G. Bartlett Giamatti was the youngest president of Yale University ever. After serving in that capacity for eight years, he left to become the President of the National League of American Baseball and then the 7th Commissioner of Major League Baseball. I remember a quote vividly from Mr. Giamatti after he accepted his first baseball job. Leaving one of the world’s most prestigious Universities for a sport is unfathomable. He said something to the effect of “This move confirmed my mental instability to my closest friends and family”.
So why do I bring this up? Well, what I did this past weekend will confirm for most of you MY “mental instability”. Let me explain.
Last December I registered to run the Air Force half marathon (13.1 miles) with my buddy Matt Kaiser. I’ve run it before with Matt and since it is right here in Dayton, it requires no travel. It provides me a target for all of my training in the fall. It gives me something to look forward to. So Saturday, September 21 has been on my radar all year.
About three months ago, my son Nate told me about a half marathon in Jackson Hole, Wyoming he was considering. It is a small race in a beautiful part of the country (near the Teton Mountains). He told me that the race was on Sunday, September 22. I told him the Air Force Half Marathon was the same weekend and I was already signed up. I couldn’t do Jackson Hole with him. He decided to do the race anyhow. We left it at that.
But I started thinking for the next month or so. Who knows how many chances I will ever have to race with one of my children? Nate had a good chance to finish in the top 3 or so of this race. Hmmm.
So about two months ago I told Rose what I was thinking. She thought I was crazy, but said “go ahead”. I decided to sign up for the Jackson Hole Half Marathon also. That meant I would be doing 13.1 mile races on back to back days in locations over 1000 miles apart. When I called Nate to tell him I would be joining him he thought I was crazy too.
But I did it. My weekend went like this. I left for the Air Force Half Marathon at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday with Matt. After finishing the race, I came home to take an ice bath for my legs and then get a massage from Rose. I was sore, but not really too bad. I hopped a plane to Jackson Hole (via Chicago) at 5:00. I arrived in Jackson Hole around 8:00 pm Mountain Time. Nate and I spent the night in a hotel . We got up the next morning at 6:oo a.m. to run that race. The race Nate and I ran was fun (he finished 3rd overall in the race). Then we spent a glorious day in the Teton Mountains hiking, taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. We were lucky enough to see moose, bears, deer, and a huge heard of buffalo. Nate and I had so much fun together exploring and talking. We had to get up at 5:45 Monday morning for me to fly home. Exhausted but happy, I am back in Dayton. On top of that, I ran really well at both races.
So you all know I am crazy. But if you really think about it, this was all about three things I love. I love to run. I love to run with friends. And family is really important to me. The time Nate and I had together was so special that I know we have a lifetime of memories stored up. So is it really THAT crazy? You get to decide.