Patch of the Month: NPS Centennial

I didn’t earn this patch in the same way as I did most of those in this column. Nonetheless, having taken my family to visit over a dozen national parks in three years, and having hiked a few National Parks, National Monuments, and National Forests, I figure I’d earned this anyway.

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Snowy Sunset

Hunkering down for Friday night in my warm hotel room at the Newark Airport Marriott. The lower Manhattan skyline makes up part of the background in my view of this deeply frozen landscape.

The airport is filled with people trying to get out of town in the wake of the storm the blew through here Thursday. Me, I’m exhausted, and I’m going to have a quiet evening and a good night’s sleep, a lazy day tomorrow, then crawl into my seat on a flight home to the West Coast at 10pm tomorrow night.

The first week of the year has been crazy, and I expect the next few weeks to be little different. My current hope: that February will be the slowes, quietest month for the past year (because of Chinese New Year on the 16th) and I’ll be able to get some meaningful work done.

Cold Kentucky Morning

Virtually working from the second floor of 111 West Main Street in La Grange, Kentucky today. It’s 25F, windy, and very light snow.

The sounds of the traffic are comforting, and CSX manages to send a train right down the middle of Main Street every hour or so.

It’s a small town, but only an adrenalin junkie would dare call this place “boring.”

Patch of the Month: Presidential Champion

Last month I talked about the President’s Challenge and the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) as being important incentives to changing my thinking and my lifestyle, to getting me off my ass, off of fast food, and onto a much better life.

After earning the PALA four times, I decided to take on a much tougher challenge, the Presidential Champions Award. I managed to make it to the Bronze Award last year, and was starting work on Silver when the program was terminated on August 10.

I’m incredibly proud of this award, which is the highest recognition that I have received for any physical activity since I was in High School. It took me the better part of a year to complete the requirements, and by the time I had completed it, fitness had become a part of my life, rather than something that intimidated me.