One of my favorite authors, Stephen Covey, says, "Begin with the end in mind."
So the first picture of the River to River 2008 is a picture of the finish line/chute they all enter. The race clock is ongoing since the first team left the beginning leg of the race(well, when they left the 2nd leg of the race. The first one had to be scratched because it was under water(yes, it has been flooding here. lol) That just meant that the 1st of 8 runners on each of the 140 teams only had to run 2 legs and the rest had to run 3 legs. The average distance each runner ran was+/- 10 miles.
We arrived on scene about 1 p.m. It was a carnival-like atmosphere. Everything is centered on the grounds of the City Hall in Golconda. You can see the grounds in the background of the first picture as well as some of the ones to come. There were food booths set up, an area for the runners to receive massages as they crossed the finish line and about 3 blocks straight behind the UHaul trailer is the Ohio River. We walked down to see it and that baby is HIGH! Where we walked on the shore last year is now under water.
The weather was cool, cloudy and intermittent rain. I had the most fun I've had in a while. My girls were fun(although right after we got there Kelli doubled over in pain so this "virus" is apparently still acting up and she will be seen this week. Nurse Mom medicated her and kept a watch on her.) Roger had his camera and was having a ball taking pictures. He got a few of Kiereney and me bugging Kelli when her best friend Erica called and said that she was taking Kelli on an all expenses paid trip to NY for Erica's 30th birthday! We couldn't tell what Erica was saying and Kelli's side of the conversation was so intriguing so Kiereney and I ganged up on her to hear what was being said.
The protocol is that the team waits for their last runner in Golconda and as he comes into sight they join him and run in with him so they cross the finish line together. They were down about 6 blocks waiting from us and I spotted the grey and black PT uniforms so Roger zoomed the camera and caught the guys waiting for Ben Bruhn, their #8 runner:
Cadet Michael is 2nd from the left looking at the camera.
Here they are running towards the finish line. The guy to the right of the girl has a red metal baton in his arm. When that baton crosses the finish line, then the team has an official time of how long it took them to run the 80 mile course. For whatever reason, Michael(third from the left with his arm pumping) is out ahead of Ben who has the baton. Maybe he thought this was his 15 seconds of fame? lol
This was after they crossed the finish line and were comparing notes. You can see more of the grounds of the court house.
This is the official team photo. Michael is on the far right. The man with the dark jacket on is their coach, Captain Wyatt. The monument they are standing in front of is Golconda's tribute to all the soldiers who gave their ultimate in Iraq.
This article was one of several in the morning paper but this one concerns Michael's Army ROTC team. If you would like to read more about the race, please go to www.southernillinoisan.com.
Race serves as social, team-building exercise By D.W. Norris, For The Southern Saturday, April 19, 2008 11:08 PM CDT
GOLCONDA - Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige once cautioned, "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."
While plenty of teams come to Southern Illinois looking to outdistance their competitors in the River to River Relay, not all the runners follow Paige's advice. These runners want their friends to catch up with them.
Some active and retired men and women of the armed forces, as well as members of police and fire departments, see the race as an opportunity for a reunion. Others use the race as a team-building exercise.
For Lieutenant Colonel Cristine Gibney, stationed in Fort Hood, Tex., the 21st edition of the race is like an informal welcome home ceremony.
"I was in Iraq last year and they kind of ran in my honor," Gibney said of the 1st Cav's Got Your Back team. "I wasn't there, but I got to kind of be there."
Gibney ran in two River to Rivers before she served her second tour of duty in Iraq as a planner for the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.
Jennifer Greer, the civilian captain of the 1st Cav's team, said having Gibney back in the fold was special, but, "we still will be running for the 1st Cav and everybody who is still over there."
Members of SIU's Army and Air Force ROTC groups used the race as a measuring stick.
"The challenge was to always beat the Air Force," Army ROTC Captain Timothy Wyant said.
Army and Air Force are in the middle of a semester battle for athletic supremacy. Army holds a 2-0 lead in the five-event competition after wins in football and a four-mile run.
The River to River is a pivotal part of the competition. With a Saturday win, Army locks up the series, but Air Force won't go down without a fight. The group usually has the advantage in the River to River.
"We've won the last couple years," Air Force cadet Andrew Miller said. "Last year was the first time they beat us in a long time."
The Champaign PD SWAT team entered the event for the third consecutive year, team captain John Murphy said.
His group of active policemen usually uses the event as a team-building or fundraising exercise. This year things were different.
"One of my guys lost his son in January in Iraq so we're dedicating our efforts this year to his memory," Murphy said. "It's really an honor for us to be able to do something to recognize his sacrifice."
Jon Breeden of the AIR Mobility Flying Feet led a group of active and retired military personnel from Scott Air Force Base. He said that, while the event would seem to be about maintaining physical prowess, that just wasn't the case.
"It truly is a social event. We're all, I guess, what I would call 'stable individuals' so it's kind of a boys' or girls' night out," Breeden said. "You can get out and socialize with your buds."
Not every team's coworkers saw the benefits of the race. Belleville FD Roadrunners captain Gary Frost said the guys in his firehouse question his sanity when they hear about the rolling hills of Southern Illinois.
Still, he won't let that slow down his team.
"Other firefighters that aren't doing it always think (we're) crazy but it is fun to do it," Frost said.
Roger captured Michael walking toward us after the race.
But someone else also saw him and ran over to him.
I would like to introduce my future daughter-in-law, Isabel, who was enamored with Michael. Her mommy ran the race on another team and when she saw Michael's race number on his shorts, she knew he was a runner. Pretty smart for a 15 month old...
I'm a 60 y/o Missouri-born, Illinois-bred married mom of 3(37, 29 and 28), 1 of which(the 29 y/o son) was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army on 10 May 2008 and promoted to 1st Lieutenant in March 2010 and currently deployed to the Sinai Pennisula and returned in May 2011(which is where the Strong came in for my blog name-Army Strong)and now leaving at the end of June 2013 for an 18 month deployment as an aide de camp to a Colonel at the Embassy. He has made the rank of Captain. I love dachshunds, chihuahuas, orange cats, rainbows, quotes, music-total eclectic, and life in general. My blog friends make my life the joy it is. Also a thyroid cancer survivor of NINE years and hopefully counting. God is my pilot and my word for living is BELIEVE
I am the mother of an American Soldier. I give my complete and unwavering support to my soldier. As my son serves the people of the United States, so I humbly offer up prayers for his safety and the safety and health of those he serves beside.. I respect his choice to adhere to a strict moral code and a system of values that has preserved our country over two centuries. I accept that my soldier's first duty is to his country and I understand that this sacrifice he willingly makes is what keeps our nation great. I will never expect anything but the best from my soldier, for I know he is capable. I know that a soldier's heart is true and strong, and that my soldier will endure. I will never abandon my soldier, my son. I will love him unconditionally. He will know I am there with him, even when he is alone. I am disciplined, emotionally and mentally tough, learning to wait for phone calls and letters or emails home. I, like my soldier, am an expert.I stand ready to do whatever I can do to let my son, my soldier, know that we are here for him, behind him, we love him, and I will pray for the swift destruction of the enemies of our country. I am the person who stood guardian of this man who has become my soldier, now our guardian of freedom and the American way of life. I am the proud mother of an American Soldier
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
It's about learning to dance in the rain.
You never know when you're making a memory. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am unwritten, can't read my mind. I'm undefined. I'm just beginning, the pen's in my hand, ending unplanned. Staring at the blank page before you- Open up the dirty window- Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find. Reaching for something in the distance- So close you can almost taste it. Release your inhibitions, feel the rain on your skin. No one else can feel it for you. Only you can let it in. No one else, no one else can speak the words on your lips. Drench yourself in words unspoken- Live your life with arms wide open. Today is, Today is, where your book begins The rest is still unwritten.--Natasha Bedingfield ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option. ~Author Unknown ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.-- Marianne Williamson ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Don't cry because it's over--smile because it happened. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We Are Virginia Tech ~Nikki Giovanni
We are Virginia Tech. We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.
We are Virginia Tech. We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.
We are Virginia Tech. We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands, being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.
We are Virginia Tech. The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open hearts and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.
We are the Hokies. We will prevail. We will prevail. We will prevail. We are Virginia Tech ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Today we are all Hokies."
4/16/07 God bless Virginia Tech, Hokie Nation and the families and friends who were changed by the senseless act of violence on that day. May the peace that passes all understanding be yours one day. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and agressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself to others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all it's sham drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Recently I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, "I love you, and I wish you enough." The daughter replied, "Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom." They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?" "Yes, I have," I replied. "Forgive me for asking,but why is this a forever good-bye?". "I am old, and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is - the next trip back will be for my funeral," she said. "When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, 'I wish you enough.' May I ask what that means?" She began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and she smiled even more. "When we said, 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them." Then turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting. I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
She then began to cry and walked away.
They say it takes a minute to find a special person,an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them; but then an entire life to forget them.
To all my friends and loved ones, I WISH YOU ENOUGH. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I walk down the street. There is a hole.I don't see it. I fall in. It isn't my fault. It takes a very long time to get out.
I walk down the same street. There is still a deep hole. I pretend not to see it. I fall in. I pretend it's still not my fault. It takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street. There is still the same deep hole. I see it. I fall in anyway. It's a habit. I get out quicker this time.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole. I see it. I walk around it. I don't fall in.
I walk down a different street.
Portia Nelson ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
May you be blessed with as much good as your heart can hold. May you always find a way to recognize what is important and holy in a life which can sometimes be painful. Life is a classroom and we are both the students and the teachers. May you find ways in which to learn from all of the experiences of your days, and may you sometimes stop to contemplate who your teachers are and who your students might be. Distinguish what is real, and hold fast to it. Balance.
Deb at Four Angels Mama-a very wise woman indeed. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My Favorite Dachsie Nurse, courtesy of Cuppa Joe(Katie)
From Kimberly D at lifeafter 10/23/08
From dlyn on 09/25/08
From Steph at My Daily Life on 08/10/2008
From Laura at Silence Is Broken dated 07/28/08
From Steph at My Daily Life 05/28/08
From Steph at My Daily Life dated 3/19/08
From Kelly at Whirlwind Lodge dated 2/4/08
From Hallie at Wonderul World of Wieners dated 1/27/08
We will never forget 2/14/08
Virginia Tech Hokies
We will never forget 4/16/07
I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend...
He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning to the end.
He noted that fist came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears...
but he said that what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth...
and now only those who loved her know what that little line was worth.
For it matters not how much we own the cars... the house... the cash...
what matters is how we live and love and how we spent our dash.
So think about this long and hard are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down long enough to consider what's true and real...
and always try to understand the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more...
love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile...
remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read with your life's actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?