by Brian D. Meeks
Chapter 19 Day 18
One part of Hiawatha National Forest stretches from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan. Day sixteen found Steve heading into the forest during that afternoon, the next day he would wind his way through the forest. Yesterday, he continued on, nearing the half way mark of twenty days, as he passed along the Big Bay De Noc.
We think of the endless miles of green, the smell of pine needles, and the lake scent in the air, but it is more. The shores of Lake Michigan are alive with sound and as the sun finishes up the day, the colors shift to a golden hue. It lifts the spirits and fills the empty tank of Steve’s inspiration.
Jarred got to enjoy some of the day, too. He and his bike got to enjoy part of the trail as Steve was out running. It wasn’t a day for biting off tiny chunks of miles, but for two big runs. The first stretch was sixteen miles and the second one was ten.
The running is going well, though Steve is far from declaring that the days are easy. He still gets ready each morning, putting on his shoes, his socks, stretching, taping up when necessary, and then heading out. The sponsors on the back of the RV aren’t just rich companies throwing a few dollars at a cause to feel good, they are people who believe in what Steve is trying to do.
One such sponsor reminded me of a night in 1986. Steve and I were roommates in Hillcrest dorm and we had our friend Sully living on our couch. He had become somewhat homeless. That is a different story for another day, but suffices to say we were thrilled to have him on the couch. Sully is good people.
Our sense of humor was not always appreciated by the masses, but that mattered little to us. We find delight in the absurd. One night, home from the bars early, Sully and I were just getting ready to go to sleep. Steve wasn’t home yet. When moved in he had been given a section of Steve’s closet. I took off one of my socks and chucked it into my closet and then, feeling puckish, threw the other into the Sully/Cannon’s closet. It hit some hangers and Sully said, “Hey!”, got up, retrieved the sock and threw it into my closet.
One would think that would be the end of it, but then Sully had two socks he was still wearing. Five minutes passed and a sock fly over my bunk bed and rattle the hangers in the Sully/Cannon closet. Then there was silence. A long, slow, deadly silence. I waited and eventually heard the other sock hit my hangers. (Note: the hangers were mostly for decoration as we preferred the clean or dirty pile of clothes method of closet organization.)
I bounded off my bunk and grabbed Sully’s sock and whipped it back into his closet. We were both chuckling a bit. It was easily fifteen minutes before I casually chucked the balled up extra sock I’d taken with me to bed, into their closet. Sully was almost asleep, but not quite. The game was on. Much like the fear of nuclear annihilation, we both lived with the unknown of when the other might chuck the next one. It was sock hell.
I’m not sure why we found “The Sock Game” so funny, but we did, and it continued on for several hours until Steve finally made it home. He thought we were idiots. He was right. To this day, I’ve always had a fondness for socks.
Because of this great memory, I was thrilled to hear about one of the sponsors, DryMax sports socks. Gus Blythe, the owner of DryMax socks has been a great supporter of Steve’s run, both monetarily and with product. He has been there from the start and without supporters like him and his company, this run wouldn’t have happened.
So, isn’t a sock just a sock? You wear them, you throw them in your friend’s closet, that is it, right?
They are NOT just a sock. There is a connection between the type of sock one wears and fungal infections. If the sock doesn’t keep the foot dry then blisters will form. Steve’s feet must be kept in good working order or the run will stop. He has worn nothing but DryMax socks since day one and as he approaches the 500 mile mark, not one single blister.
They really are an advanced sock and their site gives a detailed description of all of the components from the flat toe seam, the vented arch band, protective padding, to the smooth top and Y heel.
They are just one of the sponsors who has been an integral part of making this run possible and Steve is thankful for their help every morning when he pulls on a clean pair.
Life is made up of moments. There are the memories of youth and college antics and there are the new ones we create every day. Steve is out there living life to inspire those who have had to fight for the privilege and to raise some money to help them do so.
June 15, 2012 will mark day twenty. We are asking anyone who is inspired by Steve to donate $20.00 for twenty days. For almost three straight weeks he has run a marathon every day, pushing himself further than he has ever gone, in the hope that he will inspire. He has succeeded in motivating me and we’ve received many emails, texts, and comments that show he has done the same for others, too.
Tell a friend, tell a neighbor, and if you can afford it, donate $20.00 to let Steve know you appreciate his first twenty days of running.
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