Monday, February 22, 2010

U-S-A! And I am a Runner

Great hockey game last night! I can still remember where I was in 1980 (12 years old -- in 6th grade) when I heard that the US had beaten the Russians in Lake Placid. It was a coldish day and I was outside playing football and heard of the looming upset (there was no live TV of the game). I can also remember watching the game, but it really was anticlimactic in that I knew the US won at the end. Last night was nothing like that, but it was the biggest US hockey win in years, and a great game to boot.

It got me thinking about hockey and running again. This is a long story, so bear with me. On Sunday, it was my weekend to usher at our church -- both the early and late services. So, I was at our church from 8 until 12 noon, a long time (for me anyway; I only do it once a year). Our church is rather picturesque, and sits on a hill at the crossroads of town. It is hard to imagine running through my town and not passing by. This intersection is on my running route, and sits at the intersection of the village school, the library, town hall, and our church.

Anyway, Sunday morning was a pleasant morning -- about 30 degrees and sunny, with a little wind. Just cold enough not to want to run and to make it a cold trudge. So I didn't run that morning. And given it was the last day of our first winter break, not a very busy day at church, so I had a lot of time to watch outside. And there was a constant stream of runners. Men and women. Some fast, some slow. Some dressed warmly, others in shorts. It made me realize that there is just a large community of people out there doing what we do. And I am part of it. I always feel self conscious when running. I have told any number of people that, in a race, I am always the person people say "I cant believe I got beat by that guy!" I battle with my weight and am no one's picture of a svelte runner.* Anyway, very often I feel awkward and self conscious gearing up and running.

But watching the parade of people go by on Sunday, I realized, Hey I do this too. I probably do it faster, but I didn't run today, so they have me beat. But I am a runner too. "I am a runner!"

It reminded me of the promotional video they show at the New York Ranger hockey games: "I am a Ranger!" Below I have embedded the video. It starts slow, but at about 0:59, it picks up and in closing a number of average fans say "I am a Ranger."** The fans and the players are the team. Just like us runners: all of us are part of being runners, whatever our speed or look or training.

I have previously spoken of my love of hockey even though I can't skate 20 feet. But after watching this video, I want to go out and run or skate or climb a mountain!

*This of course will all change in next two months -- I'll be back to 180 soon. I promise, even though I had a debacle for a diet weekend. But come spring, I'll have that BMI under 25 in no time.

** After this video played at a game I went to with my then 7 year daughter (1st grade) , she asked me "Am I a Ranger?" I said Absolutely! And she jumped up and down like she had won the lottery.


  1. Wow, that's an inspiring video and I'm not even much of a hockey fan. I am totally caught up in the Olympics right now. It's great that both US hockey teams are doing so well.
    I can relate to being self conscious about running, but for a different reason. I always think that I should run faster and have received comments along those lines. Thinking about this now, those comments always come from people that don't run and thus, have no idea how challenging it is to run fast. That's just another reason to love our running community!
    Good luck with your BMI goal, although, I get the sense that you don't need luck. You'll just get it done!
    BTW, thanks for sharing your water heater story on my blog. I will now stop complaining about our very minor incident!

  2. Hi NY Wolve,
    I remember that wonderful hockey game from 1980 too!! I was in fourth grade:) Minnesota is a big hockey state and all of the kids want to play...both boys and girls:) We love going to hockey games because there is so much action and there is never a bad seat in the house!!

    Yes, you are a runner and you are apart of a wonderful community of runner people!! Your post made me smile:) I hope that you have an awesome day my NY runner blogger friend!!

  3. Here is what I know about hockey:

    a) i know what icing is
    b) i know what a power play is
    c) i know when the buzzer goes off, someone scored.

    but i watched the game the other night (thanks CNBC!) and it was EXCITING! i was screaming in my apt and i know my neighbors might have been wondering...

    so awesome that they upset Canada! Canada needs to quit talking smack.

    now, what i want to know is WHY the game was not shown on NBC instead of ice dancing???? REALLY??? dumb.


  4. I am unable to see the video, but I loved this post nonetheless. What a great thing to say - I am a runner!

    My husband is Canadian and plays hockey still. Needless to say, he is heartbroken after the game. My sister-in-law lives in Vancouver, still, and was lamenting yesterday about "Black Monday".

  5. Hey thanks for the comment on my blog! All the better to find yours! My ineresting input on hockey: my bro and Eddie O. played little league ball together. He was pehnomenal. But even better at hockey apparently!
    Now for your shoe question. I wear Mizunos for long runs. Newtons for speedwork.
    I stupidly hurt myself testing new Newtons (Lady Isaac).

  6. Thanks for checking out my blog. Excellent post--you summed it up so well. The weight will get where you want it; spring always helps!

  7. Thanks for the comment on my blog! Congrats on being a RUNNER! That is one of the things I hold proudest about myself! It's a "cool" club to be a part of!!

  8. Oh for the pool running, silly me! Actually no shoes for the pool. I stayed in the deep end and pool running is done with a flotation belt so my feet never touched the bottom. Totally zero impact!

  9. The realization that we are part of the whole community of runners and we share some many commonalities is a great one. Often, when I'm doing a long run alone, it helps me to remember that we've all had to spend hours on our feet in training and some how, this helps! Did you enjoy the Olympic hockey game last night?

  10. That's great..somethimes I question me being a 'runner' because I consider myself slow and inexperienced but then I read others blogs and their pace may be slightly slower than mine and I consider them runners, so I guess I should say the same about myself too!

  11. Rod Gilbert and I attend the same charity event every year where he is one of the big celebrities. I didn't know who he was and we started talking. I asked him where he lived (NYC), where did he work (MSG), and he finally said- you know, I'm a Ranger and am in the Hall of Fame. Oh, sorry, I don't watch sports. Very nice guy but he wan't really interested in talking to me after that. We met again later and he didn't remember me and it went much better as that time I was properly impressed. :)


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