Sunday, June 3, 2012

Run On The Wild Side 9k

Yesterday I ran my first trail race up in North Carolina. It was definitely one of the hardest races I have ever run. Lots of hills that seem to keep going forever. Luckily, what goes up must come down, but in the world of running, it always goes back up!!! I did well for my first trail race though, 3rd overall and 1st in the 30-39 age division. I was in 2nd the entire race til the last tenth of a mile. The final hill was just too much for me and the guy who had trailed me the whole way had just enough gas to get by me. His time 40:17, my time 40:19... The winner was 40:12. O well, something to work towards next year right? Below are some pics from the race that were in today's Asheville Citizen Times. Since I was by myself and didn't have a photographer with me, I was glad to be in a few of the pics.

The start!

The finish!

That moment of glory and relief that I finally can sit down!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

May 2012

How is it possible that I have missed the entire month of May on the blog? That just goes to show ya how hectic it was. The end of the school year was absolutely crazy!!! Here is a photo replay of the month.

I ran a local 5k called the Mayfest 5k. I won 3rd overall and 1st in my age division. These are 2 of my good friends Molly and Mary Ann that also ran. 

For Mother's Day my mom wanted all the family to do yard work for her. She snapped this pic after we were done!

At school, I cosponsor a 5th grade boys club with our assistant principal. Every year we hold a special mother son luncheon for the boys and their moms. This year I was so proud that my mom got to come too! 

For Teacher Appreciation Week my brother-in-law and sister surprised Matt and I by giving us their old riding lawn mower. My nieces wrote us a sweet note and taped it on the mower before we arrived to get it!

The Bruins finished up our soccer season. Great group of boys!

I tied my first bow tie ever for one of the greatest kids ever! It was 5th grade Honors Day and he told his mom that he knew Mr. D could tie it! Talk about pressure. Thank God for Google!!! Of course Youtube was blocked! I had to look at pictures. It took 30 minutes and a lot of sweat, but I got it. I love that my top button is buttoned in this pic. I forgot to undo it after practice tying on myself!

On the same Honors Day, a former student came by to visit before she left. The visit and note that she gave me were worth more than any check the state could attempt to pay me...This is why I do what I do!

After 2 years with the same students, I dreaded the last day of school. I cried like a big ole baby for most of the morning. They blessed me with a new pair of shoes and an awesome painting below. The birds are their thumb prints. Big thanks to my Class Moms for organizing this. It really made our last day together so special!

Alright folks... there it is, my May in a nutshell. All you stalkers are caught up! Now on to Summer 2012!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Smile Scholar

A few months ago while at a state wide reading conference, I was invited to join a group of educators called Smile Scholars. The group is made up of volunteers who write product reviews for a national educational supplier called Smile Makers. As part of my membership, I receive various items from the company, use them in my classroom, and write a short review for the Smile Makers catalog and website. So far I have received 2 really neat items. I will probably be posting about them here or over at my class blog,

After the review is finished, I submit it to the marketing department and it is used in the catalog along with my picture. Pretty cool huh? When I first volunteered, I had no idea what I was really getting into, but I am so glad I did.  We actually get to choose the products we review, and so far they are great!!! There are all kinds of little perks along the way too! We meet once a quarter as a group to discuss all of the cool items we have been using with our students. I cannot wait for this first catalog with my picture in it. Yes, I will be available for "book signings" as soon as copies are available. Check out my official catalog photo... Does this mean I am a model?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Service With A Smile

Tonight I went out with some friends for our weekly Monday night meal. It's always a dilemma when we choose the restaurant. Finding the right place that will satisfy everyone's appetite can be a battle. This week we knew ahead of time where we were going. I have been suggesting this new restaurant for weeks.

My excitement about trying a new place built as I ran my 6 miler after school. My stomach was aching for some good grub. Much to my disappointment the experience was not great. In fact, I probably will not go back. I wanted to support this place because it is locally owned, yet sadly, the management seemed very unconcerned about our bad experience.

There is no need to bash the restaurant here. I'm sure in time they will meet their fate, however I can offer them some tips. After 10 years as a server, I know a few things about service.

1. If a customer is unhappy, don't let them leave that way. Do whatever it takes to win them.

2. Don't make excuses. Accept full responsibility. Customers are intelligent and can see through it.

3. Be aware of your customers. Fix problems before the become unfixable.

4. Immediate fixes work far better than promises about what you'll do "next time."

5. Don't insult your guests. You need them... and their friends, and their friends, and their friends.

6. When things go bad refills and bread cover a multitude of sins. Don't let those easy things make a bad situation worse.

7. Smile and listen to your guest. They chose your place to spend their hard earned money and to spend their time with friends out of thousands of other restaurants.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Runner Profile

On May 1st, the Spartanburg Running Club sent out their monthly club newsletter. Look who was this month's featured runner! Now onto the cover of Runner's World!!!


A Facebook friend posted this pic on her wall today.

I looked at it and felt a little confused. I wondered for a minute if someone was cleaning a hairbrush, or if someone got into a clash and the bad guy pulled it out. And then, it hit me as I read her caption. It said..."this is really happening." she was talking about her little girl who has recently been diagnosed with cancer and has had to start chemo. This pic will instantly put your day into perspective. Her little girl brought her hair home from school because it fell out during the day. It kinda made my busy, hectic day seem not so bad after all. Pray for this little girl and her family as they face this unimaginable journey together.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Tonight, I had the privilege of attending the South Carolina State Teacher of the Year banquet in Columbia. Below is a view of the ballroom.

This banquet honors all SC district teachers of the year, then culminates with the naming of the state TOY. It was such an exciting night of celebration as we honored the greatest profession. Thanks to my friend Jason for the invite. A big congrats to Amy Mcallister from Johnsonville High School for being named South Carolina's Teacher of the Year.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Common "Senses"

It's almost midnight. My senses are overloaded as I try to go to sleep.

I hear tree frogs.

I see the glow of my iPhone in a dark room.

I feel the coolness of the air that I finally decided to turn on.

I smell my nasty running clothes in the hamper nearby.

I taste nothing because my stomach is empty and growling for a midnight snack.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


This afternoon my nieces invited me to their impromptu Luau. They bought decorations at Dollar Tree, set the table, and even made some pretty flowers for the wall. Of course, everyone got a lei. They even called a few of their friends to join us! We all had a great time, and got the pics to prove it!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Backstage Pass

Sometimes my Macbook Pro sits and stares at me for hours with the screen looking back at me. This is the blank canvas that I use to create the art that is my blog. (Insert a BIG hoot of laughter here!)

Sometimes the ideas for my "artwork" are inspired by amazing life events, crazy shenanigans that I get involved in, or emotional moments I spend with the Lord. Others, like this one are inspired by random comments in conversations. As I was staring at the blank screen tonight, my sister asked, "Is that what it looks like when you blog?" I figured if she was curious about it, then there might be a few thousand readers who needed to know how it looked behind the scene. While I was reading proofreading out loud, my 8 year old niece Taylor informed me that I used a hyperbole...She said, "BB your blog doesn't have thousands of readers. That's and exaggeration." Hehe...she's right, there may be 2 of you who wonder about how I create a blog. I can rest easy you know!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Stats About The NYC Marathon

As I was searching page after page about the NYC Marathon yesterday after I received my official "I'm In" email, I ran across a page of interesting stats about the race. Check these out.
  • 2, 328 Portable toilets
  • Dunkin Donuts serves to the runners 563 pounds of coffee in approximately 45,000 cups. 
  • Poland Springs provides 93,600 eight-ounce bottles of water at the race start as well as 62,370 gallons of water along the course and bottles in the recovery bags at the finish.
  • The Department of Sanitation collects 114.29 tons of litter, 6.34 tons of paper and 3 tons of metal, glass and plastic after the marathon. 
  • The department deploys 173 uniformed sanitation workers as well as 20 supervisors to operate 39 collection trucks, 441 mechanical brooms, seven dump trucks, 21 push brooms and back pack blowers among others to clean up the refuse from the race.
  • At least 2 million and upwards of 2.5 million spectators will line the course and cheer the marathon participants.
  • 10,000 volunteers will assist the NYRR during the NYC Marathon.
  • 33,000 Bagels
  • 40,000 Garbage Bags
  • 16,000 pounds of clothing are discarded by the runners and donated to charity
  • 52,000 PowerBars are distributed at mile 18
  • 132 bands that play during NYC Marathon
  • 72 UPS trucks transport the runner baggage from Staten Island to Central Park
  • Brightroom Photography, the official NYC Marathon photographer, takes 50,000 photos of the runners
I am so excited to see every single part!!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm In!

Lots of people think it is too much money. Some say anyone should be able to run it. Many have been fussing and complaining all day because the process of getting in is just plain painful. I just made up my mind that I was a winner either way. If I didn't get in this year, I was running Las Vegas Rock and Roll at night in December. Either way I was gonna get to do something awesome come late fall 2012... Now I know what! NYC Marathon here I come! I am so excited!!!! I will be booking the plane tickets tomorrow morning and the hotel as soon as hear back from my personal travel advisor! This is definitely going to be an experience of a life time. My family and friends are already committing to go and cheer me on through the 26.2 miles of awesomeness! I can hardly wait!!! I know there will be haters, doubters, scoffers, and plain ole idiots, but I am going to blaze a trail right to the big apple and enjoy every step of the journey. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Call It!

Tonight our school had a fundraiser at the World Famous Beacon Drive In. I got to call the food. Let's just say I'll keep my day job. What a great time I had though.

My view for the shift!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Do I Really?

Do I really have 7 pairs of running shoes?

Do I really watch The Weather Channel for fun?

Do I really shape my rice into little mounds as I eat at an Asian restaurant?

Do I really have a Snuggie?

Do I really like ketchup on pintos, black eyed peas, and crowder peas?

Do I really cut my salad crosswise 3 different times before I eat it?

Do I really cut my waffle the same way?

Do I really eat Honey Nut Cheerios twice a day?

Do I really squirt ketchup on each individual Cheez-it at lunch?

Do I really have a brush just for my beard?

Guess which ones are true and you might win a prize! Hope you had a great Monday!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Have you ever had that moment when your mind goes blank? No matter how hard you tried, the memory had escaped you. This happens to most of us on a daily basis. Who in the world can remember a phone number anymore? Smart phones have them all saved by name, and I hardly even see the numbers anymore. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked into the grocery store with just a few things to buy, and I get in there and forget half of them. I am bad about forgetting people's names too. I meet so many people from different areas of my life and when they friend me on Facebook, I have no idea who they are.

In my Sunday class we are reading a book titled, The Forgotten God, by Francis Chan. (YES, I am actually reading it!!!) The book is hitting me deep in the gut. Isn't that the purpose? No one ever said church should be all goose bumps and hairs standing on your neck. I believe Jesus said it best when He said, "In this world you WILL have tribulation..." John 16:33. There is more to that verse though. Go look it up.

As I have been reading about forgetting, it has caused my mind to run towards remembering. I don't ever want to get to the point where I cannot remember all the amazing things He has done in my life. He has done so much for me that I cannot even begin to list it all. I want to share just a bit of it with you in hopes that it will spur you on to your own list of "rememberings."

I remember my great grandma Maudie. The Lord knew before I was even born that I needed her. He gave her to me for just the right amount of time. Gosh I miss her!

I remember middle school and high school. It was a dark time for me. Friends tell me now that they thought I had it all together... Little did they know I was a wreck on the inside. How did I make it out in one sane piece? By His grace!

I remember going to tour college a week before it started. My pastor at the time said, "the Lord can get you in if it's His plan." It must have been. I started the first day with everyone else.

I remember the day when I was 19, when I finally gave control of my life to the One who had been helping me all the time!

I remember when I paid a whole year's with of sponsorship to a needy child during college with a car payment due the next day. A check came in the mail the day after for exactly the amount I paid for the child sponsorship. To this day I don't know where the check came from.

I remember when I was raising support to be a semester missionary in Senegal. I opened the mailbox to get find a check inside a card. I glanced at the check and then did a double take. I thought it was a 100 dollars which was thrilling. On 2nd glance I noticed it was $1,000. It was from someone I didn't even know. I bet you can't guess how much money I still needed at that time... Yep, $1,000!

I remember when I was in the village in Senegal. There was a robbery during the night. I heard gun shots and lay terrified in my hut. I prayed for safety and remained unharmed. I feel back asleep and had a great night's rest.

I remember starting my MAT at Converse college. My place of employment at the time promised to pay for it. They changed their mind after I enrolled. I had no money at the time, but somehow...It was paid for.

I remember countless nights as I waited tables at FATZ that He would send just the right customers to my tables. He knew my needs. He was faithful even when I wasn't.

I remember that August day in 2003 when the kiddies walked in for the first time. Was it really possible that He had given me this great honor? Blessed to do what I do!

I remember pulling over in the Eckerd's parking lot just off of Pine Street while getting some bad news. I could hardly drive home for the tears... Now, that day is a far away memory that has been healed with the most amazing gift! He gave the gift!

I remember being so afraid to build a house. What if I couldn't do it all alone? The Lord gave me a best friend who wanted to help! What would I do without him?

I remember when I got the news about my blood work being so bad. I cried myself to sleep that night. I was so afraid. I was too young to deal with that I thought. The Lord calmed me that night, and put a will power in me that night only can be credited to Him.

I remember when I crossed the finish line to my first marathon. Some people collapse, some people shout, I wept as I hugged my mom and sister. I was overjoyed at what the Lord had given me the strength to accomplish.

I remember the blog I wrote about remembering. I wept as I typed, and wept as I reread. I will probably weep again reading it later. It reminds me of the hymn Maudie used to sing...

"Count your many blessings name them one by one. Count your many blessings see what God has done..."

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Greer Earth Day Half Marathon

When you are running a half marathon, the race doesn't begin at start time. It begins months before as you set out on your training runs. You pound the pavement day after day, week after week in preparation for the big day. Another key component of the race is the pre race meal. You want to make a good choice. Too greasy and you will be visiting the port-o-john on the race route... NOT A PLEASANTRY I might add. Last night Matt enjoyed his first pre half marathon meal. He chose Chicken Alfredo.

Since he finished under his goal time of 2 hours, I would say he made the right choice. So proud of my friend for running his first half marathon. The course was not an easy one at all. I chose a course at the beach for my first and blazed right through because it was flat as a pancake. This course had some pretty tough hills, the toughest being in the last mile of the race.

I am still not sure what my finish time was. I didn't see the clock as I crossed the line, but I think it was about 1:30:35. I will know when they post the results online. Here are some shots of us plowing towards the finish. I dont care if you run 1 mile or 50, the finish is always a sweet place to be!

I solicited some of my family and friends of Matt and me to cheer for us along the route. Having fans at a race like this makes all the difference. I am so thankful to my sister and brother-in-law for draggin' the kids out of bed at 6:30 on a Saturday morning to support us!

Our good friends Kati and Meri even got up early to come show their support. What great friends we have!!! Thanks to both of them for sacrificing their Saturday morning sleep!

This brings my 2012 race count to 5:
January- Hair of the Dog 10 miler
February- Myrtle Beach Marathon
March- Reedy River 10k and Cooper River Bridge Run 10K
April- Greer Earth Day Half Marathon be determined SOON!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Did You Know...

... that I have fallen out of a moving car?

... that I spent the summer in Europe when I was 16?

... that I had posters of Alyssa Milano, Tiffany, and Debbie Gibson on my wall back in the day?

... that I had a record of the smurfs singing?

...  that I once had a bolt stick into my head while swinging on a tire swing?

... that I raised 2 calves one summer in hopes of taking them to the fair in the fall, only to kill them in the summer by feeding them the wrong thing?

... that I have had turtles, hamsters, fish, dogs, cats, and a bird as a pet, but I am not really a big pet fan?

... that I cut the tip of my left pinky off?

... that I saw Donald Trump at his hotel in NY, rode in an elevator with rappers Kid And Play, had a picture with Kevin Costner and George W. Bush?

... that I once fell on a hot go cart motor and it ate 2 square inches of skin off my leg?

... that I have lived in Alaska, Senegal, and The Philippines?

... that the first time I ever saw a turkey in the wild I was 18 years old?

... that I once laid down beside a real live crocodile?

... that I left my Wii on for over 2 years before I ever thought to cut it off?

... that blogging is stress relief for me? 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lucky Me

The skies had a bit of a leak today. The sunshine turned to liquid late yesterday afternoon and never solidified today. All day long I kept looking outside only to see constant ripples of rain drops disturbing the calm of the pond water just beyond my classroom window. It was glum at best. After school, I had to brave all that is "wonderful" about Wal-Mart to make an exchange. As I lugged my heavy and awkward return through the puddle filled parking lot, trying to dodge the fat rain, I questioned the timing of the return. My attempt at using my time wisely would have been much better replaced with an afternoon of procrastination. Yet, I trudged on. Of course when I finally made it to the register, the clerk informed me that the item I was returning was out of stock. It wasn't her fault, so I picked up the bulky mass of an object that was a broken camping table and headed back out into the puddle filled parking lot. As I made my way this time, I could hear grumbling and griping filling my thoughts... "Here I am in the rain, lugging this table back and forth, and for what?" Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks... How lucky am I to be here in the rain, lugging a table back and forth!!! How in the world could I moan and complain about something that 90 percent of the world may never get to do. I am blessed with a car that drove me there. Some people haven't seen rain in months. I have plenty of money to buy the 45 dollar table. I had to ask no one for permission to buy it or return it. I am so thankful for that sudden about face that my attitude took during that journey across the lot. Its amazing what a little change in perspective can do.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Running Convert

I am so happy to say that my running has finally had its first convert! My best friend Matt has finally joined the running cult and is scheduled for his first half marathon this Saturday. He actually drove around in his truck to check his mileage tonight after his run. I would say he is definitely joined the club. I remember when I first started out, I would spend as much time checking my mileage with the car odometer as I would actually running.

I am so proud of him for taking on this challenge. It has not been easy for him. He suffers from asthma and sometimes has a really hard time. He continues to press on in spite of it. His race will be in Greer, SC and promises to be quite the hilly course. I would love for some of you to leave him a message here to cheer him on this weekend. Think back to your first big race... Weren't you nervous? Didn't you need support? I will be running the race as well to support him. Runner friends, pay it forward here. Give him some advice, tips, and funnies to get him through his 13.1 on Saturday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

One Day...

Everyone has their list of "One days..." You know the list. The things deep down inside you long for. The things your brain, heart and soul want so bad you can taste them. I am not talking about one day you are gonna clean out the garage or one day you are gonna paint that spare bedroom. I am talking big things. Life changing things. Things that you mark down and remember as a milestone in your life's work.

We only have one shot in life so we all have a list of things we hope to see happen while we are here. I have a long list of "One Days," as I am sure many of you do. Today is my "One Day" day. It became "one day" day 2 years ago when I realized this is the Monday of the Boston Marathon. One day... I hope to run it. It is probably the most prestigious marathon there is. It is one of those races that every runner, even the ones who act like it doesn't matter, secretly wants to qualify for. There are those who scoff at the notion of qualifying for a marathon, claiming that the exclusivity of the race is not what the sport is all about. While agree to an extent, all sports have special events that set their athletes apart. Qualifying for anything means that you have met a certain standard to guarantee your entry. I want to quify for Boston...bad! Not because of the prestige though, but for the shear joy of knowing how far I have come from my 230lb big boy days. Yes, I have that joy now as I weigh in at 145, but to obtain a BQ (Boston Qualifying Time) would be the pinnacle of this journey for me. Thus, I day!!!

What's on your list, but more importantly, what are you doing to obtain it? If there is one thing my "One Day" goal has taught me is that one day goals just don't happen. You have to work hard. They take diligence, daily attention, and believe it or not times of absolute failure. It is during those times the goal gets a little bit closer.

I asked some of my friends to finish these sentence, "one day I hope to..." Here are some of their responses.

I hope to finish school... Again!!!

I hope to jump out of an airplane.

I hope to go a day without changing a diaper.

I hope to visit all 30 major league ballparks. 22 to go!

I hope to retire to the beach.

I hope to sing the National Anthem at the Braves Game.

I hope to... understand.

I hope to see Jesus.

I am confident many of these, and your goals will be met. Let today, "One Day" day, be the day you get started!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stay Amazed

Are you still amazed this week just like you were last week? 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Upward 2012

This is my 5th year coaching Upward soccer at church. It is so much fun. If your church has it and you don't coach, you are missing out. Here are some pics from today's season opener.

Friday, April 13, 2012

60 Mile Week

Last week was spring break. It is supposed to be a time to relax and refresh yourself so the you can finish the last few weeks of school strong.  I am not much for sitting around and resting though... never have been. Even before I lost 85 pounds, I loved to be on the go. Some people call it busy, but I prefer to say using my time wisely. Soccer, church, band practice, volunteering, hanging with friends are parts of my weekly routine. Naps and sitting around are just usually not my idea of a good use of time. Since I have been a runner though, I have learned the value of a rest day for letting tired leg muscles recuperate from lots of miles. 

Speaking of lots of miles, and making my way back to my original topic, (I sure can chase a rabbit!) Over spring break I set a goal for myself on the first day of break to achieve a total of 60 miles for the week. (10 miles per day for 6 days, then rest on Easter Sunday.) My previous weekly mileage record was 54 miles. That was during the height of my training for my 2nd marathon. Since then, I average about 35-40 miles a week. I have no full marathons coming up soon, and I wanted to take the time over spring break to challenge myself with a new running goal. The goal did not include speeding through the runs, but trying my best to keep my normal relaxed pace of 7:30-8 minute miles. 

The first 3 runs of the week came and went no problem. My time for each 10 miler was between 75-77 minutes. Not a bad pace even though my personal best for 10 miles is 68 minutes. Day 4 a running buddy tagged along. He is a bit slower than I am, but the more relaxed pace was nice. Finished that run in 82 minutes. Day 5 he came back and ran again. This day my legs still felt great, but our overall time came to 85 minutes. Still not horrible, but a bit slower than I like.

Then, along came day 6. I was by myself. I was tired. My legs were heavy. I was tired. I wanted to sleep in. I was tired. I was in a whiny mood. Did I mention I was tired? I forgot to mention that on days 1-3, after I ran, I went home and did yard work for the rest of the day. YES... I WAS TIRED. Every step of that last 10 miler was painful. It was one of those runs where every step passed 54 miles (my previous weekly mileage record), I tried to convince myself to stop and be happy that I broke my record. I never did stop though, and eventually made it to my goal of 60 miles. It was a GREAT feeling to meet that goal. The whole time I ran, I could hear a friend of mine and the encouraging words he spoke to me when I told him my goal. He said, "If anyone can do it Jed, YOU can!" Those words carried my the last 6 miles into that new record. This week as I have gotten back on my normal weekly running schedule, and hurting just a bit from a record breaking week, his words are still carrying me... I can do it!

Speaking of... What is it that you think you can't do? I never in a million years thought I could run a 5k, much less 3 marathons...much less 60 miles in a week. No, most people can't just go out and run 60 miles in a week either. But, with training, determination, and hard work, most of us can do just about anything we put our minds to. Next time you are feeling like you can't, remember my friends words, 
"If anybody can do it, YOU CAN!" 

Thursday, April 12, 2012


A peek at my view this afternoon as I attended my 2nd practice for the Boiling Springs High School Drama Department's presentation of the musical "Hairspray."It is going to be a GREAT show! You want to get your tickets now as they are selling out fast. The show will run May 3-5 @ 8:00 each night. Tickets are 10 dollars each. If you have never heard of "Hairspray," Google it. It is a hilarious show. If the comedy is not enough, you will want to come hear my awesome trumpet playing and see me wear a hot pink shirt and tie. It promises to be epic!