[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]
Time flies quickly.
As we get older, unlike our legs, Time seems to pick up the pace. On the inside I am much like the 18-year old boy I was some 23 years ago. Where have those 23 years gone? What have I done with those 23 years? and why did I waste so much time?
At nearly 42, I can’t help but wonder, what have I done? where is my mark? will anybody remember Luau?
This, I think is typical for a man my age. As we realize we have passed the midway point of our marathon of life, wondering if we have run the way we should have; knowing that even as we head for that ultimate finish line, there will be a Heartbreak Hill or two we have to overcome along the way.
Growing up I always thought that I would be famous. I had no idea what for. I just knew it was coming…at some point. The problem was just that though, I knew – and as any Sci-Fi fan will tell you, knowing what will happen in the future inevitably changes it. That knowledge made me lazy, complacent. Sure I studied my ass off in high school, but the truth is, after that, I simply waited.
Where did I fall off the path? It was near the end of my senior year in high school. I had been accepted into an Ivy League school, I was a lock as the Valedictorian of my high school, I was a member of every social group, from the nerds, to the jocks, from the burn outs to the BP’s – they all claimed me as their own; life was good.
I took my foot off of the accelerator and flipped on the proverbial cruise switch.
Looking back, I wonder if I ever turned the switch off. To be sure, there were times when I took control of my world. Most recently was just over a year ago when I decided that I had to qualify for Boston. I spent the summer focused, running mile after mile with a singular purpose.
3 months later, I achieved my goal. Needing a 3:20:59 to qualify for Boston 2011, I ran a 3:19:19.
Boston Qualifier – I felt like I had achieved something…something not a whole lot of people can claim.
But there was a problem. I had thought that qualifying for Boston would somehow mystically change me, alter me, better me…but I was still just plain, old me. I was still Luau, just 3 months older, a few pounds lighter. On the inside I was still Luau the 18-year old kid, waiting for fame to shine its light upon me.
I know now that it’s not coming…at least, not until I grab it by the horns and wrestle it down.
These last few months have been difficult for me as a runner. My motivation has come and gone like the breeze pushing fallen leaves on a cool autumn day. With only days until the Vermont 50, I will admit that I have done almost no training – zippo, zilch, nada! I jokingly said to someone recently that I had been tapering since Boston – I was only half-joking. This journey is going to be a test of mental toughness, of determination, of focus. I am both scared and not scared simultaneously. There is a part of me the simply knows I have it within me to cover 50 miles in 12 hours. Simple math tells me that as long as I keep moving, I will be fine. And for the first time in my short racing life, I don’t care about where or how fast I finish (other than not to get physically removed off of the course by the sweepers).
But part of me is terrified. What if I am mentally weak?
What if my mind gives up before my body does?
What if I discover that I peaked at the age of 18?
This “race” on Sunday will be interesting to say the least. My hope is that I can prove to myself once again, that I am strong, I am determined, but mostly, that I can be disciplined. Maybe I can rediscover who I was. Then, it will be a matter of bringing those traits back into my every day life and then hopefully, full circle back to my running.