“Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge.”
– Dave Bedford, English distance runner who occasionally put in 200 miles a week in training
Tonight I had the pleasure of getting together with several of my old school friends from grammar school. Growing up in San Francisco and still living in San Francisco we find ourselves to be a rare breed given the cost of living here. While many of us have moved on, those of still here are always asked where us locals meet. We met at the Big Four bar in the Huntington Hotel. These kinds of gatherings are always amusing as someone always gets drunk and does something foolish like telling a woman how he had a crush on her when we were 12. In the end it is always good to see old friends and get away from life’s everyday problems. My Blackberry was vibrating incessantly during the evening, but if I’ve learned anything over the past several months it is that you need to take care of yourself and not sweat the little things. I had had a rough day at work and needed to be in the comfort of friends long forgotten.
To see faces that are fuller and legs that are longer, but yet the eyes that still tell the same stories 30 years later we are just happy to see each other. Divorces, children, illness, drugs, success and failures are all put aside for the evening and we are able to share what we will. For most of the people I was a kid with glasses and braces, shorter than most girls at that age. There was the hot girl, the quiet girl, the grandson of the ex-mayor, the recovering addict, the successful entrepreneur, the woman who was hoping that we did not know her family secret ( I know), the absent daughter of the Speaker of the House, etc. Lots of baggage and stories to tell but we stuck to our scripts. Nobody wanted to hear about my wife’s cancer and I didn’t want to ruin their festive evening with my story. These area good people and many were escaping the troubles of the day like myself. I didn’t need to share.
Many people ask me why I run and i always ask myself that question. Sometimes I answer for health reasons but I think I do it for thinking. I came home to my wife and her parents who are visiting for the holidays. After small chat I got ready for my usual run. Each night I run to our children’s school. It’s a 20 block run each way to give me a chance to think about the day’s events. A dangerous thing I know, but a great chance to learn from one’s actions. Tonight I wasn’t running to my kid’s school, but also the same school I went to with all those people at our holiday reunion. Memories flooded back to me after the fact. I find that is my nature to look back fondly at my childhood and remember those in my life who have impacted me in a small way. Perhaps I do smell the roses each day and evening, retracing the steps of my childhood. I ran tonight with the intent to pass the 1100 mile mark for me this year but ended up coming to grips with the day’s problems once again reminding myself about the important things in life. Friends and memories are some of those important memories for me.
Maybe each night I have a road. It is the most common road in my life and the one that is filles with memories