Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement


42 Years in the Making (And Not Done Yet)

How I Spent My 42nd Birthday

The Gift
Aliz gave me my gift early: a Garmin GPS watch - the Forerunner 201. Runners and bikers like these because it tracks distance and pace, and when I load the info into the computer, will show a map of where I have been. While I know where I have run, this is especially handy showing accurate distance, knowing I crossed streets or ran straight down the middle of the road, running on a sidewalk versus the grass, and, if I run in the woods, it knows exactly where, even if I go only where the deer run.

I slept poorly Friday night, and woke up at 4:40 am. Laid in bed until 5:30 am, got up, made coffee, checked my e-mail. Happy birthday from a few people, some of which I had not heard from in a while. I sent a long e-mail to my brother.

The Race
At 8:00 am, I ran a 5K (3.1 miles). It was sponsored by a Catholic church in Downer's Grove -- a very local, modest race, without all the fanfare of a big race. All went more or less until around the 2.5 mile area. A large dog ran out of his yard directly at me, growling. This was not a friendly, "How're YOU doin'?" kind of dog, but a dog that thought I was fast food (Get it? Runner = fast food - ha ha [*cough cough*]).

The Finish Line
I had my best race since 1999, got 18th place out of 230, finishing with a 21:35.5. That's not very fast, as any high school kid will tell you, but let's see what they've got when they're 42! In fact, compared to the others in my age group, I did OK. I have a little red third place ribbon to prove it. That's the first age group award I have won since maybe the late 1980s, when I was in college.

The Zoo
I headed home, and Aliz took me to a surprise, Brookfield Zoo. First on the list was the Dolphin Show. I can't remember if my brother and I saw it as kids, so this became a priority. Nice, but not quite the spectacle I expected (say that fast). I wanted dolphins flying hundreds of feet into the air, snatching a fish from some tiny kid's hand. Then, I hoped the dolphin would dance in sync to a Michael Jackson song, like the famous YouTube dancing walrus.

Onward to the rest of the zoo, we worked our way to most of the exhibits. We saw the giraffes -- which is one of my first Brookfield memories, seeing it with my Grandma and Grampa Trendl.

While in one of the primate exhibits, a baboon (that is a baboon, no?) decides it is time to get his funk on. No music, just a baboon dancing to an unheard band. Sometimes, you just gotta shake what your momma gave you.

When I was 21, none of this would have been all that tiring. Now, I was exhausted, but there was one more important stop to make: dinner.

The Meal
Dinner was planned at a place in LaGrange, but one quick look around, and we 'Plan B'ed it to Uncle Bub's, a favorite Westmont BBQ joint, a favorite. We split a meal, and headed back.

The Age
So now, in the beginning of my 43rd year, stuff aches, my hair is starting to turn gray, and, a middle-aged favorite, ear hair. But, all is not dour. I weigh significantly less than when I was 40, my resting pulse and blood pressure are very good, and, my back no longer hurts (thanks to the weight loss and general getting into shape).

The Rest
Such was one day of the 15,341 lived thus far. Only a hundred thousand more to go. Better use 'em right.
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