#ProjectBeMoreHuman – Week 1

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So a few weeks ago I blogged about the Reebok Be More Human campaign/commerical and how I was going to “probably” get back into CrossFit when I get “settled” in San Anotnio? Well apparently in my life “probably” meant yes and “settled” meant shortly after I got my stuff into storage.

I am not sure what came over me. Maybe it was watching my friend Scott who is battling the effects of his brain tumor (loss of balance and loss of feeling in one of his arms and one of his legs) go every weekend to the CrossFit box and compete in the CrossFit Open Games. He refuses to take no for an answer and doesn’t give up. He also doesn’t use the brain tumor as an excuse. I think a lot of people would gracefully bow out and point to their cancer – not Scott. That level of drive, passion, encouragement and perseverance has left an impacting effect on me for sure.

What an inspiration… Last Saturday when Scott went to the box to get his 15.4 workout in and I watched something that truly amazed me. He went off to a corner of the box and setup the weights for the workout and began to attempt the movements. Each time having issues getting the weight above his head or to his shoulders. He then came back over to Tracy and me to say that he wasn’t sure he was going to be able to do the workout.

Then after talking to some people at the box and somewhere somehow digging deep within and finding the strength to do this workout he jumped into the next round to be scored. Then he just did it – he proceeded to work through the movements along with everyone else. I’m not sure what came over him but he did it.

So what’s my excuse? With really no medical issues to speak of – there’s no reason I shouldn’t be working out and making the most of the body that God gave me. So I decided last week to sign up for CrossFit – now. I’m joining the wonderful folks over at Hill Country CrossFit in Boerne, TX this time. I also started running every other day in preparation for the upcoming race season and to help me as I train for my fall/winter races. Cycling is going to fit in there somewhere soon too.

I’m taking a slightly different approach with my food since I’m living with friends – I’m just eating everything in moderation and when I do go out – trying to make better choices. Once I get settled in my own place and start cooking for myself on a regular basis I’ll work on tweaking that too.

So I decided to “borrow” Reebok’s Be More Human and make my own #ProjectBeMoreHuman. I’m committing to blogging once a week about my progress. What I’m doing. All that fun stuff. So hopefully you’ll come check it out and help cheer me on as I take yet another step into becoming healthier.

My Journey to Texas: Start

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After some crazy rain showers and a huge accident on I-35 where I sat for *literally* hours. I decided to take the backroads when I hit just south of Waco. I’m really glad I did as it served as a nice change of scenery and offered far less traffic.

I finally arrived in the little town outside of San Antonio where I’m staying as I’m getting settled around 5:00 pm on Monday.

As I got out of the car and as greeted by my friends parent’s who I’m staying with – I found out some disheartening news. My friend Scott was diagnosed with another brain tumor – this time on the brain stem and that he and the family would be staying in Houston for the next few days to sort out treatment options.

My frist night was one that was fairly low key and quiet. We ate dinner together, talked about my journey down and discuss the news about Scott. The timing was pretty uncanny I must say.

IMG_0900 IMG_0901I decided to fill my day the next day with looking for a job and running errands such as getting the car washed (aka – getting the 1500 miles of road gunk and months of salt off of it). I also rent and rented a storage unit to stick my life into.

Never living away from home and/or a place where I could always keep my stuff – this was a first for me. As I began carrying my stuff into my tiny storage unit – this all started to become real to me that I had just moved to Texas. It was a mix of emotions but all in all I felt like I had done what was right.

So, now I’m in the process of figuring out what it means to be a Texan. I’m searching for the right job and getting connected with the local community here. While I do miss Ohio, my family, friends and a lot of the comfort I was used to – I gotta say that I’m pretty happy here and am enjoying this season of rest in my life as I gear up for the adventure that is living in Texas.

That’s it! I’m still working through the next few posts in the coming days but hope y’all have enjoyed getting a glimpse inside my journey to Texas.

John


 

My Journey to Texas

This is going to be a small four part series chronicling my move process and the various stages. Being one of the biggest things that has ever taken place in my life I wanted to blog about it to share with everyone as well as for my own memories to look back on.

  1. Grief
  2. Drive
  3. Dallas
  4. Start

My Journey to Texas: Dallas

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So you know it wouldn’t be a JohnMassie story if there wasn’t a plot twist. Well, here’s the plot twist that you’ve all been waiting for – I mentioned to many of you that I was stopping in Dallas on my way to San Antonio to stay with a friend… While all true – I didn’t really tell you all the details because I knew if i did I would worry people more (and people were worried enough with me driving 16 hours straight).

Well, the part I failed to mention is that I know Damon via Twitter (@DamonGochneaur) and I had never actually met Damon in person. In fact, we had never even spoken on the phone before. Yes, so in essence I drove 16 hours, 1,100 miles to a person’s house that I had never been to or met in person before.

Damon and his family gave me quite the Texas welcome – complete with a steak dinner upon my (late) arrival. A beautiful guest suite to stay in at his home and an itinerary of Dallas activities for me should I choose to stay for the weekend. So, on a whim, I extended what was going to be a quick overnight stay into Dallas into a full weekend in Dallas!

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The next morning after getting introduced to Damon’s children we took off for a local barbecue joint – Hard Eight BBQ. This place was quintessential Texas barbecue experience in my mind. Mind blowing barbecued meat and awesome sides with sweet tea to wash it all down. I wish I would have taken a picture of how the meat is served to you – it’s taken straight from the pit, carved on the spot and served like the picture above. It does not get fresher than that. I was in food heaven.

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That evening Damon took his oldest and myself to a FC Dallas Soccer game. We had amazing seats and the weather could not have been nicer to sit outside and watch a soccer game. (Though it was as we were leaving) but FC Dallas scored and won the game! Good times.

The next day Damon and his family invited me to join them at Odysseo. Kind of hard to describe but my best attempt would be – a show that is a mix of Cirque du Soleil but add in horses that are very well trained. Complete with live singing and live band. Thanks to a series of events Damon was able to get upgraded seats and we were able to sit second row. I wasn’t sure what to expect of the show going in and I was completely blown away within minutes of the show starting. I’m pretty sure I spent most of the two hours with my jaw dropped wide open. If you have a chance to see it (I think it’s going to Canada next) I highly recombined it!

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Afterwards we got to meet a couple of the performers and take a tour of the stable where they keep all the horses. (For me) A once in a lifetime experience and I’m very blessed that things worked out that I was able to join them.

Damon’s generosity and kindness was quite overwhelming. I think of myself as no more than a stranger to him and he opened his home, fed me, gave me a place to stay and made sure I had a great time while in Dallas. I feel very blessed to have awesome people like Damon in my life and really felt like he embodied Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

The weekend was a great way to kick off the first few days of living in Texas. Thanks Damon for your kindness and friendship!


 

My Journey to Texas

This is going to be a small four part series chronicling my move process and the various stages. Being one of the biggest things that has ever taken place in my life I wanted to blog about it to share with everyone as well as for my own memories to look back on.

  1. Grief
  2. Drive
  3. Dallas
  4. Start

My Journey to Texas: Drive

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Ok, I always imagined that if I was ever going to move away from Ohio I would have movers and I would just fly to my new home. I’d have one of those cinematic moments at security where I said my goodbyes and then I’d walk through security and turn around and wave to my friends/family that came to see me off. Then I’d get to my gate and I’d board the plane and I’d watch as I fly over the Columbus and look longingly out the window and wave goodbye. Maybe snapping a picture of downtown before I left.

Well, in reality, my move out of Ohio was nothing like that. I was half awake, freezing cold from trying to load all the last minute stuff at 5:00 AM and said my goodbyes to my mom and grandma who couldn’t stand and watch me drive away as it was crazy cold and my mom had to get ready for work. There weren’t crazy tears and I couldn’t look longingly out the window because I was driving. I didn’t even get to go through downtown one last time or anything – I just had to hit the road and took the outer belt because it was the fastest way.

Also, one thing that happened that morning that also added stress was the fact that it was so cold in Ohio that my bike rack locks were frozen so they weren’t very secure on the rack. I had to trust that the locks that did work would hold them on until it got warm enough and they thawed (which was 475 miles later…). After one check of the rack I took off and didn’t stop until I needed gas.

The whole drive was fairly uneventful. With the crazy winter weather Kentucky and Tennessee had been receiving that week I decided to take the more western route than the southern route. I had beautiful weather and the first few states (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois) seemed to just fly by. The first major thing happened when I was screaming obscenities at my GPS in downtown St. Louis because apparently it doesn’t understand how the lanes work and caused me to miss my exit. You know, because there’s nothing like traveling 70MPH and it says “In 300 feet, keep left.” so you naturally keep left and then afterwards it says, “Take the exit on the right.” No warning, just “take the exit on there right”… you know, no big deal, you just need to jump over 5 lanes into traffic… However, I made it to the appropriate freeway after wandering through downtown for a few minutes.

IMG_0851I was pretty hard core about this driving portion since I had to be in Dallas that evening. I literally only stopped to get gas, go to the bathroom and once to eat (though it was at a gas station). I didn’t leave the car for long (or let it out of my sight) because as you can see, my life was packed into the back (and no, I couldn’t see out the back).

I thought Missouri was long but I was mistaken. I was almost sure that I was never going to leave the state of Oklahoma. Not to mention that the drivers were crazy on the toll roads and no one in the state of Oklahoma seemed to understand the concept of cruise control.

Then I hit some crazy traffic just south of Oklahoma City on I-35. No accident – just traffic… which is one of the things I hate the most. I kept move and finally broke free from the traffic and it was a straight shot to my friends Damon’s house just north of Dallas.

I hate inconveniencing anyone and I had originally planned on arriving around 8:00 PM but it ended up being closer to 9:30 PM. Thankfully Damon and his family were very gracious and accommodating with my later than anticipated arrival. I did it – I drove from Ohio to Texas in one day covering roughly 1,100 miles. Crazy but totally worth it since it got me into my new home state in just one day!


My Journey to Texas

This is going to be a small four part series chronicling my move process and the various stages. Being one of the biggest things that has ever taken place in my life I wanted to blog about it to share with everyone as well as for my own memories to look back on.

  1. Grief
  2. Drive
  3. Dallas
  4. Start

My Journey to Texas: Grief

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A week ago I found myself sitting on my bed at my mom’s condo quietly grieving the life that I was about to leave. I had had plenty of goodbye dinners, lunches, parties, and coffees. I had sold most of my worldly possessions. I had even packed up my Chevy Tahoe with everything I did own to be able to start my journey the next morning as early as possible.You’d think by now it would have set in that I was moving to Texas.

Yet it wasn’t until I found myself alone, in my room, right as I laid down to go to bed the night before I was to embark on the journey that I began to truly grieve the life that I was leaving. It’s something I’ll never forget. I sat on the edge of my bed and quietly cried as I thought of everything I left behind. The words to the old country song, “How Can I Help You Say Goodbye” by Patty Loveless played in my head.

I knew deep down I was making the right decision but in that very moment I questioned everything that I was about to do. I texted one of my closest friends and asked for some prayers as I really didn’t know what else to do or say. I tried to pray but really there were no words. Then I realized I just had to left this happen – I had to work through the grief of what I was about to do. I knew that if I didn’t process this that it would just make the move all that much harder.

When I thought about this whole move I never thought about grieving the chapter of my life that I was closing up. I feel like throughout my life I’ve moved through “seasons” or had “chapters” open and close but never in my life have I had something so huge where I felt like it was so defined. So different than other “seasons” or “chapters” in my life ending.

The move wasn’t a negative one at all so I figured there would be no reason to have such sad feelings. I learned quickly I was wrong. I think somewhere in my mind I felt like I was abandoning everyone in my life. I’d like to think that I’m not a selfish person and what I was about to do felt so selfish because it was for me and me alone. Yet, I think in the end this move to Texas will be good for me and truly is what I want but it’s still hard to tell yourself that you’re doing the right thing.

On the other hand I knew that I was leaving with everyone’s blessing. I learned quickly that when you move away like this you really don’t want people to be happy to see you leave but you want them to be happy for you. Thankfully most all of my friends and family were good about articulating these feelings and I had to remind myself that everyone was truly happy for me and that it’s ok to take that leap to head to Texas…

After thinking through all this and more I was able to finally calm myself down and fall asleep. It seemed like I had just barely closed my eyes when suddenly my 5:00AM alarm was going off. I laid there staring at the ceiling. I had to will myself out of bed to get showed and on the road.

After gathering my things and saying my goodbyes to my mom and my grandma I got in my truck and began the 1400 mile journey from Columbus to San Antonio…


 

My Journey to Texas

This is going to be a small four part series chronicling my move process and the various stages. Being one of the biggest things that has ever taken place in my life I wanted to blog about it to share with everyone as well as for my own memories to look back on.

  1. Grief
  2. Drive
  3. Dallas
  4. Start

 

Shake The Dust

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Mat Kearney released his next album called “Just Kids” this week. The first track is called “Heartbreak Dreamer”. The title of the track caught my attention and I listened to it first. Then found myself listening to it again and again and again. Here’s the track for you if you’d like to check it out:

As I listened to the words it dug up some feelings that I’ve been having right now. At the end you will hear a spoken word given by Anis Mojgani called “Shake the Dust”. I looked up the original on YouTube to find that there is more to the spoken word that what appears in the song.

With the announcement of my move to Texas it has produced a wide variety of emotions and reactions from people around me. I’ve experienced such wonderful positive messages from people and I have experienced the not so great derogatory and doubting comments from others.

As I listened to this song and this spoken word I just thought about the words “Shake The Dust”. Much of my life I’ve been the underdog and have been the one that people would assume would fail. Whenever I’ve made changes in my life I’ve had to own my decisions, hold my head high, shake the dust and press forward. This time is no different – I just have to remember that in life not everyone is going to support you and you just have to Shake The Dust.


 

Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

I had a challenge presented to me on January 31 by my friend Sean to blog every day in February to help form the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I took him up on the challenge and will be writing every day in February. 

 

Be More Human

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I saw this commercial over the last couple of weeks and you know what? It makes me miss CrossFit. It was around this time last year that I started an introduction to CrossFit group and then I took up training for a half marathon so I let CrossFit go in favor of being able to dedicate all my free time training for my half.

After I get settled in San Antonio I think I will go back to CrossFit. I think I’ll incorporate it into my cycling, running (and dare I say maybe swimming…). I not only felt stronger but I think it helped support my other outdoor activities. Plus since I know only a couple of people out there I might as well sink my free time into being active (we all know my waist and weight will thank me).


 

Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

I had a challenge presented to me on January 31 by my friend Sean to blog every day in February to help form the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I took him up on the challenge and will be writing every day in February.