Sunday, June 25, 2017

Summertime update

Now that summer has arrived, here's a quick update on a few totally unrelated areas of my life:

1) Home Gym!

The home gym is open for business! As you can tell from the photo above, I've purchased a barbell, bumper plates, kettlebells, dumbbells, and medicine balls, and installed gymnastic rings, a punching bag, barbell stands and a bench along with a large area of foam ground padding. Though there's more I'm ultimately planning to do with the space, it's very functional, and I'm pumped. Literally.

I'm also happy to report that over the last month, I have consistently worked out every other day, even during work weeks. I'm currently doing one major lift (squat, deadlift, powerclean, snatch, or bench) and spending the rest of the time working on developing my handstand using this great online program I found. I've been about 80% consistent on getting up before 6AM and doing 20 pushups, 20 squats, a minute of plank, and various stretches before heading off for the day. I've also been 80% consistent on extending my fast to 10 or 11 am, which makes a big difference in my energy level for the day. I'm also trying to do sprints once a week, and plan to add in a swim at a local gym or in the nearby river at least once a month.

Best of all, Mindy is getting more motivated than ever before to work out, too. Hopefully I'll also have some other workout partners soon, which will help to challenge me, maintain consistency, and keep me from developing too much of a rut.

2) Doubt

Image result for unbelievable podcast

A completely unrelated thing I've gotten into lately has been the Unbelievable podcast, which hosts debates between Christians and atheists or between different strains of Christians. It's been the most helpful thing I've encountered in my long process of weighing what I should believe about God, the universe, and everything. I honestly can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from a listen. I'm also working through the book Know Doubt, Science Mike's Doubt Series, and am starting his book Finding God in the Waves. I'm planning a full post on this topic once my ideas crystallize somewhat.

3) Gardening!

Ah, summertime, when planting turns to harvesting. As you can see, my main plot is a castle protected from deer with a 7-foot fence. So far, I've harvested radishes, lettuce, spinach, kale, cilantro, green onions, and a bell pepper. Carrots, tomatoes, other peppers, blueberries, and collard greens are just around the corner. I've also build a couple trellises for the squash, zucchini, watermelon, and cantaloupe, which have just started to grow. The potatoes, cauliflower, blackberries, some of the raspberries, and asparagus have also sprouted. Unfortunately, the celery, okra, sweet potatoes, and cabbage mostly failed, but I'll hopefully work out the kinks next year.

4)  Relationships

After four months in our new digs, Mindy and I are finally starting to feel settled. Progress is being made on many fronts, and I'm more and more thankful each day for all of our blessings. Though new relationships have been slow to sprout, we're excited that our friends Bryant and Rachel Ward are transitioning back to Boone after 1.5 years in Togo. Just the other day, my friend Sam and I decided to summit Mount Ranier in 2020. We backpacked across Europe in 2010, so it was time to decide to do something like that again. Mindy and I also got a cute puppy dog that is in need of some serious obedience training before she becomes too big to handle. Just as in other areas, I'm sure we'll get there.

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