On Turning 40...

We are finally 40. Being an identical twin born on 11-11 means that I was destined to be a significance junky. Ever since I was a small child, I have always looked forward to 11-11-11, and to turning 40. Of course, for most of my life, this milestone seemed so incredibly far in the future.

But not anymore. It's here. Mike and I are finally 40. Age, as I always remember old people saying, is just a number. But, still, 40 years is a long time!

In November 1971:

  • Intel releases the first microprocessor
  • Led Zeppelin releases the album that most of us call Led Zeppelin IV, which eventually becomes one of the best selling albums of all time
  • D.B. Cooper hijacks a Northwest Orient Airlines flight and escapes by parachute with $200,000 in ransom
  • Mariner 9 becomes the first spacecraft to successfully enter Mars orbit

The past 40 years have been a blast. Now here's to another 40, with my original womb-mate.

  

 

From 26 Years to 26.2 Miles

Earlier today, my twin brother, Mike, completed The San Francisco Marathon.

For those of you that know Mike, I am going to pause there for just a second.

For.

Dramatic.

Effect.

Mike smoked cigarettes for 26 years, two-thirds of his life. On March 13, he smoked his last one.

On his third tobacco-free day, he started feeling anxious and realized he needed something to get him through the craving, something to replace the few minutes he "used to spend with the Marlboro man".

That something was running.

After work on that third day, he wandered into the mall, purchased a pair of  running shoes and shorts. When he got home, he ventured out on his first run.

"I ran ONE MILE.  It hurt.  It hurt a lot.  I was out of breath and my legs hurt.  With that said, I certainly didn't feel like having a cigarette then.  The next morning I woke up at 5 am and ran ONE MORE MILE before work.  Yes, it still hurt, but again, it made me stop thinking about cigarettes."

From that point, Mike was hooked on running. He quickly went from running a few days a week to running nearly every day. With every additional mile, he realized he wanted more and more. His leisure 5k evening runs turned into 5 miles and then 10 miles. In just after a couple of months, he was already amassing 300-mile months. Three hundred miles in a month! As a cyclist myself, I am in awe that he is putting in those kind of miles. Running.

"It became my way to stay a non-smoker.  It then became bigger than smoking ever was."

Mike spends a lot of time on the road for work. Well, to be more precise, he spend a fair amount of time up in the air as well, but you get my point. Recently he was in Manila, just as he has been many other times. This time was different. This time he was in Manila as a non-smoker. That was new. Everyone in Manila smokes. Not Mike, not anymore. Mike runs. Recently, Mike was in Indiana and he called me late in the day. He said he went out for a run at 6 AM. It was 80 degrees and the humidity was somewhere north of 95%.

The thought of running a marathon, although seemingly an impossible feat, was something Mike started thinking of pretty early in his running days. Can I say early in his running days? It's still early in his running days. The marathon was a long-term goal. He was more focused on his first "half-mary". Yes, he quickly started speaking a new language, too.

"I ran my first half marathon in June.  It was the Pillar Point half marathon in Half Moon Bay.  Right along the coast.  It was so awesome!!  While I've never tried to be "fast", I felt great for my first half marathon.  I had no time goal set, but was able to complete it in less than 2 hours.  13.1 miles.  For me, that was quite an accomplishment.  Ok, how much below 2 hours?  Fine.  It was 20 seconds below. I finished in 1:59:40. One of the proudest personal days of my life."  

After his successful half-mary, he continued to escalate his miles. Distances quickly moved from challenging to easy; what was nearly impossible only a week or two before, became a simple warm-up. A few weeks ago we were all meeting in Manteca for an afternoon of swimming, volleyball and BBQ. He ran. To Manteca. Twenty two miles. Solo.

That was his longest run. Until today.

Mike completed The San Francisco Marathon, his first marathon, in 4:28:52.

I couldn't be prouder.

Way to go bro!

Check out the pictures I took, here.

Sadly, we missed seeing Mike cross the finish. See, Mike crossed a millisecond after the green guy crossed... and our eyes (and cameras) were fixed on him. I didn't even realize that Mike was in this shot until well after we met up him. Ooops.

 

Deal or No Deal

When Mike and I found out that Deal or No Deal auditions were coming to the Sacramento area we knew exactly what we had to do. So, I believe, for the first time in our adult life, we dressed alike (just like twins do) and headed up the Folsom. After nearly seven hours in live, we finally got our 15 seconds to sell ourselves. We did enough to get past the second round, which afforded us the opportunity to wait for another hour or so for a second round of interviews - again another 15 seconds to shine. Although our presentation was pretty good, our audition ended there with a "don't call us, we'll call you".

Our sister was also there and was give three interviews. She already promised us that we'd get to be her supporters if she gets on the show. Good luck Missy!

At least we got to round two!

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Click here for the pictures.

Twin Disclaimer

Rockin' out - Folsom ABCT 2002

If you are not a twin, please do not ask me what it is like to be a twin... that is the same as me asking you what it is like to notbe a twin.  I do not know what it is like... it is just how it is.  The next time you see a twin, don't ask that question.

Just in case you don't know this already, identical twins are not genetic and are caused when one cell is split into two.  The term, identical, as it relates to twins, does not refer to our appearance.  Our similar appearance is a natural by-product of being twins.  Also, since it is not genetic, we have no more chance of fathering twins than non-twins.

No. Mike and I have never tricked girlfriends or wives.  Although, there was one time, years ago, when I just met Dawn, that Mike and went into the men's room at Pizza Hut, changed clothes and then I went and asked Dawn's friend, April, if Dawn liked Matt.  She didn't know right away and gave me the confidence to go after (and some say stalk) Dawn.  You may think that we look so much alike that no one could possibly figure us out however, people we are intimate with can usually tell the difference.

Of course our parents could tell us apart... after all, they have known us a long time.  That is also a stupid question.  If one of our parents called us by the wrong name is was because there were so many kids it was hard to tell.  For years, I thought my name was really MikeKenJrLanceMatt.

Mike could not dress like me and walk into my work and convince people he was me.  He would have no idea where the TPS reports went.  (Let me know if you get that one)

We are not a freak show, but if you want us to entertain you we certainly have several tricks up our sleeves.

Never, ever, under any circumstance, with any cause or not, regardless of manpower, resource or weaponry, pick a fight with a twin.  This goes for almost any twin!  You get in my face, you'll have two twins in yours quicker than you can rub your eyes to do a double-take.    That might not be fair, but that's the way it is.  Mike is my best friend and my brother, and my Mom always told me that I was my brother's keeper.

Yes, we do have "twin power"... I do not know how to explain it, we just do.

To set the record straight, Mike is the older one... by two minutes.

1975

 

1988

12-08-2001

My womb mate ~ at 60!