What would I be doing ... if I had the time and resources ?
I’d run across country with my nieces and nephews and friends running, riding, along with me.
I asked myself that question last week. I was out on a run, I don’t wear headphones. The trail was empty, stayed empty for the whole two hours. I can cover a lot of territory on those long slow runs: review the past week, plan the previous week, write blog posts, process blog posts that are better left unwritten, resolve issues, forgive people, forgive myself, playback conversations and even run a few miles.
I’ve noticed on my long runs I think more wholistically, more strategically, starting at about mile five or six. Endorphins and just enough adrenals fuel a steady trancelike mental process set to the rhythms of my breathing and steps. Easy. There’s no distractions like a smartphone or phrasing or grammar and punctuation. No deadlines. I usually run out and back routes so ... I set my pace and go.
Anyway. The seed for this conversation must have come from reading about someone’s bucket list. I was running down mine that morning. Some shared common threads; others were complimentary. About mile seven, a pattern formed. Being a guy and an art major I'm more visual than your average bald-head man so a picture formed in my mind. About mile eight, I'd formed a narrative.
I’d grab my two nieces and one nephew, pile them into a RV in Santa Monica and run east, towards Charleston, SC. I can't imagine a better place for a post race meal than Charleston. Maybe, New Orleans. We'll do a north/south run later, Duluth to New Orleans. But for the moment, we'll go west to east, with the wind. Mostly.
Now, planning the details is key on any long run. They have kids, a total of five. Luckily, they're all about the same age. And they all get along. So, too, do the spouses. That means we'd need a big RV, a tour bus size. If Willie and the Family can tour year after year with their equipment we should be able to tour with some strollers and car-seats.
I don't see myself doing 100-mile runs everyday, more like 10-20. So, we'd have to schedule their stays in shifts, over the summer would be best. Nephew's a professor, one niece is a teacher, one's a rapper - with a phone and a laptop she can work from anywhere.
On this trip, I'd want a master's student or an equivalent from an osteopathic school. Why? I'd want them to study the effects of extreme training/exercise on a male, approaching AARP discount age.
The point of this adventure would be to show aging boomers, male and female, there's life left in our legs and hearts and minds. We still have the fire for an adventure. Youth shouldn't be wasted on the young. We can have adventures, even bigger adventures, with our ... wisdom giving better guidance and decision-making skills.
Besides joining me on the runs, other primary roles are possible.
The Rapper could be the Press Agent for the tour.
The Teacher could organize a lesson plan showing kids what's possible and showing elders what's still possible.
The Professor could organize the research, gather the data, slice and dice it and organize it into a paper to present to those academic papers.
The Kids. They could keep us smiling, entertain our growing audience with videos of life on the road. We'd make them stars: Zooey, Emory, Avery, Callum, Brooks. It would be a great adventure for them, too.
Me: I'd do the running, write and podcast about the running, the diet, the wear and tear on the body, the highs and lows. They could talk about the highs and lows, too. We'd talk with groups as we cross the country. Kind of a Partridge Family, but with real people.
But we'd all be doing it, all of it, together. Running, rapping, writing, driving, playing with the kids, eating, presenting.
Anyway, that's wha'd I organize if I had the time and the resources.