So, a few months ago I posted about some goals for this new year. Since then, I have not written a single post. I thought I’d take a few minutes and give myself a bit of a progress report before we reach the mid year in a month and a half.
As far as my reading goal, I am way behind schedule. Part of this was due to work and mandatory overtime stretching into mid April and even some in May. The rest is simply I haven’t made the time. I should watch less tv and fewer movies, but they are mindless activities that help me unwind. I have read the first two Harry Potter books, so I am 2 books into my goal of reading 10 by the end of the year. New goal: start a new book this week.
Writing on here, as I’ve already mentioned, hasn’t happened at all in the last four to five months. Over at onthegoinmco.com, I have been a bit more successful in writing with more regularity than in the past. I would like to continue this trend to write 1-2 posts here and there each week, but I think I’ll be easing back in the waters slowly here.
Relaxing more hasn’t really happened to be honest with you. I have still been going to Orlando 2-3 times per month and not staying home as often as I should. I have taken it down a notch as far as not running around like crazy when I am in Orlando. I really haven’t been to the parks much at all this year and think I am a bit overdue for some fun time, even if it is just a few hours here or there since we are now entering the crazy hot months. I am still hoping to get on a cruise, and to facilitate this effort, I have taken off almost the entire month of November from work. This time off will also include a trip to Disneyland with friends.
I have been doing okay with the saving money for a bit this year, but then life happens. A laptop dies, you get sick and miss some work, doctor’s visits cost money, so on and so forth. There is a potential change coming up in my life in the next few months that will negatively impact me financially, but would probably be for the best overall, so I am starting to think about additional ways to save ahead of time. Cutting costs preemptively may not be a bad idea. If I save more and don’t need it, that is either less debt I’m in or more money for vacation month of November.
Running has not been happening at all since the beginning of March. I hurt my back mid February and was in physical therapy and undergoing pain management treatment for a couple months. It is somewhat better, so I hope to start back to walking at the gym before the end of this month. I am registered for an Avengers themed 5K at Disneyland in November, but that is the only race on the slate for the rest of this year so far.
I would say overall I am doing okay, maybe a B- or a C+ as far as grades would go. I have definite room for improvement, but I’ve also taken strides to make some changes for the better. Work, despite being crazy busy most of the time, has been going well and not much to complain about there. I try to look forward to what’s ahead, which may include a staycation to the beach, a long weekend to Hilton Head, soccer, baseball, perhaps a concert, hard work, but some play time too. Things are moving in the right direction and I hope they continue to do so because goodness knows almost everyone I know has not had the best of years so far and could use some damn good news and good luck coming their way. I have some pretty amazing friends and great family and I couldn’t ask for much more.
Peace out cub scouts! But, before I go, I thought I’d share a few pictures of cool shit I’ve seen and done this year so far.
The tragic events of Patriot’s Day at the Boston Marathon have hit home for so many people. It was an act of terrorism, and of cowardice, directed at innocent civilians at a celebratory event. I don’t know if it is hitting me so hard because I used to live in New England for 11 years and have always had family and friends there as long as I can remember, if it is because I am a runner (albeit a slow one, but I do it), or if it is because of the continuing stream of shock and awe we are exposed to these days.
I remember exactly where I was on September 11th. Sitting at home in my room on my day off, I was in a Yahoo trivia chatroom and someone announced the news of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. I turned the tv on just in time to see the second plane hit. For me, this was a jarring occurrence. Yes, I was in high school and remember too well the bombing in Oklahoma City, but this was different. New York City to us and often to the world acts as a symbolic home for our country. They hit us where it hurt more than ever before. This is not to dismiss Pearl Harbor, or OKC, or any other previous tragedies, but only to say this was in a place where more people travel and live on a daily basis and more people know.
For whatever reason, I feel even more connected to the attack on the Boston Marathon. It could be because I didn’t really know anyone immediately impacted by 9/11 at the time it happened. Not so much with Boston. I know literally dozens upon dozens of former classmates from elementary, middle, high school and college who live in and around the city. Newer friends in the Disney community, as well as friends from here in Florida currently attending college in Boston. This was a place where I traveled often to during my formative years.
I used to live about 20 minutes outside of Boston in Wellesley and would hop on the green line of the T and head into the city to explore the Aquarium, Children’s Museum, Science Musuem, Museum of Fine Arts, catch a Red Sox game, go to Fanueil Hall to go shopping. The cultural experiences, the food and the people of Boston are fantastic. I miss having that richness at my fingertips and someone tried to shatter the innocence of my memories of childhood yesterday. I had friends who were across the street from the second explosion only a couple hours before and decided to move a mile away. Another friend who had previously competed was running late with his family and didn’t make it to cheer. Other friends were nearby, but thankfully escaped the horror.
I can only imagine the 8 year old boy who was killed in the attack as he watched his dad cross the finish line just minutes before. The training and preparation that goes into running, even just 5Ks, is a commitment of body, mind and soul. To come so close to accomplishing for many a lifelong dream by finishing the Boston Marathon and to have that hard work destroyed by a villainous act is disgusting.
Having only been a “runner” for the past three years, I know the ups and downs of race preparations, cheering, travel and that amazing feeling of setting a goal and reaching it. My goal to start out was simple, to run a 5K two years after I had major knee surgery. With the encouragement of friends on twitter and facebook, I attained that first medal (okay, made of rubbery plastic, but still) in October of 2010. I didn’t die. I finished upright and under my own power, my only two goals for that first race. In 2011, I decided I would do all of the 5Ks that Walt Disney World had to offer, and I did that too, even a couple not knowing I had bronchitis at the time. 2012 I slacked off a bit, only completing on race in May.
This year is going to be different. I already did one 5K in February, but this is the year I am going to step it up and out of my comfort zone. Do I think I will ever run a marathon? I don’t know. I never had a desire to before the events of this week. Am I going to do my best to continue to improve to honor all of those runners out there who weren’t able to finish? You bet you ass I am! I have already signed up for my first 10K, Beach2Beacon, one of the largest races in New England behind the Boston Marathon. It seems only fitting. In January, I am also registered for the inaugural Walt Disney World 10K during marathon weekend.
The bastards who did this will not keep us from participating in races. If nothing else, they will motivate even more of us to get out there and to run and cheer in spite of their actions. We are a strong and resilient nation of people who will come together to support each other through our darkest moments and we will come out even tougher despite this.
I’m sure I will probably cram some other races in there too, and eventually would like to complete the Princess Half Marathon at WDW in February, but we will see if 2014 is that year. There are a lot of miles down the road, and each one of them will be dedicated to Boston, all the runners out there, and in the continued American spirit to not let these terrorists, whether foreign grown or domestic keep us down. We will always keep moving forward! I hope you all will keep those affected by this directly and indirectly in your thoughts and will do what you can to help by either giving blood regularly, donating to the Red Cross, or even signing up for a charity race. Do good to show the bad guys out there they will never win!
By the way, I’m wanting to start a new playlist with Boston themed songs and would appreciate any suggestions. I’ve already got Dirty Water by the Standells (from which the title of the post comes), Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, Boston by Augustana and then maybe some songs from Aerosmith, Boston, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Let me know if you’ve got any other ideas as I’d like to add these to my running mix. Thanks!
I am heading off to the World in the morning for a four day trip. Originally, it was conceived just for another weekend race at Disney. Somehow I got it stuck in my head that I was going to do all of the 5Ks at Disney this year, and I am 1/1 so far. I have registered for the others that are open as of right now (this weekend’s Beauty & The Beast Royal Family 5K, next weekend’s Champion 5K for ESPN the Weekend, and the Expedition Everest Team Challenge the first weekend in May). I am hoping to do the second annual Mickey’s Halloween 5K in October, but I am also toying with the idea of maybe doing the half relay if I can work my way up to it.
After I registered for the race, I talked a few friends into doing the same (or at least was partially responsible for their decision to do so). Then I learned that several other people I knew were coming to run the half on Sunday, so bonus there. As if it could get any better, Lou’s cruise people are seemingly congregating before and after their trip, so even more friends were coming. More people decided to come due to the space shuttle launch today and figured they would tack on some Disney time also. This was just getting better and better by the minute. I learned of other friends that were just coming down for the heck of it, coincidentally this weekend and some next weekend too when I would be back again.
This is one of the great things about the Disney online community. I started out thinking that this was going to be a solo trip to run just another race, then it snowballs into mass meetings and groups of friends gathering. Now I know that hardly a moment of alone time will pass in the next couple weeks. I look forward to seeing friends at the Touring Plans meet tomorrow. I’m sure I will run into someone I know at packet pickup or the expo too. Several friends are meeting me at Kimono’s for karaoke tomorrow night. Then there’s the race itself and Lou’s meet on Saturday.
My brother decided he would join me on this trip since his birthday is on Sunday and he has wanted to drink around the world at Epcot with me for a while. We are conveniently staying at the Boardwalk, so there will be no driving necessary and only a short walk back to the room if we need some rest from what looks like some unseasonably warm temps this weekend. He is also obliging me and my friends by letting me drive up in his DeLorean so others can see and even take it for a short test drive if they so desire. We are trying out a new restaurant for us on Sunday, the Biergarten. I’m not a big fan of buffets generally speaking, but I have heard many good reviews and figured it was time we gave it a shot.
Of course I am looking forward to the sense of accomplishment that comes with the race (assuming I finish it upright and under my own power), but more than anything I look forward to seeing many friends from different groups. I also hope to meet some of my online friends that I haven’t yet had the opportunity to meet face to face, so that is another thing I am hoping to do. If you are around this weekend or next, hit me up on twitter if you want to say hi, I’m @floridamingo. Hope you all have a great weekend and live it up.