Equal and opposite life rules

February 28th, 2012 by John Morris

Most of us follow special rules even if we ignore their existence. They are usually the result of all those “learning experiences” we had that were really failures. By learning from our mistakes, at least, we had a payout.

Example: I agree that something worth doing is worth doing well. Why set my hands to a task if I don’t apply my best efforts?

However, one of my other rules is a reverse of this time-honored gem.

It reads, “If it’s not worth doing, it’s not worth doing well.” Simple, huh? I’ll look at what I plan to do and apply this rule. If it’s not worth doing at all, I walk toward something worth doing.

Try it sometimes and see how you’ll free up time and be able apply it to worthwhile endeavors.

Runners get each other

February 27th, 2012 by John Morris

For a bunch of years, I was a long distance runner. I found daily running to be satisfying and emotionally rewarding. As good as running alone is, running with others was better. Famed running doctor, George Sheenan called organized races “the love making for runners.”

One day in 1981, I received an invitation to a marathon scheduled for my 36th birthday. How nice of them to do this. With adequate warning, I could prepare properly for the 26.2 mile ordeal. I sent in my application and set my running schedule for the next two months on the same Sunday.

As a way to get shape for the marathon, I registered for two separate half-marathons which were well in my comfort zone. These races would stretch my racing skills and provide the support I needed from other runners.

The final payout was remarkable. Running the full marathon was the highest athletic achievement of my life, and I have buckets of fond memories about it.

Last weekend, I rode with my cousin, Steve Mascherino to Myrtle Beach, SC. Two of his children, Curt and Stephanie had registered to run in Dasani half-marathon race.

Friday night, I joined the Mascherinos for the traditional pre-race carbo loading spaghetti meal. I felt the need to pass along some sage advice to my younger cousins since this will be their first halves. Simply, I told them to avoid getting too caught up in the pageantry and to start out slowly and slow down. I told them to just finish even if walking is needed.

My contribution to the race was as a hydration delivery specialist. I was one of many volunteers handing out Power Aid drinks to the 6,000 runners.

Later, Steve told me both Curt and Stephanie had finished in the top 10% of  their catagories. This was quite the accomplishment since neither had done much previous long distance running. I was quite proud of them and more than a little envious.

My hat’s off to these young athletes. They both finished higher in the field of half-marathons than I’ve ever been able to do. I hope they continue to run and enjoy it.

Epilogue: Curt and Stephanie were both able to go out clubbing after the race. On the other hand, I was wiped out from shoveling cups of Power Aid and went home early.



The old boy writing this blog wears many hats: Vietnam Veteran, husband & father, salesman and techno-dude. After my service with the Army Security Agency, I operated a sign company for nineteen years, The sign industry changed after CAD/CAM machines made the task easy enough for the non-talented. I sold my company and never looked back.

Life has granted me a life partner better than I deserve. My wife, Lyn is a transplanted Kansas gal. Her bliss is teaching kindergarten and first grade.

I am the most proud of my children. My son, Adam lives an international life teaching English and living in Sozhou, China. He is married to one of life's truly lovely women, Yuri Kim. My daughter, Beth grew up in a small town and found her way in life means working and living in major cities like Chicago and New York. She and her life partner, Julie Sterling married in LaJolla, California in 2010.

I like getting the newest gadgets, but also I like to use things until they are useless, i.e., my last personal car was an 88 Honda Prelude Si.

I wrote a Vietnam Veteran newsletter for nine years. During this journey, I learned I like to write. It is a harmless exercise that rewards honest effort while tolerating failure gracefully. I been away from it for too long. My son gave me the blog, and it was a lifeline back to writing.

My best advice is to show the world what you can do but to accept only your opinion of who and what you are.

Update: In August 2008, my job became one of the half-million jobs that went away that month. I took the following year getting the home ready for my official retirement.

In October 2009, I took a part-time job as a saleman at the vaulted Maxwell's Hardware.

On November 29, 2011, I reached my 66th birthday, and I officially started Social Security. I intend to stay with Maxwell's as long as I can contribute.