Liza Howard. Ultrarunning Mom.

Ultrarunning Mom

The Lost Art of Respect

I’m sitting in the dark in my small tent in Huntsville State Park trying to figure out exactly what I’m going to write about respect for this post.  I’m up here to help Joe and Joyce Prusaitis set up for Rocky Raccoon this weekend.  I rode a purple double decker bus from San Antonio to Austin yesterday morning to link up with them and ride to Huntsville.  (Initially the 5am bus trip seemed like it was going to be another “joys of a single-car family” experience, but when the bus was purple and double decker, and the fare was only $4, and when Hamid, the taxi cab driver who has five children including triplets, told me he could tell I was a good person and offered me tea during the ride to Joe and Joyce’s house — I remembered that “the joys of the single-car family” usually do turn out to be joys.)

We spent all day yesterday marking the course and I told Joe I’d add some flags to a section this morning on my run.  I told him I’d get up at 5 to get back by 8, so we could start getting the equipment and food out to the aid stations.  There are some 900+ people running Rocky this year, so there’s quite a bit of aid station schlepping to do.  My plan was to write this post when I crawled into my sleeping bag last night at 9pm.   It was a good plan and I thought about how good it had been when I woke up at 6:45am.  twisted up and sweaty in two puffy jackets with my phone was buried deep in the sleeping bag with only a bit of battery life left.
I could have written the post on the Megabus (Yes! That’s the company’s name.), but I got lost listening to the conversations around me — and sucking down a large cup of coffee.  And I could have written after we’d finished up for the day before we headed into town for dinner.  But Joyce invited Melissa and me into the RV for a beer.  Mothers of small children do not turn down the opportunity to sit quietly with adults and chat.  Especially if one of those adults is Joyce Prusaitis.  And so we chatted about life and hardship — and the gift shop at Huntsville State Prison.  (Check out the website!  I’m hoping for one of the bobble heads for my birthday.)
I thought briefly about skipping dinner in town to sit down and think and write, but Joe said they’d be planning and strategizing over dinner and I didn’t want to miss that part of my RD education.  Ultimately there was far more hush puppy eating than planning at Luby’s Seafood House than planning.  Joe has run this race for 20 years; The man does not need to plan much the Thursday before race day.  That’s when I made my plan about writing this post when I crawled into my sleeping bag — and settled into the conversation.  I was sitting across from Gerry Roach.  (Yes, that Gerry Roach!)
So here I am at 7:28: my first syncro-blog, battery on the cell phone showing red, index finger numb from pecking out this post, course section unmarked, run incomplete, hair crazy… still unsure about what to write about “The Art of Respect.”
Except maybe that I am entirely satisfied with the last 26 hours.  They are full of memories and stories (and maybe the discovery a dead body on the course) and good friendship.  And so perhaps my thought about respect right now is: Respect the moment.  Enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it.  The rest will come.
Now I’d better hustle out of this tent and run 4 minute miles down to the section of the course I’m suppose to mark before 8 and show Joe some respect. :)

7 thoughts on “The Lost Art of Respect

  1. Olga King says:

    ” Mothers of small children do not turn down the opportunity to sit quietly with adults and chat.” Precious. That, and Carpe Diem. Respect the moment, indeed.

  2. Gene Taylor says:

    My take from this post; “Respect the moment. Enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it”. As my Grandfather used to say: “You slobbered a bibful there”.
    With respect,

  3. I’m left wanting to know more about the DEAD body situation! Respect LIFE, it’s precious and short. Thanks for your contribution, Liza! ;-)

    • Liza Howard says:

      Thanks so much for letting me take part. Turned out to be a pet cemetery. A bit of a let down after 12 law enforcement cars and lots of cryptic questions.

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