Mentioning my brother-in-law in the last post makes me want to introduce him to my readers. He also reads this, so I have to not embellish too much. People often think we're brothers, on account of the fact that we're both thin and wear the same haircut (the flattop). But he's far more interesting than me. He was born hydrocephalic--a condition in which cerebral fluid accumulates and causes the brain to swell. The treatment is a plastic shunt implanted in the skull that pumps off the fluid. He also is asthmatic, and allergic to pretty much everything. So, you'd guess he probably can't do much. You'd be wrong. He is a black belt in two different martial arts and also runs ultra-marathons (ultra distance BEGINS at 50k, which is 31 miles). He's also a good husband, a good dad, and a Christian minister. He specializes in visiting the sick in the hospital, since he's had so much experience being there.
Everybody should have a friend like him--a guy with whom you are evenly matched in every activity (except the martial arts, of course--he'd kick my butt in a fair fight. I did, however, break his nose once, but that was playing basketball). Whether basketball, pool, poker, or a "relaxed" run on vacation together, if we played any game 100 times, it would come down to a 50-50 tiebreaker and an all-out war on that one.
This weekend I gave him a call to invite him to our track meet (we ran high school track together 20 years ago, so he's one of my few friends who really understands the subtleties of the sport). He couldn't come, because he was on his way to a martial arts tournament out of town. My sister had told him he couldn't spar, since he just had brain surgery (shunt replacement) a couple of weeks ago. He took 3rd in the black belt division in the "forms" competition. Some people make excuses why they can't do things. Others overcome, and in doing so, inspire. I am thankful that my sister managed to marry one of the good guys.
(A footnote: I'm only saying all these nice things about him so he won't give me too hard a time over my round flattop.)