Monday, October 11, 2010

On Motivation and Cow Bells

Last week I received an email saying I had hit the minimum contribution line for my marathon fund-raising for the Union Settlement Association (there is still time to give). The email came with a big thank you and promises of a loud cheering section somewhere in between 116th and the Bronx on First Ave. Outside of the major accomplishment of raising the funds from extremely generous people, I was happy to hear that our Union Settlement Team would have an extended support section.

Over the past few months, I have logged over 300 miles and I now can attest to the power of the cheering section. A vast majority of these 300 miles have been covered solo. I had a few running buddies, which makes the time pass a bit faster, but the mythical wall still hits you when running with a friend or two. However, for the races I have run, the cheering sections along the path have helped me over that wall.

Let me tell you, there is something about a cow bell; they, surprisingly, have magical running powers so when you hear them you can keep going past that cramp, slight foot pain or complete and udder (sorry had to) exhaustion.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Freedom isn’t Free

I have spent a significant number of hours on US Interstates that take me through what is considered the “Heartland” of the United States. These areas tend to be significantly more socially conservative than areas where I have lived. The beauty of our great country is that we do have plethora opinions and we are all free to express them.

One such opinion that found its way onto bumper stickers in the aftermath of 9/11 and the beginning of the War on Terror was “Freedom isn’t Free;” insinuating that Americans must fight and unfortunately die to protect our sacred freedoms.

I was extremely dismayed to read the LA Times headline yesterday that seems to point to deference towards one set of beliefs over another. “Justices appear set to limit funeral protests” was the top story at This is simply wrong.