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Run for fun?

This past Saturday was the day of the Special Olympics Area Games here in Tallahassee. This is my third year to be coaching track and field. While I never really enjoyed track (I prefer to GO somewhere when I run), I have found that I quite enjoy coaching track and field for my Special Olympics athletes. I don’t think it has much to do with the sport, but more to do with helping my athletes see their potential and sharing that with our school community.

I never get tired of watching my athletes perform after weeks of training or seeing parents’ faces light up when they view their child for what they CAN do rather than what they CAN’T. I don’t think I’ll ever get over how much fun all the athletes at Special Olympics are having. It is FUN to get out there and run! I need to remind myself of that when I’m trying to come up with yet another excuse to put off a run.

Here’s one more little nugget of motivation. I have a feeling that I am going to be chasing this guy on runs before too much longer.

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Right Foot, Left Foot

This morning, our family ran in the Springtime Tallahassee 5K. Our first family race was the Turkey Trot last Thanksgiving, for which we had dutifully completed the Couch to 5K program in preparation. Today’s run was more of just gutting it out. I’ve been trying to climb back up onto the running bandwagon with at least a couple of runs a week. Not. Enough.

We made it through the race in 34:30, not too far off from our Turkey Trot time (on a much hillier course in much higher humidity). I am so proud of my wife for working do hard at something that she wouldn’t otherwise choose to do (unless chased by a bear, according to her).

Here’s the real motivation. While I’ve never been fast, I want to show my son that he can do anything he sets his mind to. This spring is the big push for local races, and I think I’ll put my name in for a few of them. I’d love to get my 5K time under 30:00 again. Well, I’d REALLY like to get it back to the low 20:00 range like way back in high school. That was a number of years (and a number of pounds) ago.

So, hopefully, I will have some posts in the coming weeks about all this running fun. If nothing else, I’ll get plenty more time pushing this guy around.

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Humongous fungus

I had the chance to go on a hike with my students last week after a few days of warm temperatures, rain, and very high humidity. The conditions were perfect for an explosion of fungi along the trail. Here are a couple of photos I took.

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Each frond of this one was larger than my open hand.


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Reloading

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Every eight weeks, I get an infusion. The medication I get treats both my psoriatic arthritis and ulcerative colitis. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to walk to the restroom incessantly. With it, I hardly remember that I have either of these conditions.

I am so grateful for the great treatment I get at the home health care center where I get my infusions. I get the chance to show off pictures and videos of my growing son. I get to blog. I HAVE TO sit in a recliner for three uninterrupted hours. I get to watch my blood pressure drop back to normal as I decompress from a busy day at school (especially Valentine’s Day at an elementary school).

I think I take for granted how blessed I am for the medical team I have making these infusions happen. Without my rheumatologist, gastroenterologist, and primary care doctor willing to work together to find a solution to my condition, there would be no way I could get this treatment.

The is another medical team I am grateful for. My grandfather, who, along with my grandmother, splits his year between Iowa and Texas, has not been in the best health for a number of years. He has fought diabetes and is a 20+ year survivor of a quintuple bypass surgery. He had a stroke a couple of years ago and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He also has had colon cancer, which was in remission until recently.

I got a call from my parents yesterday to let me know that his colon cancer is back. As we speak, he is undergoing a CAT scan in order to determine the location and severity of the cancer and to come up with a plan of action.

So, I am keeping my grandfather, my family, and his medical team in my prayers. I realize that I am so lucky to be able to get one simple treatment to keep my medical problems in check. I know that there are so many who are not as fortunate. I hope to be able to post good news about my grandfather’s progress here soon.


Who doesn’t love the bus?

I teach a group of students with disabilities at an elementary school. Our curriculum includes off-campus field trips every Friday. That being said, I have spent more than my fair share of hours on a school bus.

I remember riding the school bus ten miles to and from school each day as a kid, and I definitely remember having to come up with ways to stay entertained on that ride.

Today, one of my students and I were making faces at each other in the driver’s mirror. I tried to get a picture of us, but I couldn’t quite get the angle right without putting my camera in the photo. This shot is the best I could do. I’m the one you can actually see.

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This is a blossom on a camellia bush in the front yard. A healthy dose of rain last night has our yard thinking that spring is here already.


Testing, Testing…

I am going to try another post to see if I can’t get the hang of this a little better. ¬†Here are a few random shots from the recent ¬†(and not-so-recent) past.

The view from the office a couple weeks back during a hike with my students.

Another shot from a class hike.

We're not in Iowa anymore...

One of my favorite photos. Hoarfrost the day after Christmas in 2010. It was gorgeous, and it was gone by noon.