|Good bye old friend! (Man, am I pasty! Whatup Whitey!)|
I have several sources of strength and inspiration in my life. My faith. My family. My bracelet??? Yep, my bracelet!!! But not just any bracelet. My daughter, Madison, made me a little black braided bracelet in 2008 when I was training for my first marathon in Little Rock, Arkansas ... and I've had it on every second of my life since. Almost three straight years. 24-7. But two Sunday's ago, after finishing the second of my back-to-back marathons in Des Moines ... I finally took it off!
It was just time. And I think Little Black Bracelet understood. It stunk of sweat & dead skin cells. And it was wearing very thin in a couple of spots. Several times I stitched it together with crazy glue to keep it from falling off. And some of the crazy glue would always get stuck in my wrist hairs ... and it hurt getting it out. Plus, I was becoming more and more worried about losing it. So, very ceremoniously, we removed it at lunch at The Cheesecake Factory ... with a butter knife. (Which I may or may not have ... but definitely did ... use later to butter a piece of bread)
This bracelet had been a part of my life for a long time. I wore it through 15 marathons, a half-marathon, a 10 & 15K, eight 5K's, a Boston Marathon, three Christmas's, over 5,000 training miles, visited three different countries ... and the birth of my first grandchild. I would always glance down at it for inspiration in training and in races when I wanted to quit. And I would say, "Little Black Bracelet ... you've never quit on me, so I won't quit on you!!!" Little Black Bracelet would smile, then I would just keep running.
|Samson & Delilah|
Don't get me wrong, we had our tough times & close calls. There was the pizza sauce incident of '09. And I won't even go into the vending machine mishap last year. It was my fault really. Little Black Bracelet warned me to just go get my quarters back from the hotel front desk. But like an idiot, I went in elbow deep after the lodged Ho Ho's. Almost disastrous. But through thick & thin, we always pulled through! Man, I'm gonna miss the little fella.
So here's to you Little Black Bracelet! Even though you stayed wet long after I got out of the shower, and frankly, you had lost a little bit of your black shine ... I'm gonna miss you old friend! I just hope you weren't my main source of strength. I would hate to end up like Sampson when Delilah cut his hair. But you understand ... it was just time!
... be great today!