Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Friends, War Wounds, and Battle Scars

Like Jenn, I did a mental jump for joy on Sept. 1, not only because it is my BFF Melissa’s birthday, but because Aug is over. Orientations are over, move in days are complete, school is once again in session, and best of all the much anticipated football season is under way!! For all of you out there that don’t understand the dedication to college football in the South (and throughout the country), we plan weddings (and funerals) around game time, ladies and gents easily drive multiple hours to stand outdoors all day in 90+ degree heat—in their Sunday best nonetheless--and best of all we get up at 5:30 on a Sat morning just so we can get all our miles in before kickoff. But it is all Ok because IT IS GAMEDAY and this is dedication.

This past weekend I had the great opportunity to finally connect with some of my fellow Memphis based three day walkers (Dallas and Atlanta walks) to complete the 15 mile jaunt. Two outstanding ladies (and one remarkably dedicated and equally outstanding husband) managed to entertain and educate me for hours.

• Kim, a five walk veteran of the three day, regaled us with useful packing tips, shower shoe sagas, and even a tutorial on the etiquette of swag appreciation. Rule One: Always pack duct tape and a rope—you never know when and how you will need it (this tip was passed along to me via Kim and Caroline—they cannot claim this one). Rule Two: Always make sure that you shower in the women’s area unless given permission to invade the men’s and do not under any circumstances wear your shower shoes anywhere other than the shower…this will simply make them flip flops which are not acceptable for the shower (so says the Dallas Shower attendant) Finally, NEVER tell a three-day walker that they are wearing too many buttons, pins, stickers, boas, hats, etc. These last two are remarkably unacceptable and might land you in “fist city”, which is also a great place I heard about, but never hope to see.

• Caroline, a rookie Atlanta walker like me, managed to keep me in stitches with stories of her check lists, back up lists, spreadsheets, and packing ranking system. For a few brief seconds, I really thought Jenn Latino had transported to Memphis and was walking with me. As all of you know, I am very laid back—method to the chaos-- type of person. I certainly believe in the importance of planning and preparation, but let’s be real—they give me anxiety. I can handle these two p words in very small and brief doses so needless to say having laughter was the best medicine when Caroline began talking about the “key” for her charting, packing, and preparation system.

• Clark (affectionately renamed Griswald), the unbelievably dedicated husband that has trained with Kim every step this year, kept me focused on the end goal—finish before kickoff. His role of comedic relief was well appreciated—from the “Samford and Son’s” reference to Kim the Sherpa—each one liner made the walk come just a little quicker.

It’s been an amazing but tiring week in Memphis. The treadmill has again kicked my butt, but in a good way. This week I got really smart—I put the laptop on the treadmill and walked several miles while working. Yep folks that’s right. I was planning meetings, reading thesis ( yes Kristin I am still reading), and completing proposals all from the “comfort” of my treadmill conveniently located on my back porch. I was rocking and rolling—quite literally a few times and proved that this is a great way to stimulate ideas, re-engage in work and increase productivity (thank you SSC book club). But it’s is also a great way to lose track of time and over work out… and my body will be happy to tell you that one. So take my advice “walk—don’t run”, set a timer, and slow down when exiting the treadmill.

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