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.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

1975 - 1977 Running While On the SPAR

Since I have returned to One Foot In Reality, I have decided to clean-up and re-publish this series, there were a few rough spots, things left out and I thought it would be nice to share this old fart's story of running over the years on #Throwback Thursdays.

There will not be as many photographs, yeah it was the way it was back then. Yeah, this story and its other chapters tell the story of the 40 plus years it took to make me into the runner I am now.

No I am not an √©lite runner and truthfully, I haven't run in all that many races considering how long I have been a runner. I have mostly just run. 

To make things more simple I have broken these posts into where I have lived and run. Some places will have their own posts, others will be combined sometimes I will even break out a particularly important event in my running into its own post.

This post will be about the years:

1975 to 1977 on board the UCGC SPAR & ACACIA & MESQUITE and back to the SPAR, but all them were homeported in South Portland, Maine during my time aboard them. It was part of the 180 FRAM project and we got stuck with all the swaps or should I say cross decking. The SPAR is now an artificial reef and all I have left are the memories of her. 

Some good and some pretty bad.

This is probably the longest time in my life that I didn't run very often and wasn't injured. Living and working aboard a ship, just was not conducive to running back in those days.

I was on a 180' Coast Guard Buoy Tender and they were not big enough to have an exercise room set aside with a treadmill. Besides exercising was not something we had time for.

The motto from the Captain on down was pretty much "work hard/play harder". Back then you were expected to and if you didn't...well you were considered an outsider, who wasn't part of the crew. Some of the stories, oh lala but that was a different place and time than today's professional military :-).

When I ran, it would sometimes be with one of the Ensigns (Enzymes) who had been a runner at the Academy, if we pulled into port in time or sometimes when liberty was granted, but it was very inconsistent at best.

Believe it or not my running shoes for almost the entire time I was on the ship were a pair of Pony running shoes that I bought at the Cape May Exchange the day I graduated from Boot Camp. I had made a promise I was going to keep running, but never do it again in crappy sneakers.

While on the SPAR I got to run in Boston, Baltimore (Curtis Bay), Norfolk, Woods Hole, Governors Island, Rockland, GTMO (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) and few other cool places.

I might have gotten one or two runs in a week or not run for several weeks in a row. Most of my time on liberty was spent drinking at bars, playing softball or basketball and yes going home on weekends to see girlfriends in my POS (piece of shit) 1971 Camaro.

I also got pretty damn fat during this time (for the first time) and it is a battle that I have had to wage for the rest of my adult life.

After 1 year 10 months 13 days and 11 hours and a few minutes, I got off that ship and never went back to sea again as a permanent member of a ship's company. I never did get over being sea-sick all the time, just sucked it up and did what I had to when we were underway.

Being on board ship was different, you became a member of an extended family and all the fun and issues that go along with 48-52 personalities. I did many things during this time that I wouldn't do today and wouldn't be permissable in today's world, because I would be in jail or discharged very quickly. Nothing really illegal, but the partying hard, would have gotten me in a lot of trouble. Back then it was what we all did as a right of passage and it was a LOT more socially acceptable then, than it is now.

The only thing I would have done differently is accepted that transfer to Hawaii and the 14th District Office job that was offered me at the end of that tour, instead of taking the Cape Cod tour. I have a feeling that a lot of things would have worked out differently for me.

Nope, running wasn't really a priority for me while I was on the buoy tenders, but I did it enough that I never completely turned in my runner's card.

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