once again back is the incredible

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It has been four months since I have posted to ye old blog. Sorry for the absence, but not much to report. A back surgery, physical therapy, a million acupuncture needles and stretching exercises, nothing all that newsworthy.

This morning I kept wiping tears from my eyes as my man Meb won the Boston Marathon. Meb too has overcome age and injuries. He became the first American to win Boston since 1983, the year after the bombing. You couldn’t make up a story like Meb.

I watched Meb’s face in the last miles. He was in pain. He struggled. He grimaced. A younger man was chasing him down, but he persevered. The post-race interview did not include the normal Meb smile, he left it all out on the course.

Over the last couple of weeks I have begun some early steps of running again. My physical therapist noted that even though I can’t fully dorsiflex my foot, that is not an incredibly important running motion (unless you are a heal striker like me, who now has to relearn how to run). So over the last two weeks I have gone from being able to clumsily jog a slow quarter mile, to a half mile. Today, with #MebStrong inspiring me, I did a full mile. I had to alternate running and walking, I had the music of MC5 propelling me, it was not fast or pretty, but my feet travelled their first non-stop full mile since December. Perseverance never stops.

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A Festivus Miracle

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Six months ago yesterday I fell off a bike.

In September I sprained my back, an ankle, and a foot.

Last week I pulled a tendon above my ankle.

A few weeks ago I registered for the Festivus 5k. As a person who actually brings out the festivus pole every year and wrestles with the boys for feats of strength, there is no way I could resist a Festivus 5k. But with the accumulation of injuries, I began to wonder if running this was wise. However, my physical therapist pushed me and said you cannot live in fear, go out and have fun.

So I did.

It was cold and windy, the hill on mile two was steep, and I ran slower than I have ever run any 5K, but it was a blast.

One of the last people to cross the finish line was my friend Kelley Garcia–with her big smile, loud laugh, and carrying an inflated lamb (mutton, honey) the entire way. Seeing Kelley reminded me that running is not about the time on the clock, but the time spent living life and sharing joy.
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Regardless of the injuries it was a Festivus miracle.
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Team Amazing Day out in force! Sharing the morning with Brynn and John.

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Thankfulness Race Report

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Thankfulness Race Report

Thank you for loving me” –Thank you for hearing me, Sinead O’Connor

Before this year, health is something I always took for granted. I figured a day would come when the physical body would begin to fail, but I thought that was decades away. Despite my gray hair, I didn’t consider my body any differently than I did when I was in my 20s. After the bike accident on June 13th, my perspective on health and strength changed.

Following the bike accident, I dealt with a series of other physical setbacks—in September alone I withstood a sprained foot, sprained ankle, and sprained back. But over these months, I found deeper spiritual strength than ever before.

As my body healed, I planned to run the thanksgiving Turkey Trot. In a somewhat ironic and strangely fitting way, the week before the race I got hit with a strong head cold. Even when I picked up the packet yesterday, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to run or not.

“You can walk, you can talk just like me.” –Thank you for sending me an angel, Talking Heads

The starting line included 500 people and I stood next to a man running his first 5K, in honor of a niece who had been murdered. From a distance, I saw a hand counting down from five and we were off on the 30 degree Thanksgiving morning.

I started at a fairly moderate pace. With a crowd of people around me, the remnants of a cold in my head, and an ankle I’ve been nursing the last couple of months, I didn’t push the pace. I selected music to listen to that spoke of thankfulness and took whatever my body would give me.

“You call me and it’s not so bad, it’s not so bad.” –Thank You by Dido

Finish with my This Amazing Day teammate Brynn

Finish with my This Amazing Day teammate Brynn

My Garmin watch was alone and forgotten on the kitchen counter at home, so I had no idea the pace or distance I was running. When I thought we had run about one mile, I was surprised to pass the sign that read “Mile 2”. Not to long after there was a turn around point and I began to pick up the pace. It seemed like only a few minutes later we passed the “Mile 3” sign and my legs turned faster. I sprinted to the finish, passing about a half dozen people in the last 100 meters.

“It’s Called Gratitude, And That’s Right” –Gratitude, Beastie Boys

I finished at 27:17 with a lot of strength left in my body. Had it not been for the head cold, I could have taken a few minutes off that time. But today was not about speed, it was about being thankful for health, deeper strength, and the love of so many friends and family that have supported me this year.

Thank you to all of you who have loved me and helped to make me a better husband, father, friend, son, brother, pastor, and child of God.

Run/Walk from Malaria 5K

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Three years ago we did our first run/walk from Malaria 5K.

At the time, a child died of malaria every 30 seconds. Today, because of efforts like this, malaria’s impact has been cut in half.

However, there is still work to be done to remove this preventable disease from the planet.

Join us on November 16, 2013 as we walk/run a 5K around the Albuquerque Academy. For the cost of registration ($25) you will have fun, get some exercise, receive a T-shirt, and save two lives!

http://www.active.com/albuquerque-nm/running/run-from-malaria-2013

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The Inadvertent 5K, Take 2

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Registration by lantern

Back in January, I ran in a 5K with about 15 minutes of planning. I didn’t have time to warm up, showed up late, and got second place for all masters.

Tonight, I nearly repeated the same practice and ran the same course. This time, I decided to run a 5K about an hour and a half before the race started. And while I can claim that I was the first person to finish, it was only because the rest of the runners continued 9 more laps as part of the Albuquerque Academy 50K (they are running as I type and will continue running as I sleep).

This was a low-key, self-supported event. At 8pm, the race director, Kelley Garcia, looked at the crowd and simply said, “Okay, go” and without as much as a starting line the race was on.

The start of the 50K… or for me the 5K

While I ran at a pace significantly slower than January, it was great to be back out amongst other runners with a number pinned on my chest. They continued on their long journey, I drove away satisfied to simply have participated.