Steady Your Hearts…Choose Your Glory!!

i hadn’t been at the movies since i took a solo trip to the theater for “Wolf of Wallstreet”. i’m not sure how i managed to stay away for this long but I’m glad that dry spell is over. i think it was a good movie to break the rut too. “300: Rise of an Empire”. It won’t be winning any awards but it’s OK sometimes you just want to see some stuff blow up and bad assery at it’s finest.

i think it’s because at one point i was on the receiving end of one of those motivating speeches before going into battle that i can really appreciate those moments regardless of how cheesy it seems out of context of any real fear or danger for the audience.

obviously my battle was different and i was wearing just a tad bit more clothing but as any other warrior can tell you it’s not the size of your war that matters. the feeling just before it is what will forever stay with me. I guess it’s the overwhelming amount of time you hover in fight or flight mode that really does a number on how anything else will ever be experienced in our lives.

which brought me back to real life. i’ve expressed how my build up wears me down and i start seeing marathon in everything. well this movie really did a number on me. the first battle is actually the battle of marathon. the entire narrative of the movie is taking us towards Athens like that first marathon did so very long ago.

well that’s my two cents. i enjoyed the movie because i can check out when i walk through the door, if you’re already a fan then you will dig it. it’s not a pre-qual or a se-qual it’s more of a parallel story to the one of Leonidas and his 300.

#runstreak update. Day 100!!

ooops did I do that….

i woke up this morning still not shooting on all cylinders. if you’ve been reading the blog for at least a few days you know the reason. short version it’s a combination of some adult liquid calories over the weekend and my oreo binge last night.

after a shower and other morning routine stuff i woke up the boy and well he was tired to and my first reaction was less than awesome. i felt terrible the moment the words left my mouth. it wasn’t his fault that i’d made some poor decisions. not to mention he was acting just exactly how i felt on the inside (if you ask my wife i was acting like that on the outside too).

luckily i was dropping him off and so I had another half hour to first of all apologize. i’m no above apologizing to my son. i could tell he was still not certain why i had snapped but we talk like we always do and he knew dad was back on board with our normal fun.

I dropped him off and drove to work. when i drop him off i have an extra long drive and so i switch through quite a few radio stations. I heard someone reading a blog/article about being a perfect parent. they tried to talk it up only to get back to the point of it being incredibly difficult to live up to perfect standards.

i immediately thought of something i’d heard before “THE ONLY TIME YOU’RE A PERFECT PARENT IS BEFORE YOU HAVE CHILDREN”. I couln’t help but smile at the thought that I had just messed something up royally that morning but that ultimately it wasn’t the end of the world. The day would go on. Not I nor anyone else would be a perfect parent and for the most part parents do the best with what they have.

I will always think back on the first day I met either one of my children and wonder how soon after i met them did I mess something up. i will say that lessons learned from meeting the boy has made me a better father to the girl and meeting the girl has made me think about the man i’ve become and how different i am to the man who met the boy.

i’ll end this post with another i’m sorry to my son. i try very hard to not stress out on life and even more so to keep your life as peaceful as possible since life will be hard as it is with out your dad adding to the crazyness.

Take me to the candy, I mean book store.

I purchased a few books today.

At least that’s how I’m telling it. If you talk to my wife about it I may have brought home the entire bookstore and she didn’t want any part of it. She was flabbergasted at the register and I was waiting for her to start asking questions about the library as she does from time to time. Today is gone and it didn’t go anywhere so I’m rushing to put the books away and I might have made it with out a scratch.

I started to think about my trip, and the damage done. I have never really been against the library trips, but I do appreciate owning a “few” books. So I think I might look for the library card and if I truly love a book I might then go buy it. Using that method it will have to be an amazing book to warrant a trip to the book store. Either that or I need to make more “smaller” trips so it’s not all in one bang.

I won’t go through the entire list but I do have to mention “Unbroken”. I’m beyond excited to watch the movie later this year but I was so saddened about not having heard about this incredible man; Louis Zamperini. This is what prompted the trip to the store. I have no idea how all the other books made it into my bag. I also grabbed books for the boy and girl.

I’ve been reading a book a week and I actually think the rate at which I’m reading at has increased quite a bit. So I will read “Unbroken” next week starting Wednesday. So if you haven’t read it yet, hurry up and pick up a copy before a spoiler filled post sometime next week. Fine, no spoilers. You should still go buy this ASAP and read what I know will be an inspiring journey.

“Everything’s going to be OK”

Hello February!

The first day of February started off with a 10 mile run at marathon pace. To be honest I thought I’d take it a whole lot easier out there considering tomorrow will start with 20 miles. Yet as I took off and I breathed in the cold morning air. I thought about how lucky I am to be feeling the cold air on my skin. I remembered the same date 11 years ago.

It was the day before my one year anniversary. This story though is not about that anniversary because I didn’t kiss my wife good morning. I didn’t get a chance to thank her for an amazing year. I didn’t wine her or dine her. When I finally fell asleep that night I couldn’t help but think if I’d ever get another chance at an anniversary. You see on February 1st, 2003 I said good bye to my family and with my fellow Marines began our trek to Kuwait where we’d stage and train and eventually head north to Iraq.

I didn’t run that day and other than the early morning (I slept at my parents place) to drive down to Camp Pendleton. It was a fairly easy day. Most of the planning and packing had been done and we were just waiting now. My family would meet me on base later than evening. My dad would drive my car back home for me (I now know it was just so he could be alone). That good bye was the hardest thing I’d ever done. They seemed to take forever. My parents, a few other family members and of course my wife. As scared or excited as I was (I went from one to other a lot that night and for months after that) I maintained my composure until it was time to say good bye to my dad yet again. After he let the rest of my family go he came back to really say good bye.

I had never seen my father cry until that night. I was 20 years old but I too cried as I really allowed him to carry some of the heavy load I’d been carrying on my shoulders all night. He told me everything would be OK and even if I knew that there was no way my dad could guarantee that it helped me deal with my own pain that night. I waited on the sidewalk for some time until I could no longer see his car and then I headed back into the barracks. The buses took quite a bit longer but I was glad that I saw them drive away and not the other way around. I sat on my rack for a while and waited. One by one my brothers came back into the room after taking care of their own good byes. Each quietly dealing with a very personal moment.

Since you’re reading this you know that it all worked out and my dad was right. When I got back I hugged my wife first then my siblings and mother. Then and only then did my dad embrace me and he again cried, this time tears of joy of course. I always tease him about the relief he must have felt that everything did indeed work out. As I now look back on these memories I realize that I no longer cried with him that night. (I’ll nip these thoughts right there) another post perhaps.

Now here we are back to February 1st, 2014. Only crying I heard today was my daughters, when the teether she was playing with fell out of her hands. I picked it up and after cleaning it heard myself saying “it’s OK baby girl, it’s going to be OK”. I felt my heart tighten up in my chest and my stomach jump to my throat. In that instant I felt my fathers arms around me and wondered yet again what all those months were like for my father. I wondered what all those months away were like for my wife. The hard part is getting them to tell me about their time while I was away when I don’t like talking to them about my TIME AWAY.

50 is nothing to sneeze at

Today with out much fan fare. I reached the 50th day of a self imposed #runstreak.

I had planned  a triumphant 5 mi run and then taking a day off (tomorrow) before my long weekend runs. I have 10 planned for Saturday and then 20 on Sunday per the Hal Higdon marathon training plan.

Life got in the way and I ran the minimum to keep my streak alive. 1 mi. I know I need to be OK with those days especially since I have really long runs coming up and I just ran 9mi and 19mi this last weekend. It’s just as a distance runner it feels like I’m cheating myself from some mileage.

I still haven’t committed to running for the whole year. I don’t want it to kill me, I want to “enjoy” my streak. So for now I’ll commit to getting to day 75. Perhaps I can cap it with a 7.5 mi run or 75 min run technically it should be around the same distance and time.

Just like my reading streak is going. It’s the 16th and I’ve read every day since the New Year. One book a week so far and although I know I can’t keep that pace. It’s kind of thrilling to have two books under my belt and only half way through the month really.

Are any of you out there on a streak? Have you read anything great so far this year? If you made any how are your New Year’s Resolutions going?

Dear Pen Pal,

How long has it been since you walked to the mail box (whether in the lobby of your building, or at the end of your driveway) and walked back to your place with a multiple page letter? Sure over the holidays we all received a holiday card or two. I love the photo cards but as far as reading and message no one will argue that it’s pretty generic.

As I remember my time overseas from time to time. I focus on some pleasant memories and just like it had been at boot camp: Mail Call was pretty nice. Especially after a few days of no mail when reading 1 letter after another is so fullfilling even if exhausting. (Think binge watching a great show nowadays on netflix or hulu) I’m not sure when the last time it is your received a letter like that but it’s been too long for me.

I want a pen pal again. I want to see life how someone else pictures it. I’m sure the first few exchanges might be short but surely if I cast a large enough net I might make a friend that I will soon enough exchange some long winded letters. I will also find it pretty amazing to close out a letter with an actual signature. Attaching postage and mailing out a letter.

Anyone out there want to be my pen pal? The farther from Los Angeles the better. We don’t have much of seasons here so I’d like to know how the seasons are for you and so many other things I might ask. If you’re a runner that would be pretty great.

Hello! Anybody there????

1984 : You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.

My room of torture would be completely bare. That’s what I fear, losing everyone and everything I know to be true and constant in my life. I assume one day I’ll be OK with being completely alone. For the time being the only time I’m at peace with my demons is while on a run. Other wise it’s just about too much to bare.

I’m sure that it may be some kind of Freudian revelation but I don’t know what it is or have the energy to look up what I’m doing or what it means.

Yet seriously disturbing would be the missing of my material positions but nothing would even compare to what losing my family could possibly do.

Aside from all that being alone just sucks all around. I don’t have to be OK with that and I’m sure when I am it means I’m getting ready to check out.