The world lost an incredible mother, wife, daughter, friend, attorney, underprivileged advocate, and community member suddenly and unexpectedly on October 16, 2013. In honor of my late wife, Holli Wallace, I am training for the Hallucination 100 mile trail run and raising money for the Children's Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

My training progress

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Puke and rally



(Remarkably, I just realized that I was still using this blog the year that Holli passed so perhaps it is an appropriate time to start again.)

Photo at the start of the North Country Trail 50 in 2007
Holli and I had more inside jokes than I can count.  Many of them, like puke and rally, were sophomoric and likely only funny to us, but that had absolutely no bearing on their humor.  She was always young and humor was not dependent on the opinion of others.  Eventually such jokes become a language in and of themselves, a secret language and a shorthanded way of communicating.

The phrase "puke and rally" was chanted by a, likely drunk, frat boy in a movie theater in East Lansing during the opening night of the Legend of Drunken Master.   We were undergraduates at Michigan State University.  Patient as she was, Holli was indulging my appreciation for Jackie Chan and Hong Kong kung-fu movies.  The movie's protagonist had consumed too much wine to fight effectively and had, as the chanting frat boy and his friends enthusiastically cheered on, puked and then rallied.

I remember the phrase coming up many years later when I watched a friend of mine running his way towards his first and my second 100 mile completion.  After about 50 miles, he literally vomited his way for about 4 more miles, before rallying and finishing well ahead of me.  Perhaps not poetic, but representative of running 100 miles.  You run, fall apart, recover, run some more, fall apart some more, recover enough to keep going, fall apart, recover, run.

I have a file folder on my computer littered with Excel files outlining training runs for races that I never signed up for, never finished training for, and in some cases never even started training for.  I have floated the idea of doing a run for Holli for more than two years and it has lingered on a post-it note on my phone for over a year.  Each time, something got in the way, something was more important, or I just couldn't bring myself to lace up those shoes for the next run.  I'm registered for the Hallucination 100 in September and maybe something will come up and I won't make it to the finish line.  Even if that happens, I like to think that they are just small steps and detours in moving forward.  And I'll rally.

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