Saturday, May 24, 2008

Midwest League Champions

Will's 7-8 year old baseball team, after a so-so season, swept their playoff division this morning. The Rays beat the Giants, 17-12, in a thriller.

Will went 3 for 4 with one catch that electrified the crowd in the bottom of the 6th. I was coaching in the outfield when a Giant hit a line drive about five feet high over Will, who was playing pitcher. My first thought was, "No way that's caught." My second thought was, "How in the heck did Will catch that?" He really climbed a ladder to snare it. The Rays' third baseman, Luke, ran to Will to high five him in excitement. Dori told Will she will never forget that catch. It was great to have family at the ballpark, as the photos captured.

I spent last night surfing blogs authored by leukemia and lymphoma patients, caregivers and survivors. It really got to me, especially one young Asian boy who died in March. The stories were across the board - happy survivors, people struggling in hospitals and a few folks who battled admirably until the end. Earlier in the week, I went to a Team in Training (TNT) organization meeting with 10 athletes and 10 support staff. Most of the folks in the room were women, but one guy who lost his dad to cancer last year talked about his TNT Country Music Marathon. He was very inspiring, raising $23,000 and declaring his praises for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society staff.

I spoke with him afterwards, and he said, "Cancer picked the wrong people to mess with, didn't they?" I looked him square in the eye, and said, "Yes, it did."

So I'm committed to the Nike Women's Marathon on Oct. 19. I will get my training schedule soon. I ran last night in 80 degree weather, feeling good and motivated for the first time in weeks. I ran four miles at an 8:30/mile clip. I felt every bit of it, but needed to get moving again after too many spring cheeseburgers and acoutrements.

This afternoon, Dori is with the kids at the neighborhood pool, and I'm smoking Texas-style brisket for 70 people at tomorrow's end-of-school-year party at a friend's house. I raise my beer glass to all of you who have supported us this last year and say a prayer of thanks this Memorial Day to every American who gave his or her life for our freedom. Bottoms up.

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