Sunday, March 1, 2009

Some Mornings I need an Obama Stimulous Package Too

Picture's a few minutes before your alarm will go off and you are trying to get up the motivation to get out of the toasty bed and put on your running shoes. It's still dark out but you woke early from the sound of the wind shaking your house and while you were lucky that the forecast was for clear weather, the temperature is a balmy 20 degrees (without wind chill). You crawl out of bed (some people hop out but at my age a crawl is doing well), put on numerous layers of clothes until you look like something resembling the Pillsbury Dough Boy, lace up your running shoes (if you can still reach them) and head out into the dark, frigid, windy Boston morning. There's nothing like those first few step when you lungs fill with that refreshing morning air, your bones and muscles creak to respond and you have the pleasure of seeing your breathe before it freezes on your face (or in my case creates a series of icicles on my mustache). Welcome to the world of winter training for the Boston Marathon.

We runners train pretty hard and I think it's only fair that the government should recognize the effort by providing a stimulus package to help get us going in the morning. Mine would involve funding several months of winter training in slightly milder weather...say, the Turks and Caicos Islands. My wife says I’ll be lucky to get a box of tea bags and an extra pair of warm socks and gloves.

For me, the running is not going well these days and every workout is a reminder I am way behind on my training and my leg is not healing. So it's no surprise it takes a "cattle prod" level stimulus to get me rolling out of bed some mornings. But every now and then I get a reminder of why I'm doing this and it makes the effort a bit easier. I had two of those nights this week. The first was visiting a homeless shelter for families where I got to witness first hand the terrific work that the people running the center are doing. I heard the stories of some of the current residents, saw the little kids playing quietly in the hallways and saw the one room "apartments" that the families happily call home. Not much bigger than one of my children's bedrooms. These are the luck families. In the last twelve months in MA the number of families without a place to stay has gone up 50%.

Tonight I had the privilege of going out in the Soup Truck to deliver hot soup, sandwiches and yogurt, along with some blankets, hats and gloves to guest that sleep on the street or in boarding houses. There was a light snow and it was cold and windy but the lines on the street corners where we stopped were far longer than normal. We were out of hats, gloves and blankets before we ever got to the last stop although we had enough food to make sure everyone got a good supply. At our last stop a woman arrived shivering with her bare hands shaking so hard she could barely hold the soup. She asked if we had any gloves. Justin, a current guest at Lazarus House and who had volunteered to join us on the truck, looked around for one last pair. He came up empty handed, and when he looked up at the woman she just smiled and said "that's OK". Justin pulled off his gloves and gave them to her.

So tomorrow, I’ll be rolling out of bed a bit faster and moaning a bit less as I head out into the forecasted snow storm. Keep your money President Obama, I have my stimulus package.

1 comment:

rigpei said...

You have a wonderful heart David and I want you to know how proud Mom & I are to have you in our family. God bless you and give you the strength to continue your contributions to such a fine cause. Loved...Mom & Dad Grove