Friday, April 19, 2013
POST 1100; APRIL 19, 2013; TROUTVILLE, VIRGINIA
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Yesterday I shared on this forum, the struggle my body endured for two to three hours walking - pushing SAM - on Old Mountain Road en route to Highway 220. Also, that upon reaching Highway 11 - connector to Hwy 220, my foggy brain - it seemed - turned us the wrong way, ending up in the town of Troutville, Virginia, miles from our intended route.
Our short-term destination is the town of COVINGTON, Virginia, some 80 miles distant...located on Route 269, the parallel side road to Interstate 64 (I-64)...Covington...also the start of many monster mountain hills that have become so psychologically intimidating.,,but which must be crossed to reach the Ohio River.
At breakfast this morning in the COMFORT INN, Troutville, Va., I have learned that there is not a single additional motel or place to seek shelter before reaching Covington.
It is a bit overwhelming that in my weakened body / psychological state (of yesterday), my body chose to walk in the wrong direction...taking us directly to the ONLY available protection.
Weather prediction for today and tonight is for severe thunderstorms accompanied by high winds...25mph +...
Had we taken our pre-selected route, we would now be without protection, facing severe climactic elements for at least the next three days.
Have extended our stay at Comfort Inn one more day.
The news out of Boston this week brings to mind another time when my body took over my "comfort zone", bringing one of the most important changes to my life...effecting not only myself, but countless others also.
Crossing the finish line at the 1976 Boston Marathon was without question, a moment one never forgets.
On June 15, 1975, I threw over a carton of cigarettes into the fireplace, ending my 22 year 3-packs a day smoking habit. On December 06...less than 6 months later...I competed in...and completed my first of many marathon races...this one in Columbia, South Carolina while on a business trip.
On June 16, 1975, I could not jog around the block. One month later, 5 miles before work followed by another 5 miles after work was followed by a 10K (6.2 mile) race each weekend.
My T-shirts were a thing from Hell...full of awful smelling yellow and brown stains from nicotine-laden sweat pouring from my body...continued a full three years. There finally came a day when t-shirts remained white...and I lost my desire to sleep in the next room from my stinking body.
Today, nearly 40 years later, I have no problem being around others who smoke...smoking is for me, however, baggage which would deny me the opportunity to have experienced the euphoric high of running Boston in under 3 hours...or walking for days-weeks-months day in...day out...each day...every day...covering nearly TWO marathons daily at the speed of 4 miles per hour...in the cold of winter mountains...heat of Mohave Desert...humidity of the Gulf Coast...sometimes at 8,000 foot elevation crossing the Rocky Mountains...capped by 5 hours of computer work to share my day with you.
...and doing it again in the morning.
Yes, I am making a statement. Once, I nearly destroyed my body. Now, approaching 80 years old, I am again pushing beyond reason...looking for that elusive moment when I receive the message: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Not yet there, I feel tickles around the edges that we are closing in on it.
As the rain begins to fall in Troutville, Virginia...thunder and lightening bearing down from the nearby Allegheny Mountains, we - SAM and ME - are taking a day of rest...alone...no outside disturbances...preparing to tackle a challenge not endearing to 35-year-olds.
Tomorrow is another day...the day SAM and ME once again walk the road of America...hoping we do not come face to face that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Sure beats sitting on the couch, guzzling beer, munching chips, complaining at having nothing to do...having lost all "purpose" to live...
Be the truth known, I carefully observe all things...preparing for that day when I must choose - hopefully wisely - what I will do when I grow up.
Yes, there is tomorrow...
...I intend to be there
...Hope to have you for company...