Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunset Runs

One week of training for the L.A. marathon is in the books. I really enjoy running along the strand at sunset time watching the sky change colors. The above photo was taken from my balcony right before I went for a run. After spending the day inside it feels so good to be outdoors and to feel the breeze and watch the water. This upcoming week will be a little bit different in terms of training because Mike and I will be running in the turkey trot 10K on Thursday. Only 17 weeks to go!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Partner

It was just an ordinary day in Los Angeles: the sky was overcast, the surf was small, and the economy continued to crumble all around us. I was in my office going through my e-mail when I was hit like a bolt of lightning with an e-mail from a young lad in Colorado. He told me that he was seriously considering running the L.A. marathon with me! Mike and I talked for awhile about training programs, logistics, running in the snow, and the perils of training for a marathon while living in a frat house. I knew that Mike could do it, he knew that he could do it and he announced t me that it is on! I was beyond thrilled to have my partner join me in yet another adventure. If you think about what Mike and I have already done it is truly amazing. Together we have climbed Mt. Whitney, summited Mt. Rainier, surfed and camped in Mexico, snowboarded in Mammoth and backpacked over 40 miles through Kings Canyon! We have done all this together with a smile on our face and constant laughter. This picture of Mike, on a sailing trip to Catalina, really sums up all of our good times together. (notice he is wearing a Mammoth T-shirt) So now we have one more great adventure to go on together. We will be holding each other accountable with our training and doing updates on facebook. I am so happy to have Mike do this with me. Welcome partner, I will see you at the starting line!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

18 weeks till Glory!

Today begins week one of my eighteen week program to finish the 2010 L.A. Marathon. In week one you run 3 miles on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and do a long run of 6 miles on Saturday. Today was a beautiful sunset run on the strand and I took it easy as my body is still adjusting from a weekend in Oakland. Going to spend time in Oakland is like living in dog years compared to human years. It ages you quickly. So as I was on my run today I was very happy at the start to be on this program and to think about finishing this thing in March. I will just run my race, listen to my body and just cruise the 26 miles (hahahahah). But on a serious note (and this will be the last time I write about 09) I think that I had a severe panic attack in the 09 run. I panicked because I thought I would look weak in front of Nicole. It was not my day, I keep on trying, and speed my heart rate up and ultimately went down. Surprisingly this revelation came to me as I watched the Sopranos and witnessed Tony's condition and how he described his feelings and what he remembers. Anyways that is my best guess about what happened and to quote another line from the Sopranos it's time to MOVE THE F--- ON! I can't keep on thinking about it. It happened, time to move on. So I will let the seasoned vets like Tasha and Nicole run their race and I will run mine. But I am really excited to get it on and to train hard for March.
What is going to make this race really fun is that it starts at Dodger stadium and ends at the beach in Santa Monica! We have all decided to frolic like a bunch of crazed seals in the ocean after we finish the race. And I have one more BIG announcement about the race....................that I will write about tomorrow.

"Rising up, straight to the top, had the guts, got the glory-went the distance, now I'm not going to stop, just a man and his will to survive"
-The Eye of the Tiger

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Dark Cloud Hangs Over Raider Nation

"I am a Rider fan for life! Win, lose, or tie, I am a Raider fan till I die!" Dark days indeed have descended down upon the city of Oakland. As I was watching Jamarcus "play" quarterback I kept looking up to the heavens to see if frogs were about to come raining down on me. Nobody in the ancient Coliseum would have been surprised and no doubt some of the fans would have have promptly slapped a little sauce on those guys and bbq them. The football apocalypse has come to Oak, as we have been the worst football team in the NFL for the past seven years. I think John "Chucky" Gruden put on a curse on the franchise when we traded him away. But as bad as things are in Oakland, every dark cloud has a Silver lining. Sports, and being a real fan, is all about loyalty. You stick with your team through thick and thin, the peaks and valleys, the highs and lows. You do not abandon a team and suddenly become a "fan" of a good team just because you like to identify with a winning team. This is just a laughable substitute for being a real fan. This person, who lets say for example, never said a word about, oh, I don't know, USC or the Patriots for all the years they were horrible, suddenly becomes a "fan" when they become the number one team in the nation or when they win the super bowl. This is just pathetic. They did not earn the right to enjoy the victory because they did not have enough guts to stick it out with their team. A real fan suffers, and yes, I am suffering as a Raider fan, but I will be always be loyal to the Raiders. You know why I hate band-wagoners? I hate them because they don't want to defend their team in the bad times, they just want to share in the good times. These are spineless sports fans who are huge wimps and don't have any meaningful claim to a team. So, the Raiders are a bad team. But guess what? The Raiders WILL RETURN TO GLORY! WE WILL BE BACK! I will continue to travel to Oakland and attend games because win, lose, or tie, I am a Raider fan till I die!

P.S. That is my buddy Matt "freediddy" Freeland in the picture with the headset. ( A real fan who has been with us for every trip)

Monday, November 9, 2009

The cult of Death

I was raised in an evangelical church where we were constantly told that the end times are at hand. I was told that I would never marry, never have children, and never see my 20's. I was told by a pastor that Mikhail Gorbachev was the antichrist (the birthmark on his forehead was the give away) and that we would not live to see the 1990's. In the seventh grade (1988), I was on a church trip and we stopped off at Carl's Jr. to have lunch. Carl's had recently put in new machines which allowed the customer to use a credit/debit card to pay for your meal. Our youth pastor at the time explained to us how this was a sure sign of the end times because soon all monetary exchanges would be based on credit and cash would be a thing of the past. Instead of credit cards we would all have a computer chip placed under our skin (by the wrist) and this chip would track all of our banking. The antichrist would take over the worlds monetary system and if you refused to put the mark of the beast on your forehead, your access to money would evaporate and you would become a Christian refugee. We were all sternly warned to never allow anyone to put a computer chip in our body. I could barely eat my Western Bacon cheeseburger because I was so frightened of the end times. When Gorby left office the church quickly moved on (never acknowledging what they told us) and picked up on the Gulf War in 1991. This was the sign that the world was ending (the mother of all battles was at hand). We met at RHCC to pray and were told that we could have over 100,000 Americans killed in this battle and the end times were at hand. As the 90's progressed the church fixated on the year 1999 (666 backwards) and the Y2K scare. Of course, nothing happened and the world continued to spin. What interests me is why does Christianity have such dreams of an apocalyptic nightmare?
A brief history of the "prophets" predicting the end of the world:
-Donatus and Novatiian gathered followers with their "end-times" predictions in the 3rd and 4th centuries.
-When the Visigoths sacked Rome (A.D. 410) it was thought to be the end-times.
-In the sixth century, Pope Gregory said, "signs described by our Lord as presaging the end of the world were already accomplished."
-As the year 999 approached, thousands of people gathered at St. Peters Basilica in Rome weeping and trembling and awaiting the end of the world.
-The Inquisition, the Black Death, natural disasters, all were see as signs that the world is coming to an end.
-Hal Lindsay wrote, "The late great planet earth" in 1970 which became the best selling book in the nation that stated the world would end before 1980
-Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins has made millions for themselves with the "left behind" book series.

Why would anyone want the end times to come? Have you read the book of revelations? How could you ever tell children that their classmates and friends and parents would soon be thrown into a lake of fire and be tortured for eternity? Is this not a form of abuse? Why do pastors and religious leaders NEVER take accountability for their failed predictions? I can remember asking my pastor what would happen to Brandon Bernstien (I was in 7th grade) and I was told that my best friend (who is Jewish) would spend eternity in hell. What? Bernie is going to hell? Because he is Jewish? And than I was told that God is Love but the end-times are near. I have my own theories on why the church has a cult of death but would like to hear your thoughts. Perhaps I will write an addendum to his post. I look forward to all comments.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Susan!

As the sun sets in the west we would like to wish Susan a Happy Birthday. This past Sunday the family was able to gather to celebrate Susan's birthday at Dana Point. This photo sums up how nice it was to be outside on a beautiful warm day in November. The setting sun reflects the warmth of being with family, the ocean reminds us of God's gift, and the sailboat demonstrates the joy of returning home. Happy Birthday!