The Flower City Half

photo 4-1I ran the Flower City Half Marathon this morning. My official chip time was 2:13:35. It was pefect weather and a great first step into running a half marathon.

This is something I never thought I’d do. Ever. Not in a million lifetimes. Let me restate that:

Not in a million lifetimes.

But it happened and I can say I was dead wrong on how much fun it could be. During these 13.1 miles I spent a lot of time with my friends and family. They didn’t know, but they were with me for the 13.1 miles. My pal, Mike who pushed me to register and was by my side the whole way. Julie, Courtney, Charlie, or other runners like Lisa, Daniel, Adell, Dom, Kim, Matt, Jennifer, Glen, and Kevin came in and out of my steam of thought when songs I relate to them came through the speaks. For a short time we ran side by side. I imagined the conversations we’d have if we were running together, or the moments in life that we shared. It helped the miles go by. In some cases we had serious life discussions, others we joked. But in all, it was only in my head, and not real. A harsh reality inside the world I live in, and just how alone at times I feel.

13.1 miles of soul searching.

13.1 miles of trying to remember who I am.

13.1 miles of clarity.

13.1 miles of realizing I have done some stupid shit lately.

13.1 miles of realizing I have done some incredible things lately.

13.1 miles of wishing I could un-hear words spoken by friends and family.

13.1 miles of connecting the dots of life.

13.1 miles of coming to terms with knowing I will forever miss people I will never see everyday.

13.1 miles of fresh air.

13.1 miles of seeing what a beautiful city Rochester is.

13.1 of trying to reconcile my heart.

13.1 miles of penance manifested in blisters and sore feet.

13.1 miles of letting go when it all seems so impossible. Kinda like running the half marathon in the first place.

After all that. When’s the next one?

One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State.

CapitolLast week I did something I never thought I’d do:

I lobbyied on Captiol Hill.

Um… what? Lobbyied? (Again, I swear I don’t know who I am anymore)

Scratch that off the “No Way I’d Ever Think To Do That Bucket List”

Yep, I lobbied for issues pertaining to my profession in advertising. While I was there soaking in the experience, I have come to realize why I think our country is so divided. Within our own government lines of communication are ruined. Gone are the days where a Republican and Democrat can enjoy a steak at a restaurant and hash out a deal face to face. If that happened now, within seconds it would spread through the internet in pictures and tweets, get misconstrued and then ultimately find its way on a Times Square ticker. All in about 43 seconds. So nobody on Capitol Hill talks anymore. Instead politicians talk more to cameras than to each other.

Also where the public gets information has changed. Before the internet, printed newspapers were supposed to stay neutral. The code was if you reported a story from a particular point of view you always offered the other side as to not be bias. Thus giving the whole story. Not saying it was perfect system but that was the idea. Well now, hello internet and goodbye fair play.

Republicans get their information from the Drudge report, Rush Limbaugh or Fox News, Democrats get their news from The Huffington Post, and MSNBC, or Thom Hartmann. The Millennials get their news from programs like the Daily Show, The Onion and The Colbert Report. I know this is a generalized statement but my point is most of us seek out news from sources that agree with our own political point of view. So we get validation of our opinions which is really diverging roads that are based in skewed realities of the truth. Neither side is right. They just want to preach to the choir. The same story reported on the Drudge report could be completely different on the Huffington Post. Same story, with two explanations. Republicans and Democrats feel they come out on top, thus continuing the divergence of the roads of the red and blue states. Nothing good comes out of only hearing your side and being close minded to another point of view. Nothing good ever comes of a relationship where neither side talks. And when politicians can’t even agree on the problem based on different views on reality, how could things get better? I have hope that things can, and while I don’t have any solutions as to how, I do have hope. That politically smarter people than I with some compassion, common sense, and some ability to listen will get together for a steak. Hash things out, agree, while posting their desert choice on Instagram.

DC RunI also did something else in Washington D.C. that I thought I’d never do: I ran around the U.S. Capitol building and surrounding area. For the record, jogging in our nation’s capitol is way more fun than lobbying.

(Again, I swear I don’t know who I am anymore, and maybe that’s the point.)

The Moral of Mystic River

“Just admit what you did. Come on, it will be alright… just admit what you did.”

Jimmy Markum (Sean Penn) speaks these words as he waits for the justification he needs before killing Dave Boyle (Tim Robbins) in the 2003 movie Mystic River. Dave is bullied into giving Jimmy the closure he needs to deal with the death of his own teenage daughter. If you have not seen the movie read no further: Spoiler Alert! Dave dies, and shocker… he didn’t do it, and his reward for fessing up to crime he didn’t commit is his body gets dumped in the Mystic River.

In this case it’s not about getting to the truth. It’s about the need to be right at that moment so that feelings can be placed at ease. In most disputes the truth is muddled by our own interpretation of events, our own insecurities, or logical point of view. But what can’t be disputed are facts. In Mystic River, Dave was dealing in fact. Jimmy was dealing in emotion. Dave didn’t kill Jimmy’s daughter, and Jimmy finds out too late and since he was hunger for closure he acted in haste.

I hope my children understand this very key point so that when they are on the playground, or as adults they can always deal in fact. I don’t want their own interpretation altering the truth just to justify their position. Nor do I want them to wrongfully own up to something they didn’t do just because of pressure by another. Remember, facts can’t be disputed. Any good lawyer knows this.

The moral? Stand up for yourself and deal in fact. That way nobody gets wrongfully dumped in the river.