The “2e Souffle” or 2nd Wind was actually the 10th race of my running adventures, held back on May 23, 1982 in Chateauguay, Quebec. I competed in the 10km that day, finished in 37:11; fast enough for second place overall. I can’t remember too much else about it, except for one important point; that race was the very first running race my parents Edwina and Bob ever competed in; they did the 3km race.
Starting to run on a consistent basis was in many ways the key activity that gave me a second wind in life at a time when I needed it badly. That was after living on an aircraft carrier for close to three years. And, I was pretty young at the time, just 21 years old, in need of a second wind. Looking back on it I wonder what the feeling was for my parents, in May of 1982 my Dad had just turned 50, and my Mom was a couple of months away from her 49th birthday; both were several years younger that I am now. Wow, my Mom and Dad were teenagers when they got married and they moved around quite a bit through their 20’s, built a family and settled back in Kahnawake back in 1962. They probably didn’t have much time to think about anything. By 1982 I wonder? I know the race was important to them as a race; but I wonder what else was going on in the back of their minds about starting a new activity, and other life issues as they approached 50?
Both my parents were good athletes, more details to come in future posts. My Dad’s first love was baseball as he grew up in Havana Cuba where baseball is like the religion that hockey is up here. My Mom was a multi-sport stud of an athlete who excelled at virtually every sport she ever tried. They went on to complete five full marathons, and hundreds of more running events, more on that as well in future posts. Yet back on that day in May of 1982, they were actually a bit nervous at the starting line for a 3km race. I guess we were all a bit nervous, running was still this new family activity, and competing in a race made it all the more exciting.
Fast forward to spring 2014 and life experiences sometime require some new energy or a second wind to give you a third wind, or maybe a third wave? I am now in my middle 50’s, my Dad passed away in 2007, and now my Mom is experiencing some big challenges of her own. The local Chateauguay race is now part of the circuit Endurance and called the “Au rythme de nos foulées” or “The rhythm of our strides” which is certainly an appropriate name for it, we find a rhythm in running and we stick with it. The new version of this race still finishes near the exact same spot as it did all those years ago, but now there is a hospital across the street; which is where my children were born, and there is a Walmart right around the corner. In 1982, except for the school, it was all nothing but a bunch of fields.
And as usual, running has come through for me again in this past year. For a variety of reasons the period from spring into summer of 2014 provided some life challenges, so in the autumn of 2014 I decided to slightly increase my mileage and to run a few more races, and that was all it took to get me through the winter. In the spring of 2015 I decided to create this blog to share these stories. And, this past May 10, Mother’s Day 2015; I ran the 10km again, finishing right near the exact same spot as in 1982. Of course, my time was a lot slower, it was very humid, and that’s okay. Afterwards I drove over to Maddie’s Place in Kahnawake for a breakfast brunch and of course, my Mom wanted to hear all of the details from the race.
Forever a runner, find your second wind.
Photos from 1982: John (Uncle Bonnie) Alfred