Dear Mountain Mama,Running has always been my solace. To escape everyday stress, process loss, or deal with drama, I laced up my running shoes. Each time my foot struck the trail, I relaxed a bit more. With every exhale, a sense of calm and clarity replaced chaos. As my body found its rhythm, I experienced joy. Some runs I even felt invincible.But Boston changed all that. This week my legs felt as heavy as my heart. My mind turned over the bombs, the stolen lives, the injured runners, and then it rested on the dead-too-soon- eight-year old. What type of person does this? I feel like running has lost the sense of innocence. How do I find the courage to lace up my shoes?Yours, Gutted by BostonDear Gutted,Of course you’re mourning, Gutted by Boston. We all are. The running community is close-knit. The loss of one runner ripples through the souls of all of us. We think of those poor runners and spectators who came out expecting to celebrate physical accomplishments, and we shed tears for them and their families.Boston is also a very personal loss to all of us. First our government buildings, and then our airports and even our schools were tarnished by acts of violence. And now our most cherished marathon has been turned into something else. Races are where we go to be our very best selves. We go to push ourselves to do something and be someone that even we may not yet realize is possible. Now instead of hopes and dreams, Boston conjures up sad, horrible, scary, devastating, and ugly images.It’s impossible to even begin to imagine what kind of monster would be motivated to do something so sinister. The killers who set off the bombs have caused enough harm. To give those monsters the chance to replace the feel-good associations of running with nightmares is unacceptable.While we are powerless to undo the events that unfolded at Boston, we alone are responsible for our thoughts. We must not give that power to dark and evil people.Of course thoughts of Boston will stay in our minds. We will shake our heads, not able to process the enormity of what happened. Our hearts will remain heavy with loss.But when are thoughts turn to the events that unfolded at Boston, let’s also remember just how amazing runners are. Let’s remember how inspiring, encouraging, supportive, modest, decent, and hardworking the community is. When I ran this week, my thoughts turned to Boston. I pleaded with the universe to somehow make right out of the madness.And then I remembered the kindest act another runner once bestowed upon me. I’ve never told anyone this story, but I’ll tell you now, Gutted by Boston. My hope is in telling it that with the sadness you might also find the courage marvel at random kind acts others sometimes bestow upon us when we are at our most vulnerable.Years ago when I worked at a big corporate law firm and was billing eighty plus hour weeks, I dreamed of one thing. I wanted to qualify for Boston. That meant running a marathon in 3:40, roughly 8:20 minute miles. I carefully planned my training schedule and taped it above my bed.The week before my marathon, the closing of a multi-million dollar merger forced me to work into the wee early morning hours. Needless to say, my taper had not happened the way I had hoped. I hadn’t slept or got in my last few runs or eaten the way I had planned. Nor had I pooped. Not once, not all week.I fiber-loaded, but still nothing moved. My pants felt uncomfortably snug. All I could think about was clearing my intestines, one nice big toilet-filling expulsion.The morning of the race I toed the start line completely clogged. I hoped that things stayed put just a while longer, three hours and forty minutes longer to be precise.At first they did. I was hitting my splits. As I passed the thirteen-mile marker, I started to think that I just might quality for Boston.But a half mile later I felt that uncomfortable sensation, a tidal wave rippling through my intestines, quickly downward. I tried to shortening my stride. With every footstep, the pressure intensified. I realized I had to find a bathroom immediately. I panicked, looking around the paved streets, the concrete sidewalks, and the locked towering office buildings. I scooted off the course, down an alley, in an attempt to preserve some dignity.A male voice called after me, “I’ll cover you with my coat.”“No, I’m not peeing. It’s more.”“I know, I’ve been exactly where you are right now.”With his back turned to me, he held is coat to offer some semblance of privacy. Inches away I made the most gruesome sounds. And then a week of backed-up bowel movements rushed out. The whole time this kind stranger stoically held his coat between us.When I was finished, he offered me napkins. I couldn’t meet his gaze as I took them from his hands. Then he held out a bag for me to dispose of the napkins and encouraged me to finish my run.I wanted nothing more than to disappear in the shadows of the buildings. But when I looked that kind man in the eyes, I felt inspired. That was the first and only marathon I’ve ever finished. My time was exactly four hours.That man offered me comfort during a time when most others would have chastised me or looked the other way. At my most human and embarrassed moment, another runner possessed the grace to help.Gutted by Boston, we must look for the light during this time of darkness. We must search for our own uplifting and funny and human running stories. The best we can do is to share those stories and that love now. Gutted, lace up your shoes and run toward the light!Best,Mountain MamaGot a question for Mountain Mama? Send it here
Side dish: Recognizing the diverse realities in each country as well as the emerging nature of this crisis, the document will continue to be updated. Recommendations for Action is the first comprehensive plan that governments and private sector actors can take now and in the challenging months ahead. About the Global Tourism Crisis CommitteeThe UNWTO has established a Global Tourism Crisis Committee to lead the sector in response to the COVID-19 crisis and to lay the foundations for future resilience and sustainable growth. The Committee is composed of representatives of Member States and Associate Members of the UNWTO, together with the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The private sector is represented by the International Airports Council (ACI), the International Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to ensure a coordinated and effective response. The new guide provides 23 applicable recommendations, divided into three key areas: Recognizing that tourism and transport have been one of the hardest hit of all sectors, the recommendations are designed to support governments, the private sector and the international community. Source and photo: UNWTO – Recommendations for Action Preparing for tomorrow: Emphasizing the unique ability of tourism to drive local and national growth, the recommendations call for greater emphasis to be placed on the sector’s contribution to sustainable development and building resilience to learning from the lessons of the current crisis. The recommendations call on governments and private sector actors to draw up preparedness plans and seize this opportunity to move to a circular economy. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has issued a series of recommendations calling for urgent and strong support so that the global tourism sector not only recovers from the unprecedented challenge of COVID 19, but also “returns better”. The recommendations are the first result of the Global Tourism Crisis Committee, established by the UNWTO with representatives from across the tourism sector and from the wider United Nations system. Providing incentives and speeding up recovery: This set of recommendations emphasizes the importance of providing financial incentives, including favorable tax policies, lifting travel restrictions as soon as the health situation allows, promoting visa facilitation, strengthening marketing and consumer confidence, in order to speed up recovery. The recommendations also call for tourism to be placed at the heart of national policies and recovery action plans. Crisis management and mitigation: Key recommendations relate to job retention, support for self-employed workers, ensuring liquidity, promoting skills development and reviewing taxes, fees and regulations related to travel and tourism. The recommendations were made because of the high probability of a global economic recession. Due to its labor-intensive nature, tourism will be severely affected and millions of jobs will be affected. “These special recommendations give countries a list of possible measures to help our sector maintain jobs and support companies. Mitigating the impact on employment and liquidity, protecting the most vulnerable and preparing for recovery must be our key priorities. “, said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, adding that the full impact of the corona crisis on global tourism is still unknown, but now it is necessary to support the tourism sector and prepare for economic recovery.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisGaylord, MICH — A Gaylord teen has been charged with making a false police report for a stolen ATM card.Nineteen–year–old Anastasia Durrenberg reported a 39–year–old woman used her card without permission on March 11. Further investigation revealed Durrenberg filed a fake police report and falsely accused the suspect.A felony warrant was issued for Durrenberg. She was arrested on May 1 by the Michigan State Police Seventh District Fugitive Team.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: ATM, card, Durrenberg, fraud, GaylordContinue ReadingPrevious Pets of the week May 14, 2019Next South Bay giving life to Squaw Bay with extended bi-path