- Days since my release from 26 years in prison: 125
- Miles run today: 4.5
- Miles run this week: 4.5
- Miles run during the calendar month: 85.2
- Marathon distances completed: 12
- Weight: 167
Journal of activities:
This past Wednesday I made a presentation on our Straight-A Guide Life Skills Program for students and staff at the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall. I spoke about the emphasis I’ve placed on making values-based, goal-oriented decisions. That type of disciplined decision making keeps me on track and moving forward, freeing me from distractions that can take me off course. I lived that way for so long, and I’m so rigid in my beliefs about how hard I must work to succeed that others find me kind of nuts. Those assessments don’t bother me in the least. They never have. All through my prison journey, people judged me as being one who didn’t know how to relax or let up. I suppose that by interviewing so many people who returned to prison following their initial release, I became obsessed with the preparations I felt necessary to make. Those preparations, I became convinced, would minimize the likelihood of failure as I launched my career.
Following the full day of presentations with the staff and students, I spoke with Dr. Angela Haick and her team, including Rose Luerra. We spoke about how wonderful it would be to have my first Christmas in society after 26 years of Christmas seasons as a prisoner. When I said that I intended to work and that I didn’t intend on buying a Christmas tree, Rose made a very persuasive case about why I should purchase a tree for my wife. She, like many people, say that I cannot always live for the future. Instead, I must train myself to learn how to enjoy the present and celebrate the liberties that I now I have. After 26 years of imprisonment, that is a tall order for me.
I spent a lot of time working today. My final project was writing a response to an article that my friend Seth Nobmann sent me about the traits of successful people. As I wrote the article, I thought back to the Christmas tree. I’ll make sure that I buy something to celebrate the Christmas holiday with Carole. After all, she deserves more from me than I’m able to give.