This past Saturday was the culmination of the Let Me Run fall program. For 2 months I had the pleasure of being an assistant coach of the Dilworth Elementary chapter. I often tweeted a picture each week of the crew as they became a team, became friends with each other, learned the values of being a LMR boy, and now they were lined up with 500 other boys from the greater Charlotte area for a 5K race on a tough course at Blythe Elementary in Huntersville. The atmosphere was filled with excitement, was loud, and the weather was awesome for the 2pm event. Most of these boys had already been to soccer games that morning, yet here they were all wearing their LMR shirts, together with us coaches, their parents, and friends. With a great speech from the grand marshal Mike, we were all hyped up to race. 3 deep breaths for all. The horn sounds, and we all jet.

It was a quick jaunt to the front as I sighted a kid that took out the race fast. I planned to run with the kid until I saw another Open participant racing hard as well right behind us. I decided to surge ahead and just hold pace. It’s indeed a tough course. I got cheers and shout outs from some of my team’s faster runners like Walker, as we had a few turnaround points where we could see each other. I knew I had a good lead, but that last climb is a tough one, and for an afternoon race, yeah I started to feel it. I just followed the lead car in front of me and made sure to represent our team well. I finished first in 19:05 and then turned around and awaited the crew to each come in and claim their medals. It was sure joy to be able to high-five and hug each one of them as they finished with that exhausted but elated expression on their faces. Them: “I did it!!” -  Me: ”Yeah you did awesome!!” Was the basic conversation to each of them. More high 5′s and bro hugs. We managed to get them together for a few photos but they all finished and got to show off their BLING! Thanks to VitaminShoppe for the bottled water and hand towels as gifts to each kid, as well as the many Smarty Pants vitamins they munched on after each practice. A special THANK YOU to my fellow coaches Janelle Tuck-Lenhart and Brady Moser for their help this season too.

Let Me Be Me. Let Me Reach Out. Let Me Run!!

From there we drove down to St. Matthews for the 5:30 mass which was dedicated to Gina’s mom Mary Paoloni thanks to the Mintz Family. That’s was a nice mass, a beautiful church, and we walked away with a small triple chocolate pound cake thanks to a bake sale being help in the hallway to the church. By the time we got home, it was a nice reheated dinner, big glass of Reisling and a total unwind to relax. It’s been a hectic few weeks for us and now with the holidays approaching, stress seems to creep it’s way in and manage to change the whole idea of a holiday  into a wham bam festival to just survive. Never loose sight, touch, smell, etc. of what’s the best DEAL you GOT/HAVE, not what you WANT/NEED.

Which is why I am happy ADVENT is now upon us. Sunday marks the time of year I prepare for the Christmas season by the annual deep reflection on things past, present, outward and within, with a purpose to the future. A purpose to the meaning of Christmas – it’s TRUE meaning. No fluff, no haste, no shopping frenzies, just reflection with inward action. I had the past month to prepare for this, and in this year, feel it deeper than years past. Many a quiet walk. Many a just “shut things OFF”. And listen. No, man, really listen. It helps in the evenings to play Enya/Josh Groban stations on Pandora too.

But this is the challenge I face for myself now, and at this time each year. Four weeks worth or preparedness. Of prayer. Of being Thankful for all around me.

Of Being MC.

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