When we think of runners, most of us are impress, and rightly so. To run a race…especially a marathon…is an amazing feat. A marathon is 26.2 miles, but do you know why that is? Supposedly, the length of the race is a “tip of the hat” to a man named Pheidippides. According to legend, Pheidippides, an Athenian soldier, witnessed the combined Athenian and Spartan army’s victory over the Persians at Marathon. Then he supposedly ran 26 miles to Athens to deliver the news. When he arrived, he informed the Athenians, and then promptly perished of exhaustion. In his honor, marathon runners run 26.2 miles to remember that amazing feat, hoping not to share his fate in doing so. Another legend claims that the extra 0.2 miles were added during the 1908 Olympics so the race would end in front of Princess Mary’s pavilion. I’m not sure about the addition of the 0.2 miles, but the reality is that Pheidippides ran a lot further than 26 miles in his “death run” to spread the news of victory.
For that reason, the real Pheidippides probably wouldn’t have been impressed with someone who ran just 26.2 miles. That would have been child’s play to him. In reality, Pheidippides ran about 300 miles over the course of two days. It’s no wonder he passed away from exhaustion at the end of such a run. Pheidippides was a hemerodromos, or a military long-distance runner. Basically, he was a courier, but these days couriers use a bicycle or car to carry their messages. Nevertheless, in ancient times, runners were the most efficient way to transmit messages over long distances, but Pheidippides’s legendary run was much, much longer than the average run. In fact, it was a “death run.”
The actual task assigned to Pheidippides was to run from Athens to Sparta to ask for more soldiers to be sent. It was a task he carried out, and the Spartans agreed. However, they refused to fight until there was a full moon, as was their battle custom. That was six days away, and would be of no help, since the loss of life by then would be too great. So, Pheidippides turned around and ran back to Athens to inform his superiors of the delay. It reportedly took him two days to cover 300 miles, and it was at the end of this run that Pheidippides expired.
Supposedly, it was a different runner entirely who ran from Marathon to Athens to deliver the news about the victory. While remaining anonymous, this runner apparently still perished at the end of his journey, which is why his shorter run is still remembered. I suppose that does make the marathon a treacherous and dangerous race. Over time, Pheidippides’s ultra-marathon was combined with the anonymous runner’s feat. Maybe they thought it was impossible for a man to run 300 miles in two days, and since I’m not runner, I really couldn’t say. For me, while I can and have regularly walked 10 to 15 miles in a day, to run even a mile would be a likely impossibility, so I have great respect for anyone who runs any distance, much less a marathon or even a half-marathon. I am not surprised that these men died at the end of their runs. Quite possibly, their water and even food supply was somewhat limited during their runs, and since I know how tired I am after walking 10 to 15 miles, I can almost imagine the exhaustion after running a marathon or half-marathon, but to run 300 miles over two days, well suffice it to say I would have dropped before the first day ended…which is probably why I don’t run…unless it is to get away from danger, hahaha!!
Over the years of her adulthood, my niece, Jessi Sawdon has been an excellent organizer. She worked as a runner for a law office in high school, and the moved on to working as a legal secretary. She was also active in the young professionals association. She was the epitome of a professional career girl. It would have looked to the untrained eye, that Jessi would go far in the corporate world, and maybe even become a lawyer, but those of us who know her well, do not have untrained eyes. While Jessi is a great organizer, a savvy legal secretary, and a great career girl, she also had a greater calling.
When Jessi met her future husband, Jason, she was almost complete. Jessi and Jason were perfect for each other from the start. Their personalities, their goals, and their crazy sense of humor, all seemed to line up perfectly. I guess that’s what happens when a match is made in Heaven. Things were changing for Jessi, and at first, it was hard to be sure where all this was heading, but the sure thing was that Jessi’s life, and Jason’s too, for that matter, were never going to be the same. I’m sure they didn’t know where things were headed…at first, but before long, they knew that theirs was a forever kind of love. Jessi and Jason got married on August 18, 2012, and settled into married life. They were parents to their sweet dog, Daisy, and Jessi went back to school. For a while, it looked like the career girl was going to push forward in her career, and maybe even become a lawyer or something.
But, Jessi still had that greater calling…motherhood. On August 25, 2016, their daughter, Adelaide Ione Sawdon came along. Suddenly, both Jessi and Jason knew what their greater calling was!! And with the greater calling…life has changed…forever. Jessi and Jason found out that their greatest calling…parenthood, was like no other calling in the world. Life would get crazy. They would lose sleep…many times, both now and in the future. They would laugh and cry with their little girl, because they would intensely feel every emotion she did. That’s what parents do. Parents feel every scraped knee, every bumped head, every failed attempt to do whatever their child is trying to do, and every victory when they are successful at their ventures. As their child learns the ropes of life, their parents watch, hoping to help their little one avoid as many of life’s pains and hurts as possible, while celebrating every accomplishment that the precious gift, that is their child makes as they go through their life. There is truly no greater calling than that, except the calling to God’s service, of course.
Jessi’s life has changed in many ways since her marriage and motherhood. In some ways, life has taken on a more relaxed pace, but that doesn’t mean that she is no longer a career girl, she just found an attorney who lets her work from home. That keeps her foot in the door, so that if she wants to go back into a career full time, she could do that later on. Don’t think that a relaxed pace means a slow pace, however, because as any parent knows having a child in the house is anything, but slow paced. Today is Jessi’s birthday. Happy birthday Jessi!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When your youngest child reaches driving age, you most likely find yourself breathing a sigh of relief, because they can get themselves to their own functions, to school, and home again. You are also feeling a little bit apprehensive, because they are driving now. Nevertheless, you have trained them well, and you know they will be alright. When your youngest grandchild reaches driving age, you might breathe a sign of relief too, but you also suddenly feel like the years are racing by…whether you like it or not. That is exactly how I am feeling today, as my youngest grandchild, Josh Petersen turns sixteen.
I remember the day that he was born…five weeks early…the same day that he was flown to Denver, because his lungs were not quite fully developed. He would spend two weeks there, and then come home to begin the race to catch up…and it didn’t take him very long at all. I don’t think I have ever seen such a hungry kid…nor one who loved sweets as much as Josh did. His cute little “treat Grandma” was always the first thing out of his mouth when he arrived at my house. Like I could forget that he was hungry. With the way he ate, I think I expected him to be a chubby little kid, but that was not the case. Josh is tall and slender, a runner with great lung capacity, and 100% healthy. I couldn’t have asked for more for him.
Somehow in my mind, I have always seen Josh as a lot younger than the other grandkids. He isn’t, and he doesn’t act any different. It’s just my mind’s defense system, I think, making me feel like there are so many more years left that he will be the baby of the bunch, but the reality is that he is not a baby anymore. He is a young man, who is ready to set out by himself…at least in the area of transportation, because as of today, he is legal to drive by himself. No more will he need to have us come to take him places or pick him up on a regular basis. Those things will now be relegated to times when his pickup breaks down or something. Oh, he may need to have someone run home to get something he’s forgotten and bring it to him, but I suspect that those times will get fewer and further in between as time goes on.
As Josh turns sixteen, many things in the Petersen family will change again. It is how life goes, and nothing we do can change it. Kids grow up and become adults, and before you know it they are married with families of their own, and you find out that you have become the grandparent. There is no way to stop time, and for me that means that my youngest grandchild is growing up. Look out folks, Josh Petersen in a legal driver and on the road. I’d tell you to clear the sidewalks, but I think he will do alright. Today is Josh’s 16th birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Remember that I have confidence on you, so stay off the sidewalks…with your truck anyway. Have a great day!! We love you!!
When my grandchildren were younger, their moms had to be to work at 8:00am, and I didn’t have to be to work until 9:00am, so I took the kids to school and daycare. They would begin arriving at my house around 7:30am, and when Josh, my youngest grandson, would walk in the front door, the first words out of his mouth were always the same…”Treat, Grandma…treat!!” Josh was a treat-a-holic, he had a one track mind, and he was always hungry. Left alone with a bag of candy, he would devour it all in one sitting. It wasn’t a matter of greed, he just liked treats so much that he couldn’t stop himself very easily.
When Josh would start asking for a treat with his cute little face, it was a hard thing to resist and I think he knew that, because he took full advantage of the hold he had on his grandma’s heart. He probably conned me out of more treats than the other three grandchildren combined. The only good news was that I tried to have some nutritious sweet snacks in the house, so he wasn’t always eating junk. I just don’t know how one kid could eat so many treats.
Josh can be a bottomless pit, but not usually for the normal foods unless he is in a growth spurt, but he is always a bottomless pit when it comes to sweets, like many other people I know, but that is where the similarities end, and I’m sure it is because he is a kid. You would expect that a child who likes candy and treats as much as Josh, would be an overweight child, but as soon as his baby days were over, so was any sign of chubbiness. Josh turned into a slender, athletic young man, who is a good basketball player and runner. He is also doing well in school, and I am very proud of him, but oh, I do remember the days when that little boy could smile his way into my heart and come out with the prize he was looking for…a treat.