Here are five things that I learned or was reminded of this week:
1. If there is a such thing as tax-dumb, then I’m tax-dumb.
2. Video devotionals are great.
3. Man can’t live on spaghetti alone.
4. Cable isn’t worth the price I pay for it.
5. I don’t know what movies are up for an Oscar this year.
What did you learn this week?
1. I shouldn’t have eaten so many tacos last night.
2. Carbs are good for me.
3. Hot sauce is not good for me.
4. This is not a race. Take it easy.
5. I can’t catch that person in front of me.
6. Yes I can.
7. Predator mode. Claws out.
8. Hello, ma’am. Goodbye ma’am.
9. Watch out for the chipmunk!
10. Alvin. Simon. Theodore.
11. I don’t prefer animated movies.
12. That guy should wear a shirt.
14. How does Han Solo know what Chewbacca is saying?
15. I’m tired.
16. The force is not with me.
17. I need more tacos.
What do you think about while running?
I’m often ridiculed when I reveal that one of my favorite super hero movies is about an african american vampire that hunts and kills other vampires. My friends and coworkers can’t make sense that I think that this was my favorite.
It’s not the hero that made an impression. I just thought that it was an entertaining film. It was different and exciting and my african american vampire hero had wicked ninja skills which is always a plus.
We love our super heroes because they are an escape. They lead exciting lives. They fly around and drive cool cars. They shoot laser beams out of their eyes and cause s’plosions (that’s southern for explosions). They always win the fight and always get the girl. They live the ideal life.
But it isn’t their super powers that impresses me. I can do without capes and masks. My real life heroes can’t fly. They don’t wear utility belts and cod pieces. My heroes don’t wear disguises to hide their true identities. On the contrary. They’re heroes because they aren’t afraid of who they are.
My heroes are those that don’t give up when the going gets tough. They fight through the pain because they know it’s worth it.
My heroes are those that put others first. Selflessness is a super power.
My heroes don’t hide their beliefs. They unashamedly follow their God with passion and loyalty. Even if that means they’ll face ridicule. At the same time, my heroes don’t always live by the rules. They love God, not religion.
My heroes fight for those less fortunate, building wells in third world countries for people they will never meet. Helping the impoverished in their own communities by giving their time and money. They fight against modern slavery. They’re abolitionists.
My heroes aren’t perfect. They have flaws. They struggle with their own, personal demons. But this is what makes them super. They don’t try to go at it alone. They share the burden. They rely on God and their sidekicks.
My heroes aren’t super because of their good looks, their swagger or the size of their sword. They are super because they transcend. They rise above and take a stand. They lead extraordinary lives because they aren’t afraid to do so.
What makes a hero super to you?
People say that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. If I am the apple and my dad is the tree, then that tree would be out on a hill by itself, away from the orchard. Unique and different. It wants to stand out and not be in a straight line with all the other trees. It wants to make a difference with style. It wants to be a hero.
My dad taught, and is still teaching me, how to be a man. One of the things he taught me was to be fearless and he did that in a unique way.
When I was six or seven years old, he gave me a cup of brown liquid and said ”Here son. Drink this. It’s like chocolate milk.” After sipping it, my face wrinkled up and my mouth burned. Coffee tasted nothing like the sweet taste of chocolate milk. It was bitter and new.
In that moment, my dad taught me to not be afraid to try new things.
When I was eight or nine, my father made me watch horror movies. The TV screen was full of vampires, monsters and guys wielding machete’s while wearing hockey masks. There were lots of people screaming and running for their lives. I was mortified. ”It’s not real.” he said, “There’s no such thing as monsters.”
In that moment, my dad taught me to not be afraid of the things that go bump in the night.
When I was ten, my dad took me to Six Flags. ”Do you want to ride the choo-choo train?” he asked. I was barely tall enough to reach the height limit. When the bar came down over my lap, I quickly learned that this choo-choo train was like no train that I have ever ridden. Choo-choo trains don’t climb up steep hills. They are safe, slow and happy.
When the choo-choo train dropped off that first hill and plummeted towards the earth, I knew that this was no kiddie ride. It was indeed, not a choo-choo train. It was the Great American Scream Machine, one of the oldest and fastest roller coasters in the world.
In that moment my dad taught me that life is a thrill ride. It’s full of ups and downs and that I shouldn’t be afraid of a little adventure.
I dont recall enjoying these things when they happened many years ago but over time I realize that this was one of my dads unique gifts. He taught me these things by putting me in the moment. He is fearless and has taught me to be fearless. The apple didn’t fall too far from the tree.
He leads by example.
He is one of a kind.
He’s my dad, my hero.
Last month I wrote about ten things that I think about while running. In case you missed it, I explained that while running, I often have these deep thought moments. Those moments when everything becomes clear and your mind wanders. Here are ten things that I thought about while running recently:
1. It’s hot.
2. I’d like to vote the cyclists off the trail.
3. I should do a video blog.
5. What would my native american name be?
6. Runs with horses.
7. I don’t like movies with talking animals.
8. I’m incredibly lucky that I haven’t been hit by a car or a bike.
9. Are angels running with me?
10. It’s really hot.
Had any random thoughts lately?
I loved going to the movies when I was a kid. It was one of the highlights of my summer vacation. I remember the first movie I saw. It was called “The Rescuers”. It was a Disney movie about a couple of mice and their group of friends who ventured out to rescue a child from the clutches of an evil woman and her alligator cronies. Maybe you’ve seen it.
My favorite movie of all time was a film that I didn’t even want to see. In 1981, my neighbors took me to see a movie about an archeologist. An archeologist? Really? I had no interest. This was the same time that “The Empire Strikes Back” was in theaters. Archeologist or Star Wars? It was a no brainer. I resisted but I went. Only because my parents made me.
After seeing “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, I was a changed kid. I wanted to be Indiana Jones. I came home and found a piece of nylon rope to use as a whip. I ran into the woods an tried to swing from the tree limbs and find treasure but the rope never worked and there was no treasure to be found. Still, Indiana Jones was my hero.
Since that time, very few movies have blown me away. Sure there are a few that I really liked. The Matrix, The Usual Suspects, Inception, to name a few. But, overall, movies have gone stale.
It seems to me that Hollywood has run out of fresh, original ideas. It keeps churning out movies that we have seen a million times, only repackaged to make them seem new. The story is all the same. There is a hero. He or she will go on an adventure. He or she will meet opposition. He or she will defeat said opposition and all will live happily ever after.
My biggest gripe about movies these days is they are saturated with superheroes. For example, I recently saw this.
How many times does this story need to be told? We know what happens. We know how it ends. Give us something new.
Watch the new Batman movies. They are doing it right.
Hollywood has forsaken me. They just want my money. I realize that it’s a business but their business is to entertain us and they are failing.
There needs to be a revolution in storytelling. I believe that some day, someone very smart and very gifted will invent a new way to tell a story. Literally and visually. Something original. Something out of the box and fresh. Something that will blow me away and will make me leave the theater feeling like a kid again.