My life to the present date has been filled with a diversity of enlightening and wonderful experiences. I have a spectacular family who loves me and cares for me in my day-to-day life. I have been able to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry from U.C. Berkeley, climb Mt. Shasta, run and cycle, powerlift, rock climb up to 5.12, marry and divorce a mathematician, and work in education and research for five years so far. Life has been up and down, but the steady trend is towards a tight relationship with my family, friends, and God. I am happiest when I have a balance of athletics, academics, and service. As I look towards the next chapter of life in the start of a graduate program in education at Georgia State University I am, upon the recommendation of the training staff of Iron Tribe Fitness on Ponce, crafting a mission statement that outlines my goals in the next chapter of my life.
Body, Mind, and Spirit for me have always been intimately connected and I suffer when one part of this trinity is out of balance. In some ways, these aspects of my life have been out of balance since I finished my Ph.D. studies in 2009. After finishing my Ph.D. studies, I realized that academic research chemistry was not something that I was made for. I was able to get through my Ph.D., but the challenges of getting funding and the sheer solitary nature of science research was not suited to my gregarious personality. I thrive in social situations and am happiest in my work and private life when I am working with people. An outlet for my fire like spirit has always been intense athletics. Athletics are a channel for my soul to express my inner nature. The body for me is a temple, one that has been mistreated in the past few years due succumbing to the trials of life. One thing that I have been learning about life is that you can never forget that God’s love and presence is everlasting and eternal. The modern world throws many roadblocks in the path of seekers of God spirit. The love of money, status, greed, and gluttony are all traits that seem to be rampant in the modern world. My time on earth has taught me to value God first and foremost. Every time I fall off the path of following the principles of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), my body, mind, and spirit suffer.
I have had enough suffering due to a lack of balance, I am ready to work on evolving a life that is in service of humanity. I am seeking a path that balances body, mind, and spirit. I have come up with a pragmatic strategy that seeks to diversify my efforts to be successful in life. The first part of the strategy is to take care of my body with intense athletics and careful diet. I am going to bike to work every day, try new kinds of intense exercise regularly, eat a diet rich in protein, fruit, nuts, and vegetables, get outdoors often, and rock climb and lift weights. My athletic goals are ambitious. My singular goal is to get into superb mountaineering shape. When I climbed Mt. Shasta in California, I felt close to heaven. I could see the surrounding countryside and derived a perspective that was very close to God’s Nature. I felt in tune with Nature on and in the mountains. Rock climbing for me is a means to an end, getting to the summit. It is also a meditation. My immediate goal at present is to attain a body weight of 170 pounds so that I can rock climb at a high level again. I want to be able to bike and run with adeptness. I need to be able to hike with a heavy pack up hill. I enjoy the physical pain of intense exercise. It is purifying of body, mind, and spirit. So far in my athletic transformation, I have lost fifteen pounds in three weeks after hiking the Appalachian trail and restarting an intense program of cardiovascular and strength conditioning. I feel good and seek to continue walking the path of rebuilding my body.
My mind relishes a challenge. I seek to become an educator that is able to help people in need. I seek to engage the youth of Atlanta in science and math. I seek working in a high school classroom and on the high school athletic field to be part of the same effort to grown youth into upstanding adults. Life is full of surprises and students need to learn how to be robust members of society capable of giving back to their communities, families, and friends. When I am working I will need to wake early to get in athletic training to support the service that I feel called to do in Atlanta public schools. My true calling in life is to be a male role model for all people. In particular, I seek to provide young men in high need school districts with guidance. I am aware that people are quick to judge and thus seek to give the best impression of what I am capable of in body, mind, and spirit.
I have come to a civil service project that complements my love of the outdoors, science, and education. I am working on creating a smartphone app for water quality monitoring. My goal is to learn how to become a good quality computer programmer to develop educational software. To this end, I have recently started working with the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program. The user interface prototype of my smartphone app for this citizen science program is below.
I hope to incorporate a careful study of water with the development of tools to enable others to monitor earth’s most important resource. I am truly passionate about helping people preserve and conserve Mother Nature’s water through applying technology. I also envision my future students working with me to develop innovative computer programs.
In summary, I seek athletics to caring for my body, hard passionate work as an educator in public schools as a means to care for my mind and the minds of others, and spirit filled work in environmental conservation to help protect Mother Nature. We only have one life, one earth, and one society so it is vital to evolve compassion and love in both human works and in works designed to protect Nature. I see my love of the outdoors as a means to worship God in solitude and with others. Getting in the best physical shape is the means that I will prepare my mind and spirit for the hard work ahead changing for the better the educational community. I desire to work together with others to create a lasting impact on earth. The mountains are there and call to me to protect them and share their beauty with the next generation. I hope to inspire others to dream big and work to achieve their dreams by summiting Starlight Peak in a way that records the water quality along the way with a satellite smartphone app that I have built myself perhaps with friends that I have helped inspire in their science development.
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