Friday, April 21, 2006

The Importance of a 5K

After posting last night, I realized that I shouldn't be downplaying the accomplishment that running a 5K is. In my mind, Chris Winkler running a 5K is not too momentous. However, it is hugely important to people who do not exercise on a regular basis, who use the 5K as motivation to get in shape, who see a 5K as I might see a marathon.

To me, running this 5K was good motivation to start thinking about a marathon again. :-)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Natural Athlete?

Some friends told me tonight, "You're just a natural athlete." I laughed at them.

Here's the context. A group from work had just finished running a 5K here in Orlando. I had finished in about 25 minutes, behind two other people from Wycliffe. Not a great time, you may think, so what would prompt someone to say that?

People were shocked that I never trained. To me, a 5K is not much; I've run several of these without any training at all. (At my first, during high school, I won a gift certificate to a resaturant because I finished first in my age group--out of one.) The real kicker was the 12K (Bay to Breakers) that I've run each of the past two years...without absolutely no training.

Granted, ultimate keeps me in shape, and I consider this excellent training for any other sort of activity. But by no means am I a natural athlete!

(On a side note, I confirmed today that I should be in SF on May 20 and 21...this means a third year of Bay to Breakers, as well as another round of the A's-Giants rivalry! Steve and Amy, we should talk about tickets.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Winter vs. Summer

A great perspective on the weather in Central Florida was given to me recently.

Someone told me that summer in Orlando is like winter in Michigan: people will complain about it, no one goes outside, and the rest of the year is nice. How true. Back home during the winter months, most folks go from heated homes to heated cars to heated workplaces, only venturing outside to participate in snowsports, or shovel the driveway. Here, people simply don't go outside during the summer, going from air conditioned homes to air conditioned cars to air conditioned workplaces.

The only problem, for me, is that I would much rather go out and play in 0 degree weather with snow, than 90 degree weather with 100 percent humidity. Everyone tells me the horror stories of summers here, and I'm not looking forward to it.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Back to Urban Ministry

I don't think God has called me to be in urban ministry full-time. Hence, the reason I am no longer working for CSM.

However, I do miss it. I miss hanging out with people without a roof over their heads at night, people with amazing stories of war and faith and drugs, people who simply want someone to talk to. I miss the chaos of a soup kitchen trying to serve dozens, or thousands, of hungry guests. I miss seeing the dedicated staff of inner-city ministries, hard at work in difficult situations.

Today, I got the chance to dabble again in ministry to people that are homeless. The Orlando Union Rescue Mission held their annual Easter banquet this afternoon. I heard about it from a friend who works in the Women and Children's Division of the mission, and since it was Good Friday, I was able to volunteer.

One of the first things I noticed was that it was one of the few times that I was able to serve without having to worry about 10-20 junior highers and making sure they were safe, had enough work to do, etc. It was nice to serve and interact, and not worry about much else. The staff was great, and I'd like to continue volunteering on a somewhat regular basis (once a month?).

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bird Dropping Area

Bird Dropping Area
Originally uploaded by Chris Winkler.
Has anyone ever heard of a "Bird Dropping Area" before? Then you haven't visited downtown Orlando recently! Check out this link for an interesting situation here in Orlando. Thanks to Natalie for sending me the link, and Sally for sending me a hard copy of the story which wound up in the Kalamazoo Gazette!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Leave those blinds closed!

A couple people have asked me about the weather down here. Let's just say that we try to keep the blinds closed during the day, and open them up at keep the hot weather out and trap the "cool" weather in. Last night was a problem. I went to open up my window to cool off my room, and there was a lovely gecko between the window and the screen.

Since he might have wound up in my bed, I shut the window. :-)

Ironic Timing

I really like this church I've been attending. I hung out yesterday with people indirectly related to the church, and will spend this evening with people directly related to it. Lots of young people with similar passions, and plenty of older folks to learn from.

In church this morning, the pastor was making an illustration and asked everyone who was 25 years old to stand up. There were two of us, and he proceeded to explain that he would give each of us a $25 gift certificate to a restaurant...if we came to church next week. The point he was trying to make was not why I'm blogging this. It was the irony that today is the last day that I will be 25...I turn 26 tomorrow. He said the offer is still valid, and I think he's serious.