As we officially enter the holiday season with the completion of Thanksgiving, there are a bunch of days that follow with snappy names used to boost businesses big and small. Many people (including myself) searched for deals on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Now that the holiday decorations are up and the weather gets a little cooler, our thoughts start going toward the people who need help. It is the season of giving, and it all starts on Giving Tuesday.
My family has been blessed because we are fortunate enough to have been on both sides of charity. I have said many times how the Ronald McDonald House kept our family together when we were at our lowest. They took care of us when we did not know we needed help. I am forever in debt to that organization. In return, I will continue to sing their praises and share my experiences with the House. Actually, they were our Home. Our family was together, so wherever my wife and my daughter are, that is where I am calling Home. In addition to sharing my story, I will raise both funds and awareness for the Ronald McDonald House.
If you can, please donate to the Ronald McDonald House. You can donate money, volunteer to make meals for families, or even buy something off of their Amazon Wish List. I have done all three of these things for the organization, and it is incredibly satisfying knowing that my donation goes directly to the people who need it most – the families who want to stay together.
As you know I am running for the Ronald McDonald House again next year during the Chicago Marathon so you can donate directly to my fundraising efforts by going to THIS LINK!
For more information on Giving Tuesday, visit givingtuesday.org and you can see what other charities you can donate to on this important day. Last year over 100 countries and millions of people took part in this special event. I hope this day continues to grow and more people get the help that they need.
So what reasons do I have to run the marathon this year? I went through it over and over and over again in my head. As happy as I was to finish last year, I just did not think I did my best. I know that finishing a marathon is quite an accomplishment, and I absolutely admire anyone who has enough within themselves to go year after year training for one sometimes multiple marathons in a year. I don’t know what kind of marathon runner I will be, but I did not want to be a one and done kind of runner. The moment I crossed the finish line last year at an agonizing 6 hours and 49 minutes, I knew the race got the best of me. Let’s admit it, I knew halfway through that it beat me to a submission and step after step, I cursed the idea of running 26.2 miles. I kept thinking “I can’t wait to be done with the $%*# race!”
This was absolutely not the way I wanted to remember my first marathon. I felt like I cheated myself from such a wonderful experience that everyone always talks about when they talk about finishing a marathon. Experienced runners that I spoke to always told me that the first marathon is mainly about finishing, and that’s all I thought of when I was in so much pain that I had to walk through parts of Chinatown. And the second I crossed the finish line, I immediately thought to myself, “Alright, FIRST one is now done.” I flip-flopped for months about signing up for another one, but the fact is that I am competitive. Sure, I may not ever be able to truly compete for any awards or age rankings, but sometimes your biggest motivation is your past. And I want to beat my 2010 self, and I have a score to settle with the Chicago Marathon.
You got me good the first time around, and I know not to take you lightly. I will truly be ready for you this year, friend. Can’t wait to see you in October!
Four years ago on August 26, 2006, I married my best friend. Through countless of hours used on calling cards, overage minutes on cell phones, dialpad, video chat, emails, and IMs there was always something very special between me and Jaz. Pure happiness. I genuinely want to make her happy everyday. I want her to smile and laugh and even cry with me. It’s definitely something I did not understand when we just started dating when I was 20, or even something I grew to understand through the six years we dated. And I’m sure even now I still don’t fully grasp it. But I do know that I have seen love in her eyes since the first time we met. And here we are, just a mere four years later, and I still want her to be happy. I know relatively speaking, we’ve had it easy, and once we have children (NO ANNOUNCEMENTS YET) our love will grow even more. But until we cross that bridge, I am not sure I fully understand that either. So I am ok with not understanding it all…as long as I am not understanding it with her.