by Steven Dybvad

I’m just getting so frustrated with my knee. This morning I got up, went to breakfast and my knee felt just fine, no pain or soreness at all, but as soon as I started running on the track today I could feel the soreness in my knee before I even made it halfway through my first lap. Of course I acted very stupid, continuing to run, hoping that I could somehow workout the soreness by running more. After each lap I ran, the soreness in my knee increased and yet I continued to run. By the time I was reaching my two mile marker, the soreness in my knee changed into pain and at that point I had to stop, frustrated that my body wouldn’t allow me to run any farther. I realize and understand that I’m supposed to listen to my body, when I feel pain it’s telling me to stop, but my obsessive compulsive personality tells me that if I don’t complete my exercise routine I’m going to let it bother me for the rest of the day. I just need to be smarter and take care of myself, the last thing I want to do is injure myself even more, or permanently for that matter.

by Steven Dybvad

Over the past week, my knee has started to feel a lot better. I’ve been exercising a little more each day, jogging while in place in my cell, doing jump jacks, squats, etc. Now I’m ready for the warm weather this week so I can get back out on the track and do some real running. I’ll probably just run at or around three miles my first few days back out, just to make sure that I don’t overdo it or re-injure myself in any way. The last thing I want to do is injure my knee even more, keeping me from being able to continue running every day, or even exercising for that matter. I love my fitness routine, it doesn’t just keep me healthy and fit, it also keeps me sane in this insane environment that I put myself in. Running gives me time to clear my mind and think clear, rational thoughts, focusing on my life, my goals, no matter how long term or short term they may be.

by Steven Dybvad

Now that I’m finished with my grandmothers drawing for her birthday, I’ve already started on a Mothers’ Day gift idea that I have. I’m not sure how this gift is going to turn out yet, it’s my first time doing something like this, that’s why I’m getting an early start, this way if it doesn’t turn out good I’ll have enough time to do something else. I can’t explain exactly what I’m doing because of course my mother reads these journal entries, inevitably spoiling the surprise, however I do have confidence in my art work. Many years ago, when I was around fourteen or fifteen I carved a figure of Mother Mary from a piece of cedar wood. of course in here I don’t have a piece of cedar or even a knife to carve with for that matter, but I do have access to many art supplies in this level two camp and I’m sure I can make something special for my wonderful mother.

by Steven Dybvad

3/29/2014

I saw my daughter, Caitlin on the local news; she was with a group of her classmates, standing next to some type of generator that they’re studying, a replica of the one that powers the current Mars Rover. Caitlin studies engineering in school, which is probably why she was on the news with her classmates. I’m not sure exactly why she was on the news; I had just walked in my cell, returning from chow when at the last few seconds before they switched over to a different report. I’m anxious to get an email from her and find out the details.

by Steven Dybvad

3/28/2014

I’ve been working on a drawing on a piece of cloth for my grandmother’s birthday for over a week now and it’s taking much longer to complete then I thought it would. Today I have to focus all of my attention on finishing it in order to get it in the mail by tomorrow morning, so that way it will reach her in time for her birthday, April 1st. It started off just a picture of praying hands, with a cross behind the hands an at the bottom, but then I added some background work, then some border work, then some flowers in the corners and before I knew it I was running out of time. I’m sure I’ll get it done today; I just don’t like to rush my drawing, especially on a piece of unforgiving cloth. I was going to make her a card too, but now I don’t have enough time, so I’ll just have to get one from the commissary

by Steven Dybvad

3/27/2014

Today, a man I talk to in here, that has been in prison for the last thirty years showed me the craziest thing earlier. He just got a letter in the mail that was sent to him 27 years ago, all the way back in 1987. I know this to be true because I saw the letter stamped and dated with my own eyes. It was his birth certificate that he applied for in 1987 and he just received it today. It came with a note stapled to it, explaining and dating its path, following him to several prisons, continuously getting lost and finally reaching him today, 27 years later.
We’ve been having a few problems with our mail lately. A woman that works in the mail room was caught hiding our mail in order to get overtime at the end of each day. The mail was getting so backed up that we were getting our letters, magazines, etc. two and three weeks late, so the warden put more staff members like secretaries and other guards from various areas of the prison into the mail room in order to catch up, that’s when the other workers discovered what the mailroom lady was doing. We heard from other guards that she was fired, but now she’s back working in the mailroom again already. This is the result of their powerful union, fighting the prison until she was right back in the mailroom working again. Of course everything I hear like this is through the grapevine, but likely to be true due to the sources. I only hope that our mail is taken a little more seriously and professionally this time.

by Steven Dybvad

3/26/2014

I’m extremely upset right now. My video visit with Justin fell through because Jpay continues a service standard far below par. At 10am I sat down for my video session, unable to log on, then I noticed that the computer said that the time was only 9:30am, not allowing me to log on until the clock red 10am. So I called my mother to relay a text message to Justin, explaining my predicament, asking him to stay on the computer for a half hour until I was able to log on. Finally the computer red 10am, I logged on for my visit, only to get booted off the screen, unable to sit down for my much anticipated session with Justin. However frustrated I may be at the moment, I know of course it’s not the end of the world, I’ll have another chance to talk with Justin in the future, I just know how valuable his time is and I wish it could have gone a little smoother this morning. Jpay continues to gives us inmate’s problems, we continue to send them complaints, but it doesn’t seem to be doing us any good. I only wish that Jpay would take us and our money well spent a little more seriously.

by Steven Dybvad

3/25/2014

Tomorrow I have a video visit with Justin Paperny. Justin isn’t just a good friend and role model, he’s also an advisor and a leader to the Santos foundation, along with Michael, together they run the Straight A Guide program. Justin is also my publisher for my very first book coming out this summer. I haven’t been able to speak with him in a long time, so I really look forward to our conversation tomorrow. Justin lives in California, which is three hours behind Ohio; our video session is at 10:00a.m. Ohio time, that means he’ll be talking to me at 7:00 a.m. California time. I only hope he’s had his coffee and is not too tired, lol, but seriously I’m sure we’ll have a great conversation. Justin is always so motivational when we talk, he gives me great advice, and helps me concentrate my goals and efforts more specifically and realistically, and I value his words tremendously.

by Steven Dybvad

3/24/2014

I started working on a painting on a cloth for my grandmothers’ 89th birthday next month. It’s turning out to be a bigger project then I thought. Each time I draw, I come up with another idea. My grandma is a big Christian, so of course the theme of my drawing is God. I just hope that with all the times I’ve had to start all over I can finish it in time to get it shipped to her house by April 1st, on her birthday.

by Steven Dybvad

These past few days   I’ve been stuck, having a difficult time thinking clearly enough to document   anything in my blogg. I’m not down and depressed which is always an   improvement for me, things just feel a little stagnant right now, causing me   to draw a blank every time I sit down to write. Running, cardio and calisthenics   have always helped me to clear my mind and formulate ideas for my blog. My   injured knee has put a major damper on all this. I continue to feel a great deal   of frustration, hoping that the next day my knee will feel better and each   day my knee continues to bother me, each day I feel unaccomplished with my   goals and a stronger sense of hopelessness grows with every day that my knee   doesn’t heal. I know that healing takes time, I know that I need to listen to   my body when it says to stop and that’s just what I’m doing, but my addictive   personality wants my knee to be healed right now, it wants to run right now,   and so on and so forth. With everything in perspective, I should be thanking   God right now that the worst of my complaints are just an injured knee,   things could be much worse for me, I am truly blessed.

by Steven Dybvad

3/22/2014

I sent another kite to the educational department recently to make sure that I am in fact still on the waiting list for the horticulture class this year. I just received a response to my kite that was a little disconcerting to read. This time the response was yes, I am on the waiting list for class, but they weren’t sure when I would get a chance to start, that means it might not be this time around, which means that I would have to wait another year and that would be very unfortunate because this year is my last and only chance for class because the course is twelve months long, meaning that I wouldn’t have enough time left in my prison sentence to complete the course if they make me wait until next year. I really want to take this class, not for a piece of paper that says I completed something to make me look good in front of the prison board like many inmates do for an early release, I ‘m doing this for my own personal benefit and education, I want to learn as much as I can about plants and how to treat them, I’m fascinated with plants and gardening, I always have been. This is a rare opportunity for me to learn before being released, where I’ll have to work to earn a living, making it much more difficult to find the time and money for such an education. I only hope they don’t squander my chances off on someone else who might take such an opportunity for granted

by Steven Dybvad

Spring is finally here! I can’t wait for some consistently warm weather, to enjoy running on the outside track, working out under the sun, on the pull-up bar, etc. Almost every inmate loves to see the seasons change, it’s a sure sign that time is moving by, just one more winter closer to going home. For me, I do enjoy winter when I’m skiing on a mountain, or spending Christmas with the family, making snowmen with the kids, but other than that winter just isn’t for me. I often wonder if I should one day move to a state where the climate is consistently warm, like Florida. Too often I feel emotionally affected by bad weather. I’m really hoping that prison is the main reason why I’m so affected by seasonal changes and maybe it will subside in the real world. I really can’t say I know how much I was affected before coming to prison because I was always under the influence of substances, day after day, all year around, in a cosmic state of mind. The real test is freedom, the opportunity for preparation is now, no day spent in here goes un-utilized in preparation for success upon my release.


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