During my seven-week hiatus, I discovered something: I love to lurk.
I continued to periodically sift through all those blogs that provide me so much information and entertainment. For the most part, though, I kept my comments to myself. Oh, occasionally I couldn’t contain myself and I’d pepper someone’s post with a poorly worded response. But my quiet existence didn’t mean I wasn’t keeping up.
One of you got a jolt during her Hawaiian honeymoon and another announced her engagement. Three of you celebrated wedding anniversaries, and one let everyone know the marriage was over. One couple campaigned on behalf of their photogenic dog, while others raised money for charities. One just coming off a serious ankle injury could still use our help meeting a looming fund-raiser deadline.
Some of you ran longer or faster than you ever have before. A couple of you won a race outright. Two of you told us you plan to direct your first cross-country race. One’s back to swimming his heart out. And another who’s sporting a nifty Nike Marathon necklace can count me as a volunteer for her inaugural ultra trail run in February.
You planned vacations. A few of you planned to quit your job. You prepared to for a new baby or sent a child off to kindergarten or college. Or a husband off to war. You got injured and volunteered at the big race instead. You put your house on the market and then decided there’s no place like home. You delighted us with pictures – ones that included you too. With the kids. With that cute grandson. With other running bloggers we follow. Then there was that adorable dog named Donkey upstaging Rowdy, but only by a little.
You helped a friend in crisis. You reminded us of the important role of teachers in our society. You made us smile with a favorite quote or lyrics to a song. One of you had been pretty down in the dumps, then created a running challenge and lo and behold! the depression started to lift. That made our spirits lift too, you know.
You made me jealous that it’s already snowed in Canada, while the Santa Anas have turned everything here crisp as toast. You made me yearn to run in the country again, gingerly avoiding massive cow pies. You qualified for Boston, with minutes to spare. You walked a half marathon while overcoming injury and smiled liked you’d placed first. Two of you just broke in your first pair of running shoes. Hooray! Welcome to the club!!
You returned to your childhood hometown to run a mile-high marathon. Another barely made it to the Marine Corps Marathon staring line in time, but finished awfully fast anyway. You outlined trail runs I cannot wait to explore. Someone who shall remain nameless gave us quite a visual when describing his recent run involving certain embarrassing sweat lather and compression shorts.
You stuck it out with your suffering soul mate on race day, even when it was obvious you were having a great run of your own. You discovered the name for those itchy red blotches we get from running in the cold. You returned from a very long business trip to learn your company now provides a free gym membership – and time off to use it. You learned to run in sandals – and socks. What a sight! And what an athlete – going for your second marathon just a few months after your first. You crossed another state off your marathon list. You got back into sketching. You gave me guidance on my weekly football picks. You finished a big project at work.
Some of you introduced yourself to me for the first time. And, yes, now I’m hooked on all the ins and outs of your lives. One right here in San Diego I hope to run alongside some day soon.
One of you threatened to quit blogging, only to realize you still need a place to park all those terrific thoughts – and we all are the happier for it. One continues to lead his army into heated battles where the victors return home bearing fine wine and salami. Some of you tackled an Ironman in driving Wisconsin rains or the harsh Hawaiian heat. Some continued on a marathon course even after it had officially closed, and even now it makes my eyes water. I ended up eagerly following everyone's adventures in Chicago, even if I was supposed to be there and instead cheered from my computer chair. Besides, you did far better than I would have. [And those of you like me who didn’t make it to the starting line of that event or others, there’s always next year....]
Finally, there are all of you without blogs that wrote or called to check in on me. Chris in Kodiak. Kelly in Massachusetts. Annie, Cate and Doug in North Carolina. Sarah in Puerto Rico. Sandy in Pennsylvannia. Jeff in New Mexico. Sue in Florida. Tracy in Connecticut. Joe in Pittsburgh. And all of you right here in San Diego that make me feel like a rock star.
I’m really looking forward to reading and hearing about all the adventures ahead. I may not always let you know it, but your words really do speak to me.