who am I and why am I here?

I was reading a Blogging 101 article here on wordpress and they said one of my first post should tell who I am and why I’m here.  The article made sense to me so I’ll do my best to complete that article here then maybe take an abbreviated version of today’s post and use it in my wordpress bio.

I am a Chiropractor, a DC, a doctor of chiropractic.  This is a fairly recent achievement, having graduated this past December 21st, 2013.  There was absolutely nothing quick or easy about becoming a DC.  In the academic world it might be analogous to an ultra-marathon.  After college there is an additional 10 semesters of education which, is actually 2 semesters longer than it takes to obtain a medical degree.  However, it’s a minority of people who finish in 10 semesters although that’s what the schools will try to sell you upon initial visits.  The educational program runs Spring, Summer & Fall, three semesters per year or three trimesters and as such it is possible to complete the education in 3 and 1/3 years.  However, there are no statistics readily available on the schools website for the percentage of people who actually finish in that time frame.  They do, however, give a statistic for the number of people who finally graduate after 15 semesters – 5 solid years with nothing but 2.5 week breaks between semesters and that number is 83.7%  It took me the entire 15 semesters in order to graduate.  Additionally, since my undergrad was in mathematics, I had to spend a year before getting into the DC program taking accelerated science classes in order to squeeze in an additional two years of chemistry to meet the prerequisites for getting into the DC program.  2013 was all about clinic and getting the necessary numbers (patients, adjustments, x-rays, physicals, etc.) in order to graduate and the last half of the year basically consisted of working open to close in the clinics, 6 days a week so, I essentially sat on my butt a lot in the intern lounge up to 10 hours a day and this was in addition to commuting over 2 hours every day back and forth to clinic.  I remembered watching my weight go up but, by that point, I was pretty much physically, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.

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Won Lose to Win weight loss contest – As a result of the extensive weight gain, I signed up for a weight loss contest sponsored by one of our local hospitals.  It was a 12 week contest and consisted of about 1,000 people.  The winner’s (male or female) were determined by whoever lost the greatest percentage of their original weight.  I started the contest weighing 316.2 pounds and ended weighing 244.2 pounds for a weight loss of 72 lbs or 22.77% and took first place in the mens division.  Now, since this contest was purely about weight, I view the weight loss in the first and last week of the contest as kind of bull-shit losses.  Prior to the initial weigh in it’s pretty easy to fill the stomach (and intestines) with all the foods that will be denied over the subsequent 12 weeks.  Eating the right foods to weigh in heavier helps as well.  A gram of carbohydrate can retain 4 grams of water, loading up on sodium can increase the water retention and even drinking plenty of calorie free water prior to the first weigh in is good since a gallon of water weighs a little over 8 pounds.  During the final days of the last week, this process is entirely reversed.  So, after gaining back the water weight after my last weigh in and eating a couple foods I’d been previously avoiding, I’m starting a 2nd self imposed weight loss session with a weight of 260.0 lbs.  I’m the guy pictured below, in front wearing the black shirt.

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A couple other fun things that have been going on this year is that I became a Master Mason, a FreeMason 🙂  One of the objectives of this organization is to take good men and make them better.  The basic requirements to become a freemason are to be male, have a religious faith and be over the age of 18.  Since they want to start with good men, they also don’t allow anyone convicted of a felony to join.  This is the largest fraternity in the world and I’ve heard estimates from the lodge of there being around 10 million members worldwide and they give about a million dollars a day to charity.  It seems like a pretty good group of men to be around and I’ve always believed in the adage that we tend to become a part of what we’re around.  Maybe that’s part of the reason I’m blogging on this site, to perhaps be able to glean some valuable information from a multitude of real runners that have a lot more experience and knowledge than I possess.

Got my Brown Belt in Shorin-Ryu Karate – This took about 32 years since I first started in Shorin-Ryu karate.  Again, there are just a lot of good people in my dojo and associated with karate in general.  My sensei is Fred Christian, an 8th degree black belt.  Outside of Okinawa Japan, Sensei Christian is the highest ranking black belt in the world for our particular style.  “Karate ni senti nashi” is one of the axioms of karate and it means, “there is no first attack in karate”  Right now, I am a 3rd Kyu brown belt and will need to become a 2nd Kyu then a 1st Kyu brown belt before I am able to test for black belt.  In over 42 years of teaching karate, I’ve only been able to account for 58 people who have been promoted to the rank of first degree black belt.  I’ve read that only one to two people out of every 100 that sign up for karate actually make it all the way to obtaining their first degree black belt and less than 1 out of 1,000 make it to second degree.  I’m hopeful in this area of my life.

Nationally Ranked Bench Presser – achieved around ages 36-38.  It’s been about 10 years but, I was ranked by Powerlifting USA magazine as one of the top 100 bench pressers in the nation with a bench of 515 lbs at a bodyweight of 222.  I know there are plenty of people that can bench more but, one of the neat things about being on that list is that I’m part of a very small minority that are (and have been) 100% drug-free.  I’ve never once taken steroids.  I definitely have thought about it in my past though.  I spent maybe a decade of my life languishing with a bench of around 450 and even that was hard for me to maintain but, I got a job at one of the local health club chains and one of the personal trainers there told me I needed to life less and eat more, as in more often.  I used to try to put out 110% effort with each workout and lift as much as possible so, by lifting less, the trainer meant to only lift heavy once a week and to only work my bench twice a week total.  Regarding eating more, he wanted me to get in a protein rich meal at least once every 3-4 hours.  Well, it worked.  After a couple months, I entered and won a contest up in Springfield, Illinois with a bench of 470 pounds at a bodyweight of 270 lbs.  Over the course of the next half year my weight continued to drop to 222 and my bench kept doing up and peaked at my 515 best which is what put my on that list by Powerlifting USA magazine.  Again, having a trainer who knew what he was talking about made all the difference for me so I am hoping to learn from other runners with more knowledge and experience.

One question I have is that two weeks before my slated Marathon run on November 1st of this year is the Rock n Roll half marathon over in St Louis, Missouri.  The program I am following has me doing a 9 mile run that weekend and a 20 mile run the weekend before so I wondered if doing an extra 4 miles in that half marathon would be detrimental in any way to my marathon run two weeks later.  I’m not sure if the extra distance at that point would be that big of a deal but am also considering any extra stress since it is a race.  I would also like to qualify to do the Pikes Peak Ascent which requires a time of 2:25 or better.  Another factor is that my brother is looking to do that Rock n Roll half marathon and I think that may be his first one ever 🙂  

On one hand, it almost seems crazy to be talking about a 9 or 20 mile run or finishing a half marathon in 2:25.  Earlier this month I completed the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon (LPHM) with a time of 3:20 so to go from an average pace of 15:15 per mile to 11 minutes per mile …well, I guess it can be done.  Like I said in the first post, it’s going to surprise the hell out of me to be able to pull all this off but, I like surprises 🙂 and I guess that leads me to the topic for a subsequent post regarding my training which will be called Faith & Trust.  

But, I can run a minute!  My next goal is to run for 2 minutes 🙂

hmmmm, My grandmas birthday is today.  She probably had more grit and determination in one year of her life than I’ve had in all of mine.  There’s a very finite number of people who might know you your entire life from the day you were born.  She was one of them.  She passed away in 2012.  Seems like just last year.  She was supposed to be at my DC graduation and, had I finished on time, she would have been.  I failed there but will do my best not to disappoint her with the upcoming marathon.

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One thought on “who am I and why am I here?

  1. Pingback: who am I and why am I here? | i can run a minute

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