Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hope I Didn't Just Cut Samson's Hair

Good bye old friend!  (Man, am I pasty!  Whatup Whitey!)
Do you have any good luck charms, or something that someone gave you that serves as inspiration?

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
Sometimes it could be a little embarrassing having two bracelets on the same wrist.  I have worn a Power Balance bracelet for years. (although I have my doubts if it really does anything)  And I sell construction materials to contractors for a living.  So more than once I got some raised eyebrows on job sites when I shook hands.  It was like, "Hey look, here comes 40 year old bracelet guy!"  But me & Little Black Bracelet didn't let it phase us.  We knew what we had ... and we just kept on stylin'!

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! 


  1. well thank goodness you cut the bracelets off AFTER the back to back marathons. HA HA. I have a feeling you will be just fine... Seriously sweet that you wore the bracelet your daughter gave you for so long. Points for that!

  2. I believe your bracelet understands. You showed it your love and respect.

  3. That would be very hard for me to do. But I guess you had to do it.

    Fun post.

  4. I am sure little bracelet will understand!

  5. Best to have it safe somewhere at home than to have lost it. What great memories you two and your bracelet. That's a keeper!

    I can't tell you how many times I've gone through a box to find something like that that meant a lot to me for sentimental reasons and I'm so glad I kept them...there's that penny I swallowed when I was one that my mom recovered and saved. I also still have a chunk of hair from my rat tail when I was a rebellious teenager...the list goes on and on.

    You can't deny your incredible past from future generations. These things must be saved!

  6. Ok, am I the only one that is superstitous and sentimental?

    If I were you, I guess its ok not to wear it 100% of the time (you know how hard it was for me the say that) BUT you need to somehow still race with it

  7. Difficult choice. I think that I would have to have it with me - in some manner - where there is a will there is a way.

  8. Awww your poor little bracelet. I love this post. I am so glad I am not the only one that is superstitious.

  9. Parting in such sweet sorrow! Are you going to replace it?

  10. Here lies Little Black Bracelet. A source of motivation in life, may you continue providing hope and inspiration on your next journey.

    (I wear silly bands sometimes, especially when I'm traveling. They're often bright colors - pinks, greens, yellows - but I wear 'em. They remind me of my daughters so I keep 'em on. Forget what anyone thinks, a grown man wearing these crazy colors on his wrist, they do keep my girls on my mind)

  11. Your bracelet understands and will always be a part of you - on wrist (or vending machine) or not.

    I am VERY sentimental about things like that!

  12. I would ask your daughter for a new one!

  13. haha amazing that the bracelet lasted 15 marathons!

    And you probably don't want to hear that Power Balance bracelets are indeed bogus -

    I also confronted Power Balance reps at the San Jose half marathon expo and told them they were full of it, needless to say they weren't too pleased about that, lol

  14. Oh, and yea I could see Stanford going undefeated and still not getting a shot at the national title game, but we'll cross that bridge when it comes. Stanford still has to get by USC this weekend, Oregon in 2 weeks, and then Notre Dame the last game of the season. Right now I give Stanford maybe a 3 point edge vs Oregon (because we're at home), but that game is too close to call...I'm just trying to savor this season, because Stanford will likely never be this good again!

  15. Almost gagging thinking about the bacteria transfer from bracelet to knife to butter to bread to mouth. I've just been to see the movie Contagion and have become slightly OCD.

  16. I was loving this post. I kept reading and I loved it even more.

    And then you mentioned Ho-Hos. And this post instantly became the greatest thing I have read in ages.

  17. Sounds like you and the bracelet had a great relationship. I mean, you've been through a lot together! :)


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