Pirate Cat, our friend
If you're a runner, walker, biker, or just like to stroll on the Monon Trail on the Northside of Indianapolis then you've probably heard of Pirate Cat. If not then do yourself a favor and look him up on social media. He was our friend, and sadly left this world on April 6th 2020, but he set up permanent residence in our hearts.
I had the pleasure of meeting this little scamp in 2017 on a long run and was immediately befriended by him. I later learned of what a celebrity he was. Over the years I would head out on that trail and durning my 4 mile point would nearly always see Pirate Cat lounging at the Monon Trailhead soaking up the sun and attention (on his own terms). It became a happy routine for myself and others. But as we know we are not meant to live forever and while you're here you need to make it count. Live the life you desire in your heart, love others intensely, and soak up that sun and may your cup of rum runneth over.
I knew there was a permanent maker being placed on property generously donated by the United States Tennis Association. I even cleared my Sunday plans and cancelled my Ann Arbor marathon trip for this event. But on my Saturday run the day before I wasn't expecting to see it, at least not in that location. After placing a Jolly Roger in his favorite spot I hooked left up a trail, crossed the barrier of hedges, and saw the face of my friend. He stopped me in my tracks, I was motionless, and I wept openly. Once I pulled myself together I smiled and somehow said, "Hey Pirate Cat" with joy.
I could go on and on about the mental and physical positives of pet ownership, but cats are a few degrees of 'different'. Living with four I know this well. And I'm sure you know of this as well.
Once again a HUGE thanks to the United States Tennis Association/Midwest Section for the lovely spot. They stepped in and opened their hearts when others did not. Park at the 96th street Monon Trailhead and take the path on over for a visit. The town council of Carmel Indiana decided to be complete dicks and said no to a marker in his favor spot. Pirate Cat did leave them looking embarrassed quite a bit, so that theme continues. Much love always little buddy, and thank you.
Big Cottonwood postscript
Three weeks ago the Big Cottonwood marathon broke my heart, and almost my spirit... almost, it was a close one. This was supposed to be 'the one', my BQ marathon. I did nearly everything correct in prepping for this one, but sometimes even the best laid plans crumble before our eyes as they descend down a mountain side.
But that's just it, the incline really got me. This being my third downhill marathon, also turned out to be the hardest. The first 8 miles were somewhat strong, but by mile 9 my IT bands were on fire. Quads not so bad, but those tendons were screaming. At mile 13 I was stretching and even massaging my sides, this had now turned into a 'let's manage this' run. The dream of a BQ was once again gone.
The thunderstorms started at mile 19-23, and I started to have a conversation with a past Boston marathoner and she put things into perspective. We even made jokes at our casual pace while dripping wet. And I needed that for my own attitude.
The following day I woke up with one of the worst muscle tears I've ever had, which made the rest of my time in Utah a real challenge. Between the funk of defeat and the jarring pain in my leg, my outlook wasn't the best.
Even as I type this I'm perplexed by this run. On one hand I was ready to throw in the towel and declare that maybe Boston was beyond my scope, but on the other when I suffer set backs it only makes me want to keep pushing. It's like the universe asks me 'How bad to you want this.'
I'm still wounded, but I still want this really bad. So the mission continues.
Ryan (That's me)
Runner, writer, and a survivor. It's all about living the life you want and helping each other along the way.