Remarkably Outstanding & Worthwhile

In Today’s Blog 🙂

  • Week 13 Weigh-In
  • Philosophy of Achievement
  • Six Flags Biggest Loser Run Preview
  • Tour de Donut – Updates & Corrections

Week 13 Weigh-In

Week 13 - 2nd 12 Week Session - Resized for Blog

One week before the 260lb Week 0 – 4/17/2014 weigh-in shown above I weighed 244.2 pounds which represented what I weighed at the end of the 12 week Lose to Win contest.  I don’t think I posted the wallpaper I used during that contest so, here it is:

Week n - Spring 2014 - Copy

I’m still trying to figure out exactly why competition makes such a big difference.  At first, I thought maybe it was for the kudos, having other people see and be aware of my progress would make a difference which is part of the reason I was posting my weekly weigh-ins on this blog but, that hasn’t made any difference at all.  So, it’s not the kudos or the accolades and there’s something more to the improvements one makes which is inherent with competition.  Even my running in competition is far superior than the times I put up for my training.  Especially in the last two months, my training times have been kind of flat and overall don’t represent much in the way of improvements which is like the current picture of my weekly weigh-ins, it’s pretty much flat.

One area where I tend to console myself is in the fact that I had tried the Lose to Win contest a total of 5 times during the preceding years.  The first two times I did the contest in the Fall I placed 4th and 3rd respectively which, is pretty good considering the contest is comprised of over 1,000 people and those first contest had the men and women combined for an overall top 10 whereas the current contest break things up into the top 5 men and top 5 women.

Two other times I tried the contest in the Spring and failed to finish either one.  The second picture above represents my 5th attempt, also in the Spring and the 72 lb, 22.77% loss was good enough to give me first place.  The one difference I was able to note between the Spring failures and Fall successes before this last attempt was in the fact that I had clinic in school for both of the Spring attempts and no clinic in the Fall attempts.  During this last attempt, I had already graduated 🙂 so there was no clinic.

Philosophy of Achievement
I was reading some works by Nikolai Berdyaev who said that living the good life is frequently dull and flat and commonplace.  There are so many different places that line takes me in my head, so many tangents, that it’s hard to coalesce those thoughts into something coherent and I know that initially writing about any one tangent is going to branch off into many other tangents which may or may not support or have anything directly associated with any original thoughts.

Drama Queens – I use the phrase drama queens somewhat like the usage of mankind which doesn’t necessarily refer only to men but to all people, likewise I know there are both genders which may tweak the realities of life in their own heads in order to add a bit of texture and excitement to their own commonplace lives.

Given the choice,
most of us would give up the reality of today
for the memory of yesterday
or the fantasy of tomorrow.
We desire to live anywhere but in the present.

Nikolai claimed that the greatest problem people have to the otherwise dull, flat and commonplace life which necessitates a good life is to make it fiery and creative and capable of spiritual struggle which, is where my head linked one genesis for where drama queens come from.  For those inclined people, it’s a palpable & desired threat (whether consciously or unconsciously motivated) to the commonplace which will suddenly and for all time intensify it’s value.  It’s a very easily obtained divergence from the common, flat, dull life.

Going to the park and running is almost always good & fun once I get there.  It’s the thoughts in the head before hand which may sometimes tell myself it’s dull, flat and commonplace.  In my most recent Instagram post, I likened our runs to adding a sheets of paper to a stack, each run adds another sheet but, stack up enough and we can eventually reach the moon.  I tend to think also that giving ourselves adequate rest from our runs can be like adding two sheets of paper since that is when our bodies adapt to the stresses we place upon them from training.

In another book I was reading there is mention that “Given the choice, most of us would give up the reality of today for the memory of yesterday or the fantasy of tomorrow.  We desire to live anywhere but in the present.”  This lends itself to the somewhat ephemeral notion of living in the present, the here and now.

As an athlete and especially when we are pushing for greater performances we necessarily force ourselves into living in the reality of the present.  And maybe ….just maybe, that is a reason why competition forces us to perform better than normal because we are forced to be even more focused on the task at hand.


Reality and being realistic offer a dichotomy of thoughts as well.  There is a pending Instagram post I’ll put up sometime soon which I gleaned from watching videos on YouTube.  Ironically enough, I was watching videos on polyglots, which are people who know several languages.  There was one inspirational video of a man who learned a fluent level of Chinese in three months time.  The dedication was impressive and at one point in the video he mentioned a quote from Will Smith who said, “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”  I tend to agree with this line of thinking.  I recall back in high school when I first got involved with karate at the age of 15 and some friends said they didn’t think they could do that and when I think of doing something, I just get involved and do it.

The dichotomy comes into play when you realize not being realistic involves thinking about the future, i.e., where you want to be and what you want to become at some future date when facets of life such as happiness would be linked to living in the present.

There was an article I read in Psychology Today which was about two approaches to relationships.  One approach was a Maximizer approach in which a person was continually on the lookout for something better and the other approach was the Satisfier in which a person had a short list of “must haves” in a partner then, once they found someone that satisfied that list, would be content with that relationship then go about working on and improving themselves (as opposed to trying to change the other person).  The results of the study indicated the Satisfiers were happier while the Maximizers tended to compare themselves a lot with other people and were prone to depression.

With these two different approaches it seems clear that the Maximizer is someone living in the fantasy of the future while the Satisfier is living more in the present.  But, we could also say the Satisfier is being more realistic than the Maximizer which opens up a new train of thought on differentiation.

….I’m not sure where the impetus of this train of thought was originally meant to accomplish … (scrolling up)  oh yeah – Philosophy of Achievement.   If nothing else, I think I have an insight into the benefit of competition in that it forces one to be most present in current time from which best performance may be achieved.  Which reminds me of the Biggest Loser 10k coming up in a few days.

Six Flags Biggest Loser Run Preview

Biggest Loser Race Series

I went back and forth between signing up for the 5k or 10k in this run.  Both of the divisions offer a walking or running option and having seen the completion times for the 5k’s in the walking division for other races around the country I knew there was a decent chance of being able to finish in the top 3 and getting an extra medal or award which would definitely be a first for me.  Ethically, there would be an ironic conundrum because I am capable of running an entire 5k however, I can walk faster than I can run/jog which, is the ironic part.  I finally decided on the 10k because that hasn’t been a distance I have been able to run completely yet which justifies the walking division and, my scheduled training run for that day is 10 miles so the 10k would at least give me 6.2 miles of the 10 miles needed for that day.  A big reason for signing up for this recent plethora of runs was to get help from being with other people to get through the mind boggling distances I’m supposed to be covering in my marathon training program.

Before & After Season 5

So, I’m signed up for the 10k walking division.  By the way, pictured above are contestants from Season 5 of The Biggest Loser who are supposed to be at Six Flags this weekend 🙂  Should be fun 🙂

Here’s something really ironic.  For my Week 15, Day 1 run, I did a 10k to see how I could handle it.  I must have jogged the first 5 miles or so but my fastest miles were at the end of the run and my very fastest mile was mile #6 which is when I finally started walking!  In fact, that last mile when I was walking was over a minute faster than any previous mile!

Mile 1 – 14:48
Mile 2 – 15:05
Mile 3 – 14:47
Mile 4 – 14:55
Mile 5 – 14:09
Mile 6 – 12:58

Theoretically, I think a person should be able to run faster than they can walk.  I know muscles are used differently when running or walking.  I’m really not sure what’s up with my contradiction between walking & running but, there it is….   And truthfully, I don’t know how long I could keep up a super fast walking pace.  I know I can go up to 5 miles now with my jogging.  Strategically, I’m not sure how to approach this Saturday’s 10k run.  I know the distance isn’t freaking me out as much since I did a 10k in training.  It takes a little bit of adjusting in the mind to get used to the idea of running for an hour and a half or riding a bike for nearly 3 hours.  It’s not something I’m used to doing.   Speaking of biking for nearly three hours reminds me of that Tour de Donut… 😉 🙂

Tour de Donut – Updates & Corrections

Viva Le Donut <—Click Pic for Race Results!

I reported the best I could in my initial blogs about the Tour de Donut but, Official Race Results keep getting updated and the best adjusted time for completing the Donut was  -5:12 by Benjy Bomkap who ate 26 donutes and….at age 41 was in my age group!  YeeHaw!  Way to go Benjy!  🙂

My official adjusted time was 2:41:35 which corresponds well with my Sports Tracker time of 2:45 and, for the most part, my Sports Tracker app time was supposed to pause during my stops.  So, it looks like the 5 minutes I saved per donut eaten was offset by the same amount of time I spent at each stop but, this was something new for me and being competitive wasn’t on my agenda.


Other Music….
The latest addition to my playlist has been great and I’ve been listening to it often.  Few adjustments will need to be made.   I’ve got some harder rock type songs I want to add by such bands as AC/DC and Nazareth which I’m thinking could be useful for the later miles of the marathon.

There are various reasons for liking a piece of music.  A lot of what I have on my list could qualify for simplistic, bubblegum, pop music types of songs that have a good rhythm and can help keep my cadence up and moving but, others have deeper meaning.

One song I’ll be adding is Adele’s song, Someone Like You, sung by Andrew Wishart who was a 40 year old contestant on Australia’s version of the X-Factor.  This man has four children and from his interview I’ve gleaned or imagined in my head that one of the main reasons he performed is to teach his children, not unlike Randy Pausch who gave “The Last Lecture” and whose intent was to make it for his children.  I have Randy’s book and have seen his video of the Last Lecture on YouTube.

I think the impetus to do these things for their children is remarkably outstanding and among the most worthwhile things a person can do with their lives.


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