Only You Should Define You; The Aging Youthful Dude’s View

It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog, and I thought I would share my thoughts on how I let others define me for too long. What do I mean by this? Don’t let what others think, say or do determine what YOU do, or who you are!! Be strong, and do what you want. Set your sights on your vision, and don’t let others sway you. Let me share a little about my growing up.

What got me thinking along these lines is a while back, I made contact with a girl on Facebook who was an older sister to a friend of mine in school. She was a year older, and let me just say she was HOT??? She was one of the best looking girls in the school. Great looking, popular, lots of friends!!! I remember one time at my friend’s house, and as we walked in the backyard, there she was, laying out in the sun, in a bikini that was pretty dang small and didn’t hide much!! That vision stayed with me for a very long time. So, back to present, and she and I were messaging back and forth, she says that I was her dream date back in high school. Well, back in high school I didn’t feel I was much to look at, was not all that as you would say, not the best athlete, although I tried hard. I wasn’t popular and I wasn’t in any one clique. I was kind of a mix of jock, burnout and nerd. Anyway, to have one of the hottest girls in my school say that was pretty eye opening. I let people put me down a lot back then, was bullied pretty bad physically for a time, and just never seemed to fit in. I didn’t think much of myself because I listened and believed what others said or acted to me.

Boxing was my answer to being bullied when I was younger, to get my frustration out in a controlled way.
My answer to being bullied when I was younger. Boxing, to get out the frustration in a controlled, healthy way.

On top of that, sports, which I loved, were never performed good enough. I always got “you should have done this”, or you “should have done it that way”.  NEVER did I hear “good game” or  “way to go”. Whatever I did I was told it was just never good enough.

Another oldie but goodie...circa 1980?

Because I let others define who I was, I never was the person I could have been. Jump ahead 25 years: I raced sled dogs for 35 years, and set as one of my goals to win the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. I ran my first BG Marathon in 1985, not really knowing what the heck I was doing. After that, due to some changes in my life, I was out of the sport until 1990, when I ran the 6 dog Beargrease and a couple other smaller races. After that, I started racing the Marathon again in 1992, and ran it every year until 2010, except for 2002, when I was up in Alaska at the Iditarod, 2004, when Mary ran the Marathon, and 2009, when Mary and Michelle Ethun ran our dogs in the BG mid distance race.

I ran the marathon 16 times, never finishing out of the top ten, but having to scratch a few times. Mary ran in 2004 and the following year, I took back the reins and drove the team to victory!! I finally won the race I tried and dreamed of winning for so many years. MY joy and happiness was to be short lived. I listened to one musher, (sorry, but kind of an asshole) tell others “Big deal, he won the race, who was in it anyway”. Then, a couple days after the race, I get a letter from a family member pretty much taking what was left  of my joy and wind out of my sails!  I let these two people take away one of the biggest moments of my life.

Mark Black: Who Says a big guy can't win the Beargrease Marathon
My icy smile after winning the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in 2005. It was short-lived because I let the words of others affect me.

Since then, I still have a hard time not listening to the naysayer, but I’m working on not letting it affect me. It’s hard to do sometimes, but we just have to let them say and do what they want and try not to let it affect us. WE are not their problem. THEY are their problem. It is pretty easy to look back and see so many times I let others define me, or change the outcome of something happening in my life. It still happens today, doing the Strongman competitions and all the heavy lifting. There are those who say I’m too old, or don’t have the right build, or “I just don’t like you lifting all that heavy stuff”. What I’m learning to do is say to myself “Sorry, but it ain’t your decision, and it ain’t your life”. I ain’t gonna let what others think and sway me from what I want to do anymore. When people say things against what I am doing, it makes me want to do more, lift harder and heavier. I am going through a few health issues right now that are affecting my workouts, but I will not let that, or the naysayers define me. I will keep on keeping on, keep after my goals, even if I run into a road block, I will become the road crew, get it fixed and keep going.

No one else...only you should define YOU!

Oh yeah, and I’ll keep remembering that hot big sister in the bikini!

Guilt-Free Waffles From The Aging Youthful Kitchen

I’m not joking…guilt-free waffles are here!! For months I had been seeing all these amazing pictures on my social media feed about protein waffles, but didn’t have a waffle-maker. Eventually the constant drooling on my phone got the better better of me so I headed to Wally World in search of an inexpensive one in case it wasn’t something I liked.

With the first recipe I tried, I was impressed with how the waffle turned out looks-wise, the taste,  another story. It was dry and kinda chewy and I was pretty happy I had only spent less than $20 on the waffle iron. However, my second try at making them, I tweaked my awesome Banana Walnut protein pancakes and it was a massive success! They are seriously SO good I don’t need butter or syrup! (But IF I do, I measure…1 tbsp. of grass-fed butter and 1 tsp. of local syrup.

Guilt free waffles are here!

I love this simple recipe:

2 eggs

1/4 c. Dry Whole Organic Oats

1/2 Scoop Vanilla IsaLean Protein Powder

1 tsp. Organic Cinnamon

1 tsp. Homemade Vanilla extract

1/2 Medium (1/3 large) banana, sliced

2 tbsp. Finely chopped walnuts

Directions: Heat up a Belgian waffle iron to medium-high. Place all ingredients EXCEPT walnuts in a blender or magic bullet and blend for about a minute until oats are finely chopped and banana is blended. When iron is hot, melt  tbsp. Of coconut oil on bottom and slowly pour mixture on iron, starting from the outside working your way in. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts before closing. Let cook approximately 3 minutes until waffle easily slides off the iron. Move to plate, let cool a little and enjoy!

 

The only thing different between this and my pancake recipe is added protein powder, and the banana are in the batter. I like this recipe better as the waffle iron takes out the awkward pancake flipping factor as well as the waffle tastes better reheated a day or two later!

Next time you break out the waffle iron, give these bad boys a try. You may never say “Let Go My EGGO” ever again!