Adopting a third dog?

The other day I was jogging at a nearby greenway in Nashville. This particular stretch begins/ends near the Metro Animal Control office, so, as I’ve done before, I stopped in at the end of my run. I figured since I have time, why not drop by to say hi to the doggies.

I strolled to each fenced-in dwelling, chatting with the four-legged guests. It wasn’t too long ago I came across an energetic dog named Bailey. I sat with her for awhile, and they even let me play with her outside for a bit. She was a great dog, yet my heart didn’t feel a tug. I knew she’d be adopted soon so I had no inclination to adopt her. This time around, a whole different story!

In a stall next door to the one Bailey was in (she’d been adopted by now), was a boy dog named Pharaoh. I knew I was in trouble because my heart felt a strong tug! He had blue eyes, and a spotted pink nose. He was mostly white with a few big brown patches. They said he was an Australian Shepherd mix. I learned this when I chatted with the workers there as I was on my way out. I was also told that Pharaoh was available, darn it! And he might be deaf! Well, now I just wanted to be the hero that saved him! Couldn’t they have said he has a history of biting people’s faces? He walks upright and drinks beers? He loves to pee on carpet? Maybe he’s pro-choice or something? Anything that will deter me from wanting to adopt him!

Anyway, I left to finish my jog and head home, all the while feeling that tug on my heart. For the rest of the afternoon I went over in my mind what kind of changes another dog would bring. Two dogs is one thing, but it seems like three is a whole new ball game. I researched. Mostly the adjustment was financial, but also there was a 10 or 15 year commitment to grapple with. My two dogs (Piper and Asia) are 8 and 6, so adding Pharaoh as a 1-year-old would extend my guardianship quite a few years. I decided to pray about it the rest of the day, research, sleep on it, and then see how I felt in the morning. Along with what I was feeling, I also knew he’d be adopted pretty quick because he was a beautiful and seemingly well-behaved dog. In fact, before I had even met him, there were two other families who put a “hold” on him but after 24 hours, their claim had expired.

I went to bed thinking I’d go visit him the next day, no matter what my heart was feeling when I woke up.

The next day I made my way over to the shelter mid-afternoon. I said I was there to pet the dogs. I also asked about Pharaoh. You see, I was still curious but if I’m being honest, I knew this time– in my heart– it was not my task to make a home for him. Although he would be a great dog, I’m sure, I felt a peace that he was meant for someone else. Well, when I asked the woman, she said he’d been adopted… THE DAY BEFORE!

Yeah, the same day I met him! A few hours after I left, he was gone! It’s so funny to me that once I got home after meeting Pharaoh, not knowing he would be adopted that day I prayed and prayed, I thought and thought, I went to bed hoping for clarity, then awakened with an inkling of a feeling, but still praying and thinking. Meanwhile, Pharaoh had been with his new owners for half a day already.

My prayers had been answered before I even prayed them. Pretty amazing! When I was told he was adopted, I didn’t have a feeling of regret, no anxiety about missing out, I was just happy for Pharaoh. Hopefully he now has a great home to run and play and be loved in. And meanwhile, me and my little pack of three are very content as a triple-threat 🙂

-Out of the Wilderness

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“Jesus, The Risen 1k” – Easter 2018

Happy Easter! I decided yesterday to run the same distance the disciples Peter and John ran the day they heard Jesus was no longer in the tomb. A quick backstory about that is that for the few days after Jesus was crucified and buried, the disciples and other followers pretty much went into hiding. Knowing what the Jews did to Jesus, they were afraid they’d be next.  I guess this was the first case of the witness protection program!

So it’s pretty fascinating that when these followers of Jesus were told his body was no longer in the tomb, a couple of them, Peter and John, took off running. So much for being in hiding.

My best guess is they ran about 1.2 kilometers, or roughly 0.75 miles. More on that is in this post. So today I ran in their footsteps. I challenge you to do the same today, if you have time, or next Easter, and imagine the adrenaline those folks must’ve felt as they were running and then to discover the tomb was missing one key thing… a body. Crazy and amazing stuff!

-Out of the Wilderness

 

 

And I’m running again…

Today I pounded the pavement for a couple of miles, my first time to run since this pretty epic fail last week. I felt some familiar aches but overall I’m happy with how it went. The weather is warm and muggy, but cloud cover kept the sun from blazing down on me. I also liked jogging over fallen fall leaves. I know I’ve got a log way to go to run my fastest 5K time, but I will get there. I must get there!

-Out of the Wilderness

I accidentally almost ran a half-marathon

Yeah, I almost ran a half-marathon today, 11.01 miles, completely on accident. I’m going to let that sit there for a second.

To put this in perspective, it’s more than I’ve run in the last 20 days COMBINED.

I ran over 11 miles when the original plan was to run 3, maybe 4. But I ended up at Percy Warner Park, which is where I ran a few weeks ago, and saw a sign that said “5.8 mile loop.” Crap, I can’t say no! Problem is, that’s the last time I saw any sign that said “5.8 mile loop.” I totally blame lack of signage for what happened this morning. It’s definitely NOT because I made 2 or 3 or 15 wrong turns.

Needless to say, I had plenty of time to come up with more things to write about! And in the 10th mile I saw 2 horses. That was the highlight of the morning, for sure. The owners let me pet them and they were beautiful, majestic, and I was really wishing I had 4 legs right about then. Although I would’ve passed on letting someone sit on me.

Here are a few screen shots of my ill-advised run…

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Jogging in what’s left of Hurricane Irma

I was about to title this The Art of Running in the Rain but I didn’t, for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s too close to the title of a great book called The Art of Racing in the Rain*
  2. It’s not so much artistic as it is just keeping your head down and finishing

Yesterday, as Hurricane Irma continued to dwindle down to a misty precipitation, I set out to run. The original plan was to drive over to a nearby Greenway but it was 4pm. So while getting there would be a cinch, afternoon traffic in Nashville is anything but. I’d get stuck in Google traffics dreaded red line with all the other people heading home for the day. I kept the car in park and went on foot around the neighborhood.

As I mentioned a few days ago, my goal is to beat my best 5K time. This run, however, I wasn’t going for gold. Just a jog pace. I needed to be in the rain. Let my mind and spirit be refreshed. I used this time to turn a few things over to the Lord. Any frustrations, nerves, fears, I prayed for God to replace them with joy.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

img_20170914_111415.jpgGod wants me to give Him my anxiety, my worries and fears, which is totally awesome because I don’t really want them anyway! As I was running I confessed how I was feeling. I asked God to take on the burden and with the new space in my life, for joy and freedom. Freedom in my heart that will spill over into my daily life, which brings joy.

By the end of the run I definitely felt refreshed. It was good for my soul to be in that vulnerable place of admitting my feelings to the One who already knew them anyway. The frustration and anxiety were gone. All that was left was a happy albeit fast-beating heart…and wet clothes.

I didn’t break any records. No gold medals. I didn’t even run very fast. And yet yesterday did more for me than any 5K will ever do. As my pastor would say, I had a front row seat to see God work. A chance to take God up on one of His promises and know that He didn’t leave me hanging. I’d say that’s worth more than gold!

-Out of the Wilderness

*As an Amazon Affiliate, I will receive a portion of sales associated with this Amazon link

Crawfish to Bridge One, a story about running

Ever since the trip to Missouri where my brother and I ran 5Ks and worked out almost every day, he and I have gotten back into running, me in Nashville and him in Orlando. I can’t really speak for him in regards to how much he’s running but I lace up maybe 3 or 4 times a week now. I have a goal and a secret goal (which means you can’t say a word about it!). The very public goal that you can talk to your co-workers and friends about is defeating my personal 5K record of 19 minutes and 42 seconds, set 11 years ago. The more I run now, it feels like that was way back when dreams were possible. OK, here’s the secret goal that you can only mumble to yourself when you’re alone in the closet… my secret goal is that I want to beat my brother. He’s been more athletic than me forever (again, never ever admit to anyone under any circumstance that I said any of this), so when I can beat him at something, I take the time to relish it like you’d do if you were taking a bath in strawberry jelly. Really enjoy every second of it, and maybe make a sandwich if you have some peanut butter lying around.

Here’s a clip of my bro and I running in Missouri back in July…

I’ve got to train for the day when he runs a 5K under 22, then under 21, then under 20. The only way I know how is to get out there and run!

So I have a few landmarks I’d like to hit. The first, and it’s proving to be difficult, is to break the 22-minute mark on a 3.1-mile run. Just yesterday I had my best time at 22:11. I’m not afraid to admit my disappointment. I was disappointed, there I said it. It felt like biting into a fresh homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwich, like, you used the good peanut butter and everything, only to realize there’s no peanut butter on it at all. Total downer.

But something good came out of the run yesterday. I did well with a silly strategy I’ve used in the past: pick two points along the path and between the two, run faster. After the second point, slow back down to a cruise pace. The plan is to widen the gaps in those points the more I train. Yesterday the two points were a sign about crawfish (I was running alongside a creek) and a bridge, so that’s where the title of this blog came from. I conversed with myself, maybe I can’t keep a 6-minute mile pace the whole time, but I can do it from crawfish to bridge one, right?

Right.

I haven’t broken the 22-minute 5K yet but I’ll be sure to post more as I get closer to that landmark moment, and hopefully eventually accomplishing my goal and my secret goal (shhhhhh!)… so here’s to training and running and reaching goals and brothers and pb&J sandwiches!

-Out of the Wilderness

3 miles up hill both ways

Remember your grandparents rough life walking to school up hill both ways? Totally not even possible, right? Well, I’m being as serious as I’ve ever been when I say that my brother and I have run a 5k two days in a row, same path but reversed the path the second day and, y’all, it. is. up. hill. both. ways.

Or at least it felt like it. I’ve never felt as old as I do right at this moment, typing, and my back hurts, my knees ache, I’m thinking about my bedtime (it’s 8:16pm, so what?), I’m upset I missed Wheel of Fortune tonight and my dentures are cracking!

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OK, OK, some of those aren’t completely true, but I tell ya what, my body is
hurtin’ all over. I’ll say this in my defense though: along with running, we’ve worked out and worked outside a ton in the last two days. In a nutshell we’re volunteering at a summer camp so we can both keep believing that we can hang with 20 year old guys.

It’s going “OK” to “very OK.” But I feel every bit of 38 years old. Really all it took was to see young counselors going hard every second, every day, and smiling about it.

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But my brother and I did set a personal elevation record on today’s run. Same
route as yesterday but somehow we ran higher. Take that father time! Take that earth! We’re setting records!

-Out of the Wil….zzzzzzzzzzzzz

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