Thursday, January 10, 2013

Marathon flight

As we waited for our row to be called, standing in that "we are trying to stand out of the way and yet still be in position to surge forward when our row is called" sort of way, I started looking at my fellow passengers. A pair of Nordic walking poles.... a pair of Vibrams... a couple of track jackets... several copies of Runner's World... and at least three Goofy shirts. Ah, yes, the traveling community of runners!

I think everyone had the same revelation I did, so suddenly people started chatting. Vibrams lady answered some questions about her shoes ("oh, no, I don't run in them. I wear SuperFeet and proper shoes for that,,,"); some walkers cheerfully wished each other well; Goofy folks smiled and nodded like elder statesmen. (yeah, us too...)

One woman looked at one of the Goofy shirts and said, "you are already wearing yours -- that's not fair!" He said, "no, this is the 2011 shirt", which made her a bit chagrined. She said she was attempting her first, and was feeling a little nervous. Her friend was also going to try for the Goofy, even though she had never run a full. Ballsy.

Once on the plane, the chatter grew... Or perhaps, we were just more crammed in, so we could hear more folks! Lots of talk about medals, shoes, previous races, etc. I looked over at Wil and said, "it's all of my favorite things all together -- you, travel, Disney, running, runners, medals... It's awesome!!!"

I spent the first couple of hours FINALLY reading John Bingham's book, "The Accidental Athlete". In turns hilarious, sad, and inspirational, I laughed out loud a couple of times... and got weepy a few others. One of my favorite pieces was his description of a motorcycle trip, and the realization during a night ride on a 2-lane highway that the only things that mattered were in the glow of his headlight. He talked about trying to remember to "live in the light". It made me think back to my Mount Rainier attempt, climbing at night up the cleaver, and only being able to see the sparks coming off the crampons of the climber ahead of me when they hit rocks, and the small circle of light cast by my headlamp. It was strangely soothing - I didn't feel too frightened when it was dark when the sun came up, it was another matter... The task seemed too great, and I was worried that I would not be able to make it down. So at one of the breaks... after watching someone take his glove off, set it down next to him, and it took off at a ridiculous speed down the side of the mountain... I decided to turn back. I sometimes wonder if more of the climb had been in the dark, I would have climbed higher.

I think I could try to work on improving the time I spend "living in the light". Look, another goal for 2013!

1 comment:

skroman said...

I looked over at Wil and said, "it's all of my favorite things all together -- you, travel, Disney, running, runners, medals... It's awesome!!!"

Aww. Good luck!!!