Monday, May 26, 2014

M-Cubed for 5.26.2014

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

- It's Memorial Day 2014. For some, it's just a day off, to others just a day to drink and BBQ...but do you really know why today exists? It's not Veterans Day, although it feels like it. It's Memorial Day...the day we set aside to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. The freedom to worship, the freedom to not worship, the freedom to do as we wish without persecution. It's not a day of celebration...let's save that for July 4th. Today is a day of remembrance and honor. Remember those who have bled for you and me...and those families left behind that live on today without them.

- For me, no day is a better reminder for me than Day 121 or August 8, 2011, as far as why we celebrate Memorial Day on the last Monday of every May. Day 121 was a Monday in Afghanistan where I was witness to 22 Navy SEALs go home after being killed, along with 13 others. Here is my personal, raw account of that day:

- A week ago, I was only 2 days after a personal record performance at my 29th ultra marathon. Well, the running continued throughout the week and I didn't take a day off until Friday! The recovery thing continues to befuddle me! I'm well on my way to another 200mi month...and I hope a few more. My "runners' OCD" is definitely kicking in! Before the month's log gets closed out, though, I'll be running in the Medina Half Marathon this Saturday. There are so many great things about this inaugural "official" running and I look forward to sharing it with you afterwards. My bride and best friend will be joining me as well. I'll be wearing the colors of Team RWB, too.

- Yesterday, I think my wife was chuckling a little bit as I pulled down some of my favorite espresso mugs I drink from every morning. I had yet another photo idea and this was the outcome along with the text of the post on Instagram. I'm not a hoarder...I'm not! I'm very picky about my mugs and many of these mean quite a bit and hold awesome, irreplaceable memories! "The white Bermuda one reminds me of our cruise to Bermuda a few years ago when we ran back to the cruise ship in a heavy downpour, hand in hand, and laughing all the way. To the left, that's my mug from my alma mater where I got my MBA at Regent University...great years in my life that I miss. To the right (top center), that's the Fools 50K handmade finishers mug. I ran the first 25K with my bride and negative split the second 25K. To its right is last month's mug from Forget the PR 50K. To it's right is a mug with a beach scene. That is Hawaii and it's actually my wife's hand-painted mug. She loves Hawaii and I was fortunate enough to go a few years back with the Navy and take her with me. We will return! To the right...the squatty striped red one...that is from a ceramic shop in St Louis that I picked up on another Navy trip. We went in the arch for the first time that day. Front and center may be my favorite...a mug from a cafe where we had lunch while in Northern California near the redwoods for our 20th anniversary. It was along a river and a beautiful, quiet and memorable day. The last is in the center...a handmade mug from Pensacola, FL where I attended training for 3 weeks last year for the Navy. Home of the Blue Angels! Thanks for enduring a trip down memory lane!"

- There was a day where I ran every race near home and could register for. The longer the better. Things have changed, though. Races are overflowing and many of those I once ran no longer have the "old school" appeal and now exist for different reasons. When I "shop" for a race these days, I care about where the proceeds go. IT MATTERS. With that said, I run fewer official races and travel to many more away from home. Last Saturday at the Playin' Possum 50K, this is one of those races that epitomizes the "kind" of race I seek. Just a few days ago, a check was delivered to it's benefactor. Here is the photo posted on the race's Facebook page and the text that accompanied it. Why do I run? This is but one reason.
"Wanna feel good? Proceeds from YOUR race were presented to athletes from Special Olympics of Delaware County, prior to their exhibition race at the NCAA D3 Track and Field Championships this morning! This money will be used to send athletes to the State Summer games next month! The fees that you pay when you enter a race can go anywhere. One hundred percent of the proceeds from Possum races are ALWAYS used to benefit athletes with disabilities. This brings our total to $6500 in the past twelve months! Thanks from all of us for your support!"
- On Friday, I headed out with the intention of running some more on that un-maintained section of Buckeye Trail in southern Portage County that I found last month. It was a fantastic, sunny mid-morning run that gave me 14.5 miles but this photo was my most favorite of many. It's photos like these that just put the cherry on top of already-awesome runs. Simply beautiful and unseen by nearly everyone.

- Surely, we can't be the only family who roots near the end of a NASCAR race for #4, Kevin Harvick, right?! "Why?" you ask? Well, anytime Kevin Harvick finishes in the Top 10, the immediate Monday that follows yields FREE high-calorie, ultra-yummy Bloomin' Onions at Outback Steakhouse! Since we've become friends with the owner of the one closest to our home, we probably frequent it more than we should...and Kevin's 2nd place finish last night doesn't guarantee a visit...but it certainly is a carrot (or an onion petal!) hanging in front of us! I also got to educate my girls a bit last night on NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600...definitely father-daughter bonding time. :)

- Well, the final week of Financial Peace University is here. Thursday, we'll mark week 9 of 9 and call this course a wrap. We'll tally up debt paid down and say goodbye to eight families who have completed the course. I try to not take each person's/family's "absorption" of the material personally and rest in the fact that I've "delivered the goods" as I should and it's on them to put it into practice. Still, though...I do care about each one of their successes as they lean forward into getting out of debt and creating a legacy that's lined with giving and living without the "slavery" of debt. For us, we'll keep plugging along on the Baby Steps and help others as they cross our path. Another class? Perhaps...but not any time soon. I'm certainly glad we did it and it certainly rekindled our fires and brought us more "gazelle intense" that we needed...aka: a good, swift kick in the butt.

- Recently, at the University of Texas, the commencement ceremony took place as it did across the country on college campuses. At this one, though, an alum spoke who also happens to be a full Navy Admiral and the leader of Navy SEALs...being a Navy SEAL himself. Admiral William McRaven gave a phenomenal speech and one your ENTIRE family should watch. He gives some key principles to live by and guess what his #1 was..."Make your bed." Yep...we watched this as a family and will probably come back and watch again. Watch here or below:

- I think that's enough for today, friends. Enjoy your day, BBQ, laugh, have fun...but remember why many of us have the day off and have parades. Memorial Day 2014. Remember.

Have a GREAT week!

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