It may or may not be difficult to believe, but I still cannot walk quite right, and you definitely don't want to watch me navigate any stairs! While dousing my legs with liniment this morning, in hopes of making it downstairs, I suddenly remembered seeing a video of an amazing father and son team that ran marathons and triathlons together. So when I eventually made it to my computer I googled Team Hoyt.
This is a story of extreme love, and kindness, as well as, determination, strength and courage. It will inspire you to not only be kind and compassionate, but maybe even to set goals that you never imagined possible.
Right now it feels like I may never walk properly again - and really that is no exaggeration. Today I started - and finished- a half marathon (The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon). Two weeks ago the longest distance I had ever run in my life was 8 km, so in preparation I did two 14 km runs. I'm really thinking right now that maybe two weeks wasn't quite enough preparation! I was okay up to 15 km, 16 km was tough, 17 almost killed me with the thought that I still had 4 km to go.......and well at 18 km I could feel the nail of my left big toe being pulled up my sock and every step was agony, I expected to see blood seeping through my shoe.
Apparently the pain was written all over my face because my running mate and good friend Lisa looked over at me, pulled out her cellphone (yes, miraculously she could still talk at this point!) and called my husband who was waiting at the finish line with our daughter, and told him I needed some encouragement. So it was by her kindness, encouragement and support that I was able to cross that finish line.
Here is a photo. The glazed, glassy eyed lady with the pink hat is me, Lisa is in the middle and her brother-in-law Ken on the end. Ken and Lisa have both done the race in the past, and I think Ken does it every year, which might account for their unstrained smiles. Thanks guys for a great day!
(I won't include a picture of that big toe!) (my time was 2 hours 11 mins)
A few days ago a friend sent me this article from CNN. It is about self centeredness, and it's blight on the collective conscious of our nation (it is a U.S. article, but really could be just about any country in the world). I like information/insights/opinions that are supported by research and common sense.
It may seem discouraging that a professor from San Diego State University has recently published a book entitled, The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in an Age of Entitlement; but, I think it's important to understand the root problems of issues and concerns that affect our interdependence. And the whole dakband concept is about getting individuals to push past the self centeredness and narcissism and recognize that our lives are richer when we connect meaningfully with others.
"Dependent people need others to get what they want. Independent people can get what they want through their own efforts. Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success." - Stephen Covey
Stephen Covey always reinforces the concept of interdependence and community. That we need and depend on each other to be and become our best selves.
My son attends Queen's University. He is studying physics and geography, but he called me the other day to tell me about a new interest. He is learning to play the ukulele. Yes, the ukulele. Where did he get this ukulele you ask? Well I asked the same question! (This comes after a year of teaching himself to play guitar.)
Yesterday I spent so much time watching, reading, googling, commemorative events honoring 9/11 that I forgot to share them with you. I don't even know where to begin. Perhaps one of the most significant events was the official declaration, by the President, of September 11 being a day of National Service and Remembrance. I'm sure David Paine and Jay Winuk were not thinking that their foundation, My Good Deed, would become a day recognized by the entire country. Please take a moment to read about the program and their story.
Another incredible program is the New York Says Thank-you Foundation, whose mission (from their website): The mission of The New York Says Thank You Foundation is to send volunteers from New York City each year on the 9/11 anniversary to help rebuild communities around the country affected by natural or man-made disasters as our way of commemorating the extraordinary love and generosity extended to New Yorkers by Americans from all across the United States in the days, weeks, and months following 9/11.
The last line on the home page, which is a letter from Jeff Parness (the founder) reads: From one day of terror, 10 years of Kindness.
"The Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy (AACPA) is a model charter school whose goal is to offer academic programs designed to enhance a child's character, respect, motivation and self-discipline. Located in the heart of Las Vegas' most at-risk neighborhood, AACPA was created specifically to improve skill levels and combat lowered academic expectations while creating a climate of hope among this community's most challenged children. Advanced technology, smaller class sizes and extended school hours are just some of the practices the AACPA utilizes to achieve a higher standard of education."
Every single student in the graduating class has been accepted to college. Every single one.
At an award ceremony last week, the U.S. Open celebrated Agassi's contribution to humanity. During his speech he quoted one of the commencement speakers,"She said that some who are short-sighted have labeled us as at-risk," Agassi said. "She said that was right. That we are at-risk. At risk of excellence."
You can read the entire article from the Los Angeles Times here.
Day 15 of 31 (yes I am pretending that I have not missed any postings)
I hate excuses, which is why I probably have a business (Justplay) that has the following tag line: no excuses Justplay.
But I am going to explain why I missed yesterday's post. Aside from the fact that I completely forgot until 4 pm today.....I forgot because my week is crazy busy! I am currently studying for my Masters degree, which I began this past spring with University of Regina. It is a distance program that I planned to work at during all my free time (LOL). Over the past couple of weeks I have been working with researchers in Regina and the U.K. to submit a grant proposal for a very big and exciting research project involving Justplay. A private courier delivered it the day it was due. However, while working on the grant proposal, the dakband project, the new dakband website, and taking care of family life I didn't get any other work for my course finished. Everything is due on Friday. I have two papers to hand in and half a textbook to read, along with completed chapter worksheets! Oh yeah, I have two couples coming to spend the weekend on Saturday.....
Thankfully, I have loving, KIND, parents who have offered to take our beautiful three year old for a few days so I can at least pretend that I am going to get all of this done!!