Monday, April 29, 2013

The Cost of Freedom

Last week was school vacation here in New Hampshire, so my wife decided to take the week (and the kids) and drive up to Canada to visit her family. She left me with a sizable “honey-do” list but also with the freedom to spend the rest of my non-working, awake time however I saw fit. Last time this happened I nearly hiked myself to death - which I documented here, here & here. So, what would I do for an encore? Plenty!

Let's Play Two!
I’ve been biking a lot lately. So, on the First Sunday of Freedom (after the First Saturday of Basement Cleaning, naturally), I decided that I wanted to do a long bike ride. How long? A hundred miles sounded about right. So, that’s just what I did! I laid out a route from Nashua to the Ocean and back, packed the necessary supplies (disregarded the fact that I’d only biked 30 miles in a row so far this season) and then headed off to see what happened.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rollin on the Rivah

10 days ago I ran my very first Merrimack River 10m Trail Race. Given everything that’s happened since then, it seems like a lot longer than that!  But, I checked the calendar.  And, yup, it’s only been 10 days!  Anyway, I’ve wanted to run the “Rivah” for a while but it always seemed to conflict with another important race on my calendar - either Boston, or Red’s or Soup Kitchen.  This year, my schedule was clear so I headed down to Andover, MA for this 22 year old (Really?!?!) trail race.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

5 Days in April

  • April 19, 1993, a standoff in Waco, TX between the FBI and the Branch Davidian cult ended in the murder/suicide of 76 men, women and children.
  • April 19, 1995, a bomb blast at the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK claimed the lives of 168 people including 19 children under the age of 6.
  • April 20, 1999, two students walked into a school in Columbine, CO and ruthlessly murdered 13 people (and injured 21 others) before killing themselves.
  • April 16, 2007, a senior at Virginia Tech, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others in two separate attacks, and then committed suicide.
  •  April 15, 2013, two separate bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon sent hundreds of people to the hospital and killed at least 3 including one 8-year old boy.
What do these 5 events have in common?  Other than the fact that they were cowardly acts on US soil that took the lives of many innocent people?  They all occurred within 5 days of each other in their respective years.  And either on, or about, Patriots Day.  Is this a coincidence?  Or, were the  perpetrators attempting to manufacture their own “Shot heard 'round the world”?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Answering the Call of the Wild

"Old longings nomadic lap, Chafing at custom's chain
Again from its brumal sleep, Wakens the ferine strain."
– John Myers O’Hara
Jack London's 1903 classic The Call of the Wild is a story of a courageous dog named Buck who is forced to fight for survival on the trail in the Alaskan wilderness. As Buck is ripped from his pampered surroundings and shipped north to be a sled dog in the last frontier, his primitive, wolf-like nature begins to emerge and he undertakes a mystic journey that transforms him into the legendary "Ghost Dog" of the Klondike. I can remember reading this tale as a child, but only now, after recently re-discovering it as an adult, can I truly appreciate the meaning behind Buck’s metamorphosis. It also got me thinking about why we runners are drawn to the sport we love and how we’ve all been changed by it.