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At the end of our second vacation week I just weighed in again at 265. Not great but atleast I didn’t gain anymore. Also of note, I finished last week’s post by saying I was going for a run. Well, that run felt like it was trying to kill me; my legs did great but my lungs felt like I had asthma. I think it was a combo of cold, dry air and me being a little sick. My runs this week have gone much better.

Well, week 6 is a doozy. It finds us smack in the middle of vacation where we are eating differently and have little opportunity for exercise. I weighed 265 at a 2:30 pm weigh in and I am about to go get a quick run in. On a positive note, last week right before we left I made it down to 261. But now I’m back up. Oh well, off to run.

This week was sort of a rough week. I was only able to get to the gym once, and I spent Thursday having one of the most unhealthy eating days ever (even though I miraculously only went over by about 150 calories). I started today with a massive 2 hour dawn patrol surf session with a few friends for Craig’s birthday. I weighed in after I got back from that (and ate breakfast) and posted an encouraging 263lbs. So after 5 weeks I have lost 4 pounds (close to my goal of 1 a week) and have about 26 or so to go (though my technical goal means I have 23 to go, I would like to end up down below 240). We are heading on vacation Sunday and that should make this whole process a little more difficult but “Lose it” is really helping a ton and I hope to keep it up.

Today, October 14 is Coach John Wooden’s 99th birthday and I thought I would link up a cool article from the LA times for all my readers (basically my family and maybe 2 friends).  The article gives 99 facts about Wooden on his 99th birthday, and it is certainly inspiring.

I also thought I would relay my own personal John Wooden story.  My freshmen year at UCLA I was in the midst of my first college football season, dealing with the pressures and excitement of actually playing but also the difficulties and frustrations of being an 18 year old, 235lb fullback (for the non-football readers, that’s a pretty small fullback if you aren’t 21 or 22 and super strong).  I was away from my family which wasn’t easy but I was blessed by having my folks come down to a couple games and meeting them up in the Northwest for a couple games.  Anyway, I was far from home, learning new things, living my dream and being blessed to do so.  One of the new friends I made was a Bay Area based quarterback named Brian.  He had played his high school ball at De La Salle high School in Concord and was blessed to play with many great players (one of whom, Maurice Jones-Drew, ended up playing with us at UCLA the next year).  Brian was also privy to be the son of then-Oakland-Raiders-head-coach Bill Callahan (these were the good years when they went to the super bowl).

Brian’s dad had had the opportunity to spend some time with Coach Wooden and was so impressed by the man that he set up a meeting for his son with the coach at the coach’s own home.  Brian, being the nice guy and incredible friend that he was, decided to invite me and an older receiver, Tab Perry and the three of us spent a fall Sunday afternoon at coach Wooden’s.  We arrived at his place and one could immediately see that it was completetly filled with various awards.  It was to the point that his house almost looked messy because he was the recipient of so many awards.

The afternoon was full of Coach Wooden, hearing stories about coaching Alcindor (Kareem) and Walton, about the many conference championships, about the National Championships and mostly about his wife.  I think the impression I was most left with was the incredible love he and his wife shared.  Even after her death he would write her a letter every week (I would bet he probably still does).  This is a man who is deeply in love with his wife.  He also is a man who practically lives a life of faith in God.  He shared about his weekly church attendance and showed us all the message bulletins he had saved, he also told us about a Christian book he was co-authoring where he would share some meditations and the other guy also tied them in spiritually as well.  I remember leaving and feeling incredibly inspired and blessed, knowing that this was one of those rare momemts in my life I could never forget.

I also remember my sophomore year, when we were preparing for our bowl game and one of only a few hundred people still at campus.  They were dedicating the court at the opening of the 2003/2004 season against a good Michigan State team.  Our whole team was at the game to see the court dedicated and so were probably hundreds of former Wooden players.  All the greats (the aforementioned Walton and Abdul-Jabar included) came out to support their coach and see UCLA’s court receive it’s proper name; even Magic Johnson, though he never played for coach Wooden, came out and supported.  Again, in the court’s naming (it’s the “Nell and John Wooden Court”) everyone can plainly see this humble, great man’s great love for his wife.  The night was also a testament to Wooden’s powerful and lasting influence in the lives of so many.

So Happy Birthday, Coach Wooden.  I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I, unlike so many countless others, cannot forget you and the incredible mark of your life and character.  Here’s to you.

This week is one of highs and lows. Earlier in the week I consistently weighed 265, though today, after a rough Thursday I weighed 267. Thursday was rough because I think I am getting sick and for some reason I could not feel full after eating my healthier dinner. Anyway, sans that rough spot yesterday I gave been doing well and have already adjusted my weight to 265 so my calories are also adjusted. Hope the others are faring better on this Friday. Aloha

Today at church Sean preached. Since he normally leads worship he asked me to lead for him while he preaches and to bring a couple of our super talented high-schoolers with me. I was very excited to do this and so I agreed. We practiced on Thursday and warmed up early this morning and played through our opening set nicely. Then it happened (this moment will probably forever stick in my mind as it’s that embarrassing).

I should mention, that although Sean has previously given me the lead for a couple songs while he and I have ledworship together, this is the first time I was leading the whole shebang by myself. I should also mention that Sean’s preaching topic today was, in fact, worship itself. I should also mention that we celebrated communion this Sunday and that, as usual, we do that after the message during the final worship set. The perfect storm is brewing, you see.

Anyway, we went to play a contemplative-Crowder-esque All Creatures. We play this in “C” (Crowder plays it in “D”) and it’s great to have an acoustic guitar play capoed on the 5th fret in “G” to add a nice high-end bounce to the song. I was responsible for that, and also for starting the song out with Brian, our talented HS pianist/guitarist. The only problem was that I was capoed on the 4th fret and actually playing in “B”. I could immediately hear the grating and assumed I was at fault, so I had to stop, ask our bassist, Joanne, for a “C,” in embarrassment plainly see my fault, and capo one fret further. At this point there is nothing I can do to save face, anyone who can hear notes knows that the guitarist and the pianist were playing in different keys and everyone watched the guitarist humbly correct himself. All I could do at that point was say, “Sorry, let’s try that again,” and then take it from there,

I know you’re thinking that sounds too similar to many people’s nightmares and it was pretty bad, though not mortifying. You see, while Sean had been preaching on worship, he had not been preaching on forms and styles but rather the heart of worship; the heart of surrender, adoration for and glorying of God (specifically NOT for music itself) and all these other incredible impactful things that made every brother and sister in the congregation very forgiving and patient and focused on God and not on my terrible rookie mistake.

On top of all that, the set finished and I was getting ready to leave the stage when Beth, one of our sweet church secretaries bounded onto the stage, gave me a big kiss on the cheek and nearly tearing up told me how wonderful the worship was, and how great it was to see our teens leading worship. And again I was reminded in such a powerful way that God doesn’t want or need perfection in our service, rather God wants faithfulness. God doesn’t need me to lead worship like Crowder or Tomlin or Stanfill, God wants me to lead worship like imperfect Groves, and to point others to God in my weakness and imperfection.

I am so blessed by today; by my opportunity to lead our body, by the message I heard, by the humility of imperfection, and by the gut-wrenching grace and heart of God that Beth showed to me (and so many more, its a lifestyle for her).

It’s Friday morning weigh-in for week 3 and I’m celebrating with my americano this morning because I finally lost a pound! After another pretty good week where I stayed under every day except Saturday and maybe Sunday I am down to 266lbs. I am really finding the lose it app very useful. As I entered my new weight it has already adjusted my daily calorie budget.

I also have figured out a couple of great breakfasts to start my day with through the week that are pretty complete but only hit about 400 or 500 calories (sadly these do not include loco moco). I have been alternating my weights work doing chest, triceps, back squat and hamstrings while my other day works biceps, back, hang cleans and quads. I try to start each workout with at least 15 minutes of high-level (for me atleast) cardio. I also scored a nice two-hour surf on Friday with Sean. An FYI: I have a goal of becoming proficient at surfing by January 2010 (my 2009 new years resolution), I’m getting closer but still have much work to do before I would consider myself proficient, so I need to surf alot these next three months. Happy aloha Friday to all.

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