A balance of work and play

Scuba Diving: A form of therapy

Diving is therapeutic because it acts as a soothing agent to my senses. I dive in the warm climates most of the time. It helps to cool off. Diving also helps me to relax by providing an opportunity for reflection of purpose and well being. I prefer diving open water over spring diving because of the increased opportunity to observing the behavior of fish and reef life. It is simply spectacular because reef systems are constantly changing.

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For example, you go hang out at the same spot and see something you haven't before. Life underwater seems to be pre-wired with a balance of grace and knowledge. Other therapeutic aspects include a sense of discovery and reflection of well being. As divers we are visiting a foreign environment. In a sense that is not our turf. It's an environment we know little about; a great stimulus for discipline and respect.

I'm a fan of aquariums also. In fact, when I get the chance to, I like to jump into them. During the summer when it's hot and I have some time to burn, we go to Epcot and sign up for the dive excursion. It’s a very cool setup, because rain or shine, you are will always have the opportunity for shark and turtle encounters. During our last dive, I counted five sharks (up close) and three sea turtles. By the way, turtles are protected from direct contact by federal regulations. I don't recall staff ever informing us to leave the sharks alone. :)

Speaking of sharks, I have grown fond to appreciate the predators of the sea. Sharks are fascinating and usually don't bother people unless they are provoked. I have heard that some species follow a kind of pack mentality similar to dogs, but haven't experienced that in the Caribbean. It's an incredible time because we are just beginning to open the door of awareness to the shark species. The discovery channel has one of the best collections of shark documentaries that are shown often. Especially, the coverage on ‘swimming with the great whites’, off the coast of Australia. Simply put, amazing. Sharks may appear to be mean looking, but in actuality, they are our complementary friends in the ocean and depend on us for their survival. Sharks are also the target of overfishing for their body parts for gourmet food dishes or ineffective medicinal purposes. Marine scientists believe some shark species are on the verge of extinction. We have a lot to learn from them.

Some of the destinations that I have logged include springs and open water destinations in North and South Florida, Panama City, Destin, Key Largo and West Palm Beach sites. Off mainland sites include Aruba, Belize, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Honduras Bay Islands. There is much still to see. My friends on the left coast will have to wait for me.

I'm always looking for an excuse to go and meet new friends. Is anyone up for diving in Cuba? I've seen photographs of the south side reefs. It's not nice to tease.

Exercise: Working Out/Jogging is a discipline

I remember back in the 7th grade, dressing out in school colors and heading out to the exercise field at Junior High School. After five to tem minute warm up, we would begin to play some type of physical contact sport, flag football, soccer, tether ball, and track. Yes, even tether ball was very physical. You got to remember that Dusty Roads was a major influence on us back then. Aside from the weekly beatings, track was much worse because it was so foreign to me. Growing up on the beach, I rode bicycles just about every where I went. Walking was never part of the agenda and I shuttered when it was my time to run a few laps around the clay track.

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My fate with running came about while attending a conference in DC back in 2003. I had dinner at this small but exotic Asian bistro that specialized in authentic Vietnamese and Thailand noodles and soup dishes. I remember this well because I ordered a spicy shrimp in coconut milk dish that was out of this world. As I enjoyed my meal, I participated in a wonderful conversation about running. (I don't remember the name of the restaurant but it was about two blocks northeast of DuPont circle. ) We spoke of how challenges and the rewards of the sport. This person testified to me that with the right balance of desire, motivation, and perseverance, almost anyone could do it. It was what I needed to hear and could wait to hit the treadmill.

So, I when I got back, i began to fast-walk one-two-five minutes at a time. After a short while (few weeks/couple of months) I began to understand some of the fundamental concepts and let go of the fear of change. Soon, I began to jog at 4 miles per hour, 2-3 times a week.

Running felt foreign to me because I thought that running was primary about the speed and I could run fast at any reasonable speed for very long. Running fast is certainly a factor, but not the most important one to a beginner like me.

Milestone Events
10k - Springtime Tallahassee 2008
10k - Springtime Tallahassee 2007
10k - Springtime Tallahassee 2006
5k - Turkey Run Tallahassee 2005
3k - NACM Fun Run/Walk San Francisco July 2005
3k - Jingle Bell Run Tallahassee 2004