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Hurricane Bob Posts

A Shot of Patience

One moment you’re cruising along, thinking about lunch, or that next meeting, or the weekend, or when is the sun ever going to come back – merrily surfing about the random stream of thoughts that wander through on an easy run.  And then it starts. “What is that?  What is that pain there?  When did that start?  Is it getting worse, or staying the same?” Anytime you’re asking that question during a run, it’s the equivalent of all of the warning lights on the Administrative Console of your body turning yellow.  It’s not an emergency – not yet – but something is amiss.  A smart runner would pay attention to such a warning sign.  A smart runner would realize that pain is…

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No Easy Pass

While skimming Twitter earlier today, a story caught my eye regarding a New Jersey driver who’d managed to rack up $12,000 in fines by blowing through EZPass booths all over the East Coast on 200+ occasions.  Some of you may be thinking, “How’d he manage to do that?  How could he have gone through so many times and not been caught?”   I can testify that doing such a thing is rather easy to accomplish.  I know this not from my own experiences, but let’s just say I might have had a hand in a similar tale some 20 years ago. In the summer of 1990 if you were driving in and around New York City, EZPass signs suddenly sprang up overnight.  There…

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4.12.1995

April 12th is always going to be a special day for me, almost as important as a birthday.  While everyone has a day where they were born, I’m not sure everyone has a day where they can point to and say, “That day, that’s the day I learned what it means to be alive.” Some parts of this piece appeared on Xtri.com in April of 2004.  It veers hard towards that triathlon audience at the very end, but no matter what it is you’re doing – running, walking, paddling, rowing, swimming – whatever it is that you’ve chosen to get up and do, this still applies.     If you’ve read my work before, you probably know I used to race bicycles. From…

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Making Sense of the Senseless

The news came in an email yesterday afternoon from Katie’s school, in the middle of the usual shambles of me trying to do far too many things at one time. I read the first few lines, and all of those things dropped away. I stared at the screen. Sounds stopped. My head went numb. “Earlier this morning, Mrs. Scallan passed away unexpectedly…” Nichole Scallan had been Katie’s first teacher at Chesterbrook Academy for Pre-Kindergarten back in 2010. She was a naturally funny woman with a voice and laugh that filled a room, and the necessary whimsical sense of presence and humor needed to manage a classroom of children just beginning to get used to a full-day away from home. She was a…

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Walking The High Wire

The essence of Parenthood in one scenario: Your daughter has a book report due for school tomorrow.  She has had one month to work on it.  She has finished reading the book (as of 11 minutes ago), but has done absolutely zero of the required prep for presenting to her class the following day. Your in-laws have called a Technical Support 911 request.  They have not used their DVD player since 2013, and cannot remember how to power it on and make it connect to the TV.  Normally, not an emergency.  However, they will be babysitting their three-year old granddaughter tomorrow.  They generally get her for 2-4 hours on the weekends, but this would be a full-work-day deal, 8+ hours.  If all…

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Breaking Worse

I do not play professional Jenga, as such a sport does not exist.  However, if it did, I’d be willing to bet that anyone who is tasked with juggling the Holy Trinity of Family, Work, and Training, would be an unstoppable boss.  This is because we have all become masters of moving multiple pieces of our lives in space and time, all while doing what need to be done to ensure that one never affects the other two. Every week I get a schedule from my long-suffering Running Coach, Debi Bernardes.  Luckily for me, none of these workouts are locked into a given day.  I have the usual assortment of Strength Training, Rowing on the C2, and of course, Running and Running…

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The Three Letter Curse

On Friday afternoon I received a text from one of my closest mates, the patriarch of my Circle of Idiots, Brian Gatens (nickname, Leeroy Jenkins). “You did that Chesapeake Bay Swim.  What’s it like?  Thinking about giving it a shot.” If he’d been able to see me, he’d have watched the color drain from my face.  He’d have seen my eyes close.  He’d have watched my head drop, followed by the sound of a long exhale.  He’d have seen a man forced to look back into the eyes of a heartbreak he’d rather not revisit. I replied, “I did.  In 2000.  DNF.  My only one.” I added, “I’ll find the archived race report and post it.” I knew exactly where to look…

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Driving Me Crazy

When you race bicycles, pills you spend a lot of time in tight packs. Even if there are 100+ bodies in the field, you move as one. You feel spaces and gaps in motion around you as much, if not more, than you see them. You also learn that there’s a definite mood – a personality – to any group. Some days the bunch is smooth, flowing, and calm, while on other days it would be ragged, snippy, twitchy, and angry. Those latter, nervous days would be the ones where I would quietly drop to the back of the show, and just get out of the middle before something bad happened. When I drive in traffic, my instincts still operate in the…

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Lost in Translation

Last week I was waiting at the local Toyota dealership while getting the usual routine service done.  We’ve all been there: You go in for what you hope will just be a quick and easy oil change, cheap and that’s where the Game Show begins.  You know that throughout the entire time you’re there – until you’re signing the papers and getting the keys back – there’s a chance that someone is going to come find you with a page, illness or worse yet, diagnosis several pages of things discovered during that routine check that will suddenly start burning through cash like a West Point Cadet going through a bar on a weekend furlough. As I sat in my chair waiting things…

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Do. Not. Quit.

Do. Not. Quit. It’s the second Monday of the New Year. At the risk of being cold: I don’t care how badly you feel, online how tired you say you are, or how much you tell me you want to give up, please don’t quit. I don’t need to know what made you decide to make the change: If you didn’t like something about you and you want to make it different, that’s enough for me.  You have good intentions, you had energy to start things off, but the issue you have right now is a tough, albeit temporary one, it’s one of timing. Because of what the calendar says, this is the most popular time of year for people to start…

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