OK, I don't know if it's a real thing, but Noah, my friend and a training buddy, posted the word Twosday on Facebook this morning. For a second I was like: "Twosday?" Oh yeah, 2/22!
So in honor of that, since I'm currently not running because of my back -- although it feels much better today -- I thought I would post 22 random things that you probably don't know about me!
1) I was born in Davenport, Iowa, where much of my family still lives and a place where our family goes back almost 200 years. Some of my family first settled in Missouri, where one of my ancestors was a playmate of Mark Twain. I've also lived in Indiana and Ohio, but have lived in Illinois for a total of 28 of my 45 years.
2) I love to travel! When I was a kid we used to travel everywhere by car, and I have been to 28 states and five foreign countries: Canada, Mexico, England, Italy and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai). I enjoy being near the water, though not necessarily in the water, and last summer we spent a week at Pawley's Island, South Carolina, which I really grew to call one of my favorite places.
3) Growing up I was a bit of a daredevil. But I grew up in the 70s and 80s, weren't we all? I was a big fan of Evel Knievel and since I was smaller than most of my friends I tried to prove I was the bravest. I loved climbing trees, jumping ramps on my bike and jumping off the roof of our garage!
4) I also grew up loving sports. I played pretty much everything: baseball, basketball, football, tennis, soccer, golf. Baseball was my first love and I played that all the way through my sophomore year of high school. I wasn't a good hitter but I had a great arm, I once had 17 strikeouts in a game when I was 11 -- I also walked 12 guys too! I played four years of golf in high school and also played a year of basketball.
5) I still love baseball, but besides running the only other sport I really "play" is golf. I used to be a pretty good player but now if I shoot 95 it's a good day. My other passion is auto racing, I've been a fan of racing for 35 years and have seen several races live. Racing is one of those sports that looks kind of boring on TV but is absolutely amazing in person.
6) I have four siblings. Two of my sisters, Karen and Vickie, live in central Indiana, while my brother Tim lives in Atlanta, where he is a golf pro. My sister Joni, who I was very close to, passed away from cancer just over three years ago. My dad passed away in 2004 but my mom splits her time between Indiana and Florida and is still going strong at 77!
7) I work in IT during the day, where I am a senior systems operator. Basically I move data around and administer our data storage, and I've worked at the same place since I moved here from Ohio in late 1998.
8) By night I am a writer. Writing is my true passion, and I was lucky to get the opportunity to start my sportswriting career in 2000. It's been so rewarding and it's led to chances to do things I never thought possible. I once had a writing teacher in college who told me I didn't have any writing talent, and that comment still motivates me to this day.
9) On a whim, I joined the marching band for my senior year of high school. Most of my friends were in the band and that's where all of the cute girls were, so I joined the band and played the cymbals. It truly was one of the best and most rewarding things I did in high school. Marching bands -- especially drumlines -- work HARD. We marched at several competitions all over the state and marched at halftime of the Bears/Eagles game in 1986.
10) I like all kinds of music, but my favorite is 80s music. I especially like bands/artists from the "British invasion" of the mid-80s...Simple Minds is my favorite but I also like Tears for Fears, Thompson Twins, Howard Jones, etc. When I run I listen to techno music, right now I'm a big believer in Hardwell. I also like 70s music thanks to my older sisters.
11) I got married to my wife, Darcy, seven months ago this Thursday. We met online about four years ago and our first date was at the batting cages...I knew right then I had a keeper! We are each others biggest fans and supporters, and it was Darcy who convinced me to give the marathon another try two years ago. She also has two boys, including one that like Matt is a freshman in college, and another that is a sophomore in high school.
12) I love to sleep. I usually don't get enough (about 6-7 per night) but when I have the chance on vacation or a weekend to have an epic, 12-hour sleep session, I take advantage!
13) I don't sleep enough because I am a night person. I've always been that way, my body just works better at night -- I'm certainly not a fan of the morning! Most nights I don't get to bed until 11 p.m. or midnight, just because it seems like I get a burst of energy in the evening and I do most of my best thinking late at night.
14) I love cats. Nothing against dogs, mind you, but I like cats because they are loyal and at the same time independent. Kind of like me.
15) I'm kind of shy and reserved in new situations. Don't expect me to be someone who shows up at a social event and knows everyone's name in the first 15 minutes! It takes me a while to get comfortable and to meet people in a new situation. But once I'm warmed up I love talking to and meeting new peeps.
16) I have ADHD. It's certainly a challenge in my life, and there are parts of it that get very frustrating to me. But at the same time, I've learned to embrace the positives, and there are many. I don't take medication for it, but a few years ago I started to work on coping techniques and that has been a big help to me. One reason I run is that it's one of the few opportunities in my daily life where my mind goes completely blank. It's kind of odd to think that there are certain mundane tasks that bore me easily, but I don't have a problem focusing for several hours at a time when I run long races.
17) I started running in 2000, with the expressed goal of running the Chicago Marathon that year. I've explained my reasons why in a lot of previous posts, but once I started running I found that I loved it and wanted to continue. While my running career has sometimes been kind of off-and-on since, there is just something about lacing up and going for a run that I find romantic.
18) My favorite place to run is in Chicago. I don't know if it is the Lake or the energy, but there is just something about running in Chicago that inspires me. I've run and raced in Chicago so many times, and I just feel like I get a little boost that I don't get anywhere else. At home my favorite running spot is the Hawk Hollow Forest Preserve. I'm looking forward to the snow melting so I can get out there again!
19) My favorite race is the Indy Mini Marathon. I'm looking forward to running that race for the first time in eight years this coming May. The course includes a lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is a big deal to me. I also like the race because I lived in Indy for five years in the early 1990s and enjoy getting back there when I can.
20) I'm a (very) amateur foodie. I really didn't start doing any real cooking until about 18 months ago, but it's something I'm starting to really enjoy doing. My favorite dish to make is risotto, and I make a pretty mean stir fry too! Believe it or not, the dish that most frustrates me is chili, no matter how many times I make it I just can't get it right!
21) My longest friendship has lasted 35 years. Wally Hines and I became friends in 1980 and have remained that way ever since. Wally is a neat guy, I've always admired him for his ambition and his leadership abilities. He also runs -- we've run a few races and relays together -- and just two years ago reached a goal he had set to run marathons on all seven continents. He lives near Minneapolis and is very busy so I don't see him a lot, but I'm very happy that we have made it through all of these years.
22) My biggest running goal: The Boston Marathon. Since even before I started running, I've seen the Boston Marathon as a kind of mystical thing, a holy grail. It's always been my dream to qualify for the race and I finally think I'm at the point in my life where I can dedicate myself to it. My goal is to run the race in 2020, a long way off, but I think I'll get there!
I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about me. Thanks to everyone new who has visited my blog this month through the Blog Hop. I've appreciated all of the page views and comments, and hope you have enjoyed visiting enough that you will always keep coming back!