I have a story which is ultimately funny which I forgot to tell you, related to the Illinois Marathon on May 1. You'll see why I say "ultimately" in a moment.
I always like to arrive early on race day, if possible. I appreciate a chance to relax, get everything set and not feel rushed. It worked out nicely for this race; I scored a good parking spot, quite near the finish line, a full 90 minutes before the gun. I got out, gently jogged about a mile to work out the kinks from the two hour drive, still leaving a full 30 minutes before I needed to walk to the start line. So, I sat back, popped on some music, enjoying it while the day was still cool. I could read, think, watch other runners assemble; all in all quite enjoyable.
Eventually, I was set to go. I calmly assembled everything I needed. I got out of the car and went through the routine you know as well. One more check from head to toe, make sure I have the car key off the ring, in my shorts pocket, lock the car and head for the start.
About six and a half hours later, I hobbled back to the car, still feeling somewhat nauseous but ready to head home. I was grateful for the primo parking spot and as I got near the car, dug the key out of my pocket and got set to open the driver's side door.
And I gasped.
I had left the driver's side window completely down. The car was locked, fully secured, with the window wide open.
I reached in, popped open the locks and proceeded to survey the car for missing goods. Amazingly, not a single thing was disturbed. Nothing had moved. My wallet, my Kindle, my camera, my bag, my cell phone; all of it right where I had left it.
How did this happen? I realized I had rolled the window down during my wait, enjoying the fresh air. Well, the air was still fresh in the car. And, astoundingly, nothing had been touched.
I said a prayer of thankfulness and got in, quite chagrined. I had checked the details carefully pre-race, yet missed a Very Big Thing. Yet, ultimately, it was OK and I learned a Very Useful Lesson. Granted, marathon runners are generally an honest and upright tribe. But this was still a public parking lot and anything could have happened.
So, smile with me. And remember this story on race day or anytime you leave your car.
Persevere...and roll up the window while you do.