Gina made sure I had a sun clock this winter because I always have a mild case of SAD in November/December. We finally got a good patch of cold weather come through and even some snow sprinkles to really make it difficult to consistently get up at 4:30am each morning (it’s not a problem for us to be in bed by 9pm). But that sun clock sure makes a difference as prior experience using one was back when I lived alone in my first apartment in Queens.  Gina now is up to a steady two-a-day walk/jogs of 2-2.5 miles each session!! On the weekends since its too cold for our bike riding, she puts in one long session in the mornings. She’s doing amazing and I’m happy to be with her everyday churning along. She’s hit her goal already but now it’s on to the next one for January. Oh, and her Salted Caramel Apple Sangria is pure genius. I’ve been able to amass 71+ miles of swimming from October-December 31st in a contest at the YWCA Charlotte where you swim the length of Lake Norman (34 miles so yes, I did it 2x!) I did thrash my BlueSeventy wetsuit in the process which needed to be tossed anyway, and now is a ripped “holey” mess. That was a fun challenge and I thank Cynthia, Jeff, and Jody for hosting such an event, but mind numbing-altering-strengthening too. Now we get to take a much needed trip away to Long Island to see Gina’s Dad and I get to visit my parents at St. Charles cemetery nearby for a nice little spiritual blessing. For Christmas time on LI means also a time to run on powerful 25A, sit by the fire doing crosswords with 96 yr. old Arthur, and enjoy the warmth of family, good cooking, and fun with Gina’s sisters and their families.

This Advent has been a real awakening from years past. I now find the time to put in 3-4 good prayer sessions during the day to help reflect on the things around me, the people, and the memories of 2017. I enjoy nothing more than to sit by the tree, listening to Christmas music, the YouTube yule log station, and maybe a cup of hot cider/wine wassail drink and reminisce. And pray a little more. Its been challenging trying to steady the emotions, wondering the why? in questioning behaviors of others, even family to the point of disgust. Yes, the evil darkness of the world creeping in at any instance in every form, but extinguishing it with any form of light you can muster without being exasperated yourself. Reboot, recharge, renew, reborn to live another day.  One song in the mental MC iPod that has been a good reflection during this time (and many others hat innervate well while training) is by one of my favorite bands – Breaking Benjamin:

Merry Christmas. Get L.I.T. yo

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