Monday, September 7, 2009

Let's Give Thanks for Fall!

THANKS to Grahaeme Hesp for his donation this week!  Grahame and I were classmates turned friends (who spent much of our time with our heads in books and research but found plenty of time for tailgating, bar hopping, and road trips).  As a 2-time participant in the San Francisco AIDS Marathon, he knows what it means to make a physical and financial commitment to a good cause.  Welcome to the map, San Francisco!

THANKS to Frank and Christine Ellington, owners of Camp Bow Wow, who also made a donation this week.  Weekly visits to Camp Bow Wow are the reason that Riley and I are still a family! I rescued her from the shelter, and they rescued her from going back! She gets to run and play with her friends, and I get to pick up an exhausted pup at the end of the day that guarantees for me a quiet evening!  Check out all the campers on the Bow Wow web cams. It’s a puppy party all day! 

I am also THANKFUL for cooler temperatures and an earlier dusk.  With the arrival of fall, my walks are much less sweaty, and much more enjoyable!

I’m THANKFUL for my new kicks (Thanks, Mom & Dad)-I didn’t realize how my walking shoes, only 3 months but 300 miles old, had started to sag until I completed my 8 mile Saturday in my new and refreshed pair!   They are a dazzling wine and gold color combo!

Mostly, I am THANKFUL, elated even, at the return of College Football Season!!  We kicked off the season front row for the NCSU vs. South Carolina game (Thanks for the great seats, Shannon!).  We’ll close out opening weekend with the annual Labor Day FSU vs. Miami rivalry. (Results of this game not available at press time, but Go Noles!)

No matter if you pull for the Longhorns or the Aggies, the Tigers or the Dawgs, the Wolfpack or the Heels (okay, NO ONE who pulls for the Heels reads my blog), there is no match for the pure exhilaration of Saturdays in the fall!!  It’s the time of year when folks trade in the usual “What are you doing this weekend?” for “Where are you watching the game?”  Summer weddings come to a halt-Who gets married during football season? (Except Kim and Adam who did so ONLY after consulting the schedules of the Noles & the Buckeyes-such responsible nuptial planners.) The Saturday uniform of shorts and t-shirts is traded for your favorite team hoodie and lucky blue jeans. The car stays packed with folding chairs and a cooler, just in case a last minute tailgate opportunity presents itself.  Yard work is pushed to the back burner as window panes are pushed up and out to let in the cool fall breeze and the smell of the neighborhood Gameday bar b que.  Ahhhhhhh…..Welcome back, College Football!  It’s been a long 7 months!

Each year, I welcome the weekly ritual of spending the hours of 10am-11pm worshiping the gridiron gods.  This year, I have to figure out how to share the ritual with a 4-6 hour walk each Saturday!   I know that many of you empathize with my situation.  You know the feeling that you get when the rare chore or event conflicts with your Saturday line up.  You have your line up all ready-you’ve researched the complicated, and often convoluted, ESPN/ABC schedule.  Who determines these schedules?  For example, this week at the 3:30 time slot:  I was in NC-home to both East Carolina AND Appalachian State.  No broadcast!  No worries, at the same time slot UGA was playing Oklahoma St.  I was willing to take this game over ECU vs. App because SC faces UGA next week and I’d like to see how they look.  No broadcast!, During the 3:30pm time slot, we were stuck with Baylor vs. Wake Forest.  The official match of “Who gives a darn!”  was in full size while they teased us with score updates and snippets of the best plays happening with the other two, much more exciting but regionally broadcasted, games. 

So you have your schedule all figured out, you have the proper snacks and spirits ready and lined up in the fridge in perfectly measured portions (Does everyone measure their Saturday couch snacks or am I outing myself here?), and something pops up!  You remember it’s your nephew’s birthday and you are expected to be at lunch at Grandma’s house at noon.  NOON!  Kick off for the Vols is at noon!  Or, you promised one of your best friends that you would go visit her wedding location and she wants to go at 6pm, the exact time of the wedding so you get the full effect.  6pm!! That’s prime time for the afternoon games and dangerously close to the 8pm kick off!  The wedding isn’t until May!  Can’t this wait???  Or, the University schedules Open House for potential students and you are expected to staff an information table from 1:00pm-4:00pm.  1-4?  That covers the range of 3 games!  You sympathize, right?

There are few things in this world that are more important than college football.  Finding a cure for breast cancer is one of them!!  As you would expect, I have a plan.  It’s fairly simple because I have 2 DVRs!  That’s right, with 3 televisions and 2 digital recorders, I am certain I can rig up a Saturday system that will allow me to wake up, get to steppin’ on my scheduled walk, return home in time for kick off of the 12:00 game and, during the commercials, I can catch up on the smack talking that Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit offer from 10am-12pm.  I’ll need your help with this plan.  No calling or texting or facebook or Twitter updating with ANY game info!!  I may not be watching it live and your updates (like “OMG!  Bradford shoulder injury may end season!!!”) may ruin the magic for me.

I wish you all the same luck as you reorganize your weekly schedules to put college football in its proper place-2nd on your priority list, right behind curing breast cancer!

This week was an easy training week.  We only had to complete 25 miles.  It took 44,708 steps.  We are back at it next week with the biggest ever Saturday of 17 miles and 13 on Sunday.  Wish me luck!  The total so far:  325 miles and 639,622 steps.

Happy Stepping!  Go Braves!  Go Wolfpack!  Go Seminoles!



  1. I pull for the Heels, Dr. J!

  2. Too funny! This tops your entries! You could be a national blogger with wit such as this! Good luck! Talk with you soon!

  3. welcome to the most wonderful time of year! and best of luck dvr-ing, walking and still being amazing. miss your face!