It is Apple Blossom time again in Winchester, Virginia. The annual festival draws hundreds of thousands of residents and tourists out to celebrate the blooming apple trees that the Shenandoah Valley is famous for.
The throngs of festival-goers converge on Winchester to partake in parties, parades, dances, and other Bloom-themed events.
Until a few years ago, my Apple Blossom tradition was to meet up with friends for the Miller Lite Stag Luncheon, drink until everything was a bit fuzzy, then stagger around downtown Winchester looking for my next beer.
Sounds fun, right?
It is, but the problem I always have with nearly everything I do, I don’t know when to call it quits. And when that involves an activity like beer drinking, it is not going to end well.
One Apple Blossom Friday, after the Stag Luncheon and downtown drink-a-thon, I ended up having to stay home, passed out and sick, instead of going to dinner with my son on his birthday.
Not too proud of that one.
Then along came my new addiction.
And just like everything else, I take that passion to the extreme. So a few years ago, I decided I was going to train for the Apple Blossom 10k and forego the Stag Luncheon.
I trained hard. Lost a good chunk of weight. And two weeks before the race – tore my calf muscle. I had trained a little too hard. But I still had reason to be on good behavior for The Bloom.
That same year, my son Connor was old enough to participate in the Kids’ Bloomin’ Mile. This race is for kids ages 6-14. So, while I was not going to race that weekend, I had plenty of reason to avoid my old drunken ways and support Connor as he competed in his first real race.
This Friday will mark the third year that I have focused on the running activities as opposed to the stumbling ones. I am now creating lasting memories with my family that do not have fuzzy edges.