April 14, 2013

Some of the Why

Why do I run, you ask?

Some reasons …

Because the gentle movement of a long, long effort feeds my soul.

Because sleep is a crutch.

Because of the thunderous quietude.

Because of the laughter of friends old and new.

Because if I go long enough, my place in the world always seems satisfying.

Because I get to take myself to places in my mind that I likely never would have gone otherwise.

Because I can.

Because I eat and drink whatever I want, and I weigh just 2 pounds more than I did when I graduated from college 30 years ago.

Because of the special experience that is generated by the sounds of a waking day.

Because of that silky sweet feeling at run’s end.

Because trail miles make special people even more special.

Because some days, moments on the run are the best ones of the day.

Because I've been doing this for 37 years, and it is still my favorite art form.

Because sometimes – to steal a favorite line from my eloquent pal Fred Dummar – I love kicking my own ass.

And because there have been times – a star-lit sky, a stunning sunrise, that moment just after I poke a hole in the attic of The Pain Cave – when I’m pretty sure that I see the face of God.

April 8, 2013

Flacko and Spading

So me and Jack are nearing the end of our 2-hour runwalk Friday morning when – lo and behold – I find a penny on the sidewalk. On heads. Jack always ALWAYS finds the money first, so of course I squeal and give him the business over this. We have a great laugh about it.

When I get into the office, the first email I click on is “Fwd. Sad, sad news” and I learn that Steve Flack and James Buracker were killed the night before in a car wreck.

Both of them were many things, including basketball refs. Both of them started with our ref association on the “two-man court” that I oversee at our summertime ref camp, which gives me an extra special tie to each. Both were salt-of-the-earth guys. Both leave huge voids.

So around 4 a.m. Saturday before crossing the mountain on my way to a much-needed long run on single-track trails, I go with a last-second switch and decide to stop for some coffee. That stop and pursuant restart puts me in exactly the right spot to see the most magnificent shooting star ever.

A penny on heads. And a shooting star.

I hear you, boys. I hear you.