Monday, April 14, 2014

M-Cubed for 4.14.2014

M-Cubed (Monday Morning Musings) for April Fourteenth, Two Thousand Fourteen...a random smattering of thoughts that end up here on Monday morning.

- There is only ONE way I begin my day...well, two. Before I even put my two feet on the ground, I gotta pray. No way I can do this alone! But second...always, is brewing my espresso. For years now, I've been brewing Lavazza espresso in a stainless steel stovetop espresso pot. It's not much, but in terms of caffeine, it's about 4 cups worth! I call it putting the jumper cables on. About a year ago, my wife's parents got me 5 quarts of real, pure maple syrup from my wife's cousin who gets it out of the trees on his property one town over. I shook my head at first..."what the HECK am I going to do with all of this maple syrup?!? I don't even use it!" Around that time, I read somewhere that honey and maple syrup are the most healthy sweeteners out there. I figured "what the heck!" and put enough to cover the bottom of my espresso mug and stopped using Splenda.!! I loved it! It is very sweet and quite delicious. There's been no looking back and it has sweetened every mug since, except when I'm traveling. Once opened, it must be refrigerated, so it doesn't travel well. So for Christmas, I got 5 or 6 more and yesterday, they gave me my early birthday gift of ANOTHER 5 quarts. So cheers to cup of pure maple syrup-sweetened Italian espresso to yours!

- I took a rest day yesterday after Saturday's 50K, mostly because I bent my right ankle 90 degrees just past mile 9. On Saturday night (after running 22 more miles on it after the twist), it THEN started to hurt, just to walk on it and was tender to the touch on the outside of my foot..not ankle. My wife checked it out, said it was a bit swollen, but wasn't discolored. I popped some ibuprofen, went to bed, and hoped for the best. After a night where I woke up all night long in a puddle of sweat, it felt MUCH better. Still, though, I thought a rest day was the smart move and took it. I'm going to go out for a gingerly 6 this morning and test it out. Should be good.

- Concrete legs? Yes. Felt like someone poured them into molds called my legs overnight. Mind over body, though. I know that's just a scare tactic to keep me in bed. Just gotta get the blood flowing.

- I volunteered at Share 2014 last Friday morning. My shift started at 5:45am in Brecksville, OH. Share is the annual 4-day fundraising effort by WCRF, 103.3FM, Moody Radio Cleveland. They don't advertise and raise all of their funds on these 4 days. This was my 2nd year in the "Phone Zone" and I loved it! I answer the phone for callers who are calling in to give. The morning was a huge blessing and I even got to meet Michard Card, a singer/songwriter who is well known the world over. As he was passing by in between solo performances in the studio, I grabbed him for a selfie. You would've, too! Anyway, Share 2014 ended at 8pm Friday night and they stand at 96% of their $1.68 million goal. Only $61K shy of it...I hope some more giving trickles in today to get them there.

- The oath. It's what a newly-selected officer candidate takes in all of our military services. On Friday afternoon, I commissioned a newly selected medical student who, in a few years, will be a Navy physician. He is now an Ensign in the United States Navy and upon graduation from medical school, will serve his country...debt free. His whole family was there for the oath and it was my privilege to be part of his special day. Those kind of events are the "cherry on top" of my job that I've been blessed with.

- Week #2 of 9 went very well on Thursday night for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University that we're hosting. ALL of the couples showed back up! SCORE! They even did the budget homework which is a tough thing to face at the beginning. This week, we'll get into the nitty-gritty budgeting process. Still thrilled that I was able to book my little township Town Hall for 9 weeks straight at the cost of ZERO. Great location!

- It's Holy Week which leads to Easter this Sunday. Nothing much for many but huge to me. I actually rank Easter (if that's even necessary) above Christmas. Without Easter, what's the point of what I believe? That sacrifice...His resurrection...for ME...forever grateful and humbled for it and by it. If not for that empty cross, I would have given up long ago, friends! TRUTH! Have a great Holy Week, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter...if those days mean a lot to you. If not, have a great week, regardless!

- Sending back the Brooks Cascadia 9's was definitely the right choice last week and wearing my battered and worn Pure Grits was also the correct choice. Little to no cushioning or traction, I didn't even feel them on Saturday. Not a sore spot, warm area, blister...nada. They did fill, though, with all kinds of garbage, grit, pebbles, sand, leaves, and mud. You should've seen the deep sink yesterday morning when I cleaned them out. I've run a lot of muddy races but my shoes have never been so full of crud like that! Still...not a single issue! Now...I just need those Pure Grit 3's to be released...JUNE!

- OK, can I share just one more selfie with you today? I don't know about you, but we have an office dog. Oh yes...we may recruit Naval Officers but our 30-year plus civilian processor has an "elderly" dog that keeps us all company...and our candidates and visitors. Heck, she even gets into a lot of family photos when candidates take their oaths! Her name is Abigail, or "Abby" for short. She gets my second "Good Morning!" when I get to the office each day. She is normally found snoring with her tongue hanging half-out of her mouth. Last Wednesday, I took this opportunity to grab a sleeping selfie with her. Cute, eh?! She is a Cavalier King Charles.

- As I leave you today to the week, I give you this quote. Enjoy it and own it!

"One by one, I'll face the tasks before me and complete them as best I can. Focusing on each stride forward, but at the same time taking a long-range view, scanning the scenery as far ahead as I can. I am, after all, a long distance runner.

My time, the rank I attain, my outward appearance - all of these are secondary. For a runner like me, what's really important is reaching the goal I set myself, under my own power. I give it everything I have, endure what needs enduring, and am able, in my own way, to be satisfied. From out of the failures and joys I always try to come away having grasped a concrete lesson. (It's got to be concrete, no matter how small it is.) And I hope that, over time, as one race follows another, in the end I'll reach a place I'm content with. Or maybe just catch a glimpse of it."

-Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Have a GREAT week, everyone, and Run Happy and Hammer On!

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