Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Wait, Wait, Let Me!"

You're not going to believe this. Really, you're not. I can hear your thoughts now even before you think them. Zane Hodge tells lies. Or, Hodge stretches the truth, but at least he tells a good story. However, this one, . . . well, . . . uh, . . . just let me tell you about it, but remember: I tell you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. You can't make this stuff up.

As you may know by now, I have managed to stress fracture my right tibia. If you want to know how I accomplished such a noble feat, read my last blog post. The result of having this fracture is I have to wear a clunky prosthetic boot and hobble around on crutches. My family knows this.

Christmas morning, my wife and I were on our way to Carroll County. Our children come to our house and we open presents; then we all go to my wife's mom's in Carroll County where we open presents; and after that we go to Mom's where we eat, fuss, and open presents. We were a little ways out of town when I received a text message from my older sister, Helen. She lives in Florida, but each major holiday she and my other siblings, their children, pets, and grandchildren, luggage, and cars invade Mom's for a week or two. Great. We eat, visit, and love each other between bouts of violent argumentation and fighting. My sister's text went like this (only slightly modified for clarity's sake):

Helen: Where are you? We got everything we need but coffee!! and oil to bake the cornbread? Will you bring!

Zane: (after a long irritated pause) On way to Carroll County.

As I thought about my sister's request, my reaction went from irritation to incredulity to anger. Are you kidding me? They have a house full of people over there with numerous late model vehicles out front and nobody is on crutches. I simmered awhile but then I got over it, or at least forced it out of my mind for a bit. After all, 'tis the season to be jolly.'

About the time we were leaving the in-laws' over two hours later, however, I received another text from my sweet sister.

Helen: Need you to bring me oil from your house or wherever before you come over here- K?

Zane: Is not the hand of Daniel in this?

My response may need some clarification. First, this is a vague biblical allusion to "Is not the hand of Joab in this?" Second, Daniel is Helen's son and hence my nephew. Third, he and his girl friend, Janice, had driven me to the doctor when I stress fractured my leg, and Daniel was present when I pranked my younger sister, Carol, with a series of text messages after my doctor visit. We got a big laugh out of it and I thought, Daniel is coaching his mom on giving me a dose of my own medicine. Or maybe he has her phone himself and he's writing this. I mean, this is crazy. I can't carry anything and walk on crutches. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this was stupid enough to be true. Then came another text.

Helen: Zane, no coffee but 10+ yr old expresso- can you bring some? Daniel left for Florida Monday.

By this time, I was pretty well pissed. If this is a joke, they got me. They're sitting over there on their butts waiting on me to come from out of county and save the day on my crutches. Someone needs to be smitten about the head and shoulders! But I took a deep breath and prayed. Then we, my wife and I, pulled up at 422 West Harding and found a parking space in the front yard behind several of my siblings' cars. Did I mention the house was full of able bodied relatives who were waiting on me to bring oil and coffee?

I hobbled up the steps and into the living room where my son-in-law, Paul Turner, who is a better man than I, met me and placed a bag of coffee and oil in my hand. He, privy to my frustration, had stopped at a store on the way back from the country and purchased the indispensable items that no one at Mom's had the wherewithall to secure. I hobbled into the den with my left had clutching the sack and my crutch and handed the items to my sister. Then I sat down in the sole remaining chair and surveyed to room.

My fully clothed baby brother, Quinton, was asleep in the recliner just across from me. He owns a late-model pickup truck that was parked out front. Behind him was his delightful wife, Rebecca, also fully clothed. Her late-model SUV was also out front (yes, they come from South Mississippi in two vehicles). To my right were two of my nephews, Quinton's teenage boys, either of whom would have paid money just to get the chance to drive to the store to pick up oil and coffee. To my left was another nephew and wife. They own a late-model vehicle which was also in front of Mom's house. Somewhere inside Mom's was my other sister and her husband. They had a vehicle out front. My older sister was in the room and she had a car parked out front that was able to make it here all the way from Florida. Also, in the driveway sat my late dad's truck and Mom's car both of which are in excellent shape. I think that adds up to nine able-bodied drivers and seven well conditioned automobiles. With of all these resources, you would think someone could get coffee and oil. Not only that, but I found out after I got there that they had THREE GALLONS of oil in the house but they were afraid that might not be enough. Certainly you think I exaggerate, but God and my wife both can tell you they had three full gallons of cooking oil in the house,  !!!    and all nine of them had waited over THREE HOURS for me to bring oil and coffee while scarcely four tenths of a mile from Mom's was an open store. My brain was about to short circuit at the insanity of all this.

I sat there and and fumed and waited, waited for someone to spring the trap, for someone to say, "We got ya!" But it didn't happen. Instead, my sweet sister, Helen, while sitting on her amply padded posterior said, "Someone needs to work on the fire." So I loudly said, "Wait, wait, let me!" and began to rise to my foot and get my crutches under me when my son-in-law beat me to it. Did I mention that he's a better man than I?

I sat back down and wondered if anyone would get it. While I looked around the room at my clueless family, my granddaughter walked over to me and said, "I love you so much, Poppie." She hugged me and added, "I'm sorry your leg is hurt." And with that, all was well. I no longer wanted to smite, strike, and injure. I no longer marvelled at the absurdity of the situation. I no longer wondered why they didn't get it, but instead I melted inside and thanked God for His loving touch.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

And Shooting Myself in the Leg

I pulled the trigger on The Great Noxapater Journey Run and shot myself in the leg. I didn't make it. I'll start at the beginning and tell the whole story.

I left the house at 8:30 am, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, full of energy, excitement, and expectation. With a blue sky overhead and a weather forecast of 60 degrees, what was not to be excited about? But almost instantly I was a little surprised, shocked, stunned even. The foreshadowing of trouble was the total weight of my packs that surprised me and tossed a little caution into my consciousness. I had packed and repacked and the final packing included only the very necessary items in an attempt to save every possible ounce. But I was heavy from the first step, and I knew the weight was going to effect my journey. But still, I thought, everything will be OK, maybe a little slow but OK.

I made my way to Grand Blvd and across, over the new bridge (Veterans Memorial), and out Grenada Blvd, which is always busy and everyone drives that road like they are auditioning for NASCAR. Soon I found myself on Browning Road where I finally got out of the traffic, into a more rural setting, and into an environment where I could hear the birds sing. That's when I started having fun. Eventually, however, Browning Road forced me to either dead end or go out to Highway 82.

It always amazes me as to how much I love running a rural road and how much I detest running a busy highway. To me, heavy and fast traffic is something to be avoided at all cost. I didn't have to run 82 very far, however, maybe two miles, before I was able to cross over to the old highway and once more be out of swift and heavy traffic.
One of the neat roads I ran in Carroll County

The plan was to make it to Winona on day one and overnight there. My original idea was to check myself into a motel, but since my funds were limited I tried to secure cheaper lodging. I thought I had that worked out, but my free lodging fell through. I left the house Tuesday morning not knowing where I would lay my head that night. Believe it or not, I kind of liked that, the uncertainty, being out there having to figure it out and make something happen. I fortuitously saw a Facebook post where someone mentioned the pastor of the Winona Church of God. Since I pastor in that denomination, I thought, Cha-ching. I sent Pastor Brian Wells a Facebook message asking him to call me. To make a short story long, I was on old 82 when my phone rang. I told him my story and asked if he knew someone who could put me up. He answered, "We have evangelist quarters in the church. I will be glad to let you stay there." One problem solved. Thanks, Brian.

I knew my fitness was a little suspect with a few minor injuries, business, and bad weather taking a toll on my training. But I could handle the first day. I knew that. In the last few months, I had done a several one day journey runs one of which was longer than Greenwood to Winona. Day two, I thought, would be crucial. If I could get through day two, I should be able to make it. So I paced myself, running slowly and walking a lot. Ten miles of actual running per day was my self imposed limit.

A mile and a half or so on old 82 brought me to Skating Rink Road, which I promptly headed onto and back into real country. The road is paved for a mile or two then turns gravel. Once on the gravel, I felt a million miles from home and all alone. I loved it.

People in Carroll County can be kind of funny. They often give you hostile looks like, "What are you doing here invading my country?" This can happen even when you are on a public road. I came upon a few folks in a cattle gap. As I approached, I wondered if I would get "the look." Not only did I not get "the look," I got a smile, a wave, and as I drew closer, one man came to the roadside and gave me a hand shake. Wow! Then another young man got out of an off-road vehicle, came to me, and shook my hand also. "Hi Dr. Hodge," one of my former students said. By gosh they're everywhere. I asked directions just to ease my mind. I thought I knew where I was and where I was going but wasn't totally sure.

A few miles later and I was crossing Highway 82 onto Providence Road, which is gravel and runs into Carrollton. I was hungry now and eager to sit down for a meal. I made it into Carrollton, out onto the main road, and then headed for North Carrollton. As I ran down the steep incline towards the creek which separates the two towns, I felt a little soreness and discomfort in the lower shin of my right leg. Not good, I thought. Too early to have problems.

At North Carrollton, I stopped at 4K Food Mart, took off my packs and shoes, and plugged my Garmin watch and phone up to their chargers. Then I bought some chicken and potato logs and ate that stuff like I was angry at it. I didn't tarry long, but reloaded and headed out the door. I had only made a step or two before I knew I was in trouble.

The shin was worse and every step hurt. Once I got out on Winona Road, I stopped and sat on my feet in an attempt to stretch and loosen the shin muscle. That helped a little, but only for a few minutes. The journey towards McCarley was slow and miserable. I had to face the idea that I might actually fail, and even worse, fail on the first day. With every bend or rise in the road, I hoped the little community would be the first thing I saw, but over and over I was disappointed.

I texted my wife, told her I was having difficulty, and asked her to check on me after she got out of her exercise class at 6:30. This was around 4:00 in the afternoon and it was apparent by now that I was going to get caught in the dark. I wasn't even sure that Penny could find me on that road, so I wanted to get to McCarley and then on the Highway 82 where I could be found if I needed rescuing.

By the time I finally entered McCarley, I was barely able to walk. It was no longer a question of if I could make it or not. I could not. I texted my wife and told her where I was and that after a rest I would walk towards 82. It was about 5:00, and since my phone was almost decharged, I stopped at McAnerney's Resturant. They were closed, but some Christmas lights on the front gave me a chance to get my charger out and plug the phone up. I took my packs off, sat in a chair, and felt the fatigue and frustration slowly seep over me while the December sun sunk below the western horizon. After darkness was fully come, I got up once to use the bathroom, hiding myself behind a cattle trailer. It was then that I realized I could walk even less well than when I first arrived. The leg has stiffened and become more sore. There was no way I could get to the highway. I would have to wait for at least two hours, and Penny would have to find me here. I texted her and told her I was staying put.

I was no longer generating much body heat and the temperature was dropping as fast as my spirits were sinking due to my epic failure. At least MaCarley has a few old majestic houses with tall steep roofs. Not too long after I sat in the chair, a truck pulled up in the parking lot. A young man climbed out and asked how he could help me. I held up my phone and confessed to stealing electricity and told him I couldn't walk so well anymore. He said it was OK about the electricity and then he went inside. When he came out he asked me if I needed anything and then he told me he would be up and down the road and in and out of the building several times, so if I needed anything to just let him know.
He came back a little later and asked if I needed a ride. I introduced myself and told him I'd just wait for my wife. He left and came back again and once more offered me a ride. Our conversation went something like this:

"Really, I'll be glad to take you to Greenwood."

"Will you let me pay you?"


"Well, I'll wait for my wife."

"You can pay me."

"OK, let's go."

And with that, Kelly Welch, owner of McAnerney's Restaurant drove me home. He's a super nice guy who besides running an eatery, raises cattle and a daughter, and has been married fifteen years. He called me "Brother" when I stepped out of his truck.

I learned several lessons on this failed run:

1. There are still good people in this world who will help you if you have a problem. Thank you, Kelly Welch.

2. I need to be better trained for my next outing of this type, and that means not only more miles but more strength training. My lack of leg strength was apparent from the start.

3. I should never run downhill wearing a heavy pack.

4. Life is unpredictable and there are no guarantees. We do the best we can, and the best we can is all we can do.

5. Failure is not really failure but an opportunity to learn, reassess, and gain motivation.

6. I want a rematch with The Great Noxapater Journey Run. But first there must be some tune up matches.

7. I'm gald I didn't figure everything out because I still have a reason to go back and try it again.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Pulling the Trigger

I'm gunna do it. At least I'm going to try. Tomorrow morning I shall leave 333 West Monroe Ave shuffling to the east, beginning The Great Noxapater Journey Run that I've dreamed and schemed about for over four years now. I'm not especially fit, and I've gained weight over the past few weeks, so my prospects for success really aren't that good. If I were a betting man, I would bet against me. Nevertheless, I am going to take a swing at the journey, and maybe if I manage my body right I will make it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

As early as this morning, my prospects for leaving the house for this run were slim and none and slim had left town. At issue were:

  1. My fitness or lack thereof. I've had a few injuries, the weather has been incredibly bad, my dad died throwing the whole family into stress and turmoil, Mom has been sick, and I've been unusually busy at work.

  2. My shoes were totally worn out. If I attempted the run in my worn out shoes, they are so worn in the heel area that I may well rupture my achilles.

  3. My wife didn't even know yet.

  4. My finances were a little low.

  5. My wife didn't even know yet.

  6. I hadn't had time to pack.

  7. My wife didn't know yet.

  8. There were (still are) some issues with where I will overnight.

  9. My wife didn't know yet.

  10. Sunday morning I was groaning, suffering, trying to pass a kidney stone. I still have it.

  11. I hadn't found the right time to tell my wife my plans to take the run sometimes over the holidays.

  12. Did I mention that I hadn't even told my wife?

I had to take my bride's phone to the store for possible repairs. She was adamant that I could do nothing, not eat, not sleep, nor drink, or pet the cat even until she had a working phone. Monday morning I left Mom's, where I had been most of the weekend, picked up Penny's phone, and went to C Spire. To make a short story long, I was driving to her job after only a matter of minutes with her phone in perfect operating condition. Aha, I thought. I can pull the old "good news, bad news" ploy. I did. "The good news," I told her with a huge grin on my face, "is here's your phone, and it is flawlessly operating. The bad news is, I'm leaving on a journey run in the morning. I'll be gone three or four days." She only offered a small protest. I love this woman.

I walked out of the Greenwood City Hall fist pumping, saying "Heck yeah," and getting thoroughly worked up. Hot dog, it's finally going to happen. It's really going to come to pass.

I went home and started washing running clothes, packing nutrition, and gathering dollar bills and coins from old coffee cans buried in the back yard. Then UPS drove up with my shoes. By golly, I'm not even going to be able to sleep tonight. I was jumping up and down. I peed in my pants. Really. Thank you God.

The weather forecast looks good, my two packs are loaded, and I'm as giddy as a kid on Christmas Eve. I just want to feel free, get really tired, and test myself. This is play for me, fun, an adventure. I plan to take lots of pictures, eat lots of food, and of course, post a write up here. But in the meantime, if you care to follow along, I will post real time updates and maybe some photos on Facebook.

Last week was pretty light. I

ran 17.22 miles
walked 2.54 miles
swam 7,814.7 meters, but for the first time in several weeks, I
lifted weights not once, but two times. That felt really good.

The highlight of my week was running a 5K Saturday with my daughter. It was her first, and I am immensely proud of her. I hope we do many more as a father/daughter duo.

Friday, December 13, 2013

End of Semester Blues and The Hypoxic Henchman

I finally made it to the end of the fall semester at MDCC. Allegedly. My job is really pretty easy. My job is really difficult. The truth is, my job is pretty easy until the end of the semester rolls around and then it is just unbelievable. Some of the strain is my fault, and I plan on making some adjustments next semester. I've said that before. This time, however, I will make the changes. One thing I have always done that makes life almost unbearable at the end of a school term is to show mercy to the students and allow their last papers to be turned in on exam day. That makes things easy for them but unbearable for me because I have two papers to grade for every student and a very short time in which to do it. To further complicate matters, when I allow final papers on exam day, about twenty percent of the students fail to turn one in. Huh?

I know what you are thinking: there's an easy solution to that: just give them an F. I do that if efforts to track them down prove unsuccessful. But for some reason I can't explain, I care more about student's grades than they do. I am the only teacher at our campus on Thursday every end of term sitting around, making calls, and waiting on students to bring in work. Not next time. I do them no favor by allowing them to be irresponsible.

Anyway, it's over for a little while. I hope. I never feel like I'm off for several days after school is out because you never know when the administration is going to call -- they ALWAYS call -- and say I didn't turn in grades for students x, y, and z. I go over and over those rolls and submit the grades multiple times. It ain't socket rience. Still, they ALWAYS call. But only after they send out an email to every instructor, administrator, secretary, cafeteria worker, and janitor with my name (and others) displaying our alleged failure for all the world to see. I think their names should be sent out to everyone and how much money they have spent on a software package that does not work, that does not do as much as the software it replaced.

OK, I am exhausted, fat, and pitching a fit. What to do when exhausted, fat, and pitching a fit? Go to Masters swim, of course, which is exactly what I did Tuesday and Thursday. First, Monday I ran 2.03 miles, and Tuesday I swam

The Mad Swimming Scientist, AKA the Hypoxic Henchman
4 X 75 build @1:30
300 pull, medium paddles
4 X 75 build @ 1:30
300 pull, medium paddles
4 X 75 build @ 1:30
300 pull, medium paddles (end of Masters)
150 small paddles
150 medium paddles
150 large paddles
150 extra large paddles
Total: 3,750 yards = 3,427.5 meters.

Wednesday I got out in the Eskimo weather and ran 9.38 miles. God, how I long for our old warm winters.

Thursday I went back to DSU. Note the picture on the right. On deck is Cagri, the Mad Swimming Scientist, AKA the Hypoxic Henchman. Look at his hands. He has a short cord which he's about to use to strangle the swimmer, Ricky Smith. Ricky's sin? He miscounted and breathed after six strokes instead of seven. Notice Ricky fisting up in an attempt to defend himself, all to no avail I can attest. Sometimes the Henchman has us counting three and even four things at once. Example: we swim 800 (16 50s) descending 1-4 (that is first 50, fast; second 50, faster; third 50 faster; fourth 50, all out; then without stopping we start 1-4 again. Do that four times meaning we have to count to sixteen and one to four four times, AND count breaths, breathing on 3, 5, 7, 9 by 50s (sometimes by 25s which makes it really fun). Did I mention that we also count strokes by 50s or 25s? This is no joke. So poor Ricky miscounted one time and got strangled and beaten for his error. We swam

800 medium paddles
850 large paddles (supposed to be 800, but I lapped Ricky, who was still suffering from strangulation and a beating, and I didn't want him to get beaten again)
900 swim (I lapped Ricky twice who had to be defibrillated after the second 800)
(End of Masters)
400 extra large paddles
400 small paddles
Total: 4,800 yards = 4,287.2 meters.

Now, with school out and no Masters next Tuedsay (swim meet), maybe I can start thinking about The Great Noxapater Journey Run.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Slow Week

Overall it was a pretty slow week exercise wise, but food wise I think I may have set a world record. If eating in a reasonable way is being on the wagon, I not only fell off the wagon, but I crashed that sucker into a ditch and left it there to rot. Jeez Louise, I just can't help myself. My students have been bringing me Snickers Bars, co-workers have been hauling in food everyday, and every time I go to Mom's my sister has cooked something else that needs eating. I've been trying to run these calories off, but it's been like chasing a slow moving pickup truck that keeps pulling away as you run hard and reach for the tailgate. I know what that is like because Dad did that to me once. He was supposed to pick me up while I ran to Greenwood from Carroll County. He passed me while I was crossing the overpass on Highway 82 coming into town, and he exited the highway onto the frontage road. I was sure he saw me, so I crossed the highway, shuffled through the ditch, and sprinted for his truck just as he pulled away from the stop sign. He was going so slow that I almost caught him. But I didn't catch him, and eventually he drove out of sight leaving me breathless, exhausted, and a little ticked off. Why did he do that? He called a few minutes later and yelled, "WHERE THE @^**  #%@^^ ))@ ARE YOU?" I'll spare you the rest, but it's one of those memories of Dad that I laugh out loud when it pops into my mind.

Monday, I ran 3.52 miles, and Tuesday I did 8.3 with some multi-pacing thrown in. I also went to DSU where I swan

3 X 500
4 X 200 with medium paddles as 50 fast/50 easy
8 X 100 @ 1:45 with medium paddles as 50 fast/50 easy
16 X 50 @ 1:15 as 25 easy/25 fast 1-4; 25 fast/25 easy 1-4 all 2 X through
100 easy
Total: 4,000 yards = 3,656 meters.

Wednesday I ran 2.31, and Thursday I both ran and swam. On the road I did 2.07 and in the pool I swam

600 as 75 build, 25 back kick,
100 easy
600 as 25 hard/25 back kick
100 easy
600 as 75 build/25 back
100 easy (end of practice).
Then I swam
15 X 100 @ 2:00 with various paddles,
50 back
Total: 5,500 yards = 5,027 meters.
This was my longest swim since the Suck in October.
Friday was cold and rainy so I went to Twin Rivers and ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill. Saturday, Penny and I spent the day in Jackson shopping. When we got home, the weather was still inclement, so I went back to the treadmill and ran 3.5.

For the week, I ran 22.2 and walked 2.73 miles. I swam 8,683 meters but I failed again to lift any weights.

My totals for the year are now

1,209 miles running and
735,443.39 meters swimming (457 miles).

I'm still hoping to make the journey run. Since I'm still experiencing mild achilles issues,  I haven't been able to get excited about it. Anyway, I am almost off work. A few more days of agony and I'll have some time to scheme and dream and maybe make something come to pass.

Friday, December 6, 2013

It Will Be a Great Time

It's Friday morning, the air is cold out, and the rain is peppering the awnings on my house. I love this  kind of day. It's Friday morning, very cold outside and raining pretty hard. I hate this kind of day.

This kind of weather forces me slow down. I love that. This kind of weather forces me slow down. I hate that. Truth be told, I really need the reduced pace. Fatigue has been my constant companion of late, mostly, I think, from the severe emotion I have dealt with -- and still am -- over the last month. I have learned from personal experience that strong emotion, even joy, to me is exhausting, and sometimes even leads to illness. Enough of the mushy stuff.

I never did the recap of last week's training, so here it goes. For Thanksgiving week, I

ran 11.74 miles,
swam 3,427.6 meters, and
walked .8 miles.

That's it. Pretty pathetic. I know. However, you could consider this my off season, so it's not really a total disaster. Oh yeah, I also gained nine pounds.

One thing I have noticed over the last year, though, is that whereas a few days off used to lead to recovery, strength, and freshness, now a few days off leads to a rapid erosion of fitness. I suppose that's a product of my age. I suppose.

Be that as it may, I am attempting to rebuild my condition -- not that it's that bad -- and possible do The Great Noxapater Journey Run in December and well as the Mississippi River Marathon in February. Not only that, but it's not too early to be thinking about the Chicot Challenge 2014. For a while, I wasn't sure I would be able to pull it off again. Some of my concerns were the school I work for hinting at a return to a five-day work schedule, and the uncertainty of my mom's well being. With Dad's passing and Mom's recent health issues, everything was sort of up in the air. Now, I feel more secure about the work situation, at least for next semester, and with Mom home I now have a better picture of what her care will entail. In short, it looks like the Challenge for 2014 is doable. Of course things can change in a moment, but that's always the case, and when I did the first one I was spending major time with Mom in hospitals. Then, when I had a chance, I just kept going out and training as much as I could, and I made it happen. I think I can pull it off again.

There are a number of issues, however, I still have to work out for next year's big swim. One is the distance. For the 2012 edition, I announced 13 miles but wound up swimming 13.94. In 2013, I announced 16 miles and swam 16 miles but not one stroke more. Right now I am thinking of 17 miles, but I've toyed with the idea of 18. Already I have the route settled, although I know from last year that it could change at the last moment depending of the weather conditions of the day. I have my crew in place, and they are more experienced than ever. And I have purchased a pontoon boat, which will make the swim safer and the crew more comfortable. Another issue is publicity. I think I will not do much in that regard. Last year, I worked incessantly to publicize the swim, as did the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. I am still baffled that our efforts in that regard so poorly produced results, and I am still pissed off at the Greenwood Commonwealth for not covering the swim.

Concerning The Great Noxapater Journey Run, not only is my fitness a little suspect, but I've had issues recently with a nagging gimpy knee and another Achilles tendon flareup. On the other hand, I now know I could make the run happen in terms of time. My sister has worked out a schedule for Mom's care, and I can get off a few days. Physically, however, I'm just not so sure. "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Still, knowing myself, I am certain that the temptation will be more than I can bear, and when I get my chance I will be shuffling east, trying to make my way across several counties and through Louisville, MS and on to the great metropolis of Noxapater. It will be a great time to contemplate my great grandfather, George Henry Quinton, who walked from Utah to Louisville, MS when he was only twelve years old, having been abandoned there by his family. It will be a great time to contemplate my great, great grandfather, Stephen Krebbs, who walked from Oklahoma to Louisville, MS. It will be a great time to contemplate my Uncle Bo who walked out of Louisville, MS when he was seventeen and right into WWII. His journey took him to the Pacific Theater where he was taken prisoner and survived the Bataan Death March. His bones now lie somewhere on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. It will also be a great time to contemplate my late father who ran countless miles, caught countless fish, who walked miles and miles hunting quail, who played tennis, cut wood, gardened, and went and did and did and never stopping for anything but death itself. I am my father's son and that means there are some of my impulses I can not or will not control. Recently, of this run, I told my sister, "I have to do this, this run, I have to." Her response was, "My God, I never realized how much like Daddy you are." It will be a great time to contemplate that, how much like Daddy I am.

It will be a great time.

I hope.