Friday, October 15, 2010

Trunks of Memories Still to Come

I have been bitten by a bug. No, mercifully not a bed bug. Apparently the magic spell Mom cast about me when I was a little boy (OK until I was 11) when she tucked me in at night, "Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite", came with if not a lifetime warranty at least one of the 43-year variety. So far, so good.

No, the bug that has bitten me is the running bug. As of mid-October 2009 I had run in exactly two races in my life: The Big Chill in December 2008 and the Race for the Cure in early October, 2009. In the twelve months since then I have run in more races than I count and in races of a variety of distances ranging from the Two-Mile Manasquan Mid-Winter Beach Run in February to the 13.1 Mile Unite for Charity Half-Marathon at Rutgers in April. In between I have run 5K, 8K, 10K, Special K (I have not - just a test to assess whether you were paying attention), 4 Mile, 5 Mile and 10 Mile races.

One of the great things about this whole running jag I have been on is not only that I feel better (other than my lower left leg, which hates me) and that my clothing fits better (apparently shedding body weight the equivalent of a toddler helps both the heart and the haberdasher) but that from time-to-time I get to turn running events into father/daughter or father/son affairs. To think, when they were younger the most likely place for me to spend time with either of my kids was at counsel table in Municipal Court. These days, it at the starting line of a race. Suz and I have been Crew mates the past two Octobers (actually I have been merely a member while she has been the Captain) and we dodged lightning bolts successfully and raindrops less so in May on a Thursday evening in Somerville. Rob and I have run together a couple of times too - the first time in Manasquan in late March in a 5K race and then on Memorial Day in the Bolder Boulder 10K.

This Sunday two of us will be in action again - albeit far, far away from one another. I am making the short hop to Livingston to take part in the 1st Annual Livingston 5K Run for Health & Wellness. My connection to this event? My partner Arnold Gerst who is one of the world's truly good human beings. This is his baby. He organized it and has been all over every aspect of it. The least I can do is support him. Hell, I try to find a place to run every weekend anyway. This weekend Arnie's event is the natural choice.

Rob, being his mother's son, has far more drive and steel in him than I possess. On his agenda this weekend is something considerably more ambitious than what the old man has on his. Rob is running in his first-ever Half-Marathon. And just for fun, seeing how he lives in the Mountain Time Zone these days, he is taking his first shot at 13.1 mile race in a setting where every step he takes from starting line to finish line will be taken at least 1 mile above sea level. He shall run with at least one of his office mates in the Rock N' Roll Half-Marathon in Denver. The course will take him all over Denver, which is a beautiful city framed as it is against the backdrop of the Rockies. While I do not think he will sacrifice the breaths necessary to jump the turnstile at Coors Field and run around the bases where the Rockies play their home games, between miles two and three he will run right past the ballpark.

Any number of things my kids (sorry "young adults") do serve as a great source of joy and pride for me, not the least of which are the manner in which each earns a living both in terms of career chosen and manner in which they go about the day-to-day of that career. Sunday, more miles away from home than I prefer him to be, Rob is adding another one to the list. I hope that it takes me less time to complete my undertaking Sunday morning than it takes him to complete his for no reason other than he is running 10 miles further than I am. And I hope that he gets out of it as much as he has put into preparing for it. I am confident that he shall.

While I look forward to seeing the pictures that I am certain he will take of the event to give those of us who are not there a peek into what his day was all about I am looking forward most of all to being able to chat with him about it when he is home at Christmas. The things I learn from my two never cease to amaze me. Life as the never-ending lesson.

Rob has a bit of distance to cover Sunday. Here's to him and his trek. With his chrome heart shining in the sun.....

.....long may he run.


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