Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kentuckiana? Raising Money? Survivor?? I’m SO There!

Question: Is that?!

Answer: YES, it’s Rupert from Survivor and me...ARGH!!!

We all have favorites and I’m fortunate to have a favorite show that not only gives you Rupert but also some Dragon-Slayer coaching from Coach and some sugar from…Sugar! See below…and yes she does look a little like Marilyn Monroe and still yes…she definitely likes her some Stader. But I digress.

Survivor has been a staple of my life for 9 years. That’s a significant portion of my life and Survivor has wrestled for my allegiance with only one other love to contend with - my other Thursday night staple - CSI. You can count on very few consistent things in this life but one is that Survivor will bring us a new crop of interesting folks a few days after the Super Bowl and then that dreaded dry spell that lasts the entire summer while we wait until mid-September and another batch of cast members.

Jessica "Sugar" Kiper
So having established that Survivor is my favorite reality show, I’ve come to appreciate the game that is being played between our villains and heroes and those that get voted out too early and therefore we can’t necessarily categorize them. Or maybe we can steal a term from Lost and call them the “others.” Well regardless of which category they fall into - I was able to meet a couple of dozen of them this past weekend. And you know - I was well pleased with my newfound tribemates. It’s funny because it’s easy to view them as characters and not realize that they are just like you or I but maybe a tad better looking and stranded on an island for 7 weeks.

Well my world crashed into their’s this past Saturday night. They had a job to do (albeit non paying so should we call it a hobby?) and they pulled it off well. Really well come to think of it. As soon as I arrived at the Galt House my head was on a swivel in anticipation of noticing some of the reality stars and I wasn’t disappointed. My timing was great for many of them were arriving back from a long day at Six Flags and the Kentucky Challenge which is like an Amazing Race/Survivor event. I wasn’t able to attend that but my eyes were as huge as they could be when I saw Stephen and Courtney come walking towards me off of the escalator! They ARE real I thought to myself. And also much taller than I expected.

Stephen and Courtney...This was a "friend trap" picture as Stephen was going for a Myspace type goofy picture and Courtney and I were just showing off our model good looks :-)

Anyway…those are just some initial ramblings about my weekend… So be prepared for some additional thoughts on it soon…Oh and of course I had some of my new friends sign a baseball for me…. Fun times!

Signed baseball by Rupert (Argh!) and Survivor winners and also Eric - who won The Amazing Race

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Value of Effort…

I’ve run many races and my results vary from distance to distance. Although I’m usually a mid to back-of-the-packer, I have occasionally finished near the top of my age division and even have brought home some hardware to gwak at when I get bored. My favorite distance is, by all accounts, the toughest and most costly to my or any participant’s self esteem - the Marathon. I’ve often asked myself, after finishing in a mindless shuffle complete with that hollow look in my eyes, why run this distance to sometimes barely finish at all much less behind the vast majority of the other runners? And am I just embarrassing myself in front of dozens or sometimes thousands of other competitors? I not only am representing myself but also my running group the “Marathon Maniacs.”

Why? Because I can. Because I am trying. Four plus years ago I got off the couch and decided to try. And that purposeful effort produced many incredibly positive returns. None of which is probably more important than the effects it’s had on my spirit. Yes, my body has been worked into better shape and I may have added years to my life. Yes, the discipline has opened up the state of my mind and produced a more effective business and personal life.

But most importantly, every time I finish a marathon I feel alive. Maybe not my body but my heart, soul and spirit. I see life in a different way when I cross that finish line - I am a marathon runner. I am an endurance athlete. I am someone who can feel pain and sometimes drift into a dream of laying down in the cool green grass just off of the race course to relieve my tired and aching muscles. But I keep moving. And I finish. Sometimes a little quicker than others. Of course I can’t take credit for that strength - I know that it’s God’s hand on me.

With that help I keep putting one foot in front of the other and I am different. That effort has made me different from those watching, those wondering why it’s taken me so long or why I do such insane things to my body in order to get a medal or paperweight commemorating my 5 to 6 hour struggle. That effort has value and that value isn’t shared by all so not everyone can understand where I am coming from or where it is that I’m running from or to.

Whether it’s a 5K, marathon or your first time to try to run a for one lone minute - the principal remains the same: our effort is valuable. We are different. We see life in a different way because we are living it.

One foot in front of the other. The effort is worth it. More than anyone will ever know.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Teddy Roosevelt

Friday, May 15, 2009

And it begins....

And with a click, I have a voice.

This is going to be fun - oh yes...