Saturday, February 25, 2006

The godless community

Just a short note here. I am happy to report that the godless community is larger than, until recently, I had imagined. There are bunches of sites - some great - some not so great - devoted to non-belief. I will endeavor to add links to some of the better ones I have found, or been led to in the next few days, and I will continue to add any I believe are of interest.

I know that I still have a rather insignificant readership, but it is growing incrementally. I remain pleased with my discourse with Sweet Jazzy Cat. I kind of feel like a kid at kindergarten coming home to tell mommy about my new friends. Agnostic Mom has been gracious enough to join in the fray (Not James Frey, I should clarify.) Of course she has a great site of her own which has an impressive following. New to the short list of visitors is one OVER2U who has recently established a site - Open Campus ( I hope to hear from him in the future. He has but a few posts at this time, but they are, I think, insightful and well written. I should note that OVER2U is not monolithic in his interests, which in turn interests me. I endeavor not to be a johnny one note here.

Now, in that spirit I offer the following:

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am "in training" for the Indy Mini-Marathon as a walker. I am an older endomorph, not properly packaged for running or jogging. So I walk. Even so. For anyone who has not endeavored to get into or remain in decent physical condition, the prospect of walking 13.1 miles is daunting. I walked about 6 miles earlier today, and I must tell you, I don't exactly feel great right now. In a way, the fact that I walked The Mini a couple of years ago, somehow makes it more daunting. I vividly remember just how bad I felt along about mile 11. I truly did not believe that someone could feel so bad and still be able to move, let alone walk. I well remember how pained and dazed I was at the walk's end when first I had to stop and sit down so they could remove the timing chip from my shoe. I doubted strongly that I could get back up out of the chair, but I apparently did. Then, I had to run the gauntlet of people shoving things at me, various fruit, bottles of water, chips, cookies. Then someone motioning toward me to come over and get my picture taken. Leave me alone! was my only thought. I walked back into Military Park, juggling all my new found treasures, where all participants were supposed to meet up with whatever family member, friend, or neighbor was assigned the task of getting us home. I saw that the "S's" were gathered out in the, by then, too hot sun. Screw that! I found a large old tree and gingerly collapsed between its exposed roots where I spent the next several minutes staring straight up at the tree and the sky beyond wondering what kind of an idiot willingly puts himself through such torture. Walking 13.1 miles. I could have driven it in a lot less time, and would have felt infinitely better when I arrived.

Every now and then a face would loom over me, its mouth moving, asking if I was all right. While I really had no idea, I just nodded and said I was fine. Actually, I am now certain that I was on the brink of death. I was dehydrated. My electrolytes were askew. I finally managed to dig my cell phone out of my fanny pack (Yes, I had a fanny pack. What of it?) and called my son who was wandering around looking for me. He eventually found me and said, "You look like crap, dad. Well come on, let's go to the car. " "Where is it?" I queried. "At Circle Center Mall." he replied. (For those of you unfamiliar with downtown Indy - Military Park and Circle Center Mall do not rub elbows with each other. Circle Center is probably about a half mile or more from the park.) Once again. Screw that! I calmly stated, "You go and bring the car as close to this spot as you can get it. Just don't run over me."

Well, of course, as these marathony kind of things tend to cause numbers of street closings and blockades, he was only able to get the car to within about 3 blocks of where I continued to lie prostrate under the big tree. By this time I had probably been lying there about 45 minutes or so. The park was clearing out. The little tents were closing up or coming down. I think that if my son had not returned, I would likely have been left there to dry up and blow away. But, never fear, return he did. I drank some water - I can't stand Gatorade, it makes me want to - how you say? - hurl chunks - and finally managed to get to my feet with not a little difficulty. I hobbled along beside my 20 something son, who had, while I was struggling along in the Mini, gone up to Butler University and run several miles along the Monon Trail. (Again, if your not familiar . . . oh, who gives a rat's ass?) He was fine and fit. Ready for anything. I was ready for cortisone shots.

So, in that light, I look forward to my next adventure in mini-marathon land with high hopes.
I'm sure my training regimen will render me far more fit and ready to fiddle my way along for another 13.1 miles. May 6th can't get here soon enough! I wonder if we've got any whole grain beer?


P.S. The photo above is apropos of nothing. It was taken on a property that I appraised a couple of years ago. I just thought it would look pretty good to anyone who has grown tired of winter. I know I have.


noell said...

My hat's off to you! That's awesome. I'm telling you, I laughed out loud when you said someone motioned you over to take your picture! I can't believe you have to walk all the way to your car in the end!!!!!

Terry S said...

I don't know if you or your husband do any walking/running, but it is great that so many people do. Thirty-five thousand people take part in the Indy Mini. To create some semblance of order they assign each runner/walker to a carrel, or starting place corresponding to one's likely completion time. The slower you are, the further back you start.
It makes sense.

At the Mini I walked in, the starting gun went off at 8:03AM. I didn't actually make it to the starting line till just after 8:30.
Of course, the moment the gun went off, it occured to me that I had to pee. I managed to hold on to it until I got inside the Speedway. Fortunately, they have large rest rooms there which made it a quick stop. Otherwise, I would have had to wait on line at one of the porto potties scattered along the route.

Walking around the Indy 500 track is rather awesome, but punishing as well due to all of the pavement reflecting the sun's heat right back at you. That makes it a long 2.5 miles. It takes a lot out of you.

They assume that you want a photo memorializing your accomplishment in finishing the distance. Considering that I probably looked much closer to death than one would desire, I certainly did not care for capturing such an image for posterity.


noell said...

I've always been a dancer, so I only discovered I love running a few years ago (because I'm not really dancing anymore!). I just run on my treadmill, but entering a half-marathon is something I have considered doing this past year. I've never involved myself in anything like that, so there is a lot of mystery that makes me hang back. I liked hearing your story.

Terry S said...

I've always envied dancers. I know it can be very tough, but to have that kind of command of one's body, to be able to move expressively is quite a gift (if you will.) I studied and ultimately degreed in theatre, but regretably never took more than a theatrical movement class.

There is not so much mystery around running (or walking) in a distance race. Of course, there is usually a lot of hoopla surrounding them, but in the end it's just you and the pavement.

My wife has a niece who has run several marathons, even one in Alaska. Another niece's husband has run several full marathons and has now qualified for the Boston.
I doubt that I will ever go beyond walking in a mini. That will be enough for me.