After High School I initially attended Fairleigh Dickinson University where, as ridiculous as it may sound, I received an excellent education. I transferred to, and graduated from, Rutgers College, (where, mostly, I learned how to tap a keg). Eventually I ended up at Seton Hall Law School which was truly wonderful. Classmate Dave Katz was my Editor in Chief on Law Review. After graduation I succumbed to the gravitational pull of New York City.

In many ways, the late ‘80s was a really bad time for New York, but even at its worst, living in the City was a thrilling existence. Yes, my life is a bit of a cliche, but I knew I was fortunate to be able to take full advantage of pretty much all the things available to one’s living in the intellectual/cultural/entertainment/financial center of the world. It was all just an elevator ride away.

But nothing topped the day I met the love of my life, Debbie. My beautiful wife and soulmate. You guys know what I’m talking about.

So you would think I would be content. Nope. In my 50’s, after my parents died, I entered into another cliche: my midlife crisis. I guess what was bothering me most was the thought that, as I was aging, my ability to accomplish anything new was vanishing. I had the acutely claustrophobic feeling that time was closing in on me.

So the question was: What to do? I couldn’t afford a sports car and Debbie objected to a mistress.

So I ran. If you have ever wondered what motivates people of advancing years to run 26.2 miles, I can help you.

I needed a new challenge. I needed to climb some sort of metaphorical mountain. Because a totally sedentary lifestyle had ravaged my body, I decided to run the New York City Marathon. I learned the hard way that marathons represent only the last 26.2 of thousands of training miles over several years of waking before dawn in all sorts of weather.

But, clearly, it’s all worth it. Aside from restoring my confidence and health, I found running to be totally exhilarating. I never felt more alive than when pushing myself to set a new personal record. I’ve noticed that the people who were most likely to cry at a finish line were men of a certain age. Clearly, as I looked around, I realized I was not the first one to think of running through a midlife crisis.

But marathons were just a gateway to triathlons. It took me five years to train for the 2021 Ironman: 2.4 miles of swimming in jellyfish infested open water and 112 miles cycling, preceding a 26.2 mile marathon, for a total of 140.6 miles.

After my wedding day and the day Phoebe was born, Ironman was the third best day of my life.

Those of you who remember me, will recall me as a very uncoordinated geek. Fear not, nothing has changed. But the great thing about endurance sports is that it can be okay if you suck, as long as you can suck at it for a very long time.

After about 30 marathons and 15 triathlons, what have I learned? Nothing that most of you didn’t already know, but I had forgotten: age is just a number and, with enough dedication and support from friends and family, anyone can achieve miracles.

I could not have done any of it without Debbie’s love and support.

And a shout out to fellow classmate John Grob, an experienced runner, who trained with me for years and reminded me that I knew how to swim after I had given up.

Our high school yearbook was aptly named Crossroads. Now I am at a new crossroad of my life: our daughter, Phoebe, is graduating high school this spring and will leave us for college. Thus taking us right back to where this narrative began.

I am joining most of my fellow classmates who already experienced becoming empty nesters. I hope I don’t have to take up skydiving now.

Lastly, a word about Livingston. Every time I come back to visit, I appreciate how beautiful our town is. Most of the best teachers I had were in the Livingston public school system. My most enduring friendships were forged in Livingston.

Our parents chose a great place to raise us.