Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Archery Groundhog Hunting and Other New Things!

Try Something New Day 21 Day 22, and Day 23

I have to admit that I've fallen behind on my 30 day challenge and I'm having to step down from it. I'm not normally a quitter but I probably shouldn't have jumped in to 30 days all at once. However, in my defense I've had several unforeseen things come up that take priority over this challenge including some private family issues. Things are going well over all and I will try the "try something new" challenge again soon! I've enjoyed it and tried some new things that I probably wouldn't have. Here is an update on where I was before I had to stop...

Last Friday I tried Kentucky Grilled Chicken for the first time! I didn't have much money on me so I tried the two piece dinner and I have to say it was pretty dang good! If you like KFC give it a try!

Saturday morning I woke up early to give my first "non-mountain" running a try. The allure of the trails had pulled me out of bed early on a Saturday before but I wasn't sure if I could do it for a "regular" jog. The alarm clock went off and with a little inner debate I managed to get up, get dressed, and get out the door! I took off at a good comfortable pace and felt great for about a mile. Then for some reason after that I just could not convince myself to run. I normally use running to clear my head but I had so much on my mind that I really just wanted to walk. After much debate I decided that if my mind wanted a change of pace then that's what I would give it! I ended up taking a nice relaxing 4 mile walk and I used the time to solidify some plans. I got pretty much the same health benefits but mentally it was a great new thing!

Later that day Harry and I went archery groundhog hunting! We didn't see anything but we ended up playing and having a great time!

Sunday Jessica and I took Harry to a Japanese restaurant in town. It wasn't Harry's first time at their hibachi grill but it was mine. A friend of ours was having a birthday gathering and we all had a blast talking, eating great food, and watching the kids be amazed by the chef's!

I've been shooting my bow a lot lately and giving total concentration to my shooting. I have a hard time doing that and I normally rush through things. The hard work I've been putting in is really helping my shooting take on a new level! I'm very excited about that and the upcoming hunting seasons! I hope things are great for you all as well!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bicycling, Hunting, and Fitness

Try Something New Day 19 and Day 20

No Burn, No Earn, that’s what I kept telling myself on my way home yesterday evening. My legs were burning so bad and they felt like the muscle was about to pop through my skin. Knowing I had several miles left to go I wanted to stop and rest but I wouldn’t let myself. Stopping would have felt like failure and I hate failing as much as I hate losing. I hate losing a lot btw; ask anyone who knows me very well lol! I managed to keep going and finally made it home from my 13.1 mile ride home, making it a marathons length for the day. I beat Lance Armstrong too, on a bike! Well, I beat his (running) marathon running time anyway!

For my self-challenge I decided to bike the 13.1 miles to work and then back home in the evening yesterday. The ride to work was fairly easy as it was mostly downhill. Even though I knew the ride home would be much tougher I decided to do my usual lunch run as well. As I started home that evening I knew I was in trouble when my legs didn’t have much strength in them from the start. As I stated above about halfway home it got brutal for me. Biking is something I’ve done in the past but recently I’ve been starting again and I was not in shape enough for yesterdays undertaking but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! I got through the day and I know that I’m stronger as I sit here typing! I burned and I earned!

As soon as I got home I grabbed a quick recovery drink and then grabbed my bow and shot. While I’m not exclusively a bowhunter it is a passion. I try to do something everyday to become a better hunter. I got started hunting later in life than most people and I feel I’m behind the curve sometimes. I don’t like that feeling much so I work twice as hard as the average eastern hunter to make up for the years that I spent “wasting my life away” doing drugs, smoking, drinking, and whatever else I could ruin my health with. Now that I’ve come to my senses and am living a healthy lifestyle I have a lot of catching up to do! I work hard on my physical fitness, hard on my hunting skills, and hard on my hunting knowledge! I want to be the very best I can be and I want to be a positive influence on my son and anyone else who will hear my message on God, Hunting, and the outdoors in general. To me, God, my son, and hunting saved my life! They gave me a new passion in my life that keeps me away from leading the unhealthy life I was leading before. I will never go back to that life and I thank God for what he has given me every day!

I got on a little tangent there so forgive me. Bicycling to me is a great hunting and fitness tool and I’m glad I took the time to get one day better at it yesterday! It was a tough but fun adventure and I would do it more often if I didn’t have to pick up my son from the babysitters in the evening. Every chance I do have though you can bet I’ll be doing it!

The day before that I accomplished another challenge, I learned my first rap song on the bass! It was a rock cover of the song but nonetheless it was a rap song! I’m keeping what song it was under wraps for now but if you live in this area come check out my new band when we get going and you can hear it for yourselves, I think you’ll dig it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Primos Scent Eliminator and Primos Silver XP Review

As big game hunting season approaches, slowly but surely, here in Virginia I realize that it's time to start up my product reviews. Over the next few months I will be reviewing several of the various products that I use. These are products that I believe in and endorse. If I don't believe in a product then I won't use it. I will try something but if it doesn't prove effective you better believe it will be in the trash bin quickly!

Scent reduction is a major emphasis for most big game hunters so that seems like a great place to start! As Primos themselves state the Silver XP products are not a cure all. You still have to play the wind and be sensible. You can never fully beat an animals nose but any advantage you can give yourself is a major plus!

From the Primos website "Before the days of refrigeration, old timers, would put a silver dollar in a quart of milk to stop bacterial growth so the milk would last longer. Today, Primos has invested in a patent pending technology utilizing tiny particles of suspended Silver in a scent eliminating solution so hunters will have the most effective means of combating every type of odor. The Colloidal Silver particles in Silver XP™ strike bacteria before it has a chance to break down and cause body odor." Primos has brought silver technology up to date and applied it to scent elimination. In their commercials they invite you to try it yourself and you should. I tried it and I found it to be effective. I tried it against another scent blocker which I won't name and the Primos won! Josh Blevins tried it by using cologne on separate rags and found Primos to be better. As a matter of fact his Mom now uses it on their garbage to keep the odor down! How's that for a testimony," Mother approved!"

The Primos Silver XP products I used last year, I will have the whole line before season starts, are the "Scent Eliminating Body Soap & Shampoo" and the "Silver XP Scent Eliminator.”
I personally use odorless products instead of earth scent and the like. That is a personal preference but sometimes the earth scents can be overpowering and I like to keep all scent to the very minimum. I started using the Primos products late in to last season and my deer sightings went up! I ended the season on a high note, maybe the Primos products weren't the reason but I guarantee they didn't hurt! After comparing the Primos products to competing brands in my own smell test and my successful field tests I have no problems recommending them to others. This year I will be adding to my XP collection and maybe my wall as well!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

got dip dogs?

Try Something New Day 17 and Day 18

Sunday, Harry and I got up early, ate breakfast, hung out, and then took Jessica breakfast in bed! Yup, I try to be sweet sometimes! I've got a great girl and sometimes I don't do enough to let her know. After that we all got ready and went to church. McDonalds provided us with a quick lunch and then we packed up and headed to Hungry Mother State Park to do some paddle boating. Harry took a quick nap on the way and was not happy when we woke him up. We thought he would be ok with it because of the fun we would be having but we miscalculated how much our boy loves his sleep! We boated about 30 minutes but had to come back in early because Harry was grouchy.

After our park adventure we decided to head to the Dip Dog Stand in Marion VA. (First time trying it) I will try it again someday as it's pretty famous around here for being delicious but the day we were there I was not impressed. The lady at the counter was not very friendly and our food was less than special. I tried a dip dog and onion rings and Jessica had a cheeseburger. However the chocolate shakes I have to say were great! Everyone has a bad day so I will reserve my final judgement for another time.

We ended the day by having some more family time and then Jessica and I watching some animal shows on tv!

Yesterday was a fairly uneventful day. I had a good workday and then went home and hung out with Harry. After Jessica got home I went outside and mowed the yard and weedeated. I made sure to mow the yard completely different than I ever have btw lol! I then went inside got Harry ready for bed and then spent the rest of the evening doing something new... learning songs for the new band! We're working on 11 songs right now for our first official set list! For the most part they are some cool, high energy, songs and I'm pretty excited to get rocking!

Today I have a long work day ahead of me then I'm going to hang out with Harry and Jessica, shoot my bow, do some housework, and then work on some of the new songs some more. Have a great day and live your life don't let your life live you!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Women in the Outdoors *Recap*

Try Something New Day 15 and Day 16

Today at the Women in the Outdoors event(my first ever) in Bastian VA, Josh Blevins and I had a blast! I have to honestly say it was one of the most fun events that we have worked. We helped out with a shotgun instruction course and then later an archery course and seeing the ladies faces was one of the most fun things I’ve been a part of. All of the women had great attitudes and were great students and days like today are what being a ProStaffer is all about in my humble opinion! I highly recommend that you all check out and keep an eye out for the great events they put on.

As far as my 30 day challenge goes I have to admit that I failed yesterday. The day before however I did something that may not be exactly with the rules I set in the challenge but definitely falls within the spirit so I’m keeping it…

In today’s Internet society social contact sometimes gets lost. I have to admit I’m one of the worlds worst for this. An example. When I used to get gas I would always go inside to pay. Now I never go inside to pay. I always use my card and get out of there as quickly as possible. The other day I thought about that and I made sure to go to a gas station here in Rural Retreat that doesn’t even have a card machine at the pumps. I paid my gas, walked in, and tried to be as social as possible. I live in a great community and I want to do all I can to be a part of it. It’s just like any change in live it all starts one step at a time!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Women in the Outdoors Reminder and General Update

Try Something New Day 13 and Day 14
Not much to report from Monday except that I enjoyed spending time with my family and friends... also Harry got his 2nd haircut ever and I ordered ribs at a restaurant for the first time. I don't think I'll do that again as I really didn't get enough to eat.

Yesterday wasn’t much more eventful but then that’s not the idea behind my challenge anyway. I had another great evening hanging with my family and Jessica and I watched “Mr. Woodcock”. The movie was pretty funny and we snacked on banana pudding, which I made. Yup, I took my first stab at making banana pudding and it actually came out tasting pretty darn good!

I don’t know what’s on tap for the rest of this week. Probably nothing to crazy but I am enjoying this whole process! Don’t forget about this upcoming Saturday’s Women in the Outdoors event in Bastian VA, it’s going to be a lot of fun!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rural Retreat Bicycling

Try Something New Every Day – Day 12

Yesterday was a nice leisurely day. I got up early and went to Church. I only stayed through Sunday School but it had me feeling good and thinking about what I want to do with my life. It made me realize more and more that I want to use my life in a positive way. I’ve spent a lot of time partying and influencing people in to a destructive lifestyle and I never want to do that again. I would really like to spend the rest of my life trying to undo the bad that I’ve done.

After Church I went to my parents house. Only my brothers and my Dad were home and we spent some guy time and had good conversation. I stayed there an hour or two and then headed home.

When I got home Harry and Jessica were at her parents. I decided to have a quick bite to eat and then try something new! I decided to ride my bike over to her parents and hang out for a little while. I had no idea how far it was to her parents but I knew it was at least 20 minutes in a car and featured a lot of hills, in other words it sounded like a fun challenge. It was drizzling a little rain when I started but what’s a little rain between friends? The course turned out to be pretty tough on my legs and lungs, but that’s what I need! I didn’t quite make it to Jess’s parents house as she was leaving about the time I arrived, but it was a great ride!

The rest of the day we hung out with Harry and then our friend Adam came over and we all watched “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins”.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Rural Retreat Fair

Try Something New Every Day – Day 11

This is going to be a very brief post… Yesterday Jessica and I took Harry to his, and my first ever Rural Retreat Fair! In my old band, Drivn, I had played the fair before but I had never actually walked around in the fair before yesterday. We stayed about an hour and had a good time. After that I gave Harry his first ever bicycle ride! Other than that we all just hung out and have a good time. We enjoyed a nice, low-key, 4th of July. I hope you all enjoyed your 4th as well!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Archery Training

Try Something New Every Day – Day 10

Knowing that I needed to take it easy yesterday I did what’s a hard thing for me to do these days, I relaxed! I didn’t know what would I could try that was knew though as I’m low on cash flow this week and I just wasn’t up to trying some new athletic challenge. I had a good time relaxing with Jessica and then Harry but time was slowly fading on my challenge. That’s when it hit me that I could kill two birds with one stone. I needed to shoot my bow and I was wearing my glasses. Normally I would have put my contacts in to shoot as I always hunt wearing them but I decided then was as good a time as any to prepare for shooting while wearing glasses should I ever need to. I went out to the driveway and set my targets up and begin to shoot. Unfortunately I can only get up to 30 yards in my driveway but I figure practice is practice! After shooting standing up for a while I brought a chair out and practiced that way for a while. Unfortunately my shooting isn’t scaring too many deer right now. I wish I could blame the glasses but they presented zero issues to my shooting.

As always the more practice we can get, the better. I have a long ways to go to be ready for the season as so many changes in my life have gotten me off of my practice routine. The good news is I have plenty of time to prepare if I buckle down and do it, which I know I will.

Happy 4th of July to you all! It’s a great country that we live in that gives us the freedom to pursue all of our crazy dreams, we should never forget that!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Marathon Preparation and Recovery

Try Something New Every Day – Day 8 and 9

I guess I did ok with my marathon preparation and recovery, which is still ongoing, because I don’t feel too bad today! I’m tired and I have some muscle fatigue in places but I’m able to function fairly well so far today!

Day 8

I spent most of the day working and trying to figure out what I needed to do that evening to be ready for power walking my marathon the next day. Turns out I would have been partially right on what I needed to do to get ready but I would have been fairly well off on what I needed to do to recover. As I learned, the night before a marathon you need to eat a balanced diet as normal with a little more emphasis on carbs. Actually, this should be done about the whole week beforehand but I didn’t know that. I would have ate a ton of pasta and been done with it but that’s actually a bad idea. You really don’t want to load up your digestive track with extra food before heading out on a long run. After I realized my nutrition plan was off I adjusted and then readied my backpack with food and Gatorade, along with extra socks, shirts, etc. I then went to bed early to make sure I would get enough rest. It was the first time I had ever prepared for a marathon and it was fun but I was nervous that I still wasn’t ready.

Day 9

I woke up early, showered, ate a small breakfast, finished packing, then got Harry up to get him ready to go to the babysitters. I kissed Harry and Jessica bye and told them that I loved them and that I hoped I survived to see them again!

I had planned on running as much of the 26.2 miles as I could but I realized that I had severely underestimated running with a backpack. I really didn’t want to wear one but there would be no aid stations on this run and I had to have food, and more importantly water. During the whole day I didn’t get to run much at all. I had planned on power walking a lot of the course but I quickly realized that it was going to dominate my day. This would make it easier in some ways and harder in others. My body would probably have it a little easier but I would be out much longer than I had hoped.

I started walking and the miles went down fairly easy and I was enjoying the long walk. However about 11 or 12 miles in I started fatiguing and starting to hurt a little. I had never walked this far before and my knees were not really happy with me. I made it to my workplace and refilled my Gatorade bottles, ate, and took a short break before hitting the road again. One mistake I realized I had made was in making it an out and back course. On shorter runs I don’t mind it at all but 26.2 miles is tough and having to look at the same scenery both ways was boring. I needed anything I could to take my mind off of the ache in my body and walking a course I knew like the back of my hand didn’t do the trick. The rest and food had helped and I felt pretty good through the first few miles. However after that the ache crept back in for another few miles. It felt like every inch of my body hurt for a couple of miles and then for the next mile or so something set in and I felt unstoppable like Superman! I was so pumped up and was making good time! That lasted for a little while but gravels in my shoes intervened and I lost that feeling while dumping my shoes. I tried like heck to get it back but every step got harder and harder. My knees ached so badly. My right ankle felt like it was sprained and my feet felt like they had huge blisters. The only thing getting me through was my iPod and the thoughts of knowing how this accomplishment could inspire others and myself on to bigger and better things. People have been letting me know lately that my words are inspirational to them and that feels so good! However some of the things I write are to keep myself motivated as well. I never want to go back to being the out of shape, overweight, near alcoholic, that I was at one point so I push myself daily! All of these thoughts kept running through my head so I kept telling myself to fight through the pain and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Finally after what felt like forever Rural Retreat came in to view. I thought I would be relived but I knew I still had almost two miles to go. Normally two miles would be nothing for me but that day it might as well have been twenty. Knowing that my home was within reach though I couldn’t stop. I eventually reached my street and I knew I would be able to sit down in one tenth of a mile! I reached my door, stumbled to the phone to let Jessica know I had lived, and made myself a big glass of chocolate milk!

I was so relived and happy to have outlasted 26.2 miles of ache and pain but I knew I still had things to do before I could really rest. The chocolate milk was a good start to recovery as it is a great blend of carbs and protein but the next step was going to be tough. I knew that the next recommended step, a cold bath, would be almost as hard as the course itself and I was about half right. Normally I can’t stand cold water and it was tough yesterday but after all of the pain I had put up with it wasn’t as bad as I thought. To be honest with you I didn’t think it would do much but it really did relive a lot of the pain in my aching muscles! Once I had submerged myself for a few minutes I made myself something to eat and grabbed a big glass of Gatorade to get my hydration back up. I ate and drank quickly and then laid down for about an hour. I felt ok when I got up and managed to go get Harry and hang out with him until his bedtime. I spent the rest of the evening eating and relaxing before going to bed about 9PM.

I knew that 26.2 miles would be tough but I had no idea how truly far it was. I have a whole new respect for anyone who makes it through that distance let alone races it! As tough as it is I’m determined to renew my training and one day race it myself though. I recommend to anyone if it’s ever been a goal of yours, start training now. As tough and painful as it was yesterday I learned a lot about myself yesterday! I feel so much stronger now both mentally and physically and I can’t wait to see what else I can do!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Try Something New Every Day - Day 7

Yesterday I had a blast crosstraining! I brought my bike to work to ride at lunch for my first time! I decided to rest my knees and shins this week in anticipation of my marathon tomorrow, so biking seemed like a great lunch time activity. I left out with no destination in mind. I decided to just go out exploring for a while and see where I ended up. I took off with the wind blowing in my hair, or lack thereof, and just enjoyed a nice relaxing workout. I love running but I did enjoy the change of pace that biking brings. I do plan on doing more biking and other forms of crosstraining this summer and concentrating on running in the winter and fall when it's to cold to bike, at least for me anyway. Trying new things has definitely been so much fun for me. It's getting me out of my comfort zone and in to trying new things. I highly recommend to anyone reading this to give it a try yourself!

I'm really excited/nervous about my marathon tomorrow. I'm excited about leaping in to such a big distance but I'm nervous about my conditioning, the heat, and having enough liquids. Oh well this is the kind of huge challenge that lets you see just what you're made of! May God bless you all!