Always a fun topic, Goals focuses on several things.  Or at least brings greater clarity to me of what my goals should be.

Somethings you can jump right into.  Other things you have to learn a little bit about and then you can jump in.  Others have a completely foreign culture (maybe) and take some getting used to.

I went to Jackson Hole, WY last year with some friends.  One of the people I went with talked about doing a bike race from Logan, UT to Jackson (332 km).  Initially, I thought he was nuts (I still kinda do), but I spent a lot of time after that trip riding my bike and running some shorter races.

And I realized I am addicted to adrenaline and to competition.  I like the feeling of passing people and knowing I can pass more people.  Or maybe I just like everyone looking at my butt.

Anyway, I want to do Lotoja (LOgan TO JAckson).  One problem.  My physiology.  I’m a sprinter.  This is made very obvious to me by my ability to be good in short bursts and breath heavily for a while and then do it again.  And I have a 30+-inch vertical–meaning my musculature is at least 50% and likely 70+% fast-twitch X muscles.

I ran two 5k and one 3k race last year.  I felt 5k was a little farther than I’d like to go and 3k is almost perfect (of course, I’d really prefer <400m, but those really don’t exist).  In any case, I placed very well in the races I ran.

Then I tried a super-short triathlon hosted by my university’s tri club.  I did it without any training during the two months prior to it and placed very well in my division (the one without the really good triathletes).

So anyway, I’ve been looking for local 5k to run this year–I want to run at least one a month (or 12 on the year, because January is gone and I didn’t run one and I doubt I’m gonna run one in February).  Also I’ve been looking at sprint-distance triathlons (200-800m swims, 10-15 mile bikes, 5k run) and there are a fair number nearby.  But then Lotoja is in the back of my head.

For both the triathlons and Lotoja, I have to have a new bike.  Period.  The 5k obviously don’t require a bike.  I’ll probably get a new bike in June, but if I want to do Lotoja I have to be riding 100+ miles/week prior to June and I don’t know if my current bike can handle that.

I think the solution to my dilemma presented itself.  Swim and run now.  Keep biking to school.  Compete in 5k events until I get a new bike, then do triathlons.  Biking 10 miles is easy-peasy.  Simple to do at top speed, especially on a new bike.  Running and swimming are my crappy events anyway.  Focus on Lotoja next year.  Because I’ll need more than 7 months (Feb to Sep to alter my physiology enough to last for 10-12 hours in the saddle).  And my musculature may not be the only thing that needs altering. :-/  I love thinking aloud.

Tolerance and love

While I was at home I ripped the entire series of M*A*S*H to dvd.  (Thanks Mom and Dad!)  So I’ve been watching it a lot recently.  One of the topics that seems to come up frequently is the need to accept people for who they are and love them.  This is evident through the interactions between Major Frank Burns and Captain Hawkeye Pierce.

Burns is a very intolerant person and often refers to the enemy (Korean War ==> Chinese) as “gooks.”  He uses this dehumanization of people to justify his doing his duty as a US officer.  Because all the officers at M*A*S*H are doctors, they have a higher calling and responsibility than just to their country.  Their Hippocratic oath is an oath to all humankind–therefore the lesson Hawkeye often must show by example is one of human decency–putting the enemy on the operating table ahead of American soldiers because they are more mortally wounded.

In one episode, Hawkeye starts quoting Rudyard Kipling’s poem Gunga Din–a poem about British occupation in India.  The poem is linked here.  As I read the poem, I was moved by the speaker’s brutal honesty.  He speaks of the need to fit in with his comrades, but also the need to treat the regimental bhisti with better respect, because he is a better man than the speaker.

The speaker speaks for all of us as we realize that often we act exactly as he did: we see that others whom we treat poorly are better people than we are, but for social reason–and any others–we may not have the inner fortitude to better our actions.  And we essentially say with the speaker,

Tho’ I’ve belted you an’ flayed you,
By the livin’ Gawd that made you.
You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

Jesus Logic

At first this may sound a little blasphemous. It’s not, I promise. (As an aside, I freaking hate toaster ovens. I can’t even toast things properly.)

In Toronto I met a lot of people whose opinions about Jesus varied. “He was a good guy.” “He was a fraud.” “He taught good things.” “He was the Son of God.” “He was a charlatan.”
While opinions are well and good, we can know Truth. We can know exactly what Jesus was/is/will be. The Spirit will guide us to this knowledge as we are prepared.
However, what helps me is whether things make sense. Regardless of what my mother claims, I feel I am a logical person whose opinions are based in fact and reason. Thus we shall take a lawyer-influenced look at Jesus and His claims.
We know Jesus taught many things taken as truth and as beneficial. However, are they really? Can we really trust a man who claimed he was the Son of God? In a court case, if a witness is proven to have lied on the stand, even once in hours of testimony, the entire testimony is often discounted and the witness is assumed to have lied about everything. This must happen because picking truth from lies is impossible.
Similarly, we can put the testimony of Jesus on trial. Without doubt, the claim that he was the son of a God and a mortal woman is the most questionable he ever made. If someone can disprove that claim, the entirety of his teachings falls apart. Thus the Beatitudes become useless–for they are obviously taught by a liar, His commands to love one another become unnecessary, etc.
Following that track, any teaching that has come since derived from Jesus’ words is also false, any teaching from other perceived great men (Ghandi, Confucius, Mohammad, etc) agreeing or citing Jesus must also be taken as false. As you can see, claim Jesus is only a great man and not 100% what He said He was leads to the disruption of much of the moral code the world follows.
However, if He is the perfect Son of God–a knowledge any willing person can gain–all of His teaching (even the ones you don’t like) must be true (because He could not lie) and must be followed in order to gain the Eternal Life He promises to His disciples. This is the case because the Son of God would have full authority to speak on any subject, and His words would be eternal law. Thus evaluating Jesus’ claim to divine sonship is the crux of most arguments about Christianity.
So the decision comes to you. Will you throw away the morality of the world by believing He is less than what He claimed to be, or will you discover whether He is the Son of God?
My knowledge is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He died and was resurrected so each person who ever lived may gain Eternal Life by following His teachings. Logic supports it and the confirmation of the Spirit irrefutably confirms it.


And so school begins anew. There’s not much more to say than that. Basically time is split between good and better things.

Life is always easier when I prioritize. Best thing to do: wake up early (like 530) and read scriptures. For me, everything follows very easily after that. When I put the most important things first (chronologically) in my day, the rest of it flows pretty much perfectly after that. Not that there aren’t flaws that creep up, but all my priorities are straight.
So then I go to work. Laundry is so much fun. :) (Yes, of course that is sarcastic.) I work till my first class starts about 900 and then it’s off to the races.
The Lord blessed me a lot this year and so I am living one of my dreams: I am coaching a high school volleyball team. Like as the head coach. Yeah, crazy, eh? Crazier still when it takes about 20-30 hours of my week. But I love it. It gives me something to do and forces me to plan and execute my plans well. I get a lot more done when I am constantly busy. But then, doesn’t everybody?
Genesis really has nothing to do with anything but the first line of this post.
But a fun scripture in Genesis gives insight to what God looks like. (Yeah, whoa! God looks like something?)
Yup, Genesis 1:26-27 read: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . . . So God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
How can God create something in His image if He doesn’t have an image after which to form us? He can’t; it’s impossible. Even for God. So the logical conclusion is God has an image and likeness. This isn’t completely conclusive that God has a physical body, but mix it up with some NT scriptures and you gotta believe it.