Friday, October 21, 2011


So today I was reminded that my company was sponsoring a blood drive at work. I'd seen the signs earlier this week but for some strange reason I hadn't committed in my mind or on paper whether I'd donate or not. But then my friend and coworker Todd comes up and asks if I'm going to donate. I can't tell him no. More on that to come.

Let me back up for a second to say that the original plan this weekend was that my wife was going to take my son and visit her mom. This is because this Thursday and Friday was UEA. Something about education so the schools in Utah were closed. With this in mind, I started to think about what crazy adventure I would have tomorrow morning. I figured with my wife out of town there would be no one at home to feel neglected while I played in the mountains for hours. I was going to get to stay out as long as I want.

Well, all that went out the window when my wife (being so nice) couldn't say no to a request for her to play piano for a funeral today. So that meant she wasn't going to see her mom (boo for her) and I probably couldn't go for an epic solo adventure in the mountains. Crap!

So with all of that in mind, and the fact that my knee had given me trouble earlier this week, I decided I'd donate.

Todd's Daughter Spencer
Now to follow up on why I couldn't say no to Todd. Todd and his wife lost a daughter to cancer several years ago. But they were able to have an extra 6 months with her because of transfusions she was able to received. Because of that, they had become big on donating blood and have been registered as marrow donors to help pass that gift on. So obviously I couldn't tell him no. I felt like to say no to him would be like saying no to his daughter. Not every blood donation saves a life. But the ones we don't give, have no chance of helping anyone out. I decided that the chance to help someone was more important than some discomfort I would experience and the reduced energy I'd have for tomorrow. If you are interested in donating, check out the Red Cross website.

The donation: Everything was going smoothly until the girl went to insert the needle. I have a very obvious vein in my left arm that I have been using for this for years. I requested to use it again. But then as she went to poke me she asked another guy for help. Apparently she missed my vein and when he went to correct it he came out to far and they had to scrap that arm. (apparently they don't stick you in the same arm multiple times.) They gave me the option of calling it a day or trying the other arm. I went with the other arm. I didn't get my finger pricked for fun. Luckily, the right arm did fine and 5 minutes 5 seconds later I was done.

This has got me thinking about my priorities and where they should be. I heard it said before that people are always more important than tasks to be completed. I hope I can remember that as I have to make decisions. I remembered the reason I decided to run first thing in the morning was to avoid neglecting time with my family. Unfortunately, sometimes I find myself wanting to just sit and veg after a day at work. That said, I really do enjoy doing things with my wife and son. Tonight I took my son to the park and we played hide and seek in the dark. Yesterday we played hide and seek at home and went for a walk. I try to be a good dad and husband but the honest truth is that sometimes I'm not.

I think I will be pondering for a while what to me is more important for me than running. I do consider running to be one of the things that defines who I am but it is not the only thing. So what about you? I'm curious, what is more important than running to you?

Edit: I thought I was done with this. Then I just got a call to help do some yard work for a neighbor tomorrow. I guess that is the problem with thinking of others. Sometimes you gotta do something. There are some things that you can arrange around running but for other priorities you have to rearrange your running around them. 


  1. My family is more important than running. My parents have custody of my two nieces and nephew. They spend a lot of time with us. A lot! Those kids, along with my 4 are way more important than running. That being said...I still find a baby sitter every Saturday morning for my long run. ;)

  2. I'm super glad to see this post, and I do wonder if you might consider getting registered for the Bone Marrow registry. It's unlikely that you would ever be you have to have a near perfect DNA match to be useful to a stranger needing bone marrow. But if you are are in the unique position to be able to be the one to save a life. It's really easy too, no needles until you are actually matching someone.

    It's sometimes a little hard to think that there is anything more important than Running. I actually was just pondering a very similar question THe "Why do you like to run" on over on my blog (come over and visit if you like.). There are so many thing in life that we do value, and make time for, but I think running because it is such a consistent thing, tends to look like more of a priority, we schedule stuff around it. And I don't know why but...if I scheduled stuff around a step class it would seem less important. probably because the only goal in step class is to burn calories...not to improve form, or speed...I guess it is probably the goals we attach to our running (personal bests, miles per month/week/year, special races) that make it seem like so much more than exersise....and of course. It is, it's running....