In this final week of Advent, with the days at its shortest and darkest (heck a 7:30am sunrise??), I have had a great reflective 6 weeks where my usual case of S.A.D. never crept in. I have built a huge training base and feel fit, mentally sharp, and more importantly – deep within - was able to harness a force and have it contained enough to do some serious work in 2014. I have been able to play a bit, sleep a bit, pound it out a bit with good old eustress, but also take a moment each day to quiet it down, unplug, and get a fine look around me. Pray a lot too. I take comfort in the peace that this reflection brought. That has been the key for me each year.  It strengthened my will - even if it was during many a 3 or 4 hour training session. But the clarity now shone forth, even with the darkness around me, makes me strong in my preparations for the goals in 2014. Ring this new year in sucker.

The holiday shuffling about was hilarious to watch. I honestly think if there was a true physical Santa, he’d get mobbed or his sleigh would get rear-ended in a parking lot. The endless commercialism of Christmas nullifies its true meaning – but a few still “get it”. Gina and I took solace in the fact of being available and giving of much as we can – not necessarily with gifts BOUGHT – as much as with our time, resources, networks, and talents giving to others. We have a cozy abode decorated with the basics to remind us of what this time of year means to us. I love nothing more than to wind down the evening looking at the tree, in the rocking chair, with seasonal music on the television (or radio). We finally get a few days away from work to enjoy it too. I got to read and finish a few more books, following one of them now on Twitter – Jon Acuff – good stuff. It’s also fun to play “house hubby” too a few days a week. No problem with that. I think. And on the Christmas Eve, after early Mass, will have us both drinking a bottle of wine, a dessert (dinner?, nope table that for the 25th), and watching “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

The new year will bring with it some new goals. It will have some new ventures for myself work related, but we also will get to explore other options too that are available to us both – together. Big time thanks again to Brad Mintz for his help, as I am set to publish my book on Kindle format by year end. Long time getting this project done. Race related – I have a few etched in stone and will begin competing each month starting in February with the Charlotte UltraRun 50K. Maybe a few Kahru Bear runs (like the Charlotte 10 miler), a few local triathlons as well, but my main goal is to finish one last Ironman – just don’t know which one yet (note – I was to do Greater Floridian but when I qualified for Worlds 70.3, switched it up). The good thing was I have had the time to break, enjoy the holidays, and still put in a solid base already!

I wish to thank as always all who make TeamMC what it is – Gina (THE Ironsherpa), Wheaties, the NYC crew at Polar, AAA Carolinas, Aquaphor, PocketFuel, Jessica Marriott at Sports Massage Therapy, Thom and crew at MetroFitness, Charlotte Running Co., the MC Saturday Run crew, the CRC Thursday Night run crew, InsideOut Sports, and Kais Kookies.

So we will take this new self, as I do every year, shedding the old one of its remaining vices, weaknesses, fears, and move forward – eyes, mind, and spirit – to what lies ahead of me. YOLO.


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