Off topic: updates on some of my friends...

Blogging will resume shortly. After several days in Ankara, Turkey, presenting at the NATO Center of Excellence Department Against Terrorism - subject: Treating Terrorism as the Propaganda Act It Is - I came home to be a dad (taking care of / enjoying the kids on Friday) and a husband (painting, sanding and priming metal stairs, grouting, plumbing, etc).

As author Dave Berry said, not writing is easy and it gets easier the more you don't write. So, I'll start of this first post in a while with something completely different: updates from friends that have nothing to do with public diplomacy or strategic communication.

My good friend Jimmy Freeman has a short article in Endurance News, the newsletter of Hammer Nutrition, on how Hammer products helped his racing. Many years ago, Jimmy joined my dog and me for a trail run. Long story short, we had to cut nearly 5 miles off the run and several steep climbs because he, despite his early statements to the contrary, was not in fact a trail runner. After a nine mile run simplified to make sure he could complete the run, my dog wasn't even panting. Now, Jimmy pounds out 100 miles runs like their mere marathons, and did one under 24 hours! He keeps saying he wants to run with me now...

By the way, speaking of Hammer Nutrition, support this blog - and my dog who favors orange-flavored HEED, forcing me to switch long ago from my preferred flavor, lemon-lime - by using me (#35255 or "Matt Armstrong") on your first order of Hammer products and you'll get a 15% discount. I am, surprisingly, still sponsored by Hammer, no longer as an athlete but as a coach (don't tell them I'm no longer coaching). 

Second, former training buddy and former co-worker Bobby Bostic is planning his eleventh edition of his Pony Express Run. The Pony Express Run began over a decade ago (it has been a long time since I helped him that first run) as a challenge that he could outrun the interoffice mail from our West Los Angeles office to the Brea office. He did, in fact make it faster than interoffice mail and in the process raised a lot of money for challenged athletes.

Then there's Nate Loyal, pro-cyclist and coach, who is proud to have a bike rack on his motorcycle.

Last, my very good friend for nearly a decade, Anthony Manniello, fresh out of infantry school (and older than me) will join the 3rd Stryker Brigade next month.