Friday, January 17, 2014

100 Miles For Sam

Last Fall, I became aware of a remarkable young man named Sam Berns.  Sam was a junior at Foxboro High School, loved Legos, loved playing drums in his high school marching band and wanted to be a scientist when he grew up.  Sam also suffered from a rare disease known as Progeria.  But to see him, the word "suffer" would never even have entered your mind - facing his fatal disease with a strength and wisdom few adults will ever know.

In the HBO Documentary Life According to Sam his first words to us all were, "I didn't put myself in front of you so you could feel bad for me; I put myself in front of you to let you know you don't have to feel bad for me."  I watched the whole documentary with my wife.  We both cried and hugged and thanked God all our children were healthy.  Afterwards, I couldn't stop thinking about how brave he was and how strong his parents (both doctors trying to find a cure) were through all of this.  And, I vowed to do something to help.

Late last week Sam died.  He was just 17 years old.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Ice Start

The first stop on my 2014 Ultra Tour was the GAC Fat Ass 50k at Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield, MA.  This race was originally scheduled for Jan 4th, which just happened to coincide with winter storm “Hercules” - a greek gale that dropped a ridiculous 24 inches of snow squarely on Topsfield.  Knowing the race organizers, I’m sure they would have been happy to hold the race in those conditions, had there been any place for us to park.  However, the park ranger plows (scheduled to clear the lots) refused to intercede and the race was delayed for 7 days.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Frost Advisory

Running Through the Woods on a Snowy Evening*

Whose woods these are, I think I know
His condo’s in the village though
He will not see me stopping here
To write my name upon the snow

My GPS must think it queer
To stop without an outhouse near
Snowshoeing along a frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year

I give my watch another shake
To see if there is some mistake
The only other sound's the bleep
Of burning lungs and heart earthquake

The woods are lovely, dark and deep
But I have training logs to keep
And miles to run before I sleep
And miles to run before I sleep

* ripped off from the great Robert Frost - and butchered beyond repair!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

For a taste of some real writing, here's an excerpt from one of my all-time favorites.  Nobody did it better than Papa Hemingway!

"He looked at her face between him and the fire. She was leaning back in the chair and the firelight shone on her pleasantly lined face and he could see that she was sleepy. He heard the hyena make a noise just outside the range of the fire.

'I've been writing,' he said. 'But I got tired’

'Do you think you will be able to sleep?’

'Pretty sure. Why don't you turn in?'

'I like to sit here with you.’

'Do you feel anything strange?' he asked her.

'No. Just a little sleepy.'

'I do,' he said.

He had just felt death come by again.

'You know the only thing I've never lost is curiosity’ he said to her.

'You've never lost anything. You're the most complete man I've ever known.'

'Christ’ he said. 'How little a woman knows. What is that? Your intuition?'

Because, just then, death had come and rested it’s head on the foot of the cot and he could smell its breath.