I posted a photo of myself on Thanksgiving with the caption:
I ran a Turkey Trot last November by myself as I have for most Thanksgivings over the past 20 years. Some years I was is shape and some years not so much, but I always brought a competitive attitude feeling that I should run a personal best every year. This year I was not in shape, but as I approached the start line, I began warming up and feeling the enthusiasm of the crowd and I realized this race was about the moment. My competitive soul was at ease and as the race started and I was in Thanksgiving bliss.
Turkey trots are traditionally not completely competitive races. The 1% of runners who are going for personal bests or in great shape do start in the front of the line and often finish very quickly. The remaining of the runners congeal into the remaining herd pack behind them. This year I started in the second half of the pack due to both the time I arrived and my minimal completive drive. The race started and after avoiding several strollers, elders and moms holding hands with their children, I found some space to run. I had my headphones on and listened to the Beach Boys for the entire 3.1 miles.
During the race, I was floating. For all you runners out there, you have experienced runners high where you can run for miles and not feel the pain. That is where I was. For me, I hit an easy pace and cruised. The weather was brilliant, high 70’s and sunny, the crowd was enthusiastic and my subconscious was taking me to the finish line. I finished, not with a sprint to the finish but I was gliding. I received my metal, a banana, a bottle of water and more importantly, an amazing sense of peace.
After the race I stopped at Starbucks as usual. I asked for a grande nitro and a ‘pour over’ tall coffee. The barista asked me what my name was so as to be able to call out my name when my order was ready. I proudly told her ‘winner’. She giggled but complied. I think the other patrons enjoyed my humor. I was sitting on the patio facing Pacific Coast Highway soaking in both the gorgeous weather, the people walking and driving by and the glorious day that was ahead of me. My wife was doing her Thanksgiving meditation of thanks at Aliso Creek beach. She was finding her own way to enjoy the day, give thanks for all we have to be grateful for and finding her own ‘runners high’. I had about an hour to wait for her to pick me up until our schedule meeting time so I began calling my family and friends to wish them all a happy Thanksgiving and tell them how grateful I am to have them in my life.
My wife Mara came at 10 am to pick me up and we made our next stop: Gelson’s market. We annually order a fantastic, fully prepared and delicious complete Thanksgiving dinner for us and our guests needing only heating for a few hours then feasting. We added a few pies, 2 pints of ice cream and were on our way home. We drove home talking and laughing as I was still on my runners high. Greeted by our 5 dogs and 2 out of 3 children I started preparing for our Thanksgiving dinner. As a bonus, I prepared 3 different types of cookie dough to heat up between dinner and dessert. Football was on the big screen, wine was being opened and our guests were about to arrive.
I have a lot to be thankful for in 2017. My fabulous wife of 25 years is running a thriving mental health awareness foundation, bring joy and understanding to thousands of people around Southern California and ultimately around the country and the world. One of the foundation’s goals is to end the stigma that mental health is a disease and to look at the gifts associated with mental health challenges. Join her at one of her amazing events and get hooked on helping others type of mental disorder.
My oldest son Brian is a freshman at the University Of South Florida Morsani Medical School. He is thriving mostly due to his enthusiasm for medicine and the fact that he is accomplishing her dreams of becoming a doctor. Our second son Scott is a freshman at the University of California in Riverside. His incredible mind for math and excitement for learning is allowing him to flourish. His infections attitude towards math even gets us non-numbers people excited for him. My daughter Alexa, a high school junior at Dana Hills, is my little angel. She illuminates the stage when performing and demands respect when managing the stage. She plans to attend college in New York City where she can focus on her chosen major stage management. Lexi is also a healer. She helps her friends emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. Lexi is a Reiki healer but also a great listener and devoted friend. What amazing gifts all three possess.
As for our practice, Laguna Beach OBGYN we have a lot to be thankful for and to look forward to in 2018. We have some new faces, old faces and lost faces. Ann Marie, my medical assistant of 10 years had decided to retire this past July. She was extremely dedicated, devoted and so important in allowing our practice to develop, grow and flourish. She is sorely missed and finding a substitute who will aggressively aid in the growth and appeal of our practice was a difficult task. We were lucky to find Alisa, who has been every bit as enthusiastic and has added a few new skills making her more than an ideal substitute but a wonderful person for growth.
This ends the first-year anniversary of our amazing midwife Allison Molinski. For those of you who have met her or had the privilege of having your child delver by her, you know how amazing, enthusiastic, caring and dedicated she is to women’s healthcare and our practice. She will help me lead our practice including our Midwifery service into 2018. We will be helping Mission Hospital open the first in-hospital birthing center in Orange County. This will allow women the ultimate birthing experience including giving them more autonomy and choices for the supreme birthing experience.
Personally, I turned 50 this year. I had an amazing birthday celebration in New Orleans with family and friends. The weekend included fantastic food, wonderful music and a parade on Bourbon Street in honor of me. I returned feeling loved, refreshed and an enthusiasm for working hard, building both my practice and our midwifery services, moving our office to new fabulous space and entering 2018 as a new and improved better version of me.
Remember to reach out and tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Don’t text them, call them! Your friends are special people you chose to be in your life. Just make sure they are the right influence for you and your family. Make 2018 all positive. Help your friends heal by spreading positivity towards them. You will be surprised how well it will be received and how great you will feel.
As Piggie Bear teaches: put your right hand on your left shoulder and your left hand on your right shoulder and squeeze tight. Now say “I am amazing” and know that you truly are!