Saturday, December 4, 2010

After A While

What a beautiful poem borrowed from my good friend Professor Lakshman in Colombo -


After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.

And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans, and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. .

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to leave you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure;You really are strong, you really do have worth. And you learn, and you learn With every goodbye you learn.

~ Veronica Shoftsall ~

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finally - A 100 Mile Finish



Well folks, Know No Boundaries has finally put a 100 mile race to bed in our completion of Mother Road 100.3 (that's part 3). The route took us from Baxter Springs, KS to Catoosa, OK finishing at the Catoosa High School track along historic Route 66.

We had a great crowd at the start with plenty of good friends. Some adding another 100 miler to their list (like Kathy & Ken) while others were looking for their first finish. Roman, Charlotte, Caroline & I are in this group.

My two friends Ken Childress (looking for a 7th finish) & Bill Richardson & I posed for a pre-race photo before heading out onto the open road.
Prior to starting, we stood silent for the National Anthem & then we were off. Temperatures at the start were a bit cool, but it was expected to clear up & give us blue skies. And blue skies we had.
Unfortunately my hydration pack (where my camera was) was not too user friendly (or at least was inconvenient) for me to get my camera out so there are not too many route photos. Besides, I was determined to finish this one.
The route wound through may small towns such as Quapaw, Commerce & Miami in the early stages of the race. It is funny though, I notice that many marathoners & ultra runners are far from vain because when "nature calls", any shyness goes out the window. Such was one case early Saturday morning when both a guy & a girl took off to the right off the road; one behind a bush & the other behind some safety barrels. In places, the only eyes were equine.
I had a GREAT crew in Cara Rogers-Nance & Randy Nance who where exactly where I needed them & when. However after dark & just prior to the Afton aid station, we were cut off by a train that decided to stop across the route. BUMMER! However this was somewhat short lives as we were only off about 20 minutes. Cara & Randy crewed for most of the first half of the race before a good friend & ultra runner; Earl Blewett; took over. Earl truly kept me focused through out the rest of Saturday night & into Sunday.

In to Afton & then on the scales. I dropped 7 lbs!; 5 more & I would be pulled. I just thought that this was one heck of a way to loose weight - - - NOT! Luckily I maintained this the rest of the race.

In to Vinita where some hot chicken soup was a taste of heaven. My son Michael had been there for a few hours lending a hand to the race doctor & offering quick massages & wraps as needed to the runners as they came through. I understand that Bill Rodgers needed (2) IVs. (Watch it there Bill.)
By now the darkness was beginning to be mentally taxing as I had been running in the dark for about 4-5 hours. Luckily I picked up my pacers; Lori & Dave Veteto; in White Oak. Lori was first up to the next aid station then Dave jumped in. They played this back & fourth game until we got to Foyil around 7:30 Sunday morning. All I have to say about Lori & Dave is that they were God-sent. For (2) people who I only recently met, they gave of themselves selflessly & I can assure you that if it were not for them, I would not have made it through the wee hours of the lonely night.

As expected, Sunday was brought in by a beautiful sunrise.


When we got into Claremore, Earl bid me farewell as his wife only had some much patience. Cara & Randy jumped back in here however Earl was totally critical during some critical times. (sorry about your cell phone Earl).

Through Vertigris & then into Catoosa was ever so welcome as I was really tired by now (no kidding, eh?), my feet hurt, my shins hurt & other things hurt that I never realized.

What I did realize though, was how great it feels to break through a major boundary & finish the race set before me.
29 hours, 36 minutes & 2 seconds for an official finish about 20 minutes before the cut off.
Roman Broyles also had a stellar performance as he hung on & persevered for a 32+ hour finish & a first for him as well.
I learned a lot from this about my fellow man (& woman) but that is for another post.
In the mean time, run on & God Bless.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

THE NEW PHONE BOOKS ARE IN, I'M FINALLY SOMEONE!


I guess you had to have seen Steve Martin's "The Jerk" to appreictae this.



The Broken Arrow Ledger did a wonderful article in today's edition talking about my running adventures & highlighting what Know No Boundaries is all about. Check out the hyper-link above to read the featured article.

Know No Boundaries is preparing for Part 3 of the Mother Road 100 series. It is to start on November 13th in Baxter Springs, Kansas, follow historic Route 66 & finish in the Catoosa High School stadium in Catoosa, Oklahoma.

Extremely tight hamstrings are a concern at the moment but we are working through this. Pain is inevitable but it would be nice to keep it towards the end rather than at the start.

Pray for us & our mission.

God Bless;

K2

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Boundaries Are Only the Limits of the Imagination

As the father of a child born with Dandy-Walker Syndrome, I can say that once we get past the mourning of our child’s disabilities (which unfortunately numerous parents never do), we are constantly amazed by the things they are not limited to. Add ImageWe find ourselves battling within, trying to push them to, and beyond their limits, all the while allowing them to realize there really are no limits.


All too often I have quarreled with family members, in-laws, school teachers and even doctors who constantly tell my daughter, “you can’t do that, let me do it for you”. There is always a little voice inside my head screaming at them, “Stop telling her she can’t do that! Help her learn how to do it for herself. She already has a physical disability, why do you want to impose an emotional disability as well!?”


Twelve years ago, a new “all-encompassing” sport was developed here in Switzerland by a small group of friends with family members with varied disabilities. The idea behind the game is to allow persons with, and without disabilities to compete in a sport based on the very ideals of “Fair-play”. Taking a little from Handball and a little of Football (Soccer for Americans) RAFROBALL was created. The name was created from the names of its founders, Thierry RApillard, Lionel and Jonas FROssard and Prince BALLestraz.

The philosophy and principals are very simple -

• allow everyone, with or without a disability to participate in sport and to have fun;
• to respect the spirit of sports, team spirit, fair-play, equality and friendship;
• to help the non disabled understand and appreciate disabilities;
• to promote integration between the disabled world and the non disabled world.



Every player’s ability or disability is taken into consideration when forging their position on the team. The teams are composed of 5 players on each side. All non-disabled players are required to play in a wheel-chair. The severely disabled wheel-chair bound, and blind team members are allow a “motor”, an able bodied person to move them on the court and act as “surrogate” in catching or blocking the ball, yet the player has to do the passing. The teams are allowed 1 “walker” (not in a chair).

To explain in detail how the game is played would be a little tedious perhaps for a short article whose purpose is to explain “The Boundary Breaker”, suffice to say that there are currently 7 teams in the Federation that play in the Championship tournaments. It has been a long road getting to where we are today, and in the end we all have a great deal of fun. I would invite you to visit the website (only in French, with a little German thrown in there for the fun of it) http://www.rafroball.ch/

Far too many people in our society that do not have any discernable disabilities are bound and disabled by their fear and misunderstanding of those who do have disabilities.


This month’s Boundary Breakers are all the Rafroballers: People learning, growing and integrating, working together to break their physical and emotional boundaries.







Submitted by James Healey, Webmaster; Know No Boundaries

"Personally, I dedicate this to my daughter and my son. We have been breaking our own boundaries for 16 years now. " - Jim

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Forging Beyond Boundaries

Boundaries come in many different forms & are in many different areas. There are spiritual boundaries, emotional boundaries, financial boundaries & physical boundaries within which the bulk of mankind sadly keep within. I say keep within because many of our so called boundaries are self set; set within our own minds. The problem is that often times these initially fine boundary webs when believed strong enough become like steel cables binding from within & keeping us from becoming all that God has planned for us.

Paul Damion Hughes is our September 2010 Boundary Breaker of the month. He is one person who has brushed away these fine webs of pseudo-limitations in the area of art to use techniques long disappeared.

When Damion was in 7th grade, he was introduced to stone sculpting. He was quickly hooked on his ability to take cold innate stone & with ones own two hands & a few primitive tools, could transform that stone into something that expressed warmth & emotion. Working with his hands allowed him to “feel” the work.
Fast forward many years & Damion has applied this same mindset to metal working. He became fascinated with the plating techniques from the medieval times & made it a point to master all of the metal working techniques that the masters of old used. The fact that one could easily use modern tools to do the same thing was not even considered. Damion quickly broke through that boundary to once again, use his hands & primitive tools.
Since forging was used back in the medieval times, Damion made his own “pit forge” in the backyard to forge the metal to allowing him to work his magic. He says that “When the metal is red hot, you can work it into whatever shape you desire using a hammer & anvil. It is sort of like dough but much hotter.”
Damion has made suits of armor, swords, knives & shields as well as many unique metal works of art.

Know No Boundaries commissioned Damion to make a shield to symbolize the Armor of God & also contain the foundation’s rising phoenix logo.

He did not disappoint us in his creation of “Triumph”.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Who Am I?

"Who Am I?"


I can be the culmination of an effort well orchestrated
or a sought after goal not to be known.

I will drive you to achieve your dreams
or stress you to the point of despair....

I am the intimate friend of every successful leader or winner
as well as the mortal enemy of those who do not.

With discipline & determination, we will surly meet
yet with out it, we will remain strangers.

Every person who has achieved greatness has known me
and those who have not yearn to know me.

Who am I?




I am TRIUMPH!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Informal Partnership with American Wheelchair Mission

Know No Boundaries is thrilled to report that after a few detailed phone calls, we have reached an agreement with American Wheelchair Mission in which KNB will do the fundraising & American Wheelchair Mission will work with us to supply wheelchairs to many of the needed areas of the world. To start with, here is a bit about the American Wheelchair Mission -

Mission
The American Wheelchair Mission is a non-profit organization with a goal to deliver brand new, free wheelchairs and mobility aids to physically disabled children, teens and adults throughout the world who are without mobility or the means to acquire a wheelchair. With a strong focus on the needs of the Americas, the American Wheelchair Mission will continue to change the lives of entire families with the gifts of hope, dignity, freedom and independence.

Impact
The delivery of a wheelchair to a person without mobility improves the quality of life for the entire family. Children can go to school, adults can go to work to provide for their families and the elderly can get out of a bed they may have stayed in for years at a time. We estimate that each wheelchair we deliver impacts an average of 10 lives in a positive way.

Need
It is estimated that more than 100 million people throughout the world are in need of a wheelchair but cannot afford one. These people cannot be helped by canes, crutches, walkers or prosthetics. A wheelchair is their only hope for mobility.
On average, developing countries around the world have about three percent (3%) of their population physically disabled and unable to afford a wheelchair. In the 60 or so countries with civil unrest, landmine and unexploded ordnance problems the percentage of physically disabled can rise as high as Angola’s twenty percent (20%). Afghanistan, Iraq, Cambodia and Sierra Leone are not far behind. Colombia is the only country in the western hemisphere with landmines actively being planted by anti-government rebels, and has a growing problem. The reasons for physical disability include war, disease, accidents, lack of health care, aging and others.


The delivery of wheelchairs to physically disabled people allows children to go to school, adults to go to work and provide for their families and the elderly to get out of a bed they may have stayed in for years at a time. But a wheelchair does not only change the life of the recipient. We estimate an average of ten lives are improved by the delivery of each wheelchair. Families can attend worship services and social gatherings together; people who have crawled on the floor or ridden on a skateboard can now look family in the eye for the first time and feel dignity. The prayers of entire families are answered with the gift of a wheelchair.

Process
The brand new wheelchairs we deliver would sell for $500 in a medical supply store, but we purchase them by sea containers of 100 to 280 wheelchairs, deliver them directly to the country of destination and can do this for an average of only $150 per wheelchair.

Know No Boundaries has already begun agressive fundraising efforts as out goal is to have monies raised to get a small container of wheelchairs to our home area the end of the fourth quarter of 2010 or the first quarter of 2011.

Join us in our cause.

God Bless you;
Ken

Friday, July 23, 2010

Breaking Through the Next Boundary

So, what is to be the next boundary to break through?
With our first donation in the bank, KNB needs to look for our next boundary to break through & to raise awareness of our foundation to the public at large. What is on the horizon towards which we are moving?
In trying to keep the initial things local so as to gain local recognition as well as local beneficiaries for our services, the concept of running the "boundary" or limits of the City of Tulsa. Of course then we would have to go one mile more to have "broken through" this boundary, right?

The idea of running the Tulsa City Limit was thought about earlier in the summer & it appears to be very doable. As a matter of fact, aside from parts of the city in the North & West parts, there is a high probability that the run would go by & through areas & neighborhoods & by convenience stores (I.e. Gatorade & water are critical). It looks to be APPROXIMATELY 70 miles (although I am probably wrong).

Well, after much prayer & contemplation (not to mention a few discussions with friends & family), the un-official Tulsa City Limit Ultra Marathon will happen. It will also be great training for Mother Road 100 - Part 3 on November 13th / 14th.

I am already driving parts of the course to stake out places for bathroom breaks, water stops & possible remote water stops in the areas less populated.

For those of you who would like to join us, look for more details as it gets closer to the fall & the cooler weather.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Our FIRST Donation

Thanks to the huge generosity of Brian & Kathy Hoover at Runner's World Tulsa, Know No Boundaries received their first big donation.
The check in the amount of $1,150.50 was from a portion of the proceeds from the inaugural 50 Mile Midnight Madness run held the previous week the results of which are already posted.

This first donation was truly earned as I ran the entire 50 miles & despite a hard rain for the last 20 miles, I had a blast. Plenty of great support & many, many good friends both old & new.

With money literally in the bank, Know No Boundaries will be working with local medical equipment suppliers in order to get them to donate a few wheelchairs. These wheelchairs will then be distributed to needy people in town (at first) in order to help them to break free of their boundaries. Often times physical aliments & handicaps tend to cause us to become mentally & emotionally bound to where we limit ourselves without even being consciously aware of it. These wheelchairs will be the catalyst to break these boundaries.
The check was presented following the 2010 Poker Run held at Veteran's Park.

When the chips are down, run (obviously).

Sandra Wright & Dana Childress prepare their "poker faces" before the run with my good friend Ken Childress (aka K1 or Trail Zombie) in the background.
It was a five (5) mile run & we each ended up with (5) cards picked up along the run. "Dealers" were out in places dealing out the needed cards. One place was at Quik Trip Plaza @ 41st & Peoria.
I really wish I knew more about poker.
Ken & Dana ran a bit together. (Hmmm, I wonder if they shared their cards to make a good hand.) They make such a cute couple wouldn't you say?

By the end of the run, I had a nothing hand with only an Ace high. Good thing I am not a betting man.

Kirk fared okay except for a bit of rubbing in the wrong places.

OUCH Kirk. You look like you've been shot! Get this man some Nip Guards.
All in all, the run was a nice recovery run after the 50 miler & it was an awesome blessing to receive the donation.
Now looking on the horizon of what's next . . . . . . .
God Bless;
Ken

Monday, July 5, 2010

One More Broken Boundary - 50 Mile Midnight Madness

Well, the Inaugural 50 Mile Might Madness is now written in the history books. All the necessary steps were taken to be prepared & to ensure success. Everything was laid out in advance.
Ominous weather met all of us prior to the start with heavy rains but we it stopped 15 minutes prior to the start.
The race course consisted of (5) 10 mile loops in alternating direction. Start was at Quik Trip Plaza @ 41st & Riverside Drive looping around to the Turkey Mountain parking lot & back to Quik Trip Plaza. That way, we got to climb & descend the hill up to Turkey Mountain as well as along the 71st Street bridge.

We were off into the dark @ midnight with headlamps lighting our way.

The lights were critical along the west side of the trail & in order to be sure not to miss critical twists & turns.

As the loops added up, the toughness of the race became to show itself. I believe that the saving grace for all of the runners was the overcast skies.

Once it started to get light, many of us were able to see the true beauty of the course as many of the runners had never run the trails & were NOT from Tulsa. Unfortunately when it comes to hills, they seem easier when you cannot see them & you anticipate them when you know when they are coming.

We were also blessed with lower than normal temperatures & even a hard rain (that seemed to persist for the last 20 miles). The cooler weather was a much welcome reprieve from the usual roasting Oklahoma summer. I suspect if it were a "normal" summer day, there would have been plenty of people dropping as the heat climbed.

Once again, the "boundary" was set & through hard preparation, hard work, great support, faith that we would overcome & the acceptance to suffer, the boundary was shattered.
A big thanks to Brian & Kathy Hoover of Runner's World Tulsa & the TATURs for donating a portion of the race proceeds to Know No Boundaries.
God Bless & see you at the next boundary (Mother Road 100 - Part 3 maybe).
K2

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Vibram FiveFingers - Trial

Well I got my Vibram FiveFingers out on a trial (finally). Unfortunately I only had them out at the gym on the treadmill but they were fabulous.


I have go to say that my whole running mechanics went out the window. No more heal striking. I seem to run with more awareness; more upright. There is more thought to how your foot falls, etc.


I wore them in my travels out to Oman & thoroughly enjoyed them. I cannot wait to get them out into the "real rowld" on real running surfaces.


The whole Vibram FiveFinger's concept is totally "out of the box" & a pushing beyond conventional running wear boundaries.



Until next time.



Run on;
Ken

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Following Through

Okay, last long night run, I bailed @ 24 miles. I said "I felt a few blisters coming on" but if I were to admit it to myself, it was a way to justify cutting out early. This is VERY WRONG. When you commit to something, you need to see it through to the very end. One needs to "break through" those mental boundaries that we all set up within our minds. We always seem to justify things we do even when we know that we have not done our best. Not this time though. My mental picture when we gathered for our 2nd 30 mile night training run was to finish strong & complete the task.

Brian; as always; gives us our last minute directions. Bob & friends listen intently.

Soon after heading off, the group began to spread out & everybody moved into their usual positions (for me, it is generally near the back of the pack).


Talking was lively at first as we were all still fresh. Scott; a newcomer to our group was in fine form as he heads east on the trail after crossing Yale Ave.

By the time we all got to Memorial, it was dusk. Cold drinks & snacks awaited us courtesy of our beloved crews; Derek & Laurie England, Brian Hoover & Sonya.Add Image Brian directs Kirk to the treats.
When you are out on the trail in the dark & often alone, your mind plays tricks on you. Such was the case when I saw this HUGE MAN EATING crawdad cross the trail & almost take off my leg!

(Well it looked huge when I ran across it in the dark anyway.)

We continued onwards towards NSU & a sign advertising for the university caught me as perfect for the moment.
I mean we "had gathered here" (at the aid station) & we "had gone far" (by now we were at the 15-16 mile turn around. I mean, how far can we go?

Here my running mentor & good friend K1 (aka Trail Zombie) chats with Sonya while he messes with his camera (as always).

Lyle & Charis also were at the half way point & offered a nice pose for the camera.


Before heading back, Sonya was kind enough to take a photo of the "Special Ks".

Oh, and these "special K's as well; K1 & K2.

About 9 of us completed the full 30 mile run & we felt Great. Thanks to K1 for hangin' back with me near the end.

Next stop - 50 Mile Midnight Madness running July.

Run on & God Bless;
K2















Sunday, May 16, 2010

Running Hope Through America

Lisa Smith-Batchen, one of the world's premier ultra-runners, will be the first person to attempt (or should I say complete) run 50 miles in each of the 50 states.

Lisa came through Tulsa on her way to completing this awesome & inspiring goal. Know No Boundaries as well as many friends of Runner's World Tulsa & the Tulsa Area Trail Ultra runners (TATUR) got to run some
(or all) with her and her good friend & running partner Sister Mary Beth Lloyd.

Kathy was leading the pack in the wee hours of the morning while the rest of us accompanied Lisa & Sister Mary Beth. Lisa's project; Running Hope Through America; is done through her foundation, The Dreamchaser Foundation. 100% of the donations will be distributed between (3) organizations -

If there were ever a person who truly pushes the boundaries & who has beaten the internal mental battle that keeps us all trapped within our mental/physical/spiritual prison, it is Lisa.

Runner's World Tulsa set up aid station tents at the start & turn around points in order to provide needed snacks & drinks for Lisa, Sister Mary Beth & all of the rest of us who joined in to support Lisa.

Sr. Mary Beth & Arnold zip through while Brian maned the tent.



Once the sun came up, there seemed to be more people who came out to run with Lisa & Sister Mary Beth & to support here cause.

We even had a moment to play cowboy when we took a brief side trip along the West side of the River Parks trails & hoped on an old western stage coach.

As you can see, Lisa has a very daunting schedule with a lot of road time in their RV. She was in Little Rock, Arkansas Friday & after Tulsa, will be heading down to Dallas, Texas to continue on here journey.



And like every one of life's endeavors, we need some time to stop & rest, re-group & re-focus ;even if it is just changing shoes & getting off of our feet for a few minutes & donning a pair of compression tights (I've gotta try these one day).



It was nice for Joe to join us after running in the Aquarium Half Marathon held earlier in the morning.


We even had our own local ultra running celebrity Ken Childress (aka Trail Zombie & K1) also join us after the Aquarium Half Marathon.


With this said & the state of Oklahoma now checked off of Lisa's list, & will offer my deepest prayers to her & Sister Mary Beth.


May God's strength always be with you in all that you do & may He richly bless you & your efforts and when our time is done & we are face to face with Heavenly Our Father, may He welcome you into heaven with the words "Well done my good & faithful servant. Welcome home."


God Bless you & be sure to Know No Boundaries.


K2