Headwinds and Tailwinds

Holy mackaroly!  Fall came blasting in last night with bang.  Yesterday was absolutely beautiful, temps were in the high 70’s, low 80’s.  Sunny skies with with puffy clouds lazily rolling by.  Everyone in Chicago was out taking advantage of the unbelievable blessing Mother Nature gave us.  That is one cool thing about the people in Chicago, when we get good weather, everyone is outside enjoying every last bit of it.  The bars and restaurants were hopping with various and sundry NFL games on their big screens.  I was able to keep up with quite a few games on my run as they all had their windows and doors open to the day.  It was fantastic.

For once, the weather forecasters got it right in their assertion that things were going to change pretty dramatically that night.  Sure enough, as I was enjoying the Colts on Sunday Night Football, the wind picked up and the sideways rain started.  Sideways rain always fascinates me, but I usually only appreciate it when I’m indoors and dry.  The rain didn’t last for very long but the winds kept up all night long, bringing much cooler temperatures.  By the time I woke up the next morning for my run, it was in the low 50’s and the winds were still howling at about 35 MPH, gusting to 50 MPH.  Reason enough to blow off my run right?  Unfortunately the grown up in me did the right thing and ran anyway.  I hate being a grown up sometimes.  Anywho, according to the Worry Channel, the winds were coming from WSW so as I was getting ready to run, I figured I’d have the headwinds at my face for the beginning of the run, when I was at my freshest.  And even better, when I was tired, I’d have a tailwind to scootch me along.  A good idea in theory.  What I didn’t count on was when winds are sustained at 35 MPH, it really doesn’t matter which direction it’s coming from, I’m going to be buffeted either way.  And forget it when a gust hits.  It was all I could do to maintain my direction.  Like the good little soldier I am, I completed my 5.5 mile trek but the last mile was done with my head down and my upper body pointing into the wind, a pose usually observed during blizzard season.

I hope to high heavens this isn’t a portend of things to come.  I’m just not ready for that.

First and 10 at the 20

This time of year is a really happy one for me.  I’m a huge Indianapolis Colts fan.  HUGE!  The problem is I live in Chicago Bear territory and the games are usually scheduled to run at the same time.  I know, different conferences.  But when the Bears air on Fox, the local CBS affiliate won’t run another game against this telecast.  So unless I get lucky and one of the teams has a west coast game or they are playing in Primetime, I’m forced to leave the house to watch my beloved Colts.  And I really don’t like watching with others around unless they are fellow Colts fans.  I get too nervous.  Two years ago when the Colts played the Bears in the Super Bowl, even though I’d been invited to several parties, I watched at home alone.  My Mom, sister and BIL went to the game in the pouring rain but I couldn’t stand to be around others for fear they’d lose.  Fortunately that wasn’t the case.

This past weekend was a good weekend.  The Bears played in Prime so I could watch the Colts at home.  It was a very close game with lots of turnovers and a pretty low score.  For the most part, each time there was a turnover, QB Manning would be starting at his own 20 yard line, with 80 yards to travel for a score.  And each time, he would patiently and persistently march down the field towards the goal line.  Even when a play failed, he’d get right back under Center and try another play.  And when he ran out of downs and the other team took over, he waited until it was his chance to get back in the game, tweaking things with his coaches and then try again to make progress to the goal.  It wasn’t the case with this game, but I’ve seen him take the team, down 2 or 3 touchdowns on to win the game.  I’ve often wondered how a team and a person, can stay focused, committed, positive and professional against overwhelming odds and obstacles, sometimes overcoming them, sometimes not.  And then do it again the next week.  That drive to achieve comes from within and helps them to take that 80-100 yard march one yard at a time.

Oh and this weekend will be another good one.  The Colts are on Monday Night…are you ready for some football?