Getting Better All The Time – The Gym Episodes

…Lately I’ve been reevaluating my life and where I’d like to make improvements. I’m of the school of thought that we’re never perfect or fully mature. Instead, we become more self-aware and make adjustments to our lives enabling us to be a help to our homes & communities. These changes are brought about through our faith, our family who know our short comings better than us at times, close friends and other fringe elements.

Anyhow, like I was saying, I’ve been looking to add to my life things that will make me better. Here’s what I’m looking at so far:

Finances: I’d like to get a better handle on financial planning and saving.
Reading: I haven’t read a in while and so I’ve been binging out on reading anything and everything.
Spiritually: It’s been great to get back to reading my Bible and praying for my own growth first. I really neglected that for some time, honestly. Shoutouts to the #2aday crew!

And lastly, getting back in shape. There was a time when I would hit the gym up, eat right (or eat at all), play ball for hours, ride bikes, etc. Now…well…no gym, lots of fruit loops, what’s a ball and I don’t have a bike…so I am horendously out of shape. Then there was my P90X summer, where everything was working…until I went to camp for a week (then, BOOM, downhill!). I do feel under weight and undersized, especially when I work with HS students who could outplay me on PS3 whereas my thumbs would get tired. I could say, “well, I’m a person of the cloth and the most important thing is that my spiritual muscles are big and strong!”

People who say that are dumb. Period. Quote me on that.

It is annoying to walk to the park with Ellie and need to take breaks. Or roll around with Liam and then pull away because I’m out of breath. It really is. The same power I put to my brain muscles (school) and spirit muscles and emotional muscles (prayer, community, etc), I should put to my body. Not to sculpt it but to be healthy!

Here’s what i have to work with in 2012:

I am older now. When I was a teen, i could play ball for hours, no water, no snacks…now?! Gatorade!
I have a bad right knee. Not sure how or why but I do.
Bad left toe. It’s my Shaq problem.
I have a family now. It’s harder to plan things out with Wifey and two kids. Back when it was just Wifey and I, we’d go to the gym together, come home, rest up…now…much harder.

But regardless of these factors, I really feel like this is something, along with the list above that I have to do. Here are the benefits:

A better outlook on life. People who are in shape actively have a better spirit about them (especially when the heart/soul/mind are growing too). Working out gets the juices flowing, especially in the mornings. Check out this blog by Michael Hyatt to get his take on this.
An appreciation for outdoors. This is if I get to running or biking.
More stamina. I’d like to play with my kids longer, hang with the HS kids when the basketballs come out and do 10 to 15K one day.
Longer Drive. Yup, it’s exactly what you think. Healthier body, healthier bedroom, yo.

And plus, Wifey has really put a fire under my butt about this lately. No more pop, just water. Working out every day after the kids are in bed. She’s going for it and now, I gots to too. So my next immediate goals are the following:

Water and more water. I’ve started drinking it more and drinking coffee less among other things. I have an addiction to Coke and I’m working that out of my system.
Going to the doctor. I need to get my knee checked out so I can get proper running and basketball shoes. I’d like get a proper knee brace as well so I can handle sports and long distance running. It doesn’t help that have the inherited Chase flat feet with a side of wide. Sorry kids…that’s a part of your legacy:)
Getting a gym membership of some sort. This is harder because it requires both money and time. But I’d like to at some point. It’s an investment that I’d have to cash in on at LEAST 3 to 4 days a week for an hour at a time.

AND get an accountability partner. So I have this for my spiritual life (Shout outs to my three amigos. You know who you are, gents!) but I’d need someone with the same drive as me to either be at the gym with me or to call me and say ‘Hey, go to the gym today you skinny puke!” This is big, because it’ll easily fall apart if I ain’t got nobody. Or it’ll be going for a while then trail off, like many things in life. Interesting, eh?

So here we go…I’ll keep you posted on what this looks like for me. How about you? What are some things you want to improve or add to your life (and no answers of “I just want to be closer to Jesus”…I took that one. Find another!)? What kind of help do you need?

Let’s get it!!!

Chase

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PS. How does one graduate to Christian maturity? I’ve always found that to be a conundrum for me. Is it quoting scripture? Worship? Love your thoughts here!

PPS. How important is being in shape for you?

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#beardwatch continues – Little Wiskers

It’s almost two weeks since I’ve decided to go the hippy/hipster route and grow my beard out. This past sunday after handling the teaching aspect of our service, one of our junior high’s said to me “From far you look like James Harden!” Well, I did what any good man would do: I promoted the heck out of my blog! And my Flickr account, which is documenting each day through the art of narcissistic photography (I mean is there anything more annoying than someone taking a pic of themselves? Oh wait, you do that all the time? Oh…nevermind then…)

Now that I’m actually going through with this, I’ve noticed how there are three camps of people. In the first camp there are the non-believers, those who are not only disgusted by my endeavor but who make it a point to discourage me from pursuing this passion project (ooh…deep…real deep, Chase)! From them I get a lot of “Gross” and “Yuck” and “WHYYYYYYYY?“. Then I have the second camp, filled with people who are confused but supportive. They themselves would never do such a task but they’ll holla at a brother while he gets his beard on. They also send examples of what my beard could end up looking like. Then in third camp is my friend Drew, who is doing this with me. Shout outs to you Drew Oliphant. My Beard will still be better than yours. It should be noted that the first camp is all women, led of course by my wifey (Ellie doesn’t seem to care either way) and that the second camp is all gents. I’m a fan of the second camp, as you can imagine!

Challenges of week 2:

1 – I remember WAY back when I grew my hair out for braiding purposes. Yes, I got my Lil Bow Bow on and rocked Cornrows, Singles and the like when they were the IN thing (I look at braids now like I view wearing doo-rags out of the house: nostalgic and high maintenance.). Anyhow, there was that long stretch before the hair was fully braidable when it was just a gross fro. Combing it out was a hassle, patting it down was a hassle, trimming it to keep even…everything was a hassle…and that was 4-6 months. I’m starting to feel that with the beard. Before it gets to epic state, it’s just gonna be there, slowly taking over my face. Yes, it’s fun to conditioner and moisterize it but still I’ll be into December or January before I get to that, “Dude this is awesome” point. So keeping motivated is key.

2 – I keep on losing my picks. I have 4 of them: 2 at home, one at the office and one roamer. Yet I keep on misplacing them all the time. This past Saturday I had to teach at our Saturday night service without a combed beard. WITHOUT. My mom would be furious (at least I think she would…she got mad when I didn’t comb my hair, so I’m guessing it just translates.)

3 – I have found the moustache hairs annoying though. It’s like a constant itch up my nose.

Pluses

1 – I’m still kissable, according to Wifey…at least for now. Yup, the bearded one has STILL got it. Ohhhh yeahhhhh (self hi-five)

2 – This movement is giving me some cool t-shirt ideas.

And lastly, tweets of the week! This is where I will post tweets sent by my friends concerning my beard (if there are any). If you’re following me, click on their links to see the pics they attach (My buddy Bombay put one up of the guy from TV on the Radio. I will keep mine cleaner than that BUT his beard girth is something to behold!!!). There are lots so I’m putting up a few at a time. Don’t be offended if yours isn’t here. There are still 300+ days to go!!

 

 

 

 

Thanks Matt Joy and Matt Bombay for some good pics that I’ve added into this blog and Brendan Witton for promoting this blog to your many followers. The more supporters the better. And if you’re thinking about growing your beard out or promoting the blog, use the #beardwatch hashtag!

I continue to beard for the beardless!

Chase

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PS. Along with this, I’m also reading a lot. Here’s my current read list: The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler, Liston and Ali by Bob Mee, Soul Print by Mark Batterson, The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill and Eyes Wide Open by Mark Romanoski.

PPS. I also hope to get a next blog up that is not related to my beard on getting back in shape. It’s coming along…like my beard…see what I did there?!

#beardwatch at one week

So the quest for the greatest beard ever started a week ago. It’s been 7 days and so far so good. I’ve gotten a lot of comments about it already which have been fun along with a challenger who believes his beard, in a year, will be better than mine. Well Drew Oliphant, consider yourself the silver medalist in this two person beard dance. Love you, dude but you’re gonna lose. Don’t believe? Check out the site bro!

So I thought in this post, I’d talk a little bit about my rules, my hair process and my upcoming difficulties because of my beard. Let’s go!!!

1- My Grooming Rules:

On Sunday, one of my buddies asked me if I had cut my beard at all since I started and I told him yes. His suggestion was that I should then start from scratch from the day I cut my beard. My good friend failed to understand what is known by us urban folks as “Goin’ for a touch up“. What is that you ask? Well I will tell you!

A touch up is simply cleaning up the lines on the face to keep the main parts looking neat without actually cutting the girth of the beard off. Kids used to do this when they wanted to grow their hair out for braids or huge fro but still look good and not bruck up (def: unkept). So with my beard, I will never cut the goatee portion or the hairs closest to it. However the sideburns area can be trimmed to keep with some neatness. The reality is, I have a job where at times I need to stand in front of people and so I should look somewhat decent…even with a HUGE face carpet!

2 – My hair:

The hardest thing about this beard will be that black hair will never grow as fast my caucasian friends. And my hair is curly and not straight. Knowing this, I spend a lot of time combing out my beard. I know how weird that sounds but I do it at LEAST 6 times a day. Now I can do this while typing this blog, watching TV, reading a book, throne-ning it…you name it, I can do it! I’m always picking this thing out. I remember way back when I grew out my hair to have braids and it went from tight curls to straight. That is what I am anticipating. It’s already happening in the chin region…now for the jaw!

I also have to shampoo it too, which is a weird feeling. Soon…conditioner. I’m three steps away from a curling iron.

3 – Upcoming Difficulties

I have a black tie wedding in December that normally I’d be clean-cut for…and I will be tempted to cut it. Also, I always get poutine cheese stuck in this thing. And I have a wife who will hate this more and more as this continues. Lastly, I will be venturing into hipster territory soon (the large frame glasses, color jeans and nonchalant rapport doesn’t help either). I’m not trying to be a hipster…which is again venturing to hipster territory. Also, I made fun of a friend named Mitch Pitt for having a thick beard. And when he sees me, he’s gonna throw it on me in a bad way. And lastly, Easter plays…

I’m sure more will come up but we’ll see.

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Well, that’s all for now! I’ll save more stuff for next week as the #beardwatch continues!!!! I’d love, if you’re a reader, for email questions that I can answer here on some posts. Email me at cchase101@apchurch.com and maybe your question might get picked!!!

#beardwatch – The Quest for the Awesome Beard

Hello reader!

Yesterday I made a big decision. One that will rock my home and bring unnecessary tension between wifey and I. One that will bring weird comments from friends who say more than they need too. One that will bring fear into the minds of people I don’t know. And one that will cause barbers all over the GTA to wonder aloud, “Dude, what are you doin‘?”

Here was my decision via twitter:

Yup. I want to grow my beard out something fierce. Why? No real reason other that why not. Now I’ve done this once before. After September/early October of last year, I didn’t cut my hair or beard until Liam was born. But I didn’t keep it kept, didn’t fresh my hair or anything. I looked, how do I say…rough?!

Anyhow, this time around, I have a template. A hero if you will: NBA star and recent USA Basketball Olympic Gold Medalist James Harden. Here’s a pic of him, along with Kevin Durant and Melo Anthony. James is in the middle.

Pretty awesome, eh? Now, he’s been growing this for a couple of years now (since 2009, to be accurate…4 years, boi!) so I’m not expecting to be at that level in 3 months. However, I am hoping that by then, Wifey will have given up on getting me to shave it and simply added this to the long list of her long sufferings as my wife. By then, i’ll be smooth growing; apart from the itchiness, the curly sideburn hair that won’t straighten without a black man’s brush, the grey hairs that are becoming more pronounced and the possible never getting hugs from anyone in my home (though I am sure Liam will have fun pulling it for sport).

I also plan to, for as long as I can, keep my faux hawk. I went to the barbershop recently and my barber and I both commented on how my hair isn’t growing fast,  a sign of old age, I guess. Since then, I’m doing what I did when I wanted braids: always picking my hair out. And it has worked so far. I am quite excited.

So along with trying to read more, get to the gym, be a better man in my home and save up to buy a life size robot, I will be on #beardwatch. Each week (or so) I will be posting a beard pic (some in different locations, some with the kids, some very repetitive…okay most will be…), to keep my progress on file. This will be fun.

I also hope to talk with James Harden via twitter or email in the next months or so to hear from him on how he did it for so long. That would ALMOST make me switch teams from LA to OK…nah, not happening!

Let the early mid-life crisis begin!!!

Chase
PS. Basketball talk pt 1: I am really nervous that the Dwight Howard Laker thing won’t work. Call me a pessimist but the only thing more spectacular than a ring in LA is combustion in LA: both get headlines, one gets TV movie’d.

PPS. Basketball talk pt 2: I hate to admit this…LeBron is great. I want to vomit now…all over my computer and children. Yuck.

Back to Blogging With More Footnotes & Hating on WordPress.

So it’s been quite some time since my last post…

In fact it’s been quite some time since I really blogged out…and by that I mean have at LEAST a post a week. A couple of factors speak to that:

1 – I felt for a time that I lost my voice. Did I want to be a serious blogger? A God blogger[1]?A Seinfeldian Observational Blogger? I’m still figuring it out.

2 – I got busy. New little kid, taller older kid, prego/then non-prego but recovering/then back to fun normal wifey, laundry, friends, calling, hating on LeBron, 31, TDKR, iPad, Jack & Jones, distractions and other things that kept me occupied.

3 – Ideas never came out on wax. I had a great blog about buying a girl’s shirt from old navy[2], but I just never sat down to write it out…I knew the format (letter). I knew the tone (obvious sarcasm). I  alsoknew the result (Old Navy apologizes, I go on Ellen, I then star on a reality tv show as the Black Christian Guy with a chip on his shoulder but a heart of gold in the end…see what I missed out on?).

4 – I stopped reading. Reading, i think, inspires writing. And I stopped. Partially because what I would have read would have convicted my current life state and I didn’t want to deal with that. Partially because reading at home with 2 kids and a wife is tough during NFL/NBA season. Partially because I was too lazy to make time to watch something of substance. And partially because Becca makes fun of my books. I still love her though!

5 – I hate WordPress. That came out wrong. What I meant to say is…I hate the WordPress state. I want to use footnotes like my FAVORITE website grantland.com, edited by The Book of Basketball’s Bill Simmons[3]. I really want to have cool footnotes so I can ramble on justifiably without feeling like I am boring you, the faithful reader. But the way it works on WordPress, you need to be a stinking programer to know how and it’s stupid and dumb and should be easier, WordPress. If I could find a better blog site, I would be on it today.

So those are my reasons for not blogging lately. That being said, the last two blogs I’ve written have been nicely received…that being said, when sex is a topic, it’ll get readers, i guess. So I’m going to try to do this right. Here’s where I’ll need your help. Keep me accountable. When I haven’t written in a while, email/write/call/tweet me. This writing thing is like a muscle and if it’s not used, it goes into atrophy, which is where I feel it’s been for the better part of a year.

So the rebuilding begins (major statement that requires follow through)! Here are some of the topics I plan to write about:

– My beard’s growth and how much it will annoy Becca while inspiring millions to grow their facial hair for no real good reason.
– Mark 12:29-32 (How I hope to improve my life in the heart/mind/soul/strength/neighbour sense.)
– My fear that LeBron is as good as I always feared.
– Life with wifey and the kids.
– Trying to go the gym.
– My angry letter to Old Navy (which is the ugly cousin to the preppy Banana Republic, btw.)
– The greatest cartoon heroes, specifically from the 1980’s, which is in my opinion the golden age of cartoons.
– Lines from books I like because I am against putting lines from books on twitter or facebook.
– Teaching Liam to appreciate manly things and creating Ellie to be an olympian.
– More epic fails.

…Those are some of them. So it’ll be fun times. Or an mitigated disaster. And if there is one thing we know about our pop cultured/reality tv’ed society, nothing is better than the underdog doing something cool. Like a blog.

To di world!

Chase

PS – Sign up via email to get these blog posts mailed to ya! It’ll be worth is!!


[1] And man there are enough of those “here’s what  He showed me/Here’s what you need to know/Here’s the new revelation/What’s wrong with the church…yadda yadda yadda blogs. Not dissing them. Just saying.

[2] Which I have hereby boycotted along with Canadian Tire for no real good reason

[3] Bill’s book, after the Bible, is my favorite piece of literature. I know others have CS Lewis, Warren or Augustine, Rowling or Meyer or that Fifty Shades Chick…I have Simmons.