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Hurricane Bob Posts

September 12, 2001

I knew that yesterday while on the Field Trip with Katie’s class, discount there would be a lot of questions following our time at the 9/11 Memorial. I know she’s aware of the event, but we really haven’t dug deeply into the how, the why, and the who. And then came Paris. Yesterday. While we were looking at the memorial for another day the world was pushed towards darkness, but came back. This morning we talked about it. All of it. I said to Lynda, “I think it’s time for the letter.” She knew what I meant – it’s been there for this moment. I wrote a letter to my child on September 12, 2001, at 3:46PM. I sent it out to…

First Families

“Three deep breaths…” I reminded her.  “Relax.  Don’t give it the death grip.” I was just repeating the advice I’d been told a hundred times on a hundred start lines; such a simple thing that always seemed to take that edge off.  She took two good breaths, cialis looked over the water to her right, buy viagra and exhaled just a bit as the paddle rested on the gunwale.  “Once we get moving, here you’ll be too busy to be scared…” I reminded her. “I hope so…” she breathed out.   Back in January 2014, Jim Morris sent me an email that opened with, “I’ve got a crazy idea…”  He had my attention immediately.  “I want to put together a team for…

Sisyphus and the Wild Kingdom

While this is normally a racing sort-of site, you’ll have to allow me the occasional detour for another kind of story. Because when something absurd comes along that has nothing to do with running, training, racing, or other semi-high-speed pursuits, I should go with it. In our house we have four cats. I’ll spare you the details of how that arrangement came to be, so let’s just say that if you feed a stray, and she has kittens on your porch, and you end up adopting them all because your five-year old daughter says, “We have to keep them, because you can’t break up a family…” That’s how you end up with four cats. This means we have four full-time, well-fed, furry…

Turning Points

It only took a half-step, sick but I knew instantly that I was in big trouble. As my weight toppled into space, I knew I was going to be in for a hard fall. My emotional cycle wasted no time checking off shock (“OW! SH*T!”), denial, (“This can’t be happening!”), anger, (“ARGH!”), but was looking right past bargaining (“Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.”), and zeroing in on acceptance, (“Well, F*ck.”). A few hours earlier in the day I’d gotten a stepladder out of the garage to change a light bulb in the hallway. I’d put the ladder back, but in doing so had knocked one of the yardwork sneakers that lived in the garage from its former stashed location under the…

Cramping My Style

When the 2015 IDBF Dragon Boat World Championships ended in August, site another two-year cycle of trying to make the team, making the team, hanging onto my spot on the team, and wearing the National kit came to a close. While the racing takes five days (Wednesday through Sunday), the plummet into a bottomless pit comes on Monday morning when you wake up, and for the first time in two years, you don’t have a race to prepare for. When I raced Ironman, the day after it all ended was every bit as traumatic. The “Post-Ironman Blues” is the official moniker, but it so much deeper than blue – trust me. You wake up physically spent, emotionally drained, and pretty much incapable…

The Runner’s High

One of my colleagues at work remarked the other day, “Hey Mina, so I read this study that says running – that ‘runners high’ thing that you and Jeremy go out and seek – is actually almost as good as getting stoned!”  I’d read the same study, and answered, “It’s pretty wild – years ago a biochemist actually broke down the substances in endorphins, and they turned out to be 50 times more potent than heroin.  Your body MAKES that stuff when you need it.” Of course, the conversation took a predictable turn.  “Great!”  He replied, “I’ll leave that crazy running sh*t to you guys, and just tell the boss I’ll light up a spliff now and again – same high, better…

Embracing Mistakes

Last night Lynda and I attended our first quarter Parent/Teacher conference, sales the usual review of how things were going with the little lady. We’re lucky that she’s in a great little school with a great peer group, and they tend to do things in 4th grade that I’m not even sure I was doing in 6th grade.   Maybe that’s just how you end up looking back to something from 34 years ago, but it’s pretty cool to see the foundation you hope will carry a mind forward through life taking shape, one block at a time. The teacher had one comment regarding Katie and her pursuits so far this year, “She hates, hates, HATES when she makes a mistake. They all…

The Dog Run

There are about seven weeks to go to the Philadelphia Marathon, site my traditional year-end run around the City of Brotherly Love. Assuming my legs stay together for the rest of the buildup, this will be my 18th Philly, and 38th marathon. Not that I know what I’m doing at this distance (I don’t), or how to run it well (out of those 38, I consider maybe five to be “good”), far from it. What’s amazing to me is that even after all this time, things can happen on any given day that make me go, “Wait, what, seriously?” When I do my mid-day runs from my office, I don’t have a lot of options. I can go three different directions from…

The Spin Cycle

Originally published as a two-part special over Thanksgiving Weekend in November 2002, this would become one of the most popular pieces I ever wrote for Xtri.  A heavily-edited, unhealthy abridged version of this tale appeared in the Casagrande Press book, “Cycling’s Greatest Misadventures” in 2007, but that focused on what we’ll simply call, “The Incident.” This is how I’d originally written it. Last month after 8 weeks of paperwork, faxes, contracts, waivers, clearances, and a note from my doctor, I was able to complete the final bureaucratic hurdle between myself and something I’ve been after since May of 2001: I was finally able to join my company gym.  That meant there would be no more cutting out to the YMCA mid-day, no…

Rebuild, Reset, Restart

I have had a website since 2000.  The original was a Front Page monstrosity that was about as stable as wet dynamite, sale with a set of Navigation Controls that read about as easily as a Hong Kong Underground Transit Map.  I was writing for Xtri.com at the time, a triathlon website that gave me my first “real” publishing gig, and gave me the beginnings of an audience for my attempts at making sense of racing, of life. I tried to upgrade the site in 2013 – even bought a WordPress setup.  Got about two weeks in, posted a few archived race reports, and then completely lost the plot.  Training, a new job, life – the things that usually fight for your…

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