Monthly Archives: January 2014

Return to the KC Symphony Chorus

We got a long deserved break after the marathon of Christmas shows with the Kansas City Symphony in mid-December. It was nice to have my weekly night free from rehearsals and do things with family and friends. However, the rehearsals have returned and we are already in the swing of things getting ready for the next concerts.

We will be performing Verdi’s “Requiem” with the KC Symphony on May 30-Jun 1.

We have also been asked to add an additional concert on May 4. This will be a concert at the Kaufmann Performing Arts Center (Helzberg Hall) with only the Chorus. We will be accompanied by organ only (no symphony). This is unusual, but there has been a lot of buzz about how great the Chorus is and that we are only heard a couple times a year with the Symphony. This will be an opportunity for us to showcase our capabilities and talent. The tickets have already been placed on sale and start at only $10. If you can make it, you should come!

Update on getting in shape

Well, it’s been a week since I declared that I needed to do something to get in shape. My weight had soared and I was honestly living a fairly sedentary and nearly gluttonous lifestyle. All the work I had done several years ago to get in shape had been lost.

I’ve spent the past week watching my dietary intake and exercising. I’m happy to report that I’ve lost 6 pounds. I know a lot of that is the “water weight” that one loses when they first start dieting. However, I’m happy to report that I feel better and I’m making the transition to craving healthier foods. I remember, when I was doing P90X, the thought of unhealthy foods and snacks made me curl my nose thinking of the wasted work if I consumed those empty calories. That feeling is starting to return – and I think I needed that most of all. The exercise has been fun and challenging. The PainCave videos are just tough enough to really make me sweat and burn the calories.

I did start using a new app to track my calories – MyPlate; this is an app created by the Livestrong Foundation. It is easy to use and has a lot of foods and drinks in the database, which makes it much easier to keep track of the calories.

I’m anxious to see what results I might have over the next few weeks.

Treasurer…for one more year

Since February of 2007, I have been Treasurer for the Board of Directors for the Earth Riders Trail Association. According to the website,

ERTA (Earth Riders Trails Association, Inc.) is a recreational trails advocacy group created to increase the quantity and quality of sustainable singletrack trails throughout the Midwest.
ERTA is a federally recognized 501(c)3, not-for-profit corporation whose board members, officers, advisory board, and volunteers are outdoor enthusiasts dedicated to achieving it’s mission of adding and maintaining singletrack trails in an environmentally proactive and responsible manner.

ERTA was formed in February of 2001 in order to meet the requirements of Land Managers who like the idea of making more singletrack trails available to their park users. ERTA seeks to enter into formal partnerships and contracts with land managers to assist them and their agencies with three primary concerns:

* Protect the land which they manage.
* Increase the number of visitors to the lands through the creation and management of singletrack trails.
* Accomplish these objectives through an efficient and economical combination of volunteer and professional labor.

Over the past eight years, working with land managers, ERTA has assisted in gaining access to land that has resulted in an many additional miles of singletrack throughout the Midwest.

ERTA fills just one niche in a community of organizations dedicated to mountain bicycling, hiking and the betterment of our public green spaces. We maintain active partnerships with many organizations within that community.

This Board of Directors runs the 501c3 – and I manage the checkbook for the group. When I took over 7 years ago, there were literally only a few dollars in the bank. Thanks to hard work from many of our members, we are doing much better. Wish I could take credit, but I just write the checks.

When I started back in 2007, I was an avid mountain bike rider and could be found on my mountain bike (my only bike) several days a week and had many scratches and scars to prove it. Over the years, my mountain bike riding has waned and I spend more time on my road bike – because this is how I get to ride with Linda. However, my involvement with the Earth Riders has kept me connected to a great group of people and reminds me of all of the fun I have when I’m on the dirt trails.

We had a board meeting earlier tonight and agreed, once again, to serve another year as treasurer. Maybe I’ll get some opportunities to get out on my mountain bike this year.

Time to get in shape

Got on the scale today, out of curiosity, and found I was 208 pounds. This puts me at the heaviest I have ever been. It’s time to do something about it. I’ve never been one to make New Years Resolutions, but this seems as good a time as any to start working harder on my fitness.

My love of eating food that tastes too good is certainly an obstacle. Additionally, I know my craft brew consumption must drastically change. It’s going to be hard to not just stop all together. One delicious brew usually begs for an additional one. Here’s hoping for willpower to keep all the calories down. I did it once with P90X several years ago, but Linda notes that I was a bit obsessive at that time and she doesn’t want to see me get that way now.

I signed up for an account with and did my first workout today. I had no idea doing one-legged exercises would be so difficult; it seems so simple. The full workout consisted of, after doing the one-legged exercises, 1-minute intervals at different cadences 100, 110, 120, and 70-80, 80-90, and 100-110. 20 minutes of that was tiring. However, in 58 minutes, I burned 1200 calories and rode 15 miles.

I also downloaded the Map My Fitness app (have used the Map My Ride app for years). This app will allow me to not only record my workouts as before, but will also allow recording of food and drink intake and also keep track of my weight.

Here’s to getting in shape…

Snow and neighbors abound

Cold and snow have descended on much of the country, Kansas included. We received snow on January 1 and again a few days ago.

After working a late shift and getting home at 3am, the thought of getting up and shoveling snow before going to church was not that appealing. However, our north-facing driveway becomes a sheet of packed snow and ice if a car goes over it before it’s shoveled. Therefore, I drug myself from bed after a few hours sleep to shovel the 3-4″ out of the way. Within a few minutes, a good neighbor, Phil, wandered down with his snowblower. Within minutes, the drive was done and he moved on to the next drive across the street. I followed, shovel in hand, helping clear the front walks and steps. It’s good to have such friendly neighbors.