A month from today I’ll be doing something I really had no intention/desire to do….run a marathon. I mean maybe at one point in my soul searching life when I was compiling one of those “100 things to do before I die” lists “run a marathon” might have crept in there around number 99 but then after running a few laps I scratched it off and replaced it with “read Ulysses” or something else equally character building and demoralizing. It seems that everyone and their mother has run a marathon and it’s one of those things that middle aged people do to feel alive or fit or complete or something, the marathon is “every man’s Everest” and is just another thing to check off a list. Not to take away from the dedication and discipline it takes to both summit Everest and run 26.2 consecutive miles but it just seems so cliche.can you feel the stoke?
I truly thought I had given up the whole marathon thing for good but last year, as a mere spectator, I was blown away by the New York City marathon. Admittedly, I wasn’t eagerly anticipating standing on the side of a damp, crowded Brooklyn street the day after a New York City Halloween listening to the clank of cowbells and bull horns while searching through a sea of people in the hopes of catching a glimpse of our friends as they plugged away on their 26 mile death march. That said, as we approached Lafayette in Fort Greene, I was practically moved to tears; overtired, sentimental or whatever, I couldn’t get over the community support. The simple act of random strangers cheering on random strangers in their personal triumphs or Everest, if you will…I mean how awesome is that? We live in a world where people can’t even look each other in the eye on street and here they were rooting each other on. Anyway, I got all inspired and that was way before the adaptive crew came by in wheelchairs and cheetah legs and the old people with pacemakers, what is it about old people that makes you want to cry, maybe it’s just me?
I was all inspired and number 99 on my bucket list started to seem a little more appealing, everyone who ran by us had this unbelievable aura of stoke and sheer joy, and as we got high fives and hugs from Sal and Michael as they skipped through mile 8, marathon running actually looked fun. Three hours later, after we had indulged in a lavish brunch complete with Mimosas and Kir Royals and our running friends had logged another 18 miles and three boroughs, marathon running did not look like so much fun. Sal was doing a slow steady head down march/trudge type movement looking nothing like the man we had seen back bouncing happily through Brooklyn. Michael, well, he’s one of those runner guys, tall and lanky who wasn’t even supposed to run the marathon until like a week before but decided to run in support of Sal and well he way smiling and waving the whole effin way….classic. But generally the last few miles the marathoners don’t look pretty, people are dragging legs behind them like busted razor scooters and furrowed brows are common place so I kind of assumed that by the time Sal and Michael made it through the corral with their silver capes and shiny medals they’d be all like “that was cool but I never need to do that again” and instead I was flabbergasted to hear both of them state then and there they’d be back next year. WTF? Not only did the marathon beat down their bodies but apparently it melted their minds as well…bragging rights…
So my marathon dreams were put to rest, I liked the idea of a marathon but didn’t necessarily feel the need to do it myself. That, of course was until I ran into Steve Larosiliere from Stoked Mentoring at X-games a mere 2months ago, and he said he had a spot in the New York City marathon for me and well when someone says that have a spot in the New York City marathon you kinda have to take it. Right? I mean it was on my cliche list and New York is the greatest city on earth and my whole family will be there and it could be kinda fun and it’s for a good cause and let’s face it I’ve got nothing better to do 6 days a week than run around in circles and think about hydration and sport gels. Besides, he was doing it and Keir and Sal and Luis and Michael so I mean what the heck. But let’s focus on the good cause because this year the New York City Marathon is trying to raise a million dollars a mile for charity(26.2 mill for you math majors) and I’m going to be a part of that thanks to Stoked (and my most generous supporters). So yeah, Stoked’s mission is to empower youth from under served communities to achieve a more successful future by providing programs based in action sports culture that result in personal development, academic achievement, positive relationships, and a healthy lifestyle. And since just running 26.2 city miles isn’t enough Team Stoked is helping raise some money too, so feel free to donate to the cause and help us give back to the sports that made us the delinquents we are…..http://www.active.com/donate/nymarathon2010/triciabyrnes
This blog has gone on way too long but if you’re in any of the five fabulous boroughs of NYC November 7th come out and cheer on some strangers and look for a lone red head trudging along checking cliches off her list….xoxox t