After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Falmouth Fun Run - January 1, 1979 (Memories)

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: March 4, 2012

I have done some early spring cleaning today and came across this old newspaper clipping of a race that I ran back on January 1, 1979.

(Yeah a long time ago).

Last Place

I am pretty sure I remember where I finished in this race - last -- at least I never saw anyone behind me. This was the only race in my life I have ever finished last.

All I remember is that as soon as I finished I kept running to my car and drove away as fast as I could - I didn't even take my finishers tongue depressor - I was too embarrassed about who I had become and what had just happened.

I was 21 years old, single, lonely and trying to drown the weight of the world - to get it off my shoulders, in ways that were unhealthy and looking back very self-destructive.

The last-place finish was a testament to my over-zealous training regimen from Thanksgiving through Christmas that year - I had very few runs, for not too many miles during that time frame. Too much beer, booze, food, too many nights at Bobby Byrne's Pub and the Holiday Inn - had gotten me fat and way out of shape (no drugs or tobacco - I never did those). This race was my attempt to go ahead and jump-start my fitness program and to start building-up my self-esteem.

I am number 72 with the black watch cap and "old school" nylon warm-up suit. (Go straight up from the word Starts).

The biggest reason for my poor finish was due to being hung-over and too much partying for the two months before this photo.

Unfortunately, instead of motivating me to do things differently or building up my self-esteem, this race had the opposite effect.

I wallowed in self-pity and continued down my path of self-destructive behaviors for a few months after this race.

There was no story-book pick myself up from the wreck that I was becoming as a result of this race - it only made things worse.

With a little help

Thankfully, a few months down the road good friends (Rick and Kim), along with LT Perry & LTJG Currier took an interest in getting my ass straightened, helped me make some important changes to my life, which ultimately led to the decision to make a career of the Coast Guard.

I know that I was really a mess back then and came very close to going down a very dark path.

After I had cleaned myself up, Doggy Moore gave me this clipping as a reminder of where I had been and how far I had come in a short time.

I have kept this newspaper clipping to remind me of that low point in my life and how lucky I am to have had others support, to help get through this dark period of my life.

What this memory meant to me

It is amazing the feelings that an old newspaper clipping can bring out in you and help you to realize something very important about your life and yourself.

On that day, I failed terribly (in my mind back that day) and now I know how much I let it affect me negatively for so many years. Even those years I was running good, in the back of my mind, when I submitted that entry form or to get to a race races I always thought back to this day when I had finished last - (even if I knew I wouldn't finish last) and it scared me.

While I have raced some and run a lot since this race, something died in me that day and I never really got it back.

I didn't need much of an excuse to bail on a race and did so many times over the years because of it.
The reality is that

Memories - Some of them are painful, some are good, but they all are a part of who we are. This is one of those more painful memories for me and a part of my life that I am not very proud of. However, it is one that I am glad to say, that I have finally gone beyond.

I have learned not all running injuries are physical and sometimes the emotional injuries are the most difficult to recover from.

Different Person today

I am a different person/runner now and many of the demons that pursued me then - have been faced and vanquished. While that person in this picture is me - it is a different me and is just a memory, not who I have become and enjoy being today.

I hope that you don't mind my excising another demon from my past.

I wonder how many people in this picture are still running? I am glad that I am.

If you know of anyone who ran in the late 70's in Falmouth, Mass, who might have been here take a good look at the clipping or send the photo to them.

It would be great to hear from anyone who was at this race and what they remember about it and where they are in the picture.

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