Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Fight The Real Enemy!

Fight The Real Enemy

Hey gang, since my hair is growing at such a rapid pace, I have to post a few pictures quickly before I return to boring, old, full-head-of-hair me. Right now, you would say that I'm at the dreaded "Sinead Stage", where it appears that that I shaved my head to look like a crazy Irish folk singer. Emphasis on the CRAZY. Well, since I look so much like Sinead that her agent keeps asking me to be her body double, I thought it would be funny to reinact her CLM* on SNL*, when she announced "Fight the Real Enemy!" and tore up a picture of the pope. Well, I'm not Catholic, and I'm not crazy, so I thought tearing up a picture of the pope would be quite the sacrilege, especially considering that the new pope has stopped by my blogsite to bless it a time or two. (Thanks, Pope!)

So I googled "Pope" and found this picture. It's a photo of a man named "Mike Pope" and I think he's a guitar instructor from Indiana or something. So Mike, I mean you no offense, but you have to admit it makes for a funny photo. And truth be told, you don't have your hand on the red phone to the man upstairs like the real pope does. I mean, he talks directly to God while you're teaching 12 year olds how to play "Stairway to Heaven". The real pope could probably curse me with a music career like Sinead's. No thanks.

Anyway, enough of that. I haven't updated you on my running lately, so I will quickly. I'm officially in the Chicago Marathon again, so I'll be one of 40,000+ people running it. (I'll be the one wearing a red shirt). My training has started, and I can't wait. Chicago is such a fun marathon! I had a great 5k "training" run this morning with friends. Actually, it was less for training, and more to uphold our "Take Back The Trail" day, as today marks the anniversary of a local woman's brutal attack exactly one year ago. Over 300 people gathered at the trail this morning; to be together, to celebrate community, and to cheer her amazing recovery and subsequent return to the trail. It was an amazing morning. I was proud to be there.

But I was there a year ago, too. Much like today, I was training for the Chicago Marathon. And much like today, I was only scheduled to run 3 miles. Unfortunately, I stopped a mere half mile from where the crime took place - at roughly the exact time that it was happening. I'm not saying that I could have stopped it from happening, and quite frankly, something even more serious could have happened to her or me. I don't know. But I do know that it affected me much more deeply than I thought it did. Man, did it affect me.

I'm much more aware of my surroundings now. I have my music on a little quieter, I say hello to everyone I pass, and I look them in the eye. This isn't a bad change, it's just learning to deal with the world in which we live. So if you're a big outdoors person like me, just be alert. And if you want to borrow Loki for a run, just ask. Granted, he's absolutely no good for protection (unless you happen to get attacked by squirrels), but he looks like a white wolf, which can be pretty intimidating...

Today helped me find a lot of the closure I've been needing. I won't give you the woman's name, but it's been exactly a year since she was nearly beaten to death and left to die, and let me tell you, she looks FANTASTIC. I am amazed by her physical recovery, but more importantly, I'm so proud of her for staring fear in the face and returning to the location a year later. She's a winner, I tell you. None of this "Fear-Factor-I-have-to-eat-worms-to-win-fifty-thousand-dollars" crap, but a real winner. She's not letting this attack own her, but rather she's owning it. That's her trail dammit - she's earned it. We should all be so strong.

Well, I have to go. I promised a friend I would help him pack boxes for his upcoming move. Note to self, you probably shouldn't let a person with OCD help you pack. Everything has to fit into the boxes as neatly as a Tetris game. Oh boy...

*Oh, and BTW, CLM = Career Limiting Move, and SNL = Saturday Night Live. People like me love our TLA. TLA = Three Letter Acronyms. And yes, I do find it slightly ironic that we describe three letter acronyms with a three letter acronym. Don't ask.


Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Thanks for sharing that story. By the way I'm not OCD, but I do rather pack boxes like a tetris game. You should of seen the look on my movers' faces when the walked into my living and saw how I had stacked all the boxes. It was priceless.

Good luck with your training.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Only slightly ironic?? LOL

I have a friend at the office who holds true to this fortune cookie advice. I do too. It is not quite as wise as Taco Bell sauce packet wisdom - but it will do.

"Face the thing you fear the most and you win. Avoid the fear and the fear wins."

Congratulations to the woman.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

A new trail is being built near where I live, but to get to it, I have to pedal past the area where some homeless guys are known to hang out. People definitely have to be careful out on trails. Thanks for the story!

3:14 PM  
Blogger Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Good stuff, Mateo. Thanks for sharing it. I'm glad she has recovered well and its good to see a community come out to support her like that. I don't know if they ever caught the guy who did it, but there's a special place in hell for people like that. I hope he gets there soon.

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Ooh, Matt - you better watch your back! I heard that Mike Pope is looking for you, and he's none too happy! Sleep with one eye open, that's all I'm saying...

1:20 PM  

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