A 5k Down Memory Lane

We are in Michigan this weekend and I wanted to run at least a 5k distance while we were here. I need to train for the Syracuse half marathon in October which I am running with my friend Mike and it’s coming up fast. I thought it would be a good opportunity to run on the streets where I grew up. My former walk to the bus stop or my old paper route.

Here’s my stream of thought, I’ll apologize now… It’s filled full of inside information that maybe only interests me.

(yes the lack of punctuation is intentional)

I wonder if the Genova’s are home doggy death row is no longer there thankfully no more barking dogs let to roam free and weak havoc is billy okay the Bodary house looks the same I remember when their youngest was born he probably has kids of his own now this intersection of Remer and Speedway is where Aunt JoAnn got into a car accident we visited her at the hospital Nita Ct is Gina still living there where is Bill Altz now he has the inside track on fireworks as kids that house over they got raided for drugs I wonder if the new owners even know whispering woods park has a nice baseball field but it could use some infield grass this path through the park is nice and serene I hope I don’t get mosquito bites when the path goes in the forest I did not realize the park had two sand volleyball courts my friend Lisa would like that I wonder if she won her game or found her cat Chumlee I wonder if Kristie found a job or if she is still freelancing I need to start freelancing more 21 mile rd is always busy how many people on the road are going to work to home the store to the post office to Kroger or to the unemployment line should I run to Chuck’s parents house nah too far this is a long upward climb to Van Dyke Rd I miss you Mrs. Graber thank you for teaching me compassion and perseverance when i was an eight grader at Eppler I hope the SUV doesn’t hit me as i cross the street the War-Del motel are the rumors really true can you pay by the hour many a days were wasted at this taco bell taco’s used to be 59 cents when did Murray’s auto parts go away dammit I never told Brett I was coming in to MI I really like this song by Amos Lee no more Frank’s too sorry to see that company go wow the mexican food smells great and I can still remember the hush puppies from Long John Silvers too bad that is gone too at least Arby’s is still there and is the one beacon at the top of the street and where I should turn right what is Melanie up to today probably working it’s hot this morning there used to be a shoe on the telephone wire by Harry St when did they finally take that down they never did rebuild that house that burnt down used to deliver papers to that house that one the small one and that one too i should have collected the money better maybe I’d be more responsible now will the dirt road effect the run nope just fine watch for pot holes at three miles time to sprint the knee feels good the lungs feel good the legs are tired back at the Genova’s house 5k is done time to walk the rest of the way home


All Stall Questions Get Answers

My kids are funny.

They ask questions.

A shit ton of questions.

I love that they are so inquisitive, but there is one set of questions they ask that I rather they didn’t ask as much. They’re the stall questions before they formulate their thoughts. The “Dad, do you know what I find strange?” type of question that leads into what they really want to ask. I’m trying to get them to realize there is a better way to start a thought. Occasionally starting with a question is understandable but I want them to learn how to formulate their thought before they speak instead of using a lead in line to stall before they get to the point. When they get in front of their peers in school, or when they are working on a presentation to a future client I want them to speak intelligently with clear concise thoughts. In turn, they’ll be looked upon with greater authority and they’ll be able to command the room better.

Until then I will continue to use this opportunity to hone my improvisation skills.
Here are some of my responses to their stall questions.

Dad do you know what I find funny?
Realizing that plumbers do not grow on trees, but plums do?
Bears that juggle?
Pants with back pockets on the front?

Dad do you know what one thing I don’t understand?
Why the Germans invaded Poland?
How Wall Street trading works? Yeah I don’t understand that either.
The lyrics to songs written by James Mercer of The Shins?

Dad do you know what I find surprising?
The fact that three words that don’t rhyme happen to be colors? Silver, Purple and Orange… really what are the chances?
That all those clowns can fit in that tiny car?
That a cruise ship can float? Well that’s just basic physics…

Dad, do you know what I have been thinking?
That the movie Waterworld should never had been made?
That it’s a good thing cats don’t have opposable thumbs? Because if they did, I am pretty sure they’d rule to planet, well at least Canada.
Why Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck had to split up?

Dad, can I ask you something?
Sure, as long as it does not reference any movie involving Goldie Hawn.
Sure, as long as it has nothing to do with the rules of board game Stratego.
Depends, are you going to ask me if I can eat fire? Pretty sure I can’t do that.

Dad can I ask you a question?

Sure, ask me anything about the game of Monopoly.
Absolutely, but i’ll warn you now, I can’t speak Spanish, so if it a question about Spanish your out of luck.
Yes, but after I am done practicing my wax statue impression of Johnny Depp. (then I just stand there frozen)

The trick is trying to come up with something new and random each time. Joey and Rebekah, have caught on and now rarely start thoughts with stall questions. Aaron on the other hand gives me plenty of opportunities. When he finally catches on it will be mission accomplished.

On a side note Aaron turns 10 on July 19th. Happy Birthday Little Buddy. Do you know what I have been thinking? (No, it’s not about the bulk cost of upscale French textiles) That it’s hard to believe that my Little Buddy, is not so little anymore.

The Boilermaker

happened today:

I ran the Boilermaker 5k in Utica, NY in 30:03. I had two main goals for the race: 1. Finish without stopping. 2. Finish in under 30 minutes. I nailed the first one and missed the second by only 4 seconds.

I’ll take it.

I know, not that big of a deal when some of my closest friends ran the 15k and others are training for half and full marathons (some even the Iron Man), but for me this was a big first step. I was always on record saying that I would never be a runner. Why run when you can bike? Biking is three times the distance with a lot less effort. A bike is where I always wanted to be, but about 5 years ago I caught the bug and I am glad it finally stuck. I would even consider a triathlon with Mike… if he twisted my arm.

This race was a bucket list entry that’s now scratched off. The odd thing is it came off at the expense of a few more added to the list. I will run the Boilermaker 15K next year and want to run, run, run in more races in the meantime. The Boilermaker was awesome. Way more fun that I ever expected. I felt great during the race, and sprinted the final .2 of the course and crossed the finish line in full stride. I didn’t want to stop. The energy from the crowd was motivating, and it was inspiring to be in the midst of so many fit people all running for a common goal.

I was used to training on a high school track. By myself with no one to help me keep pace, and with only the iPod to keep me company. Early on I used to run to clear my head and I enjoyed the solitude, but lately I’ve found that I depend on the music to distract my brain from thinking too much while in that solitude. Sound strange? It does to me. I think the moral is I need to run with people more.

In case you’re interested put the ipod on shuffle and this is the list of the songs that came up during the Boilermaker… start to finish:

Head Automatica:Beating Heart Baby
The Crystal Method: Trip Like I Do
New Order: Guilt is a Useless Emotion
Guns N’ Roses: I Think About You
Moby: In This World
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Give it Away
The Wiseguys: Start the Commotion
Weekend Players: Into the Sun

Congrats to my friends, Dom, Adell, Mike, Niki, Glen, Katie and Kevin for finishing the race. I have one question for you all… “When is the next one?”

Compliment more. Criticize less.

These four words I am taking as a mantra from now on.

I secretly tried over the past year to implement this wisdom in my daily life, but now it’s time to jump in the deep end. I have randomly complimented both friends at parties and strangers at the Mall. Given props when it would otherwise be uncomfortable to do so, and even acknowledged the beauty of both men and women I have just met even despite the possibility of getting my ass kicked for it. This thinking stemmed from my daughter and the need to lift her up on a daily basis with positive reinforcement. It seemed a natural transition to extend it to everyday life, and it’s a decision I’m glad to have made. Life is too short not to point out all the good things in the world. That’s clear to me now. Some would say that I am just speaking my mind. Yeah maybe, but I do know that even just a couple years ago that phrase would’ve had an entirely different meaning.

I’m an art director by trade. Trained to observe the world and point out it’s flaws. To fix. To try to make the world a better place through art and design. Giving my opinion is part of my job. Ironically, it’s by being an art director for so long I have come to appreciate the wonderful things this world has to offer. I’ve realized there’s a lot more good in the world that I thought. In fact it’s always been there, I just couldn’t see it through the veil of my critical eye. Being a Dad also helps too.

Try it with me: Compliment more. Criticize less.

I’ll start. You… my friend, are beautiful.