Saturday, March 1, 2008

It is all Stooch's fault

Over the years, Tim has been journaling. He records his thoughts and emotions, composes lyrics and writes down his dreams. He has been doing this for many, many years. I have known about Stooch's writing for about 15 years. I am sure that Steely Dan and Springsteen are the main causes of this. I thought that was so cool. I even thought I should try to do it. The end result of my feeble attempt; two entries in a green spiral-bound notebook, spread over a 15-month span, predicting gloom and doom and watching it come to fruition.

That pitiful attempt happened almost 10 years ago. New Year's Eve, a dozen too many beers and a running podcast called Phedippidations have ignited the fire in me to write.

Here is the scene: The party at Stooch's house was more than a success. The Mamma's Boys and their lovely wives made the trip down to South Fork where memories were re-lived, good food was abundant and many beers were consumed. After the "climax" of watching the tape-delayed dropping of the crystal ball in Times Square, it was time to get ready to bust a move. People gathered up their kids and coolers and prepared to let the Designate Driver's do their Saintly duty. Throw a few more verbal jabs at an over-served buddy and wrestle with the other passengers for "shotgun" on the ride over to Bad Scoob and Chief's place or El Dougo & Cherie's farm.

Then it was 2:00 am. Tim's wife said goodnight, reminded us to keep the music and the laughter down and scampered up to bed. After a few more beers and a few more gentle reminders from Barb to shut the hell up, we realized it was time to retire to the study for some serious B.S. and philosophy. I went downstairs to grab the next 2 rounds of beer. Tim threw in a "Blue Hawaiians" CD and brought out his journals.

No more were they the cheap-ass Mead college-ruled spiral notebooks. Now he was writing in leather-bound journals the size of the new Guinness Book of World Records that my wife insists buying every f-ing year. After pointing out a few entries and letting me read some poems and lyrics, he did something that I am sure he regretted. He handed me a pen and the journal and asked me if I would like to make the first entry for 2008.

When I was done, he was pissed. Either he was to loaded to make it obvious that it was just an empty offer or I was to blasted to take the obvious hint. Either way, he wasn't too happy to have his Sacred Scroll desecrated by a non-believer like me.

That entry provided the spark, and the Phedippidations podcast and its insistent creator, Steve Runner, fanned the flame. One of the persistent themes that its creator, Steve, drills into your head, is the importance of creating your own blog to share your thoughts and dreams with other runners.

This blog will not be exclusively about running, the subject will certainly be intertwined in my jottings. My thoughts are way to scattered and my knowledge base is way to limited to do a full-time running blog. The few people who stumble onto this will hopefully re-visit this a few times to see what carnage is coming out of my feeble mind. It is like seeing a car upside-down in the ditch next to the interstate. You may say a prayer that nobody was seriously hurt, yet you can't keep from slowing down to see how much damage is done to the vehicle and if there is a severed head laying on the ground.

Blogging is kind of like going to Confession. When you go to Confession, the Priest isn't the one who forgives your sin. God does that. You can ask God for forgiveness on your own and you are good to go. The Priest is just the sounding board and the conduit. By stating your sins in front of another person, you are more able to realize where you went wrong. It is easier to accept God's forgiveness when you put it out there for another person to hear. The same is true for writing blogs. While no person may ever read the words that I write, it feels good to just to write it down and get it out in the open. This blog is my confession and you are the priest.

If you are, were or would like to be a runner, I strongly suggest two things. Read the book The Courage to Start by John Bingham, and listen to the Phedippidations podcast. Check out the book from your local library or buy it at your local bookstore. Download the podcast from I read that book and I listen to fdip religiously. I am a runner because of that book and that podcast. I never thought I would ever say that again.

Well, it is well after 1:00am and I have a 9-miler to run tomorrow morning. Time for this 43 year old Clydesdale to hit the hay.

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