May 02, 2008

On My Way To Miwok...

Wow, what an interesting, busy, eventful, and somewhat scary week leading up to my departure to San Fran! I'm currently in the airport trying to catch up on things before we fly out at 7am. I moved into my new place over the last few days and as to be expected I was without any internet service, which in and of itself is a little torturous these days.

Where to begin, well let me just say that I am incredibly excited to run Miwok in 24hr time. With a 5:40am start time I'll be exactly 30min into the most competitive solo event of my life tomorrow! They will hopefully post updates and race results shortly after the race and you can check this website to see how I have fared: MIWOK 100

So after a long week of moving, my Montrail Canada teammates and I departed North Van at 4:45am this morning. My new place is finally coming together with my bedroom now set up, the bathroom good to go, and the kitchen looking organized. My living room / dining room however still resembles a factory warehouse. One step at a time I guess.

I landed what could only be considered a steal of a deal within the North Vancouver housing market, and could not believe my good fortune in doing so. On Tuesday afternoon I had finally managed to relocate most of my belongings to my new place from my old stomping grounds of Squamish...I'll miss ya Squamish!

I've always resided in smallish towns/cities, having grown up in Mt. Pearl Newfoundland with a population of 30,000 people. From here I moved to Banff Alberta and then to Canmore, again fairly small tourist towns. After a few years of travel I ended up in Whistler, Pemberton and finally Squamish which has just 15,000 residents. I love a small town atmosphere, where you have all the amenities, a city within close range, and can get to know most of your immediate demographic within the community. I have always said that I love small towns because crazy people can't hide out there. The crazies tend to stand out too much and seem to need a larger environment to blend in and feel normal. North Van is officially the first large city that I have ever lived in, and it has not disappointed as of yet...

I had been in my new place all of fifteen minutes and had literally just dropped the last box upon the floor. I was about to change into my running gear as a friend was swinging by to help initiate me onto the local trail scene. As I was about to change my shirt I heard a HUGE WHUMP against a wall. I paused and thought, huh, almost sounds like my door...then WHACK...SHIT, that is my door! Roxy, who normally barks at every single scratch upon the door had already cowered in the corner. She was trying to get familiar with her new pad and was acting pretty timid as it was.


I quickly made my way towards my entrance but before I could make it there my front door came flying open! There was a half crazed man crouched over a shopping cart and breathing heavily like a raging bull, anger emblazoned across his face, with a hint of a snarl at the lips. He was in his mid to late 40's, at least 200 pounds, wearing glasses, and now staring me down in my own apartment while brandishing a shopping cart as a battering ram!!

The pure shock of it all overwhelmed me,


He shot back that I was the guy who had been knocking on his door all the time. I simply looked at him and yelled,


"You called the cops on me didn't you!"


This continued for a couple of minutes, with me screaming profanities and this guy getting continually more and more confused. Eventually the neighbor across the hall came out as I was threatening to have this guy evicted immediately, not that I knew anything about anyone at this point in time. He refused to tell me his name, or his unit number, and then casually walked down the hall and into his home...he was my immediate next door neighbor!!!

I was still in complete shock at what had just occurred, and like my friend eventually said, I don't even think people would believe that story! I eventually found Roxy hiding in the back and she immediately jumped on me while whining and needing some serious comforting to calm down. She had not seen me loose it like that before and I wonder if that is what scared her more than anything? I called the housing authority, filed a complaint, my friend showed up and we went for a trail run to burn off some steam and really digest what had just transpired! Roxy, needless to say, was glued to my leg as we departed my building.

As it turns out, I actually do live next door to a crazy man, who is on meds and happened to forget to take them. Apparently he had an issue with the previous tenant, who I was told was evicted...not so sure about that anymore. This guy, who I'll refer to as Psycho Phil for arguments sake, had an issue with his previous neighbor and could not distinguish me from a hole in the wall. I have since been assured that this has never happened before, nor will it again...time will tell I guess. Either way I do have a nice new pad, and as long as Psycho Phil stays on his meds I think I will continue to believe that! I have stashed my fire extinguisher by the front door just in case, as I've always wanted to unload one upon someone before. So if Phil pays me a visit again he'll be eating fire foam for at least a week!

Hey, some neighbors bring cookies and cake to say hi, others simply smash your door in with a shopping cart. Either way at least he was nice enough to introduce himself!

I'm in San Fran right now as it's been a long day of travel, stress, over thinking things and trying to relax. I've never competed in a 100k before so it leaves a bit up in the air for me. I know I have over packed my food stores, but better too much than too little.

San Fransisco has proved to be an 'interesting' place so far. I was here once before in 06 and loved my short lived experience. Today however my Montrail Canada teammate Ryne Melcher was sitting right in between a bus brawl between a bunch of thirteen year olds! The moon must be closer to the West Coast than it normally is!

I hit up the Whole Foods grocery store about an hour ago, which stocks primarily organic, wheat, and gluten free foods. I was floored when I found a gluten free beer for just $8.00 per six pack. I've never tried this stuff before because in Canada it averages about 20.00 per...two beers in and I should probably save the rest for the post race did help calm my nerves though!


P.S. Mom and Dad, I'm fine, really, don't freak out about Phil, I'm sure he only smashes a door in once every 6-8 months!


Brian Morrison said...

Hey Gary, That's a pretty freaky story about your new neighbor. Congrats on the new place! You'll love Miwok, and I'm sure you're gonna' have a great race. I can't wait to hear about it.

Matt Hart said...

good luck at miwok boss.. you will do great i'm sure. pretend phil is chasing you!

The Chaser said...

nice neighbor, that must have been the asterisk on the amazing too good to be true deal!

my friend has a gluten allergy and i am always amazed that any 5 inch pie can cost $12.00. we go to a local gluten free restaurant with a complete menu though and it is pizza in phx.

DARTvg said...

Awesome!Psycho Phil is going to make you a faster runner for sure.

Gary Robbins said...

Yeah, I must've been running from Phil with my head down to have missed that turn at 85k!

Unfortunately not another big running race for me until August now, on to the biking. At least I have my Western qualifier under my belt in the hopes of being drawn for that next year!


Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Dude, what a crazy story. I get all kinds of whacked out people at work, but then I have a whole crew of support staff to take the violent ones down before they can get injected with meds, tied up or both. It's a little trickier when they...barge into your new apartment. Stay safe (think, Seven Samurai, if you've seen it).

garobbins said...

Yeah, startling to say the least! Maybe I could get some of those meds you speak of mailed up to me...just in case!!