gumbo and me


If I leave you it doesn’t mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile
— warren zevon

this is my friend gumbo. she’s a great wife, mom, sister and friend. but she also runs. a lot.

i’m not sure how we became friends. it had something to do with a banana popsicle and a squirrel, if i remember correctly. but over the years, i’ve watched her go from reluctant half-marathoner to fearless ultra runner. which brings us to the month of may.

gumbo wanted to help her sister raise money for the march of dimes. they ended up raising a bunch of money, which made gumbo promise to run a bunch of miles. to be exact, 300 miles in the 31 days of may.

that’s around 75 miles a week, if my high school math and iphone calculator are accurate. which might have been possible, till the first half of the month went a little wonky. little caroline, a year and a half old or so, had a couple of bad days, costing her mileage. then her hubby, who is a saint and a big help in watching caroline, had to go out of town for four days on business. result: at the halfway point, she still had 200 miles to go. i was skeptical. don’t worry, she told me. i’ll get it done.

fast forward to today. houston was underwater friday after a monster storm, costing her another day. apparently water wings aren’t allowed in the challenge.

the result: 20 miles yesterday, followed by 15 today. she’s down to 28 miles over the next two days. will she make it? duh.

i thought about her a lot during today’s run. 3 miles, almost her entire month’s total except for 297 miles. sometimes running isn’t just running. it’s a meditation and a memory, a silent prayer and a time to count your blessings. life is fleeting. celebrate while you can, honor a loved one who left the world too soon.

for 3 miles today on the w.b. ray high school track, i ran with gumbo, emily and violet rae. the prophet warren zevon, during his last days, offered the best advice ever for living: “Enjoy every sandwich.” i guess that applies to running as well. never take running, or life, for granted. because you never know.

well, sometimes you DO know. i know gumbo will nail those last 28 miles. and  violet rae will smile. me too.


About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
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