I have had a heavy past couple of weeks. I am lucky though, because I have been running with some good friends, old and new, and loving up the trails and roads of Rhode Island and Connecticut. Lucky me, right? When the shit hits the fan, I know I can count on my friends.
One morning last week, I was taking the hand towel out of the downstairs bathroom to use at the kitchen sink, and in the process, pulled off and broke this little ornament that has been hanging on the end of the towel rack since we acquired the farm many years ago:
Since last week, while cleaning, I dropped my Pinnacle Ultra Finisher’s Spike (a spike big enough to kill a vampire, small enough to carry home in your duffel bag) in the sink and cracked it, the sink is off limits until the plumber can be secured.
We had been using the bathroom as a sort of trophy room; Race bibs lined one wall, and two hooks held finisher medals. It was kind of cool and showed that man, we have run and biked a lot in the past few years. All of my running friends have one of these areas in their houses. Gail and Dave, Marathon Maniacs whose goal it is to run a marathon in each state (and are nearly there, as well as having completed multiple ultras, townie 5 and 10ks, and triathalons) have their front hallway dedicated to the pursuit of their goal, with some medals framed, photos of them smooching during races (they are Team Smoochie) and extra medals draped over the newel post at the base of their stairs.
Georgia, who this year is completing not only multiple marathons (including Berlin) but also running 5Ks across the state of Connecticut, does this awesome thing:
Says Georgia: “Annual tradition has it that I post all my running bibs on my cubicle wall, for motivation (in running and in daily life). The bibs represent the events that I have run in and completed in a year. Once the year is over I take all bibs home and make a collage out of them. Then with another new year I start over and decorate my cubicle once again with running events. It is a great way to stay motivated and also motivate others to join in and change their lives forever as they take up running.”
There are also the kind souls like Britni who dedicate their races, medals and bibs to children in need. I asked Britni to tell me about it. “Over the last few months I’ve been running for a 7 year old boy named Aidan, who has hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Whenever I run a race that offers a medal to finishers, I ensure Aidan receives these medals. He absolutely loves them because they make him feel part of the experience and joy that running gives.” I think that this is awesome, and a great motivation to run.
Then there’s Fred Zuleger, a Rhode Island running God. He has lots of bibs.
We see Fred at almost every RI race. The guy is unstoppable. I’m surprised his house doesn’t fall down from holding up all those bibs and medals.
I wish I had taken a picture of our bathroom before I took all the bibs down. But it was beginning to look like a dorm room. So now, in our office, there’s this:
I keep the bibs. So does Tom. On the backs, I write the day, my time, and any other bit of information, in sharpie, Some day, I will have to throw them away. I will not make a quilt from them. Or a jacket.
Even though… whoa. Tyvek. Water resistent!
Anyhow, so now our half bath is back to being a half bath in a normal person’s home except that you can’t use the sink, and in the process of pulling the towel off the rack, I broke that little ornament. And I am keeping it. I am going to throw it in with all of the bibs and medals. Because what I have had of running, all of the friends I have met over the years, the things they do to help others, makes me love them. So the little ornament sentiment rings true. As dear old Emily Dickinson so proudly wrote it, and would be proud to read it if she was sitting on my toilet:
That love is all there is,
Is all we know of Love;
It is enough, the freight should be
Proportioned to the groove.
Thanks y’all for running me through the weeks. My head has been in the toilet, but my heart has been klomp klomp klomping along.