Thursday, January 23, 2014


Back in April a little over a month after I’d won Gusher,  Rep. Deshotel from the Beaumont area was kind enough to submit resolutions about me and others to the House of Representatives. I got to stand there while it was read out loud but the simple truth is I was just taking being in the House of Representatives in and not listening to what was said… We had a lunch afterwards where they gave me a copy of it in Representative Deshotel’s office and told me they were preparing a more formal one. I put it to the side intending to read it when I got home but talk about memory issues, I forgot it. Unfortunately that was when the Boston marathon occurred and it was when a lot of things were going on and when they called me to pick it up, I dropped the ball. By the time I realized and remembered, the government was no longer in session (here in Texas they meet only every two years… insert your political statement here).  But then last week, Representative Deshotel himself called me and asked when he could drive it over and did so yesterday. And here is a copy of it. Reading/hearing it for the first time was both humbling and emotionally moving (though a friend who saw it said that what he likes about the J-wire, as he calls it, is that they should have added that I was humble which he says is his favorite part about me. I struggle with compliments and also couldn’t resist the humor and said that humility is my strong suit, that there’s a picture of me next to humble in the dictionary. He rolled his eyes and said that Iram comes actually right before ironic in the dictionary).

The day had already had some interesting moments before that arrived. I’d had lunch with a friend as he’s preparing for colon cancer surgery and chemo. He had run a marathon in the middle of it all (who does that kind of stuff? That’s insane). We sat and talked about serious stuff and joked around various things (perhaps one of my favorite cancer jokes yet is if he’s learned anything from the colon cancer experience it’s that while he plans to beat cancer, he definitely couldn’t have survived prison for long).  But we sat and talked about the athletics, the emotions, the family experience that he’s doing with it all which from what I can gather he’s doing it holistically much better than I did (and somewhere my mind is laughing at the fact that I used the word holistically completely unintentionally).

But from there, in the strange life I lead, I went to an interview (I’m sure in due time that will get linked on here and why the interviews keep coming I don’t understand since the story hasn’t really changed it’s still one foot in front of the other) and for the first time ever, I cried in the middle of an interview (luckily it was for a print one). We were talking about various things but crying came when referencing the song that has been on many stroller playlists (first song on the Waco playlist), Steven Curtis Chapman’s Cinderella (\

I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
‘Cause I know something the prince never new
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don’t want to miss even one song
‘Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight

So it was a heavy emotional day… and in science it’s often said that correlation does not mean causation. But it may tell you that when the emotions get heavier these blog entries tend to get more direct and sometimes goofier and the runs a little more intense.

But while I’m a guy who is betting huge chunks of his life on sciences’ approach of correlation and causation, there are other things that come to mind. But while that’s how I’m staying alive but what I’m living for is something that was said in dead poet’s society:

“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

I joke and I run but I also read poetry and appreciate art like Van Gogh (shh even though tons of poems and songs have been quoted in here obviously a guy who is a marathoner, a Spartan, and a centurion doesn’t read poems. That would be so not tough and macho; it’d be like painting your toenails or something).

So the simple truth is I’m three days away from the race that has most intimidated me… well ever… with the Waco marathon. The interviewer said you’ll have to let me know how that goes and I showed her the elevation profile and said “I can tell you how it’s going to go, I’m going to get across the finish line and no other promises.”

But while running continues to be the how and loving continues to be the way, the why I actually rarely say I love you to anyone. It isn’t that I’m scared to say it’s that it’s that I try to be effective in communication. In a famous anthropological study, if you ask people to make a facial expression describing joy, sadness, anger, frustration, disappointment, surprise, the facial expressions are pretty universal worldwide. But if you ask them to put on a face of what it “looks like” to love there is a gigantic range. And many many languages have more than one word for I love you.  So I don’t say I love you much because when I say something I want the person to hear what I’m saying so when I say it, I usually describe what I mean for it in relation to them.
But that is another resolution this year, to say I love you more…. With the caveat that we both understand what the other is saying. Except I always say it to Kiana and my puppy… cause I think they both get it. (Which by the way the song we’re listening to the most, but only on youtube cause I can’t find a digital version of it is Dean and Martin’s “Side by side” so if you can point me to a digital version of that, I’ll seriously appreciate it).

Resolution, like love is a word that can be applied in many things. I’ve received one from the government; I’ve made some for New Year’s, last entry I talked about chemistry and physics but there resolution is the act of separating or reducing things to its component parts (an important process yet somehow I subscribe to the idea that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts). In medicine, it means that you’ve terminated a condition and I hope that day comes for me assuming termination means healing not death. In music, it means taking dissonant tone to a constant tone. Resolution is what it will take to get through this marathon Sunday.
With so many different meanings, I wondered about the etymology, origin of resolution. I thought maybe it literally came from the idea that you solve something again, you re-solve it. But it apparently comes from the Latin word to release something, to let it go.

I don’t know if it was due to the references to my blog and social media in the resolution, or part of the interview or if it was just human curiosity, the interviewer asked what I was trying to achieve in facebook and social media. It was a question I wasn’t prepared for nor  did I have a great answer and simply answered, the same thing everyone else is but I don’t know that I immediately knew what that was. But I think we share on facebook, in this blog for the same reason my dog wants to be walked, for the same reason we want to scream or cry sometimes, the same reason Kiana wants to draw sometimes and other times she wants butterfly kisses, because we are human and we need/desire/hope for release of that humanity and we’re all just trying to find a way to do it. (If there’s anything we learn from the Richard Sherman’s yelling after a win (I screamed after my marathon win too) is that there’s some that are more socially accepted than others.)  And so today I do my last training run before the marathon, I’ve got some music playing in the background right now and so there’s many releases for my humanity. For mine, this social media is one of them but you have to wonder whether the days that I write about something in here that most people take as private whether or not by being so public I’m only hiding in the open since telling everyone about your emotions something is only slightly braver than telling it to no one., In my view, the bravest approach may well be the balance of sharing it and investing it most with significant people knowing that hurt may come tougher that way. And while I post way too much on here and on facebook, my favorite moments still in life are the face to face ones and it’s some how disappointing and makes sense that in some of my favorite moments in life I only manage to get out the camera for a second and capture a moment rather than trying to capture them so much to remember the future that I miss the present.

  People who have come with me to medical appointments wonder if my doctors get annoyed at my 500 miles worth of questions. I wonder if it’s disappointing for those who interview that I don’t have great answers. But even if they aren’t great in sophistication, I hope to keep "releasing" my humanity in many ways, in those runs and races, in those songs and poems, but above all, far above all, to keep releasing those emotions into the people who mess with you honestly. At least that’s my resolution. 

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