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Freeing Up My Sundays

2016 December 4
by Stanley Quan

This year, I am boycotting the NFL.

This means no Sunday football-watching sprees, no fantasy football leagues, no daily focus on professional football news.

I chose to do this because I have been frustrated by the league’s inaction on issues like domestic abuse and concussions. They are all about money and I didn’t want to be a part of that any more.

And it’s been great!

My Sundays are now free. It’s been amazing to have an extra day each week to do things other than watch football.

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The Fight For What’s Right

2016 November 13
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I’ve had some time to think about what happened last Tuesday, when Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States.

Some good reads I’ve come across:

I’m still trying to digest and understand. I know my perspective isn’t the only one out there and I’m trying to understand from others’ perspectives. I know sometimes I can be stuck in my own bubble.

On election night, I was so mad and sad. When the voting results started coming in and all of the momentum shifted Trump’s way, I shed a few tears. I couldn’t believe what was happening.

I had been so excited in the morning, celebrating a friend’s birthday, and envisioning what seemed inevitable, the election of Hillary Clinton as our first female President. It would have been historic and inspirational and a triumph for us as a society.

But Trump won. I guess this is where we are as a country. The racism, sexism, xenophobia, and hate won this election.

It’s disheartening to read letters written by first-grade students to Donald Trump. The person that they are supposed to look up to is someone who gives them pause and might even scare them. But those children inspire me. Their thoughtfulness and caring give me hope.

We can’t rewind and replay the election. We can only move forward from here.

I truly do believe that love trumps hate, and that we as a society will relentlessly fight to make that true.

As Hil said in her concession speech, we can “never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It is. It is worth it.”

We gotta keep fighting the good fight.

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Good Month

2016 September 17
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by Stanley Quan

It’s been a good month.

I entered what I consider to be my late twenties but haven’t turned back.

There have been concerts, good food, and walks in parks (exclusive parks, mysterious parks, ballparks).

Spicy.

foothills-park

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26.2

2016 August 1

Yesterday, I ran the San Francisco Marathon!

About three months ago, I set my goal and trained hard. It finally paid off yesterday.

I almost didn’t survive the build up haha.

After building my mileage, I tapered my training a few weeks before the race. While my legs were resting, my mind raced. I kept wondering if I would “hit a wall” during the race and not finish.

The day before the marathon, I was as nervous as I’ve ever been. Tried carbo-loading some of that anxiety away.

But when the day came, I was ready. Got up at 4am, settled down, and made it down to the starting line.

The sun hadn’t even risen yet, which felt pretty weird.

sf marathon start

It was exciting to be among all the other runners though, all getting ready to take on a huge challenge together. There’s something about the runner community and spirit that is really inspiring.

At this point, the jitters were gone, and it was time to go.

At the beginning of the race, I started slower and warmed up, and then settled into a good, strong pace. I clocked in well after the first half marathon, and felt good.

That part of the course was very hilly though and I think it took it’s toll later on.

Around mile 17 or 18, I could feel my legs fading. At mile 20, I sort of hit that wall I dreaded and struggled hard. At mile 23, I think I hit an even harder wall. Those last three miles caused me to miss my goal time by a few minutes, but I’m glad I willed my legs to keep churning.

Many times during the race, the thought of stopping and walking popped into my head. Four hours is a lot of time to think. I fought through it though and kept on to the finish.

sf-marathon-end

When I got to the finishing stretch, I muscled up my last energy, smiled a huge smile, and sprinted to the line. That was one of my happiest moments ever – seeing the finish and knowing what I was just about to accomplish.

After finishing, I immediately went into a daze, got light headed, and saw stars.

I was mentally and physically exhausted, and even passed out on the sidewalk for a short while after finding some friends.

But being tired couldn’t hide my smile. I did it! Joined the 26.2 club :)

sf marathon finish

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Discipline

2016 July 10
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by Stanley Quan

This morning, I got up at 5am to run 20 miles. My legs feel like they are going to fall off.

I’ve been following a three-month training program to get ready for the San Francisco Marathon on July 31, and it has been a serious test of my discipline.

This past week, I’ve been running with an uncomfortable sunburn. My legs are constantly sore.

I’m not a morning person, but shifted my long runs to the early morning to avoid the midday heat. It has been a struggle each time, and I dread it the night before and the morning of.

But I made a commitment to a challenge and to myself and I’m going to make this marathon goal happen, mental and physical pain be damned.

I just keep telling myself that it’s almost over and the accomplishment will be worth it all in the end.

Hoping to survive the next three weeks and proudly cross 26.2 miles off my bucket list.

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