Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Back to School

I spend a fair amount of my life on the road traveling to events all over the country. It's become a part of who I am and it's a very comfortable place for me to be. It doesn't matter to me whether it's a 6,000 plus people at a Team in Training pasta party or 10 people in a running specialty store. I like being out there and talking to, and with, other runners and walkers.

This week, though, I am going to Lima, Ohio to talk to a group of elementary students - and I am scared to death. OK, not to death, but I am much more nervous about speaking in front of a bunch of kids than adults. Kids, you know, won't let you get away with anything. If you're not "getting it done" they will let you know in a hurry.

It's an interesting group, though. The school has a "positive addiction" program in which the students train for a 5K. Guess that's why they think bringing in a running guy makes sense. So, at least I'll be able to relate to their experiences getting ready for the race.

I've been trying to find a way to package the "penguin" message into something that works for a 5th grader and it's not that easy! I don't think many of the kids at that age will have struggled with cigarettes and booze! At least I hope not.

But, I think, one of the essential elements of being a "penguin" is learning to define yourself FOR yourself. Many of us - and I suspect so many of them - have been defined by the people around us that we have no idea who or what we truly are. And if we start buying into other's expectations as children it's nearly impossible to break free of those expectations as adults.

So that's my plan; to help them learn to be strong in themselves and what they want to be. Wish me luck.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Days of Wine and Roses

Now I know how the other half lives.

I traveled with Jenny and her Chicago Endurance Sports training group to the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon. Because of a special "package" deal we stayed at the Four Seasons - Biltmore. Oh MY! It's an beautiful hotel, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with gorgeous grounds. No way I could afford to stay there if we hadn't gotten a HUGE break on the price. But, it was nice to pretend to be rich for a weekend.

Somehow, I keep forgetting that just because it's California that doesn't mean it's going to be hot. Maybe because here in the midwest we imagine that there's nothing but fun and sun out there, but it WASN'T there this weekend. I own - without exaggeration - 20 fleece jackets or vest and DID NOT take one of them with me. So, I had to by a hooded sweatshirt just to survive the weekend.

The event itself was a bit of a mixed bag. Because I'm at so often a BIG races I'm always a little surprised at what "real world" events look like. They're often pretty low key affairs where the fun seems to come mostly from the social aspects of the experience. Most of the folks there were from the local running community and it was a chance for them to get together for a fun time.

The big difference at THIS race was the opportunity to do some wine tasting after you finished. I'm sure that provided MORE than enough motivation for the participants to keep moving. The course itself was very scenic and the only glitch I saw was that - somehow - they forgot to put out the mile markers! Other than that, though, it was a nice event.

This is a short week at home. I off to Ohio on Thursday.

Waddle on,

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Road Warriors

It's late Tuesday night and I'm just getting around to this week's Blog. I'm getting better at getting to the keyboard at LEAST once a week. My goal is still to get something out every Tuesday and Friday.

I'm late getting back because my son, Terry, and I spent 6 hours on the road - each way - traveling to Randleman, NC to visit with the folks at the Victory Junction Gang Camp about the Run to Victory on December 7. . December may be a long way away, but planning a event is a year-round job.

We're excited about the potential of raising over $200,000 this year. Click Here to find out more about the camp, the race, and how you can help.

Oh, by the way, that's NOT my truck. The truck was donated to the camp by young Country Music sensation Taylor Swift.

For those of you who have been following the "statin saga", I'm happy to report that - for now - the Lipitor seems to be working without any major side affects. I haven't been able to do as much running as I'd like so I'll wait to make a final call, but I am optimistic.

More later.