Lighter Side of Running

Tripping Over Myself: Funerals and Running

This week we kick off a regular series that takes running on from a different perspective's - Blaine's.  I have been a big fan of Blaine's blog and when he raised his hand after our call for help from the running community, we were quick to take him up on his offer.   He has agreed to share his talents with all in the Lounge as he talks about the lighter side of running.

Blaine comes from a long-line of non-runner couch potatoes and was contentedly living that life until giving into peer pressure to run a 5K. That in turn activated something in him to continue running (Genetic mutation caused by too much tv is how the doctor described it. "No life" is what his kids call it.) He has run multiple small races since that fateful day, recently finishing his first half marathon and working his way up to a Summer marathon. You can visit his blog at anotherdayanotherrun.blogspot.com.

Here is his first article in the series "Tripping Over Myself".

 Funerals and Running

Tripping over myself I accompanied my wife to a funeral a few weeks ago. The lady who died was the mother of her boss so she decided to go. Looking for any excuse to avoid my own work and the possibility of something other than the peanut butter sandwich I had for lunch, I agreed to join her. As I sat through the service I began to think how much running and funerals have in common.

First: Dead Person.

That’s a pretty obvious first step. No dead person, no funeral.

I too can relate to a dead person at times. There have been many long runs where at the end I feel like my body has shut down and I’m just waiting for the hole to be dug and that’s just the run. Wait until the ice bath.

Second: The Viewing.

People come by and witness for themselves that you are truly dead. The newspaper didn’t make a mistake. If they are like my parents, they’ll even line up the family in front of the casket for a family photo op.

Likewise with running, fellow co-workers and family will periodically show up at races to witness that you are truly running. They will then return to the rest of the co-workers and/or family and tell them what you looked like at the end of the race. They might even take a picture.

Third: The Eulogy.

This is the part where someone stands up and reads off what you accomplished in life. As yet, no one has praised me for my running so I have taken it upon myself to do my own praising. I started a blog. I don’t blog to keep track of my mileage or leave a legacy; those are all too good of reasons. My whole intent is to accumulate free stuff and get the ego strokes that come from lots of comments.

Fourth: Song/Musical Number.

Depending on the religious nature of the person who is dead, there may be a selection of hymns thrown into the mix and maybe a musical number sung by select members of the family. Likewise with running my choir is generally something coming through my iPod as I am running.

Fifth: The Part/Luncheon/Wake.

This is an essential step to any good funeral and any good race. I’ve been to several good funerals that ended up low on my book because the food was poor after the service. This is the part I look forward to at the end of every race: The after race food. The better the food, the better the race. The race could be poorly staffed, be lacking in services along the race and even have crummy race bags, but if at the end there is fabulous food, then it was worth the effort.

Post funeral: The Will.

The person who died has left certain items for certain individuals. These would be the prizes and drawings at the end of the race. This goes hand in hand with the party. If you’re lucky enough to win or place in your age division, then there is a medal or award. If you didn’t place there is the post race giveaways.  I shared this part with my wife and told her that she could hold a 5K after my funeral as a way to give out my inheritance. She murmered something like “serious help” and “intervention” after I told her this.

A good funeral brings good friends together to celebrate the life of another. Running opens up the opportunity to meet more people that can come to your funeral. 

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