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Disney 1993-A Dash for Splash

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Our second family trip to Walt Disney World was in October 1993. Got to love the state of Wisconsin for having Teacher’s Convention during October and getting some days off of school! (Though this isn’t the case there anymore). Traveling to WDW during this time frame always had us running into other families from Wisconsin. It was the perfect time of year for a WDW vacation-time off of school, off-season, low crowds, cool weather. This year was particularly cool, however, as stylish 1990s windbreakers and other apparel make cameos in many photos.

We stayed at the “NEW” Port Orleans Resort. It was new at the time, and simply called Port Orleans. Now the original Port Orleans has been grouped to the Dixie Landings conglomerate and this group is called Port Orleans collectively. The part that still has a piece of my heart is the French Quarter side. Maybe it was my dad’s French-Canadian roots that had me loving this moderate resort more than the deluxe Polynesian. It was quaint and adorable. I thought the pool, Doubloons Lagoon, was pretty sweet. But I really loved the beignets! Port Orleans ‘French Quarter’ originally had the food court, which it still has, Scat Cat’s Lounge, and the now extinct Bonfamille’s. We weren’t as crazy back in my early Disney years-sure, we still made it for rope drop, but weren’t the first ones in line. That being said, there were a few mornings when we actually had a leisurely breakfast at Bonfamille’s. They had Mardi Gras masks for kids to colour, and I saved all mine during that trip. They served the delicious beignets with breakfast. Mmmmmm…..to die for!

This was also the first year Splash Mountain was open for us on a trip. My dad was actually very prone to motion-sickness and wouldn’t ride roller coasters or “spinning-rides.” He was hesitant about heights. All in all, he really wasn’t a theme-park ride sort of guy. But he still loved WDW, went on any ride he could, and we never tried to push him to do ones he couldn’t handle. But he could handle Splash Mountain. Probably due to the fact that the drop isn’t too high and its just the one. I also think he felt like he should at least give it a try.
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These years of Splash Mountain were when you could literally run to it after rope drop. A dash to Splash! We had read in guides about a shortcut to Splash Mountain in Frontierland, which to us made sense, since every minute counted. For those of you who never experienced an old-school Magic Kingdom rope drop, it was quite the rush. You got through the turnstiles at park open, went up to the land you wanted to enter, waited at a rope with cast members. At the given time, the rope would drop, and then you had a literal free-for-all. No cast members were there to slow you down. I personally now think the reason why my dad was a willing participant in riding Splash Mountain was because of the thrill of this race to it. We ran into Adventureland, over the bridge, and took a quick right through the shortcut-a tunnel of sorts housing restrooms on the way to Frontierland. We had picked off a whole bunch of people who had been ahead of us at the turnstiles-success!

Nowadays after rope drop, the rope doesn’t really drop. It gets held by two cast members who slowly walk you to that E-Ticket attraction. Yes, you get there before everyone else, and you are still first to ride, but it isn’t the same rush. Sometimes you are lucky and the cast members have a faster stride. And sometimes I wonder what would happen if I just stormed over that damn rope. I probably could have convinced my dad to try it. Not sure what they would have done if he had!

What does heart disease look like?

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You can be a man or a woman. Short or tall. Old or young. Fit or out of shape. It may sneak out of no where, to surprise you when you least expect it. It cannot be vanished, just diminished. It does not get cured, just healed. The scar hides the internal pain-on the surface, you may not be able to recognize there is an issue.

You may be in shape, you may watch your diet, you may follow the rules. But you still may be at risk. Know your risk factors including family history. You owe it to your self.
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Five months after triple bypass surgery….43 years old…the surgery gave him 9 more years. Made every moment count.

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Running without music…the anti-playlist

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I know there are many people who run dependent on their iPods. I don’t hold anything against you for that, and I am not trying to say that if you do this, you are a bad, bad person. I am just reflecting on why I don’t run with music. Yes, I admit I have, but 92% of the time, I don’t. Why not? Well, for starters, I hate carrying my iPod or using a strap on my arm. It’s annoying, gets in the way, and I always am worried I’m going to ruin it somehow while outside. Secondly, and most important, is I’d rather use my runs as times where my mind wanders and reflects. Take in the scenery. Play out a scenario in my mind.

I daydream.  Often about an upcoming trip, things I have to get done that evening, a past event…Sometimes about nothing in particular.  Lots of times I daydream and think about my dad and past memories.  I reach that ‘runner’s high’ and fall into a trance where I don’t realize where I am, my body involuntarily moving and turning as needed on a route. I don’t need my iPod as my fuel, as my motivation tool.  I don’t need a playlist of my favorite music.   My personal playlist is my mind and memories. 

 

I may not use music when I run, but my dad chose to use a classy-looking headset!

I may not use music when I run, but my dad chose to use a classy-looking headset!

Race Reflections-I didn’t realize how soon it was until now….

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St. Clare Health Mission Half Marathon
May 1, 2004
Great River State Trail, Trempealeau County, Wisconsin
Time-2 hours 5 minutes 30 seconds

My first long-distance race. I was 19. I was a freshman in college. I took a runner’s bus from a parking lot in Onalaska, Wisconsin, to the starting line. I ran the 13.1 miles alone. A straight and level trail. When I was finished, I vaguely remember the finish line. But I have no photos. No one came to the race with me. I went back to my dorm room in Angell Hall at University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

My dad had his heart attack and passed away on April 25th, 2004…

I left my hometown to go back to La Crosse, Wisconsin, on the day after my dad’s service to run this race. My mom said I insisted on this, to run this for dad. I didn’t show emotion. I didn’t cry. I just went back.

This is my first entry of race reflections, as I look back at all my past half and full marathons. I am looking forward to doing this, however, I didn’t realize how I would ‘feel‘ about it. I honestly had forgotten how few days had passed after my dad died until I looked up the race date online tonight. I think my jaw honestly went ajar. I can’t believe I did it. But yet I am so glad I went through with it.

If I hadn’t, I may not be here now, doing this, feeling this.

First Donation!

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Alright. Yes, it’s from my mom, but my first donation went through today in memory of my dad. I knew she would contribute eventually, but she did it now so we could check and make sure the American Heart Association donation page I set up worked. It worked flawlessly!

I hope to have Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta, NWT, and Nunavut, information set up by the end of this week.

Thanks mom!

Born to run this race! Disney 2014, here I come!

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So the site is almost in full working mode! My goal was to get this page functional before I went back to work after the Christmas holidays, so I am pretty happy with my progress. I won’t do my first major blog entry until I have all charity links up and running. Still working out the kinks on this page-the app for WordPress is great, but I am still figuring out how it all works!

Click around and let me know what you think so far…many of you will probably still be in e dark as to what the heck I am doing…I will have a clearer answer to that soon. For now, click on “purpose”, as that sums it up fairly well.

To Infinity & Beyond

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My dad in Disney World, April 2003…

This picture is the influence for this blog, in which I will be keeping a record of my preparation for the event of a lifetime. The training I am about to tackle is not new to me, however, the reflection and importance that will take place during the time leading up to the summit is what I have been dreaming of…what is that event, you may ask? Well, stay tuned….