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My Bucket List

Many of you know that I have been diagnosed with a malignant tumor. Of course, untreated, it's deadly. As it turns out, I ran 2 half marathons, a full marathon, had a 5K PR and a 5 mile PR while having cancer. I am not saying that you should get cancer to run your best, but it's working for me. I won't have any details until Tuesday afternoon. That's when I will find out what the heck is going, how bad it is, and what we are going to do about it.

It's been a long process of blood tests, medication that made me feel like crap, and 3 weeks ago, a surgical biopsy which was pretty gory. Waiting for the results was nerve wracking at moments. I kept busy working on my book from 5 AM until 9 PM, running, praying and being a smartass on MFP.

I do have good news. I am running the Boston Marathon in April even if someone has to push me in a wheelchair. I have an application sitting on my desk. As part of the that I am raising funds though a virtual 5K if you feel like running on March 8th, HERE is the info.

The other good news is that a charity I have previously done fundraising for is going to set me up for the Chicago Marathon in October! I will have confirmation once registration opens in February. There is also a possibility of San Francisco too. If you are going to run, you might as well make sure that it counts for something. I hate cancer, and that is what I can do to help.

All this talk of the Big "C" has made me think about what it is that I really want to do before I die. Here is my list. It is just things that interest me or pertain to people I care about. It's entirely selfish, that's why it's my bucket list.

- Take my wife to Hawaii.
- Get my kid a horse and someone to take care of it.
- Run a marathon in Europe.
- Leave instructions for how I want my life insurance spent.
- Be with my family as often I can.
- Drink coffee in the sunshine with Mrs. J.
- Stay under 200 pounds.
- Die with clean underwear on.

That's it. I have pretty much done it all. I have been to 42 states, 13 countries, put kids through college, run a marathon, been married to the best woman in the world and found faith in God.

The Long Awaited...

ICU to Marathon is on its way to press. I want to thank everyone on MFP who has supported me through this process. You were my cheerleaders, my supporters, my comrades and critics - and freakin' grammar Nazi's too. I could not have done it without you. I have lost about 80 pounds, run a 5K, a 10K, a 5-miler, a 10-miler, a half marathon and yes, a full marathon with your support! I also pooped about 1,290 pounds, drank an average of 10 cups of water per day and survived 4 surgeries.

Should you buy my book? Here is the self-test. Click to enlarge.

Want a copy for yourself or a fluffy freind? HERE is the link.

Stop, Drop and Roll

The gym is the stage for a plethora of strange happenings and paranormal human behavior. It seems that one remarkable occurrence eclipses the next.

One cold afternoon as the wind drifted snow outside, three dozen of us lined up on our treadmills beneath four large flat screen TVs. It was like a scene out of the film A Clockwork Orange. Ellen, Olivia from Law and Order, Pat Summerall and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer lip synched Paranoid by Black Sabbath in my headphones as the miles wore on. I was enjoying my back row view as I thought about finally graduating from the C25K program. I was little bit proud of myself as I ran along at 6.2 miles per hour.

I dreamed of one day pushing it to the maximum of 12!

The tread hummed along circulating on unseen rollers beneath my feet. As the music played, I tried my best to discreetly pass a little gas and headed to the two mile mark. A woman came and took the treadmill next to mine. She fiddled with her water bottle and car keys. From the corner of my eye I saw her pushing every button but the green one to start the machine.

Gym rules don’t allow talking, especially to members with headphones on, of which I was one.

Then she started to bang on the control panel loud enough where I could tell she was frustrated. Because of the no talking rule I pretend not to notice. Furiously pushing buttons and banging on the machine not one of the sheeple came to her aid. Finally I realized that it was my mission in life to hit the quick start button for her. Popping out my right headphone, I asked, “Do you need some help.”

“Do I look like I know what I am doing?” she snapped.

Oh my God, this is a trick question for which there is no right answer. Like a mime, instead of talking, I reached over and pushed the green button. At that very moment I stepped on the side rail of my treadmill, my headphone cord wrapped itself around the handrail. Off the end of the spinning deck I went at 6.2 miles per hour, body slamming the wall behind me. My glasses flew onto the belt, firing them back at mach 10, impaling my left shoulder. The woman turned to see what happened as I was writhing on the floor in pain. As she turned, she too lost her footing. Like a game of Mousetrap, her stupid water bottle came crashing down dislodging the cover and creating a momentary lawn sprinkler as the treads continued to spin.

The runner on the other side calmly switched of both treadmills, grabbing her soggy People magazine and left in a huff. I too decided that it was best to leave. As the silent TVs flashed above the scene like the many marquis of Times Square at night, I put my headphone back in to make sure no one talked to me, and slipped out the back exit. 

You need this book, don't you? ICU to Marathon - Diaries of  Nearly Dead Man
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