30 Days of Gratitude – Day #18, Being Recognized


Continuing with my 30 Days of Gratitude, I am reminded that we are never too old to appreciate having something nice said about us.

Day #18 – Aw shucks, thanks πŸ™‚ !

OK, being honest here I got nominated for a Liebster award by Carmy last week, and thought about how I was going to integrate that into my Gratitude posts … and then on Friday I got a great recognition from the leadership of the project I am working on for some things I have done. This was great for multiple reasons – it is always great being recognized for hard work, I am enjoying what I am doing and feel like I am making a difference on a project that has the potential to make a REAL difference, and well … it gave me an excuse to do another Liebster post disguised as a Gratitude post! ha!


So first off, thanks to Carmy for this excuse nomination … and let’s go!

1. What is your current health related goal?

Maintain my weight (no more, no less) and state of fitness (best of my life) and keep up my running through this stupid winter we’re starting to feel!

2. What is your biggest irrational fear?

Getting stuck. I am sure this related to always being heavy and large (separate – I am not a small person even at my thinnest), but also because I have two occasions in my childhood that I always go back to. One time in the woods behind my grandmother’s house we were exploring rocks and there was one that had a decent sized entry but the exit was too narrow for me … I started to try but no way – fortunately I could back out easily enough. The other time a few friends and I were swimming and going through the ladder … and I got stuck. Fortunately I was tall and strong enough to get myself up and breathing and then out … but it scared the crap out of me.

3. Do you enjoy wrapping presents?

As a thing unto itself? No … but in the context of giving to others, especially the wife and boys, I totally get into it. When the kids were little wrapping didn’t matter. But now it does – so we will try to disguise what is actually in the package. It makes it loads of fun.

4. What’s your favorite cross training activity?

Biking – because it is something Lisa and I can do together. We did a couple this year, and my fave was our picnic 15 miler to Sperr Park.

5. If I came to visit you, what would we do?

Definitely go for a run through the area – maybe head to the Catharine Valley Trail for a scenic run. Depending on the weather we would hike one of the gorges, do a picnic up at the top … or if it is lousy we could hit the Corning Glass Museum then explore market street and end up at the Market Street Brewery (then Market Street Coffee and Tea after!).

6. You have 2 weeks off of work and 2 round trip plane tickets to ANYWHERE. Where would you go and who would you take?

I would take Lisa, and we would go to England, starting in London and working our way all around the UK.

7. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you during a run or race?

During my first run of the Red Baron Half Marathon I was coming to the final water stop. The road had been recently repaved, so the water stop was just off the side, and there were rough edges … and I caught one and went tumbling forward and almost took out a woman handing out water and the whole water table! haha um, yeah, embarrassing. Couple of scrapes, but nothing compared to how silly I felt!

8. Tell me the 3 best days of your life. Or at least the first 3 that pop into your mind.

The birth of our first son is definitely one of those days – Lisa had a c-section, but the OR was like a party, and Danny was so healthy and everything was just amazing and awesome.

My beautiful picture

That day when Lisa and I got together with our mutual friend in Boston and Lisa was getting off from work at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, coming down the stairs with a huge smile and her hair braided back … it is a magical moment emblazoned in my memory even 25 years later.


The third one that comes to mind is ‘our wedding’ … but it is funny, and Lisa and I were talking about it this weekend. We each grew up as ‘pleasers’ and it was something we worked on for many years, so it was hard to ever feel like the time leading up to our wedding was ‘ours’ – her family was in a power struggle and for my family our wedding felt like a speed bump on their quest for a great vacation with friends. And when we were married we had to deal with the shenanigans her cousins played in our room (oh so funny), and as we visited both after-parties we felt like an after-thought and were happy the next morning to be gone on our honeymoon. But we had seemed to forget how to relax.

So for my third day it would be Wednesday of our honeymoon – we’d absorbed being married, adjusted to being in a resort with a few hundred other couples with the same anniversary, and made a decision to relax. That day we were away from the hustle and bustle, playing ‘lawn chess’ with the big pieces, taking time on the tennis courts, hitting the beach to read, relaxing sitting in front of our bungalow … perfection.


Another memorable day that I would love to count as one of my ‘best’ was the birth of Christopher. But the c-section was very difficult due to extensive scarring – and ended up with Lisa in the horpital for two weeks, and having a recovery that took her 9 months to truly feel better. And Christopher decided to join the party by nearly drowning in the amniotic fluid and have a traumatic entry, then later on stopping breathing and turning blue in front of me and ending up in the NICU. Definitely a defining moment in our lives.

9. Okay, you HAVE to eat a fast food meal. What restaurant would you choose and what would you order?

Does Panera Bread count? No … ok.

Then I would choose Subway, and get the turkey footlong on the honey oat bread, loaded up with every veggie they offer and with honey mustard for dressing.

10. Have you ever met a celebrity?

I have, but I am not a ‘star struck’ person and think the whole ‘cult of celebrity’ thing is really bizarre. But one of my favorites was meeting guitarist John Scofield in the elevator of the Charles Hotel in Cambridge and just chatting for a few minutes. He had just released Electric Outlet and was just about to finish his time with Miles Davis, and I was just a college freshman and was totally into his music, and it was a great couple of genuine moments.

11. Share a picture of yourself in non workout clothes!

Unlike what seems like the majority of bloggers, I actually spend the majority of my time in non-running clothes! Here you go:


12. If you could choose to have a β€˜do-over’ and switch careers, what would you choose and why?

If I had known I would veer towards optical physics as I finished my degree and throughout my career, I think I would have chosen University of Rochester (at the time Kodak was SO huge and the university center on electro-optics was world-leading) … but then I wouldn’t have met Lisa and my boys and had all of my other life experiences.

I am never good at these ‘do over’ things …

13. If you won the Olympic Gold Medal – how do you think you would react?

Pure horror that so many talented athletes had died that they had to finally pick me to get the medal.

14. What do you want for Christmas?

Sadly what I need most is clothes. I love buying clothes but hate spending money on myself. So as we hit the fall I have enough work pants and short-sleeved shirts … But I just went through and disposed of about 75% of my long-sleeved shirts because they were all bought in Massachusetts (note: we’ve been more than 6.5 years). So that is where I am at.

Aside from that, surprise, surprise – running stuff. More specifically – running mittens, heated gloves and/or PLEASE something to keep my hands warm! haha

15. What skill do you lack?

There are MANY skills I lack … but I assume it is something that I would WANT?

Photography. I have never been a very good photographer, and although I have become much (much) better through the years, I still suck.

Still looking for more useless nonsense about me?

This is not my first post like this … I have done three before – here, here and here! Enjoy!


OK, so who can I put this one back onto? I looked at Carmy and those who nominated her and those who nominated them (yes, three levels back) and made sure (I hope) I wasn’t double-nominating anyone! I love all of these bloggers and can’t wait to read what they say.

Sara at LifeBetweenTheMiles
Ann at Ann’s Running Commentary
Harold at Harold’s Running Chronicles
Laura at Fit, Fresh and Funny
Cori from She’s Going the Distance
Fallon at Slacker Runner
Michele at Paleo Running Momma
Susie at TheSuzLyfe
Sammi at Peace, Love and Ice Cream
Carina at Carina’s Running Career
Rachel at Darlin’ Rae

And as a bonus …

Danielle at T-Rex Runner for two reasons (1) I always love reading her stuff and (2) she threatened my life the last time if I ever nominated her again.

And … a video!

And this year is my 30th high school reunion, which I can’t attend (7+ hour drive over Thanksgiving weekend? Um, no) and for some reason I have been remembering one of the first high school dances we had – in the cafeteria (much lower ceiling than a gym) and the theme was Celebration … and we heard THIS song a few times …

28 thoughts on “30 Days of Gratitude – Day #18, Being Recognized

  1. Thanks for the nomination πŸ™‚ I’m bad at do-over stuff too, because I can’t help but realize that I’d lose a lot by changes anything. And falling like that at a race sounds pretty rough! I’m embarrassed if I fall when no one’s around so that would kill me!

    • I bet all you have to do is spend a few wonderful/annoying/amazing/exhausting minutes with your kids and realize ‘how could I change my life in a way that might jeopardize THIS?!?’

      And since I have no problem laughing at myself at this point, I think others were more concerned than me πŸ™‚ I still laugh at myself!

  2. Oh, can you even imagine how funny/mortifying it would have been if you had taken out the water table and the volunteer when you tripped? Something like that really might want to make a person never race again.
    Very cool celebrity meet.
    And I laughed re: the Olympics.
    Have you ever tried those handwarmer packets? They feel like they’re filled with gravel, you shake and crunch them a little, and then they give off heat. It’s not cold enough to use them here for running, but we have a packet we take with us to go home for Xmas.

    • Thanks – I did more than trip, I totally ended up tumble-sliding. I wish someone had it on video, it would be hilarious! I really am glad it was just me embarrassing myself – if someone got hurt that would have been really awful!

      This morning we had sub-zero wind chills (posted on Instagram about it) and I found that with my mid-weight gloves inside my heavy winter ‘shoveling gloves’ my hands were toasty the whole time! And thank goodness for runderwear! πŸ˜‰

  3. You kill me with the Olympics comment. That is hilarious. And I am the same way with presents–I like it when things look pretty, but really? I would rather just give it to them! Thanks for the nom!

  4. I can’t lie, I actually LOVE wrapping presents, particularly because of the intention behind the action–giving a gift! I suppose if I weren’t somewhat good at it it could be frustrating, but I love the wrapping paper and bows and stuff πŸ˜€

    That tripping incident sounds awful, but at least you didn’t actually take anybody out. That would have been much worse. I’d take mild embarrassment over causing physical harm any day.

    • Awesome – and you know, some of my best holiday memories are Lisa and I up way too late with Christmas music in the background, drinking egg nog and wrapping stuff for the kids. We would just laugh at everything … πŸ™‚

  5. I loled so much at the Olympics comment. I always enjoy reading more about people and thanks for posting. I hope Danielle doesn’t act upon her word…it would take two blogs that I regularly read (yours and she would be in jail…).

    • Thanks Hollie – I saw that Olympic medal question and thought ‘I have no clue about this’. While I might have dreamed about playing with Bird and the Celtics when I was younger, I never really thought about Olympics. And as for Danielle – she had planned to run Wineglass at some point before injuries and surgeries and so on … so she would have to come meet me (she has an uncle in the area) and THEN kill me. Fair trade, so long as I can get it on Instagram. πŸ˜‰

  6. You and I have very similar tastes in fast food (I would count panera and get the foot long turkey at subway) and the traveling! We’re hoping to go to Ireland, Scotland, and England for our honeymoon next fall!! It’s been a dream of mine to go there for many years now, so Joe is being kind enough to go along (plus he’s always interested in visiting pubs, breweries, and Scotch plants/places they make Scotch so it’s not a hardship for him πŸ˜‰ )

    • It makes me feel like an old man (well, older than I am) that I get the foot long to have half now and half later … πŸ˜‰

      I have traveled to the UK before, but not with Lisa or the boys. These last couple of years we have spent loads of money sending the kids on ‘once in a lifetime’ trips for this or that (ok, sending our older son to Europe for a month … definitely qualifies), so now with college coming up for both – probably not a UK trip anytime soon πŸ˜‰

      As I said, great to have you back and blogging πŸ™‚

  7. Thanks for the nomination Mike! I love your answers, especially what you want for xmas since we were just talking about that. For fast food, I would have asked about Panera too…that is the only “fast food” I eat. A trip to the UK sounds great, we need Ireland for 2 weeks before I got pregnant with Ashton and hands down it was our best vacation! I really hope you guys get there!

    • I didn’t really appreciate the humor in my Olympics comment until I saw it reflected through all of you πŸ™‚ As for fast food – the thought of eating Chicken Nuggets or something like that at this point … yuk

  8. That incident at the water station sounds like something I would totally do! Except probably less gracefully. πŸ™‚ I love wrapping presents but lack the skills to make it look pretty. I’ve always wanted to go to England, but I may never want to leave if I do. Thank you for the nomination!

    • I loved your treadmill story today … funny (especially since you didn’t get really hurt). I loved England when I visited, it feels like being home and away all at once.

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      • because when I was young and was out playing in the back yard and was standing on tope of high snow (walked off the picnic table or something, I was about 5) and was waving at my mom who was in the kitchen window and WHOOMP straight down I went into the snow – totally freaked her out and she went charging out and apparently I was laughing up a storm and thought it was the best thing ever. Fast forward several years to the ‘Blizzard of ’78’ and we had a car next to the garage that had gotten broadsided by a guy running a stop sign and it had no side windows, and the thing was totally covered over, but we made a snow fort out of it and could climb in and out of the windows. Great fun.

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