For one night of my life, I was homeless. It is a story I have never told publicly, and out of fear, only told my parents within the last year or so. I had no idea how they’d take it. But as an 18 year old freshman at the University of Colorado, for one bitter, unforgettable night, I, too, spent a night on the streets of Denver, Colorado. As a naïve and sheltered kid who grew up in the suburbs, it was an eye-opening experience of a problem I had only ever experienced from afar. Like so many, I spent my childhood with a lot of preconceptions, some true, some not, about homelessness. Even as a teenager, when I spent two summers commuting by bus to my job at the baseball stadium, they were people I would cross the street to avoid. They were the “faceless” individuals in tattered clothes with hands out for help, or huddled in shame and despair in the corners. They are out there, in more places than you realize, and the “problem” most “cosmopolitan” cities would like to legislate out of existe…
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When I became a running coach four years ago, I learned a valuable tool for teaching runners who were just getting started to train for their first race. It goes by different names, but in most coaching circles, it goes by the name Couch to 5k. The idea is that you take someone who is at a very low activity level, and gradually build them up until they are, in theory, able to complete the entire distance, or as much of it as possible, while running or jogging. As a coach, I've spent a lot of time coaching this method to others, but very little time using it myself. My running goals have always been to run fast, competitive times and push myself as hard and as fast as I can. Cue the unexpected twists in the Lord's plan for our lives. In the process of trying to diagnose the source of chest and heart problems, my doctors have, for the most part, nixed my running for the last four months. Two weeks ago, they performed a heart catheterization which resulted in very minimal activi…
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Nine years ago last Monday, I ran my first road race. Eight months ago today, I finished my third marathon. But four months ago, the real race began. I have spent the last four months literally, and figuratively, having my heart tested over and over again. Physically, the aim has been to diagnose exercise-exacerbated chest soreness through an extensive battery appointments and tests culminating in a heart cath Tuesday which leaves me sidelined, even from lifting my daughter, for the next two weeks. So far, the results have been positive, in a sense. There are some issues my heart that go along with getting closer to 40 – some leaky valves and now, it appears, some slight narrowing of the arteries. So, as long as it’s monitored, I am not, God willing, going anywhere anytime soon.