Monday, May 31, 2010

Riders Wanted: LiveSTRONG Philadelphia, 2010

The time is approaching, and once again Team Fish or Cut Bait is going to ride at the LiveSTRONG event in Philadelphia on August 22, 2010 to raise money too fight cancer. I have a bunch of verbal commitments, but now is when the rubber hits the proverbial road. If you're a rider, I would love to have you as part of Team Fish.

You can choose a 20, 45, 70 or 100 mile course. There is a minimum fundraising goal of $250, but that goes incredibly quickly. Every year I have someone who asks me about it and how daunting it seems at first. Most raise it in a matter of days and are off and running after that. Trust me - it's a cinch.

Last year, we had Do'ers profiles, BUTNZ, and a bunch of other fun things going on in connection with the event. Every year we get a little better at this, and I am always open to suggestions. Rest assured this year will be no exception to the fun rule, and my buddy Kurt is already planning his "fun" group ride over the long as those sammiches are waiting for us at the bottom of the hill, I am soooooooo in, brother. So, if you're thinking about joining Team Fish, or if you've been simply putting it off until now, let's get crackin'. You can CLICK HERE AND FOLLOW THIS LINK then just click on "Join Our Team" at the top of the page.

Questions, comments, concerns, fears? E-mail me and let's get that out of the way so we can ride and PWN cancer.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Observations From a Yard Sale

Yard sales are usually about the people. Most of them are interesting, and to hear their stories is often the highlight of my experience. Yesterday's was a ssssllllloooow painful experience for the first two hours, then it picked up as more people came out. It was a very weird yard sale, to be sure.

One of my customers was a young lady in the Tap-Out tee shirt with face tattoos and multiple facial piercings, who came and bought the Happy Family Dollhouse. I was reminded that families come in all shapes and sizes. She was actually a lot of fun to speak with, and I found out she was buying it for her two-year-old daughter.

The clothes. This woman was wearing her lucky yard-sale outfit. Seriously. I don't know what part of the eighties you could possibly consider "lucky" but hey, if it's working for you, run with it. Oh, this does NOT apply to the guy with the Flock of Seagulls hair: that look needs to go.

And an open inquiry for the woman who was gazing at my wares as she cruised past, her two kids screaming in the back of her minivan while she was yakking on her cellie? I think you might want to ask yourself "What could possibly go wrong in this neighborhood filled with kids on bikes and scooters and yard-salers crossing the streets?" Then, hoping you have arrived at any one of the possible correct answers, none of which are good, would you please HANG UP YOUR DAMNED PHONE and pay attention to what you are doing, which is driving in a residential area. KTHXBAI.

Mrs. Fish said the ladies were flirting with me all day (REALLY?!?). I confess a vast amount of ignorance in this area, but I'll take her word for it. If that's the case, I am going to chalk it up to the possibility that men selling jewelry with a pocket full of quarters and having even the remotest interest in yard sales are considered something of a catch on a Saturday morning around here...

Finally, I really liked haggling with the woman and her granddaughter who wanted a book and a ring. The grandmom said her granddaughter lives in the country and "don't have nothin'. Best "sale" I made all day, making a pretense of the hard-driving six-year old and how she was such a tough negotiator that I was forced to practically give it away. Both of them left with the goods, and huge smiles.

Well, This was a Lot of Fun

I really liked this. Enjoy...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lace 'em up...

I laced up my Sauconys and put the orthotic inserts into them. Today my goal was to do intervals, running for two minutes and walking for one minute.

It's weird that, since the injury, I have become incredibly in-tune with my body. I don't usually run with an iPod or other distractions, so it's something that I have always sort of paid attention to, but now it's most decidedly different. I am aware of every tweak (that slight pain in my right ankle, on the outside rolling down under the bone, is still there) and every feeling that is not quite normal. I can feel my Achilles rolling over the bursa sac in the heel, but the inflammation is gone, for the most part. I can also feel the difference the weight and inactivity make. My legs respond more sluggishly, don't swing as freely, nor do they have the bounce that allows them to come up and forward as quickly. The need to push myself hard on my runs is not there, but the desire to do so most certainly is. It would feel good to run fast again, but for now I need to be content with just running. After such a long layoff, I really am.

It was about 65 degrees and there was a light mist falling as I walked out tonight. I had Mango on, with a light tech shirt and it was perfect for the weather. If it was raining any harder, I would have wished for a hat, but as it was, it was just perfect. There have been bunnies on my previous runs, but not tonight. Just a couple of kids outside riding bikes and a couple of folks walking their pooches. I ran the intervals as planned, wiht a 5 minute steady run at the end, followed by a 7 minute cool down.

I can't wait to get out an do it again.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


"It seems wrong to me that the people we lose give us such strength and encourage us to be better people, if not for us, for them."
---Bill Moore

One of the things about being a cancer survivor is that you meet and are influenced by amazing, incredible people. The shame of it is that, sometimes, you lose them. So it is with Collin, a two-year-old boy that I never met. I never met his family. But, in the best sense of the word, I knew them.

I found an online community for cyclists when I first got started, and found a place where people talk about cycling, but just as often discuss life. It's ups and downs, the trials and tribulations of family and relationships. Phil came on one day and asked us to pray for his family, and especially for his son, who had Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The people of the board rallied, and Collin became a focal point for discussions, for fundraisers to fight childhood cancer, for joining together to beat the disease he and his family were battling so courageously.

Phil gave us updates and we would all anxiously read them, poring over them for signs that Collin was winning. He would get a rash and go back to the hospital and we would groan. Collin's fight had, in many ways, become our fight.

Last year, I dedicated a significant portion of my ride to Collin and his family. There were times when it got tough, and Collin reminded me that it wasn't really tough. There were a couple of times when I wasn't sure I would make it. Collin's courage, his fight, reminded me that I would.

Collin is done fighting. It's not because he quit, because he had no quit in him. And now he is in a better place, a place with no pain, and no fear, and no tubes, and no needles, and no worry. Just an endless supply of love, and the promise that one day we'll get to see him and we'll be able to give him a hug and say thank you for sharing your life with us, even if it was just for one brief, amazing moment.

I miss you, brother, and my prayers are with you and your family.

Monday, May 10, 2010

One Minute Writer

Found this site that encourages us to take One Minute Writing and make it a daily habit. I have just started writing again, wading oh-so cautiously in and absorbing possibilites. Today's assignment at the site was "Little Things" and this was my contribution:

"I wasn't ready for it. I thought I was, but then she rushed out, all pink and beautiful and screaming and covered in the stuff that kept her alive, sloughing it off to reveal that I was now responsible for that role...and she was so perfect, and so tiny."