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My brave Ani 5K #340 (25 remaining)

 

It is with a heavy heart that I’m posting this about my daughter Ani who is a student at  Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida.

While hanging out with friends whom she knew, she was raped over the weekend.  The roommate of a co-worker offered her a ride and committed this cowardly act on her.

When I first found out about it, I went numb and didn’t’ quite know what to do.  Then the usual emotions of rage, anger and sadistic thoughts of chopping one’s member off and feeding it to him through a straw came to mind.

For a brief moment I thought Ani would be the covered in shame and hide in a shell.  But, anyone who knows Ani knows she is a very outspoken person.  Not only did she press charges against the rapist, but she posted it on Facebook, included a picture of him and brought him to swift justice!  This monster is now sitting behind bars because I’m guessing he was counting on her being so ashamed that she’d keep it quiet.

Often times these cowardly predators count on their victims hiding in shame.  Ani, instead was more concern about other girls who may need the strength to come forward too.   I’m very proud of Ani for facing her fear and coming out about what happened to her.

Please ladies (and guys), if someone violates you, the best healing is to talk about it with others.  Come forward and bring the villain to justice.  Shame can only exist in isolation.  The moment you share an awful experience with another, healing begins.  Chances are great that you are not alone in your suffering.

A friend of Ani’s has created a support page for her if you would like to help her in this healing process.  Anais Rape Treatment Fund

I dedicated my 5K run to my beautiful, caring, funning, jovial, intelligent, creative and loving daughter Anais.  I decided to run in a place that I know to be full of beauty like her.  She loves butterflies, so I thought what a good place to start my run at the Butterfly Garden on West Orange Trail.

 

My run times are slow, as I stopped quite a bit to take pictures of beauty to remind myself that even when life gets ugly, there is beauty if you look for it.  To find some place I can begin to process all the emotions of such an experience.

finding beauty during an ugly time

finding beauty during an ugly time #2

 

finding beauty during an ugly time #3

beauty #4

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A nice cushy run route

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beauty 10

Beautiful house along the trail

A great place to sit and reflect

Butterfly garden photo op

beauty is everywhere

 

As a final positive word, I came across the sign during the final steps of my 5K.


The route I chose was the perfect place to get healing.  Lots of beautiful flowers, pond, birds, trees, and a soft covered trail to ease my sore body.  I ran a really fast loop that I dedicated to Ani to symbolize a speedy healing for all impacted. I was hoping that my 25 remaining 5K would be about something other than this, but we can’t control what life throws at us sometimes.  https://www.strava.com/activities/602281279/embed/7dd4d959b8d569d108547b05bc7da82db3df0ead“>Ani’s rape awareness 5K #340 (25 remaining)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beat the heat 5k #338 (27 left)

My whole objective for this run was to get out early and avoid the ever increasing heat.
It has been extremely hot and humid, especially by my normal early evening run. The longer I wait in the day to run my 5K, the hotter it gets and more miserable I feel.

My run was a “sweatfest”, my main objective was to find a route where it was mostly shaded in my neighborhood.  By the time I got out there, it was already a “cool” 87 degrees and getting hotter.  I did manage to find a route where the path was about 70% shaded.

My favorite Florida tree the crepe myrtle

 

Amazingly after two days of running with my old shoes (misplaced my new shoes), my knees started to hurt. I’m still amazed at how a little worn down rubber can make my knees hurt.  After about two miles, I felt a jarring pain in my left knee that caused me great concern.

Luckily this run was on my new shoes, but it appears as though the damage has already been done. I’ll have to monitor this latest injury as I continue these last days.  #339 5K

 

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Let’s go Lego 5K #335 (30 remain)

I can’t believe I only have 30 runs left. I wanted to run someplace I have never been before on this landmark day.  Legoland is the magical place I decided to go.


There were lots of cool photo ops. I didn’t go in the park itself, but the hotel and surrounding areas were nice.


I wound up running on some rolling hills which were not fun.


I was a bit tired at the end of my run, but the hills and heat took a toll. 335th 5K

 

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I cracked my iPhone 5K #326 (39 remaining)

My daughter Amaya has been sick and working hard on giving it to me. I’ve manage to fight off the germs so far. I’m wondering if all this running has made me almost bulletproof?  A couple of times during this run streak I’ve almost caught a few colds and flu symptoms. I’ll get a scratchy throat or runny nose, but the bug will never fully take ahold of me.

My run was good without much drama. My main struggle seems to be with boredom of running the same routes over and over again. #326th 5K

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This is the turtle I saw 2 days ago, not so bulletproof

I did subscribe to YouTube Red, which allows me access to all my old childhood music and videos even with the screen off. My best running song today was one of my all time jams.  Mama used to say

At the very end of my run, I stop to take a selfie and my iPhone slips out of my hand cracking and scratching it up. Is there a worst feeling to dropping your phone??

Dropping my iphone while taking this pic, makes this one costly selfie (I did find 20 cents)

I like to keep my phone in a case, but take it out sometimes when I run as it fits easier in my waist belt without the case. Plus I like to have my phone ready for any photo ops that I might miss taking my phone out.

Oh well, what’s done is done. Onto my run in the 30’s remaining.

 

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Family 5K run #305 (60 remaining)


Today was one of those ho hum days.  Feeling quite drained and sore, I was not in the mood for running a 5K.

As it often is in life, when you set out on a great goal and you get down and out, help will come from the least expected places.  Today my unexpected help came from my daughter Amaya aka “The Female Flash”.  Amaya wanted to get one last workout in before her big track meet tomorrow.  Amaya was quite excited to run and stretch with “The Old Man”.

While I didn’t quite share Amaya’s enthusiasm for running today, I could certainly get excited about helping my daughter work through one last training session before her big meet.

We went through an extensive warmup and stretch routine and then a light 5K run.  My son Amante went along for the “ride” so it became a family affair.  The kids didn’t stay with me for the entire 5k, but it was just the boost of energy I needed.  305th 5K

The remainder of my run was nice and steady with no music, just my thoughts.

 

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A speedier 5K #304


Again today I woke up an hour before my scheduled time to awaken.  With sleep being at such a premium, I need to figure out what is going on lately and quick.  I did not procrastinate as much as I did yesterday.  I also made good use of the roller to “iron out” my sore muscles.  Rolling out my muscles must have released some form of hidden energy.

I set out to run a casual pace,  and felt really comfortable at whatever pace I was running.  My curiosity got the best of me and I looked down at my watch to find out what my current run pace was.  Only to realize shouldn’t have looked down at my watch as I was running at a sub 9/min per mile pace.  I was actually running at an 8:14 pace.  I haven’t ran at that pace in a very long time.

I was shocked that I was running that fast as it did not feel like I was going at that pace.  The funny thing about the mind is as soon as I was aware of how fast I was running, I began to fatigue and slow down.  I really believe if I hadn’t looked at my watch, I would have had one of my best run times in months.

As it panned out, I slowed down to a still respectable sub 10 minute pace.  Next time, I will just listen to whatever pace my body wants to run at fast or slow.

https://www.strava.com/activities/563636371/embed/67b16b742b36f7ed45dd261d08dc3233a9560f27

 

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Dave Tyler memorial 5K #303 (62 remaining)

I learned about Mr. Tyler’s passing through my good friend Wendell. I guess I hadn’t allowed myself to grieve when he told me about his funeral last night. Dave Tyler

I was procrastinating about running today. It actually took me almost 3 hours from the time I woke up, to the actual time I started my run. I couldn’t figure out what was causing me to procrastinate so badly? However, during my 5K run, I began to have thoughts of Mr. Tyler. I realized, I really hadn’t had a chance to process the news of his death.

As I thought about Coach Tyler I began to run just a little faster. These tired, sore legs gave one final push for Coach Tyler. 303rd 5K  Also during my run, I couldn’t help but to reflect on my life. Some of my successes and my failures. Life is too short to waste sitting on the sidelines.  Time to really step it up several notches.

Mr. Tyler was a very positive male role model in my life. He taught me how to drive a stick shift. This was a difficult feat on a car where the shifter was located on the steering column. I remember him being very patient with me as I grinded his transmission to dust.

The famed Duster


Coach Tyler  was one of the first coaches to teach me my beloved game of basketball. I remember him picking me up for the various games in different cities and all the practices in that ole reliable Dodge Duster.

Mr. Tyler had an infectious smile that was always warming to be around. I lost touch with him as an adult, but never forgot the positive influence he had on a young black man growing up in the 70’s.

Always giving of his time for the kids


I saw Coach last year delivering fruit to my mom’s house in Ohio.  I gave him a big hug and we talked fitness.   I didn’t know that would be the last time I’d see him.  I would have certainly requested more time to thank him for all he’s done for my life. Perhaps a lunch or something like that to catch up. How we always take next time for granted.

My heart goes out to his sons I balled with Kevin, Gary and David, and all his beloved family.

RIH….

 

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