I am off very shortly to make my way up to New York to run in tomorrow’s NYC marathon. This will be a first for me…. I think this will be career marathon number 18 but never have I done NY. I will have plenty of pics and a complete race report to share when I get back. If nothing else, I will have fun. I don’t anticipate an exceptionally fast day. But between the newness and excitement of a course like NY, and sharing it with 48,000 other runners and a couple of million spectators, you never know what kind of day it could turn out to be.
Regardless of what the clock will read, this race will be a big win in the humanitarian race. This was a charity effort and I raised about $3,300 thanks to so many generous friends and family members for AIDS/HIV education and research and I was just one member of a larger team representing Grassroot Soccer.
This event also connected me with Ethan Zohn. It was very cool how a soccer goalkeeping idol of mine growing up – Shep Messing – reached out to me and introduced me to Ethan when Ethan was first diagnosed with lymphoma. Shep’s exact words to me were were “Hey big man, I need you to reach out to a fellow goalkeeping friend. He was just diagnosed and I know you are just the person he needs to talk to”. I just sort of shook my head in disbelief at that whole encounter. It took me about 3 seconds to get the first email to Ethan. And I think he responded within minutes. That connection just confirms and validates the idea that I was diagnosed for a reason. And that reason is to help be a voice, a shoulder, and a resource for others. And it’s a reason that I not only accept, but that I embrace and celebrate and actually enjoy. I was chosen to carry this. It’s not a burden, it’s an opportunity. Far more good has come from my diagnosis than bad.
Like the crazy person that I am, I am also registered for the Philadelphia marathon in three weeks. That race was actually on the calendar before the New York opportunity came to be. I’m excited for Philly though because TEAM IN TRAINING just asked me to be the speaker at the prerace inspirational dinner. I have been the featured speaker at a TNT event a few times and I love it. It’s always a great crowd and a great evening. It reminds me why we do all of this and it reminds me how incredibly lucky and blessed I am on so many levels.
I’m out for now. Enjoy the weekend and I’ll fill everyone in when I get back. Oh look – imagine that …it’s raining.