Some Quick Updates

Well, I promised to be more frequent with my posts, didn’t I?  And I see the last time I posted was following the Roper YMCA 5K on August, 28.  Oops.  Guess what?  Two more 5K’s have come and gone since then.  Had no idea it had been so long in between.


So let me give you some quick updates:


The Puzzle Run went very well.  Not an easy course; a combination of sand, gravel, asphalt along with the up’s, down’s and roll that come with the territory as you go west, out of Winter Garden, and get closer to the Lake County line.  Yes.  Even in flat, sunny, Central Florida you can find some challenging up and down.  Was very pleased with my effort considering the course.  !:09 and change.  Finished SECOND in my age group!!  Of course there was only one in the age group!!  Just kidding.  But it is a really fun race.  I like the course so much, can’t wait to do it next year.


And the best part of the day (Besides the post-race breakfast.) was meeting a fellow athlete, Raj.  He has challenges of his own, as he competes using prosthetic devices.  He took the time to stay with and encourage me as he was finishing.  (I was finishing the 5K.  He was completing the 10K.)  I had heard about Raj and his activities as a triathlete and runner.  I had heard what a great guy he is but had never met him.  I’m so glad we connected.  He’s even better than great.  Can’t wait to spend more time.


Last weekend’s Autumn Rock N Run 5K was even better time-wise, 1:05 something.  That’s four minutes and something better than the Puzzle Run.    Was able to comfortably jog about 2/3 of the course.  The most important thing whether walking, running or crawling I finished what I started.  And then there was post-race breakfast with Jazmin (The Dudette) and Noelle.  Race day doesn’t get any better than the breakfast that follows and good company that comes with it.


By the way, as she often does, The Dudette chose to stay with me, during the race, rather than see how close she could get herself to the front.  Thanks, Dudette.  Running/walking events sure are a lot more fun when you are in them.


As part of my core/strength/balance workout, I’m back to shooting basketball.  Other than running, there are not many sports I love more than shooting hoops.


I now have a neighbor who, even with his own chronic pain challenges, has accepted my call to come out and stroll with me.  Thanks for coming out, Chuck.  We’re consistently doing three miles three times a week.  It’s tough sometimes.  But the good news is if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’ll both be healthier and I’m certain pain levels will be reduced.  I’m proud of my friend.


It has been a difficult last few days for Cheryl and me.  We remembered her dad’s birthday Tuesday September, 13.  Louis was a special man.  We love and miss him very much.


Friday September, 16 would have been my mother’s birthday.  Moma Esther once told me I was the most amazing person she had ever met.  All I know is it takes one to know one.  She is and always will be the most amazing woman I have ever known.


Tomorrow, September, 18 I’ll remember my dad on his birthday.  Popa Spud was the most amazing man I ever met.  His wisdom forms the foundation by which I try to live my life.  When I was very young, he told me “We won’t be around forever.  And you’ll never make it diggin’ a ditch.”  For my parents, that meant I would not just go to school.  It meant I would graduate from high school AND college.  It meant I would go to work.  They taught me to get back up when I fell down.  They prepared me to live life on my own.  All of this meant in spite of obvious physical challenges everything possible would be done to make me the best person I could be.


In short, my parents set the bar high.  I’m so glad they did.  They sacrificed so much for me.  I’m sure their high standards are why I live life the way I do.  As challenging as things can sometimes be, I’m thankful God gave me the parents he did.  I wouldn’t change a thing.


If you have followed my blog’s at all, you know my life is a story of heroes.  My life has been touched by many people who have inspired and kept me moving forward.  But Moma Esther and Popa Spud will always top the list.  How many people can say they have been blessed to have two #1 heroes in their life?  You are loved.  You are missed.  You will NEVER be forgotten.


Next up on the race/travel calendar is the Plains Peanut Festival 5K.  The race and festival are September, 24.  In case you may have forgotten, Plains, Georgia is the home of former President Jimmy and First Lady Rosalynn Carter.  The former President hands out the race awards.  I’m excited.  This will be my second visit to the festival and the 5K.  Maybe we’ll get a chance to say hello to Mr. & Mrs. Carter.  But be warned, citizens and visitors of Plains.  For Cheryl, it’s not about the history. It’s not about the possibility of meeting a former President and First Lady.  It’s not about the race.  It’s all about the FRESH PEANUTS!!  The warehouses may be empty by the time she’s done.  I’m just planning on getting out of the way.  Yeah, baby!!