Joy, Ashley, Adam, Michelle and Amanda, because it is going to be "something" for sure! :) LOL! If you wanna come...oh, I would for sure. (Carousel Center Gala)

So, today I got up and went straight to WHQR, our public radio statio and had a ball on air raising money for this amazing station. After I left I was discouraged because the clouds looked threatening there was something I wanted to do VERY badly! See, on Friday before rehearsal I went to West Marine and got a kayak! Now, this may not sound like much of a big deal, but for me, it was the fulfillment of a dream! See, a few years ago when I first got the bug to get one we went to the great outdoor provision company to look at them. I have never been more embarrassed than when the guy took down the biggest one that he had and I could not even come close to fitting into it. It was humiliating.  I so wanted to get out on tour, to see the amazing coast that we explore...but there was no way that was going to happen.

Well, with the kayak bought, I just could not wait..clouds be damned. I loaded it in the car and headed to wrightsville. I had NO CLUE what I was doing or where I was going. I just used my instincts on where to go. At every turn my questions got answered. The area where there is a boat launch says that you have to have a trailer, but there were spots under the bridge and I nervously parked there, not sure if you would get towed or not..but there were no signs. As I was getting out, a guy was coming in from being out on his board and he told me that it was where he parked everytime and it was ok. 1st quesiton answered. So, I unloaded the boat, got on my life jacket, got my phone in the "dry case" that my friend arch had given me (and I thought i would never use! LOL), and headed to the muddy shore.

As I laid the boat down a man was paddling to shore in a thin sleek boat. As he pulled up I told him that this was my first time ever doing this. He said he had been doing it everyday for thirty years and went on to tell me what I needed to know to start off my journey, how to handle the boat and some great advice. Now, if you don't think I was not struck at how very cool that was and how very "on time" that was....well, we will have to be introduced! What an amazing thing to happen!

As I thanked him, I got in the boat and pushed felt exactly like I thought it beautiful....serene....awesome. I paddled against the current out thinking it would make for more ease coming back. I used what Mr. Williams (that was the name of the man I met on the way who was kayaking himself) told me about going straight into any wake and paddled out for about 45 minutes and then I saw an opening in some grass out in the channel. With the birds flying around me, I went in the grass and took this video: (here is the link

So, I get a little emotional...but I am grateful! So very grateful.....

 Links to the Keys to my Health and Wellness Success!
Adam Freeman Personal Training | Adam Freeman Training On line | 02 Fitness Mayfaire | Heidi Kaufman Nutritional Services-Dietician | Bike Cycles Bike Shop at Mayfaire| Boseman's Sporting Goods | New Balance Shoes | Tidal Creek- Healthy Foods! | Pita Delite- Wilmington | Hibachi Bistro on College Road | The Star News | WECT | Wilmington Biz and Wilma | Encore Magazine | New Hanover County Public Health Department | Zoe's Kitchen | Try Sports| VitaCost online NC Company for sports Nutrition | City of Wilmington Parks and Recreation| New Hanover County Parks| Airlie Gardens | The Shell Cross City Trail | Wrightsville Family Practice | Sandra Miles Denistry | Church of the Servant Episcopal |Down to Earth Essential Oils

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 437: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

so, we started with a giant ball and me leaning against it and running up and down the wall trying to sit down into a squat...then we moved to me hovering my tail above a box and with two legs pushing back and staying on my heals until I was able to squat....then, after I was able to do that (having remastered the ability, basically to sit down), the box was removed, and I was sitting back on my heels, rear end out, back straight and doing squats on my own with no net....then...when I was able to keep that form, I was given weights to hold in each hand...then the weights got heavier...and then just when I thought that I was the king of the world of the ol' squattys...I was put on the bozo ball and told to balance on two feet, hold the weights, do the squats and do the weights over my head with a curl as well...but WAIT!...then, after I got that down, I was told that maybe two feet are just too easy....lets try ONE LEGGED squats...oh yeah...that's the now..I am doing one legged squats..trying desperately not to PLOP down on the box when I lower myself down and making sure not to put my foot down when i got back up! But I am doing them! and again...just when I thought i was the dealio...I was introduced to the SMITH...yeah...a medieval torture device in which you put a weight bar behind your neck on your shoulders with you hands on the bar. With you feet in front of you, pointed forward and spread apart, you twist off the safety latch and with the weighted bar resting on your back, you squat...oh yeah! So, squat lifts! We did 25 lbs on each side to start and then i went up to 35lbs on each was quite the work out....

So, why the whole paragragh on this? Well, first, I like a little drama...but seriously, I love the way that Adam has lead me through the steps to gradually increase my strength and stability in order to get me to a point where I can do more and grow. I, for the first time in my life, physically am doing things at a rate and pace where I am not hurting myself and I am achieving and doing things that I have only dreamed of.

It is ironic because the way in which this is happening for me is exactly the way in which I know to be the best way to change and grow mentally and spiritually. It always comes back to the three fold for me: being a physcial, mental and spiritual person. by doing things graudually, I am able to get results that last and that are sustainable, but more importantly have the best possible outcomes for my health and wellness! You would think I would have gotten that...but I am just grateful I am getting it now! :) far this has been a busy but good week! Last night Kiki from the Heart Ball committee did an amazing job hosting an event at Zoe's kitchen for the Heart Association as a fundraiser! I loved it and she was great with Alyssa Gubberman. Zoe's donating 10% of the evening and that was real blessing.

Today, Michael and I did the loop together after work. It was just good time be together, to destress...what a gift!

So many blessings!

Thanks be to God!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 434: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

What a week and I decided to end it on a bit of a bang! Got up Friday Morning and went in for training with Adam! We did arms and it was good. However, during our work out he said that he thought that maybe it would be good if I got in a run on weight training days. Of course I went into "omg..he thinks I am slipping and i look like sh--"...LOL! It is amazing how fast my mind goes there still! but luckily I said it outloud and he was quick to say "hell no!" He just thought that it would be good for burning calories on those days and it would be something i would like too! ;)

Well, as it happened, i just got in the mail a new tool, toy, whatever you want to call it and I asked him about it. Turns out it was a good thing and I can use it on days when I don't want to get out in the weather or just as a convenient work out at home. It also has some serious cardio results as well! 
Check out my vlog from Friday:

Saturday I did something that I have not done in a very long time! I literally stayed in bed all day! In fact I ordered in Indian and while that turned out to be a problem (stomach wise), the staying in bed  and really and truly taking a day off turned out to be a wonderful thing!

Today, however, I had to catch up on some rest from the stomach issue, but when up and out, Michael and I went to take a Spring walk in Airlie Gardens! It was perfect!

that is just a short snippet of the was lovely! It helped me come back to life a little and get more grounded in many ways to start off the week! I guess, in all honesty, it was just needed. I forget somedays how hard I go at it. taking the time to chill...well, it is a blessing!

This week it is exploring getting a kayak...oh yeah! I am soooo looking forward to this! More than I can say! :) 

Looking forward to the week ahead!
thanks be to God!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 431: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

I have learned something new cannot force a blog post! Yep..if it is not in the fingers from teh mind and heart..then it is just not there. I tried to write a post this am before work and it was just not there and I found myself writing stuff and not what this was intended to account of this journey..paying it forward. I am not a teacher, preacher, or instructor. I am giving, as they say in another program "my personal experience, strength, and hope" and while I can add the things I am passionate about in that and pepper my posts with the "experts" and things that I find along the way from "purveyors" of good things, this is not about me writing formal texts about health and wellness. This is just my experience. Whew...that felt good and it is...because it is an amazing freakin' journey filled with the most amazing things that happen on a daily basis. What happened this morning when I was trying to write something that felt so very dry and formal felt very detached and very foreign..that is no fun and not a part of what makes this special. Nothing that has come my way to improve my own health or to change my life or to help me grow as a man, a person, a spiritual being has come from anything "detached" or "foriengn". It has all come through the expereince of others..through things, people, places and events that have a connection to something much greater than myself that help to teach me. I want to facilitate that..and I want to feel that faciliatation when I blog...So there! :) LOL!

I had pretty good run at it this morning..but my legs felt like led! Wednesdays are now my leg workout, so by the time I get to the run on Thursday morning it is tightness and and not as much fun..but I did pretty well and Adam and I  ran together. I have learned to walk in between and stretch if it is too tight and that helped a lot. But I kept my pace at 5.1 miles an hour for the run and 3.6 when I walked and got in a full 30 minutes. with over 2.5 miles! Again, just the act of showing up and getting it done feels so good! 
Michael and I had folks over last night just to watch a movie. I am sticking to my goals of having that time in our/my life with people we love..our family. I had lost that connection when my health got so bad..when I was not running from thing to thing, I shut down to often..and It was so hard to have anyone over...even for a movie. It is amazing to see how much I had given up at that time now..and not really even realized it. Gratitude...major gratitude!

Well..I am off..looking foward to this glorious day!
Blessings to all! Thanks be!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 429: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

Today has been up and down..but what  beautiful day! the time change is playing with my mind, so I did not go in  this am for cardio and have been having a hard time getting to sleep..oh well..still feeling good though.

Had a huge workout at the office cuase we put in new carpet and had to move everything back to where it was supposed to be! That was so much fun..actually, without sarcasm it actually was because we got a lot cleaned and got rid of a bunch of stuff. Sometimes a little "spring cleaning" is just what the doctor ordered. Of course with visitations from perspective students and other things still going on it made it a little chaotic..but oh well! :)

The very cool thing today was the end of the day when I got to attend the launch of the 10 Percent Campaign Launch at UNCW. In short,  this is challenging you and me and businesses  to spend 10 percent of our existing food dollars to support North Carolina food producers, businesses and communities.

I was invited by my dear friend and hero, Dr. Leslie Hossfeld that i worked with to found the WHA/UNCW Campus with, to speak at this launch and set the challenge.

Here is the text of my talk:
"The first place that I got a "tater tot", processed cheese food, and sugar filled pop ups was in elementary school. I don't remember seeing a fresh vegetable in school ever and I do remember there being a discussion back in those days about whether ketchup was a vegetable.

In contrast, have wonderful memories of of every summer my grandmother and most, if not all of my relatives in the area "putting up" green beans, black eyed peas, corn and other fresh vegetables fresh from the field. I can remember those pressure cookers used for canning threatening to blow us all up from the canning that was going on. But what amazing vegatables in those days and it did not matter if you lived in the city or in the country, it seemed everyone had them and everyone had some access to them.

Somewhere we lost our way as North a people tied to our farming with a reverence for the work of farming and the bounty of a harvest that not only sustained our people in a living, but made us strong, health, and productive people.
I know that I lost my way and that what were "treats" in school...that wonderful engineered combination of fat and salt, that was created just to increase the desirability and my want and need for it by the manufacturers of processed foods (those foods processed from God knows what: became the food(s) that I grabbed in a hurry, the foods that I filled myself with and ultimately the foods that almost killed me.

Fortunately, I had an intervention that would take too long to go into here (but you can read about it at! :) ). But I have been on a jounry for a while and I have becuase of that intervention with folks from the American Heart Assoicaiton and my best friend and trainer, Adam Freeman, and my family, lost now 111 pounds! But more importantly I have GAINED health!

Along the way I rediscovered lessons that my people form southeastern North Carolina have known for centuries: that if it is grown from the land we love, then it is love that we are growing with in our selves!

See, I love food, but life got so busy and so stressed that I was grabbing whatever I could get. I was filling the empty space, the stress, whatever, and not feeding my hunger or giving my body wat it needed to be healthy! I thought that those foods took too much time, to much care, and that they did not have the taste or the desirability.

I was wrong.

I have rediscovered homegrown veggies and products. I shop at Tidal Creek, Pine Valley Market, the downtown farmer's market, Lewis Farms, just to name a few and I look where an item is grown or from to try and support those in the area that are helping to support mine and other's health and wellness.

Today, I am so proud of our UNCW Campus Catering to signing on to this campaign. They are great stewards of the health of all of us on campus, and this is just another indication of the great work they are doing!

The campaign is challenging all of us to buy local! Support the nobility of our argricultural roots. But it cries our for much more: for us to love ourselves enough to give ourselves and those we love what we need to be healthy!

I send a challenge out to the schools to make sure that a child never has the experience that I have seeing those processed foods. That they see on their plates nutrient rich, vibrant colors of fresh fruits and vegetables from their own community and they understand the connection to that food and the proud hertitage that produced it!

I send out a challenge to markets and restaurants..because here is the deal with me: If you want my business, you will have to show that you care about this community enough to buy into this campaign. and this means that you care enough about this area that I care about my own health wellness. If you do, not only will you get my business, you will have one of the greatest advocates you can ask for in me because if nothing else, I will talk about those folks I love and like..and if you are doing this, rest assured, I will talk about you and this ALOT! "

So, that was my "talk". I was really humbled to be there at all! Dan Gerlach of the Golden Leaf Foundation was there as were the members of the Southeastern Food Systems Board, local producers, farmers, the head of the extension office, Al Hight, and my friend Wayne Long who is about to launch a new grocery store that features nothing but local produce and items, our Mayor, and our County Commission Chairman....What a stellar group that are all about the best for food, health and wellness for all!

It was such a great celebration of the change in my life and hope, so much hope for their to be differences made in the lives of so many least more opportunity! It was very exciting!

I celebrated with a 5k around campus afterwards and my favorite chick, tomato, spinach and parmesean bake for dinner for us! it good!

Thanks be to God!

the ten percent campaign:

Links to the Keys to my Health and Wellness Success! Adam Freeman Personal Training | Adam Freeman Training On line | American Heart Association | 02 Fitness Mayfaire | Heidi Kaufman Nutritional Services-Dietician | Bike Cycles Bike Shop at Mayfaire| Boseman's Sporting Goods | New Balance Shoes | Tidal Creek- Healthy Foods! | Pita Delite- Wilmington | Hibachi Bistro on College Road | The Star News | WECT | Wilmington Biz and Wilma | Encore Magazine | New Hanover County Public Health Department | Zoe's Kitchen | Try Sports| VitaCost online NC Company for sports Nutrition | City of Wilmington Parks and Recreation| New Hanover County Parks| Airlie Gardens | The Shell Cross City Trail | Wrightsville Family Practice | Sandra Miles Denistry | Church of the Servant Episcopal |Down to Earth Essential Oils

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day 427: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

We ran away on Friday...I needed some time away from town and some time alone, together..just to breathe. I am so glad that we went to Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill is my "hometown" is where i grew up and where I messed, and where I healed and became a man. It holds for me a lot of joy and a lot of pain, but it always is a healing place for me. The latter we very true this weekend.

Last weeked was wonderful, but the week....the week just was intense. Personalities, issues with some I love, and stress. I worked out and showed up for training..Adam and I did well working out...but I was really pushing it this week. I was on edge about alot. A great deal of the things I care about somehow seemed to be on edge right now and in the face of some of the things I care about the most, I was faced with inaction by those I serve with...or at least that is how it appears.

One thing you learn about me is that I have a low tolerance for sitting on boards just to say you are on a board..and I don't much care for passive omission when one is the in the position to speak up. As reverend Cher so eloquently quoted Dr. King...I will paraphrase this it is not what we say that we will be held account for, but we did not say. When we could have spoken and chose not to...particularly when it is about those who do not have a voice by those who are in a position to give them voice.

What effect did that and the other things that were going on have?....well, what is a blessing beyond description is that it did not have the effect of my not eating well, exercising, praying and trying to find a way to get my frustration out...and so, we took the opporunity just to go for a night..go and just be.

We hit the road and it took the full two hours of talking and walking through some issues for me to get into a space of letting go..but as we were driving we decided to find a place to stay. Michael went on line and there was a new place that he found called "aLoft" and we decided to try it. We have had pretty good luck being adventurous and thought..why not.

By the time I hit Hwy 54 and what is left of some of the landmarks that line the entrance to my hometown, I felt my breathing becoming easier..a sense of letting the world loose from my shoulders. I remember as a child as we went back and forth down that road on the weekend trips to see my grandparents or my dad, the cows that stood in the tiers of the hills that now are part of an entire subdivision called Meadowmount. But for me, all I could see was that wonderful farm and those cows..and that very happy place. It did not take long to realize that the hotel was at the foot of the hill, and right across the street from our first apartment in Chapel Hill from 1971 and right around the corner from my elementary school. But this place was certainly not the University Motor Motel or the Stuckeys that used to be there...not, this place looked like a smart, European looked fun.
We got into the room and the view..the view was of the hill..and I could see in my mind where I spent many of my teenage years...Gimghoul Castle....It was so awesome! I just lay back on the bed and looked out at the beautiful sky and the hill and it was like walking back in time! What a great feeling!
We wanted to get out and explore and a friend of ours had recently sent a notice about a show she was currating. I wanted so badly to see it. We went in search of it. To my great joy it was being held in what was the public library when I was a kid. Turns out that since I was little this building had been turned into several different things..but now, it was housing this show. When I read the description of what the show was...I just loved the perfection of leaving to come here on needing what I needed.
Here I am coming here to "heal" with my history..and elin is doing a show about local histories in a place that was for me magical as a child! I was able to show Michael where the children's section was in the library and where I got my first library card at 8 or 9 years old. I would walk to this place and spend hours in this library. Here i was, with michael, sharing this wonderful show all these years later in a place that housed for me some of the happiest memories of my childhood. It is hard to describe. I just wish I could have done an installation..something with bert and ernie and shel silverstein and what this place opened up for me.
We left the show and I wanted to show Michael the street that I grew up running up and down on.
Sorry the pic is crooked...but it sparkles and that is all that matters. On this street, time has stood still for almost 40 years. The trees look the same as does the neighborhood. It was a magical place to grow up. and walking there helped me remember how fortunate I was to have that as a place to be a child.
We enjoyed our walk and then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening just doing what we wanted.
On Saturday we went to the NC Museum of Art and then came home.

What was nice to come home was that no matter how nice it was just to go away...when I walked in the house, it felt so good. Where we were was a place to get away..and in my memories, a nice place to visit with good things to remind me of the blessings in my life, but through the door when we arrived, it was a new and fresh feeling of "home" powerful that feeling. Such a blessing all around.

Once we got home, I have had the privilege this weekend of just being there when I was needed by someone I am very proud of and someone who I admire for walking through adversity acting in a manner that shows maturity and heart. It is always a privilege to be a friend. That is something I do not take for granted. It has made the weekend an amazing journey....

I look forward to tomorrow, if I am granted that. But I am so very grateful for today.
Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Day 422: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

what a weekend! I love being alive and this weekend was no exception...but was in fact the rule about being so glad that I am showing up!

Friday was the first "date" night that we have had in a while. It was sooo wonderful! I think back in January when I talked about my goals I said that I wanted to really do more regarding "playing" or having some fun and really enjoying this life. I think in the months since we have done some of that, but there is still room for improvement. But lately there has been so much going on and so much that has been happening in the is absolutely necessary. Health does not hapen for me just by exercise and is about my soul..and play and doing things that are just exploratory or having time together or with friends..that is Health!

So, we got ourselves together and headed to the North Side of town for an Art opening for a really good friend, Virginia Wrigth Frierson. We went to my FAVORITE THAI restaurant in town for a treat...BIG THAI on north fourth..the best curry anywhere..just a luscious spice and best flavors...and so satisfying...That is so nice to have something that warms the soul!

 Before we got to the opening, after dinner,  I saw that much work had been done on the Brooklyn Arts center, a project that has been embattled for years due to funding issues and neglect..but is moving forward..and this grand old church.this magnificent structure that was literally falling to ruin was seeing new life and a new prosperity. I told Micahel that I had to go over and take pictures of it..and he obliged my ever tangential need to go "see" something new and shiny!! :)  Oh, how wonderful the cleaned brick and the repaired windows look..the new hope for the uses fo this building and was I glad that I was in the moment, because the developer just happened to be there and invited us in to to see the work in progress and allowed us to go all over and see what was happening in inside and gave us a private tour! How amazing!
(by the way..for those of you getting this through "reader" or email, I have found you have to go to to see the pics and videos. sorry for this..but the pics are pretty good!)
We left there and really enjoyed the showing my Ginny. What range. I can get lost in her work and all that she does. She was showing so many of the layers that compose who she is as an artist..and it was an honor just to be there. Two pieces really moved me. One was this wall of Canvas that was covered in her writing about her experiences. I think it was called, "write it down and let it go". It was beautiful to see her share the experience of creation and her emotional and spiritual process and then let it be "left:" or "let go" there.

The other was. i beleive, called "confinement. It was rich and filled with emotion...and kept me in its path several times during out time there.

and then there were so many more: was an amzing night!

Saturday was a day of family..blood and is about the soul and the soul is about love and connection. We had been asked by someone I truly love to come over and talk to a teen who was being bullied in his school. He and his mother came to visit. First, the friend who invited this youth had never met them before but opened his home to them, no questions asked. God, I love he and his partner. What a heart. Secondly..just connecting with this young man, sharing our own stories and offering hope..God was in us, in that place..and hope..hope..hope...Great start to the day.
We left there and went and spent time with my Mom and Stepdad and had a great time shopping, sharing and playing! Everywhere we went we saw people we knew and connected. It was awesome!

Then I left there and went and spoke at the Alpha Phi Red Dress Silent Auction. This was the first time this sorortiy had done this event. But they had shown up and volunteered at every event for the Heart Association and have been incredible. They asked me to speak and share my experience and it was such and honor! They did an incredible job and they raised over 9,000.00$ unbelievable! What an awesome event and group!
what was even doubly nice was being able to invite Debbie Daniels and hang with her for a short while at the event and introduce her to the women of Alpha Phi. She connected with so many there and was awesome as always! What a presence and a truely awesome person!

Adam, as usual, offered his services at the event as a donation and there was such a great response! 

Not to continue to making this a litany of the weekend, I left this event and had another heart warming event on Sat. evening with one of the first students I ever had at UNCW who is now married and a Doctor! I was such a proud yenta! LOL! We, michael and I, are so lucky to have some very special 'family' that we we have coming back in our life and sharing their lives with us still and this dinner wr was no exception. 
Sunday, it was a day of connecting and reaching out with a dear friend and someone I admire so much who came here to speak at UNCW for us! 
All in all in it was an amazing weekend to say the least...and is already tuesday...two days have passed in this incredible week already! :) 
And there is big news for someone I am so proud of..but that will have to come in the next post! lol! 
thanks be to God!

Friday, March 04, 2011

Day 419: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

So let's get this legged squats and walking lunges hurt! Ok..maybe hurt is a stretch..but I am sore as hell!..the upside to the soreness is that I did one legged squats and walking lunges! :)...something I have watched others do with nothing short of awe and a little.."really? your doing what?" in my mind.

But on Wed Adam pulled out the poodle box (that thing they make you jump and down on) and said, "stand on one leg and lower yourself down and then stand back up back on one leg". Now..I know better after all this time than to say "no" or to tell him what he can do with that kind of direction..but I can assure that my first thought was not "gee willakers..sure..that sounds SWELL!" lol!..but I went to it..and low and behold..daggone if I did not do them! Not gracefully mind you..but I did them! How about that for progress!
I was not able to do a SQUAT at all on the ground a year ago....hell, remember when he had to used the cirque de se bo ball against the wall so that I could slide down and do a squat! I am doing them one-legged for the Lord's sake! Soreness is fine..I have no complaints!

Of course, one would think that having accomplished something that was so amazing, I would spend the rest of the session basking in the admiration and glow of my friend and trainer's approval and be sent on to do nothing by sit in the sauna..but no...I was told to grab the 20 pounders and then we were going to do walking lunges. Again...having seen others do this, i just did not think it was "for me". Wrong again keemosambee! :)One foot out..and back leg down to the floor, trying to not let my knee hit the floor (although, not very successful at that)..keep the front knee over my foot..and repeat and walk...Oh what joy! What absolute joy! (I hope my typing allows for sarcasm to come through!) I will tell you that if my backside is not hard as a brick after doing these for a while, I will NEVER do them again! LOL! However, I will say that they definitley have an effect, regardless of the soreness later and I can see why we are doing them. (yes, once again, he is right...Lord, I just LOOVE saying that! LOL!)

This week has flown by and the weekend is jammed packed! I have the priviledge of being asked to speak at the Alpha Phi Red Dress Silent Auction on Saturday Afternoon at 2! It is going to be great! These women are amazing and they volunteer at the Heart Walk at the Heart Ball every year! The AHA is their national Philanthropy and there is nothing they will not do to educated and be involed in preventing, treating and educating about heart disease!

Here is info on their event:
This Spring, the Eta Xi Chapter of Alpha Phi will host the Annual Red Dress Silent Auction. The purpose of this silent auction is to raise money benefiting the Alpha Phi Foundation, with a focus on women's cardiac care. For more information on our Foundation please visit

Hors d'oeuvres will be provided. Dress Casual
Warwick Ballroom UNCW

601 S. College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403

2:00 pm
Tickets are $20, or $10 for students.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact our Director of Philanthropy, Angharad Davies, at, or our VP of Marketing, Megan Sullivan, at
A few of the items being auctioned include...
• A 1974 Harley Davidson Motorcycle
• 2 month membership and 2 free personal training sessions to O2 Fitness
• 3 month membership and 2 free personal training sessions to Gold’s Gym
• Gift certificates to numerous Wilmington Restaurants
• Passes to the Wilmington Battleship
• Gift certificates to numerous salons in the Wilmington area
• Tickets to: Wilmington Sharks, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Bobcats, New York Yankees, the UNCW Spring Show (B.O.B.)
• $400 credit to the Little Switzerland Inn, in Little Switzerland NC
• A week at an Oceanfront beach house in Myrtle Beach
• A week at a house on Beaver Island on Lake Winnipesaukee
• A gift basket from Carolina County Store
• Gift certificate to Tara Grinna
• Free tanning to Tropical Tans and Solar Hair Salon
• Items from West Marine
• Different items of Art and Photography from local artists
• 2 free training sessions with Adam Freeman, master trainer at O2 Fitness
• 4 tickets to the Bobcats v Knicks game
• 2 Brazilian blowouts
• And SO much more!

I don't think I have really talk about this, but i have been made the "community chair" for the Cape Fear Heart Association (former logistics Chair). My role is to recruit teams for the heart walk and to go out and talk about heart disease, AHA and share my story. So, this is a way to pay forward all the blessings i have been given and hopefully make an impact. I will, as you can imagine, go anywhere and do whatever i am asked to get folks involved...

Well, Tonight is date night and some fun and I am really looking forward to tomorrow!
Thanks be!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

(repost with finish) Day 416: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

(sorry, I hit "publish" rather than "save" and it sent....if you are getting this twice, I apologize..but wanted to finish it). 

Tonight I was sworn in again for a second term on the Wilmington Housing Authority as a commissioner. It was a little surreal that is has been 5 years. It is appropriate, however, that I write about this here because the journey that I have been on in the housing authority has been so tied to the journey of my health and wellness and all the changes that have come to me.

Remember, my friend and mentor Windell Daniels that I have written about died, literally in front of me of a massive heart attack the night I became chairman of the Housing Authority..during one of the most tumultuous times the authority has ever faced. But is was his death that brought me into a new life in many led to my involvement with the Heart Association, the information that I needed, then Ashley then Kristi then to higher power in, in all of it working through all of these experiences..and here I coincidences, a path that was straight and narrow but felt so much at times like it had no direction, was uphill or was always winding and never had a clear way..but it always was.

Yep, the night in November, 5 years ago (I was filling an term), when I took the oath of office, I knew that I wanted so badly to serve on the housing authority. I had seen "projects" on tv and been dismayed by the conditions. I had heard of the need in the community to get meetings with this "HUD" agency and none were to be found. I was told of what was perceived as corruption and government waste and all sorts of tales by many in the community and read about it as well.  My Mayor, who was trusting in appointing me, loved his city and wanted things to be righted and said so when he made the appointment. I wanted to understand more. I wanted to see this work and work for the better. I can't say I was naive..but what I have learned and seen these last five years has awakened me and allow me to mature in ways that I have never expected and overall am grateful for.

What saddens me more than anything still is the stigma of public housing among so many and lack of and or desire to care or know our residents and families. the ease at which this vital function in making housing affordable for our working men and women and families is referred to with disdain as "entitlements" and looked on as a burden when we drop with ease money on bombs and excesses that don't even come close to the money we spend to help those help themselves with housing. But more than ANYTHING that saddens me are the folks who don't mess around with the simplicity of the mission "to provide safe, affordable, sanitary housing"....c'mon folks..let's not mess that up. it is basic and as a country, as a people, we can do that without all the drama right?

It never ceases to amaze me to be amongst "christians" who will so readily cast judgment of folks...and so readily cast them aside. Or hear the assumptions that are made so quickly and who look on public housing and housing assistance with such disdain. But if nothing else, this experience has taught me to stick to the mission, stick to what my gut is saying and stick to what I truly believe and not worry about what others might think and pray, pray, pray, pray! Ignorance, while become more of a powerful force in our country these days, will not win the day if it cannot win ALL OF OUR ATTENTION. To deny ignorance and bigotry an audience is to give understanding and acceptance an opportunity.  What matters in the end is the needs of those in need and the proper use of funding to see that happens equitable and fairly. I have learned alot and make mistakes...but it is worth every minute.

Frankly I had to come to that "worth every minute". There have been moments..even days when I just wanted to walk angry and disgusted that I just could not imagine another moment. But I digress a this did become more important than ever to become more focused on "mission" and less concerned about the detractors and those who so jealously would deny this housing opportunity for others.

Wasting time on that is stressful..wasting time on folks with motives who are not about mission is stressful, wasting time on anything that is not about getting the job done for those in need..well that is stress and in my life..stress can equal bad health and it did there for a a point where my weight and my life went spiralling out of control. I had to remember that if was going to be of any use to anybody...I had to get back to loving me..and then could love others.  This also made me want to do healthy enough to do more...interestingly enough....

When some of the darkness of the hard times in this service started to clear and some of the good that this Agency can make happen began to emerge under new leadership, you could see the good that can be effected for so many. Wanting to see that..well that is inspiring. Wanting to be healthy and be a healthy part of that..well, that is inspring. 

The YouthBuild Program, the Family Self Sufficiency Program, the UNCW/WHA Community Campus which I helped to establish, the once decimated communities that are now being refurbished, the new homes being constructed, our families being able to gain housing with assistance throughout the city..even with cuts in some of the funding...the partnerships being formed...the grants and the funding coming in..the staff...God...what an amazing mission driven staff...all of much that can make the difference in so many lives in such dark, whatever machinations are out there or in there for those who "don't get it"..whatever ignorance is abounding for those who deny those in need and the realities of our socio economic conditions, for all the negative forces, the good pushes out and expands and grows...and is powerful.

Don't get me wrong..i am still going to speak my mind and heart. I am still going to fight for what i believe is right..but what is such victory here is that this is a healthier place.

I am so grateful for this life and thank God for it everyday!