Monday, April 8, 2013

Dr. Dribble

I tend to run with headphones on... which is great to keep me moving and pumped but can mean a moment of sudden panic when I hear something approaching me that I can't quite interpret the sound of.

Which was what happened when I was about a mile into the Publix A1a Half Marathon. I had just had a parade of police motorcycles pass me (which definitely startled me), but then, suddenly there was a rhythmic pounding that sounded like it was getting closer and closer, and I couldn't fully understand what I was hearing. The sound made my heart race, scaring me into thinking I was about to get run over, or hit by something, or worse...

And then I realized that it was just a guy running the marathon while dribbling 2 basketballs.

He passed me, and I distinctly remember thinking that this guy was pretty badass. Here I am struggling to just put one food in front of the other, and here is this guy who is not only running a marathon (something I can only dream of being able to accomplish) while constantly dribbling 2 basketballs. I could probably get down on myself that here is a guy who has mastered 2 things while I struggle to be proficient at just one... but I don't.

Instead, I draw great inspiration.

Because surely, this means that there is hope for me yet. If he can be awesome at many things, I should be able to get myself to be proficient at just one.

I later learned that this man, who goes by the cutesy moniker "Doctor Dribble" is actually a man named Darren Weissman. During the day, Darren is a school teacher, a motivational speaker and a basketball coach who serves the community by reaching out to at risk and foster children. As an adult who spent part of my childhood in foster care, that alone would be enough for me to call this man a true inspiration.

But then I found out that he dribbled his basketballs while marathoning to raise money for Our Kids, an organization which aims to oversee and lead a coordinated system of care, delivering excellence to abused, abandoned and neglected children and their families in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

And then I found out that he had people chronicling his race to submit it to the Guinness Book of World Records. His goal? 26.2 miles while double dribbling, in a time of less than 4 hours and 58 minutes.

His actual time 4 hours and 39 minutes.

He did it. He made it into the Guinness Book!

Color me impressed. And inspired.

Excuse the quality of the photo taken with my dumb-phone.
3 weeks later, I ran into Doctor Dribbles at the packet pickup for 13.1 Miami Beach. And once again, I was in awe. Not only was I standing in front of a man who gives to the community in unprecedented and innovative ways, I was also standing in front of a man who saw a challenge laid out in front of him and took up that mantle with little reservation.

*This* is the kind of man that we should be looking up to and drawing inspiration from. And I was lucky to have have made his acquaintance.

Then, the next day, during the 13.1 Miami when I heard that Boom-Boom-Boom of the basketballs dribbling up behind us, I was no longer afraid of the sound. I dug in, and felt my pace picking up. As he rounded the corner, I wanted him to know how truly amazing I think he is.

Darren, you inspire me! I shouted.

Without even skipping a beat, he responded with "No. YOU inspire me."

And as I thought about it later, I thought maybe he was right. Maybe I can be inspirational too.


  1. Great Amy. Very well written. I am finishing up an article on Dr. Dribble hopefully for the Huffington Post and would like to include your quotes in it.

    1. By all means Scott. please make sure you share when you have finished.

  2. It doesn't hurt that he's pretty easy on the eyes!!! Very inspirational too!!!