Sunday, March 23, 2008

Big Dreams

The following post was inspired by your comments from my last post regarding the huge cinnamon roll.


I have a friend and running buddy who is challenged by all things big. Before I met him another runner we have come to know quite well ran into my friend at a garage sale. This other runner happened to be wearing a marathon shirt. My friend mentioned that he was training to run the Portland Marathon. The other runner (tc) asked him about his training and experience with running. My friend told tc that he had never run any sort of organized race other than some high school running. I think tc probably told him to respect the distance and wished my friend good luck. My friend trained, then ran his first organized race, the Portland Marathon.

After running a few marathons my friend then set his sights on ultra running with 50K’s, 50 milers, and eventually the 100 mile Cascade Crest Classic. At the time I was running marathon and was considering dropping back down to ½ marathons because I enjoyed the speed and competition. I was of the opinion that anyone crazy enough to run a 50K or greater distance was indeed crazy. A 100 miler hinged on absolutely insane.

Rob “Rattler” Hester has not only gone big with running but I recognize a trend in other parts of his life as well. As an example he has four children. He is working on finishing up his Masters of Education while working in his first year teaching in special education.

His quirky affinity toward all that is large is also evident in his diet. I have two examples that I would like to share with you.

First I’d like to show you the “Mound Burger” that Rob discovered as we were running the Rainier to Pacific Relay last summer. This burger was practically as big as a dinner plate. Rob consumed the first ¾ of the burger without too much difficulty but the final section was obviously a challenge for him to chew and swallow. He actually managed to eat the entire burger and ran a couple of good legs in the relay powered by the Mound Burger.


Last week we went as a group to Stuffy’s Restaurant in Kelso WA after the finish of Pacific Rim 24 HR. It was as if the eatery knew about Rob’s affinity toward all things big. Right in the entry way of the restaurant there stood a glass display with a mirror backing that contained the largest cinnamon rolls I have ever seen in my life. As Rob entered he locked on to the sugary confections and it was as if the display was pulling him toward it. I’m sure he had his mind made up; he was going to eat one of those mongo cinnamon rolls if it killed him.

The Pacific Rim 24 hour had not gone as planned for Rob. His “A” plan was to run at least 100 miles. In the end, his energy level was low and he ended up running 41 miles. When the waitress brought the cinnamon roll to Rob the entire table of 10 runners stared in awe at the size and spectacle of the beast. Rob dug in with determination. Each runner was faced with our own challenge as we received our breakfasts because it seems Stuffy’s is known for their massive portions. As we all worked on finishing our meals Rob began to slow down. In the end he only really managed to finish about 1/8 the of the roll before he offered up some samples to the rest of us. It seemed that Rob had been enlightened twice that weekend on when to quit while he was ahead. He got the waitresses attention and asked to have it wrapped so he could take it home to share with his family.

I don’t know if this is a turning point in Rob’s running career or simply an off weekend. I do know that I appreciate Rob’s enthusiasm, stories, motivation, and insight. He’s the one I can blame for introducing me to trail running and shown me that what seems impossible can be achieved. He has motivated both Michelle and I to achieve what we never felt was possible with our running. We have had a lot of help from a bunch of people but Rob’s accomplishments have driven us to our own dreams come true.

I know that Rob will see big potential from his students, his family, runners, and his community. I hope and pray that his vision to “go big, or stay home” will translate to others achieving more in life than they ever thought possible. Thanks Rob!

28 comments:

Meghan said...

I cannot believe that he ate that whole burger. The bun, also?

And, I feel happy that he didn't eat the whole cinnamon roll. That thing is truly on the level of the insane.

"Go big or go home." Got it. :)

Meghan

robtherunner said...

Thanks for the shout out. I am not sure if I am deserving, or not, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

You and Michelle have taught me many things as well. I feel blessed to be able to call you both friends.

Rattler

P.S. That Cinammon Roll will go down in 2009 after I complete 100+ miles at Pac-Rim. I am going to become a regular at Cinnabon and slowly build up to 1/2 dozen in one sitting.

Sarah said...

What a nice post! If you can imagine it/dream it, you can do it! : )

P.s. I'm still trying to figure out what that is on top of the cinnamon roll. The tiniest scoop of vanilla ice cream? A scoop of whipped butter?....that would be so wrong! : )

robtherunner said...

That's whipped butter, and yes I spread it all over the Cinnamon Roll before trying to eat it. It would have been like cheating had I removed the butter. There's serious ethical implications when attempting to eat large portions such as this. No removing calories allowed.

Wes said...

That's hilarious! I could do some damage to a cinammon roll like that!!!

runningtwig said...

Great post...it made me laugh on a Monday morning! Rob inspires many with his go big or go home mentality!!

olga said...

It's not his birthday, so what's up with that? :)
Sweet entry.

Laura H said...

Nice post - Rob is very inspirational for me! I was glad to see he practiced moderation with the cinnamon roll, and glad to know he is going to buid up slowly for next year!

Smithposts said...

Boy that cinnamon roll looks great....the hamburger and french fries aren't too bad either!

Joe said...

Thanks for telling us "the rest of the story" Eric...hilarious!!

I'm guessing these pix will find their way into some Power Point presentations sometime.....

You guys are great pals!!

wendy said...

That was a really nice post, Eric. You're right, he's got that go big mentality, and it's contagious!
=)

Journey to a Centum said...

So does this post make you hungry too? Hmmm I think there are some leftovers in the fridge....

Steve S said...

Yes, I agree Rob has a big heart, and big arteries I hope. ;-) Both you and Rob have encouraged and drawn me into many adventures and helped me to take on much more in my running. I'm looking forward to more years of sharing the Hester joy.

Journey to a Centum said...

Good News! The Maltby Cafe up near Woodinville makes a giant cinnamon roll like the one Stuffy's serves! Holy Cholesterol Batman!

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Crazy Man Rob! What a fabulous tribute! A true inspiration. Always can bring a sense of awe! You forgot to mention his latest huge attempt and completion of 13 marathon+ distances in 12 weeks! That's HUGE! Rob- you truly are amazing. I loved being present for both the Mound burger and the cinnamon roll. Plus I did my best to stop you as you walked into the restauraunt. But, as Eric said, the hugeness drew you in! LOVE YA!
Jenny

Jon said...

Ah, Stuffy's. Fitting name.

With the large portions, we might as well have a few Maniacs also join up with the International Federation Of Competitive Eating!

James said...

crazy!!! i couldn't belive my eyes! how does that place stay in business? or do they charge 20 bucks for that monster.

Journey to a Centum said...

James - Here's the breakfast menu: http://www.stuffys2.com/breakfast.pdf

The Stuffy's II Web site is at:http://www.stuffys2.com/

We may need to organize a training run near this place with breakfast after the run.

Sarah Elaine said...

In some ways Rob and I are alike (school and teaching and that sort of thing), but at 5-feet-EFF-all tall, I am often teased about being little.

As such, I feel much affinity to other small types. One of whom I like to quote from time to time... and this one is for Rob:

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda.

scott keeps running said...

you are all crazy.

Michmas said...

I've personally witnessed the cinammon rolls at Maltby's cafe and have to admit they are pretty frightening...

Gretchen said...

That cinnamon roll is actually kind of scary, and I love cinnamon rolls! I'm proud that he did not scoop the butter off though. So right, would have been cheating!
What a nice tribute post!

Annette said...

What a tribute to Rob! You are a good friend. As for the big food - my stomach hurts just thinking about it. :)

Darrell said...

Great tribute to a cool dude.

The pat of butter seems a little over indulgent, don't you think?

runliarun said...

I am actually glad he did not eat the whole cinnamon monster. Would have been like doing violence to himself. I think Rob is already larger than life without that.

Gretchen said...

Hey Eric, I just tagged you in one of those silly blog tag games. If you want to play, check out my blog for the rules. (It's only a 6 word memoir.)
Hope you're doing well!

Mama said...

Use your words, Eric, I know you can do it. Tag, you are it.

Here are the rules:
1) Write your own six word memoir
2) Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Lorri

Anonymous said...

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