Monday, August 29, 2016

The Achilles Chronicles - Recovery Update

First of all let me apologize to my followers, friends and family. I've been less than motivated lately to post updates to my progress......mostly because there hasn't been any. Most of you already know of my set back in late July when I ruptured my Achilles. That quickly ended my journey to run my 50 mile challenge I have been planning for so long. I have had the feelings of letting myself down but more importantly of those who had been counting on me. I am so sorry to have let you down.

The 50 mile challenge was to happen while I was still 50 years old. Unfortunately the doctor says I cannot even begin running until after my birthday if at all this year. Patience has never been my best trait. Struggling with depression seems to have escalated. Diabetes does that. Running helped with it. The inability to walk without crutches, to drive, to do just about anything without assistance or depending on others has just thrown fuel on the fire. Some days are better than others. Some worse. Life goes on and I strive to focus on the issues I can address.

The definition of SETBACK is shear daunting when I think about having to start all over. The fear of ever returning to where I once was haunts me. It'll be a long road.......longer than 26.2!

Well that's my emotional state......sorry if it lacks positivity......that's today's mood.

Here's the recovery story....or at least my update for the last four weeks:

07.28.16  Snapped Achilles went to ER

07.29.16  Saw the orthopedic surgeon


08.25.16  First visit to physical therapist for evaluation


Two weeks of no weight bearing then two more of minimal weight bearing from 9.19.16
That'll put me at mid to late October before I can begin walking without crutches entirely.

09.16.16  Return to surgeon for follow-up
09.17.16  50 mile challenge day. Thankful for others who will be running in my stead at Unify!
That's about as far as I can see into the future. Each day I grow more anxious to begin.....begin doing something! Anything! Did I say patience wasn't my best trait? It's hard to plan my schedule even months in advance because I just don't know how well I'll be walking or if at all yet. That's frustrating.

Running by end of November.
First marathon......Shamrock in Virginia Beach by J&A Racing
50 mile challenge redux......9.16.17

Wish me luck and send your prayers. Thank you to my friends.

Eugene Thompson
Marathon Runner + Founder

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Prevent Sugar Spikes and Crashes

Credit writing to Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM

One of my clients told me about a high fat diet her medical doctor prescribed for the treatment of heart disease. As a long-time nutritionist and doctor of natural medicine I am well-versed in the benefits of healthy fats, but would never recommend the fatty bacon, sausages and other foods this patient ate as part of her prescribed eating plan.

Too often people assess a dietary strategy by one factor only: 

does it work? But that should not be the only factor to consider when it comes to your health. In addition, you should ask what the diet does for your overall health. This has never been truer, particularly with the high fat and high protein fad diets on the market right now.

New research published in the medical journal Experimental Psychology confirms this fact. In this study researchers found that a high fat diet can harm the kidneys as much as type 2 diabetes. The study found that these dietary habits caused a significant increase in blood sugar levels, which is to blame for the kidney damage.

Blood sugar naturally fluctuates in response to the various foods we eat. Glucose, one of the body’s energy currencies, powers our muscles, brain and other aspects of our bodies. But, when we eat high amounts of sugars or refined starches, our blood sugar fluctuates wildly, causing spikes and crashes that result in the same fluctuations in our energy levels, mood and over time, our weight.

When high levels of glucose build up in the blood—an extremely dangerous state—the kidneys come to the rescue in trying to filter it out before it can cause damage to the organs or tissues. But, sometimes that comes at the cost of damage to the kidneys when the problem occurs frequently or is ongoing. Many diabetics experience a state called diabetic kidney disease due to high blood glucose levels over long periods of time which results in the kidneys straining to filter out waste products from the body. This new study found that a high fat diet can have the same type of effect on the kidneys. I’m sure it will come as no surprise that diets high in junk food were also found to have the same effect.

How to Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes and Crashes

Fortunately, there are some excellent natural ways of preventing the blood sugar spikes and strain on the kidneys:

1) Significantly reduce your intake of junk food. I’m sure I don’t really need to tell you this.

2) Avoid high fat diets. They are the nutritional equivalent of choosing a career path as a bank robber. Sure, you may reach some of your short-term goals like weight loss, but a life of crime will definitely catch up to you before long. And, as you’ve learned, high fat diets can wreak havoc on your kidneys.

3) Eat more fiber. A diet high in fiber helps to evenly release sugars into the bloodstream so your body will have the energy it needs without the rollercoaster spikes and crashes.

4) Eat protein at every meal. That doesn’t necessarily mean meat, which is often high in fat. There are many excellent sources of plant-based protein. Check out my blog “Top Vegan Sources of Protein” for more information.

5) This one’s another no-brainer: reduce your sugar consumption. For ideas on how to do so and how to curb cravings, check out my blog “A Guide to Cutting Sugar Out of Your Diet.”

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim: Balance Your Body Chemistry to Burn Fat Fast! (Rodale).

Run Eugene Run

Eugene Thompson

Marathon Runner + Founder

Friday, August 19, 2016

Diabetes epidemic growing

CDC: Diabetes epidemic growing at an alarming rate.

This was the headline a few years ago. Has it changed? No, we haven't gotten any better. We rarely do until we decide as a whole to embrace change. Change isn't easy but necessary. Necessary if you want to make REAL PROGRESS in your life.

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report indicating growth in the rate of Americans with diabetes and prediabetes. The report garnered over two minutes of coverage on one major network news program as well as coverage by major wire sources, newspapers, and consumer medical websites. 

In a segment on NBC Nightly News (Williams), NBC News correspondent Tom Costello reported that the diabetes “epidemic continues to grow at an alarming rate.” Currently, some “29 million people in the US have diabetes...yet a quarter of those people don’t know they’re diabetic.” 
The AP (Stobbe) reports that CDC “scientists calculated that more than nine percent of Americans have diabetes — or one in 11 people.” 

The Los Angeles Times (Healy) reports that the CDC “said an additional 86 million American adults – nearly one in three – has prediabetes.” Approximately 15 percent to 30 percent of people “with prediabetes will go on to develop the full-fledged metabolic disorder within five years, a transition that can sometimes be averted with substantial weight loss and increased physical activity.” The CDC’s latest “statistics are based on national health data gathered in 2012 and represent a nearly 12% increase in the number of those with diabetes since the last statistical report was issued in 2010.” 
TIME (Goldberg) reports that according to CDC estimates, “the direct and indirect costs of the disease have reached $245 billion, with direct medical costs making up 72% of that amount.” Patients with “type 2 diabetes incur medical costs on average 2.3 times higher than people without the disease, the CDC found.” 

The CNN (Kaur) “The Chart” blog quotes Ann Albright, PhD, RD, the CDC’s director of the division of diabetes translation, who stated in a press release: “These new numbers are alarming and underscore the need for an increased focus on reducing the burden of diabetes in our country.”

How far will we allow ourselves to fall prey to this disease? When will we realize that by just taking a pill will cure, heal, fix, stop or solve our issues with diabetes. We need to take it serious and take our lives serious if we want to get better. It takes work. It takes lots of work. Really lots of work! Run Eugene Run and our volunteers care about you and want to help in any way we can.

Do you need diet plans? Do you need exercise plans? Do you need an encouraging word everyday? We are here to help find answers for you. We are here for you.
Running for diabetes awareness

293 Indepedence Blvd, Suite 310
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Eugene Thompson

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sermon on the Mount - The Summary

I've just finished teaching a class at the Princess Anne Church of Christ on Sunday morning that ran for over 18 months. I was asked to prepare a detailed study of the the chapters in Matthew. I have studied it before but not necessarily in detail, nor did I ever think that it would take that long. A lot of information and sharing was done over that time. I just hope others got as much out of it as I did. I probably have 280 pages of notes on Matthew 5-7. Far more information written and prepared than I could ever share during the class. Teachers often learn more than the students just because so much time was done in preparation of the class. I know I did.

Here is a quick summary of the sermon in the mount as we quickly hit highlights last week to close out the class. Feeling blessed that I was given the opportunity.

The Sermon on the Mount describes what our life should be like while we live in faith, in our thoughts, words, and actions. Jesus said six times in Chapter 5, “You have heard it said”, or “But I tell you..” He was calling people to a new life instead of a legal system, that the Pharisees had put upon the people.

Lesson 1   Matthew 5:1-16

Jesus teaches us the eight attitudes. These attitudes or beatitudes explain that we are to live differently than the world for Christ’s sake. Blessed means happy. So when these attributes become part of us God is pleased and we are blessed. The beatitudes are to be poor in spirit,  mourn for sin, be meek, and to hunger and thirst for righteousness. We are to be merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers. When we follow Christ in this manner we may become persecuted for our faith, but this too becomes a blessing and we will receive a heavenly reward.

We are called to be light and salt of the world. Salt has two functions. It flavours and it stops corruption. We must not lose our saltiness, because if we do we will lose our ability to be a committed Christian, who does not think or act like the world. Salt also creates a thirst, a thirst for the Lord and His righteousness.

Being light in the world refers to the way you show others in public what being a Christian means. How many of your friends see your personal commitment to Christ? How bright a light are you?

Lesson 2   Matthew 5:17-26

Here Jesus explains the Christian’s relationship to the law, and that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it. The Old Testament continues until all things are accomplished. He warned the disciples to do and to teach all the commandments, and that a better righteousness than the Pharisees’ is needed to enter the kingdom of heaven. And how can we keep God’s laws? We can’t. The Pharisees’ couldn’t, and that is one reason why they created their own set of laws. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit that empowers us and convicts us. Where do you need to let the Holy Spirit help you obey what Jesus has taught?

God’s Word does not change over time. His standards for behaviour or morality does not change. It does not change from one situation to another or from one century to another.

Jesus gives illustrations of our relationship to the Law. The Pharisees often taught about people’s actions, but Jesus always goes further by raising the bar. He speaks of our thoughts, emotions, and attitudes of our hearts.

So what does He begin with? What is the most condemning sin you can think of? Murder. Jesus expounds on this and says that wrong attitudes and words count the same as murder. How could that be? Murder begins with anger, unforgiveness, hatred, contempt, envy and bitterness. All of it sin. To be full of such things reveals a heart condition that is condemning.

What is the remedy? It is the spirit of love and reconciliation. We must be reconciled with each other, no matter who the fault may lie with. Come to one heart and mind with that person, so that we can have an open relationship with the Lord.

Lesson 3  Matthew 5:27-37,   6:22-23

Here Jesus teaches that lustful imagination counts the same as adultery. Being tempted is not a sin, but we must reject the seed that get planted in our mind, so that sin is nipped in the bud. He said if necessary we should cut off whatever causes us to sin even if this causes discomfort or pain. What causes immoral thoughts in your mind? What books are you reading and what TV shows are you enjoying and what are you laughing and joking about? What do you need to cut out of your life to live a life of pure actions and thoughts?

We are reminded that marriage is a lifelong commitment. God hates divorce but it is a forgivable sin, and he allows it for infidelity. Let’s remember to love and pray for those who have been hurt in abusive relationships and know that God would not want them to stay in this treacherous situation.

Lesson 4   Matthew 5:38-48,   6:14-15

So what does “an eye for an eye mean?

The next topic was retaliation or getting even. Again Jesus quotes an OT command, one that was meant to limit the penalty for a wrong action. The person who was treated wrongly was only to demand repayment that was fair and fitting. And again Jesus asks us to go even further. He says to give to the person who asks, even when that person is asking something that may be unfair. Jesus’ disciples had been taught to love their neighbours and hate their enemies. Once again Jesus wants you and me to go beyond the old teachings. We are to love our enemies and pray for them. Will you ask God to give you His love for those who are unkind or unforgiving to you? What can you pray for them?

Lesson 5   Matthew 6:1-18

Here we learn that our righteous deeds are not so righteous when they are done to impress others. Therefore they are to be done before God and not before people. Jesus was concerned that the people, especially the Pharisees, wanted others to see them give to the needy or pray in public so that they would be noticed. They were pretending to pray with a sincere heart but were more concerned with what others thought of them. To do this is to lose our reward with God because our reward becomes an earthly reward of wanting praise from men.

The Lord’s Prayer was given to the disciples as an example. When we say it we should repeat it thoughtfully and not aimlessly. The point is, that we should pray, and we should have a regular time each day to pray privately. If you do not will you set aside a regular time and place to establish this time to spend with the Lord?

Lesson 6   Matthew 6:19-21, 24-34

Here Jesus teaches that faith is having a trusting heart knowing that He will supply all our daily needs. If we put these worries aside and first seek the kingdom of God all things will be given to us. He knows we need these things. Often in this life especially in the US we are bombarded daily about material possessions. We are told that we need many things to be successful and happy. So Jesus was concerned about people’s attitudes toward their treasures and possessions. He warned them about storing up treasures on earth. They can be lost, stolen, destroyed etc. We can set our eyes on power and wealth instead of God and what really matters. We cannot serve both God and money. We cannot have two masters.

We are not to worry. Worry is a lack of faith in God’s care. Worry and fret lead to sin. Remember to put God first in your life and to live right for Him. Live one day at a time doing your best to please God. He will supply your needs in His timing.

Lesson 7   Matthew 7:1-12

The judge not passage. The person who makes a practice of judging others will be judged with the same measure. Judging ourselves instead prepares us to help others. Also we have to judge between good and evil and we must make determinations each and every day. We have to separate truth from error or we will believe lies. We must pray for wisdom in this area. If we know of sin in our lives, and try not to remove it, yet try to help others with the same sin, then we are hypocrites, like the Pharisees. There is no room for pride or stubbornness when we are trying to help others.

Jesus commanded his disciples to think before giving sacred and precious truths from God to unholy people. Sacred things could be worship or communion or the Bible. These things are not holy to those who do not believe in God and they will ridicule the truths told to them. It is in this way they trample them under their feet….Christians are to be discerning but not condemning.

Prayer comes up again, in that we are ask, seek and knock. He wants us to be persistent in our prayer. And He gives good gifts to his children as a good father gives to his son. He wants our hearts in our prayers and doesn’t want us to give up when we think a prayer has not been answered quickly….Continue to pray. God will give you what is right and he will answer your prayer His way and in His time. What kind of things are you praying for? A car? Fame? Sunshine? Or are you praying for things that will please Him? A good list would be something like wisdom, love, healing, increased faith, boldness to speak for God, the filling of the Holy Spirit, forgiveness, etc. If you are persistent in asking for things that please God, He will give them to you.

Lesson 8  Matthew 7:13-29

As we end the Sermon on the Mount Jesus now speaks of our life in faith, and the dangers of not following His teachings.

Those who go their own way will have difficulty discerning that there are two pathways. Jesus only gives us two. There are not many paths to God. False teachers offer a wide gate that welcomes many. It may seem kind and loving to accept all religious teachings, but it is not. The broad road leads to destruction. In fact the way is narrow and constricted and it will not be an easy path…but the end result is well worth it. Everlasting life with Jesus. Which path have you chosen and how are you persuading others to choose?

To ignore biblical teaching puts you in danger of listening to false teachers. Knowing scripture is important so you can recognise a false teacher by their faulty doctrine and bad fruit. Paul commended the Bereans for comparing his words against scripture. We must do the same. Those who say they know Jesus by using the phrase, “Lord, Lord” or even perform miracles may not truly know the Lord. Many will hear from Jesus on judgment day…”I never knew you.” The false prophets will be in the church itself. They will be disguised as sheep, but truly they are wolves.

Finally we are given an illustration of the person who is wise and the foolish person who does not obey the teachings. The obvious teaching is that Jesus is the rock and foundation and this is where we are to start building. This foundation is firm and solid. But there is a condition given in this passage. We must hear Jesus’ words and we must practice them. Then we are able to withstand the storms of wind and rain that will come upon us in this life.

The people were amazed at the authority that Jesus taught with. Whenever God’s Word is presented as it truly is, its power is unleashed. We too should be amazed and astonished with these teachings. God’s standards are high and today we have the Holy Spirit to help us live for God, illuminate scripture and lead us into truth.

There wasn't a lot of time to do a complete review of the study on Sunday but maybe a few of these highlights noted here will allow you to study further to become a better disciple for Christ.

ET This I Believe
Eugene Thompson

Saturday, August 13, 2016

What I've Learned

The pros and cons of having the use of only one leg (or foot):

- saved laundry by reducing socks by 50%
- increased skills of balancing on one leg
- learned how to go to the bathroom on one leg.....use your imagination
- opening door with automatic closer while on crutches
- building strength in my left leg
- a very tired left leg
- inability to drive a car
- ability to creatively enter a car
- learning how to carry everything in a back pack while on crutches
- losing weight.....too much work to get to the kitchen
- finding out I only have two pairs of pants that fit over my foot 
- get to wear shorts to work
- building strength in my arms using crutches
- having sore armpits using crutches 
- bathing is a chore
- having very tan toes......or is that dirt?'s all in how you look at it.

Eugene Thompson
Runner + Founder

Monday, August 8, 2016

Comfort or Pain?

The history of the word “comfort” reveals an important narrative. The word is made from two Latin word parts, com-, an intensifying prefix which means “together with,” and fortis, which means “strong or strength.” Later, the Latin word confortare comes to mean, “to strengthen much.” Eventually, an Old French word, conforter, would add words like “solace” and “help” to the definition. In the 14th century, another French word conforten is defined as, “to cheer up, console.” Finally, by the 17th century, the English version of the word implies the sense of physical ease that we understand today. In about a millennia, this word went from meaning, “together-strength,” to meaning “pain-barrier.”

So which do you prefer? Comfort or Pain? When I first asked this question to my friends they immediately responded by saying COMFORT of course. Why wouldn't we all?! There aren't many of us that wouldn't automatically respond with anything else. Our life seems to exist surrounded with trials, work and effort to eventually gain an opportunity to COMFORT. Isn't that sort of the definition of vacation? 

Everyday opportunities allow us to enjoy comfort but we don't often recognize it. We hide it behind levels of achievement never reaching the ultimate goal of fulfillment. A hurdle set by many entrepreneurial minds. There is always another goal to reach. Never do we take the time to smell the roses.....of course unless it's on our calendar and cleared with others between two conference calls, production meetings and various other task generated objectives. How about when we finally rest in our bed? Is it comfortable? Or did we go find a bed of nails to relax on? We find COMFORT in our bed of course.....because we value a good nights sleep.

So when do we or should we choose PAIN? We've all heard the saying, "No Pain, No Gain". Mostly used in the gym or during some physical endurance. I once lifted weights in high school and was 4th place in the national powerlifting championships. To reach that achievement I had to work hard daily at lifting various levels of weights. The next day I was sore. It didn't matter how long I had been lifting, when I worked out different muscle groups strenuously I was sore the next day. Why? Well because it pushed my body past its limits to eventually gain strength. Without the pain.....I wouldn't have experienced the reward of gain.

So does that happen in our everyday lifes? Do we create PAIN? In our business world? In our home? Within our family? We should. We should find a way everyday to push the limits of ourselves to gain the opportunities. Opportunities for each of us to better ourselves. To be better bosses or employees; better spouses, parents or children; better Christians, servants, stewards. How about just being a better person in general. We must challenge ourselves to become stronger.

Some times these opportunities come to us in trials. We face trials, struggles and obstacles in our lives that gives us (mostly unwanted) experiences that eventually builds our endurance and helps us to rise to the occasion, face the challenge and persevere the trail. Once we come out of such trials we are usually much stronger, wiser and more than likely more humble. It's the reward of the trial.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,He was bruised for our iniquities;The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5 | NKJV

ET This I Believe
Eugene Thompson

Friday, August 5, 2016

Day Zero - Surgery for RUN EUGENE RUN

Today is a day of excitement.....nervous excitement. I've never really had any major surgery before so I'm not entirely comfortable with the thought of someone cutting on me. In the world of Internet and google it is best not to ever such for images of your upcoming surgery......too late.....I'm anticipating become a science experiment. Remember those labs in high school? Frogs, baby pigs......a worm? I didn't do well on my experiments. I'm glad my doctor is a pro at this!

Sure, it's easy to say you'll be brave. Sure I'll put up my facade. I'll joke about. I'll make others laugh. But honestly I'm scared. Scared I'll never be the same, to be able to recover. It's easy to say......but it's a long run. At the beginning of every marathon I've ran I've tried not to think have long the road will be. When it's at the's so much easier to look much easier.

Those of you who have had surgery before know the rules. No food or drink after coffee either! What?! Ok ok.....whatever you say. At least they moved my surgery time up to morning instead of afternoon. 

Out of all this I hope to encourage others in their own struggles. Their struggles with diabetes.....and now I can add recovery from a ruptured Achilles. God figured that he wanted to be a more powerful message.....that's the only thing I can understand. I imagined the story of Gideon and the 300 that lapped water like a dog. Just a few warriors to accomplish what an army would be needed for. Or how about Goliath vs a small young man? He didn't need a sword, spear or shield. Just his sling......and just one river stone. Unrealistic battles.....but not when the Lord is in control.

So that's my plan....a bit of arrogance and pride. I've been humbled. That might hurt more than my Achilles. I'm just a man. He is so much bigger. 

I had a great team with me today. A whole host of pre-op nurses prepping me for the surgery. I don't remember all your names but I appreciate you so much. I do apologize if my lovely green surgery garment happened to gap......honestly I don't remember a knocked me out before I left the room. That was some good stuff! The anesthesiologist told me to imagine the best cocktail.....Hendriks and Tonic? Less than 60 seconds later and I was out! Wow!

Then there was a whole team of surgeons and nurses inside the surgery room. They were great......they took this picture.....I don't remember it! Lol. But I was smiling. I wonder now what I might have said during that time.....hmmmm? You guys were awesome and took great care of me.

And probably the most important team members were the whole slew of prayer warriors from all over the country. You are the greatest. Thank you so much for lifting my name up. I can't thank you enough.

So now the journey begins. I was released pretty quick. The doctor said it was a strong repair. I gave him some strong muscles and tendons to work with. He said there was a gap about two inches apart so surgery was really the only way to properly repair it. My leg was numb from the knee down. It weighed a ton with all the wraps around it. Thankfully I had been practicing with the crutches before hand. I can't let it touch the ground. Balancing on one foot.....getting up....sitting down.....lying down.....everything.

No pain at all......until.....about 4AM the next morning. Wow.....just wow. Now this is tough. Really tough. Crazy pain.....but I'll get through. NO PAIN NO GAIN

So that brings you guys up to date. Today is DAY ONE of recovery. There will be rest but I'll put together my schedule. The doctor said I'll be in the wrap for two weeks, no weight bearing. After that they remove it and begin PT while I'm back in the boot for two-three more weeks. I'll begin using foot for balancing. Afterwards I'll be able to trying on shoes and work up to walking. In three to four months I'll begin running. He did say my full strength won't regain for a full year......but I did ask about being able to run the Shamrock Marathon in March.....he said YES!

Now it's up to me.....yes the road is long.....I doubt it'll be easy. Follow my journey. I hope to share each step (no pun intended.....ok......yes it was).  

RUN EUGENE RUN will continue. Others at UNIFY will pick up my goal and run on September 17th as a relay. Others can join in too. Wherever you live. The plan has changed a bit however the goal remains the inspire and encourage others about diabetes awareness. TEAM UNIFY, you guys are awesome.

My goal.......50 miles on September 16th, 2017!


Eugene Thompson