You may have read my post yesterday about doing the Brooksie Way Half Marathon, in Rochester, MI. Note: If you didn’t catch it, please go back an check this site on the date just before this post.

I even put together a short video of the race and me in it, double chin and all.  Are you laughing?

I thought about, how few people when they get past a certain age don’t physically challenge yourself anymore. That certain age can be different for everyone. Now if you saw me in the video, I’m not some physical specimen without flaw nor am I trying to say I have it all down pat and worked out.

Since 2007, when I started doing a few road races, primarily the Crim 10 mile, I’ve had many people my age or older that have told me they would like to do something like that but they just can’t seem to get motivated. Don’t totally abandon that 12 year old boy or girl you used to be. You may have been adventurous and would have tried just about anything at least once back then. Embrace a little of that intrigue and curiosity and try something physical that is a bit out of your comfort zone. You don’t have to do something like a sanctioned race, with medals, and bands playing and all that fanfare. It might be something much smaller.

Maybe there is a park near your neighborhood that you have driven to and have always wanted to walk along the shore or ridden your bike to that park. Maybe a race on foot or a good bike ride would suit you. It’s all up to you. Use your imagination and set your mind to something new that you just might enjoy. If it is truly something you find interesting, I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Even if you feel a bit sore afterwards, that feeling will go away. The pain from soreness always reminds me of how alive I am. It reminds me of the immensely complex beings GOD made us out to be and how we heal so quickly after a new activity or small injury.

As I’ve said before, I am not the all knowing GURU on this topic. I’m telling you of my experience. In the last 4 years, I have had small injuries, (back, knees, etc.), that have left me with the feeling, “What are you doing to yourself, you’re too old.” But I always think back to people I’ve known that even at a fairly young age, perhaps in their late 30’s or 40’s, have thought that they were old. Not too old, just old. They’ve approached the remainder of their days with trepidation and fear. They’ve refused to try new things, thinking their older body couldn’t handle it. I’ve had to tell myself often, to not be afraid of pain. To be more afraid of lethargy and all that comes with it.

I’ve like the challenges and look forward to more in the future. What about you? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do. I’d like to hear what it is. I’d like to hear you express the core of your imagination out loud. What is it? I’m listening.

Remember…You don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington
NeverQuitEver

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I had another great time at the Brooksie Way. The Crim Fitness Foundation, Oakland County, and the Oakland University folks put on another great event. Usually I take Sunday off from blogging, you know, NFL, Nascar, MLB baseball playoffs, all the good stuff that make Sunday afternoons special.
I thought I would write my feelings about the race.

As I said this is my 4th and from day one I’ve loved this race. Now you might have remembered in a previous post, I’m not racing anyone but myself. I’m not real fast, I do more walking than I want, but what the heck, I’m not trying to impress anyone but myself.

I like the views and scenery of this race. The colors are just beginning to change and the route takes you through all sorts of neighborhoods and a couple small cities. We spent some time on dirt trails and a lot of time on hills. Actually the hills are arduos and long but I love them. They add to the difficulty level and the mystique of this race. I’ve known a few people that have previously done this race and now they don’t want anything to do with it. Too many hills is what they tell me. They prefer flatter courses. It’s good there are races that can suit just about anyone.

I’m sitting down as I write this and I’m sore as all get out. Legs, hips, feet all sore. But the thing I like about this type of soreness is it is specific and focused. I call it a “Good Ache”. I know where it came from and based on past experience it will feel a bit better each day and I’ll be back to normal in no time. I’d say no time, but at 44 it isn’t no time like it was at 24. The aches last a bit longer, but at the same time I really feel alive after a long race like this. Now I like this ache a whole lot better than those aches, us from the more seasoned set feel from time to time. Just aching because you’re awake and sometimes they might even wake you up from a deep sleep. Anyway I digress.

The weather was perfect. Sunny for the most part. I would be nice and call the chill in the air at 8:00am, crisp, but it wasn’t. It was about the coldest I’ve felt it in early October at this race. Maybe it was the 15 mph wind gusting to 25 mph. Yeah now that I think of it, that’s the ticket.

I took my Flip Camera and took some video of my favorite parts of the race. I took about 30 minutes of raw video, so I’ve got some editing to do.

Remember…you don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington
NeverQuitEver

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The other day I wrote about the ordeal of getting the roof done on our home. That same day they had to stop working at about 4:00pm because the rain was coming down so steady. I went out to check on them from time to time and they told me they were only about and our from finishing the entire job. The foreman told me they would be back the next morning at 8:00am. I thought I would call off from work and stick around in case they are able to show up. It was dry when I woke up at about 5:30am but by 8:00am it’s just raining. And raining, and raining, and raining. It rained all day. Not a heavy rain, but that incessant sprinkle misting type of rain. And of course it stopped in the afternoon and the sun came out at about 3:00pm. I joked with my wife and said I should go to work for an hour just so the day doesn’t feel wasted.

Well the day wasn’t wasted. The weather just didn’t cooperate. As I’m writing this it’s Saturday morning and I’m wondering if they might show up today. Not sure if they work on weekends or will they show up Monday Morning. Houston we have a problem. This isn’t working like I hoped. Unfortunately I’m having to take off more time from work than I planned. I do have to remember that it is a whole lot less days than if I was doing it myself. We just want it done and I know it will be soon.

Whatever you do send all your good weather energy this way, so it will happen. 🙂

Remember…you don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington
NeverQuitEver

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1. Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
If you see a firearm or pick up a firearm, always treat it as if it is loaded. If you remove the ammunition, check the chamber and you are certain that it is unloaded, still treat it as if it is loaded. If you go to a gun show or a gun shop and are looking at a firearm that is given to you by the clerk, make sure there isn’t any ammunition in the weapon and visually and physically check the chamber. If you don’t know how, ask.
2. Never point the muzzle at anything you aren’t willing to destroy.
Note: Just in case you might not know what the muzzle is, it is the front of the weapon where the bullet comes out.
This is a big one. I remember one time I was at work, and I received a call along with several other officers to a house reference a subject with a gun. There was some yelling and screaming from the neighbors at the houses and in the end we had to take a Yugoslavian SKS Rifle out of the house for safekeeping. The officer that secured the weapon, took it to the rear of his cruiser and I went over to see if I could help. After removing the magazine and clearing the chamber, he then began swinging the muzzle around and swept it past me. I grabbed the side of the barrel and told him to be careful. He said the gun was empty in an attempt to reassure me. I told him that I was “allergic to muzzles” and asked him to point it away from me. Don’t ever assume that anyone with some perceived knowledge about firearms from Law Enforcement or military backgrounds will know how to be careful. You have to protect yourself at all times.
3. Be absolutely certain of your target and what’s behind it.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to use deadly force, there is more to it than just having the justification to shoot. You must also be able to justify where and why each of your spent rounds were fired. Even if you have the justification to use deadly force, but the background behind the threat or your target isn’t clear, meaning, someone else could be in the line of fire, you bring yourself into a liability situation that may be impossible to get out of and would prove to be extremely costly, literally and figuratively.
4. Keep your finger off the trigger guard until you are on target and ready to shoot.
This sounds simple, but if it was always followed, it would prevent a lot of accidental shootings. There has been extensive studies done that if a person is startled, one of the involuntary things that their hands will do is to clench up into a fist. If your finger is on the trigger of a firearm and you are startled enough, BANG. Keep your finger on the outside of the trigger guard, well away from the trigger. You wouldn’t want to stumble and have your finger slide onto the trigger. The next time you watch a television show or movie and see someone holding a firearm, check and see if you see them rest their finger outside of the trigger guard while they are standing or walking around. This will give you some indication if the actor received any training in the use of firearms.

Always Remember…you don’t have permission to quit.

Jeffrey Washington
NeverQuitEver

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Now when I say ordeal, I’m not talking about all negative here. Yeah, I know, the costs could be looked as as negative but mainly I’m speaking of the process.

Many times the thing that prompts you to get a roof replaced are a leak or something going on in the inside of the house. Been there, done that. We had one of those, but surprisingly it probably wasn’t related to the roof. That’s another roof project

Our chimney on the side of the house was leaning about 2″ at the top. Maybe 5 degrees from its original position. When we called a few companies to come out and give us estimates on doing the roof, only one of the companies actually went up on the roof. Their estimator told me about the chimney, which I had just seen, a few minutes earlier while walking another estimator to his car. I was surprised that only one of the companies that we called, even commented on the chimney. Especially considering that the repair would need to be done so that the roofers can properly install flashing around the chimney. Right after we had the chimney repair done, there were a couple days of rain. Just enough that, in the recent past it would have leaked quite a bit. NO LEAKS.

Oh by the way did I say the Chimney Mason, shows up on a Saturday morning, unannounced except for a knock on the door and begins the work, which took a day and a half. I’m not upset about it, I’m just saying…a phone call would have been much appreciated.

The hardest thing about the bidding process was making sure that you were going to get a reputable company. I’ve watched the Holmes on Homes show on TV in he past, where he goes to houses of people that contracted to have some work done. Usually the contractor, screws them over some type of way or short changes their renovation or repair. This story had me somewhat paranoid as I didn’t want to be one of those people. Granted many times they either found someone that didn’t want to get a permit or they ignored red flag after red flag. There were a couple glitches in the process and I wanted to make sure they weren’t true red flags. To this point, the company has appeared to do a good job as promised. Get a few estimates. Check their Better Business Bureau ranking. Google the name and see if their are any hits about the company.

As I write this, they are banging away on our roof. Tearing up the old shingles, replacing some boards, cutting for a ridge vent, etc. It sounds like we have some rogue squirrels beating up our house. My wife Amy, says it sounded like the Jolly Green Giant is kicking our house or the WWE is having a grudge match and flying off the turnbuckles.

At one point I considered doing the roof myself. I’ve helped do maybe three roofs in my adult life, including my neighbor across the street about a few years ago. Now I have a bit of knowledge in a lot of things, but standing on top of two story house is not really my cup of tea. I can and have done it, but I don’t really care for it. After checking some of the prices of the shingles, I found that just buying the materials would have cost about half of having the job done professionally. They can do it in a day. It would have taken me substantially longer than that. I acquiesced and let the pros do it.

The true gratitude that I have about the process is that the work will be done. It looks great and matches our home better than the old black roof. The guys that are working so hard and doing a phenomenal job that is so appreciated. It looks like any leaks will be abated and we will have some peace of mind for years to come. I’m glad we got it done. It was way past time and all is good from the roof down.

Remember…you don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington
NeverQuitEver

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