MAIN STREET - OPINION: Infusion of perspective good for the soul

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“When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.” I think I’ve been doing just that in 2018 and it’s time for me to take my pen back.

Earlier this month, I spent couple of days attempting to check out of everything and being for the most part successful, which resulted in more than just a nice tan from poolside lounging in the desert. Perspective. We all need fresh infusions of perspective. Mired down in the minutia and urgencies created by others can drain the spirit and dampen enthusiasm. Everyone needs distance and space to reflect in their own way. My zen place to do that mostly involves water and sun ... and a book.

I love that the man in my life always knows when to encourage me to “go find sun.” Find your sun and hold onto your pen.

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Since the very first year that Ironman came to Coeur d’Alene I’ve embraced the experience — never as a competitor but as a volunteer and enthusiastic spectator. In the early years the bike portion was routed through Post Falls — including around the track at the Greyhound Park and across an active railroad trestle, which was converted to a bike path and taken down in record time by the Post Falls Lions Club. The routes for everything except the swim portion have changed over the years, but the inspiration of the athletes has never varied.

I’ve met athletes and their families and fans from all over the country and the world. I’ve been behind the scenes with media credentials, and been out on the lake at the crack of dawn to watch the swimmers. I’ve volunteered at runner’s aid stations for local charities, as a pointer in the bike segment, as a Doping Control escort for the pro racers, and as a finish line catcher — always choosing the last shift before the race cut-off, where the inspiration of seeing regular people who had set a goal finally, blessedly crossed the finish line and became Ironmen.

As a volunteer I like the 70.3 half Ironman simply because it ends late afternoon instead of midnight.

Last year I volunteered in the morning to apply sunscreen on athletes as they completed the swim and headed out on the cycling leg of the race. It was actually quite fun since it’s up-close and personal. It’s messy since the athletes barely stop long enough to have sunscreen slathered on their shoulders, face, arms and legs. Sunscreeners wear plastic gloves and have palmfuls of lotion to apply on the fly.

If you’ve never volunteered, believe me, it’s incredibly rewarding to be in the company of people who are achieving at the highest level. People who might not consider themselves athletes in their regular life. Maybe they’ll never do another Ironman again, but on June 24, there will be people who will amaze themselves with what they’ve accomplished. And they’ll amaze me as a spectator, as well!

www.ironman.volunteerlocal.com or Ironman Coeur d’Alene Volunteer on Facebook.

•••

Things to Do: Tonight, Live After 5 at McEuen Park, Kelly Hughes Band.

Tomorrow, 6 to 8 p.m. at Emerge, Faces of Pride exhibit. 208 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene.

Also on Thursday, Free Movie in the Park, 6:30 p.m. McIntire Family Park in Hayden showing Moana.

Friday, Movies in the Park, Despicable Me 3, Syringa Park in Post Falls. Free popcorn, pizza and bounce house. Movie starts at dusk.

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Happy birthday today to TR Williams (84!), Kristen Enders, Lynda Nutt, Christi Fleischman, Daniel Davis, Sherin Diehl, Mark Appleby and Eva Jones. Happy First Day of Summer birthdays tomorrow to Wayne Newby, Jaymee Paul, Lynda Pym, David Wold, Shirley Bade, Randy Watkins, Kelly Rice, L.C. Schell and Stephen Larson. Joe Butler, Nathan Walker, Lynne Hamm, Camille Lang, Ronda House, Jamie Johnson, Scott Shepperd, Mike Saunders, Bianca Olson and Caitlin Parmentier celebrate on Friday. On Saturday Dawn Forest, Nancy Nick, Lynne Hammond and Carly Cline will put on their party hats. Jim Reynolds, Kathy Bush, Kimi Coles, Rhonda Ellis, Ian Sadler, John Phelps, Sara Wegner and Laura Lahr start the party on Sunday. Joann Hildebrant, Bill Reagan, Mikki Stevens, Patty Vogt, Addison Johnson, Jim Guy, Jan Olsen, Angela Mort, Connie McGee, Kylie Gibson, Shanda Johnson, Sally Mackin and Megan Ownbey celebrate another trip around the sun on Monday. Putting on their party hats on Tuesday are Ben Wolfinger, Kit Hoffer, Rick Rasmussen, Alecia Warren, Shannon Fish, Chloe Hutter, Karen Hanson, Cathleen O’Connor, Irene Shinneman, Sheryl Snyder and Ernie Hunt.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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