Thursday, March 6, 2008

An Athlete's Priorities

Will's temperature finally subsided last night, and he returned to school today. Dori has managed to avoid whatever he had (knock on wood), and has had a good week. She's been laughing, having a friend or two over, and is in planning mode (vacation, summer camps, you know the drill). She's also been super-sweet to me.

My work has been frenetic the last two days. Wake up, blink, get the kids ready, blink, work, blink, pick up the kids, blink ... The day goes by in a flash, which makes me realize things not only are hectic right now, but I'm a lucky man to have so many irons in the fire.

I simply could not get up early this morning, so I ran tonight in the dark. The run was a 5.3-mile neighborhood run, some of it on some tough hills. I ran an 8:15 pace the first three miles, then slowed some as I hit some hills, then finished well. I felt great, probably running at 90%. You never know, but I might have a good race in me on March 15. A good friend e-mailed me the other day, saying, "Isn't it great to be healthy going in to a race?" Yes!

So Tuesday's run was about a crazy driver. Tonight's run was about a crazy dog. A mean golden retriever with one of those fence collars really got peeved when he saw me. He and Pepper have had a growl-off or two in the past. Tonight on a very dark street, Cujo came bolting off his property intent on taking me out. He never stopped until his jaws got to my ankles. Startled, I yelled at the dog loudly while running at full speed. Clinching my fist, I prepared to take the dog out, but he backed down at the very last second. Unfortunately, I lost my balance and fell on my shoulder on the pavement, but luckily, as the dog was retreating. I thought I'd hurt myself, but I hadn't ... I just had some minor soreness.

Dori and I heard the sad news today that a teacher at another school has been diagnosed with leukemia. Dori knows a mom of one her students well, and is talking about how she can help, something she thought about a lot last year ... she wants to help people who are having to suffer, endure and cope like she has. Dori has been brainstorming about ways to help leukemia patients and to raise awareness about blood cancers. I hope to report more about this later, but I'm sure no one is surprised my wife wants to help people in need.

Vanderbilt's basketball team is nearing the end of a dream season. Will and I listened to the Mississippi State game on the radio last night ... Senior Night at Memorial Gym. Shan Foster, VU's all-time leading scorer, scored 42 points, including three-point shot after shot to extend the game and win it with two seconds left. He could not miss on a night when VU should have lost. After the game, the crowd went ballistic. The picture of Shan crying with his Mom (today's paper ... great photo above by Jae Lee) made me emotional when I opened the paper this morning. The coach and play-by-play announcer Joe Fisher last night admitted they cried.

In the press conference, a low key Foster thanked the school, his teammates and mostly God for the glory of being able to do what he did. Amen, Shan Foster.

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