I had just finished my workout at the Planet Fitness in Lexington, Kentucky and walked back into the locker room to get my things and head out and face the day. When I walked around the corner, I found Bill Thomas sitting in his wheelchair directly in front of my locker. He was waiting for me. Although we had never met before, there is no doubt in my mind that he was waiting for me. He looked up when I walked over and asked me how I was. I told him I was doing well and asked him the same question. “Every day I wake up is a good day, a blessed day” he responded. He offered me a granola bar, but I declined. I was in kind of a rush, but for some reason I felt like what Bill had to say was something worth listening to. Over the years, I’ve learned to trust my instincts and that day, as usual, they served me well. He leaned back in his chair and looked up at me and told me this story:
It was Sunday, May 5th, 2013 and he was just waking up. At 57 years old, he had his aches and pains, but nothing out of the ordinary. He figured he’d get up, make some breakfast, have a shower and maybe watch his favorite church programs on TV. He sat on the edge of his bed and pictured his quiet Sunday morning unfolding as it always had. He went to stand up and begin his day when everything went blurry and lost its shape. He closed his eyes and tried to shake it off but when he opened them again nothing had changed. He went to sit back down and collapsed.
Old Friends Farm is a wonderful place. Opened in 2003 by a man named Michael Blowen, it is a beautiful farm where old thoroughbred race horses can live out their golden years. It’s a place where you can hear about the storied careers of these magnificent horses and get up close and personal with them. Carrots seem to be their favorite snack and our guide carried a big bucket of them with him on our tour. While some of the older ones needed them shredded a bit more they all knew it was carrot time when we came to their paddock. Some would walk over and some would gracefully run to meet us. While you did have to pay attention and not turn your back except to a select few as they might nip you, the majority of the horses there were sweet and gentle. Everyone, old and young, myself included really loved having these horses eat carrots out of our hands. It was a real treat and put a smile on everyone’s faces.
Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a great week wherever you are. I apologize for my weekly newsletter not coming out last week, there was some sort of technical glitch which hopefully has been sorted out. Be sure you go to my Blog page (HERE) so you can catch up on what you missed. I’ve had a wonderful first week here in Kentucky full of friendly people, horse racing, history and bourbon. Indian summer has come with a vengeance and it has been hot and sunny all week, but it is supposed to cool down here by the weekend - something which I am really looking forward to. Enough summer already, bring on the fall. It is great to be in a new state with new focus and new things to think about, and it would have been hard to imagine a better way to spend my first week in the Bluegrass State than the week I’ve just had.