Recognition of this day started with a desire to recognize the end of the war to end all wars. It’s not hard to see how that turned out. It should surprise no one.
The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked.
Who really knows how bad it is?
That’s Jeremiah 17:9 – New Living Translation.
Humble thanks to those who have served in the past. Grateful thanks for those who serve now. And prayers for those yet to serve.
I watched the finish of the New York marathon today. Even though I can barely put together a couple miles right now, I still love running. In highschool I ran cross country and track. My dad had been an avid runner for years and his stack of Runners World magazines fell to pieces as they became source material for collages of great runners that went up on my bedroom wall. There were two runners I idolized (as a teen I wasn’t smart enough not to do that yet) above the others. Bill Rodgers, because he was so good and I thought the gloves were cool. Even more than him though, Albero Salazar was at the top of his game and a Christian. That made him someone to emulate on multiple levels. His meltdown in LA was a bummer, but I was still crazy about him as a runner.
A humorous Alberto Salazar story revolves around the Continental Homes 10k. It was a great race that I ran multiple times. It grew to be pretty large and was even televised on national t.v. I enjoyed getting to see stars like Zola Budd and Mary Decker-Slaney in person. The last year I ran it (I think) CBS televised it and Alberto Salazar was a commentator. I didn’t get to see him though. I was busy running.
My mom had driven me to the race and had taken a bunch of pictures. We took the film in (weird to think about now) and got it developed. There was a close-up shot of Alberto Salazar sitting at the back of a truck. My mom says, “I don’t know who that is but a lot of people were paying attention to him so he seemed important.” I couldn’t believe it. She did so well without even knowing it.
So what brings all this up? I was watching the marathon and as Meb Keflezighi won it, the announcer mentioned that this was the first win for an American since Alberto Salazar’s last win in 1982. Immediately my mind flashed back to the posters on my wall and then I did the math. Twenty-Seven years ago. How can that be? It seems like it was just yesterday.
While I’m doing a brain dump on running, I’m going to throw a freebie out there. As I mentioned, I did a lot of reading and cutting from my dad’s magazines. Some were a bit older and this is how I had become a big Bill Rodgers fan. He was still running in the 80’s but his best days were really through the 70’s, so he wasn’t exactly a household name with my peers.
One day at track practice our coaches told us all to get on a bus we were going somewhere. This was odd, we’d never done that before, and we hadn’t been told we’d be doing anything different. They didn’t tell us where we were going or why. The bus took us to Horizon Highschool. (Same district as my school, not too far away.) As we were unloading I looked over towards the track and there was Bill Rodgers. I was pumped and exclaimed, “That’s Bill Rodgers!”, which got me a lot of blank looks. I started asking people if they had paper or a pen and pencil. I was completely unprepared. I ended up scrounging up a raffle ticket or something and Bill had a pen. I got his signature on this little scrap of paper. It was still awesome. He talked to us about running, answered questions and ran with us a bit around the track. A fabulous afternoon I intent to remember as long as I can.