Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cycling: Preparation

Day 22 #My500words written  in 2015, posted in 2016

I find that writing in the morning has the best essence for inspiration. My thoughts are fresher with ideas of things to come. Whereas, if I wait and write later in the day, so many other distractions flood the day and the inspiration is lost. I do feel a sense of lost of incompleteness when I don’t write at all. So although, I am writing my daily words of 500 at 10:12 pm and the inspiration seems faint. I still have  a desire to write.

So write I shall! Today, I woke up very tired from the night before because I was awaken continuously throughout the night for bathroom breaks, too hot, too cold and of course from constant banging from the upstairs neighbors. When 5:00 am rolled around I couldn’t sleep any longer. So I prepared myself to go on a twenty mile ride. Realizing that I didn’t have the proper nutrition to ride for that length of time. Instead of waiting for my regular store that I purchased my GU and protein bars from to open up, I stopped by the local fitness gym. They only carried some with energy bars that I was not familiar, leaving me to speculate on how my body would respond while exerting energy. 

I started my 20 mile trip north on A1A at one of my favorite places, The Cove in Deerfield Beach. It had been such a long time since I had ridden that route, some places didn’t look familiar. I love cycling by the vast ocean  and watching the waves come crashing onto the beach as I cycled by. I was pedaling about 14 to 15 mph, conscious of the lessons that Rick my trainer had taught me the day before. Pulling up my clips with the pedal, pushing back with my heel to develop an even cadence.  As I focused on what he taught me, my pedaling began to flow effortlessly and my the speed increased. I soon found myself in excess of 17-18 mph.  After a while I became hungry and I nibbled on the energy bars that I had purchased, trying to ensure I didn't eat it all up before the ride was over. I only had one water bottle and I discovered that one is not really enough for a twenty mile trip. In the future,many I decided to prepare to   two water bottles. 

I came through a patch of wet ground, and remembering Rick’s words of caution, do not ride on the white line when it’s wet and never ride your bike across the bridge when it’s wet. I really appreciated his guidance and even though I was a hired trainer, his passion for caring and being concerned were genuine, which I really appreciated.

Soon after passing Linton Boulevard, I reached my goal of 10 miles, I took a short break to adjust my saddle bag over the handle bars, drank some water, being extra careful to ration out the amount I needed for the moment and to hydrate myself back to the Cove. I still “bonked” out on the way back. Either getting in too many carbohydrates or not enough to sustain myself.  I still have not learned how to balance my riding out so that I’m not tuckered out on the way back. Then I remembered, I was tired because I didn’t get the proper amount of rest needed for a twenty mile ride. So these are some things that I must work on, plenty of rest, water, and nutrition for a long ride.  I did discover one more thing and that I need to have some better or newer riding shorts to help protect my bottom on longer rides. Whether writing or cycling, getting the proper rest before hand certainly fuels the mind and body to be prepared to function at it's best.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Inspirational: God and The Chinese Take Out Menu

Just as if Matthew Henson was starting out on his first expedition to the North Pole,
My eyes slowly yet intently scanned over a Chinese Food take out menu. Starting at the top left from appetizers to combination plates, carefully musing over each item as if I was studying for a college final exam. I gently turned to the back page where the Luncheon Specials were listed. I knew I needed to make a decision some time within this year, but what? What would I choose? Okay, okay…ummm. Oh, I will have….ummm. Oh, I know! I’ll take the Sweet and Sour Chicken with fried rice and an egg roll!

If it were possible for scientist to track the DNA of the food I have consumed over the course of thirty years, they would discover my chromosomes are actually made up of Sweet and Sour Chicken with fried rice and an egg roll.  So why do I have a hard time of deciding which item will I select on a menu that has over 8 choices of appetizers, 6 choices of soup, 30 combination plates, 42 luncheon specials and I won’t tell you how many Chef’s Specialties are listed. In fact, why is my choice always the same?

There are a host of exotic dishes which I have not experienced as of yet, for instance; “Dragon meets Phoenix, Bean Sprout Egg Foo Young, Beef with Szechuan Style or Roast Pork with Oyster Sauce.”  As is my relationship with God lately, I have come to a place where I only request of him the basic ‘keep my family and myself healthy, safe and help us pay our bills blessings’. It working, we are happy and God is happy so why rock the boat?

Although our God is the same God that we can in trust in daily, His mercy is new every morning! Our struggles and challenges may be the same, yet he wants to make new ways out of no way and rivers in a dry land.  Reluctantly, I recently visited the predominantly black Baptist church I grew up in over 20 years ago. I remember each Sunday service you could expect the same course of events. Two or three hymnals, women loosing their wig piece during a Holy Ghost shout, a scripture reading, offering plate and the hooping and groaning of the preacher’s sermon, that a you could set a clock by indicating the end of the service. The outer core of the building was the same, yet the inside had expanded with the extension of an east and west wing, a basketball court with an additional kitchen. However, it was just not the inner physical appearance that had been updated. The landscape of people had changed. No longer was the totality of leadership, held by white haired black men, growing slowly out of touch with how to apply scripture to the present day realities. There were young black and white men leading the services, on the deacon board, on the usher board and in the choir! As I glanced through the congregation I saw white and black couples, Asians, young, old intertwined with black people, all worshiping the same God, within the same walls. The biblical messages were taught with inspiration of the Holy Spirit and with love as the speakers applied the scriptures to our present situations.

I have been challenged to continue revisiting situations and places of my past with an open mind to discover things I have missed initially. Our God is doing a new thing, he wants us to pray with a refreshed mind and attitude, because eyes have not seen, ears have not heard all the things God has in store for us.  I have even decided to try a different entrĂ©e at the Chinese restaurant, to discover what else I have been missing.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Writing: The Silliest Writer Ever!

I have taken on the dutiful honor of crowning myself as ‘The Silliest Writer Ever!’ Thankfully, this official position of silliness, is only a momentary one and the crown shall pass on to the next silly writer, within moments of the writer realizing what everyone else has recognized for quite a while, as obliviously silly and the writer admitting under their breath slowly, “Oh, I get it now”.

Even now, as I contemplate my reign over the ‘Kingdom of Silliness’ and the all the silly things ever concocted by a writer, I have two people in mind I have yet to intrigue with my silly antidotes. The irony is that, as I sit here with my millennium list of things yet not accomplished, I am actually excited about the newly found wealth of information that I want to share with them. Yes, these two who have served more than 20 unforgiving years honing their specialty to become moguls of their craft. Their blood has laced timelines and their tear-soaked, cheeks has kept, the struggles and the disappointments of life from drying out their dreams and hopes of fulfilling their passion. Their passions have turned into a career that family, friends and yes-jealous enemies seek out their wisdom and guidance for. Why? Well, because unlike myself, they don’t start their dreams in January, whine that it’s too hard in February and quit by March. Only to start yet, another diversional grand scheme towards riches for the next three months and continue a madly insane cycle of starting and stopping to nothingness, year after year.

I find myself regularly encouraging everybody else, to write their life story. I always think that what they have to share is so intriguing and certainly the world can’t live another day without their carbon fingerprint carved eternally in the edges of the horizon. My journalistic brain starts envisioning inscribed pages, pages, which turn into articles, articles which turn into best selling books! I yell out to them “You should write! This is a fabulous story! It will be amazing!” They turn inelegantly towards me with utter bedazzlement, all the while  looking quizzically into my eyes searching for any type of life form.

As I reflect upon this newly found silly revelation, it has taken me too long to realize that I have been trying to encourage the wrong people to write. In fact, they despise even the thought of writing, it’s as if I had handed them a red velvet cupcake, with cream cheese frosting, with a live medallion cockroach anchored on it, singing the “Star Spangled Banner”, while I’m eagerly awaiting their approval of this fine delicacy of a thought.

I have come to the obvious conclusion that while am I encouraging everybody else to write a book or a blog about their passion, it is I. Yes, none other than ‘Your Highness of Silliness’ that should be writing. Not just in January or February and stop for several months, but I should be writing daily, weekly consistently.

Yes, I, Janice the writer, the motivational speaker, the artist, mom of five, lover of Jesus, beaches, jazz and cycling. I take a humble bow before my court as I exit stage left to woo my beloved Mr. Disciplined Consistency. For I have allowed him to allude me for far too long. It’s time I demanded my engagement ring and confirm our wedding date.

Thankfully, the season has come for me to embrace the realization of what has been an insurmountable task. To develop a consistent lifestyle of writing I must rely on someone much greater than myself as I humbly admit that the inconsistency of my dreams has been my weakness. Therein through my weakness God shall be my strength.  I have before me a moment-by-moment challenge to remind myself that I can do all things through Christ as Jon Bloom shares in his ‘The Insanity of Leaning on Our Own Understanding’, I shall not lean upon my own understanding as I continue writing.