The other day I was pondering . . . “I should write a blog post – and I WOULD – if I could think of something to write about. Anything. Doesn’t even have to be interesting . . .”
My pondering caused my mind to wander, as so often happens.
“What is this blog even about? Why am I writing a blog in the first place? This really interferes with time that I could use to play on my PS3. I wonder if Far Cry 4 is any good? I don’t think there’s any zombies in it, though. I like games with zombies. What if zombies really existed? I should probably be stockpiling food and other essential supplies. Except no sardines. Sardines are gross. Who ever thought about putting whole fish in a can? That person should be shot! I don’t own a gun. Maybe I should get a gun so I won’t have to steal one after the zombie apocalypse that is SO coming. A machine gun, I think. Or maybe one of those guns that Shepard has in Mass Effect. I wonder why MY Mass is constantly increasing . . .”Then. BAM! An idea! A really easy way to create a blog entry would be to to provide my reader with a history lesson. That might be useful to that hypothetical person since, if that reader exists, he or she is no doubt pondering some of the same things – like – “What is this blog even about and why am I wasting my time reading it?”
So – let’s start at the beginning. Once Upon a Time . . .
I started writing about my “running” experiences in email form in my last job. I would send out emails to those with whom I worked with the idea that I might encourage them to join me on some of my runs and, if not, maybe I would entertain them a little bit. For those who ran with me, I bestowed upon them “running monikers.” Over time, my email evolved and became a little bit of a thing because people were bored and had nothing else to look forward to. Two things became abundantly clear in the process of writing the emails. First, I am a PATHETIC runner (see the first reference to this fact in the first email, below). And, second, I’m a very silly person.
I switched jobs and a clamor arose because I wasn’t writing about my exploits any more. But, to be more accurate, one person who felt obligated to appreciate my meanderings (my son, aka “Walter”, so-named after Walter Sobchak from ‘The Big Lebowski’) created this blog and encouraged me to continue writing. Thus, a blog was born.Several of my prior posts in the “Best Of” series are examples of some of those emails that I sent. If I knew how to link to those posts, I’d insert them here.
Anyway . . . the following “Best Of” is the very first email that I sent that ultimately resulted in the hot mess that is this blog (at least it’s the first email that I retained, so that’s pretty much the same thing).
If you have any ideas about what this thing should be about (including your suggestions that I should just leave it alone), let me know. In the meantime, “THE FIRST EMAIL.”
From: [Pathetic Runner] Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 14:05
Subject: IF YOU MUST FAIL, AT LEAST “FAIL WHILE DARING GREATLY”
Wardroom (and prospective members):
“Will you join in our crusade?/Who will be strong and stand with me?”
That’s my question. Will you take a stand here and now; or, will you will and join the countless other well-meaning but long forgotten wallflowers who are too fearful to attempt anything great. Yes, that’s right; I have registered for the Fort to Base 10 nautical mile run on 11 September 2011. (http://www.fort2base.com/)
For those of you content to merely attempt something good – there is also a 3 NM run the same day. But remember: “Good is the enemy of great.”
In the interests of full disclosure, especially to those of you have never seen your way clear to go to sea, I suppose I should explain to you the concept of a nautical mile. A nautical mile is based on the circumference of the earth at the equator (don’t worry, I’m not challenging you run the circumference of the earth!). Long story short is this: a nautical mile is 6,076 feet. That is a mere 796 feet longer than a statutory mile (the unit of measure employed by the odometer in your car). So, it turns out that this run will be a bit longer than what you might have originally thought. In point of fact, it’s really more like a half marathon. That can be a scary word, but it needn’t be. I ran my first full marathon at the age of 47 and I suck at running.
If you can run a mile and a half (and you can), then you can run 3 miles today. If you can run 3 miles, you can run 6 miles. Starting to see a pattern here? Plus, you have 16 weeks between now and then to prepare and any of the stouthearted who sign up are welcome to train with me anytime they want. You will have the pride and satisfaction of knowing you are a distance runner. Plus you’ll get a cool T-shirt and finisher’s medal – that’s kinda neat.
Challenge extended: “. . . But we in it shall be remembered – we few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile this day shall gentle his condition; and gentlemen in England now-a-bed shall think themselves a’cursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks that [ran with us upon 9/11].”
With respect and best wishes,
P.S. For any who can correctly identify the source of all of my inspirational quotes you will receive a reduced measure of my scorn and derision if you choose to stay home. So, here’s a bonus quote: “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.”