The home stretch. Start up that Chariots of Fire song. Well... in six months.
Much like that photo you see below with Otis and his mangled toe crossing the finish line of the Mastodon Weekend half-marathon and the slightly less-blooded foot of yours truly about 30 seconds behind in the orange circle, my time for running is coming to a close end.
No, not the new/old fitness craze that infected more than a few of my fellow degenerate friends, as that form of motion has been moved indoors for the duration of the winter as Minnesota tends to get cold during the time between Santa Claus and leprechaun visits. Taking 20 minutes to prepare for a run by grabbing three insulated forms of Gore-Tex while staving off hypothermia and frostbite do not excite me. Instead, thanks to a generous co-worker, I have taken up running on a treadmill for the first time. My humble observation is that the human hamster wheel feels much like having sex with a condom on. If you’re doing it right you still get sweaty but you miss the extra sensations that outdoor running (and sex?) provides. At least it will keep me in decent shape to start up again since this summer finishing a marathon seems like a fun thing to do.
Gibbs Rule #29: Don't Suck (image credit)
Freed up time for training will come after finishing seven classes for my bachelor’s degree and a small bit of time for a celebration worthy of something that has taken over my life and thoughts for the past three and a half years. At a stop light between Highway 169 and County Road 30 at 5:45am, before sitting down for a rare NCIS marathon with my wife, looking out towards the dimly lit backyard from my porch after a long night of reporting, all spots that usually bring a quick tear to my eye while thinking about a handshake and a piece of paper that will soon come into my possession.
The dream was supposed to die after hopping on a plane from Sky Harbor airport to MSP. The dream was supposed to die after getting knocked in the head and becoming an anti-social hermit for eight years. But, after several drunken and sober fireside chats at the trailer cabin and a leap of faith with my finances six months separate me from that degree and that handshake that is so vivid in those daydreams.
There is no end however. The degree is not the end-of-the-road and time to kick up my feet on the L-shaped couch and start up yet another Gibbs versus the system viewing party or drink myself under that same piece of furniture. Instead it’s just another piece of a second chance on life and making the most of it with self, my family, and my friends. Definitely will not miss the strict APA formatting, late nights of researching dead philosopher’s thoughts on internet porn, or saying the words “daddy is busy with school right now”, those will pass into the same memories of 2am feedings of kids that are now in 1st and 4th grade. Tough times that add to one’s exterior for the next challenge and one after that. Much like running a 5K, then 10K, then a half-marathon, and with luck and hopefully no bloody appendages, 26.2 miles in around four hours 30 minutes.
A side note for Felicia… I looked through 2005 and couldn’t find my deaf notepad, sorry. But, I did manage to slide out of the house for some poker this past week at Canterbury Downs. A little over two hours and ZERO drinks later my small entry fee was given to someone else after finishing 7/40 when the big blind woke up with a hand better than mine. THE NERVES!