Eugene Cho

your “past” year resolution?

Many of us make resolutions every year.  But before we get into our new resolutions for 2009 next month, how about we talk about how we’re doing with this past year’s resolution.   This is an easy question so I’m hoping that many of the regulars, visitors, and blog lurkers and stalkers will contribute.

Question: What was your past year resolution?  And, how’s it going?  [* Be honest.  Don’t forget.  You are commenting on a minister’s blog.]

Me and my past year resolution?  Not well. 

My resolution was to exercise regularly and lose some weight.  I’ve been hovering around 160 this past year.  I don’t want to get fixated on weight but I really am not eating healthy, sleeping healthy, and not exercising.  I still would like to get down to 145 but would be content just exercising regularly.

My summer sabbatical actually went well. I managed to exercise 4-5 days/week but the minute I got back to Seattle and started getting into the swing of a busy schedule complicated by unpredictables things that came up to people I love at our church, my weight ballooned from 150 to 160 in three months. 

Why?  Poor eating habits.  And, I have not exercised once since I returned from my three month sabbatical – until couple weeks ago.  I finally took out the basketball and shot for about 10 minutes in the backyard and went for a light jog.   It was downright painful and embarrassing.  Even despite lowering the rim and playing “alone,” I had a hard time dribbling, shooting, and simply…breathing.  The video below doesn’t capture me gasping for air.  Can someone say  “Cardiovascular?”

I’m in the East Coast now to speak at couple venues.  Afterwards, I hit the basketball court for some full court hoops with some current seminary students.  I know it’s hard to believe but there was a time when I was sort of a basketball legend: aka Minister Sinister was what they called me or I kept asking people to call me.  Not many did.  They just referred to me as the “Asian that can jump.”  In seminary [16 years ago], my claim to fame was being the scoring champ of our seminary basketball league one year.  Why do I share this?  Because as guys get older, they have to bring stuff up to make themselves feel better.   After one ruptured achilles, one knee surgery, and being run over by car and nearly dying, I’ve only got stories left. 

Dangit! I’m tired of liking the idea of doing stuff rather than doing it.  I really need to start exercising which leads to a preview of my 2009 resolution.  My daughter was playing with our camera and shot the video footage above of me attempting a basketball comeback.  I’m still gasping for air…

Filed under: family, health, ,

14 Responses

  1. Sue says:

    It was to read more. I had a goal of reading 24 books and well, I’ll be lucky to get through my third book by December.

    Do I get a prize for being the first person to confess?

  2. sam says:

    I totally understand the concept of boasting of past acomplishments, as one gets older. It’s one of the signs of age insecurity. Young people need to show old folks some grace when we become boastful blowhards.
    Love the giggles during the video.

  3. katie says:

    I kept it simple this year: floss. Not even daily, but a few times a week (baby steps, right?). Things went well for a few months… What is it about January that gives us a sense of immortality (as if flossing is as difficult as kicking a bad habit or turning over a new leaf:) Self-control-wise, I’m glad to see 2008 on its way out. If I can maintain even a little shred of moderation and motivation in 2009, I’ll count it a win!

  4. janowen says:

    mine was to lose weight and i did, but i gained 10 pounds of it back and am struggling to get it off. i too struggle to exercise, especially in the winter. i like to get outside and do stuff. the cold just makes me want to curl with a book in front of the fire…..

  5. Dana says:

    My resolution was to be courageous. I’ve heard that resolutions are supposed to be concrete, so you can set goals and accomplish them. But whatever. I have made good on that resolution in various ways: self-publishing a poetry book, moving across the country from my parents to live alone and start grad school, conquering some fears, etc. It’s the best resolution I’ve ever made (I don’t make them every year) and the only one I think I really followed through on.

  6. Kacie says:

    um yeah I was trying to focus on practicing the spiritual disciplines, particularly regular times of Bible study and every couple months a day of silence and solitude. Yeah…. we’re about to hit December and I’ve had ONE day of silence and solitude. However, my times of Bible study have definitely been more consistent then last year.

  7. Tyler Savage says:

    I too enjoy the giggles during the video!

    My resolution was to read 50 books, or about a book a week. I read somewhere last year about a guy reading 100 and I decided to tone that down a little. I fell off the pace somewhere during the summer and with 6 weeks left in the year am still sitting around 32, so I’m projecting I probably won’t make it.

    I have been learning a lot though and not just through the specific books I’m reading. I’m learning how to pick books that give me a wide-angle perspective rather than burning out on one topic that I’m passionate about, I’m learning more about realistic reading rhythms, and how to read for specific outcomes i.e. Clinton’s reading models.

  8. Jenny says:

    1. To complete a specific Bible reading program…there have been some tough times, but I am on track to complete it. Part of it was to read the book of Proverbs 12 times but I stopped after 6 times through. It has certainly helped with self-discipline and of course, learning more about God and His Word.

    2. To stay in better touch with parents and in-laws. We live at least 9 hours away from any family so I’ve tried to stay in touch through e-mails and phone calls mostly. I have visited all of them once this year too. Sometimes we get too caught up in our immediate family and the needs of the day so this has been a good resolution that I intend to continue.

    3. To exercise more consistently. (Is this the #1 New Year’s Resolution?) While not perfect, I have exercised more consistently this year, like it or not. It is good for my health and my emotions. And a brisk 3 mile walk in the evening is a great time to converse with my husband without distractions. So good for my marriage too.:)

    In the midst of a year that has had more turmoil than I would like, it is good to realize that there have been some successes and consistency in the midst of it all. Thanks for the post, Eugene. Your daughter’s giggles on the video brought a smile.:)

  9. Dan Peterson says:

    Eugene,

    Minister Sinister’s body double looks just like you, where did you find an Asian guy your build and age that can shoot? I’m clearly impressed.

    J/K, obviously. Nice shooting, you’re a stud.

    My resolution has actually, against all odds, been coming to fruition. I have been training for the WAMU tower climb for Cystic Fibrosis that takes place this December (http://stairclimb.kintera.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=285455&supId=238888588) and it has been going really well. I think the key, for me at least, is to have a definite goal and timeframe that I cannot back out of. A good roommate who won’t let you skip out helps too.

    Anyway, that’s my short blurb. Can’t wait to see what ’09 has in store!

  10. Allie says:

    Oh jeeminy. I don’t remember what my “past” year’s resolution was, so that means I obviously didn’t keep it.😦

    Regardless, I’ve decided for next year (2009 already, holy crud) to think in terms of goals, not “resolutions”. Given that I’m in training for the Chicago Marathon, itself a huge chunk of a goal, I need to break things down into manageable chunks, otherwise I become overwhelmed.

    And further, at least for me, goals help create accountability, since I have deadlines I have to meet, and have to deal with the disappointment and frustration of not meeting them. I’m with you, Dan Peterson. The accountability (read: kick in the arse) built into specific goals helps me meet them!

  11. Joseph Lee says:

    PE, your a baller! I’ll try and help you with your new years resolution and play with you, how does that sound?

  12. eugenecho says:

    @joseph: sounds good.

    but after we finish that website!

  13. […] to everything 24 – everywhere – for only $8andchange and I need to use it.  145. 145.  145.  And lots of basketball this year.  I’m coming out of […]

  14. […] Your ‘past’ year resolution?, Eugene Cho […]

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One Day’s Wages

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Checking out Canada in case I need to move up North after the presidential election. Just saying, eh.

Downtown Toronto. Fascinating architecture. Amazed by the diversity of this city. We desperately want our children to not just be captivated by the beauty of creation...but more importantly, to the actual Creator of all that is good and beautiful.

Actually, we want and need this truth for our souls, too. What a privilege. This isn't possible without all those who give, pray, and support the work of @onedayswages. This week, I signed and mailed grants to three partner organizations totaling over $170,000. These grants will empower people by supporting maternal health care, refugee relief efforts, access to clean water, provide education, etc.

Sometimes, the brokenness of the world feel so overwhelming but let's keep running the race with endurance. Let's keep pursuing justice, mercy, and humility. Let's be faithful and may we be spurred on to keep working for God's Kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, thank you so much for your support for @onedayswages! My wife, Minhee, and I stand on the shoulders of praying mothers. I'd like to take a moment to honor my mother-in-law. It's hard to put words together to embody her life but she is a very special, anointed person. I'm so blessed to have her as a mother in my life.

She was a devoted wife until she lost her husband to cancer, mother to three daughters, and later became a pastor. She became a follower of Christ as an adult and as such, led her her family to Christ. In her late 50s, she obeyed God's calling to go to seminary and be a leader in the church. She graduated #1 in her class and reminded us that it's never too late to follow a new dream or calling.

As she'll soon celebrate her 80th birthday, I'm especially grateful for the ways that she poured into and prayed over Minhee and her other children.  Even though she's officially retired, I'm inspired that the concept of retirement is not in her vocabulary.  She continues to serve the local church, evangelize and bear witness to Christ, and goes to the early morning prayer meeting at 5am everyday to pray for our family, our church, and for others. 
Jangmonim, we love and honor you. 어머니, 사랑합니다.

Someday, I hope that when my kids speak of Minhee and I...above all, they would say with integrity that their parents prayed for them and kept pointing them to Christ. On this Mother's Day, I want to take a few words to honor mother.

There’s a moment from a few years ago that will stick with me until the day I die. It’s regarding Sung Wha, my mother.

Minhee and I were at a point of transition, between working at an ethnic Korean church in the northern suburbs of Seattle called Lynnwood and launching Quest in urban Seattle. As I shared earlier, I was in desperate need of a job. I had a mortgage to pay. A pregnant wife. A kid at home. 
Then, praise God, after months without work, I finally landed a job.

My mom was in between jobs at this point in her life. She was in her late fifties, but she had such bad knees and degenerative hips that it was, and is, difficult for her to walk. My mom is like a human barometer—when a storm is coming and when it rains, her hips throb. Although my parents lived in San Francisco, she was visiting us in Seattle to encourage us in this difficult season.

As I prepared to go to work one early morning, I walked downstairs to put on my jacket and shoes, and forgot that my mother woke up early every morning to pray. In fact, she had been praying for months that I would find a job. “Eugene, where are you going?” she said when she saw me.

I hadn’t told my mother the news that I had just recently been hired for the janitorial gig at Barnes and Noble. I chose not to because I thought she and my father would be devastated. I didn’t want them to think that after laboring, sacrificing, and doing so much for us over all those years that their son had failed them.

But I couldn’t lie to her, so eventually I told my mom that I got a job and was going to work. “Great! What job? What are you doing?” “Um, I’m working at Barnes and Noble as their custodian,” I said finally.

Without asking another question, my mother got up from the dining table where she had been reading her Bible and praying. She slowly walked slowly toward me.

She approached me, then walked past me without saying a word, and I realized she was headed toward the closet. She opened the closet door, put on her jacket, turned around and said to me (in Korean), “Eugene, let’s go together. I will help you.” This is my mother. I love all the free amazing views in our Evergreen State. #RattlesnakeLedge

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