Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Two Toes Way Up

As you know by now, Sal + Liv went to see Hood to Coast last night. All I can say is... sign us up! Actually, that's not all I can say about it... I can say a lot about it...which is just what this post might turn in to... So, you've been warned.

As a documentary goes, it was hands down the best documentary I've ever seen (even including The September Issue....which I lurved). Purely from a movie standpoint, it was the best movie I've seen in a long time. And that's saying a lot, because I just saw The Black Swan last weekend and thought it was fantastic in all of it's dark weirdness. [sidenote from Sal: Liv + I have verrrrry different taste in movies. But, I totes agree that this flick was the]

This movie was the perfect mix of utter inspiration: both tears from sadness and tears from hysterical laughter. The filmmakers chose the four most amazing teams fathomable to feature - each fabulously different from the next in every possible way. While reflecting on the film this morning, we realized  that each of the teams had a unique sort of motto, if you will, and we think we want to adopt them all.

Let's start with the Dead Jocks: extreme, experienced and talented runners - yet so fun and hilarious that you want to be on their team because you know it will be the best time of your life. Unfortunately, you can't be on their team because, even though they coined themselves the "dead" jocks, they run like 6:30 something miles. They drop hilarious self-deprecating one-liners throughout the entire movie and lament  the the demise of a runner's body through aging.... and all the while, I'm thinking to myself,  "will I EVER break a pace of 9:30?" Two of their team members have actually participated in the race each year since it began in 1982. The Dead Jocks taught me that if I ever do make it to a point in my life where I am an experienced runner like these guys, I hope I enjoy it as much as they do. It is evident they are extremely serious about their running, without themSELVES too seriously.

The second team had me in stitches every time they were on the screen. Thunder and Laikaning is a group of animators (in fact, the very animators from the studio that brought us Coraline) that I can  totally identify with because they blame their lack of athleticism on their sedentary jobs.  Jason and Rachel (clearly the camera favorites of the team) don't train for the 15 to 18 miles they'll likely be running. They go on one 3 mile uphill run to determine which  is the worst and second worst on their team. To be honest....I didn't think they would be able to make it. I mean, running three 6 to 7 mile legs with zero training? I couldn't do it. But at the same time, I also wanted to be on their team. They had the attitude of, let's see if we can...why could be a totally awesome experience. I wanted to be drinking beer with them in their training planning sessions. I wanted to eat a big juicy burger with Jason at 10:30 in the morning when he still had one leg left to run. I can see myself as Rachel, cussing as she sees her teammate approaching her to pass the slap bracelet, signaling that it's time for her to run her "mountain" as she called it. And I definitely wanted to be on their team as she jumped in the van from finishing her "mountain" when you could see the runner's high on her face and even hear it in her voice as she said, "that was awesome." From Rachel we're adopting the motto of, the only experiences we'll regret, are the experiences we don't participate in.

While all the teams were an inspiration, the remaining two were especially. heart-wrenching. Heart N Sole, another group of experienced runners, was trying to overcome a near tragedy from the previous year when one of their teammates, Kathy, collapsed at the start of her third leg when her heart stopped beating. Kathy  is a seasoned marathon runner with like 74 marathons under her belt. Not to mention her daily workout routine includes 100 push-ups and 1,000 crunches. Oh, and did we mention that she's like almost 70? Regardless, she's in great shape... and it just goes to show that being in great shape isn't everything when it comes to heart health. Anyway, Kathy made a full recovery, and her interaction with her doctor was hysterical - he must be wildly frustrated with her determination to continue to run. And not only to run, but to compete... AND to run the hardest legs of Hood to Coast. But I really admire Kathy, because she didn't want to live without running, she doesn't know a life without running. From Kathy, we adopt the motto of "some day, I'll be the runner I want to be." This motto gives us freedom to explore just exactly what that runner is. And the best thing about the sport of running, the answer is totally different for everyone - and that's perfectly okay.

I would be shocked to find out that team R. Bowe left a dry eye in the theater. A team formed to celebrate the memory of Ryan Bowe - a son, husband and friend  (and W&L General) taken from this earth too soon at the age of 30 from a rare heart condition. My heart broke for his mother, who not once directly spoke to the camera without a tear in her eye. And I could barely stand to listen as his widow discussed the events of the early morning that she lost her husband (while she was 9 months pregnant). Team R. Bowe was running on emotion, and reminded us all that running can be such an emotional sport. We run to take out frustration when we're mad. We use our happiness and excitement as fuel. We run when we want to remember and when we want to forget. From team R. Bowe we learned that sometimes it's the unseen forces that keep you going when you think you won't make it.

Aside from the incredible human stories, the film showcased the beautiful scenery of Oregon, the excitement of race day, a runner's spirit, and tied it all together wonderfully with an incredible score by Nathan Barr. (queue the True Blood music)

I was even more excited when I found out on Monday night that my husband's aunt and uncle have run Hood to Coast...twice! And I can't wait to pick their brains for every detail of their experiences when they're here in April for the Cherry Blossom run.

So run, don't your computer, to add Hood to Coast to your Netflix queue if you didn't get the chance to see it last night. I already added it to mine - along with this little documentary recommended to me by a co-worker.

Now all that's left for us to do is build our team for next year's Hood to Coast. We've got 3 total....who else is with us? Oh - and it's a mur.thur.fur.kin lottery entry as well - so someone else is signing up our team this time.

1 comment:

  1. That must have been an epic masterpiece, I wish I had watched it, can't wait for Netflix.
    I like the young lady who won't stop running