Thursday, July 10, 2008

LEAD Trip, Weight Loss, and Big Girl Bed

As most of you know, Kim and I help run a non-profit program called LEAD (Letting Everyone Achieve Dreams). It is a leadership program for inner-city kids from Houston which focuses on outdoor experiential learning by teaching communication, teamwork, and essential leadership skills to help return these kids to their communities as effective leaders. I just got back from our third successful trip in which the kids were challenged physically and mentally in the mountains of Colorado. We partnered with a camp I went to 12 years ago called Adventure Experiences, Inc. (AEI). It's an amazing faith-based camp tucked away in Gunnison National Forrest near Taylor Park, Colorado. We are not a faith-based non-profit, but it's hard not to have a little faith when you are sitting in the middle of God's creation. Cory Jackson (AKA Brother from another Mother) and I took 13 kids to the mountains this year. He is the third member of our team that helps mentor these kids. We started the week with some low and high ropes courses. Then we moved on to some rock climbing by scaling four different routes on a 50' high mountain side. Then we moved to the hardest part of the week with a two day backpacking adventure and a 13,500' peak ascent on Prize Peak. We didn't make it all the way up because some kids had a tough time with the altitude, but we managed to make it to a ridge about 500' from the top. To cap the entire week off, we went white water rafting on the Taylor River which was a very cold 38 degrees. This was by far our most physically challenging year, but the kids really learned more about themselves and achieving their goals.

Here's a picture from rafting. You can't really tell, but it was very cold water!!

Rock Climbing was fun!

Fog covered the valley as we made our peak ascent. Truly amazing.

For the past twelve weeks, I have been been involved with an office version of The Biggest Loser. It almost seems cruel that I would do such a thing while Kim is pregnant with our baby boy, but I was determined to win this and get into shape. Monday was the last and final weigh in and I came away the winner with 15.08% weight loss which was 33 lbs. The total pot for the winner was $350. I started at 218 lbs and ended at 185 lbs. My daily regimen was simply eating right and running. I started out running a mile a day. By week two, I had pushed myself to 2 miles a day. By the end of the contest, I was running close to 4 miles almost every day. I cut my time from an 11 or 12 minute mile to a 7 minute mile which just isn't natural for someone that never really ran more than the length of a basketball court. I also started a 5 am boot camp class two times a week that is pretty much the hardest hour long workout ever. Now that the contest is over, I plan on keeping up with the running and seeing where it takes me.

The biggest news over the past few weeks is our little girl isn't little anymore. We painted Emerson's room, her bathroom, and the guest bedroom over the weekend. All of Emerson's furniture went to the guest room which is now "Baby Brother's" room. We picked up a twin bed for Emerson and she loves it. We thought the transition was going to be tough, but she has proved us wrong. She has slept in her "big girl bed" all week without any problems. Now we have to finish cleaning up the mess we made from emptying closets and bedrooms and moving furniture around. I'm not sure where we will put everything now that our guest bedroom/junk room has been converted into "Baby Brother's" room.

Emerson helping Daddy put Baby Brother's bed back together since it wouldn't fit through the doors.


Anonymous said...

Yay, yay, and yay. We knew Em wouldn't have any trouble with the bed thing... also, we knew you would win Berg... Congrats on all the good things and that one special good thing still cookin'! Have fun and we enjoyed hanging the other night.

tvzaispt (that's the word)

Miss Meesh said...

well, hot dog... i'm bloggin! since you fools don't have myspace.. so here i am .. i have arrived on this blogspot...just want you to know i posted a certain justin timberlake utube on my myspace for michael!!

The Cox Family said...

Hey guys. Good to see that you are doing well. Came by your blog through a number of others. Your daughter is adorable and congrats on the new one.


The Groves Family said...

David is doing the biggest loser at work not too......I told him don't bother because Michael is a waaaaay bigger loser than he is!!!!