Nothing kicks a broken tailbone to the curb faster than securing a bib for the Boston Marathon 5.5 weeks before the event. Perhaps it’s my incessant need to always be moving or a complete lack of common sense (I’m ready to accept that it indeed may be a combination of the two), but I agreed to run today. Happily, I’ll be supporting a phenomenal charity, Best Buddies, and I will also be biking the 2012 Best Buddies Challenge (the 100-mile ride) in June. Considering that I’ve been physically unable to run correctly since my President’s Day Weekend snowboarding disaster, I knew it was now or never to give the old arse a test. It certainly helped that today was an absolutely gorgeous day, albeit a very windy one!
As soon as I could skip out of the office and before my other responsibilities sucked my time away, I literally flew home in an effort to squeeze in a quick run. Exercising my inner Massholio to its fullest extent, I managed to drive home in record time and be out the door for an easy 5-miler within 4 minutes of screeching into my parking spot.
I opted for a trail run through my favorite part of this entire area, The Middlesex Fells Reservation trail system. Fortunately, my tailbone had apparently decided that it, too, was ready for a run and gave me very little issue. I consider that to be a wonderful sign that perhaps I can indeed run this marathon (despite my obvious lack of training; did you see above where I mentioned a lack of common sense?!). As I seemingly glided along the trail, breathing in the clean air while enjoying the solitude and head-clearing “thinking” time the trails provide, I began to listen intently to the sounds the trees were making as the wind ripped through the forest.
At one point, I stopped to stare above me as I listened to the creaking noises of the forest, wondering if one of the old trees was going to momentarily fall over on top of me, forever thwarting progress towards my goal of crossing the Boston Marathon finish line. Luckily, the trees remained upright and I continued on my way. As I was listening to those big trees and watching them ominously sway over me, I appreciated the immense strength required for them to remain anchored and living. Excuse me while I wax poetic for just a bit, but I began to ponder the real reasons why those trees were still creaking along instead of falling to the ground, and I concluded that it has to be due to a fierce combination of strength, tenacity and willpower.
Alas, despite the headwind that attempted to suck the life out of me on the way home, this was a glorious way to get back into running form.
While I typically fill this portion of each post with sarcastic rants and far too many curse words, today I’d like to have a more personal & serious approach. Although, for shits & giggles, I will add that I’m convinced Mother Nature has officially stopped taking her meds and that I will forever find great pleasure in slamming on the brakes when some jerk is tailgating me…
From securing my bib to negotiating two more freelance contracts for my personal finance blog and reveling in a gorgeous trail run, I’m not quite sure this day could be much better for an average Thursday. When I got off the phone with the charity director, I was so happy and so excited that I literally danced around my office (Yes, I made a personal call during work hours–at least it was lunchtime!). I was like a weird mix of Rainbow Brite and a Care Bear–it was as if at any moment, my stomach would begin spewing prisms and sunshine while I sang some high-pitched children’s song. We’re talking super happy here, people (and perhaps just a little scary but whatever)!
The same happy feelings came flooding back as I ran through those trees today. For some reason, they reminded me of my grandfather and how he could always weather a storm like the best of them. How he forever was telling me how smart & beautiful I was–even when I was 13 and in the ugly, awkward teenager phase. How he always encouraged me to set & reach goals, even if I did tell him that one day I planned to live on the moon with a pet monkey and a pet duck. And, ultimately, how his strength, tenacity, and willpower allowed him to live out his last days engulfed in his & my grandmother’s love for each other.
At the risk of sounding completely off my rocker (and we all know I’m usually at least half off it), I felt like he was smiling with me today. And for that reason, I’m not only dedicating this marathon to the wonderful people that Best Buddies helps, but I’m also going to be running in honor of my late grandfather. I know that as I’ll no doubt be struggling to make it up Heartbreak Hill because I have had no training for this marathon, my grandpa will be right there with me, pushing me each step of the way. For the opportunity to run, to help others, and to honor my grandfather, I am eternally grateful. This one’s for you, Papa.