Hello? Mr. Malchus?
This is your second wind.
Really? So happy you could join me.
I have lost my mind. Not only have I begun speaking out loud to myself, but I am taunting the mile markers, you know, the cardboard signs with numbers written on them.
What’s that? Marker 17 thinks I’m a puss and I can’t make it? Well, I’ll show you, man. Wait a minute, who’s that I see? Why, it’s mile 17. Who’s the puss now? That’s right, I beat you 17. Huh? You want some of me? Can’t, man, 18’s calling me out. See ya!
Man in the powder blue shirt is still slowing down. I’m gonna catch him. You bet I am. He’s not far. I have more energy. Wait, slow down, man. Dear God! Don’t overdo it or you’ll crash and burn. You need some of this energy for the last 6, baby. Keep your cool. No, no water, thanks.
“Way to go. That’s 18.”
18? No, no, no. I didn’t see a mile marker. This is a ploy. 18 is trying to trick me. 18 wants me to get cocky and burn out before 19. Well it’s not going to happen!! I’m not believing anything until I see another mile marker.
“Whazzzzzzzuuuuuup?” (Yes, I actually say that. Not only have I lost my mind, I also think I’m an African American living in a Budweiser commercial from 4 years ago).
“You’re sounding a lot better.”
“I feel good. Really, I feel awesome.”
She informs me that they have parked the van near the finish line. How lucky is that? Julie Widmann and Lucy are with them and the kids are watching ELF on the portable DVD player. Modern technology, amazing. I will call her at 22 with another update. Julie sounds very excited for me.
“I feel so bad about the rain, hone.”
“It’s okay. I’m soaked. I pretty much don’t feel it anymore. Love you. Bye.”
Wha?…. is that? It is! It’s 19. Well how about that. 18 was too chicken to show its face. And now I’ve taken down the mighty 19.
BOO YAH! (Yes, I say that, too. The volunteers look at me as if I need immediate medical attention).
That’s right. That’s right. Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh uh huh uh huh!
The rain comes down a little harder and I begin my dialogue with God.
“Is that all you have? Come on! Bring it!”
And the clouds open up. It’s pouring. My glasses have spots on them. But I place my hand to my near like Hulk Hogan and continue to taunt the Lord Almighty.
This is between you and me, God. You’ve thrown everything at this family and we’re still standing. My son is sick! Why have you done this? What did he do to you? Is this a challenger for our family? Are we supposed to do something to make the world a better place with the insight we get from raising a son with an illness?
What? What is it you want from us? I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT!!!!!
I almost bend over and cry, but I have fire in my veins right now. I’m not going to quit this damn race. I’m running much stronger toward mile 20 than I did in Santa Clarita. I’m going to crush my time from Hawaii.
And the man with the powder blue t-shirt is getting closer.
I cram a handful of almonds in my mouth. I should have saved more of Julie’s awesome oatmeal raisin cookies. Ohhhhhh, those cookies. Delectable….Ach, splph, too many almonds. Blech, pleh, pleh, spit.
No more almonds. Only as a last resort.
20! It’s marker 20. Time is flying!
Man in the powder blue shirt, I’m coming for you. I’m coming for you.
I switch up to a 3-1.