holiday challenge helps fund orphanages

RICK -vs- RUSS
MANO A MANO
1ST ANNUAL “HOLIDAY CHALLENGE” RIPPED-TO-SHREDS CONTEST

Holiday Challenge

For those of you who do not know what this is all about, you need to catch up a bit (HERE).  This simple contest — ‘The Holiday Challenge’ was created as a way for Rick and I to hold each other’s fingers to the fire and find the motivation to stay in shape over the Thanksgiving / Christmas Season. 

As I began to think about it, I started wondering what it would take for Rick and I to raise more than the $100 that the loser pays to the winner’s charity (orphanage) of choice.   HERE is what the contest has morphed in to (make sure to read the comment from Rick at the bottom of the page).  Don’t get me wrong; when it comes to our contest, neither one of us wants to come in second (i.e. lose).  But winning is no longer the real thrust of this thing.  In fact, over $1000 dollars has already been pledged to the cause because two middle aged doofs decided to show off their pecs.  But instead of just a thousand dollars, wouldn’t it be really cool to raise thousands of dollars (plural) for these Christian Schools / Orphanages?  Make sure you exercise your right to vote, and then send your donations to Bethlehem Christian Academy, P.O. Box 483, West Plains, MO 65775; or Orphanage Emanuel, 715 Moores Mill Drive, Auburn, AL, 36830.

both of our families are relentlessly devoted to helping as many children as possible attain better lives, educations, skills, and Biblical understanding, by supporting Christian orphanages.  I know that many of you reading this post have been to the third world.  A few are either currently living in, or have previously lived there yourselves.  You know what it’s like.  Living conditions are frequently day-to-day and hand-to-mouth.  It’s a harsh reality for those caught in the grasp of unrelenting poverty, hunger, disease, and cruddy governments.  And unlike America where everyone has a fighting chance to make a better life for themselves, there are places in the world where this sort of betterment is not really possible without some outside intervention.  Enter people like Victor Chibangula and Dave & Lydia Martinez.

The above-mentioned people are Godly visionaries who gave up worldly fortunes in order to heed the message of James 1:27 and devote their lives to the care of widows and orphans.  They are in charge of the respective orphanages mentioned previously.  If you feel like God is tugging at your heart to make a donation, please do it.  The donations are tax deductible and I can assure you that what you donate goes directly toward running these facilities.  On an exciting note; the Winslow family will be returning from Addis Ababa tomorrow (Sat) with Nathaniel.  Marty began discussions with an individual he met there with a vision to start a work in Addis that is similar to BCA Zambia.

A MOTIVATIONAL NOTE FROM RICK BURRIS, OWNER OF LEADERS FUEL
IF THIS DOES NOT GET YOU PERSONALLY PUMPED UP, NOTHING WILL!

What a difference one year makes!

For several years I knew that I needed to do something about the direction of my health.. The truth was I really did not want to commit the mental energy I knew was necessary to sustain a true lifestyle change. Like 90% of the population I allowed marriage, parenthood and the pressures of work life to be standby excuses why I just didn’t have the bandwidth to include exercise and healthy eating into my busy life. 

During those years, however, something more than my gut was swelling inside of me. I knew better health was possible and I knew I would get serious about it eventually. Somewhere inside me an athlete was sleeping. I just knew it. I had to wake him up someday. Throughout those years I had off and on spurts of working out for two weeks but each time I just petered out. After Christmas of 2011 I finally had enough. 

I returned home from the holiday trip in the worst condition of my life. I was tipping the scales at numbers I never expected to see. My sleep patterns were terrible. It was not uncommon for me to go several days on about 4 hours of sleep per night. Climbing two flights of stairs left me breathless. For a few months prior to that Christmas I was getting frequent pains shooting up my neck. Not a good sign for someone with family history of heart disease. Generally, I felt awful – all of the time. By the time the holiday trip was over I was angry.  Someday had come.

2012 A NEW YEAR! started the year with a a 10-day lemon detox. At the same time my wife and I started the P90X workout. (Probably not recommended to start both on the same day but I knew I needed something drastic to make this stick.) I gave up alcohol. Thankfully, I was not a pop drinker but I loved my ice tea. It had to go because the caffeine was getting in the way of my sleep. I had been taking fish oil for a few years but this time I began taking pharmaceutical grade fish oil. Each morning I drink greens (I have tried about four different kinds) with ground flax seed. 

We kept up the P90X until the beginning of May. In May I moved up to Camp for the summer. I was very active throughout the summer months but did not do a regular exercise program. This fall we started the Insanity program. I had to lay off the program due to a back issue but I still do it occasionally and use exercises from the workouts. The other issue I have been trying to address is sugar. Giving up alcohol and caffeinated drinks has been a walk in the park compared to sugar and carbs. My intake of both has decreased drastically but I am still working on this one.

At one point during the year I had lost a little over 30 pounds. I have bounced back up 10 but, honestly, I don’t focus so much on the scales but rather on how I feel and what I can do now that I couldn’t before. My sleep is much closer to where it should be. The stresses of my work life have certainly not diminished but my outlook is much more positive because I have more energy to face them. I am enjoying my family life much more and I feel ready to do many physical activities without fear. Looking forward the all that 2013 brings. 
Best wishes for good health!

Sincerely,
Rick Burris

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