Running Toward Relay

14 Feb

Our Relay for Life preparation has begun.  My ten, teen Walking Wondergirls and I will take on the 24 hour relay event again this year.  The girls are excited for the event, work assignments have been given, fundraising will start in the next couple weeks and plans are afoot (he he).  Last year, our team won the award for best camp fundraiser and I won the award for most laps.  This year, I wonder if I will run any.  Verdict is out on Peg Leg and I’m kind of nervous to even ask my doctor…For many other reasons, but also for my Walking Wondergirls.  They are a tough bunch and they love to have fun.

Last year, I scheduled myself to run 1.5-2 hours every few hours so the Walking Wondergirls could have a break and enjoy each other and the event.  This year they are heartier and more savvy about the event, so they will not be getting their four hours solid sleep this year.  “Up and at em’!”  I don’t know that my Peg Leg will tolerate hundreds of laps by the end of spring.  I am hopeful, but trying to be realistic.  I’ll do what I can.  My Walking Wondergirls will do the rest.

I hope they make it through the wee hours on the track this year.  Last year, they were in luxurious accommodations  (sleeping bags, no tent, on the wet grass in the middle of the field) and my son’s cross country team members, a few moms and the high school cross country coach helped me hold down track duty until morning.  This  year, I hope The Walking Wondergirls experience those wee morning hours on the track.

In the middle of the night, when you are pounding one foot in front in front of the other on the track, there is a peacefulness.  It is very quiet.  Lots of teams are sleeping, and only a few die hards are actually walking the track.  If you are tough enough, and lucky enough to be going in circles at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., you will see the stars shining brightly and you will hear footsteps and sweet conversations.

During these dark, solitary hours, I ran by a grandmother and her teen granddaughter. Lap after lap, I watched and listened to them.   They were huddled together under the same blanket, tucked tight under their chins, arms wrapped around each other.  The teenage granddaughter was wearing slippers and pjs.  I caught glimpses of sweet conversation that may not happen at any other time between family and friends.  “So, honey, what does it take to be able to go on pointe in dance?” Grandma inquired,   “Is that hard to do?”  Nighttime on the track at Relay is unfettered by distractions, uninterrupted by noise, media, responsibilities, errands, daily stresses.  Did this busy grandma have time to ask these questions…and more importantly, have time to listen to these answers at any other juncture?  These were precious moments.  This is connection.  This is HOPE.

Nighttime at Relay is about living in the moment, understanding the person you are with,  and remembering the people who are no longer with you.  Understanding dreams, overcoming obstacles, finding strength.  The here and now.  This is not cheesy inspiration.  This is real. Go to your local Relay at 2:00 am (or any other time) and experience it for yourself.  You will be changed.  Listen, share, pay attention.  The night opens up the senses and the mind…there is clarity.  Pay attention.   Remember, focus on those around you.  The Walking Wondergirls will understand this more this year.

P1050989

 

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas
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5 Responses to “Running Toward Relay”

  1. NTP February 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    I guess this year I might have to actually get out of the car at 2:00 am instead of sitting in the parking lot waiting to pick up my xc kid. I’m a little apprehensive but you’ve inspired me to try. I didn’t commit to running but I could at least walk with you:)

  2. bossybostwick February 14, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    You are hired for the 2:00 am shift! You are my first middle of the night recruit. Please bring something tasty and sugar or caffeine filled.

    • NTP February 14, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

      Is that allowed? I don’t want to break any rules on the night shift. How about something cheap and bubbly?

  3. bossybostwick February 14, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    Non-alcoholic…you have a dirty mind, get it out of the gutter.

    • NTP February 15, 2013 at 1:53 am #

      Boring!

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