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    21st November 2006

    how can i say it all?

    Every year the weekend before Thanksgiving the national collegiate cross country races take place for the different divisions. I had been to the previous four championship meets in Minnesota, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio. This year the meet was in West Chester, Ohio (near Cincannati) just five minutes from where the parents of David Rubush (a college housemate become Coloradoan) live. Dave was going home for the week for Thanksgiving and so he was going to get to be at the Division 3 meet where all of my college comrades would be running for Calvin or cheering on Calvin’s runners. I have a lot of love for Calvin XC but I wasn’t sure that heading out to the meet was something that I could afford to do – financially, time wise with school, or sleep wise.

    My friends Brett Wilson and Carson Bruns run for Luther College, and Brett had been having a good season – not great – until the last two meets when he busted out and made Luther’s top 7 and earned a trip to the national meet. When I found this out a week ago it made me look at place tickets and think about going out, but I was unconvinced.

    I had to finish an assignment for school that I had put off until the last minute and then there were a thousand other things that I needed to do…

    But on Wednesday afternoon I bought a plane ticket. For Friday morning. If I recall correctly (and I do) the last time I wrote on this site I noted that I needed to get in some trouble or have an adventure, and so here I give you the story of my adventure:

    On Friday morning my mom and I left my house a bit after 6am and she dropped my off at DIA. I flew to Minneapolis/St. Paul; then I flew to Chicago. Katie Anderson is Dave’s girlfriend and she lives in Chicago. I knew that she would be driving down to Ohio to see Dave over the weekend and so we made arrangements the night before and Katie’s mom picked me up and brought me to Katie’s workplace (V3 – the vision to transform with excellence!) and then Katie and I drove from Chicago to Cincinnati, ariving a few minutes before midnight Eastern Standard Time.

    There we arrived at the Rubush house to find something like 47 college-aged or recently-out-of-college-aged people with Calvin XC connections – all of them staying over! The Rubushes were amazing hosts and fed us with all kinds of things that were wonderful and delicious. The facilities for sleeping were more than adequate; or course with that many people staying over there was not as much sleeping happening as there might have been. (There were about half as many on Saturday night – less people but still a fair number of guests…)

    Here is the saddest part of the story: David missed his flight on Friday afternoon and didn’t actually make it to Ohio until Saturday afternoon – after the meet had been run. It really was one of the more dissappointing pieces of news I have recieved in recent memory. It felt like I had just been turned down for a job I really wantd or something like that. Dave recovered nicely and was able to enjoy a day with Katie and other friends.

    The meet was on Saturday morning at Voice of America Park, and the course was the biggest mud pit I have ever seen. Clearly a hassle for runners – and clearly a detriment to wheelchair users. Unfortunately, for one wheelchair user, the mud was not the most significant limiting factor on Saturday. Drew Wills was there along with Jeanie to watch their son Stephen compete for Williams college. Drew’s chair had been damaged during their flight. It’s hard to say how it happened, but the effect it had was that one of his wheels was not locked in and so he had to keep checking to make sure that the wheel wasn’t slipping out. I like what Jeanie said about how she should have told the airline that it was like breaking her husband’s legs… It might sound like an extreme comparison, but if anyone else got off the plane and was no longer able to walk the airline would be in pretty big trouble.

    As for the races themselves? I could say a lot about the performance of both the Calvin mens and womens teams as well as Luther’s guys, but I’ll keep it short: The Calvin men won with 37 points. The guys tood 2nd, 5th, 12th, 16th, 17th, 31st, and 51st. The top 35 are honored as All-Americans, which makes 6 for Calvin. The women’s team took third place. They were just 5 points behind first place Middlebury and 4 points out of 2nd place – but for a team that had been consistently ranked 6th or 7th and had been beaten at their regional meet the week before, this was an outstanding performance. There were three All-Americans from the women’s side with 6th, 13th, and 20th.

    Congratulations to all the runners – those who were running top-7 as well as those who toiled alongside them all season long – and to the coaches as well! Brian and Al are undoubtedly two of my heroes for a number of reasons – and they should both be applauded for their excellent speeches at the team dinner later that night. It would be difficult to find two men who do as much as they do and are as humble as they are.

    Sunday I went to church with Dave and Katie and hung around the Rubush house in the afternoon (I actually sent in some school assignments online) and then Katie and I drove back to Chicago, where I slept on the futon in her apartment and enjoyed banana-bread-with-chocolate-chips which here roomate Sarah had created. During the drive I called my cousin Lisa, who also lives in Chicago, to see what she was doing the next day because my flight wasn’t leaving until 10:10pm. Fortunately for me, she didn’t have much planned.

    Monday morning, Lisa came and picked me up at Katie’s apartment and we cruised downtown where she gave me a tour of Millenium Park. The last time I was in Chicago it was still under construction. We grabbed some lunch downtown and then headed out to North Park where she is a seminary student. We hung out variously around campus and at her apartment and then went to visit here friend working at the health center attached to Swedish Covenant Hospital. While at the hospital we figured that we should probably look up my cousin Karen because she works in the lab there. Unfortunately we had just missed her and couldn’t reach her by phone.

    So we went back to Lisa’s apartment and I changed her guitar strings and watched Elf while she packed for a trip to California where she is in a friend’s wedding. Lisa was about to leave for a meeting after which I was going to hit the L and ride out to O’Hare when Karen called. She came over and we went out to a restaurant called “Yes” for Thai food. It was amazing and a joy to catch up with another cousin. After dinner she dropped me off at the airport and I waited for my flight.

    Now I have to say that I love flying, even though it can pretty uncomfortable, especially now that I have no buttocks (I used to have very little of these, but now I have even less). And I love when the people sitting around me are talkative. In this respect I also had a very successful trip. On the way out I sat next to Paula, and we discussed a number of areas of Christian ethics, all stemming from some comment about Ted Haggard. On the way back I was privileged to meet Anisha, who currently resides in Denver but originally hails from Nepal. I must say that we had a most extraordinary conversation convering life in Nepal and the United States and then religion (she was interested in the fact that I had studied religion in school) and what the differences are between religions, especially the one to which I myself adhere.

    Not to forget anybody who ought to be thanked (I’m sure I will anyway), it should be noted that Loren picked me up at the airport – a job which cousin Lisa predicted he would have, being the fiance and all…

    An incredible couple days… I enjoyed the hospitality of many and was able to see a bunch of good friends from different periods of my life. It really starts my Thanksgiving week off well, reminding me of how much I have to be thankful for. And I am thankful: Thank you Lord for creation! for all the wonderful things that you have created for us; you made us, you provide for our needs, and you give us good things to do; help us to see all of the ways that we are blessed this week and help us to express our gratitude well in loving you, the one true and living God, and loving the people around us in all of the ways we are able!

    3 comments

    3 Responses to “how can i say it all?”

    1. Mikey says:

      Well, you can’t actually say it all, because there will always be more to say…but your attempt was very admirable.

    2. Kimmy says:

      Sounds like that was a great time. I wish I went. Hope you had a good thanksgiving!

    3. Lisa says:

      It was some good times. I am glad you were here.

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.