Archive for childhood

the daily route

Posted in 40 mile run, random with tags , , , , , , , on July 31, 2010 by afuntanilla

I walked down the driveway and turned left. a quick left again and a straight stretch along Garcia Avenue. Walking along in my ponytail, with my Trapper Keeper Binder stuffed in backpack, I always thought the houses were soooo nice. All of them had neatly manicured lawns, pretty flowers, and well groomed shrubbery. The homes were not big (especially by today’s standards), they were very modest, but on the outside, all well kept. As I walked by, I often wondered about the people who lived there; what were they like, what did they do, etc…Some of them I knew just a little because I delivered their morning paper, The Daily Review. A lot of the residents were actually elderly folks. I liked some of them…especially those that game me $.50 or $1.00 tip when I collected the fees for the newspaper at the end of the month. Man, I was pretty damn excited to get 2 quarters, 4 quarters or a dollar bill.

The first break in the block meant that I came to Tim Chiu’s house. Tim was a tall, lanky, very smart and shy kid in my class. We exchanged “Hi’s” whenever we saw each other and I tried to draw him out in conversation a few times, but he never said much. I’m sure we never spoke more than a few words to each other all though Elementary/Junior High School. At recess time, I always saw him with his younger brother and no one else. I wonder what happened to Tim and what he is doing now. I hope he overcame his shyness because he seemed like a very nice person. I hope he is kicking some ass in this life…even though he beat me in the spelling bee! (Tim was 1st, I was 3rd)

The next big break in the block brought me to East 14th Street, one of the big main streets in town. I went into the 7-Eleven almost every day to get some candy; Lemon Heads, Jolly Ranchers, Now or Laters…those were some of my candy staples. I crossed E. 14th Street and on the the stretch of Sunnyside Rd. I didn’t notice the homes on this street because the CATS stole the show. There were a ton of cats sauntering around…more like creeping around…that’s how I felt. All the cats really freaked me out. I felt like they were circling me and getting ready for an attack…staring at me with their creepy eyes and slinky bodies. I couldn’t wait to get passed that stretch of road. Near the end of the street there was a small park that I cut through to enter the school from the backside. Soon enough I was on the blacktop of the schoolyard and then into the classroom. That morning walk always seemed sooo long….but now as I map it out, I’m shocked to see that door to door, it is just about 1 Mile.

Looking forward to being there one more time…

“with hope in our hearts and wings on our heels…”

Posted in motivation, photos, quotes, random, road with tags , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2010 by afuntanilla

Once upon a time, there was this piece of vinyl called a 45. You know, one of those single songs. You could listen to it on something called a “record player”. Pretty wild, I know. A record player was a rather large contraption. It had something called a “needle” which was used to actually ‘play’ the record.

Well, anyway..i am telling you about this because a memory came to me back from 1981. It doesn’t actually seem that long ago when I look at the year, 1981. But it was, almost 30 years ago. Yikes!

1981 was the year Chariots of Fire came to the movie theaters. I went to see the movie and was awestruck. I was 11 years old, by the way. From one of the first scenes, I was captured. The men were running along the beach with the theme song playing. I felt like I fell in love. Drama. Running. Great music. I know i didn’t understand parts of the film, but I got the parts that mattered the most. In fact, it wasn’t even that i understood, it was more like it just seeped into my brain, my blood. The passion, the joy, the commitment. The fire that comes from striving to pull out everything you’ve got for that which you are committed. The enormous pleasure that can come from daunting pain. The conflict and the battle that comes from wrestling with self-doubt & then confidence & then self-doubt…and a ferocious desire to be the best.

To be the best you.

We had a record player in the house. After seeing the movie, I HAD TO HAVE THE RECORD…the theme song, Chariots of Fire! Sometime in the spring of 1982, I was to participate in a local track meet in the 100 yard dash. I was thrilled beyond words. The event was to be held a a local high school, at night, under the lights. Man, was i excited!

Prior to heading over to the event, we were listening to the record. Mom pumped up the volume and her and my siblings did our slow motion ‘Chariots of Fire’ run around our living room. I never knew if she thought I was silly to do that , but she indulged me and I was happy.

Later that evening, I ran my 100 yd dash event. I won. (that was probably the fastest i have ever been!!)

I cannot explain the thrill. The proud moment I had as a little kid.


March 14: 6 miles, outside

March 13: 6 miles, outside

March 10: 3.25 miles, treadmill

March 9: 3 miles, outside

7 Days

Why Cleveland?

Posted in browns, photos, quotes, random with tags , , , , , , , on December 26, 2009 by afuntanilla

I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious. -Vince Lombardi

Some of you have only known me thru this virtual/online world so I feel I OWE it to you to explain why I root for the Cleveland Browns. At first glance, you might not understand why I took a spontaneous trip up here this weekend from Atlanta to sit in a cold ass stadium and root for a team that is currently 3-11.

Here’s part of the why.

Well, like so many things, it all goes back to my childhood. I grew up in the East Bay of the BAY AREA in a little po-dunk city called San Leandro. This city is right next to Oakland and across the Bay from San Francisco. Of course, logic would have you think I would be a Raider or a 49er fan. Nope. never have been. Ever. Though I currently have no real feeling for either of those teams now, there were many years where I very much disliked them, for various reasons. I’m getting to the Cleveland part…be patient. Thanks.

So, I guess I was about 10 years old. Total tomboy, of course. I grew up with 2 older brothers who were 13 & 15 when I was 10. We grew up in this place:

a pretty dumpy duplex right at the edge of the San Leandro/Oakland border. In those walls, on Sundays, football would be on and one of my brothers was a Raider fan, the other was a Minnesota Viking fan. (why? i don’t know!) I think what happened with me and the Browns was that I was watching a game one day (when i was 10) and just began rooting for them because everyone was against them and they were the true underdogs. Brian Sipe was the QB and some of the other players were Mike Pruitt, Greg Pruitt, Sam Rutigliano (coach) and the great TE, Ozzie Newsome. I liked their fighting spirit, liked their orange/brown colors and liked that they had no emblem on the helmet. Only NFL team to NOT have an emblem. (hope it stays that way)

So, that’s it! I know, it’s not a very GRIPPING story. I’m not from Cleveland. Have absolutely NO connection to this place. Except I do. Cause when I was 10, I latched on to something I could believe in. A team that seemingly was the underdog every week everywhere except in their own city. A team that just reached in and became a part of my life. A team that has one of the best football stories and arguably the best fans in all of sports. So for nearly, 30 years, I have been a fan. Loyal as DAWG! Have had my heart swell with pride and excitement and have had it crushed with unbelievably heart-wrenching losses. In 1993, while traveling in Thailand, I had gotten a hold of a USA Today newspaper and read the news that the organization let QB Bernie Kosar go…half-way around the world, i was in tears.

Kosar remains my all time favorite QB. I know he wasn’t great, but he was my favorite.

This is my 4th trip to Cleveland and my 3rd time watching a football game here. I can’t wait until tomorrow to get out there with the rest of the die hard crazy-ass fans. And I can’t wait to share more of this story with you.