Yesterday I ran the Irishman races here in town. It's a progressive race, as K called it, where you run the 5 miler at 9am, the 5K at 11:30am, and then a 1 mile race at 2pm before the St. Patty's parade.
Karen ran it with me and I think we were both a little skeptical on how we would do. Neither of us has ran much in the last few weeks. I have been doing P90X so I had some strength training to go on, but Karen had been sick so it was touch and go.
But mostly it was go! We only walked twice during the 5miler for about 20 ft each; the 5K was a little rougher with a couple extra walks; and the 1 miler went great. The only bad part was the course - there were a few spots where the trail was completely covered with deep water, so trying to go around it through the bushes or over rocks made it feel a bit like a trail run. There was one section of all ice and we saw a guy who (I'm guessing) had biffed it there with a really bad head wound - at least it looked that way, but head wounds always bleed more. He was upright and walking back and I'm praying he was okay.
After the races I showered quick, grabbed a full-fledged Whopper (unusual for me) and drove two hours to the Family Program Conference for work. I was receiving an award for Worker of the Year (better title in real life) so I had to be there. It was a great time, except they had no Guinness to complete my Irish day. I did get ice cream though (full-fat ice cream, no less) so that kind of made up for it.
This morning we finished the conference with Rick Nielsen, founder of Blueprint for Life, Inc. He spoke about how what we say really makes a difference. He's done a lot of work in prisons, meeting and speaking with some of the most notorious (including Charles Manson). He spoke of how at one prison the captain of the death-row cell block gave those men hope. They would go to each cell and the captain had so much to say about them - this one is great with art, this one writes poems, this one can sing. It was really amazing. The sad thing is, at one death row place Rick went, he was told that he was the only visitor this one inmate had had in 8 years of the 10 he had been there.
He spoke of how he would ask them about their tattoos and their former life. Overwhelmingly the inmates would say how in school (at a young age, no less) they would be told they were a loser or if they kept up whatever it was, they would end up in prison. They were constantly put down. His message was that we need to speak positively and reinforce the good in people - maybe we wouldn't have all these problems we have today.
It reminded me of a book I had gotten in seminary called "How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work" by Kegan and Lahey. I haven't read it but it's been sitting on my table for about a month. I'm going to read it now. It's so crucial. I think back to my college years and how I wasn't "quite" good enough to have the lead role in plays because "I didn't look the part". It wasn't that I wasn't skilled, but I didn't look right. I know that has effected (affected?) the way I continue to look at myself today. It's a struggle to get past that.
Anyway...that's a heavy load for today, but uplifting at the same time. And with that, I leave you with: Happy Pi Day! :)