Thursday, February 5, 2009

Leaving My Mark

One of the best feelings in the world, if you ask me, is knowing that you had an impact on somebody or something--that you left something behind. I will be the first to admit that my talents as a runner were never the number one asset for the Bellarmine track team during my four year tenure. I will quickly be a name that came and went on the roster, as any records I was ever a part of setting have probably already been surpassed with the quickly growing and bettering team. However, it brought a smile to my face and a small tug at my heart to realize what I did leave behind: a tradition of fun.
The very first Wacky Friday practice in 2006.
I recently found on the Facebook profile of a former teammate a picture of her and some of the others I used to run with along with several unfamiliar faces in the lobby of Knights Hall dressed in crazy colors, goofy hats and tall socks. The 2009 season has started...and Coach Washington's running group had Wacky Friday. 
As a sophomore at Bellarmine myself and the other girls in my running group initiated a day-before-meeting tradition of dressing ridiculously for our light practice. We were an extremely close group with many of us living in a suite on campus together. The following year we had a strong group of freshman who embraced Wacky Fridays for all that they were. By my senior year most of the girls who'd set the precedent with me had moved on from their collegiate athlete days. Even with the team dynamic changing quickly, Friday practices not always being run the way they once were and many of those who "understood" Wacky Friday being gone, I couldn't let my tradition die before I left. Wacky Friday lived on by my seniority enforcement.

I honestly thought without the understanding of it's origin or the originators around the goofy ritual would surely be over. But indeed it is not. Girls I've never known or had any running connection to put on their wacky attire and headed to practice a week ago. Smiling and posing together I can look at those pictures and know, "Washington still has a good group of girls running with him."
It makes me so proud of last year's freshman to have carried on that bit of fun and team bonding I helped show them last year. I can't help but feel a little pride myself, as well though, to look at those pictures and think I did that. There is a piece of RitaPeat that lives on with Bellarmine Track, and the fact that piece is an element of fun and not an outstanding record, almost makes me more proud.

here the blog post I wrote for my writing for the web class my junior year to learn the history of Wacky Friday and how it came about.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'll Take Clan Valley

I'm sitting at Panera Bread hoping, hoping hoping...

I stopped by Joan Ave. an hour and a half ago just before two big flashing electric trucks pulled up in front of The Bunker (The  Man Clan House).  Could it be?? Could our electric be being restored after six days without??

So, I am pretty sure I found the answer to my last blog entry question: Ice is MUCH worse in the city. Given, I had cell service the whole time, I had a large pool of friends to turn to WITH power and I was close enough to stores that I ran short on nothing.... Nothing, but hot water 
and heat, that is. 

The progression of my backyard from 11 p.m. on Tuesday, an hour later at midnight, until the next morning around 11 a.m. when power was long destroyed at Checkpoint Charlie.

I woke up frequently through the night on Tuesday/Wednesday morning to the crashing of trees and branches all around our house. It was 4 a.m. when I woke to realize the house was off. First thing I did the next morning was pile on about five layers of clothing, knowing what heat was left in the house at that point would not last long. And it didn't.

I admit, the first night was pretty adventurous and fun. The Man Clanians had no vehicle access as power lines had come crashing down on either side of their house leaving them trapped. Luckily, that was not the case for Dani and myself so after a trip to the store we returnedt he The Bunker for a long afternoon, evening and night of board games, candles, beer and blankets.
 There is something fun about playing board games again--something you aren't likely to do, especially with a bunch of 20-some year oldguys who own ever type of video game console out there. Dani, Joe, Steve, Josh, Josh, Jaso, Brittany and I had a fun-filled night. So the tradition continues that power outage nights with The Man Clan are always an adventure.

The "fun" to the adventure was over the next morning when we all awoke with little to no will power to get out from under out blankets into the frigid air. One night in the cold was more than enough.

Since then I have turned to one generous friend after another. Rachmo and Dana opened up their shower--it wasn't until a hot shower and a great cup of coffee that I realized how cold I'd actually gotten. I'd forgotten what it felt like to be warm from the inside out. Amazing. Brittany's amazing family opened up their home to the Joan Avenue homeless for a warm bed--lucky me even got a home cooked meal!

I finally headed back to work on Friday--which was not a complaint at all. I had a warm place with an internet connection all day! From there I picked up Kyle and KK and it was off to Lexington for the weekend to stay with Alyx and Holly at Bacca Bella.  What a wondrous thing that we can turn to family the way we did. MJ treated us like family as well, opening up his house of food and more at any time we wanted to drop by. Alyx and Jo went on their way with their weekend plans while KK, Kyle and I had the most relaxing time ever simply reading books and eating Oreos. Yes, so maybe we are all complete nerds. It happens. I love having the family that I do, though.

So I returned last night to still have no power...KK still had no power...But Kyle did!! So it was another night of living out of a bag--but I did have a warm bed and a hot shower so, again, I won't complain too much. 

Now, given, I am really thinking I'll be back at Checkpoint Charlie tonight AND Greystone was out of power before I was and is STILL out of power... the fact Mom and Pa have not gone without heat, have been able to sleep in their own beds comfortably and have had the generator going definitely brings me to the conclusion that I'd rather be stranded in the Valley during an ice storm on any given day. 

I look forward to that day when the world goes black and I can smile knowing I am safe and warm in my own home.

Thank you to all of my wonderful family and friends for taking me in during this time!