Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Whats's Next?

The adventure isn't over yet. I still have my trip to South Pole and the whole trip home. One I'm looking forward to, one not so much, you guess which is which.

So...what does one do after a six month contract in Antarctica? Well.....

...No? No guesses. If you are one of the 10 or so people that knows where this is going, just play along. Well, I have a few more hints. Pretty easy to guess after these, but....

My favorite quote found there, on a sign......still nothing? The next two are "gimmes"...

Yes, if you guessed The Appalachian Trail, you are right. But there's more read on. Here's what it's all about, other than just walking through the woods.

  Welcome to my next adventure!!! This is your official invitation to join me and be part of my journey.

  So my basic premise is that I'm going to hike the Appalachian Trail; the whole thing, in one shot. It's known as thru hiking. The trail winds from northern Georgia to the middle of Maine covering 2,184 miles. It will take me four to six months. I am asking people to donate on a per mile basis. 100% of the money will go to LIVESTRONG at the end. This is my way of doing something; giving something back. I hope you will join me in the fight for your own reasons.

   WHY? Well, I have many reasons. I guess the simple fact is I never have done something completely selfless. I have, in all honesty usually done things that would somehow benefit me; hey, I think we all have. Nothing wrong with it really. But, just one time I want to do something for the good of Man.

   I have gotten a lot of comments on this blog. Apparently, people actually read my posts. So I figured between that and the power of Facebook, I can probably reach quite a few people. Just like the idea of Six Degrees of Separation in a social sense; I'll bet everyone can think of someone affected by cancer in fewer than six steps. I urge you to help me and get involved. Every little bit counts and adds up quickly when a large group is involved. My goal is currently set at $20,000. That may sound steep, but it breaks down to only $9.16 per mile. If I can get 100 people to join my cause I will only need to raise about 9 cents per person for each mile. Makes it much more obtainable when you look at it that way.

   Thank you so much for your participation and I will keep you posted with my progress both in mileage and with how much I have raised. I am going to continue my blog, as best I can, and will post pictures when I can.

Thanks Again!

   I have been approved through LAF (Lance Armstrong Foundation) to run this Grassroots campaign. I will have their full support. They have even provided me a web link and a secure donation link for participants (found on the web page). There is also a printable donation form. If you have any other questions that are not answered here please contact me;

Well, that's it. That's what I plan on doing. Wish me luck, I may need it. SO....I am going to begin my hike on March 17th...yup St Patrick's Day. Hopefully it will bring good luck to my journey.

Until next time.......

                                                ....................."Cooking on Ice"

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve and Some Serious Reflections!


Don't be scared! We all made it; at least if you are reading this you did.....

Well, another year and another New Year's celebration. It was different on many levels. We'll delve into that in a minute, but here is a quick run down of NYE Antarctica. Basically a chili cook off, Icestock ( a live music festival), and the usual debauchery....

So it was another NYE party but; it was in Antarctica, and the sun never sets, so it was hard to tell when it is getting close to midnight. I could tell because I had been up since 5:30 am and was crashing fast.

OK so that was the rundown of the festivities here, now onto personal reflections.This is tough to put into word, but I think it needs to be said. Sit down this might shock you....for real.

So; what went on in 2011 for me?
  Well last New Year's Day, I woke up and decided I couldn't go on the way I was. I felt pretty much the lowest I had ever felt; both physically and emotionally. Everything hurt. Life was just a painful existence. I know that will probably surprise some people because I kept up a pretty good front most days. My skeletons were deep in the closet, securely locked away from public sight.

The choices were pretty obvious to me. I really didn't see the point of life as I knew it. Nothing was ever getting better, nothing changed, and I was just plain miserable. I decided to go with the harder of choices. I see how hard it was now in reflection; and I've had a lot of time to reflect here. So in a simple compare and contrast of 2010 and 2011 here is what changed in my life. (gulp) This isn't easy, but I think it will help me put the year behind me and close the door for good. So........

Yeah this was me in 2010........
It disgusts me to look at myself. I have a beach ball shaped face!!! My God!!!!

     So from 2007ish until 2010 I was on about 5 different medications, heart, cholesterol, pre-diabetes, heartburn, blood pressure, and aspirin, and a fair amount of pain killers, usually just over the counter; usually. My blood pressure was upwards of 200 sometimes. I had a blood pressure monitor, and CPAP machine for sleep apnea; both of which sat in the closet collecting dust. Yeah great choice to leave them in there. I would regularly stop breathing in my sleep. It got so bad sometimes I would wake up actually choking and just couldn't get my breath. It usually scared me so bad I wouldn't go back to sleep.

And now.....

at the end of 2011 I lost just over 175 pounds...(my goal was 200, but hey it's a start!)

...yes you read right 175....
Sorry I reiterated that, just pretty proud of myself.

    I take no meds, occasionally aspirin or Motrin. Just got my blood pressure checked and it was 124/70 I think that was it. My sleep is sound and solid. I feel rested in the morning; usually, and don't snore least that's what I've been told. I feel great! I don't hurt all day, and I am really the happiest I remember being in......I don't know how long.

   So where I used to hangout and what I used to do.....

That's it, it's all I did. Just an everyday functional alcoholic. Once again sorry if you are shocked or finding out something you didn't know about me. Like I said earlier, I got good at hiding it like a scar. It got ridiculous and I'll leave it at that...... oh yeah where did I go.....

Yeah a bar stool sometimes, but usually on the couch, by myself, hiding from the world and all my problems.....

Now what do I do? Firstly I don't drink. I have been sober for 1 year today. I feel great. Mentally strong, physically....well better (almost fit). The biggest change I have noticed is that I can look at myself in the mirror. I know that sounds cliche, but I honestly didn't....ever. I am not ashamed of who I am. At back to what I have been doing with all that extra time.....

Got to the beach before I left....

...been hiking......A LOT!!!......more to come about that. Really just enjoying life. I wasted a few years and can never get them back. But I can try like hell to make up for lost time......and I am!!!

One last note. If you are reading this you are a true friend, or at least interested in me somewhat. So to touch on the past one last time....I owe most of you an apology of some sort, for something. I will just make a general statement here and address individuals when I can.

I am truly sorry for all the absolutely stupid and usually thoughtless things I have done to you in the past. I have never regarded your feelings, you needs, or how my actions may affect you. Big or small, and whether you even remember or not I am deeply sorry. For the late night drunken phone calls, for always needing rides, for making situations uncomfortable; and even just forgetting Birthdays and important events. For all my excuses and never being there for you, sorry won't cut it but what will is my actions in the future. I hope I have the opportunity to prove deserving of you friendship and love. And for the people that I have permanently burned bridges and made unmendable mistakes; know that I think of you and hope you are happy and surrounded by good people. To the future; a new beginning.

And the best thing.............

I am a Godfather...THE Godfather!!!!

And a (honorary) Uncle.....(not new...Just AWESOME!!!)

A Song that has really made me think a lot lately.......
I'm not wasting anymore time.....

Tim McGraw "Live Like You Were Dying"

 "I was in my early forties,
"With a lot of life before me,
"An' a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
"I spent most of the next days,
"Looking at the x-rays,
"An' talking 'bout the options an' talkin’ ‘bout sweet time."
I asked him when it sank in,
That this might really be the real end?
How’s it hit you when you get that kind of news?
Man whatcha do?

"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
 "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

"I was finally the husband,
"That most the time I wasn’t.
"An' I became a friend a friend would like to have.
"And all of a sudden goin' fishin’,
"Wasn’t such an imposition,
"And I went three times that year I lost my Dad.
"Well, I finally read the Good Book,
"And I took a good long hard look,
"At what I'd do if I could do it all again,
"And then:

"I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

Like tomorrow was a gift,
And you got eternity,
To think about what you’d do with it.
An' what did you do with it?
An' what can I do with it?
An' what would I do with it?

"Sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And then I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I watched Blue Eagle as it was flyin'."
 "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

Until next time............

........"Cooking on Ice"