Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sorting through My Life's Debris

Mt. Mitchell Challenge 2010 - Summit

Merry Christmas to all, and sort through all your accumulated rubbish. Well that is what I have been doing. My work is mostly all manual labor that really requires two arms, or at least I'm not good at doing it single handedly yet. So sorting through my rubbish seems like a good thing to do with one arm. I would definitely be considered a pack rat. I have kept remnants of my life from early childhood until present. I can't help thinking that I'll want to look the items again someday. Sorting through this has rather confirmed that assumption. So below is some of what I have learned in my perusing my life mementos.

I've forgotten a lot of my life. I found ticket stubs of concerts, sporting events, trips, etc. that I barely remember or don't remember at all. Plus photos and news clips of events I'd long misplaced in my mind. These items would bring a nearly dead neuron back to life with the a unique memory of that time, or at least some false memory I like better. So maybe I'll keep most of these bits of neuron reviving hardware.

If it's still useful, but you're not using it, maybe give it away. Someone might really appreciate my junk. Give to Goodwill, Salvation Army, friends, kids of your friends, kids you coach, whoever. I'm not the best at gift giving, or receiving. I just don't really need much, I definitely don't need more junk. I also don't see the point in getting some random thing for someone. I prefer to get or give something useful or meaningful or nothing. So this week I gave Cory some of my junk for Christmas, here's the list:
  1. A semi-dirt covered can of beer I found in the woods while running earlier this week. Comedy for us.
  2. A single sock of his from a year and half ago I acquired while we were "water tower adventuring." Another good memory, plus don't know if Cory still has the match, but if not it'll unite with another unmatched sock.
  3. A recycled Christmas card. I don't often do real cards, but I do sometimes give someone a card someone else gave me. Just mark through their name and add mine. It's alway better if something good was written in the card.
  4. A pair of La Sportiva Raceblade shoes. I took them off and gave them to Cory after the run we just did on some muddy trails. I wasn't sure when I'd ever make good use of them and they only had 12 miles on them including that day's run.
  5. A pair of Terramar gloves. I actually bought these as Cory had borrowed a pair of mine for a run and really liked them, but is too cheap or anti-gear to buy any for himself.
Cory is strange, kind of like me. You wouldn't know he is just meeting him or being around him sometimes, but if you get to know him, he's strange. Cory doesn't care for gifts much, he said these were spot on gifts for him. Additional Cory info, he basically said recently that his gift to me was running with me and give me his time. I really appreciated that, but both of us agreed that most people would not like hearing him say that to them. For those of you who don't know, Cory is a 22 year old former high school runner that I coached. So lesson two for me was give it away.

My final lesson that I'll share is random mementos reminded my why I live like I do and what I
enjoy about running. Almost all good memories are connected to people for me. Notes, cards, and news clips from or about the kids I've coached remind me of the impact coaching has on
them. Running and racing with friends is one thing I love about my sport. Yesterday, I went to a road 5K to watch a friend and her daughter run. I was watching Stacey race when a guy asked if I had run Salem Lake 30K. At first I didn't remember. He said you let me beat you at the end, you ended up pacing me, and he ran his 30K personal best. I did remember then. I was running it as workout wanting to click off steady 6:10 to 6:15 miles. This guy was running hard going for a best time. It didn't make sense to run with him for 3/4th of the race comfortable and then sprint away from him at the end when he was laying down a max effort. I did remember rather enjoying pacing him. It was good to know that he had remembered that as a good memory too. By the way, Anthony Famiglietti, a two time Olympian and six time US Champion, was there. It was cool to meet him, plus see him interacting and encouraging the runners of all ages.

I enjoyed looking through memories of my running life, seeing things I'd kept from big races and travels. On the personal level, running is about being free, exploring my world far and near, exploring my body's possibilities and limitations, and just being several notches off the normal(see my dumb bio in newspaper clipping). I need to be reminded of my joys while waiting on the arm to heal. Plus after a couple of years of pushing my body in training and racing, I probably needed the break mentally and to renew that internal fire.

Other tidbits:
Alison's quote out of context, said to me: "At least you don't give me any gifts."

A Cory quote out of context: "I've experience about everything." Already at 22.

Arm update: Still broken ;) Last doctor's visit showed that the bone has not healed any yet. Kind of a bummer. Doc said it was not surprising with the severity of the injury. The range of motion is still rather limited as well. I'll try to post soon about what happened and my lessons learned. Thanks for the comments and encouragement on the last posting.

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