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It's a great day to be alive.

Posted Jan 01 2008 12:00am
Yesterday I volunteered as a road marshall for the Running Room's annual Resolution Run.  I was the guy at the first corner dressed Winnipeg-chic ... you know, Eddy Bauer parka, snowmobile boots rated -80, toque, long-johns, double lined ski-pants, neck warmer, leather gloves, the whole get-up.  The energy of 450 runners and walkers was infectious.  I was warmed and honored to be in the presence of such a critical mass of positivity.  I clapped and yelled at each passing runner and every walker... "way to go"... "happy New Year"... "looking good".... "looking strong".  My words of encouragement were returned with boundless good cheer and enthusiasm.  
At one point I yelled to a large group "It's a great day for a run" to which one runner replied "It's a great day to be alive.".  Seconds behind him a middle-aged walker looked me straight in the eyes and said  "Yes, it is a great day to be alive... I otta know, I wear a pace maker.".  We all laughed and continued on.  
Indeed, it was a great day to be alive, but I imagine for the guy with the pace maker, it was a glorious day to be alive, just like today, tomorrow, the next day and on and on.  We runners are blessed with good health and for that we are truly fortunate.  For those of us who have lost a loved one or know someone who suffers through illness, no explanation is needed.
This blog will chronicle the next 6 months as I (we) train for the Manitoba Marathon.  I will post anything and everything that helps define my understanding of runners and why we do what we do... especially in -52!  I'll share those pearls of wisdom that we learn on the road, the laughter and the anguish.  I hope to post weekly, or after those particularly grueling training runs... you know, those tough slogs when all we can do is laugh (or cry).  I have the utmost respect for walkers and they are welcome to come along for the ride, but the focus of this blog is running. Your comments are welcome.  Your thoughts and discussions are encouraged.  Happy trails.
It's a great day to be alive.
Michael
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