Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Pondering the Great Imponderables

Woke this morning to the sound of thunder, how far off I lay and wondered...

Apologies to Bob Seger. Bob Seger? Fuck I'm getting old.

This is the longest stretch I have gone between Blogs, and certainly the longest I have gone without writing when I have had so much to say. I have copious notes for a full half dozen Blogs. Have had everything but time.

Last Blog was September 13. My father arrived in town and had a pacemaker-defibrillator installed the next day. Via surgery of course. My life went a little sideways after that.

The original surgery had been delayed and then cancelled at the last moment. Having made the comittment to be the designated driver - a point of endless contention with His Majesty the Old King - I couldn't really back out and there was no one to take my place.

Long story short, there were complications, last minute visits to the doctor (plural), blood tests, late night phone calls and midnight visits to the Emergency Room and another extended stay in the hospital.

Enter ten days of daily visits to aforementioned hospital, couple of hours at a pop, daily walking of a decepit old Lab named Sarah, conveniently located an hour away, another couple of hours per day, the cancelling or postponing of several jobs on deadline and you have a tiny little window into the latter half of my September.

Oh Joy! Oh Bliss!

Old as I am, my old man is older. And a lot less comitted to something resembling healthy living. Hard to watch a man only twenty years my senior waste away into increasingly fragile frailty. He sways in the breeze like a shoal of cat-tail reeds around a duck pond. Refuses to impose any lifestyle limits on himself. Insists on doing whatever he wants. Oh yeah, I get to drive and do all the bits he can't. This is apparently called "do me a favor".

How do you tackle the last chapter of your life with grace and dignity and manage to hold onto your sense of self, never mind your self-respect? How much do you fight, and how much do you compromise and when do you just have to settle and accept the cards you are dealt, no matter how badly you may have played them? And when do you finally admit to yourself that in life there are no do-overs, no mulligans, no more chances to fudge the facts. It just is what it is. Life that is. Everybodies time runs out. End of story. Get over yourself.

And in between this daily drama, I ran long runs of 40K, 23K and 16K as I wound down in my taper before the Portland Marathon. Portland Marathon, you say? Yes, the Portland Marathon, a race I no longer have much interest in running, not much desire and hunger for, nor much confidence I can do well in...

I am clinging to my 8K and 10K times in the past six weeks and my performance in the Yasso 800's, which I reeled off in sub-3:20's, usually just a day after a very hard tempo run.

I have seen a lot of things in the past few weeks that I don't understand.

Why would you keep drinking when you are suffering from liver failure? Or kidney failure? I don't understand...

Why would you stop and answer your cell phone in the middle of an intersection while the light is changing? Or thumb a text message? Saw both. Can't say I can understand that...

Why would you drive through a Pedestrian Crossing when said Crossing is filled with people? And then scream at said people? I don't understand...

Or cross over three lanes of traffic to make a turn while chatting with what is apparently your closest friend on your cell phone, or maybe it's a really hot date, and then funnily enough, I guess I understand that a little, or at least my gonads do, but hey!, it's still a totally fucking stupid thing to do while you are driving in fucking rush hour traffic - gasp! I don't understand...

Why would you continue to train hard when your body is in pain and you can hardly walk, let alone run and yet you still think this is normal. I don't understand...

Why would you wear so much cologne that people around you actually gag? Why would you douse yourself in cologne before going for a run in the first place? I don't understand...

Why would I walk over a pile of lumber after weeks of walking around it? I understand the nail in the bottom of my foot - truly I do - puncturing my shoe AND my big toe - but I don't really understand how I did that...

I paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars for my Polar 800 a mere six months ago and now it doesn't work a week before the Portland Marathon and I can't get my phone calls returned by the local Polar Rep (bitch!), or get any satisfaction from the Polar Technical help line, or actually get any real Warranty help at all in Vancouver - I am supposed to send my fucking piece of shit Polar watch all the way to fucking Montreal - Gasp! for breath - @#*%! - and this is a company that is supposedly dedicated to something they call Customer Service? This I really don't understand...

Thank GOD for Alex. The Prince.

And just when I was going to add, Why do I even run marathons? I don't understand..., it came to me that I run marathons because it is probably the only thing in my life that I do understand, even if I can't articulate it and that running allows me to cling to some semblance of sanity in an insane world. That I understand. The rest? It's a crazy world out there.

1 Comments:

Anonymous dogfish dave said...

Great post Vince, enjoy the marathon!

5:55:00 AM  

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