By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
This past weekend, the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce hosted the 32nd Annual Longest Causeway Run and Fitness Walk. The longstanding fitness event draws thousands of people every year, and it’s an event I’ve covered as a journalist several times.
This year was no different. As I pulled up to the Port Isabel South Padre Press office on that bright and beautiful Saturday morning, I saw our publisher, Ray Quiroga, his wife, and several other staffers who had signed up for the race had already arrived.
Ray and his wife Lorena are pretty active in the fitness community, so it was no surprise that a couple of friends would join them on the run, as well. What was a surprise, however, was who one of those friends would turn out to be.
Turns out my boss is friends with my high school PE coach, Lee Puckett.
Coach Puckett, as I still call him, has made a career coaching the bookish kids at Med-High and Sci-Tech in Mercedes. I was one of his students exactly 20 years ago.
He laughed when I reminded him how long it’s been, while I tried to minimize the possibility of a foggy memory by saying I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t remember me. It’s been 20 years, after all, and Med-High students are only required to take one year of Phys. Ed. Coach Puckett just smiled and said, “There aren’t too many ‘Dina’s’.”
For his part, Ray could hardly believe the coincidence and remarked on what a small world it is.
And it really is. I have yet to attend a Causeway Run where I don’t run into someone I know. Sometimes it’s been years since we’ve seen each other, as was the case with Coach Puckett.
Coach Puckett laughed again later, when I happened to be stationed on the far side of the bridge taking photographs of the runners as they made it to South Padre Island. Hugging the railing, and focusing on the task at hand, I hadn’t noticed that he was one of the approaching runners until he laughed. We high fived and I cheered him on.
It can be nice to have a ‘blast from the past’ moment. It makes you pause and see how far you’ve come, but also helps give you insight into goals you want to attain in the future. It’s nice to be pleasantly surprised and to have a moment to catch up.
I know I wasn’t the only one who ran into an old friend, either. As the runners gathered by the Port Isabel Community Center before the race, I saw numerous people with smiles on their faces, offering hugs and handshakes to rediscovered friends. What about you? When was the last time you had your own blast from the past? Let us know online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.
Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.