Monday, March 14, 2011

glory days

i'm running the calgary marathon! i know, i know, ya'll think i'm crazy, but it's true.  the race is on may 28th, 2011 and i've been training for about a month.  i'm running it with two amazing lady friends from my soccer team, and it's great because they have both ran and finished marathons in the past.  i'm learning so much from them.  they are both a few years older than i am, and i really enjoy their company.  they have kids older than mine, they have life experiences different than mine, and they're fun as hell to be around.  yesterday we drove out to the south country and ran 15 km.  the conversation over the course of the distance tended to revolve around our running experiences.  well for me, that all ended in 1996 when i graduated high school.  funny how the memories of i have of track and field and xcountry competitions are so vivid!  i can recall specific meets like they we're yesterday.  brag, brag, brag...but come on i was 16 years old! of course i could run fast! still, i'm one of those sappy thirty something year olds that could relish in those memories for the duration of a 15km run!  my glory days...

this morning i woke up and made a phone call to aspen, colorado.  it seems my glory days are becoming a reoccurring theme.  it's sue's birthday today.  she's one of my oldest friends. i was thinking about it after i got off the phone with her.  i've known her 17 years.  we met at lemoyne college basketball camp and never looked back.  i told her today that i owe my love for mountain towns to her.  you see, where we grew up in upstate new york there's mountains, but what we didn't know when we we're kids is that they are just hills.  we'd spend our entire summers romping around the 'back country' that was our backyard.  seriously...we'd leave in the morning and be back just before dinner.  sometimes we'd come down from the 'mountain' and we'd me a mile or two from home.  but those are some of my best memories.  she had this cat...and he'd follow us the entire way.  what was his name? i can't remember. i think i called him 'dracula' because i remember he had two of each of his upper canines...very suspicious. he's in both of the below photos.  and that's sue at maybe 14 or 15 years old! 
some ravine we stumbled upon on one of our outings...they're not joking when they say kids don't know how to play anymore!  we just explored, and made fun of each other, and complained about the injustices of our existence (like our mother's trying to get us to take these honkin' cell phones with us), then went to school on monday. simple.
see the valley we lived in!  her house is right next to those two tall pine trees in the background.  we're on our way home.  then those outings started to get replaced by back road bush parties, and sleeping in 'till noon.  next thing you know we we're off to florida for spring break of my senior year, then prom, and all of a sudden i was graduating.

splash mountain, disney world. orlando, florida 1996

then i moved back to canada, she wrote me tons of letters about all the parties i was missing, and that she'd picked out a college in colorado.  so there i was in my second year at ottawa U, trying to figure out what to do for reading week and i decide to take the amtrak to glenwood springs colorado to see what all the fuss is about!...well, that my friends is why i live in fernie. bc.  that train ride was the most eye opening experience of my adolescence! and when i arrived in colorado sue was an amazing host... from then on the mountains were in my blood!
just off the train...waiting to hitch a ride to campus

colorado mountain college- glenwood springs, colorado

downtown aspen, colorado
i had such a great time in colorado, that i took a semester off the next year and did a whole season!  brought in the new year of 2000 in the fastest ski town in north america....whoowhee that was a thrilling four months of my life!
and i haven't seen her in almost 9 years!  happy birthday sue! thanks for being a swell pal back in the day! and most importantly introducing me to the pace and spirit of mountain town life...although we sure did explore the 'moutain town' of tully, new york in our youth didn't we...

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