Wednesday, June 18, 2008

FABULOUS 55

Its official. this old bird has hit the speed limit...the double nickle..the big 55. So to honor-insult-salute- or denigrate the age barrrier I hit, I put together an unique celebration. It was a celebration of one, which I figured was appropriate, seeing as how, it was me and me alone, who made my way down the birth canal from the womb. Just one exit from Womb was the "real world". Sure My mom was pushing real hard and the doctor was giving the pep talk and of course, my dad was where all dads were back in the day. In some waiting room, sucking on a cigarette and drinking nasty coffee.
My official first public spanking, not to be confused with school or sports happened right here. It is now called Euclid Hospital. 55 years ago, it was Euclid Glenville. Said spanking happened either before or after my dad stubbed out the cigarette. I snapped the picture of the hospital late night on June 16, just an hour before I was to turn the big 55.

I chose this location for the first part of the festivites. Its the track at Villa Angela St. Joes. Nice rubbery surface, the lines on the track reminding us that with life comes order. Stay in your lanes or all hell will break loose. The plan was I would begin running 54 minutes at 54 minute before midnight.. . at the crack of midnight, I would start another run, this one 55 minutes to honor the age. I had no real design to run any kinda pace..roughly 9:30 miles would be fine... I did have a Half Iron coming up in about 12 days. So, I ingested a gel before..kept one sitting on a table with my big bottle of water and took off runnng.


The wind was strong coming off the Lake. The waves crashing onto shore. The waves never cease. Time marches ahead. Birth--Vibrant life--and then death. I found it ironic that within about the span of 3 acres were a hospital, where life begins. A high school, where lives are shaped, and a hospice, where very ill people are ushered into the beyond with extreme love and care and grace.

With each lap, I just found my mind wandering.. Its GOOD TO BE ALIVE!!!!. So true. I thought of how blessed I have been. Great parents, ideal childhood , wonderful wife, kids and a job where I can still be a kid. I recalled how a 17 year old kid asked me if I would come to this same high school years ago.. He had a scoop for me. That kid, Desmond Howard wanted to tell me that he was going to Michigan to play football. The quarterback on his high school team also was gonna go to Michigan , Elvis Grbac. Now, Desmond and Elvis are approaching middle age and I just keep on trucking. By the way, the nice track surface was paid for by Elvis.

The laps piled up..the wind stayed strong and the clouds hovered, taunting me with rain, but never following through. I ran well. Sprinted the straightaways the final 10 laps. All told, I ran 11.5 miles. The Bride called this run "A Stunt". I call it an affirmation of climbing the chronological ladder. Yes, age is a number. We can accept it or deny it. Sure, I would like to be 30 again, but that boat left the dock 25 years ago. I have life experiences that I cherish. Memories galore. I have wrinkles, less hair, and I snore. I wear a hearing aid and I have a balky knee and sore hamstring. So what. Break out the violin and moan about the bad??? Hell no. Celebrate the good. And thats what I did. But, I wasn't done. I got 6 hours of sleep and then went to the gym for part two of the "Stunt" I will fill you in on the next post.

21 comments:

Wes said...

Happy birthday, JT! May 55 be beyond your wildest expectations :-)

Dan Seifring said...

Happy Birthday. That was a great read.

Kevin said...

Happy birthday. cant wait to hear the rest of your exciting day

TrainingtoTri said...

Happy Birthday JT!

Benson said...

Wow, that was cool.
Happy birthday.

Eric said...

Great insight with this first installment of the b-day challenge. Can't wait to read more.

Charlie said...

Happy Birthday.
Many more laps to run.

TriSaraTops said...

Happy happy birthday!

Loved the run and pics! :)

Kim said...

HAPPY birthday JT! What a cool way to start your day! I hope it was great!!

Marcy said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HOMIE!!! Love the attitude, I hope I have it when I'm 5-5 ;D

Rainmaker said...

Happy Birthday!

And wow, a track right near the waves - lucky lucky you!

RunBubbaRun said...

Happy B-day JT... Good way to start off the festivites..

Triteacher said...

Ooh, I love this post - all the way from the birth canal to the wrinkles and snoring. You are one wise man, Triguy.

Triteacher said...

Oh - how embarrassing... and

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! (There, that should about make up for the initial oversight.)

Luc said...

great post! :) and happy birthday!

Lily on the Road said...

Happy Birthday JT, (again), wonderful musings, hope the rest of your birthday was just as special,

(from someone who will always be a little older than you)LOL...

jbmmommy said...

Happy birthday. Sounds like an excellent end to one year and start of another.

JenC said...

Happy Birthday JT! Fun way to celebrate and definitely like the positive attitude!

cindy said...

Happy 55th!

I love the last paragraph...you said it well, and the part about breaking out the violin and moaning about bad gave me a big ole grin!

Rachel said...

Happy B-Day! What a great way to celebrate! I love it--very spiritual. Here's to health and an ever-young frame-of-mind!

Viv said...

Happy burthday to you Mr. JT, happy burthday (shimmy shimmy) to JT.

you make 55 look fun!