2013 Year in review.

Time passes. Age creeps up on us and years burn off into the ether of our memories.

What was my 2013 about? What did I accomplish? What meaning will I place on this past year in years to come?

As a member of the LIVESTRONG Leader program, I was asked to say a few words about what 2013 meant to me through my work with the Foundation. This is what I said:

“I was honored to be on the LIVESTRONG Leader Training Advisory Council. This Council’s work will help train those new to the Livestrong Leaders program and streamline the process of keeping the existing Leaders in touch with LIVESTRONG’s direction, for many years to come. I was also honored to work in conjunction with Above and Beyond Cancer with their Million Dollar Marathon during which over 100 runners (including LIVESTRONG’s  own CEO, Doug Ulman) ran one after the other passing a baton filled with prayer flags all the way across the US. I attended both the LS Assembly in Chicago and the ACS Annual Research Breakfast here in NC. This year we’ve lost some beautiful friends to that dreaded bastard cancer. My heart is heavy with these losses, but the fire burns brighter than ever with their loving memories to help me focus my efforts for the coming year and further. LIVESTRONG everyone.”

Livestrong Assembly in Chicago at the BEAN

Livestrong Assembly in Chicago at the BEAN

Also in 2013, I ran in my first official Ironman event in Ironman Raleigh 70.3  which I blogged about HERE.

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I fulfilled a BUCKET LIST item in running the Marine Corps Marathon.

Running past The Capitol at Marine Corps Marathon 2013

Running past The Capitol at Marine Corps Marathon 2013

During the Marine Corps Marathon I carried my father’s and my Grandfather’s dogtags to celebrate their service. I am also carried my Grandfather’s Bronze Star, earned when he selflessly put himself in harms way in order to help the men with him. He was seriously wounded by a mortar shell that blew him off a telephone pole. Sadly the rest of his life was spent in an alcoholic rage that all too often was focused on those of us who were family. I knew my Grandfather by his first name, Charlie. From childhood, he told me to call him that. I believe Charlie suffered decades of untreated PTSD which led him to his ultimate self distruction . Back then the idea of mental treatment was not seen as ‘manly,’ it was seen as weakness. PTSD takes the lives of so many of our returning vets, no family should have to suffer a man like Charlie. Untreated PTSD ruins lives. Ride to Recovery is one of my favorite organizations which helps vets learn to deal with the ongoing issues which stem from PTSD. Like LIVESTRONG, they help the people their focus is on. Please consider a small donations to either of these truly worthwhile causes. I ran 26.2 miles for your entertainment, please show your support. 

My year ending marathon for the past few years has been The Space Coast Marathon for a few years now. This year started the Big Bang Series where for the next five years there are a total of SEVEN medals someone can collect for attending the event! Each of the medals celebrate a different Space Shuttle, all of which were launched from Kennedy Space Center at one point or another.

Seven medals in total for running only five marathons! BLING!

Seven medals in total for running only five marathons! BLING!

Check out the BLING!

Check out the BLING!

I also got to visit the Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center. It is AWESOME!!!

With Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center

With Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center

2013 had its challenges and its rewards. Lots of new things began while others have run their course and the time has come to move on. I am looking forward to 2014 and the adventure it brings.

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