"Only those who risk failing greatly can ever succeed greatly." –RFK
Friday, March 30, 2007
Meet the crew - Larry Ham ("Dave" #3)
Finally....Badwater team member number 3 is introduced!
Ok, his name's NOT DAVE...but it's close...sort of.
With 2 Daves already on my crew, it's going to be confusing at the least. But Larry trumped the name pre-requisition for many reasons.
First, Larry was on my crew in 2004. He did a phenomenal job and his role on crew evolved as the race went on. And that's because...
Second, Larry is not a runner. He's never run a race in his life. I'm sure he's run for beer and perhaps from the cops when he was a kid, but in any case, he has not run a 5k, a 10k, a 1/2 marathon, a full marathon, nor an ultra. In fact, he'd never even heard of ultras before me. Similarly, he's never paced or crewed before. I'm sure you won't be surprised to know he's never even been to Badwater.
Hmm, and this is WHY he IS perfect for the team?? Well, YES, and that's because... Third, it was so much FUN to have an ultra/Badwater virgin on the team. Larry was a constant source of giggles and roaring laughter. Here's an example: My first couple of miles, he was standing at the crew van as I approached. He had been checking my splits, letting me know I was running this many minutes per mile or that many minutes a mile. He did that for about 3 miles, and it wasn't long after that you could see it was starting to register on his mind, the reality of the race, the reality of the distance, the reality of the task at hand. ...He stopped loooking at his watch and quickly (and appropriately) lost interest in my mile splits. Later in the race, he was quoted as saying, "I just realized, we're going to be doing THIS the rest of today, all through the night, and all through the next day and night..." It was, I'm sure, a sober moment for him. I mean, what a sport he is, eh!
Every crew benefits when it has its own charm, and leaving out Larry because his name is Larry would mean a team without charm. So, the decision was easy: change Larry's name. So, he has been christened "Dave #3."
Fourth, and perhaps most importantly from a selfish perspective, Dave #3 has got healing hands! He is one of Spokane's top Physical Therapists, and as far as his specialty, which is Strain-Counterstrain therapy, no one nearby matches his skills, probably not in the entire Northwest. He is hands down (pun intended) the best Strain-Counterstrain therapist. His skill at SCS therapy helped me glide through the miles of the 2004 race. Every once in a while I'd get a twitch here or a tight there, and he would push and rotate and hold and release, and send me back on the road sans excuse. Hey, when you know someone who can perform a good voodoo-ish type of therapy that works by the hands, then you want that person on your crew!
So, this year Dave #3 has been training. He's started from scratch (remember, he's not a runner), and he's now up to 36 minutes of non-stop running. Woo hoo! That's great! See...this year he is going to summit Mt. Whitney with us after the race.
Dave #3 is one of my greatest supports because he's helping me even now with Badwater. He keeps me from collecting injuries while I am training. Even today, he and my chiropractor, Dr. Gina Wolf, got me all straightened out. They worked TOGETHER at Dave #3's clinic! Wow! Together (and with the help of my massage therapist), I am almost completely recovered from the back flare. With his help, I ran 7 miles today with NO discomfort!
Yep, Dave #3, I'm glad you've been asking to go back to Badwater every year since 2004. You help me more than you know...both physically and mentally!
I am an ultra runner, physician and have been medical director of some of the toughest ultras. I tend to be a mover and a shaker and louder than my size suggests. However, my Gemini twin is gentler and contemplative, an artist, a writer, and a poet. I am a dog lover, a believer in souls, and have a special affinity for those who struggle because I have been there.
This is my crazy lovable huggable Weimaraner, Steely Dan. I call him Steely. He left us in January of this year at only 6 years from lymphoma that did not respond to chemotherapy treatments. Steely was a total goof. He loved trail running, road running, treadmill running, new experiences, making eye contact, sleeping on his back, me, kids, and liver treats. He was Zappa's best friend. We miss him dearly.
This is Stella. A rescue from the shelter. She's about 6 months old and a Border Collie. She is a joyous bundle of energy and curiosity and now also Zappa best friend. She will make a nice running partner when she grows up.
This is the now the big brother of my family - a rescued Greyhound. His name is Frank Zappa. I call him Zappa. He's 7 years old and has learned all about life beyond the track and crate from Steely when he was with us. It was very rewarding to watch his personality bloom as he settled into the family. And yes, he runs like the wind!
This is Natasha, my dearest friend. She was with me through college, medical school, residency, and she moved with me from Chicago to Spokane several years ago. She was my best running partner for 10 years. My sweet Natasha died from bone cancer in 2006. I miss her still. I hung a windchimes over the deck outside. When it chimes, I smile and think she has finally -- wherever she is now -- caught a squirrel!