Sunday, February 13, 2011

yoU're Never Alone Running.

What is in a name?  Some people grant their children awesome names, like Logan (shameless, I know).  Other people give they children dumb or embarrassing names such as Apple, virtually guaranteeing a beating on the school playground.

Do not get me started on nicknames.  My dad worked at a chemical plant where every employee had a code name.  It was like GI Joe.  I have forgotten most of the names I knew those 20 years ago (worked there over the summers during college) but I do remember the nicknames my dad and I had.  Dad was a maintenance supervisor.  He is a man of few words, but when he speaks you should listen.  Because he was always "watching" what his men were doing, several of them took to calling him "Warden".  All he needs as a shotgun over his shoulder and they would swear they were on the chain gang.  So when I came along they immediately called me "Little Joe".  Think Bonanza.  No one ever called me by my given name.  (In fact my dad rarely talked to me on the job, which was fine.  We each had jobs to do.)  It was always "Little Joe."

So fast forward to last summer.  I just joined a local running group and was getting to know the personalities.  I recently started to regrow my beard for winter running.  One of the ladies stated that she did not care for facial hair.  I responded that that bit of information was all the more reason to let it grow.  In fact, if the beard got wild enough I might use to to intimidate other races in the coming months.  Anything for an edge.  Someone is the group said I resembled The UNABomber from several years ago.

Suddenly the "beard-hater" blurted out "unarunner".  And a truly great nickname was born.  Of course one has to cultivate a certain look to wear such a nickname.  This is months in the making.

I'm not in jail so I do look happier.  Yay me!

I got to thinking this morning that such a nickname can be cause for confusion.  My sister-in-law even asked recently why I would want to be named for such an infamous person in history.  No big deal really.  But still I got to thinking., 

Dailymile has taken much of my free time lately.  There are so many awesome people and incredibly touching stories that I struggle to reach everyone in my circle of friends.  I have had the great fortune to hear honest, sincere and tragic stories and am honored to be trusted with such intimate information.  Dailymile is such a great resource because whether you live in a runners' Mecca like New York, Chicago, Detroit or Portland, or reside in the wilderness far removed from other runners, there are always people waiting to reach out and offer whatever support you need.  All you have to do is post.

A dailymiler and facebook friend commented that I was a minor sensation on the site.  It embarrassed me slightly.   You might think I am becoming an attention whore.  But I believe this is far from the truth.  People do seem drawn to me.  Like me or hate me, I try not to bore you.

This friend said I had success in drawing people in because I managed to "brand" myself.  Most people on dailymile use their real name.  I used my real name for a few months as well.  While their are numerous Marks, Johns, Jessicas, and Jennifers, even a Farra and Farah, I'm not certain how many Logans reside here. The only other one I recall is a woman.  Haha, most 13 year old female soccer players were name Logan for a while.

Anyway, I reconsider the name "The UnaRunner".  UNABOM was the file name the FBI used in its investigation of the Unabomber.  The phrase stood for UNiversity and Airline BOMber.  Maybe I should consider what UnaRunner should represent.  Something beyond a resemblance of wildly unkempt facial hair.  This morning inspiration hit.

yoU're Not Alone in RUNing

So when you think that you are lost or confusing and unsure of where to turn just log on and post something.  Email one of your "friends".  Ask questions.  Someone will be there.  Because you are not alone.

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