Archive for April, 2010

Strength and Endurance

Posted in Endurance, God's Word, Life on April 28, 2010 by gregbashore

Training not to suck at life…Training to dominate life…Training to LIVE life.

If you haven’t noticed, Mike and I like ti write a lot about training. Heck, we talk alot about training to. In fact I think I can safely say it’s all we talk about. In fact I once remember us wasting around 3 hour watching videos of Jason Lester and Rich Roll prepare for the 2009 Ultraman World Championships. I can’t think of a single type of athlete whos training I haven’t read up on (Ok maybe I haven’t checked out the sport of Curling).

My point is this, I am obsessed with becoming better, of learning how to improve myself. Could my time be better spent doing something else? Maybe, but I truly don’t believe so. You see its more then trying to run faster and farther. More than trying to squat heavier and longer. It’s about being better in every area.

You can be stronger physicly until your stronger mentaly. You min can only be as strong as your heart. And your heart will be weak if your soul is weak. That’s where it all begins. With the soul! And that’s why I can safely say that Mike and I talk about nothing but training. Because no matter what the conversation is about, the subject, the mood, ultimatly it’s always about one thing. IMPROVING, and the one thing we’ve learned is the training sessions on the trail or in the gym are by far the easiest. Don’t believe me? Trying sitting by a pond tomorrow with your Bible and a notebook with the intention to go balls out until you meet “Pukie” and tell me what’s easier. It’s not just about the physical. Turn off the TV and pick up a book. Get off facebook chat and talk to a friend face to face.

You want reality TV? Pick up the Bible!

Advertisements

For My Dad

Posted in Life on April 24, 2010 by gregbashore

Thank You…Thank You For

-Playing catch with me after school.
-Taking me fishing with the guys.
-Letting me watch you shave Sunday mornings before church.
-Loving my mom and showing it on a daily basis.
-Spanking me when I needed it.
-Letting me think I got away with things without you knowing it.
-Getting up at 5 am to go to work so you could come to my baseball and soccer games.
-Letting me watch you BBQ.
-Teaching me how to mow the yard
-Taking me under the hood of the car
-Letting me catch you reading your Bible and praying
-Swearing in front of me and showing me you weren’t perfect
-Hugging me when I needed it.
-Telling me to walk it off.
-Watching WWF (WWE) with me, then wrestling me on the living room floor.
-Not always letting me win in 1 on 1.
-Not letting me stop practicing until I finished on a positive.
-Letting me pick baseball and soccer over football.
-Watching Rocky, Rambo and The Preditor with me.
-Teaching me how to Bench Press.
-Beating me in arm wrestling.
-Letting me make mistakes.
-Never making me feel like I was an inconvenience.
-Being my Dad.

Man how life has changed

Posted in Endurance, Life on April 18, 2010 by gregbashore

Inspired by my boy Mike (who looks nothing like the below pictures now and more like a manimal), I thought I would do a little before and after post. 

Before I moved to Wheaton…

I was very much happy and content with how oblivious I was to the struggles of life.  If  you would have told me then that the easiest thing in my life would be my Saturday afternoon 2-3 hour runs I would have laughed at you. Or the idea that I would even be capable of running that long.  I was sure that marriage would be easy, heck how could it be hard I had been dating my best friend for almost 4 years, what more was there to possibly learn about her that I didn’t know.  That I would own a puppy and in a few months be a father I would have probably told you that you were was crazy.  And if you would have said that my relationship with my best friends would grow strong by not seeing each other, and that I would meet a group of people in the area that I could feel the same way about as I did with my friends from college, I would finally think you were drunk.

You see I was scared to death to leave college.  Don’t get me wrong I was very much ready to get married, just would have liked still living in a house with my best friend and sharing a room with Lauren instead of phil and mike (you guys know I love you, but she’s prettier).  I was certain that this was the end for us as friends.  I thought I had made life lasting friends in high school, that we would always be the same guys now that we were then, but our lives changed and we lost touch and grew apart.  Now getting ready to leave college and move to a completely new city I was certain that it would once again happen with my friends from Grace.  I carried a chip on my shoulder because  of it,  refusing to even make new friends because of it.  I also had no real passion in life.  Nothing that would help me get through the tough days.  Growing up as a kid my life was one thing and one thing only…BASEBALL.  But after 4 long hard (and unfortunately losing) seasons, that fire started to die.  I still love the game, and think it’s the greatest game ever, but it’s not like it use to be when I was a kid.  I had nothing, no real interests.  I had picked up running in college, and I ran a lot, 3-4 miles 5-6 days a week, but really it was just a way to keep an ex-fat kid from falling back into old habits, I never really chased after it for anything other than exercise (what a dreaded word).  And with Lauren’s friends all moving back into town, Friday nights got a little boring on girls night.

Now…

I can’t believe where my life is, and where it’s going.   I just got off the phone with Mike, somehow our friendship is even stronger now then it was when we lived together. Life has meaning (God) and passion (running) again. At times I feel like that 10-year-old boy who dreamed of baseball, pirate-ships and cowboys and Indians (especially when I’m running on the trail.) It’s been hard to let go, but somehow freeing.  I’m constantly simplifying my life (not to be mistaken with making it easy).  I still got my boys, and I’ve even made new friends, great friends who I know will be in the picture for the rest of my life.  And there’s God and running.  For me the two are tied together.  I’m going to be a dad and while there are things I might have done differently I know God has it the way he wants it.  To the journey.


My Boys

New Friends


The Bean


My Angel

-Truck

Epic-5

Posted in Endurance, Life on April 14, 2010 by gregbashore

By Rich Roll

On May 5, 2010 Jason Lester and I will attempt to complete 5 ironman distance triathlons in 5 days on 5 Hawaiian Islands. We call it EPIC5.

Daunting? Yes.

But why? What is the point of this lunacy?

No, I am not insane. And its not a stunt. I actually do have an answer to this question, something I am getting asked pretty regularly these days. For me, ultra-distance multisport isn’t about PR’s, winning races, Kona slots or race t-shirts. I have different motivations. The first is internal. I love pushing myself. I love taking myself into unchartered waters, perilous uncomfortable situations where the result is unknown. Ultraman and EPIC5 serve this drive. To lay it all out and see what I’m made of. Physically yes, but far more important is take myself to task both mentally and spiritually. These events serve a wanderlust and my (possibly unhealthy?) need to push myself through limits and boundaries, both self-imposed as well as those placed upon me (and us) by cultural and societal constraints. Because its only when I am uncomfortable, afraid, failing or even falling apart that I have the greatest opportunity one can have — the ability to learn something about myself, grow from it and share it with others. We live in a place and time where EVERYTHING is about comfort and ease. Our entire society is built upon removing obstacles & challenges; the goal being to live a life of leisure; free of stress, pain, hardship and struggle. The focus is keenly placed on the accumulation of “stuff”, most of which is specifically designed to make our lives “easier”, more comfortable, stress free. We are brainwashed into believing that flat screen TV’s, Hulu, car seat warmers, all-inclusive vacations, retirement, fast food, snuggies and designer pharmaceuticals for every conceiveable ailment, imagined or otherwise hold the key to happiness. Just watch TV for an hour — any channel — and the message is more than obvious. We are the most prosperous nation in the World and yet our “citizenship” has been comprehensively reduced to “consumerism”. A culture in which the primary challenge for the average american has become the drive to accumulate this “stuff”, or at least more than their friends and neighbors. Buy and ye shall be happy. The result? We are more depressed, more obese, more sick, stressed and generally unhappy & unfulfilled than almost any other culture on the Planet. Why? Because a life of ease, a life devoid of challenges, difficulties, failures and struggle does not equate to happiness. We have been deluded into this idea that we will be happy if we can just remove the stress. If we can get a bigger TV or a nicer car; a new job or just retire. Its become about escaping our realities. About “checking out”, But these things never ultimately relieve us, nor do they equate to a true sense of happiness. They never have and never will. Because at the end of the day we are still left with ourselves. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but people are freaking out right now about the economy. Literally losing it. The current financial and political climate has polarized our nation in a way I have never before seen in my lifetime. People are terrified about losing what they have, or being preventing from getting what they “deserve”. Right or left, people are quite literally terrified; the result is turmoil and fear-based acting out on a mass level. I am far from immune from these “real world” pressures. But I can honestly say I am not afraid. Because everything is an opportunity for growth and in my opinion this is the only thing that truly matters. I am not trying to minimize the problem. I have many. In fact, we are struggling mightily to save our home, forcing me to really evaluate my own ego attachment to things, my personal identification of who I “am” with what I “have”. But if we ultimately lose our house, the only important question becomes — how can I grow from this experience? Embrace the struggle. Welcome it. Step into it. Put yourself on the line. Because he who avoids it all in search of consumerism comforts is only setting himself up for depression; a life unmoored and unfulfilled. A material hole that will never be full. Now that is true lunacy. And whatever the result, positive or negative, take what happens, learn something about yourself and apply it next time. Grow. True happiness is an inside job. One that is forged through struggles, challenges and failures as vehicles for personal growth, self-knowledge and ultimately personal fulfillment. This is hardly a new concept, and yet eludes most people. Intellectually we understand this to be the case and yet all too often shirk away, slinking back into our illusory zone of comfort. A world of conforming to societal expectations, doing what were told. Buying stuff and keeping quiet. And yet how can one be blamed when we are saturated with messages from Madison Avenue and beyond that a life of ease and material wealth holds the key? This sense of “security” and well-being we are promised is illusory and false. Its my opinion that the predominant American lifestyle leaves us feeling empty, lost, desperate and depressed. A cycle that drives us to then further escape whether by food, television, video games, alcohol, drugs or relationships. The vicious cycle is self-perpetuating. The hole doesn’t get filled — it just gets deeper. I know this because I’ve been there. I have decades under my belt of medicating myself in every conceivable way. I may not be a pro athlete, but I am a former pro at “checking out” – a path that took me to some very dark and desperate places. But somehow I got out. I consider the greatest blessing of my life as taking a stand against this. With respect to things I cannot control, I have learned to surrender. And with respect to things I can control, I have chosen to struggle in search of not just growth and self-knowledge but also greater personal meaning in my limited days on this Planet. By way of a small example, I love the fact that I crashed my bike during Ultraman, relinquished my lead and had to struggle mightily just to complete the remaining day and a half of the event. It wasn’t my plan and I was not happy about it at the time. I was compelled to surrender. And as such I learned more about myself, who I am and what I am capable of through that experience that I could have imagined. And by prevailing, I became a stronger person, set a better example for myself, my children and hopefully others. For this I am eternally grateful; I wouldn’t change a thing. EPIC5 is just another quest to get uncomfortable, attempt something I honestly don’t know I can achieve. Its about trying to learn something about myself and hopefully inspiring maybe just one other person to seek greater meaning in his / her life. And at the end of the day, the attempt is pursued with the goal of raising funds on behalf of Jason’s Never Stop Foundation, which seeks to provide the kids of Kona with an opportunity of realizing their potential through athletics. In other words, there is no losing. Its a win no matter what happens. I hope you join me along the way and find something in your own life to pursue that scares you, makes you uncomfortable and challenges you. Something that even in failure will give you the feeling of wholeness I have been blessed to experience. Let’s fill that hole. Together.

1 Peter 1:3&4

Posted in God's Word, Life on April 7, 2010 by gregbashore

No I haven’t made it all the way to 1 Peter in my journey to read God’s word cover to cover, still in the book of Exodus. Last night at small groups we were challenged as a group to spend the week reading through 1 Peter 1:3-9 so I decided to give my mind a break from the old testament today and read through the verses. As a group we were encouraged to write down observations in a note book throughout the week and the first one I made came from the first two verses we were given:

1 Peter 1:3&4
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you,

What stood out to me was in verse four:

“into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you,”

“Kept in heaven for you” that was something I really need to here right now in my journey. To say this journey hasn’t been frustrating would be a lie. In fact, at times that’s all it seems to be. It’s so easy for me to get in to the mind set that I have a relationship with Christ, and I’m making that relationship stronger so he’ll throw me a bone. He’ll reward me for my efforts. And when those rewards don’t come in the way I think they should I get angry. Even doubtful of what exactly GOD is doing in my life. But it says it right here. That God is setting up a life for me far greater then I would ever imagine for myself and that life is being set up in HEAVEN. It’s so easy for me to walk through my day to day life with an Earthly view and forgetting there are better and bigger things going on in my life, but that I am blessed to be a part of.

This whole thing still feels like a “two steps forward, one step backwards” journey, but I guess even with that approach I’m moving forward. This week out of all of them so far I need to remember that it’s with GOD where my true prize and life lay.

God don’t lose hope in me.

-Truck

Soccer

Posted in Life on April 5, 2010 by gregbashore

I spent some time tonight on the internet. I know, I know not the most productive night of my life, but something just felt right about it. Lauren went over to a friends house for “Girls Night” so I was left to fend for myself. It was a lovely spring night with a nice breeze and the smell of thunderstorms. All of this caused me to open the two big windows in my house and let the smell of the spring air in. I had a soccer game on the tv with the sound turn down. I can’t rememeber the teams playing but that really wasn’t the point of it. Truth be told as much as I love soccer and I’m stoked for the upcoming World Cup, the reasons I normal have a game on may seem, well unusual to the normal person. As many of you may know, in every other area of this beautiful world that so many of us take for granted, the game of soccer is life. Many of you who know me, or have spent any amount of time reading this blog may know that I am a huge patriot of this country of ours. But sometimes I find myself disgusted with our lack of tradition. I’m huge when it comes to tradition. I’ve always thought of myself as a purist in a way. Yes, I believe the National League is far superior to the American League because they have not adopted the Designated Hitter. I believe that college football is head and shoulders above the NFL because of the traditon and ritual behind each Saturday afternoon game. And yes, I believe that even though it is not the case in our country, that soccer is and will always be our WORLDS game.

So what did all this have to do with tonight? Well, nothing and at the same time everything. I’m a man who you could say, enjoys meeting people, but I’m not the best at making new friendships. I have a very small knit group of people that I refer to as “my pack” and its not often that that “pack” grows. Actually, up until very recently that “pack” as been the same size and same people since college. But what all this has to do with tonight is this. I miss my friends. I miss them a lot. I miss long runs with Mike and Kyle. And I miss Tim’s awkwardness yet amazingly giving heart. I mis how Phil can make you seem like your the greatest guy in the world. I miss watching Kyle play FIFA Street on PS2. And I miss laying on Mikes couch at two in the morning while he works on a paper that he waited to start til the night before it was due. I miss my Band of Brothers. It’s why I wake up every morning and go run, because I know that somewhere in Ohio and Italy that Mike and kyle will be running too.

A couple years ago Mike and Kyle took a road trip out here for a “Guys” weekend. It was filled with the normal bordem that the three of us love to do. Run. BBQ. and just be with eachother. I don’t know why this particular memory stands out so much, but it does. It was Sunday after church and we were just finishing up some lunch. It was a beautiful spring day and we had the blinds and windows open and we were just relaxing and enjoying quality conversation and watching a soccer game. I don’t know what draws me so much to the sport of soccer. Maybe its the running? The sense of tradition and pride in your team? Whatever it is I just know that all my friends love it. But this day we just laid around my living room watching soccer and that’s when I realized how blessed I am to have these guys, these men, these fellow warriors in battle on my side. I realized now how much I took it for granted. It’s not until you don’t have something anymore that you relize how much you love something.

What does this all mean? Well its pretty simply. Mike, Kyle, Phil, and Tim…I love you guys like you were my own brothers. I miss you guys everyday. And I pray that God keeps making you into the men I see in you. God used you guys to save my life when I was losing it. You showed me what it meant to love and be loved. You are my heros. So on nights like tonight. When I’m home all by myself and the beautiful warm breezes blows through my front window, I keep a soccer game on the TV because it makes it feel like you guys are here with me. I miss you guys.

-Truck

Rise Up

Posted in Endurance, God's Word, Life on April 4, 2010 by gregbashore

“Because we are sons of GOD, we must become sons of GOD”
-George  MacDonald

Rich Roll- Please Go Read his newest blog post on “Quests”