So, I am supposed to be out kayaking with Cynda at the moment but I somehow managed to tweak my neck/back this morning and can't really move effectively without intense pain shooting through my spine, hence, I am writing a blog instead of enjoying the outdoors. My only wish is that I am better by Monday morning as I am going camping with a few friends out on Santa Rosa Island--hiking, exploring, snorkeling, and kayaking among other things. I'm going regardless and I am engaging in everything that I had planned in spite of any pain. . . it is a good thing that the dream Liz had recently of me dying in a horrific accident took place at a construction site and not on the ocean kayaking with me throwing my back out, unable to row and drifting helplessly out to sea, never to return again! :)
I was reading recently through my old journal entries and discovered that the times in my life that I felt the most healthy and happy was when I had a nice balance among the physical, intellectual, spiritual, and social aspects of my life. Needless to say, I have neglected aspects of each of these over the past few years and am now determined to regain a proficiency in each category in order to advance my personal well-being.
Despite this morning's anomaly with my neck/back, regarding my health I am feeling the best that I have in years (I dare say that I am actually in the best shape that I have been in since I had torn my achilles tendon and was in a cast for several months a couple of years ago--I finally feel comfortable running, even sprinting for the first time since the injury and have been running several miles consistently for the first time in years). Over the course of the past month I have managed to move from the sporadic exercising that I have been engaged in for the past few years to a consistent routine. Additionally, I have adopted a healthier diet and while results are always slow in coming, I've dropped about 5 pounds (about 10 pounds dropped since the beginning of the year) and while I am not really bulking up with muscle I am beginning to be more defined--Nice! I still have a long way to go to get rid of the little gut that I've got going, but I am confident with consistent exercise and diet I should be in great shape by next summer (I know that it is a long way off, but I'm looking at things realistically--lifestyle changes take longer to see results, but they are more effective in the long term than following diet or exercise fads that may reduce fat quickly but also has it return just as quickly--besides, I am more concerned with the health benefits--a healthy heart and body with which to engage in activities which I enjoy).
In addition to eating well and exercising at the gym, I would like to return to a more active lifestyle with friends--engaging in activities that may be social, fun, and exercise all combined together. For example, backpacking, hiking, biking, playing sports, kayaking (did I mention that I recently bought two kayaks for this purpose?), swimming, etc. Heck, I may even bite the bullet and take up dancing if anyone knows where a novice can take lessons (I've always said I would learn once I got married and my wife insisted that I learn). Needless to say, if anyone is game for engaging in such activities, please give me a call or fire off a text and we will get out and enjoy life!
I've never been a voracious reader though I do like to read (I guess that you could say that I read more than the average person but less than the average English teacher). I've been keeping abreast of the political landscape for the past several years, frequently reading articles posted at Realclearpolitics.com which provides multiple sources and perspectives on issues, so from the political perspective I feel that I am doing fine, but I have neglected pleasure reading, philosophical reading, and the likes as of late. As such, I really need to make a return to the great authors of the world. I've rediscovered Ibsen as of late, having recently attended a performance of Hedda Gabbler, watched a recorded performance of The Master Builder, and I am currently reading The Lady from the Sea, all of which are great works (there are some really interesting concepts presented in these plays that I would love to discuss with anyone who is interested but will refrain from blogging on them). But in addition to classic literature, I feel that I ought to broaden my horizons and step into some literature that I normally do not explore. I have just received an order from Amazon.com wherein I received a few books that people had mentioned in passing that I have thought to pick up: Anastasia had mentioned a book titled, The Road Less Travelled, Rachel had mentioned Remains of the Day, and a student some years ago mentioned Anthem so I now have a copy of each. Of course, I would like to add more, so if anybody has any recommendations for books of any kind, please leave a comment and I will be sure to order it and add it to my list of books to read.
I have a firm and abiding faith in Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, yet my spirituality tends to fluctuate from time to time. Sometimes I am really focused and have a good relationship with my Heavenly Father. Other times I am quite selfish, distant, and neglecting of things spiritual. Needless to say, I have been in a spiritual lull recently and need to break out of it. It all begins with my personal relationship with God--pondering, praying, and having a grateful heart. It then moves into the study of scripture. Next, focusing on exercising faith that produces action--actually living as a disciple of Christ had ought to live. These things build upon one another and strengthen one another. Ultimately temple service is the crowning achievement. I have a need of becoming truly worthy to attend the temple. I'm not talking about being able to answer temple recommend interview questions appropriately (though that is important), but speaking of one's own maturity and focus in relation to things spiritual. I've got to get back to that point before I visit the temple again.
I have great family and great friends--the best anyone could ever ask for, yet I neglect these relationships often times. Pardon me if I have seemed distant--I admittedly have been and for some time now. I'm not entirely sure as to why, but I have. . . my apologies. Part of me feels to take off on some solitary trip--perhaps if I starve myself socially I will be more engaged with people afterward. Conversely, perhaps I will be more solitary and distant afterward. . . hmm. . .