My New Walking Song By VaShawn Mitchell

I love love love this song. Hope you do too.

It’s official. My new walking song is Vashawn Mitchell’s ‘Nobody Greater’. It became my favorite a little over a week ago. Usually I walk with my little baby radio tuned to the Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS). The song that adds pep to my step and makes me forget I’m walking becomes my walking song. It’s as simple as that. Last month my walking song was John Legend’s ‘Tonight (Best You Ever Had)’. Believe it. Something about the music invigorated my soul.

Still, unlike ‘Nobody Greater’, Legend’s ‘Tonight…’ didn’t move me to throw my hands up in the air and dance my way up and down asphalt hills. Or trot on the gravel trails singing, “I looked all around, couldn’t find nobody, nobody greater than you,” at the top of my lungs. A jogger gave me the thumbs up. Guess he heard me as he headed my way. I waved with both hands and double-timed it down the trail, still singing loud enough to make the water fowl hasten their step.

Two songs could never be more different. I guess ‘Nobody Greater’ is spiritual, whereas ‘Tonight (Best You Ever Had) is secular, even Marvin Gayish if you will. Additionally, ‘Nobody Greater’ for whatever reason, makes me think about songs by Tracy Chapman, Bob Marley, Mary Mary, and Kirk Franklin all rolled into one.  There’s another song that’s a runner up to ‘Nobody Greater’ but I won’t get into it right now. I’ll just say it has a hint of Bluegrass flavoring.

I confess to an eclectic taste in music and nowhere near a connoisseur.  A song either moves me or it doesn’t. When I’m driving I listen to music. When I’m walking I listen to music. First thing in the morning I listen to music. When I’m reading whether it’s a book, newspaper, magazine, or some internet article, music has no place. I use music the way some men use women and vice-versa. I can’t read while I’m walking or driving, so I use music to get by. Does that make me a bad person – kidding. Right now ‘Nobody Greater’ is my favorite song to walk to.  Below are the lyrics to ‘Nobody Greater’. Try singing along. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do right now.

Lyrics to Nobody Greater:

 [Verse 1:]

I climbed up to the highest mountain

I looked all around, couldn’t find nobody

Went down into the deepest valley

Looked all around down there, couldn’t find nobody

I went across the deep blue sea

Couldn’t find one to compare… to your grace, your love, your mercy

Nobody greater… nobody greater than you

[Chorus]

Searched all over… couldn’t find nobody

I looked high and low… still couldn’t find nobody

Nobody greater… nobody greater no… nobody greater than you

[Verse 2:]

Nobody can heal… like you can

Oh most holy one you are the Great I Am

Awesome in all your ways and mighty is your hand

You are He who carried out redemption’s plan

You are He who carried out redemption’s plan

 [Chorus: x2]

Searched all over… couldn’t find nobody

I looked high and low… still couldn’t find nobody

Nobody greater… nobody greater… nobody greater than you

 Nobody greater… nobody greater… nobody greater than you [repeat, adlib and fade]

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The Beautiful Walking Experience

There is nothing like walking. In a country where you have to pay for water, air, and even Helium, which they say is running out, walking is free. All you have to do is put on a pair of walking shoes and have at it. There is nothing more empowering than walking. Once you become accustomed to it you won’t drive around in circles at the shopping mall looking for that valet parking spot. Or blow a head gasket when that other driver dashes in and claims that parking space you were headed dead for. When you are a walker, you don’t sweat small stuff like that because like some people’s hair, you’ll roll up and park anywhere – lol.

No More Excuses About Bad Neighborhoods, Bad Dogs, Bad Traffic, Bad whatever

There are some places called parks and guess what? They are free, relatively speaking. Most of the parks here in Greensboro, NC are well-maintained.  Most dogs are on a leash and if you encounter folks doing the naughty, just avert your head. Granted, parks can be creepy at time, such as when your imagination is on heightened alert. Every shadow is a mass murderer, that jogger wearing the hoodie is definitely suspicious, and the snake that just slithered across your path is Satan incarnate or perhaps your wicked ex.  Just joking. If you just can’t go it alone, maybe you could find someone to pair up with. Be warned that some aren’t as dedicated to the cause. If you find that to be the case, don’t let it be a deterrent.  YOU just keep on keeping on.

In the meantime here are some recent photos I took while walking during an overcast day. If I could inspire you, it would mean the world to me – even more so if you are overweight, diabetic, and sedentary.  What can I say? I have Type II Diabetes and there’s a soft spot in my heart for others struggling with the disease.  In the meantime, keep the faith.

Starting point

Follow the graveled road

Ahhh…Such rustic charm

Fresh fish tonight

End point

 

The U in Jesus and The Second Coming by Yeats (Blend-Up)

THE U IN JESUS

Before U were thought of or time had begun,

God stuck U in the name of His Son..

And each time U pray, you’ll see it’s true,

You can’t spell out JesUs and not include U.

You’re a pretty big part of His wonderful name,

For U, He was born; that’s why He came.

And His great love for U is the reason He died.

It even takes U to spell crUcified.

Isn’t it thrilling and splendidly grand

He rose from the dead, with U in His plan?

The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,

And this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.

When JesUs left earth at His Upward ascension,

He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.

“Go into the world and tell them it’s true

That I love them all – Just like I love U.”

So many great people are spelled with a U,

Don’t they have a right to know JesUs too?

It all depends now on what U will do,

He’d like them to know, But it all starts with U.

This poem was emailed to me by a friend. Thanks so much for making my day, by the way. Don’t know who authored it. Not a poet myself so I really love it when someone gets clever with a poem as is the case above.  This poem got me to thinking about the first poem that touched me deeply.  A classic by William Butler Yeats.

This poem is so deep even to this day it’s taught in psychology classes. If you are a smarty-arty in high school, chances are this bad boy has manifested itself in your existence and could be standing between you and college. I, Mary Brown, am even considering using ‘Things fall apart’ as a possible book title. All over the net and beyond you can find some reference to this poem. And yet, put it together with ‘The U in Jesus’ and you still have a beautiful mix or blend of words. Words that may make you think and feel, oh, I don’t know. However, you end up thinking and feeling.

The Second Coming

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Diabetes, the monster within

 

Lately I’ve been so busy juggling so many things I forgot to include the necessity for my own wellbeing. Monday night I took the last 31 units, my daily dosage, of insulin betweeen 10:00pm and 10:30pm, as usual. Unfortunately, I didn’t know it was the last pen. I’m on the Lantus by the way. I take it once a day and truly don’t think it’s working for me anymore. I also take a glimepiride, oral medication I no longer feel is working as well. It was late yesterday when I noticed all the insulin had been depleted. In an attempt to tide me over, I took half a pill and went on my way.

This morning I woke up feeling rather cocky and rebellious. What if I just got off the damn stuff like my son has been telling me for a while now. He wants me to eat ‘raw’. Just try it for a while, along with my walking regimen to see what happens. At least he doesn’t seem concerned about finding me in another diabetic coma. So this morning I’m up early after going to bed late and I’m feeling good like I can take on the world. I usually don’t feel that good until after I’ve done my hour-long walk/jog. But as I was saying earlier I felt like I could kick a little diabetes butt.  I became the grandmama in Eddie Murphy movie, ‘The Nutty Professor’ when they were sitting at the dinner table and she said, “Come on Cletus! It aint nuthin’ but a short walk. You might walk over, but you limpin’ back! I aint no easy win, !@#$%!”

Well, guess what. I’m no David and this monster diabetes inside me sure isn’t Goliath. I took my blood sugar reading. Yikes! A whooping 237. Okay, okay, I’m thinking ain’t nothing but a thang. I ease into a pair of old white capris. It’s already warm at 9am. I slipped on a t-shirt given to me by a long ago co-worker. A young graphic designer running his own t-shirt business from out of his day job. He was a killer with Photoshop but punctuality, getting to the job on time, just wasn’t his forte.  Point is I gear up all set to do battle with this monster. In my haste, instead of going to the park, I walk out my patio door and return to my old stumping ground.

Down the street, on to the dead end road. I walk it fast and jog until the muscle on the side of my left leg starts aching something awful. ‘Damn you monster,’ I want to scream as I slow it down and continue to walk at a fierce. I walk past the house of a lady who used to walk with me. Thankfully the driveway is empty because the muscle is screaming so loud I can’t go on. Sweat dripping, I remove my Nascar racing cap and towel my face dry as possible. Surely the universe is conspiring with this monster against me. I check my cell phone. I’ve walked about 40 minutes. It will have to do.

I wait 30 minutes then check my blood sugar again. Holy, moly!!!! My blood sugar, if the meter is accurate now reads 247 and is blinking at me with malicious glee. Good thing I’d called in the prescription yesterday. Hungry and defeated, I cook two slices of turkey bacon, tear it into bits on top of a plate of heaping kale, throw on some vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and gobble it down. Breakfast is done. There’s still a little ache in my head so I’m sure the monster is still having it’s way with my vital parts.

This battle is not over. In the meantime I’m going to behave like someone who doesn’t believe in miraculous healing and go get my insulin. Since I skipped a day already and my shot isn’t until bedtime, I’m not sure what I should do. Fellow diabetics, if you can hear me, could you just throw this struggling David a lifeline.

 

Steppin’ up the pace

Recently opened Whole Foods Market

June 21 will be exactly a year I walked out my patio door and kept on steppin’. I’d only been out the hospital a few days after suffering a diabetic coma. At the time, I was injecting 20 units of slow-acting insulin first thing in the morning and again between 7 and 8. Depending on my blood sugar reading, I also injected the fast-acting stuff before each meal. Anything over 121 meant injecting the appropriate amount of the fast-acting stuff to keep my blood sugar from going through the roof.

Tired of feeling like a human pin cushion, I took a friend’s advice and strapped on a pair of sneakers. Diabetes, get thee behind me. It would be just a matter of time before triumph was mine. I’d heard how diet and exercise had weaned many off the teat of insulin and oral diabetic medication. I just knew in several months time I would be counted teat-free. Today, I promise you, I can walk five miles at a brisk pace without breaking a sweat. Today, I am still suckling and my weight has barely changed.

I hear you saying, “she probably hasn’t changed her diet.” Well let me stop you right there. I cut out all sugary beverages, pork, fried foods, white bread, white potatoes, white rice, butter, and pretty much every food considered ‘bad’. My main food staples now are: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, vinegar, baked fish, roasted chicken, whole grain bread and rice, and lots and lots of kale, romaine, cabbage, cucumbers, collards, etc.

I admit when I get tired of whole grain cereal for breakfast, I eat a couple of eggs and a couple slices of low-sodium turkey bacon with a slice of toast or a packet of instant grits. I hardly eat any ice-cream. Dessert  is now some type of fruit eaten alone or with cottage cheese. I’ve eaten so much non-fat yogurt, I can’t even eat it anymore. If I eat a cookie or candy bar it’s the whole grain stuff, no Snicker or Heath bars, Oreos, or even Vanilla Wafers. Okay, maybe an occasional Graham Cracker, yuck.

Because of the carb counting I sometime snack on pork rinds. Last time I ate pork rinds I got sick. Salt is my achilles heel, of which I’ve cut back considerably. One good thing. I’ve saved more money than ever since I hardly ever eat out. Most restaurant meals have a high-sodium content. After enduring the pain, I don’t understand the lack or very little gain.

Why the walking hasn’t shown any results continues to be the bane of my existence. Feeling exhilarated and  on top of the world after getting back from an hour-long walk/jog today, I asked myself why the weight JUST WON’T BUDGE. The insulin and oral medication I’m on states the side effects of use is a weight gain of 10 pounds or more. At first I just blew it off thinking long as I walked and kept the ‘bad’ stuff out my diet, the weight would come off. Well, guess what? The joke’s on me.

Last year this time nobody could’ve convinced me I would still be suckling on the teat of insulin and oral diabetic medication. I’m still taking high blood pressure pills too. Nothing has changed. It would be so easy to just give up. My son started walking around the same time I did. He has lost over 30 pounds and insist I go ‘raw’. Which basically means vegetarianism on steroids, far as I’m concerned. But after swinging by the pharmacy to pick up more drugs, I started to give it serious thought. The pharmacy is inside a large grocery store. I came out of there loaded down with veggies.

The idea of going ‘raw’ swirling in my head, I checked my emails. Scanning what to read and what to discard, right before my eyes was the answer. An article that read: ‘The Right Way to Walk Off That Belly Fat’. Divine intervention if ever there was. You best believe it became a ‘must-read’ quick fast and in a hurry. It read: Okay…two women go walking. One finishes quickly; the other takes her time. They each burn about 400 calories. So who sheds more belly fat? The answer, according to a recent study, is the person who walked  fastest. The article went on to say by incorporating three shorter walks at a fast pace with two walks at a more moderate pace per week, more belly fat would be lost.

Whew, I dodged a bullet on that one. The thought of eating ‘raw’ flew right out the window. Hopefully I get at least six hours of sleep tonight. Tomorrow I’m gonna do the darn thing. The thought of going ‘raw’ will be all the incentive I need. With a little luck and divine intervention, my next post won’t be about my knee going out.

Here’s a picture of the park where I’ll be trotting along. Wish me luck. Or, feel free to join me.

Get outta the way ducks. Mary B. is on the trails.