A Cold Walk Down A Dark Deserted Highway
Today was a travel day. It’s been 168 days since we visited with Amber on campus at SWOSU, and at her boyfriend KL’s parents house. I know exactly how many days because we came home the night before I started this journey. In Amber’s dorm room she has a a bunch of pictures all over the wall, including some really giant ones of me…I was the giant, not the pictures…you know what I mean. I need to take some new pictures with my family! While we were visiting her dorm, Amber and I shot an “On The Go” video all about snacks. Then we all sat around eating chocolate and taffy. I spent 100 calories on the best salt water taffy ever and a minature bite size Milky Way Dark. Do I feel deprived? Not even a little bit. It serves as another example of the freedom counting calories offers. A small portion of chocolate and taffy didn’t break me calorie wise, it was perfect, and we all laughed about the experience. I’m blogging tonight from KL’s parents home in Thomas, Oklahoma, about twenty minutes north of the University. I didn’t bring what I needed to post the video, so I’ll post it on tomorrow’s blog. On the drive today, I discovered the low calories of beef jerky! I’ve never been a big jerky fan. I like it, but I usually don’t buy it. Beef jerky made for a perfect snack on the three hour drive and it cost me less than 150 calories! I was looking forward to working out in SWOSU’s new state of the art wellness center. That place is amazing, complete with an elevated indoor track and every fitness machine known to man, plus a giant indoor rock climbing cliff that I am nowhere near ready to try, but man it looks so cool! Someday my friend, right? We arrived at the wellness center ready to get our sweat on at 5:55pm. We just knew they were open until 7pm, but oh no! They informed us they were closing in 5 minutes. So much for that! I knew that we had to plan something else and fast, or else we’d be walking in 20 something degreee weather later. We looked for and found the YMCA, and since we’re all members, it seemed like a perfect idea, after all, our memberships are good at any YMCA. Except this one was already closed. An ice cold two miles in the rural countryside of Thomas Oklahoma seemed inevitable. The old me would have been quick to say “Oh well, we’ll just do it tomorrow extra hard.” But that would have been an excuse, and you know how I feel about excuses. I have zero tollerance for excuses. As long as I’m physically able to walk, I can get a workout in, even when it’s 25 degrees with a North breeze. It may sound extreme, but it’s critical to do it day in and day out. It’s this consistency that’s given me the kind of results I’ve experienced so far. Because I know how the excuse machine works…one leads to another, and another, and even more, and soon, you’re completely off the wagon and chalking it up as another failed attempt. I can’t accept that pattern ever again. I’m not perfect, and yes I’ve missed workouts before, but when you’re in the “steel curtain” zone, it’s nearly impossible to miss a workout.
Courtney knew I was walking no matter what, and she quickly agreed that we had to get it in. We prepared by bundling up with a couple of layers of clothing, Courtney had on probably three or four layers, and at 10pm with the temperature at 25F and a 10 mph North breeze blowing in our face, we both grabbed our ipods and started walking the unfamiliar rural roads of this small Custer County town. What started out to be a really cold, hurried walk, turned into something really special. When you’re walking down a deserted road in rural Oklahoma, look up in the sky! Without the light pollution of the bigger cities you can see every star. Every constallation was clearly visible as we walked to no particular place on a cold Saturday night in the middle of a small rural community. As we walked we were both engrossed in our music, trying to escape to a place in our minds away from the cold. Courtney’s pace is a little quicker than mine, so she was ahead of me by fifteen yards at least when a shooting star streaked across the sky. We both pulled out our ear buds and reacted to the brilliant display that seemed to go on longer than any shooting star I’ve ever witnessed. It was even more special to Courtney, because she had never witnessed one. At first she was scared not knowing exactly what it was. But I told her, and then we realized that we both had a wish to make. Am I too old to wish on falling stars? Is it possible to ever outgrow that? We stopped right in the middle of the road and joined hands, closed our eyes, and made our wishes that we didn’t dare talk about. We’ll never forget the wishing of those wishes as long as we live. At the end of two miles our faces and ears were numb from the cold, but we couldn’t have felt more warm after sharing that moment, and we also shared the feeling of accomplishment as we walked back inside the toasty confines of the Eakins household.
We’re enjoying our short visit with Amber. I’m so extremely proud of her commitment to education. Sometimes we have to wonder how we could be so blessed. Both of our daughters have completely grasped the importance of learning and giving it a 100% effort. Courtney has had the luxury of watching and learning from her sister, and she proudly wears her academic letter jacket that proves her commitment to excellance. We have a tremendous amount to be thankful for.
The response from the three Day 165 post has really been incredible. I should have posted pictures like that long ago, but you know how I am when it comes to pictures. I’ve never liked me in them. That’s starting to change. As I go back and read some of the wonderfully inspiring comments left on both versions of this blog over the last 167 days, I’m overjoyed and filled with gratitude. You reading this has given me strength to carry on when I didn’t think I could. That strength has developed and revealed fundamental weight loss secrets that I’ve been searching for my entire life. I use the word “secrets,” because I never understood what was truly needed from my mind. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a million times more the rest of my life, the mental exercises are the most important kind along this sometimes dark rural road I travel. And I see the glow in the sky up ahead, like a lighthouse showing me the way, giving me glimpses of what my “someday” could be, and will be.
I’ve decided to post another bonus blog tomorrow night. You’ll get my regular blog, plus a bonus “reader comments and stories” blog. If you read only the myspace or only the “global” version, then perhaps you haven’t read all of the wonderfully inspiring and motivating comments readers leave. I’ve been inspired and lifted up by this support. If you’re just now starting to read this blog, than it might really be interesting to you. Tomorrow night I’ll also be able to post the “On The Go” Video we shot tonight. Good night and…