Sunday, August 27, 2017

Midsummer Madness 2017

When we signed up for Medved's Midsummer Madness back in May, I was excited. I love inaugural races and Medved runs are always a good time. But as the race approached, the excitement was quashed by apprehension. After both other races I've run this summer, I've been shot in the heart by arrows of sorrow, so part of me was like oh shit, what bad news am I going to get after this race? But as usual, most of me just really wanted to run. The race didn't start until 2:00pm, but I woke up early and felt like running. So I did. I ran to Cobb's Hill and did a couple of hills and loops around the reservoir until I was grinning from ear to ear, like kids in a candy store who have also just realized they can fly.

I ran home, showered and opened the mail to find the certified Letters of Administration appointing me as the executor of my dad's estate. Oof. Grief is always lurking about under the surface and you don't know when it's going to rise up and leak out of your eyes. This is the last thing I get to do for my dad, to make sure that his affairs are handled in the way he would want. But I still think executor sounds like Skeletor, as if it's some kind of villain in a superhero saga. Death is an unavoidable part of life and sometimes you're hit with harsh reminders of that fact. So I did the only thing you can do in situations like this. I ate a chocolate chip bagel with peanut butter from Balsam, cried in the car on the way to do estate-related errands, felt grateful for the nice men at the bank and the postman we asked if there was a post office box nearby who said we could just give the mail to him, put on my gold shorts (Pete calls them my space shorts) and went to run in the woods.

I wanted to run this race with Pete because I don't know how many years or miles we'll get to have, but I want to spend as much time as possible adventuring together. I knew there would be three loops for a total of 13ish miles. I knew there would be hills and mud. Because Mendon. And Mort and Dan. I did not know (or forgot) that this race started at Stewart Lodge (Pete and I first drove to Hopkins Point, where the spring Medved Madness starts, only to find a wedding reception instead of a race). I did not know but was delighted to find that there would be Scooby Snacks (Scooby Doo cinnamon graham crackers)!

Somehow every race turns out to be exactly what I needed. And this time, what I needed was ridiculousness: My gold space shorts/heart-shaped sunglasses outfit. A whole group of us going the wrong way because someone had removed a bunch of course marking flags and put them in a pile on the ground. A relay runner with a sign on his back saying "Papa Bear" telling us that medved means bear in Russian. Pete hunched over on the trail to get low enough so that I could massage the cramp in his shoulder with my elbow. Running what must have been every single grassy field in the park. The trash can at Stewart Lodge that said "Inedible" in big letters on the side. It was absurd. It was the best.

Life is brutally short. So you do what you can in the time you have. Put on the weird, short, ridiculous shorts.* Run the ups and downs, twists and turns together. Revel in the absurdity and the awesomeness of every day of aliveness you get.

Thanks to Gustavo for the photo

*It's a terrible myth that you have to look or be a certain way to wear something. Wear whatever the fuck you want. It's your body. Adorn it however you'd like. There is no size, shape or age limit on awesomeness.

Lyric of the moment: "Some of us surviving. Some of us just roaming. Some of  us hoping the world will move more slowly. And some of us alive..." ~Judah & The Lion "Suit And Jacket"

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