I mentioned to Holly that I had been stung by a wasp playing soccer tennis with Connor in the driveway four days ago. Everything seemed fine until today. The same day we were to travel for the relay. This monologue was delivered to me through Holly's cell phone by her friend Mike, just before we left for Idaho to run Spokane to Sandpoint. Needless to say I did not find this information encouraging on the eve of my nineteen miles of participation, and suffering, with my team of twelve runners. The other passenger, Jess, was slightly amused and maybe a bit concerned by the news we heard from Mike. Frankly, this was the best news we heard from him. Mike went on to explain that a high-school athlete from central Montana who had signed to play with the Bobcats in Bozeman had a similar thing happen and he had to have his foot amputated. Needless to say I was happy to have the company of friends while my stomach was turning. They could shepherd me through this with humor and camaraderie. We had a little over two hundred miles on highway two hundred ahead of us on our trip to Sandpoint then Coure D Alene. Plenty of time to get to know each other and mentally prepare for the lunatics endeavor ahead of us.
Spokane to Sandpoint is a two-hundred-four mile foot race where teams of twelve assemble to participate in what the layman would consider idiocy. Roughly twenty-nine hours of sleepless running, providing support to teammates, navigating unfamiliar routes, to test the stamina of the human spirit. Easy right? Wrong. The team, assembled by Ken and Katy seemed smart, which was also a bit confusing to me. After all how could such an intelligent group of people do something this ridiculous. Maybe they needed a challenge outside of intellect to balance the measured pace of daily life. Perhaps they wanted to test the boundaries of their friendships and get ornery with one and other after twenty-nine hours of close proximity in a smelly van. The notion of being able to say I have done something that you have not might also provide some motivation. Personally, a sense of accomplishing something significant outside of rational is motivating. The triumph of mind. Putting it out there and rolling with the reality you are faced with, and living in the moment are important exercises of self exploration and character. Who really knows, the answers would come over the next couple of days.
On the way to meet for dinner Jess quipped that it would be fun to watch Becca finish the race tomorrow. When I pointed out to her that we actually finish the day after tomorrow she said that she refused to let that alter her perception of the idea that this was a one day event. The notion that over one day of running with a team was too much, forced Jess to block the reality and roll with what made her comfortable. I admired her approach. The mind is powerful, convincing your body to operate outside of reality might be a good skill set to possess in the next short while.
Dinner was only the second time that I had met most of the people on my team. Holly is someone I have known for a while. Her son and mine play soccer together. The rest are strangers to me. In life, new acquaintances have been one of the elements that make the doldrums disappear. Riffing off of one and other humanity is a beautiful thing. New acquaintances generally spice up the dish. Giving it new depth and altering the flavor of your experience. This group would not be boring. Good humor, a sense of joy and a comfortable good natured banter would make this event doable. The support of my teammates in Van #2 would get me through. I am confident now. Tomorrow at mile thirteen I might feel different. Only time will tell.
Remember, you will always have more than you need and never have less than you want.