During this time of reflection and initiating aspects of my annual transformation before ADVENT, I allow for time and prayer to really dig deep within to “see myself”. With daylight diminishing, now is the time I try and bring to light all I need to change. All I want to change. Lots of quiet. Lots of listening. Observing. Sleep. It’s a difficult task to manage each year but well worth it in value to self-actualization and being genuine.

I had a chance to really have some fun by becoming a mascot for Rita’s Italian Ice. Together with Kristina Fisher, owner of the Plaza Midwood/University locations (, we planned to race the Running Scared 5 miler. She hasn’t run a race in a while and I convinced her of participating in it if I did it as Ice Guy. It was a festive costume oriented race so Justin at Sisu Events ( welcomed the idea when I asked him. I had a week to adjust Ice Guy to race mode and the only thing I was concerned about was the weather. We have had very mild conditions right to November, and the week of the race was still 55-65 degree mornings. Though I did the Kahru Bear in 95 degree weather, it was for a 5K, but that certainly led me to know it wouldn’t hurt TOO bad.

Race morning I prepared everything like a normal event. I felt fine despite working a 10 hour shift the night before, so all systems were ready. The fun factor was dominant within me so getting amped for this race was easy. Gina and I got there an hour before start and were saying hello to runners we knew doing some training runs while also checking out the crowds gathering. The start/finish was right at the ballpark so an easy commute and total runners at a few hundred meant the nice local home crowd for a good race benefiting the Isabella Santos Foundation. Kristina got there and we took some pictures as I then became Ice Guy. We lined up towards the front next to the “real race runners” without costume. Don’t know if they took a double look, but Ice Guy’s smiling face behind them sure caught them off guard. With no peripheral vision and only the left eye hole to see out of, I took 3 deep breaths and prepared to race.

It wasn’t a problem getting real estate to avoid someone clipping me or accidentally bumping someone. What was a problem was with each step having the front of the mascot punching me in the face. I remedied that by adjusting my arm motion closer together to balance the shift of the mascot body. By mile 1, I didn’t seem the speedsters and was accompanied by 2-3 guys who shared passing me but I caught them on any slight uphill section. At mile 3 I knew I was in a nice rhythm despite feeling myself sweat profusely and got cheers from every spectator along the course. I tried to grab a cup of water with my big red gloves but since the station was on the right, I whiffed and missed since I couldn’t aim correctly.  It was sunny out and at times I lost total sight of what was in front of me. I was heating up but stayed manageable. I was recording this all on my Polar (average heart rate was 155 and got up to 175).  At mile 4, I made the pass on the 2 guys near me and just put a “cream ice” hammer down on the pace. I had the final half mile all alone and once I saw I was going to break 35, eased up and gave high fives around the line. I finished 10th overall in 34:30 and WON the Masters Division (which was a surprise to the DJ announcing it – which is on the Rita’s Facebook page)

I gave a hug to Gina and started to take pictures with kids and many runners who couldn’t believe Ice Guy beat them. We went to the finish to cheer on Kristina who said she might be around 42 minutes. Turns out she came up to us with a beer in her hand having broke 40!!!! She came in 4th in her age group! Awesome! We spent the next hour spreading Rita’s happiness all around with more pictures, coupons, and high fives. I slowly was hydrating with water and made sure I wasn’t going to cramp.

After the awards, as we headed back to the car, I removed Ice Guy and expected to assess the possible rashes on my forehead and nose. Nope! Aquaphor prevented any of that. The rush of air sure felt good too. Great fun. Despite having to work that afternoon, it was a high that numbed any pain or soreness that was brewing. But no joke, I felt it for a good 3 days afterwards!


So now with the time before ADVENT, it becomes a loud quiet for me. Time to reflect, unwind, and sling forward renew. A graceful time I have come to enjoy, for a challenging it may be each time to see the dark, and for as much as you may find, by dragging it into this light and transforming it new, becomes a reward with Thanksgiving praise.

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