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09/17/2003 Archived Entry: "Monday Night - September 15, 2003"

Our Skate, Skate, Skate
On Monday Night – September 15, 2003

Sam…(static)… Sam, this is Marc. Sorry to bother you, but I’m heading to the skate right now and know that I’ll miss the 8:30 departure. I’m running late.

“Just call me when you get down here, and I’ll let you know where we’re at… …" (Silence- my battery went dead).

So when I arrived at the Carter Center, everyone except Sam had already left. He was waiting for me. What a nice guy! Now we were both without a group. (Idiot!) “Lets go to the Krog Street Tunnel and then around to Turner,” he said.
“Cool ! Lets Go!”

We soon saw a telltale wall of red blinky lights inching their way up the long, torturous hill that lies adjacent to the Olympic Stadium’s easterly side. It seemed to be the Slow Group, and was being lead by Jenni X. I hadn’t seen her in a long time, and was happy about the somewhat rare occasion. But the problem was, was that I snoozed and loosed. Once within their group, I had turned my head and began talking to someone else, when Jenni, her friend Sara, and Sam sprinted off into the wild-blue-yonder, leaving Ann S in charge of babysitting me and the others in our now somewhat smaller group.

“I want to be a good leader,” Ann said to me. “Because I want to do a lot of hills - - a lot of down hills. But no up-hills - - only if I have to.” I looked at her and smiled. I knew that she has already become a good leader.

Matt C, was with us tonight, and had come just for the day, all the way from Huntsville, AL – merely to train for A2A. “They don’t have anything like this in Huntsville,” he shared with our skating group. “Only a three-mile jogging trail, called the Green Way." All of us looked at him in shock and disbelief. Earlier in the day, Matt had made a trip around Stone Mountain, and a there and back again from Decatur. “There’re no hills in Huntsville,” he reminded us.

Jim C thought that tonight was great because the weather was so beautiful. I then asked him if that was the extent of it. “Skating is also wonderful tonight,” he replied. Jim is so much taller than I am, so I didn’t want to argue with him.

Allen F also thought that the skating was wonderful tonight, but he doesn’t want to live it like those of us who are training for A2A. He has a life, he kindly reported to us. “Where’s your camera tonight?” he then asked to me. I responded that it was in the small fanny-pack pouch that I was wearing. But that I had discovered a few miles back that it lacked its memory. (Apparently I had forgotten to bring its small memory card from home.) “That’s just my luck,” he continued. “That’s like my brain.”

There came a point in the skate that Allen desired to deviate from the group and head straight back to the Carter Center. “The pace is a little brisk.” After hearing that, Ann felt terrible, and encouraged him to do the best thing for himself. But it was Jennifer H that took a soldier's stance to keep Allen in line and in tune with the rest of us. Her effective strategy was simple. It was to place Allen at the very front of the group - and to allow everyone to pass him. And once everyone had passed him, she’d then place him back once again in the very front of the group. And so on, and so on.

Allen was soon overjoyed because he was able to stay in the front, where he remained the point man of our group. “At least I’m not DFL,” he confided to me. (Dead Fuc_ing Last)

Lee T, from Marietta was with us tonight, as was Chris C and Allison B. Allison has been buried in books and towering above her pencil, as she nears closer to completing her dissertation. “I wrote three chapters this past week,” she explained to a small group of us as we meandered down Piedmont Ave. “It’s on a long-term resolution of civil conflict during post conflict reconstruction.”

Upon trying to comprehend that, I just about skated off the pavement and into a telephone pole.

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