Sunday, September 29, 2013

New Mantra - Weekly Check In Sept. 28 - Before and After

Five Months of Progress 

Every step toward a goal requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; along with the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
                                                                                                                                  Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Good Day all.  It was another great week for the Future Former Fat Man on my path to become an Ironman.  I lost another 2.5 pounds (now down 70+ pounds) and set new personal best for Swimming Distance in a week and a month and swimming pace in a week.  I even had a teen in the lane next to me tell me I was fast.  I told him he was just slow (just kidding - but I thought it.) I also picked up the Couch to 5k where I left off (because it was hurting my knees) at week three and the workout was easy.  Aerobically I feel I could have gone a lot longer.  I will continue the C25K doing two days a week on the Elliptical and one day on the road until the Tulsa Run at the end of October.  I also had my best Wednesday night bike ride. I improved my pace on the bike this week by a lot!

The quote above reminds me of the quote, "You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable." which has been my mantra as I push myself each day a little harder or a little further.  This quote will become a fresh mantra;  "tireless exertion and passionate concern", "sacrifice and struggle" it is a part of this process. I really needed that reminder this week.  I will work for the next four weeks on sacrificing some of my food wants to hopefully come closer to my race weight goal, because I just saw the elevation change in the last mile of the race.  The last part of the race is all uphill, not steep but uphill none the less. So let the struggle begin!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Friends and Family - Weekly Check In Sept 21

My Mother-in-Law celebrated her 75th birthday this week.  Saturday we held a party for her in which most of her extend family and many friends past and present came to share in her special day.  It speaks to the the wonderful lady she is quick to laugh, always looking for a way to help another human being, she is a great example to my girls.  I am so happy she is part of my life.  Happy Birthday Harriett!

This week I moved a little closer to my goals and hopefully making it to 75 years young myself.

Here's my week:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Help From Will Rogers - Weekly Checkin September 14th

When I was a kid I had a shirt that said, "Will Rogers never met The Boz."  My dad told me why it was funny.  The Boz was a big jerk and Will Rogers once was quoted a saying, "I never met a man I didn't like." As many of you know, I love quotes and Will Rogers has some of my favorites.  So in looking for inspiration this week I went in search of Mr. Rogers (Will that is) quotes.  Here are a few that spoke to me this week.  Thank you Will for helping me refocus!

Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.
 Will Rogers

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
Will Rogers 

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
Will Rogers

A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.
Will Rogers 

I did not have a good week with the food.  I ate the WRONG things and too much of the wrong things.  Big problem this week I did not track my food intake.  Since starting this journey I would eat the WRONG things but by tracking I new that I had a bad day and made up for it in my workouts or adjusted the next day or two to make up for it.  This week I failed in that endeavor and therefore we had a gain. In attempts past this would have derailed me and put me back several weeks, because I would have beat myself up, said this is impossible and next thing you know that pound and half would have been ten, then twenty, but not now.  The       Ironman philosophy has entered my soul.  I will not give up.  I will continue to    train and improve.  The training probably is probably what kept this from being a 3 or 4 pound gain this week. I am refocused on the goal at hand.  This week food        tracking will resume.  I cannot function without this process in my life.  I know this.  There will be other stumbles along the way, but continuing this lifestyle and the support of you are keeping my eye on the prize, and my family and I will be    better for it.                                                                                                     

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday Tip Review - Aqua Source Kayenne Swim Goggles

Have I mentioned I love swimming.  I do! It's my new favorite thing to do along my journey to the Ironman.  It now beats out racquetball and my recumbent bike as my favorite cardio experience.  Well basketball is still first, but swimming is a very, very very close 2nd.  Since I am swimming so much I have become a goggle aficionado.  I have tried various speedo, TYR and Aqua tech brands.  Some were OK.  Most were uncomfortable (I think my head may be shaped weird) and a lot of them leaked (again the weird shape?)
I believe I have found the solution to my problem.  The Aqua Sphere Keyenne goggles.


Folks these are the most comfortable goggles I have ever found.  They are a little pricey, but well worth the cost, ranging from $18 to $35 depending on where you buy and which style you need, but did I mention they are super comfortable.  I have had them leak only once and that was user error.  I had folded the seal under.  The comfort comes from the nose piece being one solid piece across the bridge of the nose.  That is where most other goggle go wrong for me they are hard to adjust and most of the time still pinch or rub across the nose.  The Keyenne are also super easy to adjust.  There is a small button where the strap meets the frame.  When putting them on you push these buttons and pull the strap to make them super loose and then simple pull back on the straps until they seal. Perfect fit every time.  Not to tight or loose.  When finished just push the buttons on the side and the strap releases and they come off super easy.  Now that I have moved outside some to open water I will soon be investing in my second pair, mirrored this time to block out the sun's ray.  The Keyenne also come with a nice case to store the goggles in.  I believe this allows them to stay in better shape longer than just hanging out loose in my gym bag.

So if you are in the market for swim goggles. I highly recommend the Aqua Sphere Keyenne!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My New Hero - Weekly Checkin - Sept 7

I have a new hero! When I think I can't go any farther in any endeavor in life I will now remember this seen, and I will persist.  It is already paying dividends. On the bike and pool I set weekly records this week. Which with my ugly eating this week still allowed me to have a loss.  Prior to this week, I was, at times, a little overwhelmed by the goal I have set, but now it seems easy in comparison.
So to my new hero!  Thank you for the inspiration and motivation.

For those of you who were in a cave last week the above picture is Diana Nyad. She is the first person to swim from Cuba to the United States (110 miles in less than 60 hours) without a shark cage. This was her 5th attempt.  Four of the attempts came after the age of 60.  You can get the full story here!

I paled by comparison this week, but I will carry on!!

Here's my week:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Letter to Mr. Greene - Editor of Tulsa World in Response To Editorial Regarding Teacher Raises in Oklahoma!

The following letter is an email that I sent in response to the following article. 

Wayne Greene: What taxpayers should get for $2,000 in teacher raises, and why it's hard not to love Markwayne Mullin

Dear Mr. Greene,

As a dedicated Oklahoma teacher, I am offended by your assertions in your article from the Tulsa World  entitled “What taxpayers should get for $2,000 in teacher raises, and why it's hard not to love Markwayne Mullin.” Your article prompted me to put pencil to paper.  Here is what I came up with so that you will know that the proposed $2000 dollar raise is not even a drop in the bucket of what Oklahoma teachers deserve. 

Below you will find a graph that details my last week.  This is a typical week for me.

Contract hours
 (Includes  15 minutes before students arrive and 20 minutes after students depart)
Prep for beginning of the day (average arrival time of at least 15 minutes earlier than required)
After School Meetings (This week I had three)
Outside planning/studying/researching/emails/parent contact/tutoring

Attending sporting events/chaperoning dances/dance recitals/rodeos, etc…; I do this to make connections with my kids. I know not every teacher does this, but A LOT do!


Using the above graphic. I devoted approximately 50 hours to my profession last week.  So for argument’s sake let’s take away the making connections line and the after-school meetings and the prep for the beginning of the day. I know I go above and beyond in this respect, but let’s be clear I believe most teachers do as well. That still leaves us with approximately 45 hours per week.

Now let’s look at the math:

Based on my current pay of $43,000 (this is total package not salary) divided by 180 days  with contract hours of 7 hours and 20 minutes per day I make approximately $32.60/hour

40 hours per week x $32.60/hr = $1340/week

Multiply that by 36 weeks of School = $46,944

If you add in 5 hours of “Overtime” with time and a half, which is standard practice in most organizations,

5 hours per week x $48.90/hr = $244/week
Multiply that by 36 school weeks = $ 8802

That comes to a grand total $55,700.  

If I were to work in Fort Worth, TX or Fayetteville, AR this is where I would be in the salary schedule.

Please reference below – 16 years of experience with a Masters:
Fort Worth Public Schools:

Fayetteville Public Schools: 

I reference these schools because I have seen our district lose at least five experienced and phenomenal classroom teachers to these districts within the last three years. Why? They are tired of being unvalued and brow-beaten by our State’s politicians.  

On top of this I volunteer two days a week to do cafeteria duty (my compensation- free lunch for the day) and have a week-long morning duty every four weeks that requires me to get to school even earlier to prep for the day.

Also, please consider this:  When I began teaching I was given a week of contract time to work in my room to prepare for students to come.  This year between required meetings and trainings I had exactly one half of one day of contract time to prep my classroom.  This does not mean I only took one half of a day.  I spent at least 40 hours getting ready over a two week period of time.  Fitting this prep time in between 10 days of training that I was required to attend to be current on district initiatives, by the way, I was compensated for those 10 days @ $50/day.  My average contract day is equal to $239/day.  By my math, “you” just received almost a $2000 dollar discount for my time.

On top of the above issues, my colleagues and I spend countless dollars of our own money on basic supplies as well, providing for students in need and a lack of our districts’ abilities to provide these supplies with the current level of funding from the state.  My wife (also a teacher) and I have averaged over $800 each year on our classroom the past three years.    
You also mention the raises should be tied to Merit rewards.  This is great on paper but is too difficult a concept to implement.  There is no fair way to do this.  We as public educators are like the Statue of Liberty, give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.  If a student comes to us hungry, abused, with little knowledge of the English language or with little support from home (whether due to lack of resources or knowledge) we as teachers love them and educated them despite these difficulties.  You should want your best teachers teaching the toughest students, but if you implement a merit pay system that good teacher is penalized by the system for taking on the tougher students, because our current system is based on meeting a criteria not growth of students. We, as teachers, should be the lamp beside the golden door of education for all students—not just the ones who are ready to top the scores of a standardized test.

By the way, under the current proposal I would rather not have the raise.  It does not make fiscal sense for our schools.  I believe the raise is more than needed but not at the expense of class size and putting our districts in fiscal dire straits. 

So please, Mr. Greene, don't ask what more you will get. I give you tremendous value for my current compensation. The proposed raise doesn't even begin to cover the current value we teachers give to the State of Oklahoma, especially considering that teachers have not had a true raise in at least 6 years.


Brian Davis, MEd. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

God Is Good or Why I Missed Foodie Friday! + Weekly Checkin

I knew this was going to be a tough week.  Because of a busy schedule and traveling for the holiday workouts were going to be shorter and/or non existent.  Then add in pizza and cake at a birthday party to boot.  I was going to have to tread lightly.  Then it became doubly hard.  Remember I'm a stress eater Ya'll!

Thursday afternoon on my planning period I was on my way to my wife's classroom to ask her a question. (yes we teach in the same building and it is wonderful)  As I came up the steps I saw her heading toward my room and followed whispering something that was probably not entirely school appropriate (hey, there were no students around and it wasn't really that bad).  She turned and I could see she was visibly shaken! Then I heard the words that made my heart sink to my toes. "Brian, Your mom has been in a bad wreck, Omi was with her.  Omi is fine, but they are transferring your mom by ambulance to the hospital."  Of course your mind races to the worse.  I called my sister who told me the details and it was sounding like it could be bad.  She had run off the side of the road and over corrected and flipped her truck 4 to 5 times.  She was responding to questions, on her own, but they were worried about her neck and head and internal bleeding.  Omi was perfect but they were going to have her checked out.  As a matter of fact when the Fire and Police arrived she was reading a book in her car seat like nothing had happened.  Anyone with small children needs to contact my sister and see what kind of car seat she has!!!!

I continued my day as best I could and prepared for a sub to take my class the next day.  Then miracle of miracles dad call.  Mom is bruised and will be sore, but there were no breaks or bleeds.  I told him I was heading down and he said that He knew it was momma and you want to see her, but you are coming tomorrow. You would get here till bedtime.  Just come with your family tomorrow as planned.

The next two days were filled with bad food choices.  I couldn't even tell you all because My Fitness Pal took a backseat as well.  Again I kept the volume of food lower than passed time in similar situations, but what I ate was not good, not good at all.

So there you go folks!  I will try to do two recipes next week to make up for the lost week, but miracles of miracles again even through this week I lost 4 pounds.  My short very intense workouts early in the week must have carried me through.  Thursday morning I swam 500 meter without touching a wall.  I now realize how much I am pushing off the wall because that was much harder than 800 m while touching the wall!

Here's my Week: