The Iditarod Race starts in 16 hours, or Friday in the life of an Iditarod musher.

This is it. 16 hours to go, and I’m supposed to sleep most of those. No way I’m sleeping tonight though. Everything on the To-do List has to be done today. No more putting it off until tomorrow. Some of those things just aren’t going to happen. Have I thought of everything? I know I’m forgetting something, what is it? Did I remember to tell the handlers to grab my new thermos? I can’t remember. Heck, I can’t even think straight. “Yeah, I’ll be happy to sign that, where you are from?” “Third grade? Well, study hard and take good care of your dog.” That didn’t make any sense. Oh well, what was I trying to remember? “Sure, I’ll sign your hat, who should I make it out to?” Where did I put the sharpie? I can’t even keep track of my sharpie, much less the 10,000 things I have to get ready for tomorrow. I need to get out of here, there are too many people, and it’s way too hot. Can’t get sweated up or I’ll freeze. What am I talking about, I’m still at the hotel. At least tomorrow doesn’t count, if it all goes wrong I get a re-do on Sunday. “How do you spell Bob?” That was a really dumb question, get it together, focus. Focus on what? The Iditarod? What everyone is going to think of me over the next two weeks, how I do? Will I be able to justify all the time and money everyone I know has spent on this? My dogs, my sled, if the truck will start tomorrow? It’s getting cold out there, better tell someone to plug it in. No, focus on the hat, B. O. B., it’s not that hard. “There you go, tell Bob ‘Happy Trails’.” Ok, where’s the door, I’m going to go plug in the truck. There’s Tyrell. “Ty, would you please plug in the truck, it’s getting cold and I want it to start in the morning.”

“It’s been plugged in for three days now, we’ve got it covered.”

“Did you get my thermos?”

“Got the thermos, got everything on both lists, and everything you forgot to write down too, don’t worry.”

“What color runner plastic did you put on the sled?”

“The worst stuff we could find, remember, it’s the street tomorrow, it’s going to get shredded anyway.”

“Good thinking.”

“Yeah, I know, I’ve run this twice. We’ve got everything under control. Now please go sign that poor kid’s, shirt, he clearly needs to get to the bathroom.”

“Ok, I forgot to put padding for the IdidaRider on the list, can you try to swing by Fred Meyer and grab something?”

“That was one of those things you forgot and we didn’t, relax.”

Relax. Yeah right. Ok, who’s next? Oh yeah, the kid that’s been waiting for half an hour. “Hi there, what’s your name?”

“Asher, my third grade class is following the Iditarod. I picked you because you win lots of races, and if our musher wins, we get a prize, so I’m really hoping you win.” Great, now if I mess up it’s not only my family, friends, Visa, but now poor Asher I’m going to disappoint. Maybe I can just catch a plane to a beach somewhere. Why would I want to go to a beach? They’re hot and boring and all you get is sunburned. When’s the last time I had a tan? Why am I thinking about this? Why can’t this stupid race just start tonight and get this all over with.

That was about 3 minutes in the life of an Iditarod musher on Friday, but you get the idea.

To be continued…