One Million Thank Yous!

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Hi everyone!

I had an amazing reminder of the experience myself and over 1,000 other runners from Team Kensington had last weekend during the Detroit Free Press Marathon. You have to watch the video the Kensington Arts team created to celebrate the work God is doing here in Michigan and in Kenya.

As I watched that (4 times already) I couldn’t help but get emotional (I may or may not have cried). That truly was an amazing experience that I will never forget. What resonated with me most were the faces that I saw along the 26.2 miles that were there to encourage me to finish. I truly believe each of them were placed there at certain points when I began to doubt myself and whether or not I would finish. What was even more amazing was the injury that prevented me from running the 18+ days leading up to the race didn’t bother me at all during the run.

Most importantly, the money keeps coming in. To date, we are at $963,000. I do have one more ask of all of you…would you consider helping me spread the word about Team Kensington and Hope Water Project to your friends and family? I raised my goal to $3,000 and am looking to raise just $285 more dollars. Who knows, maybe your friends and family know someone that ran but didn’t realize they were part of Team Kensington. Below are a couple of links. The first is directly to my donation page. The second is to the search function to see if you know any runners that ran for Kensington.

My Donation Page: http://www.hopewaterproject.org/fundraisers/39

Main Donation Page: http://www.hopewaterproject.org/fundraisers?campaign_id=10

Please consider helping me one last time by spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. November 3rd is the goal. I’m confident with your help, we can hit $1,000,000 and make a difference in the lives of the Pokot for GENERATIONS to come.

Thank you again!

In Him,

Patrick

Keep Our Eyes on Jesus

 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Because of the joy  awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1-2)


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Photo Credit: Brian Craig Photography

 

Why I Run

Sharing my "Why I Run" story with Team Kensington

Sharing my “Why I Run” story

I was recently asked to share why I run to our Team Kensington running group. I had sort of thought about it before but as I now get into the heart of the training and the recent events at the Boston Marathon, the reasons of why I run continue to evolve.

I think it would be easy for me to say that I’m running to “lose weight” or “get healthy” but those reasons began to change as my training over the last 7 months continued and my mileage increased. Now I view running as an opportunity to interact with others, encourage those who are new to it and intimidated by it, as well as be an example to my kids that being active and healthy is the right choice for their free time. For Team Kensington and the Hope Water Project, this is also about the Pokot people in Kenya who do not have access to clean drinking water and dedicating the miles and the hours to them in the “hope” of raising one million dollars for wells.

It is pretty interesting to see how this parallels to my faith. In the beginning, it was truly about me.

How can God help me?
How can God help me stop doing this?
How can God help me start doing that?
Will God be able to motivate me?

As I continued to grow (i.e. “train”) in my faith, I began to do more (i.e. “run farther” or “run faster”).

I would read the Bible.
I would pray daily.
I would serve on Sundays.
I would lead a small group.
I would run a marathon for the Pokot.

Now, my faith is more about serving others and finding opportunities to share it with others so they can understand what it means to be a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. My life verse is 1 Peter 3:15 and I think it clearly sums up what we are called to do:

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”

Hope. We strive for it, not only for ourselves but for others and if we are equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit to have hope then why aren’t we doing more to give hope to others?

That is why I run.

If you would like to help me reach my goal of $2,000 for the Pokot, please visit my Hope Water Project fundraising page by clicking HERE.

A Look Ahead…2013

2 Timothy 1:7Gini Dietrich shared her 2013 Business and Personal Goals with you yesterday and it motivated me to share with you my personal goals for 2013.

If you happen to be friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that 2 Timothy 1:7 is my personal Bible verse for 2013. The idea of not living in fear but with “power, love and self-discipline” covers every aspect of my life…both relational, physical, mental, and professional giving me the motivation to try new things this year and experience things that quite frankly would normally scare the heck out of me!

So here we go…below are some of the goals I’ve set forth for myself. I’m asking for your help in holding me accountable and seeing how I do!

RUN A MARATHON
I’ve run but never 26.2 miles and not even 13.1 miles. Ever since I’ve lost over 30 pounds in a contest at my kids’ school, I’ve been more motivated to make this change to my body last and become a lifestyle so why not use the lighter body to run a marathon! And I’m not just running a marathon for myself. I decided after watching the story of the Pokot Tribe in Kenya that I needed to run with purpose. The purpose being to raise money so that these people can have access to the most basic need that we often take for granted…clean water. I’m hoping after watching the video below, that you will consider helping me reach my fundraising goal of $2000. Who knows, if I hit it I may just raise it!

FOSTER CARE / ADOPTION
This has been a big one for me over the last year. I’ve finally got my head wrapped around the idea of it but I haven’t quite figured out how our family will be act on it. Is it foster care? Is it adoption? Is it foster to adopt? Either way, I know that there are children out there that do not have the benefit of parents to love them and lead them and participate in their lives. Why can’t I, who lives in one of the wealthiest countries in the world spare an extra room in my home (which by some standards is a mansion in other countries) and care for the least of these? More to come on this one but certainly something that I will hope to act on very soon.

BE A BETTER HUSBAND & FATHER
I can always do better here. I can be more intentional with the time with my wife and kids. I can give my kids goals to strive towards that will help them at school, on the teams they play on, and provide them with a foundation to be the leaders I pray they can be. I can put aside the busyness of life and make sure to date my wife. Besides my faith, my relationship with her is the next most important relationship I’ll ever have in life. Why not set that example of marriage for my kids so they know how they should treat their spouse and how their spouse should treat them.

There are other goals for this year but these are the big ones. I found that I won’t have success unless I write them down. Something I learned in my weight loss…track everything and measure yourself against your goals regularly. So now I ask you to hold me accountable. If I can stick to these with 2 Timothy 1:7 as my motivation, I hope I’ll be able to look back fondly on 2013 but more importantly motivate others to look at their own lives and goals and live in power, love and self-discipline instead of fear and timidity.

The Downside of Success

Missing the TargetIn my last post, I told all of you about my weight loss and exercise program as part of Oakland Christian School‘s Biggest Loser competition.  Well today’s is to give you a little update!

On Wednesday, I received an email from Merianne telling us that we are in for a “surprise weigh in” on Friday.  Well, much to my delight, my initial thought was “Nice! I can’t wait to see if I maintained or maybe even lost another pound or 2!”

So this morning, I stepped on that scale and I actually GAINED almost 4 pounds!  Not the news I was hoping to get!  What happened?

I think a few things could contribute to this…those “few things” being the number of Christmas parties and pot lucks I’ve attended over the last couple of weeks!  More importantly though, I think I experienced the downside of success…complacency.  I took my eyes off the target of maintaining my weight and healthy eating habits and thought that I could now just coast.  Thankfully, the scale can be a painful reminder that in order to have continued success, you need to stay focused on your goal which for me was staying and eating healthy.  It’s time to refocus and not let this small setback derail all the work I’ve done up to this point!

As I look forward to 2013, this little year end lesson made me think about other areas in my life where I’ve enjoyed some success and maybe have given in to some complacency:

  • MY FAITH – my relationship with God is stronger than ever but still requires full commitment from me to live it out every day
  • MY MARRIAGE – Julianne and I will celebrate 14 years in August next year.  We’ve had our ups and downs but our relationship is the glue that holds our family together and I want make sure that she knows how much I love her and admire her
  • MY KIDS – These 4 little ones always bring a smile to my face and I take being their father seriously.  There are things I can (and will) do better next year.  In addition to spending more time with them individually, I want to provide them with their own targets / goals to achieve and hold them accountable.
  • MY JOBMRM Detroit has been great to me and it really is hard to believe I’ve been here for over 2 years now.  The leadership here has been very supportive especially when the account I came here for was closed.  They reassured me they would find a place for me, they did and now I have a reason to be even more appreciative with the recent promotion I received

So there you have it.  Along with my health, the 4 things I listed above need my continued focus and that means staying true to the goals I’ve laid out for myself in each of them.

Don’t take your eyes off the target or you might get stuck with an extra 4 pounds you don’t want.

Merry Christmas everyone!

You’re Not As Healthy As You Think

I’ve always considered myself “athletic” but never “healthy”.  Often times, many people think the 2 are interchangeable but I’m here to tell you they aren’t.  Sure, I’ve been able to play soccer but there were times that I jumped into a game only to feel the painful effects the following day or the next few days for that matter.  When I actually played a season, it would take me at least 3-4 games to get into game shape.

I mention all of this to you for a couple of reasons.  First, many of you might be aware of the lifestyle change I’ve been going through since September.  I’ve been participating in a competition at Oakland Christian set up similarly to NBC’s Biggest Loser.  In that time, I’ve lost weight, stepped up my exercise, and made lifelong changes to how I look at food and how I eat.  Second, as a country the trend is going in the wrong direction.  According to the CDC, over one-third (35.7%) of Americans were obese in 2009-2010.  If you look at the trend since the late 1990s, you will be even more alarmed.

I never really paid attention to these statistics before.  I assumed I was somewhat healthy and healthier than the rest of the U.S.  Boy was I wrong.  It wasn’t until I stepped on that scale in early September that I realized I needed to get serious.  I’ve done the up and down with my weight but was never able to maintain it for an extended period of time and when the scale registered 201.1, it was time to get to work but I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it.  Fast forward to November 9 with a weigh in of 176.3 and a total weight loss of 24.8 pounds.  In just over 2 months, I’ve been become the healthiest I’ve been a long time, I’m able to post good run times for me, and now I play soccer without worrying about “saving my energy” in games.  So how did I do it?

My Weight Loss Progress since September

WHAT?
You have to have a goal.  For me, when I stepped on the scale and saw a weight that disappointed me, the goal was to lose the weight.  In my head, I wanted to drop at least 20 pounds but as I got into the program, I increased the weight loss goal to 32 pounds for a goal weight of 169.  With anything you do, have a purpose or goal.  You have to know WHAT you want to accomplish and for me, I had data to back up the need for me to start shedding some pounds.

HOW?
Once you know why you want to lose weight, you can focus on the how but before I share with you the tools I’ve been using, I also wanted to mention that if you do a program like this, do it with other people.  Being in community with people holds you accountable.  It motivates you and if you’re in a contest, who doesn’t want to compete?  This has been one of the biggest motivators for me as I want to encourage but I also want to win!  Now on to the tools.

Nike Fuel Band

Nike released their Fuel Band earlier this year and I was hooked.  Not only was it a cool piece of technology but it tracks my activity with steps, calories and Nike’s own metric, Fuel points.  Each day, you set a goal for Fuel points and your activity earns points to achieve that goal.  On top of that, you can see how you rank with friends that also have the Nike Fuel Band with a fully integrated iPhone app and badges you earn for achieving goals and milestones.

My Fitness Pal iPad App

The My Fitness Pal iPhone app has truly become my best friend.  With this app, I was able to document the food AND portions I was eating to make sure I was achieving my calorie goal each day to support my weight loss targets.  Throughout this entire competition, I’ve learned that what you eat and how much of it contributes to the success you’ll have in getting healthy.

WHY?
I have 5 great reasons as to why I did this.  Their names are Julianne, Gina, Joshua, Jessica and Luke.  Since turning 40 this past March, you begin to notice the subtle aches and pains.  You notice it takes a little longer to recover from any activity.  You also realize, your kids are getting older and they want you to play with them and that means being able to keep up with their energy and participate in their activities.  I could do this before but I just couldn’t do it well.  What this also has done is given Julianne and I a “project” to do together!  We now can encourage each other by eating well, going on runs or bike rides, and enjoying the progress we are making by losing weight.

Finally, this experience will also be a good teaching opportunity for my kids to value their health and what they eat. If we as parents are modeling a healthy lifestyle to our kids, they then have an example to follow (hopefully) that will give them the tools they need to live and eat healthy and hopefully pass that on to their kids and future generations.

THE TAKEAWAY
I’ve learned a lot about myself in these 2 months.  Yes, exercise and diet are the main focus but you also need to be motivated and don’t give up easily.  It’s not a quick process and as they say, “results very”.  Since I’m all about sharing my experiences with you, this is what I’d like for you to take away from this rather long blog post about my health kick.  It’s pretty simple.

  1. Have a goal
  2. Track your goals
  3. Be in community with people to hold you accountable and encourage
  4. Don’t give up
  5. Pray and give thanks to Him for your success.  I wouldn’t have been able to do this without God’s help and the people He put in my life to encourage me.

This is serious business everyone.  The health of our country is going in the wrong direction.  If you live in Michigan, you will be happy to know that we are the 5th most obese state in the country.  My hope is that you will think about what I’ve shared with you and not be accepting of these trends.  You can still eat what you want but you also need to balance it with exercise and how much you eat.  Once you’re able to get past this being a “diet” but rather a “lifestyle” you’ll succeed.

As we approach the end of 2012, why not consider making a drastic and healthy change for 2013?