(I almost took off the Looney Bean Coffee sticker off a few years ago to make the computer less cluttered, but I am glad I didn't, as it represents Mammoth, CA where he lived and trained)
May 21, 2010
On February 13, 2010, I bumped into Bart Yasso at the Austin Marathon Dinner the night before the race. I saw him wearing a Runner's World jacket, and he looked kind of familiar but really didn't know who he was. He graciously introduced himself to me, and I said something like..."So you work for Runner's World?" He kind of grinned, and said, yes, for about 25 years now. I was thinking, oh boy, I am an idiot. But he did not make me feel like one. The truth is I didn't know who Ryan Hall was either a few years back. He was at my brother Ryan's wedding, and didn't even know it. I guess I was too busy keeping Max out of the dirt (the only kid rolling in the dirt with his bow tie and cumber bun destroyed). I also didn't know who Ryan was when he entered our hotel room with his wife, Sara, to give condolences while I was in NYC with my family. I didn't know who Amby Burfoot was when I poured my heart out about Ryan for a Runner's World spread about his life and death. But all of a sudden I felt uncomfortable with the interview. What is he doing? Am I saying too much? Will they tell the world how much I love him, or do they want any kind of dirt I can scoop? In the end, I was kind of bitter with Amby. I really didn't have a reason to be. But it was so close to the time he passed away that I felt raw with emotion, and regretted talking about anything. It was the first and last time I spoke about Ryan until 2 years later when I started running in his memory.
I am not the only one who slipped away from the weirdness of it all. We all did. Personally my divorce was right in the middle of it all, and that's when I just went away. My mind went numb and I felt hidden away from the world.
So, when I decided to run and start Running For Ryan it was due to a switch that just went on in my head. I have no regrets, as it as healed a lot of my emotional wounds, and it brought me in contact with an awesome community in Austin. A community that reached out and helped make my first Marathon an extraordinary experience.
Back to Bart. As I said, I didn't know who he was, but he was so gracious. After the race, he came up to me and said, "It was cool to see you finish the race", and we chatted for a bit as I could not stop from crying from all the emotion gushing out from months of anticipation and Ryan's spirit hovering over my head. Shortly after the run, Bart emailed me to let me know what an inspiration I was. I kind of stared blankly at the screen because I honestly did not think of myself that way. Here's Sarah's thoughts: "I should have run faster, I should have been skinnier, I should have done it this way, I should have done it that way, and so on..." Bart was encouraging, and he hoped I would do another race. So, when I mentioned the NYC Marathon he emailed me once again to tell me how awesome that would be. All this time had passed since the Austin Marathon, and I still didn't know too much about Bart. So today, I finally learned he has lived with Lyme Disease for quite some time. Suffering physically, but you would never know it. As someone who was just diagnosed with Lupus last year, I felt an instance connection. This disease is new to me, but I just kind of shake it off, as I have to in order to keep up with doing what I have to and want to do. But knowing Bart is about to embark on a great journey while heading to the 2010 Comrades Marathon in South Africa gives me a new found motivation to keep going with my running. I mean I only have one under my belt, and I am trying for a second. This is chop liver for a pro like Bart, but he wouldn't let you feel that way. Since becoming my friend, he has made me feel like I can run to the highest mountain and back if I wanted to. So, Bart, I hope you have the greatest time of your life while completing a race you have always wanted to complete and I hope you continue to encourage and inspire all those fortunate enough to "run" into you!
May 7, 2010
Whew, as far as weeks go this past one was a little on the not so fun side, but got through it and I continue to keep trucking along. Started the week off with Ryan's birthday on the 4th, and though it was less emotional than the very first one with out him, I did continue to think about him often, but I took these thoughts into my evening runs. They were HARD this week. I felt like I was running in place with the nasty heat we have been having...I mean 97 degrees in May, what the heck!? Secondly, work was overwhelming, and I didn't feel so hot physically. The day ended with a client asking if I got in a "bar fight" due to some Lupus marks on my face, and I was like....ughh! Really, I just smiled and said, "No it's Lupus." He asked how I got it...like I picked it up somewhere...oh boy...we do need to be a little more sensitive and educated as a whole don't we? Well, I don't like to talk much on my Lupus, but the sun has started to take a toll. However, I still feel very lucky to maintain it the way I do. I guess to a stranger it's visible, but I am used to it and move on with daily business.
Well, as Memorial Weekend approaches in a few weeks, I think about where I was last year. I cannot believe it's been almost a year that I was at Ft. Hood watching/listening to the Lt. Dan Band Play W/ Gary Sinise. Max and checked it out as his father was currently deployed at the time, and I thought it would boost his spirits to see the band perform for soldiers getting ready to deploy. It was a great treat, as they were awesome, and very entertaining for all ages. I was even handed a fruit basket by on of the band's escorts and passed it around like a was at a picnic with one large family.
Well is this Memorial Weekend approaches, I wonder what I will do to show support...besides the usual running for this fundraiser. But I hope to be a part of an event like the uplifting concert Max and I attended last year.
I hope if you are reading this that you will be able to show support where you live. Unfortunately it's easy to forget about our men and women while we are wrapped up in our daily lives, so please show appreciation for them when you have the chance.