keeping up appearances as a runner?

I’ve been reading the blogs of some very strong runners, mostly long distance, and mostly trail runners. I appreciate the candor. Some speak of depression, chronic pain and loneliness, among other things. Some speak of feeling they may have overdone it, and wish they had not. Some even speak of feeling, in reality, that they don’t think they contribute anything useful to humanity. Some speak of feeling as though they have almost abandoned the family they helped creat.

Nope, no links for this. I found them, and I appreciate them. These folks are human. (they are also very fast)

what thoughts do aid workers have?

Some aid workers see rough situations. Some work in the trenches and do so for long stretches of time. I read about situations that can’t even be maintained, let alone solved. I’m wondering what it must be like to be near life and death situations daily. What does it feel like to be a witness to hunger, thirst and a lack of shelter. 

Think about that and then think of coming home to America and seeing what we see and reading what we read. 

The thoughts of all that has began to affect my life. It makes me thankfull for what I have and sad for those who don’t even have food, water or shelter. I pray to God and I donate to Unicef. 

This type of post makes me think of Eric Liddell.  Here is a link to one of my post about him.

words from a native American Indian 

I was in Cherokee, North Carolina and decided to go for a walk. I went to the area that houses some of the souvenir shops. I paused for a moment when I came upon what appeared to be a Cherokee indian. He was standing under a large umbrella and was dressed in the attire I remember seeing in television shows. A young girl ran up, handed him some currency, and a young man took the picture. The Indian stepped out from under the umbrella and walked over. He asked where I was from and thanked me for my service. (Navy cap). We spoke of Georgia for a moment. Their was a pause in our conversation. Finally, very sincerely, he said these words. “I wish I knew how to make things better for us” 

He became busy and I left. I took note of the sincere tone of his voice and I sensed a sadnness. 

I found this picture using Google

A long-distance traveler on 441

He was carrying a beautiful Marmot backpack. I recognized it because I have one very similar to it. He was discharged honorably from the US Air Force about two years ago. He worked at different jobs and saved up enough money to make the trip from Buffalo New York to his mother’s house in Orlando Florida. I offered help, if needed, and he said he was fine.

My week in the Smoky Mountains in my tent – searching 

A few years back, after my divorce, I found a couple that let me park my car in their yard, they took me to Newfound Gap. I spent a week out there. It was the coldest sustained weather I had ever been in. It was well below zero over 5000 feet. The wind most nights was howling. 

I tried to find some of them and I think I did. I didn’t ask. We sat and talked. They all three had served in Vietnam. I thanked them for their service. They appreciated the gesture. I spent my service on an aircraft carrier, mostly in the Mediterranean. 

I enjoyed the weather, the views and the peace. I arrived back at the Gap several hours early on pickup day and they were already there. We had lunch in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He was a Veteran of Vietnam also. He passed away a couple of years later. When I called back a month later, their phone was no longer in service. I found the house yesterday and neighbors say she moved away the week after his death . When they helped me, they were both in their late seventies. Good Folks. 

What I am trying to say is this . . . . . 

A certain amount of my life has been a struggle. I have many friends that say the same. Something deep inside tells me to mourn what needs mourning and then Keep Going. Something deep inside also tells me to enjoy the good, for a bit, and then Keep Going. By comparison to a lot of folks, my life has been wonderful. I’m grateful. I’m 66 years old. Some never made 6. I don’t understand so much suffering, but my plans are to continue on. I’m not to old to set another goal . . . . . and I will. 

I am persistent. 

I don’t mind failure.

I manage my resources. 

I stay in my lane. 

I have much left to do. 

I gotta keep climbing those mountains. 

When you quit for awhile and come back, you will find I never left. 

We encourage each other.  

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”     Erma Bombeck 

The bad comes mixed in with the good

  I found out these 3 things this evening, all within a 50 minute time span. 

  • A 68 year old friend passed from a heart attack 
  • 62 year old suffered a stroke
  • I received an invitation to speak with someone I have been trying to speak to for a long time. It concerns alzheimer’s 

Amazing. Life is like this a lot. I gotta work through the rough times and enjoy the good times. 

My plans are to Keep on Keeping On. 

Sad or happy? It’s my choice right?

My wife, our two children and I visited the Great Smoky Mountains many times. It’s was good. I drove up a while back to run, jog and walk from Cherokee, North Carolina to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I was on a mission then. This trip is to relax for a couple of days. I wondered when I left Roberta, Georgia, about my mood. When I have been  . . . . . Hold it, I forgot to say something. She is now my ex wife and my children are both in their forties. In the past I have found myself sad, at times such as these. I made a conscious decision on the fly, that I would go forward with energy and enthusiasm on this trip. Yep, mom’s fine, and I am too. 

Another thing. It’s like when you purchase a Volkswagon, you start noticing more of them. Each place I’ve stopped today, I’ve seen lots of folks on their own. Anyway, here’s a picture taken behind the motel. 

Pictures from the North Carolina trip

I’ve been to the Great Smoky Mountains many times. This is only the second time alone. I notice things. Good trip. Here are a few pictures. The weather was great.

A quote from Dr. Seuss

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”

I must keep that in mind. I wish I had lived more in the moment. Working at doing that with the time left for me.