My June 17th Facebook post, "I loathe running....I have never reached that elusive high that some of my friends assure me exists. Surely, it is a hoax...#borntobehusky." And I did not run often or very far.
Shortly after that bold statement and proving, at least to me, that God has an unbelievable sense of humor, my wife let me know that we had joined a running group. You should understand that I was sitting comfortably on the couch, not bothering a soul and definitely, minding my own business. I was pretty happy with my new shape, round. As any good husband of 25 years would do, I grabbed my shoes and said, "when do we leave?" Did I roll my eyes? Well, there is a good chance. Many miles later and moving forward, I will be running in the Tahoe Ragnar Race tomorrow. A 24 hour relay race in which each of eight team members have to run three trails that equal a total of sixteen miles. How did that happen? My wife is not even racing!!!
Here is a hint. I had just finished a race and overheard one finisher being told that her dad had fallen on the course. The joy of finishing turned instantly to concern and I watched as she ran along the finishing area looking for her dad. After a few nerve wracking minutes, her faced illuminated in joy once again as her dad came into view. She started cheering him on to let him know that his time was great too. He had to be in his 70's. He had fallen. He was covered in sweat and dirt and blood running down his left arm. He also had the biggest smile on his face of any finisher I saw that day. At a time most of us contemplate retiring and taking it easy, he had just finished a grueling race, Blood, Sweat and Beers. What a gift to give to his daughter and what an inspiration to those of us watching from afar. He was still moving into life.
That is why I run. I want to be surrounded by people with that attitude. It is so easy to just sit back and let life pass you by, especially when you go through a tough time. Our family has gone through a dark period. It is not the running so much that has helped. There are all kinds of vehicles for getting into shape. It is the group we joined, Runnin for Rhett. A training group for walkers, walk/runners and for different levels of runners. I am surrounded by inspirational athletes. It's the guy that did not even start running until he was 57 and continually left me behind. :o) It's the guys that each lost about 70 lbs. and helped keep me motivated. It's my cute wife who did finish Blood, Sweat and Beers (the long course!!!), but was smart enough to opt out of the Ragnar race.
And, of course, it's the couple that started it all after losing their son. They moved back into life and inspired so many more to do the same. There are others that I have yet to learn their stories, but show up week after week with nothing more than their smile and a good attitude.
If you are interested in a training group like that, fall/winter training starts next week in Elk Grove and Folsom. You will meet a great group of people. Runnin for Rhett Fall/Winter training.
Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI, e-Pro
3412 Babson Drive
Elk Grove, CA 95758