We traveled back home to Brooklyn this week. I haven’t been home since we left for Charlotte a year and a half ago. I was being inducted into my high school – Cathedral Prep – Hall of Fame. I am the youngest to be inducted and it was a great honor. It was also a chance to gather as many friends, family, and classmates into one evening for a reunion. We arrived early and on the cab ride from the airport instantly felt like we never left. The traffic, constant construction of new buildings, and the “rush” of life put us quickly back into the mode we were use to (and eventually hated). We were greeted by my Pops who, though glad to see me, mentioned a few house rules we broke even before we stepped in the door. But its all love Carbone style.

I changed and went for a run while Gina went for a walk “up the avenue” as we call it. Amazing what’s going up. If there’s a hole, it’s being built on. And the price$$$! Damn, we would certainly move back but we just can’t afford it – and don’t ask me how the thousands of people who can occupy these spaces are able to. And this is just Greenpoint. I would eventually do long runs in and through Prospect Park, Long Island City, Queens Blvd, and Central Park and its the same situation. Going out for a run at 6:30 one morning and the noise and traffic brought back memories but back in Charlotte, you can still hear the crickets. I quickly was able to resume the frogger type mentality and dodge cars, run through stop lights, look both ways before crossing (2-3 times for safety). I got a chance also to do some training at SJC which really spruced up their fitness center. Was the only chance I got to do some spinning too. So from a training standpoint – I got in a lot of running and managed to do some cycling, but honestly we were wiped out by 10pm each night from all the functions we attended. It was a good block and a way to tour the hood and its current status.

The HOF dinner was fun. We got to the North Hills Country Club early for breakfast a knew we weren’t going to play golf. We had no clubs, there was no driving range, and the golfers here were here to golf. We enjoyed our breakfast and went for a long walk around the greens. It was cool and breezy – pretty much all weekend with gray skies – so we soaked up as much of the outdoors as we could. We car-jacked a golf cart and drove around also watching others play. Just a day to chill out. We could have used a nap and if we weren’t in a country club we would have taken a nap on the couch. We both went to change in the sweet dressing rooms and I had to use the amenities to shave, steam, and throw on some Brut aftershave. Yes I wore a suit. felt good thanks to the helping hand selection of Gina. The reception was well laid out as the 5pm dinner was buffet but like a wedding. They opened the outdoor patio and as guests arrived the festivities began. My classmates, Pop and Jane, and two of Gina’s sisters came. Then the big surprise. FPC came in with Pugay, Tek, Longo, and Karol – the latter 3 being alumnus, and it was instantly a SKS reunion. That was nice. I was happy to see them all.  By then it was time for the ceremony and being last I quickly rehearsed what I was going to say. I will post the speech shortly (I am writing this in Brooklyn), but what I had to say was Latin themed but expressed exactly how I felt about the school, what it taught me, and how I live my life today.

Unscripted, to the point, all from the heart.

Afterwards, the spiritual director came by and asked if I could speak to the students at an upcoming retreat. If it wasn’t for the Ironman on Nov 1st I would have, but he left it opened for me to speak to them when I came back for a visit. The rest of the evening was for pictures, more stories, and some goodbye’s. Everyone had a good time and I was happy to see them all and share in the moment.

The rest of the weekend was like this – training, quick D/D coffee while BioFrozen, off to visit friends & family, travel on the train a bit, back home in Brooklyn and in bed by 10:30 exhausted on an air mattress. My sister Anjie came down from Maine and stayed at home too so it was crowded. FPC doen’t have much going on at the place so we just slept there really. We went out to dinner for Thai with Pop, Jane, Anjie, and Jings, and were joined by Mike who was his usual ”buffed and loving” self. Haven’t spoken to him in over a year too. Typical Carbone style reunion – some, not all, and a quick catchup with plenty of f bombs and teasing. Together with the dinners/brucnh we shared with Gina’s family, it seemed we never had left. We even helped install her nephew’s printer and have a sneaker request list to bring with us home. As we set to leave for the airport, we long for our arrival back “home” but know things haven’t changed much here.

Now I prepare for the final 30 days for Ironman. It will be back to the southern lifestyle, work, and mentally preparing for the Ironman while putting the finishing touches on my training. I have been recharged by this visit, who isn’t when you’ve been away for so long and reconnect with so many, but the moment of the HOF dinner really allowed me to see what I do and why. Stay tuned for the speech but I will leave you with the following summary:





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