Dec 15, 2011

Get the right idea!

I want to share some things that are misunderstood. Some of these are still talked about like they are just common sense facts when in fact they are wrong. For now I will only share a couple.


1. Lactic acid is what makes your muscles sore.

This is probably one of the most popular myths that still drums around the fitness world. It is true that lactic acid will become present during certain exercises, but it is not what makes your muscles sore. Your muscles are sore from tiny micro tears that formed from the muscle being used more than what it is used to.
I cannot tell you how fast someone loses credibility in my eyes when they are “supposed” experts and this myth rolls off their tongue. Many of us (me included) have heard this from talented athletes, coaches, or the local shoe store salesman who really doesn’t know what they are saying. When coming from such. it is more forgivable. However, those who have taken any physiology courses on muscle know better and should not make this mistake. That being said, means that stretching, massaging, or other things have other purposes besides helping to push out the lactic acid. They serve by helping your muscles recover.

2. Running will kill your knees.

This is one of those things that you hear and think nothing of it. Many people have claimed that they cannot run because they just have bad knees. For some this is true, and others it isn't. That is what makes this myth tricky. When mentioning this I am discussing those who fear that the act of running is going to grind their knees into oblivion. I used to have achy knees when I first started running and thought that I should take up a different exercise. However, over time I noticed as my legs became stronger, my knees no longer became an issue. Here is a link (click here) to a story that was broadcasted on NPR that goes into better detail about this subject. Check it out!

Hopefully this may help clear up reservations about not exercising. There are other myths out there, but they can be discussed later.
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Dec 6, 2011

A little mis hap

This past week my neighborhood (Davis County Utah) has been dealing with high winds. We had a strong one come through that knocked out the power for a day, and many beautiful mature pine trees came tumbling down. As if the smog around here doesn’t get bad enough in the winter, we had to witness these massive beautiful trees get torn down. 


 

A couple days later a possible storm was coming and the town was put on alert. This set everyone into motion to clean up any loose debris that could become problematic. I went to a church water well to fill up some water jugs to have on hand. The tap water was working, but this well water tastes so much better!

When I pulled up to the well a black impala was parked just adjacent to it with 2 people sitting inside on their cell phones. I backed up my car up to the well and opened up my trunk to get out the jugs. When I turned on the well a man holding a bow saw approached me, and angrily told me that he was already there and should be allowed to go ahead of me. Since I had already begun filling one of my jugs I told him that I would not be very long. When the first jug filled up I placed a second one to fill while I put the first one in the trunk. While I was walking away the man moved my jug and started to open his up. I told him that he needed to wait his turn, and than we exchanged some more angry words at each other. While I was pulling out the 3rd jug of my trunk my left eye brow was greeted by the handle of his bow saw. I immediately went after him, but he darted back to his car and drove off.

When I got in my car my nose was bleeding and the left side of my face was covered in blood. Luckily when I cleaned up my face I saw that the cut was very small and that my nose did not show any signs of being broken. So the moral is….well…. when its time to panic, don’t! Exercise reduces stress and can help you remain calm in stressful situations, so get moving!
 As you can see by this photo that was taken a day later, things really were not as bad as I thought they were.


Nov 18, 2011

Are you a dead beat parent?

Not too long ago I was sitting at home with my family, and I started to get that itchy feeling to get moving. I did not have enough time to go out for a run so I just started jogging around slowly in my house. My 2 year old daughter got very excited and wanted to run with me. I am a nerd so I measured the living room and kitchen to see the distance for each lap I was doing. My daughter ended up running just under a mile with me, and laughed the entire time! My other daughter just sat there and stared at us with a grin and laughed at us the whole time.


My point in telling you this is how much kids are watching their parents. There isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do to keep my kids safe and to help them grow up able and ready for things. I believe most parents are this way, but for this conversation I will not go into detail of my disapproval of dead beat parents.  But how does fitness tie into all of this?

Some people think of fitness as this luxury that they cannot afford, or that it is vain to take care of themselves by exercising. Whatever the stigma is that they have tied to exercise, I think it is pathetic. Do only rich, successful people exercise? Do only people who can’t afford a car exercise? NO! Why should you feel guilty or embarrassed for exercising and eating healthy than? In saying and asking all of this I want to reflect off of a quote that I have always admired. “No matter how good the excuse, the result is the same”.

Now this quote can be obvious or deep. Anyway you look at it, it is true. No matter what your excuse is for being unhealthy the result is just that, unhealthy. I am a student who does not have a lot of time to do as I please. If I want to reap the benefits from exercise I have to make it a priority. Making it a priority does not cancel out other priorities that are important. Think about it, is your whole day spent doing what you consider a priority? I know that I have days that seem long and cannot squeeze in 20-30 minutes to move around. When that is the case it is because I did not take the time to plan out when I could do it. Sometimes it means waking up 40 minutes early.

Myself, like many parents out there, want our kids to have a better, happier life than ours (and my life is pretty good, and I choose to see it that way). I hope my kids see that my journey to try and be healthier has been tough but worth it. So please stop with the excuses and get busy doing something healthy!

Nov 10, 2011

Winter time AGAIN!

A while back I wrote a post about winter running. Right now I know that it is still technically fall, but temperatures in Salt Lake are dropping, and we have had some snow fall.

Honestly I can’t help but laugh again as the cold sets in and see less runners out and about. Unless I was the abominable snowman in another life, I just don’t understand why so many throw in the towel when old man winter comes to town. I know for many that start out running for the first time in the summer have a hard time with the transition because of many reasons such as
school starts, less daylight, etc, etc, and running doesn’t seem to be a priority any more. Believe it or not good memories can be made during the winter months. I have many fond memories in the cold.

December 2004 when I used to go down to a dirt road to do my runs. One morning I put on my jacket, hat, shoes and pants and drove to the starting point of my route. It had snowed a couple days before and the snow had melted a bit to make a nice layer of ice when the freeze showed up. Ice was all over the place and the canal on the side of the road has a nice thin layer of ice over it. As my body ran south my head wanted to look east at the beautiful sunrise over the snow capped mountains. It was indeed a site to behold as I lost my footing and could not revive my steps without veering into the canal. I remember looking at the canal thinking just maybe I could hit the ice with my body spread out and the ice would not break. However my hands and feet hit first and the ice gave way. Luckily the canal was only about 3 feet deep, but none the less it was 3 feet deep and I was covered in ice water.

As I crawled out of the ice I shouted out how stupid the road was for cutting so close to the canal, and of course how unsafe it would be for the children in the area. When I re-examined the area I realized how the canal really was not as close to the road as I thought it was. Now I just felt like an idiot, and I ran back to my car in shame.

The funny thing about this is that the next morning I found myself on the same route and that my foot steps were the only ones still on the route. As I ran past my accident spot I could see the entire situation re enacted completely by my footsteps. I couldn’t help but laugh. I have had many more memories since than, none of them involve me falling into a canal though.

Nov 1, 2011

Sorry (maybe)

I was recently scrolling around at some running blogs that I use to visit. Some of these are by elite athletes others are by people just like me. On one of the blogs the author, who is just an average Joe, kept apologizing in a post how
he had not posted in a couple of weeks. I saw that he had few followers and has been online for 3 years with only 5,000 hits. While he tirelessly apologized I couldn’t help but post a comment about how annoying it was to read his constant apologizes. Later on I paid a visit to see if he replied to my comment.

Now if he is reading this post I do want to say sorry for not minding my “blogging manners”. After all you may have been keeping a blog for close relatives or friends, and I probably just stumbled upon your blog.  Moving on…..the reason I brought this up is because my last post was in July. While starting out my first sentence I immediately started to say the words “I apologize that it has been a while”.  While I instinctively wrote down these beginning words I thought about how I shouldn’t flatter myself by acting like I have such a lasting impact on people through this site.

I started this blog under the recommendation of a school adviser telling me that it is great thing to have prospective schools see what I have been involved in. Amongst the other reasons I was told by this adviser I have come to realize that they did not know exactly what they were talking about when I was told a blog gives you brownie points with prospective schools.

So here I am just another running blog in cyber space. However I will say this. Running has changed my life. I have to stay active or else I get cranky and over time get very depressed. I do see individuals that exercise would fix a lot of problems in their lives and help them grasp the other problems that exercise will not directly fix. I will start to take advantage of sharing my stories on here again. After all I have had numerous people in the past month ask me why I don’t write on here any more. So let me get back into the writing mindset, and soon I will be back online.

Jul 26, 2011

A little R & R

Last weekend I had an interesting experience. In the past I have commented about how therapeutic running is. In fact, I have gone on to say that I feel so great after runs that I feel like my reset button was pushed. While much of these claims are true, I recently had an experience that was not so uplifting.
Saturday morning came around and I was up early to head out on a trail run as usual. I felt good and had planned out a route.
I was prepared with the usual snacks, water, etc. When I got started I had to take it slow at first (side note: I have been recovering from a dislocated pinky toe that a dork at the grocery store gladly granted me with his grocery cart.), but got off to a good start.
Towards the end of my run I just did not feel well. I felt unusually thirsty and when I drank some cold water I then felt like throwing up. The last time I felt that way was my run up in Seattle with my brother, who was the unfortunate witness to my dry heaving after I took in too much cold water too soon. (I am still researching the physiological signs of why my body cannot take in too much cold water when I am running in warmer weather. That will be for a different post.)
I noticed that I felt like I was over heating and could not get the water to be absorbed by my body. My stomach was not happy with my activity and by the end of the run I was exhausted! I kept thinking to myself how miserable this run went and how I am just not meant for running. When I got home I showered up and tried to rest but felt like I was without energy. That night I felt incredibly thirsty despite also feeling like I was just throwing water into an already full bucket.
Well I woke up in the middle of the night and the fun just got started. I was very sick for the next 4 days. I could barely eat or drink anything after day 2, and after day 4 felt completely malnourished. It wasn’t until the next Saturday that I started to feel like myself again. However I did not make it out all week to get any exercise because I just felt like my body needed the rest.
During this rest it was nice to just relax and not feel like I had to meet any goals and push myself in the heat. I was able to be around my kids a little more and talk to my wife. I felt like I was able to reconnect with my most supportive crowd when it comes to running. In the midst of all this I was able to push an overall reset button that hardly gets pushed. Now that I am feeling better, I can say that I am excited to get back out. I am even excited to run on the roads again! While recovering I was able to reflect on why exercise is so good in the first place, so I can be a better husband and father!

Jul 15, 2011

Trails revisited

What does it take for a person to enjoy exercise? For me I have recently found a new zest for running on trails. Some of you already know that I like to go up into the mountains and run on the trails. However it is not always possible to make it to them because of time. This last Saturday I had a chance to head up to a trail that I used to hike up all the time while I was growing up.

The initial start is 2 miles of an uphill climb that goes from an elevation of 4600 to about 6400. I used to think that this was a huge climb until I started doing it more often and got into better shape. After the first 2 miles I came to a campground that I used to sometimes stay at overnight. It brought back a lot of fun memories looking at it.
It is than on to what is now the summer part of the trail because snow is usually on the rest of the trail through winter and spring. This part has a few steep parts but goes on for another 3 miles. This part has some unique areas and views that make the trail pretty exciting.
When you get to the top of the trail you are met by a dirt road known as skyline drive. If you head a couple miles north you will hit Bountiful peak. A few weeks ago I decided to head over to the peak and ended up being trapped in a lightning storm. The thunder was so loud that I had to plug my ears and the ground would shake. It wouldn’t have seemed so bad but I had to tread through deep snow while wearing shorts and moving quickly to escape was not an option.
However on this particular run I took in the view for a minute while on the top of the trail. I was alone and it brought to me a certain peace of mind. I took to the dirt road for a few miles and went back to the top of this trail. I looked around again and thought about the many times I would hike up here alone as a teenager to get some quiet time to myself. During those times I was able to think about life and try and figure things out.
As I headed down the mountain I couldn’t help but to become excited to come back this trail again. Although this is not what many would consider their favorite trail, there is something to it that keeps me coming back. Maybe it is the small number of people that are rarely seen on it, or maybe it is just the scenery. I think it is the connection and history that I have with it.
Even though I am not able to make it out to the trails as often as I would like, I will still take to running on roads. Even though I cannot stand running on the road at times, I keep in mind that it will help me be in better shape so that I can enjoy the trails. Not being in good shape would limit the joys of going farther distances on the trails, and would cause me to eliminate the better spots. For me this is what has brought a new spring in my step when it comes to staying in shape, and taking better care of my health. I suggest you find your motivation soon, you never know what you are missing out on now.

Jun 15, 2011

No excuses!

It is always nice to be asked by various people when I am going to put up another post. When I am asked, I realize that I have not just been ranting in cyber space. It’s nice to see the statistics on here and I was pleasantly surprised to see how many visitors have been here since my last post.
To be honest I had no intention of returning to this blog for a while. The end of spring semester came, family matters happened and all the other good stuff that happens unexpectedly. Upon thinking about this, I realize that I started this to show that there is no excuse good enough to keep an individual away from taking care of their health. While I came up with many “good” reasons to not
only ignore this site I also started slacking off in my health habits.
I did not intend to start this site as a daily exercise log, but there are many who do this and find it as a good motivation tool to start up in their training and improve their eating habits. Whatever keeps you going is the best tool there is. In the past I kept a notebook that I would write down all my exercise activity in and make a short comment about what I ate. I am going to start that up again. If you are having a hard time getting started the only way you can know what works is to just find a system and try it out.
I know of many individuals who have kept small diaries of what they have consumed throughout the day along with the emotions they were experiencing while eating. At first they did not worry about counting calories, but started tracking because they realized how important it is to monitor what goes in the belly!
For the past little bit I have noticed my zest for exercise has dropped because I am not setting out to reach any particular goals. I have now written down a few trails that are longer in distance That I  want to run in tip top shape. Most of these trails are still covered in snow and I want to be able to hit them during the short time they will be clear. I have told my goals to some and they just look at me like I am an idiot. However when they have told me theirs, I am sure I have greeted them with the same expression. Which brings me to my next point, find a support system.
I am incredibly lucky to be married to a woman who majored in exercise in college and knows a lot about the human body. My wife has always supported my goals in health and I cannot imagine how difficult it would be without a supportive spouse. My kids are young and I will do what I can to make these things important to them. Surrounding yourself with friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc… who support you will be the key to getting anywhere near your goals (watching biggest loser episodes does not count!).
If I have a long absence between this and my next post it will be because I am too busy meeting my goals and do not have time to get online. I have now measured certain areas at my job to determine how far my walking distances are. When the temptation comes to look at social sites or the “I’m bored” sites, I try to get up and walk around. By the time I return to my desk I am ready to work and don’t have time to hang around on the “I’m bored” sites.
Speaking of bored sites here is what a good clip of what happens when you get out of touch with exercise.

Mar 30, 2011

Why run on trails?

Roads are naturally the choice for beginning runners. It is a simple way to track miles, and provides a more economical way to train. I still do a lot of my runs on the road simply because of how limited I am with time.

For many years I refused to run on the roads because of how uncomfortable it was. It started out that I did this because I did not want people to see me running. So I would drive 5 minutes to a local trail to run on. Eventually it became about getting alone time, and being able to be in an area that I could forget about my daily rat race of a life. I use to be able to go out to the same trail that was just a couple of minutes away to do my runs. Now with all of the development that has taken place that spot is no longer available like it used to be. So the time came that I had to either run in the road (I do not want to even bother mentioning the DREAD-mill) or to not train as often as I should.

Luckily when I found a road to run on it had a nice shoulder for runners to use, and that the traffic was not too heavy. Unfortunately there have been times when I have been yelled at by teenagers, almost hit by careless drivers, and have breathed in more exhaust fumes than I care to have in my lungs. So I decided to look a little harder for some local trails in the area.

To my surprise there was a considerable amount of trails just minutes away from my house. I now try to make it a goal to get out on the trails for my weekend runs. When getting back into trails I forgot about how different it is than road running. Hills, rocks, narrow spaces, water, and wildlife. The biggest adjustment was adapting the right pace because of how different the terrain was than roads. Many people do not realize how much more challenging trails are than roads, so they try to keep their road running pace up only to find that they get burned out.

Not too long ago I went up to a popular trail and planned to do a 20 mile run. I made sure I had enough food and water so that this would not turn into disaster. I did not know this trail incredibly well but had the general idea. I ended up doing 21 miles, and realized at the end that I should have prepared better. During the run I encountered many hills, and I was pleased with how well my body handled them, although I did have to make the proper adjustments (slowing down). It was refreshing to see other runners on the trails, and I was amazed at how friendly they were. Trail running is a great thing to add to your exercise regimen, and can help your runs become more exciting. It is a much better way to build muscles that you do not get by running on roads. You also get the benefit of being able to hear your own thoughts, and get the chance to truly clear your head from stressful lifestyles. To me this is what exercise is all about.

I must say that during each of my trail runs I notice that fellow trail runners are much friendlier, and that it is nice to not have the constant noise of cars passing by. If you haven’t tried this yet, I encourage you to do so. Just try to ease into it so that you do not get injured, do not go at the trails too fast like you would with the road. Make it enjoyable and relaxing. Good luck!!!!!

Mar 27, 2011

Buffalo Run 50k

Yesterday I found myself running my first 50k trail run. I was determined to make this a good experience and was not disappointed. Along the trails I noticed how much more friendly people were than when racing on the roads. The biggest thing I noticed was the positive energy that came from my fellow runners (even the ones running the 50 and 100 miles) that I came in contact with.
This race was out on Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. If you have ever had a chance to go out there you know how scenic it is. There are buffalo, antelope, coyotes, and foxes all over the place out there. One scary part of the race was when I was just leaving the half way point aid station and an antelope came charging across the field, almost hitting me. That initially scared me at first but than the thought came to mind that maybe it was running from a cougar, but luckily I did not see one.
The last half was definitely difficult, and seemed to be the start of a different race.
Around mile 18 I started to cramp up really bad in my quads and hamstrings. I was able to push through these by taking electrolyte tablets and lightly stretching along the trail. I found that I was not as obsessed with my time as I was more worried about being able to finish strongly. This seemed to be the mentality of most of the runners during this race. If you ever get a chance to attempt a trail race, or an ultra marathon I would encourage you to give it a shot. I found the environment to be much more positive than the typical road race. Almost anyone can train for a road race, but trail running is much different and takes a lot of patience. This race was just a gateway for me as I will be seeking out more trail runs in the future.





This was just after the starting line as the crowd (around 200 people) headed up the trail.



Here I am coming in towards the finish. I was exhausted! But could hardly wait to see my cheering family!



I was very tired in this picture, I just wanted to sit down. I was fortunate to have some dry clothes to put on over my running clothes at the end. Even though the sun was shining (as you can tell by myself squinting) I got really cold at the end. My daughter just wanted to sit with me (I think the fact that I gave her a cookie had something to do with that).

Mar 17, 2011

Some thoughts

What motivates you to get out? This is a complex question that goes along with my relationship with running. I have days that I love to just get out and move around. Other days I do it because I know that my body needs it. No matter how big a deal I try to make running and other exercises, I still have other priorities in my life. They all seem to tie in together in my life.

When I am running and come up to a difficult point that I want to just stop, even though I feel physically able, what is it that will keep me going?

The other day I was out on a slow jog and mentally did not feel like going any further. I had reached a mental block. While my thoughts stirred about what I was going to do on this run, I had a reoccurring thought come to my mind. This thought is always on my mind, but it was radiating in a little more detail than usual at this moment. I was alone in an area where no cars were around me and the noise was minimal. Like most people who are striving to do all they can, and get stressed out by not feeling like things are going the way they planned, I felt overwhelmed.

 This was the foundation for my current mental block. My thoughts then turned to my family. I have a beautiful wife who has always been supportive of my running habit, and is always there to cheer me on. I also have 2 wonderful daughters that have me wrapped around their little fingers. While I sat there and felt sorry for myself, I realized that I needed to just forget about my worries and to get moving. It took me a minute to put things behind me, but I eventually got my mind to only think about the positive things in my life. My run went much smoother after that, and I actually enjoyed it!

Some may ask what benefits my family receives from my exercises. I could recite to you all of the clique things such as I have more energy, better health, that I am setting a good example to my kids by staying active, etc… But for me, on top of everything else, it is about reaching my goals. I strongly believe that we are to become masters of our own bodies. Whether that be eating healthier, avoiding harmful chemicals, or getting our bodies to do what it is told. I have found that exercise is only a fraction of achieving this goal, but is still big enough to retract my efforts if I don’t do it.

Here is a picture of my 2 daughters a short while back. How can they not motivate someone to take better care of their lives!! 

Feb 17, 2011

Where do you get your advice?

  OK so how do you get your advice? It is ironic that I even address this when I am posting this on a blog. I can tell you that such and such said this, and how do you know I did not just pull something out of thin air to back up my advice? Truth is that it is very difficult to trust what you find on the internet. So why do you even bother with sites like Wikipedia? Take this advice from Michael Scott for instance… 

  Now days there are television shows with popular doctor’s who claim to be experts, but at times their advice can be insincere and turn into shallow advice. Maybe this is because it can be difficult to always find topics that an audience will choose to watch over what is on another channel. The same goes for popular blogs and websites that need your visits.
  So who can you trust? The answer is your self. Yes there are plenty of websites, books, doctors, family members, friends, and television shows that can help you get a general idea. However it is important that you learn from your own experiences, and to explore new ideas when seeking out answers.
  For example, do you remember the whole carbohydrates are your enemy diet trend? Just after I turned 21 while I was on a church mission I had found that I really needed to lose some weight. With the popular all meat diet around, I could not refuse to try it out. So I ate only meat and whatever else that had no carbohydrates. The first 2 days I loved it. The 3rd day I started to feel ill. I just chalked it up to my nervousness of going back to my home town in a couple months as an overweight chipmunk. Day 6 I noticed that I had no energy, I still felt ill, and my missionary buddy had started to tell me that I smelled funny. I had also noticed that after day 2 that I haven’t gone just that…..number 2. A member of the local congregation, who was a family doctor, was willing to help me out. When I told him about my problems he said that I was number 10 on his list of people with these same symptoms and all had been on this diet. He recommended that I stop the diet and to go home and to drink a lot of water, and to use some milk of magnesia to help clear up my problems.To this day I am grateful for that honest help, and advice.
  The moral of the story is, be careful. While it is good to try new things, I like to think of the old saying “if it is not broke, don’t try and fix it”. One should be honest though when they are in need of help. Denial can be equally as bad as any bad advice out there. So I do not want you to think that you are an exception to not having to exercise!

Feb 3, 2011

THE ANGRY CAVEMAN

    It was hard enough to get myself out the door on this cold winters day. I had to keep reminding myself that I would feel better when I got going. I had planned to go 8 miles out and back on a usual route in my neighborhood. This consists of jogging along the “boulevard” for a long stretch of my run. As I finished up the first mile, snow started to fall. I was not going to let that bother me at all because by now I had already started my run, and nothing was going to stop me.

As I started to get near mile 3, I noticed that the traffic had increased because of the local high school just letting out. As usual, most of these teen drivers
zipped past me going 20 mph over the speed limit. Many of them taking the turns as fast as they can so that they can get the tires to squeal, and occasionally I swear I am only inches away from them as they fly by. I am sure that most of us in those days did these things and didn’t really care about the runners or bikers in the road.

However on this run at mile 5 while on my way back home, a ford explorer packed full with high schooler’s decided to start screaming at me. At first I did my best to just keep going. Much to my dismay they had turned around and decided to sneak up on me and try and scare me again. They were successful at this, and I am sure they saw quiet a site as I leaped away from them and almost slipped in the snow. As they drove off I raised my hands at them and had some choice words to say as well. I was pretty frustrated and let this get to me in a way that my run was now not giving me my good mental results!
As the next half mile passed I cooled off, and thought to myself that I shouldn’t over react at them. After all here I am the adult here. I used to work with troubled teens at a drug rehab and learned that teens just do some mindless things. I knew better than to react that way.

As I was just at the point of forgetting about it, the same group of kids were back on my tail. This time I was waiting to cross the street and they took a sharp turn right in front of me. As they were turning one of them threw a plastic cup at me. That was it!!! I then tried to step in front of their car (but tried to remember that yes a car can still run you over), and yelled in their open window to get out and join me. I asked them if they were so tough, let’s see how easy it is for you to be out here. Everyone in the car just stared at me and I could see that they were afraid I was about to jump in to their car. One of them said sorry, the rest just sat there with empty looks on their faces as the driver spun out to drive away.

They went their way and I went mine, and of course about thirty seconds later I was thinking to myself how big of an idiot I was for my reaction. I was embarrassed. I than thought about how lame I must have looked the rest of the way home. I no longer was upset, just ashamed of how stupid I must have looked. I couldn’t help but laugh at how funny I must have looked. At this time I was dripping with sweat, and had a full beard. I probably looked just like an angry caveman to them. Not only was I embarrassed about how I acted, but also for the example I set. Kids now days need stable adults more than ever. Unfortunately I was not there to be the better man. Even to this day I have never seen them again, but still carry the guilt of this act every time I jog down that same street. 

In case you were wondering how bushy my beard got, here it is.