Monday, June 29, 2009

We cannot control when we will die, but we can control how we will live

Thank you to my friends and family for their support during my recent round of hospital visits. This week was an emotional rollercoaster and I was happy to be back at work today. The routine of office life and property management was a pleasant way to spend my day. I especially want to thank my brudda from the islands, for sharing his story and kind words on my blog. Here is a rundown of my week:
Wednesday- Routine follow-up at the doctors office reveals I have a slight deformation in my heart. Stress test ordered immediately! Return to office in a confused and slightly spaced out frame of mind. The best boss in the world notes my condition and offers to buy me a beer. I refuse the offer and try to continue working.
Thursday-UCLA schedules my stress test for Friday which leaves one more day to contemplate my own mortality. I am on the way to class at UCLA and find out it is canceled because MJ died (see previous post as to how I spent my time). I have trouble sleeping and make alot of phone calls that night.
Friday- I awake at 6:00 am for my 9:00 stress test. I leave my house at 7:00 am and somehow make it to the hospital by 7:45. I am one hour and fifteen minutes early for my test but they take me in and prep me. My doctor is named Dr. Diaz, which I interpret as a good sign. Stress test is completed and all test results are positive. I walk out of the hospital feeling like a new man. I drive to the Raider Image and buy a new T-shirt to get ready for the upcoming season.
Saturday- I get up early, put my longboard on the racks, pick-up Mikey, meet Reed and am surfing San Onofre by 9:30 am. We celebrate Jeff's birthday at the beach and I can't help but look at his scar from open heart surgery. I drove home, drop my board off and head out to Dodger stadium.
Sunday- I drive to Palm Springs, hike 11 miles with my brother, come home and go to church. (I made it by 6 minutes) When I am taking a shower I feel really tired and consider skipping church but something tells me I should go. I walk in to church and the sermon for the evening is on death. The show a video of a young married father who has thyroid cancer and the pastor tells us a story about a 16 year-old girl who went to his church who died suddenly. He is in tears as he tells us this story and says "you cannot control when you will die, but you can control how you will live." I go to sleep at 8:45 determined to make the most of my time on this earth.
Postscript: Garrett kicked butt on the hike and I have now summited Mt. San Jacinto with Mike, Paul and Garrett. Check his blog for a great video

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it, or else they will lock you up"-Hunter S. Thomson

I was on my way to my real estate class at UCLA today and I found out that class was canceled because MJ died. They canceled class because the guy who invented the moonwalk died? I thought about turning around and heading home, but the thought of spending more time on the 405 parking lot just did not appeal to me. So I decided to walk over to UCLA medical center and mingle with the crazies, like the guy in this photo who brought flowers. I got some face-time on Fox News (check out Garrett's blog) got interviewed for a German newspaper, tried to get interviewed by a hot Spanish reporter and got kicked out of the press line by an fascist cop with a bullhorn. When this angry cop demanded my press credentials, I told him I wrote for a blog, he didn't buy it and he kicked me out of line. That was cool because I witnessed a group of people dancing to Thriller, Bille Jean and Beat-It. My only wish was that my brother Mike was with me to join in with the nutballs and enjoy the scene. I think I spotted an anguished Corey Fieldman holding hands with a distraught Malculy Culkin. No word on Webster. The funny part of this experience is how word spread through the crowd that Latoya was in the building. People spoke in hushed tones and breathlessly repeated the words, "Latoya is with us, she is here." So I will leave you with another quote by a true American genius: Hunter S. Thomson
"When the going gets weird, the weird go pro."
Now that is a man they should have canceled class for!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Holding pattern

Today I has my long awaited follow-up with my cardiologist and we got some good news and some bad news. The good news:
1. No plaque or blocked arteries
The bad news:
1. I need to have a stress test tomorrow or Friday
2. I have a small deformation that causes a few of my veins to be pushed out the wrong way and loop over and rest on my heart.
3. The big unknown: This could be serious, it could be mild, it could be nothing. They hope to know more after the stress test. So, my doc told me to put all running on hold until they get this thing figured out. So until I know more, I am in a holding pattern.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lovin life!

Today Mike, Tasha, Denise and I hiked to the top of Mt. Baden-Powell. It was a good training hike with an elevation gain of over 3,000 feet in just four miles. Denise and Tasha set a hard pace that left Mike and I gasping for breath. We all enjoyed the view from over 9,000 feet at the summit and looked out over the clouds. We took in the view of the Mojave desert and on the way up we spotted a deer and made it home in time to watch the Lakers win the finals! A great day indeed! I ran my long run yesterday, six miles, and am heading out for Montana at 6:OO a.m. Loving the life I'm living.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma!

"May you always be blessed with walls for the wind,
a roof for the rain, a warm cup of tea by the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you
and all that your heart might desire."
-Irish House Blessing

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

And so it begins...........

"Nature has made neither sun nor air nor waves private property; they are public gifts."
Today was the first day of my new eighteen week training program. I am following a new program by running guru Hal Higdon that is both longer and tougher than my previous running program. I ran three miles today and concentrated on my breathing and enjoying the view of the ocean. My legs felt good, my breath was steady and a song kept playing in my head:
"He snaps back to reality, whoops there goes gravity
oh there goes rabbit, he choked
he's so mad but he won't give up that easy"
-Marshal Mather

Monday, June 8, 2009


"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."
-John Muir

This past Saturday my Dad and Denise decided to volunteer their time and do some trail maintenance on our beloved Mammoth Rock trail. This is a beautiful trail that we can walk to from our home in snowcreek. June 6th was National Trails Day, a day for all of us who use these trails to preserve, protect and maintain the trails we love.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gong to keep me down

I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never going to keep me down.

My father had a heart attack in his mid-forties, my grandfather had a heart attack in his mid-thirties, at age 33, as I opened my eyes in the emergency room I was told I had a heart attack. My brain processed the word "heart attack" in an unfolding wave of confusion. I have not been this surprised since my uncle became a Trojan fan. How was this possible? I had been doing everything right. I had been eating healthy, running fourteen, sixteen, eighteen miles and I had even quit drinking! I followed my training book to the letter, I drank plenty of water, I stretched, I cooled down, I paced myself. I built up my running over a sixteen week period and tapered my running down for the last three weeks to store energy. I gave myself every advantage possible in an effort to complete my first marathon. Did I mention that I gave up drinking? So why did it happen? Why did I fail? Why did I pass out on mile twelve? How many more nights will I spend waking up at 3:00 a.m. to once more go over the race? I do not know the answers to these questions. All I know it that I got knocked down, I got up again, and you're never going to keep me down.