Monday, December 26, 2011

Resolutions

Well now. We have just about arrived at the point every year where everyone begins to look back on the year's events & reflect on what direction that they want to go in the coming year. Have we achieved any of the goals that we set for ourselves or have we once again allowed circumstances to dictate what we do or do not achieve?

If you are like me, it is probably a bit of both. I have achieved some of my goals while others where pushed aside by "life"; things circumstances that seemly are out of our control.

Maybe the problem is not life's circumstances. All of this STUFF that seems to side track us happens to all of us yet there are still those who seem to achieve all that the set out to accomplish.

Is this because they are better then us? I say NO. Is this because they have set goals that are easy to achieve? Here I also say NO. Is it because they are not as busy as we are? Once again, I say NO.

I believe that the reasons are multifaceted. One reason may be the fact that we do not give much thought to WHAT it is that we actually want to achieve  & have not quantified it in terms of something that can be measured. Wanting to loose weight is very, easy as we can all looks a pound without much effort however if this had been our goal, we likely had more than this in mind. Wanting to loose 15 pounds by a fixed date gives you a target to shoot for & to hit. It is quantifiable & measurable.

We also MUST be passionate about what we want. As humans, we buy, do, consume & like everything based upon emotion. This applies to everything from chocolate to selecting a surgeon. We must "like" that person or thing (emotion again). We analyze how they/it makes us "feel".

With enough passion, we can do practically anything. Just look around or read, passion has been the driving force behind most of what amazes us daily; the blind climber who summits Mount Everest, the bi-amputee who completes a marathon, they laid off worker who in their late 60's starts their own company, . . . . .

I say that with the start of 2012, YOU find some quiet time, reflect what it is that you are passionate about, write it down in quantifiable & measurable terms and at the stroke of midnight - - GO FOR IT and DO NOT LOOK BACK.

Do not think of failure as failure is not trying & trying again, but in not trying at all.



Friday, November 11, 2011

1-1-E

Do ONE random act of kindness for at least ONE person EVERY day. (1-1-E)

Can you imagine what our world would be like if we all practiced this? We were all taught the power of compound interest as it applies to our financial wealth but how about applying this to the "interest" that we have in other people!

If we do ONE random act of kindness to ONE person EVERY day & that person in turn does it & so on, we gain the same compounding affect however the wealth built is not a financial windfall, but an emotional & societal windfall unlike you have ever seen.

Once the "interest" that we have in others is compounded day after day, out cities, our states & our countries WILL be changed forever.

You do the math.

Now GO DO IT  (1-1-E)

Monday, October 24, 2011

How far does one push? 2011 Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd Recap

When things get tough (& they ALWAYS DO), how far does one really push? When we are faced by what seems to be a "boundary" against which we are determined to break through; at what point is it fruitless & does not really have to do with our innate capacity to break through? When does it make sense to make a wise choice when there is nothing to prove (to others AND to ourselves)?

Well such was the case in this year's Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd. Our intention - to successfully complete our 2nd 100 mile run. Often times, even the best laid plans need to be flexibile. Everything was in place, fully stocked supplies & a ready crew (thanks Skip) & pacers for the second loop (Mitch Drummond) as well as the final loop (Tom Wozencraft). It was a well designed course. For us 100 milers, it consisted of a 8 mile out & back (thanks to our race director, he threw in an extra mile - Thanks Ken) followed by (3) 31 mile (50K) loops.

After the typical per-race jitters, we were off on our journey.

At the top of the first out & back found Mitch serving up waffles for hungry runners.  (BTW - did I say "top"? Listed as "rolling hills" & a fast course this was the first of many, many hills.

As the day unfolded, the nature of the course began to sink in.
Rolling Hills - NOT! Gravel - NOT!

The course was beautiful. Scenic country vistas along the Illinois River, lakes & ponds (& an occasional dog).

It was the surrounding beauty that helped take my mind off of the grueling course.

After the first loop, I was joined by Mitch as my pacer only to find out that Tom had car problems & would not be able to make it to pace me for my 3rd & final loop (bummer!).

As the sun went down, Mitch & I ran through the night. It is amazing what one talks about when you are out in the country running for hours on end. Things from chicken farming to the fact that I w graduated High School with his wife.

Bathtub Rock was beautiful the first loop but seemed a bit more treacherous at night when I was tired & sore. I DID NOT want a bath at that moment.

The end of the second loop was rough. Hips hurt, knees hurt feet h . . . well, my feet were actually fine.

We came into the Start/Finish around 7 AM in fairly good shape. Mitch had completed his first 50K & with my little 8 mile out & back at the start, I had made 70 miles. Doing the math, we determined that my 3rd & final loop to complete my 100 miler WAS NOT going to happen. I would have had to pull an 8 hour loop - - NOT!

Here is where the "pushing" part comes in. I had no doubt that I cold make a 3rd loop but NOT in 8 hours. It was the wisdom that I had not left anything on the table, made my best effort & pulled a 70 miler.

I was happy (although a bit disappointed & wiped out) as this time, the course won.

Watch out though as Know No Boundaries WILL beat this next time. (May even have revenge this year!)

Blessings to all.

K2

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Breaking Out - A Transformation

I want to relate a story about a very good friend of mine who has been a tremendous inspiration to me and a shining example of breaking through self set, self limiting boundaries & even boundaries that may have been imposed by society to achieve a phenomenal goal.

We will call him "John" so as not to embarrass him or cause him any uncomfort.

"John" came into my life through a faulty tail light on my wife's car that was taken to Wal Mart for repair. "John" did not normally work there, but due to a temporary leave o
f absence from his regular job, was the one who took care of my wife. "John" had been looking for a church & just happened to see a window sticker on our car that peaked his interest. Fast forward a year or so, now "John" & his family have joined our church & we have become good friends.

Now "John" was not always this way. In his past life", "John" was very active in a number of biker groups; you know, the ones you REALLY FEAR! "John" was definitely a different person than he is now. Turning his life around, focusing on his family & strengthening his spiritual side in & of itself is a tremendous inspiration but is not the point of this writing.

In my ramblings about marathons & ultra marathons, "John" decided that he wanted to run a marathon some time next year. He went to one of our local running stores & after looking over the plethora of running shoes, picked a pair & started on his journey.

"John" made out a running schedule to plot out his daily runs & weekend long run. He was spending more & more time out on the trails & alone with time to ponder the worlds problems, think about what he is thankful for & have some quiet time to pray. There was the odd encounter with shadows (oh yea, it was not a shadow but a skunk - maybe I ought to leave this for another post), dear & time with his daughter as she rode along side on her bicycle.

Convincing me to run the Warrior Dash with him September 24th, we had a BLAST running & climbing at Turkey Mountain.

"John" had planned on running the 10K at the Route 66 Marathon this November but with his distance up to about 8 miles now (& further by November), he will likely sign up for the 1/2 Marathon.

His marathon debut will be some time in 2012 (possibly the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in April).

Coming from where "John" came from to running his first marathon (& hopefully not his last if I can help it), he has truly broken thorough his old self into a new person (& one that I feel blessed to be able to call a friend).

"John" will also be crewing for me when Know No Boundaries runs our 2nd 100 mile run on October 15th & 16th at the Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd.


Thank you "John" for being my friend & a true inspiration.


Blessings to all.





Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bridging the Years

Bridges, what are they? What do they do? Why have them?

They supply a way to get from one point to another when there is no apparent way over to or across some chasm. Often times one needs tocross "troubled waters" in order to reach their desired place.

Bridges are not always pristine & they do not always guarantee safe crossing. Often times there are obstacles & possible pitfalls that can cause us to fall into the abyss.

There are however, other types of "bridges" that we encounter.

PEOPLE can be bridges in that they can help others to overcome obstacles or provide a means for them to achieve something.

Sometimes people can help others to "bridge the gap" between different generations or assist when there is a lack of knowledge in a particular area. The middle sibling can often bridge the gap between a teenage son or daughter & the parents.

Technology can also bridge gaps as in how cell phones & Facebook has bridged the communications gap between countries & cultures.

The mission of Know No Boundaries is to help people to "break out" of their self set limitations." In a way, we are providing a bridge of sorts to help them overcome a self set limitation.

Age is often thought to be an obstacle wherein the "older" folks cannot (or I should say WILL NOT) do this or try that. At Know No Boundaries will walk the talk to prove that the age limitation CAN be bridged.

Late in July, KNB & a few friends decided to celebrate our 52nd birthdays by doing "52" of something. We decided to do 52 crossings of the Pedestrian Bridge which connects the East & West sides of the Arkansas River in Tulsa, OK.

Ken Childress & I crossed the pedestrian bridge 52 times ending up running just over a half marathon. Darryl Stillson decided to go for it as well but he started earlier & headed off while we were still running.
So, what is point of mentioning this run, at 52 years, we decided to bridge the age gap by proving that age IS NOT an obstacle, only a measure of the amount of life experience one has accumulated.

Now, BE THE BRIDGE for someone in your life.

God Bless;
K2

Monday, July 4, 2011

Disappointment, Friendship & Inspiration


Well the 2011 50 Mile Midnight Madness has been written in the history books. We went into this with high aspirations to have a good finish despite the fact that it was going to be in the triple digits temperature wise.

Unfortunately the heat DID take its toll on us & we turned in a DNF (Did Not Finish). After starting our 4th loop (10.3 miles per loop), the heat, p
lus a brief bit if under training did us in. It was a smart move as we want to be able to run again.

It was obvious that we disappointed ourselves as well as our friends, & the supporters of Know No Boundaries however a strange thing occurred. When we posted our disappointing results on Facebook, it was these friends & supporters who indicated that WE were an inspiration to them. Go figure! In our low times, at a time when we felt that we let our friends down, WE INSPIRED THEM!

This is where the FRIENDSHIP lifts one up out of our disappointment. THIS is what friends do.

They say that one can be considered blessed if they can count good friends on one hand in ones lifetime. How is one to feel then when they have more than they can count?

It is THESE FRIENDS that provided us with a Can of Inspiration lifting our initial disappointment to one of thankfulness & gratitude.
Is is THESE FRIENDS who inspire us to be better husbands & wives, better fathers & mothers, better co-workers, better managers & overall, better people.

THANK YOU MY GOOD FRIENDS & GOD BLESS.


K2

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Problems

As a living, breathing, imagining, creative human being, we ALL have problems. Our problems can me as minor as where we want to eat for dinner to how am I going to complete this project on time & under budget to how am I going to feed my family having just lost my job.

It is NOT the intention of this post to trivialize anyone's problems only to tell you that Problems are nothing more than a boundary that we perceive as restraining us or keeping us from attaining whatever it is that we seek to achieve. The key word here is PERCEIVE as it is our own perception that keeps us from moving on, through & beyond whatever problem we have ad hand.

We have all heard the old story of writing ones problems in the sand. The concept basically is that in writing our problems in the sand, they are washed away at the first incoming tide. It is a metaphor to how real life problems are when
we write them down & have a chance to look at them from a different perspective. Often times a new or renewed perspective totally changes the entire scenario & hence the provision of a solution.
On a recent trip to Phuket, Thailand; I had the chance to "write my problems in the sand". At first it seems to just be the act of scribbling the word "problem" in the sand with a stick but no sooner had I written the word, the surf came in & upon its retreat, took my problems along with it. All I can say is that it was a totally surreal feeling & one that I cannot truly explain in words.

What I can say is that when I looked down & saw my "problems" gone, I did indeed feel as though a tremendous weight had been lifted from my shoulders & that between me & God, that everything would work out.

God Bless;
Ken

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Some Things Need To Be Bound

Hello friends.


By now, you have all gotten the point of our foundation and the fact that WE set our own boundaries (or at least 95% of them). It is our own internal dialogue with ourselves that tell us what we can and cannot do. These seemly fragile strands of fine thread which we think as small obstacles on our journey to our goals become steel cables shackling us within our own self created prisons.


These self created boundaries are in a plethora of areas such as financial, physical, spiritual and emotional to list a few. Know No Boundaries is that catalyst to help people to break our of these boundaries initially through the provision of wheelchairs, prosthetics, counseling, guidance and mentoring.


There are however, SOME things that need to be bound. Some things that not only need to be bound, but to be bound AND eliminated. Things such as sin, hate, prejudice, bigotry, lust and a host of horrendous diseases. I believe that many of these CAN be eliminated if we would only break through some of the boundaries that are holding us back from eliminating.


One such "THING" that needs to be bound AND destroyed is Cancer. Having hit us personally now and over the past few years, we will be doing what we can to support groups trying to raise awareness of this dreaded disease as well as funds to fight it.


lungcancer.jpg


Know No Boundaries will be participating in the Relay for Life this Friday, June 3rd. And true to form, we will be "breaking our own boundaries" by running/walking the entire 12 hours. It will be at Broken Arrow's South Intermediate High School track starting at 6 PM and ending at 6 AM the next morning.


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Please come out to support us, feed us, run/walk with us, tell us some good jokes, bring us something to drink (a Starbucks Frappuccino would be nice) or just send prayers.


It is unfortunate that the bad things in our society and in our lives also know no boundaries.




Blessings;

Ken

Saturday, March 19, 2011

2011 TATUR Three/Six Hour Snake Run

Well, the 2011 TATUR Three/Six Hour Snake Run is now in the record books. Ken Childress & the TATURs once again did a fabulous job.

Ken & Brian discuss a few final race details before the gun goes off while patient runners meander around with baited breath to start.

The gun went off @ 9:00 AM sharp & we were of; everyone jockeying for their ideal spot in the train of runners. 2011 has been a slow year starting for Know No Boundaries as far as building a good mileage base because we spent the month of January in Gabon. Our first boundary for 2011 was the 25K at the Post Oak Challenge in February. The six hours is not the boundary, it is the fact that I went into this with a strained left knee. I used Kenisio Tape last night, but as I did it myself, it was not likely done right. I did watch the video though, so we will see. I guess I should have shaved my legs first, eh? Oh well, it will hurt coming off.

Snaking through the Turkey Mountain trails we came across our first aid station at mile 1.

As always, Susan is all smiles. She & her cohorts were fabulous in the early hours of the race. They even provided a few "snakes" to set the mood.

It is always great running Turkey Mountain as friends abound.

Lyle "the man" , looking good here as we cross paths.



Charlie looks like he's flyin' by & in perfect form.

Caroline also looks great as we all seem to cross paths all day.

As always, Randy looks awesome. It must be his long legs.

The day went on (& on & on & . . . ). The weather could not be better however my left knee began giving me problems. YES it was wrapped & YES & was not pushing too hard, but I did not want to be stupid & jeopardize other 2011 endurance runs.


Coming around to the far aid station once again, the crew had changed but still the same great treatment.
Sandra & Pat decided to give Dana a bit of support as she came through the aid station in addition to typical GREAT TATUR support; just like Susan & Company earlier.

Cuisine was varied, but I had a hard time sorting out some of it.

One big thing was that the team from 5 Hour Energy Drink came out to support the race & hand out a few samples (it worked out great for a sample about 2 hours into the race.)

Micah & her friend were great & I am sure were popular with everyone there.

Anyway, the knee kept hurting & as we were not taking any risks, I opted to pull out after (4) loops; approximately 17 miles. The Snake trophy will have to wait for another year & I didn't need the medal.
Be careful pushing today & live to run another day. So I chose the later.
We were only able to push the boundary so far before bordering on stupid.
Better next time - - - - - - besides, the 50 Mile Midnight Madness will soon be upon us.
God Bless;
K

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Plan to Break Boundaries

Okay, I already know that there are times when events just "happen" & they take us by surprise. It is for these reasons, we need to have the mindset of a boundary breaker. We need to know in our heart of hearts, that we WILL persevere, we WILL become, we WILL be all that God has planned for us. This is no easy task as we are often hit by situations n& circumstances that we do not feel we can overcome. This is NOT TRUE. We CAN overcome all obstacles. Look around you my friend & you will see countless people who have overcome tremendous obstacles that they did not allow to be a boundary. Older people who are once again looking for work are starting their own businesses, blind people are climbing mountains, people who have lost loved ones due to a tragedy are starting foundations to bring awareness to countless causes, people who have lost or had been born with a physical challenge are running marathons & achieving their dreams.

WHY you might ask? IF you ask any one of them, they would tell you that there was no other option. Overcoming their situation was a given & a choice long made deep inside their psyche, inside the deepest recesses of their hearts.

Know No Boundaries is no different in our approach to life & to how we are going to approach 2011 in our efforts to bring awareness to this & to raise money. Our main point is not only to talk the talk about breaking boundaries, but to walk the walk. To actually break our own boundaries in life & in response to the "stuff" that happens to all of us.

Our first planned boundary to break was the running of the 2nd Post Oak Challenge. This was put on by the Tulsa Running Club & hosted at the Post Oak Lodge on Saturday & Sunday February26th & 27th.
Between the two days, they had a 10K, 25:, 50K on Saturday & a Quarter, half & full marathon on Sunday. KNB ran the 25K despite a nagging left knee injury. As in every endurance event, I am never short of amazed at what people can accomplish. Along the run, a youg girl was running with a friend. She had been in Vibram Five Fingers (man, I love mine). Just in frond of me, she stubbed her toe on a rock (Ouch!) & stumbled to a stop in front of me. I offered some help but she slowly sad down, slipped of the back of her Vibrams, popped her little toe back into place (another Ouch!), slipped her Vibrams back on & took off again with an aire of "what's the big deal?". How many of us would continue? Change the scenario to something in your work, in your family with your health or in regards to your dreams. Would you re-adjust things & then head off down the road to accomplish or overcome your setback? This is something that YOU need to answer yourself.

Here at Know No Boundaries, we not only encourage people to break through these limiting boundaries. but we try to set examples in our lives, & mentor or council them to do likewise.

The next boundary that we have planned to break, is via the 6 Hour Snake Run. This is a 4 mile flat trail loop on Turkey Mountain. The object is to run as many miles as possible in 6 hours. How will KNB do? We did 20 miles last year so we will be shooting for at least 24-26 miles.




Following this would be the 50 Mile Midnight Madness. Proceeds from this race have been earmarked for Know No Boundaries so we are excited about this race in it's second year.

In perfect response to pushing boundaries, KNB will run in the inaugural Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd (our 2nd hundred miler).
As we get closer to the fall, Know No Boundaries is looking at joining forces with My Long Walk to host a 24 Hour Run some time in the fall. This is still in the idea stage, so stay tuned.
And to end for today, we are in discussions to bring a benefit concert to our community to allow local musicians an opportunity to gain exposure. We will also be looking to bring in a few speakers who have truly broken through boundaries in their lives & to share them with all present. This may be some time in September. It will be an awesome event so look for some definitive blogs.
Remember in life, WE determine what boundaries keep us bound & what boundaries we will break through. Choose the latter.
Thanks & God Bless you.
Ken

Friday, January 28, 2011

Put the Big Rocks in First

One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz?", and he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouth Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him.

He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"

Everyone in the class yelled, “Yes!” The time management expert replied, "Really?"

He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.

He then asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not", one of them answered. “Good!” he replied.

He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.

Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?" "No!" the class shouted. Once again he said, “Good!”

Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. He looked at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?" One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is; if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!"

"No", the speaker replied, that's not the point. "The truth is; this illustration teaches us that if you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."

"What are the 'big rocks' in your life; time with your loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, teaching or mentoring others. Remember to put these 'big rocks' in first or you'll never get them in at all."

So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question “What are the 'big rocks' in my life?” Then, put those in your jar first.

So . . . . you are probably asking yourself "what dies this have to do with knowing no boundaries?" Well my friends, it has everything to do with it.

We have gotten to a point in our society where we are trying to stuff more & more into the same amout of hours in a day while expecting the same results. We have spread ourselves soooo thin, that there is no way that we can perform at the same level as before.

We seem to have segmented our lives; spiritual, family, financial, physical, professional, social, emotional, etc. Each of these little segments has their own "boundary" so as not to allow anything from one segment to merge in with another. Herein lies the fallacy. Everything interacts with everything else. We cannot have a strong family segment without also having a strong spiritual segment. We cannot have a strong professional segment without having a strong financial segment. In actuality, each segment supports the other. Having a one week segment has the potential to weaken the whole.

We NEED to break the boundaries of each segment allowing each one to influence the other thereby strengthening each at the same time.

Think about it.

Have a blessed weekend & God Bless;
K2

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Beyond US Boundaries - Tales from Gabon

Hello again. I hope that so far, 2011 has allowed you opportunities to push youselves to & beyond your boundaries. As you have heard countless times here in this blog, WE determine our boundaries. We determine to what extent we are willing to push ourselves to not only reach, but break through our self set boundaries.

Often times though, we only consider physical or financial boundaries. How far can we push ourselves physically or how can we overcome financial limitations. What we miss though, is that there are many things that we experience every day that we take for granted & that are boundaries for those outside of the USA. Countless people in countries around the globe face boundaries that for you & I are commonplace.

Such is the situation in Gabon (West Africa).

I have had a seveal opportunities to see some of Port Gentil (the eastern most part of Gabon) during my Saturday morning runs. Starting off from the company apaartment, one would not think much.

It is shortly after head out, that one realizes that "we are not in Kansas anymore Toto."

Iguanas (I think they are iguanas) are everywhere as this sentinel watches as I run by.

A short jaunt down the street & then a left turn towards the Port Gentil International Airport.

Veer left just before the airport & then I am on the road towards the beach (so I am told).Add Image It must be right as seen by this roadside boat but it does not look like it has seen water in quite a while.


Everyone seems to be very friendly as the common "Bon jour" was exchanged each time I passed anyone. Children seemed to be intrigued a I ran by. I am not sure why; was it because I was running, or because where I seemed out of place? People just seemed to look up & then go back about their business.

Just looking around at "normal" life here, makes one appreciate what we have in other places. In order for the Gabonese people to have what we accept as normal, they would truly be pushing the outer boundaries of what is often set by political & ecconomic boundaries. Unfortunately what has happened, is that they have just accepted their "reality" & no longer push to strive & be more. Through generations, they have accepted this. Such is a real loss for humanity as every person has a tremendous amount to offer if only they believe.

Business at this local supply store is anything but busy.
Running by the local supply store, I came across someone's home. Think twice next time if you think you have it rough.

After getting to the turnaround (about 3 miles out), I came across what I thought must be the burial grounds for all of the old cars. In actuality, I found that after an accident (likely a fatality), the cars are just pushed to the side of the road & left.
Now that you have a better picture of a place beyond your boundaries, you can see that some boundaries take an immense inner strength & determination to break through. Boundaries that are set through years of poverty & opression.

If you don't mind now, I will catch my alarm clock & figure out how to set it.

God Bless you;
Ken