I spoke to the UTSA Crosscountry team yesterday morning. It was 6:30am and I worried the conversation would go something like: “Hi. I’m at least 20 years older than most of you and I spend most of my time with a three year-old. I run 4 minutes per mile slower than you do, and I’m here to talk with you about ultramarathoning and its Life Lessons. Your coach says you you’re not allowed to run ultramarathons anytime soon. And the Life Lesson is: Choosing to suffer is useful. Oh, and I brought this big belt buckle to show you.”
It did seem to go a bit better than that; I think I made some of my experiences relevant and I threw in some good vomiting and chafing stories. But, maybe the morning coffee is affecting my memory. I got a couple of head nods and some chuckling. Only a few looks of horror. No one dozed off. Success.
And, of course, I really loved having a venue to blather on about ultras and the ultra community. I do love talking to an audience about things I find interesting. Running intensifies this tendency. (Sorry running friends.) It certainly was good to be forced to articulate my thoughts about this hobby that eats my days. Asa regularly tries to force me to be more comprehensible and thoughtful (“But why isn’t it good manners to chew on your fork?”), but I don’t put forth much effort. (“Son, that’s a good question. I don’t know why it’s bad manners to chew on your fork. But you should stop now if you don’t want me to lose my mind.”)