this evening, a run was held to remember JT Tumilson, a Navy Seal who was one of the 38 men killed on Saturday, August 6th in the Chinook helicopter in the eastern mountains of Afghanistan. At 8:30pm, Mike Rouse (a dear friend of mine), his wife Kimmie, and hundreds of others met at Mission Bay to run whatever distance they chose, in honor of JT and his service for our country. Mike and Kim were close friends of JT's, having known him for some time. JT was a regular in the running and tri community out there and if anyone knows the Rouses, you know he was in good company:)
i met JT two years ago, at Shakespeare's Pub. I think it was a Tuesday. Rousey and a gang of maybe 10 people met there every week to reminisce, laugh, talk triathlon, running, you name it. Rousey pulled Mary, Joe and I along and boy, did we have fun. To say JT lit up the room would be an understatement. His kindness, his laughter and his genuine desire to be present with everyone around him was enough to light up the whole of San Diego. I mean that truly. He was awesome.
So tonight after work, I threw on my running shoes for a lap around the river. In those 30 minutes, i thought about how briefly I knew this man, how much I grieve his passing. How very brave and determined he was - a soldier who fought to keep our country free, who's greatest sacrifice came out of a great desire to serve his country.
And I am so very grateful to him.
My heart goes out to his family, his friends, his comrades and the families of the fallen. All of the fallen, who have fought so courageously for my freedom.
And to the friends - or perfect strangers - who showed up tonight in Mission Bay, San Diego to run in honor and respect for a great man that was lost on the battlefield. May his life never be forgotten.
rest in peace JT.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Have you ever just gone and done something without any expectations whatsoever? Maybe it was a last minute add, or perhaps you stumbled upon it and thought, “well why not?” or maybe you purposefully planned it and put no pressure on it to be anything but whatever it comes out to be. and sometimes when you do that - when you set no expectation it turns out to be The. Best. Time. Ever.
Well mine was the first option. sort of. i just returned from Boulder, CO for a few days with my twinner, Mary Mills. I had the Best Time Ever.
a few weeks prior to wheels up, my dearest awesome friend, Claire and I were out for an early morning run around the Charles and she told me she was thinking of booking a flight out to see Moo (Mary). WHAT. YES. DO IT. I couldn’t get the words out fast enough and suddenly, there I was, longing to be a part of it, too. the seed was planted. and with the help of another great friend, and some restructuring of work/life, i soon found myself annihilating trail mix in seat 30e, listening to bon iver sing halocene for the 8th time in a row and staring past sleeping businessman on my right at the wild atmosphere on the wing: we were soon out of the stormy northeast corridor, slicing through the bright hot blue winds of the west.
here we go, rodeo.
oh man, there are no words for the greatness of the 4 days. only four days?! It seems so much longer, and yet i write this from my couch - the only visible clue that i’d gone anywhere is my red-checkered burton bag with clothes errupting out of it.
a few snippets, shall we? The hilarious moment when a certain person almost lit the house on fire. No big deal. The laughter that lasted for days once we were able assure her that no, we wouldn’t need to buy Joe a new stove and that yes, electric kettles heat water electrically - no need to place one on the burner.....
or getting last minute tix to see john butler trio at the fox theater, where we jumped around and danced and laughed and sang hard to songs we knew and harder still at the ones we didn’t. or mary and I being told that we needed our own radio show by the lead singer of the opening act. because we found him outside and proceeded to talk about life for awhile. we almost, a l m o s t sang him our answering machine messages. we were THATCLOSE.
meeting up with people out there that i love. Joe Gambles, Mary’s beau and someone who I respect and care for and love that he loves my twinner , Jarrod and his quiet calmness, his kindness, and his ability to flippn run forever, Rinny, Darcie, Mary’s running friends, Heather and Ewen, the BBQ, the dare that I can’t wait to see come to fruition after Kona.
or the runs. the beautiful marshall mesa, the back side of teller farms, Cottonwood Trail loop with Mary and Jarrod....even the Res where i stupidly ran long in the heat of the day, then drank wine. smart. but even THAT was fun.
I won’t go into it all. all the fun we had, I mean. because maybe to you it looks downright boring, or maybe it makes your vacations look better or bad. it’s not really the point, I suppose. I suppose what you need to know here is that i didn’t expect to feel so filled up after only a few days. that I came away with a greater sense of self, of that great web of support and friendships that you sort of know is there but when you fall into even the smallest end of it, you feel its strength. I am grateful to know what it means to love and be loved.
I will end with this... this moment that may seem insignificant, but it pretty much sums up the long weekend for me:
It was the middle of the day. Joe had come back from training, Mary and I back from a run, Jarrod back from his run. We were all sprawled on the floor, the couch, talking about our adventures and soon we were fast asleep. Just....fell asleep. I remember waking up after about 20 minutes and not really knowing where I was. I turned and on my right was Moo, Jarrod beside her, and Joe, arms up over behind his head, sound asleep. I smiled and closed my eyes again. i liked this moment forever.
and i didn't expect it.
Noche Nada on repeat in my earbuds....enjoyyy!!