Column: Line Drives — Wrestling ability got taken down

[This is my column in the Feb. 24 issue of The Commercial Review.]

One of the first ways we learn as infants is by watching our parents.

The same can be true with learning to play sports. We watch others throw a football, swing a bat or shoot a basketball.

Our eyes are the first way we learn new tasks or new skills; by seeing someone else do it.

Many times, the thought “Hey, I can do that!” springs up in our minds, leading us to try something new.

Even as we age, that thought still pops up now and again.

It’s how I recently took up running.

It’s also what took me to the wrestling room at Jay County High School on Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday completed my fourth season covering high school wrestling, and after watching hundreds of matches during that time, the thought “Hey, I can do that!” popped into my head.

Well, I can’t.

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Column: Line Drives — Being in right spot is half the battle

[This is my column in the Dec. 29 issue of The Commercial Review.]

“Awesome picture.”

“Great photo.”

“Perfect shot.”

Those are just a few of the comments I’ve gotten in the last couple years on photos I’ve taken.

But I’ll admit: Getting those pictures has more to do with Lady Luck than it does my abilities as a photographer.

Half the battle behind a good sports photo is being in the right place at the right time.

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New Me Journey — From a challenge to a lifestyle; the ultimate milestone

It started with a challenge.

It continues as a lifestyle.

As of this afternoon, 349 days after I weighed 282.4 pounds, 646 days since I weighed 301 pounds, I have reached the ultimate milestone.

My weight begins with the number 1.

In less than a year’s time, the New Me Journey is complete.

When I stepped on the scale today and saw what it said, I had to take a step back for a second. There’s no way it was right.

So I stepped on it once more. The number stayed the same.

I gave it another try, just to make sure it was accurate.

Third reading … no change at 199.2 pounds.

I’ve done it.

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My first-place photos

It’s quite the challenge coming up with the right words.

Honored. Excited. Relieved.

Those are just a few.

But the most important feeling — humbled.

At the Hoosier State Press Association Newsroom Seminar and Better Newspaper Contest awards luncheon today in Indianapolis, I had four photographs receive awards; three earned first place and one was second place. One of my first-place photos was selected as the Division 3 (Dailies with circulation less than 6,000) representative for photo of the year. While I did not receive that honor, it is still pretty darn cool to come away with three first-place awards and even be considered a finalist.

After winning best feature story last year, I was shut out this year as a writer. Honestly, though, that doesn’t matter.

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Column: Line Drives — Running might be addicting

[This is my column in the Dec. 1 issue of The Commercial Review.]

“You’re addicted,” he said to me, as we stood in the produce section of a local grocery store.

His statement didn’t spark a verbal response; just a smile and a little bit of a blush.

“You’ll start trying something new for more of a challenge,” he continued.

I couldn’t bring myself to agree with him at that moment. But of all people, he knows what he’s talking about.

An avid runner himself, Donald Gillespie has watched the progress I’ve made over the course of the last 11 months.

There was once a time I wouldn’t dare run on a treadmill, let alone run on the streets of Portland and in multiple 5K races.

But I just can’t let go of that one word Donald said to me on Monday.

“Addicted.”

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Column: Line Drives — Keep an eye open for runners

[This is my column in the Oct. 13 issue of The Commercial Review.]

There are less than seven months to go until my half marathon.

I wrote last month that August wasn’t the greatest in terms of my training. At least, it didn’t feel that way, as I logged 52.16 miles during those 31 days.

Compared to September, the previous month was much better.

I managed only 35.4 miles in September. That just includes time spent on the road or on a treadmill; it doesn’t account for the distances ran while playing softball or basketball a handful of times a week.

But, in September I did run my fastest time for a 5K race — I completed the Hudson Family Park 5K on Sept. 10 in 29 minutes, 56.9 seconds. Slightly more than two weeks later I ran 2 miles in under 20 minutes for the first time.

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New Me Journey — One more step

pic“Running from the past, toward a better future … one step at a time.” – me

On the last day of August, I wrote that I had reached a milestone of hitting the 60-pound mark for total weight lost.

Here I am, with 30 days later, with more good news:

Chalk up another 10 pounds.

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