Friday, June 21, 2013

One Nation Under God

I'm in the midst of a trip that is highly reminiscent of my old college travels...  Moving 100 miles a minute, going everywhere possible and doing anything and everything possible.  It was a pleasant reminder of just how many incredible things there are to see and do in this world of ours.  And how much goodness and beauty permeates every aspect of our lives

I started out back in CT for my high school reunion, reminiscing about the good old days, and sharing stories about life's latest developments.  While most of this was new jobs, weddings and children, one of my classmates was getting ready to embark on his second trip to drive supplies to tornado ravaged in Moore, OK.  I've always taken great pride in my time at Prep, but seeing this type of action from my classmates makes me even prouder of Prep men and reinforces my belief that we all have heroes within us.  Next up was Father's Day, a day to enjoy with the incredible family I have been blessed with (and that will continue to grow as my cousin is expecting, and my sister is tying the knot in a few months)

The following day my brother and I took the train to New York City and explored a bit with a friend of mine.  There is no place like NY -  Some hate it, so many love it.  Fast paced and a true melting pot of all cultures and lifestyles, it is a city like no other.  I wish I had the opportunity to visit more often, but if there is nothing else I've learned over the last few months, I need to take the initiative to create more opportunity and make it happen

Next up was a few days in Salt Lake City.  Although our late night flight was delayed significantly due to weather, it didn't end up being too bad.  Our flight was full, a large part being a very enthusiastic and energetic church group which kept the wait entertaining.  They were just returning from a trip around the northeast, having visited both New York and Boston.  As a Bostonian, it made me smile to see so many of them wearing Boston gear in a NYC airport.  And on the subject of human goodness, many of them were getting ready for their mission trips all around the world

They had seen my home, now it was time for me to see theirs.  After a very early morning arrival, I struggled to drag myself out of bed for a run late the next morning.  I only had two days to run in Utah, and I'd make the most of it.  We were staying right near the Jordan River, so I went for a slow jog along the Jordan River Parkway.   It was a beautiful run, however the dry air was a challenge for me.  I'm used to Miami heat - hot and humid.  This was very different and would certainly take some adjustment before it became comfortable

After that, we spent the rest of the day making new friends.  We met a bunch of great folks from JetBlue, and it was an honor to meet in person the employee who blessed me with my first post marathon full night of sleep.  Since our courts have granted corporations 'personhood' more of them need to take a page from the JetBlue playbook and be model members of society as opposed to the typical sociopathic behavior displayed by most corporations.  How does JetBlue profit by awarding reward points for donations to the One Fund?  Directly, they don't, but indirectly it all comes back to them.  I can tell you for sure my family and I prefer JetBlue because they are willing to do the right thing, even when it means the bottom line gets padded just a little bit less in the short term

As chance would have it, the red, white and blue were playing a World Cup Qualifier in Salt Lake that evening.  Of course we had to go there!  It was my first high level soccer game and was quite an experience.  We also managed to get out in time to watch the end of the Heat game, although I think I was the only one rooting for Miami

Our second day in Utah was jam packed.  I woke up bright and early and went for a run along the base of the mountains with one of our new friends.  Then we went downtown and took a little tour of Temple Square which was absolutely beautiful.  After a little bit of 'work' it was back to having fun.  There was too much to do in only a few hours, so we had our guides show us around for a bit :)  Dinner and some exploring the great outdoors - like those tall pointy things that almost reach the sky.  We don't have those in Miami

Next we had our red eye flight back to NYC with a quick connection back to Boston.  Now two months later, I was back again.  This time my family and I did the touristy things.  In all my time there, I had never done a Fenway tour or a duck tour.  Until now

There are millions of beautiful places and incredible people in this world, but for me nothing can ever compare to Boston

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Next Mile

I ran my first race since the marathon this Saturday morning.  It was only a 5K, definitely not my favorite distance.  I happened to be in Connecticut visiting my family and my old cross country coach pointed out that there was a 5K road race in Newtown, CT.  Here was an opportunity to continue my healing process in the heart of another community that had experienced the unthinkable, and an opportunity to contribute in a tiny way to that community as well.  It was exactly two months after Boston, and just over six months since Sandy Hook
So I arrived race morning and decided to see what kind of time I was capable of.  I figured a good target was about 20-21 minutes.  At just under 7 minutes per mile, this was just a tad faster than the half marathon pace I was running in March.  My training has certainly been thrown off a bit since, but it's not like I was planning on setting any records or anything anyway
It was a relatively small race, with just over 500 entries.  I finished with a time of 21:06, good enough for 23rd overall and 2nd in my age group.  It's the first trophy I've earned in a long time, and definitely means just a bit more with it being my first race since Boston. They had run out of race shirts, but thankfully one of the race volunteers offered me hers.   She also got a different colored version as a volunteer and didn't need the race shirt, so I got a race tee as well.  It's a little thing, but a little thing that meant a lot
Next up the Fairfield Half Marathon this Sunday.  It was 19 years ago here that I really became a runner.  It was the first runners high I ever got, and the first time I actually enjoyed running - a pleasure that I hope to always have