I had SUCH a good plan today.
I was going to go meet with the Back on My Feet guys in Baltimore for the Urbanite Magazine story I’m working on, then pick up some last-minute camping supplies at the commissary in Silver Spring, then complete a killer swim workout at the National Naval Medical Center pool in Bethesda, my “home pool.”
Then, I realized my military ID had gone missing, and I lost it. And by “it,” I mean control of the entire day, at least temporarily. I spent at least an hour searching for the lost ID, then another hour calling around to find out how to replace it, then about 30 minutes wallowing in self-pity and complaining about all the time I’d lost on my ID. Oh, and then another 30 minutes worrying about all the work I hadn’t been doing.
I backtracked in my week, panicking and thinking about where I could have dropped the ID. But then, I backtracked in my day, starting at my 4:30 a.m. wakeup call to go meet the Back on My Feet guys for their 5:30 a.m. team meeting.
At the meeting, I found out that the two guys I’m following — both homeless, or “residential” team members — have committed to the marathon and half-marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival, respectively. Arnold, the track star-turned-drug dealer-turned-born again runner, says he will run the full marathon to help him get back on the road to who he’s supposed to be, and to redeem another team member who picked up and left the shelter one night without notice. That member said he was going to run the marathon, too. The program director says this is the hardest part of coaching with this program: That even guys who seem like they’re on the right track are only one step away from having it all fall apart.
That’s when I realized what a baby I was being. I lost a piece of plastic. Life goes on. I made a plan to go pick up my new ID across town tomorrow, and grabbed a few books and magazines in case the two- to three-hour wait I’ve been warned about becomes a reality.
Tomorrow’s plan includes another lesson from the Back on My Feet gang. Another homeless team member, a sweet, soft-spoken 50-year-old woman named Deborah, told me she likes to run because it’s “cleansing.” She said no matter what else she’s done in her day, or in her life, her runs seem to wash it all away.
To that end, I’m starting tomorrow with a swim at a public pool in Silver Spring. You know — to wash it all away.
Next up: Backpacking in Shenandoah National Park this weekend! Cross your fingers that my hip behaves!