Happy New You, 2014!

In the long running British science fiction Television series, Doctor Who: the lead character: the Doctor doesn’t die: he regenerates.  He’s a time lord from the planet Gallifrey who, when he becomes hold or mortally wounded, undergoes a transformation into a new physical form with a different personality.
The funny thing is, that we all experience regeneration, throughout the impermanence of our lives.
Who you were in the past has only a tenuous connection to who you are today, and who you’ll become in the future.  It is the memory of who we have been that helps to define who we will become.
I know that I would not be who I am today, for better or worse, were it not for the experiences of my past…but of course there are some moments of our lives that we wish we hadn’t experienced…events, periods, even years of which I would gladly remove from my memory, if I could.
The Spanish Philosopher George Santayana once wrote that: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”, and of course he’s right.  It stands to reason that although we cannot change the past, we alter the future.  That’s where we’re going, everyone of us…and that we we have to use what we experienced to make the world a better place.
I believe that the exercise we should focus on, in addition to running: is to acknowledge and embrace impermanence every day.
I’ve spoken about impermanence before…this “Goodness of reality” as the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron calls it.  Impermanence is the ever changing world, and lives that we live in.
Who you were in the past has very little to do with who you are today, because the events that you experienced has changed you.  Science may have found a way to pluck out the bad memories, and accidents, illness, diseases of the brain or age may accomplish the same effect…but we need to remember and consider that all of our life experiences have brought us to where we are today, and even if you don’t like who you are, even if you feel trapped within your own being: that’s gonna change too. I hope, for all of us: that change is an improvement from who we’ve been.
In her book “When Things Fall Apart” Pema Chodron writes:
“People have no respect for impermanence. We take no delight in it; in fact, we despair of it. We regard it as pain. We try to resist it by making things that will last—forever, we say—things that we don’t have to wash, things that we don’t have to iron. Somehow, in the process of trying to deny that things are always changing, we lose our sense of the sacredness of life. We tend to forget that we are part of the natural scheme of things. Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality. Many cultures celebrate this connectedness. There are ceremonies marking all the transitions of life from birth to death, as well as meetings and partings, going into battle, losing the battle, and winning the battle.”
So take the time to celebrate this new year of 2014.  Celebrated your impermanence and how who you are today can only improve…like a fine Bordeaux, over time.  Last year, and all of the years of your life are over.  The New Year really is the beginning of your new life. Respect impermanence and all the changes you will experience.
Our regeneration begins now, and once the process starts it cannot be reversed. 
As the 13th Doctor played by the actor Matt Smith explained:
“It all just disappears, doesn’t it? Everything you are: GONE in a moment like breath on a mirror. 
Any moment now, he’s a coming…but times change and so must I…
We all change. 
When you think about it, we're all different people all through our lives…and that's okay, that's good, you got to keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.“
Happy New Year.
I’m Steve Runner, reminding you to run long and taper.


Merry Always and The Son of Reprieve

I’m not going to wish you a Merry Christmas…and before you start thinking that I’ve gone all “politically correct” on you; rest assured I have not.  
See, I’m of the belief that we should have “glad tidings of comfort and joy” all year long…every day; and that to highlight a single day for my wish for your merriment, love, joy and peace: well, look -> that’s kinda pathetic.   I want you to be happy every day, every single moment of every day: not exclusively on the Winter Solstice: the one day of the year when the light from the sun shines the shortest in the Northern Hemisphere.
Now: I’m not saying that I won’t appreciate and accept a hearty “Merry Christmas” from you on or before December 25th….I’m just saying that we shouldn’t limit ourselves to the heartfelt expression during the holidays. Furthermore, there are many of you listening out there who do not believe in either the spiritual of historical Christ…thus to wish you a Merry Feast on the Birth of the Christ would be rather moronic of me…and again, let me be clear: I’m not saying that those of you who believe in and follow Christ are wrong in wishing those who do not a Merry Christmas…I’m just saying that the sentiment, the wish should be bigger, more profound and all encompassing than a specific wish on a specific day..  We need a bigger phrase than Merry Christmas, how about “Merry Always”.
So, Merry Always everyone…my wish is for you to be happy every day, for you to be free of suffering, to experience love, joy, and peace constantly.
My audio-podcast gift to you this season is the gift of a poem.  It’s written by Andrew Barton Paterson…also known as as Banjo Paterson…and Australian Bush Poet, journalist and author; born in 1864 and died in 1941.
The poem I’ve chosen to read for you is one that might give you something to think about while you’re getting your miles in through the end of the year.
Old Pardon, the Son of Reprieve 
by Andrew Barton Paterson
You never heard tell of the story? 
Well, now, I can hardly believe! 
Never heard of the honour and glory 
Of Pardon, the son of Reprieve? 
But maybe you're only a Johnnie 
And don't know a horse from a hoe? 
Well, well, don't get angry, my sonny, 
But, really, a young un should know. 
They bred him out back on the "Never", 
His mother was Mameluke breed. 
To the front -- and then stay there - was ever 
The root of the Mameluke creed. 
He seemed to inherit their wiry 
Strong frames -- and their pluck to receive -- 
As hard as a flint and as fiery 
Was Pardon, the son of Reprieve. 
We ran him at many a meeting 
At crossing and gully and town, 
And nothing could give him a beating -- 
At least when our money was down. 
For weight wouldn't stop him, nor distance, 
Nor odds, though the others were fast; 
He'd race with a dogged persistence, 
And wear them all down at the last. 
At the Turon the Yattendon filly 
Led by lengths at the mile-and-a-half, 
And we all began to look silly, 
While her crowd were starting to laugh; 
But the old horse came faster and faster, 
His pluck told its tale, and his strength, 
He gained on her, caught her, and passed her, 
And won it, hands down, by a length. 
And then we swooped down on Menindie 
To run for the President's Cup; 
Oh! that's a sweet township -- a shindy 
To them is board, lodging, and sup. 
Eye-openers they are, and their system 
Is never to suffer defeat; 
It's "win, tie, or wrangle" -- to best 'em 
You must lose 'em, or else it's "dead heat". 
We strolled down the township and found 'em 
At drinking and gaming and play; 
If sorrows they had, why they drowned 'em, 
And betting was soon under way. 
Their horses were good uns and fit uns, 
There was plenty of cash in the town; 
They backed their own horses like Britons, 
And, Lord! how we rattled it down! 
With gladness we thought of the morrow, 
We counted our wages with glee, 
A simile homely to borrow -- 
"There was plenty of milk in our tea." 
You see we were green; and we never 
Had even a thought of foul play, 
Though we well might have known that the clever 
Division would "put us away". 
Experience docet, they tell us, 
At least so I've frequently heard; 
But, "dosing" or "stuffing", those fellows 
Were up to each move on the board: 
They got to his stall -- it is sinful 
To think what such villains will do -- 
And they gave him a regular skinful 
Of barley -- green barley -- to chew. 
He munched it all night, and we found him 
Next morning as full as a hog -- 
The girths wouldn't nearly meet round him; 
He looked like an overfed frog. 
We saw we were done like a dinner -- 
The odds were a thousand to one 
Against Pardon turning up winner, 
'Twas cruel to ask him to run. 
We got to the course with our troubles, 
A crestfallen couple were we; 
And we heard the " books" calling the doubles -- 
A roar like the surf of the sea. 
And over the tumult and louder 
Rang "Any price Pardon, I lay!" 
Says Jimmy, "The children of Judah 
Are out on the warpath today." 
Three miles in three heats: -- Ah, my sonny, 
The horses in those days were stout, 
They had to run well to win money; 
I don't see such horses about. 
Your six-furlong vermin that scamper 
Half-a-mile with their feather-weight up, 
They wouldn't earn much of their damper 
In a race like the President's Cup. 
The first heat was soon set a-going; 
The Dancer went off to the front; 
The Don on his quarters was showing, 
With Pardon right out of the hunt. 
He rolled and he weltered and wallowed -- 
You'd kick your hat faster, I'll bet; 
They finished all bunched, and he followed 
All lathered and dripping with sweat. 
But troubles came thicker upon us, 
For while we were rubbing him dry 
The stewards came over to warn us: 
"We hear you are running a bye! 
If Pardon don't spiel like tarnation 
And win the next heat -- if he can -- 
He'll earn a disqualification; 
Just think over that now, my man!" 
Our money all gone and our credit, 
Our horse couldn't gallop a yard; 
And then people thought that we did it 
It really was terribly hard. 
We were objects of mirth and derision 
To folks in the lawn and the stand, 
Anf the yells of the clever division 
Of "Any price Pardon!" were grand. 
We still had a chance for the money, 
Two heats remained to be run: 
If both fell to us -- why, my sonny, 
The clever division were done. 
And Pardon was better, we reckoned, 
His sickness was passing away, 
So we went to the post for the second 
And principal heat of the day. 
They're off and away with a rattle, 
Like dogs from the leashes let slip, 
And right at the back of the battle 
He followed them under the whip. 
They gained ten good lengths on him quickly 
He dropped right away from the pack; 
I tell you it made me feel sickly 
To see the blue jacket fall back. 
Our very last hope had departed -- 
We thought the old fellow was done, 
When all of a sudden he started 
To go like a shot from a gun. 
His chances seemed slight to embolden 
Our hearts; but, with teeth firmly set, 
We thought, "Now or never! The old un 
May reckon with some of 'em yet." 
Then loud rose the war-cry for Pardon; 
He swept like the wind down the dip, 
And over the rise by the garden 
The jockey was done with the whip. 
The field was at sixes and sevens -- 
The pace at the first had been fast -- 
And hope seemed to drop from the heavens, 
For Pardon was coming at last. 
And how he did come! It was splendid; 
He gained on them yards every bound, 
Stretching out like a greyhound extended, 
His girth laid right down on the ground. 
A shimmer of silk in the cedars 
As into the running they wheeled, 
And out flashed the whips on the leaders, 
For Pardon had collared the field. 
Then right through the ruck he was sailing -- 
I knew that the battle was won -- 
The son of Haphazard was failing, 
The Yattendon filly was done; 
He cut down The Don and The Dancer, 
He raced clean away from the mare -- 
He's in front! Catch him now if you can, sir! 
And up went my hat in the air! 
Then loud fron the lawn and the garden 
Rose offers of "Ten to one on!" 
"Who'll bet on the field? I back Pardon!" 
No use; all the money was gone. 
He came for the third heat light-hearted, 
A-jumping and dancing about; 
The others were done ere they started 
Crestfallen, and tired, and worn out. 
He won it, and ran it much faster 
Than even the first, I believe; 
Oh, he was the daddy, the master, 
Was Pardon, the son of Reprieve. 
He showed 'em the method of travel -- 
The boy sat still as a stone -- 
They never could see him for gravel; 
He came in hard-held, and alone. 
* * * * * * * 
But he's old -- and his eyes are grown hollow 
Like me, with my thatch of the snow; 
When he dies, then I hope I may follow, 
And go where the racehorses go. 
I don't want no harping nor singing -- 
Such things with my style don't agree; 
Where the hoofs of the horses are ringing 
There's music sufficient for me. 
And surely the thoroughbred horses 
Will rise up again and begin 
Fresh faces on far-away courses, 
And p'raps they might let me slip in. 
It would look rather well the race-card on 
'Mongst Cherubs and Seraphs and things, 
"Angel Harrison's black gelding Pardon, 
Blue halo, white body and wings." 
And if they have racing hereafter, 
(And who is to say they will not?) 
When the cheers and the shouting and laughter 
Proclaim that the battle grows hot; 
As they come down the racecourse a-steering, 
He'll rush to the front, I believe; 
And you'll hear the great multitude cheering 
For Pardon, the son of Reprieve
Ragpicker's Dream
by Mark Knophler 
When Jack Frost came for Christmas
With a brass monkey date
The rail-king and the scarecrow
Hopped a Florida freight
And they blew on their paper cups
And stared through the steam
Then they drank half a bottle
Of Ragpicker's Dream where
The whiskey keeps following
Cold pitchers of beer
Me and my associate
Like the clientele here get
The onions and the 'taters
Rib-eyes on the grill
Toothpicks and luckies
And a coffee refill as
The rail-king lay rocking
He was leaving the ground
Then he was flying like Santa Claus
Over the town where
He came to the window
Of a house by a stream
It was a family Christmas
In the Ragpicker's Dream there
Were kids at the table
All aglow in the light
Music in the wintertime
Sure carries at night there
Was turkey and gravy
Pie and ice cream
And gifts for each and everyone
In the Ragpicker's Dream where
The red-eye keeps tumbling
In our glasses of beer
Me and my associate
Like the service in here there's
A ten for your trouble
You have beautiful hair
Make the last one two doubles
It's a cold one out there where
The scarecrow and the rail-king
Have started to dance
But a nightstick and a billyclub
Won't give peace a chance here
I think they went thataways
Your song and dance team
Heading home for the holidays
With the Ragpicker's Dream on
His knees like a fighter
The rail-riding king
Like a sack of potatoes
Like a bull in the ring where
The scarecrow falls over
With a tear in the seam
Home for the rover
In the Ragpicker's Dream where
The red-eye keeps tumbling
Like tears in our beer
Me and my associate
Like the ambience here where
They cornered two castaways
In a white flashlight beam
Merry Christmas and happy days
In the Ragpicker's Dream
It is an honor to run with you.

I’m Steve Runner wishing you a Merry Always.


Whining in a Winter Wonderland

HEY GUESS WHAT? It's snowing again today...yeah...seriously...and it's FRICKIN 4 DEGREES BELOW ZERO!  I love this weather! It's the best!  Listen in as I slowly go INSANE! Bah Humbug.




So.cial Net Run.ning
Fe.liz An.i.vers.ari.o
el Mo.jo Lo.co

It was three years ago, on December 11th 2010, that I met up with some of the coolest fellow runners I have ever had the honor to run with.  Ii was a fifty mile relay with friends from the Haunted Lighthouse in St. Augustine to the Clamshell Bandshell on Daytona Beach Florida. 

We thought global, and ran LOCO: http://teammojoloco.blogspot.com

Fdip257: The Mojo Loco

The friends who I ran the Mojo Loco with are listening to this right now, Chris and Chris, Eddie, Nik, Dan, Mat, Susan, Steve, Samantha, Norm, Adam  and Maddy. 
  • They’re wondering to themselves: “How is Steve going to tell this story? 
  • How will be express the narrative? 
  • What imagery will he call upon? 
  • What great message will he send forth throughout the tubes of the Interwebsto tell the world about this Mojo Loco?

So this is for my fellow teams mates; dedicated runners all; who accepted the challenge and call of the Mojo Loco and contributed by their presence to a happening: 

Guys, I thought about it…I really did.  In the days following the Mojo Loco I had a lot to digest, thoughts and ideas, feelings and revelations. 

I know you did as well.

I could have told the story of how we met at the Starbucks in Daytona Beach and drove North to St. Augustine.  I could have told the story about the many stops we made along the way and the twelve legs of a run we accomplished together.  It would have been a good story: interesting, entertaining and fun to hear; but it wouldn’t have been a GREAT story.

The GREAT story that I wanted to tell was all about YOU. 

Each of you brought something of yourselves to this event, where the whole of our group was far greater than the sum of its parts.  YOU are the story that needed to be told here, and if you want to call that wishy-washy mumbo-jumbo gobbily goop: go for it, but you know I speak the truth.

What we did, together, as a Team, is something so important…something that everyone who’s listening to the sound of my voice right now, can and must become a part of. 

If indeed, we are indomitable as a team of thirteen runners from around the world, then other Mojo Loco events must be organized, and other teams assembled: because think about the good we can do in this world.  Think about how we can motivate and inspire others to lace up their shoes and use their athletic potential for creative and social good!

The Mojo Loco wasn’t about bib numbers and racing forms, entry fees and complementary tee-shirts.  It was about US, It was about Chris Russells good humor, and Eddie Marathons sincere kindness, Nik’s artistic talent and Dan’s great ability for prose. 

The Mojo Loco was about Susan’s perseverance, Marathon Chris’s dedication, Samantha’s joy of running and Matt’s exuberance for sport. It was about Adams creativity, and Norms determination, Steve Choppers generosity of friendship, and Maddy’s inspirational passion.

This was an event, never to be duplicated yet oft to be repeated.  The story to be told here was all about the Team: the runners who came together to share the road and our time.

Of this you can be certain: there will be other Mojo Loco’s, and other opportunities for this team and others to meet, run, talk and savor the luxury of each others companionship.  Something magical happened on December 11th, between the cities of Saint Augustine and Daytona Beach Florida: something that developed in ten hours the way a fine wine might improve over ten years. 
Thirteen acquaintances: like minded souls brought together through social networking and new media met for coffee and became good friends.

That’s the promise of el Mojo Loco…it sounds crazy, it sounds ridiculous: but you who experienced know better: and through each of us, so will our community.

It was, without a doubt, an incredible honor to meet and run with you; but it was a special precious privilege to become your friend. 

Viva el Mojo Loco


This is a podcast. Stick it in your ear.


Using the Force

Nahhh...it's not what you think (Hans fired his blaster first!)...instead I'm talking about a new gadget that I recieved in the mail last night.  These are my first impressions of the Fitbit Force.


Cold Storage Brave Hearts

My local ball club has a name: The Worcester Bravehearts are an independent baseball club, part of the Futures Baseball league.  http://www.worcesterbaseball.com It's a fitting name for a town full of Woo! (and I mean that in a good way).