Saturday, November 8, 2014

First Twenty Miler of 2014

Friday mornings are the best. My cats like them, Jeff the weenie dog likes them, and of course I do too. They offer the hope of a long run or ride or swim, the solace of rest and reflection, the promise of adventure. And there is, of course, the pleasure of coffee and the ease of leisure.

You, all two of you, may be wondering where my Friday morning post was. Don't I usually post on Friday mornings? Yes, normally, but I became consumed with preparing a funeral sermon and then it was time to be out the door. Funeral sermon?

Although I no longer have a church, a few people still call me Pastor. I don't mind. In fact it flatters me beyond measure. It is one of my favorite titles. Of all the things I am called, Pastor is at or near the top. Some of my other favorites are: Poppy and Doctor. I also like my name, Zane. As a child in the first grade, with tears I begged my parents to change my name because I got teased at school. One boy, Sanford Thomas, made up a little jingle he sang every day on the bus that took us from Little Red School House to Bankston Elementary where we ate lunch. It went like this:

   Zane, Zane I know you shame,
   Yo face looks like Jesse James.
   Zane, Zane born in Spain,
   His face looks like Jesse James.

Not only did Sanford give me fits, but every year on the first day of school when the teacher called role the first time, she (they were always shes) called out "Jane Hodge." I can think back on that and still hear the roar of the class and feel the burn of my face as it turned red and hot at my embarrassment. As I aged, I developed a like for Zane and wore the name with pride. But over the last twenty years or so, "Zane" has gone from very rare to almost common. I am not happy about this. Every time I hear that name I get a little ticked and think, That's my name. Start swimming or change your name.

No one died. Someone is in the hospital, though, and she is very old and very sick. By the grace of God, I have a good start on her service. Funerals have always been difficult for me. I feel the pressure to get every word perfect. It is the last thing you do for somebody. There is never enough time. Life doesn't stop for the preacher to prepare. For this one, I have a head start.

I went back to the cabin and decided to run over to Highway 17. I remembered a long, long hill that climbs out of the bottom Pelucia Creek is in. It was 6.8 miles to the pavement and then I ran to the bridge on Pelucia Creek and back to the cabin. I did 20.46 miles as 17.27 shuffling and 3.19 walking. I saw several squirrels, heard some crows, and breathed a lot of fresh air. This was my first twenty miler in almost a year. I was not overly tired at the end. That is a good sign.