Tuesday, March 22, 2011

You Can't Be Right If You're Worried About Time

There is a lot of inspiration in a 100 Grand candy bar.
I ran track in high school. (Seems fitting since I liked to run, err, chase, people around the playground in elementary school).
The whole distance thing didn’t work out for me, but 100 meters, and I was there. My Coach, I seem to remember, was a one-time Olympian. He scared me.
The head coach, on the other hand, would give out 100 Grand candy bars. I don’t even remember what for, but it was inspiring. 
I wasn’t fast. I sat a lot of meets out. But, boy, did I love to run. I wasn’t the fastest on the team, but I was the fastest in PE class. I’d run so fast in class that by the time I got to practice, I couldn’t run anymore. Coach never made me feel like I wasn’t fast enough. 
It wasn’t until some 15 years later that I’d hear how important it was to be “fast” and to be “first.” (Thanks slogans and mantras at news stations.) We also had to be right.
So, how can one be fast? First? And Right? All at the same time?
Well, clearly. One has to slow down. You can’t be right if you’re worried about time all the time. Even if you got through the finish line fast enough, how can you be sure you’re actually first? What if you didn’t run the race right? What if you threw out your knee so bad that you finished, but have to wear a brace for the next two weeks. That’s no fun.
I had the shin splints for two weeks. I hated that. 
Then, in college, I thought I’d run a marathon. Six miles into training I felt what sounded like a gunshot go up my left knee. That would be the beginning of deteriorating cartilage.
I still like to run. I just don’t have to be first. Or fast. I just want to run. There’s nothing to run from, or to run to anymore. 
You know what? This is for all the people who give up their candy bars because they have to get in shape. 
Run. Run anyway. Then eat a 100 Grand. You deserve it. Coach said so. Then run tomorrow, too. 

But, I'm not in a hurry. I'll get there, wherever there is, someday.

Photo Courtesy: http://www.franticmeerkat.com/

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