Marathoners are an odd breed. Hockey Moms are equally odd.
Oh, look at that. I guess technically I'm both of those things at the same time.
I recently read somewhere that Marathoners are considered experts on pain. Experts. Yeah. That sounds about right. If you're going to be an expert at something ginny, why the heck wouldn't you choose something a little more useful than pain? you could be an expert apple pie maker, or brewer, or heckfireandshoot, an expert nailpolish toe painter... but no.... had to go with "pain". Marathoners have to be experts at pain, because there is only one way to get to the end of a marathon, and that's through the pain. A bit like childbirth. You can't go around it. You gotta go through it.
And once you do it, and you can no longer claim ignorance, why go back for another serving of that flavor of pain? because runners are weird, that's why. There are few people who knowingly volunteer for the exquisite pain that accompanies 26.2 miles. But once they know how bad it hurts, marathoners fall into two categories...
“Everything that happens once can never happen again. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.” Paulo Coelho
If you do one marathon, you'll swear that you'll never do another. That's the "One & Done Marathoner". But almost immediately after one's second marathon is finished, probably before the sweat is washed off off, it's not uncommon to be caught planning a third marathon.
Tonight I was reminded that I am a marathoner. Even though I'm not training for a 26.2 mile suffer fest, I can still claim that I am a marathoner. I've done 4, I'm qualified. and labeled...
I was standing at my son's hockey practice, with blue frozen toes, talking with some of the hockey moms. As I said, they're an interesting crowd. Kind of like STAGE MOMS only with HOCKEY STICKS. Not the best combination, but whatever... And in our conversation tonight, they were talking about how they train their 10 year olds to build endurance.
I tuned in as the one mom said, "My son runs."
I said, "Mine runs off and on throughout the year."
And round and round the conversation went about running versus cycling versus extra ice time to keeping them motivated with 5K races until finally the one mother asked me if my son "did a 5K would I 'sherpa' him, or if I would spectate"?
"Sherpa him? He doesn't allow me to do that. He likes to run alone, so I usually just race the 5K, and wait around at the finish for him," and then I paused for a minute as a random thought hit me, "Except, honestly, I hate 5K's enough to not want to do one right now. They hurt so much more than marathons."
Picture three women standing in a semicircle, and one of them has just admitted to having a meth lab in her basement. Well, that's just about the reaction I got to the 5K/Marathon comment.
And then what happened...?
The Hockey Moms promptly changed the subject back to hockey.