Monday, December 30, 2013

Most memorable sports moment in 2013

Denver Sports Nation was filling in for Irv and Joe today on Mile High Sports and the hunt for the day was to tweet or call in with your most memorable sports moment in 2013.

I thought about the hapless moment where Rahim Moore misplayed a hail mary pass from Joe Flacco allowing the Ravens to tie the Broncos in the waning moments of a divisional playoff game, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

As a life long Bronco fan it was a painful moment, compounded by the ever crafty decision of John Fox to take a knee to allow the Broncos to regroup only to eventually lose in double overtime after an ill advised throw across his body by one, Peyton Frozen Manning. 

While this was a disappointment as a fan it pales in contrast to what happened on Patriot's day at the 118th running of the Boston Marathon. 

Marathon runner blown off his feet by the blast near the finish line

As a marathon runner, this was a profoundly disturbing event and again served as a reminder that our lives are fragile, our way of life remains under attack.

From the worst we witness in human behavior, those who choose to attack innocent people to the first responders in these horrific moments.  Can we please stop pretending that athletes are heroes and role models because of their athletic abilities?  I will choose a policeman, a firefighter, a paramedic, the soldier that serves our country as my heroes. 

The other part of my most memorable sports moment goes hand in hand with the marathon bombing.  If only we could carry these sense of unity and community every day, what would be possible?

This is our f******* city~David Ortiz


Saturday, December 21, 2013

There are no words for this

Claire Davis passed away this afternoon after being shot at point blank range last Friday.

Life is short, love accordingly

As a community, once again we are left with the unthinkable, the unknowable grief of losing another precious life to an act of gun violence.

My heart goes out to Claire's family and all that knew and loved her and whose hearts are shattered tonight.

Statement from the Davis Family:

It is with unspeakable sadness that we write and say that Claire has passed away from the gunshot wound she received at Arapahoe High School on December 13, 2013. Although we have lost our precious daughter, we will always be grateful for the indelible journey she took us on over the last 17 years—we were truly blessed to be Claire’s parents. The grace, laughter and light she brought to this world will not be extinguished by her death; to the contrary, it will only get stronger.

Last week was truly a paradox in that we lost our daughter, yet we witnessed the wonderful love that exists in the world through the tremendous outpouring of support we received. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the first responders, the school resource officer, security guard and vice principal at Arapahoe High School, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s office, and the physicians, nurses and staff at Littleton Adventist Hospital. Each played a significant role in giving Claire a chance to live, and demonstrated extreme amounts of professionalism, courage and love. Please know that we will never forget the extraordinary work you did on Claire’s behalf.

We ask that you give us time to grieve the death of our daughter by respecting our wishes for privacy.

With much loving-kindness,
The Davis Family

I never knew Claire and I know that our world is far worse now without her.

As the days turn into weeks and months and into years, we must never forget Claire.

I have to keep moving forward with doing what I can to honor Claire.

I can't tolerate another school shooting.

School violence ends with me.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Social Media at it's best

I was delighted to see this on Twitter today, under the #PrayforClaire hashtag.

Claire is a fan on One Direction and a twitter campaign resulted in One Direction making a video and sharing some love with Claire.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What are you tolerating?

"What are you tolerating in your life?"

I was stopped in my tracks when trying to answer this question today. 

What are you tolerating? 

To my shock and shame, the answer that leapt to mind, was "I am tolerating school shootings."  

I live in Colorado and I have witnessed the terror and horror of the shootings at Columbine High School in April, 1999.   Columbine is 15 miles from where I live. 

In September of 2007, our community was rocked once again by the shooting of Emily Keyes.  In the aftermath of her shooting, the I Love you guys foundation was born. 

We wept again for Emily. 

July 20, 2012, less than a mile from my house 12 people were killed at the Century 16 theatre only because they sat in Theatre 9 in Aurora, Colorado. 

A classmate from my son's high school bought a ticket in theatre 9 and didn't make it home to her family that night.  Adam went to a different theater that night.  

Again as a community, we wept for those lives cut short.  One of those killed that night was 6 years old. 

Then there was Sandy Hook, 26 lives. 

We went through the motions of rattling the sword.  The liberal's blamed the NRA and the right wing extremists.  The right wing blamed the liberals.  The President and Congress said nothing could be done.    I blamed and scorned our elected officials for their lack of courage, their inaction. 

I don't pretend to have the answer nor to comprehend the complexities of the right to bear arms versus protecting the lives of children and adults who are massacred for going shopping, for choosing to attend a midnight showing of a movie or going to school. 

There are some that celebrate that only one student was shot on Friday.  This is viewed as a victory after Columbine.  I can't celebrate that an innocent girl, that loves horses was shot in the head because she was sitting in the cafeteria of her high school having lunch with a friend. 

To do nothing again in light of the most recent school shooting makes me a co-conspirator to the madness.   My lack of action borders on the criminal. 

I don't pretend to think that I alone can change what happened to Claire Davis last Friday.  All I know is that I have to do something.  I have to try.  

I can't tolerate another shooting in my community and expect Congress, the President to do what I won't do. 

So today, I commit to honor Claire Davis with action. 

Tomorrow, I am calling my Colorado State representative(Su Ryden), I am calling my Colorado State Senator(Caroll Morgan).  I am going to call my congressman(Mike Coffman), my Senators(Michael Bennet and Mark Udall).  I am calling Governor John Hickenlooper. 

Friday when I fly home from Austin, I am going to draft a letter to everyone of these people and ask them to stand with Claire and honor her with action.  It is past time for them to issue empty press releases.  It is time for action.  There is too much at stake for me, for them, for us to wait for another shooting.   What will it take?  We can't afford another Sandy Hook.  We can't lose another Emily.  We can't lose Claire.  Our world is worse without Emily.  It will be far worse without Claire. 

I can't tolerate this anymore.  I just can't. 

I am giving up my co-conspirator status.  I renounce my complicity in these shootings. 

I invite you to join me and honor with action for Claire Davis. 

Claire Davis

This has to stop. Gun violence and school shootings ends with me. 

If you are inspired to action, please retweet, like on Facebook and most importantly.

Please send a letter of support to Claire and her family, you can mail them to: 
Claire Davis
c/o Littleton Adventist Hospital
7700 S. Broadway
Littleton, CO 80122

Looking towards 2024

Adam and I were in San Antonio last weekend and were fortunate to be riding on the boat during a river boat tour with a a future olympic runner.

Our tour guide told everyone on the boat that we were riding with a young lady who had run in the USATF 3K championship earlier that morning.  We chatted for a bit and I found out she has already run as far as a 10K.  I didn't run my first 10K until I was in my forties.

As we were leaving the boat I waited on the dock so I could ask her a few questions.

I asked her what her name was and when I could expect to watch her running in the Olympics.  I told her that I would be watching.

She smiled sweetly and laughed.  Her parents said that was a ways off.  Maybe 2024.

So you heard it first here.

Keep your eyes open for Elly.  This is the future of American running.  She ran 13:48 for 3000 meters at the age of 10, which is totally ridiculous.

Elly, 2024 Olympic Runner!

In light of what happened at Arapahoe High school last Friday and on the one year anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, Elly gave me hope this morning.

Let's make sure this young girl makes it to her start line in 2024 safely.  It's up to us...

“Hope is always available to us. When we feel defeated, we need only take a deep breath and say, "Yes," and hope will reappear.”

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Not again...

Today marks one year since the unspeakable, the unknowable terror occurred at Sandy Hook elementary in Newton Connecticut.

26 people lost their lives because they went to school that day, most to learn, some to teach.

Yesterday in a grim reminder that this can happen anywhere, anytime and we go through our lives hoping that their won't be another shooting in a school.  That as parents we can send our children off to school and believe they are safe.

At 12:33 PM at Arapahoe High School in Littleton, 15 minutes from Columbine High School, 15 minutes from the Aurora theater shootings, the all too familiar terror returned.

Sitting in a classroom in Austin, Texas working on a project to write a Music Video application in Javascript, my heart sank when I heard this.

Clips of students being herded to the track outside of the school and being searched for weapons made me feel sick to my stomach.  Laura and I ran on this track when we were training for the Paris marathon.  The world is turned upside down again.

The shooter is dead now, by his own hand as this is how these stories usually play out.

A girl, 15 years young is in critical condition after being shot in the head.  This shooting will just be a footnote, appended to the every growing list of school shootings.

The students at Arapahoe High school posted a sign this morning asking for the community to help the family of the girl who was shot.

The last line of their message says it all,  "Warriors always take care one another."

Good thing they are up to the task, we continue to fail these young people entrusted to our care.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Project Reverb: Day 3

#Reverb13:  What was the braves thing you did in 2013?

I applied to be accepted in a Web Immersion bootcamp program in Denver last summer.  I had to make a five minute video.  Talk about being out of the comfort zone.

I thought the interview went really well.  I thought I was going to be accepted into the program.  Finally I had a clear path into finding my way back.

I didn't get in.

I asked for feedback.

I was told that "while I could be a programmer if I really wanted to pursue it, they felt that it would be intense, too fast paced for me".

After having been a programmer for most of the 90's and then a manager of a development team for another 10 years I wasn't sure what to do with their assessment.

Their words, their belief about me hurt.  It made me angry.  I felt insulted.

I stood in the face of that no and applied to another web immersion program.  This time I got accepted into the program.

I had to leave my family and relocate to another state for the length of the program.

Now, I have a seat at the table.

Sometimes I hear the whispers of that no and wonder if I can do this.  I could be the father of many of the students in this class.  I wonder what it is I am doing.  Can I do this again at my age?

So yes, I would say I am very brave right now.

I am showing up differently, I am raising my hand and finding my voice.  I am practicing making eye contact, being open and curious.

I am just as important as anyone else here for this training.

I gave Kelly a plaque that had this quote on it many years ago.

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.”
― Mary Anne Radmacher