Run Life's Course

Run Life's Course
It's The Course and the Finish that Counts

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's Never Too Late To Finish


In the past month I have met and/or become reacquainted with some really good people with genuine hearts and kindred spirits with a candid and fun approach to life.  Trust me it is refreshing! But the common thread of all of these individuals is that somewhere in the midst of living life, they stopped short of a previous goal to complete their college education - a dream gone goodbye.

Scenario 1:  They were offered a great job while they were in college and became accustomed to the lifestyle created by making that money...only to find out years later, it was not the right decision because a completed degree would have enabled more career choices and salary increases.

Scenario 2:  They received the opportunity of a lifetime to play professional sports and had a short-lived "career", ending in 2 years, and never found their way back to complete the remaining 9 - 12 credits for the degree.  Now in the construction and security industry trying to determine how to make things work, hindsight is keen.  The college degree would have positioned them for a coaching career at a collegiate level.

Scenario 3: They either got married to the love of their life or had a family at a young age or during college and worked to take care of the child and never had the mindset to finish. They allowed all the kid's activities to take up the spare time and did not allot for any downtime to accomplish personal goals or even have a personal dream.  Now that the child is almost grown, time has come and gone and there is little to no interest in completing what was started.

Let's face it.  People make time for what they believe is important.  The ability to prioritize is a major problem for individuals who put others' dreams before theirs.  They tend to put their life on hold to get someone else's life into gear. And if they have a good heart, they get great satisfaction in witnessing others achieve their goals - kids, family, friends, co-workers, etc.  But of course, there's the personal guilt trip if you do anything for yourself.  It does not make you a bad spouse, child, or parent; it provides an internal peace that you need to stay sane with the mundane routines that you have allowed to occur in life.

But there is good news...if you take 1 - 2 hours a day to focus on you, learning how to sleep 1 or 2 hours less/day, or watching no television (e.g. especially not-so reality shows), you can at least complete the degree you started with online or evening courses. And if you restructure the family and kid's extra-curricular activities to happen around or after college weekend courses, those are also an option. 

Oh yes, the money aspect.  Stop buying the $5.00/day Starbucks, cigarettes, and start packing your lunch.  Go to the manicure/pedicure spot twice/month instead of weekly.  Eliminate the frequent happy hours and save money by drinking less.  Water is a great healthy option.  Hold off on the spontaneous shopping sprees.  Keep consistent with this for 90 days and it becomes a habit to save the extra money for this endeavor.

So where do you start? 1) Set up an appointment with the counselor of your old college and take the course curriculum that was required for you to graduate.  2) Order a copy of your transcript.  3)  Determine how many courses would be required (on-campus and online) to finish.  4)  If all of the courses are on-campus and you can't adjust work schedules to take them, go an alternative route and check for universities who allow completion of college degrees online (e.g. University of Maryland University College, University of Phoenix, etc.).5) Get the essays written and checked and the references ready for the application.  6) Start scheduling the downtime and removing distractions in the space of where there should be either classes or studying. 

Once the importance of completing what you start is in place, other values begin to surface.  Next up, becomes a career change that provides more money and autonomy.  There's a bigger vision - how your kids see you professionally and want to aspire to their dreams, the ability to financially do more for the family, and the possibilities of being your own boss and having the freedom of time to do what you want when you want.  We all have had endured some circumstances in life, some more dire than others.  But it's never too late to achieve as you Run Life's Course!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Cloudier The Purpose, The Bigger The Vision

Clearing Up Cloudy Purpose...
Two more weeks of planning to be one of the sponsors of the Ray Lewis Family Foundation and anything taking more than two emails to resolve has officially become a problem.  And the problems keep coming for some reason.  Maybe this is what people mean by "biting off more than you can chew".  The challenges are stacking up and 12 mile runs every morning and hill runs on the weekends are not exactly clearing my mind to help me focus on getting through them for this philanthropic effort.

A good measure gift for the Celebrity Bowling tournament was supposed to be giving out my newly released book, Get A Clue - 10 Steps to an Executive IQ.  After all, if the attendees are paying over a $100 to bowl or spectate, they clearly are either executives, leaders, entrepreneurs, or descendants of some great business owners.  These people want to make a difference so why not throw in a book.  Well I tell you why not?  My assistant calls the book distributor and they tell her that it will cost over $900.00 to ship the books to Baltimore.  That's ludicrous. That's 4 more iPad minis that I can give to some more young people.  Time to come up with Plan B.

Plan B consists of ordering promotional items for the tablet/laptop screen cleaners.  All good although disappointing because the book would be more of a gift.  Now I have to wait for the proofs of both the screen cleaners and the drawstring bags that will be given to the participants at the Fitness Clinic.  I opened the email from the promotional company with the two proofs that require my signature and the proofs are not what I ordered and it is for another company.

The NYC group I am sponsoring is now continuing to try to get chaperones on the field at the Fitness Clinic and the Miami D Camp.  Don't they read rules and regulations from the organizers.  In fact, these are the same people that believe I should pay for 3 grown men to be chaperones for the 11 kids I am flying down to participate in the camp.  By the way, the kids will be in camp from 8am - 5pm.  What exactly would the chaperones be doing the rest of the day?  Typical New York mentality to try and get over...adults acting up instead of the kids.

After three emails to the promotional item company, they finally send only one correct item changed on the approval form.  Now we are off and running but the new shipping date is next Monday.  Hold on, this needs to be in Baltimore by Wednesday and it was originally ordered four weeks ago.  Oh but now I can't get anyone on the phone to resolve this matter and ensure shipping delivers on time.

I circle back to the book distributor and interacted with a nice man on their chat application who indicated the books would not require a $900 shipping charge because Baltimore was considered local.  This means the book could be in Baltimore by Monday for a shipping charge of $63.00.  Back in business by His grace.

Now 10 nights straight of no sleep because I need to make sure one of my current projects is intact before I leave for this Baltimore trip.  I leave my client's office, which is about 35 miles from the real part of Los Angeles.  Of course there is always a need to pass slow individuals and to get out of the traffic so I step on the gas and the ENGINE MALFUNCTION light comes on with a message that ENGINE POWER HAS REDUCED.  I get to my neck of the woods (familiar area) off the highway of which we all were speeding and the vehicle stops with no warning in the middle of an intersection.  Seriously?

I call Roadside Assistance and they tell me 70 minutes before they will show up.  Good thing I didn't cancel my AAA membership because they were there in less than 10 minutes and the dispatcher stayed on the phone with me to make sure I was safe.  Good job AAA!  After three tow trucks (because you can't tow the vehicle if it won't go into Neutral), it was towed to the after hours parking lot.  Now another issue and this one much more major; this could have been my life.

Why is all this happening a week before the event?  What happened to the joyous feeling you are supposed to feel because you are doing something for others?  If I had just dumbed down my vision, I might not have had all these problems.  Maybe I should have just given the money and not been so involved.  If I have to go through all of these challenges a week before the event, maybe this is a sign that it was not meant to be and I should just bail out.  

All of a sudden, I think about how blessed I am.  First and foremost, the vehicle did not stop in the middle of the highway where people were going over 80 miles/hour.  My life and probably some other lives were spared.  But God!  Just that thought alone gives me the extra push to not stop because the fact that I am still here means there is a vision even greater than me to not only reach but extend myself to help the next generation.  And so I have to Run Life's Course.

Friday, May 17, 2013

To Whom Much is Given

No matter the education, athleticism, fame, fortune, or political presence, you have not made it until you reach back and give to others.  Unfortunately a hint of success makes some entrepreneurs, executive leaders, entertainers, politicians, and athletes forget that reaching one person makes for a better community.   Eventually they recognize that money, power, and respect will ebb and flow based on economics, popularity, athletic prowess, and presence but the gratitude of those that are helped is lasting.  

If you are among the fortunate that has built a brand and stayed the course of creating an excellent present and exciting future, it is your job to give back to those less fortunate.  Whether it is for an area of expertise or a cause that has very strong personal purpose, it is better to give than to take.  After all, you have taken deals, contracts, favors, and opportunities to be where you are so why not create a level playing field or give someone else an edge to overcome a challenge?

This is one of the reasons I decided my company, The RLC Group, would be a Hosting Sponsor of the Ray Lewis Family Foundation.   Clearly my twitter (@temekoruns) pictures show that this NYer is a Ravens fan.  More importantly, Ray Lewis' focus on the health and fitness of the youth is aligned with the motivational arm, Run Life's Course, which encourages fitness (specifically running) as a means to change the mindset that a challenge can be overcome.

It started out as sponsorship for kids from New York City to attend the Baltimore Youth Fitness Clinic and awarding a host of technology prizes to the best participants in terms of effort and athleticism.  Two weeks later, it propelled into a conversation with the organizers of the Ray's Summer Days events which turned into gifting the Ray's Kids of Character with high technology prizes.  And justifiably so!  The Kids of Character definitely embody everything the youth should strive to be - involved in the community, excelling academically, leading community and spiritual efforts, and having a true spiritual relationship.  

How much will the laptops help the entering college students that graduated from the Kids of Character?  What educational technology gifts can help give more leverage to some of the other kids?  What will these children look like 10 years from now in their community, church, school, or employment? I don't know the immediate answers.  So the sponsorship package grew tremendously but hopefully it makes an even greater impact than the dollars for some well-deserving youth.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ready In Their Own Time Not Ours

As a runner that has been fortunate enough to only experience an ITB issue, there was the physical pain but worst the mental anguish of not knowing when it was going to disappear, get better, vanish, something.  Additionally there was the mental exhaustion of having it worsen during two marathons with no idea how I could sustain it to make it to the finish line.  Quitting was not an option but running marathons for me is a hobby in my lifestyle - it's not my passion nor my job.  

Injuries have plagued the key go-to players for several NBA teams this season with the result of losses that diminished the hopes of very promising teams entering the finals.  The Lakers, without Kobe Bryant, really had no chance.  The Thunder and the Bulls put up a fabulous fight in their respective Conference semifinals without Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose. In fact, Kevin Durant just looked lonely without Westbrook. The Celtics just kept looking short-handed without Rajon Rondo.  And even though David Lee decided to come into one game to help his team, the Warriors are most definitely missing his presence. So what do they feel mentally?

Sitting on a bench or at home tweeting the game away with no real way to physically help the team.  Missing the camaraderie that comes with professional sports because of surgery and doctor restrictions.  Making the same quick moves before on the court and all of a sudden, this injury creeps up out of nowhere. And the return must be even scary or challenging?  These are high performers and they must be at least as good as before or better.  If not, the critics will nail them.

Clearly I can never measure up to their athleticism, but once I took the first step to run the next marathon I believed I could conquer it and I did - my best PR.  So while everyone was pressuring Derrick Rose to make a move and suit up in the playoffs, he and all the others will do that in their own time - when they are ready mentally and physically.  We, as fans, should just look forward to see how they overcome the challenge and maintain their greatness with some incredible comebacks.  For whatever reason, it is part of their course.

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Yorkers Polite, Runners Unite!

Feverishly working the day away on the left coast, I am exhausted from my volunteer activities.  I am so glad I knew this would happen in advance so as not to waste a trip and hefty expenses to run the Boston marathon on today. But now why am I getting so many calls and FB messages and text messages asking me if I am okay? Oblivious to the news unless it is sports-related, I check twitter.  Yes my source of quick no-chaser info.  It appears there was a bombing near the finish line.  WTH!

After about 10 minutes looking at the jambalaya of mixed reports, I start responding to everyone's emails, calls, text messages.  First my dad who was already comforted in knowing that "he knew I wasn't there".  Of course I did not want him to go through the same feeling of not-knowing for hours on end as he did with the World Trade Center incident.  Next a general post to Facebook because most people are glued to that.

Now here I go again in disbelief, two days later after trying to understand how the world of sports was crumbling (in my eyes) with the Kobe torn ACL and the Tiger penalty post-Masters play.  This one was closer to home because it could have been at ANY marathon in ANY city in ANY country that I run.  Talk about blessed and highly favored!

What an awful experience for the traditional only-elite qualification major run in the country?  But how do these people put their lives back together again after this tragedy?  The injuries, the memories, the feeling of no accomplishment after crossing a finish line marred with drama, the aftermath, the nightmares?  I have no idea but one thing is for sure, marathoners know what it is like to persevere.  Marathoners understand mind over matter.  Marathoners don't quit.  Marathoners will walk or crawl to the finish line because we will make it.  Marathoners will continue to run and not let this take away their freedom.

So tomorrow, in honor of those impacted in Boston (marathoners, families, and innocent bystanders), this New Yorker will rep her blue and yellow.   Giants and Jets fans don't care about the Patriots today; we love the Americans that are Patriots fans.  The Bronx Bombers will stand with Boston and the Knicks will honor Boston too regardless of the bitter sports rivalry.   That's what New Yorkers will do.  Now when it comes to the Knicks taking on the Celtics in the playoffs, we still have to route for the 'orange and blue' but we will still clap for the 'green and white' because New Yorkers know what it feels like to be invaded on what we considered safe territory.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Crushed by Injury, Inspired by the Comeback

It's that time of the year again - volunteering for my church's women's conference near the end of an exciting NBA season - where I am so exhausted not only do I miss the games but the ESPN highlights. 

Nonetheless, I woke up this morning to go to the morning glory service and was about to tweet until I almost had to pinch myself to wake up from a nightmare - my favorite active NBA and team go-to player, Kobe Bryant, went down last night with a torn ACL.

I couldn't wrap my mind around it but I read in this order the tweets from Dwayne Wade, Stuart Scott, CP3, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul Pierce and I had to come to realization that it was true.  With the promise of volunteering and running a company and handling projects, I said a quick prayer and decided to come back to these emotions.

Now back in my room after the evening session and item lobby discussions, I just checked out the post-game interview and find myself in tears.  How could this be? 17 years of giving 190% in both physical and mental preparation and playing through almost every injury possible and this is how it goes down. And the 2nd to worst part is his almost single-handed effort to will his team to the playoffs in the the fight for the 8th seed, a ranking unbeknownst to long-time Lakers fans. Yes, I know your body starts to wane over time but this is Kobe and in my mind, he is invincible and relentless when it comes to athleticism. 

Now needing some Kleenex from all this crying, I go to my bag and open the side compartment and my Baltimore Ravens bracelet falls out. In teary-eyed vision, I start recollecting"the ride". I pulled out my iPad and at first glance, saw the picture of Peyton Manning and Ray Lewis talking after the Broncos loss in the locker room. Wait! Peyton suffered a neck injury, sat out an entire season with the Colts, and came back with a vengeance with his new team, the Denver Broncos.  Ray Lewis was supposed to be out all season after tearing his tricep but worked his way back and retired with another Superbowl ring. And then there was my picture with Adrian Peterson at iHop during Superbowl weekend.  Not only did he tear the MCL and the ACL but he came back as the NFL MVP and only 8 yards shy of a rushing record. 

All of a sudden I am feeling a little better.  I read Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony's tweets again and they are right.  If anyone, I mean ANYONE, can come back from this, it's Kobe Bean "vino" "mamba" Bryant. He will run this course like no other and inspire us all to come back stronger from our temporary setbacks.  #runmambacourse 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Breaking Point

Since I am back home in the cold (yes it's still 30 degrees in spring), running outdoors was not an option for me.  Instead I went against my desires and went to a class of all women at Physique 57 at the different locations around the city.  Known for the thigh, ab, and glute-intensive workouts, 6 classes in 4 days had me feeling the pain and enjoying the burn.  But something better happened in two of those classes - the opportunity to encourage two older newcomers to continue through the 57 minute class.

One grabbed her towel and walked out and I went to get her and brought her back in.  The other just gave up at the barre before I went to her side. When you think you can't make it anymore because the pain is too great, there is a sense of urgency for encouragement. If you can't encourage yourself, make sure you are around people who can talk you off the ledge. 

As I had a week full of unknowns followed by a week of doing business with some unethical people, the burden is extremely heavy for the smart business woman, who isn't feeling so smart. I can only talk to two people about it and one just didn't get it.  Didn't get that I was at the breaking point - the point where I just want to throw in the towel and leave, just like those two ladies. 

But on my way home in the car, a telephone call from my college buddy was the most enlightening and encouraging moment.  It was good to hear that someone understands that you can pour so much into others' lives that it is draining and lonesome when you can't get that in return from anywhere. But I was encouraged because she reiterated how my life is still a blessing compared to others.  

Tears of agreement dried up because I know it s not in my nature to quit. Maybe this week I can incorporate what I learned in the 57 minutes into a post-run routine when I return to the warm weather.  More importantly I will encourage another because someone encouraged me.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

No Pain All Gain

It's been a little over a week and I sprinted one day.  Yes, just one day.  This was after I had already run 9 miles and incorporated 3 miles of hills in the effort. I welcomed the totally winded feeling after each 1/4 mile sprint but I measured my desire to return to running based on how I felt the next day.

The sprints did not cause any pain so I felt like I had not accomplished anything. The 3 mile hill runs had my calves and quads on FIRE and that encouraged me to launch a new challenging regimen. Maybe I am a glutton for punishment but in this case if there is no pain, I gain motivation to ensure my muscles are toning and burning.

Since most of my marathons were on flat courses, I always liked the challenge of running at least one hilly one every other month (e.g. Georgia, San Franisco, etc in that order) because the pain the following day had me feeling like I had done 2000 squats.  So how can I gain my momentum and feel the pain with this busy schedule?

I think I found the trick since running outside is not an option at 5am with this Daylight Savings Time (and remember I hate the treadmills).  I searched online for the workouts of great focused athletes and found now-retired Ravens player, Ray Lewis, making workouts look like a full- time job. Download it on your Apple iOS devices - trust!  Four days in a row I selected a Ray Lewis workout and worked out like an active NFL linebacker.  4am I am looking at Mr. 52 focused on not quitting.  After 8pm I am taking out my frustrations of the day with some forceful kickboxing.  Since running marathon miles is no longer a challenge for me, I plan on 6 mile hill runs each day of this weekend.

Lets see if this week's pain helps me gain some encouragement to run the course! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Getting Back to the Run of Things - Part 1

It is hard to return to running when other priorities have occupied your time. It is harder to even want to return to marathon-ing because it takes too much time that can be devoted to new initiatives and business ventures. No I don't train so I am talking about the travel and time associated to running two marathons a month. And with all the people running/walking marathons now, it just doesn't feel like an accomplishment anymore.  So this month, I will see if I have any renewed interest. 

This week I will wear my new Nike track shoes. Sprint workouts at the local track are better cardio and performance routines. If I can get in 8 1/4 miles and time them for less than 2 minutes each with a 2 minute break in between, I am good for 35 minutes. It's quick and I can focus on my core and arm strength and go to my boxing trainer or my choreographer. 

Check back next week to see how often this routine will be put to the test.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Brrr It's Too Cold to Run

My UnderArmour Beanie
I will be your friend to the end but I am a fair weather runner all day all year.  I don't have anything to prove to run a marathon (26.2 miles) in extremely hot weather, rain, or below freezing conditions. Call me a bit of a prima donna if you like but that does not matter to me because I have been delivered from other's opinions of me for years. I digress....Not knowing the weather this morning I stepped out of my hotel at 6am ready to get in a run and brrr.

I felt the chill that I felt in my bones in the first mile of the Suntrust marathon in D.C. two years ago in March where it was 26 degrees F at the start and 38 degrees F at my finish.  I ran with gloves the entire length and never warmed up and I promised I would not do that again. So I kept the promise to myself...I went back to the hotel after 6 miles and completed 6 miles on the treadmill followed by some weight training. 

Do I feel defeated or less accomplished?  No not at all, a lot wiser to know that it just isn't that deep for me to be cold in my extracurricular time. So next outdoor run in the winter - South Beach before 8am.  Oh because then I would be blogging that it would be too hot. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Win for Destiny

Now that I am leaving the Big Easy, here are eight reasons the Ravens win was so special inside the Superdome that housed Katrina victims years ago: 
  1. Three 75+ yr women walked out of the bathroom behind me and started telling me they cried when Ray Lewis announced his retirement because they did not know what Baltimore would do without his generosity to the children and senior citizens community. I assured him that I thought he would still be a pillar in the community. Tears starting forming in their eyes as two said "I hope so baby".
  2. In the Superdome store, four women that reminded me of my aunt and grandmother asked me to help them pick out some souvenirs. Oh yeah, two of them had walking canes and said they would never miss this moment. They saved for this day.
  3. In a sea of red of 49ers fans of which it was nothing to pay for the high priced tickets (and they wore that arrogance too), Ravens fans were a pretty humble bunch that reminded me of my family (personal and extended church) and middle class hard working Americans. 
  4. When the lights at the top of the dome went out on the 49ers side only (no there was no blackout), Ravens fans were proclaiming that it was the trick of the devil to change the momentum of the game and get the Ravens off-course. (And we know that happens in real life!) 
  5. When the momentum of the game shifted towards the 49ers, I stood up and tuned everything out and started professing quietly, "God, you did not put everything in order for me to get here to see a Ravens loss and Ray not get another ring.  This was ordained. This trip is about how you are going to come through for me too.  This is about the testimony I am going to have when this trial is over." 
  6. While the 49ers fans were cheering loudly at the end of the game, the Ravens fans in the three sections next to us were quiet on the last defensive play and put one hand up and said "no weapon formed". 
  7. The emotions - The tears some of the Ravens fans and me too wiped away at 5 seconds to the end of the game. The cheer when Ray Lewis said "What God has for you!". The cry out that Torrey Smith did for his brother Tevin when he ran through our section. The tears rolling from Michael's adopted parents. The kisses to the crowd from the player's moms before going in the tunnel as she said "Thanks for the years supporting my baby!"
  8. And the excitement of Ray's win after a torn tricep was supposed to put him out for the season and all the HATERS that tried to tear down his spirit but he kept believing.
So shout out to the Ravens fans and may Baltimore celebrate harder than ever because this was another win for destiny - something I needed to witness as my change is coming!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ray Lewis - My Motivation for The Superbowl Trip

For the past four weeks I have watched the Ravens with their exciting surprise victories over the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, and the "air about them" England Patriots after Ray Lewis announced his retirement from the NFL. It was like extra team effort, his influential motivation, and another step towards destiny were all in place.  At each interview, Ray cited some key biblical quotes that were at the time speaking directly to me based on what I had been going through these past four weeks. Mentally exhausted, fed up with last year's bad experiences, recently experienced unwarranted professional attacks, and continually having to face haters regularly, I felt Ray Lewis every time he said "No weapon formed against me shall prosper".  Here was a man passionately telling my testimony and what I was believing every day since the 2nd week of January to endure.

After I was pacing the floor in my living room during the Ravens  - Broncos game, I kept telling myself that I have to go to the Superbowl to support Ray Lewis if the Ravens pull out a win. And that they did, in OT.  Needless to say I was jumping up and down during that Patriots defeat and again felt Ray's proclamation. So I rushed between the Internet and the phone to make arrangements to get to New Orleans. The result - game tickets were too high, airline prices were exorbitant, available flights did not return me back in time, La Quinta Inns nowhere near the Superdome were $600/night and Marriott Courtyards on the strip were $2500/night.  I couldn't fathom spending the equivalent of three mortgage payments on a Superbowl trip even if Ray Lewis, himself, was footing the bill.  It just wasn't meant to be.

The next morning I wake up to see that a Patriots player's wife made, with a subsequent apology, heinous remarks about past false accusations and the family life of Ray Lewis. Yesterday I watched a clip of Boomer Esiason derogatorily bring up a past incident of which Lewis was exonerated completely and unequivocally over 10 years ago.  Once again, I was disappointed that I could not cheer him on against the haters. 

Since my long commute was adding on physical exhaustion in addition to the other anguish, I decided to check into a hotel near the office last night. The front desk assigned me to room 301.  It felt like a quarter mile walk from the elevator but I was too tired to change the room.  I turned on ESPN SportsCenter (one of the only few shows I watch) and checked my phone for recent tweets and saw hateful comments about Lewis.  I began searching for the reason why he was hated so much because I was in Atlanta for the Superbowl weekend of which the horrible events took place and remember vividly the case.  I watched all sorts of interviews of him, his hard core workout regimen with Monte Sanders, charitable efforts around Baltimore and beyond, and dedication to fatherhood. This dude had some twists and turns and overcame some serious challenges but he is running life's course.  I decided I would give a last ditch effort to get to the Big Dance.

In my room 301 (area code for the Maryland area), I found better game tickets almost on the field, specifically the goal post and tunnel for 50% cheaper on Row 8.  I was able to book airline tickets that fit my schedule and 65% cheaper than what they were two weeks ago.  I found one hotel room available in the entire French Quarter, two blocks from Bourbon, of which I was going to have to share with my friend. But it was reasonably priced compared to the others and convenient to everything including the Superdome. They sent me a confirmation and I knew I was in. I called my BMF of 13 years before retiring to bed and said "We're going to the Superbowl!"

This morning there was nothing these haters could say to me to impact my mood because internally my thoughts were "I am going to the Superbowl."  Two hours ago I received a call from the hotel asst. manager confirming my reservation.  Since I hadn't shared a room since college and I need peace of mind from my week with these haters, I thanked her for the accommodations and asked her if she had two rooms. She promised to put me on a waitlist if an additional room became available.  Thirty minutes ago, she called back and said they had a smaller additional room and would give me both rooms for only $100 more a night. Choked up and fighting back tears, because this is just unreal, I agreed and immediately God reminded me that He can pull anything together in the last minute and when you least expect it.

Ray Lewis and the Ravens, this NYer has your back.  I have renewed hope just because of this trip to the Superbowl. God is always able and these problems will soon pass. In the meantime, I have to go pack for a trip to New Orleans that was meant to be part of my life's course.