EA SPORTS Active 2 just kicked my butt #Easactive

Dec 13, 2010 by

I just did my official first workout with the EA SPORTS Active 2.

With my weight and a right shoulder that never really healed right after a roller blade accident in 2002, I cannot do push ups. 

And at times in an “EASY” full body workout, I thought there were other things I couldn’t do, too.  But alas, I stuck to it and 460 calories and 20-some minutes later, I finished.

There were times I felt like my heart was going to explode, my lunch was going to come up, and the lights were going dark, but I kept going.  My dad said long ago when I was a youth runner, that he’d seen this determination way down deep inside me that when physical challenges like this came my way, out of somewhere I dug down deep and overcame them.

I’ve still got it.

With my asthma, there were times when I felt like I was going to cough up a lung and they were on fire from the burn, but that meant what I was doing was pushing me, pushing me in a way I need to be pushed more often.  My heart rate was up to 160 at some points, but averaged about 125-130 beats per minute.

The running was okay.  The mountain boarding, which I thought was going to be hard like roller blading was in the original version, was actually fun.  For some reason, the lunges have never been hard for me, and the cool down exercises helped slow me down just like they’re supposed to do.

Original vs Active 2

I’ve been involved with EA SPORTS Active for a year and a half now.  Version I was a challenge.  More Workouts was a big improvement.  Active 2 is a whole new product, really.  From the arm bands that monitor heart rate, the leg bands that no longer require the nunchuck, and the vastly improved exercises, Active 2 is a much more robust product than what we were first given to use.  And like you might know, I lost almost 50 pounds using the first version.  If I can stick with Active 2, pounds are going to start falling off me.

If you have a Wii and are looking for a solid exercise program for you, your spouse or the whole family, this is the best thing I have yet to use.

A Note To The Guys

Yeah, it might seem macho to put on airs that a Wii game is only for the girls, but strap the arm band, leg band and a Wiimote in your hand and give it a go.   Oh, and don’t talk too much ahead of time about how wimpy it might seem to be doing this in your living/game room and not at the gym.  I don’t want you having to eat too many words after your butt-kicking workout.

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Tonight’s visible Moon Ring in DFW!!!

Oct 23, 2010 by

Here you go fokes.  I caught it just before it got too big for my lens.  I wish I could have had a little more time to play around with apertures and shutter speeds.   This was shot at 10 seconds, F/10 with an 18 mm lens. Anyone else get a shot?  You can learn more about Moon Rings here.

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‘These red curtains look like a girl’s house’

Sep 16, 2010 by

I’ve had one of the most joyous nights in a while.  Getting ready for the Modern Media Man Summit the past five months has totally consumed my time and focus.

Going on the trip to and from Atlanta with Ron Mattocks, helped bring me back to what’s most important, my kids.

Tonight I get to see my three daughters thanks to the incredible abuses of the Texas family law system.  But we will make the time the best possible.

But last night, I got to spend time with my 6-year-old daughter from my second marriage.  She and I have not spent much time together since March and after just 16 hours with her, (Of course 9.5 of them she was sleeping) I can’t describe how I miss it.

To my 6-year-old daughter, I am her daddy.  That’s as much as I want to say about that.  I’m what she knows as a dad.  And my own three know me the same, they know that dad is going to be there when others fail them.   But that’s another story. I’m also pining over the loss of time with my three boys from my second wife.

So what did my daughter do and say to warm my heart last night?  Here’s a sampling:

“These red curtains (in living room) look like a girl’s house.” They’re maroon with tan shears.  Seriously.  

“Daddy, how come your tummy hangs down?” Yes, I know, I need to lose weight.

What did she want for dinner?  “Chicken wings.” Oh, and a dollar for games, and then another dollar for games because she “wasted it on the toy game and it took her money.” A dollar was all she got.

Holding her broomstick horse as we drove to school top down in the convertible this morning, “This is my horse and your horse is the car.  Giddy up.”

And then when she got out of the car in front of the school, she did something my other three won’t do any longer.  She turned around, I blew her a kiss and she blew one back.  What a shame our kids have to grow out of where this is okay to do.

It was great to feel like an active dad again and to know that no matter what all is going on between the adults in the equation, there’s still an incredible love for me in her heart.  And it’s a love that is just as unconditional as I have between my own daughters.  We’re all struggling through some tough times, but when it comes to the end of the day, I still have red curtains and I don’t think they look like a girls’ house.

And now she’s also an Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros‘ fan.  We kept playing “Home” over and over.  She kept trying to whistle the main tune.  It was priceless.

“Home is whenever I’m with you” never sounded so sweet.

One last thing, in the whole time I was with her, she never said the word, “Bagina.” What a relief.

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EA SPORTS ACTIVE: I’m still a FAT ASS, but it’s not your fault; It’s MINE

Aug 11, 2010 by

I have one of the best weight loss products I’ve ever used: It’s called EA SPORTS Active.  More than a year ago, I set out to lose 150 pounds.


Sure, I can give you a list of reasons why that is the case: Child custody battle, change of job, separation from my wife, starting a new business, working around the clock here on the computer.   Those are some very hefty problems.

But the problem isn’t those things, the problem is ME.

On countless mornings, (well, I suppose I could add them up,) I thought about working out.  But then the phone started ringing, or I just didn’t feel like getting sweaty. Or, or, or.


So, today is a new day and I’ve tried to start all over again.  I went to church Sunday for the first time in many weeks.  I’ve got things turning around in my life.  I’ve set up boundaries to protect me from mean or unnecessary intrusions.

I started out on a low intensity workout today.  I also skipped in-line skating.  (I’ve never really been able to do that without the trainer getting frustrated with me.)


I really don’t.  Who do you know who does?

But I am, and I have to stop looking in the mirror and saying, “Everything looks proportional.”  It’s not, Donny.  You’re FAT.

Last night I had grilled chicken, steamed brown rice and green beans for dinner.  I ate more than two hours before bed.  I don’t feel weighed down and lethargic today.  I went to bed at 10 p.m and was up at 7 a.m.


I’ve asked for this before.  But I need it more than ever.  I weigh more now than I did last year when I first began EA SPORTS Active.  And you need to know, it’s not their fault.  When I was actively using the product, I dropped 45 lbs.  Diverticulitus and all the other stuff that’s happened over the past year just caused me to eat, eat and eat.  Even when I wasn’t hungry.

I’ve got to get my weight down.  It’s killing me.  LITERALLY.

Please, let’s re-establish a support network for each other.  Let’s tell each other what he had to eat today.  Post your menu or calorie consumption in the comments and we’ll all know whose being good and who needs some talking to.  That’s accountability.  That’s what I need most from you, and what I offer you, as well.

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June 24, 2010: One of my best days alive, ever; Especially as a dad

Jun 24, 2010 by

If you’ve been following our adventure over on www.TraverseAdventures.com this week as we’ve traveled from DFW on Monday to Marquette, Michigan on Wednesday, you’ll know that we’ve been having a ball, but what’s just as important, my girls and I are connecting in a new and special way, and an added benefit, we’re now growing closer to my dad, who has been with us on the journey the past two days.

Safe v. Unsafe

We’ve also had a couple of rules this trip, the biggest one, we’re using “Safe words” and “Safe practices” and keeping things, emotions, words, and practices that would not be emotionally uplifting or “safe” from joining us on the trip.  And the contrast in the two concepts has been eye-opening.  Now sisters, particularly twin sisters who have been competitive since even before birth (Reagan, the older one by seven minutes, had been Baby B up until about 24 hours before birth.  She shoved Haley out of the way then and largely has been doing it ever since.)  that gets to be a little challenging at times, but we’re really handling it quite well.

That’s also meant we’ve cut our contact with Ex1 down considerably and haven’t even bothered to even think much about Ex2.  For as books about “Safe People,” “Safe Words,” and “Safe Emotions” clearly have pointed out to me how they fall into none of the three categories whatsoever, and the more they spew “Unsafe words, emotions, etc,” well, I find that I tend to respond in emotional ways that are “unsafe,” too.  (Now when I say that, I don’t mean that in a physical sense.  I mean that purely in the sense that I stoop to their levels and that’s something I’m really trying to correct in my life.)

Safe.  It’s been such a more peaceful way to live as I seek to find new friends, new practices, and new emotions that all are what a counselor, psychiatrist, etc would deem “safe.”  Putting the abusive criticisms, the irrational behavior, the anger, the anxieties of others behind me has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.  Just getting finally to the point where I brought myself to realize, “what I’m enduring isn’t normal,” has been one of the healthiest things I’ve ever accomplished.  Safe.  Safe.  Safe.

Camp Claxton

In 1976, my dad bought 40 acres of land here in Northern Michigan.  It was out in the middle of nowhere then and it remains in the middle of nowhere today. Once, before we were transferred from KI Sawyer AFB in 1978 out to Castle AFB in the San Juaquin Valley of California, dad brought myself and my three brothers out the the land to shoot.  I remember that day vividly and have longed to return up here since we moved away so long ago. 

For the past couple of years, I’ve been wanting to bring the girls up here, but because of the marriage I was in, that was just impossible. Now, thanks to the generosity of Chevy and GM, they’ve loaned me a red jewel 2010 Chevrolet Traverse for a week and a half and we’ve come north in it.  (You can read more about that over on TraverseAdventures.com.)

So today, we brought my three girls, Chandler, 13, and the twins, who will be 11 next month, out to the land.  Back in 1976 there’s no way I could have even dreamed that 34 years later I’d be bringing my own daughters here.  And today, we brought guns; a .22 and dad’s revolver which shoots .357 and .38 shells.

Now hiking from the car into the heart of our land, the girls got apprehensive.  All that excitement about going to the land and shooting guns got eclipsed by, “you mean there really are bears out here?”  “We saw that red fox run across the road a few miles away.  Are there more of them?  Are they going to get us?”

And then when we got to the camp itself and it got time to shoot, there was a clear apprehension among the three of them.  Finally, Reagan, (remember above, the aggressive/competitive one who pushes her sisters out of the way?) stepped forward once again.  Haley, had decided to go first and then was afraid of the sounds, holding the weapon, and then the recoil, which if you know anything about a .22, there isn’t one.

And so the shooting began.  Reagan, with my dad helping support the gun, and even her anxious during the first clip of five shots, still wasn’t quite sure of it all. But after the second or third shot ….

Then followed Chandler, my 13-year-old.  Her new motto is, “Hi, my name is Chandler.  Chandler knows how to shoot a gun.”  [And you know, her being 13 and beautiful, I don’t think I’m all that much bothered in her having that as a motto, particularly around boys. 🙂 ]

And then Haley jumped to it.  In all, I’d say that each daughter shot the .22 about 10 rotations.  Each time, their confidence, aim and excitement grew.  And I don’t mean just about shooting guns.  I mean about growing up and being strong, safe women.

By the time we walked away from our land, and there were protests as we did, (though Chandler was clinging to the fact that she only had one or two bars on her iPhone) all of them, and even Chandler, had been converted.  They now understood why their dad always tells them that this was one of the greatest places on earth to be a boy.

And as we stood/sat/shot there in the woods, the trees were blowing in the winds.  The rush across the leaves was like a full symphony.  The temperature was about 64 degrees and the sun was shining.  And in all of that, I heard the whispers of time, the pains from the wounds of my failed relationships, rushing away from me as though the sounds of the leaves were bathing me in the comfort of a life I once knew.  And in that sound, too, was the sound of a new time of life for my three girls.  They looked different as they walked back to the Traverse.

Before we left, each of them was holding the .22 on their own.  They were aiming on their own.  And each of them was hitting the target a good 20 paces away.

Today was a day of safety.  Dad taught them gun safety.  The girls gained new confidence in themselves.  And they learned to be free of the daily grinds of a big city and to find the comforts in the beauty of nature.

There are a dozen other points I could make about today, and thanks to this week-long trip from Chevrolet, I’ll have more adventures to write about tomorrow and the next day.  But I’m exhausted at the moment from the emotions, the safe ones, of today’s adventures.  The girls are asleep, no doubt dreaming of being marksmen and adventure seekers in the trails and woods of Northern Michigan; just as their dad did almost 35 years ago.


I don’t know what all we’ll wind up doing tomorrow.  Laughing White Fish Falls?   Sugar Loaf Mountain?  We’ve still not all been to Presque Isle.  It doesn’t matter.  Each day this week has been more adventuresome than the one before it and each has been just as amazing and memorable.

For all the things my girls will endure as they grow older into their teens and then into adulthood, today is one of those times that will forever remain etched into their memories, but as importantly, it’s now a part of their fabric of life.   That makes me so proud for them, and today, as they conquered their fears and stepped forward with more and more gusto as the morning progressed, I grew more and more proud of them for as their dad, and as my dad did me, and now even to his own grand daughters, instilled a new excitement for life in them and no matter what happens, no one shall be able to take that away.

I end this post with a photo, which if you look at the one above leading into the woods, and compare it to the one leading out, I don’t know if you can see it, but I see three very strong and proud daughters.

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