Running for exercise has not always been as common an occurrence as it is these days. Before machinery, cars, and other modern conveniences, people walked to many of the places they went, and so the thought of specifically walking or running to get exercise was pretty foreign. Nevertheless, there were races, and sporting events, so it wasn’t unheard of to run or walk for exercise. Most people have heard of the Boston Marathon…especially after the bombing that took place there April 15, 2013. The marathon has been a runners biggest goal since its first event, held on April 19, 1897. The marathon was an event that came from the dream of Boston Athletic Association member and inaugural US Olympic team manager, John Graham, who was inspired by the marathon at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. He immediately set out to bring the race home to the United States. Graham enlisted the help of Herbert H Holton, a Boston businessman. They considered various routes, before a measured distance of 24.5 miles from the Irvington Oval in Boston to Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland was eventually selected.
Fifteen runners started that first race, but only ten would finish. The winner was John J McDermott, who finished with a time of 2 hours, 55 minutes, and 10 seconds. McDermott was sponsored by the Pastime Athletic Club of New York City. He took the lead from Harvard athlete, Dick Grant over the hills in Newton. He did walk several times during the final miles, but still won by a comfortable margin of 6 minutes and 52 seconds. He had only won one other marathon in the United States…the previous October in New York City.
As most people know, a marathon is normally 26.2 miles, and the original Boston Marathon was only 24.5. That was changed in 1908 so that it would be in compliance with the rules of a marathon. The marathon was originally held on Patriot’s Day, April 19, a holiday that commemorates the beginning of the Revolutionary War. When Patriot’s Day fell on Sunday, the race was held the following Monday. Then when Patriot’s Day was made a Monday holiday in 1969, the Boston Marathon moved with it, and it has been that way since that time.
Originally, women were not allowed to run in the Boston Marathon, which made a lot of women angry. That rule finally changed in 1972, but not without a few missteps first. In 1966, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb decided to fight the system. She became the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon, but had to hide in the bushes near the start until the race began. In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, who had registered as “K. V. Switzer”, was the first woman to run with a race number. Switzer finished even though officials tried to physically remove her from the race after she was identified as a woman. In the fall of 1971, the Amateur Athletics Union permitted its sanctioned marathons, including Boston, to allow women to enter. Nina Kuscsik became the first official female participant to win the Boston Marathon in 1972. Seven other women started and finished that race. In 1975, the Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division competition, which Bob Hall won in 2 hours, 58 minutes.
Exercise has become a regular part of the lives of many people these days, whether they walk, run, bicycle, or some other form of exercise. While I can’t imagine myself running in a marathon…or any other race, I could see myself walking such a distance. Once you get started with exercise, it can become very addictive, and that’s ok too.
After her divorce, my sister-in-law, Jennifer Schulenberg Parmely met a man named Brian Cratty. Brian is a pilot and for many years his work was as a pilot for the Life Flight team. Brian and Jennifer are well suited to each other in many ways…such as their work in the medical field. They have spent their lives meeting the medical needs of others, but in very different ways. Jennifer as an Obstetrics nurse, and Brian as a Life Flight pilot. Brian has since retired from his job as a Life Flight pilot, and now is a private pilot, who still flies for others occasionally.
Brian and Jennifer are really good friends. They both enjoy the same things. They hike, ski, run, and they love to travel. They also spend quite a bit of time at their cabin on Casper Mountain. In fact, the mountain is such a big part of their lives that they had a house built a while back that is in the foothills of Casper Mountain. That way, they can go for a hike before the get going on their day, and they don’t have to go very far to do it. In fact it was the love of hiking that we all share, that placed so many of the right people with me when I fell on the Bridle Trail and broke my shoulder. Each one of those people played their part, and I will be forever grateful. Brian and I also have something else in common…physical therapy. He recently had to have Rotator Cuff surgery done, and was taking physical therapy too…something that neither of us wanted to have in common…ever, but there it is. I have since been released, and I’m sure he has too, and I hope his shoulder is doing as well as mine is, because the shoulder is more important than we realize sometimes.
Brian is rather a quiet man, and tries not to be intrusive on family matters, but I think I speak for everyone, when I say that we all consider him an important part of this family. I suppose that the longer he is in this family, the less an outsider he will feel…or maybe, like many people, he will always be a quiet man. I am often that way, so I can completely relate to it. I think some people are just listeners. Today is Brian’s birthday. Happy birthday Brian!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
The other day as I was driving to work, I noticed a bird in flight, and how it had to quickly change direction to avoid the car in front of me. Funny as it seems, a thought came to me that if this bird had lived in a different time in history, it would never have had to watch out for the car. in times past, there may have been a wagon or a horse, but if you go back far enough, people had to walk, and so even if they were running, they could not have gone as fast as the car in front of me that was in all reality going pretty slow, by today’s standards. Even the light poles we all take for granted wouldn’t have existed back then. Now lights and wires seem normal to the birds. They land on them as if they were a tree or a rock…or as if they were put there just for them. Often, we think about what life might have been like if we had lived in a different time in history, but rarely do we think of what the animals might have thought as the times changed.
Consider the horses at the time in history when the car was developed. They would often turn away, rear up, or run in the opposite direction when cars first appeared on the road. Then as time passed, the cars seemed no more strange that the person riding on the horses back or the wagon the horse was harnessed to. They were simply another object that the horse now lives in the same world with. And so it was with the bird. Granted the bird had to swiftly make a course change, but that did not mean the bird feared the car. The two of them were just traveling in a direction that put them in the same space at the same time, much like a car accident would.
Animals even get used to the people who share the same space. Take, for instance, the deer that many people…at least in Wyoming, have in our yards, and while they may not let us walk all the way up to them, they do not get up and run out of our yard in fear, but rather, watch us cautiously. Even the squirrels in my yard don’t necessarily run from us. As Bob and I walked out to our garage this morning to go the breakfast, a squirrel playing near the garage stopped and looked at us. I talked to it, and still it stood there…not five feet from me. The fear of people had long since let this squirrel, possibly because of the fact that it has lived in this area all of its life, but more likely that my neighbors have long had a habit of feeding the squirrels. I suppose many people would not like the idea of feeding the squirrels, but the ones in our neighborhood don’t seem to damage the trees like the ones in other neighborhoods. Maybe because the neighbors feed them…who knows. Whatever the case may be, I can say that much has changed in the things the animals have seen as time has gone by. Like humans, they have adapted to it…getting used to the changes and seeing them as normal now. Maybe they even think, as I do, “Look how far we have come.”
My sister-in-law, Jennifer Parmely, loves to hike. That is something Bob and I can totally relate to. There is just something wonderful about being on a trail in the woods, listening to the birds singing and seeing the beauty of the green trees. Most hikers like to find trails wherever they travel, and Jennifer, Bob and I are no exception. Jennifer has hiked many of the usual places around Casper, like the Bridle Trail on the mountain, and of course, the Platte River Parkway, but she has also hiked places in Colorado, and as far away as New Zealand. Now that would be my kind of hiking trip to take.
Jennifer’s love of hiking came about when she decided to get into better shape, and it is really all part of a package of things she does to stay in great shape. She skis, runs, hikes, and bikes for exercise. With a broad range of activities that she likes, she doesn’t have to go to the gym to workout, although she might do that too, for all I know. Many people would call Jennifer an exercise fanatic, and I suppose they would be right, but if you want to be in good shape, you have to do what it takes to get to that place.
Jennifer is an Obstetrics Nurse, working with mothers in labor, and in the nursery with their babies. It is a job that started when she became a candy stripper at the young age of 17 years, and one that she does very well. My girls, Corrie and Amy, and I have been very glad to have her there when the time came for their babies to arrive. She is very good at her job, and has a very calming effect on a young mother who is a little apprehensive about the impending birth of their child. Having a baby is no easy task, and when you have a nurse there who is so confident and capable, it makes the process much easier. Her hours are long, but the nice thing is that she doesn’t have to work as many days a week to get her hours in…something all of us might have liked to do, at one time or another.
Then, as if her life isn’t packed full of activities, Jennifer also takes piano lessons, and spends time practicing the piano. I suppose you would call this a well rounded life, and of course, you would be right. I think her activity filled life really started when she decided to get into shape all those years ago. You can’t have such a busy life, if you are too tired to get out there and just do it. Jennifer has proven that if you are determined, you can get back to good shape and you can do all the activities you want to. You just have to go for it. Today is Jennifer’s birthday, Happy birthday Jennifer!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
As my grandchildren get closer to graduation from high school, I am beginning to realize just how much I am going to miss all their activities. As little ones, there were the school plays, awards ceremonies, and track day, and they might also play basketball or soccer. Then in summer they might play baseball or some other sport. By the time they were in middle school, the plays were gone, but there was still the occasional concert, basketball, track, and summer baseball. I began to realize that we were at the end of that era after Josh graduated to middle school. Things were very different now. By this time, all three of the other grandchildren had decided that they didn’t want to be in sports in school anymore, although, Chris and Caalab like to play softball on their team from work in the summer, and that is fun to watch too. Still, mostly they were busy with their jobs, studies, and plans for their futures.
I realize that if I want to see much of the school activities anymore, I will need to attend as many of Josh’s track meets as I can. I always liked to go to them, but this years has been more difficult. There were more of them that were during the day and during the work week. Nevertheless, I have been able to make a couple of them. I think it is sad that the closer I get to having no more of these activities, the fewer I am able to get to. I know that I will miss these when they are over.
Today was one of the times I was able to get to Josh’s meet. I really love to watch Josh run. He does best at the long races, and I think that those kids who do the 800 meter and 1600 meter races are to be commended. I like the 400 meter too with Josh. He just seems to be able to bring it on as the race progresses. That is so not like his grandmother. Running is not my thing. I can walk for two hours or more, but running…less that 5 minutes. Josh is my hero in the running arena. This year has been a bit of a transition for Josh, and that has been a little hard. Before, he raced against his own age group, but in high school they all race together. Some of those seniors are quite a bit stronger than Josh. Nevertheless, Josh stood his ground against kids who are bigger, older, and stronger than he is. I know that as he grows, he will be the one who is bigger, older, and stronger, and then he will be in charge. I can’t wait for that day, but in the meantime, I enjoy watching the journey he is on.
As little boys, my grandsons played baseball. It was hot and took up a lot of time in the summer, so after a while, they didn’t want to play anymore, which didn’t hurt my feelings, nor those of my daughters and sons-in-law, because as I said, it was hot!! Nevertheless, the boys had a good time with it while they played…except for when Christopher took one to the nose and broke it…real good!! Each of them played well, and each of them played best in a different position. Caalab was a very good catcher, but he struggled with batting. He struggled…until his mom, my daughter, Amy figured out the reason he was struggling. Caalab is right handed, and in most things, that works, but when it comes to batting, well…Caalab is a lefty. Amy watched as he struggled and thought he looked awkward. So she told his coach to have him try batting left handed. The rest…shall we say, is history. Caalab improved quite a bit then, and if baseball hadn’t been such a hot sport, he might have continued playing.
Fast forward now, to the present day. Caalab is working at Johnny J’s Diner, in Casper, and they have a softball team. They asked Caalab if he wanted to be on the team, and he decided to go for it. The good news for us, his parents and grandparents…the games are played at night…much cooler. Caalab has grown tall and slender now, and because he works out, he is very strong. When he hits the ball it really takes off. I’m very pleased with his new found skills. Caalab is no longer the catcher, because his talents are really needed elsewhere.
I know that sometimes a player is put in the outfield because they can’t catch the ball very well…at least that’s how it often is in co-ed softball. Caalab has been playing the left field at lot lately, so we wondered why that was. Then I heard one of the players on the opposite team say, “Whatever you do, don’t hit it to left field!” A short time later, I figured out what their concern was. One of the players hit the ball to left field…and not straight to Caalab either. Caalab took off running and next thing we knew, he caught the ball and the player was out. The next guy in the lineup must have thought it was a fluke, because he hit it to left field too, and once again, Caalab was off like a rocket, and the player’s fate was sealed. The ball was caught and the inning was over.
Amy and I…well, we were stunned, and I said, “Now we know why that team didn’t want them to hit it to left field!!” It was fear…or at least a good understanding that if you took the chance and hit it to left field with Caalab playing that position, you were going to be sorry. He has grown into a strong young man who will be a asset to this or any other team…and not just a softball team. He’s a good worker, and a very responsible young man…a rarity sometimes in this day and age. I’m very proud of that quality in Caalab.
My sister-in-law, Jennifer is the mother of three boys, and no girls. That was quite a surprise at the time, because all the other grandchildren were girls. Then, out of the blue…so to speak…came Jennifer’s three boys. Jennifer would like to have had a daughter, but that was simply not to be, and she got used to the ways of boys, which I’m sure was a bit of a stretch, because Jennifer has always been more of a girly girl. She loves playing the piano and always struck me as definitely not tomboyish. She does love hiking, skiing, and running, but so do many other girls. She had two brothers, but raising boys is just not the same. I can imagine that those boys really kept her on her toes, and since I had two girls, and no boys until my grandsons came along, I can say that boys are very different than girls…in everything from energy to teasing to attention span. They don’t like to sit around quietly and read a book, like a girl might…they have trucks to play with, and simply can’t be bothered with such nonsense.
Six months ago, Jennifer’s life changed drastically, she she became a grandma for the first time…to a granddaughter!! Who would have thought that Jennifer would have a granddaughter!! I wouldn’t have bet on that in a million years, and I would be surprised if she got more than one, but then, stranger things have happened.
Being an OB nurse, Jennifer’s work life revolves around babies, and she is our go to person when it comes to having babies. Before my girls went to the hospital, we called their Aunt Jennifer. It was comforting to know that we had an expert in the family, and she would go with us, even if she was not on duty. She loves babies so much, that I can imagine that her little granddaughter, Reagan Kaylynn will be well loved, and maybe just a little spoiled…no, never spoiled, I’m sure. Like there was ever a grandma that didn’t spoil those grandbabies. I figure that before she can hardly walk, Jennifer will have little miss Reagan out skiing or hiking or something like that…if she can get her off of the horses that live at her other grandma’s house, that is. Today is Jennifer’s birthday. Jennifer, I hope you have a wonderful day doing all the things you most love to do. Happy birthday!! We love you!!
I love seeing the funny ways many babies and toddlers fall asleep, because they are so uninhibited. They get tired and they just nod off in whatever place or position they are in at that moment. Sometimes they have been fighting the whole thing for a while, and sometimes you don’t really want them to fall asleep…just yet. You hope they will stay awake long enough to finish dinner, because you know that if they don’t eat enough, they probably won’t sleep long, and a hungry baby wakes up grouchy!
One of the funniest ways kids fall asleep is when they are eating. Sometimes their face is covered with food bits, and they have a complete mess all around them. Sometimes, they are just about to put their face right into that dinner, and it doesn’t matter to them, because they are just too tired to care. And, when you think about it, does food on a baby’s face really bother them anyway.
Babies are so funny. They are out trying new things…keeping themselves running, or crawling, all the time, and before you know it they simply drop from exhaustion. That is not unusual by itself, but it is the way they drop that usually brings a laugh. They might have their little butt in the air, or be lying over a pillow, that is under their back instead of their head. They might snuggle up to the dog or a favorite toy, or they might be face first in their dinner plate.
One of the funniest sleeping moments with most babies is when they have nodded off in their windup swing, with their little head hanging down on their chest, and then you go to wind up the swing again. They jump the minute you start to wind it up, their head flies up, eyes partway open, but the baby is not really awake. You are trying not to laugh, because you really don’t want to wake the baby up, and that was the reason you were winding the swing up anyway, right.
Yes, sleeping babies can be very funny. For most of us a sleeping baby can also be a relief. If they have been crying for a long time, we are so ready for it to stop, but once they finally crash, all that frustration goes away, and we simply watch them and enjoy the funny way they can look. Either way, there is nothing quite like a sleeping baby.
When the first two of my four grandchildren, Christopher and Shai were little, the spent a lot of time together, since Amy babysat Christopher. While they were best friends, that didn’t stop the competition to be bigger. They kids were born just one day apart, with Christopher being the oldest, so many things were done at the same time or pretty close. These little competitions didn’t cause too many fights for the most part, but once in a while they did. Mostly this was if they both wanted to do the same things, which happened more when they were little. I remember once when the fought over who should sit in Shai’s car seat that had been brought into the house. It looked like Christopher got in first, and Shai didn’t like it, but then we will probably never know, since we didn’t know there was a problem until the screaming started.
They also competed over walking, running, and climbing, each wanting to be the best at it. The good news there, is that they didn’t usually need the exact same space. Side by side worked well when doing that. Mostly they were working to see who could complete the task first, and that first place position went back and forth. Still, the competitions didn’t damage their friendship, which is still very much in tact today. I guess it’s a good thing that those kids don’t carry a grudge over childhood tiffs.
The years have flown by so fast, and the kids are so close to being grown up that I can hardly believe it. The days of competing for top spot are long gone. Their interests are so different from each other that there is no longer a need. I am so proud of the teenagers they have become. They are hard working, and they pay their own normal teenaged bills, like gas, insurance, and car stuff. I can’t believe how fast they have grown up, but I really like the people they have become. I can count on them to help with whatever I might need, and they are great about transporting their siblings around. But the best thing about these kids is that they don’t mind hugging their grandma, even in public, and that means the most to me!! Many teenagers just don’t want to even be seen hugging their grandparents, but these guys are very cool and they show their love for me everyday. I am so blessed!!