The Terry Fox Run - Emotionally Charged Symmetry (Sept. 19)...

It was a real emotional trip racing across the country to get to Georgian Bay. I didn't realize it at the time of how exhausted I was. I only had one thing on my mind, Michelle. My focus was completely consumed with her in general, and with her Celebration of Life. The Scramble I had to do to leave when I did, which was days late, was rather spectacular. Add in my emotions to that, and I was running on fumes for weeks. Standing there, watching that sunset from east of Thunder Bay, while talking to Michelle, I had to sign up for the Terry Fox Run. It wasn't something I even thought about. It just popped in my head. It felt right. I signed up on the spot with her in my heart.

Talking to Michelle...


The home stretch into Ontario seemed to take a long time, but that's only because I slowed down, and took my time once I got into the province. I started getting more sleep, and sinking into that, but even so, I started feeling more exhausted. It felt similar in a much different way to the adrenaline dump after any kind of sporting thing for me, namely triathlons in this time. When I kill my momentum, my body can rapidly shut down while tiredness permeates the depths of all my cells. You know, that tiredness that twists onto your soul, where no amount of sleep can solve the riddle?!


The Terry Fox Run was the tail end of the weekend. Michelle's Celebration of Life was the afternoon before. Yes, it was over the top emotional, need I really say that?


I was actually surprised I got myself together in time to get down to the park for the run in the morning. I think I woke up 45 minutes beforehand. Also...


I woke up sobbing in tears!


Virtually as soon as I opened my eyes, my body started shaking while that familiar wet drizzle coated my cheeks, and my body shook while I gasped for air. Sadly, I was getting all too used to that by then. I mean, I'd been in tears too many times to count at any time in any place for the past month, so to expect anything outside of that would just be stupid.


As I am no stranger to no sleep, and waking up with no time to get out the door before any kind of racing event (Even though the Terry Fox Run is not a race.), the functional part of the day was just instinctive. I've raced enough that I don't have to think about any of it anymore, and nor do I care to.


Show up. Go. Stop when done.


Simple!


I've never really understood why people make such a big deal out of such a simple thing. Oh well, not everything is for understanding to ourselves, and for me, this is one of those times.


The location for the event was where we used to run cross-country events back in the day, so that was nostalgically familiar to me, and I dug it. It made me miss Tara Monck. I remember her doing well at that race site when we were kids.


(I'd known Tara since kindergarten. She passed away before the 90's were out. far too young. Not forgotten though.)


Running, however, always makes me think of Martha Lee too. That dates back to a conversation at a Halloween dance in 1992 when she, Ria, and Krista were dressed up together as biker chicks. I was running a lot on the beach at sunrise and sunset then, and Martha was crushing down 10km runs. (Actual bad-ass skier chick! Giggle.) I didn't know any other runners like that back then, so I enjoyed that connection with her, and she's always slipped into my mind whenever I have run ever since then...


Every single run I have ever done since that conversation...


And it always makes me smile when she makes an appearance in my mind.

(You gotta understand...Martha is a freakin' awesooome person!)


When I started thinking about Tara and Martha is when I really felt the on-switch flip in my mind...


And then I almost parked my van...

Exactly perfect...


I didn't even have my wheels stopped, and there was Sean Rennie rolling up on me. I braked, and rolled down my window, and told him to let me park and get out. It was so fantastic to see him.


Just like finding Michelle's sister, Jarka, at Michelle's Celebration, and then the next person I saw there being Jeannine, Sean being the person I ran into, seemingly almost literally, when I got to the park, was another perfect piece of serendipity for the moment, and my arrival.


You see, aside from also knowing Michelle since forever, Sean was also co-workers with her at Mountain View Elementary. They were really close, so needless to say, he was really feeling all of this too, and for him to be the person I saw then was symmetry.


He's a styled out van guy too, but far past me in epic fashion with his Pop Top Pub. He's converted the inside of an old-school VW Bus into a four tap mobile pub.


Freakin' beauty!!


I showed him what I've done with my van so far with the solar power and inside gut-and-convert. I don't have it all done, and he offered right up to help me finish the last bit.


Hot damn!


When we were done doing that, along comes his brother, Brett...


"Oooooh shiiiit!!"

We were perpetually thirsty lil' fellas...


Me and that guy have had many-a full tilt degenerate moments once upon a time.


Good gawd I love those guys like you don't even know!


They had to go, and I had to get on with the run, so we said our good byes, and assured each other that we'd connect again when I got settled in...that I was just trying to get through that weekend, and then see where I'm at when the dust settled, so-to-say.


I went to the registration table to see if I had to check in, or just go. The lady said they'd like my name just so they know who has officially come. I told her my name and said I was here from BC, at which point she said...


"Are you that guy?! I'm Sean Rennie's wife."


I smiled and said that I was, and told her that I was comin' over to her house 'cause Sean said he'd help me with my van.


Krystin was referring to the guy who had been constantly bombarding the internet with stuff about Michelle...


AKA: Me...

I enjoyed having Fennario with me, and she absolutely loved it! I've never run with her on a leash before, we don't do those stupid things, but she did great with it.


The run course was a 2km loop. I decided to do three of them: One for Michelle, one for Sage, and one more for me.


I hadn't run in two years, but that wasn't that big of a deal. I was wondering what my lungs would think of that because they have been feeling at 20-30% capacity since that 5 week gnarly cough I had from mid-December 2019 to mid-January 2020. In a metaphorical sense, it has felt like I have cement in my lungs when I am out on my bikes. No matter how much I try to condition them, they just don't seem to wanna work with me, but rather close in on me.


Not my exhaustion, my lungs, nor my runless legs had any relevance to me though. I was running for Michelle, so it was over before it began, and all I was there for was to go through the physical motion of it all.

Quick photo on the first lap before the hoodie and camera were shed...


This was my first real taste of being back in town. The Celebration of Life was an emotional blur, so this is where I really felt things. Seeing the boys, thinking of Tara and Martha, and then being consumed with Michelle in her hometown, and the place where our worlds collided...


"Yeah, heavy shit, maaaan!"


As emotional as it was, I liked it. It made me feel like I was doing something right, and going in the direction I needed to.


But wait! The cherry on top was yet to come...


Jason Sims!!


I've known Jay since I was three years old. He is just a part of life from what I know, and is definitely painted all through any kind of memory I have living within my hometown area. We come from the same stock. He was standing at the last corner before the homestretch on the final lap. I stopped to give him a hug, and say hello. He finished the rest of the run with me, although he was walking and I was kinda walking but sorta running but really not. (Giggle.)


So, let's just say there was more symmetry thrown in the mix to finish it all off. The whole day was laced with it actually...


It was a good day.


I was beat to shit for the next few days, but blah, blah, blah...that's nothing to care about! It gave me a taste of being out on course though, and now I am going half insane waiting to start getting after all these triathlons...


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