Posts Tagged ‘Birthday’

I don’t know if you play the lottery, be it Powerball or Megamillions or both.  I don’t play often, but when the numbers get up high enough, I usually can’t resist at least putting a couple of bucks down – you gotta be in it to win it, right?  And you just never know.

If you play like I do (or more often for that matter), you may relate to that feeling when you put that ticket in your pocket – can you imagine?  wow, what would I do with $100 million?  I would… and the list then goes on and on and on.  It’s wishful thinking at its very best.

Of course, you never win more than a few dollars and you fantasy of a worry-free life goes “poof” just like any other dream does when you wake up in the morning.


Yesterday was Brooke’s 10th birthday.  All month, scratch that, all YEAR she as been talking about turning 10; how it’s the biggest one zero, how she’ll be a big kid, how she’ll be double-digits.  All that talk lulled me into a “just bought my lottery ticket” state.  It’s not that I was thinking or even wishing that she would wake up on her 10th birthday without autism.  No, being autistic is part of who Brooke is.  The feeling for me was the flickering thought that somehow turning 10 would give Brooke special powers to deal with the difficulties that can come along with autism; that somehow now that she was 10, she would be able to handle and not scream at the sound of her sister’s coughs, that she would be able to easily adjust to eating at a restaurant that wasn’t part of the original plan, that she could refrain from yelling when people asked her to repeat what she said, that she wouldn’t get overwhelmed at the thought of conveying that she had changed her mind about something.

I don’t know why or how I had convinced myself that these things would happen just because my baby was turning 10.


I have to remember that Brooke will make her way…it will just be at her own pace, in her own way, in the order that works for her.

Making a wish...Happy Birthday my little Angel!

Making a wish…Happy Birthday my little Angel!

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Back in May I went running. I know, nothing unusual about that.   I took my time running through town, proudly sporting my 2010 Boston Tech T, steadily making my way to one of the more popular running roads.  As I turned left on to that road, I could see another runner coming from the opposite direction.   He was younger, faster and wearing the same shirt. A quarter mile later he caught up to me.

“Nice shirt,” I said as he began to pass me.

“Yeah, you too,” he replied.

He fell in step with me and asked how I did.

“3:32,” I said, “not bad for a old guy.”

“Not bad at all,” he said genuinely.

“You?” I asked.


Cue record scratch sound. Cue my stutter step and double take.

“2-, 2:25? 2:25?”

“Yup.” He almost seemed uncomfortable with it and quickly changed the subject to my then spankin’ new Bikilas. We chatted for another quarter mile or so, but the whole time I was thinking “2:25?” I looked at this kid. He must have been somewhere between 18 – 25 (it’s getting harder to tell as I get older), running along gracefully with the stride of youth.

I started thinking, “wow, I’m old. I could be twice this kid’s age and he’s running a 2:25. Who am I with my 3:30?” Pangs of doubt led to the awareness of the pains of age. Every little pang I usually ignore in my legs suddenly became very noticeable.   Suddenly I felt very much like a 40 year old, something I hadn’t felt since I started running.

I asked myself, “why am I doing this?”




5 months later I answered that question – Why am I doing this?

I’m doing it for this feeling:


Official Time - 3:19:19 - BQ

It was shortly after that run in with “2:25” that I reminded myself that yes, I was probably twice his age BUT I should be proud of that.   The truth is, when I was that kid’s age, there was no way I would/could do what I am doing out there today.   I was a physically old 20 year old.  Today, I am a physically young 40 year old.  Comparing myself to this kid was ridiculous, but comparing myself to my 20 year old self made a lot more sense.

Aging is inevitable.  Regardless of how well we take care of ourselves, we will eventually have to yield to Father-Time.  But how we get from 20 to 40 to 80 and beyond, and how long it is before we must ultimately throw in the towel, is, to a degree, in our own hands.  I will be 41 next Wednesday.  If I focused solely on the number I would end up down a rabbit hole of depression.  In widening the lens, taking in the bigger picture, I realize that at 41 I will weigh less, run faster and be stronger than I was at 21.  I may not recover as quickly from a night of partying like a rock star like I used to, but in the end, 41 is looking pretty damned good.


20-something year old Luau

40-year old Luau

Do you know what you want to look and feel like on your next birthday? or are you already there?

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Why do you run?

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Learn to walk before you run.

– Proverb

A few days ago a friend of mine asked me what I would like for my birthday.  I was a little confused, in part because my birthday was over 3 weeks ago.  She was disappointed that she had missed my surprise party but still wanted to get me something.  I scratched my head.  I wasn’t sure what to say.  A bottle of wine?  Some running gear?  Truth is, most of the “things” that I want are in the “too expensive to ask a friend” category (KSO Treks, a watch, hatphones, a new iMac).  I asked her to let me think about it for a day, but as I walked away, inspiration hit!

“You know what you could get me for my birthday?”

“No, that’s why I’m asking.”

“I’d like you to walk 30 miles in 21 days.”

There was a pause and a look.

“Walking for who?” she asked.  She obviously thought I was asking her to join a charity team.

“For me!  I want you to start walking.  30 miles in 21 days.  You’re always talking about how you want to get started.  Well, let’s call it a present for you and for me.”

She laughed.  Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure she’s not going to do it (though she is thinking about it), but it got me wondering.  What if we all did something like that.  Asking people for the gift of their health – it’s a win-win situation.  Recently Laurie over at My Big Walk posted an excerpt from an article in the Wall Street Journal on the incredible benefits of simply walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.  Breast cancer, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s, depression, high blood pressure and diabetes are among the several diseases and conditions that can have their likelihood reduced dramatically by the simple act of walking.

So in the spirit of my 2010 Challenge, I am adding the Gateway Challenge.  I figure if I can get people to start walking regularly, maybe they will see the benefits of walking, and slowly graduate to running.

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I thought I was going to a friend’s charity’s wine tasting event.  Instead I walked into a surprise birthday party for me!  One of the many highlights was this amazingly awesome cake:

I  love the details of the heel pull and the VIBRAM label on the sole.  My wife had the cake “imported” from Connecticut.  It was made by our dear friends at Sweet Lisa’s. You may have seen them once or twice on the Food Network!  They are awesome and can make anything…ANYTHING! Oh, and it was delicious!!!

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