Sunday, December 2, 2012

This and That

I love the intensity and spirituality of running on unforgiving terrain, looking for and finding the trails less travelled and pushing myself to, and beyond my limits.

Bob Nicol
Bob Nicol, Treherne Half Marathon, 2011

Congratulations to Bob Nicol, affectionally known around here as Barefoot Bob, for his appointment to the 2013 The North Face Canadian Trail Ambassador.  Bob is one of five Canadian trail ambassadors being honoured for their passion of trail running.  

While running the Treherne half-marathon with Bob in 2011 I mentioned at around mile 7 that I was registered to run the Bismarck full marathon in a week.  And then, just to be polite, I added You should join me, not expecting him to bite.  And why would he.. who would want to run a marathon with a week's notice? Who could run a marathon with a week's notice? Bob replied that he'd have to think about it and he would need to talk to his wife. It didn't sound too convincing, but somewhere between mile 7 and the finish line he agreed to join me in Bismarck.

Why the anecdote?  Because it shows Bob's passon and complete devotion to running.  I don't know too many people who can jump into a full marathon with a week's notice, and run it barefoot!  

I'm involved with an early years school in a neighbourhood with challenges. Last week the principal mentioned to me that she provides countless mittens and hats not only to the kids at her school but also kids from the neighbourhood middle school. She told me that they're in particular need of mittens, especially extra small mittens for the kindergarten kids.  I sent an email out to my running friends and they replied in kind.  I have about three dozen pair of mittens, most of them for tiny hands in need of a little love.  Many of the gloves are brand new,  Now that's compassion.  Thank you all for helping!

Trail along the Red
Speaking of trail running, I ran 8 miles yesterday and another 10 this morning.  I found myself on a lovely trail in an Elm tree forest that hugs the south bank of the mighty Red River.  It winds this way and that, it bumps up and down... yellow tall grass poking through white snow... red bushes... a galaxy of branches...snowy trails... soft and quiet... alone.  

Was it happenstance that I found myself on this secluded trail with all the beauty of a W.J. Philips landscape... with K.D. Lang singing the iconic helpless, helpless, helpless on the iPod?

Or was it simply meant to be?


And finally, in the spirit of awards... the ugliest cake of the year award goes to ....


It sorta looks like someone... umm... how shall I put it.... delicately... barfed on the cake. It's my wife's lemon birthday cake.  Apparently it's a big no-no in the baking world to add the wet ingredients before the dry ingredients are mixed.  Who would have figured?  It tastes great, and she loves it (at least that what she tells me), but the image is kind of scary.

You all are wonderful folks with good, kind hearts.  I hope you have a peaceful week and, as always, it IS a good day to be alive.