Archive for the ‘The world, according to me…’ Category

MommyI have to admit my day started out pretty well…

Then I remembered that today would have been my mom’s birthday.

It was a flood of emotions…

I remember the months following her death. I was numb. I thought I was ok, but I really wasn’t… I remember friends telling me that it would always hurt, but time would help ease the pain.

It has, but… once in a while, all the emotion returns and it all just comes out again.

It’s brutal.

…My mom was never one to celebrate her birthday, but when she did, it was all about making sure others had enjoyed their time during the party.

That’s how she was – always putting others first.

Of all the things she instilled in me, that was the one thing that always stuck with me over the years – the pleasure of serving others… among other things, of course, but I do glean happiness doing things for other people – it’s how she raised me. It’s what makes me happy.

I’m often asked if something could be done in return, but I’ve always felt that someone allowing me to do things for them was reward enough – I tell them that the act, itself, is my reward.

Reflecting on that, today, somehow gave me peace. The one thing that was so important to her – serving – lives on in me.

And that… makes me happy.

 

Alyssa and DadEvery week that I’m home, I make sure to spend time with my kiddos both individually and as a family.

Yesterday, while my son was at a play date with his best friend, I spent the afternoon catching up with my daughter over a bite at our favorite restaurant.

It’s so funny watching her tell me about her week. She really is a huge goofball and I love it! 🙂

I listened while she told, and sometimes re-told, all her new jokes… I focused on her while she told me about all the drama going on at school. It’s so funny to hear her talk about all that stuff – I can see how observant she is and it makes me smile. …and, of course, I tried to stay calm when she asked my about more serious stuff – I guess I’m just glad she confides in me enough to tell me what’s going on in that little analytical head of hers…

She really is growing into a beautiful, funny, and smart young woman and I couldn’t be more proud of her. So, before all the ‘boys’ arrive, I’m glad she still wants to spend time with me – and I’ll take it every chance I get.

I love being a dad… especially to this little wonderful girly of mine. 🙂

That’s all.

Thankyou

I took the advice of my friends and finally got some good rest.

I have a lot to do, but I needed sleep much more.

When I don’t sleep, my mind struggles to make sense of even just basic things. I get all analytical, start to overthink things, and then struggle to make even basic decisions.

I started doing things I don’t normally do. I started acting in ways I don’t normally act. I started saying things I don’t normally say. In other words, I was just not me. When I finally realized it, I didn’t like it. At all.

At that point, I became a worrier.

When I don’t eat for 12 or more hours, I get ‘hangry’. When I drink, I become a goofy drunk. When I’m tired, I get giggly and goofy. When my mind gets fatigued and stressed, I become a worrier.

These are the things I’ve come to know about myself…

So I focused on getting to bed around 9pm every night, because my body won’t let me stay asleep much past 5am. With my morning routine set, I had to adjust it on the night time end.

Instead of my morning runs and WODs, I spent the mornings doing yoga, meditating, and reflecting on everything that has happened to me so far this year.

It has been… mind-blowing  amazing  crazy.

It’s amazing I haven’t had a melt down.

Discovery of my ex-wife’s infidelity, divorce, new job position, selling a house, buying a house, new people…

I just realized I just had to take time to get back to me… The happy, positive, outgoing me.

So… I did just that. I dropped everything and just put the focus on me over the weekend.  I started to ‘catch up’ on my sleep… I gave my mind and body a break and now….

I… feel… tremendous!

I’m starting to feel like myself again… It’s like a restart. I dropped everything and I know that the important things will come back, the people who care about me will return, and the stuff that never really mattered and the people who never really cared, will disappear.

It’s how it goes…

End result? I’m better now… 🙂

Ok… that’s the end of my blab – just had to get that off of my chest.

I hope you enjoy the starting up of my WODs tomorrow!

See you then.

allan

The first half of this year has been… an experience.FallingIntoPlace

At this point in my life the things on my mind were how I was going to deal with my daughter’s boyfriends… driver’s licenses… how to pay for cars for the kids… high school graduations… college funds… my retirement… Figuring out what to do with my life when I was done with flying…

I never thought I’d discover my wife had been cheating on me, getting divorced, selling my house, moving into a new one, flying new aircraft, and meeting an unbelievably wonderful woman in the most unlikely of places…

…all in the past six months.

So many life-changing experiences meant I had to let go of some things in order to give more time to the things that were more important… like my kiddos, my career, and my health. Figuring out where my focus needed to be so that I could not just get back on track, but to be better than when I started has been the biggest challenge.

One of the many things I let go of was this blog. While my health has recovered quite nicely, my fitness has taken a back seat. I still run and complete my WODs around 3-5 times a week and have gotten my diet under control. However, stress is a powerful thing – it has proven to me that it can override all your good intentions and take over if you don’t watch it… Stress hinders progress, lengthens recovery, and destroys willpower.  The result? I’m well above race weight, noticeably weaker, and it is taking me much longer to recover from workouts.

No more.

Starting next week, I’ll be sharing my training plans again. They are different than basic workout sessions. ‘Training’ is for when you are working towards a specific goal. ‘Working out‘ is what you do to maintain what you’ve already achieved with your fitness plan. They are two separate ways of going about your fitness. I’m training for the upcoming season of obstacle course races. The focus is on core strength, flexibility, and stamina. Secondary to that is arm/grip strength, upper body strength, and lower body endurance.

I’ll share my updates, diet tips, and race results, as always. Thank you to everyone who has continued to follow me. I hope you are able to continue to benefit from what I share every week!

Here we go…

allan

 

Difficult before easy

I am again being reminded that I am in the minority when it comes to being willing to take take risks with life decisions.  I’m not talking about dangerous, life-threatening, stupid chances… I’m referring to the willingness to try new things, put yourself out there, and pursuing opportunities that may turn out to be so much more beneficial in the end.

I’m no stranger to making life-changing decisions. After receiving scholarships for engineering programs in Canada after high school, I turned them down to pursue an aviation career in the U.S. It meant I would have to stay back a year to work in a dishroom full-time, then work full-time while in school. Instead of taking the ‘financially easier’ route, I did what I had to do to follow my dream…

The result? I am happy with my decision and do not regret it. It hasn’t always been easy, but that’s not what I asked for… I wanted to be able to do something that I loved for the rest of my life. …and now I do – I get paid to fly! I get paid to fly cool people, for a company that has taken care of me and my personal life, with enough $$$ to be content.

I am happy.

After my divorce, I had a big financial decision to make… Stay in the house I was awarded, or find/create the resources I needed to move out and start a new life with the kiddos. What did I do? You guessed – I beg, borrowed, and… begged some more… and found a way to move into a bigger/better home, with a pool, in a nicer neighborhood!

The result? I am happy with my decision and do not regret it. It’s not going to be easy but, again, that is not what I asked for… I wanted to start a new life, in a new place, with the kiddos. …and now I do!

I am content.

Now, not all things work out so well. In my life, when it comes to relationships, I dive in head first… each time… every time. I don’t do it blindly, but I’ve dated enough to recognize when I’ve found someone special. I don’t believe in playing games. I’m all about sharing my thoughts, letting the other person know how I feel, and just letting thing go to see where it ends up.

The result? I’ve met some amazing women. Each of them have contributed to some simply amazing memories and I’ve become a better/stronger/wiser person because of my time with them. I have also come out with a better understanding of myself. It still hurts (sometimes tremendously) when I get my heart broken but, again, I didn’t get involved for the heartbreak. I got involved for the love… for the like… for the fun, the smiles, and the laughs. I look back and am thankful for each relationship. I believe I chose correctly each time.

I am full-filled.

I have no regrets.

So… what is it that holds the rest of us back from taking risks that could, potentially, make us happier (and better) in the long run? I propose the following:

  1. We are afraid of the unknown.
    • Not knowing where are decisions are going to lead us probably the most common reason. It’s normal to want to know how we’re going to end up if we make one decision over another. When I passed over a scholarship to pursue an entirely different, all I could do is believe I could what I needed to do, to get where I wanted to go… It’s as simple and as difficult as that.
  2. We are scared of getting hurt.
    • When it comes to relationships, I’ve seen *so* many people lose out on some extraordinary opportunities to be with some great people. If they only knew much the would lose out, they wouldn’t be so afraid. Those that I’ve seen who are more willing to take the plunge when they discover someone with a beautiful heart (myself included), it has rarely ended in regret – the Expect things firstmemories alone, are so worth it.
  3. We are concerned about failing.
    • This stems from self-belief. Period.
  4. We are unsure of ourselves.
    • When confronted with decision, you either are going to do it, or you aren’t… it really is as simple as that – the big issue is whether or not you trust yourself enough to keep going when things get rough. Will you have the wherewithall to stick it out and find it in yourself to find solutions to challenges, or will you crumble? That fear keeps so many people from accepting, or even just trying out for that new job, a promotion, a position on a team…
  5. We are afraid of change.
    • While number 1 is the most common reason, this is the biggest reason. We like to search for equilibrium. The day we become complacent with our lives, is the day when we start to lose our happiness.  When the day-to-day becomes so commonplace, we eventually reach a point where we struggle to find joy in even the smallest things. It finally comes to a point of no return, where the only thing that would bring you out of the funk would be a life changing experience.The biggest challenge, then, is that when that life changing opportunity arrives, will you (1) recognize it?, (2) be willing to go after it?, and/or (3) do what you need to do to work at it?

This, of course, brings us to these same five reasons… WorthIt

So… here’s the thought to blow your mind… if we, many times, will end up reaching that point of complacency due to the lack of taking the opportunities to have pursued happiness when they first presented themselves, why then, did you not take them in the first place and allow yourself even more years of happiness the first time through?

BAM

Now the question that remains is… Now that you know the reasons for holding back from experiencing a more full-filled life when opportunities arise, what will you do, knowing that you will be a better, happier, more fullfilled person in the end?

 

-allan

Key

This morning I am thankful for a sore body that endured 15 hours of moving boxes and ‘stuff’…

I am thankful for my good friends, Scott and Wendel, who endured it with me in 110+F heat (and two kiddos who were helpful and awesome the entire time).

But most of all, I am thankful for this key, which opens the door to the new home in which I now live!

RIPMOMHi Mom…

With so much going on in my life right now, I thought my mind would be too pre-occupied to think about you today, but I was wrong…

I miss you Mom… SO. MUCH.

I close my eyes and I’m back in that hospital room next to you. I’m thankful we were all there together, but having to stop each of those drips… one by one… turning off the machines… and watching you exhale for the last time… it… changed me.

The last three years since then have been… challenging.

The people I thought I could lean on were some of the first to betray me… lie to me… and accuse me of things I can’t even imagine…

Life has been like a terrible nightmare gone out of control. I’ve needed your wisdom… your prayers… your love.

My mom and I after her first stroke in 2011.

My mom and I after her first stroke in 2011.

…but I never forgot anything you taught me, and have found that I have everything you instilled in me.

You were right – God lets everything happen for a reason, and just when we think everything is falling apart, He is really just letting everything fall into place.

Still… it doesn’t make me miss you any less. I just wanted to let you know I’m missing you and can’t wait to see you again.My mom and I after her first stroke in 2011.

-me

Really wanted to share this will all you, especially the parents out there.

The original page is located here: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/lifestyle/family/parents-50-texting-acronyms-your-kids-might-use-that-you-need-to-know



 

Parents: 50 texting acronyms your kids might use that you need to know

Back in the day, you probably stayed up all night talking on the phone to your best friend.Blog @allandnieva.me

These days, kids let their fingers do the talking, instant messaging or texting their “BFF’s” at any time of the day or night.

BFF is “best friend forever” in Internet shorthand.

7NEWS tested several parents on the streets of Cherry Creek North to see if they could crack the codes their own children use when sending texts by phone or instant messaging online.

Do you know what “POS” means in kid lingo? That’s “parent over shoulder.” Don’t worry, the three dads we asked didn’t know either.

We stumped another mom with “ASL.” That’s “age-sex-location,” a phrase swapped liberally throughout the Internet when strangers meet.

Detective Mike Harris of the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office told 7NEWS that cracking the codes kids use isn’t about being cool, it’s about keeping them safe.


 

“If they (parents) were to walk in, they may be missing a big red flag because they don’t know the lingo or the language,” Harris said.

Those red flags include the abbreviations “F2F”, or “face to face,” and “IRL,” which means “in real life.” Harris said those terms may indicate the predator is trying to meet your child in person.

Harris makes a living posing as children online to catch Internet predators in the act, but he said the perverted criminals are even better than he is at talking to kids at their level.

But ultimately, only parent involvement and supervision can make the difference when it comes to keeping kids safe online.  Check out the list below:

  1. 8 – it means ate, can also refer to oral sex
  2. 9 -Parent watching
  3. 99 – Parent gone
  4. 1337 – Elite -or- leet -or- L337
  5. 143 – I love you
  6. 1174 – the meeting place, meet at
  7. 420 – Marijuana
  8. 459 – I love you
  9. 53X – Sex
  10. ADR – Address
  11. AEAP – As Early As Possible
  12. ALAP – As Late As Possible
  13. ASL – Age/Sex/Location
  14. BROKEN – hung over from alcohol
  15. CD9 – Code 9 – it means parents are around
  16. C-P – Sleepy
  17. F2F – Face-to-Face
  18. GNOC – Get Naked On Cam
  19. GYPO – Get Your Pants Off
  20. HAK – Hugs And Kisses
  21. ILU – I Love You
  22. IWSN – I Want Sex Now
  23. KOTL – Kiss On The Lips
  24. KFY -or- K4Y – Kiss For You
  25. KPC – Keeping Parents Clueless
  26. LMIRL – Let’s Meet In Real Life
  27. MOOS – Member Of The Opposite Sex
  28. MOSS – Member(s) Of The Same Sex
  29. MorF – Male or Female
  30. MOS – Mom Over Shoulder
  31. MPFB – My Personal F*** Buddy
  32. NALOPKT – Not A Lot Of People Know That
  33. NIFOC – Nude In Front Of The Computer
  34. NMU – Not Much, You?
  35. P911 – Parent Alert
  36. PAL – Parents Are Listening -or- Peace And Love
  37. PAW – Parents Are Watching
  38. PIR – Parent In Room
  39. POS – Parent Over Shoulder -or- Piece Of Sh**
  40. pron – Porn
  41. Q2C – Quick To Cum
  42. RU/18 – Are You Over 18?
  43. RUMORF – Are You Male OR Female?
  44. RUH – Are You Horny?
  45. S2R – Send To Receive
  46. SorG – Straight or Gay
  47. TDTM – Talk Dirty To Me
  48. WUF – Where You From
  49. WYCM – Will You Call Me?
  50. WYRN – What’s Your Real Name?

 

Selfie at the finish line

The Military Spartan Sprint in Ft Carson, CO yesterday was the most fun race I’ve completed in a long time.

This was a tough race.  Starting just above 5000′ above sea level meant that when I wanted to push harder, I just couldn’t.  So… I just had to give everything I had at every obstacle, on every run, without exception.

They packed this race with so many obstacles, making it favorable for people like me who have a lot of physical strength.  I wasn’t able to run faster than I wanted, but I was able to catch up and pass people at each obstacle.  While they struggled, I flew by.  No burpees for me!

The course planners strategically placed obstacles to be even more difficult.  For example, after flipping tractor tires, you climbed a sandy hill and were met with the Atlas Ball carry, so hands were fatigued from the tires AND you were winded from the hill climb…  Or after crawling through 1000′ (yes, you read that right) of mud, you had the rope climb, so your hands were just caked in mud, as were the ropes.

To me, this just made it more epic.  Everything I did in training helped me get through, push through, and knock over everything that was placed in front of me.  It felt *so* great to be able to perform the way I did.

Few made it up the rope climb.  I completed it.  Many struggled with the spear throw, traverse wall climb, tire flips, reverse walls, 90-lb ruck sack carry up a hill, and numerous hill climbs.

Not me.

My time of 1:28:03 was not one of the fastest times. but just performing the way I did throughout the 4+ mile course just felt amazing.  I’m proud of how I performed.

Next up?  The 14+ mile Monterey Spartan Beast!

My Tough Mudder Legionnaire headbands and Super Spartan medal!

My Tough Mudder Legionnaire headbands and Super Spartan medal!

I may not be fast, but I can just keep going…

After all those WODs, the fruits of my labor came to fruition during the two events this weekend.

On Saturday, I traveled out with Scott Lew to run the “8+ mile Super Spartan” in Las Vegas, NV, then ran the Tough Mudder in Mesa, AZ today.  I’m not going to lie… It was brutal on my body and I had my doubts when I woke up this morning, but I DID IT! =D

The Las Vegas Super Spartan was a fun race.  It was sold as an 8.2 mile race, but all the GPS wearers confirmed a 9.2 mile actual distance – the understating of the event distance is pretty typical of the race coordinators.  The weather was great as we lined up for the 8am ‘Elite’ heat.

The race was held at a gravel quarry, so all the ‘hills’ were made of very large piles of gravel or sand.  This proved to provide a very interesting surface to climb and descend.  All the typical obstacles were there – monkey bars, rope climb, atlas ball carry, tire flips, traverse wall, an extended mud crawl (with the barbed wires notably lower than normal), the spear throw, and the wall climbs.  Admittedly, I completed everything without issue, except for the spear throw and traverse wall, for which I paid the price of 30 burpees each.

By the time I had reached the spear throw, the cramps in my calves were starting to take little bites.  I thought to myself, “As soon as I stick this spear I stretch out my calves.”  That turned out to be the wrong decision.  As I picked up the spear, I could feel my calves on the border of cramping, and as I stepped forward to throw, that’s when it hit.  The spear left my hand at wrong time and didn’t even make it half way.  I fell to the ground as a volunteer rushed to pull back on my toes.  He exclaimed, “Whoa! That looks crazy!”

My right calf had not only cramped into a ball, but as he stretched it out, it looked like someone was playing the piano on it.  The individual fibers were cramping randomly.  After it calmed down, I slowly go up… and pounded out my burpees.   It was brutal, but I was good to go again.

On the traverse wall, I started out as I normally do – slow and steady.  Halfway through, I suddenly got it in my head that I was moving too slowly, so I skipped a handhold and reached out for a further one… that’s when I fell.

I won’t make that mistake again.

Team "How I met your Mudder"

Team “How I met your Mudder”

The event co-ordinators introduced a new obstacle at this event.  Since it was in Las Vegas, the called it, “the Gamble”.  In the middle of the course, you had a choice to make – split off and run one mile of smooth, flat, and easy terrain, or 3/4 mile of hilly terrain.  I chose 3/4 mile.

It turns out that my ‘gamble’ paid off.  There were three sand hills in a row, followed by relatively even gravel, for a total of about a 1/2 mile.  The flat course was one-and-a-quarter miles of mild, but continuous, up and down terrain.

The rest of the race was fine and I finished the 9.2-mile course in 2 hours and 20 minutes.

My friend Scott, who I hadn’t seen since the start line, crossed the finish line at about 3 hours flat.  I was proud of him.  He ran the race with a mild injury and was able to finish.

After cleaning off and then getting something to eat, we drove six hours back home to Phoenix, AZ.

I got up this morning (Sunday), a little sore.  Sitting in a car for six hours after running 9-mile obstacle course is not a great idea.  Running a Tough Mudder the next day, probably borders on insanity.  BUT… this is what I wanted to do.

Our team, “How I met your Mudder” had five people at the 9:20am start time.  Two more joined us later as caught up to us near the end of the course.  It was flat course, compared to the ones on in the mountainous area.  This particular event required more strength.  The ‘Funky Monkey’ was notably longer (as soon as I get my gopro video, I’ll post it here.  There was also a new obstacle – ‘Just the Tip’.  It was similar to the traverse wall at the Spartan Races, except that they put it over water and took away the foot holds.  Fortunately, the top hand holds were three long 2×4 boards that allowed you a full grip.  I’ll eventually post that video on my blog too.

There’s was lots of mud and corresponding ways to use that mud.  Mud hills to climb, mud hills to jump over, mud hills to slosh through, mud hills to walk through, and one or two mud hills placed in the middle of the course, apparently, just because…  Fortunately, there was also several water obstacles that allowed ‘some’ cleaning.

The Tough Mudder event planners also introduced a new concept at the race – the ‘Tough Mudder Legionnaires’.  If you’ve completed more than one Tough Mudder, you got a different colored headband, in addition to the orange headband.

  • 2 Tough Mudders = green headband
  • 3 Tough Mudders = blue headband
  • 4-6 Tough Mudders = yellow headband
  • 7-9 Tough Mudders = pink headband
  • 10+ Tough Mudder events = black/orange headband.

It was cool  Isaac and I both received our yellow headbands at this event.  It was funny because we both felt a little pride for having completed this many.  We received several high fives and ‘hoorahs’ as we walked around the course and the finish area.  Admittedly, I think it shows quite and accomplishment (and possibly a sign of mild insanity), especially for someone like me who has lost over 30lbs and can now run ‘longer’ distances without pain.ElectroShockTherapy

“Mudder Legion” status also came with a bonus – at the end, you could split off and complete the “Legionnaire’s Loop”, which consisted of an unknown obstacle but, more importantly, you could skip the ‘Electro Shock Therapy’ obstacle at the end.  Our ‘unknown obstacle’ was a sandbag carry over hay bales and through a tunnel.  In other words, it was nothing.

At the end, you were still given the choice of taking on the electro-shock therapy.  I, along with several other ‘Legionnaires’ opted for the bypass.  That’s when I saw my family…

My wife and kids showed up at the finish line and had been waiting for me to go through electric wires… 😦

So I went though to finish the event.  =D

We had a great team, but took our time at this event, finishing in about 3 hours, 45 minutes (45 minutes longer than previous times).

I’m off of races for a while and will enjoy my time off, but will continue my training in preparation for smaller, upcoming events.

Overall, it was a great weekend and I’m thankful for the memories.