Thursday, May 3, 2012


Sorry for not writing lately. Hopefully this will tie you over while I finish a couple of posts. She's my favorite, and this is one of my favorite covers. Enjoy!

Friday, March 30, 2012


This is not about politics.  This is not about an agenda. 

No, this is about leadership. 

It's about fighting for what one believes in.  This is about strength and courage.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Is it just me, or was it a little uncanny that my bib number for the New York Half Marathon was 13013? Just another occurrence of 26 showing up in my life this year (or 8 if you take it by single digits, but for this blog's sake just add 13 to 13 okay?  Thanks!).

The morning came quickly and while it was cold in the starting corrals, it was nice knowing that the day after St. Patty's, two of my best friends, both beautiful redheads, were braving through this with me (Luck o' the Irish anyone?)

This is me at the end of it all, having finished at an admirable 1:48:51 which puts me in the top 28% overall.  And while at first, I wasn't thrilled with being supremely average at 51% of my age and gender category, considering this is my first race ever of any type, I must say I am pleased.  For those wondering just how fast that was, it's approximately 7.2mph.

This looks about right.  Faster than a turkey, slower than a bear.  But I have a feeling, had an actual bear been chasing me, I could have outrun it.  Okay, that's a stretch, but at the very least outsmarted it and gone downhill.  (I just deleted a great little anecdote about running downhill but not having hills in Manhattan, as well as a fun fact about the term Bear Market based on the previous statement.  But alas, upon "binging" some bear facts to make sure you, my trustworthy readers, aren't being lied to, I found that all of that is one big lie.  Bears can run downhill just fine and will kill you.  Also, because of that lie, the Bear Market, by law of transitivity, is also a lie.  Lastly to note, I have a feeling, just like "fetch," I should stop trying to make "bing" happen.  It's not going to happen.)

Throughout my race, I actually thought about this very blog post and what I'd write.  Much of it was going to include super inspirational thoughts about how everyone was being cheered on regardless of ability, how life would be better if we all adopted that mentality in our lives.  I was going to write about my moments of weakness and how right around the corner I'd find just what I needed, like a water station, or this pretty lady who was at mile 10 to give me a much needed boost.  There was going to be a great little bit about how when approaching the end, we were sent through a long tunnel and then relating that to our lives of buckling down and finding inner strength to finish when all your cheerleaders aren't there.  And lastly, there was a great bit about being inspired by the route starting in Central Park, passing through Times Square, down the Hudson River, and passing the 9/11 Memorial - if I wasn't already in love with this crazy city, I just fell madly and deeply.

Now, that snippet is plenty without knowing my entire inner monologue (which went the whole time as I opted to not have an iPod and simply soak it all in).  You don't need me to tell you how great it is to accomplish a goal, how challenging moments can be when you feel all alone, and most importantly, that inner struggle to even start something out of not knowing the end result.

However, I'll say this - I DID IT!!!  Simple as that.  I set out to do something and followed through.  You know the rest, and you know it most about yourself.  So tell me (seriously, tell me), what have you always wanted to do and just need a little push?  What will you do today to make your tomorrow that much better?  When things get ugly, where do you turn?  If you could accomplish just one thing this year to really make a difference, what would it be?

Now, after writing to me, go out and JUST DO IT!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Weekend Getaway

So, just a couple weeks after coming back to NY from my Christmas vacation, I got an email offering my gal pal, Melissa, and I buddy passes to anywhere JetBlue flies.  Only catch is, they have to be used before January 31.  Game on!  So quickly, the two pale blonds immediately start chatting about tropical destinations and wound up picking Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.  I must admit to having no desire to ever visit PR, but as it would turn out, I might just be visiting time and time again.  The west coast of the island is beautiful and the people are incredibly warm.  It was the perfect early birthday present.  And what better way to escape the concrete jungle than lush green palm trees, expansive fish filled coral reefs, and all the sun my pasty skin could handle!

First stop - something frozen and fruity...we eventually upgraded from an Icee to pina coladas.

Roadside food truck where I got a delicious Cubano sandwich and Melissa got a less than fantastic Jamon, Suiza, and Huevos (my Spanish was just getting started so I apologize for the eggs).
This trip was basically revolving around food - so why the lighthouse?  Well, we saw it when we got lost trying to find the place that we originally parked at, looked at, then decided wasn't where we were supposed to be only to end back at it an hour later...beautiful drive though!
Now, this time we weren't lost so much as just wandering and stumbled upon a beautiful beach all to ourselves.
Reminder, this is in the middle of January!
Melissa has this great ability to make friends while traveling, and this is one of them - Camille, an English Professor and daughter of a Marine Biologist.  She became our personal tour guide taking us to better beaches, great restaurants, and fun town squares all the while being rather informative and entertaining.
Here we are on a restaurant that is built out over the water.  Just a few feet below, the ocean is humming with life.  Meanwhile, on the table, their poor cousins weren't humming much at all.
This was the view for the night.  Not a bad way to end a day!

Just down the road from our hotel was this gem of a building.  Most of it is decorated in brightly painted conch shells.
Wish you were here!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Flying Along

Six weeks have now gone by in this year which means any of my "26" goals should have at least 3 done.  So, I'm ahead in a few (Marathons, Lbs, and Dates), spot on with one (Books), and behind in others (Cultural Events, and Art Projects).  Time to maybe take a date to the Met and draw our favorite paintings - 3 birds, 1 stone.  Or better yet, follow it with a run and then some grub - 5 birds.

Fowl falling from flight - it'll be like a plague!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

3 DOWN...

After finishing 10 miles today, I have run the equivalent of 3 marathons since January 1. More exciting though is that I didn't have to take a single break. I kept such a great stride the entire time. During my first week, even a 4 mile run seemed burdensome and was spotted with much needed walking.

This makes me wonder, how often have I given up on something that at first seemed hard - only it was too soon to even know whether or not I could actually do it?!

It's often said that long distance running is a mental game more than a physical one. And today, I kept putting off even going because I knew my route included a hill - one that I've only ever gone down. Not to mention, it was near the end of my route so I just assumed I'd be all that much more tired. I simply smiled to myself while making my way up it that just moments before I even considered going around and taking the outer streets which were more level. It was totally manageable, and I daresay not even hard.

Part of this mental game is what you say to yourself (not just while running but in life - in case you needed that spelled out). Slowly, I'm starting to be better at recognizing what I'm saying. It's important to just laugh at the mental junk this is hard...I don't want to do the's okay to quit since you'll run again in two days...that hill!...why am I not as fast as that person...I bet they can do the hill...those are great shorts, wonder where he got there a store on the top of that arm feels funny, is that a warning sign of a stroke, no that's a heart attack, wait can an active 26 year old even have a heart attack?!...luckily the hospital is just on the other side of that hill...

It's even more important to fill that mental soundtrack with things that are positive and uplifting you are awesome...that was cake...mmm, can have a piece if you finish in under an can do hard things...killing it...keep it up...those are great shorts, wonder where he got them...yes! arm's stopped hurting, thank heavens...I did it!!!
I'm sure this topic will be breached again, more for my sake than yours, but there's a great book, What to say When you Talk to Your Self which answers how one can be successful in life.
"You will become what you think about most; your success or failure in anything, large or small, will depend on your programming - what you accept from others, and what you say when you talk to yourself...It makes no difference whether we believe it or not. The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about you, it will create. It has no choice."

So, the next time something is challenging, difficult, or simply frustrating, STOP. Take a minute to catch your breath and listen. What are you saying to yourself?


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Short story preview

And with a drop of his gavel -


A voice rings out before the judge even has a chance to say, “Guilty.” And with that, my fate is sealed.

I turn my head briefly only to see my mother collapsed in the arms of two guards escorting her out of the wooden room. “Please, no! Not my baby! You can’t take him!” She cries out breathlessly in between excruciating sobs. “He’s my only son! Why are you doing this? I hate you!” Her thoughts are scattered trying to make sense of it all, lashing out at anyone. At everyone. Just as they pass the threshold, she gets in one last exhausted jab, “I hope you rot in hell,” before completely giving up and going limp giving the burly creatures her entire weight to drag out.

Before I turn back to face the judge, to face my fate, I notice one curler at the nape of her neck she hadn’t taken out that morning. Perhaps she forgot, or most likely her arthritis is getting worse. Either way it’s a simple reminder…

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy New Year

So, perhaps "stop procrastinating" should be at the top of my list of goals seeing as this whole blog is dedicated to the resolutions and changes I am taking on this year, but it's being posted in February.

Anyway...I am here to announce my journey in the year 2012 with goals revolving around the numbers 26 (my age) and 12 (for the year).

I plan to fill this with pictures and anecdotes as I make my way through a rather hearty list of accomplishments. In this, there will surely be some laughs, most likely some blood, and perhaps a couple tears. Who knows, there might even be some romance!

And if you'd like, I invite you along on this adventure as I attempt to make a new man of myself, or rather a better man. (People say I'm pretty great as is, but there's always room for improvement, right? Right!)

With all of that said, I present to you my list of 26 in twenty 12!

- Run the equivalent distance of 26 marathons (681.2 miles)
- Run a marathon - 26.2 miles
- Complete 120 workouts (non-running)
- Gain 26 lbs (up to 196 - preferably in lean muscle)
- Read 26 books
- Write 12 short stories
- Attend 26 cultural events, art museums/exhibits, concerts etc.
- Create 26 art projects or crafts
- Go on 12 adventures
- Volunteer 120 hours
- Raise over $2,600 for charity
- Go on 26 dates
- Save $12,000