Friday, November 26, 2010

Dash for Drew

I ran. In a race. Frequent readers of the Fish Blog will remember my friend Randy Taylor who lost his son in a horrible car crash. Out of that tragedy, he and his wife Marcie created the Drew Michael Taylor Foundation. Through the Foundation, they have created a regional resource for people grieving the loss of loved ones, as well as providing athletic activities for underpriveleged youth. Pretty amazing stuff.

The Foundation also sponsors a race, the Dash for Drew. It's held every year to raise money for the Foundation. This year I went down with my two friends, Carl and Justin. My goal was to race the 2 miles in less than 20 minutes, a pretty solid goal given my recent practice performance and the fact that it is held on a cross-country course. We got there about an hour early, which is surprising since none of us knew exactly where we were going, a fact I learned as Carl drove south toward the race. Thank God for mobile phone apps and the power of Teh Inatrwebz (and like that).

Sign-in was effortless, then Justin went for a run while Carl and I went for a jog. We ended up doing a one-mile light jog around the track. It felt good and I stretched at the end of the jog. I felt nice and loose as the race approached. I pulled the laces tight and got up to the start area. The horn sounded and off we went.

I started in the middle-back of the pack, not comfortable to run with the rabbits, including Carl and Justin. That being said, I felt really good as the race started and began stretching it out a bit very shortly into the run. There was a small hill about a half-mile in, and I started powering up and forward. I still felt good. Coming down the trail, it narrowed and I settled in to a comfortable pace with some guys my own age. We came up on the first mile and the guy was belting out the current times: 9:07, 9:08, 9:09, 9:10... I had gone out fast, but I still felt good. I pushed passed the guys I was with and felt my lungs reach their limits.

It's not a bad thing, that feeling. I felt like it was sustainable pace with a mile to go. I decided to try to hold that faster pace through the end. The race comes out through the forest and back to a loop outside the track. I measured the track and the distance left to go and notched it up a half a beat. When I hit the track, I busted into a full (for me) sprint and finished strong.

All-in-all, it felt fantastic. I still felt I had more left at the end, but my time was 17:10, which is waaaaay faster than I anticipated.I was 24 out of 38 in my age group and 94 out of 178 overall. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

...And Justice for Some...

It's not often that I have no words, but this story coming out of Colorado absolutely takes everything right out of my mouth. It seems Martin Erzinger, a wealth manager for Morgan Stanley ran over a Doctor, one Steven Milo. But the doctor made the mistake of being on a bicycle, and accidents involving cyclists often seem to create a situation where justice is meted out in appallingly sparse portions and in an equally incomprehensible manner. After running over the good doctor, our wealth manager left him. For dead, presumably.

But, see, Marty invests over $1 Billion dollars in assets in the local Colorado community. So the District Attorney, Mark Hurlburt, decided that it would not be in anyone's best interest to prosecute this as a felony, and is hitting Marty with a couple of misdemeanors. Apparently, that's the going rate for getting run over and left in a ditch with spinal cord injuries and bleeding on the brain, not to mention what might be the end of his career as a liver transplant doctor.

Thank goodness Morgan Stanley has decided to do the right thing! Oh. Wait. "This unfortunate situation was not related to the individual's professional activities, but we are continuing to monitor the situation and will cooperate fully with law enforcement, if requested," said a Morgan Stanley representative. Translation: We'll keep this jerk on the payroll unless people stop investing their money with us.

Oh HAI!!!!

Yes, I still live. They say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Not sure what it does to a Fish, but it can't be good. That being said, it's not been all salt mines and unhappiness. So, to catch you up on my life, here's the basic rundown:

Item I: Youth Group
I am helping to lead my church's Middle School and High School youth group, including a group of Seventh Grade boys. It's something that has been following me for more than 10 years, since I left teaching. I'm really digging it, actually, and like the guys I have been grouped with. They bring a lot of energy and ideas, and it has made for a lively group with good discussion and high activity. Plus, we're tackling real issues for kids that age: purity, honesty, integrity, and the like.

Item II: My Gut
I haven't worked out consistently since August's LiveSTRONG Challenge. Funny how quickly that can get away from you. Clearly, cycling season is largely over, but I have begun running again. Or rather, tried to start running. I have a pair of orthotics and the right one is turning the bottom of my foot into hamburger. A half-dozen adjustments haven't made a difference and I am alternating between frustration and being homicidal. I'm not sure how that would sit with the youth group, but Christ did ask us to visit those in prison, so maybe that's something.

Item III: Back to school.
Mrs. Fish is a teacher and Li'l Fish is a student. Man, that'll take a bite. I went on a field trip with Li'l Fish to a ropes course and did a lot of the activities. Climbing is sooooo much fun, and I had a great time with her and her classmates. A highlight was climbing a thirty foot obstacle as part of a team with one of the neighbor kids. I have to say it was awesome watching Li'l Fish challenge herself past her preconceived notions of what she thought was possible. I was very proud of her...and still am.

There are probably about 20,000 other things I haven't even touched on, but in the end we just know it as life. I simply wanted to throw it out there and say, "HEY! I'm still Alive!"