Over the weekend, while you were still sleeping off your pumpkin pie coma, College Park had a fleeting encounter with an unusual human being — a human being who, rather than floating around, drifting according to the whims of fate, has decided to find fate, wrestle it to the ground and strangle it to death. She is a Maker of Gestures. A Doer of Things.
Her name is Sarah Emoto. She graduated from college in the spring. Sarah ran to College Park — from the Pacific Ocean. She has recently been running well more than a marathon per day on her trek, “dedicated to the brave men and women who selflessly serve our country: the law enforcement officers, members of the Armed Forces, and firefighters.”
And, luckily for us, she’s got a blog. We wrote about her earlier today, but in many ways her own words tell the story in a way we can’t. So here are some of the most interesting bits from her road dispatches since the journey started months ago:
She had to buy six pairs of running shoes for the trip. And she named them all.
Her top 10 running songs includes Katy Perry’s “Firework,” Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and, of course, Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” better known as “that song at the beginning of Rocky III.”
“Step 1: Start running. There is no step 2.”
-Barney, from How I Met Your Mother, on how to run a marathon.
She reveals her current shoes are named “Lefty” and “Mo.” She does not specify which shoe is which.
This is the kind of person we are dealing with:
Day two of my run was slightly more challenging than I expected. Actually the beginning was the hardest part, somehow it got easier after about mile 16, probably when I lost feeling in my legs.
She ended up running 23.2 miles the second day — after running more than 26 miles the day before.
SSgt Seth Lewis happened to drive by and see me, pulled over where my dad happened to be parked, and asked about me. My dad half-jokingly said he could go out and join me, and SSgt Lewis went home, changed, and ran the rest of the night with me. … It would have been a much longer, slower, and lonely run without his footsteps to follow. The last thing he said to me as we dropped him off at his house was “Never stop running Sarah.” And I never will.
Probably not particularly relevant to the journey as a whole, but this seems to sum up Emoto’s blog in two sentences:
“Just after mile 293 my lack of coordination thwarted my plan to stay upright and I ate sidewalk. … I RAN 293 MILES WITHOUT TRIPPING AND FALLING.”
Emoto gives a shout-out to Staff Sgt. Lewis, who had just been deployed to Afghanistan.
Among the more amusing articles I’ve seen [on the side of the road]: three highchair tables, a smurf, a half-full container of kitty litter, a giant stuffed animal reindeer, and seven left shoes. … I have yet to see a single right shoe. I also saw a light saber, and I seriously considered picking it up, ’cause you never know when you’ll need a light saber, but the tip was broken.
Yesterday I hit the thousand mile mark. … I’ve been fighting a cold the last week which has been a minor annoyance, but breathing and sleep are overrated anyway. I was also recently diagnosed with shingles, and while the pain is sometimes pretty excruciating, it’s on my head and I don’t use my head to run. Aside from that, the past couple days were good ones.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME SARAH. ARE YOU BEING SERIOUS RIGHT NOW.
“While having lunch with [Fowler, Colo. Police Chief Tommie] McLallen, he told me ‘we don’t take this job to make friends, but it sure is nice to have them.'”
Comparing running on the west coast to running in the midwest:
The waves crashing on the shore serenade me as I gaze into the distance at the sun dipping below the horizon across the pristine Pacific Ocean. Sailboats drifting around on the glistening water complete this whimsical seascape that is the setting for my exhilarating evening run.
That’s what I fantasize about anyway. The only waves I see around here are those amber waves of grain that Katherine Lee Bates eloquently describes in “America the Beautiful.” The lyrics paint such a majestic portrait of America’s heartland…but give it a couple hundred miles and that picturesque scene diminishes significantly. I guess maybe endless brown fields of nothing didn’t flow as well lyrically. … Thus far, the most interesting thing I’ve seen in Kansas is a dead armadillo.
She also said she got “bored” doing 25 to 30 miles per day and decided to do 35 instead.
Recently, I received an email from Chief McLallen, from the town of Fowler, Colorado that I ran through about a month ago. He said the following:
“Often times our dreams are filled with joy and treasures. What we don’t realize as we dream, is the struggle. It’s the battles we must fight in order to obtain those dreams. Many have dreams, but few have the heart to chase those dreams…Thank you so much for reminding me that my dreams do not come without a price and that the price is only there to ensure I truly want what I dream.”
As I climbed up and up the West Virginian mountains in the pouring rain and heavy fog, I passed an object on the side of the road. Someone had taken a glove, put it on a stick, and folded down all the fingers, except the middle one. While the obscene gesture slightly marred the otherwise idyllic landscape, it gave me the attitude adjustment I needed. I verbally reiterated the sentiment and yelled defiantly, “That’s right, curse* you road, curse you very much, you cannot beat me today!” Thank you to whoever was kind enough to leave their creative, albeit crude, statement to the world on Highway 50 for me to be inspired by.
*That is not actually the word that came out of my mouth, but this blog is rated E for Everyone. And don’t worry Mom, I’m still your innocent little girl; I only swear on special occasions.
That’s all we’ve got from Emoto so far — she’s scheduled to head up towards New York and finish in early December. If you see her by the road, give a wave. And if you could, as a favor to me, ask her which one of her shoes is “Lefty.”