The most wasted of all days is one without laughter – E.E. Cummings

Author: Carlee Hansen

Kurt Black – Podcast Recommendation

In our Pead in a Podcast episode with Kurt Black, we talked running . . . all things running. If you remember, Kurt was a nationally ranked steeple-chaser in college. (Side note for all of you non-runners out there, myself included: he didn’t actually chase steeples. That would be like a dog chasing a parked car. The steeple chase is that exhausting-looking track event where runners jump over hurdles and into big puddles of water before continuing to run around a track at lightning speed.)

During our interview, we learned about Kurt’s track career, starting in junior high when he ran his first marathon, and extending through his latest endeavors as an IRONMAN. After his time as a collegiate athlete, he parlayed his love for track into several successful, running-related businesses in both apparel and race ownership/timing. Throughout our discussion, we learned two things: First, Kurt is a special kind of crazy to not just run but to do it over hurdles and through water. Second, he is an incredible athlete that knows his running gear.

Buy Here

During “3 Minutes of Torture”, Kurt told us that he recently bought a pair of headphones that he loved, ones that wouldn’t fall out during his regimented workouts. Well, don’t fret; we pestered Kurt until he was willing to give up the goods. The headphones are by Yurbuds and they are the Ironman Inspire Pro. Y’all, they are less than $30. We’ve linked to them on Amazon below for your shopping pleasure.

We’ve got our research team cranking on bringing you more product offerings from our guests and (on occasion) from yours truly. Help support Pead in a Podcast by using this and all the links on our site and in our blogs to shop for some of our in-house favorites! And as always, keep listening to Pead in a Podcast.

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Couch to Disney

disneyland-00-fullAfter 11 weeks of counting down with a 4-year-old, our family trip to Disneyland has finally come and gone and I have to say it was one of the most magical things I’ve ever done. I loved seeing the sparkle in my kids’ eyes as we experienced all that Disney had to offer. The princesses, the Mouse, the rides, the movies. . .

Ok, this is starting to sound like an unforgettable Trip Advisor review but let’s get to the brass tax: that had to be the most exhausting thing I’ve ever done. Seriously. By the time our first day at the park was over, we had walked 10.5 miles, stood in line for approximately 6 hours and did all of it in wet clothes thanks to the ever-popular Splash Mountain. THAT WAS THE FIRST DAY! All because we love our kids, am I right?

Doing Disney as an adult is completely different with children than without (you can fully understand the difference when you see exactly ZERO adults wearing a harness cleverly disguised as a backpack); going as a solo adult or with a companion is the most fantastic type of vacation – carefree and full of churros. With kids, it’s basically a marathon to see what family can out-last all others before the witching hour occurs (I’m not talking Halloween, folks. I’m talking about that magical hour in which your kids turn from fun-loving, character-hugging sweethearts to angry elves whose heads rotate ALL the way around like the birds in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room. Sit in Downtown Disney between the hours of 7 and 9 pm and you’ll get a clear view of what I’m talking about.)

Everyone will do Disney at some point with littles, it’s basically a rite of passage like getting your driver’s license or renting your first car; whether they be nieces and nephews or your own ungrateful spawn, it will happen. And you’ll know the secret that all adults know. And you’ll come home with the best memories and worst feet of your life to show for it.

So in an effort to prep you for your sojourn into the “happiest place on Earth”, I’ve created a training program for you to adequately prepare your mind and body for what it’s about to experience. It’s critical that you don’t go into this cold – much like the “Couch to 5k” running program, this adventure takes time so please go at your own pace. If you don’t feel ready to move on to the next training phase, stick with the current one until you feel adequately prepared to up your game. If all goes according to schedule, you should be prepared to tackle Disney WITH kids in a mere three weeks.

Please note that I am not a doctor and in no way make claims that this training program is FDA or CIA or MBA approved. I do, however, guarantee that the following training regimen will, in fact, give you a little glimpse into what to expect.

Couch to Disney Training Program, all rights reserved

Day 1: Empty your wallet

Day 2-7: Walk for 3 hours (to increase the difficulty, try doing this with a stroller or with a dog. While animals are not allowed in the park, the pulling motion will accurately simulate the excitement level of all children under five once they get inside the park . . . or near the park. . . or think about the park. . . or hear someone talking about the park. A secondary option is to do this in wet clothes; also very effective.)

Day 8: Rest day. Rather than walking today, practice loading as many non-prescription medications onto your person as possible.* These should include Dramamine, Tylenol, Desitin or any other chafing medication that you can get in a travel-sized tube. Practice spilling them on the floor along with suckers and other children’s candy and picking them all up before anyone notices. Repeat 5-6 times.

*cargo pants are encouraged

Day 9-14: Walk for 10 minutes. Stand for 70 minutes. Repeat 8 times. (Increase strength and agility by having someone follow you with a stroller during your walking periods and try to dodge them running into your ankles. This not only adds some diversity and fun to your workout, but a little realism as well).

Day 15: Rest. And by that I mean find a thin rock wall somewhere that looks like it’s maybe wide enough for your butt to fit on but clearly not comfortable and sit there for two hours. Another alternative is to find a park bench in the scorching hot sun and “rest” there for a while, all while playing “It’s a Small World” on repeat.

Day 16: Walk for 30 minutes. Stand for 50 minutes. Eat a basket of fried chicken parts and fries and a super-sized cola product. Stay nourished, stay hydrated, folks. Repeat five times.

Day 17-21: Put all you’ve learned into practice. It’s go time, folks. Here we go: Walk 20 minutes. Stand 40 minutes. Walk 30 minutes. Stand 15 minutes. Crawl around on the floor for 10 minutes (hypothetically speaking, you lost a child’s shoe during a parade. Crawl like that.) Grab a stroller with a 40 pound weight in it. Walk 15 minutes. Stand 65 minutes with 40 pound weight on your hip. Stop for 15 minutes to eat chicken (yes, again) and drink a large cola. Stand for 10 minutes (ahhhh that was nice). Jog for 12 minutes (get that FastPass!), stand for 10. Eat a churro. Drop it on the floor and run over it with the stroller. Walk for 10 minutes. Ram ankles with hard object (simulated stroller) and continue to walk for 40 minutes but with an additional 80 pound weight in the stroller (the older kid that SWORE they wouldn’t need a ride is now riding). Repeat four times before covering yourself in everyone’s jackets and hats for the 30 minute walk home . . . with some chicken and a large cola.

Happy training, y’all.

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He Looketh Upon the Heart

I was 16. It was the end of a hard week and the results of the basketball tryouts had just been posted. As I walked up to look at the list (the bottom of the list, of course. I knew I wouldn’t be toward the top where the girls with real talent, or height, or both, would obviously be. If my name was there, it would be toward the bottom in one of the “we’re taking a chance on you so don’t mess it up” positions), I knew this likely wasn’t going to end well. I was right.

As I turned to leave, I ran into the coach. To this day, my timing is still impeccable. He consoled me with a few words of apology and regret and then he said something that has stuck with me for longer than I should probably admit:

“If only I could put your heart in some of my other players’ bodies. . .”

heartWait. Stop. “If only I could put your heart in some of my other players’ bodies. . .” Then what? Then you’d have some super-human athlete that could take over the world? Then we wouldn’t have to have this gritty hallway conversation? Then what?

We proceeded to chat for what seemed like an awkward eternity and then he asked me to be the team manager. I guess that’s what heart gets you – the chance to fill water bottles and the ever elusive opportunity to do extra math by running statistics and keeping the books. Ah, heart. So I did what any self-respecting girl at that age would do: I said “sounds good”, and left to cry in my car.

“If only I could put your heart in some of my other players’ bodies. . .” If only he knew how many times at the ripe old age of 16 I had already started conversations with myself starting with, “If only. . .”. Maybe then things would be different.

Not long after that experience, I came across a passage of scripture that struck me. Again, timing. I’d like to say that it struck some spiritual bone that ignited my desire to do right and serve others but that isn’t exactly what happened.

In the bible we are taught that the “Lord looketh upon the heart,” and the first thing that I remember crossing my mind was, “Yeah, but if he could put that heart in someone else’s body. . .” Isn’t it nice to know that my sarcasm is no respecter of boundaries, biblical or not?

I used to read that passage of scripture over and over and be so grateful for it, like it was a quiver put in the good book that awkward/chubby/uncoordinated folks could pull from our arsenal and fire at beautiful people at any given moment. “Oh yeah, well the Lord looketh upon the heart! So take that, you perfect-haired, always asked to Prom, smart girl! Take that. I have heart.”

You’ll be glad to know that as I’ve gotten older and continued to ponder this doctrine, I’ve realized that my original interpretation of it was slightly left of where it should be. This reminder that the Lord looketh upon the heart is in no way a dig at people who seem to have it all together on the outside, despite my younger hopes that this was the case. It is so much more than that.

The Lord looketh upon our hearts to see how we handle all of the “If onlys” that are thrown our way. He watches to see how we handle life when things don’t work out the way we planned. He looks for us to turn to Him. The Lord looketh upon the heart to see how it changes, how it grows, how it reacts to difficulties and struggle.

The Lord looketh upon the heart because that is the place where character is formed – where we develop the resolve to press forward, despite our insecurities and our worries.

The Lord looketh upon the heart because it’s the only way to see true, heaven-inspired change. It is the one part of our physical bodies that He can reside in, tug at, and push to new limits. The heart.

If only. . .” It’s a statement that I think resonates with everyone at some time or another. “If only I were more beautiful. . .”; “If only I had gotten that job. . .”; “If only I knew that God heard my prayers. . .”; “If only I knew that He loved me. . .” The Lord looketh upon the heart to witness how we overcome these issues and remind us where we can turn for peace.

It would have been really easy all those years ago to become bitter about what seemed to be my whole world (basketball) and my inability to play for a team that I loved. I could have said “no” to the request to manage the team and could have faded into the crowd of “If onlys” that plague us all throughout our lives. But I’m so grateful to this day that I didn’t.

Why? Well it turns out that sports math isn’t so bad. I actually kind of like it. (And by ‘kind of’, I mean I really, really liked keeping the books. Like really. But don’t tell anyone because it makes me sound nerdier than I want to.) Also, despite not being on the court (my plan), I was able to meet and still remain friends with some of the most amazing women that, to this day, encourage me to press forward and accomplish great things (God’s plan). For that I will be forever grateful.

This experience changed me. I was devastated when my name wasn’t on that list. I was devastated when it seemed like heart counted for nothing but some extra work and equipment management. But as I look back, I realize that that chance hallway conversation was just the beginning.

The Lord looketh upon the heart. He does this while we do hard things. He holds it, He protects it, He keeps it by His side and guides it to grow.

“If only I could put your heart in some of my players’ bodies. . .” At the time, I wished he could have. But every day since, I’m ever grateful that He didn’t. My heart is all I have to give. And to the Lord, it will always be enough.

 

 

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