Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Simply The Best

Margaret is not a runner. Hell, I am not really a runner either. I think one has to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency at something before speaking in the declarative. Me? I have achieved a certain level of consistent and repetitive mediocrity. Nothing more. The fact that I run often makes me a person who runs a lot. I hope to work my way to the point where I consider myself a runner. That is the goal. It is very much a work in progress.

Anyway, I digress. My wife is most assuredly not only a runner but she is someone who infrequently runs. She has participated in the Race for the Cure 5K in Jackson each of the past two years as a member of Sue's Crew. If memory serves me correctly, last November she participated in the 1 Mile race that is part of the annual Manasquan Turkey Trot (there is a 5 Mile race as well). Other than those three occasions she has not to my knowledge ever responded to the sound of a gun firing, a whistle blowing or a horn sounding by taking off and running as fast as she could.

What she is though is an unparalleled "Race Mom". On most Sundays I drag her off somewhere for a race of some distance. More often than not, our pal Gidg comes with us and she and I comprise the 'running' sect of our little cache of friends. Margaret makes sure that Gidg and I have absolutely everything we need from iPods to water, from towels to sunglasses, from Advil (for me) to tissues (for Gidg). In addition to being our own crew chief, she also leads the cheers for us and captures the proof-of-life photos. She makes a point of taking a "before" shot and an "after" shot at every race.

This past Sunday Gidg and I ran in Livingston at 1st Annual Livingston 5K that one of my law partners - and one of the world's truly good souls - Arnold Gerst organized and oversaw. Several months ago he had confided to me that while putting the event together was a labor of love (and it showed in everything that was provided and done for the runners of all ages on Sunday morning) it had become for him a second full-time job. Margaret has met him once or twice and has heard me speak of him often. I affectionately refer to him as my running guru. To be clear, the poor results are mine. The motivation to get out there and run and the positive reinforcement at every step of the way are all his. Margaret told me to tell Arnie that if he needed an extra set of hands for his 5K race, she was happy to volunteer. Being a wise man, he took her up on her offer.

Thus, on Sunday morning Gidg and I were race orphans. Our "Mom" was off assisting strangers through the registration process. From my vantage point, she did what she does so well - assessed where help was needed and without fanfare slid herself into place to be able to help and then did so without complaint and without difficulty. I was not the only one who noticed how well she did what it is she does. When I saw the still-exhausted Race Director on Monday morning at the office he told me that his wife Denise - who Margaret worked with in the registration tent - told him that she (Denise) will not return for Year #2 unless Arnie gets a commitment from Margaret to man the tent with her. When I communicated the terms of Denise's negotiation to my wife, without hesitation she told me, "I am in."

I hope that I do not - but being an utter jackass I am certain that I do - ever take for granted the amazing force of nature to whom I am fortunate to be married. I may in fact be her "taller" half but there is little doubt that she is indeed my "better more than half". Size be damned.

From small things........

-AK

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