Well, John always puts a great meal out, so that’s a big motivator for showing up. The reason I wanted to show up this morning was to say "thank you" in person to the very people who looked after me so much in the hospital and at home.
When we showed up, the reception was very warm. I’d not seen any of these folks since the cranioplasty. To them, I looked different, and I’m sure I seemed more upbeat than the last time we’d spoken.
I took a few minutes to speak to the small crowd about how much I appreciated what they’d done for me. I started out by telling them that I’d joined this club three years ago, right after they’d demonstrated an incredible amount of support for our friend Peter. I showed them that I was actually wearing Peter’s hat, and told them that I always wore this hat when I wanted some extra effort during a run, because he was such a determined athlete (and a nice guy too).
I relayed some stories about some of their visits to the hospital shortly after I’d woken up. In a number of cases, what I’d seen didn’t reflect reality, so my memories sometimes include odd settings. The first night after I woke up, I imagined that I was supposed to sleep upon a small stage with some people building a fairy-tale castle. The first few seconds of Buddy Holly’s song "Everyday" played all night. I fidgeted trying to sleep amongst the workers, and didn’t find it that relaxing. Sometime, I’ll post some more of these dreamlike situations, and you’ll be amused.
Anyway, I wrapped up by telling them how much gratitude I feel towards them for providing such caring, loving support.
I really miss running with these folks. Not only are they such warm human beings, they’re funny too. We hung out for a while exchanging stories and anecdotes about past races. It captured the spirit of the club so well.
A side note is that some of the more amusing stories are about running on Cougar Mountain. It’s club tradition to get lost on the mountain when running there. For my part, I got a newcomer runner lost there once, and we spent an hour longer than planned on the mountain. The other runner hasn’t shown up for any run I’ve been present for since.
I did divulge my two-stage plan for my traditional birthday run. Since it’s not clear I’ll even run by my birthday (Christmas Eve), there’s no chance I’ll be in shape to run up Mount Si by then (which is what I like to do on that morning). Instead, I’ll walk up the mountain, with my brother (presuming he’s trained for it), and whoever else wants to join us. Then some months later when I’m training to run the mountain, I’ll invite whoever else wishes to join me and we’ll do it. Afterwards, we’ll celebrate with some birthday cake :).
The reaction was very positive. All I need to do now is make sure I can perform both stages.