Canadian Running magazine just launched this month. I read it cover to cover. It was nice to read about local races and about local talent. Sure is not as glamorous as Running World magazine but it’s nice to read about other names in the running world that don’t get any press. Danny Kassap’s story is a fascinating one and I am looking forward to the stories of the people that I see at the local races. People like Jen Silverthorne, she won the Frozen Ass 50k, I have seeing her at other races and is amazing how easy she makes it look. Impact magazine also published its running issue; it was full of local stories as well. It featured ultrarunner Neil. We met for coffee after the frozen ass and I was nervous to meet him, after all he is a Badwater finisher, it almost felt like a job interview. He was nice and very helpful; he was concerned for my competitiveness and my mileage, he advised me to enjoy it more, ultrarunning is for the social aspect he mention. Neil wonders why I didn’t run with any club. As for the competitiveness it was a big no-no.” is not about competing, is all about being out there “. “ I am not sure” I responded, “I mean if its only about that and we NEVER feel competitive, why aren't we just walking mother’s day run wearing pink t-shirts with friends and family”. “We are choosing ultras, that tell me we are trying to prove that we are tougher than the average runner isn’t?” I am not sure he bought what I said, I have the feeling he truly is there for the passion of being there. He asked me to join him on a snowshoe trip and I happily wanted to oblige “well, I’ll pick you up at 7 and you will be home by 6 that evening” well, my abs still hurt from laughing, I can only hear my kids “sure mom, you need a break go ahead, we will look after ourselves, we will make sure we will NOT be on the computer all day and we will make a healthy lunch, no junk, we promise”. There are plenty of trails close by, just not as beautiful as going deeper into the mountains, I am happy just to get away for a few hours. Most of the time I start training at 5am before anybody is up to make sure I am away the least amount of time. “Well, when do you think you can get away” he asked “in 7 weeks maybe” I replied without blinking. The fact that I hardly know anybody on the races is because I usually have to rush home to my kids, they don’t come to my races, the races are to long and they get bored of waiting for me to run by, they prefer to stay home or to go to friends’ home. Is fair for me to say that I shouldn't be waiting by the phone.
Talking about heroes, I had lunch with my friend Rhonda, she wanted to talk to me about her trip to Africa. Rhonda is the most amazing woman I have ever met,she so private about what she does that unless you know her you will never know about the amazing work she does.
Rhonda travels to orphanages in Africa and brings things for the kids there, she has done it several times, always to the same orphanages she says because these kids need to know that we she says that she will be back she means it. " The kids are used to people not keeping their promises" she kindly told me. In her last trip she found an orphanage with blind and visually impaired kids she said, " I just don't know what to bring for them" I haven't being this happy in a while for something that it's not related to my kids. I offered to raise funds for equipment that the kids might need, such as a CCTV, Braille books, books on tape, Braille boardgames. The list of things that will bring a smile is endless but I am happy to offer some sort of help. After our lunch, she accomplished what Neil hadn't accomplished. All of a sudden what place I finish seems irrelevant now, how much I raise will give meaning to every run I do, if I can somehow bring a smile to those kids faces even for a moment will be a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life
I know small things like that doesn't mean the end to their problems, their hardship is long and quite sad, but she is trying to make a difference, Rhonda believes that even is she is able to make a difference on one of the kids, it makes it all worth while. We sat down there for a long time, feeling fortunate, she is adopted and understands her life could have been a lot different if her parents hadn't come along. I came from poverty in Mexico, all my life a saw the devastation and desperation poverty can bring, somehow, somebody made me believe I could have more and truly believe it. Sitting here planning the list of things I could get together to send to the kids in the orphanage feels strangely like home