Saturday, March 01, 2014

The Giving Tree

I read a book with Donald pretty much every weeknight before I tuck him into bed. He brings home some pretty good ones from the school library, but this one by Shel Silverstein left me dumbstruck. I thought I was reading Chekhov! Turns out this is a well-known and somewhat controversial book and critics have tried to fit the relationship between the boy and the tree into any number of familiar constructs, but to me the tree wasn't that important at all. To me it was a story of a man who thinks money and things will make him happy, and that owning a house and having a family will make him happy, and that sailing around the world will make him happy, but none of it does. In the end, he realizes that he is not happy at all, only exhausted, and all he wants is a stump to sit on. Funny, I'm 43 and there are many days when all I want for myself is a stump to sit on.

Not a children's book at all, but anyone who has been beaten down and broken by life for several decades will love it. One of the most wonderful things I've ever read!

Very Un-EPIC Request

Dear Mr. Epic,

I’ve been vacillating over this for a few weeks, but I think it’s time to make the call so we can both plan. I need to drop to the 50 at Prairie Spirit. I’ve had a vericocele pretty much my whole adult life but it wasn’t that large and it never really caused me any problems. Since last summer, though, the damn thing has blown up the size of rugby ball and completely throttled my left nut. To compensate for the diminished function of its atrophied partner, my healthy right nut has also grown to the size of a rugby ball. You’ve met me in person twice, Eric, and I ask you: Should a person of my height and weight have nuts the size of rugby balls? I don’t think so! I haven’t scheduled the surgery yet, but I’m going to have to get this vericocele fixed pretty soon. I’ll make sure it won’t interfere with the FlatRock 50k, which I wouldn’t miss for the world!

This is a tough call, Eric. My training hasn’t been great because of all the ice and bad weather, but I still think I'd have at least a 50/50 chance of finishing the 100-miler. It wouldn’t be fun at all, though. I’d rather PR at 50 miles, crack open a beer, and lay flat on my back while the excess blood drains out of my tortured nutsack. After that I can cheer finishers, reconnect with old friends, make some new friends, and celebrate all the good that running has brought to my life. Sounds like a pretty awesome weekend!

It didn’t come together for me this time, but I will finish a 100-miler and get my buckle. Every dog has his day, and I shall have mine!


Dave Renfro