My First Marathon – Kinda

30 Miles, 6 hours, No Problemo

So here I am sitting in my doctors office, I am getting my foot x-rayed  and I casually reach out to my friend about going to our local brewery to get a new pint glass they are giving out. During the conversation he tells me they are running a 6hr trail run on Saturday. He then asks me to come, even if I can’t run to hang out with them and be the pit crew. So without hesitation I say yes! I figure even if I can’t run, being a part of someones pit crew for a long event like this would be awesome, especially for good friends.

So the good news was that my foot was not fractured or broken as I had feared, just a bruise they thought.  So by the time Saturday came, the foot was feeling awesome, I had stayed off of it and rested and it felt like I could run.

Saturday comes and I decide that I am going to run if they still have race day registration. Since it was a small event, it was limited to the first 200 runners. Good news when I arrive, they allow me to sign up and I went ahead and signed up for the 6-hour run, I mean hey everyone else did, so I couldn’t not do it.

So not ever having done anything like this before, I was not sure what to expect. I knew the loop was 2.69 miles and the object was just to run it as many times as possible. For me, I initially set this ridiculous goal of 30 miles, I mean I was thinking If I could run two loops per hour and times that by 6 hours that would be 36 miles. But that was unrealistic, so I wanted to factor in stops, water breaks, eating, etc. So I lowered that goal to 30 miles. Which mean I just had to average 12 min miles. In my mind that is doable, I mean I usually can slow down to 10 min miles if needed on my training trails. Plus having this at night and running by head lamp was something new. So in my mind it was perfectly doable. I guess I never thought that I have never in my life run past 16 miles, much less for 6 straight hours.IMG_6096

Lap one

So of course I toe the line at the front, I mean that is what we do at all of the OCR races right? Well apparently everyone else wanted to get in the back and try to avoid the mad rush and just pace themselves. For the first time I thought to myself, this is a long ass run, maybe starting slower would be the way to go.

So off we go, the herd rushing off to the trail and into the wilderness and darkness. Yeah now that you have that picture in your head, change that to nothing but dust and people everywhere.  There was so much dust in fact it was actually hard to see, all the spot lights did was highlight this damn dust. Then the “hey let’s stay in the back” lasted about 30 seconds as Maynard takes off like he was shot out of a cannon. So of course I follow. We kill the first mile and start the first ascent and the running becomes a walk. Thankfully this was not that tough, we were still passing people left and right. Then May-May got caught behind some girls and I made an “On your left” pass and I thought he was behind me, I didn’t see him again until my 3rd lap.

The best part about the first lap was seeing the photographers. So thinking that they were going to be there for several of these laps, I did the serious run by on the first lap. I wanted some good running action shots! ha ha ha…then I learned my first lesson of trail racing, you need to bring your own bottle or you don’t get water. Of course I left mine on accident in my car so I just took off, getting no water. Lap one done. Watch said 2.5 miles, pace is right at 11 min/miles.

Lap Two

I can say I don’t really remember much, more of the same, passing people hear and there, found some guys who were running pretty good and I stayed with them. On the photo op station, I did the running Messner this time. Completed the lap and finally got some water. Lap two done, just over 5 miles, pace was still under 11 min/miles.

Lap Three

The funny thing about these early laps is that all I was really thinking about was the photo op near the end of the loop. What is the next pose? Will I have to slow down so there are no other people in the way? The first thing I had to do was turn my hat around and hope that my light would illuminate the trail better, nope no such luck. All I could see was white dust. So I just kept running, waiting for the next photo op. I ended up doing the Usain Bolt point to the heavens pose. Nobody was in my way, so it was a good little pose down. I ended up staying with some ultra-guys; they looked like they knew what they were doing so I just stayed with them. During the transition after lap three, I actually stopped and rested. I told myself no more than 5 minutes. During this time I had some PBJ and a lot of water. I also lost my shirt and decided to run the rest of the race without one. Lap three complete, over 8 miles done and maintaining an 11 min/mile pace.

Lap Four

Here we go again, there was really no thinking involved with what I was going to do for the photo op on this lap, it was straight up going to be the “Fire Jump” pose. Boom! Nailed it! The Photographer even gave me a high five as I went by, I think they were just happy to see someone having fun on the trail. Finished the lap and decided it was time to take in more. I consumed a bunch of water, dipped into my pedialite, more PBJ and took a gel and a salt tab. Two hours down, 1/3 of the way there! Lap four done, 10.3 miles and I am now at an 11:30 min/mile pace.

Lap Five

By now the trail is pretty much the same thing over and over. Flat, downhill, flat, uphill, downhill, flat, uphill, flat and on to the finish. I was wondering what to do on this lap. It seems even though I am jamming to my tunes, the only thing at this point on my mind in what to do in the pictures. Well, okay, there were a couple of conversations I had from time to time with people I need to have them with, you know like practice if you will. Should I do a cartwheel? Maybe walk on my hands, no I was too scared for that, I was afraid my legs would give out and I would look stupid. I ended up just doing the “Jet” pose. If you are a Dallas Maverick fan you remember the jet and his pose after a 3-point basket. Oh well, it wasn’t that exciting. Finished the loop and I was starting to get tired. My feet were starting to hurt some. The downhill pounding on the rocks I think was starting to take its toll. Lap Five complete, 13 miles in and now around a 13:30 min/mi pace. The stops at the transition were adding time.

Lap Six

What can I say about lap six? Really nothing I remember other than, now what am I going to do for a picture? It seems kind of stupid they are in the same place every lap and three photographers at the same spot? But no worries because they were not there this time, I guess they just were going to do the first three hours. Kind of a relief but then again, it was a great land mark because they had a light and it wasn’t much further until the festival area. So my feet hurt a lot right now. It feels like there is no padding in my shoes. I tried to think of running on pillows or clouds, I’m a cat, YES! I am a cat, landing soft on every step, no pain here. Well crap, I am more like an elephant and every step feels like I am clodhopping my way through the dark. When I get to the transition area I decide to switch my shoes. I am going to put on the ones with slightly more cushion to see if they help. I am half way there, not really tired at all, but things are starting to hurt. Lap six complete just over 15 miles, pace is dropping, now at 14:30 min/mile. This is also factoring in the transition stops.

Lap Seven

Well it was bound to happen, I could feel my feet dragging slightly and I had tripped over several roots, I started thinking of how great it was that this lap was almost over and then boom, I rolled the bad ankle. It wasn’t a huge deal, not a bad roll, I actually caught myself and I was able to avoid putting any weight on it so it didn’t hurt at all. Just as I wipe my eyebrows with a “whew” moment, I hit a stump right in the center of my foot. I came down on it so hard that it felt like my toes touched my shin. It was like a reverse hyperextension. That smarted some. It felt like everything popped and stretched at the same time and of course it was my bad ankle too. Lucky for me there were just a few more turns and then the straightaway to the finish. Lap seven complete, over 18 miles complete, pace is dropping to the mid 15’s. Took a good 5 minute rest at the aid station and I did what I thought you should do, I started taking in sugar. I took two glasses of Coca-Cola, water, pedialite, PBJ, gels and salt tabs.

Lap Eight

So I have to admit I am effing tired. I have never run this far in my life and everything hurts. I mean everything. My feet, my knees, I think if you took video of my I would look like an old man hobbling around. So I start off on the next lap. I have been walking for the first ¼ mile on the last couple of laps to start the next before the big downward descent. So I am going along and something is not feeling right. I get to the bottom and it is the flat part, usually where I make up my time. But I’m cramping, seriously I am cramping? I never cramp, OMG the sharp pains shooting through my stomach. Is this what you women go through every month? Holy crap I love all of you then for putting up with our shit when you are experiencing this. Wait, what is going here, do I need to take a dump? I can’t do that out here, what if it is diarrhea, I can’t wipe, I am going to have fire ass the rest of the race, I can’t run with fire ass. OMG this pain hurts and I stop and I am doubled over in the trail. Now that I am bent over my back starts hurting, yes my low back. Now everything is failing…WTF!! My groin hurts in the creases so I start stretching that area out, I then do some lunges because my legs have joined this pity party and while I am there I might as well crack my back. Ahh okay better. Okay the cramps are going away, thank god.

Okay T (that is what I call myself in my head), you have to get moving to get the laps in, you can’t quit yet. So I start off and instantly I feel this fire in my crotch. Okay no sugar coating it, my balls are on fire. I don’t know what the hell is going on, but it is like they are rubbing against my legs and trying to start a fire. The pain was like a 7 at least. Holy crap that is not the burning sensation a man ever needs to feel period. No clue at this point what that is but it slowly goes away. Then I start with the gas. All I can think after the cramping is oh God please let these be farts and not sharts. I don’t want to be like that guy who has shit all over his pants during a race. I think it is just gas, it must have been, because I have to tell you, this lap my times were back in the good. The mile after all of this was a 14:35. Those had to be my jet fuel farts!

So I come into the aid station again and basically collapse. I am taking on all fluids I can and trying to get stuff in me to live. I tell Mike (Mike Boone saved my life by giving me a water bottle and then having it filled on every lap! Thank you brother!) this is going to be my last lap, I don’t think I can physically do it. I drink more Coco-Cola and a handful of M&M’s, more pedialite, water, salt tabs and gels. Oh yeah and then there is Maynard sitting in a chair cheering me on. “Good job” he says, “you got this” he mutters and then as I am drinking and eating, he asks me if I want bacon and pancakes. Oh yeah, he is there with a full plate just mowing down. He stopped at 6 laps because he was cramping. Good thing we have this love/hate relationship because I wanted shove that bacon down his pie hole!

We are over 4 hours in; I have 21 miles down and averaging about 15 min/miles. Once again I head out into the darkness.

Lap Nine

You know that saying “The Struggle is Real”, well it was absolutely real here. Lap nine I am barely upright, my knee hurts so bad I think that something was terribly wrong with it. My feet are killing me, my left calf is starting to twinge a little, not cramping yet but it really wants to that bastard. So I start moving again, I have to get back closer to 5am then to 5:30am if I am going to have a shot at two more laps. I know, I know, I said I was done, but screw that I set 30 miles a goal, “go for it fucker” you are so close. I start my run hobble, and then no shit, like ½ mile in it all hits me again. The cramps, this time it is worse, I actually fall to my knees on a bench on the trail. You know I haven’t even pissed since I started this, which I thought was odd, but dang it, why didn’t I try to crap back at the bathrooms at the aid station. Seriously I can’t go in the woods. Okay I am a dumbass, it’s the Coca-Cola. It didn’t start until you drank that crap. So I started breathing to myself and it went away last time, you just have to move no sitting. Then the fire balls decided they wanted back in on the action. I mean how can you only hurt part of the time? I seriously think I could start a campfire with the heat down there right now.

Onward damn it! We have to get back, have to steal the last lap. If nothing else I want to get that damn 26 miles in, it would be a marathon…kind of. So the rest of the lap is my hobbling around in the dark with a shitty headlamp, going extremely slow downhill because if hurts to take a step down and trying to just keep moving on the straightaways and power walking up the hills.

Thankfully I had plenty of motivation. No need to give shout outs, but there was someone who I wanted nothing more then to make them proud of me. I was inspired to do this just because it is way out of my comfort zone and sometimes you need to do that to prove to yourself you can do EPIC shit. So I had to finish what I started even if it killed me. I make it back to the aid station, it is 5:25 and I slam a water bottle, grab a second headlight and I head out into the darkness. Lap nine completed 23 miles down, still working about a 16 min/mile pace.

Lap Ten

The rules are if you are out of the aid station area by 5:59:59, then that lap will count. So All I have to do is get back quickly. I was watching my pace I was watching my pace a lot and it varied from 14:30 to 15 depending on which section I was on. So I had already done nine stinking laps, I grabbed the extra headlight because I wanted to light up that damn trail because I was tired and I knew I was going to push it, I was going to give it all I had to get back to get the bonus lap which would get me 30 miles. Guess what no cramps! Eff You Coca-Cola!! Never drinking you again!

At this point all I can say is that everything is mind over matter, pain will go away and I am not going to die so I need to do this. I have to do this. I put down the first ½ mile and I was feeling good considering, I was at my target pace and then the wheels fell off. My right foot slammed hard into a tree root stubbing all my toes seemingly at the same time. Then the left foot followed suit right beside it and slammed hard into the root. Somehow I didn’t fall but it was a good trip. The pain was so intense I took a knee. It was here that I knew I was finished. I couldn’t run, my toes were not working, and the pain was so much it hurt to just take steps. I told myself to just move, so move I tried. I wasn’t going to make it and I was extremely bummed. I felt like I had a chance.

Now my music is telling me to “don’t give up”, “One more, just one more”, “you’ve got to move it, move it” oh hell shut up already, if I could move it, move it, I would damn it. Now the burning balls are back. Apparently they only burn when I am walking or moving slow, so the last two miles sucked righteous ass. I hobbled for two miles, until I got to the road, then I decided to run, it had to be about ½ mile left but I was tired of walking and I wanted this to be over. So I did my best and it was ugly and painful.

I finished at 6:16:10 and officially ran 26.9 miles. I should take pride in my accomplishment, but I still shake my head thinking about what could have been if I would have been able to go for it. I learned a lot about myself, in the dark running on a poorly lit trail with a crappy headlight at 3AM. I would not trade this experience for anything either, I ran farther than I have ever done in my life and it felt good.

IMG_6105Injury Update:

Toes – So I ended up draining my ring toe on the right foot with fluid under the nail, on the tip of my toe and on top of the toe. That little guy hit hard.

Fire Balls – were a result of extreme chaffing from the mesh in my shorts. So yes, I won’t ever wear those kind of shorts ever again. Some lotion and the boys are all fine.

Knee – resting it for a few days seemed to do the trick.

Feet – I learned to not wear two pair of socks, I think this caused my feet to cram into my shoes and made the whole experience hell in the later miles.

My name is Travis and I talk to strangers

 

 

Things I Think – Thursday July 23, 2015

Lost Stars

Today I struggled to think of something to write about. There is a ton of stuff going on right now and most of the time I feel like I may sound like a broken record. You mainly get to see all of the good times going on, the world traveler, the obstacle racer and the motorcycle rider. It is rare that I let down the veil and show you my feelings, if I do it usually revolves around a woman, or seems to be that way to me. Ain’t nobody got time for that, seems to be the thought that comes to mind when I want to rant about my issues.

So my original post was going to be titled “Is life really too short?” and I was going to write about how everyday I see people posting about living life, enjoying life and life is short so live life to the fullest. Because this has been my motto since 2009 when my best friend committed suicide. It was then that I decided I was not going to just sit on the couch and miss life, miss the things I loved doing and the adventures I wanted to have.

But while pondering this topic and everything I would want to say, I couldn’t get this song out of my head. I first heard it last week and I immediately loved the music aspect of it. Then I watched the movie over the weekend (Begin Again) and I can’t get this song out of my head. No matter what I do, every morning this week I have woken up singing this song. No matter what I dreamed the night before, it doesn’t matter…I am singing this song to start each day.  With that I decided since it was on my mind so much I was going to dissect this song lyrics and see why I relate so well.

So now you have watched it, what you do think? Some of the words don’t make sense to me, but most of them do and it is pretty scary. Of course I had to GTS and see what I could find out regarding the true meaning of this song and as I thought, astrology comes into play.  I am not going to go line by line but the main first verse and a couple lines in the second. So lets go!

Please don’t see just a boy caught up in dreams and fantasies

So here I am basically asking you to look past my immature side and how I dream and fantasize all the time. I want you to see the real me.

Please see me reaching out for someone I can’t see

Well, obviously you couldn’t see past my dreams and fantasies and left my ass. So now I realize what I lost and I want you back, so I am reaching out to you and I really want you to see that.

Take my hand let’s see where we wake up tomorrow

Best laid plans sometimes are just a one night stand

My favorite part of the song, because this is truly how I am, I want you to take my hand and lets just go have fun. Sometimes we don’t need to make a ton of plans, wing it. Although that is newer to me, I do like that too.  I definitely want someone to just take that leap of faith and have an experience with me. This truly is the “Living in the Moment” type of thing we all need in our lives.

I’d be damned, Cupid’s demanding back his arrow

So we all know cupid shoots only arrows of love and when hit, you fall in love with the next person you see. So if he is demanding it back then that means what? Does it mean that love has deteriorated for one of us? It seems like it is just one arrow he is wanting back, seeing as it isn’t plural, and the “I’d be damned” line, I can only conclude that its my partners love which is slowly dying away. I think it also implies that I am scared about the whole losing my lover and feeling like I will be damned when she leaves.

So let’s get drunk on our tears

I think this refers to the enjoying each other wholly. Acting crazy, being silly, getting past the sorrow and just getting drunk from taking in every piece of sadness you have had together. Creating new happiness and putting everything behind you based on the adventure which was asked to be had earlier.

circle-lightbulbSo that got real deep real quick. How do I relate all of that to myself? Well maybe there is someone who didn’t see me as I wanted them to and as a result they pulled away. They may have no clue that I am really standing here reaching out for them. But I know that they know, I am the adventurous type and maybe all we need is a live in the moment adventure, something we both love to do, to get this back on the rails. No itineraries, no made plans, just get in the car and go. It could be a race, a road-trip or something we just always wanted to do. I understand you may have given cupid back his arrow but I have not and I’ll be damned if I am going away without a fight and trying to win you over by getting “Drunk” on our memories (tears), they all were not bad you know.

Verse Two

Who are we? Just a speck of dust within the galaxy?
Woe is me, if we’re not careful turns into reality

So the ole “woe is me” line, yes we all feel sorry for ourselves from time to time and if we are not careful, we will start believing it and then you are screwed.

Don’t you dare let our best memories bring you sorrow

We all have memories with people we love or loved. But it is obvious here, don’t let the best ones you have make you sad. Embrace them as happy times.

Yesterday I saw a lion kiss a deer

I think this is one of those “hey anything is possible” statements and don’t give up just yet, you should believe in anything.

Turn the page maybe we’ll find a brand new ending
Where we’re dancing in our tears

Going along with the previous line, I really think that if you believe in the “anything is possible” then why can’t you believe that we may have another shot at love? Maybe it was just the end of a chapter and not the end of a book. So turn the page and we can start a new chapter. A new chapter where we are dancing in our memories, the good ones and create new ones.

circle-lightbulbWell not as deep as the first verse, but here is my take on it.  I can’t sit here and feel sorry for myself if you don’t want to be with me or my whole life will turn into that type of mindset. And while yes I am probably looking at pictures and videos and thinking of all of the great times we had, I shouldn’t let that make me sad, I should rather remember those times and cherish that I was able to have them at all. But I should also realize that anything is possible and just because we are not together today doesn’t mean our story is over. It just may not have been our time yet, but I have hope that maybe it was just the end of a chapter and not the end of the story.  So we should be dancing in our sadness and rejoicing at the possibility of a new beginning.

I found this synopsis by another person and I thought I would share because they went way deeper than I did. So here is another version of what this song means:

The obvious symbols in this song are stars, constellations, astrological signs (Aries and Leo). I think this is a story between a sheep and lion representing two lovers. Their love seemed ideal, as compatible together as Aries and Leo in horoscopes, but this song is more about separation of two lovers when they were young (“I thought I heard you out there crying”). The singer now wonders if there can be reconciliation, as he is also feeling regretful (“Just the same”).

The song poses a question: No matter the differences between two people, can it ever be that they can still love each other? As it alludes to the Bible, that a lion lie down with a lamb? (“Lion kiss a deer”) There is a similarity here.

The answer: Young love can have partners that are selfish, too idealistic, and believing in fate without compromising. Partners break off their relationship then and there.

Now when he is older, the singer realizes that the relationship he had before was great, and that a truly ideal lover is rare to find. If fate comes once in a million years, the YOUNG lambs who are “searching for meaning” are wasting their youth trying to find it. They are running from the differences (running from lions in the “hunting season”) when they should actually not run away, and make compromises.

In conclusion: Have a little give or compromise in love. Otherwise, it is the common mistake that people make, and become like lost stars. Only a few people will click 100%, like lucky stars in the sky belonging together in a constellation, and who have met fate. The numerous rest of us are just shining.

And does it really matter? You can barely tell apart a constellation from the rest of the stars. The lesson is that there is happiness in love even when it’s not perfect.

I was going to go on about the chorus to, but I think the song is pretty clear after all of this…we are not together and we should be. We made mistakes, maybe we were young, maybe we were misunderstood in how we expressed ourselves and made a poor choice or maybe we got cold feet and ran away. Needless to say, maybe there is always hope in round two and the “Next chapter” in life can be better than the first. Oh yeah and I see you, seeing me, seeing you and I hear you calling my name and crying…could just be the smoke in your eyes and all the loud music playing in this bar. Just sayin’…but wouldn’t it be nice if life were like the movies?

Or if it is like the movie and their was cheating involved, then you are the guy who cheated and now realized that you had something awesome and you pissed it away being a rockstar. In that case, yeah it is going to be hard buddy. So good luck with that!

Here is more music I found that talks about living life. So give it a listen and enjoy!

Music

Greg Holden – Hold on Tight

Zac Brown Band – Tomorrow Never Comes

By the way, click the link on the song to watch the video.

My name is Travis and I talk to strangers

Things I Think – Thursday – PA Road-trip Edition

11 States, 3368 Miles, 2-Races, 1-Speeding Ticket

Every once and awhile you need to take a road trip and experience what this great country has to offer you. If you are lucky enough then you can take your time and explore some of the great things that are out there. So, while we had to do a cannonball run up to PA and back, it was without a doubt a fun trip filled with adventure and laughs.

Initially I was going to travel alone as I could not find anyone to travel with me, then my good friend Natasha from Making Natasha a Spartan said she has nothing else going on and since we choose to LIVE OUR LIFE, off we went.  Life is too short these days and without knowing if another opportunity like this would ever happen for her, it was awesome she wanted to go.

Louisiana

OIMG_5039ur first state was Louisiana. We stopped in Shreveport first and we had a few items we needed to see, so off we went! Here is our list:

  • 14-Story Mural – this is the largest mural in the United States. It was created in 2000 and contains 19 people and 40 objects, capturing the people of Shreveport, their treasures, triumphs, and tragedies.IMG_5043
  • Giant Dalmatian -“Art” is 19-foot-tall statue peeking in the window of the Central ARTSTATION. He is said to be the guardian of the arts in Northwest Louisiana.  At night the spots light up in the dark!

The other highlight of this city was see what is claimed to be the only “World’s only Tattoo School”. I am not sure about this one and I can’t make this up I swear, but this little jewel deserves its own photo, well just cause it makes you think about who would actually go in and get tattooed by one of these “students”? I had an apprentice give me a tattoo once and I had to have it redone because it was so bad and looked nothing like the picture I had picked out. Needless to say we did not get any new ink!

IMG_5088

 

IMG_5156We then made our way on to Monroe, LA and no road trip would be complete without seeing the Duck Dynasty place. It was shocking how it was the same building you see on TV. The loading docks and everything. I was not surprised that they sell everything under the sun in products. They have their label on just about everything there.

Mississippi

So the only cool thing we stopped to see here was the great Mississippi River. Oh and there was a cool ass cannon at the top of the hill too! Otherwise there wasn’t really any cool roadside attractions we found on our route.

IMG_5253

 

Alabama

Sorry Alabama, but we kinda flew through your state and we didn’t stop to see anything. Not that we didn’t have a couple of items on the list, but by the time we got to Birmingham, everything was closed and it was dark out. But we did have these two places…maybe next time.

  • Statue of Liberty Replica
  • World’s largest Motorcycle Museum
 Tennessee

Traveling at night through a state makes it very difficult to actually experience anything. Especially when you are driving in the wee hours of the night.  On the return trip it was more of the same, we entered the state in the early morning hours and left at 0600.

Virginia

Sorry Virginia, while I am sure you have a lot to offer since you are made for lovers, we were on a mission to get to Phily to see some cool stuff.

Maryland

Your morning traffic sucks! We didn’t see much because of it.. I know you have some cool stuff and things, maybe on a different trip.

District of Columbia

The only non state we visited, we drove right though and waved. I will admit that I did hold my breath through the Fort McHenry Tunnel, just to see if I could. I did and I didn’t pass out thank goodness!

Delaware

I think I sneezed and we were already out of the state.

Pennsylvania

PA how I am growing to love you. I don’t think I had been to PA since I was 16 and now I have been there twice within a months span. Opposite ends of the state but I never thought I would say I was in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh (even if Pitt was just the airport).

So off to Phily and yes I had to refrain from yelling “How ’bout them cowboys!” for the fear of being stoned by batteries! But none the less we were able to take in a few sights.

  • IMG_5483Rocky Statue – no trip would be complete without visiting the statue and going up the steps. While I had this whole video parody planned, it just was not as feasible as it was in  my head. Next time I will take a film crew! But we did get to see the statue and walk up the steps.  There was also this really cool statue at the foot of the museum and I took some rather interesting pics there too!  So some of the funnier things to happen was watching Natasha look both ways before crossing the street and then walking out in front of a bicycle. While I yelled ” Waiiiitt” in slow motion voice, somehow they just missed each other and she stopped before crushing into the bike.
  • IMG_5579Love Park – this was cool, we saw this love statue and what could be better then a rally for legalizing pot! I kid you not, they had flags, big ass bongs and legalize it everywhere. Of course it was right were all of us “tourists” were trying to take our pictures and they were annoying. It was definitely a hodge podge collection of people, because you also had kids playing in the fountains like it was a water park and the homeless hanging out like they were on the couch watching TV.

quote  “Have you seen a big bell around here? It has a crack in it, maybe bronze in color?”

  • IMG_5549Liberty Bell – now this was probably the most interesting part of the trip as we found the plaza where the phone said it was; however, it was not visible as I thought it would be. My co-pilot who has since been nick named Magellan for her awesome navigational skills (NOT), was lost getting there, so I basically rolled down my window and asked the question “have you seen a bell around here? It has a crack in it, maybe bronze in color?” Needless to say that after circling the block no less than three times, getting honked at at every green light because we didn’t take off like a bat out of hell, we finally parked and found our precious bell.

I am having a hard time finding this to the city of brotherly love when people drive in walking lanes, almost run over a man in a wheelchair and don’t give a crap.  One of the other funnier moments in the trip had to be when I was trying to find the bell and I casually say, where is this damn bell and Magellan responds with “what smell?” Oh that’s great, the wax in your ears is working perfectly! (she had an ear infection and put wax in her ears) It reminded me of my grandma who was hard of hearing and never heard anything correctly…so this became the new joke of the trip, yes I can’t ever let anything go.

At this point there is only one last thing we need to get before we can take off and make the final destination…you guessed it, the Philadelphia Cheesesteak sandwich. So I asked a local where we should go, the suggestion was “the best” in the city a small place called Jim’s. So we ventured a few blocks and found said Jim’s. Now the first thing you need to know about Jim’s is that they are cash only, well it is a good thing they keep an ATM in the lobby for losers like us who NEVER CARRY ANY DAMN CASH! So we get the sandwich and head upstairs to eat. Now I am not going to say it was a bad sandwich, okay it was a horrible sandwich, I think I have made better ones myself! It was dry and needed salt as it was tasteless. Anyway I am sure it was the best cheesesteak in Philly at one time, actually I know it was, they had a plaque on the wall, “Best Cheesesteak Sandwich, 1979” so there you go, in 1979 they ruled this place!

Spartan Race

What can I say, this is probably a totally different blog post because this was a different kind of race I have not experienced in a long time. So lets just say, I participated in two races and I completed two races and they were on a ski resort. Made me kinda wish it was the winter time again so that I could ski!

Return Trip

So during our trip my shotgun rider took sick and we had to take her to the ER on Saturday and combine that with some family issues going on in Texas, we bolted right after the race on Sunday to get home as soon as possible. For the most part we took our state sign selfies to add to the collection, had another late night waffle house experience and got a speeding ticket!

Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas

Here are the states which were traveled through…nothing exciting except for rest stops and fuel. The bandit was on a mission, had to get back to Texas, family was waiting.

But…that is not to say we didn’t have a few highlights along the way, yes we truly are a comedy of errors and you can’t say that I won’t show you a good time.

  • So we were at this restaurant called Westy Bar & Grill, you know grabbing lunch before the trek home. Anyway they are having a wing special and the menu says flat out “the biggest wings in PA!” Well shit! I gotta have some of them, oh yeah and they are known for their hamburgers. If you know me and my quest for the best burger, hell why not, I’ll take the wings and the burger.  Well without giving a whole burger review (because it doesn’t deserve it) it was not that good. Oh yeah and the wings looked like normal wings you get anywhere, I have had bigger at hooters. Well everything is bigger at hooters! bada-bing!
  • IMG_5840Tasha gets a speeding ticket. Okay so let me set the stage…I’m sleeping. I am suddenly awoken by the rumble strips and I open my eyed to blue lights flashing. Still in a foggy state, Magellan is freaking out because she got pulled over. I have to say I have never laughed so hard in my life while receiving a speeding ticket. Maybe it was the combination of the very thick southern accent the Virginia State trooper had, combined with Natasha’s instantly blonde demeanor acting like she was the most clueless driver on the planet. Well here are a few of the highlights:

circle-dartSpeeding 85 in a 70, we were advised that anything 85 and over is considered reckless driving in the great state of Virginia. Which carries a $2500 fine and or Jail. He also advised he could take her to jail right now if he wanted to. After he leaves I get this “I can’t go to jail Travis, I just can’t go to jail”…ha ha…

circle-dartHe asks for her license and registration. She gives him her license and a copy of her personal insurance. He tells her that is great but he wants the registration. I advise him it is in the window, at this point Natasha grabs the flier from the Spartan race and tries to give it to him. If I had been drinking anything it would have been all over my dashboard. I calmly say, no it is the sticker in the window. To which the response was “they don’t give you a paper copy in Texas along with the Sticker?”

circle-dartSo he cuts her a favor and writes her up for 80 in a 70.

 

circle-dartWhen asked why she was speeding she calmly says she was just keeping up with traffic. I mentioned about how fast she was going to which her response was, “I don’t look at the speed-odometer, I just keep up with traffic”

IMG_5837circle-dartThe best part of the stop was when he goes back to his car and we both bust out out cameras to take selfies with the blue lights in the background. “did you get a good shot?” “No, did you?” “No, I wish he would turn off that stupid spot light!” I think we both took several shots and I can only image what it looked like from the rear, two cameras and arms up taking pictures!

circle-dartUpon completion, I calmly asked the trooper if he would take a selfie with me, I mentioned it would be the perfect end to our epic roadtrip. He politely refused and told us to drive safe!…Dang it!

So there you have it, after that, it was a pretty calm trip home. We will take with us the memories of this and all of the great state signs that were captured to add to our collection!

 

Footnote

So there was as usual a ton of pushback about taking Natasha with me, as people just don’t understand why she does crazy things like this. I am sure I am a hated person as it seems to always be on my watch that the adventures kick in and something arises to cause concern to everyone. So while yes, I can tell you I am greatly concerned about the health of my friend, but sometimes you can’t predict what the future holds for any of us. Any of us could kick the bucket tomorrow and who wants to have regrets? Certainly not me.

While many see this trip as something crazy and hazardous to her health, she viewed it simply as a way to escape from all of the pain she encountered in her life lately. The prior week was filled with heartbreak on a family level. So sometimes people need a good get away to keep their mind off of things. We could never have predicted the complications which lead to taking her to the ER and then checking herself out to get home.

After all of the complications we encountered on this adventure, Natasha has the can do attitude and one comment that will always resonate with me long after she has left us.  When she yelled at me “I am not going to just lay in bed and wait to die!” a cord was struck down to my bones, which although I was very concerned, it made me realize just how much of a fighter this woman was and she is going to live her life. No my friend you are not, your illness does not define who you are and you are going to do whatever you want, even if it does literally kill you one day. Until then, I cherish all of the times we have had and I look forward to many more.

My name is Travis and I talk to strangers!

Motorcycle Diaries – ROT 2015

The ROTten Truth

One of the most enjoyable things about being a motorcycle enthusiast is going to rally’s. I have been to rally’s practically all over the countryState---Texas and I have been to this Republic of Texas (ROT) rally four previous times and this makes number five.  Over the years my tribe has dwindled down and the rally has been more of a been there done that type of thing. But since this was the 20th year I got a last-minute wild hair and decided to ride down and see what I have been missing. I mean my last time there was 2009, so it seemed time to check it out.

So the trip down there was one of unusual circumstances. Late start means you have to take the highway to get there…one of the things I loathe the most is running down I-35 at 80 mph. Talk about one of the more boring rides, ugh it was dreadful. With temps in the 90’s I also was getting cooked during the midday ride, but at least I was getting tan! If you have ever been on a ride with me, you know I am a back roads cruising, seeing the cool ass shit America has to offer.

Arriving at the rally I was pretty excited to see how much bigger this has become over the last 6 years. Unfortunately, I have to report that this has become the biggest waste of time and money I have ever gone to. This is one of the few rallies that charge to get into rally itself, but it is definitely not worth $75.  What used to be a pretty full area of vendors was really only two rows and the ones that were outside were just as bad. I guess if you want to camp, set up pools and run around naked and drunk then this is definitely worth going to. But otherwise, I recommend you just stay away, this was lame and the only fun part was going out on 6th street, but you know what? I can do that pretty much anytime of the year and I don’t need a ROT rally to bring me to Austin.

So the rally is bad and since it was a short trip, I didn’t go explore around the hill country like I usually do. But I managed to get off the highway and get lost on some awesome Texas back roads dodging the rain and chasing the sun on the way back.

ROT2All in all it was two days, 500 miles, got the patch and T-shirt. Until next time, keep the rubber side down!

My name is Travis and I talk to strangers.

Things I Think – Thursday July 4th Edition!

 Marriage, Flags, Pizza, Coffee and Star Wars

There seems to be such an influx of news this past week, it is hard to not get caught up in some of it. Regardless, you will get my two cents so love me or leave me. Yes it is July 4th weekend and there are bound to be a bunch of fireworks here so keep reading!

Marriage

circle-dartGay Marriage, seems to be the topic of the week so let’s just dive right into that. Here are my thoughts…I honestly do not care. At the end of the day it really doesn’t affect me or my everyday life and it doesn’t threaten my well being and honestly why do you care so much if you are against it? It’s not your life and would you like it if everyone judged your life? I really don’t care what the bible says, so stop quoting scripture to me, again it doesn’t affect you does it? For every quote you find, I could probably find more. If you take this one thing literally then wouldn’t you have to take everything that way? I mean you can’t pick and choose what want to abide by. Seriously, I mean we would be stoning people for divorces and I could bring up several items which just do not make literal sense, it just can’t happen. So leave religion out of it, if two people love each other and want to get married, more power to them, I don”t care about their sex or race for that matter. Love is love and who are we to stand in the way or judge people or actually condemn them. No one is forcing you to go to the weddings, no one is going to make you participate or get involved in anything you don’t want to.

Speaking of Marriage, my parents just celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary, all I can say is congrats to them. Sure they have their ups and downs like most couples, but you know what? That is effing amazing! I hope I find someone to love and who loves me back and I can spend that amount of time with. There is still time for me, I mean I do plan on living well over 100!

Confederate Flag

circle-dartWith all of this talk about the confederate flag, I had an interesting conversation with my father about it. Having a 26 year age gap can sometimes be very enlightening to get the perspective from someone who is from a totally different era than I am. So he asked me this simple question “what does the flag mean to you?”

It struck me as an odd question but then I stated thinking what does it mean to me? Because I have several thoughts that go through my mind and as I started to answer with a historical meaning, I was interrupted and again asked, “not what you think it stands for, but when you see it what do you think?”  Before I could answer I got a brief history lesson on the civil war (which I actually knew most of it) and then I started to think…when I see that flag what do I think of?

The first thing that comes to mind is the civil war and the confederates, but after that, I mean after I think of that small fraction of what the history of the flag is, I immediately have different thoughts and you are going to be shocked. You see, when I see that flag, all I really can think about are what we call redneck hillbillies who live in the mountains, drink moonshine, are typically prejudice, have no dental plan and wear overalls without shirts. Yes that is what I think of, uneducated people who in my opinion only make this world a worse place because of the miniscule beliefs they have. So no, in my mind I don’t want to be associated with those people, because typically they contribute about nothing to society.

quote   What does the flag mean to you?

Again this is just my first impression when asked that question. Now I do understand the history behind it and why some people want to have it in their lives because of heritage or maybe they like the design and whistle Dixie. I am not saying all people are like what I described but at the end of the day, that is what the flag means to me.

Photo Shoot

Recently a couple of my friends had photo shoots. One was for women over 40 and how sexy they still are and the others are just in the fitness industry or doing the bodybuilding/swimsuit competition stuff. Anyway, more and more I see all of these friends on Facebook with these kick ass pictures. Just this week I was asked for my Harley to be used in a shoot, someone wanted to have some pictures on a motorcycle…of course I said yes. Now how sad is that? My motorcycle will be in a legit photo shoot before me…I want a photo shoot!

Workout Pics

Here is just going to be a small rant I have, but mostly I just giggle. I follow and I am friends with a ton of OCR, fitness and athletic people. Now I understand if your job is a personal trainer and you post workouts for people to do, but most of us have jobs and workout when we can. But Lord Jesus do you have to post a pic every time you go to the gym? Do you really need to check in at the gym on Facebook everyday? I mean I get it, but you know what, I am in OCR and I am a competitive person, but I am not going to post pictures of me running or working out or whatever, I mean there is more to me than that. To me it is a given that I workout right? Do I really need to tell you? Seriously, I don’t see people posting that they are at work everyday? I mean I post a bunch of selfies and sure I do handstands if I am some place cool, but I really only post workout stuff if it was really cool. Here is my approach to all of this social media stuff…each platform is a snapshot of my life and yes I do post a ton of my race pictures because that is what I do for an activity obstacle warriorbut there is more to me than working out and running. That is what I want to start seeing from people, let me see your life as you celebrate it, let us all get to know you and not your sweaty gym pics.

On a side note, I am extremely excited to announce my ankle is healing and I started working out again, here is a pic! P.S. working out again makes me happy!

Star Wars

Star Wars makes me happy. The end! I attended a concert the other night where the Fort Worth Orchestra played start wars music and they finished with the main theme song. Sorry about the video (sorry it’s only on Facebook right now)…the fireworks totally threw me off. So yes, we had lightening, rain, fireworks, and a laser show…so cool!

 Coffee

In case you didn’t know, I love coffee. I start with my day with it every single day and if you want to show me mad love, then do it with coffee! I love going to new cafe’s so it’s not just all Starbucks and honestly the way to my heart is through coffee…just saying.

The love of Pizza

I know I have a section of my blog which is dedicated to finding the ultimate cheesebuger (frankly I am way behind on my reviews) but in case you didn’t know, I also love pizza.  I mean I seriously love the pie! I could eat pizza everyday! I am open to most types, but I am a meat lovers type of guy and I love to try new places or even the pizza trucks! So stay tuned for the best pizza section, because I am on a search for the best slice now!

And by the way, just throwing this out there, but I thought I was in heaven when I met a girl who loves pizza as much as me, runs, does OCR’s, likes adventure and travels…but you really had me at pizza!

Understanding women

yes or noI know what you are thinking…there is no understanding them. Just as I am sure they beat there heads against the wall trying to figure us out too. But at the end of the day I don’t remember trying to date someone being so difficult. What ever happened to the days when it was just a simple yes or no? Maybe that is what I need to do, go old school and write a note!

circle-lightbulbFun Fact – I hate making my bed, but have me over as a guest and I’ll make my bed every-time so you don’t think I’m a slob.

Long Distance

When I was kid it seemed like a long distance relationship was when you were not at school or she lived in the next town. Remember I grew up in a time with corded telephones, we had one main phone and it was in the kitchen, geez that was hard.

But these days I don’t consider it to be much of a big thing. I mean whether you are 4-hours or 20-hours away, I truly believe where there is a will there is a way (of course there must also be a connection). So I pose this question poll to everyone…

circle-question  Worth the ride or just avoid the roller-coaster?

I tend to think that if the person is worth it, then I go for it. Once I want to spend time with someone, I will rearrange my schedule to spend that time. Of course it helps that I can be very mobile with my company, but still, I look at this way, you really never know unless you give it a shot. So if I spend time and money traveling and it doesn’t work out, well then that happens. But I can promise you I will have a ton of memories to cherish and good times will be had. But also don’t get me wrong, I am still going to do my races, ride my motorcycles, workout and do things, I am just going to try and find a creative way to do it together, because no one like eating alone at Applebee’s!

Megalodon

So I think I am going to use this one from now on whenever some asks me what my biggest fear is! I mean I had to look it up and all I could think was…you couldn’t just tell me a big ass shark?

Music

So I like these tunes this week because most of them have a cool summer vibe to them and they make me happy!

Magic – Let your hair down

Pharrell Williams – Come get it Bae

Slighty Stoopid – One bright Day

Heymous Molly – Life’s a Beach

Bonus:

Miguel – Coffee (F***ing)

Okay I hear this just this morning and it made me laugh and I couldn’t resist since I do love me some coffee!

Things I Think – Thursday Birthday Edition

Birthday Week in Retrospect

So another birthday is upon me and I love birthdays, I don’t shy away from them and in fact, I love to celebrate them. I know most people claim to celebrate for a week or weeks at a time, but this year I literally did celebrate for an entire week.  I made a list of fun things to do in Dallas and Fort Worth and I did them. Along the way there was also a few impulse decisions. So here we go!

Before I do thought I do have a couple of thoughts…I mean it is “Things I Think” after all…so I was reading this magazine the other day and I saw this article and it really hit home with me and made me think a lot about where I am in my life.

circle-dartSo this guy is having his 40th birthday and all he wants to do is run a marathon and try to get a PR. But his family has other plans, his brother and wife arranged for people in his life to run a mile with him. Let that sink in for a minute. So there were 26 people who ran a mile with him, which included his parents, brothers, cousins, friends from life which included college buddies and lastly his wife and kids. I thought this was so awesome, at every mile marker a new person jumped out and just started running with him. Needless to say he was shocked and he didn’t PR.

But that just got me thinking…I don’t think I have 26 people in my life that would come run a mile a me. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure you could scrounge up some people, but I am not sure I have a tribe of 26. I have a lot of acquaintances but not a lot of close friends. I think I need to fix that. I mean if I died tomorrow, who would come to my funeral? Ahhh that is a totally different post!

So on to my week of fun!

Day 9 – Top Golf

Day 8 – Rock Climbing

Day 7 – Karaoke

Day 6 – ROT Rally, rode my motorcycle 250 miles, Rode a Mechanical Bull, 6th Street ATX

Day 5 – ROT Rally, rode my motorcycle 250 miles, had pie!

Day 4 – K1 – Adult go-carts, Zero Gravity

Day 3 – Rest Day

Day 2 – Rained out, couch & movie night

Day 1 – IFLY – indoor skydiving

Birthday – Fed the homeless breakfast, got a haircut, sports massage and dinner with my parents!

Day After Birthday – Ran Spartan Sprint at Dallas Cowboys Stadium

I was going to write a brief synopsis of each event, but then I decided not to. Each had its own adventure and memories attached and video clips were taken, you can see that a little later.

circle-lightbulbFun Fact – I currently have 1,276 friends on Facebook and 209 of them posted on my wall, 7 more just sent a private message which means 216 people wished me a happy birthday which is 16.9% of my friends…

So this fun fact wasn’t meant to be upset about not getting more wishes, actually quite the opposite, this is more than I have ever had. But it poses the question, how do I have over 1000 friends that I don’t know? I mean I replied to everyone who sent a wish and I know most of them or have met 95% of them, and the ones I do not are pretty much OCR people. Things that make you go hmmm…

circle-dartNo official cake for my birthday, but I did get a cupcake mousse type thingy and a homemade chocolate pie!

circle-dartNot a ton of gifts, but that happens when you get older and you are single, but I did buy myself a kick ass new pair of sunglasses and I am going on this life changing trip in 2016!

circle-dartAwesome random things that happened to me on my birthday:

  • My 4yr old niece and my 2 yr old nephew wished me happy birthday by video!
  • A friend who can’t sing (self admittedly thinks she can’t), called me and sang to me!
  • My good friends kids, 10 yr old, 7 yr old & 5 yr old all sang to me on video!
  • I made 250+ sandwiches.
  • My birthday dinner this year was Tacos!

As I gear up for a new trip around the sun, headed for the next age group in racing, several things hit home with me this week. Some of them are great and some make you think about decisions and life choices you have made. It’s been one hell of a year for me, a lot of change, growth and self discovery. I have met  so many new people, made new friends, loved, lost and I feel pretty darned good.

Music

I almost forgot this section this week, I struggled to think of the music to post. I have listened to Lifehouse nonstop this past week and searching for messages within each song and applying them to the current day life I have. But then I happened to put the playlist on random and this came on and it actually says everything I wanted to say about this extraordinary week.

Ron Pope – Sometimes

My name is Travis and I talk to strangers!

Things I think – Thursday AWOL Edition

Floods, Road Trips, and Funny Ass Sh!T

Oops I did it again! I know, I know I went AWOL for three solid weeks again, but I do have an excuse, I have been traveling and just too busy to write. Granted I have been writing down thoughts but I was just making a list in order to write this. So lets catch you up over the last three weeks.

Week One – Spent time traveling to Ohio in a car with one of the funniest people I have met lately. We went through Arkansas, Tennessee and Ohio. Then I raced a Spartan Race on Saturday and Sunday!

Week Two – Spent a week in Pennsylvania and had such an awesome time. I painted coffee mugs, watched a killer sunset over Lake Erie, attempted some acro-yoga and failed but haven’t laughed that hard in a long time and went to Cedar Point and rode roller coasters!

Week Three – after finally getting back, I kicked off my 9-days until my birthday do EPIC stuff week, so I missed the deadline there too…but the good news is, there is a part two today and it is all about my birthday!

Floods

Right before I left on my road trip, Texas under went a record amount of rainfall and it brought about some of the worst flooding we have had in years. One place in particular which is special to me was affected is a huge way. Luckily the two people who I hold dear in my heart were not hurt and are doing okay.  But it does make you think about the big picture of things and how quickly everything can change and totally change your life forever.

It was also great to see Texas communities coming together for those in need and help people who were affected by the flooding. Also watching my OCR friends volunteer to head down there for a weekend and help out a family in need was outstanding!

Road Trippin’

As you may know by now, I love going on roadtrips and traveling all over the place. My travels to date have mostly consisted of just places across the united states, but they are fun none the less. So when I was giving the chance to actually drive to a race, of course I took it. I had the most fun in a car I have had in a long time, lucky for me my partner in crime loves to sing and I think we sang every song on the radio. Oh yeah, and you can never here the song “Footloose” too many times!

Along with making several videos, we also did this during our road trip:

  • Arkansas Road Sign
  • Tennessee Road Sign
  • Graceland in Memphis
  • Karaoke in Nashville
  • Spartan Race in Ohio

IMG_3191After Ohio I traveled to Pennsylvania and stayed 5-days there visiting the great town of Erie. Sandwiched between a couple of work days I got to do more awesome things. I already mentioned them above but definitely going to Cedar Point was the most fun. I am glad I had the company I was with, I love roller coasters and having a super awesome partner in crime makes it even better!

 Funny ass Sh!t

So here are some random thoughts I just thought were funny over the course of the past few weeks.

  • People in PA think line dancing is country dancing! Yes I knew this was the way northern people thought when I first moved to Texas over 20 years ago, but I was asked if we could country line dance in Texas. Then I heard a country radio station advertise that they were going to be doing that…I just shook my head and laughed. No, we don’t line dance in Texas. (unless that is we are doing the electric slide or something)

circle-questionDid you know? In Salt Fork State Park in Ohio, this is the home of bigfoot? While in the gift shop at the lodge, I asked why they sold all this bigfoot stuff and why the statue in the lobby. Well, they have had “sightings” for over 100 years and even as recent as 2015…

  • Laura not knowing what Graceland was! At least she did know who Elvis was!
  • I know I touched on this before regarding athlete pages, but I also think if you have the word “Spartan” as a part of your name on any social media platform, I think you are just kinda lame. I mean think about it, that is the name of a race and a company. I know you are going to argue that you think it means you are a real spartan kinda like a warrior or something, but no, no you are not. It would be like someone putting their name to be “Dopey Sam” or maybe “Triathlon Steve” or why not one of the other races? I’d love to see someone be “Savage Joe” or “GladiatorRR Bob” or even “Battlefrog Tony”…no, no one else does it for any other of their hobbies, we don’t have “Marathon Jane” or “Scubadiver Sally” or “Motorcross Ken” so just stop it already. I am sure if your profile pic is a picture of you doing a run and you labeled it correctly in your profile, we all know already.

quote

                                                                                                  I’ll be your top thrill                                                   (quote as seen on a shirt at Cedar Point)

  • I absolutely love the women’s world cup! Pretty much the only time I watch women’s soccer is when the cup is on! USA won the pool and now the march to the cup starts!
  • So after my recent trip to ROT (blog coming soon) I have decided to add a new event to my list of goals for this year. I am going to try to complete the Iron Butt ride before the end of summer.
  • I know this is very random, but how many people have you said “I love you” to? I was thinking of this on my ride recently, while reflecting as I usually do while I am riding and it occurred to me that I have posted a lot recently about being in love or I was in love or had been in love and my feeling on love and yeah…pretty much a lot of love stuff.  Well that tends to happen when you wear your heart on your sleeve and you give yourself over to someone with reckless abandon. But contrary to belief, I have not actually told that many people that I love them. Sure I have had feelings for someone and I may have said I was falling or whatever, but at the end of the day, after 44 years, I have only told 9 (nine) women that I loved them. That is pretty much since I was 16 and I have to say some of the love I threw out there then, isn’t anything like how I think love is now (3 before 20YOA, is that even really possible?) So now I am wondering if that is a high number or a low number? I first thought it was pretty low, but now I am not so sure. What is your number?
  • So I discovered the key to making our kids in this country smarter! It is bribing them with Pizza and Movies! Okay this was pretty funny when I saw it, so I am just going to leave this here…IMG_3043 IMG_2499
  • I also discovered a new thing…while in Erie, PA, I decided to go walking and I found that they have pizza joints on like every corner! So if I ever go to visit again, I am going on a walkabout, a pizza walking tour and I am going to try a slice at each place!

circle-lightbulbFun Fact! If you need your house cleaned, dishes washed, light bulbs replaced, trash taken out…apparently all you need to do is invite me over and my OCD takes over and things seem to get done…flaw or great quality?

Music

So this week in honor or one of my favorite bands Lifehouse releasing a new album, I am going to list my top songs I love off the new album.

Lifehouse – Hurricane

Lifehouse – Firing Squad

Lifehouse – Wish

Lifehouse – Hourglass

Lifehouse – Hindsight

I know 5 songs is a lot, but these are my favorite so far, but there are a couple more that I like as well.

Things I Think – Thursday 5/20/15

Funerals, Bikers, Love, Pie and Great Friendships

I apologize for not writing last week, I had to attend the funeral of my great Uncle Orman Blythe. So many great things happened that week too, but I was unable to finish and frankly I was not motivated to complete it before Thursday. So this week is a mash up of everything and yes once again I have a section of love, I swear I may never get another blog post without some type of mention of love. Oh the tragedy of being a hopeless romantic!

Funeral

Yes it is a sad day when you have to attend a funeral, especially of a relative. But one thing I learned, is sometimes not all funerals are all that sad. Don’t get me wrong, losing a loved one has to be one of the hardest things to experience, but in this case my great uncle “Bly” was 93 years old and lived a spectacular life.  He is only outlived by my great aunt (his sister) who is 97! My uncle was in WWII and a member of the Waco Police Department for over 30 years. He lived an awesome life, loved his children, grand children and great grand children. Now he is with the love of his life again and I am sure happier than ever.  With full military honors, it was definitely a funeral that took your breath away once taps started playing. We will miss you Uncle Orman!

Bikers

I have been a “Biker” since I was 16 years old. I may not be the “Hells Angels” type of guy you typically think of when you hear the term biker, but that doesn’t mean I am also just a weekend yuppie. Yes I take trips all over the country, yes I wear leathers and yes I have tattoos. Just because a chosen few give most of us a bad reputation, the majority of people who ride motorcycles are not bad people. My mother is a “biker”, my father is a “biker”, and my brother is a “biker” and I have a ton of friends who ride. We are not criminals, we are not Sons of Anarchy material, but we ride.

So it is a shame that the situation in Waco happened last weekend. Everyone has a point of view, I think there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered but at the end of the day, please do not crucify the rest of us for the poor decisions of others. I would argue that there are probably 80% or higher of motorcycle clubs who do nothing but charity work and charity rides. The Patriot Guard Riders with whom I also ride with, are not bad people. So don’t be afraid of someone on an motorcycle and please watch out for them.

Speaking of biker stuff, if you happen to be in Washington D.C. this weekend, it is the annual Rolling Thunder ride. They honor the POW/MIA along with anyone who has served and was lost during our wars, conflicts or whatever you call what we are currently doing. I expect there to be close to a million motorcycles there for the parade which starts at the Pentagon and ends up at the Vietnam Memorial Wall. I have partaken in this even four separate times and every time it was more breathtaking and emotional than the time before.  If you get a chance, grab your lawn chair and watch the parade, salute the veterans and enjoy the sound of rolling thunder echo throughout D.C..

Random thought of the day

circle-questionI think pregnant women are smoking hot. Although I have not experienced it yet, I believe that any woman pregnant with my child…would be sooo smoking hot to me!         #justsayin 

Love

So when I was at my uncle’s funeral, there was a poem in the program, which was my uncles favorite poem. The poem is called “The Dash” by Linda Ellis. Below you will find the whole thing, but here is an excerpt that I love the most.

quoteFor it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

Let that sink in for a minute. I think I have mentioned this a few weeks back, crazy, it doesn’t matter what we own or what we have all that matters is how we spend our dash. Go ahead and read the poem if you must but in a nut shell it talks about how we are born and we die and what we do in between those to dots or end points is our dash.

Well you know how I am living my dash, you see it every week. You think I am crazy, I am a traveler, an adventurer and seeker of fun. Well I say YOLO!! When you come to my funeral, I hope you know I lived my life to the fullest and I truly had no regrets in life.  Which leads me to the next favorite verse here:

quoteAnd be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before. 

Another example of what I have been trying to do. One of my goals for the year was to love harder.  I think I have been doing that exceptionally well! So if you are in my life and have become more than just an acquaintance, get ready for the wild ride and know I choose carefully the people in my life, so I love all my friends and would give anything for them.

Without further ado…here is the poem:

​The Dash
by Linda Ellis copyright 1996

​I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
​the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before. 

If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

​So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

When I was at my uncles funeral, a friend messaged me to give condolences and then as we were chatting asked me this question which caught me totally off guard “What was his greatest accomplishment?” I was stumped for a second and I wasn’t sure what to answer, so I asked my cousin (his daughter) this question and her answer was “Finding my mom”.  She thought that over his WWII service, his 30 years as a decorated police officer, finding his true love as she put it was his greatest accomplishment. Then the stories went of them cooking in the kitchen, vacations, how family oriented he was and how he loved his family more than anything. A marriage that lasted 57 years and only because his sweet Dot passed away did it not go on longer. I admire that, I admire that a whole hell of a lot. Finding love is so difficult and to have it that long is amazing and something I hope to have someday. Love Hard…live your dash…

Pie

pieTwo weeks ago on our roadtrip to Austin (coming soon) we stopped at one of my favorite restaurants on the backroads to ATX.  So the new motto after this trip is “Pie Fixes Everything” and now I firmly believe it does. So if you are having a bad day, just go and get yourself a nice piece of pie! (PHRASING!)

 Great Friendships

Friendships seem to be hard to come by for me at times, sure I have a lot of acquaintances but if you know me really well and have reached my inner circle, that is saying something. With that said, over the last year I have submerged myself into racing and traveling and the whole OCR world. I have met and become friends with people all over the country. Over the past two weekends I have met some new people who I am sure are going to be good friends and I also created bonds with current friends which have only grown stronger.

IMG_1058I am so proud of my friend Melissa, she asked me one month out from her event to hold her accountable. So we started training once a week together. I put together a program to work on her trouble spots and we worked on her breathing. This was her redemption race as she called it. She wanted to do it without help and all by herself. So we trained, trained and trained.  On race day she wouldn’t let me go with her, she wanted to be alone. So I waited. I figured what her time might be and I camped out at the finish line. I even made friends stay with me and we all waited. Then we saw her, she struggled on the last couple obstacles and did burpees, but she knocked them out like no ones business. I was able to give her, her medal as she crossed the finish and a great big hug. She had no idea that I was going to be there, or anyone for that matter. But as a coach, how could I not. One of the best feelings in the world is watching someone accomplish something they worked so hard for and you helped them attain it. Plus this woman holds a special place in my heart, last year when I finished the Spartan World Championships in Vermont, after 7 hours and 43 minutes, she was the only person there.  She was cheering and hugged me as I crossed. When you are tired and nearly exhausted, that is the best feeling in the world. I was very happy to be a part of her redemption race! Congrats Melissa!

One of the highlights of the second weekend was getting to walk the second super with my friend Meg. With my torn up ankle and she had calf issues, she talked me into walking the super. One of the best times I have had in a while, just not being overly competitive, but hanging out with a good friend for 3 hours while having fun. We even finished the fire jump with dueling cannonballs!

Other friendships sometimes take a different turn.  My friend Natasha and I ran the sprint on Saturday and now have a bond forever. She truly inspires me, when I think my life is bad, well it is not.  If you want to read about our adventure, you can read it here.

Finally, I have to say I have met some pretty incredible people over the last couple of weeks.  But a huge shout-out goes to the friend who set their alarm the morning of my race because they know I get up super early, I mean I get up at 3am. Just to talk to you, just to say good luck, keep you company as you prepare for your race. These people are very rare…keep them.

Another random thought:

circle-questionHave you ever spoken to someone so dumb you had to squint to listen?

 

Music

Now or Never – Phoebe Ryan

Fearless – Jochen Miller

 

My name is Travis and I talk to strangers!

Making Natasha a Spartan

Austin, Texas 5/16/2015 – Spartan Sprint

quote“There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.”

~Kurt Hahn

Every once in a great while, you get an opportunity to change someone’s life.  I find most of the time I have no idea if something I did or said has made any impact on anyone’s lives. Sometimes I get emails from people who tell me I did, but I don’t go out trying to be a difference maker, I live my life and if I can be an example then I am happy to hear how I have inspired you in some way.

Last December my friend Natasha was in the ICU unit and posted on facebook she would love some company or someone to visit her and bring movies.  So of course I grabbed some DVD’s and went right up there.  I still get confused as to her illness (I’ll explain in a minute) but I gladly went up to visit. Unfortunately at the time she was under some heavy sedation so we did get a chance to talk in between her naps. I watched her sleep and chilled for a few hours. I don’t know if she really remembers everything, but I am sure she was grateful I was there if just for a short time.

I monitor her status from time to time and she has been living in the hospital basically for the last few years. Well this past week she commented on one of my pictures at how great I was doing at my runs. I privately asked her how she was doing and she said she had been out of the hospital for the past 3 weeks and was feeling great. In jest I mentioned if she ever wanted to run a race I would make her a spartan. Well she took me up on the offer! She decided on a Friday afternoon to up and participate in the Reebok Spartan Race Sprint in Austin, Texas the next day.

 Natasha’s Illness

So what I found out is that Natasha actually suffers from Eosinophilic Disease. What is an Eosinophil? An evil white blood cell that is a type of B cell. It has one job: attack parasites in the body. In her case these cells went rogue. Two (2) in every million people have  EGPA. In her case the Eosinophils are attacking multiple organs. EOS diseases have NO cure & NO FDA approved treatment. Let that sink in. We fight a losing battle daily with band-aid medications that rarely work.

She is currently in Stage 3, this is the last stage of her illness, and the cause of her recently mild heart attack. Yes you read this correct, she had a heart attack in March 2015 and is also on the transplant list for a new heart. Oh yeah and she also undergoes up to 5-hours of experimental Chemotherapy to fight this.

In September of 2014, she received her “death sentence” as she calls it, they told her she had give or take 5-years to live. As she told me “I no longer consider my illness a death sentence because I keep fighting through the tough times. Like I’ve said before, I’m Chronically Fabulous!” These are words of a true fighter.

The Race

Most of what I actually knew of her illness I learned during our race. I had no idea of some of these things when I asked her to do this, like the heart attack or that her cardiologist was probably going to hunt me down and shoot me because she has a strict no exercise policy or lifting anything over 5lbs.

But we started our adventure on the course at her insistence, she told me her illness was not going to determine how she lives her life and jokingly stated this could kill her today but it would be fun.  I guess it is a good thing she signed the Spartan “death waiver” then huh? So she tells me YOLO and off we go towards the start line.

Seriously I am a little worried at this point, but she is all smiles and doesn’t have a care in the world. We are in the starting coral and yelling AROO, AROO, AROO and now I can see it all sinking in, this is about to get real.

Just to review:

  • Heart attack in March (2-months ago)
  • On the heart transplant list
  • No exercise or lifting over 5lbs
  • She forgot her inhaler
  • 6-days post race she goes in for 5-hours of chemo

So armed with her feeding tube (yes still in), oh yeah she can’ eat real food either, her chemo port and the biggest smile ever, we took off on our Reebok Spartan Race adventure.

So off we go, walking our way to glory.

Mile 1

As we start off we instantly start talking about the past 6-months or so. Sometimes I am amazed at how fast time flies by. This is where I learn of her disease in depth, all the restrictions and how we shouldn’t even be walking. But she won’t quit so we keep going. She went up and over the saw horse looking things and then the 6-foot wall, at first it was intimidating, then she went for it and made it!

We hit the 1-mile marker and and she asked me if it was really a mile. Then it gets silent for a second and I can see something going on in there and she tells me, if you had asked her if she would have ever done this, she would have said no. I could tell she was proud of herself and she was ready to keep going.

Miles 2, 3, 4

It seems I did most of the talking, (I know imagine that!) but it was okay because we were working on her breathing and keeping her heart rate low. So I talked and talked and talked some more. I had plenty to say, it has been a busy 6-months!

As we approached the obstacles, she did just about all of them. I stuck the spear throw for her and then let her try, she had obviously never done that before and it did go straight, just not enough arm.  I asked her if she played softball as I was showing her how I throw it and the response was “No, I was a cheerleader!” okay then, cheer for me!

I did the rig pipe thingy because they would not allow me to assist her in any way to even try and she could not hold herself up there, so no big deal I knocked that out.

I carried her sandbag and mine too, can’t break the lifting restrictions and the water was a refreshing break.  This  is where we almost called it a day. You could say she was a bit stubborn and refused to let her illness stop her from at least trying the things that were doable. But her heart rate was going off the charts and we ended up sitting down at the water station to rest.

She wanted the medic and then didn’t want the medic so we sat and we talked and I tried to crack tasteless jokes to lighten the mood. Then I told her about my Houston Battlefrog DNF and how my motto for the Dallas Battlefrog was “Not Today.” So I told her that was her new motto to, not today. You are not dying or quitting this race today. Tomorrow you can, but not today! Then we looked around and I pointed out all of the other people just sitting around, taking breaks, goofing off, not doing anything. You see she felt bad she had to stop and was mad that she couldn’t lower her heart rate a tad. Then I calmly stated the obvious…what was their excuse? They were all healthy people, granted maybe out of shape, but they don’t have a death sentence or chemo therapy this week or a heart attack a couple months back. At this point it was like I turned on a light switch, she looked at me and said “yeah, what is their excuse?” she looked around and mumbled you are all healthy people just sitting around, then she stood up and off we went.

I also ended up doing the sled pull for obvious reasons, but she did do the Z-wall, even after much discussion on if should could, well she could and she did! She also did her own barbwire crawl and did the tunnel crawl.

But after the tunnel she saw the hill. She became petrified she would not make it up such a steep incline. She asked the volunteer to call for a medic just in case she died on the way up, no lie her words. The volunteer walked with us, we went slow and steady, up and over the big rocks and when she got to the top, out came a big “I did it!” and a huge smile and a high five! She truly has no idea how inspiring this is right now that she is just beasting this course. I mean, she isn’t even supposed to be walking to the mailbox! I told her the hard stuff is over, we are almost there. Then we took a selfie! :)

mountain selfie

Mile 4 Mile Marker was another milestone for us. When she saw the sign, knowing we had roughly a mile left she got really excited and of course we took the gratuitous picture. With her heart racing and struggling to get her breathing under control she looked at me and said “well crap, I’ve come this far, I can’t quit now with a mile left”…no, no you can not, not today.

Mile 4Continuing on we just keep going, I scale the 10-foot wall and then we approach the floating bridge. Without hesitation she gets up on it and starts across. On the last one she jumps off and immediately her arms shoot over her head and starts jumping up and down in the water. What a sight to see, such a huge smile on her face. When I get over to her, she is out of the water and on the shore and crying. I instantly think something is wrong and I ask if she is okay and needs a medic and you know what? It was a happy cry, she got so emotional completing that obstacle she broke down. I told her not to waste her tears on this one, you save them for when you leap over the fire and get that medal!

On we go, walking to the bucket carry she was having issues and we stopped and again I was about to get the medic. But she no, and just said when she got so excited it took its toll. Actually the whole day had now taken its toll on her and every step was a milestone. She marched on to the bucket carry and got some water and rested while I completed it with no problem.

The Last March

You can hear the festival area, I kept telling her we were so close, but the walking was really starting to break her down. I offered to piggy back ride her, but no that was not an option. It took a while but we made it to the slip wall, I knocked it out. I did the Herc hoist, Tarzan swing and I kicked the bell for her on the rope climb. Then we marched to the dunk wall. I could see the terrified look on her face. I told her not to get in but she did, then she started to hyperventilate of the thought of holding her breath and going under. In the end she did it, like a champ! Nothing but smiles as we get out and look to the fire.

The fire took awhile for her to go, but at this point we were not in a rush. I know her breathing was an issue and I think the thought of jumping over fire and into a water pit may have also been somewhat intimidating. She looked like a lioness actually, she was staring it down, pacing back and forth looking at it as if where to attack it. I am just standing off to the side waiting, my plan was to go with her and jump together and get it all on video from the side view. She walked up to me as if to talk to me and then she just took off.

I am so happy she went, but it was the funniest moment of my day. I wasn’t expecting it, I was a step behind trying to catch up to video and she also kinda blocked me and went to the far right. I was behind and now worried about landing on her, but I just pulled up and went in right behind her. Then I heard it. That laugh. That happy laugh I had heard all day every time she accomplished something.  We climbed out of the pit and marched to the finish and she got her medal.

It was hard to not break down. While her little heart was bursting from over use and stress, my was the complete opposite, sure I was getting choked up but my heart was full. I made her a Spartan and now I know no matter what life throws at her, she will always have this moment to reflect on. I hope this makes her stronger when she gets sick again and we end up watching movies together. I guess the next time I can take 300 and the sequel and we can yell our AROO AROO AROO down the ICU hall! Hopefully I don’t have to do that for awhile. For now, I will visit on chemo day and we can laugh about our adventure.

Natasha we may not get 5-years more with you, but I hope we get more. You have a fragile heart, but it is a heart of a warrior and you have one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know. Thank you for allowing me to bring you this special moment. I look forward to more adventures in the future! I am so very proud of you for this accomplishment.

Here is our video of the EPIC day.

The Day I Actually Quit

The longest 3 – Minutes Ever

quote

When your desires are strong enough you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.

~Napoleon Hill

Have you ever flipped that switch in your head and you become almost obsessed with something? Well that happened to me when I DNF’d at Battlefrog Houston earlier this year. Since then I made the decision I was never going to do that again. So I got off my ass and started working out hard to achieve my goals.  It never stopped, I kept getting more and more into what I was doing and I was driven and on a mission.

Although the Spartan Race has recently lost its luster in my eyes, I was none the less excited about the upcoming Austin Races, 4-races in back to back weekends. Training was going great, my diet had also changed and I was feeling like this was actually going to be a great couple of races for me. For the first time in a long time I went into a race extremely confident and ready to perform at a high level.

I was challenged the night before to not run the OPEN race and upgrade to the ELITE MASTERS race. My camp kept telling me I was ready to take the next step. They believed I could do really well and were pretty convincing. Ultimately I went with the plan I started out with and I remained in the Open heat. Not only to I regret that decision now playing armchair QB, I knew it the moment I watched the elite men take off for the start of the Super.  But nothing you can do now I told myself, just crush the race and try to catch the women elites.

So our heat started and off we went. I always try to control myself and not get caught up in the initial sprint off, I mean it is a 9-mile race, no need to die in the first mile. So I let the knuckleheads take off but I also kept a good pace myself. The beginning was all trail and I train on this, so I felt good. I caught up to the small group who took off and I was passing them. I even yelled out “on your left” as I was going by. Then it happened. I took my eyes off the technical trail with the wet slippery rocks for a second to look ahead at the group I was passing and my left foot came down, the ankle slipped and rolled on a wet rock and I heard a “POP” sound, this was worse than anything I had ever heard before with my ankles. I came down hard too, full force on the foot.  I took a knee, in near tears with the pain.

Time: 3:31

Yes I took a knee, I looked at my watch and I was only three minutes and 31 seconds into the race. My ankle was throbbing and I was not sure what to do. People started to run by now, people asking me if I was okay and each time I responded with “No, I am not.” Reflecting now, this was the first time I ever got hurt and admitted it. I mean like, I was saying, “yes I am hurt and I need help” never in a million years did I ever thing this would happen. I remember I could not put any weight on the ankle, I couldn’t stand, so I just kept kneeling and semi rubbing it. There were offers for people to send back a medic and one guy said he would tell the next water station for me.  I was in a state of bewilderment. All I could think was “why is this happening to me? I was in great shape and I was ready, this was supposed to be my race! I was supposed to kill it and then show them and myself maybe I can run with the elites.” Then I hear a familiar voice. My new friend Darlene came up and started talking me, made me stand up. I told her I was done. I couldn’t race, I needed to just head back towards the start line.  So we started walking back,  back to the start line, back to the festival area, away from the race.

During this walk so many emotions started going through my head, “what would people think?” for starters, I know I shouldn’t care but still, that goes through my head. I didn’t want the sympathy, I didn’t want to let down all of the people I trained with, the ones who took time to train me, I was feeling this defeat and I could feel myself getting emotional. I know Darlene was talking to me and I half remember what she was saying over the voices in my head. But then something happened, the foot started feeling a bit better, so I tightened up the laces on my shoe and I stopped walking the wrong way. I looked and Darlene and I said I can’t quit. I just can’t do it. I absolutely had to cross that finish line, even if I was crawling I was going to cross that finish line. She told me to lightly jog and see how it felt, so I did. It felt good, only some sharpe pain here and there. But then I started running a bit faster and then a bit faster and then I just took off.

quoteWhy is this happening to me? I was in great shape and I was ready, this was supposed to be my race! I was supposed to kill it and then show them and myself maybe I can run with the elites.”

I looked at my watch and this whole thing took a little over three minutes. Darlene was running with me and I told her, it was starting to feel good and now I was pissed that I just lost 3-minutes.  Her comment was something like “just run faster then and catch up, its a long race still.” So off I went to cross the finish line.

I was actually very surprised at how I actually was able to keep going. Mile after mile, obstacle after obstacle. I did twist the ankle three more times during the race, two were very slight tweaks and one was a good roll again on a wet rock. It wasn’t until around mile 8 when I hit the wall. Which is odd because I was actually putting down a good pace on mile 7, I was passing female elites and I had not failed an obstacle.  Mile 9 was hell, for some reason as long as I kept running I was good, when we stopped for any reason, I was getting bad. The last barb wire crawl, the tubes, and the sled pull, all actually hurt. Walking was becoming difficult but I motored on, I went slow through the rolling hills and I carefully went over the floating docs, but I couldn’t run as we approached the bucket carry.  I went through the bucket carry and then I tried to run to the festival area, I am glad there was no one there to watch because it was ugly. It was a jog/hobble combo thing. Slip wall was no biggie, up and over the bridge and then the Tarzan swing,  the only thing I failed. I think it as a combo of things why, but I was for sure doing everything off one foot, but I doubt that was why.  So I did my burpees (so easy when you practice them!) The rope climb was no problem and then the fire jump. It was a sad day, I didn’t jump (yes no fire jump pose) I calmly stepped over it and into the water pit, crawled out and crossed the finish line.

I crossed the finish line, mission accomplished. I basically walked right through the finish area without stopping and made a beeline to the medical tent. I got wrapped and ice and called it a day. I was sad I didn’t get to race the Sprint the next day, but the swelling was worse and it hurt to walk so I thought it would be a good idea to just lay low. Of course this did mean that I could be cheerleader to my friends, take pictures and try to take it easy.

So I learned something about myself again this past weekend, I do have a never give up mentality. I could have easily called it a day, but I didn’t, I forged on. What really makes me feel both good about things and somewhat disappointed at the same time is that I ended up with this time:Screenshot 2015-05-13 14.04.11I am pretty pumped about this considering I had a bum ankle and when I compared my times with the elite masters, I would have taken 5th place. So I think I do have the confidence now to try and run the elite class and say goodbye to the Open heats.

One more weekend lies ahead and I am not ever sure at this point if I will be able to compete or not. So for now I am resting this week, staying off the foot and hoping I can feel good enough to at least run the Sprint on Saturday. If not, I will have my camera and video camera, so I can take a ton of pics!

 My name is Travis and I talk to strangers!

My Life, My Loves, My Adventures

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