Day at the Office

Day at the Office
All Terrain Vehicle
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Phillppians 3:14

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We've Come a Long Way Baby!

Look...a place to even put your has to be 5 1/2 inches though...

In my Junior year 1987 High School year book, I remember a picture of me, dressed in white cotton pants,a pastel colored shirt, Rayban Wayfarers on the head and topsiders with no socks on the feet....looking like I had just got off the set of Miami Vice. For some reason the picture was taken with me being in the schools computer know the days of DOS. For those under 30...we didn't have Windows or graphical user joke...this was right after Moses came off of Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments and Al Gore invented the Internet.;-) In fact the Internet was only amongst the University and Government Realms...and no...not everyone had a fact...most people didn't! Fortunately, I never knew the punch card days...that was right before the 10 plagues of Egypt...and some claim that the punch card was the 11 plague. But I digress...there I am sitting at a computer and next to the photo is a quote by yours truly. It says something to the effect that everyone needs to develop some proficient computer skills as they are in the future. Unfortunately, I didn't put my money where my mouth was and invest in Microsoft, Apple or Google....if I had...this blog would have been written on the Riviera.;-)

Twenty-two years later, I sit pounding away at a keyboard. Back then I could not fathom what was to come in the world of 1's and 0' computers have become a necessity, not a luxury. Two weeks ago our desktop crashed and for about 5 days you would have thought the apocalypse was nigh...and it was not just me and the wife...but all of my kids...including the 3 year old.

I'm not telling you anything you already don't know.

About two year ago I started blogging, mainly to document my training and running has morphed into me talking about anything I want to and giving a glimpse into who I am and how Team ELLIOTT rolls.

A couple of years ago when I lost all my marbles and encroached in the Ultra marathon World, I needed direction...(keep your snide comments to yourself...your probably right...I still need direction, or at least adult supervision.) I had more questions than I had answers...form everything training to everything nutrition. So what do I do...go to the Internet. To cut to the chase, I began reading some Ultra guys' blogs...and then had the audacity to email one of them asking questions. He emailed me back with paragraphs on top of paragraphs...answering all the questions in minute detail. Thus began my correspondence to Rick Gaston. At one point we exchanged phone numbers. His comment was "Dave call if you need more help." I have made a lot of Ultra marathon friends here in Dallas...but Rick is the only one to be there from the very beginning. (BTW...Rick can flat out RUN!...finishing a 100 miler in less than 20 hours and a 50 miler in less than 8 hours.)

My blogging and correspondence with Rick happened concurrently...and as you know...blogs are like can't just stop at one. Through Rick, I got to Donald's Blog. Donald is actually a professional writer...and he, like me, will blog about running, U2 concerts, the kid's latest outing...the Charlie Brown Christmas special...anything. Donald is an Ironman triatlete and finished the Western States 100 miler this past year and even having a really bad day....nearly ran it in less than 24 hours. We have agreed that we may be brothers from different mothers...except he can run fast. Actually most of our correspondence is about music...and can you really separate Sting from The Police....he claims you have to. I don't know if you can.

So from Rick's blog I got to Marcy's Blog...and from Marcy's, who no longer blogs, I go the Missy's Blog...Ironman finisher and a triathlete with some serious bringing home hardware for her age group skilz...and a wicked sense of humor. She is always the encourager....I think at one point, Missy gives me a shout out on her blog...and Shannon comments on my blog..and now ...well add her blog to the list.

Shannon is a professional trainer, cyclist, and triathlete....tough as nails...rides centuries just to warm up....and her sense of ha ha Funny! She encourages every step of the way. Shannon marches to a different drummer and we both agree that we both have the same drummer...a true kindred spirit...a Twin (mother probably was a gypsy).

I say all that to say this...because of the Internet....I got 4 friends that I otherwise would have never had...2 of them are on the West Coast...and 2 of them on the East Coast...kinda. I have never talked to any of them except Rick. He called after I pissed myoglobin during a 50K Texas July Training Run...early in my training...and I emailed him a bit freaked out...ok, REALLY FREAKED OUT!...we now talk occasionally, usually to encourage and find out what is on the racing docket. Oh, I have developed some really good friends locally in the Dallas Ultra community too...but it's nice to have these four around as well.

I follow other fact enough to make it difficult to keep at the end of 2009, 22 years after I made a quote that this computer stuff is going to catch on....little did I know how embedded it would become in my life...bringing me into contact with 4 really great people who I admire and whose opinions I respect...kindred spirits...except they are far better athletes than me.

Happy New Year...and on to 2010...may all your runs be swift, your rides be fast, and your races be epic....and if you do that swim thing...well, God Bless Ya.

Next up..what is on the race schedule...time to get serious.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Favorite Christmas Song

Warning: Graphic scenes from "Passion of the Christ"

Friday, December 18, 2009

Let the Good Times Roll

First on the training front....we got a good race on the calendar and we'll get to that in due time....probably around the New Year. I've started pulling together a training plan for this somewhat unique event. When I tell my close buddies this, I get that look like I have lost my last marble....and when I contemplate what it will entail....I may have. With that said, I have not been this amped up for event in some time...and now on to the matter at hand...and there will be class participation at the end boys and girls. ;-)

Watching my kids has caused me to recall my childhood memories. Most of them are fond, but I recall that on at least 2 occasions, during my childhood, that I found myself in the Emergency Room on Christmas eve. Asthma attacks so sever that getting oxygen to my 7 year old body seemed far more important than the gifts under the tree. Doctors working feverishly attempting to dilate bronchial tubes. Despite the these grave times...there were good Christmas times too.

Three years ago, my parents had decided to come to Plano Texas to celebrate Christmas with us. I had commissioned my brother-in-law to have him and my mother-in-law at our house by 6:30 P.M. on Christmas Eve. My mother-in-law would be late to her own funeral and I knew that Marshall's West Point fastidious nature would ensure they were promptly on time. Brenda had fixed some h'or dourves of crab cakes and cranberry salsa. Both Christmas music and the scent of an evergreen candle filled the home. I could hear the rain gentle hitting the cold window pane. The family anticipated something special to happen, but I had kept it top secret of the impended event. Promptly at 7:00, a stretch limousine pulled up to the front of our house. I had arranged for the limousine to take us around the Dallas Area looking at Christmas lights. My parents where astonished, the kids busted out the door in excitement. We arranged the 3 car seats in the limo, piled in and for 2 hours gallivanted around town taking in all the incredible Christmas decorations. My three kids, we're wide eyed with excitement and the impended Santa Clause arrival, momentarily, took a back seat. The grandparents were acting as though they were kids, looking at the lights and laughter filled the car. Me, well, I just took it all in. My joy came from watching the family...loving every minute of it. Renting that limo is the best thing I did that Christmas. The kids still talk about that night in vivid detail, but have real difficulty in saying what the got under the tree. The other day my mom mentioned that the "evening you rented the limo" was one of her best Christmas memories. My mother-in-law said the same thing.

Although spending Christmas eve struggling to breath may not be the best Christmas memory, it makes an evening with my extended family in a Limousine seem oh so much sweeter. Isn't that life? The valleys make the hill tops higher.

Now for class participation: Let me here about your favorite Christmas memory!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Realistic Christmas Letter

You ever get that Christmas letter from the family that makes it sound like it's just TOO perfect of a year. Well, I don't roll that way and I was asked to write this thing. Had a friend read it and a soft drink shot out their nose from laughing. It's funny...I guess...but most important it's how DaveE and Team Elliott roll. Enjoy!

Alright…It’s that time of year where you are getting a barrage of Christmas Cards and Letters. Usually the typical Christmas letter will go into how great everything is and that the kids are all geniuses, the wife is a kept women with a busy social calendar and the Husband has gotten two promotions and a new Bass Boat…(which tells me he is a jerk on one end of a line waiting on a jerk of the other end and he’s really good kissing someone’s backside.) Do you really expect for us to believe that life is only a bed of roses with no thorns….REALLY? This is no such letter! First of all…the wife ain’t writing this letter….I am…DAVE! there….I may get brownie points by taking one more thing off of my sweet wife’s to do list. …and you, well, you get a realistic look at TEAM ELLIOTT! NO sugar coating here…ok a little maybe.

We still got 3 kids…we ain’t killed a one of’em. In fact, we still love’em all.

Luke is about to turn 9 in January and he cracks me up on a daily basis’s. He is really active in Cub Scouts…in fact he loves it. He also really enjoys playing baseball….mainly the catcher position, and basketball. What he really latched onto this year is the Triathlon. He completed his first one this September coming in 4th for his age group. The guy ran a 3 min. 36 sec. ½ mile to finish it up….heck, his old man can’t run that fast. As far as school…doing well but likes to talk a lot in class…his Grandma reminded him that her son did too. I refuse to confirm or deny that fact. (5th amendment for you conservatives that still believe in the Constitution…unlike our current U.S. Regime.)

Macy…well, she will turn 7 in January. Her mind is devious…really…she’s a planner. She loves art, she takes dance and is in Girl Scouts…. and really enjoys that. A real overachiever…who got mad when she wasn’t in the high reading group….took her a month to get moved to that coveted group…she is currently working on War and Peace. (ok that last part was a lie.) She helps keep her brother on track…he needs all the help he can get when it comes to keeping up with his stuff…you ought to see his room. Found the neighbors dog under his bed…it had been missing for a month and half. She is a great daughter who likes to go camping…doesn’t get that from her Mom I tell ya.

That brings us to Hope…age 3….who is the only one in the family who doesn’t celebrate her birthday in January. Oh Hope, a true cut up and ham. She still can’t talk well but understands everything you say. The speech therapist claims that if her mom wouldn’t have played football during her pregnancy, she would probably be able to talk. Of course the gene pool on the Dad’s side left a bit to be desired too….and I can’t even claim she’s adopted. cause she ain’t. Come to find out…actual cause of delayed speech are all those ear infections early in life. She’s learning to dance too. For those keeping score, 2 dancers and a triathlete. Her brother and sister adore her…and because she met the size limit requirements…her mom and dad aren’t throwing her back either. ( that’s for the guy with the new bass boat.)

Ok, This brings us to the bride and groom. Brenda keeps everything going…sometimes its smooth sailing and sometimes well….we got three active kids…what do you think. Besides juggling all their schedules and homework, she is still active in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), is the Girl Scout Cookie Mom, and just got nominated to the Cub Scout Pack Treasurer. She does the work of three men…and frankly…I don’t know how….oh, she still works out 4 to 5 times a week…and probably could whip ya….but she wouldn’t because she’s too sweet.

Me…do you really care. Still work for the same company that I have for the past 8 years…selling commercial air conditioning in Texas (it ain’t that hard.). Economy has affected our business a little, but we’re still blessed. I ran a lot….ok…a whole lot….4 Ultra Marathons (two 50 mile races and two 50K races) I try to control this three ring circus…and usually love it ….most of the time….I still do magic…active in Cub Scouts….still love Texas….and really do you care about all this?

To the Highlight: In September, we surprised our kids, pulled them out of school, and took them to Disney World. Yep, we’re shooting to be awarded “parents of the year” for that little move. Seven days on property and I have to say that that place is truly magical. We closed the parks down every night…rode everything we could…and because of the off season didn’t have to deal with over crowdedness or a European with body odor. We ate breakfast with the princesses in the Castle, and had brunch with Chef Mickey. The kids loved it…both old and young. I came back to work to get some rest.

FOR THE IMPORTANT STUFF: If you got this letter we like you…if you didn’t and should have…well we like you too. We pray blessings on you this Christmas Season. For the whole, Life is Good… sometimes there are bad times…but mostly good. I am learning that the sticky fingers on the door knobs won’t matter in Heaven….but what I say to my kids may….that a really clean house is overrated….or for that matter Luke’s room….and that all that other stuff written above…well, it’s trivial compared to our relationships with Christ Jesus…and our relationships with the ones we love. So if you skipped down just to read this last paragraph…well, I don’t blame you…and really you got to the stuff that really matters. Have a great Christmas.!

from the family who took their Church Directory picture wearing Texas Aggie football jerseys.

Dave …and by proxy… Brenda, Luke, Macy, and Hope!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Let me off the Merry-Go-Round

Just Breath Dave...slow down....inhale deeply....exhale....

Last night was the Cub Scout leaders meeting...this morning I had to be at the school at 0730 to get Luke's cognitive test scores and to learn what we knew, Luke is a bright kid but not a genius...hurry to work because 3 bids have to get out before lunch.....get Macy to her church program tonight....Bren has a Girl Scout Cookie organization meeting tomorrow night....Friday night we all have a Polar Express Party....Saturday the Cub Scouts will sing at an assisted living home....and sometime in there I have to hang the 8 wreaths on all the front windows and put up the 10 miniature trees lining the walkway up to our front door....that just gets me to Saturday....and Christmas is still 2 weeks out.

Do you feel that way? I did not mention the 3 Christmas parties and all the other festivities... Sandwich the Christmas shopping in there and you got a full plate. And so I run on.

The Annual Dallas Thanksgiving 3mile/8mile Turkey Trot has grown to nearly 40 thousand runners. So when I showed up to the local running store to register, I was secretly thankful that they had closed the registrations. Not only did they save me 25 bucks...but saved me the bitter endeavor to fight the mayhem of Mothers pushing strollers and runners with dogs as I attempted to meander down the streets of Dallas on a brisk Thanksgiving run.

I took to the trails that morning. I had planned to run 6 miles...and went 10. The solitude, me and my thanks....rejoicing....and no one to talk to....It was calm....and peaceful...

This week has caused me to reflect...I will squeeze in a run this weekend....I will be by myself....and I will rejoice, reflect and remember the reason for this season's Celebration. "For unto you a Savior is Born....." therefore I run on!