Monday, February 8, 2010

My Weekend with Wonder Woman

Why Wonder Woman ? Cause I wonder sometimes how lucky I am to know people like Kendra.
This young woman is a combination of tenacity, sensitivity, humor, encouragement and class !
I can't imagine a better 6 days than to share an experience such as an ultramarathon with Miss Kendra..... a true Wonder Woman.

I wish you all could see an injured ( feet ) Kendra suck it up and run for 22 hours in freezing cold, in the woods.... no complaints, no excuses, encouraging others on the way.

We both learned that encouragement from this band of 700 Ultramarathoners came in two words... " Nice Job ". It is efficient, heartfelt and totally on message. As you pass the toiling runners, there is no How are you.... looking good..... keep it up......good luck etc. It is simply a short phrase..... " Nice Job ". Try it when you run, at work or in the home... " Nice Job ".

Well, this whole endeavour had it's highlights as any experience normally does.... but of course when you're with Kendra... there is plenty of fun to be had. We learned to shout " SHUT UP " frequently... to the idiot in Valero Gas Station, to the nimrod that checked us in at the hotel, to the guy that was coughing on us the night before we left, to the fat slob that served us ( often ) at the Dairy Queen ! So if you really don't feel like listening to someone in the future just tell them to SHUT THE F UP !!!! and then laugh your arse off.

We drove by the most ominous prison in the United States and learned that if you " Kill someone in Texas.... we kill you ". Really spooky to drive by a capital punishment mecca... really, regardless of your position on execution Texas Style.

We learned to appreciate Rachel and Debbie for two reasons !

Kendra learned to gawk at the Handsome Alfonso.

I learned to gawk at Kendra.... and of course the giant statue of Sam Houston, whoever the hell that is !

We both got a laugh from a stupid Beaver gift shop called Buc-kees ! Kendra was delighted to buy a sling shot with a Moose on it for a special friend. I was delighted to buy my traditional chocolate covered raisins. I would have bought some traditional brownies, but the better half of the Knuckleheads wasn't there and I will save that purchase for another time.

George also Learned to gawk at the 300 lb guy who did the 50 miler..... seriously, frickin awesome !

We both learned to fall in love with the participants in the race...... the 300 pounder, the two 80 year old ladies doing the 100, the 78 year old guy that was eaten up with arthritis doing the 100, the " Ladies Man " reeking of after shave that you wanted to hate, but instead saw his grit and could only say " Nice Job ". There was the young lady who had severe facial burn scars smiling and laughing as she toiled..... The guys running with no shirt for 26 hours, the guy with the 3 inch back hair...... the guy that was gassed after 1 hour and limped in to the finish line 16 hours later, the Canadian couple that flew down the morning before the race and ran a sub 24 hour 100 miler..... the 24 year old Costa Rican girl with about 2 feet legs..... she must have taken twice the steps of others in the race, sounds stupid but think about it.

I was impressed by the absolutely beautiful girl from California that knew she was going to have blisters on her feet...... she brought her own smiley face bandages and sat at the aid station patiently as others lanced and patched her up before she again went on her way, uncomplaining and simply trying to do a " Nice Job ".

It is incredible to watch the determined plodding of head lanterned folks of all ages and occupations in the totally dark woods at midnight. Slow or fast doesn't matter.... they are moving forward, in pain and totally uncompensated, unrecognized and totally happy !

I really am not trying to be dramatic..... I wanted to share a bit of insight with our readers.
It's downright emotional seeing the slice of humanity ... white, black, American, Canadian, European, Mexican etc. pursue a stupid belt buckle, quite alone but yet quite a part of a special family of runners.

Next stop..... Pike's Peak Marathon on August 22nd. I hope that those reading this will join me and Wonder Woman !!

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