Saturday, March 28, 2009

Great Strides- Scottsdale

6am: I'm not sure who thought it would be a great idea to wake up at 6am on a Saturday, but I sure don't like that person right about now. It was really tough to get out of bed this morning. I got to bed a little late last night due to watching my Cousin Jason's posse. It was a great time and as I knew going in, they are some super cute kids. As any kid under 5, they had their moments, but they always made up for it with an adorable comment about 5 minutes later. Just for example (and I know this is off topic, but who really cares), I was with three of the kids downstairs watching a video while Mandi was putting the baby asleep. We were watching something called Princess Stories, which, as you know, is my favorite. So we were on Ariel's story, who, if you don't know your Disney characters is a mermaid. The story was all about her wanting to be able to dance like a ballerina that she saw on land. Ariel ended up going to a starfish, that she wished upon, who she figured could give her legs to replace her fin so that she could dance. It ended up that the wish didn't come true and she didn't get her legs. When that happened, I said, "Ahhh, that's too bad, now she can't dance". To which Noah replied (one of the 3 year olds), with the sweetest look on his face, "But she can still dance underwater". Now that is a solutions oriented man! I thought it was absolutely adorable, but maybe I'm just a sucker.

Back to my morning. This morning was a different routine that Jezzabel was none to happy about. When I woke up and got out of bed she was crazy excited about getting to her walk. Sorry, ain't gonna happen there J Bell. I jumped on my treatments so I could get my lungs nice and open for the Great Strides event in Scottsdale today. For those who don't know, Great Strides is a walk that is used to raise money and awareness for CF. I love going to the walks, because I'm always able to meet new people and share my story with others. Generally, I go to my hometown walk in Tucson, but a friend of mine formed Team Ronnie for the walk up in Scottsdale, so I figured I had to be there.

After finishing my treatments, it was off to Dunkin Donuts for some coffee on the road. It was another beautiful morning in Arizona and I was so thankful that I could get up nice and early and walk on behalf of CF. Not only do I get to meet some great people, but I also knock out my morning walk. Two birds with one stone I believe they say? This year was no different. I met a handful of CF parents that I was able to chat with and hopefully they walked away with a sense of who I was and how I handled my disease. I always stress the mental aspect of CF and how important it is to stay one step ahead.

The walk itself was 3.1 miles around a track of sorts at a city park. There were slight hills during the course which made the walk even better for me. I was able to keep a good pace and definitely worked some garbage out of my lungs. For a good portion of the walk, Mandi and Whitney (friend who formed the team), were trying to keep up with me, which isn't a situation I'm all that used to. My body is starting to get the hang of walking and I feel a lot more natural when I do it. I get in this sort of rhythm that feels very smooth and that I'm not forcing my body to do anything it doesn't want to do. It's a very nice feeling and definitely encouraging. The only pain I had while walking today was in my left foot, but it was very slight and I believe it was just my foot adjusting to the ortho insert. I even ended up finishing strong by jogging the last 50 yards! Take that Great Strides!

Total Distance: 3.1 miles Time: 54'54"

6pm: Mandi and I decided to walk up to the local grocery store to pick up some stuff to make for dinner. We picked up some chicken breast, tomatoes, and zucchini. It was also a good opportunity to give J Bell her walk. She was whining all day because she didn't get her walk this morning. She's starting to become a spoiled walked brat. We walked up to the store and I stayed with Jezz outside while Mandi got the goods. I was surprised that my feet didn't hurt at all after what we did this morning and I am very encouraged that they are recovering quickly. My treatment routine got a little thrown off today, and although a little tighter than normal, overall my lungs felt pretty good. I'm looking forward to a longer walk tomorrow morning and I'm really hoping that my feet hold up throughout the week.

Total Distance: 1.0 mile

Total Distance Walked for Day: 4.1 miles

Friday, March 27, 2009

Rest for the Weary

6:00am: When I woke up this morning and put my feet on the ground, I felt the sore sting that is normal after a long day of walking. I figured it was because I wore my new shoes with the ortho inserts last night and my feet are just getting used to them. I knew however that I needed to scale back my walk this morning and not do any running for the next couple of days. I even thought about just going to the gym to do cardio, but I know that my little baby girl Jezzabel needs her walk in the morning. I set out to do a shorter loop, but I was playing it by ear as to how short it would be.

After I got my shoes on and started walking, both of me feet felt really good. I was coughing a lot on the beginning of the walk cause I think I'm battling some allergies or a head cold. Last night my head and sinuses were pretty stuffy and I was sneezing a lot. Right before I went to bed I made a little Immunity Defense drink and threw it down the hatch. I woke up a couple of time in the night to blow my nose and adjust my nasal cannulas.I slept well for the most part, as you could tell if you could have seen the big line across my cheek bone from the o2 line. It kind of looked like I got in some crazy knife fight while I was sleeping and that I had obviously lost due to the cut across my face. I woke up feeling better than when I had gone to bed, but I was still a little stuffy. I was coughing up some thicker darker stuff right away, so hopefully it keeps moving up and out.

Back to my walk. I hacked a good portion of the walk and continued to spit a truckload of mucus onto the path behind me so I could find my way home. It cleared up by the end of the walk, but I was coughing so much that I was very close to losing last night's pizza. It was about 1 inch from the back of my throat before I was able to swallow it back down and get rid of the "I'm about to throw up" sensation. My chest was a little tighter than normal, but felt pretty dry by the time I got back home. Hopefully what I'm feeling is just allergies and it goes away once this wind dies down. As for my feet, my left started to hurt a little bit, but not nearly as bad as yesterday. I slowed down the pace and shortened the walk and I think it worked out well. I hope to be back to a normal routine soon.

Total Distance: 1.1 miles Time: 21'28"

2:30pm: Before going to the gym today I swung by the local CFF to catch up with the ladies and see if I could be of any help. Lucky for me, they were waiting for a U-Haul to take stuff to the Great Strides event site. They told me (jokingly, I think), that I showed just in time. I helped them load Gatorade and water for the walk tomorrow. I was more than happy to do so. Not only was I helping out, but I was also getting a great workout in return. I love helping the CFF when I can because they are all so committed to making my life better as well as the life of my CF friends. In my humble opinion, they are overworked and underpaid. The great part is, you would never know that from being around them. They are always working away with a smile on their faces.

I was also able to talk to the father of a young CFer about some of my struggles, but mostly about how much I love living my life. I just stressed to him that you can't consider CF a lung disease or he'll sell his son short. It's a cell disease. The faulty cells allow thick mucus to build up mostly in our lungs. As I've said before, the key is the mucus. I told him that if playing video games made his son cough and spit up the junk, then let him play video games all day long (wouldn't that be nice if that's all it took?). The point is cough, spit, cough, spit, and then cough some more. Do whatever you can to get the infection causing crap out of your lungs!

I had a normal day at the gym today. It was chest and back day. I love working out my chest, but my back, not so much. I think I need to figure out some lifts that are more entertaining or something. I'm so bored when I lift on my back. Other than that, it was a great day! I'm feeling stronger everyday and improving on the weight or reps daily. My body is starting to take a different shape which is very encouraging. Of course Mandi telling me how hot I look is very encouraging to, but doesn't she have to say that? In April, I'm going to be changing my workout routine a bit to just keep my body guessing. I'm thinking about adding two more lifts to each muscle group, but I haven't decided yet. All I know is I am really motivated at the gym right now and I just hope it keeps up! Current Weight: 190 lbs.

Side Note: I don't believe that I'll be getting a walk in tonight because Mandi and I offered to babysit my Cousin Jason's kids so he can wine and dine his wifey. We're going to have our hands full and I have a feeling that they will be my second cardio for the day. The clan consists of Ella, Levi, Noah and Luke. They are all under the age of 6 and Levi and Noah are twins. If you'd like to read their entertaining blog, it can be found at When you read their blog you will constantly be saying "Kid's say the darnedest things!".Total Distance Walk for Day: 1.1 miles

A Message from Member at Read

The following message is from a concerned member at I withheld his/her name to protect their privacy.

Member's letter:

Hello Ron, I know you don't know me, but I feel compelled to ask you a few questions. First, I would like to welcome you to the site. You really didnt give anyone the opportunity to do that, as you have never introduced yourself to the community. All of a sudden you turned up and started blogging about your daily activities. I think you may be wondering why no one is commenting on your blogs. That is one reason--you never introduced yourself.

Also, we are a little leary of strangers, as we had a terrible incident in which an imposter nearly wrecked our community. I am not suggesting that you are an imposter, but just letting you know that people are a little shell-shocked because of that. We welcome strangers, but we would like you to introduce yourself, tell us a little about you.

Second, I would like to personally ask if you would limit your posting blogs somewhat...You put out at least two or three a day, and it pushes everyone else's blogs out of the line. (I really wish Jeanne would have a rule that we only post one blog a day, unless emergency) Lots of people don't go to the blog page, so when a blog is pushed off, it may not have been seen...And you have another blog, so why do you double post? I went there and it's the same thing. I think you would get more responses if you wrote something different here. There are lots of people here with two blog sites...I even even contemplating starting one of my own...I don't mean to offend you by this pm, but I hope you can understand that this is an established community, it has been here a long time, and you come here acting like we should know you. You post your running routine, like we should be interested, when we don't know you. When asked what your cf routine is, you don't answer. I hope that you don't think that I am being inconsiderate by mentioning these things to you. I have had several people asking about you and who you are, I just thought you may want to know. Again, I would like to welcome you, and I hope I haven't offended you.

Sincerely, Name Withheld

My response:

Name Withheld,
Thank you for your message. First, I post stuff on this blog so it is more accessible to CFers in this community. I don't want to come in here and just advertise my new blog. It is getting quite a few views per day, so I'm guessing that there are some people that care about my "running routine". As you know, that's not all I post, as I have had posts on how CF directly affects my life. I feel compelled to share my story and I have the time to write it down. I enjoy blogging and I know others can write more if they are compelled to do so.

I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from readers and some seem to be taking on my work out challenge in their own lives. Therefore, while I understand and appreciate your feedback, readers, and fellow CFers I have spoken to would like to hear what I'm doing, so I am going to continue to write as I am now.

I came here and started writing to hopefully inspire other CFers to get out there and get active and take their treatments more seriously. I'm not sure what exactly it is you would like to know about me, but I would love to share anything and everything with you and the community. I see that you do not have CF yourself, so with all due respect, it might just be a matter of you not fully understanding the struggle and my desire to share my fight with, and inspire, others.

I speak regularly for the CFF and I am an open book when it comes to my disease. I didn't introduce myself to this site because it's not about Ronnie Sharpe, it's about CF. Those who would like to get to know me better can feel free to ask me questions as I would love to answer them. Many have PMed me questions and I have always answered promptly with a response. So why don't we start with just us? What would you like to know Name Withheld?

I'm sorry if it seems that I just came barging in here. I didn't think there was an initiation period when it came to this site. I don't only post my blog, I also answer questions on the forums everyday. I'm here to try and help. I live a "very typical" CF life but I think my response is different than most. I feel blessed to have CF. If I was born again, I would not choose a different life. This offends some people and I'm sorry about that, but that's how I feel.

It's not that I haven't struggled. I've had to put my life on hold at times. I'm in the hospital 90 days a year. I've coughed up so much blood I almost went into shock. I've been clinically dead. I've been blue from head to toe because of a lack of oxygen. But, all of those situations only makes me a stronger guy who appreciates every single breath that I take.
So, just tell me what to do Name Withheld. What do I need to do to make you and the community more comfortable? I'm only here to be a blessing, not a burden.


Apparently some have been taken aback by the passion to broadcast my struggles. Please let me know your thoughts, I would love to know if this is a majority feeling or one woman speaking on behalf of a non-existent group. Thank you.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Does the Wind Take Your Breath Away?

6:00am: When I woke up this morning I was really excited to try out my new shoes and see if they made a difference in my walk. Don't get me wrong, I didn't look excited according to my bathroom mirror, but nevertheless the shoes needed to be broken in. I was super tired looking and didn't get the best night of sleep. It wasn't the worst ever, but it certainly could have been better. I woke up about 4 times during the night to find my nasal cannulas wrapped around my forehead instead of in my nose. It's always a weird sensation when waking up that way cause I never know exactly what's going on. I can feel that something isn't right, but it usually takes me about 10 seconds to figure out exactly what it is. You would think that I would feel the plastic hose wrapped around my head a lot sooner than I do.

After a quick bathroom break, I was ready to hit the road. Ah, but first I had to put on my brand spanking new shoes. I purchased ortho inserts that needed to go in first and then I laced them up. They felt good. I started the walk and about 2 minutes into it I realized that I never started my watch. Whoops. That's ok I thought, I'll just penalize myself with a ballooned time at the end. As I started to get into the groove of walking (and trying to get used to the new shoes), my feet started to hurt a little bit. I figured that it was normal and it would take a while to get used to the ortho insert. Well, about half way through the walk, my right foot started to give me problems. Usually it is my left foot that is in a ton of pain, but the left was just slightly sore and felt as if it was adjusting to the shoe. I ended up stopping and taking out the insert of my right shoe (and forgetting to restart the watch in the process). Much better. I'm going to leave the left one in for now and see if that alleviates the pain in my foot and shins when I run. I can also try just the shoes for a while and see if that does the trick.

Overall, the walk went really well after I removed the right insert. I was moving a lot of mucus up and my legs didn't feel tired at all. I'm working out legs later on at the gym, so I'm glad that they felt fresh this morning. J Bell did a pretty good job this morning with the exception of pooping twice and me only having one bag. If this trend keeps up, I'm obviously going to have to bring multiple bags on my walk. She's starting to get the hang of a fast paced walk and seems to get better everyday. If only I could match her improvement.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles Time: Who Knows

2:30pm: It was a normal day at the gym today. I worked out shoulders and legs. My shoulders hurt as usual but I was able to increase the reps on most of my shoulder exercises. I increased the weight or reps on all of the leg exercises. Believe it or not, I also did abs. Mandi would be so proud. I did the ab routine that she taught me, which consists of 200 crunches in various poses. They hurt like heck but I work up a good sweat and really get into some heavy breathing. In no time, I'm going to turn this one pack into a two pack.

I'm really hoping that I can run/walk later. It is super windy out and I have a hard time breathing in those conditions. I feel like the wind is taking my breath way. I remember way back in high school the football practices being much tougher on windy days. I couldn't keep up the pace that I usually could on days with no wind. Does anybody have a clue as to why that happens? Maybe wearing a mask would help, but who really knows. Anyways, I'm really hoping that the wind dies down and that my feet/legs hold up during our walk/run. I've been hampered by my "injury" lately and I have hated every minute of it. Current Weight: 189lbs.

6:00pm: It is so windy today! I tried to talk myself out of running, but I knew I would regret it later if I didn't. I decided to put on a mask to protect myself from the dust and debris flying around. Besides looking like a SARS patient, everything was felling good and I was ready to post a good time for my run/walk today. We were running with a strong crosswind, but Mandi was picking out spots that weren't too far away so I would have a quicker recovery. The mask was working and my lungs felt wide open. The wind didn't end up being the main problem though.

After half a mile, my feet completely gave out. I was hobbling like crazy and Mandi said enough was enough. I was in real, genuine pain. It is the worst that my feet have hurt yet. We turned around so we could at least get a mile in and we headed back to the house. My feet started to recover so I decided to try to run a good part of the way home. My stride felt good and my lungs felt even better, but my feet just couldn't cut it. I hobbled back to the house and now I need to come up with a new game plan. I'm going to start wearing the new shoes as much as possible so my feet can get used to them. I'm also not going to do any pounding on my feet for the next couple of days. I really hope this works because I set out to do a mile and that's kind of tough when I can't run. I always thought my lungs were going to hold me back, not my feet.

Total Distance: 1.0 mile Time: 14'39"

Total Distance Run/Walk for Day: 3.1 miles

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poop Happens...

6:00am: ...and if you're named Jezzabel and you're my puppy, it happens three times on our walk this morning. Just to answer your question mom, no, I did not have three bags with me so there are two random piles of turd in the people's yard. Sorry to whoever's yard she left her surprise in this morning. It certainly wasn't planned ans I'm not sure what got into her. She must of had some bad Mexican food last night. Anyway, besides the constant pooping, the walk was pretty flawless.I tried some different shoes this morning (Nike's instead of New Balance) and they seemed to do the trick. My shin splints didn't burn and my left foot only hurt slightly. The Nike's feel like they have more arch support and I like that. The only problem with the Nike's is they are a little small, especially on my right foot. Me thinks that my right foot is a half a size bigger than my left foot. To me though it makes sense to have your walking shoes be a little tight for that extra support. Am I wrong there?

I worked up more mucus than usual this morning, but it ended up being clear by the middle of my walk. Do any of you other CFers experience that out there? Does your mucus start out dark in the morning and then clear up (in color) throughout the day? Let me know. I wasn't coughing so much today that I felt like I was going to throw up, but the mucus was coming up pretty easily and at times just made it's way to the back of my throat. I think this new nebulizer compressor I got is really getting the Pulmozyme deep into my lungs. So far I'm very impressed by it and it has cut down on my treatment time.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles Time: 36'56" (beat yesterday's time!)

Side Note: Warning TMI ahead....Ok so I warned you. When I woke up this morning I had a BM (poop) before I had my morning coffee, which is very rare. I find that coffee in the morning keeps me pretty regular and everything flowing. Well, during my walk, I think I caught the poo poo bug from J Bell cause I almost had to cut the loop short due to me having to go again. Two times before breakfast? Not bad!

10:30am: I headed to the gym to work on arms. I've felt real well so far today and that trend continued at the gym. I didn't feel so sluggish as I have in past day and I just felt "lighter on my feet". Maybe it was the time of the day or the fact that I haven't had a full day of eating food. Who knows. I felt very strong today and it showed on all of my lifts. I was able to increase the weight or reps on every exercise. I also decided to run for 2 minutes between every set. On my first 2 minute run I discovered something that I had not known before.While I was running on the treadmill I heard these random beeps in my ear buds once in a while and then those beeps turned into an alien spacecraft kind of noise. I had no clue what was going on. I wasn't sure if my iPod was breaking or I downloaded a crazy awesome remix of the song I was listening to. The noises stopped during my next lift which at the time I found very strange. When the communication from the UFO warcraft started again as I was running, a light popped on in my head (which is rare). Apparently, the Nike's that I have on are iPod compatible. That had to be it I thought. So when I was done with the 2 minutes I took off my shoe and took out the insert and sure enough, there was a little orange iPod transmitter thing. The only reason I knew what it was because a buddy of mine had the iPod compatible shoes.

I'm not sure why it makes all of those crazy noises and I haven't downloaded any type of program to my iPod. Maybe it's trying to connect with some frequency that gets transmitted? I have no clue. I just know it stopped when I took the little orange thingy out of my shoe. And by the way, the Nike's feel much better to run in. My left foot still hurt a little bit, but it was much better than yesterday.

That's not the best news though. The best news would be that my lungs gave me no trouble whatsoever on my short runs. When I first ran between sets last week, I definitely would start to get winded towards the end. Not today though. I could have pushed it longer, but I want to take it easy on my foot where the situation allows. Let's just hope this increase in lung health continues. Current Weight: 186lbs.

Total Distance: .65 miles

5:15pm: Houston, we have a problem. So I officially couldn't take it anymore and I had to pull up short on my walk/run tonight. Mandi saw that I was limping pretty bad and basically said no more running for me until I get new shoes. I agreed and we decided to just walk one mile and then come up with a plan. We had a "date" over at my cousin's house tonight for a little, what they call, "Soup and Survivor". They make homemade soup, we show up and eat it, and we watch Survivor. It's a great way to hang with family and get fed some awesome meals. Two of my favorite things under one roof? I'll take it!

We had enough time after my cousin's house to stop by the Sports Authority and check out what they had. Usually I bargain and comparison shop, but I had no time to do that. I didn't want to miss even one day of walking/running due to my bad feet. I ended up getting a pair of Brooks that were on sale and I also bought some inserts for arch support. Let's hope that these do the trick and I'm ready to kick some butt tomorrow.

Total Distance: 1 mile Time: 18'36"

Total Distance Run/Walk for Day: 3.75 miles

Pictures Added to 3/22/2009 Posting

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Serious Shin Splints

6:00am: Ahhhhh, bright and early...Well, it was back to my 6am wake up time and boy did I feel it. I was so comfortable just curled up in my blankets and my head on the pillow. My legs were definitely feeling the workout I gave them yesterday and I'm pretty sure that my calves (or calfs?) currently have a spear head from and ancient Indian tribe stuck in them. The lower half of my body feels extremely heavy, but I must press on.

It was even more chilly this morning than it was yesterday. I prefer it to be chilly cause then by the end of my walk it does a good job of cooling me down. Today I really wanted to concentrate on establishing a good time for this morning loop on which I can improve upon. When I set off down the road today my legs were still pretty beat and my lungs were tighter than normal. Not exactly the best start. As the walk continued though, I was able to keep a good pace and I started to move a lot of junk out of my lungs. As usual, it started off a little dark, but the progressed to a clear. As I think back, I don't think I dry heaved once this morning. Uh oh, look out world, I'm making progress.

J Bell was the pee pee queen this morning. Last night when I brought her home from the groomers she drank her whole dog bowl full of water. They must have put her in a cage and made her eat sand or something, cause she was super thirsty. When I went to let her out last night to go to the bathroom, she wouldn't budge. She must have just been saving it for this morning, because she peed about 11 times. She's kind of funny too, in that she lifts up her hind leg like a male dog when she pees. She also marks poles and posts and what not just like a male. It must be from all of the times that she saw me do it.

Overall, the walk felt great this morning. I really need to get a run in today and will probably do it after Mandi and I go to the gym. I want to increase my mileage this week and I'm already behind the eight ball after the first day. I need to get my butt in gear and just make it happen.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles Time: 38'02"84

5:30pm: Man am I tired. I got to bed early last night and slept like a rock, but I still can't shake my tired eyes. I wanted for Mandi to get off of work because she wanted to go to the gym with me today. When we got to the gym it was super busy. That's the only bad part about waiting for her. The gym is packed with people just getting off of work. We had to wait for almost every lift we wanted to do and even changed some lifts based on availability. It all worked out in the end though and I got a really good work out in. The really nice thing about having Mandi there is she keeps the pace going. When I lift by myself, I usually take a 90 second break in between reps. With her it's a minute tops. I sweat a lot more when she's there because she keeps my heart rate up with her quick pace. It's also nice to have someone there to spot me in case I can't handle the last couple of reps. Fortunately, I didn't need any help today, but that's probably because I'm still lifting slightly more than an 8 year old boy. We lifted chest and back and I was able to increase my weight or reps on every exercise. I forgot, we also did abs. Mandi kicked my butt as usual. Current Weight: 191 lbs.

Side Note: Make sure on abs day you don't eat half of a bagel with peanut butter and jelly, a banana, and some Pirate's Booty, right before you head to the gym. I did and I felt it coming up while we were doing crunches. It also makes it tough because I can only crunch so far down on my bloated pregnant man belly.

7:00pm: We set out for our night run/walk but ended up only walking. My left foot is killing me and my right shin splint is acting up. Mandi noticed that I was walking with a limp and thinks that we should scale down on the mileage until I get proper shoes. I would hate to do that, but she may be right. I'm going to try different shoes tomorrow and see if it make a difference. I really hope it does cause I don't want to hit any bumps in the road yet. I've only been at this for two weeks and I really feel like my lungs are improving and that I'm getting stronger overall.

I pushed through the pain on tonights walk and we ended up taking a route that we never had before. It was dark outside, so we tried to stay on a path that was well lit. We succeeded for the most part and were able to walk a different part of the neighborhood that I had never been to. There were some pretty cool houses to look at along the way. The only problems with the new path was some traffic fumes and some driveways. Everytime we would cross a driveway, the slight decline and the slight incline would just kill my ailing parts. I had to walk on the flat street for most of the walk. I really wish I could have ran, but I have a feeling that Mandi would of had to carry me about half way through.

Total Distance: 3.0 miles Time: 49'38"

Total Distance Walked for Day: 5.1 miles

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bloody Boogers

7:00am: I had to sleep in a little bit this morning cause that hike yesterday really kicked my butt...literally, it feels like I have been kicked right in the booty. I realize that I didn't HAVE TO sleep in, but I wanted to put myself in the best position to be successful today and for the rest of the week. I am fully aware that my body requires sleep and I do my best to give it what it needs. I slept like a set of 1 year old twin boys last night (for those of you who don't know, they sleep like rocks) and I felt pretty refreshed this morning. The lower half of my body was felt heavy and tired, but I think it was just a matter of getting out of bed and moving around. I did however wake up with the same problem from that stupid oxygen that I have to wear at night. My nose was completely dried out, but when I blew it, out flew a huge glop of bloody boogers. I wish I knew a way to prevent that because it's definitely something that I don't enjoy doing every morning.

I took off for my walk with J Bell's leash in one hand and an apple in the other. It, as usual, was a gorgeous morning with just the right mixture of sun and a cool breeze. Jezzy wasn't as sniffy this morning which was a nice opportunity to pick up my pace. I really need to start keeping track of the time it takes me to walk this morning loop. I think that would be another great way to track my progress. Anyway, my legs felt great the whole walk and I was doing relatively little coughing. I finished my apple about half way through and really started to push the pace. J Bell had already made her doo doo, so I didn't have to worry about that slowing me down. I was flying down the home stretch, that is, until the last 100 yards.

With about 100 yards to go, I had a coughing fit for some reason. I just couldn't stop hacking. They started as just surface coughs, but quickly turned into those deep bowel shaking coughs. Uh oh, I felt the apple coming up. I was trying my best to thwart the coughs because I was pretty sure nobody would appreciate apple sauce on the sidewalk. The sauce managed to work it's way back up to my mouth, but like a champ, I just swallowed it. It was almost as if I was able to eat the same apple twice. Lucky for me! By the time I got back to the house, I was out of breath and still trying to keep down my food. I was able to collect myself and chill until I knew the apple wasn't coming back up. When that ordeal was finally done, I poured myself a cup of mud and headed for my treatments. Hopefully the shaking of my vest doesn't make my little friend the apple rear his ugly head again. Cleaning apple sauce off my keyboard is not on my list of things to do today.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles

1:30pm: I'm sure I've said this before, but I REALLY didn't want to go to the gym today. I made the mistake of sitting down in front of the tv while I ate my pre-workout snack. Before I knew it I had already gone through a whole episode of Hell's Kitchen and was flipping through other recorded shows that I could watch. "Just one more show", I told myself. But that's when another voice popped into my head. Loud and clear I heard, "Just turn it off NOW". For some reason I listened to that voice and off to the gym I went. Now this doesn't mean that I wanted to be there.

In the beginning of the workout I was moving in slow motion. I felt very lethargic. In my first set I definitely just went through the motions. But then I thought to myself, "What's the point of being here unless I'm putting in hard work?". My workout got a lot better after my own little personal pep talk. I did shoulders and legs today and was able to increase the weight or reps on every lift. There were a couple of the leg lifts that I felt really strong which sort of came as a surprise considering the hike yesterday. My energy really picked up as the workout continued and I ended up getting a real good sweat going. I'm starting to lean out a little while still keeping my weight up. Current Weight: 189 lbs.

Side Note: One thing that I have noticed while working out is that I really push through the pain where in the past I may have stopped a few reps short because it hurt. I'm not talking a sharp pain, but a burn that is painful. It may be the reason that I've been able to increase the weight on my lifts so rapidly. Or of course it could be because I started off as such a weakling...

7:00pm: Mandi and I decided to do my morning dog walk loop at a quick pace tonight. We were planning on then picking up J Bell at the groomers, but our wires got crossed and I ended up having to pick her up later. I'll need to post a picture of J with her new hair cut. I get the same thing done to her every time, and every time it still makes me laugh. I just have them give her a really close shave to decrease the shedding and so she's not so hot...and because it looks funny. They always say she is the best dog there (they probably say that to everyone) and that she lets them have their way with her.

Anyway, the walk went really well and the increased pace helped me bring some stuff up. It was a little chilly out tonight, but I warmed up about 100 yards into our walk. My legs had plenty of energy and I would say that the only thing giving me problems are my feet. Mandi really wants me to get custom shoes, but I'm a huge tight wad and I figure I can put up with the pain. I'll bet my bottom dollar though that I'll give in to her request sooner rather than later. She's a very persuasive bird. Plus, she's a runner and I trust her opinion on all matters concerning me pounding my feet into pavement. I know that she only wants the best for me and my feet. At some point it comes down to putting yourself in the best position to succeed.

Total Distance: 2.1 miles

Total Distance Walked for Day: 4.2 miles

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Perseverance Produces Character

7:00am: Today it was a little tough to wake up. I was up later than usual hangin out with family and playing Wii with my brother. I kept on giving myself "1 more minute". I didn't sleep with o2 last night to give my nostrils a break and I woke up feeling pretty good, although I had a ton of crap in my lungs. My mom joined Mandi and I on our walk this morning. We decided to walk to Dunkin Donuts for some coffee and breakfast sandwiches. It was a shorter walk than normal, but we walked at a very good pace. Jezzabel had little opportunity to stop and smell the roses...or other dog's urine.

I coughed almost the whole way to DD bringing up stuff every time. It started out dark as usual and got clear by the time we sat down to eat. We sat outside in what was a perfect morning. There was a slight breeze, completely sunny and about 72 degrees. Couldn't ask for anything more. We weren't able to take our sweet time there though cause we had to scurry back home to get ready for church.

Total Distance: .7 miles

Side Note: Speaking of church, a great verse was shared that I think a lot of CFers can relate to, I know I can. It comes from the Book of Romans chapter 5 verse 3-4:

"...because we know that suffering produces perseverance and perseverance produces character..."

Now of course God is not speaking directly on CF and I am taking this verse out of context, but I hope you get my point. CF has helped mold me into the man I am today. I fully believe that I would be a different person without it, and probably not for the better. This is why I am constantly saying that I am blessed with CF. Many do not feel this way, and I can understand that, but I truly believe this to be the case. CF has made me more loving, caring, and appreciative of those around me. Without this disease I would take a lot more things for granted and not cherish every day. So do I really consider myself blessed? Without a doubt.

2:30pm: GO CATS!!!!!! It's always a great day when the Wildcats make it to the Sweet 16! After that great win, we decided to go and hike Sabino Canyon. By we, I mean Mandi, Andrew (bro), Grant (bro), and Momma. We packed up our snacks and filled up our camelbacks and we were on our way. Today, was a perfect day for hiking with the exception of a strong head wind at times. The skies were crystal blue without a cloud in the sky.

When I say hike, it was more like a trail walk...and the trail was a trolley road. You can choose to take a trolley to the end of the road, but they hit you up for 8 dollars. There was no way any of us were going to put down 8 bones for a car ride. It already cost us 5 bucks to park the minivan. So we set off down the road and were kind of winging as to how far we were going to go. We ended up stopping at a nice little watering hole at mile marker 3. It took us 1 hr and 2 mins to get there. There were a couple of brief stops, but it was only to allow the fam to catch up...and when we had to let a rattle snake cross the road. Most of the way to mile 3 was a steady incline with a few down hills and one kind of steep hill. My lungs and legs felt pretty good the whole time, but it was definitely nice to take a little 30 minute break at our destination. After goofing around in the water and on the rocks for a little bit, we headed back.

The way back was actually worse because we faced a strong head wind almost the whole way. There was also a steep, and I mean steep, hill towards the end of the hike that was very challenging. That was the only part of the hike that I absolutely had to stop and catch my breath when we got to the top. All in all it was a great afternoon and I'm looking forward to going back and hiking all the way to the end. The end is at 3.8 miles, but we didn't know that until we got back. I will be back Sabino Canyon, oh yes, I will be back.

Total Distance: 6.0 miles

Side Note: I'll be adding some pictures of our journey as soon as possible.

Total Distance Walk/Hike for Day: 6.7 miles