This is how it works-
I love to run but there are times when I would rather not. This is when the voices start. Chants, name calling, guilt and reverse psychology is how they get me up and out the door. I don't really mind the voices and have actually started looking forward to their daily calls. Together we have formed a running club that supports, encourages and competes with each other. I love these peeps. They are much more experienced, talented and tougher than I am. Pushing me out the door, through the hard miles and up the monster hills when I am feeling lazy or want to give up. Some people have "real" training partners, coaches and support crews. My team is ALWAYS with me and helps me to keep my eye on the prize and not veer off the track. Sounds crazy- Yeah, probably is.........
Sunday, October 6, 2013
I started running back in 2006 for ME. Me. Me. Me. Why? Because I was 33 years old 5' 11" 235 lbs and an out of shape former Marine, ex-high school jock, brand-new-dad-going-down-the-tubes-fast, kind of dude. There was also a cash prize for a "biggest loser" on the table. I didn't start running for any kind of rewarding or noble cause... It was all about me. I would love to lie about this but facts are facts... it was all about me.
In late 2009 and early 2010 I found out that life can punch you in the mouth even when you aren't looking. My Dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in December and my Mom was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in February. Hello???? Nobody that I know has cancer. This only happens to other people. I send them a card, say I'm sorry... , and then it goes away. Right? This was possibly the dumbest thought I have ever had. By the time that both of my parents were diagnosed I was already the father of two, a half-lucky-wanna-be-runner-with-ultra-dreams. The hours and miles I spent on the road and trails during those few hard months helped clear my head an answer the question of "What can I do?". It was obvious that I would never be awarded the Nobel Prize for curing cancer BUT maybe, just maybe, I could do my part.
The Honor Scroll 50 Miler on the Ouachita Trail every April is pretty awesome. The Rocky Racoon 100 miler in February is a special time for me. The continuous circling of an old asphalt track during the Relay for Life in the humidity of a Missouri summer's night is always fun. But the Dogwood Canyon 50k in October holds a special place in my heart. Maybe it's the beauty of the Ozarks in the fall, the monster hills, or the outstanding collection of volunteers and participants that show up but it is by far my favorite event each year.
A few years ago I was watching an NFL game and all the players were wearing pink. Pretty cool. I started thinking that I could wear pink during a race and it just so happened that I had a pink tutu in the closet left over from the Relay for Life.... Why not wear it while running the toughest trail 50k (in my opinion) in the midwest? Sure people would laugh, point and heckle but it COULD raise money. So in the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness and in honor of ALL that have battled the beast, I decided to show up in the tutu. It was a life changing experience to say the least. I'm not an elite athlete, celebrity or a person with a super dynamic and outgoing personality that can just show up an pull this off... but I had a goal of seeing a world without cancer and that was enough motivation to push through the personal insecurity and image issues to toe the starting line. It was tough that first year. And the second. And the third. And.... I'm sure it won't be any any easier this year.
I did okay that first year so I decided to make it an annual thing. It's crazy how comfortable a person can become being completely uncomfortable..... October 20th will mark the 4th Annual Turn the Trail Pink 50k. Once again, I am asking for donations in honor of those that have been touched by cancer. The pink tutu will be adorned with ribbons bearing names of loved ones affected by this horrible disease. The requested donation is $5 per name... but for those that don't know me very well --- I will proudly place any name, regardless of donation, on the tutu and carry it for the 31 miles. Donations to the ACS (Relay for Life) are greatly appreciated but if times are tight- send the name along with the silent promise to help in another way by donating your time, skills or efforts locally. We are all working toward the same outcome.... A world where our children do not have to deal with cancer.
You can send names to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to donate directly to the Relay for Life
Relay for Life Donations
Or you can donate through PayPal
Or if you are a dinosaur like me... through the USPS
212 Murphy Lane