Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Sight of the Stars

I'm not sure I could have asked for a much better transition from the best year of my life to 2015. Christmas was great with my family... The last weekend of the year was captured with 21 miles that were just for the run of it since there are currently no marathons on the calendar so it's not exactly training under those circumstances just keeping a base. Or as I sit here with a Cowboys playoff game just happening remembering the old Emmitt Smith quote that all men are created equal and some just work harder in the offseason. 

But 2014 wrapped up well with Kiana's 8th birthday dinner on the 29th in which she got new dresses that she was thrilled about (for Christmas I got new running shoes and Kiana got new running shoes and dress boots. It's a little embarrassing to admit that I'm not sure whether I or my little girl gets more excited about shoes but oddly enough it made me pleased that one of the simplest gifts got of her best smiles). I asked her to not get any older please and she said "I will always be your baby but I'm not a baby anymore I'm a child now."  I am not quite sure why Kiana always carries dust to throw in my eyes while she's being nice .

New Years ended with a really fun trip. There was a stop at Mark Twain's home, a guy who while I will never have anywhere near his skills I hope to echo his idea that you can sample life. This was the first trip without a formal event though running in the Northeast snow/hail and got the hardest working out at the EPIC gym in NYC reminded me I've got a long way to go in being fit. I even dressed nicely for New Years hoping to get at least a ginger kiss. Still wondering whether someone you meet in December is worth kissing in January in another state is risky and doesn't that sometimes end up in getting slapped? If you think I'm going to put whether or not I got a midnight kiss in a public blog.... You probably like TMI.

There were many bright sides to going to New York Cities, one of those cities so nice they name it twice. It's one of those places even if you live there with unlimited funds you couldn't take it all in. I went to Madame Tussad's wax figurine museum for the first time which was impressive. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, I couldn't resist taking a picture with George Clooney asking him an important question but his ears were full of wax so he didn't provide an adequate answer.  

Somehow the universe has been kind enough to let this be the 4th trip to New York since I won the marathon and there was one before that way back in my college days. There is a piece of art that I've gone to see all but one trip, Van Gogh's starry night. I love the piece on its own but there is also a beauty about a mad man with a tortured mind removing ghosts from the windows that haunt him.  A commercial disaster in his lifetime who painted for therapy, perhaps the reason I run. While I'd taken pictures of the painting and have an iPhone case that references it, I took one with the painting remembering his quote "I know nothing with certainty but the sight of the stars makes me dream." There can't
be any more George Clooney girls now that he stepped up his game but perhaps in 2015 I can find a chapter or two with a Van Gogh girl... Even as I write that I don't know what it means but I promise not to cut my ear off.

Still, I'm a competitive guy and I like keeping score. Somehow, both in totality of trips and days, with this visit, New York passed up Duke as the place I've visited most often. Even as I had time there with some people I've met because they lost someone to brain cancer and even as I left I read of ESPN anchor Stuart Scott dying of cancer today at 49, I thought of what he said and I hope my life echoes it: you beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live. I hope I'm getting that right as often as I can.

With the mindset of trying to beat cancer the way he did, So somehow in that competition between life and cancer, between New York vs Duke (though I still cheer for Duke in sporting events), my humanity vs my disease, in that there are no races left that I haven't done with Kiana, in that competition book, cancer has already lost and I hope to keep padding the scoreboard. Certainly, as I look ahead at January and February, it's kind of cool to see that Kiana's ahead of me and currently has four races to my three in the next two months! Two of mine are behind her in a half marathon where I hope it will be my fastest with a stroller and one where I hope it will be the funnest one for her yet as we get to run through a zoo in Waco at the Miracle Match Marathon (!

Still like Van Gogh, I hope to paint my dreams onto a canvas. His was an actual artistic canvas; mine are somewhat more specific and somehow more vague than modern art. So the annual 8 New Year's resolutions have been finalized and will start being worked on. Some old resolutions have now become habit/lifestyle/normal so there were some new ones (weight issues, parenting goals owning less at the end of the year-if there's anywhere financially I have embraced life changes that I'd recommend it would be here because you can't imagine the freedom you find from the things you leave behind). I won't share them all but a few can be more public.  I want to get through an entire book or the first time since before brain surgery. I'm reading Unbroken while Kiana's reading the Hobbit hoping to instill the idea that you read the book before you watch the movie. Using my passport for the first time since brain surgery to a newplace is also looking likely since I'm doing a spartan race in the Caribbean in March, (there was also a trip to Brazil scheduled that got cancelled to go to Duke. While media covered the marathon win I hope my feet not just my pictures arrive on doorsteps there someday). I'm going to try to join a gym for at least till then see if I can't do some cross training for the spartan and for running and to look better in a bikini.

So from little to big, we know if there's anything starry in my brain it has serious faults. But even damaged with unexpected twirls that came with an unexpected beauty, I am going to keep dreaming and trying to run my dreams down.

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