April 27 was a Sunday in 2014. The day before I was really sick. I didn't sleep well the night before, but I thought I was fine to go to work. I really enjoyed my job and look forward to every day. I worked for a company that organized road races and I was usually the guy who would fill up the truck with tables and cups and water and fruit the day before the race. On race day I would ride my bike down to where the truck was parked and get to the race site a few hours before the race. I would help set up the course which meant getting the water and tables and cups out to where they needed to be and/or but in the mile markers and arrows out there. Then, just before the race will start I get back on my bike and leave the runners around the course.
Saturday, April 26 was like that. Except, after I put out the mile markers I had to use the port a parties which are just being delivered, I jumped up on the truck and told the guy not to move the one I just jumped into it until I got out. I then led the runners to the turnaround point over 4 miles from the start. My job was to wait there until the last runner came by making sure none of them kept running. The runners were spread out, so while none of them were looking I was able to throw up off to the side of the course. Then I collected the mile markers and brought them back to the starting line and got six or more. I managed to help load the trucks. I skipped my favorite part of staffing a race; the post race brunch.
I got home and realized how sick I was because I had a fever of about 102°. And then when I went to the bathroom I didn't know which way to face when I got to the toilet. I called my friend/boss and told him I didn't think it would be a good idea to be counted on for the next day. I wasn't going to try to wake up again at 4 AM. I updated my Facebook status and crawled under the covers.
A week and a half later, Wednesday, May 7, 2014 I stumbled into my doctor's office and told her that I've been having this weird problem with my hands and feet.....
I miss it so much.
I was working in parks.
I miss driving trucks.
I miss working with runners.
I miss walking over to the starting line a small race, picking up a bullhorn and telling the runners things like, "don't bother trying to avoid the first puddle you won't be able to avoid the next five."
I miss being the only person who got to watch the lead runners fight it out for first place in my bicycle's mirror.
I miss making sure that everyone who already finished knows that the last runner is on their way in so they can applaud.
I miss going out to brunch after the race and having some of the people who actually participated in the race come over and thank us.
At least I don't have to miss being recognized by strangers in the street...