Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Posts that I don't post...

I have posted about 1100 times on this blog, but I have many that I never posted. Rambling thoughts mostly. Last night I wrote a post and didn't hit publish. But as I reread it I love it. I had a completely 'checkered' life from the time I dropped out of college until ~1996, there's things I won't ever tell. I have done some crazy things and been a lot of places. From spending New Years getting hammered with Eric Idle while 'his wife went shopping and spent all his Goddamn money' (he drinks extra dry martinis by the way), to having dinner next to Peter Gabriel who was on his honeymoon and ending up pulling a table over after dinner and drinking together. His honeymoon video has us doing shots together. I was a bartender in the most popular bar in St John on 3 of the biggest nights the bar had and would make $800 in an 8 hour shift and have served people from James Hetfield (beer) and Anthony Kiedis (beer) to Jimmy Buffett (dark rum with a splash). I've slept on beaches in Trinidad and Bonair and been to Haiti and Jonestown in Guyana. I've schmoozed my way out of surely getting killed by a gang of punk kids in the interior of the Amazon (with a pack of Marlboros and a lie that I was in the US military) and turned down an invite to the room (ya, THAT kind of invite) of a Canadian government official. Almost too many things to remember but I write stories to help. Here's my post from yesterday...

I may or may not have run today. But I spent 10 hours at my computer planning schedules and answering e-mails from as far away as South Africa. Not that far though in 'Kevin Bacon's 6th degree'... did I ever tell you the story about my friend (he lived on the boat next to mine in the Caribbean. I had coffee on every morning and he would row over and we would sit on deck and smoke (stuff) and drink (not always coffee) and watch the tourists float in) who used to steal boats from South Africa and sail them to Miami (sometimes Trinidad which is where I met him) and sell them? He died of a meth overdose. Hell of  a great guy. Meth head pirate that would give the shirt off his back for a friend. One of my early life lessons... I was 22 years old. Busy day for me though as my 'business' is at a high with 18 athletes. My brain is a bit fried so it's hard for me to sit here and write about the details of the kick ass run I may or may not have had. It was awesome though...
 We head to Seattle this week to visit friends and family and I'll be in Bellingham for at least a few runs, some of the best trails in the world if not the whole county. I cut my trail teeth in Bellingham with a guy that would go on to be a brother. Mike flew to Ironman Hawaii a couple of times to support me. My wife and I were living in a 600 sqft apartment in Seattle while she went to grad school at UW. I was a mechanic at a bike shop and we barely made the ends meet. As I was getting ready to fly to Kona one year Mike dropped by and gave me a pair of running socks as a gift for the race. I was genuinely thankful and wore them in the race. When I arrived in Kona I got ready to go out for a run and went to put the socks on and there were three 100 dollar bills stuffed inside them. That's Mike... can't wait to see him.
 Funny how we can look at hard times in the moment and they suck or we don't truly appreciate them in the moment. But years later you can look back at them with fond memories. Some of the best memories really. 'Hardship is the chisel that forms who we are'. And my friends. The people that come in to my life and make me think and teach me things. People that inspire me and interest me. Tom (the pirate), or Dennis the 'pepper' farmer from Puerto Rico or Dirty White Boy (another close friend. Also a boat neighbor... that's a whole nother few stories. But a damn good few stories at that! He was the care taker for a 70 million dollar house on a private island (people like J Lo, Costner, Jay Z have rented it) and he would call us when it was vacant sometimes and we would sail over and spend the night. DW had a checkered past but he was extremely intelligent and at his core a truly good person. He had lots to teach and a 23 year old kid and I looked up to him... but he was always fond of excess and died of a heroin overdose. Maybe that was the last lesson he taught me? Two guys in suits with badges from an 'international agency' came in to my bar shortly after he died asking questions. Funny though, I never knew his real name until that point.) or Mike. My trip to Seattle has sparked my nostalgia but I also realize that I have nothing like these memories from Colorado. Colorado brings me my sons and a whole new stage in life, a calm life ('the bear inside is sleeping' is an old Indian adage) but also a chance to teach my sons the things I've learned. Lots more to learn for sure, for my sons AND me.

16 comments:

GZ said...

I'd wish you share more of these. Maybe a book.

Although a book would get rid of the really good stuff like this: some of the best trails in the world if not the whole county.

Have a great vacation man.

Footfeathers said...

Nailed that post. I feel sorry for people with nice and easy lives, since they never know the meaning of nice and easy without living through bad and hard.

They're also the most boring mother fuckers on the planet.

Excuse my french, I meant "earth".

Lucho said...

I'm reluctant to share much (sober). These are all just innocent little stories. Writing it all down opens the flow of memories and I get to relive them.
I have a passport stamp from a country that disallows re-entry...
I dropped out of college 2 weeks in to my third year and walked away from a track scholarship at the University of Arkansas and started just 'seeing the world'. I bought a pack of smokes on the drive back from Arkansas (a 14:0X 5000 guy) and never looked back. The Canadian government guy is vivid because I had just gotten in to Guyana that night and there were VERY few white people. It's a 3rd world country which is why I picked Guyana. I bought a one way ticket to Georgetown when I was 21 years old because I knew I would see shit I never had. I walked in to a restaurant and there was one other white guy and he waved me over. We ate dinner (which he paid for) and had drinks and I just thought he was some 'old dude' being nice. As a kid this was profound to me. I had never been hit on by a guy before. So much stuff that seems to be flooding back all of a sudden...

Lucho said...

Absolutely Tim! I see guys with 'expendable income' that haven't even lived. I've always known that when the times were the worst it brought out the best in me. And I too feel sorry for people that never struggle. How many times have you looked back and really relished or remembered the easy times? But add in a bit of struggle and hardship and man, it's great! We are not formed by the easy times. We're rocks that are formed by brutal winds and crashing water... we're eroded in to the people we are.

Michelle Simmons said...

Love this... got me thinking about my 20's too... both hard and good times in a completely different life... one that involved 6 months of chemotherapy and then moving to indonesia by myself while my hair grew back... riding my bike across central java and ending up with my face covered in polluted exhaust, scuba diving on Krakatau volcano while our boat was being hijacked, eye opening bar scenes in Bangkok, ridiculously dangerous solo ocean swims in Malaysia, forking out $14 for a beer in Singapore... renting a little hut on the ocean in Langkawai (might have to go back there for IM one day) it could go on and on couldn't it? Good stuff. The memories make me smile.
Have a great trip!

Dave said...

Dude, if this post was 1000 pages, I would have read every single word. Stories like this are so interesting and demonstrate everything about life that it should be.
Before my grandfather passed away, we'd go visit him at the VA hospital. I'd listen to all the men on his floor tell stories of what they did with their lives and the places they'd been. It's always amazed me and led me to want nothing more in life than to have some amazing stories to tell the "young folk" around me when I'm old and grey. I'd be incredibly dissapointed in myself if all I could tell them was about how EASY I had it.
Great post man. Thanks for sharing!

KML5 said...

Tim, Kevin from CompuTrainer here, love your blog dude. Can we get together while you are in Seattle/B'ham for an interview? I would love to share your ideas with our audience. Best.

Lucho said...

Michelle- Would love to hear some of those stories!

Dave- I heard a ton form my grandfather who was a WWII vet. Amazing.

Kevin- Definitely! Are you guys still in the shop off the Burke Gilman trail? I used to live on Ravenna and would run by every day just about. My e-mail is jogdaddy at gmail. Drop me a line and I'll stop by.

Anonymous said...

hi tim,
eric here. member in my email today i said alot on my mind? this was a timely post. i am grateful for having you as my coach, and for being in my life. this was not coincidence.
sincerely,
eric

Matt said...

Great read, Lucho. I too have a pretty checkered past, continue to ponder more checkers and relish the discussions with guys like you who I know know that I know they know.

I completely agree with you and Tim about struggling in life (whatever that means to different people). But it defines us and turns-out, in the end, to be the best of times.

Love, run and post. Repeat.

Anonymous said...

As GZ said, a book would be amazing. Doesn't even have to be new stuff, just select posts bundled up into book, with lots of pictures of switchbacks and dead trees.

Wende said...

Sometimes we are the brutal winds and crashing water that help form particular rocks...I'm happy you came though safe and sound on the other side of some of those life experiences! :)

Dave said...

Beautiful. Even innocently sober you are genuinely honest, and that is one of the many reasons I am thrilled to know you. I second the book idea, maybe after the kids grow up and leave the home with the personalities they already have--outstanding people, modeled after their dad and everything he has learned.

Brett said...

Thank God for my wife. Meeting her was my turning point. I do not deserver her!

P. said...

nice post! a great late-night nostalgia binge and/or philosophical waxing, there!

Issue #2 in which Tim explains what internal forces prompted his turn back into endurance sporting...
Pins and (sewing) needles!

kerrie said...

whatever....always the innocent canadian that's to blame...

i actually think there is a song about that.