Saturday, July 16, 2011

How you can help: a horrible story

Joshua and Robin Berry (picture attached along with their beautiful children) were on their way back from a trip when an SUV swerved into their lane and a happy family of five quickly turned into a devastated family of three. Joshua and Robin were killed and 2 of their sons were paralyzed from the waist down. The daughter had less severe wounds and is recovering at someone's home. Joshua was Andrea's sorority sister Simone Berry's brother-in-law. To lend a hand financially or inspirationally, please check out The children will now live with Simone, Matt and their family. The 2 boys, 8 and 9, are now special needs kids. I hope that we can all help the Berry's.

You never know when you have a chance to make a difference. The best example was last month. I finally decided to go to my reunion. Danielle, my old high school friend, made the same decision. Her good friend Kari and her husband sat with us. Greg is a cancer doctor at St. Jude's in Memphis. That same weekend we found out that a family friend's grandson was diagnosed with liver cancer. Luca is only 2 years old. Andrea reminded me about Greg and what he does for a living. I reached out to him and he responded immediately. Thanks to Greg, Luca is now at St. Jude's and responding to chemotherapy. In short, things happen for a reason. If Andrea and I didn't go to the reunion and we wouldn't have met Greg, we would not have been able to get them into St. Jude's so quickly.

In closing, please help the Berry children. Everyone can make a difference. I learned that lesson just a month ago.

Here is the article for those interested.


Thank you for your time. I pray that each of you is happy and safe.


Monday, July 11, 2011

20 crazy things I've thought about in the past week

It's been a pretty good week other than catching this virus in my chest this weekend that has prevented me from going to work. I'm bored so I figured I'd write about the 20 things that have come to my mind over the last 72 hours. Enjoy!

20. I have coached my daughter's soccer team, played soccer in the past and even met model/USA soccer player Heather Mitts yet I have never been any sort of soccer fan...until yesterday afternoon. I watched a short-handed, resilient group of American women come back from the dead and knock off Brazil. I was telling Andrea all about it when she got home. I think she thought I was being sarcastic but that was single-handedly one of the best live games I've ever seen. I am now a big fan of Hope Solo and the girls and can't wait for their Wednesday game against France.

19. Also, being sick, I was able to watch the table tennis quarterfinals between some guy from the US and one from Russia. This wasn't exactly Rocky IV. First off, why are they sweating? Why are they bouncing the ball before serves and why are they getting pumped up after every point? It wasn't much of a match. I felt like I could play better which led me to this idea. What if I moved to Antartica with someone smart like Bill Gates (Andrea and the kids can come too - I heard the school system is great in Antartica - ok, now I'm being sarcastic). Gates could invent an igloo which gets central heat and air. I could live there for 5 years and get dual citizenship and then be the first ever Olympian ping pong player from Antartica and I can compete in the next Olympic Games. Tell me that no one has thought of that one.

18. What does CVS stand for? I read today it stands for Convenience, Value and Service. Sorry to give it away.

17. What is wrong with American tennis? The Williams sisters are all we have and they are getting up there. Roddick can't win a major to save his life. Marty Fish has our best chance and I don't see a guy named Marty Fish winning a major. His name sounds like a cartoon character on Spongebob Squarepants.

16. What is the big deal about the Duke and Dutchess? I get it. She's pretty and has a good looking sister. I get it that his mom died a tragic death and his father has been a prince for like 100+ years but can we all just move on?

15. Why did Casey Anthony go free? Great work by the defense? Terrible work by the prosecution? I think she was guilty as sin but I must admit that the defense was pretty good at letting jurors think that something else could have happened. Just because she's not guilty doesn't mean she's innocent. I just hope she doesn't profit off of this.

14. Why is it that UGA recruits some of the dumbest players in the country? Here's a tweet from UGA Tailback Caleb King who just became academically ineligible for the 2011 season.

First he posted: “Somethings u cant control, and what seems bad right now might turn out good. Too [sic] all of my homeboyz hold UGA down don’t let them brake [sic] u…”

Later he wrote: “I see u when I see u. U cant stress about it Just let God take control.”

All I can say is "Wow!" How did he graduate from Greater Atlanta Christian or should I say "Grater Atlanta Kristen."

I hope for his sake that he gets it together and purchases "Spell Check" with the money from boosters he probably received.

13. Want a good trivia question? Ask someone where the word "news" came from. The answer is the acronym for "North East West South."

12. Why is it at the Peachtree that the fast runners get to run when it's cool out and the more out of shape runners (ie: myself) have to run in the heat? Can't the race start earlier OR can the slow runners go first and have the fast runners dodge every out of shape walker and runner to win the race? Now that would make it more of a competition!

11. How is tennis player Caroline Wozniaki number one in the world without a major title? I think to be number one you have to win at least one major.

10. Why am I sick on the worst sports day of the year? There's no baseball, basketball, football or hockey on today. Why can't I get sick during March Madness?

9. Kim Kardashian tweeted about how she was shocked that Anthony got off when the case was so obvious against her. Kim, your father represented O.J. I rest my case.

8. If a tree fell in the middle of the forest and no one was there, would the Yankees-Red Sox still be the lead story, the middle story and the "closing remarks?" for ESPN Sportscenter? Derek Jeter has a mouth blister or the USA women's team just won the World Cup? I'd hate to make ESPN choose a lead story from those choices.

7. Never watch a horror movie before you fall asleep. The last 3 times I've done that I've dreamt that I was in the movie and I didn't even get a credit for the flick.

6. All these NBA players say that if the lockout lasts, they'll play in Europe next year. "Do you mean it? Don't tease me like that." Does that mean Lebron will be taking his talents to Paris? Bon Voyage!

5. Why is it that winning a negotiation with my daughter beats any business deal I've ever done?

4. Why do Hollywood stars have to name their kids ridiculous names? David Beckham named his daughter Harper Seven supposedly after his jersey number. There is now an Apple, Harper Seven, Blanket and my favorite Rob Morrow's child "Tu." Yes her name is Tu Morrow. There's going to be a generation of kids with a lot of issues. If I was a Hollywood star, Avery would be "Don't gimme no" so it would be "Don't gimme no Lip-man" and Ethan would be "Fat" Lipman. In Hollywood, I'd be called conservative with those choices.

3. So let me get this straight, the Hawks are on lockout, the Falcons are on lockout, we don't have a hockey team anymore and the Braves are all we have. It's great to be a sports fan in Atlanta but at least the Braves are good.

2. When is the time that you stop telling people how many months old your kid is? Does my mom tell people I'm 454 months? I thought I felt old at 37.

1. And the number one question that I've been mulling over the last few days is: Why is Bill Gates not listed in the phone book?

Extra Credit: Goatee or no goatee (see picture attached)? The only vote that matters is Andrea's so don't let this decision haunt you all day.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Peachtree #15 is a wrap!

I have enclosed some pictures from this year's Peachtree. I don't know who the big Peach was but if I ever need a bodyguard, I'm calling him first.

This was the hottest Peachtree I've ever participated in. It was in the low to mid nineties from about the third mile to the finish line. The heat and the fact that I only ran inside to train made the race feel like 10 miles as opposed to the 6.2 miles it actually was.

I finished in about 70 minutes which was great since I was in a log-jam at the beginning and stopped momentarily for pictures at the 3 mile mark with my parents and Aunt Susie. At most stops, you get water or a snack. My mom re-applied sunblock to my face and arms...ah moms!

The night prior to the race, Avery gave me a kiss and hug and asked me to win the race for her. I wanted to tell her the following afternoon that I won. My skin color was just a few tints darker on television, my legs were about a foot longer and my name was a few more syllables. I knew she'd be confused by my humor (as most people are whether they're from Kenya, the U.S. or anywhere around the world) so it gave me a great opportunity to explain to her what winning truly is. I said to her, "Winning isn't always finishing first. It's doing your best to succeed and accepting whatever place you come in whether it's first place, second place or even last place." She quickly replied that she eats noodles all of the time and that's why she beats me up the stairs every night and that if I eat more pasta, I'll see some results. I was laughing pretty hard inside.

My Uncle Bobby ran his 34th race but swears that he doesn't have many left in him. It's kind of sad as I feel like a period of my life is slowly closing. My Uncle Bobby won't be running the Peachtree one day. He reminded me that someday soon my kids might be running with me. When I first started running, I didn't even have a girlfriend and now in my 15th year I have a beautiful wife and two amazing children. Bobby was the one who pushed me into running this race and the one who ridiculed me when as a youngster I was too scared to try it. He used to joke "I ran it again this year. Did you see me on TV?"

Now here is irony. It's my uncle who is scared that his races are numbered and me telling him he can't give up just yet. Still if in 2012, Bobby decides to hang 'em up, I know one thing for sure. Around 10am on July 4th, the first call will come from me. "I ran it again this year. Did you see me on TV?"

If this blog doesn't fire him up to compete, I don't know what will.

It's hard to believe I've run 15 consecutive Peachtrees. Heck, according to the median life expectancy when I was born I was only supposed to live TWELVE years! Yet here I am. I ran the entire Peachtree. This race used to be my biggest fear. It used to be my biggest enemy. Now I see that I love it. I love the feeling of accomplishing something so miraculous year after year. I love the fact that I can write about the 90+ miles I've run on Peachtree Street over the last 15 years and hopefully help other kids and young adults dealing with their own physical issues to believe that anything is possible.

The Peachtree, like cystic fibrosis, has become something that has made me stronger despite the physical and emotional stress it puts on me.

This race isn't just a part of my life; it's what gives me life. Running is a key to my health. Finishing this race is a key to my faith. If I can finish 6.2 miles under the scorching hot Georgia sun, well then in my opinion, anything is possible.

I hope all of you had a safe and happy 4th and that all of you that ran the Peachtree had a safe run. I also hope you realize what an amazing accomplishment it is regardless of what physical or mental health challenges you face. T-minus 365 days till I go for Sweet 16! I'm off to train in Kenya this time around so I can win one for my daughter...or I'll just eat a lot more noodles.

Have a good week.